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. 1, September

55th Carnegie International: Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
THE CARNEGIE INTERNATIONAL is the oldest contemporary art exhibition in North America--second in age worldwide only to the Venice Biennale--so it seems apt that its fifty-fifth incarnation is ambitious in scope and duration. Not only does this year's...
A Cinema of Citation: Eric Rentschler on the Films of Alexander Kluge
I. BEHOLD THE COVER of Alexander Kluge's most recent book, Cinema Stories, (1) and you find yourself eye to eye with a gorilla guarding a slumbering woman, an image you take to be a production still from King Kong (but you're wrong). The half-title...
Alexis Rockman: ROSE ART MUSEUM
Famous since the mid-1980s for painstakingly painted phantasmagorical botanical and zoological scenes, Alexis Rockman presented expressionistic landscapes in "The Weight of Air," his first solo museum show in a decade. Made between 2005 and 2007, the...
Amy Sillman: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
EVERYONE HAS AT SOME TIME perched upon the lonelier, more acute angle of a love triangle. Childhood is the most brutal and famous introduction to the condition of the third wheel, when one discovers one is not a parent's first and only love. The adolescent...
Andrea Fraser: GALERIE CHRISTIAN NAGEL
"I've always been very ambivalent about my field, and I made a kind of career out of that... ambivalence, but recently, it's gotten extremely difficult. ... " In the right-hand channel of her most recent DVD installation, Andrea Fraser is projected...
Anna Molska
IN POLAND'S CONTEMPORARY-ART CIRCLES, Professor Grzegorz Kowalski's studio-classroom at Warsaw's Academy of Fine Arts is a storied place, through which artists including Pawel Althamer, Katarzyna Kozyra, and Artur Zmijewski passed in their student...
Basim Magdy: TOWNHOUSE GALLERY
For the exhibition "On a Better Day Than This," Egyptian artist Basim Magdy assembled more than thirty drawings and paintings produced over the past six years, along with two sculptures and a site-specific mural. Alternating between humorous and ominous,...
Because We Must
GROUNDED IN CLASSICAL BALLET but informed by London's post-punk art and music scenes, the work of dancer and choreographer Michael Clark diagrams modern society's performative regimes--of gender and sexuality, of discipline and productivity--even as...
Big but Not Easy: Rachel Churner on "Prospect.1 New Orleans"
AMONG THE MANY SPRAY-PAINTED slogans scrawled on abandoned buildings, washed-out pickup trucks, and makeshift plywood signs that appear in Spike Lee's documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (2006) is a singularly apt comment written...
Bob and I Had
BOB AND I HAD an uncanny connection. One significant difference between us was that there was always a measure of safety built into what I was doing, but Bob would just plow ahead. (However, he once flattered me by saying that when considering a radical...
Boris Turetsky: ART4.RU
At the new Moscow art space Art4.ru, a large selection of drawings by Boris Turetsky resembles a display in a library archive: Hundreds of drawings of exactly the same sketchbook size fill the walls and hang in makeshift Plexiglas cases in one large...
Carlos Amorales: PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART
Carlos Amorales's first museum exhibition in the United States owed its success, partly, to the context in which the works operated and to the seductive installation Black Cloud, 2007, which consists of thousands of black paper moths. The creatures...
Century Marks; Helen Molesworth on Richard Serra and Andre Cadere
IT WASN'T TOO LONG AGO that this magazine reviewed Richard Serra's quasi-retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York [Artforum, October 2007]. It was clear that critic David Joselit was less than enthusiastic. For Joselit, the...
Christopher Orr: NYEHAUS
Christopher Orr's dark, diminutive oil paintings seem at first glance to have been salvaged from some alternate past. Employing an earthy palette of browns, reds, and ochers, and building surfaces on which areas of dry, scraped-back pigment are juxtaposed...
Claude Closky: MAC/VAL, MUSEE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN DU VAL-DE-MARNE
For his retrospective "8002-9891," Claude Closky showed nothing. Instead, visitors were provided with a floor plan and headphones: This was a show to be heard. An artist disloyal to any single medium, Closky forged his retrospective out of a common...
Dorit Margreiter
THE FILM 10104 ANGELO VIEW DRIVE, made in 2004 by Vienna- and Los Angeles-based artist Dorit Margreiter, is a portrait of the Sheats/Goldstein residence in Beverly Hills. Designed by celebrity architect John Lautner in 1963, the building is one of...
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: MICHAEL WERNER GALLERY
This survey of twenty late paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is an important if ambiguous event. Even when taking into account the historic achievements of both Der Blaue Reiter (Kandinsky and Company) and Die Brucke (founded by Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rotluff,...
Felipe Ehrenberg: MUSEO DE ARTE MODERNO
MEXICO CITY Encompassing fifty years of production, "Manchuria: Peripheral Vision" is the first formal retrospective of Felipe Ehrenberg. The artist's participation in Mexican art and culture during the late 1960s and '70s would prove critical in...
Form in Poetry: Bruce Boucher on Andrea Palladio
ANDREA PALLADIO IS THE MOST famous architect the world has never known. If that sounds like a paradox, it is meant to be one. Although his name has endured for centuries, Palladio the man remains a cipher: In life he was elusive, and his inner thoughts...
For the People: Ann Temkin on Anne d'Harnoncourt (1943-2008)
NOW AND THEN, as a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I found myself speculating about what Anne d'Harnoncourt might have done had she not followed in her father's footsteps as a museum director. University president? Supreme Court justice?...
Forum and Function: Martin Herbert on "Experiment Marathon Reykjavik"
INTRODUCING "EXPERIMENT MARATHON REYKJAVIK," a two-day event that took place this past May in the Hafnarhus, the Icelandic capital's contemporary art museum, artist Olafur Eliasson described the occasion as "a parallel parliament that includes disagreement,...
"Front of House": PARASOL UNIT
"Front of House" is a collaborative exhibition conceived as a four-way conversation between artists Angela Ferreira and Narelle Jubelin, architect Marcos Corrales, and curator Andrew Renton. And a very polite conversation it seems to be at first, taking...
Gabriela Fridriksdottir: BOB VAN ORSOUW
Images reveal something and show themselves, and therein lies their power. Gabriela Fridriksdottir's extraordinary iconographies, developed in drawings, paintings, sculptures, and, most succinctly, in technically impeccable films, draw upon a complex...
Gedi Sibony: GREENE NAFTALI
Neo-psychedelia had a fleeting moment a few years back, but for the better part of this decade Western contemporary art has lacked "movements." Have critics become too skittish to proclaim a movement when they see one? Has the teeming art world simply...
Geoffrey Farmer: MUSEE D'ART CONTEMPORAIN DE MONTREAL
Geoffrey Farmer's video The Fountain People, 2008, consists of footage of a fountain located in front of an escalator, most likely in an upscale shopping center. While waiting for some narrative to commence, and perhaps for the titular characters to...
Glasgow International: VARIOUS LOCATIONS
As Glaswegian novelist Alexander Trocchi wrote in his spellbinding essay "The Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds" (1962), "There is in fact no such permanence anywhere. There is only becoming." His words reflect a city that was once "the workshop...
Gregory Crewdson: LUHRING AUGUSTINE
The art of photography resides not in the ever-evolving camera but in the imaginative record of what lies before its lens. (Such was the case, at least, before the advent of digital photography and Photoshop). Two modes of photographic transcription...
Hans Hofmann: AMERINGER YOHE FINE ART
Hans Hofmann's paintings on paper have a freshness, an energy, a presence that belies their age. They're sixty years old, but they have a timeless immediacy. "Time flows like water does back in the ocean back into Eternity," he wrote in the poem on...
"Hello Meth Lab in the Sun": BALLROOM MARFA
Is it better to have seen--experienced might be more appropriate--the work of Mike Nelson, Christoph Buchel, or Gregor Schneider prior to encountering Hello Meth Lab in the Sun? In one way, yes, since those artists provide a context for this (relatively)...
I First Heard of Michael Clark
I FIRST HEARD OF MICHAEL CLARK in the late 1980s, when I bought the Fall's sound track to his performance I Am Curious, Orange. Through the rock press, I learned of his work with Wire and Leigh Bowery, and through those associations and a handful of...
Igor Stravinsky Worked
IGOR STRAVINSKY WORKED on the music for Les Noces--the 1923 ballet that is the original source for I Do, the third and final part of Michael Clark's "Stravinsky Project"--for nearly ten years, commencing almost immediately after he finished The Rite...
Imi Knoebel
IMI KNOEBEL'S ART is about beginnings. Those same points where many modern artists discovered an absolute reduction, a zero degree of artmaking, are, for Knoebel, points of departure. His near-ascetic disposition toward the materials of his craft set...
In Late 1966
IN LATE 1966,I started working at 381 Lafayette Street, helping Bob Rauschenberg adjust his new house for living and working. It was a steady part-time job--11 to 5, three days a week--doing some low-level sorting, cleaning windows, and arranging various...
I Probably Met Bob around 1957
I PROBABLY MET BOB AROUND 1957. I remember taking him to see Red Grooms's piece called The Burning Building [1959]. I knew him well enough to say, "I want you to see this thing." He loved it. During the performance days, when Bob was doing work...
Jack Whitten; ATLANTA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTER
It is fitting that one of the works in this group of Jack Whitten's memorial paintings is dedicated to the art critic and ideologue Clement Greenberg, for the problematic that Greenberg judged to be central to modernist painting is palpable in Whitten's...
Jeanne Silverthorne: MCKEE GALLERY
The most obviously, even cornily beautiful set of works in Jeanne Silverthorne's show also neatly summed up some of the artist's longstanding concerns. This was a group of floral still lifes from 2008, hung in ornate frames on the wall like any in...
Jeff Koons: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
IN APRIL 2004, the New York Times Magazine published an excerpt from the then forthcoming book by David Brooks, the newspaper's main op-ed purveyor of commonsense banalities. Titled "Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia," the essay argued that exurbia--that...
Josef Strau: Josef Strau Is a Berlin-Based Artist Whose Work Is Currently Included in Manifesta 7. His Solo Exhibition at the Malmo Konsthall in Sweden Opens This Month
1 CHRIS KRAUS, TORPOR (SEMIOTEXT[E], 2006) More intense than any of the recent literary attempts to portray Europe's dark, post-1989 narrative of traditionalism and neoconservatism, Torpor is probably the book to deal with the past's haunting of the...
Katharina Fritsch: MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY
That there is something patently ugly about much--if not all--of Katharina Fritsch's work is too little remarked upon. Perhaps this has to do with the way it is ugly: not at all in the conventional sense of wandering afield from some aesthetic "ideal,"...
Kenneth Anger: Talks about ICH Will!, 2008
ICH WILL! (I WANT!) sounds like a call to arms for a children's revolution. In the context of Hitler's Boy Scouts, it asserts expectations of an inheritance no previous generation of German youth had ever dared demand. The title of avant-garde filmmaker...
Layla Rudneva-Mackay: STARKWHITE
"Cinematic" suggests too great a distance from the everyday to characterize accurately the kinds of simple tableaux photographed by Layla Rudneva-Mackay. That her scenarios--portraits of people whose faces we cannot see, for example--are directed constructs...
Lee Ufan: LISSON GALLERY
Born in Korea in 1936, Lee Ufan emigrated in his late teens to Japan, where in the late 1960s and early '70s he was among the protagonists of Mono-ha, "the school of things," a movement that to some extent paralleled Western arte povera and post-Minimalism....
Leigh Ledare: ROTH
A typewritten note describing the artist's mother air-drying naked on a bed, postshower; a napkin on which his mother has scribbled things she would like to be ("a writer like Marguerite Duras and Anais Nin"); a grid of thirty-six photos of his mother...
Liliana Maresca: CENTRO CULTURAL RECOLETA
BUENOS AIRES Myriad romantic interpretations have transformed Liliana Maresca into a myth: the housewife who abandons the comfort of home out of devotion to art, the beauty whom everyone fell for, the victim of an early and tragic death. This show,...
Li Lin Lee; WALSH GALLERY
Li Lin Lee's recent paintings are certainly formulaic--each of the sixtyeight paintings shown here is made of oil, wax, and alkyd on plastercoated burlap mounted onto canvas; each is sixteen by twelve inches and is presented edge-to-edge in a horizontal...
Look Back: Jeff Kelley on AI Weiwei
SINCE NOVEMBER 2005, artist Ai Weiwei has maintained a blog devoted to political commentary and art-world documentation, his entries driven by serial streams of photographs that not only represent but also enact--and even help negotiate, via the seduction,...
Man and Machine: Daniel Birnbaum on Renzo Piano's Pontus Hulten Study Gallery
THE MACHINERY IS QUITE LOUD, and that is something that the architect Renzo Piano, its designer, likes, In fact, as he explained to me this past summer, standing in a gallery of Moderna Museet in Stockholm--where his contraption was making walls of...
Maria Bartuszova: GALERIE RUDIGER SCHOTTLE
Maria Bartuszova was little known outside of Slovakia until a cross section of her works from 1970 to 1987 was presented last year at Documenta 12. Born in Prague, Bartuszova spent most of her life in the city of Kosice, in the east of Slovakia (almost...
Masami Teraoka: SAMUEL FREEMAN
LOS ANGELES "Where to begin?" was the first question prompted by this dense selection of paintings produced between 1997 and 2007 by the Japan-born, Hawaii-based Masami Teraoka--his first Los Angeles gallery presentation in twenty years. The next...
Matthew Brannon: FRIEDRICH PETZEL GALLERY
Spike-heeled, peep-toed, platform-soled, or sling-backed, the gaily colored silhouettes of footwear in Matthew Brannon's recent letterpress prints summon Andy Warhol's late-1950s shoe drawings in dash and whimsy, if not function. Warhol's shoes, used...
Media Player
IT IS A MEASURE OF ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG'S ingenuity and inventiveness that, at the moment of his passing away, the art world is only just catching up to his output from the 1970s. The series from that time--the "Cardboards," "Venetians," "Early Egyptians,"...
Michael and I First Met
MICHAEL AND I FIRST MET a long time ago, probably in 1981, at the filmmaker Derek Jarman's apartment on Tottenham Court Road in London. I didn't really know his work, but then it didn't really exist. Michael must have been a teenager at the time, just...
Mirror Image
A COROLLARY of Marshall McLuhan's famous adage that art is a "radar environment" uniquely suited for making clear the effects of media in culture is his lesser known analogy between those effects and the sound waves that become visible along an airplane's...
Miyako Ishiuchi: GALERIE LANGHANS
Galerie Langhans, which has mounted the first European retrospective of the photographer Miyako Ishiuchi, who represented Japan in the 2005 Venice Biennale, has an unusual history. The Langhans family was a well-known dynasty of portrait photographers...
Nic Nicosia: JAMES KELLY CONTEMPORARY
Pictorializing the stagecraft of art is Nic Nicosia's purported subject. The eight new photographs included in this exhibition depict the artist in the process of making, or having just completed, drawings on the white walls of sets that he has built....
Now, Then! Now, Then! Now, Then!
STRETCHING IDOLS, bending bodies, reshaping minds and audiences. Encountering "The Stravinsky Project" over the course of two nights in June at the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center in New York made me resurface puzzled and empowered. Those unhinging...
On the Road: Jeffrey Weiss on Land Art Today
LAND ART, whatever else it is, can be identified with a specific narrative of American space: the road trip. I draw this notion from T.S.O.Y.W., a 2007 film by Amy Granat and Drew Heitzler included in the Whitney Biennial this past spring. Distantly...
Pae White: GALLERIA FRANCESCA KAUFMANN
When writing, we Italians sign off to friends and people we are fond of by saying "bacie abbracci" (kisses and hugs). And in fact when we see each other we kiss and hug. For Pae White, as California as her work has always been, this mode of expression...
Pierre Gerard: LES BRASSEURS
As soon as visitors walked into the former warehouse that the art center Les Brasseurs calls home, they were faced with an array of objects, from an installation of tables topped with various elements to an abstract wood and cardboard sculpture fastened...
Roberto Cuoghi: CASTELLO DI RIVOLI
Roberto Cuoghi's recent exhibition, "Suillakku," consisted of a large sculpture, Pazuzu (all works 2008), at the bottom of the museum's seventeenth-century staircase and a complex sound installation, Suillakku, that occupied the entire third floor...
Robert Therrien: GAGOSIAN GALLERY
The difference between the colossal and the merely big is more than just a matter of size. Take Robert Therrien's recent show at Gagosian: Like much of the Los Angeles-based artist's sculptural work over the past decade and a half, the bulk of the...
Ruth Claxton: IKON GALLERY
Ruth Claxton's installation Lands End, 2008, sneaks up on you. Initially it doesn't look like an installation at all but like a group of discrete (though closely related) sculptures, some freestanding, others wall-mounted. The site-specific work was...
Sang Nam Lee: PKM TRINITY GALLERY
When Roy Lichtenstein appeared on the scene in 1961, he was importing signs from an entirely different level of culture into the artistic arena; the culture was pulp comics, the signs benday dots and CMYK colors. What he did was to take a found image...
Santiago Cucullu: MILWAUKEE ART MUSEUM
Santiago Calatrava's Quadracci Pavilion, completed in 2001, is the architectural antithesis to the Milwaukee Art Museum's original Eero Saarinen building. Skeletal and dazzling white, Calatrava's expansion flaunts its piece de resistance: the Burke...
Scott and Tyson Reeder: DANIEL REICE GALLERY
Brothers Scott and Tyson Reeder are musicians, filmmakers (Scott's feature-length Moon Dust is currently in postproduction), and curators (most notably, they helped organize the Dark Fair at the Swiss Institute last March and co-organized "Drunk vs....
Scott Olson: OVERDUIN AND KITE
Scott Olson paints small abstractions of irregular and fragmented geometries that give a somewhat unexpected initial impression of familiarity, age, and wear. The eleven oil paintings (on linen or MDF) that made up his Los Angeles debut employ distinctly...
Seeing Rauschenberg Seeing
THE LAST TIME I SAW BOB RAUSCHENBERG was this past March in Valencia, Spain. He had been unable to go the year before, when he was awarded the prestigious Julio Gonzalez International Prize for lifetime achievement--but no one could keep him from attending...
Service Aesthetics: Steven Henry Madoff on Personal Transactions in Art
THE ATTITUDES AND TECHNIQUES of artists have clearly buckled and changed many times over the past century, as industrialism became postindustrialism and first-world enterprise shifted from goods to services while manual production was shunted to outlying...
Seth Cluett: DIAPASON
Diapason is relatively obscure, owing to its location on the tenth floor of a large, nondescript building on the wrong side of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, its being open strictly on Saturday afternoons, and its particular focus: contemporary sound...
SITE Santa Fe Biennial: SITE SANTA FE
In lieu of a single theme, curator Lance M. Fung laid out several structuring principles for the seventh SITE Santa Fe Biennial, titled "Lucky Number Seven": The participating artists would be winnowed from recommendations made by widely dispersed...
Social Register
IN MID-SEPTEMBER 1962, Bob Rauschenberg paid a visit to Andy Warhol's studio. Met curator and Warhol confidante Henry Geldzahler had arranged the meeting, which also included the Paris dealer Ileana Sonnabend, who was then setting out to make Rauschenberg...
The Eye's Mind: Prudence Peiffer on Sol Lewitt at Mass MoCA
"I THINK THE CAVEMEN CAME first." So responded Sol LeWitt when once asked if he was indeed the "originator of wall drawings," as curator Alicia Legg had claimed in a catalogue essay for his 1978 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York....
The First Project
THE FIRST PROJECT I ever did with Michael was Current/See [1998], which started off with Michael dancing a solo, joined later by me, and then by two other dancers who gradually filtered into it. But the most immediate visual impact was definitely made...
The Medium and the Message: Tim Griffin Talks with Okwui Enwezor about the Gwangju Biennale
WHEN IT DEBUTED in 1995, the Gwangju Biennale was the first large-scale exhibition of contemporary art to take place in Asia--a development all the more striking today, when nearly nine such exhibitions are taking place throughout the region in the...
Tomma Abts: NEW MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
If the compact, boxlike galleries of the new New Museum did no favors for the raggedy lo-fi sculptures in "Unmonumental," the museum's inaugural show, the ensuing exhibition--German painter Tomma Abt's first solo outing in the United States--made clear...
Tomory Dodge: CRG GALLERY
When I think of the Los Angeles-based artist Tomory Dodge, a specific painting comes to mind: Weekend, 2005. Titled after Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 film, the canvas depicts a red drum kit amid a thicket of loose yet perfectly restrained gestural marks...
"Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?" TONY SHAFRAZI GALLERY
The peculiar show "Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?" which was "conceived by Urs Fischer and Gavin Brown," as the press materials inform us, and was recently on view at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, was an art-world gambit requiring more backstory than any in...
Willem De Looper: AMERICAN UNIVERSITY MUSEUM
Intended by the museum to honor one of the university's own, this exhibition provides an in-depth look at the career of painter Willem De Looper, who came to Washington, DC, from the Netherlands in 1950. He enrolled in American University in 1953 and...
With Bob Rauschenberg
WITH BOB RAUSCHENBERG, we have lost a great mind and an extremely generous individual. Bob had the design ability and finesse to take throwaways and assemble them to make them sparkle intellectually. Bob's thrill was the chance encounter. He shot...
Wolf Vostell: CARRE D'ART
Although Wolf Vostell used the term "decollage" to evoke a dual process of creation and destruction in his work, this retrospective exhibition, seen earlier in Bonn, framed his works between an aesthetic of physical heaviness and of the disembodied...
Xavier Veilhan: GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN
Xavier Veilhan's new exhibition bears the title of his film Furtivo (Stealth, 2008), recently made by the artist but not on view in the show. Yet the works included here are all linked to the dreamlike world of this thirty-minute piece, in which we...
Zhao Liang: THREE SHADOWS PHOTOGRAPHY ART CENTER
Sounds of argument pervaded the exhibition "In an Instant: Moving Images and Photography by Zhao Liang," enticing viewers to part the red velvet curtain surrounding the video installation Interrogation Under Duress, 2004. Behind the curtain, three...