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. 7, March

Agnes Martin
From the early '60s to the late '80s, the grid in Agnes Martin's work shifts from relative differentiation to relative undifferentiation--to an increasing sense of entropy. Her early grids are constituted by small, obviously handmade marks--confirming...
"Algunos Artistas." (Exhibit at the Central Cultural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina) (Review)
For the majority of the 15 artists included in the exhibition "Algunos Artistas" (Some artists)--curated by the painters Jorge Gumier Maier and Magdalena Jitrik--the "body" of contemporary art is less a part of daily experience than a question of fixed...
Andreas Schon
Andreas Schon's pantings are constructed from a lattice of straight lines and arcs that form a matrix of intersecting planes. From this abstract arrangement of the two-dimensional canvas, Schon develops a series of landscapes and a series of paintings...
Andy Fabo
"It gets harder and harder to throw things away," Andy Fabo says, in a taped studio visit that accompanied his recent show. Fabo preserves the detritus of his stunningly cluttered work and living space--old grant applications, Tom of Finland drawings,...
Caroline Russell
Exhibitions don't really begin and end at the gallery; for Caroline Russell, whose interest in display began in 1987, the invitation card plays a significant role in setting up the spectator. While the sophisticated contemporary-art audience expects...
Chris Isner
In this ongoing series, writers are invited to introduce the work of artists at the beginning of their careers. Chris Isner's art is about the body and its tribulations and pleasures, but unlike other body artists--Robert Gober, Kiki Smith, Matthew...
Christoph Rutimann
Christoph Rutimann proves once again that you know what you see, but you don't necessarily see what you know. As in his other installations and performances, in Villa Kraftstrasse 35, Eine Installation, (Villa Kraftstrasse 35, an installation, 1992)...
Corinne Mercadier
Corinne Mercadier's photographs are like memories: they evoke places, times, and moods that the mind's eye fuses into slightly faded compositions. The 20 works in this series--uniformly small, square, and untitled--offer fragmentary glimpses of a seaside...
Deborah Kass
Call Me Barbra: call me an appropriation, a recasting, a challenge to concepts of ethnicity, gender, and patriarchy--call me the work of Deborah Kass. In the "Jewish Jackie" and "My Elvis" series, both 1992, Kass replaces Warhol's '60s iconography with...
Eugenio Dittborn: Return to Sender
Contemporary air travel has replaced the individual's instinctive sense of danger with the fiction that nothing could be more natural than being propelled thousands of feet above the earth at several hundred miles an hour. At takeoff, one respectfully...
"Fragile Ecologies." (Exhibit at the Queens Museum of Art, New York, New York) (Review)
"Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists' Interpretations and Solutions," a traveling exhibition, takes a broad look at activist, environmentally oriented art, placing it within its historical and cultural context. The projects of various artists in...
Gerhard Richter
This show of new, never-before-exhibited works by Gerhard Richter inaugurated a new international cultural space in Rome, sponsored by the Cassa di Risparmio di Puglia. The show consisted of seven large paintings, one small photograph retouched with...
Gotscho
Even before encountering the works in Gotscho's exhibition "Skins," the visitor was confronted by his presence. In all the material accompanying this exhibition, the artist presented a single image of himself--naked, shorn of all body hair, muscles bulging,...
Half-Life: A Project for Artforum by Nick Waplington
Nick Waplington's photographs of nuclear sites are far more interesting than statistics, and far less forgettable. The images play with association, memory, horror, and (very) black humor. The artist himself willingly stands in for the human form, but...
Inge King
Inge King's sculptures are an intensely cosmopolitan revision of Modernist abstraction. Her recent bronze constructions connote the body in a weirdly literal montage of cubist space and anthropomorphic silhouette. Until 1989, it seemed that King would...
"It Is It." (Exhibit at the Galerie Anselm Dreher, Berlin, Germany) (Review)
"It is It," a three-part exhibition, celebrates the 25th anniversary of the gallery and brings together seven artists from both Europe and the United States. In the first part of this show, Ange Leccia's Lolita, 1988--a massive, black BMW motorcycle,...
Jean le Gac
In his latest works, Jean Le Gac indirectly follows a tale of a painter's adventures who is none other than himself--all the action is more or less faithful to Le Gac's "real" biography. His works, since his mail-art and the Cahiers (Notebooks, 1989),...
Karen Finley
Karen Finley's installation, Written in Sand, 1992, adopted a subtle and dark strategy which eschewed the emphasis on the sheer number of deaths characteristic of the most publicized tributes to the victims of AIDS. Emblematic of those works, Gran Fury's...
Ken Butler
Superpowers would still be going at it with crossbows or flintlocks if new weapons were developed at the same rate as musical instruments. It is every violinist's dream to own a Stradivarius made three centuries ago, and even aficionados of the electric...
Last Days of Chez Nous
A man's home is his castle. A woman's place is in the home. A house is not a home. Home is where the heart is. The homes some of us live in are made of mortar and wood and tenderness. For others, they are built from battered tin cans, cardboard boxes,...
Lois Conner
Lois Conner's panoramic platinum prints of China give us the provinces before mechanization and good roads. Even large cities look provincial. An occasional bicycle and old truck are the most modern things we see, and only the imperial architecture of...
Luc Tuymans
Luc Tuymans is a painter who consciously rejects theoretical aspirations in his work. In his mostly small-format pieces, he is concerned neither with a critique of painting nor with a consideration of its history. For that reason one might believe that...
Luis Gordillo's Anxious Biology
Save for Antoni Tapies and the odd group show or pavilion exhibit, Spanish art was all but invisible outside Spain during the long period between Generalissimo Franco's ascent, in 1939, and his death a decade and a half ago. Even the late works of Joan...
Lydia Dona
Entropy disintegrates and is simultaneously regenerated in Lydia Dona's mappings of the void. Her supercharged explorations of nothingness do not take the form of pure, aggressive negations, nor do they skirt around the impossibility of representing...
Lynda Benglis
This very surprising exhibition marked a decisive change in the tactics and esthetics of Lynda Benglis--presenting what at first seemed to be an artistic about-face. Gone were the opulent and lush wallbound sculptures that have marked her work since...
Malice toward Nuns
Abel Ferrara takes no prisoners--not in conversation and certainly not in the seven feature films he's directed over the past 13 years, especially his latest epic in degeneration, Bad Lieutenant. Starring Harvey Keitel, Bad Lieutenant tracks a few sorry...
Martin Eiter
The starting point of Martin Eiter's paintings is the revolutionary spirit of the '80s during which "wild painting" also celebrated its triumphs in Austria. Eiter even shared the studio of two of the most celebrated exponents of this artistic direction,...
Matthew Weinstein
Matthew Weinstein's newest work underlines the curious fact that a young artist does not always develop most propitiously by becoming more "mature." It is quite possible to progress by means of regression; art must be able to retreat, consciously, to...
Miami Fantasia, Part 2
The preeminence of South Beach at the forefront of fashion has been unequivocally confirmed by Versace's current cruise collection for men, which features the words "South Beach" and "Miami" on shirts and vests printed in the bold, assertive palette...
Michele Blondel
For nearly a decade, the French artist Michele Blondel has been developing the various elements of what has become a unified, installation-oriented, sculptural project. Blondel herself blows precious Baccarat crystal into exquisite phallic and otherwise...
Mike Kelley
It's gotta be sheer coincidence that Mike Kelley's exhibition opened the same month that Superman officially died, but the end of an era of a red-white-and-blue super hero couldn't be a more fitting backdrop to Kelley's take on another media cliche of...
Pat Steir
Pat Steir's new paintings, exhibited under the Goethean title "Elective Affinities," continue to rehearse the abstractly generated waterfall imagery that has preoccupied her for the last several years. As before, a vehement, loaded stroke at the top...
PC Playhouse
The shock of David Mamet's Oleanna, a play about a female student's charges of sexual harassment against her male professor, is the shock of the Hill/Thomas hearings: it astounds by revealing how many otherwise "reasonable" people still don't get it....
Salome Cuesta
Salome Cuesta's strategy is one of representational suspension. Her installations present us with mute, almost empty spaces, barely punctuated by a series of elements with so little material presence and objective character that it becomes difficult...
Saul Steinberg
Saul Steinberg's America is a peculiar place; its buildings tend to be absurdly big, its people absurdly small. Arrogantly abstract freaks, Steinberg's Americans move mechanically through the country's streets like wind-up toys, traversing a place where...
Scott Prior
Ranging in size from the 5-by-4-inch miniature, LAUNDRY AT TWILIGHT, 1992, to the 72-by-96-inch MARLOES AND EZRA, 1990, Scott Prior's meticulously executed oil paintings are moody and evocative. Though traditional in form, Prior's images are imbued with...
"Slouching toward 2000: The Politics of Gender." (Exhibit at Women and Their Work, Austin, Texas) (Review)
Through the representation of bodies inscribed with or supplemented by texts, this traveling exhibition explores issues of gender, sexuality, race, and class. These visible, and for the most part legible, bodies speak critically about various kinds of...
Surrender. (Theater Artaud, San Francisco, California) (R
Although billed as "environmental theater," Lauren Elder's immensely ambitious multi-disciplinary performances encompass far more than mere drama. Like her earlier work Off Limits, 1989, Surrender is a sprawling, archetypal story with a narrative thread...
Terry Atkinson
"'No poetry after Auschwitz and Hiroshima,' Adorno is reputed to have written! Who is he trying to kid? The statement itself is poetic." So writes Terry Atkinson in a short essay justifying his continued interest in historical and political representation...
"The Naturalist Gathers." (Exhibit at Steingladstone, New York, New York) (Review)
In its arrangement of images that span the history of art, and film stills, book illustrations, postcards, and advertisements, "The Naturalist Gathers" presented a genealogy of the process of collecting, ordering, and observing. Devoid of "original"...
The Sublime Theorist of Slovenia
Jacques Lacan is responsible for saying, "there is no sexual relation." This should not make lovers too upset, for in fact, Love is what we have to make up for the Relation that is missing. Eros would be the potential of supreme Good, for harmony uniting...
Todd Murphy
Todd Murphy's pieces are striking for several reasons, including their scale--a third of the works in this show are of imposing proportions (around 10 by 12 feet). Murphy's imagistic vocabulary of undefined symbols afloat in an open-ended syntax may...
Tom Knechtel
The world within Tom Knechtel's drawings and paintings consists of two principle elements: animals and sex. Under that potent big top the material expands and divides in a carnival of raging extremes---psychogiddy riffs on fairy-tale and childrens' book...
Tony Fitzpatrick
Self-taught, Chicago-based artist Tony Fitzpatrick began showing in New York's East Village during the mid '80s. His small, slate chalkboards, obsessively painted with quirky, cartoonish imagery fit in well there, standing out as raw and original in...
Twist and Crawl
The Hellenistic Greeks invented historical self-consciousness as we know it when, five hundred years after the original efflorescence, they revived the Archaic style for contemporary markets. This ambiguous advance in the history of taste was not without...
Volker Dohne
One can always recognize a student of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Volker Dohne is a first-generation Becher student, but less well-known than his colleagues. His photographs are portraitlike, black and white, but not always frontal views. In this exhibition...
White Chocolate for My Father. (Laurie Carlos Theater, New York, New York) (R
Notably small in scale, Laurie Carlos' theater drew its listeners into a storyteller's circle, up close, within touching distance of the players. Each character was written and portrayed as if it were a "found" miniature in an air-tight Joseph Cornell...
Wilhelm Lehmbruck
Perhaps erroneously and unfairly, one expects to find signs of Wilhelm Lehmbruck's suicide in his sculptures. His figures, their eyes closed in introspection, seem depressed. In the early female figures (ca. 1910-12) this depressiveness "compromises"...
You and I: The Art of Ketty la Rocca
There is a heartbreaking quality to Ketty La Rocca's images, and it has to do with their unusually direct, sometimes raw mode of communication, their tone of supplication and call for attention and self-affirmation. It also has to do with her premature...
Young and Beautiful
Realizing that "Youth Music and Youth Culture," a Princeton conference last November, was actually about the 20th-century cultural hegemony of African-Americans was like seeing for the first time that Ridley Scott's Blade Runner only masquerades as a...

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