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. 49, No. 6, February

8th Shanghai Biennale
The Shanghai Biennale is charged with a significant task: to harmonize the expectations of professional and international audiences with the tastes of a broader local public, all while conforming to Ministry of Culture's requirements. By the time its...
Abraham Cruzvillegas
"I'm very interested in the idea of what happens in the border, in the space in between. What happens when you cross the street? Or when you cross the peripherique?" Having lived in Paris from 2005 through 2008, Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas...
Adrian Piper
Adrian Piper's exhibition "Past Time: Selected Works 1973-1995" was a compact survey comprising photo-text panels, installations, and a loop of wall-projected videos collectively given the fiercely immodest title The 20th Century Video Set, 1973-90....
Andrei Monastyrsky
Collective aesthetic practices long haunted Soviet art. Rooted in avant-garde artists' commitment to serve the Utopian project of Bolshevism, such forms of creativity were corrupted by socialist realism's counterfeit of the image of successful collectivity,...
Anselm Kiefer
In "Next Year in Jerusalem," Anselm Kiefer's recent show at Gagosian, the artist presented twenty-five steel-framed vitrines of varying dimensions. The cases were filled with all manner of detritus: mounds of rubble, capsized warships, fleets of U-boats,...
Antek Walczak
For his first New York solo show this past fall, artist, writer, and Bernadette Corporation member Antek Walczak made four paintings. Like Wheel of Fortune boards in midplay, the works comprise lines of incomplete text, the missing letters and words...
Bernard Piffaretti
Although Bernard Piffaretti's painting defies all periodization from the point of view of style or evolution, it continues to unfurl over time, to the rhythm of a story that writes itself as it goes along; moreover, the activity of observing the completed...
Betye Saar
On certain antebellum plantations in the American South, behind the magnolias and the majestic colonnaded verandas, is a covered walkway connecting the kitchen (kept far from other buildings for fear of fire) and the Big House. It is called the "whistle...
Borrowed Time
IT SEEMS WE GO TO THE MOVIES TO FORGET TIME, or at least to think it differently. There's good reason Graham Greene considered his four and a half years reviewing films for The Spectator an "escape." Christian Marclay's The Clock, 2010--a twenty-four-hour...
Brett Lund
If Logos, figured through language as "the Word," represents the all-encompassing unifying order of the world in metaphysics since Heracleitus, then Brett Lund's exhibition title "ProtoLogos" would seem to suggest a breathtakingly ambitious attempt...
Brian Wills
For Brian Wills, a Los Angeles artist, modernist abstraction--its East and West Coast modes alike--is still fertile territory. Fourteen of his exactingly crafted geometric paintings, wood panels layered with rows or grids of colored rayon thread and...
Carl Andre
WE NEVER STOP RELEARNING the significance of certain bodies of work. A remarkable installation on view at the Chinati Foundation demonstrates--or, better, reminds us--how Carl Andre can collapse the distance between almost-nothing and almost-everything....
Carter Mull
CARTER MULL'S DELICACY, 2010, is a compact, ungainly tabletop composition, an intriguing and idiosyncratic mixture of still-life photography, miniature audiovisual equipment, batteries, sound, and video. Its title suggests the faculty of taste, of...
Christopher Wool
"There is always form there, whether it's a form that can be repeated--and I've been trying for some time now to back away from that. I like to find something new each time, [taking up] the sum total of my experience." This keen and succinct articulation...
Collaboration Now
GOING FROM ONE TO TWO is going overboard. Working with others means exceeding, sharing, even contaminating--whether with an intimate partner or a band of outsiders, with fellow avant-gardists or an unknown audience. Well after the Impressionists incorporated...
Coming of Age
In the history of art, late works are the catastrophes. --Theodor W. Adorno The lucky ones are the defeated. --from Jean-Luc Godard's Notre Musique (2004) THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the French New Wave in 2009 proved to be both milestone...
Corps Concept
BY THE LAST DECADE of the Soviet Union's existence, collectives were everywhere. As Oleg Kharkhordin tells us in his extraordinary study of the dialectic of collective and individual in Russia, the term kollektiv had come to designate the basic unit...
Craig Drennen
Atlanta-based artist Craig Drennen has chosen William Shakespeare's most obscure play, The Life of Timon of Athens, as the theme for his new body of work. Known first as a language-based neo-Conceptualist, and then for his drawings and paintings based...
Dark Energy
PROMINENTLY FEATURED on Marco Fusinato's bookshelf is a section dedicated to the Red Brigades, the militant leftist organization infamous for the 1978 kidnapping and murder of former Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. Fusinato admits to having been...
David Rabinowitch
The colorful "drawings" in David Rabinowitch's series "Birth of Romanticism," 2008-10, are somewhat of a surprise, especially considering that Rabinowitch is known for sober Minimalist sculpture. Indeed, he last made works on paper seriously in 1962--the...
Elisabeth Neudorfl
In a text describing the methodologies and conceptual concerns that comprise her "topographic" approach to documentary photography, Elisabeth Neudorfl has written that "a fundamental strategy of photography is exclusion." With its high-contrast black-and-white...
Elise Adibi
For the first solo presentation of her paintings in New York, Elise Adibi steered clear of the kind of baroque installation gimmicks and exogenous conceptual frames--in ready supply elsewhere lately--through which her medium becomes an empty sign conveying...
Etienne Chambaud
"Objets redimes" (Redeemed Objects) was an exhibition in the high Duchampian idiom. Seven circles of debris on the floor contained the remains of glass molds of various objects--an umbrella, a rope, a broom, a bottle, a hammer, a bag, and some books--that...
"Exhibition #3"
Rooms filled with works by outsider artists in the first exhibition at the Museum of Everything in 2009-10 made the institution's mission clear: This was a place dedicated to the self-taught and the strange. "Exhibition #2" was a three-day display...
Flavio De Marco
Flavio de Marco's grand tour includes six cities where he has lived: Lecce, Bologna, Rome, and Milan, as well as London and Berlin. They are the subject of six large canvases and eighteen small, postcard-size ones, created in 2009 and 2010, which make...
Gary Simmons
The so-called blaxploitation film genre courted controversy during its meteoric rise (and equally precipitous disappearance) in the 1970s. Marketed specifically to black audiences and defined by unprecedented depictions of black heroes fighting a villainous...
Gedi Sibony
Scraps of carpet, cardboard, plywood, and the occasional swath of fabric: We've come to associate such materials with Gedi Sibony's art. For nearly a decade, run-of-the-mill cast-offs have played prominent roles in his parsimonious, barely there sculpt...
Gerd Arntz
The subject of this show was, as the press release said, "one of the more unusual, if less well-known, artists of the Weimar Era." So "Gerd Arntz (1900-1988) and Isotype" was exactly the kind of quirky, unexpected exhibition that has made Between Bridges,...
Geta Bratescu
Nine square black-and-white photographs mounted in rows of three opened this remarkable survey of the work of Romanian Conceptual artist Geta Bratescu. The emblematic Towards White, 1976--a set of photographs of the artist covering everything in her...
Grim Wrapper
THE SURGEON GENERAL'S declaration that cigarette smoking was "hazardous" first appeared on the sides of packs in 1966, a year or so before I lit my first coffin nail, circa age thirteen. Did it stop me? Hardly. Four years later, the warning was escalated...
Group Think
MODERNITY, MONOBROWS, AND MONOTHEISM: These are just a few of the concerns of Slavs and Tatars, a collective dedicated to examining the region "east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China," as they so neatly put it. Founded in...
Guillermo Faivovich & Nicolas Goldberg
Entering the Portikus exhibition hall, you walked directly toward a solitary dark boulder, split in half down the middle. The boulder is about a yard across, knee-high, and lagged as a nugget of lava. But the split edge is smooth and perfect. Its precision...
Ilene Segalove
A small, framed still from a black-and-white film shows a scene from the 1957 drama The Violators: A haggard, brooding man sits at the kitchen table, cigarette in hand, while his dutiful wife--robe-clad yet still vaguely glamorous--leans over him to...
John Armleder
After walking only a few feet from the St. Gallen train station, you might find yourself drawn--like light being sucked into the eye through the pupil--into a round opening at the entrance to the station's nineteenth-century Lokremise, or roundhouse....
John Gerrard
John Gerrard's Cuban School (Community 5th of October) 2010 is a projection of a slow pan around a very large building that is whitish, filthy, and decaying, with two long parallel rectangular structures and a shorter one in between, all joined by...
Joint Ventures
THE UTOPIA OF TRULY SHARED, communal, multiple authorship always seems to be receding from sight. But the dream won't die: Collaboration continues to be held up as a means of escaping Western, patriarchal mythology and power structures as well as the...
Joseph Kosuth
In this exhibition, Joseph Kosuth's newest work, "Texts for Nothing": Samuel Beckett, in play, 2010, occupies the first floor of Lia Rumma's new space in Milan. The other two floors contain older works, dating as far back as 1965--evidence of the American...
Josiah McElheny
"Crystalline Modernity" opened with two color drawings that McElheny had made on silver-gelatin photographs of Mies van der Rohe's 1922 plans for a Glass Skyscraper. Not to be confused with Mies's visionary FriedrichstraBe project, these plans were...
Julia Margaret Cameron
With "For My Best "Beloved Sister Mia: An Album of Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron," the Pittsburgh Frick organized this nineteenth-century photographer's fecund practice around the contents of a mammoth tome containing works that the artist...
Julie Evans and Ajay Sharma
The title of this exhibition, "Cowdust," comes from the Hindi word godhuli, or "cowdust hour," a term for the indistinct twilight hour between day and night when the herds return from pasture and a fine dust rises up from the road. This liminal time,...
Keith Sonnier
Keith Sonnier is, along with James Turrell, Dan Flavin, and Robert Irwin, among the artists most associated with the late 1960s realization of light as medium. But whereas the others' practices have been described as, by turns, expansive, durational,...
Koki Tanaka and Naotaka Hiro
Perhaps the single most striking aspect of Koki Tanaka and Naotaka Hiro's dizzying two-person exhibition was the choreographed sound that swept through the gallery in a protracted clatter: noises that evoked the propping and chopping of fish, lights...
Manifesta 8
THE EIGHTH EDITION OF MANIFESTA, the peripatetic pan-European biennial, was held in Cartegena and Murcia, two cities on the southeastern coast of Spain. In her introduction to the catalogue, the biennial's founder, Hedwig Fijen, speaks of the locate...
Mark Leckey
In the annals of inhalation, we'd have to count Miley Cyrus's recent hallucinogenic hit and Bill Clinton's pot dabble (and denial) among the more infamous entries. But Mark Leckey's might be the most, well, intoxicating. During a brief performance...
Marlie Mul
Marlie Mul's exhibition "Your Wet Sleeve in My Neck" had something green and full of potential about it. In the gallery's street-level space was a low-lying sculpture diagonally laid out in serpentine form. This piece had the smack of an extravagantly...
Michelangelo Pistoletto
IN 1962, the young Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto began Ins "Quadri specchianti or "Mirror Paintings," affixing silhouettes of friends, colleagues, and mundane objects onto highly polished stainless steel. These were works structurally devised...
"No-Grupo"
On October 2, 1968, just a few days before the opening of the Olympic Games in Mexico City, the Mexican army committed a massacre in the Plaza de las Tres culture in the city's Tlatelolco area, killing many students. The incident, whose perpetrators...
"On Line"
WHAT IS A LINE? I used to think that a "line" was a pure mathematical concept, something that did not exist in nature. I also used to think about line in terms of its meaning within a linked series of oppositions: the linear versus the coloristic,...
Rebecca Morris
"Abstraction never left, motherfuckers." Los Angeles painter Rebecca Morris adopts a confrontational tone in her 2006 text Manifesto (For Abstractionists and Friends of the Non-Objective), but viewers less intimately invested in the rise and fall and...
Roving Eye
HAD I CONSIDERED the possibility of running into Bill Cunningham at the Union Square farmers' market on a December Saturday last year, I would have tied my scarf with a bit more care. The women selling Beth's Farm preserves told me he had photographed...
Roxy Paine
Distillation, 2010, the centerpiece of this show, belonged to Roxy Paine's "Dendroid" series, begun in 1998, which New Yorkers may best remember for Maelstrom, the elaborate work with which he filled the rooftop sculpture garden of the Metropolitan...
Scott Redford
It was hard to know in the end how to take "Scott Redford: Introducing Reinhardt Dammn," the Queensland Art Gallery's 2010 summer exhibition. Although the gallery undoubtedly intended to mount a retrospective of the work of Scott Redford, this Gold...
"Serbia: Frequently Asked Questions"
Yugoslavia's disintegration commenced in 1991 with the secession of various republics, triggering an ethnorehgious civil war among Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats, and Muslim Bosnians. Much of the conflict centered on Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, for many...
Sewing Notions
AT AI WEIWEI'S EXHIBITION at Tate Modern in London this past October, visitors tromping around in his installation of a hundred million handpainted porcelain sunflower seeds allegedly kicked up dangerous clouds of ceramic particles, prompting museum...
Simone Ruess
To be at the top of Warsaw's 1950s Palace of Culture and Science--still "Warsaw's dominant architectural presence and Poland's tallest building--is not to be lifted out of the city's grasp. Quite the opposite; it is to be in its neglected heart and...
Something for Everyone
MOST PEOPLE KNOW Pawet Althamer's art only on the basis of his sculpture: densely worked, life-size figures, often depicting himself or his immediate family, that combine organic materials with found objects such as clothing or glasses. These works...
Stefan Muller
Let's not beat around the bush: Stefan Muller's "Salon der Daheim-gebliebenen" (Salon for the Ones Who Stayed Home) was a straight-up painting show. And as so often happens when painting starts to get interesting, it was treated here as "material"--both...
Sub Pop
IN 2006, A NEW WORD, Wyatting, entered the lexicon. Referring to the prankish activity of sneaking an experimental music track onto an unsuspecting pub jukebox in order to vex other patrons, it got its name from an English teacher who suggested that...
Susan Cianciolo
1 HINAYA (KYOTO) Founded by living textile master Akihiko Izukura, who inherited generations of technical knowledge from his family, Hinaya is one of the few manufacturers that handle the entire process of garment design and production under their...
Take Two
EXHIBITING THE NEW ART: "OP LOSSE SCHROEVEN" AND "WHEN ATTITUDES BECOME FORM" 1969, BY CHRISTIAN RAT TEMEYER AND OTHER AUTHORS. LONDON: AFTERALL BOOKS, IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS VIENNA AND THE VAN ABBEMUSEUM, EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS,...
Taro Izumi
Taro Izumi's videos and performances combine sheer physical sensation with slapstick gestures that reflect the influence of contemporary cartoons, animation, and computer games. Izumi frequently invents task-based actions that resemble children's games...
Terry Chatkupt
How about "A guy walks into a diner ..." or "A guy gets a phone call ..."? Either mundane opener--which in a joke would set up a punch line, which would achieve humor by creating an unexpected turn in the narrative course--could have articulated an...
Thanks for the Memorex
THERE IS NOTHING MAGIC about a cassette, nothing bewitching about an object that can be taken apart and reassembled or fixed with a pencil. A small rectangular box of plastic in which magnetized tape moves back and forth between miniature spools, it...
"The Reality of Lowest Rank"
Making Central Europe central--how's that for a change? The focus of this exhibition, whose full title was "The Reality of Lowest Rank; Luc Tuymans: A Vision of Central Europe," was art originating in Poland, expanding from there in widening geographical...
The Russian Question
I read Ekaterina Degot's "A New Order" [Artforum, November 2010] with great interest. Nothing is as flattering for the Russian art world, and at the same time as controversial, as a version of our reality aimed at the wider audience of a globally recognized...
Tim Zulauf
Under the directorship of Andrea Thal, the Zurich art space Les Complices * has in recent years become a hot spot of activity in the interstice between society and art. The name evokes an attitude: Complex projects are planned and launched "conspiratorially,"...