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. 8, April

Alec Soth Sean Kelly Gallery
The initial photograph encountered in Alec Soth's "Broken Manual," Roman, the nocturnal hermit, 2006, embodies the tension between disclosure and concealment that underpins this exhibition, which comprises a series of photographs and a new installation...
"An American Language" Guerrero Gallery
Any passerby who chanced upon this group show would have immediately realized that all was not business as usual: Suspended from Guerrero Gallery's ceiling was a hulking wooden swing-stage scaffold bedaubed with enamel stains and labeled sign paint....
Ann Cathrin November Hoibo Standard (Oslo)
For "Christopher Burden on My Shoulders," Ann Cathrin November Hoibo's first solo exhibition, the rigor of the stark white cube was rumpled- Two towering white aluminum shelving units obstructed the viewer's way through the space. A pair of seashells...
Anne Truitt: Matthew Marks Gallery
The overriding aesthetic of the early 1960s was marked by Clement Greenberg's procrustean sense of historical inevitability. Anne Truitt first met the demanding critic in 1959; over the years, she encountered Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, and...
Annette Kelm and Michaela Meise Bonner Kunstverein
What would happen if a photographer known for her carefully composed still lifes collaborated with a maker of detailed, body-oriented, skillfully balanced sculptures on a joint exhibition? The result turned out to be an empty room on whose spare walls...
Art after Nature: T. J. Demos on the Post-Natural Condition
THE NIGHT SKY may never have looked as disturbingly different as it did in Black Shoals Stock Market Planetarium, 2001/2004, for which the London-based artists Lise Autogena and Joshua Portway projected an array of otherworldly constellations onto...
Balazs Kicsiny Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
As a visiting artist at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in Saint Louis last spring, Hungarian artist Balazs Kicsiny spent two months collaborating with graduate students in the production of his most recent installation,...
"Before the Law: Post-War Sculptures and Spaces of Contemporary Art": Museum Ludwig, Cologne Diedrich Diederichsen
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION between Fritz Cremer's O Deutschlandy bleiche Mutter! II (O Germany, Pale Mother! II), 1961, and Paul Chan's Sade for Sade's Sake, 2009? The former, one version of which stands at the memorial site of the Mauthausen concentration...
Bill Bollinger Fruitmarket Gallery
This touring retrospective--organized by the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, subsequently shown at the ZKM I Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, as well as at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, and opening this month at SculptureCenter in...
Brian Bress Cherry and Martin
Self-described Abstract Expressionist painter Agnes Martin spent the last three decades of her life in the seclusion of her New Mexico studio. Though she often exhibited alongside Minimalists such as Sol LeWitt and Donald Judd, Martin famously insisted...
Chris Martin Kunsthalle Dusseldorf
Chris Martin is that rare thing: a spiritual painter. In an interview for the catalogue to his exhibition "Staring into the Sun," curated by Elodie Evers and Gregor Jansen, he speaks of early on trying to find a way "to paint the upper rectangle with...
"D'apres Giorgio" Fondazione Giorgio E ISA De Chirico
Artists' houses are always intriguing, for there the dichotomy between person and artist, private and public, vision and banality emerges in all its contingency. The Roman apartment where Giorgio de Chirico lived with his wife Isabella from the period...
"Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency: Common Assembly"
WHAT WOULD AN ARCHITECTURE of decolonization look like? And how might it shift the terms of debate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? These are among the ambitious questions addressed by the Decolonizing Architecture/Art Residency, an art and architecture...
Fernando Sanchez Castillo Matadero Madrid
Fernando Sanchez Castillo, one of Spain's leading midcareer artists, takes a multifaceted approach to the representation of power structures. Much of his work, typically sculpture and video, is based on the country's shady twentieth-century history,...
Hank Willis Thomas
1 TOYIN ODUTOLA Born in Nigeria and raised in Alabama, Odutola now lives in San Francisco, where she is completing her MFA at California College of the Arts. She will tell you that skin has a geography, and it is this territory that she explores through...
Helen Frankenthaler: 1928-2011
LEARNING OF HELEN FRANKENTHALER'S DEATH this past December joked my sense of time, though it is hard to say precisely why. It is as if past and present have become muddled, as if somehow, in some section of my cultural subconscious, the news of the...
Hong Hao Beijing Commune
For the past decade, Hong Hao has made work that deals in the economies and aesthetics of accumulation. "My Things," a photographic series begun in 2001, is made up of composite images derived from the scanned photographs of the artist's possessions....
Honored in the Breach: Graham Bader on Absence as Memorial
LAST FALL, a trio of voids appeared in downtown New York. The National September 11 Memorial, which opened to the public one day after the tenth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, is dominated by two monumental cavities where the 110-story towers once...
In Ideal Shape: Steven Watson on Ron Gilad
WHEN THE DESIGNER RON GILAD moved from Tel Aviv to New York in 2001, he felt like an alien; he couldn't quite find the words in English to express the punning visuality of his thoughts. Fortunately, the objects he creates speak in their own tongue--a...
Jason Fox Peter Blum
It sounds like the setup to a misbegotten revolutionary--or, even worse, adolescent--joke: What do you get if you cross Bob Marley and Barack Obama? But in Jason Fox's most recent show, the seamless transposition of these quite literal figureheads--carefully...
Jesus Rafael Soto Grey Art Gallery, New York University
Vibration noire (Black Vibration), 1960, exemplifies the confusion of optic and haptic registers that defined Jesus Rafael Soto's work between 1957 and the late 1960s. Fragile sculptural elements--twisted red, blue, and black metal wires--are affixed...
Joachim Koester Institut D'art Contemporain
What stuck with you from Joachim Koester's exhibition "Of Spirits and Empty Spaces" was primarily the powerful memory of its atmosphere, of a progression through darkness, from one black-and-white projection to another, with passages through light...
Jos De Gruyter and Harald Thys Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi
It has been argued that the work of Belgian duo Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys hinges largely on an investigation of psychologies, a conclusion founded in de Gruyter's influential experience working in a Brussels community center and the recurrent...
Josh Brand Herald St
Josh Brand's solo exhibition "Nature" was striking for its comparisons of opposing qualities--black and white, nature and city, large and small. Numerous photographic works were uniformly hung along the walls of the gallery like strings of punctuation...
Kay Rosen Sikkema Jenkins & Co
Over the past four decades, Kay Rosen has made works that stage demonstrations of language's materiality--its visual and aural qualities--by marshaling her unique brand of wordplay and various typefaces, colors, and (most important) arrangements of...
Klara Liden Reena Spaulings Fine Art
Some eighty Christmas trees made up the centerpiece of Klara Liden's recent exhibition at Reena Spaulings. Installed behind blue plywood fencing, the trees had been reclaimed from New York City's sidewalks, where they had been awaiting curbside trash...
Liz Glynn Pitzer Art Galleries
In her exhibition "No Second Troy," Liz Glynn made her own archaeological dig through the epic chronicles of "Priam's Treasure"--the supposed gold of Troy discovered by the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1 873--in order to trace (forward...
"Looking Back: The 6th White Columns Annual" White Columns
The line between community and clique is a fine one, and this highly idiosyncratic year-end review of goings-on about town walked it with a conspicuous wobble. Curated by artists Ken Okiishi and Nick Mauss, the exhibition dipped into a variety of overlapping,...
Los Angeles Free Music Society the Box
Legendary among connoisseurs of weird records and mutant sounds for their woozy, hypnotic tape manipulations and free-form freak-outs, the Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) may be obscure but it hasn't been entirely overlooked. In fact, having...
Mads Gamdrup Christian Larsen Gallery
When Goethe attacked Newton in his 1810 Theory of Colors, he launched what he believed would he his life's greatest work: a defense of the natural purity of white light against the rational mechanics of Newtonian optics. To Goethe, the color spectrum...
Martin Erik Andersen Galleri Susanne Ottesen
The work of Martin Erik Andersen makes material and spatial schemas flip and multiply. His latest solo show, "from the source of a river to its mouth--with usura the line grows thick," whose title derives from Ezra Pound's 1937 Canto XLV, drew on morphologies...
M. Chaudun's Garden: A Portfolio
LE NOTRE HAD IT EASY. With the grand machinery of the Sun King at his fingertips, the legendary designer handily achieved the ancien regime's most sweeping and autocratic transformation of the landscape: the gardens of Versailles. Typology, natural...
Paul Bloodgood Newman Popiashvili Gallery
Modernism shares with Romanticism a fascination with the fragment, with things that are broken yet by that very fact seem to offer the possibility of recombining to create something new. Collage is only the most obvious manifestation of this outlook,...
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz Marcelle Alix
Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz's exhibition "Salomania" Focused on the infatuation that performers and authors have had with the New-Testament figure of Salome. Her veiled sexuality and exoticism have often been perceived as arousing a perverse desire,...
"Peripheral Visions: Italian Photography, 1950s-Present" Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery at Hunter College
In the half century after World War II, cities across the United States and Europe underwent structural transformations. In America, middle-class whites fled downtowns for the safety and amenities of the suburbs, leaving behind a minority "underclass1'...
Pravdoliub Ivanov le Guern Gallery
The first Warsaw exhibition by Bulgarian artist Pravdoliub Ivanov was announced by the Polish word POLPRAWDA, "half-truth," whose upper portion could be read above the bridge between two parts of the apartment building in the center of the Polish capital...
Proxy Music: Alan Licht on Dome and Groovy Records
ONE SUNDAY AFTERNOON in 1966, when Pink Floyd and the improvised-music group AMM were sharing a bill at the Marquee Club in London, AMM's Keith Rowe laid his guitar flat on a table and dropped various objects onto it, eliciting an array of radically...
Rashid Johnson: Hauser & Wirth
Suppose that there are three kinds of grooves. One you make by raking an implement through a semiresistant substance. One takes hold when a great song plays. And one you get stuck in. Rashid Johnson's show had them all. His exhibition, titled "Rumble/...
Rebel Movement: Rachel Kushner on Stan Douglas's Disco Angola, 2012
DISCO ANGOLA HAS A CERTAIN RING, the seeming incongruity of the two words registering as a dark irony and something more specific, a godforsaken watering hole or open-air dance floor in some late-colonial "paradise." Then again, it could be the name...
Renee So Kate Macgarry
Until now, you may have given little thought to Assyrian beards. In fact, they are remarkable things, with tiers of spiral-like black curls perfectly aligned to produce an almost architectural construction with which to adorn the face of the Mesopotamian...
Rob Birza Willem Baars Projects
It might have taken a moment to realize what Rob Birza's exhibition "Shifting Systems" reminded you of: Tintin's Inca adventure in the Temple of the Sun. You went through a door and suddenly you were surrounded by paintings and objects that seemed...
Ross Knight Team Gallery
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to heat-seal a giant sheet of industrial plastic around something other than a dry-docked boat, Ross Knight's sculpture Part, 2012, is an intriguing case. At over eight feet high, Part is a mysterious object...
Sandy Skoglund Rule Gallery
Having attained international success in the 1980s and '90s, Sandy Skoglund has flown under the radar in recent years. But "The Invented World," a compact yet surprisingly comprehensive exhibition at the Rule Gallery (where she has shown since 1988),...
"Secret Societies" Capc, Musee D'art Contemporain
The social turn, the pedagogical turn, the speculative turn. How many more "turns" can the art world put up with before getting too dizzy to stand up? One turn that I hope is here to stay, though, is the esoteric turn, with its passionate quest for...
Sex Tape: Julia Bryan-Wilson on Cheryl Dunye's Mommy Is Coming
"BLACK FEMALE FILMMAKER" might be the most obvious label with which to describe Cheryl Dunye, but it fails to capture the way in which she explodes categorical pieties, not only regarding medium but also in terms of sexual and racial politics. In the...
Silvie Defraoui Galerie Susanna Kulli
Like miniatures, square tiles leaned singly or in pairs in rows on narrow wall-mounted shelves made of dark wood in the first of two back-to-back shows by Silvie Defraoui. Formerly adorning elegant homes in the countryside near Barcelona, they had...
Simon Cantemir Hausi Galerie Barbara Thumm
It is not unusual for contemporary painters to find points of contact with nineteenth-century realism or the old masters. Such affinities are no longer seen as inherently suspect or retrograde; fortunately, those days are over. The critical question...
Stanley Boxer Spanierman Modern
Stanley Boxer (1926-2000) has been called a Color Field painter, but I don't think that does justice to his works--or at least not to the paintings he made in the 1990s, nineteen of which were on view in this exhibition (along with one canvas from...
Test Subjects: Tom Holert on the Art of Josephine Pryde
WALKING ALONG DUSSELDGRF'S GRABBEPLATZ toward the grim gray Brutalist building that houses the Kunstverein fur die Rheinlande und Westfalen, visitors to Josephine Pryde's current retrospective were confronted with an image of disturbing cuteness--or,...
"The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951"
PART OF OUR TIME? Herewith "some ruins and monuments of the thirties" that Murray Kempton's book overlooked: "The Radical Camera," a survey of the work of New York's Photo League, a socially minded artists' collective that was born in the New Deal...
Tomory Dodge Monica De Cardenas
The cliffs, the forests, and the few fields in the Engadin Valley were so thickly covered with snow that nearly all the contours of the landscape around Zuoz dissolved into a white monochrome. There were drifts in the village, too, where all the streets...
Tree of Knowledge: Melissa Anderson on Cristian Jimenez's Bonsai
BONSAI STARTS with the conclusion. "At the end of this film, Emilia dies and Julio remains alone," an offscreen narrator announces at the very outset of Chilean writer-director Cristian Jimenez's Ouroboros-like second feature. Stated twice more, the...
Uri Aran Gavin Brown's Enterprise
Presiding over Uri Aran's exhibition was a video, taken by the artist via Skype, of a man examining a plate of cookies. He picks up each one and looks at it closely, then shows it to the camera, as though the concept of a cookie were entirely foreign...
Yinka Shonibare, MBE: James Cohan Gallery
What stripes are to Daniel Buren or the "blp" is to Richard Artschwager, wax-printed cotton is to Yinka Shonibare, MBK--a medium, a trademark, a transformative tool. These inexpensive fabrics were initially manufactured by the Dutch in the nineteenth...
Zhao Renhui
IN AUTUMN 2009, I got an e-mail from a young artist named Zhao Renhui. He wanted to share some images he had made on a recent trip he'd taken with an organization called the Institute of Critical Zoologists (ICZ). Zhao had joined the group, he wrote,...
Zoe Strauss Philadelphia Museum of Art
The photographs in Zoe Strauss's recent retrospective read like a photo-essay without the text. Her portrait subjects--glaring or shy, rail thin or obese, scarred or bleeding, partying or parading--are mostly from around Philadelphia. Her landscapes...