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. 48, No. 9, May

Against Performance Art: Carrie Lambert-Beatty on the Art of Marina Abramovic
A BILLBOARD-SIZE, BLACK-AND-WHITE Marina Abramovic gazes out over the entrance to her retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, echoing the valiant, faraway expression of Che Guevara in the iconic Korda photograph (and, by extension, Obama...
Alan B. Stone: INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
We're drawn to the past for countless reasons and revisit it in myriad ways, but analytic, interrogative approaches to what has come before us predominate in today's art world. Even nostalgia itself is codified and anatomized: Witness, for example,...
Amaya Gonzalez Reyes: PARRA & ROMERO
Can a work of art participate in that which it sets out to criticize without losing legitimacy? In " Una idea brillante y otras historias adorables" (A Brilliant Idea and Other Adorable Stories), Amaya Gonzalez Reyes takes up this quixotic question,...
Ana Torfs: K21 STANDEHAUS
The video installations in Ana Torfs's exhibition "Album Tracks A" work by way of overlappings and oppositions. Whereas the figures in the black-and-white sequences at first seem to be acting in complete isolation, suspended within abstract spaces,...
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri: TANYA LEIGHTON GALLERY
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri have cited Fluxus artist Robert Filliou in his assertion that "art is what makes life more interesting than art" since initiating their collaboration in 1999. The two artists (who also maintain individual practices) consistently...
Bernard Voita: GALERIE BOB VAN ORSOUW
Bernard Voita's "Paysages ahah," 2009-10, arc photographic landscapes the likes of which you've never before seen. Their intricately nested spaces blend together uncanny microcosms and idyllic expanses, as if in some fantastic dream--or nightmare....
Cecil Balmond: CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART
A renowned structural engineer, Cecil Balmond has over the past three decades played an instrumental role in the work of architects such as Philip Johnson, Rem Koolhaas, and Daniel Libeskind. His unconventional approaches to engineering problems and...
Clemens Von Wedemeyer: KOCH OBERHUBER WOLFF
Galleries often re-present works commissioned for other contexts, but rarely do they expand on them. This is precisely what's been done, however, at Koch Oberhuber Wolff for its solo show by Clemens von Wedemeyer. "The Fourth Wall," 2009, consists...
Committed to Memory: Dan Adler on Renee Green
EARLY ON IN RENEE GREEN'S WORK Wavelinks: A Different Reality, 2002, the artist Arthur Jafa is on camera, musing animatedly about his efforts to connect with the past, to establish a "felt relationship to something that has been done prior to your...
Constantin Wallhauser: COSAR HMT
Right in the entryway of this show loomed the projected image of a "carousel" made of wooden table legs and staircase balusters. Three steps farther in, behind the wall on which this was projected, was a room that seemed like a hidden world. Here one...
Cristobal Lehyt: CARPENTER CENTER FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
From Gustave Courbet's stone breakers to task-based dance, artists have variously attempted to depict the laboring body. Chilean-born, New York-based Cristobal Lehyt's latest solo endeavor also references industry, effort, and production: The show...
Dike Blair: WEATHERSPOON ART MUSEUM GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
ONE OF THE MANY gratifying aspects of Dike Blair's ten-year sculpture and painting survey, "Now and Again," recently on view at the Weatherspoon Art Musuem in Greensboro, North Carolina, was how it allowed the artist to fully exercise his understated...
Duncan Campbell: Artists Space
Less than two years after starting production of the DMC-12 luxury car, the DeLorean Motor Company abruptly closed in 1982, leaving thousands of workers unemployed. Supported by generous subsidies from the UK government, the factory had been set up...
Elisabeth Subrin: SUE SCOTT GALLERY
Today, some fifty years removed from Andy Warhol's deployment of fashion and shoe advertisements and thirty years since the flowering of the Pictures generation, the sheer quantity of images circulating in the world has normalized appropriation, and...
Ettore Sottsass: MARRES CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY CULTURE
Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007) is best known for founding the Memphis group, the "coup de theatre"--as his wife and biographer Barbara Radice described it--that shook the design world in the 1980s. But at the Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, it...
Fair Use: Joe Scanlan on Tino Sehgal
I CHOOSE to consider writing as a useless labor, apolitical and of little moral significance. Urged on by some base inspiration, I confess I would experience a kind of pleasure at being proved wrong. A guilty pleasure, since it would be at the expense...
Franz Erhard Walther: PETER FREEMAN, INC
While living in Germany and New York during the 1960s, Franz Erhard Walther produced a series of fifty-eight sculptural objects designed for viewer interaction and direct handling, which were collectively titled "1. Werksatz" (First Set of Works)....
George Condo: SKARSTEDT GALLERY
This exhibition of George Condo's work consisted of only three paintings--all masterly, all large, all 2010. Part of a series titled "Drawing Paintings," 2009-, they depict standing figures--some "interlocking," some "spatial," as the titles of two...
Hadley + Maxwell: JESSICA BRADLEY ART + PROJECTS
The gallery's windows were covered with paper. But this was an artwork, not a signal that installation was in progress. Consisting of long, loosely applied strips of wallpaper--each with a distinct pattern of stripes, tree branches, or flowers--Returns...
Iannis Xenakis: DRAWING CENTER, NEW YORK
IANNIS XENAKIS, WHO DIED IN 2001 at the age of seventy-eight, was the embodiment of Goethe's famous quote "I call architecture frozen music." Trained as a civil engineer, Xenakis went on to study composition with Olivier Messiaen, and his mature work...
Imposing Technologies: DAVID E. JAMES ON PAT O'NEILL
AMONG THE VARIOUS "LAST" FILMS that have punctuated the transition from celluloid to digital media, Pat O'Neill's The Decay of Fiction (2002) has a singular authority. At once a metanoir and a portrait of Los Angeles's Ambassador Hotel, with its fabled...
In Time
AMONG THE MORE STRIKING aspects of interviews with William S. Burroughs--Beat author and theorist par excellence of addiction in all its iterations--is a strong and prescient Malthusian streak running through his words. Time and again, his interlocutors...
Jamie Isenstein: ANDREW KREPS GALLERY
"Live" art is for the living; by extension, it can die. Narratives around performance art have begun to adopt the language of endangered-species programs, with words like re-creation and preservation becoming switch points for whole epistemological...
Jerstin Crosby: GOOD CITIZEN GALLERY
For Jerstin Crosby's first exhibition in Saint Louis, "In the Manner of Smoke," he plastered the gallery's full-size, outdoor billboard with an image of two men, their faces covered by bandannas, displaying a spray-painted banner that reads you cannot...
Joan Jonas: YVON LAMBERT
Joan Jonas did not read The Divine Comedy until 2007, whereupon she began a series of pieces inspired by the epic poem. As with much of her oeuvre, the multiple iterations of the resulting work, Reading Dante, ultimately do not evidence mastery or...
"Joint Dialogue": OVERDUIN AND KITE
A pervasive sense of slippage--between the personal and professional, between art and life--governed this group exhibition, curated by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, that tied together work by Dan Graham, Stephen Kaltenbach, and Lee Lozano. The show's title...
Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys
FOR ALMOST A DECADE, Jos de Gruyter worked at Ten Weyngaert, a Brussels community center that began as a Utopian experiment in the 1980s. Intended as a place that citizens could visit in order to freely express their creativity--a latter-day Esalen--the...
Jose Macas De Carvalho: MUSEU DE ANGRA DO HEROISMO
One of the works that best defines the practice of the Portuguese artist Jose Macas de Carvalho is To President (Drinking Version), 2005-2008. This is a video that manipulates a well-known sequence from the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl, set...
Jost Munster: MUSEUM 52
The first work in Jost Munster's show "Ground Control" was the wall painting Bands, 2010, featuring vertical stripes of slightly different lengths running roughly from the ceiling down to knee height: a wide central black band flanked by a narrower,...
Karl Haendel: SUSANNE VIELMETTER LOS ANGELS PROJECTS
An artist inclined to make and exhibit lists, Karl Haendel produced a document in 2007 subtitled Things I Tend to Draw. Included were "boy stuff that flies" and "boy stuff that drives," items referring to his large-scale renderings of SUVs, rockets,...
Kiki Smith: BROOKLYN MUSEUM
Kiki Smith's "Sojourn" is an ongoing site-specific installation, brought to Brooklyn in its fourth iteration (following stints at the Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld, Germany; the Kunsthalle Nurnberg, also in Germany; and the Fundacio Joan Miro in Barcelona)....
Leonor Antunes and Amalia Pica: MARC FOXX
The conceptual impulse behind artmaking typically manifests itself in either indulgently labored or stoically restrained gestures. This two-person exhibition, featuring the work of Portuguese-born, Berlin-based Leonor Antunes and London-based, Argentinean-born...
"Les Sculptures Meurent Aussi": KUNSTHALLE MULHOUSE
The third and last in a cycle of exhibitions curated by Lorenzo Benedetti at the Kunsthalle Mulhouse, "Les Sculptures meurent aussi" (Sculptures Also Die) looked like a primer on recent European sculpture, however predicated on such sculpture's extinction....
Ligia Dias
Swiss-born Ligia Dias is a designer based in Paris. From 2002 to 2005 she worked under Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, before launching her own jewelry line, Ligia Dias Colliers. She has since collaborated with 3.1 Phillip Lim, Comme des Garcons, and Swiss...
Lost in Space: JOHN KELSEY ON TIM BURTON'S ALICE IN WONDERLAND
WHEN THE CHESHIRE CAT'S disembodied head comes unmoored from the picture plane and, like a ball in oil, begins to roll in our RealD glasses, it asks through its floating grin whether Alice is really the Alice. We are actually watching two movies when...
Matt Mullican: KUNSTHALLE LA
The title "Matt Mullican: Works from the 1980s and 90s" is telling; it is during that era that Mullican gained entree into what is now known as the Pictures generation, appearing alongside artists such as Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince in such era-defining...
Michael Landy: SOUTH LONDON GALLERY
Michael Landy decided to construct a giant container in which to throw London's unwanted artworks. The first question was: How big should it be? The answer here was: colossal--some forty feet long by thirty-three feet wide and about two stories high....
Miwa Yanagi: Rat Hole Gallery
Last year was Miwa Yanagi's annus mirabilis--the year of three solo exhibitions that included the installation Windswept Women: The Old Girls' Troupe, 2009, at the Japanese Pavilion of the Fifty-third Venice Biennale. This new show combines several...
Monika Sosnowska
WHEN I WAS ASKED to create the architecture for "The Promises of the Past," there was no crystallized concept, no definite vision of the exhibition as a whole--just a preliminary list of the featured artists and works. I suggested creating a linear...
Monika Sosnowska: Talks about Her Exhibition Design for "The Promises of the Past"
IMAGINE WALKING THROUGH an exhibition in zigzags, not because you have to slalom between freely arranged objects or chaotically wandering viewers, but because the space itself dictates a meandering path. The only thing you can do is move alongside...
Narcisse Tordoir: MUSEUM DHONDT-DHAENENS/CULTUURCENTRUM MECHELEN
Narcisse Tordoir is one of Belgium's best-kept secrets. Besides having taken a rather unusual artistic route, Tordoir has nurtured several generations of upcoming talent as a teacher and a curator, for instance through the milestone exhibition "Trouble...
Nari Ward: LEHMANN MAUPIN GALLERY
Over the course of the past decade, Nari Ward's large-scale sculptures and installations have often been invested in the local. At the 2008 Prospect. 1 biennial in New Orleans, for instance, his installation of a diamond-shaped structure made with...
Nicholas Di Genova: FREDERICKS & FREISER
Art built around the repetitive accumulation of objects and images has been around for long enough that it could constitute an extensive collection of its own. From China's 2,200-year-old Terracotta Army to Antony Gormley's Field, 1991; from Andy Warhol's...
Night Watchman: James Trainor on Jan Tichy
DIMONA: IT IS A BEAUTIFUL NAME for something that long refused to exist. Built secretly in Israel's Negev Desert in 1956, the Dimona nuclear facility was initially the stuff of rumor. Even US intelligence agencies didn't uncover its purpose until the...
Nikhil Chopra: CHATTERJEE & LAL
If you had met Nikhil Chopra at New York's New Museum, disguised as a 1920s flapper for his Performa 09 piece Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing IX, you would not have recognized him in Mumbai. Chopra's latest performance here, Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory...
Previews: Three Times a Year Artforum Looks Ahead to the Coming Season. the Following Survey Previews Forty Shows Opening around the World between May and August
Mixed Use, Manhattan: Photography and Related Practices, 1970s to the Present MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFIA, MADRID June 9-September 27 Curated by Lynne Cooke and Douglas Crimp "MIXED USE, MANHATTAN" begins with "The Destruction...
R. H. Quaytman: INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, BOSTON
TWO SILK-SCREEN PAINTINGS, which recently hung together in a corner at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, could stand as an emblem for the painting practice of New York-based artist R. H. Quaytman. Both show the same archival photograph of a 1966...
Robert Morris: LEO CASTELLI GALLERY
To know why Robert Morris loomed so large in the 1960s one need look no further than Untitled (Scatter Piece), 1968-69. For this room-size installation, Morris distributed his materials--steel, lead, zinc, copper, aluminum, brass, and contrasting thick...
Robert Ryman: PACEWILDENSTEIN
Never one for grandiloquence, Robert Ryman has for some recent exhibitions drafted short statements about the continuous experiment that is his painting. These tend invariably toward the plainspoken, hardware-store procedural, and are thus the perfect...
Scott Wolniak: 65grand
Setting foot inside the apartment kitchen--cwm-art gallery 65 GRAND always gives one pause. Yet Scott Wolniak's recent show, dispersed across the walls among domestic fixtures, felt peculiarly fitting within this unorthodox space (now in its sixth...
Simon Dybbroe Moller: HARRIS LIEBERMAN
In the middle of the gallery, a young man sat casually at a grand piano stacked with old books, holding one and reading from it, silently. As he did this, he used his free hand to pick out individual notes on the keyboard. The gentle sounds resonated...
Staged Presence: Caroline A. Jones on Performances and Publics
The audience is like a dog. They can feel immediately that you are afraid, that you are insecure, that you're not in the right state of mind--and they just leave. ... --Marina Abramovic I think the twenty-first century will hopefully be more...
Teppei Kaneuji: SHUGOARTS
Teppei Kaneuji gained public recognition with his unusually early retrospective at the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan in 2009, when he was just thirty-one. Hailed as a representative of a new generation of Japanese artists, Kaneuji uses laborious...
Terry Adkins: AMERICAN ACADEMY IN ROME
Terry Adkins's "Meteor Stream," the culmination of a ten-year cycle on abolitionist John Brown, opened on the 150th anniversary of Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry--his legendary attempt to seize a government arsenal and initiate a slave revolt, the failure...
The Practice of Everyday Life: Ed Halter on the Films of Kevin Jerome Everson
KEVIN JEROME EVERSON'S two-minute film Something Else (2007) begins with a bit of worn color 16 mm--evidently shot for a local television-news station, perhaps sometime around 1970--depicting an interview with Miss Black Roanoke, Virginia, a young...
Tomas Saraceno: BONNIERS KONSTHALL
The physicist Freeman Dyson, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, reasons that since biology is our era's dominant science, "the dominant art form should be the design of genomes to create new varieties of...
Walid Sadek: BEIRUT ART CENTER
Walid Sadek's first solo exhibition, "Place at Last," came relatively late in the career of an artist and writer who has been active, if not exactly prolific, for more than fifteen years. In the mid-1990s, Sadek produced a number of fiercely influential...
"Walls Are Talking": WHITWORTH ART GALLERY
The literary critic I. A. Richards once expounded on the nature of poetry with the resounding conclusion, "Poetry is the house we live in." T. S. Eliot piped up from the audience, "I should rather have called it the wallpaper." That wallpaper has its...
Whitney Biennial: WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK
"2010": THE TITLE OF the latest edition of the Whitney Biennial, curated by Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari, is a literalist marker that establishes both the inexorable passage of the biennial calendar and the impossibility of subjecting...
Willem De Rooij: GALERIE DANIEL BUCHHOLZ
"Slit or Gloved," the title of Willem de Rooij's recent show in Cologne, is an anagram of "Silver to Gold," a series (created in 2009 for the Athens Biennale) of five canvases interwoven with carefully proportioned gradations of metallic silver and...
William E. Jones: VW (VENEKLASEN/WERNER)
"I announce the destruction of the cinema, the first apocalyptic sign of disjunction, the rupture of this bloated organism known as a film." These forceful words emanated from loudspeakers in a monotone computer voice in the video installation Discrepancy,...
Willie Cole: ALEXANDER AND BONIN
For many US residents, the term post-black may describe a nation in which an African American can become president; citizens of the New York art world may also remember the Studio Museum in Harlem's "Freestyle" show of 2001, and curator Thelma Golden's...