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. 7, March

Adrian Villar Rojas: Ruth Benzacar
In his short essay "Dream Kitsch," written in 1925, Walter Benjamin employs the metaphor of dust to describe the run-down state of dreams in modernity. Like the disappearance of aura, he says, dreams are no longer removed from concrete experience but...
Artist in Residence
Willoughby Sharp, a vital force in America's postwar art world as a writer, curator, publisher, artist, and teacher, died on December 17, aged seventy-two. Artforum asked Liza Bear, who met Sharp in 1968 and shortly thereafter founded the magazine...
Authorial Intervention: Tom McDonough on the Art of Jacques Villegle
AT THE HEART OF JACQUES VILLEGLE'S EXHIBITION this past fall at the Centre Pompidou--the first major French retrospective devoted to this influential eighty-two-year-old artist--was a relatively small decollage called Carrefour Algerie-Evian, 1961....
Carnal Knowledge
IN ONE OF THE MANY VITRINES of books and ephemera installed at Oslo's Office for Contemporary Art Norway during the recent exhibition "Whatever Happened to Sex in Scandinavia?" was a magazine open to Susan Sontag's essay "Against Interpretation." The...
Christodoulos Panayiotou: 1[M.Sup.3]
"Act I: The Departure," as this show was titled, brought together four recent works by Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou under the aegis of the Lausanne art festival Les Urbaines. Inspired by anthropology, Panayiotou often casts himself in the...
Chu Yun
CHU YUN'S "SOAP PIECE" became something of an improbable legend in the Chinese art world in 2008. This sculpture, actually titled Who Has Stolen Our Bodies?, consists of used bars of soap, collected from friends and acquaintances, arrayed atop a white...
Cover Versions
We wanted our MTV, but we got much more: The music video seems to have recently disappeared from television--only to pervade our entire media environment with its accelerated clip and audiovisual onslaught. As what was once an interval, a promotional...
Cut and Paste
ONE COULD ARGUE that the current financial meltdown has been lurking behind every corner--that with each new height of global wealth, voices of reason warned that the bottom would surely fall out. Perhaps one such bellwether was the return of certain...
Daido Moriyama: Taka Ishii Gallery
Digitization has brought big changes to the memory industry. One is the demise of analog photography with instant self-developing film, aka the Polaroid camera. The Polaroid Corporation discontinued the production of its film in 2008 (Fujifilm continues...
Dan Arps: Gambia Castle
Taped to the gallery door was a note in agitated ballpoint capitals: DARREN, it warns, THIS PLACE IS UNDER POLICE SERVAILANCE ENTER AT YOUR OWN PERIL. Curiously, though, the anonymous author of this misspelled welcome continues: HOPFULLY ILL BE HERE...
Daniel Guzman: Harris Lieberman
Since the 1990s, Daniel Guzman has made drawings that borrow imagery from a wide range of sources--from punk rock to the daily news, heavy metal to Mexican mural painting--and his first exhibition at this gallery charted similarly dense terrain. Guzman's...
Do It 2
IF CERTAIN CRITICAL OPERATIONS first explored by artists during the 1970s and '80s have since become nearly ubiquitous in visual culture--with, for example, the isolation and manipulation of popular imagery, once the purview of avant-garde practice,...
Duncan Campbell: Hotel
Bernadette, 2008, is the story of Bernadette Devlin, the Irish political activist who, in 1969, became the youngest-ever female member of Parliament at the age of twenty-one; she was to remain an outspoken leader of the impoverished Catholic working...
Emily Newman: Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery
In the seven recent videos included in this exhibition, Emily Newman--who was born in Singapore, identifies as American, and currently resides in Russia--presents a self-portrait that also functions, at its best, as a cultural inquiry. Mainly through...
Erik Schmidt: Elizabeth Dee Gallery
As I write this review, the New York Times is featuring news of a Hamas cease-fire in Gaza, with Israel agreeing--provisionally--to withdraw its forces. Whether this will have come to pass by the time this magazine goes to press remains wholly unclear,...
"Experimenta Folklore": Frankfurter Kunstverein
It has been fifty years since Werner Haftmann, one of Germany's most influential art historians and the curator of Documentas 1, 2, and 3, announced that modernism's formal language would completely eclipse that of folklore. But even a superficial...
Freek Wambacq: Netwerk
This recent exhibition by the young Belgian artist Freek Wambacq brought together work produced since 2000, including eight pieces from 2008. The exhibition filled two distinct spaces at the Netwerk art center, in two separate wings of the building--an...
Gerard Byrne: Institute of Contemporary Art
"Nessie," whose existence in a Scottish inlet has been ardently debated for centuries, lurked as a shadowy presence within Gerard Byrne's magisterial US solo debut, which consisted of a multipart installation clinically titled Case Study: Loch Ness...
Hiroshi Sugimoto: Gagosian Gallery
Sometimes, when looking at solemn, serious works of art, particularly religious art, I have the giggle reaction of a teenager in church: I wonder, Does this guy ever go to the mall? What are his feelings on chocolate? It helps to get over this hump...
Isabel Rocamora: Sala Parpallo
An anonymous woman wearing a long black head scarf that covers her entire body slips into elegant white shoes as she prepares for a journey from a large city to a mysterious place devoid of physical human presence, populated instead with potent memories....
Jaimie Warren: Higher Pictures
Jaimie Warren is by no means the first--or the best--artist to embrace self-portraiture as an artistic methodology, but she certainly looks to be having the most fun doing it. An uneven selection of forty-two of her droll, scrappy photographs constituted...
Jake Longstreth: Gregory Lind Gallery
The American landscape has always been shaped by economic forces, with mining, drilling, and building integral parts of the country's manifest destiny. Today, as foreclosures and failed businesses spread like flesh-eating bacteria, that landscape is...
Jan Mancuska: Andrew Kreps Gallery
An accumulation of deliberate false starts, Jan Mancuska's third solo exhibition at Andrew Kreps furthered his exploration of the theatrical space of art as diffracted by design. The video Reflection (all works 2008) begins with a man and a woman carrying...
Jim Lutes: Renaissance Society
Conversations about Jim Lutes regularly devolve into assessments of his "Chicago-ness," or the degree to which the artist from Washington State who relocated to Chicago for his MFA and remained here has absorbed deep-seated local traditions into his...
"Joan Miro: Painting and Anti-Painting 1927-1937": Museum of Modern Art, New York
THIS EXHILARATING EXHIBITION forced anew the question of Joan Miro's position in the early-twentieth-century canon--his shifting third or fourth place after Picasso and Matisse owing to the sabot tossed into that spinning jenny by Marcel Duchamp. Despite...
Keltie Ferris: Sunday
Keltie Ferris--a 2006 Yale MFA who participated in the height-of-the-market, art-department-raiding exhibition "School Days" at Jack Tilton Gallery in 2006--has a lot of good ideas, even if they're not all fully developed yet. Her debut show in New...
Korpys/Loffler: Galerie Otto Schweins
"We were ghosts from the present trying to see the past, floating over the countryside and through memorials specially designed to facilitate our visit." This is how Andree Korpys described, in 2005, a research trip he undertook with his colleague...
Krysten Cunningham: Thomas Solomon Gallery
Perhaps it takes an artist who grew up on a commune and went to college during the (pre-impeachment) heyday of the Clinton years to make work as fundamentally optimistic as Krysten Cunningham's. In their forms, allusions, and artistic precedents, her...
Lecia Dole-Recio: Richard Telles Fine Art
Lecia Dole-Recio's loosely constructivist works on paper and vellum have long demonstrated her deftness at mixing gesture and structure in measured and unpretentious ways. Patterning line and shadow from tactical cuts, cardboard shapes, hand-drawn...
"Les Feuilles": Super/Palais De Tokyo
"Les Feuilles" (Sheets) took place at two sites. Works by Barbara Bloom, Robert Breer, Isabelle Cornaro, Aurelien Froment, Ryan Gander, Benoit Maire, Clement Rodzielski, and Raphael Zarka were presented at Super, an artist-run space that opened last...
Lonnie Van Brummelen and Siebren De Haan: Project Arts Centre
Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan's film installation Monument to Another Man's Fatherland, 2008, is dominated by a large 35-mm projector, situated in the center of the gallery rather than hidden in a soundproof projection booth. While the workings...
Mark Flood: Peres Projects
Mark Flood's works unsettle the viewer as they teeter between seediness and seductiveness. The artist was born in Houston and has worked there as an artist (and, in the 1980s, as a musician) for three decades, but at first glance it would be easy to...
Mathew Cerletty: Office Baroque Gallery
Walking through the huge new space of Office Baroque, one became aware of something familiar in the overwhelming European solo debut of Mathew Cerletty's paintings and drawings. More specifically, it was Roses, 2008, a brilliantly painted depiction...
Moataz Nasr: Galleria Continua
Two video projectors transmit different scenes onto opposite sides of a screen: On one side, a group of youths struggle to put on T-shirts despite each garment's hole for the head having been sewn shut; on the other side, a young man with a tattooed...
Nataraj Sharma: Bodhispace
Those who are irritated by the interminable construction projects littering Indian cities will discover no soul mate in Baroda-based artist Nataraj Sharma. Sharma's solo exhibition "Work in Progress" included paintings of lone figures surrounded by...
Nayland Blake: Location One
The OED tells us that the word behave derives from the Middle English "be + haven"--"to have" or, slightly differently, "to hold"--and that behavior, then, designates the manner in which one holds oneself. But though the dictionary doesn't ascribe...
Nick Cave: Jack Shainman Gallery
Pioneers of Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Conceptualism all braved the establishement's most elementary and confounding query: "Why is this art?" Nick Cave's "Soundsuits," 1991-, his primary body of work (this isn't the Nick Cave...
Open Source
THE 1960S SAW an explosion of artists' books and magazines, to say nothing of artist-produced and countercultural records, manifestos, and ephemera of all types--items that were handed out at demonstrations or exhibitions or bought cheaply through...
Pam Lins: Rachel Uffner Gallery
The awkwardness involved in physically negotiating Pam Lins's exhibition "Owl" was surely no accident, but whether knowing this made the viewing experience more fulfilling is debatable. By arranging her sculptures in a tight but multidirectional cluster,...
Paul P.: Daniel Reich Gallery
Paul P. depicts youth with a longing that suggests nostalgia, although he is himself quite young. His early works feature the faces of young men taken from pornographic photographs shot between the 1960s and the 1980s, portraits that, by denying full-body...
Pedro Barateiro: Museu Da Cidade
Domingo (Sunday) (all works 2008), the title work in Pedro Barateiro's latest exhibition, encapsulates the artist's larger project. The installation, laid out like a living room, comprises a video shown on a television set, four replicas of Mies van...
Phillip Allen: The Approach W1
In Phillip Allen's painting Rich History of Foul Ups, 2008, an array of banana-like forms in yellow and black pops out from a washy blue-and-brown backdrop, partially framed by a system of straight lines that vaguely suggests a stack of wooden crates....
Property Values
IN THE CLOSING MONTHS OF 2008, most of us were preoccupied by the looming specter of penury, so it seemed somewhat discordant that the season witnessed not one but two exhibitions by contemporary artists in famously opulent palaces: Jeff Koons at the...
Regina Silveira: Galeria Brito Cimino
Regina Silveira transformed Galeria Brito Cimino into a strange temple. Silveira, one of the most respected figures in contemporary Brazilian art, did not exhibit a group of discrete works but instead opted for a unique installation built on the concept...
Renzo Martens: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam
Renzo Martens proposes to a group of Congolese photographers that they should take pictures of war corpses, raped women, and malnourished children--just as Western journalists do. Martens's provocative position is that poverty is Africa's most important...
Richard Aldrich: Bortolami
To judge from the meandering short story, fragmented catalogue essay, and two press releases (both with a distinctly self-penned feel) that accompanied Richard Aldrich's first solo exhibition at Bortolami, his is the kind of art that tends to attract...
Richard Prince: Patrick Seguin
I put Nabokov's Lolita and Kubrick's Lolita next to each other. The book is Monarch Select paperback, MS27. No image on the cover. All graphics. Just the name 'Lolita' in red, stenciled in longhand against two background bands of yellow and white....
Sarah Crowner and Paulina Olowska: Daadgalerie
Paulina Olowska has made it her business to address hidden historical currents within modernism, pop culture, and arts and crafts--whether responding to Polish metalworking of the 1960s, exhibiting an archive documenting the punk and New Wave scenes...
Social Problem
MUSEUMS ARE MACHINES of amelioration. A Frank Stella on one wall, a Morris Louis on the other; it's all good. Even though the scholarship of the past thirty years has argued that aesthetic choices are not mere evidence of the progression of style but...
Stefan Tcherepnin
1 LE CYCLOP (THE CYCLOPS) My first visit to France took me to Fontainebleau, where I studied composition at the American Conservatory. About an hour away, deep within the forest, was Le Cyclop, a monstrous mirrored sculpture conceived in 1969 by Jean...
Terry Winters: Matthew Marks Gallery
Terry Winters's series "Knotted Graphs," 2008, consists of eleven large abstract paintings--seven of which measure seventy-seven by ninety-eight inches--that, in their mood indigo, introduce, as it were, Jasper Johns to Henri Matisse. The works balance...
"Theanyspacewhatever": Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
MAYBE WE'VE FINALLY GIVEN UP on the "old realism of places," as Gilles Deleuze put it. In his book Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (1983), he used the term espace quelconque--"whatever-space" or "any-space-whatever"--to describe the cinematic image of...
"The Greenroom": CCS Galleries and Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
THAT DOCUMENTARY is a kind of fiction is a truism today. But an aura of truth still hovers around the genre, despite its unavoidable manipulation. The artist Hito Steyerl has developed the term documentality to describe the kinds of truth--whether...
Tom Wesselmann: Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Not enough attention is paid to Tom Wesselmann. This is probably due in part to the prevailing tendency to judge artists mainly by the work through which they first became widely known: Wesselmann's series "Great American Nudes," 1961-73, includes...
Trevor Paglen: Talks about "The Other Night Sky," 2007-
FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, I've spent weeks on end working at the home of my friend Michael Light in a desert valley on the northern shore of California's Mono Lake. The Sierra Nevada to the west of the ancient hypersaline lake marks the end of a...
Uses and Abuses
AS THIS MAGAZINE continues to chart the rapidly changing coordinates for art within the broader landscape of contemporary culture, two recent experiences--a pair of discussions with students in graduate art programs, one of which took place in Rotterdam,...
Vincent Fecteau: Art Institute of Chicago
The viewer may find it disconcerting when Vincent Fecteau's wonderfully erudite abstract sculptures reveal themselves, on close inspection, to be made of papier-mache. Plaster, ceramic, or cast bronze seem the obvious media in which to produce such...
"Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered": Contemporary Jewish Museum
The eightieth anniversary in 2008 of Andy Warhol's birth provoked the exhumation of little-known material from the artist's seemingly bottomless archives--for instance, "other Voices, Other Rooms,"the important exhibition or organized by the Moderna...
Weights and Measures
VENTURING OUTSIDE the paranormal zone that he defined with films such as Cure (1997), Charisma (1999), Pulse (2001), and Doppelganger (2003), Kiyoshi Kurosawa proves himself prescient as ever. Tokyo Sonata (which opens in New York and Los Angeles on...
William Anastasi: Peter Blum Chelsea
It's too simple to think of William Anastasi as a Conceptualist or a Minimalist, as is usually done. Think of him rather as the Buster Keaton of "post-art" (to use Kaprow's term); that is, a deadpan master of the indifferent, not exactly ironic a la...