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. 44, No. 1, September

1000 Words: Christoph Buchel and Giovanni Carmine Talk about Psyop, 2005
The professional relationship between Basel-based artist Christoph Buchel and Zurich-based curator Giovanni Carmine started traditionally enough: Carmine commissioned a work by Buchel for the 2002 group show "Unloaded: Coming Up for Air," which used...
Alec Soth: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Focusing primarily on work from the past four years, this exhibition was something of a homecoming for Alec Soth, who worked in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts's photographic services department for eight years. It comprised a far wider scope of...
Amazing Grace: Stephen J. Campbell on Fra Angelico
A MERE THREE YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH IN 1455, Fra Angelico was described by a fellow friar as "the greatest master of painting in Italy." But his afterlife depends on something more than a claim to pictorial mastery. The Florentine friar-painter was...
Andreas Slominski: Serpentine Gallery
Those expecting only traps and tricks were in for a revelation at this show: Slominski paints. Yet his paintings--executed in garish colors on expanded polystyrene, foam, and plastic shapes--looked more like gigantic frosted cakes or pages from children's...
Apostolos Georgiou: Galerie Xippas
It seems inevitable that the resurgence of interest in figurative painting by young artists will stimulate a drive to identify senior figures as a source of historical context. While this will probably entail a second look at some of the neo-expressionist...
California Uber Alles: Rachel Harrison on Paul McCarthy
I HATE A PARADE. I hate the twined feelings of exclusion and obligation--like I don't belong or that "belonging" involves accepting the passive role of watcher as the scripted procession rolls by. I don't care to stand on the sidelines beholding a...
Candide Cameras
"All's for the best in this best of all possible worlds." --from Leonard Bernstein's Candide (1956) In 1956, when Eisenhower's America was perhaps at its most optimistic, Leonard Bernstein puckishly premiered his opera Candide on Broadway. A collaboration...
Carey Young: Ibid Projects
The three large board-mounted ink-jet prints--text panels, really--that make up Carey Young's "Disclaimer" series, 2004, openly claim their heritage in Conceptual art: Unadorned, visually nondescript presentations of statements with reflexive content...
"Contemporary Erotic Drawing": Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Organized by independent curator Stuart Horodner, Houston's Diverse Works director Sara Kellner, and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum director Harry Philbrick, the elegant "Contemporary Erotic Drawing" never got hung up on what constitutes "erotic"...
David Reed: Ulrich Museum of Art
To call "Leave Yourself Behind," David Reed's recent show in Wichita, Kansas, a survey of his paintings from the past four decades would be inaccurate. With only fifteen works, it was too selective to be considered a comprehensive examination of the...
Dawn 'Til Dusk
"The eye is the first circle; the horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end. It is the highest emblem in the cipher of the world." So Emerson writes in his 1841 essay "Circles." A visual...
Debt Collectors
"Modernism has its casualties. There are people who are paying its debts," said Central Asia pavilion curator Viktor Misiano to a colleague of mine, surveying the exhibition of fifteen artists from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan--countries...
Donald Urquhart
The work of London-based artist Donald Urquhart was recently included in the two-part group show "I Still Believe in Miracles" that opened last May at the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He was shortlisted for the 2005 Beck's Futures prize...
Elger Esser: Sonnabend
Had Elger Esser deliberately set out to produce two apparently opposite bodies of work, he might well have settled on the landscape photographs for which he is best known and the enlarged shots of vintage seaside postcards in his recent show. The former...
Frames of Mind
ROBERT BEAVERS's extraordinary films have for decades gone largely unseen in the US. Next month the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York mounts the first complete retrospective of Beavers's work, organized by HENRIETTE HULDISCH, who spoke with...
From the Critique of Institutions to an Institution of Critique
Nearly forty years after their first appearance, the practices now associated with "institutional critique" have for many come to seem, well, institutionalized. Last spring alone, Daniel Buren returned with a major installation to the Guggenheim Museum...
George Herms: Santa Monica Museum of Art
Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, almost exactly a decade ago, I encountered the work of George Herms. At first, the rusted and dusted aggregation of bric-a-brac by this local Beat legend scared the shit out of me. Not because it was ugly--it was...
Georg Herold: Kunstverein Hannover
Among the West German artists who came into prominence in the '80s, Georg Herold somehow missed out on the international notoriety of his friends and occasional collaborators Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen. Until now, no exhibition has covered...
Great Scot: Geoffrey O'Brien on Alexander Mackendrick
IN THE AUTEURIST heyday of the early '60s, when you could still rush out to see the new John Ford or the new Raoul Walsh alongside the new Godard or the new Antonioni, the American-born, Scottish-bred director Alexander Mackendrick was a singularly...
Jack Goldstein: Mitchell-Innes & Nash/Metro Pictures
Around the turn of the millennium, as a widespread reappraisal of the art of Jack Goldstein (1945-2003) got underway--perhaps prompted by the 2001 re-creation at New York's Artists Space of the seminal 1977 show "Pictures," in which Goldstein appeared...
Jen Liu: Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery
Jen Liu's Soldiers of Light, 2005, is a head-on, single-shot video projection of eleven young, ethnically diverse men and women, varied in their personal grooming from beards and ponytails to shaved heads and in style from casual and baggy to tight...
Jorge Gumier Maier: Braga Menendez Arte Contemporaneo
During the summer of 1997, avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage acquired a Bolex camera. A few days later, he decided to test it out by filming a nearby stream. But instead of recording the surface of the water, he chose to capture the undercurrents--that...
Kay Rosen: Gray Kapernekas Gallery
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that the "test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." Kay Rosen's text-based art requires precisely this kind of...
Keane Observer: Jonathan Romney on Lodge Kerrigan
WITH SIX YEARS between his second and third features, Lodge Kerrigan has at last come in from the cold, with a chilly, discomforting work that looks very much like a field report from the wilderness. Kerrigan, an independent filmmaker who lives in...
Lee Friedlander: Museum of Modern Art, New York
Walking with a friend through the Lee Friedlander retrospective at MOMA, I noticed that the two of us each had a different way of looking at almost every early street photograph on view: One of us saw the photograph a certain way right off the bat...
Leiko Ikemura: Ulmer Museum
How can the invisible be made visible? I'm not thinking of ideas, say, which can be depicted through allegory, as European painting has done for centuries. There is another invisibility, the process of becoming: transition, the unfinished, emptiness--the...
"Little Boy": Japan Society, New York
Contemporary Japan is still at heart a defeated Japan. That was the central claim of "Little Boy," the final installment of a series of exhibitions curated by Takashi Murakami around his signature concept, Superflat. "Little Boy" was the code name...
Magnus Von Plessen: Art Institute of Chicago
This modest overview of twelve paintings executed by Magnus von Plessen since 1999 was a thoughtful reinvestigation of traditional easel painting and an unexpectedly intense reinvigoration of genres and emphases sometimes considered exhausted. Portraiture,...
Malcolm Morley: Sperone Westwater
"Jock art," or art that incorporates sports imagery, is a much-maligned genre--right up there with paintings of wild animals and portraits of Elvis on velvet--but that only makes it ripe for recuperation. Many great moments in American art have taken...
Matthew Buckingham and Joachim Koester: The Kitchen
Matthew Buckingham and Joachim Koester's video installation Sandra of the Tuliphouse or How to Live in a Free State, 2001, is a ruminative work inspired by the complex history of Christiania, a famous anarchistic community established in Copenhagen...
Max Ernst: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
This first major museum show of Max Ernst to take place in New York in thirty years stakes a grand claim for his importance to twentieth-century art, and to the development of modern painting in particular. "Only Picasso," announces a wall text at...
Max Ernst: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Locating and mapping the human unconscious was a primary plotline within the braided narratives of modernism, and it fell to the Surrealist painters to represent the inchoate structures and unverbalized agendas of this newly explored dark continent....
Michael Borremans: Cleveland Museum of Art
Near the end of his life, Baudelaire--bored and besieged by creditors--made a disastrous trip to Brussels. In 1865, he wrote to a friend: "This highly detestable Belgium has already done me a great service. It's taught me to do without everything.......
Michael Rakowitz: Lombard-Freid Fine Arts
Architectural modernism is often said to have breathed its last with the dynamiting of the Pruitt-lgoe housing project in Saint Louis. Constructed in the 1950s as a monument to shared space and racial integration, Minoru Yamasaki's Corbusier-like vision...
Miranda Lichtenstein: Elizabeth Dee Gallery
From Siddhartha to John the Baptist, every culture has its spiritual seekers. In her new color photograph The Wave, 2005, Miranda Lichtenstein shows us ours: A well-groomed, thirty something white man, seated in a tastefully minimal office, the room's...
Mise-En-Seine: Miriam Rosen on the Cinematheque Francaise
AFTER TWO DECADES OF GRANDS TRAVAUX, PETTY quarrels, bureaucratic power plays and a latter-day Battle of the Ancients versus the Moderns fed by conflicts of ideas and personal interests, the Cinematheque Francaise has seemingly surmounted the difficulties...
Missing in Action: Robert Storr on Ron Gorchov
RON GORCHOV could have been a contender--more times over than any other painter of his generation. If he gets the breaks and goes the distance this time, he will be one of the greatest comeback kids the New York School has ever seen. What are the odds...
Neo Rauch: David Zwirner
Neo Rauch's latest suite of untimely painterly meditations is called "Renegaten," a word that is similar to the English "renegades" but which also preserves a bit more tenaciously the idea of "reneging" on a promise or commitment. The title aptly expresses...
One More Once: Ann Temkin on Walter Hopps
WHEN WALTER HOPPS died this past March at seventy-two, he had been organizing exhibitions for more than half a century. He began while still in school and continued right up through the spring, when he guest-curated a George Herms show at the Santa...
On "The Matter of Time"
This summer RICHARD SERRA unveiled a major suite of eight sculptures at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, culminating, in effect, a body of work inaugurated with his first Torqued Ellipses nearly a decade ago. For the occasion, art historian HAL FOSTER...
Openings: Dave McKenzie
At an opening at SculptureCenter in New York in 2003, the artist Dave McKenzie is wearing jeans, sneakers, a red T-shirt, a zip-front jacket, and a large papier-mache head. He's handing out little white boxes that contain plastic bobbleheads modeled...
Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini: Galleria Lia Rumma
Through a reinterpretation of the legend of Salome and Saint John the Baptist, Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini staged the complex exhibition "Together Forever," a story of conflicts. They reinterpret the tale as a love story experienced from...
Palazzo Intrigue
As I made my way past souvenir shops crammed with gold- and crystal-encrusted trinkets toward Karen Kilimnik's exhibition at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, I began to worry that Kilimnik needed a show in a Venetian palazzetto about as much as Thomas...
Peter Eisenman: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
It took the Nazis one day in Wannsee to coordinate the Final Solution. Creating a central memorial in Berlin to their victims took considerably longer. Denkmal fur die ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe), which was inaugurated...
Pierre Soulages: Haim Chanin Fine Arts/Robert Miller Gallery
The moody scumbling, planar layers, and primarily vertical format of Pierre Soulages's walnut-stain works on paper, a selection of which were exhibited recently at Haim Chanin Fine Arts, signal a strong affinity with the paintings of Mark Rothko. Soulages...
Reto Boller: Kunsthalle Winterthur
At a time when painting is being increasingly challenged by and filtered through other media, Reto Boller's work brings color and form off the support and into the viewer's space. Through both small-format works produced in the studio and wall paintings...
Reykjavik Arts Festival: Various Venues
Requisitioning nearly every art venue in the capital and across Iceland, the Reykjavik Arts Festival turned the whole island into an art gallery featuring mostly new work by thirty-four artists, including Carsten Holler, Lawrence Weiner, Thomas Hirschhorn,...
Richard Prince: Gladstone Gallery
Richard Prince has been in retrospective mode of late. Last year witnessed "Women" at LA's Regen Projects and "Man" at Zurich's Galerie Eva Presenhuber--self-curated surveys of the fashion models and biker chicks, cowboys and rock stars that populate...
Robert Bechtle: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The midday sun beats down mercilessly in Robert Bechtle's signature 1960s Photorealist canvases of solitary American cars sitting on the hot asphalt alongside California stucco homes or in empty parking lots. It's a clean, hard light that Bechtle renders...
Robyn O'Neil: Clementine Gallery
The landscapes in Robyn O'Neil's multipaneled and intricate drawings are vast, barren, and populated by middle-age men in dark sweatsuits who appear very small against their immense and intimidating backdrops. Not much grows in them apart from a few...
Roman Ondak: Galerie Martin Janda
As his contribution to the Secession exhibition "Ausgetraumt" (The End of Dreaming), 2001-2002, the Slovakian artist Roman Ondak had Skodas--Czech cars--parked behind the Secession building in Vienna; at Museum Ludwig in Cologne in 2002, he set up...
Sarah Sze: Marianne Boesky Gallery
The charm of miniature landscape is control plus infinitude, the dollhouse promise of replicating everything at an easily manageable size. Both architects and landscape painters rely on this model-maker's skill of swallowing whole the world's ten thousand...
Shirana Shahbazi: Centre D'art Contemporain Geneve
An exhibition by Shirana Shahbazi unfolds like a picture book on all sides, even continuing around a corner like two pages of an unexpected layout. The photographs themselves may not seem particularly notable at first glance--the kind of thing one's...
Sophie Calle: Paula Cooper Gallery
There's nothing in the world like the pain that accompanies the end of a great love affair. In his Fragments d'un discours amoureux (A Lover's Discourse, 1977), Roland Barthes isolates the way in which this piercing sorrow greets the spurned subject...
Sophie Von Hellermann: Greene Naftali Gallery
For a show that took its cues from Albert Einstein, German painter Sophie von Hellermann's first solo exhibition in New York wore its mantle lightly. Staged on the occasion of the hundred-year anniversary of the watershed formulation of E=[mc.sup.2],...
Stan Kaplan: Mary Goldman Gallery
In vivid coloration, gestural exuberance, and overall scale, Stan Kaplan's second show of abstract canvases at Mary Goldman Gallery notably ratcheted up the ambitions of his first. This is painterly painting in the "grand manner," recalling the exertions...
Stealing the Show
The Venice Biennale boils down to a competition for visibility. While not exactly a shocking revelation, this rather sweeping conclusion came forcefully to mind as I lay trapped inside a Disney-like metallic pod in the Arsenale, watching a light-and-music...
Stephen J. Kaltenbach: Another Year in La
Recording Conceptual Art, Alexander Alberro's 2001 edition of Patricia Norvell's fascinating 1969 audio interviews, helps recall the mellow Other to Conceptual art's frequently stern diagrammatics: Dennis Oppenheim's sunburns, Robert Barry's belief...
The Curse of Empire
Instead of taking "Always a Little Further" as the title for one section of the 51st Venice Biennale (a phrase as inane as it is abstract in its blind progressivism), this year's organizers would have done better to adopt Samuel Beckett's monosyllabic...
Tobias Rehberger: Galleria Gio Marconi
As is often the case with exhibitions by Tobias Rehberger, here again the viewer was confronted with ambiguous works that hover between utilitarian object, architectural project, and autonomous work of art. The entrance to the first room contained...
Urs Fischer: Fondazione Nicola Trussardi
The Istituto dei Ciechi, the Institute of the Blind, is smack in the center of Milan. It was here that Swiss artist Urs Fischer chose to set his first solo exhibition in Italy (under the aegis of Fondazione Trussardi). The two grand spaces in the central...
Uta Barth: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
In her latest body of work, Uta Barth has turned away from the peripheral spaces that she spent the last fifteen years photographing: a patch of sun scored by the shadow of a windowpane; the blurred corner of a room; a nondescript fragment of landscape...
Victor Burgin: Christine Burgin Gallery
In Design and Crime (and Other Diatribes) (2002), Hal Foster argues that design has taken over every aspect of industrialized society. Yet Victor Burgin's recent video, The Little House, 2005, points out that even in earlier eras design was linked...
Wheel of Fortune: Svetlana Alpers on Painting Past and Present
I WENT TO SEE "The Triumph of Painting: Part 1" at the Saatchi Gallery on a morning in February. (There will be three more installments this year and next of this vast survey of some 350 canvases from Charles Saatchi's collection.) I went out of curiosity...