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. 6, February

A Hidden Reserve: Painting from 1958 to 1965
IN THE LATE 1950s, painting celebrated some of the greatest triumphs in its history, grandly ordained as a universal language of subjective and historical experience in major shows and touring exhibitions. But only a short while later, its very right...
Alexandra Bachzetsis: Kunsthalle Basel
In her first institutional solo presentation, dancer, choreographer, and performance artist Alexandra Bachzetsis redefined the term show in the museum context. "SHOW" consisted of five evenings of performance spread across four weeks in the Oberlichtsaal...
Al Held: Paul Kasmin Gallery
Except for a fleeting moment during the heyday of New York abstract painting, Al Held never quite fit in. A contrarian by nature, Held was a Bronx hoodlum and perpetual truant who wound up in the Navy at age sixteen because, as he speculated in a 1975...
Alvaro Oyarzun: Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes
Alvaro Oyarzun is an artist untroubled by fear of narrative excess. Master of the prolonged title, he dubbed his recent exhibition in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes "Historia del Dibujo de A a L" (A History of Drawing from A to L), with the subtitle,...
Art Focus 5: Talpiot Beit Benit Congress Centre
"What does art want? Everything. What can art do? Nothing. What does art do? Something." With an adaptation of Jean-Luc Godard's claim for the radical potential of cinema as a conceptual aegis, itself an appropriation of the Abbe Sieyes's remark in...
Beagles & Ramsay: Glasgow Sculpture Studios
John Beagles and Graham Ramsay's newly commissioned sculptural installation, Good Teeth, 2008, is the result of a three-month residency designed to allow for experimentation with new materials on a bold scale. Timely enough, Good Teeth features a golden...
Ben Dean: Pomona College Museum of Art
Ben Dean's Account, 2002-2008, the exceptional installation that constituted his first solo show, is really two accounts--one a 16-mm color film, the other a gray-toned, computer-generated video--of three places. The Los Angeles-based artist selected...
Brussels Biennial 1: Various Venues
"BRUSSELS BIENNIAL 1: RE-USED MODERNITY" faces a high bar: One inevitably wonders what justifies its creation now, given the surfeit, apparent exhaustion, and perceived homogeneity of such exhibitions around the world today. The Brussels Biennial must...
Carlos Bunga: Galeria Elba Benitez
Three years after his first exhibition at this gallery, Carlos Bunga once again surprised the viewer with the works presented in "Yuxtaposi-ciones" (Juxtapositions). In 2005, the Elba Benitez Project developed the installations that the Portuguese...
Charlotte Posenenske: Peter Freeman, Inc
In the May 1968 issue of Art International, the thirty-eight-year-old German artist Charlotte Posenenske published a manifesto lamenting the "regressed" utility of art and, by implication, the larger network of the art world. Her statements convey...
Cindy Sherman: Metro Pictures
Looking at Cindy Sherman's recent photos, I thought, eventually, of what in the lit-crit practice of my college years used to be called "image clusters": groups of related metaphors and other verbal figures that run through the works of some writers--Shakespeare,...
Cobra: Musees Royaux Des Beaux-Arts De Belgique, Brussels/Cobra Museum Voor Moderne Kunst, Amstelveen, the Netherlands/Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, the Netherlands
COBRA REMAINS frequently dismissed as a quaint and childlike pictorial style depicting colorful monsters. But the movement's legacy is far from simple. Formed in Paris in 1948, Cobra connected an international group of artists (from many more cities...
Cory Arcangel: Team Gallery
Cory Arcangel is known for hacking various technologies to produce sophisticated remixes. His works have generally radiated a cheerful aesthetic (Super Landscape #1, 2005, for example, is a tranquil scene created by removing everything but the clouds...
Cyprien Gaillard
CYPRIEN GAILLARD'S VIDEO Desniansky Raion, 2007, opens with a view of a Belgrade housing block built in the 1980s. The building--two slightly asymmetrical towers conjoined by a walkway and crowned with a circular observation deck--stands alone in the...
Dave Hullfish Bailey: Mesler&Hug
Dave Hullfish Bailey's latest exhibition looked like a backyard science experiment. Jury-rigged workstations loosely structured the space into three separate areas: one for reading and informational display, another with small science-fair-type geological...
Deimantas Narkevicius: Galerie Barbara Weiss
In his first film, Europa 54[degrees]54'-25[degrees]19', 1997, Deimantas Narkevicius sets out for the center of Europe--which, after a reestimation of the borders of the continent by geographers at the Parisian Institut Geographique National in 1989,...
Doris Salcedo: Alexander and Bonin
The relatively recent international success of Colombian artist Doris Salcedo, who has been exhibiting since the mid-1980s, seems to have led her in a reflexive direction: Increasingly embraced by institutions, she has gradually dedicated her work...
Erika Vogt
1 IMAGE LOVERS ANONYMOUS The value, meaning, and utility of images are now being hotly contested by artists as never before. But how freeing, ultimately, is this debate? Should we instead be looking forward, to the liberations that await? Consider...
Gianni Caravaggio: Collezione Maramotti
The seven sculptures that make up Gianni Caravaggio's exhibition "Scenario" present themselves as seven acts of creation for seven different universes. Indeed, Caravaggio conceives every work as a universe of meaning that the artist, acting as a demiurge,...
High-Wire Act
IT'S DIFFICULT TO KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF ALEXANDER CALDER. He is solidly positioned within the pantheon of twentieth-century sculpture but doesn't quite fit the conventional academic narrative that runs from Picasso's Guitar through David Smith to Minimalism...
I Am Nothing and I Should Be Everything
THE OLD DREAM OF DOCUMENTARY--namely, that its socially enabled and technologically fortified realism would change the world--has been out of reach for some time now. In place of such a starry-eyed promise, pledged in Progressive-era photojournalistic...
Inigo Manglano-Ovalle: Donald Young Gallery
Inigo Manglano-Ovalle has probably passed enough professional milestones--participation in Documenta (in 2007), the Whitney Biennial (in 2000), and various other exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world; receipt of a MacArthur "genius"...
In Person
INEVITABLY, THE IMAGE THAT ADORNS the cover of this month's issue will elicit from readers a searching double take: The amber vastness and big sky of the American West are immediately recognizable, with the panoramic terrain's sun-scorched sand, silt,...
Jacob Feige: Lombard-Freid Projects
That Buckminster Fuller's influence at present--especially on the heels of a recent Whitney Museum retrospective--is as pervasive as it is amorphous perhaps goes without saying (even if citing such exhibitions nonetheless confuses cause and effect)....
James Carl: Diaz Contemporary
While a long-awaited midcareer survey of James Carl's work was being held at three other Ontario venues this winter, the Diaz Contemporary show modestly offered five of the artist's sculptures, all from a series titled "jalousie," 2006-, a term used...
Joseph Kosuth: Sean Kelly Gallery
"Don't Just Stand There--Read!" declares the headline of a 1970 review in the New York Times bemoaning "the cultural nihilism of Conceptual Art" in spite of its ability to keep "scoring points...[in] an art scene poisoned by the market mentality."...
Josh Smith: Talks about Currents, 2008
PAPER MIGHT RIP, paint might spill, or the game might be on television, but Josh Smith doesn't stop. The artist's fulgent pictures withstand all diversions and relentlessly multiply--their motifs, in his best-known series, traversing the loping letters...
Julian Rosefeldt: Max Wigram
Julian Rosefeldt's four-screen installation (Super 16-mm film transferred to DVD) The Ship of Fools, 2007, at first seems a kind of study in art history or visual culture. It features a stock of unmistakable European Romantic motifs, references to...
Kate Gilmore: Smith-Stewart
Kate Gilmore recently exhibited four single-channel videos, all dated 2008. One of the filmed actions took place in the gallery, and the relevant television monitor was sited in the detritus of that performance; another includes two supporting players....
Kathe Burkhart: Annie Gentils Gallery
The world has changed a lot since American artist Kathe Burkhart began her "Liz Taylor" series, 1982-. But the language Burkhart uses hasn't changed one bit, as one could see in "Women and Children First," a selection of her paintings, drawings, and...
Kay Rosen: YVON Lambert
Is it possible to communicate with phrases, words, and letters in a postlinguistic way? Is the act of reading, per se, a visual, cognitive, linguistic, or other type of experience? Such are the questions elicited by Kay Rosen's exquisitely calibrated...
Kelley Walker: Paula Cooper Gallery
For his third solo show at Paula Cooper, Kelley Walker presented a number of large-scale "paintings" across which march silk-screened images of scanned bricks and cinder blocks. Quasi-photographic in nature and blushed with unnatural hues, the resulting...
Kim Keever: Kinz + Tillou Fine Art
Kim Keever's ethereal color photographs of constructed landscape dioramas are undeniably seductive--a gaggle of ladies-who-lunch cooed admiringly over them on my visit to the New Yorker's recent exhibition--but their purportedly "subversive" edge is...
Kirsten Everberg: 1301PE
Surely LeRoy Neiman's sin--committed in the early 1950s, at the apex of Abstract Expressionism, and ensuring him a career of scorn--was to convert the hallmarks of painters like Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock (the splash, slash, dribble, and daub)...
Lara Almarcegui: Galeria Pepe Cobo
Broadly speaking, Lara Almarcegui's work can be divided into two areas: her public actions (often performed under the umbrella of a biennial or other event), which involve situations or tasks that take place in a common space, sometimes before or even...
Lothar Baumgarten: Marian Goodman Gallery
A long hallway separated the two primary elements of Lothar Baumgarten's recent show at Marian Goodman, suggesting the distance between the locales of the projects--one focused on the South American rain forest, the other on the Hudson River Valley...
Lot in Life
WHEN HIS FATHER DIED, a friend of mine inherited a hotel in the town of Torre Annunziata, the site of a beautiful ancient Roman villa about fifteen miles southeast of Naples, and expected to take over the family business. But within a week he found...
Luigi Ghirri: Aperture Gallery
This was Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri's first New York solo exhibition in over seven years, and coincided with Aperture's publication of the first English-language monograph dedicated to the artist. Ghirri, who worked consistently from the early...
Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art
PATRIA ES UNA TRAMPA! (Mother country is a trap!) is carved across Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons's painted chest in the video Not Just Another Day, 1998, as she pulls a white organza ribbon inscribed with the words identity and incident, in English,...
Massimo Bartolini; Galleria Massimo De Carlo
At first glance, this might have seemed to be an unfinished exhibition, its installation still under way. "Maybe it's better to stop by later," one might have thought. The installation, Massimo Bartolini's Organi (Organs), 2008, stood at the back of...
Merlin James/Serge Charchoune: Mummery + Schnelle
Over the past two decades, Merlin James has quietly established himself as one of the more interesting painters around, as well as one of the best critics of painting. His work might be taken for that of a nostalgic academic or a postmodern pluralist,...
Michael Wolf: Robert Koch Gallery
China's gleaming new skyscrapers have magnetic appeal for Western photographers, who often portray them as striking signs of the country's massive growth. Michael Wolf is one such photographer, having trained his lens on Hong Kong since 2003, when...
Mickalene Thomas: Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Mickalene Thomas's exhibition "Girlfriends, Lovers, Still Lifes, and Landscapes" far exceeds the decorative wallop of her first solo show two years ago at the same venue. She has become masterful at maximizing ornamentation and slick in her fearless...
Mona Hatoum: Darat Al Funun
A barrier of coarse gray sandbags spouting tender shoots of green grass. A wooden tabletop strewn with fifty grenades made of pastel-colored ceramics. Silhouettes of armed soldiers snipped from wispy white tissue paper. Mona Hatoum's exhibition at...
Music for iPorts
"YOU REALLY HATE MINIMALISM," sighed my friend Wayne, as he looked over the latest stack of CDs I had brought in for trade to his store. Do I? I had never formulated such an opinion. But if anyone knows your musical tastes better than you, it's the...
Nathalie Djurberg: Hammer Museum
Stop-motion animation is generally associated with fairy-tale naivete, due to its being used, most famously, for kids' classics like Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (1970), but, as Nathalie Djurberg shows, this quality is not intrinsic to the medium....
"Notation: Calculation and Form in the Arts": Akademie der Kunste, Berlin
"YOU DON'T MISS YOUR WATER," the saying goes, "till your well runs dry." True, 1 never thought I'd miss Hanne Darboven so much. That was my initial reaction to "Notation," a vastly ambitious show on view last fall at Berlin's Akademie der Kunste that...
"Oranges and Sardines": Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
THIS PAST NOVEMBER, to kick off a panel discussion about the exhibition "Oranges and Sardines," curator Gary Garrels asked Amy Sillman--one of the six artists participating in the show--to "describe the situation of abstract painting today." Sillman...
Out of Position
By the time he died, of cancer, in 1997 at age forty-four, MARTIN KIPPENBERGER had generated what was already recognized to be one of the most significant, and prescient, bodies of work from the postwar era--one whose diversity was matched only by...
Pablo Bronstein: Galleria Franco Noero
Pablo Bronstein is the latest artist to take on the challenge provided by Galleria Franco Noero's new space in the Casa Scaccabarozzi, a quirky building designed by the nineteenth-century architect Alessandro Antonelli and known locally as the "slice...
Prints + Editions
ARION PRESS 1802 Hays Street, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129 Tel: 415 668 2542 Fax: 415 668 2550 E-mail: arionpress@arionpress.com Web: www.arionpress.com Artist books and prints by Kiki Smith, Frank Lobdell, Jess, R. B. Kitaj, Alex...
Robert Heinecken: Marc Selwyn Fine Art
"Many pictures," Robert Heinecken once noted, "turn out to be limp translations of the known world instead of vital objects which create an intrinsic world of their own. There is a vast difference between taking a picture and making a photograph."...
Stan Douglas: David Zwirner Gallery
According to Max Brod, the first time Kafka read from The Trial, everyone present, including the author himself, was overcome with laughter. In "Humor, Irony, and the Law," Gilles Deleuze reads this irruption of laughter alongside that occasioned by...
Stephanie Nava: Viafarini Documentation Center for Visual Arts
Stephanie Nava's "Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory)" was a garden of innumerable drawings and various agricultural objects. There were no flowers pictured, only vegetables, since the artist was inspired by the small urban gardens promoted in the...
Tere Recarens: Galeria Toni Tapies
In this show, "Karma Allume," Tere Recarens confirmed that she is an artist-traveler. Recarens's first name, short for Teresa, has largely served to determine her itineraries and her artistic endeavors: In 2002, for instance, after finding out that...
Tim Shaw: Kenneth Armitage Foundation
Far off almost anyone's London contemporary art map is Kensington, the posh residential neighborhood where the only galleries are the sort that might be expected to exhibit small bronze figurines--like this foundation, sited in the former studio of...
Vincent Desiderio: Marlborough Chelsea
Vincent Desiderio is a painter--militantly so. Many of the paintings in this exhibition are ambitiously large (Sleep, 2008, is a mural, and When I Last Saw Paris, 2007, a triptych) and two, Sumo and Quixote, are still in progress, perhaps exhibited...
Willard Boepple: Lori Bookstein Fine Art
At Lori Bookstein, Willard Boepple exhibited six recent sculptures, five of them of a type he calls "Looms." The basic structural idea, as always in his art, is deceptively simple: Within what the press release described as a "box-like frame" linear...
Won Ju Lim: Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
For 24 Seconds of Silence, 2008, Korea-born, Los Angeles-based artist Won Ju Lim charted her reactions to Beijing--a city completely foreign to her, recently under intense international media scrutiny, and burdened by a full arsenal of preconceived...
Yann Serandour: GB Agency
In his 1967 essay "The Death of the Author," Roland Barthes famously asserts that "the writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original." The same year, Italo Calvino wrote "Whom Do We Write For or The Hypothetical Bookshelf," suggesting...
"Zero in New York": Sperone Westwater
A reductivist abstraction embodying moral purification marked the beliefs of Group Zero (1957-1966) or, as it is often called, plainly, Zero. Whether with its white monochromes or its light works made with simple technology, the group would purge contemporary...