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. 9, May

1000 Words: Ed Ruscha Talks about His Most Recent Paintings
PERHAPS THEY WOULD PREFER to forget the past and enjoy the present (whose transience they are so much more aware of than younger colleagues), but circumstances conspire to make successful artists of a certain age dwell on their history: retrospective...
Adrian Piper: Elizabeth Dee Gallery
For her first solo show in New York after a seven-year hiatus, influential first-generation Conceptualist Adrian Piper, known for infusing her rigorous practice with the concerns of identity politics, focused on impermanence and loss. Piper presented...
Albrecht Fuchs: Mireille Mosler Ltd
Albrecht Fuchs often works as a commercial (editorial) photographer, a capacity in which he is valued for his deadpan but meticulously lit and tightly composed images. In "Portraits," Fuchs, who is based in Cologne, presented thirty-seven color photographs...
Alex Dodge: Klaus Von Nichtssagend Gallery
Like the freshly severed head of Ash, the treacherous corporate android in Ridley Scott's Alien (1979), the disembodied silicon-rubber face that forms part of Alex Dodge's sculpture Study for Intelligent Design (all works 2008) looks ready to open...
Amy Cutler: Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects
Not so long ago, Amy Cutler's drawings would have been unlikely to appear in an art gallery, at least one that called itself contemporary; they would have been classified as illustrational and she would have been told to find a good children's-book...
A Revolutionary Process Never Ends: Sylvere Lotringer Talks with Antonio Negri
SYLVERE LOTRINGER: In the years that preceded May 1968, the Situationists had an uprising in mind, but it had happened one century before. It was the Paris Commune of 1871, in which Marx saw the dawn of communism. The historical situations, of course,...
Before the Revolution: Arthur C. Danto on the 1968 Student Revolt at Columbia University
I OFTEN THOUGHT, in the years that followed the great student uprising at Columbia in late April 1968, of the singular political inventiveness that shaped the event. It defined the form student uprisings were to take on campuses all across the country,...
Catherine Sullivan: Metro Pictures
One can't summarize Catherine Sullivan's video Triangle of Need, 2007, but particulars can be given: The work was produced during residencies at the Walker Art Center and at Vizcaya, an opulent estate built in 1916 on Florida's Bay of Biscayne by International...
Christopher Michlig: Jail Gallery
If the photographs that illustrate Artforum's reviews were still in black and white, readers could be forgiven for confusing Christopher Michlig's recent solo debut at Jail with an exhibition of early-twentieth-century Russian Constructivism. The flat...
Christopher Williams: David Zwirner
Looking at a Christopher Williams show can be a nerve-racking activity. For all the pleasure offered by Williams's stark/lush photographs, there is in every one of his installations the threat of an intellectual aptitude test. Why else would so many...
Claude Leveque: Galerie Kamel Mennour
The works of Claude Leveque, installations based on everyday objects, can be easily described. For instance, Deviation (all works 2008): a shelter made of thirty-two car hoods in which a Venetian-style chandelier glows; or Untitled, which was suspended...
Cullinan + Richards: Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre
Having collaborated between 1998 and 2006 as Artlab, not only as makers of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installations but as presenters of the work of others, Charlotte Cullinan and Jeanine Richards began operating less anonymously as Cullinan...
Daniele Puppi: Hangar Bicocca
At Hangar Bicocca, Daniele Puppi made a single gesture, on a monumental scale. The site-specific video and sound installation Fatica 16 (Effort 16), 2007-2008, altered the architecture of the space through a double movement of expansion and contraction....
Enrique Chagoya: University of California, Berkeley Art Museum
LINGUISTICALLY, SUBJECTIVELY, and territorially, borders are where identities are formed and differences policed, and the current midcareer survey of Enrique Chagoya titled "Borderlandia" reflects the Mexican-born, California-based artist's ongoing...
"Estratos": Proyecto Arte Contemporaneo 2008
"Heterocronias. Tiempo, arte y arqueologias del presente" (Heterochronies: Time, Art, and Archaeologies of the Present)--a series of talks held in conjunction with the exhibition "Estratos," curated by Nicolas Bourriaud--takes its title from a neologism...
Formal Proof: Ti-Grace Atkinson on the Art in Logic
I HAVE SOMETIMES WONDERED how an aesthetician like myself could have ended up on the front lines of Radical Feminism. On the one hand, it seems incongruous; on the other hand, radical politics--like aesthetics--is, at its best, a process of both critiquing...
George and Mike Kuchar: 2nd Floor Projects
From Auguste and Louis Lumiere and Warner Bros. to Ethan and Joel Coen and the Farrellys, brother acts have had a mighty influence on the history of film. Commandeering the foundational basement of the frat house of cinema, twins George and Mike Kuchar...
Hans Schabus: The Curve
The Curve gallery in the Barbican--one of London's major performing-arts centers, located in a landmark Brutalist housing complex built between 1965 and 1976 on a thirty-five-acre site destroyed by bombing in World War II--is notorious for its awkward...
Ian McDonald: Rena Bransten Gallery
The eleven sculptures that constituted Ian McDonald's recent exhibition at Rena Bransten Gallery were bunched together on a single white platform. The mode of display seemed as important as the objects themselves--smooth, stonelike ceramic sculptures,...
Immanent Domain: P. Adams Sitney on the Films of Peter Hutton
FOR NEARLY FOUR DECADES Peter Hutton has been taking the measure of the cinematic image to delimit its powers of fascination and absorption. Over those years he transformed a diaristic mode of the filmic lyric into one in which subtle fluctuations...
Inner States: Paul Galvez on Gustave Courbet
THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE that May 1968 was not, in fact, the turning point that so many think it was. Indeed, there are those who believe that it was only in May '68 that the effects of actions that had taken place years before finally became visible...
In the Moment: Michael Cole on Gian Lorenzo Bernini
BY THE TIME OF HIS DEATH, Gian Lorenzo Bernini had produced more portraits than any sculptor since antiquity. In an oeuvre that ran from semiautonomous marble gallery sculptures to multimedia installations, portraits were a rare constant. It was the...
Invisible Cities: Tom McDonough on Henri Lefebvre's the Explosion
ONE THING THAT COMMENTATORS across the ideological spectrum could agree on--one thing that they would repeat like a mantra on editorial pages and evening news programs in France and around the world--was that November 2005 was not May 1968. When the...
Jane Simpson: Gering & Lopez Gallery
The title of British artist Jane Simpson's recent exhibition, "My Inheritance and Other Bloody Tales," might have been cribbed from one of a recent crop of British books recounting sordid sagas of familial dysfunction. But unlike Edward St. Aubyn or...
Janis Avotins: Galerie Johnen + Schottle
What does the show's title, "I write to you at 20:02 as you wrote to me at 18:08," have to do with Janis Avotins's pictures? At first glance, not much. Perhaps it makes us think of the e-mails that mercilessly follow us everywhere at all times--but...
Jan Kempenaers: Middelheimmuseum
In the late '60s and the '70s, Yugoslavia, at that time a socialist republic, launched a substantial program of monument building, resulting in a dense network of dozens of memorials all over the country, on both urban locations and more rural sites....
Jan Mancuska: Kunsthalle Basel
Jan Mancuska's recent exhibition, "Only those wild species that appeal to people will survive," was an unswerving assault on the linearity of audiovisual perception and spatial movement, in which a formally conceptual approach was intertwined with...
John Lees: Betty Cuningham Gallery
Claude Lantier, a fictional painter, fated to never complete a work, whom Emile Zola depicts in his novel l'Oeuvre (1886), has long been assumed to be based on Cezanne, a characterization that led to an irreparable break between the supreme artist...
Julia Margaret Cameron and Miroslav Tichy: Magasin 3
The work of both Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) and Miroslav Tichy could be described as sui generis--to say that their art is "of its own kind" is to wryly acknowledge that it once sat outside the boundaries of serious art. Cameron and Tichy's...
Kadar Brock: Angell Gallery
Night Time Is the Right Time, Radar Love, and Electric Avenue (all works 2007) were the largest and most arresting pictures on view in Kadar Brock's recent solo exhibition of abstract paintings, "You Only Live Once." And despite their sentimentalizing...
Kishio Suga: Tomio Koyama
Kishio Suga is a representative artist of Mono-ha, the Japanese avant-garde movement of the late '60s and the '70s, which presented sculpture as a unique object or "thing" that alters spectators' perceptions rather than as an aesthetic object. Using...
Learning Curve: Tom Holert on Radical Art and Education in Germany
ON THE AFTERNOON OF JUNE 22, 1967, Joseph Beuys called a surprise press conference at the Dusseldorf art academy, where he announced the founding of the German Student Party (DSP). It was only twenty days after a policeman had killed student Benno...
Lessons of '68
WHY MAY 1968? The risks attending any real attempt to consider anew the significance of the events that took place worldwide during that month--or even merely to honor their anniversary now, forty years later--would seem prohibitive. Certainly, to...
Lutz Bacher: Taxter & Spengemann
THIS IS BIEN HOA LOOKING AT IT FROM THE AIR BASE. THIS IS A PRETTY GOOD PICTURE. NOW DO YOU THINK THAT'S BEAUTIFUL? These sentences, written in blue ink by a man named Walter (presumably a US Air Force serviceman during the Vietnam War), accompany...
Marc Desgrandchamps: Galerie Zurcher
"The world remains whatever happens." This phrase, which ends Marc Desgrandchamps's biographical statement in a recent monograph, suggests some of the paradoxes apparent in his work: issues of permanence and event, timeless continuity and sudden presence,...
Marcelino Stuhmer: Chicago Cultural Center
John Frankenheimer's 1962 thriller The Manchurian Candidate depicts the brainwashing of captured American soldiers during the Korean War, with one soldier programmed to become an assassin. It's an eerie tale of enemies without and within that hinges...
Marc Swanson: Bellwether Gallery
Marc Swanson is not a colorist. Like his contemporary Terence Koh, Swanson prefers the absoluteness of white and black when crafting his sylvan-themed sculptures and strange mixed-media panels. When he does dabble with nonabsolutes, he does so with...
Mark Flores: David Kordansky Gallery
Amid the lush, tipped-in plates and eye-popping grids of pinks and oranges, yellows and greens in the masterly text of his 1961 classic The Art of Color, Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten strikes an unexpectedly melancholic note: "When the individual...
Martin Puryear: Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
SCULPTURE HAS LONG PLAYED second fiddle to painting at MOMA (case in point: the Department of Painting and Sculpture), perhaps a consequence of the same giddy moment that gave us high modernism and the urban temple built to exhibit its wall-bound artifacts....
Master Narrative: Michael Penn on the Dead Sea Scrolls
IN 1947, BEDOUIN discovered the first of eleven caves near the Dead Sea's western shore that contained Jewish documents written between the second century BCE and the first century CE. In total, some thirty thousand fragments from some nine hundred...
Matthew Buckingham: Murray Guy
"Someone with historical sense sees reality differently: in four dimensions," notes historian Gordon S. Wood. "If it is self-identity that we want, then history deepens and complicates that identity by showing us how it has developed through time."...
May '69: Chris Kraus on Suck
PERHAPS THE GREATEST promise of May '68 arose with an eruption of spontaneity that, as it interrupted the dreary process of national politics, suggested it might indeed be possible to live differently. But could this difference arise over the course...
Megan Williams: Carl Berg Gallery
In Purge (all works 2008), a new work by Megan Williams that was the centerpiece of the artist's third solo show at Carl Berg Gallery, several dozen cartoon drawings of the laugh-till-you-cringe ilk are pinned all over a soft mannequin slumped in a...
Michel Gondry: Deitch Projects
Why should we have cared about "Be Kind Rewind," film director Michel Gondry's second exhibition at Deitch Projects? Were we starved for a marketing tie-in to the nearly simultaneous release of the movie of the same title? Or were we concerned that...
No Wave: Sally Shafto on the Zanzibar Group
IT IS CLEAR THAT NICOLAS SARKOZY takes an especial interest in history. One of the French president's first steps on taking office last year was to mandate that a letter by Guy Moquet, a martyr of the Resistance who was executed at seventeen, be read...
Ohad Meromi: Harris Lieberman Gallery
Ease of retrospection has become a defining quality of our era. The Internet facilitates the unearthing of impossibly obscure curiosities, enabling equally obscure referencing. For current artists, the reference points of modernism cast especially...
On the Breach
'68 is an intrusion of becoming. People have sometimes wanted to view it as the reign of the imaginary, but it's absolutely not imaginary; it's a gust of the real in its pure state.... It's inevitable that historians do not understand it properly. I...
Parallel Worlds: Brian Sholis on the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
CURATORS AT CONTEMPORARY ART institutions must not only engage with the question of how best to distill today's broad realm of artistic activity but also ensure that their solution pleases a bifurcated audience: the general public and the art experts;...
Paul Housley: Sunday
The title of London-based painter Paul Housley's recent New York solo debut, "Night Paintings," seems, at first, merely a disarmingly prosaic reference to the fact that the small, quiet pictures therein were made after dark. But there is more to the...
Paul McCarthy: SMAK, Ghent, Belgium
FOUR DECADES IN, Paul McCarthy's art might easily be considered repetitious, overblown, big-budget, anxiously relentless. Is that his problem, or is it America's? The question is worth asking, if only because McCarthy, like Warhol before him, totes...
Philip Taaffe: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany
IT'S NOT SO EASY to recall that first hit, that immediate emotional and intellectual warp one felt when confronted by Philip Taaffe's transformation of a Barnett Newman or a Bridget Riley in the mid-1980s. Maybe that's what--and who--retrospectives...
Pietro Consagra: Galleria Dello Scudo/Museo Di Castelvecchio
Pietro Consagra, who died in 2005, was one of the most interesting Italian artists working in abstract sculpture during the postwar period. "Necessita del colore: sculture e dipinti 1964-2000" (Necessity of Color: Sculptures and Paintings 1964-2000),...
Qiu Zhijie: Qiu Zhijie Is an Artist, Writer, Curator, and Educator, Based in Beijing and Hangzhou. A Major Retrospective of His Work Opens This Coming Fall at the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai
1 JOSEPH BEUYS'S FINAL SPEECH In January 1986, eleven days before his death, Joseph Beuys gave a speech as he accepted the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Prize in Duisburg, Germany. He said that Lehmbruck had taught him not only to understand sculpture in spatial...
Ramak Fazel: Storefront for Art and Architecture
The story of "49 State Capitols," Milan-based photographer Ramak Fazel's first exhibition at the Storefront for Art and Architecture, begins with a suggestion from his mother. Fazel's childhood stamp collection was stored in the attic of her home in...
Repetition Compulsion: Amy Taubin on the Films of James Nares
IN HIS 1977-78 SOLO PERFORMANCE Desirium Probe, James Nares became a television transmitter. The piece was performed twice, in downtown New York: once at Joan Jonas's Mercer Street loft, in 1977, and once at the Kitchen, on Wooster Street, in early...
Ricardo Valentim: Galeria Pedro Cera
Since the beginning of his career, at the start of this decade, New York-based Portuguese artist Ricardo Valentim has explored representations of the "other." A former student of anthropology, Valentim examines the artifacts through which collective...
Rocio Rodriguez: Fay Gold Gallery
Rocio Rodriguez has been exploring the complexities of tangled skeins of lines in her painting for a while now. In an untitled series of paintings from 2003-2004, the intertwinings read as plant forms; presented against neutral grounds, they resemble...
Rosy Keyser: Peter Blum
Inside of a three-month span in late 1811 and early 1812, four massive earthquakes--and thousands of aftershocks--convulsed the midwestern and southern United States. Emanating from the New Madrid fault line, they were felt as far away as New York...
Ryoko Aoki: Kodama
Ryoko Aoki exemplifies the tendency among younger Japanese artists to invent an idiosyncratic visual vocabulary by transforming everyday objects and exploring the work of perception through simple childlike actions. Aoki's main medium is drawing. She...
Special Effects: Michelle Kuo Speaks with Michael Callahan about USCO
A MNEMONIC MIASMA hangs over the late 1960s, this haze only heightened by the recent spate of exhibitions devoted to Op and the Summer of Love. However saturated with psychedelia, mysticism, and electro-euphoria, though, the period's history might...
The Difference Engine
1968 IS NOT JUST A SYMBOLIC MOMENT or subject for academic study: Students were massacred, peasants were slaughtered, political figures were removed by force. And for the past forty years, we have witnessed the reassessment of those events, such that...
The Great Refusal
Forty years ago this month, students and workers, often numbering in the thousands, took to the streets around the world, from Latin America to the Eastern bloc, in the spirit of ushering into life real alternatives to the day's existent political...
The Group That Was (Not) One: Daniel Buren and BMPT
IT IS NOT KNOWN whether Guy Debord ever commented on the activities of Daniel Buren and his companions Olivier Mosset, Michel Parmentier, and Niele Toroni when, working collectively in 1966 and 1967 under their surnames only, they staged the most radical...
T & T: Chatterjee & Lal
It's all in the packaging, say the marketing gurus. Delhi-based Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, at least, are not likely to disagree. Their second solo show in Mumbai, "New Improved Bosedk," consisted of a large painting and several installations. The...
"Two or Three Things I Know about Her": Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University
In "Two or Three Things I Know About Her," five female New Yorkers can't ignore the fact that they hardly recognize their city. Everything that made it the capital of the twentieth century--its subways and sidewalks, its newspapers and nightly news...
Videopanel 2008
Video art has by now become so well established that its massive representation in big exhibitions has developed into a problem: When there are numerous works, their overall length taxes the public's concentration span. The international video festival...
Viktoria Binschtok: Klemm's
It looked as if the gallery had closed up shop. Had the end come for one of the pioneers of Brunnenstrasse, home to Berlin's youngest galleries? All the other white cubes were brightly lit, but Klemm's had blacked-out windows. The space looked abandoned....
Vincenzo Agnetti: Mart, Museo D'Arte Moderna E Contempororanea Di Trento E Roverto
It is often thought that Italian art is impervious to conceptualism, that this completely mental and logical attitude has no place in our tradition. The first large survey show of the work of Vincenzo Agnetti (1926-1981), curated by Achille Bonito...
Vito Acconci: Slought Foundation
Exhibitions of performance artists' work are often exercises in frustration. Forever deprived of the original event, one must settle for photographs, videos, and other forms of documentation that struggle to fill the void left behind by the missing...
"Void in Korean Art": Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art
Possessing a strong collection of classical Korean art as well as Korean and international contemporary art, it is not surprising that Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art should have attempted to unite the two sides of its activity in a single exhibition....
What Is Courbet?
HOW CAN ONE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE COURBET YEAR? After all, that's what I'm hoping this year will become. I saw the major retrospective in Paris last winter, when it was showing at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais; it is now on view at New York's...
Worldly Concerns: Michael Wilson on "Life on Mars"
"ONE READING OF DAVID BOWIE'S song 'Life on Mars' would be that he's talking about escaping a world that's spinning out of control and falling apart," explains curator Douglas Fogle in reference to his appropriation of the musician's title for the...