Artforum International

An international contemporary art magazine covering sculpture, painting, mixed media, and installation works, as well as architecture, music, and popular culture. Includes artist interviews and reviews of individual artists and/or galleries; reviews of fi

Articles from Vol. 38, No. 3, November

"BRIDGET RILEY: PAINTINGS FROM THE 1960s AND 70s"
"It is a painting's first merit to be a feast for the eyes," Delacroix wrote in 1863. Over a century later, his diary entry has become a favorite motto for Bridget Riley. The word "feast" may beg definition, but at the formal level the Serpentine Gallery's...
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot
Little by little, the simple rigor of Celeste Boursier-Mougenot's installation became clear: Distributed evenly throughout the gallery were five inflatable children's pools, of an intense, almost Mediterranean blue. Each pool, filled with the same small...
Charity Case
TEN YEARS after Senator Jesse Helms lit into Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe for making "indecent art," we find ourselves in the midst of another protracted culture war, this time more serious than the first: I'm referring not to the ludicrous...
Cindy Sherman
"Oh no!" New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl confesses to blurting audibly at Cindy Sherman's recent show, and although he is a devoted fan of hers, it's easy to see why. Even for an artist who regularly makes her audience think twice, these images are...
Collier Schorr
My college roommate was from New York, and for the first semester at our midwestern school she was overcome by the exotic charms of the few lumbering, corn-fed lads in attendance. Being rather more homegrown myself, I thought them at best dim, at worst...
Critical Reflections
The very word "criticism," with its implications of distance and judgment, might make us forget the centrality of the body in our experience of art--indeed, in the very constitution of what counts as art. The critic's first responsibility is to remember,...
Diane Arbus: A House on a Hill, Hollywood, Cal. 1963
Diane Arbus's A house on a hill, Hollywood, Cal. 1963 is remarkable for what isn't in it as much as for what is. Missing from it is the human population that is front and center stage in most of Arbus's work, never mind the "freaks" that are its most...
"Different Roads"
The exclusive association of MOMA'S history with the European-centered high modernism of Picasso and Mondrian is in need of serious revision. Alfred Barr, the museum's first director, conceived of breaking the institution into separate departments out...
Eye of the Storm
IN MY MIND'S EYE are hurried comings and goings. People in full stride under the shadow of tall buildings, the monumental immobility of which measures the figures' relative stature and speed. One by one they set their course, converging like tributary...
Frames of Mind
"A bicycle shed is a building; Lincoln Cathedral is a piece of architecture." Although written in 1943, these opening lines from An Outline of European Architecture, Nikolaus Pevsner's textbook history of the discipline, still sum up the way most design...
Frances Stark's Top Ten
1 "Without taking sides with either the Now or the Then in matters of taste, as one usually does when faced with such a juxtaposition, he felt his mind abandoned by both sides without an instant's hesitation, and saw in it only the great demonstration...
"Heart and Soul"
Sometimes group shows seem to have been the result of some bright young thing saying, "I know, we could do it right here." Occasionally they are more interesting. Installed in a South London warehouse, "Heart and Soul" included everything from paintings...
Hunger Artist
WHEN THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART bestowed the title of adjunct curator on Paulo Herkenhoff in May, many reacted to the Brazilian's appointment as a godsend. "Herkenhoff is the new global curator," says the New Museum's Dan Cameron. Independent curator Carlos...
ILYA AND EMILlA KABAKOV
Ilya Kabakov and his wife, Emilia, have always focused their work on social conditions in the Soviet Union during the post-revolutionary period, and their art describes that way of life and its paradigms. In the splendidly restored Cantieri Culturali...
James Angus
Given the thorough interrogation of sculpture already achieved by post-Minimalism and Conceptual art, choosing to dismantle this particular artistic category might seem a bit like beating a long-dead horse. While James Angus's second one-man show indeed...
Jean-Luc Godard
Protean filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's career as an avant-garde innovator has lasted more than forty years. Any video store or art-house series worth its salt will offer classics of the French New Wave such as Breathless (1960) or Alphaville (1965). But...
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Curated by gallerist Bruno Bischofberger, one of the artist's earliest champions, the exhibition in Trieste was a true retrospective, with 110 works dating from 1981 to 1988, the span of the short-lived Jean-Michel Basquiat's career. The Venice show,...
Jeannette Christensen/catherine Howe/robin Kahn
The three artists in this thoughtfully selected show differ not only in their choice of medium but, more important, in their stylistic and affective stances. What unites them is that, in reflecting on questions about their relation as women to art and...
Jesko Fezer and Axel John Wieder
Exhibitions in Berlin these days like to flirt with urban planning and architecture, and a kind of neo-Situationism has emerged from this, which at its worst has led to service-and-spectacle events like the Berlin Biennale. On the other hand, the 1998...
Leo Bersani and Ulysse Dutoit
THE DYNAMICS, the provocations, the sacrifices entailed in any collaborative viewing and interpreting of works of art are easy enough to imagine. But for Leo Bersani, former chair of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California,...
"L'objet Desoriente"
Like an Unidentified Flying Carpet, "L'objet deoriente" (The disoriented object) landed in the glass-roofed exhibition hall of the museum with a crew of nine contemporary Moroccan artists and a cargo of some four thousand everyday items from Morocco's...
"Looking for a Place"
Visitors to Santa Fe who like to take their high culture with a heaping spoonful of counterculture probably came away from the Third International SITE Santa Fe Biennial with a lot to ponder. Organized by Rosa Martinez under the dreamy rubric "Looking...
Manhattan Transfer
THE STANDARD art-world book on the Whitney Museum goes like this: a distant third in the New York contemporary museum sweepstakes (after august MoMA and flashy Guggenheim Inc.), stuck in a cramped, unrenovatable late-modernist bunker, limited in focus...
Maria Martinez-Canas
Maria Martinez-Canas often derives the layered, complex imagery of her photographs from old maps, customs documents, and other items relating to her Cuban heritage. However, in "Traces of Nature," her most recent show, the inspiration came not from her...
Michael Smith and Joshua White
A site-specific work by Michael Smith and Joshua White, Open House, 1999, is one of the most corrosively funny installations I've ever seen. It's Hans Haacke meets Jerry Seinfeld. This isn't as unexpected as it might sound: Smith has actually worked...
Miguel Angel Campano
In the late '60s and early '70s, a group of young figurative painters living in Madrid--Guillermo Perez Villalta, Manolo Quejido, Carlos Alcolea, and Rafael Perez Minguez, among others--emerged as a generation of artists who freely mixed intellectual...
Mimmo Paladino
That trusty critic's tool, the Art Abstracts, tallies over a hundred entries for Mimmo Paladino, but these turn out mostly to be pictorial reproductions; few are substantial articles. The art world evidently likes looking at Paladino's neoprimitivist...
Mother Lode
DEDICATED "TO ALL ACTRESSES who have played actresses, to all women who act, to men who act and become women, to all people who want to be mothers," and last but not least, to his own mom, Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother, which opened the New York...
"Nadar/warhol: Paris/new York"
Warhol and Nadar each preferred blank backgrounds for their portraits, a blankness Warhol often found reflected in his sitter's eyes. Both trafficked in portraits of performers, artistic peers, and other objects of affection. Handsomely hung in two adjacent...
Norman Lewis
Although Norman Lewis (1909-79) was a first-generation Abstract Expressionist, his contribution to the New York School has largely been forgotten. His recent rediscovery, however, has begun to rectify this state of affairs and to reveal how the African-American...
Paula Rego
The evocation of tension--social, sexual, emotional, and fictional--is the thread that runs through Paula Rego's work. These tensions unite figures who appear to be rooted in the intimacy of domestic life, yet Rego's visual narratives often eschew realism...
Peter De Cupere
Everybody has memories, and the older you get, the more selective you are about them. You forget the so-called important events of your life and for one reason or another cherish the details: a brief encounter in the subway, a certain compliment your...
Robert Murray
It was after meeting Barnett Newman at the Emma Lake Artists' Workshops in Saskatchewan in 1959 that Robert Murray turned his talents from painting to sculpture. Murray's self-prescribed mission was to take the pictorial language of painterly abstraction...
Rodney Graham
Post-arcadian, neo-romantic, and curiously classical, Rodney Graham's seemingly contradictory investigations of nature negotiate the seditious terrain between criticality and homage. His signature large photographs of inverted trees (perhaps less an...
Sam Durant
There's plenty talk of cynicism in art today, but art truly born of cynicism, in which the idealistic and romantic are forced to hold their own against a healthy dose of skepticism and pessimism, is a rare dish. Sam Durant served up just that with four...
Shirazeh Houshiary
On entering Shirazeh Houshiary's show, one saw what appeared to be a group of monochromes--some black, some white, and all square--installed in contrasting groups of large and small works. As one drew nearer to several of the paintings, however, one...
Short of Statue
VISITORS TO LONDON are accustomed to the stately sculptures that occupy Trafalgar Square: figures of kings, military heroes, imperial lions. But a statue of a scantily clad Christ that resembles a cross between a Holocaust survivor and The Jungle Book's...
Stream of Conscience
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song. The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers, Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed. --T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land T.S. Eliot...
Susan Wanklyn
Susan Wanklyn presents nine smallish paintings, all just a bit taller than square (and three watercolor monotypes), most of them immediately describable as loosely brushed plaids. But that designation is misleading for its superficial obviousness. Wanklyn...
Susa Templin
The history of mankind is manifest in its architecture--houses, temples, streets, markets, parks, and graves. It is a story that is continually being built, seen, and told anew. With her recent exhibition, "3 Feet 6 Inches Deep," Susa Templin contributes...
Takashi Murakami
Though the works of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, et al. long ago settled comfortably into the canon, the spores germinating from their carcasses may have left even the most sympathetic, Pop-attuned viewers rather eye-glazed. Just about every earthly...
The Pregnant Critic
Behind the brief passage on Ellsworth Kelly in our collaborative work Arts of Impoverishment, there had been a nearly epiphanic experience of what critical activity has meant for us. We had, during one of our museum visits while in the process of thinking...
The Rights Stuff
WHAT DOES ARTFORUM think of Brooklyn Museum of Art's turn at "Sensation," Charles Saatchi's well-traveled collection of young British art? The question is probably moot, for when New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani threatened to evict the museum and cancelled...
"The Un-Private House"
Few architectural phenomena are as paradoxical as the question of the private house. At once a vehicle for change and a vessel for conservatism, the private house taps into an extraordinary inertia: No matter how radically transformed our place of work...
Torbjorn Vejvi
Why is it that when you're a kid, you can imagine perfect things, but you can't make them, and when you're an adult, you can make perfect things, but you can't play with them? This deep if unlikely question is brought to mind by the work of Torbjorn...
Zhang Peili
For a Chinese-born artist who still lives in his hometown of Hangzhou, Zhang Peili has been represented in a remarkable number of international exhibitions. In just over two years, his work has been seen in several high-profile Asian-themed group shows--including...