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. 8, April

2nd Turin Triennial
LESS A THEME AND MORE A MOOD, the saturnine was the tragic muse of the second installment of the Turin Triennial, curated by Daniel Birnbaum. Subtitled "50 Moons of Saturn"--one for each artist included--and spread across three sites, this triennial...
Amit Berlowitz: Braverman Gallery
Amit Berlowitz's cinematic studies inform all aspects of her solo exhibition "in between everything that is," so that her photographs appear like so many successive frames from an expansive film archive. They often resemble preparatory shots or outtakes,...
Andrea Zittel: Andrea Rosen Gallery
Andrea Zittel's exhibition "single strand, forward motion" followed two major surveys of her work: "Critical Space," which toured the US and Canada in 2006 and 2007, and a retrospective of works on paper at Schaulager in Basel in 2008. Perhaps her...
Andre Thomkins: Hauser & Wirth
Andre Thomkins must have been one of those on whom nothing is lost. The origin of the technique he used to make his "Lackskins," which he began in the mid-1950s, can be ascribed to chance or to observation as you please: While painting a crib for his...
Andrew Witkin: Lamontagne Gallery
Andrew Witkin won the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston's 2008 Foster Prize for a methodically arranged installation of personal effects and simple furniture made from Baltic birch plywood and square, stainless-steel screws, LaMontagne Gallery recently...
Astrid Sourkova and Markus Selg: KAI 10 Raum Fur Kunst
KAI 10 Raum fur Kunst was started last year by founding director Monika Schnetkamp as a platform for young artists. For this exhibition, "Der mude Tod oder der Gang uber die ekstatiscbe Treppe" (The Weary Death or the Path over the Ecstatic Stairs),...
Beyond the Skin Trade: How Does Black Nationalism Stay Relevant in the Age of Barack Obama?
When I was a boy, I prayed for straight hair. You have to understand, I grew up on heavy metal. Iron Maiden and Judas Priest to start. Then Anthrax and Exodus, Megadeth and Metallica. My friends and I gathered in living rooms and basements and empty...
"Boofthle Booth-Booth: Deux Doox-The Hollywood Biennale"5: Pauline
Given the ruinous economy and the resulting shrinkage of the art world, it's hardly surprising that someone would literalize the collapse by squeezing a biennial exhibition into the space of an art fair booth. "Boofthle Booth-Booth: Deux Doox--The...
Christiane Lohr: Galleria Salvatore + Caroline Ala
Christiane Lohr lives in touch with nature: At her residences in Cologne and in Prato, Italy, her preliminary work does not take place in the studio but on long walks in the meadows and woods, where she collects organic elements such as plant seeds,...
Christian Jankowski: Regen Projects II
In his 1940 essay "The Fall of Paris," Harold Rosenberg lamented that geopolitical maneuvers, rising nationalism, and fascist aggression had brought about the decline of an almost-levitating capital of modernist culture--once an international "No-Place"...
Cildo Meireles
IT IS NOT DIFFICULT to like Cildo Meireles's work. It is, as he has said he wishes it to be, "instantly seductive"--intelligent as well as sensual, playful yet unsettling. And thanks to an excellent installation, this exhibition of the Brazilian artist's...
Claire Hooper: Hollybush Gardens
Claire Hooper's Nach Spandau (To Spandau). 2008, is a video to watch alone. It follows the nearly empty U7 subway line in Berlin, station after station, in a fifty-three-minute series of short sequences on HDV. Each shot sooner or later lingers for...
Commuter Literate: Behind the Carefully Constructed Persona of Suburban Squire, John Cheever Waged a Tumultuous Battle against Himself-A Struggle That Only Found Its Way into His Very Last Works of Fiction
Some writers went on the road; others went to Paris or fought in a war. John Cheever (1912-1982) went to Westchester, New York, where he cultivated his own exclusive patch of the Northeast Corridor. His outward appearance--a bit rumpled, collar frayed,...
"Diane Arbus, A Printed Retrospective, 1960-1971"
NO ONE COMES TO DIANE ARBUS without a bushel of prejudices. She is the most demonized of the 1960s street photographers, so freighted by her reputation as bad girl and victimizer that it is almost impossible to truly look at her work. In "Pierre Leguillon...
Dirk Stewen: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
Dirk Stewen's assemblages perform a delicate balancing act, bringing together decorative abstractions and enigmatic arrangements of photography, appropriated text, and found objects. Elegant and reserved, the German artist's second solo show in New...
"Dispersion": Institute Contemporary Arts
Curated by Polly Staple, "Dispersion" took its title from Seth Price's eponymous text of 2002, which discusses, among other things, the impact of digital technologies and distributed media on high culture. Accordingly, the dissemination and appropriation...
Eileen Quinlan: Overduin and Kite
For an artist who cites accidental elements in her practice, Eileen Quinlan is undeniably fixed on the parameters and the quantifiable conditions of making a photograph. While the images she produces are marked by bleeding colors and the incidental...
Erick Beltran: Galeria Joan Prats
Erick Beltran's "Serie Calculum" (Calculum Series)--"an essay about the concentration, the density and the creation of value," as he puts it in the gallery press release--is a curio collection, compiled by the artist between 2006 and 2008. Because...
Erik Van Lieshout: Maccarone Inc
The camcorder-video installations for which Dutch artist Erik van Lieshout is best known transgress boundaries to push upon our society's unspoken weak points. He is a crooked man in a crooked world, and his rebellion against decorum--whether he's...
Figure among Motifs: Rhys Chatham and Christian Wolff on Arthur Russell
The increasing presence of intermedia and cross-disciplinary performance in New York in recent years has been accompanied by renewed interest in its historical legacy, as well as in a number of its central figures--among whom Arthur Russell (1951-1992)...
Figures and Grounds
By turns extravagant and direct, the portraits Barkley L. Hendricks has made of his African-American friends and neighbors since the late 1960s variously recall the indolent nudes of Philip Pearlstein and the deadpan chic of David Hockney. But in these...
Frampton Comes Alive! Tom Gunning on Hollis Frampton's Collected Writings
THE LEGACY OF HOLLIS FRAMPTON -- as a filmmaker, photographer, video and computer artist, critic, and theorist of the visual media he worked in--has continued to define itself and expand in the more than two decades that have passed since his death...
Francesco Vezzoli: Gagosian Rome
Francesco Vezzoli's exhibitions are always a mix of high and low--apparently banal but in reality dense with sophisticated citations--or at least they have a knack for calling on the right references at the right moment. For "Greed, a New Fragrance...
Genres, Ganges, and the Grand Canal
F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night served as a muse for Geoff Dyer's last work of fiction, Paris, Trance (1998), but the author admits that Thomas Mann's Death in Venice, the inspiration for his latest effort, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi...
Guy De Cointet: Greene Naftali Gallery
Ferdinand de Saussure's famous Course in General Linguistics (published posthumously in 1916) defines language as "a system of pure values which are determined by nothing except the momentary arrangements of its terms." Such a characterization--a radical...
Hearing Voices: Alex Waterman on Robert Ashley
IN AN INTERVIEW LAST YEAR, composer Robert Ashley recalled a story about his Uncle Willard, who called the police one day to report a UFO in his living room. When the officers arrived, they asked him where the UFO was. He pointed toward a peach pit...
Home Movies: Ed Halter on Derek Jarman's Super 8 Films
DEREK JARMAN was once lionized as Britain's homegrown Cocteau. Features such as Caravaggio (1986) and Edward II (1991) marked him as heir to the baroque art-house theatrics of Michael Powell and Ken Russell, while his unabashed homoeroticism and strident...
Howard Fonda: Roots & Culture
Howard Fonda makes earnest declarations about his medium. In the statement accompanying this show, for example, he writes: "I see painting as a philosophical sanctuary and spiritual outpost"; "Painting is poetic and transcendent"; and "Painting is...
Iris Haussler: Art Gallery of Ontario
Iris Haussler's installation He Named Her Amber, 2007-2009--an ongoing project at the Art Gallery of Ontario--is an ingenious deception. Visitors are under the impression that they are simply taking a guided "archaeological" tour of the Grange, Toronto's...
Johan Grimonprez: Talks about Double Take, 2009
"THEY SAY THAT if you meet your double, you should kill him." The mantra in Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez's eighty-minute film Double Take, 2009, suggests that the real must assert itself against its image to prevent its own defeat in an ongoing...
John Gerrard: Simon Preston Gallery/Knoedler Project Space
I never did get to see the pigs in John Gerrard's Grow finish Unit (near Elkhart, Kansas) 2008. Nor will I likely ever witness the culmination of the artist's Oil Stick Work (Angelo Martinez/Richfield, Kansas) 2008. The animations' respective climaxes...
Juan Zamora: Galeria Moriarty
In looking at the drawings of the young Spanish artist Juan Zamora, one could easily think that comics are a major source of inspiration for his schemes of figures, forms, and situations. Yet on the occasion of this exhibition, Zamora has stated that...
Julius Popp and Mark Lombardi: Galerie Fur Zeitgennossische Kunst
Media artists aren't having the easiest time of it these days: Back in the mid-1990s, Julia Scher was still able to shock us by mounting security cameras on all four of her bedposts and filming everything that happened at night between the sheets....
Keren Cytter: Thierry Goldberg Projects
Keren Cytter, who lives in Berlin, pulls from film history for her work, usually in service to video, the medium for which she is best known (though she redirected the practice to text in her novel from last year, The seven most exciting hours of Mr....
Koenraad Dedobbeleer: Galerie Micheline Szwajcer
Last December, Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer received the Mies van der Rohe Stipendium 2009, awarded by the city of Krefeld, Germany. It grants the artist the opportunity to occupy the studio in Haus Esters, the celebrated design by Mies, and...
Lars Nilsson: Milliken
In 2004, Lars Nilsson created his masterpiece, the video In Orgia, which blithely leafs through shades of human experience--banality, fun, dread, passion, violence--somehow sparking a nostalgia for life that makes you feel lucky to be along for the...
Lucy Stein: Broadway 1602
Mounted in the office of Broadway 1602 during Lucy Stein's show was a small drawing made in ink on the kind of informational flyer found in college infirmaries--this one detailing the bodily dangers of bulimia. The drawing depicts a liberated Gibson...
Manuel Ocampo: Uplands Gallery
Mobile, menacing, messy: These are words that immediately describe Manuel Ocampo's hit-and-run approach to painting and, ostensibly, to identity. Like the late German artist Martin Kippenberger, Ocampo presents a surplus of meaning but a dandyish deficit...
Mark Geffriaud: GB Agency
Following his "module" at the Palais de Tokyo in 2008, Mark Geffriaud's first solo gallery exhibition was marked by a change of scale. In 2007-2008, Geffriaud participated as one of four artists in Elodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel's exhibition cycle...
Mark Ruwedel: Yossi Milo Gallery
At the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865, there were 35,085 miles of operable railroad track in the United States. Eight years later that number had doubled. Midway between these dates, on May 10, 1869, a golden spike joined the rails of the Central...
Mary Lum: Frederieke Taylor Gallery
The subject of Mary Lum's exhibition was urban space and time, and the materials of choice were comic books--cut neatly and precisely into strips, slivers, and squares and collaged onto paper, or rendered in paint on panels or, in a wall installation,...
Michael Almereyda
1 "HAROLD PINTER, ART, TRUTH AND POLITICS" I was unaware of Pinter's speech until his New York Times obituary led to an online link to this video, made in 2005. Too ill to travel to Sweden to receive his Nobel Prize, the wheelchair-bound author has...
Miwa Ogasawara: Galerie Vera Munro
Miwa Ogasawara's work as a painter has developed above all within familiar genres such as portraiture, interiors, and landscape. But in her work, these traditional forms give rise to something autonomous and new. Ogasawara's paintings look easy, almost...
Moments of Illumination
THE MASK OF THE MYSTIC or magus, a guise once prevalent in the American avant-garde cinema, is now worn by only three remaining filmmakers, all of whom happen to live and work in California: Jordan Belson (b. 1926), Kenneth Anger (b. 1927), and Lawrence...
Moral Hazard: Norman L. Kleeblatt on the Art of Artur Zmijewski
IT IS EASY TO STORM OUT of a gallery presenting the work of Polish artist Artur Zmijewski. Many viewers (present company included) react negatively at first to his confrontational and transgressive videos, which accost viewers with images and ideas...
Nicholas and Sheila Pye: Curator's Office
The influence of Bertolt Brecht, the Brothers Grimm, and Eugene Ionesco permeates the substance and style of Nicholas and Sheila Pye's recent video Loudly, Death Unties, 2007, presented at Curator's Office with five of the artists' photographs. The...
Nobody's Everyman: The Novelist Considers Frank Bascombe's Role as a Stand-In for the Rest of US
Over the last twenty years, goodwilled readers have occasionally asked me if Frank Bascombe, the yearning, sometimes vexatious, narrator of my three novels The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and Lay of the Land--if Frank Bascombe was intended to be...
Off Screen: Bill Horrigan at the Rotterdam Film Festival
DURING THE LAST TEN DAYS of January, anyone wandering the rainy streets of Rotterdam at night could savor the spectacle of Isabella Rossellini being electrocuted, repeatedly and ecstatically, in a seven-minute looped film projected onto the top four...
Our Better Nature: A New Verse Translation of Lucretius's De Rerum Natura Elegantly Counters the Superstitions of This Modern Age
At a moment in history when God is said to participate in world politics, the pungent ode to nature De rerum natura, composed by the Roman poet Titus Lucretius Carus, can provide a dose of sanity. What the atomist Epicurus called ataraxia--the tranquility...
Peter Doig: Gavin Brown's Enterprise/Michael Werner Gallery
In a roundtable in these pages one year ago, Peter Doig became the fall guy for several participants' vexations with the big bad art market. One had to feel a little sorry for him in the reckoning: One of his paintings, through no doings of his own,...
Peter Pinchbeck: Luise Ross Gallery/Gary Snyder Project Space
Constituting the first significant showing of Peter Pinchbeck's work in New York since the memorial exhibition that followed his passing in 2000, these tandem presentations offered a representative range of his formidable oeuvre, which still awaits...
"Rational/Irrational": Haus der Kulturen der Welt
This show at Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures)--curator Valerie Smith's first for the institution--brought together works by seven artists to investigate the boundaries of the rational and the irrational in a distinctively...
R. H. Quaytman: Miguel Abreu Gallery
Most twentieth-century art dismissed by modernist gatekeepers--late Picabia, the most flagrantly commercial of Picasso's and Warhol's works, even Pattern and Decoration--has proven assimilable by now. Op, not so much. The movement made iconic by Bridget...
Richard Aldrich
RICHARD ALDRICH hates being called ironic or a slacker. The fact that critics have lately called him both, without any air of opprobrium, may say more about the critical winds encircling recent abstract painting than it does about his disparate and...
Robert Irwin: Pacewildenstein
Grand, stately, and a little static--that is the magisterial phase that Robert Irwin's work is going through, judging from his last two installations in Pace Wildenstein's Twenty-second Street space: the recent Red Drawing White Drawing Black Painting...
Second, Third, and Even More Acts: Fitzgerald Didn't Believe in Second Acts for American Lives, but His Work Gets Several in Adaptation
This past holiday season, F. Scott Fitzgerald went from being considered a curse on Hollywood to the flavor of the month practically overnight. For decades, adaptations of Fitzgerald's fiction were seen as surefire failures, but that all seemed to...
Songs of Experience: Farah Jasmine Griffin on Odetta (1930-2008)
SOME ARTISTS CREATE visions of the future. Others illustrate how to get there by showing us where we have been. In doing so, they lay out what we are up against and remind us of our strength, fortitude, and resilience. Their work accompanies us on...
Steppe Family: Amy Taubin on Sergey Dvortsevoy'S Tulpan
SET IN THE UNFORGIVING region of Kazakhstan known as the Hunger Steppe, Sergey Dvortsevoy's Tulpan (which opens April 1 at Film Forum in New York) has just about everything anyone could want in a movie: wild swings of mood and weather, generational...
Tamara El Samerraei: Agial Art Gallery
Tamara El Samerraei's first solo exhibition in Beirut featured just twelve paintings, all dated 2008. While this could have made for a rather thin debut, "Something White," as the show was called, introduced a confident, self-contained series of new...
"The Art of Participation: 1950 to Now"
IN NOVEMBER 1980 artists Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz inaugurated their project Hole-in-Space, a live-two-way telecommunication event or, as they termed it, a "public communication sculpture." Installed at Lincoln Center in New York and at a...
The New Geography
The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. We are at a moment, I believe, when our...
Thomas Hirschhom: Galerie Susanna Kulli
There are moments of sheer horror when language fails us and images are wordlessly burned into our memory. Again and again, Thomas Hirschhorn has incorporated images like these in his installations, creating contexts that allow them to speak. In his...
Trenton Duerksen and Aaron King: Guild & Greyshkul
Every so often, an exhibition comes along that displays a real exuberance, a delight in the act of making or transforming before which ideals of formal resolution seem irrelevant. Trenton Duerksen and Aaron King's recent appearance at the late lamented...
Turning Tables: Daniel Birnbaum on Carsten Holler's Double Club
I WENT TO A BAR, restaurant, and dance club where the Congo meets the West. And then, a few weeks later, I went to a bar, restaurant, and dance club where the West meets the Congo. Both were located at 7 Torrens Street, a tiny alley in East London,...
"Une Exposition Choregraphiee": Centre d'Art Contemporain De la Ferme Du Buisson
The contemporary art world has shown increasing interest in dance and theater in recent years, from exhibitions like Bernard Blistene's "A Theater without Theater" in Barcelona and Eva Schmidt's "Ver bailar" (Seeing Dance) in Seville to reconsiderations...
Yael Bartana
DISPUTATIOUS CLAIMS of belonging and emplacement; boundaries and flows; communication and misunderstanding; historical narratives in contradiction: These are the preoccupations of Yael Bartana's postdocumentary, allegorical practice. Born in Israel...
"Zones of Conflict": Pratt Manhattan Gallery
Debates and discussions around the profoundly contradictory, and often uncomfortable, interrelationships of art, aesthetics, and politics have been in motion for decades. Numerous exhibitions, panel discussions, and other events have been organized...