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. 45, No. 1, September

1000 Words: Sergio Vega Talks about Tropicalounge, 2002-2005
ENTERING SERGIO VEGA'S Tropicalounge, 2002-2005, is like walking into a diorama. Designer furniture, potted exotic plants, a harmonious color code, and the sounds of smooth bossa nova create a cordial ambience that is augmented by the scent of potpourri...
Absorbed in the Action
ARTISTS HAVE LONG NAVIGATED THE VISUAL TERRITORY SHARED BY ART AND CINEMA, BUT FEW HAVE BROUGHT THESE SPHERES TOGETHER AS GRANDLY AS DOUGLAS GORDAN AND PHILIPPE PARRENO IN THEIR ZIDANE, A 21ST CENTURY PORTRAIT. HAVING DEBUTED AT CANNES LAST MAY BEFORE...
AI Weiwei: Galerie Urs Meile
"History," Ai Weiwei has said, "is the missing piece of the puzzle in everything we do." The same could be said about Ai himself, whose work as an artist, curator, editor, and architect has been a driving force behind the development of experimental...
Alexander Apostol: La Capella
The concept of modernism has so many uses and meanings that, as historian Perry Anderson points out in Modernity and Revolution (1984), it encompasses even incompatible aesthetic practices. Yet the concept is still useful. It is hardly news that some...
Angela De la Cruz: Culturgest
Ten years separate the first and last of the thirty-eight works in this survey show. Ashamed, 1995, is almost unnoticeable, a small textured stonewashed white canvas, battered around the edges, folded on itself and placed in a corner. Untitled (Hold...
Beverly Semmes: Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Beverly Semmes's second solo exhibition at Shoshana Wayne Gallery was billed as an homage to Annie Oakley. A photo of the marks-woman staring down a barrel graced the show's announcement, three of Semmes's trademark dresses-as-sculpture sported exaggerated...
California Dreaming: Martin Herbert on Jens Hoffmann
THREE'S A CROWD. That would appear to be the thinking, anyway, among adventurous international curators at London institutions. For no sooner than Hans-Ulrich Obrist arrived at the Serpentine Gallery and Ralph Rugoff settled into his seat at the Hayward...
Carter: Jack Han Ley Gallery
Carter (no last name) operates from a coolly paranoid position. In his collaged drawings and photographs, he seems primarily concerned with various means of masking the self. Most of his works, which in a recent show at Jack Hanley Gallery included...
Ceal Floyer: Lisson Gallery
Seen first from the street through the gallery's large front window, Genuine Reduction, 2006, carries out a subtle subversion. A small readymade sign with white letters against a red background, the piece bears a title that coincides precisely with...
Critical Correctness
In my article "Return of the Supressed" [Artforum, February 2006], I pointed out a number of errors in the then recently released first edition of Gaumont's DVD box set Guy Debord: Oeuvres cinematographiques completes. I'm happy to report that Gaumont...
"Critics Taste Better": Korridor
Artists rarely write letters to the editor in response to reviews of their exhibitions. Then again, the letter format precludes most artists from responding in their chosen medium. It's a pity, since many opportunities for exchange are lost: Critics...
"Dereconstruction": Gladstone Gallery
A grotesque neologism, the title of "Dereconstruction," Matthew Higgs's recent curatorial effort for Gladstone Gallery, was--according to the catalogue essay--both "a hybrid term, one that conflates notions of 'construction,' 'reconstruction,' 'deconstruction,'...
Double Exposure
Last spring, after months of controversy, Paris witnessed the opening of a complete retrospective of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, accompanied by the filmmaker's first foray into multimedia installation. Artforum dispatched film scholar James Quandt...
Douglas Gordon: Museum of Modern Art
In 1993, twenty-six-year-old Douglas Gordon had the bright idea of assembling a quartet of components: an ordinary, commercially recorded VHS tape; a double-sided translucent screen; time; and a collective cultural memory of noir pleasure/terror. The...
Eastern Front: Weng-Choy Lee on the Singapore, Shanghai, and Gwangju Biennials
THE TITLES OF this year's Singapore, Shanghai, and Gwangju biennials--"Belief," "Hyper Design," and "Fever Variations," respectively--will to some no doubt seem typically Asian, their cumulative vocabulary evoking a millennial blend of futurism and...
Fernando Renes: La Casa Encendida
Fernando Renes is the only Spanish artist in Vitamin D, Phaidon's new book on drawing (unless one also counts Ernesto Caivano, who was born in Spain but grew up in Argentina and the United States). Though not widely known before the publication of...
Franz Ackermann: White Cube
"Home, home again," a visually electrifying exhibition, pairs photographs of prosaic tourist hotels seen through the crosshairs of rifle scopes and enormous paintings of environmental devastation rendered in eye-popping colors. The canvases jump out...
Heather McGill: Dwight Hackett Projects
Heather McGill's sculptures flaunt an essential flatness. While the forms at first appear to make specific allusions to recognizable objects, from toasters to guitars, they resist completing those thoughts but instead suggest, with a lipstick-slick...
In Da Barn
ACROSS 1. Valerie Plame, e.g. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 4. Fractional prefix 8. Baby jail 12. Deceased Wu assoc. 15. Palestinian actress, ___ Abbass 17. Baumbauch and Wylie 18. Let hostage speak 20. Accord 22. To Live and...
James Lee Byars: Mary Boone Gallery/Perry Rubenstein Gallery/Michael Werner Gallery
If James Lee Byars, one of Detroit's finest artists, is seldom considered as a product of his hometown, much less of the United States, a comprehensive American exhibition of the peripatetic artist's oeuvre has nevertheless long been overdue. Byars,...
Jeff Spaulding: G Fine Art
It would sometimes be comforting to think of borders as consistently clear and absolute, but the border between what we see and what we think we see, for one, is rather less certain. In his recent show "Mine" at G Fine Art, Jeff Spaulding compellingly...
Jennifer Tee: Galleria Klerkx
Straddling the boundaries between sculpture, set design, and street furniture, a series of large multicolored objects, made from familiar materials such as metal, painted ceramic, and wood, cluttered the gallery. The overall effect was precarious,...
Jenny Holzer: Cheim & Read/Yvon Lambert
Jenny Holzer's "Redaction Paintings," 2005-, some of which were shown recently at Cheim & Read in an exhibition titled "Archive," reproduce, in silk-screened oil on linen, a series of declassified United States government documents mostly relating...
Joe Fig: Plus Ultra
Dollhouses are funny things. Introduced in northern Europe in the seventeenth century, they were originally used by rich women to manage their households, providing a virtual view of the premises. Later, they became more akin to little museums or cabinets...
Joseph Havel: Museum of Fine Arts
Joseph Havel's recent sculpture seamlessly melds compositional strategies indebted to post-Minimalism with metaphorically resonant objects. In his recent ten-year retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the combination of style and subject...
Joseph Marioni: Peter Blum Chelsea
At Peter Blum's new gallery in Chelsea, Joseph Marioni recently showed six paintings made earlier this year in his newly renovated studio, a former meeting hall in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania. This studio has, for the first time, given Marioni the space...
Juan Munoz: Marian Goodman Gallery
Wrecks and collisions have featured in much contemporary art, from Andy Warhol's early-'6os car and plane crashes to Aernout Mik's video of the aftermath of a bus catastrophe (Refraction, 2005). One of the most evocative entries in the "accident art"...
Keeping Distance: Martin Herbert on the Art of Marine Hugonnier
MARINE HUGONNIER spent September 12, 2001, contemplating the immediate future. As did we all, you might say--but the Paris-born, London-based artist projected forward in a uniquely literal fashion. When the towers fell, she'd been on her way from the...
Lee Lozano: Kunsthalle Basel
Lee Lozano KUNSTHALLE BASEL THOSE WHO KNOW of Lee Lozano know she ditched the art world and stopped talking to women. But the fact is most people don't know of her, because she ditched the art world and stopped talking to women. Feminism taught...
Life in Counterpoint: Paul Griffiths on Gyorgy Ligeti
WE SPEAK OF "live" performances, of "live" recordings--of music as a "live" art, and of musical compositions as having the qualities of living beings; we say that they breathe, are able to speak, can gesture, have particular ways of moving. And no...
"Los Angeles 1955-1985: The Birth of an Artistic Capital"; Centre Pompidou, Paris
"Los Angeles 1955-1985: The Birth of an Artistic Capital" CENTRE POMPIDOU, PARIS NOW THAT LOS ANGELES has been recognized as a major center of contemporary art production, inquiring minds want to know how the city's art world accounts for itself....
Malia Jensen: Elizabeth Leach Gallery
It's tempting to characterize Portland-bred, Brooklyn-based artist Malia Jensen's recent solo show at Elizabeth Leach Gallery as a classic case of the country mouse in the city. Jensen's work has often trafficked in animal forms, and the shift in iconography...
Manfred Pernice: Regen Projects
In his first solo show at Regen Projects since 2002, Berlin-based artist Manfred Pernice continued his ongoing formal investigation with a terraced installation of blocky sculptures. Eight discrete constructions, all titled exscape (all works 2006)--which...
Matias Faldbakken
Matias Faldbakken is an Oslo-based artist and author who often writes under the pseudonym Abu Rasul. This month, his play, Cold Product, will be published under his own name by Kagge Forlag, and he will participate in the Norwegian Sculpture Biennial...
Matthew Barney: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Matthew Barney SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART LIKE SO MANY ASPECTS of Matthew Barney's practice, the title of "Drawing Restraint"--a series of works in several media that have occupied the artist since 1987--may be read in contradictory ways....
Matthew Higgs: Murray Guy
Art Always Changes. The first work in Matthew Higgs's third solo exhibition at Murray Guy takes its content and title from a truism of creative endeavor. But with a self-deprecating wit characteristic of the British-born, New York-based artist, the...
Matt Siber: Peter Miller Gallery Ltd
Matt Siber's "The Untitled Project," begun in 2002, chops its way through the forest of signs. Siber photographs urban environments, usually fairly humdrum downtown sites in the US or Europe, then scans his images into a computer and removes every...
Michael Queenland: Daniel Hug
Michael Queenland made his auspicious solo debut at Daniel Hug in 2004 with a series of enigmatic black-and-white photographs and a select assembly of tables and stacked pallets on which he arranged an idiosyncratic collection of books and images or...
Michael Sarich: E. L. Wiegand Gallery in the Oats Park Art Center
In 1928, on a train from New York to his hometown of Los Angeles, a young Walt Disney filled the hours by doodling. He was depressed, having just lost the copyright for an unsuccessful cartoon character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, to discontented financial...
"Modernism: Designing a New World 1914-1939"; Victoria & Albert Museum, London
"Modernism: Designing a New World 1914-1939" VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM, LONDON "Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World" TATE MODERN, LONDON IMAGINE AN ART EXHIBITION called "Modernism" focusing on the years 1914 to...
New Fields of Architecture: Hal Foster on Zaha Hadid
With this article on Zaha Hadid--the subject of a retrospective currently on view through October 25 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York--Hal Foster inaugurates a series of occasional essays on contemporary architects. The careers of several...
Nicola Gobbetto: Galleria Fonti
For his show "Shapeless Shape," Nicola Gobbetto, a young Milanese artist, totally transformed the gallery space into a white polystyrene grotto. Upon entering Cave (all works 2006), one lost all points of reference, and it was no longer possible to...
On the Road
LISTED BELOW ARE PREVIOUSLY PREVIEWED EXHIBITIONS ON TOUR BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 1 AND DECEMBER 31. VENUE DATES NEW YORK Dada Museum of Modern Art through Sept. 11 Masters...
Pedro Almodovar: Cinematheque Francaise
During an early round of what has become an ongoing series of marathon conversations with French film critic Frederic Strauss, Pedro Almodovar remarked, in passing, "Someday, I'll manage to make an exhibition of all the objects from my films and all...
Previews: Three Times a Year Artforum Looks Ahead to the Coming Season. the Following Survey Previews Fifty Shows Opening around the World between September and December
"Peter Fischli & David Weiss/Flowers & Questions: A Retrospective" TATE MODERN, LONDON October 12, 2006-January 14, 2007 Curated by Bice Curiger and Vicente Todoli What is the poetry of the everyday? Hardly an original question,...
Public Image Ltd.: David Joselit on Jenny Holzer and "Consider This ..."
IF INFORMATION is supposed to be "public" property, Jenny Holzer's redaction paintings, on view last spring at the Cheim & Read gallery in New York, offer a spectacle of its foreclosure. These works reproduce documents related to the persecution...
Rachel Harrison and Scott Lyall: Contemporary Art Gallery
Near the center of Rachel Harrison and Scott Lyall's recent sprawling collaborative exhibition "When Hangover Becomes Form" sat a large shipping container in which Harrison's work had been transported to the gallery. Opened, this ertswhile horn of...
Reverb Time: Christoph Cox on "Sonambiente"
DURING THE WORLD CUP-obsessed summer of 2006, Berlin may have been the epicenter of soccer culture, but for decades it has been the unofficial global capital of sound art, which the city's institutions have steadfastly and proudly supported. In 1980,...
Russell Crotty: CRG Gallery
Russell Crotty combines the infinite and the everyday in the devotional and clear-minded manner of a scientist or a monk, rendering vast stretches of the universe in precise crosshatched ballpoint. These images--of fields of stars dotted with the occasional...
Ryan Gander: Annet Gelink Gallery
In much modern art, the beholder is "given" suggestive elements--such as a waterfall and illuminating gas--without much guidance toward an authoritative interpretation. Ryan Gander presents himself as a fervent proponent of this open-ended aesthetic:...
Saskia Leek: Ivan Anthony Gallery
Marcel Duchamp's Pharmacie, 1914, Asger Jorn's detournements, and Jim Shaw's "Thrift Store Paintings" form just one quick route through an age in which artists have taken up Sunday still lifes and commercial prints to all manner of ends; to interrogate...
School's Out: Jeffrey Kastner on Manifesta 6
BY THE TIME you read this, the convoluted legal battles being waged this summer over the abrupt cancellation of Manifesta 6--which was scheduled to open in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, on September 23--may very well have been settled. Yet even if...
Secrets of the Domes: Mel Bochner on "The Domain of the Great Bear"
SOMETIMES AN EDITOR JUST NEEDS TO FILL THE PAGES. Or so Mel Bochner recently remarked, explaining how his collaboration with Robert Smithson, "The Domain of the Great Bear," found its way into Art Voices magazine forty years ago this month. In this...
Stephen Mueller: Baumgartner Gallery
The Tao te Ching indicates the essential role of emptiness as an element in the creation of things, habitable space, and sentient beings: "We shape clay into a pot, / but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.... We work with being...
Steven Parrino: Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain
On New Year's morning last year, Steven Parrino, aged forty-six, died in a motorcycle accident near his Brooklyn home. A bit more than a year after his death, "Steven Parrino, Retrospective 1977-2004" opened at the Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain...
Still Lives: James Quandt on the Films of Pedro Costa
THE SINGLE MOST SHOCKING INSTANT in any film at Cannes this year was not Paul Dawson sucking back a sluice of his own cum in John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus, Sergi Lopez suturing his freshly flayed face with a home sewing kit in Guillermo del Toro's...
Sze Tsung Leong: Yossi Milo Gallery
Sze Tsung Leong's extraordinary "History Images" series, 2002-2005, documents the human habitats of the new China. Taken mostly from elevated viewpoints, the photographs command large vistas; basic to all of them is a sense of great space, which they...
Take Back the Site: Valerie Smith on the Olympic Sculpture Park
THE GARDEN DESIGNED with sculptural embellishments has an ancient history, but usage of the public park as a gallery for art first developed in Britain after World War II. The Western park as a site created specifically for the display of sculpture...
Terms of Engagement: Lima Gillick on Chris Gilbert
CURATOR CHRIS GILBERT has resigned from his position at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Mobility among art institutions has been an increasing feature of art mediation and presentation over the past twenty years, but Gilbert doesn't...
The Job Changes You
A TEMPLATE FOR Zidane, a 21st Century Portrait may be found in the film's very first moments, when the opening kick of a championship football match in Madrid, Spain, appears on the grainy screen of a television monitor. Slowly the film's frame closes...
"The Subversive Charm of the Bourgeoisie": Van Abbemuseum
Like many European and American museums, the Van Abbemuseum was founded by a wealthy industrialist. In "The Subversive Charm of the Bourgeoisie," artworks and documents from the museum's collections were combined with recent works that are said to...
Thomas Bayrle: Museum Fur Moderne Kunst
"I was a Maoist in 1968," Thomas Bayrle told Hans-Ulrich Obrist in Guangzhou last year. But Bayrle's Maoism was less a form of radicalism than a way to envision the compatibility between the revolutionary masses and a mass market. Already by 1966 Bayrle...
Thomas Demand: Serpentine Gallery, London
Thomas Demand SERPENTINE GALLERY, LONDON IN ORDER TO theorize what for him was the essence of Thomas Demand's work, art historian Michael Fried returned in these pages last year (Artforum, March 2005) to the arguments of his 1967 essay "Art and...
Thomas Zipp: Harris Lieberman
Thomas Zipp could never be called unambitious: The Berlin-based artist's first major solo gallery show in New York, at Harris Lieberman, not only coincided with his second solo exhibition in Los Angeles and with a room-size installation at the Berlin...
T.J. Demos on the Otolith Group
IN THE YEAR 2103, Usha Adebaran-Sagar, off-world paleoanthropologist, will imagine our conflicted present through the journal of her ancestor Anjalika Sagar, focusing in particular on entries dating from the fraught spring of 2003. Musing on the protests...
Uwe Henneken: Andrew Kreps Gallery
Two hundred years after its emergence, Romanticism still transparently, reductively, seems to denote antirationalism, anti-Enlightenment indeterminacy, nostalgia, transcendental individualism, and morbidity. This despite the fact that its meaning has...
Victor Man: Timothy Taylor Gallery
The most explicit work in Romanian artist Victor Man's exhibition "The place I'm coming from," Untitled (1939), 2006, comprises a pair of paintings: a film-still image of Dorothy's ruby slippers, and a blurry, demonic female Santa, crushing underfoot...
Violet Hopkins: David Kordansky Gallery
Violet Hopkins's recent exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery consisted of five large-scale paintings on paper, the biggest over ten feet long and five feet high. The title of the show, "Chromatophoric," refers to a kind of pigment-producing cell found...