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. 3, November

Amalia Pica
Born in Argentina, Amalia Pica is a London-based artist. Her work was recently on view in "ILLUMInations" at the Fifty-Fourth Venice Biennale and has been selected for the New Museum's "Generational" triennial, which opens in New York in 2012. She...
Ann Pibal: MEULENSTEEN
Abstract painters usually give their works titles after the fact, and often quite arbitrarily, so trying to draw out connections between these verbal handles and the real content of the art is a dangerous game. But the way Ann Pibal titles her paintings...
Any Port in a Storm: JAMES QUANDT ON AKI KAURISMAKI'S LE HAVRE
ONLY IN AN AKI KAURISMAKI FILM would someone comfort a dying woman by reading Kafka to her, as happens near the end of the po-faced Finn's latest proletarian fable, Le Havre. Though still capable of such mordant jokes, Kaurismaki here largely forgoes...
Arcadian Ways: Didn't He Want Us to Catch an Echo of That Lost Time and to Hear Those Reverberations Disturb Our Looking?
HE TOOK FROM THE DEAD. The long-dead ancients. He was always grabbing for a reference. A real necrophiliac. But a sly one. A shy grave robber. Digging down to mine our heritage, our Western lode as scribbled on the wall of a public toilet. But wasn't...
A Saint Is a Saint Is a Saint Is a Saint: Steven Watson on Four Saints in Three Acts
"STEIN MAN I A" SWEPT OVER SAN FRANCISCO during the summer of 2011, incited by two major exhibitions related to the writer--"The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde," at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and "Seeing...
Broken Homes: Julian Rose on "Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream"
TWO INTERRELATED CLAIMS provide the premise for "Foreclosed: Rehousing the American Dream," a recent workshop and forthcoming exhibition organized by the Department of Architecture and Design of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The first is that...
Can Altay: CASCO OFFICE FOR ART DESIGN AND THEORY
The appearance of public art is often the result of top-down decision making or capital-driven urban regeneration. In "COHAB: An Assembly of Spare Parts," Can Altay reviewed the genre, examining its reception at street level by the people who live...
Conrad Freiburg: LINDA WARREN GALLERY
WINCH EYE DO YOU CHOOSE TO LOOK WITH? reads a handwritten text on the side of Conrad Freiburg's Andromeda Galaxy with Hovering Eye (all works 2011), a viewing device installed in the artist's third solo exhibition at Linda Warren Gallery, "The Blind...
Daido Moriyama: NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ART
Spanning more than half a century, "Daido Moriyama: On the Road" confirmed the artist's importance to the story of Japanese photography. The quintessential street photographer, Moriyaima has, since 1965, prowled avenues and alleys in Japanese cities...
Dana Harper: HIRAM BUTLER GALLERY
Artist Dana Harper is a preservationist at heart. Here in Texas, he is probably best known as the proprietor of Sengelmann Hall, an 1980s dance hall, saloon, and Biergarten in Schulenburg, Texas, that was shuttered for decades before Harper restored...
Dane Mitchell: ARTSPACE
In 2009, Dane Mitchell was the victim of a peculiarly vicious attack by the New Zealand press after his piece Collateral, which was made that year and used packaging material such as brown paper, blue plastic strapping, bubble wrap, brown tape, and...
Daniele Tamagni/"Africolor": DANZIGER GALLERY
The man in the pink suit: That sounds like the name of an Haling comedy starring Alec Guinness, and indeed, in suitably English style, to go with his suit the man wears a bowler, though it's bright red. Accessories include a patterned tie and a perfectly...
Ecce Homo: Isabelle Graw on Art and Subjecthood
THE RESURGENCE OF THE HUMAN FIGURE in much recent sculpture cannot be separated from a renewed attention to the idea of the subject. Although it is so commonplace as to go unnoticed, the idea of the artwork as a kind of subject in itself was one of...
Fancy Feast: Ken Okiishi on the Leopard at Des Artistes
PART OF THE AESTHETIC SINGULARITY of dining uptown, until very recently, included zebras prancing on bright red wallpaper, drop ceilings with weird stains, dirty pink carpets and matching tablecloths, fake flowers mixed with real ones, that weird moldy...
Francois Morellet Centre Pompidou, Paris
IT IS IRONIC that Francois Morellet remains most recognized for his affiliation with gray (Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel), since the Paris-based collective aimed precisely to do away with the artist as author. Between 1960 and 1968, Horacio Garcia...
Fred Lonidier: SILBERKUPPE
THE QUESTION IS WHO EXERCISE HOW MUCH POWER TO WHOSE ENDS? reads a line printed below statistics concerning US car production in the year 1978 and a photograph depicting cars in a parking lot. The collage, enclosed in a license-plate frame, at the...
Haris Epaminonda: Talks about "Projects 96"
GROWING UP IN GREEK CYPRUS in the i980s, Berlin-based artist Haris Epaminonda thought of the Turkish side of that divided island as an unimaginable world. But, she recalls, "I somehow believed I could connect to this other world through books and the...
Harun Farocki: MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
"Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance)," Farocki's first museum survey in the United States, features thirty-six films, videos, and installations recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. Organized by chief curator of media and performance...
Hilary Lloyd: ARTISTS SPACE
Thighs, 2011, by Hilary Lloyd, appeared to have legs, as did nearly all of the works in her exhibition at Artists Space last summer. Pairs of slender silver poles, set close together and running from floor to ceiling, supported monitors, giving the...
Ida Ekblad
IDA EKBLAD'S 2009 VIDEO In Exile from the Mineral Kingdom begins with a percussive flourish: In a tightly framed shot, we see somebody whacking pieces of scrap metal with a stick. Cut to the artist standing at the pinnacle of a giant junk heap, laboriously...
Iron Lore: ROB YOUNG ON "HOME OF METAL"
RIDING THE IRON HORSE from London into Birmingham, I am always struck by how green and lush the outskirts still appear. Canals cut through the approaches, their crisp edges capitulating to the creeping undergrowth. You pass empty, smashed factories...
Jacob Hashimoto: STUDIO LA CITTA
Armada, 1999/2011, is the ironic title that Jacob Hashimoto gave to his 724 sailboats in wood and canvas. Each one hangs from a thread, floating in the air as if it were in a cove ruffled by long, rhythmically rising and falling waves. The work's title...
Jacob Kassay: L&M Arts
Mounted by a gallery better known for its specialization in works by blue-chip artists than for its fledgling LA-based contemporary program, Jacob Kassay's first solo West Coast show seemed something of an anomaly. But L&M Arts' interest in this...
Jitish Kallat: DR. BHAU DAJI LAD MUMBAI CITY MUSEUM
Visiting the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum during the monsoons provoked a surge of irritation: Like everything else in the city, we grumbled, it seemed this handsome building was also under construction, its gilded colunms and archways obscured...
Joe Winter: THE KITCHEN
You raise your hand in your intro-to-astronomy class. "Do the galaxies and nebulae really look as psychedelic as the posters on the walls? Flow do they know, if these arc all radio telescope pictures anyway, that galaxies are color-saturated swirls...
Jose Barrias: MUSEU DE ARTE CONTEMPORANEA DE SERRALVES
The Latin words in this show's title, "Jose Barrias: in Itinere,' might be best translated in this context as "ongoing" (rather than, for example, "in progress"), for the exhibition, curated by joao Fernandes, did not offer any ascending arrangement...
Juliette Blightman: HOTEL
For her recent show "at least you haven't changed," the Berlin-based British artist Juliette Blightman did not show her own work but manifested her refusal to submit to the regime of hyper production in contemporary art. She did this by bringing together...
"La Carte D'apres Nature": MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY
In his preface to the 1800 edition of Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth announces the necessity for a new kind of poetry. He resolves to '"choose incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible...
Leandro Erlich: SEAN KELLY GALLERY
A friend groused to me after completing the new season's rounds that Leandro Erlich's most recent show was simply another in what has been a career-long series of technically adroit one-lines. I suppose that's fair enough. But it's also true that they...
Lee Wan: ART SPACE POOL
Adding to the characteristics that potentially qualify art objects as such--quality notwithstanding--it seems chat weight has finally made the list. For the series "Flow to become us," 2011, Lee Wan made assemblages using found objects under one condition--that...
Left Is Right and Right Is Wrong: GLENN O'BRIEN ON RIGHT-WING MASCULINITY
AS THE PRIMARIES APPROACH, there has been much outrage (and even more amusement) over the mincing, glide-walking, and supersibilant Dr. Marcus Bachmann, spouse and dance partner of Tea Party Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Doc Bachmann...
Leslie Hewitt: INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART
There was something disquieting about Leslie Hewitt's recent exhibition, titled "Riffs on Real Time," which featured a sequence of ten highly stylized photographs by the same name, and a sleek installation, Untitled, 2011. Each of the photographs (all...
"Linocut Reloaded": GALERIE WAGNER + PARTNER
Does the use of a particular printing technique, such as linoleum cutting, say anything about the content and character of a work of art? This question lurked behind the exhibition "Linocut Reloaded," mounted by two Berlin galleries, Wagner + Partner...
Live in Translation: DEREK BERMEL ON THE OMAR SOULEYMAN GROUP
YOU SWAY; a kaffiyeh-clad man wearing aviator sunglasses struts across the stage. This is no mere tableau of shades-and-scarf radical chic, however: There is a definite tension to the scene, a fervency. The singer, who is Syrian, is chanting lyrics...
"Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper": HONOR ERASER
What is there left to say about punk in 2011? Some thirty-plus years after the fact, the spiky-haired and, safety-pinned look has taken its place right alongside that of the hippie as a Halloween-costume option, drained of any potential to shock or...
Luke Stettner: KATE WERBLE GALLERY
In Luke Stettner's almost colorless New York solo debut, one work stood out: a squat column of bright plastic plates--seven small ones stacked atop nine large. It has the look of a toy, chough it turns out to be anything but; Stettner has fashioned...
Lyonel Feininger: WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
Having lived and worked in Germany for more than half his life, Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) was something of an unlikely American. This exhibition--his first major retrospective in the United States in forty-five years--makes a strong case for the...
Mahlergruppe: GALERIE CHRISTINE MAYER
Painting is the art of bringing something into being on a surface. This involves analytic, discursive, and sometimes subversive possibilities. Painting's formal attributes have been pursued to exhaustion in the history of the medium, but the sort of...
Mai-Thu Perret: AARGAUER KUNSTHAUS
Utopias--imaginary, historical, political, emotional--are often mentioned in the conversations that swirl around Mai-Thu Ferret's multifarious oeuvre, yet there is a subtle dystopian fever to her project. Take the Geneva-based artist's more than decade...
Mark Leckey: SERPENTINE GALLERY
On entering Mark Leckey's exhibition "See, We Assemble," visitors encountered the show's video "trailer." Before a video-production green screen sat an upturned speaker cone filled with puttylike cornstarch dyed the same bright color. Sound emanated...
Matt Lipps: MARC SELWYN FINE ART
Ansel Adams's 1933 photograph Storeroom, M. H. de Young Museum, San Francisco, depicts an unruly crowd in the institution's storage vault: smiling kouroi, draped Venuses, and other ancient statuary with legs and arms akimbo. Rather than to justly capture...
Merlin James: SIKKEMA JENKINS & CO
Easel-size paintings in historical genres (still lifes, portraits, interiors, and landscapes) that frequently picture domestic architecture (facades, empty rooms, or entire houses). Merlin James's canvases cannot help but read as passe. Yet soliciting...
Michele Abeles
PAZ DE LA HUERTA is as known for her delirious self-mythologizing as she is for her starring role on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, so it's difficult to say whether the story she tells about her father threatening Larry Gagosian with a knife is true....
Michelle Lopez: SIMON PRESTON GALLERY
Turning Minimalist form against itself is hardly a new idea--one might even consider it a genre unto itself--but it still differs room for maneuver. In "Vertical Neck," her second solo exhibition at Simon Preston, Brooklyn-based artist Michelle Lope/...
Miroslav Tichy: HORTON GALLERY
Last April, photographer Miroslav Tichy died at age eighty-four in Kyjov, the same small Czech Republic town where he was born. Despite recent solo exhibitions of his work--at Kunsthaus Ziirich in 2005 and at New York's International Center of Photography...
Monika Zawadzki: SVIT
Monika Zawadzki's fascination with the relationship between amorphous matter and the various forms it takes on was the point of departure for her exhibition "Blackbird." The vastness and mutability of matter, its transformative potential, and its capacity...
Moveable Feast
IN 1994 THE GAGOSIAN GALLERY, now located in Chelsea, was located on Wooster Street in SoHo. Its dimensions were sixteen by thirty-three by sixty-two feet. On my lunch hour I walked over to see Cy Twombly's most recent exhibition. When I walked into...
Olympian Depths
IN 1994, shortly after "Cy Twombly: A Rrtrospective" opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I had the honor of being conducted through the show by its curator. Kirk Varnedoe. Tracing the works' progression from the painterly abstraction of...
Owen Land: (1944-2011)
FILMMAKER GEORGE LANDOW, also known as Owen Land, was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment on June 8 at the age of sixty-six. He was an exceptionally private, even mysterious man, and though he was a luminary of the American avant-garde cinema,...
Perejaume: GALERIA SOLEDAD LORENZO
Born not far from Barcelona in I 957, Perejaume is by now considered one of Spain's living legends. And yet both the artist and his work are located in a realm of withdrawal, hidden in some corner of nature far beyond reach. This sense of remoteness...
Private Practice: I Believe That the Sculpture Was Extremely Personal for Twombly, Almost Private
I WORKED BRIEFLY BUT CLOSELY with Cy Twombly in 2001, during the installation of his exhibition of sculpture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, OC. The show (originally organized by Katharina Schmidt and Paul Winkler for the Kunstmuseum...
Scenes from an Ideal Friendship
I HAVE BEEN STRUCK by how often those who have written about Cy Twombly expressed regret that they had never met him. Since I had the singular good fortune to have been Cy's guest in Italy in 1996, two years after the tremendous retrospective organized...
Simon Dinnerstein: GERMAN CONSULATE GENERAL
Simon Dinnerstein's The Fulbright Triptych, 1971-74, is the centerpiece of this exhibition of twenty works at the German Consulate, Writing about the painting a year after it was made, critic John Russell called it a "scrupulous representation of a...
Stephen Shore: ASPEN ART MUSEUM
Sometimes a quiet, understated image demands equally unfussy discourse, which is why it is difficult (if not counterintuitive even to try) to articulate the vernacular magic within Stephen Shore's photographs: scenes that are familiar yet tare, static...
Sterling Ruby and Lucio Fontana: ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY
In a 2006 article on his work (which earned attention while he was still a student). Sterling Ruby speaks to the author regarding his abiding interest in "the idea of something malleable being stopped." In Ruby's terms, this means manipulations in...
The Parallax View: Tom McDonough on the Art of Adam Pendleton
... the continuous present of and or of either or experience of e.g. history --Joan Retallack, Memnoir (2004) If [history] were the past, it would not matter. ... History is the present. James Baldwin, A Rap on Race (1971) [ILLUSTRATION...
Touching from a Distance: Adam Szymczyk on the Art of Alina Szapocznikow
IT WAS THE MID-1980S, a bleak, depressed era in post-martial-law Poland, when I first saw Alina Szapocznikow's 1967 sculpture Le Voyage (Journey) at Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz. Strolling pretty much alone through the museum's galleries, I came upon it suddenly:...
"Town-Gown Conflict": KUNSTHALLE ZURICH
Lucy McKenzie must have opted to title the group show she organized "Town-Gown Conflict" well before the summer, so it would be unfair to twit her and her collaborators (or Beatrix Ruf, the exhibition's official curator) for not predicting the flare-ups...
Uriel Orlow: LA RADA
It was an unusual postage stamp that first set Uriel Orlow on the trail of a bizarre episode in political history, whose many facets he explores and details he retells in changing installations. It is well known that the Six-Day War of I 967 led to...
Uri Nir: HELENA RUBENSTEIN PAVILION FOR CONTEMPORARY ART TEL AVIV MUSEUM OF ART
Mixed messages and cross-purposes obstructed the thrust of "Accelerator," the most ambitious (read: high-budget) effort yet of Uri Nir's budding career. Presented together as one synchronized entity, four discrete but related elements occupied three...
Wert: A Project by Duncan Campbell
BRETTON WOODS: It's a phrase that has the ring of a fairy tale, but of course it's simply the name of the New Hampshire town where, in 1944, delegates from the Allied nations came together to decide how the world economy should work. Nevertheless,...
Yesim Akdeniz Graf: DIRIMART
For bet exhibition "The Tell-Tale Heart," Turkish-born Yesim Akdeniz Graf (who studied at the Kunsrakademie Dusseldorf, then lived in Amsterdam and Berlin before moving to Istanbul two years ago) showed new, predominantly large-format paintings. These...
Yokohama Triennale 2011: VARIOUS VENUES
LET'S STATE the most remarkable point first: The fourth Yokohama Triennale opened less than six months after the devastating March 11 earthquake, tsunami, and ensuing and ongoing nuclear crisis, a testament to the calm resoluteness with which not only...