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. 46, No. 6, February

1000 Words: Tom Burr; Talks about "Addict-Love," 2008
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO TOM BURR is defined by the beauty of contingent things. Places, identities, bodies, histories, subjectivities, and aesthetic forms are destabilized via processes of construction and reconstruction. Burr problematizes the autonomy...
Adrian Paci: Peter Blum/Smith-Stewart
As befits an artist whose themes are displacement and memory, Adrian Paci's recent New York gallery debut spanned two venues. One piece--a video made in 2002--had been seen in the city before. Another--a video from 2007--hinges on a trick that colors...
Agusti Centelles: Centro Cultural Conde Duque
The Spanish Civil War was a major event for photography. The widespread use of newly invented lightweight cameras meant that war in general, and especially the Spanish one, was covered daily on the front pages of newspapers around the world by figures...
Alina Szapozcnikow: Broadway 1602
"Ontological poverty" is a phrase Alina Szapozcnikow once used to describe the immanent instabilities of the human body. A single example of impermanence in the world, for Szapozcnikow, it was nonetheless human composition--flesh, blood, and bone--that...
All Tomorrow's Parties: David Joselit on "Mike's World" and "Air Kissing"
ANDY WARHOL went to a lot of parties. In Andy Warhol's Party Book, posthumously published in 1988, he gives a good explanation why: "Sex and parties are the two things that you still have to actually be there for--things that involve you and other...
Alvin Baltrop: Pier Photographs, 1975-1986
IN DECEMBER 1973, a highway repair truck laden with asphalt crashed through the elevated West Side Highway between Little West Twelfth and Gansevoort Streets, closing forever the section of highway south of the collapse. Fifteen years elapsed before...
"An Atlas of Events": Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The very first work encountered in "An Atlas of Events" presented the theme of the exhibition. Rodney McMillan's Untitled, 2006, is composed of two large-scale black columns that resemble the Twin Towers, atop which are two embalmed baboons. As this...
Anna Sew Hoy: Karyn Lovegrove Gallery
Over the last few years, Anna Sew Hoy has fashioned sculptures that function as pedestals for bottles of designer fragrances and offered lines of handcrafted jewelry, vases, ashtrays, and paperweights. Her latest outing, in which she paneled Karyn...
"Apocalypse Now: The Theater of War"; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts
"Apocalypse Now: The Theater of War" was an erudite and inventive, yet ultimately misguided, group exhibition. Cocurators Jens Hoffmann and artist duo Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla gathered a selection of artworks, literary works, films,...
Attention Span: Tom Holert on the Art of Omer Fast
ENTERING A PITCH-BLACK BASEMENT GALLERY at the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (MUMOK) this past fall, visitors encountered two screens suspended from the ceiling, seeming to hover in midair. Though facing the same direction, the screens...
Blinky Palermo: Kunsthalle Dusseldorf and Kunstverein Fur Die Rheinlande Und Westfalen
THE ORGANIZERS of the elegant Blinky Palermo retrospective at the Kunsthalle Dusseldorf and the Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande und Westfalen wasted no time in announcing their bold, materially focused agenda: At the entrance to the exhibition, visitors...
Bojan Sarcevic: Le Credac
Bojan Sarcevic has made several videos, but never before has he used moving images to shake up the ground beneath his sculptural practice, which, until now, has had the peculiarity of tight, precise construction. Curved crumpled sheets of copper, a...
Charlotte Posenenske: Galerie Mehdi Chouakri
Last year's Documenta wasn't the first on which Charlotte Posenenske (1930-1985) left a mark. She was present at Documenta 4, in the summer of 1968, though not as an exhibiting artist: She distributed leaflets criticizing art for being "affirmative"...
Christoph Schlingensief: Migros Museum Fur Gegenwartskunst
Theater director, filmmaker, and political agitator Christoph Schlingensief has a reputation for pointing out society's sore spots and affronting moral sensibilities with the drastic measures he employs in his ongoing fight against hypocrisy. His recent...
Cliff Evans: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
For this show, his recent solo museum debut, Brooklyn- and Boston-based artist Cliff Evans projected a five-channel video onto a twenty-foot-long, seven-foot-high arrangement of five segmented panels to make Empyrean, 2007 (the title evoking the pure...
Daniel Pitin: Galerie Charim
Artistic explorations of cinematic conventions have grown to become their own field. The canvases of Daniel Pitin, a painter born in Prague in 1977, are steeped in cinematography. "My work begins in front of the monitor," the artist has said. "I watch...
David Ingenthron: 65grand
David Ingenthron's recent work might be thought of as slacker neo-surrealism, consisting as it does of meandering excursions into a strange but gentle fantasy universe where much is evoked but--purposefully, of course--little is resolved. Ingenthron...
Diana Cooper: Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
Using acetate, acrylic, aluminum tape, corrugated plastic, felt, felt-tip markers, foamcore, ink, map pins, paper, photographs, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, velour paper, and vinyl, Diana Cooper makes "three-dimensional drawings," many of them extremely...
Duane Hanson: Van De Weghe Fine Art
Duane Hanson could be considered a victim of his own virtuosity. The deceased American sculptor's uncannily naturalistic figures are so lifelike that their verisimilitude often subsumes their content. A Hanson sculpture is like a mirage; it's hard...
Eric Angles and Matt Sheridan Smith: Cohan and Leslie
By chance, my initial visit to Eric Angles and Matt Sheridan Smith's combined solo debuts at Cohan and Leslie was on a Wednesday. Ordinarily, perhaps, this would be an irrelevant detail, but here my timing meant that I was present for the full implementation...
Felix Gmelin: Milliken
Felix Gmelin's installation Tools and Grammar, 2007, is an atlas charting the way through a tangled thicket of emotion, from raw anarchy to nuanced compassion; it is a work of apocalyptic lyricism. To make this journey, Gmelin relies on a cast of characters...
Francis Alys: Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
THE COVER OF THE CATALOGUE for Francis Alys's exhibition at the Hammer Museum announces "rehearsal" as the show's organizing principle in more ways than one. Of course, the exhibition's title, "Politics of Rehearsal," is prominent. But it is the graphic...
Georg Herold: Museum Ludwig
New to Georg Herold's sculpture are the five oversize figures that dominate this one-room display of his work. Constructed from canvas stretched and stitched over lengths of timber, and sprayed with glossy car-body paint, they appear caught in some...
Glen Rubsamen: Brandstrom & Stene
Glen Rubsamen's exhibition of new work, "A Reassuring Lie Unfolds," consisted of work in several media: drawing, painting, printmaking, and video. He uses all four to create a hyperreal landscape, documenting man's attempt to rectify nature. As indicated...
Isaac Julien: Metro Pictures/Brooklyn Academy of Music
Isaac Julien's multiscreen film installation WESTERN UNION: Small Boats, 2007, advances his already refined fusion of politics, history, and stunningly lush aesthetics. Julien is utterly sensual in his approach to imagemaking; his films take physical...
"Jasper Johns: Gray"; Art Institute of Chicago
JASPER JOHNS has been the subject of so many career surveys, narrowly conceived museum exhibitions, and critical/theoretical writings that one might be forgiven for some initial skepticism regarding the need for a big show focusing on his use of the...
Jess: Pasadena Museum of California Art
"Got Wallace's Art Forum [sic] (tore out everything else) and made a delightful Berman pamphlet," reported Jess (ne Burgess Collins in Long Beach, California, in 1923) to his lifelong partner, the poet Robert Duncan, in 1966. As curator Ingrid Schaffner...
Jill Miller: 2nd Floor Projects
Jill Miller's "Collectors" generated waves of anxiety among Bay Area art patrons recently. The exhibition consisted of surveillance videos, photographs, and related sculptural objects gleaned from a six-month period during which the artist and a team...
Joanne Tatham and Tom O'sullivan: Galerie Rudiger Schottle
What presents itself as meaningful is not always so; and what at first seems meaningless can be deeply significant. "Lead Rhetoric & Other Category Errors," the meaning-laden title of this exhibition by Joanne Tatham and Tom O'Sullivan, who live...
Jose Alvarez: The Kitchen
In 1988, Jose Alvarez toured Australia channeling the spirit of "Carlos," a 2,000-year-old shaman who held forth on Atlantis, "corrected" the date of Jesus's birth, reported on the movements of UFOs, and divined other sundry matters before capacity...
Kaari Upson: Hammer Museum
Remember the scene in David Fincher's 1995 neo-noir Seven when detectives, played by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, scavenge the hermetically sealed apartment of Kevin Spacey's serial killer "John Doe"? The scariest moment arrives not when the two dicks...
Kris Martin: P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
The work in Belgian artist Kris Martin's New York solo debut engages quietly but directly with fundamental issues: death, entropy, the ravages of time. In a period characterized by a loss of faith in artists' ability to communicate fundamental truths,...
Kristian Kozul: Goff + Rosenthal
In his first solo exhibition in the US, Croatian artist Kristian Kozul surrendered completely to the allure of the American cowboy. But rather than fetishizing the dust and drought of the old West, he glams up the cowboy's grit with sequins and studs....
Martin Bennett: Clint Roenisch Gallery
In a coincidental prelude to "The Geometry of All Four Seasons," an exhibition of Martin Bennett's new oil paintings, the doorway of Clint Roenisch Gallery was littered with maple leaves. Suggestive of a loose grid in faded tones of brown, rust, green,...
Merlin James: Sikkema, Jenkins & Co
In a solo exhibition last year at the New York Studio School, "Painting to Painting," Welsh artist Merlin James made plain his process of art-historical mining. In the press release, titles of works were annotated with references ("after Delacroix,"...
Mikhael Subotzky: Foam-Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
To examine life in confinement poses a serious challenge to photographers; attempts to see inside any closed and secretive prison system seem doomed to produce limited results. Still, South Africa's jails exert an unusual fascination, for until recently...
Minerva Cuevas: Kurimanzutto
For her most recent exhibition in her hometown, "La venganza del elefante" (The Elephant's Revenge), Minerva Cuevas took on the role of a nineteenth-century explorer; she sought out and presented objects and images, some from that period, that possess...
Nedko Solakov: Galleria Massimo Minini
Above a desk stained by black and white ink, a pair of hands is glimpsed in a moment of intimacy, in the act of writing on a sheet of immaculate white paper. It is immediately apparent that this photograph, used by Nedko Solakov for the announcement...
Nogah Engler: Ritter/Zamet
An early rite of initiation into the ways of contemporary art might be said to involve learning disdain for beautiful landscape painting. London-based Israeli artist Nogah Engler ignores this taboo, or at least she works her way around it: Her recent...
"On Being an Exhibition": Artists Space
"On Being an Exhibition" took artist Michael Asher's formulation of situational aesthetics as its point of departure. In focusing on the contribution made by contextual circumstances to the meaning of an artwork, Asher helped to establish institutional...
Out of the Past: Lucy R. Lippard Talks about Eva Hesse with Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson
THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION with Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt was recorded on June 5, 1973, at the loft they shared on Greenwich Street. It was the last time I saw Bob, who died in a plane crash in Texas six weeks later. (Nancy has been my neighbor...
O. Winston Link: Danziger Projects
O. Winston Link's photograph Hotshot Eastbound, Iaeger, WV, 1956, captures an extraordinary confluence of elements that presents a succinct--not to mention spectacular--summation of the changing state of life in the industrialized world at midcentury....
Pat Steir: Cheim and Reid
Pat Steir is a prolific painter who remains capable of surprising us with innovative variations on a particular combination of iconography and technique that has been a feature of her work for some time: cascades of liquid--presumably water--rendered...
Paul McCarthy: Maccarone Gallery
Paul McCarthy's work questions success in a culture of inauthenticity, of signature replaced by logo, of simulacrum over original. His recent project, Santa's Chocolate Factory, 2007, perfectly exemplifies these vexed postmodern tropes. Emerging in...
Personal Histories
FOR A MAGAZINE ostensibly devoted to the issues of contemporary art, there will always be the question of how history should function on the page. With any retrospective look there is inevitably the risk of nostalgia, of an Oedipal swoon wherein we...
Property Rites: Andre Rottmann on Andreas Siekmann
WITH SOME SIX MONTHS' critical distance from last summer's hyberbolic "Grand Tour," it is now apparent that one of its most notable effects, in terms of the making of individual reputations, has been the increasing international attention enjoyed by...
Rachel Churner on Ruth Laskey
RUTH LASKEY builds her pictures one thread at a time. With a minimum of means--three or four colors of thread--she weaves geometric shapes into a ground of half-bleached linen: a chain of blue trapezoids (Twill Series [Ice Blue], 2007); two differently...
Ranjani Shettar: Talwar Gallery
Ranjani Shettar's recent solo show, containing two sculptural installations and four woodcut prints, dressed the mundane in the garb of the mysterious. In Touch Me Not, 2006-2007, creamy-colored wooden beads are attached to a snow-white wall; their...
Raqs Media Collective
The members of Raqs Media Collective (clockwise from top left: Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) have been variously described as artists, media practitioners, curators, researchers, editors, and catalysts of cultural processes....
Robert Beck: Crg Gallery
Failure can be productive, Robert Beck's most recent exhibition tells us. The drawings on view constitute the final installment of a body of work that takes as its point of departure "projective psychological testing"--the method of art therapy that...
Ross Bleckner: Mary Boone Gallery
Ross Bleckner's six new "Meditation" paintings--one a diptych, all but one involving high-intensity black and red, often enmeshed in gray and auratically luminous, and all representing a kind of abstract naturalism (leaf gestures, sometimes lushly...
Shin Il Kim: Galleria Riccardo Crespi
The various works in "Active Anesthesia," Shin Il Kim's first solo exhibition in Italy, concerned the idea of light, which has always been fundamental to the work of this Korean-born, Brooklyn-based artist. One need only think of the technique he often...
The Actor's Studio: Caroline Busta on Ei Arakawa
TO GET A SENSE of Ei Arakawa's BYOF--Bring Your Own Flowers, a collaboration with painter Amy Sillman that took place last November at New York's Japan Society, as part of Performa 07, one would do well to look back to Peter Handke's 1966 play Publikumsbeschimpfung...
The Camera Blinks: David Salle on the Diving Bell and the Butterfly
EVEN BEFORE CITIZEN KANE (1941), Orson Welles was already experimenting with using film techniques to heighten audience awareness of the special relationship between the teller and the tale that is fundamental to movies. In a little-known precursor...
"The Yan Pei-Ming Show": Galleria Massimo De Carlo
A solo exhibition that involved other artists, "The Yan Pei-Ming Show" was the work of several hands, featuring contributions by Piotr Uklanski and Huang Yong Ping under the direction of Chinese painter Yan Pei-Ming. It was like a TV show with guests...
Tomas Saraceno: Pinksummer
Something like a gigantic bubble was suspended in the courtyard of the historic Palazzo Ducale. This was the installation that lent its title to Argentina-born, Germany-based artist Tomas Saraceno's second solo show at the Genoese gallery located inside...
William Daniels: Vilma Gold
You might think that what makes William Daniels's small, almost colorless paintings so exceptional is their extreme technical proficiency, but they're more intellectually ambitious than that. Three years ago Daniels gained attention for canvases based...