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. 3, November

"62 Days, 58 Shows, 212 Artists" the Forgotten Bar
A crowd was assembled on the sidewalk outside the bar, drinking beer out of bottles. Around the corner, a few young Turkish men had set up a grill right in the street. Inside the long, narrow, gray space known as the Forgotten Bar, you had to squeeze...
"9 Evenings Reconsidered: Art, Theatre, and Engineering": Museum of Design
9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering took place at the New York Armory in 1966. This intensely ambitious--almost monumental-series of events was presented over nine evenings under the aegis of Billy Kluver, then still working as an electrical engineer...
"After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy"; High Museum of Art
In the photograph within Leslie Hewitt's photograph Make It Plain, 2002-2005, two worn paperbacks, both published in 1968, sit on a tabletop. One is the Kerner Commission's report on the race riots of the year before, the other Joanne Grant's historical...
Alicia Framis: Centre D'Art Santa Monica
The prison at Guantanamo has become a synonym for ignominy and torture. Recently, the United States Supreme Court recognized that prisoners there actually do have constitutional rights. But if human rights organizations have been demanding for years...
Anne Daems: Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery
Focusing on ephemeral minutiae, Anne Daems clearly fancies herself a poet of the everyday. Working in a variety of media, she aims to tease out neglected moments of beauty from her surroundings, whether urban, quasi-rural, or studio-interior. The aim...
A Tale of Two Cities
FICTION NOW SEEMS TO HAVE TRUMPED FACT; farce seems to have supplanted politics. If contemporary artists--from the Otolith Group to Ike Ude and Roshini Kempadoo--routinely obfuscate the lines between documentary and satire, such amalgamations have...
Battle Code: Gene McHugh on Guy Debord's Game of War and the Radical Software Group
IN APRIL OF THIS YEAR, an original silver-plated edition of the Game of War, a military-strategy board game released in 1977 by the founder of the Situationist International, Guy Debord, was displayed at the "Form as Strategy" exhibition in New York...
"Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body"; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College
"Black Womanhood" began by presenting the racialized female body as both absence and presence: Photographs portraying a female body (in some, covered in spices; in others, as negative space surrounded by spices) hung near the entrance--documents of...
Cecile Babiole and Laurent Dailleau: Auditorium D'issy-Les-Moulineaux
Layering sampled speech and sounds created with an analog synthesizer, Laurent Dailleau's music for the performance Mexican Standoff, 2008, fueled a tension that never slackened in its nearly fifty minutes. In response, Cecile Babiole's live video...
Cesare Viel: Pinksummer Museo D'arte Contemporanea Di Villa Croce
Cesare Viel is interested in relationships between verbal language and the body, which he expresses through many different media, from prose to video, performance to photography. His recent exhibition at Pinksummer presented the most recent results...
Charles Burns: Adam Baumgold Gallery
Everything in the world of Charles Burns is suffused in an other-worldly glow, as if the only available light were provided by cosmic radiation, nuclear blasts, or the full moon. Through this permanent midnight ranges a freakish cast of characters,...
Children's Book: Tim Griffin Introduces a Project
A CRUCIAL TERM FOR CHANTAL AKERMAN is that of evocation, which she regularly uses to describe the thinking underlying her various projects. Speaking, for instance, about her powerful 1999 documentary, Sud (South)--for which the artist and filmmaker...
Dave Cole: Judi Rotenberg Gallery
Providence, Rhode Island-based artist Dave Cole blurs the lines between homespun and manufactured, innocent and subversive, nostalgic and postindustrial in his knitted, quilted, and hand-sewn sculptures that range from three-inch-tall Kevlar booties...
David Claerbout: Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
What if one could freeze a moment in time--or, more precisely, slow it down until its motion became almost ungraspable? And what if one could then freely move around in space within that frozen moment, so that one could closely observe each detail...
Drawn from Memory
TEETH BARED, OCHER EYES BLAZING, the dogs of war are rampaging through the streets of a strangely depopulated Tel Aviv. The pack grows as it runs, until twenty-six howling horrors surround a nearly featureless building--gray like all the buildings...
"Eclipse: Art in a Dark Age": Moderna Museet, Stockholm
THE MELANCHOLIC, even eschatological perspective that finds a brooding cloud in clear daylight may well describe a Nordic sensibility that needs to be retired as mere cliche--but curator Magnus af Petersens's recent show titled "Eclipse: Art in a Dark...
Francis Upritchard: Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces
This has proven to be a milestone year for New Zealand-born, London-based sculptor Francis Upritchard. Her selection as one of New Zealand's representatives for its 2009 Venice Biennale pavilion followed residencies at two of Australasia's most significant...
George Maciunas: Maya Stendhal Gallery
Between 1957 and 1965, before establishing the downtown artist cooperatives that garnered him the nickname "The Father of SoHo," Fluxus impresario George Maciunas drafted a set of ambitious building plans for newly constructed apartment complexes and...
Great Pretender
DON DRAPER SAT in his third-floor walk-up in the rue du Temple in the Marais. It was the winter of 1971. He had been there four years. After Maud, the Columbia English professor, his third black lover and the last woman to refuse to go to Paris with...
Helene Furjan on Eco-Logics
R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER LIVED THROUGH the oil crisis of 1973 and '74, and through the energy-conservation and alternative-energy movements it spawned--and then he watched those movements sidelined by corporate interests. It may be that these events only...
Joanna Pousette-Dart Moti Hasson Gallery
Much as it comes as a surprise, Joanna Pousette-Dart must now be regarded as a veteran abstract painter--the way we thought of her father, Richard Pousette-Dart, who, finally, has been transported to the higher reaches of Abstract Expressionist heaven....
Joao Paulo Feliciano: Centro De Artes Visuais
Since the early 1990s, Joao Paulo Feliciano has exemplified the link between music and art in Portugal, a connection that in this country has seldom gone beyond marginal experimentalism. The rock band Tina and the Top Ten, of which Feliciano was the...
Joel Sternfeld: Luhring Augustine
In a passage in his journal dated February 5, 1855, Henry David Thoreau asserted, "In a journal it is important in a few words to describe the weather, or characters of the day, as it affects our feelings. That which was so important at the time cannot...
John Altoon
MARY BOONE GALLERY John Altoon's short career offers near-perfect fodder for art-historical mythmaking. It contains all the ingredients of a durable fable: a fiery personality (he fought mental illness, often trashing his own work and threatening...
John Chiara: Eleanor Harwood Gallery
Environmental concerns have had an undeniable impact on art about landscape, while digital technologies have similarly affected the dialogue around photography, breathing new life into hoary questions regarding the presumptive authenticity of the photographic...
Katerina Seda
ONE SUNNY SATURDAY IN MAY 2003, the majority of citizens in the Czech Republic village of Ponetovice (population approximately three hundred) went shopping at exactly 7 AM and spent ten crowns each on their groceries. They opened their windows at 9,...
Kehinde Wiley: Studio Museum in Harlem
Kehinde Wiley's formula hasn't changed much since he broke out around the time of his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2001-2002), but the impact of his paintings has. Originally, Wiley's juxtaposition of statuesque black men in the freshest...
Kelly Richardson: Birch Libralato
In this exhibition, Kelly Richardson toyed with the limits of photography and video while playing with the notion of the manufactured landscape. The photographs Scene Setter #3 and Scene Setter #4 (both 2008), for example, depict lush picturesque lakes...
Kevin Pratt on Geoengineering
AS THE EARTH HEATS UP, it is inevitable that solutions will be sought in the application of engineering at a scale commensurate with the scope of the problem--a planetary rappel a I' ordre to be achieved by the mechanization of the geobiosphere. The...
"Like an Attali Report, but Different: On Fiction and Political Imagination": Kadist Foundation
In "Like an Attali Report, but Different," the Romanian curator Cosmin Costinas explored one of the great themes of our time: the question of political visions. In addition to a number of subtle crossreferences, the show offered a refreshingly diverse...
Lisa Lapinski: Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
LISA LAPINSKI MOVES regularly among media and craft traditions in her work, drawing from a wide variety of artistic and architectural lineages, models, and methodologies--often combining seemingly incompatible iconographies and motifs. As a result,...
Louise Bourgeois
THE LOUISE BOURGEOIS RETROSPECTIVE at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York--an exhibition that premiered last year at Tate Modern in London--was a mammoth affair with some 150 works, a hundred of them large sculptures. The show began with the...
Louise Bourgeois: Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, New York
A FRIEND RECENTLY told me of her visit to one of Louise Bourgeois's salons a few years ago. Another guest had gifted Bourgeois a box of bonbons, which the Grande Dame had been enthusiastically sampling, covering herself and all she touched with chocolate...
Matthew Buckingham: Murray Guy
How to become a radical? Find yourself in the midst of a campus anti-war demonstration, mix in some law enforcement violence against your fellow students, and you have a recipe for political transfiguration. In a rather subtle, well-timed gesture of...
Michael Wang on Ephemeralization
IT WAS IN 1943 that R. Buckminster Fuller made his famous announcement that during the preceding two years he had slept for an average of two hours a day, napping for thirty minutes at six-hour intervals. This "Dymaxion Sleep," as he called it, followed...
Mike Kelley: Wiels
Educational Complex, 1995, marks a breakthrough in Mike Kelley's career, though not as one might expect. An architectural maquette combining all the schools the artist ever attended, it initiated Kelley's work on Repressed Memory Syndrome, the pop-psychology...
Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor; Lombard-Freid Projects
It appeared when one entered Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor's exhibition (the Romanian artists' first in the United States) at Lombard-Freid that a lecture had just taken place or would take place very soon. Rows of folding wooden chairs were arranged...
Moyra Davey: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
"WELL, I'LL BE DAMNED!" Standing at the entrance to "Long Life Cool White: Photographs by Moyra Davey"--a survey of the artist's photographs from the past two decades (and her first museum show), curated by Helen Molesworth--was a fifty-something man...
Nandalal Bose: Philadelphia Museum of Art
WITH THE RECENT EXPLOSION of Indian art onto the global stage, sweeping survey exhibitions of work from modern and contemporary South Asia are regularly appearing throughout the world--only to provide reductive histories of this region. By contrast,...
Navigating Systems
WE DON'T SAIL MUCH ANYMORE. This fact helps explain the particular distance that lies between our world and that of R. Buckminster Fuller. For, despite Fuller's incessant, often prescient, projections of the future, and despite the fact that, speaking...
Nicole Cherubini: Nicole Cherubini Is an Artist Based in New York, Where Her Solo Exhibitions at D'Amelio Terras and Smith-Stewart Opened Last Month. Her Work, Paired with Sculptures by Taylor Davis, Will Be on View at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at Museum 52 in New York Next Year
1 POTTERY, POLITICS, ART: GEORGE OHR AND THE BROTHERS KIRKPATRICK, RICHARD D. MOHR (UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS PRESS, 2003) Scholar Richard D. Mohr delves into the lives of George E. Ohr and the brothers Cornwall and Wallace Kirkpatrick, showing how their...
On Animal Estates and Edible Estates
I DIDN'T GIVE R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER much thought until 2000, when I moved into my geodesic dome-topped house on Sundown Drive in the hills of Los Angeles. The following year, I began a series of loose, last-minute salon events with no budget (which...
Persistence of Vision: Malcolm Turvey on the Films of Chantal Akerman
HOW DOES ONE CONVERT a film initially designed for theatrical screening into a gallery installation? Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman has taken up this question by reconfiguring two of her decumentaries, D'est (From the East, 1993) and De l'autre...
Peter Buggenhout: Gallery Maskara
Visiting a gallery in Mumbai is generally gratifying, if for no other reason than that the air-conditioned white cube provides a welcome respite from the heat and dust of the city's that street's. But not this time. For his first show in India, "ResDerelictae...
Philip Guston
The supposedly big change in Philip Guston's art occurred in the late 1960s, when he switched from his refined, "tender-minded" version of "action painting" to a cartoonlike imagery of hooded figures, familiar objects (fruit, shoes, body parts), and...
Public Equity: Sharon Mizota on Edgar Arceneaux and "Watts House Project"
BUILT BETWEEN 1921 AND 1955 by Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant cement finisher and tile maker, the iconic Watts Towers are fantastic, airy structures of rebar, mortar, found pottery, and glass that rise almost one hundred feet into the air above...
"Quiet Politics": Zwirner & Wirth
The terms quiet and politics usually have very little to do with one another, yet this group exhibition attempted to reconcile them, to demonstrate in a sense that still waters can run deep. While the show proposed that even the simplest gesture can...
Rashid Johnson: Monique Meloche
Walls of ruddy oak paneling provided a posh backdrop to Rashid Johnson's third solo exhibition at Monique Meloche, for which the artist loosely transformed the long narrow gallery into what appeared to be an exclusive black gentlemen's recreation center,...
"Real Time: Art in Israel 1998-2008"
ISRAEL MUSEUM With the state of Israel celebrating its sixtieth anniversary, six museums across the country mounted exhibitions that tried to capture the artistic essence of each decade since the nation's founding. Considering Jerusalem's historical...
Rebecca Belmore: Vancouver Art Gallery
The centerpiece of this midcareer survey of Rebecca Belmore's work was Fountain, 2005, a video installation she created for the Canadian pavilion at the Fifty-first Venice Biennale. Known for the intensity and physicality of her performance work, Belmore...
Representative Governance
I CAN THINK OF NO BETTER definition of celebrity than a widely circulating image derived from but not identical to a person--in short, an avatar. As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama was criticized as just such an image. A notorious television...
Ride Lonesome: James Quandt on the Films of Lisandro Alonso
SINCE DEBATES OVER AUTEURISM now seem as distant as Madame de Stael, it was hardly noticed at this year's Cannes International Film Festival, even as the Directors' Fortnight celebrated its fortieth birthday, that the politique's monism had created...
Roe Ethridge Andrew Kreps Gallery
For his recent book Rockaway, NY (2007), Roe Ethridge exploited its namesake place as theme and organizational principle. With customary relish, he slotted images--actually taken in places as far-flung as Mumbai, St. Barts, and Cornwall, England, despite...
Roni Horn: Gagosian Gallery
HER EYES ICY BLUE, WITH THE LOOK OF SOMEONE WHO HAS ACHIEVED BLINDNESS BY AN ACT OF WILL AND MEANS TO KEEP IT. This line, lifted from Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People," becomes sculptural in a signature work of Roni Horn's: Each...
Sarah Morris: White Cube
Tommie Smith and John Carlos changed my life. Beamed in monochrome from Mexico City to a white boy in the nowhere provinces of England in 1968, the athletes' silent gesture of graceful resistance under pressure--raising their fists in a black power...
Shrouded Skies
THE RATHER WRITERLY GERMAN director Hartmut Bitomsky likes to quote Oulipian writer Raymond Queneau. A work of art, according to Queneau, needs a rules-based structure. If those rules remain invisible, then the unseen and paranoia-inducing regularities...
Silke Wagner: Neuer Berliner Kunstverein
According to Marius Babias, the new director of the Neuer Berliner Kunstvereini, "Silke Wagner presents a programmatic choice for NBK's new orientation." Wagner's artistic approach, Babias says, refers "to the question of activating publicity and creates...
Sound Barriers
MP3S CAN PROVOKE a metaphysical crisis in a record collector. If you don't have to pack them when you move, do they exist? To my analog brain, when music is "ripped" from a disc, it enters a mysteriously disembodied space. For once digital files have...
Space Odyssey: Luc Sante on Manny Farber (1917-2008)
MANNY FARBER FIRST CAME TO MY ATTENTION by way of a book generically titled Movies, with a generic cover illustration of Bogie, George Raft, and suchlike tinted with cupcake dyes. Heaven knows why I even bothered to open it, but I immediately found...
Stephen Vitiello: MC
An acoustic aviary of electronic squawks, chirps, and beating wings. A choir of insects signaling polyphonically in the dark. The clicking of frogs. Suction slaps. Aerosol sprays. Sustained static drones periodically spliced by jarring pops. These...
"Street and Studio": Tate Modern
The game is fixed: As a structure for comprehending the history of photography, the dualism "street and studio" can mean only "street" versus "studio"--and in that agon, street must always win, just as spontaneity will always triumph control, the crowd...
Tetsumi Kudo
ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY This tantalizing introduction to the work of Tetsumi Kudo, via twenty-five of his wildly idiosyncratic and often strenuously lurid multimedia sculptures, constituted the first gallery show in the United States devoted to the...
The Center for Land Use Interpretation; Matthew Coolidge Talks about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
TO MARK NEXT YEAR'S SESQUICENTENNIAL of the discovery of oil in the United States, the Center for Land Use Interpretation (CLUI)--a thirteen-year-old organization "dedicated to the increase and diffusion of information about how the nation's lands...
Thommayne on Morphosis
J HEARD R. BUCKMINSTER FULLER SPEAK at UCLA years ago, when I was in my early twenties. It was hilarious, a nonstop non sequitur that started at eight o'clock at night, and--although I left at around three--lasted until five or six in the morning,...
Tobias Rehberger: Museum Ludwig
Modern design worldwide has been shaped by the demands of the German Bauhaus: functionality, clarity of form, rigor. Through the years, such strictures have led to a dehumanizing rigidity, pushed further by artists such as Donald Judd who placed form...
Tomorrow No More
IN THE UNITED STATES over the past three months, it has become abundantly clear that the points for debate between the two major political parties' presidential candidates are not nuanced matters of policy but rather the most basic tenets of the country's...
Walid Raad: Galerie Sfeir-Semler
Since 1999, the Lebanese artist Walid Raad has been better known as his collective alter ego the Atlas Group, an imaginary, anonymous research foundation in whose name he has produced an intricate series of videos, installations, and performances....
Wallace Whitney: Rowland Contemporary
Wallace Whitney is alive to the curious allure of gestural abstraction, to the drama and theatricality made possible by painting with a wide and overloaded brush in thick three-or four-foot strokes that can seem impetuous, risky, sudden, bold, unconsciously...