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. 32, No. 3, November

'Action/Performance and the Photograph.' (Exhibit at Jan Turner and Turner/Krull Galleries)(Reviews)
From the late '50s to the present, performance-oriented body art has radically displayed and enacted the artist in/as the work itself. This excellent exhibition, organized by Craig Krull, explored the photographic documents that memorialize these performative...
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Adam Cvijanovic
Adam Cvijanovic's installation was a delightful surprise: at once a visual pleasure and a commentary on the politics of viewing. The artist compiled an impressive series of representational paintings that borrow heavily from the Romantic tradition....
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Another Kind of Light: The Art of Stephen Mueller
Stephen Mueller's art has taken a turn toward Buddha. His vividly hued elliptical and circular shapes hover and buzz in shimmering mists; their manner, while less regimented, recalls the multiples of Buddha's beatific chubbiness that float so frontally...
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Antonius Hockelmann
This exhibition of Antonius Hockelmann's drawings and sculptures from the '60s made it clear that he is one of the masters of postwar German art. His work is not unrelated to that of Georg Baselitz, who invited him to participate in the publication...
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Arrivederci Venice: The Third World Biennials
The Venice Biennale, founded in 1895, is the oldest and, along with Germany's Documenta series, the most influential of Europe's major recurring international exhibitions. Both those shows occur in formerly imperial nations and reflect a Eurocentric...
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Arturo Lindsay
With El Monte: Homenaje a Lydia Cabrera (Homage to Lydia Cabrera, 1993), Arturo Lindsay dedicated a rich, multimedia installation to Cabrera--the scholar of Afro-Cuban art and culture who brought the iconography of Santeria to Wifredo Lam's attention....
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Back to Babel: Project Unite
Le Corbusier's Unite d'Habitation, a monumental block of low-income apartments awkwardly wedged into the hills surrounding the small city of Firminy in central France, may once have functioned as a beacon of hope; now it bears witness to a return of...
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Caio Fonseca
Caio Fonseca's semaphoric abstractions, collectively entitled "Tenth Street Paintings," 1992--93, perform a skittering dance across waxy canvas skins, weighing surface against rhythm. As venerable in appearance as works by the masters of European Modernism,...
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Carmen Perrin
These two very different shows marked Swiss artist Carmen Perrin's solo debut in the United States. Common to all of her work is a commitment to exploring the possibilities of industrial materials--metal, rubber, wood, and fiberglass, among others--which...
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Cesare Viel
An actor read a long text from a video screen. If one listened closely it became clear that it was a particular type of monologue, directed toward someone who seemed to be far away. One soon discovered that what was being read was a letter, or really...
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Cheryl Goldsleger
That Cheryl Goldsleger's deserted architecture is a kind of grand world theater is certainly suggested by the amphitheater in Vortex, 1993, and by its equally grandiose, engulfing form in the other charcoal drawings presented in this show. In a world...
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'Currents '93: Dress Codes.' (Exhibit at Institute of Contemporary Art)(Reviews)
This year the annual "Currents" exhibition at Boston's ICA examined transvestism, gender-crossing, and gay and racial identities through multimedia works by 24 artists. The images ranged from Nan Goldin's well-known photographs of transsexuals and...
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Daisy Youngblood
The only disruption in this austere, brightly illuminated space was the diminutive work of Daisy Youngblood--a community of small votive objects scattered around these ample rooms. Mounted directly on the walls or placed on tall pedestals, Youngblood's...
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Dangerous Stories
"Somalia is the only place in the world where I wouldn't go out without a gun," said photojournalist Christopher Morris in a recent interview. That statement marks a definitive break in contemporary journalism: although there are people in South-Central...
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Dennis Oppenheim
"A toy is a child's first initiation to art," Charles Baudelaire once claimed; conversely, art could be the adult's swan song to toys. There's an area where the tendrils of the ludic wrap around the roots of the esthetic, and that's precisely where...
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Drew Beattie and Daniel Davidson
By collaborating on 100 small drawings over a one-and-a-half year period, Drew Beattie and Daniel Davidson opened up an odd, quasi-memorial space between them. In that space, over the course of their collaborative enterprise, a kind of notational,...
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Eberhard Bosslet
Eberhard Bosslet's works evoke extremely strong emotions. Here, his works were installed in spaces wrested from an architectural complex where construction had been interrupted in the '30s, and which had been intended to accommodate the faithful visiting...
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From Space to Place
Too often, too many of us talk one theory but live another. In his rigorous examination of the possibilities of perception, and his always renewed wonder before the world and the open act of seeing, Robert Irwin's career exemplifies the committed,...
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Gary Hill
At the last Documenta, Gary Hill's installation was one of the few works that appealed to a wide audience. In a long, narrow space, figures moving toward the viewer were projected with the slow, sometimes halting movement of people of various ages....
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Guillermo Kuitca
In a country where the work of most artists seems to have absorbed a foreign discourse or theory rather than developing its own, Guillermo Kuitca is a major exception. Kuitca, once the child prodigy (as obsessively portrayed in many of his previous...
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How to Have Sax in an Epidemic
For more than a decade gay men have responded to the presence of HIV and AIDS in our personal lives in a wide variety of ways. At one end of the scale, some, sadly, have been terrified into celibacy or loveless monogamy; at the other, some evidently...
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Ian McKeever
Ian McKeever's recent paintings are abstract in the same way spider webs are: though nonfigurative and nonreferential, they reflect patterns drawn from nature. Certain structures and processes become mesmerizing as McKeever spins his various webs and...
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Itai Doron
Here's the pitch: Guy Debord meets Marshall McLuhan. The interior monologue of a star-struck Hollywood foundling begins its expansion to infinity. The attack of the 50-foot notion. We find ourselves trapped in a 12,000-square-foot projection of Itai...
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Joel Shapiro
Paradoxically, the Holocaust seems to have given new life to Joel Shapiro's sculptures. This is perhaps most evident in the intense color and disturbing forms of the glorious drawings, meant to be preliminary studies but strong in their own right....
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Joseph Kosuth
The floor was covered with gray carpet, the ceiling with penetrating, domineering tiles that created a gridlike pattern. I cannot think of another exhibition space in which I have seen less successful uses of the available space. Joseph Kosuth's installation,...
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Karel Malich
With the democratization of Eastern European countries in the past few years, many Western eyes have looked toward "Ostkunst," or eastern art. The term, used in a derogatory fashion for years and always connected to a regressive idea, was transformed...
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Katharina Fritsch
Nobody, it seems, likes rats. Mice are cute; rats, just dirty. Stuart Little is a mouse; Templeton, a rat. In the urban cesspool, rats surpass cockroaches as pestilential, borderline-scary nuisances. (Roaches, after all, are easy to kill.) When a rat...
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Lafayette, We Are Here: American Art in the 20th Century
American painting triumphed sometime after 1945 and began a golden 25 years of New World dominance in avant-garde art. That familiar thesis underpins the exhibition "American Art in the 20th Century: Painting and Sculpture 1913--1993," seen in Berlin...
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La Gia-Honda: Robert Williams' Car-Crashes on Canvas
"Something dead in the street commands more measured units of visual investigation than 100 Mona Lisas!" So says Robert Williams in his "Rubberneck Manifesto" of 1989, and it's true--no Louvre gridlock matches the rubbernecking delays caused by a good...
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Leon Golub/Nancy Spero
"There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism." This chilling observation of Walter Benjamin's is nowhere more fully taken to heart than in the work of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero. A two-part presentation...
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Magdalena Abakanowicz
Vivid memories of World War II and four decades of communism inform the art of the Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz. The complexity of transforming autobiography into art was thoughtfully addressed in her two recent shows. At the Marlborough Gallery,...
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Mark Tansey
Mark Tansey's paintings conjure a dream world--that of someone who's fallen asleep during a lecture on the history of Modern art. Haunted by the likes of Marcel Duchamp and Jacques Derrida, his work teems with disorienting encounters, seamlessly mixing...
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Mechanical Dreams: Von Dutch and Kustom Kulture
About a year into a brief but zealous correspondence I struck up with the late custom-car-culture paterfamilias Von Dutch, I confessed to him I not only didn't drive but hadn't owned a car for over 20 years. "Dear Dutch," I wrote, "This may come as...
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Michael Byron
In Michael Byron's recent exhibition, two candles, in the shape of life-sized busts cast in paraffin, each faced a series of elegant gray-on-black "drip" paintings. On these paintings, typographic collage translates each dribble and squiggle into some...
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Mobile Home
Gus Van Sant eases borders into oblivion. In all four of his feature films--Mala Noche, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, and now Even Cowgirls Get the Blues--characters test the margins by way of drugs and sex and sometimes love, much as Van...
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Neo-News Is No News: The Broken Mirror
It was hard to tell what this exhibition was trying to be. A showcase for the already familiar? A legitimization exercise for painting generally, or for this particular group of painters (even though the works presented did not hang together, either...
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Patrick Van Caeckenbergh
Though Patrick Van Caeckenbergh is an essential figure in the currently lively Belgian art scene, he is less known outside his own country than artists like Patrick Corillon and Wim Delvoye. Perhaps this is because he works slowly and produces little....
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Paul-Armand Gette
I am tempted to conflate two of Paul-Armand Gette's phrases: "On exoticism as banality" and "On eroticism as banality," to characterize his work as "eroticism as exoticism." The first of his phrases refers to the discovery of the multitude of exotic...
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Pipilotti Rist
"Women's philosophy should be brief, clear, and elegant," a woman's voice intones on the latest album of Les Reines Prochaines. The voice is that of Pipilotti Rist, who is a member of an all-female band. Her video installations seem drawn at once from...
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Regina Silveira
Masterpieces (In Absentia), 1993, seemed at first glance to be a reedition of Regina Silveira's installation In Absentia, presented at the 17th Biennial in Sao Paulo in 1983. On that occasion, the work consisted of the silhouettes of two of Marcel...
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Renee Petropoulos
Renee Petropoulos revives the large-scale circular format of the tondo, so prevalent in the Renaissance, covering it with richly evocative shapes and symbols and adapting it to accommodate her fin-de-20th-century theoretical concerns. Most strikingly,...
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Roman Signer
A garden table's four legs fly away with a bang, while the top crashes, distressingly, to the floor. The flight of a stick of furniture, carried joyously aloft by three orange balloons into the blue sky, then violently stopped in its course by rifle...
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Rona Pondick
Reading the massive pile of critical literature on Rona Pondick is like crawling naked through psychoanalytic razor wire. All the vague allusions to oral and anal fixations, the specious bandying about of terms like "repression," "compulsion," and...
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Sculpting the Town: Sonsbeek 93
Swamped by rain, and not to mention hordes of day-trippers passing through en route to major openings in Antwerp and Venice, the June preview of Sonsbeek 93, in Arnhem, Holland, got the tenth installment of this international sculpture show off to...
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Teresa Cullen
Teresa Cullen's painterly surfaces seem simultaneously to explode and engulf the objects she depicts. Cullen uses color to intoxicating effect: rich browns, smoldering oranges, whites as pale as translucent skin. Color in her paintings exceeds the...
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The Humpty-Dumpty Dilemma: The Broken Mirror and American Art in the 20th Century
It's a provocative enough title, "Der zerbrochene Spiegel" (The broken mirror), for it acknowledges a break, in theoretical discourse if not in the practice of painting itself, and thus lets the exhibition off the hook for making a promise it cannot...
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Thin Air
The trilling wire in the blood sings below inveterate scars. --T.S. Eliot, "Burnt Norton" A photograph is usually described first by naming what is visible and tangible before proceeding to that which is parenthetical or ephemeral; the photograph's...
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Thomas Nozkowski
It's a considerably more delicate problem than usual to articulate the unity of viewpoint or sensibility that is nonetheless everywhere palpable in Thomas Nozkowski's paintings. These small abstract paintings, and only slightly smaller drawings, combine...
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Thomas Struth
When photographed by Thomas Struth, sunflowers, yarrow, mallow, lilies, and delphinium express something very strange. In lieu of traditional interpretations of the flower--the rose as equivalent to love or the blood of Christ, the tulip as symbol...
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Tina Barney
It would be nice to write a review of Tina Barney's splendid new photographs without mentioning the dread words WASP, New England, or (worst of all) Ralph Lauren, but for most reviewers her work, with its focus on the lives of well-fed, conservatively...
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Ujlak Group
When relating the story of the Ujlak Group, one is tempted to resort to a narrative of the "artists' group" as creative laboratory, a narrative that is in large part responsible for their appeal in this Eastern European climate of uncertain relationships....
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