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. 34, No. 2, October

Abject Lesson
For a while, as you may or may not remember, the abject was having its little moment on the intellectual catwalk, putting in its appearance as an esthetic-slash-ontological category. Confronted with the apparent impossibility of almost everything,...
Ascetic Esthetic
Looking at pre - New York Piet Mondrian, I could only think about the reductive zeal and restraint that must have been required to focus on the spatiality of the white voids, which seem at once to seek out and reject color. For Mondrian, the diamond-shaped...
Black and White and Read All Over
IN VALBRONA, THE OBSCURE VILLAGE HIGH above Lake Como where I spend my summers, public life gets played out on the front terrace of the Albergo Paradiso. You only really matter here if you are resolutely local, and each year the innkeeper's English wife...
Critical Reflections
Historians may seem to act as critics - they're as willing to pass judgment as the next person - but there is a difference. It's the business of historians to gather new information, or, if lacking that degree of industriousness, at least to become...
Dream Tate
IT WILL BE CALLED THE TATE GALLERY of Modern Art, and it is scheduled to open at the beginning of the new millennium. The gallery will be housed in an extraordinary postwar relic, an oil-fired power station on the South Bank of the Thames, directly...
Gianni Versace
Inventive in concept, prosaic in its reiterations as a clothing standard, dazzling in its transmutations through ordinary and extraordinary textiles, the sari is an ancient device and decorum of Indian dress. Clever at its matrix, it is a fixed template,...
Gore Blimey
One of the striking features of current British art is its predilection for imagery that is violent, life-and-death obsessed, grungy, or plain unpleasant. In several other countries such imagery has been prominent for centuries, but in Britain, where...
Langfroid
Rigor and economy of cut, a marked absence of artifice, the clash of high-tech and traditional fabrics. Helmut Lang's deceptively simple designs lend even the most basic garment a subversive edge. Yet while his use of high-tech materials has been much...
Out of Kilter
SCOTS WINCE AT the prospect of Hollywood descending on the Highlands. The cultural alarm system kicks in. Hope and reason flee in advance of bad tartanry, ultraphony accents, and gooey caricatures of Gaelcult, itself the longest-running caricature of...
Perfectly Awful
Early one evening last winter, the 34-year-old British-born, Brooklyn-raised, and Paris-based couturier, painter, poet, musician, and hair-and-makeup artist Andre Walker went for a stroll along the eastern half of 14th street in Manhattan. Moving through...
Plastic Made Perfect: Measuring Mondrian
CIRCA 1946: As an arty Manhattan teenager, I thumbtacked onto my bedroom walls a row of color reproductions from the Museum of Modern Art, a precocious declaration of Modernity. I placed Piet Mondrian's Composition in White, Black, and Red (1936) next...
Sean Scully: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Before this retrospective I had never thought of Sean Scully's painting as particularly controversial. But both the artist's conversation and his admirers' writing return to a defensive posture sufficiently often that Victoria Combalia begins her catalogue...
Son of Cezanne
The transparency and delicacy of the Analytical Cubist style were largely used by its founders to transform solid, compact, often rather massive objects: clusters of houses; chunky trees; sturdy tables bearing bulky instruments or containers; single...
Toba Khedoori
Announced without fanfare or disclaimer, Toba Khedoori's immense but delicate works join the art party as reluctant guests enticed out of solitude. Her slow deliberations, inscribed as they are on empty expanses of paper, take uneasy position within...