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. 9, May

1,000 Words: Pawel Althamer Talks about Fairy Tale
At first glance, Pawel Althamer's Fairy Tale, 2006--perhaps the most iconoclastic work in the current Berlin Biennial--is an activist project: the artist leveraging the power of institutions (in this instance, the biennial, with its visibility and...
Adrian Tranquilli: Mimmo Scognamiglio Arte Contemporanea
For some time, Adrian Tranquilli has been portraying superheroes as poignantly human. In this show, "The Age of Chance," a pure white Superman--the original superhero--burst robustly out of the wall with stigmata of gold bleeding from between his ribs...
Agnes Martin: PaceWildenstein Gallery
It's rare indeed to see twenty-two works by the late Agnes Martin in the same place at the same time, but a recent show at PaceWildenstein Gallery was also unusual in juxtaposing very early works with works from the last four years of her life. After...
Alfredo Jaar: Galerie Lelong
Previously, Alfredo Jaar has often shown us difficult images by employing various degrees of indirectness that signal a certain distrust in the ability of those images to tell us anything at all. In Real Pictures, 1995, for example, he sealed photographs...
A Modern Life
Arguably the most important postwar curator of twentieth-century art, William S. Rubin (1927-2006) succeeded Alfred H. Barr Jr. as the guiding force behind the Museum of Modern Art's exhibitions and collection of painting and sculpture for two decades,...
Anne Rowland: Hemphill
Anne Rowland grew up in an unassuming modernist house commissioned by her parents in 1963. The building was located in then-rural northern Virginia, and remained in the family until 2000. To the new owners it was a "tear down," and the surrounding...
Backdoor Man: Amy Taubin on Larry Clark and Destricted
THE PROVERBIAL casting couch is the central object in Larry Clark's Impaled, the most compelling of the seven short films in the "art-porn" compilation Destricted (screening May 13 and 17 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music). The other contributors to...
Barbara Probst: Murray Guy
On January 7, 2000, at 10:37 PM, Munich- and New York-based photographer Barbara Probst first employed a technique that remains unique among contemporary artists. Using a remote-control device, she simultaneously triggered the shutters of twelve cameras...
Chris Lipomi: Daniel Hug Gallery
In his recent head-spinning exhibition at Daniel Hug Gallery, Chris Lipomi blanketed the walls, floor, and ceiling with work to create a fusion of floral shop, tribal arts museum, flea market, and "tropical" prop room--all stand-ins for the contemporary...
Christoph Schlingensief: Burgtheater Wien
Since his production of Parsifal at Bayreuth in 2004, Christoph Schlingensief has become for some the enfant terrible of the theater world, for others a contemporary descendant of Joseph Beuys. Schlingensief takes Beuys's idea of an expanded art and...
Class Antagonism: Rhonda Lieberman on Art School Confidential
I JUST NEED to get out of here and become a famous artist and everything else will fall into place, Jerome, the innocent, Picasso-identified young hero of Art School Confidential, must be thinking as the cute girl he's just sketched in the high school...
Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel: Ecole Municipale Des Beaux-Arts
On the outskirts of Paris, in Gennevilliers, a UFO has crash-landed: a gigantic S/M manta ray, all studded and jagged, in a tangle of piercings, black rubber, sharp metal, and silicone messily applied with a spatula. A menacing nightmare with a strange...
David Hammons: Zwirner & Wirth
Everyone I asked about the Miles Davis painting that was included in this year's Whitney Biennial, a lively Basquiatesque oil on canvas from 1991 titled RU Legal, immediately assured me that it was actually "by" or an "intervention of" David Hammons,...
Excerpts from a Curator's Quest: Building the Museum of Modern Art's Painting and Sculpture Collection, 1967-1988
WHEN ALFRED [H. BARR JR.] and I discussed filling gaps in the museum collection, we both put a Picasso Cubist construction at the top of our wish list, and agreed that the Guitar of 1912-14 would be the ideal choice. The latter was the first in a new...
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: El Museo del Barrio
At El Museo del Barrio, encased in a small vitrine amid newspaper clippings and ephemera crowned by a monitor screening early video projects (including the autoerotic New York, New York!, 1979, and the self-consciously narcissistic Autorretrato numero...
Friedrich Kunath
Friedrich Kunath lives and works in Cologne. His solo exhibition "I Have Always Been Here Before" opened in March at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles. His work may also be seen in New York at Andrea Rosen Gallery and in Cologne at BQ, where his next show...
Fritz Balthaus: Berlinische Galerie
How site-specific can you get? Fritz Balthaus tried to find out by constructing the biggest possible sculpture that could fit into the Berlinische Galerie. One might expect the result to be a massive cube with the dimensions of the municipal gallery's...
From California to the New York Island; Michael Ned Holte on "Interstate: The American Road Trip"
DRIVING HOME THE IDEA THAT a summertime cross-country excursion is as American as apple pie, NASCAR, and breakfast at Stuckey's, the upcoming exhibition "Interstate: The American Road Trip" will make an ambitious attempt to chart what its curators...
Gilles Saussier: Galerie Zurcher
First of all, there are the photographs, among them four close-ups of women shooting rifles, flanked by the president of the Hunting Association of Timis (Shoot I-III, each dated 2004, and Shoot IV, 2005) and two of scenes deserted by their actors:...
Graphic Equalizer: Michael Wilson on Dan Perjovschi
AS AN EXHIBITION decidedly integrated into its urban environment and as much attuned to questions of contemporary geopolitics as to those of aesthetics, last year's Istanbul Biennial rarely conformed to the standard gallery model for its installations:...
Guido Van der Werve: Monitor Video & Contemporary Art
In a digital video shot in 35 mm and shown on a monitor, Nummer twee (Number Two), 2003, Dutch artist Guido van der Werve addresses the camera with a deadpan stare as an inner narrative reveals his ennui: "Just because I'm standing here doesn't mean...
Gustav Metzger: Kunsthalle Basel
Gustav Metzger has always worked against the art market, rather than for it. In 1959, he articulated his concept of autodestructive art in a manifesto--an adaptation of Theodor Adorno's argument that "writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric" to...
Heaven on Earth: Cordula Grewe on Caspar David Friedrich
"THE WORLD MUST BE ROMANTIcized," the young German poet Novalis exclaimed in 1798. It was a call to give "the ordinary an elevated meaning, the commonplace a mysterious aspect, the familiar the dignity of the unfamiliar, the finite an appearance of...
Jaime Gili: Riflemaker
For his solo debut, "Jaime Gili Makes Things Triangular," the London-based Venezuelan artist made good use of Soho gallery Riflemaker's funky, atmospheric exhibition space. Still redolent of the gunsmith's shop it once was, this is no white cube. And...
Jason Meadows: Marc Foxx
Writing about Jason Meadows's sculpture in 1998, Dennis Cooper concluded that "there's something about Meadows's low-key yet forward-thinking sculptures that toys innocently with your mind while, at the same time, making you think unusually hard and...
Jean-Luc Moulene: Musee Du Louvre
Jean-Luc Moulene's 2005 project Le Monde, Le Louvre (which lent this show its title) took the form of a color supplement to the Parisian daily Le Monde and a small presentation at the Louvre. Stacks of Moulene's supplement lay in front of the excavated...
John Armleder: Y8
In John Armleder's object-based works, the exhibition space always plays the role of a catalyst. Thus it was clear from the outset that a site-specific work at Y8 (Y stands for yoga, while 8 is the street address) would be a particular challenge and...
John Pilson: Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
"You guys ready for some action?" It's a question that buzzes with edgy excitement, but when the "action" in question turns out to refer to a nightlong game of Dungeons and Dragons, it becomes abundantly clear that the five men who gather around a...
Jon Kessler: P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
In the twilight of empire, in the spider hole where the masters of the universe have gone to ground with their simulacral weapons, reality gives way to violent phantasmagoria. This is not news. But it was the scenario described by Jon Kessler's multiroom...
Julia Bryan-Wilson on Sharon Hayes
"MOM, DAD, I'M OK." This is the opening line of Patty Hearst's first taped message, recorded soon after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974. Hearst made four such audiotapes in a few short months, her tone shifting from one...
Kara Walker: Sikkema Jenkins & Co
Narrative, as Toni Morrison pointed out at the height of pomo metafiction, might be an exhausted concept for white male writers who regard formal experimentation as a higher calling. But the unmediated African-American female voice is a newer entity...
Kaz Oshiro: Steven Wolf Fine Arts
DRUM MACHINES HAVE NO SOUL reads a bumper sticker duct-taped to the side of what appears to be a small Fender guitar amp. That sentiment, characteristic of classic rock, expresses a yearning for authenticity that is also at the heart of Kaz Oshiro's...
Kelley Walker: Paula Cooper Gallery
In 1967, advertising guru George Lois launched a famous print and television campaign for Braniff Airlines in which celebrity odd couples (Bennett Cerf and Ethel Merman; Sonny Liston and Andy Warhol; Rex Reed and Mickey Rooney) chatted while perched...
Krzysztof Wodiczko: Zacheta National Gallery of Art
As Krzysztof Wodiczko well knows, Poland's history abounds in traumatic events. One such occurred on December 16, 1922, when Eligiusz Niewiadomski, a conservative artist and critic, assassinated Gabriel Narutowicz, the first democratically elected...
Lei Xue: Galerie Hubert Winter
Should an artist who is faithful to a particular regional culture and its legacies and practices seek recognition by complying with the standards of the cultural hegemon? It used to be imperative to assimilate to New York or some other international...
Les Rogers: Leo Koenig, Inc
What happens to the artist-model relationship when the model isn't there? The subject of seven new works by Les Rogers is a photogenic eighteen-year-old girl from Austin, Texas, named Lindsey, who Rogers did not meet until after the portraits were...
Light It Up, or How Glenn Ligon Got Over
I'VE JUST ARRIVED in Toronto and am already running late. My taxi driver isn't familiar with the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, the art space I need to get to. But he does know Harbourfront Centre, the cultural complex of which the Power Plant...
London Calling: Martin Herbert on Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Ralph Rugoff
IT IS MARCH 2006, AND WE'RE IN London--"the beating heart of Europe's contemporary art scene," as the New York Times puts it--and we're touring the commercial galleries. Plush international dealerships hum to the north and west, increasingly slick...
Lucky DeBellevue: Feature Inc
While it's usually considered bad form to begin a review of an exhibition by contemplating something so ostensibly insignificant as the artist's name, it's irresistible when that name is Lucky DeBellevue. We all know the common definition of the word,...
Matt Bryans: Kate MacGarry
The faded wood cladding of a backyard shed. A rain-washed bulletin board of lost, overlapping messages; the close-up detail of a Braque painting in a typically Cubist palette of blues, grays, and browns; the innumerable rooftops of a distant, crowded...
Nathaniel Mellors: Alison Jacques
The ambiguous finale of the '60s cult British TV series The Prisoner finds leading man Patrick McGoohan's character, Number Six, apparently freed from the mysterious allegorical village he's been trapped in and returning to his former metropolitan...
Off the Walls: Marco Meneguzzo on Mimmo Rotella
MIMMO ROTELLA'S artistic legacy was perhaps defined by a fateful meeting in 1958, when the curator Pierre Restany visited the artist's studio in Rome and found him making works using a decollage technique astonishingly similar to that being employed...
On the Road
LISTED BELOW ARE PREVIOUSLY PREVIEWED EXHIBITIONS ON TOUR BETWEEN MAY 1 AND AUGUST 31. VENUE DATES NEW YORK John Szarkowski Museum of Modern Art through May 15 Andrea Zittel ...
Otto Muehl: MC
A member of the Viennese Aktionist movement of the 1960s, and noted in particular for "material actions" that involved coating bodies engaged in choreographed carnality in soup, juice, and milk, Otto Muehl is no stranger to shock. Founder of the promiscuity-centered...
Pawel Wojtasik: Alona Kagan Gallery
The statistics that inspired Pawel Wojtasik's twenty-two-minute video, The Aquarium, 2006, according to gallery literature, are so predictably depressing that they might seem to barely warrant repeating: The normal life span of a beluga whale in the...
Phil Collins: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
In the nearly two decades since the Smiths broke up, the band's music seems to have become a lingua franca for teens the world over who suspect that life is one big hatful of hollow. Photographer and video artist Phil Collins can attest that fans may...
Rachel Whiteread: Luhring Augustine
"Poignant," promised the press release, "an exploration of the human traces left on everyday objects." "Poetic," I heard the dealer opine. Sadly, Rachel Whiteread's recent exhibition of plaster casts of the insides of cardboard boxes was nothing of...
Scott Treleaven: John Connelly Presents
Scott Treleaven's fist New York solo exhibition, "The Best Kind of Friends Are Like Iron Sharpening Iron," was a charged romantic vision of young bohemian gay male life. In the small mixed-media photomontage Grotto, 2005, for example, a half-nude man...
Stuck Inside of Memphis: David A. Ross on William Eggleston's Stranded in Canton
WHAT WE MOST admire about William Eggleston and his exquisite gothic photographs is that these perspicuous glimpses of the American South stem from a life of deeply engaged observation--the kind that blurs the line between the photographer and the...
Sympathy for the Devil: Jonathan Romney on the Films of Park Chan-Wook
IN PARK CHAN-WOOK'S 2002 feature Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a young woman tells her boyfriend the story of a man who believes he has two heads. Suffering from headaches, he shoots one of the heads. The boyfriend pauses to contemplate the tale, then...
The 2006 Whitney Biennial: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
JUTTA, A CHARACTER in the Bernadette Corporation's exquisite-corpse novel Reena Spaulings (2004), has learned how to sidestep the pitfalls of selfhood, turning her own body into a kind of assemblage: "Books, ideas, movements, figures, photos, data,...
The 4th Berlin Biennial: Various Venues
WHERE DOES THE 4th Berlin Biennial (BB4), organized with the title "Of Mice and Men" by the team of artist Maurizio Cattelan, curator Massimiliano Gioni, and writer Ali Subotnick, actually begin? The trio's Gagosian Gallery, Berlin, opened last September,...
The Sound of Silence: Linda Yablonsky on Laurie Simmons's the Music of Regret
A CENTURY AGO, Edward Gordon Craig, the first modern theater artist, wished he could replace all actors with puppets. Never mind the divas, he said. Forget Stanislavski. Craig was a symbolist at heart, a director who wanted actors to come to the stage...
The Ties That Bind: Christopher Bollen on Christian Holstad
IN HIS ESSAY "On the Shortness of Life," the Roman stoic Seneca writes: "We are in the habit of saying that it was not in our power to choose the parents who were allotted to us.... But we can choose whose children we would like to be." To any individual...
Three Times a Year Artforum Looks Ahead to the Coming Season. the Following Survey Previews 50 Shows Opening around the World between May and August
"Cindy Sherman: Retrospective" JEU DE PAUME, PARIS May 16-September 3 Curated by Veronique Dabin and Regis Durand [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]...
Vasco Araujo: Museu Nacional Do Azulejo
Let's begin with a question: What might one have done to induce an apt mood for viewing Vasco Araujo's recent show "L'inceste"? My recommendation: Listen to Mozart and read the Marquis de Sade. For "L'inceste" was a contest between reason and perversion,...
Walking the Line
On a bright day in late March, scores of local fishermen in Key West, Florida, and Havana, Cuba, assembled to realize Francis Alys's Bridge-Puente, a work for which two chains of rowboats would extend from their respective harbors to the horizon--poignantly...
Yutaka Sone: Renaissance Society
Bringing the outside inside is an established artistic strategy, but rarely is it taken to the lengths Yutaka Sone attains in his recent show at the Renaissance Society, "Forecast: Snow." Sone transformed its three-thousand-square-foot-plus interior...