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. 38, No. 10, Summer

Alicia Framis
It's hardly unusual for an artist to question contemporary society, but it is surprising to receive genuinely poetic yet straightforward answers. Days after seeing Alicia Framis's "Remix Buildings," her latest contribution to shaping a better world,...
Alois Lichtsteiner
Alois Lichtsteiner emerged as an artist around the time when the craze for "wild painting" was coming to its abrupt end. From the very beginning he combined figuration and the gesture of pure application of color with a determination to reflect on...
Amy Sillman
The first thing you noticed on entering Amy Sillman's show of new paintings was The Umbrian Line, 1999-2000, a group of twenty bright gouaches on paper. Mostly small and arranged in a slightly uneven row, they contain elements of Italian landscapes...
Ana Laura Alaez
Ana Laura Alaez, a young Basque artist who lives in Madrid, caused a sensation around the time of the most recent ARCO, in February. Seldom does an exhibition by an artist little known to the general public awaken such interest in Spain. Wavering between...
A Thousand Words
Kerry James Marshall Growing up, I was a big fan of Marvel comics, especially the ones about groups of superheroes like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. Just the language used to describe these characters--"the uncanny X-Men," "the Incredible Hulk,"...
"Ben Shahn's New York"
In 1946, Clement Greenberg endorsed the work of Walker Evans with the slogan "let photography be 'literary." The next year, in a review of Ben Shahn's retrospective at MOMA, he declared that Shahn was "more naturally a photographer than painter." That...
Brian Maguire
"Around me the images of thirty years." In his poem "The Municipal Gallery Revisited," W.B. Yeats surveyed, with a mixture of pride and wonder, a collection of images that charted the course of the first three tumultuous decades of twentieth-century...
Carlo Benvenuto
A simple wooden kitchen table rests on four plastic ballpoint pen caps, while photographs of similarly ordinary objects--glasses, cups, a teapot on a tablecloth--hang on the walls. The effect of these works (all untitled, 1999) by Carlo Benvenuto is...
Case Dismissed
BACK IN 1990, the obscenity charges brought against the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center and its director, Dennis Barrie, sent shock waves through the art world. The fact that Barrie faced a possible prison term gave pause to art professionals everywhere....
Casey Cook
I like Casey Cook's paintings, but the professionalism behind them makes me nervous. She seems to take painting as a closed system, an array of readymade elements from which the artist selects in order to cannily recombine them (if possible) into a...
Catherine Opie
In one of Catherine Opie's best-known photographs, an unsettling 1993 selfportrait, a scene of two stick-figure women standing next to a little house under a puffy cloud has been scratched into the skin of the artist's back. The image of the body with...
Crow's Nest
DAVID JOSELIT TALKS WITH THOMAS CROW THIS SUMMER THOMAS CROW will become the director of what is undoubtedly the most influential and best-funded art-historical think tank in the United States: the Getty Research Institute (GRI) in Los Angeles....
Darrell Viner
Pebble-dash outside, bare roughcast and whitewash within, the 1886 mission church that houses Darrell Viner's site-specific installation Eight Times Three, 2000, combines the spare elegance of an early Christian basilica with the utilitarian grottiness...
Dorit Margreiter
To write for a primarily American readership about an exhibition by a European artist concerned with the commonplaces of American television presents a certain difficulty. Despite their worldwide dissemination through the media, the depicted cultures...
Dutchman's Breaches
BRIAN D'AMATO AND DAVID RIMANELLI TALK WITH PAUL VERHOEVEN One day in college I went to the local art house to see Paul Verhoeven's The Fourth Man (1983). The director was unknown to me, but the promise of gaudy violence and AC/DC sex scenes no...
Enrica Borghi
Enrica Borghi is now well known in Italy for sculptural work using recycled plastic materials ranging from fake fingernails to fragments of plastic bottles. In the unfortunately rather unattractive Spazio Aperto (open space) that Bologna's Galleria...
Florence Lazar
Two of Florence Lazar's three recent videos were shot in Serbia following the conflicts in Kosovo. Born in France in 1966 and a graduate of L'Ecole nationale superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Lazar is of Serbian descent and has long been concerned...
"Francis Picabia: Late Paintings"
Way back in the twentieth century, the Lord saw that, in later life, some of the saints of early modern art had begun to commit heresy, and He decreed that at this critical point they were to be desanctified. The fall of rebel angels included, of course,...
Frank Gerritz
There's something delirious about Frank Gerritz's new drawings: What at first looks like a uniform, impassive, metallic panel divided into rectangles with machine-made precision is discovered on closer inspection to be a finely grained, handmade, multilayered...
Gala Committee
With the revival of interventionist art practices in the '90s, which at times decidedly refer to procedures of the '60s and especially the '7os, there are frequently moral pretenses at play. Art (market) mechanisms are critically scrutinized, artistic...
Gavin Hipkins
The Habitat, 1999-2000, Gavin Hipkins's latest photographic installation, was promoted as a political project, a kind of finely tuned savoring of the loss of modernist idealism. Hipkins has been accurately described as "a tourist of photography," and...
Gregory Crewdson
Gregory Crewdson's new series of staged photographs, "Twilight" (1998-99, all Untitled), shows a suburbia run amok. People who can't take the subway to work grow obsessed with the underground, tunneling holes in their living rooms or digging gardens...
Interiority Complex
GREGOR SCHNEIDER'S DEAD HOUSE UR, 1985- Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space Few things intrigued me more as a kid than the hidden closets and secret passageways found in old houses. The very thought of clandestine nooks and crannies offering...
John Tremblay
Critic Bob Nickas wrote recently that John Tremblay's Open Plan Living, a spectacular, almost forty-foot-long painting, "seemed like a statement, and it's rare to find that these days. Most artists make their statements in interviews, or when they...
Lee Boroson
Plotting public space consists of figuring out how to get people from here to there; any pause along the way tends to be carefully orchestrated. As a specialist in largescale, site-specific sculpture, Lee Boroson draws on the city planner's concepts...
Letters
RAPPER DELIGHT To the Editor: Although I am quite flattered by Thad Ziolkowski's depiction of me as "a bull in the racial china shop" [Reviews, April 2000], he was apparently too busy hallucinating and making up lies about the content of my work...
"Live in Your Head: Concept and Experiment in Britain, 1965-75"
Was there a British Conceptualism? Previous surveys of this development have mapped a cross-Atlantic phenomenon; more recently, "Global Conceptualism" made the case for a worldwide tendency. Current retrospective exhibits of Sol LeWitt, Martha Rosler,...
Meg Stuart
In her latest solo performance, choreographer Meg Stuart gives new meaning to the phrase "body language." Not the leg-crossing, tie-straightening, behavioral kind that we might find in Pina Bausch's dramatically staged battles of the sexes in the '80s,...
Mies-En-Scene
WHEN THOMAS RUFF'S NEW IMAGES of Mies van der Rohe's Haus Lange and Haus Esters go on view in the newly refurbished Krefeld villas this June, the German photographer will help reinaugurate a pair of structures almost as important for the recent history...
"Mirror's Edge"
Up until the 1970s the art world was, roughly speaking, a white male club headquartered in New York City. In the wider arena of culture, art had about the same status as tennis or golf in the world of sports; but rather than Wimbledon or Pebble Beach,...
Muntean/rosenbium
Recently I met with a well-scrubbed guy in a bright-blue shirt who had a shiny new pencil, also blue, tucked jauntily behind his ear. Something about him struck me as odd, and later I realized that he was mimicking, albeit in a different color, the...
Musical Heirs
IT WILL COME AS REASSURANCE that Switzerland, the national cliche of clockwork orderliness, is awhir with all the messy passions that make the rest of us tick. So it turns out from the recent affair at the Kunsthaus Zurich, one of two prominent Swiss...
Nina Bovasso
Nina Bovasso revs her paintings right up to the point where the riotous starts to dribble over into the giddy. But the swirling up-tempo pacing of her works, their curvy and swervy insouciance, can't quite mask a surprisingly fastidious construction....
Nora Speyer
Freud wrote in 1905, "Seeing is ultimately derived from touching," which is sexually "indispensable," "a source of pleasure." The most "touching" textures in paint are subliminally sexual, that is, poignantly suggestive of tactile sensations abstracted...
Paul Pfeiffer
To see [Michael Jordan] soar through the air, a sparkling, shiny creature traveling at the speed of light, landing in every first, second, and third world city all at once, is to understand you play a minor role in a very big game....His reach defines...
Ridley Howard
New York-based painter Ridley Howard is profoundly attached to the South of his childhood. The six large-scale oil paintings and three drawings in the "Palace Court" series, 1998-2000, on view in his first solo exhibition recently, depict this twenty-six-year-old...
Ross Braught
"Ross Braught (1898-1983): A Visual Diary" reintroduced a little-known yet remarkable figure in the history of American art. The paintings, drawings, and lithographs on view charted the development of a highly original and thoroughly modern talent....
Sabrina Torelli
For Sabrina Torelli, a young artist from Bologna, sound is a sort of trap, presenting the viewer, as she says, with "openings, entrances, sometimes made up of a sound, a repetitive rhythm, an infinitely prolonged phrase, so-called signals of recall."...
Same Ol' Samo
DOWNTOWN 81, A "LOST" No-BUDGET FILM shot on location in Manhattan some nineteen years ago, finally had its debut last month, at Cannes. Directed by Edo Bertoglio and written by Glenn O'Brien, this lighthearted document of the East Village scene stars...
"Samuel Beckett/bruce Nauman"
What exactly is Molloy doing with his sixteen stones? "Watch me closely," he says: "I take a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, suck it, stop sucking it, put it in the left pocket of my greatcoat, the empty one (of stones). I take a second...
Stoya
"Dub Like Dirt," the name Dusseldorf painter Stoya gave his recent exhibition, is taken from a CD compilation of King Tubby material from the mid-'70s. The title is hard to reconcile with the colorful, organic, and ornamental forms in Stoya's paintings....
Synch Tank
You may not actually have known any of the songs, but with their pleasingly familiar New Romantic techno-pop beat, you felt like you should. In any case, by the time you filed out of Gavin Brown's Fifteenth Street gallery--filled to capacity for every...
Tony Feher
Like the Minimalists to whom his work nods, Tony Feher uses industrially produced materials (glass, plastic, metal, nylon, polystyrene, rubber) and manipulates them in ways not generally associated with a human touch (stacking, hanging, laying components...
Tony Oursler
It's a rare body of work that makes the viewer open a mental can of worms, but the broad selection of works in Tony Oursler's midcareer, almost quarter-century-spanning survey took me in so many directions and so consistently managed to engage, provoke,...
Towards a Funner Laocoon
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO MAKE A SCULPTURE? There are certainly more immediate (and less bulky) ways to represent the world these days. Still, at a moment when ambitious creative types might be expected to turn to, say, Web design or software development,...
Towers of London
LOUISE BOURGEOIS: I DO, I UNDO, AND I REDO, 1999--2000 HOW VERY APPROPRIATE that the new Tate Modern, with its towering smokestack on the Thames, debuted in May with a work to match its equally towering ambitions. In the museum's coldly vast Turbine...
Two Pops
IN ANTICIPATION OF THE DUAL SURVEYS BEING MOUNTED THIS SUMMER--"EDWARD RUSCHA" AT THE HIRSHHORN MUSEUM IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND "WAYNE THIEBAUD: A PAINTINGS RETROSPECTIVE" AT THE PALACE OF THE LEGION OF HONOR IN SAN FRANCISCO--WE ASKED PETER PLAGENS...
Ugo Rondinone
Ugo Rondinone's solo New York debut looked like a group show, and I suspect that's just how he likes it. There was nothing here to suggest that the Swiss artist wants to define a single identity for himself or a common thread through his multifarious...
X-Acto Science
There's an element of the science nerd in Tom Friedman, or so I would guess--the oversolemn teenager who pauses in the middle of Stephen Hawking's Brief History of Time, puts aside his cobblestone glasses, and says, Oh wow. This is the Friedman whose...
Yoshihiro Suda
When art mimics nature, a tension between perfection and impermanence is usually somewhere in the mix. The artist, copying natural forms with all the loyalty and hubris he or she can muster, makes an image--representing, say, a flower--that has neither...