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. 50, No. 2, October

And Your Mind Will Follow: Bennett Simpson on an Untitled 2010 Work
THE YAWNING. CAVELIKE BLACK SPACE was both empty and full. What was it empty of? What rilled it? When I stood before Rodney McMillian's "room" installation, the first he has made, last year at Susanne Vielmetter in Culver City, 1 remember I had already...
Annette Lemieux: WORCESTER ART MUSEUM
A major midcareer survey, "The Strange Life of Objects: The Art of Annette Lemieux" showcases twenty-four works made between 1983 and the present. The Boston-based Lemieux got her start in New York in the early '80s, during which time, as an assistant...
Anyone and Everyone
SOME YEARS AGO, Rosalind Krauss used Frank Stella's and Ad Reinhardt's black paintings, respectively, to discern "two different minimalisms," the latter of which amounted to a Zen-like examination of perception, "an expanding, pulsing awareness of...
Art in Los Angeles
WHERE, EXACTLY, IS LOS ANGELES? Somewhere between the studio lot and the Eagle Rock studio, Chinatown and Chinatown? Between the "playfield of the devil," as Richard Neutra called it, and the "hyperurban configuration" described by Fredric Jameson?...
Atsuko Tanaka: IKON GALLERY, BIRMINGHAM, UK
STANDING BAREFOOT ON A BEACH, Atsuko Tanaka drags the handle of an ice ax in an arc through the sand, drawing a circle around her body and closing it with extraordinary precision. The artist then steps out of this loop, moving sinuously but purposefully...
B. Wurtz: METRO PICTURES
"How have I never heard of him?" This eavesdropped question, asked with equal measures of surprise and embarrassment by a tapped-in critic, likely typified the response to this wonder of a show. B. Wurtz-- born in Pasadena, California, in 1948; educated...
Cynthia Daignault: WHITE COLUMNS
Like a conceptual puzzle with too easy a solution, Cynthia Daignault's project has a transparency that hews perilously close to the counterproductive. But while her art seems at first to refuse any possibility of mystery or "expression," instead dealing...
Dara Birnbaum: MARIAN GOODMAN
How often has one sat on a subway next to a man sitting with legs spread wide enough to occupy two seats? He commands space by physical gesture alone--and women rarely adopt a similarly dominating pose. In Dara Birnbaum's mid-1970s video explorations...
Denis Savary: GALERIE XIPPAS
Featuring works in video, installation, and sculpture created between 2006 and 2011, this show emphasized contemplative aspects of Denis Savary's art, rather than the straight-facedly humorous, cool side for which he is also known. Perhaps more important,...
Diego Santome: PARRA & ROMERO
Two years ago Diego Santome curated an exhibition at Parra & Romero titled "La Importancia del Fez Cebra" (The Importance of Zebrafish), a group show exploring the pertinence of a potential connection between the art of the 1960s and contemporary...
Differential Equations
IN CHARLES GAINES'S SCULPTURE FALLING ROCK, 2000, a sixty-five-pound chunk of granite suddenly and repeatedly drops onto--or just short of--a sheet of glass. We have no way of knowing which of these outcomes to expect; it is determined by a computerized...
Dmitri Prigov: PALAZZO CA'FOSCARI
Those familiar with the poetry of Dmitri Alexandrovich Prigov (1940-2007) might be surprised to learn that he was actually educated as a visual artist, and in 1975 was accepted into the prestigious, conformist, and nepotistic Union of Soviet Artists....
Douglas Gordon: YVON LAMBERT
Three different interventions made up this Scottish artist's recent exhibition: some neon writing, a photographic installation, and a video installation. The neon piece, Unfinished, 201 1, installed in the gallery entrance, carried the words JE SUIS...
"East Ex East": BRAND NEW GALLERY
Visitors to "East ex East," a group show organized by the British critic and curator Jane Neal, could not fail to be drawn in by the kaleidoscope of signs that characterize the artistic expressions of an idea of the East seeking to free itself from...
Elmgreen & Dragset: SUBMARINE WHARF
The Submarine Wharf is so enormous that it has been compared to Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. In fact, this exhibition space in the port of Rotterdam is so big it could accommodate an entire four-story residential tower block, a parking lot, a Ferris...
Eriks Apalais: GALERIE VERA MUNRO
The paintings of Eriks Apalais have a sort of gravity-defying lightness. He presents the viewer with a hybrid world of images in which abstract and figurative elements interact across great expanses of undefined space. It's not always clear what we...
Evelyne Axell: MUSEUM ABTEIBERG
Axell-eration is the title Evelyne Axell, who shortened her name to the gender-neutral Axell at the beginning of her artistic career, gave to one of her paintings in 1 965, and now "Axelleration. Evelyne Axell 1964-1972" is the title of the first extensive...
Gego: FREDERICO SEVE GALLERY
The maverick modernist Gego was born Gcrtrud Goldschmidt in 1912, into a Jewish banking family in Hamburg. She trained as an architect, then fled in 1939 to Venezuela, where she taught and made art for the rest of her life. At the time of her death...
Gregg Bordowitz: ICEBERG PROJECTS
When art and text conspire, compelling incursions into the politics of meaning may result. Take, for example, Joseph Kosuth's contribution to Documenta 9 in 1992, for which he shrouded wall-mounted artworks with black cloth bearing screenprinted quotations...
"Hasta Manana": GREENE NAFTALI
"Hasta Mahana," abba's 1974 Swedish hit, barely cracked the charts overseas. But the sappy tune's tale of a summer fling that never fully blossomed--and the attendant pain of losing, pleasure of forgetting, and indifference one needs to move on--remains...
Honza Zamojski: GALERIA LETO
Honza Zamojski is among the artists nominated this year for the prestigious Spojrzenia award from Deutsche Bank and the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, intended to showcase emerging artists. For his recent show "Me, Myself & I," he filled...
In Search of
John McCracken got filed under "Finish Fetish" and "LA Minimalism" in the first phases of his career, which worked only to his short-term advantage. McCracken's peers never really found a way to name his paranormal objects and objectives. It took a...
Into the Wild: Daniel Birnbaum on "Atlas-How to Carry the World on One's Back?"
LONG FABLED as the father of iconology--indeed, of modern art history--Aby Warburg has of late assumed the role of its crazy uncle. In contradistinction to the plodding, fact-finding, tamed iconography that followed in his wake in the early twentieth...
John Storrs: GREY ART GALLERY
In 1913, John Storrs studied with Rodin in Paris--and the human form would always influence his work. But over the next decade or so, his figures became less and less natural-looking and more and more abstract. Finally, in the early 1920s, Storrs began...
Kimber Smith: JAMES GRAHAM & SONS
Kimber Smith might not be a household name, but his paintings from the 1960s and '70s are knockouts, some of the most formidable to be on view in our moment of near-ubiquitous abstraction. A second-generation Abstract Expressionist better known for...
Larissa Fassler: SEPTEMBER
Produced in the wake of Nicolas Sarkozy's scandalous move in July 2010 to "clean up" France by closing down Roma camps and orchestrating large-scale deportations, Larissa Fassler's recent exhibition explored inequities in Parisian life by asking how...
L.A.Stories: A Roundtable Discussion
To better survey the manifold sites of postwar art in Los Angeles, Artforum invited art historians THOMAS CROW and ANDREW PERCHUK, curators MAURICE TUCHMAN and ALI SUBOTNICK, and gallerist HELENE WINER to join in conversation with artists JOHN BALDESSARI,...
Lee Ufan: SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, NEW YORK
IT HAS BEEN SOME TWENTY YEARS since the great wave of introductions to modern non-Western art, the peak of which coincided with the popularization of such terms as globalization and transnationalism in the 1990s. Now, with those introductions complete,...
Lens on Los Angeles
THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN on the hills that hover over Los Angeles figures an identification between a place and a medium without parallel in cultural history. So complete is the movies' colonization of the city that other art forms, especially those that...
Leo Steinberg (1920-2011)
Leo Steinberg was a beacon of twentieth-century art criticism. Whether in his trailblazing interpretations of artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Pablo Picasso, and Jasper Johns, his revelatory understanding of Monet's late work, or his contributions...
Lygia Pape: MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFIA, MADRID
LYGIA CLARK, HELIO OTT1CICA, AND LYGIA PAPE (1927-2004) are often mentioned in the same breath--all three were key figures in Brazil's Neo-concrete movement--yet Pape has not received the recognition accorded her two great contemporaries. That should...
Matthew Ronay: ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY
Whether framed as a strictly secular technical achievement or as the apotheosis of a kind of mystico-spiritual transference, the question of how one goes about successfully imbuing objects with meaning and power persists as a central challenge of artmaking....
Michal Rovner: MUSEE DU LOUVRE
In a corner of the Cour Napoleon, the Louvre's central courtyard, Michal Rovner and a team of Israeli and Palestinian masons added two temporary monuments to the celebrated axe historique of Paris. Makom II and Makom IV, both 20 I I--the word means...
Naught So Sweet: Amy Taubin on Lars Von Trier's Melancholia
COMBINING DELIRIOUS HUMOR and unabashed pathos, Lars von Trier's Melancholia is a tremendously affecting movie. It is a tale of two temperamentally opposite sisters, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), who bond under the direst...
Objects of Interest: A Project by Chris Burden
OVER THE COURSE OF MY ARTISTIC CAREER, I have found myself drawn to various objects as sources of inspiration. The first object to hold such fascination for me was an early airplane from the 1920s called the Heath Baby Bullet. This tiny airplane had...
Orifice Baroque
FOUR STYLISHLY DRESSED FIGURES stand around the gaping mouth of a storm drain. Core members of the East Los Angeles Chicano collective Asco--Patssi Valdez, Gronk (Glugio Nicandro), Willie F. Herron III, and Harry Gamboa Jr.--they face the camera with...
Outside Man: Alan Licht on Van Dyke Parks
"WE REMEMBER A TIME when historical continuity in music was still a viable thing," Ry Cooder once told an interviewer researching his friend Van Dyke Parks, a patently idiosyncratic fixture of the LA music scene. "Yet both of us have always lived and...
"Paris-Delhi-Bombay ...": CENTRE POMPIDOU, PARIS
MORE THAN TWO CENTURIES after the collapse of the French East India Company, France is still trying to get to know India. Indeed, the former relationship between the two countries has largely been forgotten, overshadowed by the British domination of...
Patti Smith
Artist, poet, singer, and songwriter Patti Smith lives and works in New York. Last year she published Just Kids, a memoir chronicling her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe and their pursuit of art and music in New York City, which won the 2010 National...
Peter Nadin: GAVIN BROWN'S ENTERPRISE
Before he stopped exhibiting in 1992, Peter Nadin was associated with many of the leading protagonists in the New York art world of the time. He ran a studio/exhibition space whose first show was with Christopher D'Arcangelo, collaborated with Jenny...
Phoebe Washburn: MARY BOONE GALLERY/ZACH FEUER GALLERY
Phoebe Washburn's Nunderwater Nort Lah, 2011, an installation that filled the main space at Zach Feuer, looks a good deal like a fort. The wide, cylindrical structure is ragged and slipshod, built from piled-up two-by-fours that appear to have been...
"Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment, 1910-1912": KIMBELL ART MUSEUM
Almost two dozen years after "Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism" wowed visitors at New York's Museum of Modern Art, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and California's Santa Barbara Museum of Art have come together to mount "Picasso and...
Piero Golia: GAGOSIAN GALLERY
Angel food, kugelhopf, savarin, pound, fleur-de-lis, Bavarian bundt: a dozen ring-shaped cakes, each a unique sculptural form cast in white concrete elegantly gridded the gallery, set atop tall rectangular pedestals in three neat rows, four deep. Piero...
Pipilotti Rist: WEXNER CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Neither tenderness nor roominess are states of being that should expect to survive in the hostile environment of Peter Eisenman's Wexner Center for the Arts. The Wexner has no rooms, its architect having rejected this spatial category as rooted in...
Pleats Please: Nick Mauss on Madame Gres at the Musee Bourdelle
EACH GARMENT IS AN EXACT FORMULATION. The inner logic of the clothes--made visible on their surfaces in asymmetrical puckers, bandaging, floral detail, lashings, exhalations, interpenetrations, knife pleats, bulbous involutions, starbursts of folds,...
Postcards from the Edge
FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS in the late 1970s, John Divola made a habit of visiting an abandoned house on Malibu's Zuma Beach, toting a Pentax camera and a few cans of spray paint. On his arrival, he'd inspect the premises, seeing what had changed since...
Ragnar Kjartansson: BAWAG FOUNDATION
Ragnar Kjartansson is interested in bringing fairy-tale situations to life, creating dreamy atmosphetes that cannot be defined as surreal because they emerge from the Nordic storytelling tradition grounded in the soil of Iceland. For his first solo...
Reality Effects: Matteew Biro on the Art of Robert Heinecken
IN 1968, ROBERT HEINECKEN released one of the signal works of his career: Are You Rea, a portfolio of twenty-five grainy, ghostly, tonally reversed photograms taken from the pages of popular magazines. His introductory text leaves no doubt as to why...
Richard Tuttle: THE PACE GALLERY
"What's the Wind" was a little startling coming from Richard Tuttle, an artist famous for artmaking delicate enough to spark the story that people have walked in and out of a roomful of his work believing the space was empty. The critic Robert Storr...
Robert Filliou: PETER FREEMAN, INC
A notable Fluxiis figure, the polymath Robert Filliou died in 1987; this presentation, Filliou's first overview in New York in more than a decade, is culled from his estate. My soft spot for Fluxus admitted, I nevertheless propose that much of his...
Rodney Graham: HAUSER & WIRTH
Because he is a sort of straight-faced comedian, a Buster Keaton of Conceptualism, it's all too easy to make Rodney Graham sound more serious than he really is. True, he started out as an intensely literary artist, "a kind of co-author" (as Julian...
Roman Ondak; KUNSTHAUS ZURICH
The Sputnik lies there like a sack of sturdy linen with stenciled numbers. It's even got an address: roman ondak, sputnikova i, Bratislava, Slovakia. Seventeen stamps commemorating the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 show the Earth as a blue ball encircled...
School of Life
THAT CHARLES BURNETT'S STARK NEO-NEOREALIST KILLER OF SHEEP (1977), Julie Dash's nuanced historical drama Daughters of the Dust (1991), and Haile Gerima's cinematic hand grenade Bush Mama (1976) all grew out of the same fecund moment in film history...
Scott Benzel: HUMAN RESOURCES
On a boxy monitor in an upstairs gallery at Human Resources--a young Chinatown space dedicated to performance and nontraditional exhibitions--footage from a 1969 TV show played in a perpetual time-coded loop: Beach Boy Dennis Wilson crooning for the...
Sejla Kameric: GALERIE TANJA WAGNER
In Sejla Kameric's film Gliick (Happiness), 2010, a city of the past mingles with a city of the present. The city is Berlin. Its streets are empty, its shutters closed: One might think of Hast Berlin in the days of the Wall, or soon after. A young...
Shannon Ebner: HAMMER MUSEUM/LAXART
For nearly a decade, Shannon F.hner has developed a quickly recognizable approach--one at the unruly convergence of photography, sculpture. View of "Scott Benzel, 2011. Foreground: Counterfeit Nike "Heaven's Gate" SB Dunks, 2011. Background: Original...
Stephanie Syjuco: CATHARINE CLARK GALLERY
Having established herself as one of Conceptual art's most passionate advocates, Lucy Lippard voiced her disillusionment with the new practice's egalitarian, antimarket aspirations in the postfacc to her 1973 book, Six Years: The Dematerialization...
Student Aid: Nils Norman on the Copenhagen Free University
SMOKE BOMBS; trashing the Treasury building; attacking the Prince of Wales's car: The fierce student opposition to a huge hike in student fees and commensurate cuts in British education that erupted last fall--and that was quashed by a brutal police...
"Surogat Stvarnosti": GALERIJA PRSTEN
When Yugoslavia emerged culturally from the rubble of World War II, one of the ways it differed from the Eastern bloc was in its embrace of abstraction as its official artistic vocabulary. But around the time Yugoslav abstraction was gaining prominence...
Tamar Guimaraes: GASWORKS
Peeking through deep green foliage, we glimpse a statue of a zaftig female figure and the cobalt-blue waters of a swimming pool near a sprawling glass-fronted building. A bikini-clad woman emerges from the pool and then languorously smokes a cigarette....
The Double Club: Alex Farquharson on the Piccadilly Community Centre
THIS SUMMER, a fully functioning community center operated from Hauser 8c Wirth's landmarked premises in the heart of London. There was a cafeteria on the ground floor, a bar and disco in the basement, a space for dancing and music on the second level,...
Then and There
FROM THE BEGINNING--which is to say from the early 1970s onward--Chris Burden's performance works have provoked questions about their "manipulative, autocratic" character. (1) Such worries were never a simple function of the artist's aggressively risky...
Tomorrow Is the Question
I'VE SPENT FORTY-TWO YEARS waiting for the other (saddle) shoe to drop: Sha Na Na at Woodstock} There, the group performed Danny and the Juniors' 1957 doo-wop classic "At the Hop." Woodstock was many things--brainchild of hip entrepreneurs; cheesy,...
Tracey Emin: HAYWARD GALLERY
I don't think I've ever seen quite so much pussy in an art exhibition. Tracey Emin's retrospective "Love Is What You Want," curated by the Hayward's Ralph Rugoff and Cliff Lauson, could make even Judy Chicago's Dinner Party seem almost neuter by comparison....
Vanessa Winship: GLORIA LIBRERIA Y GALERIA DE ARTE
As simple as it was efficacious, August Sander's approach to photography in his encyclopedic series "People of the 2()th Century" is a model whose influence continues to be felt. It is not hard to detect its impact on the British photographer Vanessa...
Willem De Rooij: FRIEDRICH PETZEL
Although sociopolitical subtext typically lingers beneath Willem de Rooij's works, the five weavings in "Crazy Repelled Firelight," Friedrich Petzel's summer show, initially invoke Frank Stella's famous maxim, "what you see is what you see." Monochrome...