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. 4, December

11th Biennale De Lyon
THE BIENNALE DE LYON is "historically a Biennale d'auteur," observes Victoria Noorthoorn in her curatorial statement for the exhibition's eleventh edition. Given the connotations of the word auteitr, it is striking that Noorthoorn's primary gesture...
12th Istanbul Biennial
IF EVER THERE WAS a large-scale international exhibition where the curators were in control rather than the artists, the 2011 Istanbul Biennial was it. For those of us who tend to think that a show's complexity should lie in the artworks assembled...
3rd Thessaloniki Biennale
VARIOUS VENUES The main program of the 'Third Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, which is titled "A Rock and a Hard Place," focuses on the Mediterranean and on the Arab world in an attempt to designate Thessaloniki as a "cultural crossroads,"...
4th Moscow Biennale: Various Venues
SOME BIENNIALS, such as those in Sao Paulo, Berlin, and Istanbul, have at least one permanent venue. This usually means the country in question gives contemporary art and the critical thinking that goes with it (or so we like to believe) some kind...
6th Goteborg International Biennial
VARIOUS VENUES When Milton's Lucifer was thrown out of heaven, he built Pandemonium, a castle where he and his fellow devils could plan their future actions against the old order. One couldn't find a better image for organized disobedience. It's...
A Civil State of Emergency
CITIZEN The man sleeping in a public park in Jeff Wall's Citizen, 1996, represents an act of criticism, a transgression of borders, an inspiring example of both potential and practical citizenship. Ever since seeing Wall's photograph at Documenta...
Aida Ruilova
SALON 94 BOWERY From the early Oh no, 1999, to Meet the Eye, 2009, Aida Ruilova's fast art reflections on filmic constructions of women have progressed from schooled DIY ant aesthetic to polished commercial appearance (the latter work features 1970s...
Alexandre Singh
ART:CONCEPT The 2006 film based on British novelist Christopher Priest's hook The Prestige (1995) identifies three key moments of a magic trick: the pledge, when an object is presented; the "turn," when that object is "disappeared"; and the prestige,...
Alex Katz
GAVIN BROWN'S ENTERPRISE In considering Alex Katz's exhibition at Gavin Brown's enterprise, one might almost be forgiven for ignoring the paintings actually on view; it's hard to concentrate on the work, strong as it is, amid the chatter about its...
Alika Cooper
SAN FRANCISCO ELEANOR HARWOOD GALLERY In LA's textile district, acres of warehouse space are packed with bolts of fabric shoulder to shoulder in rotund cylinders and flatboarded stacks Three, four, five deep, they quietly rub against one another--satin...
Amy Taubin
1 MELANCHOLIA (Lars von Trier) In a vision of cosmic amour fou scored to Wagner's "Liebestod," the Earth and the errant planet of the title collide. Is it literally the end of the world, or has a cloud of depression finally engulfed one woman's vulnerable...
Andrea Zittel
MAGASIN 3 If you're still drinking the Kool-Aid and believe in the lone genius maker of masterpieces--like Kirk Douglas's van Gogh in Lust for Life--you get your kicks when the artist looks up wide-eyed as inspiration knocks on his back door. Eureka!...
Atul Dodiya
CHEMOULD PRESCOTT ROAD "It's just like being back in school," a gallerygoer muttered grumpily, upon entering Gujarati artist Atul Dodiya's latest, much anticipated solo show, "Bako Exists. Imagine." The syntax of the title simulated that of an exam...
Ben Kinmont
FALES LIBRARY & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS In the late 1980s, Ben Kinmont began to make "project art." Through a strain of Conceptualism more closely aligned with the feminist "maintenance artist" Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who cleaned art galleries in...
"Black Mountain College and Its Legacy"
LORETTA HOWARD GALLERY Despite the close confines of a Chelsea gallery, this survey of 120 works by thirty-five painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, potters, and weavers vividly conveyed the achievements of the Black Mountain crowd--work seemingly...
Bobbi Woods
ANNIE WHARTON LOS ANGELES One often hears the work of Bobbi Woods referred to as "very LA, r for the majority of her work incorporates movie posters, culled from online vendors and Hollywood memorabilia shops, whose images and language the artist...
Bruce Nauman
DONALD YOUNG GALLERY "For the solipsist reality is not enough. He denies the existence of anything outside the self-enclosed confines of his own mind," Mel Bochner wrote in 1967, addressing the increasing use of serial operations in art. At first...
Carrie Moyer
CANADA After receiving her BFA in painting from the Pratt Institute in 1985, Carrie Mover became somewhat disenchanted with her chosen medium. She supported herself as a graphic designer, and her art practice, in turn, became increasingly design...
Chen Zhen
GALLERIA CONTINUA This exhibition--titled "Les pas silencieux" (The Silent Steps), after an artist's book made by Chen Zhen in 1997--brings together a selected body of twenty works dating from between 1990 and 2000, when Chen died. Its centerpiece...
Christine Macel
Christine Macel is chief curator of contemporary art at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, where she has organized solo shows of Gabriel Orozco and Philippe Parrenc, as well as "The Promises of the Past, " a group show of Eastern European art curated with...
Cuauhtemoc Medina
Cuauhtemoc Medina is a researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. In 2009 he curated Teresa Margolles's project What Else Could We Talk About? for the Mexican pavilion at the Venice Biennale,...
"Cyprien Gaillard: The Recovery of Discovery": KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
YOU ENTERED KW THROUGH A COURTYARD, then walked down a narrow corridor to a viewing platform. Below you, in a basement gallery, was a large pyramid of blue boxes perfectly stacked--if, that is, you happened to be the first one to the opening. By the...
Dana Schutz: Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York
TALENT AND IMAGINATION are easily misunderstood. What passes for imagination today is often just a recontextualization of cultural signs; and talent is easily confused with knowingness or a desire for attention. Only occasionally does an artist come...
Daniel Birnbaum
Daniel Birnbaum is director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, where, next spring, he will stage exhibitions of the work of Sturtevant and Eija-Liisa Ahtila. In February, Carl-Michael von Hausswolff will turn the entire museum into a collective acoustic...
David Batchelor
KARSTEN SCHUBERT Although David Batchelor's three-dimensional objects and photographs have often reflected on the condition of painting, this was the first time that he has exhibited works that are, in fact, paintings. Yet as flat things on the...
David Velasco
1 SARAH MICHELSON, DEVOTION (The Kitchen, New York, January 13-15 and 19-22,2011) I saw this dance about dance and dance making three times in one week. Each time I held on to it thinking, "This is as good as it gets." Nothing leaves you dumbstruck...
Ed Halter
1 INKBLOT FILMS (Luther Price) Produced by scraping the emulsion from old footage, recutting it, and coloring it with inks and Sharpies, Price's 16-mm and Super 8 inkblot films--a selection of which he screened in person in Milwaukee and Chicago this...
"Florian Pumhosl: 6 7 8": Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, it seems an increasing number of shows have given rise to vehement debate. Such debate has often been both informal and productive: Conversational circles that for years enjoyed consensus on the merits of this or that exhibition...
Fred Sandback
Denver MCA DENVER Perhaps no artist took more to heart Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's famous dictum "Less is more" than Fred Sandback, who died in 2003 at age fifty-nine. Working with the humblest and most unlikely of materials, ordinary acrylic...
George Lewis
1 STEVEN SCHICK (Park Avenue Armory, New York, February 18) Kurt Schwitters's Ursonate (1922-32) is a sound-poetry classic. Steven Schick's highly amplified interpretation during the Tune-In Music Festival, with video montage/collage of giant images...
Haim Steinbach
TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY In an interview published in Art forum's April 2003 issue, Him Steinbach discussed what he saw as the ideal system for pricing what he made: "I devised a formula by which there would be a price for the work--plus the price...
Helen Marten
SERPENTINE GALLERY Helen Marten has been garnering a reputation for expansive sculptural installations in which she orchestrates the buzz of conversation between suggestive form and perverted function, material and finish, image and effect, glamour...
Holiday Cheer
1. Christian Marclay, The Clock, 2010, still from a color video, 24 hours. 2. Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (Abstract Painting) (detail), 1990, oil on canvas, 361/4*495/8". 3. Florian Pumhosl, Expressive Rhythm, 2010-11, color film in 35 mm, 28...
Ian Pedigo
KLAUS VON NICHTSSAGEND GALLERY An Article from Distant Memory, A Necklace of Broken Windows, Skeleton: The titles of Ian Pedigo's new sculptures and photographs--not to mention his use of shattered glass, driftwood, and bone--lent the artist's fourth...
Iran Do Espirto Santo
GALERIA FORTES VILACA A strange sort of tension filled the two rooms occupied by Iran do Espirito Santo's solo show; like the calm before a storm, it seemed to be generated by pent-up energy before its release. At the core of the Brazilian artist's...
Jack Bankowsky
Jack Bankowsky is a critic and curator and Artforum editor at large, photo: timothy greenfield-sanders [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 1 KAI ALTHOFF, "PUNKT, ABSATZ, BLUMLI (PERIOD, PARAGRAPH, BLUMLI)" (Gladstone Gallery, New York) The first time I met...
James Quandt
1 EIKA KATAPPA and THE DEATH OF MARIA MALIBRAN (Werner Schroeter, 1969 and 1972) The restoration of Schroeter's twin masterpieces anticipates a retrospective of his long-unavailable oeuvre, which will confirm that, as the refrain of the "hillbilly...
Jay Sanders
Jay Sanders is a New York-based curator and writer. This past April, he presented, in collaboration with Keith Connolly, NUMINA lente, a three-day music and performance festival at New York's Clemente Soto V[contains]lez Cultural Center. He is currently...
Jenny Saville
GAGOSIAN GALLERY Jenny Saville's "Continuum," a presentation of eight drawings and five paintings, demonstrates the pull and power of the past--indeed, the inescapability of art history. The inclusion of the word pentimenti in several titles makes...
Jeronimo Voss
GALERIE CINZIA FRIEDLAENDER Only two years after completing his studies at the Stadelschule in Frankfurt, Jeronimo Voss has just had his first solo show in a Berlin gallery, "BoccmciHiie pbtOaKoe" (Revolt of the Fishermen). Its subject: the ghosts...
John Waters
1 THE SKIN I LIVE IN (Pedro Almodovar) A dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world. God bless you, Pedro Almodovar! 2 MILDRED PIERCE (Todd Haynes) This elegantly shot, pitch-perfect made-for-TV melodrama...
Jordan Kantor
CHURNER AND CHURNER The purring and ticking of a 16-mm projector in the first room of Jordan Kantor's latest exhibition signaled a certain quaintness. That the film takes Monet's haystack paintings--or rather, photographic reproductions of them--as...
Karina Nimmerfall
LAS CIENEGAS PROJECTS Berlin-based Austrian artist Karina Nimmerfall, who spent the past year teaching at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, delivered her "take" on Los Angeles via her three-channel video installation Double Location...
Keren Cytter
ZACH FEUER GALLERY Keren Cytter's Video Art Manual, 201 1, begins with the self-deluding slickness of an infomercial. From behind a glass-topped table in a generic office, a bearded man in a suit confidently addresses the viewer. He explains that...
Lee Ambrozy
Lee Ambrozy is editor of Artforum.com.cn, Artforum International's Chinese-language website, and a lecturer at Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts. She recently edited and translated the book Ai Weiwei's Blog (MIT Press, 2011). 1 "MY COMMUNISM:...
Lucv Stein
GALERIE GREGOR STAIGER After an interviewer in 2009 asked the then thirty-year-old Lucy Stein how her career had thus far been marked by feminism, the Glasgow-based English artist noted, "I fully expect to be marginalized and then become a grande...
Mai Abu EIDahab
Mai Abu EIDahab is the director of Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerpf Belgium, where she recently curated solo shows by Hassan Khan, Michael Portnoy, Norma Jeane in collaboration with Tim Etchells, and Patricia Esquivias. She is currently producing a...
Manuel Borja-Villel
Manuel Borja-Villel is director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, where he recently organized (with Teresa Velazquez) a retrospective of the work of Lygia Pape. He is currently preparing major shows on James Coleman and Hans...
Marc Hundley
TEAM GALLERY Marc Hundley's works are as compactly evocative as a concert flyer and as cryptic as a yearbook quote; some are carefully made to resemble the DIY concert posters often found stapled to telephone poles on city streets. For "Joan Baez...
Marianne Flotron
KUNSTHALLE BERN In recent years, politically engaged artists have confronted viewers with a multitude of current and historical conflicts. Yet they rarely enter the realm of daily life in the business world, where the microstructures of economic...
Mario Pfeifer
KOW BERLIN To describe Mario Pfcifer's A Formal Film in Nine Episodes, Prologue & Epilogue, 20105 in a formal manner, as the work's title suggests we should, one would have to say that it involves slow-paced action, sweeping camera movements,...
Mark Luyten
GALERIE MICHELINE SZWAJCER Two sorts of temporalities were superimposed in Mark Luyten's exhibition, representing two distinct conceptions of its title, "(today)." One could be found in a work visible right from the entrance and running through...
Mark Mothersbaugh
2011 WAS A GOOD YEAR to celebrate de-evolution! Being proved correct in this context hasn't always been a cause for joy, but here are a few of the things that brought me happiness: 1 POLYSICS, OH! NO! IT'S HEAVY POLYSICK!!! (Sony Music Entertainment...
Matthew Barney
GLADSTONE GALLERY Reviewing Norman Mailer's ill-fated "Egyptian novel" Ancient Evenings in the New York Times back in 1983, critic Benjamin DeMott judged the mytho-historical epic a product of "a powerful imagination ... working with stunning intensity,"...
Matthew Higgs
Matthew Higgs is the director of White Columns, New York, and a regular contributor to Artforum. His exhibition "I Am the Billy Childish" is on view at Lehmann Maupin in New York until January 21, 2012. 1 "ANDY WARHOL: SHADOWS (Hirshhorn Museum...
Michael Ned Holte
Michael Ned Holte is a member of the art program faculty at the California Institute of the Arts and a frequent contributor to Artforum. His writing has recently appeared in the exhibition catalogue for "Hany Armanious: The Golden Thread" (Australian...
Mickalene Thomas
LEHMANN MAUPIN Gallery "We respond to beauty, its seduction and attraction, yet what that has done culturally to people that are subject to universal codes of beauty has been devastating." So said Mickalene Thomas earlier this year, interviewed...
Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari
BOSTON PHOTOGRAPHIC RESOURCE CENTER AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY Between 1997 and 2010, the collaborative duo Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari crisscrossed their way through Turkey in search of Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk, the writer, revolutionary statesman,...
Nicholas Krushenick
GARY SNYDER GALLERY How to explain the fact that Nicholas Krushenick's art has flown below the radar for so long, despite recurrent attempts to revive interest his work, and despite the fact that it not only is in itself excellent but self evidently...
Nick Relph
1 THE FALL, TOTALLY WIRED. WHITE LABB This recording, which surfaced first on the unofficial Fall site (visi.com/fall) and subsequently this year as a bootleg seven-inch, features an eariy-'80s prime gruppe tearing through a live rendition of the titular...
Paul Ramirez Jonas
PINACOTECA DO ESTADO DE SAO PAULO Presented in the Octagon project space at the Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, The Commons, 2010, is further example of Paul Ramirez Jonas's investigations of art's social contingency. Foregrounding the different...
Philippe Ramette
CENTRE REGIONAL D'ART CONTEMPORAIN LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON This exhibition might have surprised some viewers, since rather than the photographic multiples that are the most familiar part of his oeuvre. Philippe Ramette presented mainly sculpture, dating...
"Photography into Sculpture"
LOS ANGELES CHERRY AND MARTIN Among the most ambitious gallery shows coinciding with the J. Paul Getty Musuem-instigated "Pacific Standard Time" initiative--a sprawling self-study of Southern California's emergence as a significant art hub--is...
Pierre Huyghe
ESTHER SCHIPPER A few surprises awaited visitors to Pierre Huyghe's show "Influants" even before they entered the gallery. The evening of the opening, for example, there was a little crowd assembled at the entrance: People were being allowed to...
Regimes of the Image
ON AUGUST 3 OF THIS YEAR, Hosni Mubarak, the recently deposed and disgraced president of Egypt, was rolled out on a hospital gurney into an over-crowded courtroom and placed into the steel-mesh cage that is de rigueur for defendants awaiting criminal...
Regina Schlagnitweit
1 LE HAVRE (Aki Kaurismaki) Often taken as a "lightweight," Kaurismaki has made his most urgent film so far. A "Utopian fable," yes, but one that is fully grounded, summoning the spirits of cinema history in order to speak, with love and anger, about...
Richard Benson
PACE/MACGILL GALLERY Puerto Rico 2007, despite being one of only two photographs in this large exhibition to have been made outside the continental United States, is emblematic of photographer Richard Benson's series "North South East West," 2005-11....
Rosalind Nashashibi
PEEP-HOLE/NOMAS FOUNDATION Rosalind Nashashibi showed her new 16-mm film, Carlo's Vision, 2011, at spaces in both Milan and Rome. The dual venue signified not only a coproduction but also an amplification of the effect of a work that, in just eleven...
Sanford Biggers
BROOKLYN MUSEUM/SCULPTURECENTER Sanford Biggers's art fixates on recurring symbols--trees, carnival, musicians, and a bodiless smile that is part minstrel, part Cheshire cat, and part logo for a conglomerate whose name might be "history." Two concurrent...
Santu Mofokeng
"DAVID GOLDBLATT IS CONCERNED with the is-ness of things," Santu Mofokengsaid of his onetime mentor earlier this year. "I'm interested in their isn't-ness." It is this negative metaphysics that largely shapes the South African photographer's long-overdue...
Scott Rothkopf
Scott Rothkopf is a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His exhibition "Glenn Ligon: AMERICA" is now on view at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and he is currently organizing a survey of the work of Wade Guyton to appear...
Seo Hae-Geun
SHINHAN MUSEUM When Anselm Kiefer made his lead airplanes twenty years ago, they were laden, as were all of his creations, with metaphors of war, violence, history, and, ultimately, death. Distantly resembling the planes used in World War II air...
Serban Savu
DAVID NOLAN GALLERY Serban Savu belongs to a loose-knit group of young Romanian painters based in Cluj-Napoca, a Transylvanian college town some eighty miles from Hungary. His subject is blue-collar work and leisure in contemporary Romania, and...
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion: Serpentine Gallery, London
SOME WEEKS AGO, whipped by wind and driving rain, I navigated a just-plowed field on the lazy slopes of the Eifel, fifty-odd kilometers southeast of Cologne, in search of the Bruder Klaus Field Chapel by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. This small, celllike...
"Taking Place"
THE TEMPORALITY OF ART'S DISPLAY has always been in dialogue with that of the surrounding culture, and, more acutely, with that of commerce and its cycles of production and consumption. lf, for example, during the workers' reform movements of the 1800s...
Ten Scholars, Critics, Writers, and Artists Choose the Year's Outstanding Titles
SVETLANA ALPERS Imagine that you are listening to a spirited conversation between a French art historian and a German painter. De Rouget and Daimler, as they are called, are at lunch on a recent October Sunday near Pontarlier. It is where Degas...
The Artists' Artists: To Take Stock of the Past Year, Artforum Contacted an International Group of Artists to Find out Which Exhibitions and Events Were, in Their Eyes, the Very Best of 2011
QIU ANXIONG Zhang Peili (Minsheng Art Museum. Shanghai) One of the first artists in China to make video-based work, Zhang is well known for exposing the social realities of contemporary Chinese culture through chillingly dispassionate incisions...
Tobi Vail
1 MECCA NORMAL. MALACHI SEVEN-INCI-(K Records) Vancouver. British Columbia's punk-protest duo Mecca Normal have been changing the world with art and music since 1984. "Malachi," the Aside of their latest single, tells the true story of Malachi Ritscher,...
Venus X
1 HATSUNE MIKU. LIVE IN TOKYO Hatsune Miku is a super-successful sixteen-year-old Japanese female pop star, but she is not human. Developed in 2007 by Crypton Future Media, Hatsune (whose name literally means "future sound") is a hologram. Appearing...
Wolfgang Tillmans
Wolfgang Tillmans is an artist who lives and works in Berlin and London His solo exhibition at Warsaw's Zacheta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki will beon view until January 29. abstract pictures, a monograph on his recent work, was published by hatje cantz...
Yoko Ono
HIROSHIMA CITY MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART This exhibition, held in celebration of Yoko Ono's winning the Hiro shima Art Prize (an award dedicated to artists who have contributed to the preservation of "the spirit of Hiroshima"), demonstrated the...