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. 32, No. 2, October

Anna-Maria Sircello
Displayed at one of Los Angeles' newest and funkiest gallery spaces, Anna-Maria Sircello's small, weirdly anthropomorphic objects are irresistibly erotic. Sircello's corporealized forms (sometimes human, sometimes animal or insectlike) elicit the interpretive...
Ann Preston
Ann Preston is one of the strangest, most inspired, reclusive, and underrated artists working in Los Angeles. For over ten years the 51-year-old Preston, a 1980 graduate of CalArts, has produced an astonishing body of beautiful, disturbing work. But...
Antony Gormley
A floor-level flood of 40,000 red, yellow, brown, and orange figurines, Field filled the halls and pressed against the walls of the museum, barring one's entry. A population explosion of metasculptural archetypes, Antony Gormley's installation challenged...
"Aperto 93": The Better Biennale
Having read in Italian newspapers that the Whitney Biennial was an overwhelming experience, a collection of aggressive and unpleasant artworks violently engaged against the evils of racism, sexism, etc. ("horror art," one reviewer call it), I came to...
Arturo Duclos
Chilean artist Arturo Duclos makes elegantly rebuslike paintings filled with thorny contradictions. Though verging on the bloodless and diagrammatic, they are in fact resolutely sensual. Simultaneously terse and prolix, they are replete with provocative...
Catherine Wagner
Although Catherine Wagner is known for studies of public environments--schools, a World Exposition, a convention center--her current body of work systematically explores a more intimate terrain, focusing specifically on the American home. In each of...
Confessions of Another Pretty Lady
What do you have to do in a former life to come back as the sibling of Cher, Barbra, Dolly, and the inexorable Madonna. The host tried to frame them as objects of pity; permanently shaded by the greater light of their sisters, doomed to dwell, more obviously...
Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst keeps turning out variations on his grisly menagerie, extrapolating on the idea of death-as-sculpture with a parade of preserved sharks, lambs, cows, and their various body parts. Some of this work is spectacularly morbid: imagine Haim Steinbach...
Dan Christensen
Is it merely "camp" to enjoy the latter-day production of a second-generation Color Field painter? Perhaps. In the case of Dan Christensen's new work, one can easily tick off some of the salient points raised by Susan Sontag's canonical essay of 1964....
David Cannon Dashiell
After the resumption of his career as an artist in 1985, David Cannon Dashiell's work focused on questions of love and passion, health and morality: on AIDS, as both metaphor and reality in contemporary life. "Queer Mysteries," the Adaline Kent Award...
David Klamen
Simultaneously conservative and eerie, David Klamen's recent paintings depict curiously quiet scenes enveloped in an amber haze. He conjoins a scrupulous realist technique of the most academic sort with a slavish commitment to treacly varnish. Immersed...
Democracy, Inc
When I first started writing this column I promised a friend, who knows my fickle ways, that I wouldn't write about art, and this article is no exception. Or is it? If you live in SoHo, as I do, you would have to be psychotic not to recognize daily how...
Dennis Balk
The visual presentation of Dennis Balk's work is dead simple; so much so that at first it is difficult to grasp what links its appearance with its meaning. Forty-nine carrot and 69 celery sticks laid out in configurations of twos, threes, and fours on...
Digging Freud: From California to Germany
If postmodernity is postmarked (like the repressed according to Freud) "made in Germany" (SE 19:236), then California is its address and techno-future." Laurence A. Rickels, The Case of California, 1991 Laurence A. Rickels is one of the few theorists...
Dinosaur Bytes
Data multiplies. More data is pouring out of more terminals all the time. Nobody can read it all--we need machines to sift through the data, to funnel it to us, to provide us with some kind of eye in the datastorm. We are data rich: we have 500 channels,...
Earth to Vija Celmins
"Art is still and dead": such is the frostbitten assessment Vija Celmins delivers in an interview published in 1978. In the few essays that have peeked in on Celmins' enigmatic thirty-year career, it's conspicuous how often the artist is quoted, and...
Face to Face: Portraits from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
After years of ironic denial that his work is part of the tradition of portraiture, Chuck Close has embraced the genre. When New York's Museum of Modern Art invited Close to organize an exhibition, some two and a half years ago, he chose to select portraits...
Fred Tomaselli
Over the past several years, Fred Tomaselli has introduced otherworldly, mind-altering experiences into his art, transporting the viewer far from the mundanities of conscious perception. In his installations these effects are often achieved by transforming...
Haim Steinbach
Haim Steinbach seems set on hiding it away. Closeting things in boxes, dressers, and drawers marks a virtual return of repression for an artist who gained notoriety with his cultivated display of consumer items. For Steinbach, these indiscreet objects...
Hanne Darboven
Hanne Darboven's STUNDENBUCH (Book of hours, 1991), was a diary of gestures that unfurled, in all the irony of their incomprehensibility and redundancy, around the exhibition space. Temporality was reduced to a simple, undifferentiated curving gesture...
Ida Applebroog
In Ida Applebroog's installation the intimacy of her images reverberated within the vast expanse of this Art Deco space. Rather than making her point with size and scale, she used a concentrated field of paintings and the back wall of the lobby to evoke...
"Inside Out." (Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy)
This first exhibition organized by Ida Panicelli--the new director--was based on an unwillingness to celebrate this "new beginning" with a gigantic, uselessly spectacular show, and from a desire for reappraisal. The show was composed of three sections:...
"I Wuv You." (Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota)
From Murphy Brown to Dan Quayle, from Daniel P. Moynihan to the Urban League, everyone who's anyone has their own righteous representation of "the family." The radical right appropriates the family to serve as the symbolic bedrock of Western civilization;...
Jackie McAllister
It's very seductive to suggest, as Jackie McAllister does in reference to his LEGO artworks, that "the nature of each piece's making is self-evident, |and its~ internal and external realities are identical." Or to play with the idea that they incarnate...
Jean-Paul Berger
"You saw nothing at Hiroshima, nothing." The phrase from Alain Resnais' Hiroshima, mon amour, 1959, filters back almost subliminally. And at first glance, the black and white photographs that make up Jean-Paul Berger's Autobiographie, 1988-93, could...
Joan Mitchell
Gesture's painterly dynamic may seamlessly fuse raw strength and refinement, as in Joan Mitchell's work, but the true test of its power is whether it brings to miraculous life what looks like dead space. Matisse was a master of this, and so is Mitchell....
Jon Serl
Featuring 24 of Jon Serl's paintings from the past thirty years, this retrospective foregrounded the artist's range of pictorial languages that resonates uncannily with familiar Modernist modes--Symbolist mystery, Surrealist fantasy, Expressive distortion,...
Jusuf Hadzifejzovic
Jusuf Hadzifejzovic started to make his "depots" in 1984 in Sarajevo, where he lived before the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina began. The series of installations--each named after the city in which they took place (Sarajevo, Belgrade, Dubrovnik, and many...
Kerri Scharlin
In her recent exhibition, Kerri Scharlin encircled the gallery with life-size drawings and small, clay figure-studies of herself--portraits produced as part of an elaborate conceptual project. For a period of two months the artist put up flyers in all...
Linda Daniels
This show of five, multipaneled, abstract paintings was easily Linda Daniels's strongest to date. Although she has worked in a consistent idiom for a number of years--typically, a configuration of Color Field panels brimming with scores of patterned,...
Manny Farber
Looser and more insouciant than anything he has painted, Manny Farber's most recent amalgams of landscape, still life, and symbolic self-portraiture are at once more relaxed and aggressive, jam-packed and freewheeling than any of his representational...
Maria Papadimitriou
When the turquoise-green refracted laser beams radiated from the top of the White Tower in Thessaloniki, quite a stir was created. Maria Papadimitriou's Project for Two Towers: The White Tower of Pisa and the Leaning Tower of Thessaloniki, 1993, raised...
Melanie Counsell
Under the aegis of a facile appropriation of Foucauldian theory, artists continue to busy themselves with the task of literally and limply paraphrasing the social history of "site." In far too many of these well-intentioned esthetico-archaeological projects...
Molissa Fenley
Molissa Fenley's 1993 trilogy of intensely rich works placed new demands on both dancer and viewer. Elaborating on one of the ongoing themes of her work--that of dance as sculpture--Fenley devoted an entire evening to the relationship between her own...
Nicole Eisenman
Nicole Eisenman's figures cavort across page and wall with raunchy perversity. In her stream of recent drawings, gouaches, quick cartoons, and large-scale murals, diverse genres and art-historical references collide with ferocious energy: comic books,...
Orlan
Is Orlan a Dr. Benway groupie? Since 1990, the French artist has undergone elective plastic surgery six times (and will go under the knife again in New York) in an attempt to make herself look like a computer-generated "ideal," pieced together not from...
Peter Greenaway
"I have been interested in a certain melodramatic curve of flight through the air for a long time. It is the trajectory of a thrown stone. It follows the hump of a humpbacked whale from nose to tail. It's bounded like a smooth, sheep-cropped, grassy...
"Photography in Contemporary German Art: 1960 to the Present." (Guggenheim Museum, SoHo, New York, New York)
In post World War II Germany, the green shoots of an "invisible college" of photographically inspired practices appear to have sprouted largely around three personalities associated with the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie: Joseph Beuys, and Bernd and Hilla...
Real Life Rock
1 Michael Stipe, directed by Peter Care: "Man on the Moon" (Warner Bros.). This is the best video I've seen since Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"--though formally there's nothing unusual about it, just the standard pillaging of the last forty years...
Richard Pettibone
Some people get to play out their obsessions in public. In the case of Richard Pettibone, it's his thing for Ezra Pound. Though Pettibone has been doing "appropriation" art for longer than the genre has existed as such, in recent years his shows have...
Ruby on the Road
MANOHLA DARGIS TALKS WITH VICTOR NUNEZ Victor Nunez's Ruby in Paradise jump-starts on a lick of asphalt as a woman's voice fills the air and her look fills the frame. A quiet thoughtful woman in a quiet thoughtful film, Ruby Lee Gissing is speeding...
Rule and Branch
It is a contemporary cliche: the painter who frenetically switches modes, so as to undermine the ideal of stylistic identity. Bernard Frize's paintings, at first glance, give the impression of this kind of extreme heterogeneity, but while his work may...
Socialist Realism: From Stalin to Sots
Scientific socialism is the most religious of all religions. Anatoli Lunacharsky, 1907 The proletariat keeps away from those gloomy and tedious personalities who fear laughter, joking, gaiety, and joie de vivre. For the beauty of Socialist art is the...
Sol Lewitt
After viewing this remarkable exhibition of 25 years of wall drawings (1968-93), one might say that Sol LeWitt has realized, with whatever conceptual perversity and ironical perfection, the avant-garde's great dream of decorative abstraction. The goal...
Susan Rothenberg
Organized by Michael Auping of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, this exhibition of Susan Rothenberg's paintings and drawings from 1974 to 1992 could have provided the opportunity to reexamine her work in relation to the political and social...
"The Art of Hitler." (the Contemporary; New York, New York)
THE CONTEMPORARY In "The Art of Hitler," curator Steven Kasher presented a dense, thought-provoking collection of several hundred documents concerning Nazi art; the ways in which the Nazis exploited art; and various subsequent attempts either to rejuvenate...
The New Russian Money
The unofficial art movement of the old Soviet Union was formed by an absence of market. Artists within the restricted circle of the vanguard produced artworks and showed them to each other; the work conformed to no external esthetic standards, since...
Tony Smith
Tony Smith's sculpture Willy, 1962, and his series of drawings of the cube, in various states of monadic completeness, straddle the boundary between sculpture and architecture, stretching the limits of both. Willy exists in the space between them: more...
Venice the Menace
The New York Times called it "death in Venice," Time magazine called it "a shambles." But the rage that met the 1993 Venice Biennale reflected less on the show itself than on the concerted attack some American critics have mounted recently against a...
Wiebke Siem
In an anonymous lithograph from 1840, we see a Shaker meeting. The believers dance in two circles toward one another, segregated by sex. The two groups don't touch each other. Difference, distance, and isolation between the sexes is the subject of these...
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