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. 40, No. 3, November

96 Years of Sodom: Benjamin Ivry on Pierre Klossowski. (Passages)
EVEN IN DEATH, Pierre Klossowski was inevitably linked with his younger brother, the painter Balthus. Almost all obituaries of the artist, writer, and translator, who died in Paris this August at age ninety-six, mentioned that his more famous sibling...
Adriana Varejao: Galeria Pedro Oliveira. (Reviews - Porto)
The fine color gradations that enliven the apparent chromatic uniformity of Adriana Varejao's Ruina de charque-Portugal (Jerked-beef ruin--Portugal; all works 2001), or the delicate mesh that furrows its surface, might seem to evoke the traditions...
Amir Zaki: Roberts & Tilton. (Reviews - Los Angeles)
In photographer Amir Zaki's vertiginous, depopulated views, usually long exposures shot at night, velvety dark blue-greens dominate, illuminated by eerie halos of electric light. Rooflines, cornices, garden walls, empty backyards with potted plants...
"Antagonisms": Museu D'Art Contemporani De Barcelona
Politica1 art has received a bashing of late. Explicit forms of critique have been scarcely present in recent exhibitions; the Whitney Biennial of 1993 may have been the last major show in this country of demonstrably political art. Its do-gooder tone...
A Thousand Words: Rodney Graham Talks about the Phonokinetoscope
The Phonokinetoscope comprises a five-minute 16 mm film loop and a twelve-inch vinyl record with fifteen minutes of music on it. The projector is activated when the needle engages with the record--technically making it a phonokinetoscope, after Edison's...
Beatriz Milhazes: Birmingham Museum of Art. (Reviews - Birmingham, AL)
Beatriz Milhazes's acrylic paintings have the surging, breathtaking rhythm of a good fireworks display. Explosions of intense color combine and overlap without losing their own distinctive character. The efflorescence of hue in each painting is dramatic;...
Benjamin Edwards: Artemis Greenberg Van Doren Gallery. (Reviews - New York)
Benjamin Edwards's first solo exhibition showcased his adventuresome approaches to portraying the architecture of suburbia, mapping physical and digital territories, and providing fresh views on concepts like "visual overload." The paintings on view...
Bill Viola: Anthony D'Offay Gallery. (Reviews - London)
It's been suggested that moving pictures represent an advance over still images insofar as the latter arc unable to depict movement, to do any more than suggest its absence. Bill Viola's new video works (all 2001) are about movement, but they evidence...
Burgoyne Diller: Paula Cooper Gallery. (Reviews - New York)
Burgoyne Diller's drawings and collages are quirky little things. Made a few years before his death in 1965, they represent his last fling with geometric abstraction. Diller, a student of Hans Hofmann at the Art Students League in New York, was the...
Cargo and Cult: The Displays of Thomas Hirschhorn
It has proved difficult to imagine what sculpture could be at the beginning of the new century. Indeed, the concept and category appear strained in the expanded field of Thomas Hirschhorn's displays, ephemeral and unstable constructions of cardboard...
Carles Congost: Undacio Joan Miro / Centro Andaluz De Rte Contemporaneo. (Reviews - Barcelona/Seville)
Although in Spain his name is associated with video, Carles Congost's work is not to a single medium but rather advantage of diverse resources. Over the year he has shown this flexibility in exhibitions that--though they shared works in common--represented...
Claudio Moser: Galerie Bob Van Orsouw. (Reviews - Zurich)
In every respect, Claudio Moser's works deal with transition zones. The motifs of his large-format photographs define a poetics of non-sites that couldn't be less spectacular. Where the city peters out, where civilization meets nature, Moser records...
Cosima Von Bonin: Kunstverein. (Reviews - Hamburg)
Cosima von Bonin's art is dry. And it's not easy to decipher. This is as true as ever of the exhibition organized by the Kunstverein's new director, Yilmaz Dziewior. In itself, being cryptic is no indictment--at least according to Theodor Adorno, who...
David Reed: Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland
David Reed's exhibition begins in the half-light of the stairwell. Ascending the steps, you hardly notice the single work by the artist that hangs there, save perhaps to observe that its dimensions seem to match those of the painting opposite it, a...
Divided We Fall: Philip Nobel on Building the Future
NEW YORK CITY IS, at its healthiest, a crucible of one-upmanship. So it was heartening to find that spirit alive--indeed, thriving--in the immediate aftermath of September 11. Personal accounts from those not directly affected that day (and there is...
Ed Ruscha: James Kelly Contemporary. (Reviews - Santa FE)
Make a letter crystal clear or fuzzy, give it good posture or a slouch, shear its edges or pad its curves, and you've got some the variations Ed Ruscha bleached or stained Onto the faded cloth covers of his Books," 1993-2001, and "S Books," 1992-97....
Elegant Variation: Paul Mattick on Sidney Tillim. (Passages)
SIDNEY TILLIM WAS BORN on June 16, 1925, and died on August 16, 2001, in New York City. He was an artist of great inventiveness, skill, and intelligence; one of the most stimulating critics of American art in the 1960s, when he was a writer and editor...
Emmanuelle Antille: Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber. (Reviews - Zurich)
As deep as our sleep, as fast as your heart, 2001, is the work of Emmanuelle Antille, a young artist from Lausanne, and it's an exciting departure from the sybaritic, ambient work of the Zurich circle around Pipilotti Rist and Ugo Rondinone, known...
Enternal Returns: The Art of Verne Dawson
In the distance, a jumbo jet takes off from Newark; others circle in a holding pattern, awaiting clearance to land. Nearby, some nature lovers make their way nakedly through chest-high grass in the Meadowlands. All is wildly verdant, as if this were...
Eva Grubinger: Kiasma. (Reviews - Helsinki)
Eva Grubinger's Operation R.O.S.A., 2001, is a kind of Gesamkunstwerk, orchestrating sound, sculpture, and the moving image to assay what might be called the new-economy consciousness. It features a several-meter-high video projection of a baby, as...
Frances Stark: CRG Gallery. (Reviews - New York)
Frances Stark's aesthetic might be thought of as eponymous. Her drawings are evocatively austere: white paper, areas of hand-lettered text, the occasional collage. A writer as well as a visual artist, Stark has also taught critical theory and played...
Frank Auerbach: Royal Academy of Arts, London
A startling feature of the otherwise straightforward catalogue that accompanies Frank Auerbach's recent show is its frontispiece. A double-page, black-and-white photo spread shows the painter in his studio last year: his head in close-up, a defiant...
Heraklitos. (When Words Don't For)
I was thinking about contradiction when September 11 came. Awake all night, struggling with contradiction, because I had to do a lecture on it the next day and lecturing is not easy for me. A lecture is not a conversation, you don't get to ask the...
"Hitchcock and Art: Fatal Coincidences": Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
The visually complex and thematically rich cinema of Alfred Hitchcock has inspired numerous artists at work today, as evidenced in "Notorious: Alfred Hitchcock and Contemporary Art," a 1999 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford. Yet despite...
Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. (Openings)
Sitting on an awards panel this summer, I was shown the work of a husband-and-wife artist team, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, and liked it quite a lot. It had things you might want from art: intelligence, novelty, wit. I wonder, now, how those qualities...
Jim Lambie: Anton Kern Gallery. (Reviews -- New York)
Jim Lambie's work is governed by a kind of Pop alchemy. Covering, wrapping, and adorning the ordinary with the ordinary, he creates contemporary totems, like Psychedelic Soul Stick (all works 2001), a bamboo cane thickly wrapped in thread and wire,...
John Newsom: Silverstein Gallery. (Reviews - New York)
In the first chapter of his 1977 text Noise: The Political Economy of Music, French economic theorist (and Mitterrand adviser) Jacques Attali approaches music--the human organization of sound-through nature, or more specifically birds. While we might...
Juan Cruz: Matt's Gallery. (Reviews - London)
Born in Spain in 1970, Juan Cruz has lived in the United Kingdom since he was eight, and his work so far has been a painstaking rumination on Spanish culture. Yet as a cultural ambassador he would have to be counted a distinct failure. In 1996, he...
Kant Wrote. (When Words Don't Fail)
"War itself," Kant wrote, "if it is carried on with order and with a sacred respect for the rights of citizens, has something sublime in it." This was written at the end of the eighteenth century, but it implies a concept of war as governed by codes...
Kara Walker: Brent Sikkema. (Reviews -- New York)
"Dear Cruel and malevolent Master," read one of the index cards punctuating Kara Walker's recent installation. "What irks me, you know this, is that I am and forever shall be a slave to that which brought (said: 'brung') me here." In an apparent afterthought,...
Karen Carson: Rosamund Felsen Gallery. (Reviews - Los Angeles)
Leave it to Karen Carson to pay homage to Cezanne's landscapes in a format usually reserved for promoting the latest twelve-pack special. Carson, who has named paintings after Disney songs and created abstract images based on Renaissance theories of...
Karin F. Giusti: Nikolai Fine Art. (Reviews - New York)
The White House has always been the focus of memorable scenes emblematic of American political administrations, from Jackie Kennedy's Camelot-era interior design schemes to the Clintons' grab for presidential housewares earlier this year ($190,000...
Kathleen Gilje: Gorney Bravin + Lee. (Reviews - New York)
Kathleen Gilje's line of inquiry is anything but unfamiliar. The unmasking of the male gaze has been a mainstay of critical theory and contemporary art since before Cindy Sherman staged her first photograph. But Gilje's complex, often surprising project...
Ken Goldberg. (Hotlist)
Ken Goldberg, an artist and associate professor of engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, edited the essay collection. The Robot in the Garden: Telerobotics and Telepistemology in the Age of the Internet (MIT Press, 2000). LIKE BREAD,...
Letters
AFTER THOUGHTS To the Publishers: A11 of us here at the Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, along with people throughout Warsaw and all over Poland, were shocked and appalled by the tragic events that took place in the United States...
Leviathan. (When Words Don't Fail)
I have already had the benefit of the book that helps me understand such acts of malice, so I do not need to turn to it but only ask my memory to bring back its chilling but truthful pages--many of which I have by heart. The book is by Thomas Hobbes...
Luigi Ghirri: Chiostri Di San Dinebuci/palazzo Magnani. (Reviews - Reggio Emilia)
Luigi Ghirri, who died unexpectedly in 1992 when he was not yet fifty, occupied a very visible place in the world of photography during his lifetime. The two exhibitions devoted to him by his native province, Reggio Emilia, gathered more than 700 of...
Mathias Poledna: Grazer Kunstverein. (Reviews - Graz)
Mathias Poledna, an Austrian artist living in Los Angeles, has repeatedly delved into archives, treating them as sources for the reconstruction of recent history. In the project Produktion Pop, 1996, Poledna (together with Martin Beck and Jon Savage)...
Mimmo Jodice: Galleria Civica D'arte Moderna E Conterporanea. (Reviews - Turin)
Mimmo Jodice is one of a handful of artists--among them Franco Mulas, Gabriele Basilico, Mario Cresci, Luigi Ghirri, and Gianni Berengo Gardin--who have helped redeem the figure of the photographer in Italy by liberating the medium from a purely documentary...
Moving Pictures: Adam Lehner on Art in the Aftermath
ADAM LEHNER IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING September 11, it was agreed upon by just about everyone that art, along with everything else, was going to "change forever." No one was clear exactly how, except in the negative sense of "unlike this," so many responded...
"New York CA. 1975": David Zwirner. (Reviews - New York)
All bad art, Oscar Wilde once observed, is sincere. Yet it's hard to imagine a more sincere or necessary statement than Wilde's own De Profundis. When it comes to art's directly addressing life's dire exigencies--war, social inequity, prejudice, human...
November 1971
Thirty years ago in Artforum, Robert Pincus-Witten turned to Eva Hesse's diaries and notebooks in an essay explaining the artist's aesthetic break-through. Senior editor ERIC C. BANKS looks back on the birth of the Hesse myth. HOW WELL DO WE KNOW...
"Overnight to Many Cities": 303 Gallery. (Reviews -- New York)
Some of the people seen in this show of photographs, subtitled "Travel and Tourism at Home and Away," must be on vacation--the girls on the beach on Cape Cod, say, in pictures from the early '80s by Joel Meyerowitz. In others the journey both less...
Peter Saul: Michael Duncan Recounts How a Parcel Filled with Crayon Drawings Addressed to Matta Led to Peter Saul's 1961 Debut at Allan Frumkin's Chicago Gallery. (First Break)
TEEMING WITH POOP, spew, blood, guts, and jism, Peter Saul's visceral, virtual-toon paintings pop off the wall and go straight for the eyeballs. The proper response is to duck and cover, but the comic-book insults and all-round humiliations--evidenced...
Plane Songs: Lauren Sedofsky Talks with Alexander Sokurov
STRADDLING THE PERIOD OF SOVIET DISINTEGRATION and perestroika/post-perestroika liberalization, the twelve features and twenty-seven documentaries directed by the fifty-year-old Saint Petersburg--based filmmaker Alexander Sokurov all testify, however...
"Proximites": Churches of St. Savinien and St. Pierre, Hotel De Menoc. (Reviews - Melle)
Over the centuries, the tiny town of Melle (4,000 souls at last count) has accumulated an enormous history, criss-crossed, among others, by Romans, Visigoths, Franks, Vikings, Arabs, countless medieval pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela,...
Richard Phillips: Richard Phillips's Work Is Currently on View in "The Contemporary Face: From Pablo Picasso to Alex Katz" at Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany. (Top Ten)
1 NYFD, NYPD, MAYOR GIULIANI, ET AL. When I sat down to write a Top Ten in the wake of the attacks, it was difficult even to think of how to respond. While so many have expressed their thanks to the rescue workers in the weeks following September 11,...
Stewart Goldman: Linda Schwartz Gallery. (Reviews - Cincinnati)
Some artists seem to grow younger as they grow older. There is lilt, buoyancy, a sense of being freely unmoored in a calm sea. De Kooning had it: While time worked its debilitating damage, he soared, painting ribbons of pure color borne aloft on white...
The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil. (When Words Don't Fail)
The Lady works in mysterious ways, and the morning after the tragedy in New York, I unexpectedly found on the bedside table my ancient, dog-eared copy of Heinrich Zimmer's The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil. I accepted this...
Ueli Etter: Zwinger Galerie. (Reviews - Berlin)
"Agony Hall," "Big Gender Junction," and "Sentimental Library" are just a few of the sites to see in Ueli Etter's The Park/Der Park, 1997-2001. The Swiss artist, who splits his time between Berlin and Tel Aviv, has been refining the project through...
William Kentridge: New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York
William Kentridge's first American retrospective opened with a recent film, Shadow Procession, that seemed to ironize the South African artist's meteoric critical rise in the last decade. The 1999 work records a succession of jerry-built figures in...
Wolfgang Staehle, Untitled, 2001
When Wolfgang Staehle's exhibition "2001" opened in early September at Postmasters gallery in New York, it offered a panorama of eventlessness. On three walls, static video images glowed in the darkness, like vast electronic postcards One showed a...
World Trade Center. (When Words Don't Fail)
Several weeks before the attack on the World Trade Center, a friend gave me a copy of Seneca's essay "On the Shortness of Life." In the days since, sentences from it have mingled with the memory of standing on a fire escape in Brooklyn and watching...
WPA Guide to New York City. (When Words Don't Fail)
My first bookish instinct was to remind myself of what the neighborhood around the towers was before they went up, and so I turned to the WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939, which describes the area as the Lower West Side, an appellation...

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