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. 8, April

1000 Words: Miriam Backstrom and Kira Carpelan Talk about Their Recent Collaborations
ARTISTIC COLLABORATIONS tend to be celebrated as win-win situations: Working together, artists expand their strategic arsenals and even, in a sense, their identities. But a more complex dynamic unfolded last year, when Miriam Backstrom decided to collaborate...
Adriana Molder: Fundacao Carmona E Costa
Since her first solo show five years ago, Berlin-based Portuguese artist Adriana Molder has developed a singular language and imagery, dominated by her technique of India ink on tracing paper and her adherence to a consistent set of references. She...
"Africa Comics": Studio Museum in Harlem
Comics have been cropping up in galleries with increasing regularity of late, with Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, and others taking up the mantle of ambitious predecessors such as R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman. "Africa Comics" provided the US's first comprehensive...
Akram Zaatari: Galerie Sfeir-Semler
When the Hamburg gallery Sfeir-Semler opened an exhibition space in Beirut two years ago, it began to show the work of artists from the Middle East, including Akram Zaatari, one of the founders of the Arab Image Foundation in Beirut. The foundation's...
Alan Kane and Humphrey Spender: Ancient and Modern
As "In the Face of History," an exhibition of twentieth-century European documentary photography, was closing down the road at the Barbican, Ancient and Modern was doing its bit to represent Great Britain's contribution to the genre, in the work of...
Allison Hrabluik: Diaz Contemporary
Allison Hrabluik's recent show featured a video, a sculpture, and three pictorial works exploring landscape and the idea of a rural life revolving around the seasons, winter in particular. Hrabluik's projected video Rossendale, 2006, incorporates stop-motion...
"A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s"; University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
SOME FORTY-ODD YEARS after Bruce Nauman began tweaking the conventions of studio practice and the hallowed persona of the artist-as-seer, his station in postwar art history rests secure. His influence--whether through his affectless, task-based performances,...
Bruce Conner: Susan Inglett Gallery
In early 1962, Bruce Conner decamped to Mexico, intending, he recalled, to "live cheaply and hide in the mountains when the bomb dropped." His survivalist outing lasted less than a year. A nuclear attack never came, and the artist had trouble not only...
Carrie Moyer: Canada
Carrie Moyer's newest series of paintings builds on her previous works, which combine abstract forms and swathes of color with overt citations of radical social movements. Yet the works here, devoid of raised fists and images of Emma Goldman, also...
Charles LaBelle: Anna Kustera
The 788 watercolor pencil drawings that make up Charles LaBelle's series "Sugar Hill Suite--BLDGS" (all works 2005-2006) are rendered in a pleasingly unfussy sketchbook style, incorporating just enough detail to give a clear impression of the (mostly...
Christine Rebet: Galerie Kamel Mennour
In 1911 the Dreamland fairground on Coney Island was completely destroyed by fire, a tragedy foreshadowed by the fear-inducing entertainment that had been the amusement park's top draw: Fighting the Flames, a terrifying show in which hundreds of performers...
"Cluj Connection": Haunch of Venison
Until recently, the art scene in the West has been fairly indifferent to work from Central and Eastern Europe. A few artists have made names for themselves internationally, but for many years any analysis or art-historical interpretation of work from...
Deja Vu All over Again: Rike Frank on "Wieder Und Wider"
IF YOU VISITED Vienna's Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig (MUMOK) in the middle of the second week of the exhibition "Wieder und Wider: Performance Appropriated" this past winter, you would have encountered seven slide projectors arranged in a...
Elisabetta Benassi: Magazzino d'Arte Moderna
Elisabetta Benassi examines, through the use of mechanical artifacts, the proliferation of machines in our society. The Roman artist's ability in multiple media was apparent in her solo exhibition at Magazzino d'Arte Moderna. Two large-format photographs,...
Fields of Vision: Michael Fried on Jules Olitski
BEFORE SITTING DOWN to draft these reflections, I went to my shelves and brought forth Yve-Alain Bois, Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Hal Foster, and Rosalind Krauss's monumental and tendentious Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (2004),...
Film Noir: On the Occasion of Kara Walker's Traveling Midcareer Survey, Currently on View at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Carroll Dunham Explores the Artist's Recent-And Unexpected-Turn to a New Medium
Kara Walker's work seems to have always brought out the worst in her. Sadomasochistic, drunken, sexist, child-molesting racial profiles from some dawn time of rococo premodernism mingle and cavort, locked in unaffirmative action. One wonders if even...
Fractional Gift: Thomas Lawson on Michael Hurson
THE PHONE RANG early, usually the harbinger of some sort of trouble from New York or London. I paused before answering, uncertain if I was ready, without a cup of coffee for comfort, for whatever it was that wanted my attention so badly. I picked up...
Francesco Gennari: Galleria Zero
Contemporary artists tend to reject the view that an artist is some exalted, exceptional personality who, out of nothing, creates something highly significant to the rest of the world; today this concept is considered too aristocratic or belatedly...
Frederick Hammersley: Ameringer Yohe Fine Art
For all their formalist rigor, and however judiciously proportioned they may be--all the planes are in "measured" relationship to one another--Frederick Hammersley's paintings offer up contrasts that are generally unresolved. His works may be geometrical--Hammersley...
Gary Hill: Gladstone Gallery
The most striking component of Gary Hill's Frustrum (all works 2006), one of two installations commissioned by the Fondation Cartier that were recently presented concurrently in New York and Paris, is a projected video animation of a giant eagle caught...
Gego: Museu d'Art Contemporani De Barcelona
This first European retrospective of the German-born Venezuelan artist known as Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt, 1912-1994) located her work at the intersection of international modernism and local vernacular, adding her name to the list of postwar Latin...
"High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975"; National Academy Museum, New York
"I LOOKED ASKANCE at the culture of painting," admits artist Mary Heilmann in the catalogue accompanying "High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975." "I chose it as a practice in order to have arguments with people like Robert Smithson."...
Jochen Kuhn: Peter Kilchmann
"Recently I visited a bordello for the first time. Well, actually it was an erotic massage parlor. That's naturally beneath me. I don't need anything like that." A middle-aged man is troubled by moral misgivings as he goes to a brothel for the first...
John Wesley: Daniel Weinberg
While walking around this tight show of seven works spanning thirty years of John Wesley's career, my friends and I concurred that although Wesley is not among those on the tips of the tongues of hedge fund collectors, so-called edgy curators, or,...
Kasmalieva and Djumaliev: Art Institute of Chicago
For thousands of years, the trade routes of the Silk Road have linked China and the West. It was almost exclusively the cultures at either end that benefited economically from these routes, and the vast but sparsely populated regions of Central Asia...
Kay Rosen
Based in Gary, Indiana, Kay Rosen recently had a solo exhibition at Yvon Lambert in New York, and this fall her work will be included in multiple group exhibitions, including "Sign Language" at the Des Moines Art Center. She is one of the artists illustrating...
Kevin Zucker: Greenberg Van Doren Gallery
Between Kevin Zucker's May 2001 debut at LFL Gallery and his second solo exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery in September 2003, his finely crafted paintings seemed to be everywhere. The artist created ambitious conceptual frameworks for his canvases,...
"Louise Brooks and the 'New Woman' in Weimar Cinema": International Center of Photography
It seems that the Bubikopf is experiencing a kind of Renaissance. The only English words that describe the oh-so-particular haircut (equal parts naughty schoolgirl and punishing schoolmarm) are pageboy and bob, but the connotations aren't quite right....
Marc Handelman: Sikkema Jenkins & Co
Revisiting the aesthetics of American "propaganda painting" since, say, the Hudson River School, it's striking how little has changed in 150 years. From Thomas Cole and fellow painters of nature, who celebrated America's virtues via rugged, heroic...
Marketa Othova: Jiri Svestka Gallery
The photographs of Marketa Othova, a young artist who lives in Prague, could hardly be described as spectacular; in fact, they consciously oppose the avalanche of images produced by mass media. Always black-and-white, unframed, and about 43 x 63 inches,...
Mass Appeals: Christine Mehring on the Art of Thomas Bayrle
On the night of April 11, 1968, Thomas Bayrle and two friends, Bernhard Jager and Uve Schmidt, were busy in a basement print shop in Frankfurt, producing a poster of German student leader Rudi Dutschke. Earlier that afternoon, Dutschke, the prime mover...
Mathias Poledna: UCLA Hammer Museum
Mathias Poledna has designated his works "fragments," a term that could apply to their subject matter as well as to their relation to one another. Poledna has produced just a few short films: Actualite, 2001; Western Recording, 2003; Version, 2004;...
Michael Rakowitz: Lombard-Freid Projects
Michael Rakowitz is a Duchampian activist and an artist of detournement. In simple but dizzying interventions, he seduces viewers into contemplating global networks, while making space for reverie, rage, and humor. His readymades are often tangible...
Michael Simpson: David Risley Gallery
For some reason, English artists whose work has seemed scarce in recent years have begun showing again lately--John Stezaker and Marc Camille Chaimowicz are two who come to mind; Michael Simpson is another. Simpson's last solo show in London was at...
Michael Wilson on Goshka Macuga
WHEN CURATOR JOCHEN VOLZ selected artists to participate in a section of the Twenty-seventh Sao Paulo Bienal last year that revisited themes in the work of Marcel Broodthaers--including the circulation of artworks, the possibilities of creative collaboration,...
On the Road Again: J. Hoberman on Robert Frank
"NEVER HAVE I experienced so much in one week as here. I feel as if I'm in a film." So wrote the young Robert Frank to his parents soon after his arrival in the United States in 1947. The Swiss-born Frank is far better known (and vastly more influential)...
Out of Circulation: Anthony Huberman on Dexter Sinister
THE INSIGNIA FOR New York-based design and publishing collective Dexter Sinister--David Reinfurt and Stuart Bailey--is a plain shield, described in the very foreign but precise heraldic language as (party) per bend sinister: "a blank shield [(party)]...
Peter Piller: Andrew Kreps Gallery
A quietly persuasive lesson in how destabilizing--and enriching--the effects of experiments with accumulation and strategic recontextualization can be on the function and meaning of images, the absorbing New York solo debut of German Conceptualist...
Peter Zimmermann: Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin
It might not be easy to see past the highly reflective surfaces of the works in Peter Zimmermann's recent show "Reliance," but when you do, you are pulled in by the layers and layers of color and light trapped in hardened pools of epoxy resin, each...
Pia Fries: CRG Gallery
Pia Fries's Loschaug suite, 2005-2007--eight paintings, on eleven wood panels in all, that together the artist considers a single work--was inspired by the naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian, a German/Dutch woman who at the turn of the eighteenth century...
Piece Movement: Yve-Alain Bois on Mark Wallinger's State Britain
"Is this for real?" The tone of the question was a mixture of disgust, sarcasm, and self-righteousness, but it was uttered just loud enough to betray some outright anxiety. It stopped me in my tracks. I had just passed the smartly dressed, bejeweled...
Ricarda Roggan: Galerie Eigen + Art
Ricarda Roggan is decidedly different from the current crop of young artists from Leipzig, who favor a decoratively painted amalgamation of Photoshop realism and sampled figures. Roggan's photographs, which were included in last year's Berlin Biennial,...
Rosana Castrillo Diaz: Anthony Meier Fine Arts
Office supplies have been a consistent subject of and medium in Rosana Castrillo Diaz's demure art for the past few years. Over that time, she has become known for near-invisible Scotch-tape installations and exquisitely detailed drawings of stacks...
Rudolf Stingel: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
THE AUSTERELY MINIMALIST interior of Chicago's Josef Paul Kleihues-designed Museum of Contemporary Art may never have looked so good as when lit by the fluorescent hues of Dan Flavin's neon retrospective in 2005, but until now--that is, until the arrival...
Sergio Prego: Lehmann Maupin
In Italo Calvino's 1967 story "The Chase," a desperate car pursuit is slowed to a snail's pace when hunter and quarry become mired in a traffic jam. It's a scenario that one imagines Spanish artist Sergio Prego might appreciate, his manipulations of...
Shirley Tse: Murray Guy
Like a diligent student of The Graduate, Shirley Tse has made her career in plastics, demarcating with uncommon zeal (and amid sporadic references to Martin Heidegger and Gilles Deleuze) an artistic practice defined less by a particular aesthetic agenda...
Sunny Disquisition: James Quandt on Syndromes and a Century
What's given bears fruit as pleasure. --From the Aditta Sutta THERE IS NO MORE generous vision in contemporary cinema than that of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. So rapturous is his desire to share everyday delight in sun streaming through wind-whipped...
"Thaw": Marble Palace, State Russian Museum
"Thaw: Fifteen Years of the Marat Guelman Gallery," at St. Petersburg's Marble Palace, is a tribute to the ingenuity and taste of the gallerist who changed the rules of Russian art. The show's title refers to a second political thaw in Russian expressive...
"The Ghosts of Songs: A Retrospective of the Black Audio Film Collective"; Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool, England
IS IT REALLY A MYSTERY why Black Audio Film Collective have had to wait nearly ten years since their dissolution for their first retrospective? Founded in London in 1982, the group operated in a context far removed from Britain's burgeoning fascination...
"The Idea of North": Isabella Bortolozzi
An exhibition about the north seems like a timely event, as global warming alters the nature of the Arctic. But if guest curator Dieter Roelstraete hoped to challenge rustic, romantic fantasies about northernness, he should have used a compass, if...
"The Studio": Hugh Lane Gallery
Between 1998 and 2001 the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin undertook one of the most mind-boggling art-historical enterprises of the last decade: After acquiring the studio of British painter Francis Bacon, until then housed on the top floor of a small...
Tim Hyde: Max Protetch
Tim Hyde uses video to examine architecture--a relationship between media that brings to mind Dan Graham's ongoing investigation of public and private space, as well as Doug Aitken's Sleepwalkers, 2007. But Hyde is less interested in contrasting the...
Tommy White: Harris Lieberman
Beginning in 1951, Robert Rauschenberg produced a number of so-called black paintings, which, with their thick, cracked surfaces, later prompted Helen Molesworth to suggest their resonance with "fecal matter: the smeared quality of the paint, the varying...
Triste Arctique: Amy Taubin on the Films of Zacharias Kunuk
Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) erupted onto the screen at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, just as its eponymous hero of legend, at the turning point of the film, bursts naked from his ice hut, startling his would-be assassins who had left him for dead,...
Will Fowler: David Kordansky Gallery
In his 2004 debut at David Kordansky Gallery, Will Fowler positioned painting as an analogue of paleontology by playfully exploring the fossils of modernist syntax. Deploying straight-from-the-tube acrylic colors in riotous assemblies of geometric...