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. 31, No. 5, January

Abraham Walkowitz
For Abraham Walkowitz art was never less than a religion, and the artistic profession akin to a sacred calling. In 1906 he left New York for Paris, where he fell under the spell of Paul Cezanne, Auguste Rodin, and Henri Matisse, whose work greatly influenced...
Achtung Baby
A television image from the reunified Germany of 1992-93: a long-haired, bearded man, beer can in hand, wearing a cowboy hat and a black leather jacket with fringes, repeats "They have to go, they have to go, they don't have our German culture, they...
Adam Fuss
Using the direct printing method of the photogram, Adam Fuss has produced a body of visually exquisite and theoretically inquisitive images. In the '20s, Man Ray and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy viewed the photogram as a means of subverting the mechanicity of...
Agustin Victor Casasola
Agustin Victor Casasola (1874-1938) may not have been "the photographer of the Mexican Revolution," as he is popularly known, but he was the founder of Mexico's first photo archive, and as such, not only preserved but shaped a vision of history encompassing...
Alfredo Pirri
Alfredo Pirri's exhibition was entitled "PER NOI" (For us), implying a dedication, and a prayer. In fact, the work resonates with the Catholic invocation ora pro nobis. However this symbolic reference was tied not to stately places of ritual, but to...
Alighiero E Boetti
One feels completely at a loss viewing the works of Alighiero e Boetti. What do these minimalist objects have to do with colorfully embroidered pictures and the copied title pages of various magazines? What do the stacked months of a calendar signify?...
Andrew Young
At first they seemed simply handsome and restrained, but over time, Andrew Young's paintings do act on the mind gradually and indirectly. They reveal themselves to be much less stable, much more complicated and disturbing, than they at first appear....
Ange Leccia
Ange Leccia says his work falls somewhere "between Jackson Pollock and Piet Mondrian," referring to the former's frenetic energy and the latter's ordered precision. Each piece in this sprawling but thematically concise show bore the laconic title Arrangement...
Anselm Stalder
Anselm Stalder puts signs in motion. For this exhibition he built three identical electronic "writing machines," Talking bells, 1992; each key on the keyboards of these machines plays a specific note. Thus musical (esthetic) structure and form follow...
A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: The Art of S. Y. Kochelev
Andrew Solomon, the foremost critic of Soviet art in the West, wrote this appreciation of S. Y. Kochelev in conjunction with the recent retrospective of that artist's work in New York, under the auspices of Ilya Kabakov. Josif Bakshteyn, the preeminent...
Camera as Weapon: Worker Photography between the Wars
Flies crawl across a sleeping baby's face; a massive unemployment line unfurls beside a building inscribed with the graffito "Wahlt Hitler" (Vote for Hitler; the year is circa 1933, the place, Hannover); a child writes "Streik" (Strike) at the bottom...
Candida Hofer
If, as is often said, we live in a post-Enlightenment culture, it is only in the sense that new techniques with which to manufacture order (like the computer and television) have been invented. So while the classificatory systems of the Enlightenment,...
Catherine Yass
To those who take notice of her, Catherine Yass returns the compliment. When commissioned to make a work her light boxes focus upon those in power within the commissioning organization; when invited to participate in group shows she complies by contributing...
Christopher Wool
Christopher Wool's painting is synonymous with major attitude, so much so that his new "FUCKEM IF THEY CAN'T TAKE A JOKE" paintings seem immediately and perhaps overly familiar. Indeed, talk on the street has been along the lines of "enough already,...
Cindy Sherman: Burning Down the House
Consider the many genres Cindy Sherman has developed in her photographs--film stills, fashion photos, fairy tales, art-historical portraiture, scenes of dummies deployed in sex acts. Consider, too, the critical discourses engaged in her work--deconstructive...
Cinnamon Womyn
Busy rhapsodizing over Ralph Lauren's tartan highboy and penning essays about his influence on American life-style, pop-cultural critics have been too caught up in their insular urban worlds to recognize the true genius in our midst. The person who has...
Daniel Wheeler
Characterized less by the sterile estheticism of sculpture than by the exuberantly inviting playfulness of a children's jungle gym, Daniel Wheeler's interactive, almost architectural pieces politicize spatial relations, engaging the visitor with their...
Daniel Wiener
A loopy parade of pre-oedipal playthings surrounded the visitor to Daniel Wiener's jam-packed exhibition of unnameable sculptural objects. His exuberantly colored, multitextured, and polymorphously perverse configurations of the materials from which...
David Bowes
To visit David Bowes' plein air visions was to catch pictorial history on the wing: to see life and art from an ever shifting array of vantage points. The clarity of focus of Bowes' most arresting image--a moon-faced, nearly life-sized female figure...
Deborah Samuel
The photographs in Deborah Samuel's show "Venus Passage" bear witness to ritual violence: she paints her models in thick black strokes that evoke bodily alterations ranging from decorative scarification to sex change. Some of the "surgery" has been drastic,...
Elizabeth Rosenblum
Elizabeth Rosenblum's recent paintings bear witness to the increasingly complex conceptual and esthetic concerns of an artist coming to terms with manic depression. Entitled "Phobias, Manias and other Aberrations," this show featured nineteen 18-by-18-inch...
Ellsworth Kelly
Piet Mondrian painted flowers; Ellsworth Kelly draws plants--has done so regularly since the late '40s. The selection of "Plant Drawings" in this show included works from 1960-69, and from 1980 to the present; apparently Kelly did fewer of these in the...
Emmanuel Saulnier
Like a prism, Emmanuel Saulnier's sculpture has from the start oscillated between the erasure and the proliferation of various points of view. It goes hand in glove with what one might call "la folie du jour," to borrow a title from Maurice Blanchot...
Frank Stella
Art-historically retardataire in its extravagant acknowledgment of junk sculpture and assemblage, Frank Stella's series "New Work: Projects and Sculpture," 1992, nevertheless represents an "advance" in terms of Stella's own oeuvre: a continuation of...
Glamorous Jewesses
On the problem of the actor-- And it is really high time to ask: What good actor today is not--a Jew? . . . Finally, women. Reflect on the whole history of women: do they not have to be first of all and above all else actresses? In his book Spurs or...
Gunther Forg
Fascination can result from an attraction to what is really only a mirage: what fascinates cannot be grasped, and the closer one gets to it the more elusive it becomes. Many critics report a similar experience in dealing with the work of Gunther Forg:...
Hamish Fulton
The work of Hamish Fulton always brings to mind measurement and description. His series of walks over the past twenty years have been textually and photographically documented in order to translate a physical, personal activity into an event, an activity...
Heimo Zobernig
Heimo Zobernig's exhibition can be considered a summary of his artistic thinking since the early '80s. These sculptures, which the artist refers to as "things," look like an open box, or like a wallpiece, or like a bench. Zobernig combines the esthetic...
Hirsch Perlman
Hirsch Perlman's project The Layman's Practical Guide to Interrogation offers strategies for questioning others, including the one outlined in "Silent" Technique (all works 1992) whereby information is elicited simply by staring down one's interlocutor....
Hi-Yo Silver: Cady Noland's America
On the road to discover America, our hero makes a quick stop and disembarks from his vehicle, a turbo-charged bird of prey aptly named The Eagle--symbol of freedom as flight, and of flight as both sovereignty and exile. "One small step for man," he says,...
Jane Hammond
Like many contemporary artists, Jane Hammond has adopted a structure or system that might seem like a rejection of inventiveness, but that actually elaborates a rigorous defense of painting. In this exhibition Hammond came across as an archivist of diversity....
Jan Groover
Whereas Jan Groover's earlier black and white still lifes captured the reflective surfaces of stainless-steel cooking utensils with an etched clarity reminiscent of constructivist photograms, her recent images, cast in ethereal tones of faded silver...
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
Jaune Quick-to-See Smith's latest show offered a timely and articulate response to this year's quincentennary celebration of Columbus' "discovery" of the New World. In a sophisticated, post-Modern idiom, this series of mixed-media paintings speaks to...
Jessica Diamond
At first glance, Jessica Diamond's installation seemed unusually straightforward, especially for an artist whose work has often been seen as being intentionally indecipherable. In a series of works on paper, Diamond has referenced the work of the Japanese...
Jessica Stockholder
The initial dilemma one must confront when viewing Jessica Stockholder's work is whether to call it sculpture or painting. This problem seems fairly old-fashioned, especially after the postwar avant-garde tried its very best to dissolve such genre limitations....
Joachim Brohm
Joachim Brohm's work demonstrates that there are other kinds of "straight" photography in Germany besides the "Becher school." The effect of Brohm's work is comparable to that of the Bechers: he equates reproduction and the autonomous image, realism...
Lawrence Gipe
"WE'RE THE RISING TIDE/COME FROM FAR AND WIDE/MARCHING SIDE BY SIDE ON OUR WAY/FOR A BRAVE NEW WORLD/TOMORROW'S WORLD/THAT WE SHALL BUILD TODAY!" Painted on the wall, these words bore down on you at the entrance to Lawrence Gipe's show "The Century of...
Leonardo Drew
Many contemporary artists who attempt to articulate African-American experience rely on photo-based techniques (Lorna Simpson's studies of racist/sexist stereotypes and Carrie Mae Weems' intimate narratives take the form of cool, almost clinical images,...
Lyndal Jones
Lyndal Jones' exhibition "Prediction Pieces, 1981-1991" documented performances and installations produced over the last decade in Australia, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Edinburgh. Dramatizing a feminist and post-Structural analysis of our troubled society,...
Michael Asher
It took Michael Asher five years to complete his project here. It focuses on the architect of the Palais des Beaux Arts, Victor Horta, who created buildings that are the embodiment of art-nouveau architecture in Belgium. In the Horta Museum Asher had...
Pep Duran
Four years after his last one-person show, Pep Duran again becomes a collector who searches, like a ragpicker, for objects or remains that respond to his demands. This time, the type of object accumulated is usually related to the world of textile production:...
Philip-Lorca diCorcia: Five Nights of a Dreamer
The man's name is Igor. I don't know if this picture is posed, I don't know if the photographer even knows Igor; by chance, I do. An architect from Trieste, he acted in movies a friend of mine made in the early '70s. He's carrying the goldfish to drop...
Rachel Lachowicz
Does a woman's sexuality correspond to what she looks like? . . . Does it bear any relation to the way in which commercial images represent it? Is it something women need to buy like a product? . . . Does all this mean we can't wear lipstick without...
Richard Diebenkorn
Ultimately, Richard Diebenkorn's reputation depends on the "Ocean Park Series," 1967-88, of which this exhibition gave us 11 paintings selected from at least 150 works. Begun in 1967, the same year Robert Motherwell began his "Open" paintings--and apparently...
Richard Tuttle
The Whitney Museum's 1975 Richard Tuttle exhibition cost Marcia Tucker, its curator, her job. Asked to leave in the wake of the controversy that ensued, Tucker survived the debacle and went on to found the New Museum. The show was decisive for me as...
Robert Grosvenor
The seven sculptures Robert Grosvenor exhibited here, all untitled and created between 1977 and 1991, seem to reflect on the primitive--not in the sense of borrowing elements from different cultures but, rather, in the spirit of what Barnett Newman meant...
Robert Lostutter
Robert Lostutter's birdmen are voluptuary creatures produced by a wondrous metamorphosis of the human into an eroticized ornithological world. Always tense and alert, his figures sport exotic plumages that advertise sexual availability. This decidedly...
Rosemarie Trockel, Andreas Schulze
Rosemarie Trockel and Andreas Schulze offered two perceptual models in this exhibition. On the one hand, there was a certain continuity, even familiarity to the show: works either knitted or painted in acrylic were installed to make an interesting exhibition....
Soul City
Alan Rudolph's terrain is the shadowland of the psyche, the place where our pathologies find a home--where our obsessions, paranoias, fears, and fetishes ferment and fertilize one another. On the surface, Rudolph's movies can look like simple melodramas,...
Stuart Mead
One of the most memorable paintings in this exhibition depicts a vaudeville strip show from the perspective of someone standing backstage right: you see the stripper from behind, and by gazing past her you can look at the audience as well. In the foreground...
The Crotch We Have to Bear
You can hardly open a magazine or newspaper these days without getting smacked in the face by a penis, or some facsimile thereof. Most prominent is white rapper Marky Mark massaging his wad for Calvin Klein: if you live in a big city, you'll see him...
The Future of the National Endowment for the Arts
Last November, the Democratic National Committee asked New York gallerist Ronald Feldman to submit documents to the transition team of President-Elect Bill Clinton in support of the National Endowment for the Arts. To write the proposal Feldman enlisted...

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