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. 47, No. 5, January

2008 Gwangju Biennale Singapore Biennale 2008 3rd Yokohama Triennale: Various Locations
THIS PAST FALL, with the consecutive openings of six "Asian biennials," the deliquescent 1990s and early-2000s trend toward establishing new large-scale exhibitions in increasingly far-flung locales bore fruit, such as it is. And as might have been...
Adel Abdessemed: MIT List Visual Arts Center
Although he employs various media--videos, photographs, and sculptural installations--Adel Abdessemed insistently refers to all his works as "acts." The term, in its brute directness, raises the question of how exactly Abdessemed's art operates within...
Allegorical Imperative: Rachel Kushner on Silvia Kolbowski's after Hiroshima Mon Amour
IN HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR'S opening montage, Alain Resnais's camera glides through Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Museum, pausing before various reconstructions of horror--masses of anonymous hair; a gnarled, heat-blasted bicycle; a photograph of the bombed...
Amy Mayfield: Threewalls
A chintzy drape and kooky lettering cut from various materials spelling out the backward show title, "Doog vs. Live," marked the entrance to Amy Mayfield's absurdly ornamented theater. The exhibition was festooned with craft projects, colloquial decor,...
Annika Von Hausswolff: Casey Kaplan
I Am the Runway of Your Thoughts (all works 2008), the installation that gave Annika von Hausswolffs recent show its title, is made up of multiple photographs of a woman pointing a model airplane toward her open mouth. Produced in either color or black-and-white,...
Art TLV, "Open Plan Living": Helena Rubenstein Pavilion
A great deal was at stake in the launch of Art TLV, a multifocal event aimed at raising awareness of Israel's up-and-coming contemporary art scene and inserting Tel Aviv into the global biennial circuit. In 2009, this coastal city will join with Athens...
Babette Mangolte: Broadway 1602
For "Collision," her second solo show at Broadway 1602, avant-garde filmmaker and documentary photographer Babette Mangolte opted, as the title suggests, to bring together the many materials, methods, and periods of her production. Mangolte is, of...
Being There
THESE DAYS, VOLUNTEERS IN NEW ORLEANS'S Lower Ninth Ward can be found trimming, uprooting, and generally hacking at vines, ferns, and feral shrubbery. Louisiana has a lot of "exuberant vegetation," as one Tulane biologist has put it, and when you contemplate...
Building Bridges: Gilda Williams on the Whitechapel Gallery's Expansion
WELL INTO THE 1980s, visitors to the East End of London would have been hard-pressed to imagine that this predominantly working class area--hardly a magnet for cultural tourism in Thatcher's Britain--would become a hub for contemporary art. If a few...
Casting Call: Martin Friedman on George Segal
I WAS TWICE A MODEL for the sculptor George Segal. In 1978, I posed as a man standing next to a hot dog stand. In 1991, I was a down-and-outer in a moody Depression breadline. Both were firsthand experiences of George's literal shaping of bodies: Much...
Christian Boltanski: Magasin 3
Christian Boltanski is a romantic committed to a covenant between art and death. Inventory of Objects Belonging to a Young Woman of Charleston, 1992, for instance, impassively archived the mortal effects of a nameless dead woman. The title, subtly...
Christopher Pate: Jail Gallery
So apropos was this show's centerpiece to a state of affairs that has only just come into focus--the too-shallow foundation of recent skyrocketing global economic growth--that it suggested an artist adept at reading and translating the culture around...
"Curiosity": Galerie Micheline Szwajcer
"Curiositat" (Curiosity), a remarkable group show curated by the French artist Francois Curler, was an examination of the curio--an object considered novel, rare, or bizarre. Hntering the exhibition, one got to the heart of the matter right away, passing...
Daniel Richter: Denver Art Museum
With the turn of the twenty-first century, painting boldly reasserted itself in German art, which for a decade had been dominated by photographers such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, and Thomas Struth. Among those leading the country's latest burst...
Donald Moffett: Marianne Boesky Gallery
Queer variations on a theme, the fourteen coquettish canvases in "Easy Clean," Donald Moffett's most recent exhibition at Marianne Boesky, all service the same end. In the front gallery, Moffett showed three monochromes, bristly sculptural paintings...
Edith Dekyndt: Parker's Box
Like a gothic remake of the mysterious globular security drones that were the bane of Patrick McGoohan's existence in the 1960s TV classic The Prisoner, Edith Dekyndt's Ground Control (all works 2008)hovers a little too close and a little too large...
Elizabeth Neel: Deitch Projects
Elizabeth Neel is an accomplished painter, though it's not clear what, specifically, her accomplishment is. Her paintings are fourth-, fifth-, sixth- (I've lost count) generation samples of Abstract Expressionist painting. She is struggling hard to...
Henrik Olesen: Ludlow 38
Although he has spent the past few years generating an Aby Warburg-type atlas of "faggy gestures" found throughout art history, Berlin-based, Danish artist Henrik Olesen took, for his first solo show in the United States, only one man as muse: mathematician...
Ian Pedigo: 65 Grand
The old dictum that certain sculptors prefer to work with, rather than on, materials rings true in the case of Ian Pedigo. His efforts fall somewhere between found-object assemblage and three-dimensional collage; he takes the more or less utilitarian...
In the Belly of the Beast: Cecelia F. Klein on Jorge Pardo's Exhibition Design at Lacma
IN THE AFTERMATH of the 1521 conquest of central Mexico, a Spanish Franciscan working in New Spain asked his Aztec informants about a place they called Oztotl, which in their language translates as "cave." The friar's sources replied that Oztotl was...
"Italics": Palazzo Grassi
Curator Francesco Bonami has positioned "Italics: Italian Art Between Tradition and Revolution 1968-2008," as a sequel to "The Italian Metamorphosis," the survey of postwar Italian visual culture that Germano Celant presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim...
James White: Max Wigram Gallery
Surveying the flotsam and jetsam of his own daily life, British painter James White catalogues objects that occupy interstitial space, the remnants of activity or the harbingers of things to come. In the painting cycle "The Rough with the Smooth" (all...
Jason Middlebrook: Sara Meltzer Gallery
"Shoulds" are dangerous, especially in art. So it's risky to stipulate that a project concerned with human habits of exploiting and degrading flora and fauna should hit its viewers viscerally with exploitation and degradation, or that an exhibition...
Javier Penafiel: Galeria Joan Parts
In 1999, "Egolactante"--a strange character with an elegant profile despite its large head--was gestated in the imagination of Javier Penafiel. In the ten years that have ensued, it has barely changed. Restless in appearance, Egolactante is, in fact,...
Jean-Baptiste Huynh: Sonnabend
For ten years, French photographer Jean-Baptiste Huynh primarily made portraits, reading, with a 6 x 6 cm Hasselblad camera, his subjects' facial expressions, their skin colors, and their suggestions of intimacy in order to bring the other in close....
Jimmie Durham: Talks about His Survey This Month at the Musee d'Art Moderne De la Ville De Paris/ARC
Are those real poems or did you write them yourself? --Overheard by Jimmie Durham JIMMIE DURHAM DOESN'T KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING, but this is a good thing. In a practice spanning four decades and encompassing performance, sculpture, drawings, video,...
Jim O'Rourke: Jim O'Rourke Is a Producer, Musician, and Sometime Filmmaker Living in Tokyo. He Recently Performed with Tony Conrad at the Yokohama Triennial 2008
1 WILLIAM FRIEDKIN, BUG (2006) Like seeing an old friend after years and years. Not since To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) has a William Friedkin film made his world-view so palpable. I've always enjoyed Friedkin's take on plays--in this case, Tracy...
Jina Park: One and J. Gallery
Jina Park paints scenes from gallery openings, after-parties, and simple outings with her friends and colleagues; these casual images derive from personal engagements and social contacts and are wholly devoid of allegorical references or symbolism....
Joe Bradley: Canada
There has never been much evidence of work in Joe Bradley's art, and therein resides much of its signification. The individual units of Bradley's paintings have always been literally blank and, more significantly, militantly haphazard. With his works'...
Jonathan Horowitz: Gavin Brown's Enterprise
On November 4, 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency. That night, an election returns party was held within Jonathan Horowitz's opportunistically timed and oddly entertaining "Obama '08" exhibition, Horowitz irreverently and wittily appropriates items...
Jose Manuel Ballester: Galeria Distrito Cuatro
For Jose Manuel Ballester, the relationship between painting and photography has always been ambivalent yet intimate. Early in his career, the artist formulated two different and largely unrelated bodies of work. His paintings demonstrated a desire...
Judith Godwin: McNay Art Museum
When Judith Godwin moved to New York in 1953, making abstract paintings was still risky, both professionally and personally. The measure of serious abstraction had only recently been established by first-generation Abstract Expressionists. If the younger...
Karen Kilimnik: Galerie Eva Presenhuber
The entrance to Karen Kilimnik's exhibition featured a fake eighteenth-century portal made of colorful imitation marble. The title of this decorative piece of fanfare, The "Who Is Killing The Great Chefs of Europe" Bomb, 2008, plays on the 1978 satirical...
Klaus Weber: Secession
In taking over the cool white cube of the Vienna Secession, Klaus Weber introduced a Baroque emotionality. Effortlessly unbalancing the Jugendstil symmetry of the central court, he used light, sound, and even odor to shake up this monument to functionality....
Lalla Essaydi: Howard Yezerski Gallery
Moroccan-born, New York-based photographer Lalla Essaydi lures the viewer into her third solo show at Howard Yezerski Gallery (the inaugural exhibition in its new space) with a pair of stunning large scale pictures hung in the front window. Each depicts...
Liverpool Biennial: Various Venues
The Liverpool Biennial, now in its fifth edition, may never surpass Tatsurou Bashi's masterstroke, Villa Victoria, from the second edition in 2002. The artist had constructed a temporary hotel room around an imposing piece of nineteenth-century civic...
Logan Grider: Thierry Goldberg Projects
In his first solo exhibition, Logan Grider showed fifteen intimately sized abstractions, works he intends, according to the press release, to be "representations of sounds, emotional states, conversations, and actions." That's a big charge for little...
Lorna Simpson: Salon 94/salon 94 Freemans
One intriguing aspect of midcareer retrospectives is that they typically herald a new phase in an artist's practice, a reinvention. Take for example Lorna Simpson, who recently, a year and a half after her midcareer survey at the Whitney Museum of...
Maaike Schoorel: De Hallen
Aptly titled "Album," Maaike Schoorel's first solo museum show offers eleven paintings from the past four years that are as ungraspable as sun-bleached photographs or developing Polaroids. At first, Schoorel's canvases seem almost blank; they appear...
Maki Na Kamura: Jiri Svestka Gallery
The longer you look at Maki Na Kamura's paintings, the better they become--but also the more puzzling and even alienating. This is because the works are always somewhere in between: between dream and reality; memory and future; gravity and lightness;...
Mario Garcia Torres: Proyectos Monclova
Mario Garcia Torres makes work that reenacts peak moments of postwar Conceptual art, but whose organizing principles are wholly relevant to artistic production today: the rationalization of processes; an emphasis on language and on reading versus visual...
Mark Wallinger: Aargauer Kunsthaus
It is the human being--not its ego--that stands at the center of Mark Wallinger's work. And that distinguishes him from the YBAs with whom he was once associated. His Ecce Homo, 1 999, conceived for a column in Trafalgar Square, where it was installed...
Martin Kersels: Santa Monica Museum of Art
Standing six and a half feet tall and weighing around 350 pounds, Martin Kersels is a big guy. "I don't fit in a lot of places, literally and figuratively," he says in an interview published in the catalogue for his first midcareer retrospective, aptly...
Nairy Baghramian: Neuer Aachener Kunstverein
The building that houses the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein is simple: two levels, each a single long room, connected by a plain staircase. This manageable structure was the perfect setting for Nairy Baghramian's exhibition " Affairen. Ein semiotisches...
Nancy Spero: Museu d'Art Contemporani De Barcelona
DOES THE ART OF Nancy Spero put one in mind, above all, of books? This is the question raised by "Nancy Spero: Dissidances," a retrospective of the fifty-plus years of the artist's career jointly organized by the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona...
New Year's Resolution
DELVING INTO ART HISTORIAN Christopher S. Wood's consideration of legendary Renaissance scholar Michael Baxandall in the current issue, readers may have the sneaking suspicion that they are being directly and personally addressed by the text's first...
Pablo Picasso: Acquavella Galleries, Inc
"Picasso's Marie-Therese" is a dream show, and not only because its key work is The Dream, an iconic portrait of Marie-Therese Walter. The sitter, depicted in what is widely overinterpreted as a masturbatory reverie, enjoys a prominent place in Picasso's...
Patrick Hill: The Approach E2
Perhaps the most unlikely thing about Patrick Hill's recent work is the fact that someone like Hill made it. Sternly elegant forms and somber opulence seem improbable for a former surfer dude; hence the frequent reference, in the titles of some of...
Paula Wilson: Bellwether
The painted, printed, and collaged pictorial extravaganzas that Paula Wilson presented in her first solo show in New York just won't stop moving. They give the impression, rightly or wrongly, of having been produced in a kind of controlled frenzy....
Pauline Stella Sanchez: Rosamund Felsen Gallery
Dedicated to "those with no face and no voice," Pauline Stella Sanchez's exhibition at Rosamund Felsen Gallery concluded a trilogy of mixed-media shows, begun in 2001, in which the artist engaged with tropes culled from art history, cinema, and architecture....
Pedro Calapez: Casa Da Cerca - Centro De Arte Contemporanea
"Branca e neutra claridade" (White and Neutral Clarity), the latest exhibition of the work of Lisbon-based artist Pedro Calapez, focuses on the artist's production since 1999. The show centers on drawings, such as the series "Desenhos continues" (Continuous...
Rita McBride: Museum Abteiberg
Assembled out of softly rounded wooden elements and painted a bright yellow, Rita McBride's Arena, 1997, filled the entire exhibition space of the Witte de With in Rotterdam when it was first shown that year, reaching almost to the ceiling. Yet its...
Rodney McMillian: The Kitchen
"The challenge of the next half century," said Lyndon B. Johnson at the University of Michigan in 1964, "is whether we have the wisdom to use [our] wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization."...
Sabrina Mezzaqui: Galleria Continua
The conceptual density of Sabrina Mezzaqui's work emerges amid a delicate weave of refined visual forms. For this exhibition, titled "Mettere a dimora" (Planting), the artist presented a series of new works from 2008, including the videos Le libellule...
Scott Lyall: Power Plant, Toronto
"THE COLOR BALL"--Scott Lyall's most ambitious exhibition to date--might be seen as a culminating event for a young conceptualist whose oeuvre has been increasingly recognized for its formally sophisticated resistance to the workings of the culture...
Stan VanDerBeek: Guild & Greyshkul
When Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984) wrote in a 1961 manifesto ("The Cinema Delimina--Films from the Underground") that artists were increasingly "abandoning the logics of aesthetics, springing fullblown into a juxtaposed and simultaneous world that ignores...
Sven Johne: Klemm's
A man stands on the seashore. He swings his arm and tosses a message in a bottle into the waves. This procedure is captured seven times in a series of black-and-white photographs, the places and times recorded in logbooklike annotations: "Sent in:...
Tara Donovan: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
"IN THE MID-1990S, Tara Donovan was experimenting in her studio when serendipity struck. She knocked over a big box of toothpicks, picked it up, and then noticed that the spilled contents had latticed into a shape that echoed the perfect corner of...
Terrible Beauty: Brian O'Doherty on Steve Mcqueen's Hunger
A HUNGER STRIKE IS AN EXTENDED, anguished diminuendo. The body, with nothing to eat, slowly eats itself. In Ireland, the memory of the Great Hunger, as the historian Cecil Woodham-Smith called it, is an angry sediment in the national consciousness,...
The Anxiety of Influence: Benjamin Paul on "Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice"
EMULATION HAS LONG BEEN recognized as a major creative stimulus, but there has recently been increased interest in rivalry, on view, for example, in the 1999 landmark show "Matisse and Picasso"--and again this coming spring in "Titian, Tintoretto,...
The Virtual President: Lynne Tillman on Barack Obama
ORDINARY PEOPLE GET THE NEWS, they don't make it. Mediacs report, repeat, spin, repeat, and pummel non-ordinaries with self-serving rhetorical questions, and, except for dead people and "undecideds," or the living dead, Americans are addicted. Media...
To Miss New Orleans
Civic Engagement International biennials of contemporary art have long ventured into the cities that serve as their hosts, but perhaps none has reckoned with so loaded a locale as PROSPECT.1 NEW ORLEANS. More than three years after Hurricane Katrina...
Tris Vonna-Michell
TRIS VONNA-MICHELL'S PROJECTS invariably develop from something seemingly inconsequential: a stash of old family photographs; the late French poet Henri Chopin's taste for quail eggs; Germans named Hahn or Huhn. By the time the British artist is done,...
What Is That Person Thinking?
WHEN MATT MULLICAN is invited to lecture on his artistic practice to a large group at a museum or school, he typically begins his presentation by affixing a number of images to the wall behind him: first, a photograph of one person, followed by a comic-strip...
When Attitudes Became Form: Christopher S. Wood on Michael Baxandall (1933-2008)
"MONEY IS VERY IMPORTANT in the history of art." Everyone was struck in 1972 by this placid assertion, so lucid and disillusioned, on the very first page of a slim, learned tract on Renaissance painting. That study, Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century...
Youth Initiative: Nick Stillman on the New Museum Triennial
OSCAR WILDE QUIPPED LONG AGO that "in America the young are always ready to give to those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience." By now, his joke has perhaps worn a little thin, as the young of today roll their eyes...