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. 43, No. 1, September

AA Bronson: John Connelly Presents
For twenty-five years, AA Bronson lived and made art as part of General Idea. The Canadian trio mimicked and mutated mass-cultural forms from beauty pageants to boutiques to glossy magazines, always returning with vertiginous glee and cutting irony...
Albert Oehlen: Luhring Augustine
Every time Albert Oehlen comes to town to show a new body of work--which on this occasion consisted of eight very large oil-on-canvas paintings from 2003--the bellyaching begins. With all the complaints that surface in the New York press you'd think...
American Self-Consciousness in Politics and Art
With the globalization of the art world, national differences among artists have grown increasingly marginal. There is little to distinguish American art from the rest in the growing list of intercontinental art fairs and biennials. At the same time,...
Anish Kapoor: Barbara Gladstone Gallery
As sculptural object, the cube has been done to death--it's a tired emblem of modernist purity and autonomy--but there is something different about Whiteout, 2004, the large white cube in Anish Kapoor's recent show: It seemed oddly vacuous. Like a...
Arturas Raila: CAC Vilnius
"Roll Over Museum" was a series of exhibitions by Lithuanian artist Arturas Raila in the three Baltic capitals of Vilnius, Tallinn, and Riga, organized after he was awarded the Hansabank art award, the largest of its kind in the region. While the other...
Being There: Michael Fried on Two Pictures by Jeff Wall
THINKING ABOUT Jeff Wall's most recent exhibition in New York, a show of light-box pictures at Marian Goodman Gallery last spring, has led me to reflect on the more philosophical or, say, ontological turn his work has taken during the past four or...
Black Light: David Hammons and the Poetics of Emptiness
1 MY UNCLE TOSSY USED TO SAY THAT THERE are two kinds of Niggers in the world: Niggers and Crazy Niggers. Tossy was in the latter category. Handsome in a rough kind of way, he was highly opinionated, always funny, and frequently drunk. For Tossy, style...
C'est la Guerre: J. Hoberman on Cannes and the Contemporary War Film
LIKE MUCH IN contemporary Hollywood movies, the current model combat film was developed by Steven Spielberg. Saving Private Ryan (1998) provided a total immersion in state-of-the-art virtual carnage--the opening D-day landing is the most impressive...
Choire Sicha: Choire Sicha Is Editorial Director of Gawker Media and Writes Frequently for the New York Observer and the New York Times
1 ELIOT SHEPARD Since Nan Goldin, bless her, murdered the snapshot a while back, surely someone's gotta resuscitate it--and Eliot Shepard is the best snapshot photographer you've never heard of. Until this year, when he was included in two group shows,...
Christopher Knowles: Gavin Brown's Enterprise
"Christopher Knowles," wrote John Ashbery in 1978, "at the age of nineteen, without exactly meaning to, has become a major figure of the New York avant-garde." For viewers encountering the artist's work for the first time in this engaging survey--the...
Cindy Sherman: Metro Pictures
Cindy Sherman has gone digital! It's still her masquerading for the camera as she brings to life a series of clowns (twelve of which were included in this exhibition), who are easily among the most flamboyant characters she has ever created, But in...
Conor Kelly: Peer
The popularity of chaos theory may be due to the comforting implication that nature is ultimately explicable, if not exactly predictable. Conor Kelly's mesmerizing and witty orchestration of the everyday preyed on a deep-seated anthropomorphizing urge...
David Krippendorff: Massimo Audiello
Rita Hayworth's star turn in Charles Vidor's movie Gilda (1946) was decisive in establishing the actress as a Hollywood sex bomb. On July 1 of the same year, the United States exploded the fourth atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands,...
Double Exposure: David Rimanelli on Timothy Greenfield-Sanders's XXX
IN 1990, I DID A FEATURE on '80s-era gay-porn idol Jeff Stryker for Interview magazine, where former Artforum editor Ingrid Sischy had recently taken the helm. I had pitched a story on Stryker--and also one on Porsche Lynn, a star of the straight adult-film...
Electoral Collage: A Portfolio
Following the release of the indelible Abu Ghraib photographs this past spring, Richard Serra produced Stop Bush, a print that he has distributed widely both in art venues and in mainstream publications, as well as on the Internet. Serra insists...
Ene-Liis Semper: Galerie Martin Janda Raum Aktueller Kunst
Ene-Liis Semper likes to cast herself in the leading role. Whether the Estonian artist is testing out different methods for suicide (as in FF/REW, 1998) or living out hygienic obsessions in a white-tiled space (Licked Room, 2000), her concrete physical...
Erick Swenson: James Cohan Gallery
At least since his 1998 show at Dallas's Angstrom Gallery, Erick Swenson has pursued a level of presentation and craftsmanship so exacting that it might attract phone calls equally from museum curators and from Hollywood special-effects technicians....
Ernesto Neto: Galerie Max Hetzler
Right before his exhibition at Max Hetzler, the Brazilian sculptor Ernesto Neto was suddenly inspired to add two photographs to his three floor sculptures. He took the film with him to Berlin, reworked its motifs on a computer there, and sent the collages...
"Establishing Shot": Artists Space
In filmic terms, "establishing shot" refers to the opening sequence of a scene, the images that spatially orient the audience and anchor subsequent events. Often a wide shot, or literally a long shot, it sets the location, characters, and mood of what...
Felix Gmelin: Maccarone Inc
Whether artistic or political, revolution aims at a tabula rasa. Think of Malevich's quest for painting's ground zero or the First French Republic's decree of "year 1." Paradoxically, though, the leap into post-revolutionary time tends to proceed from...
Francesco Vezzoli: Fondazione Prada
The enormous space of the new Fondazione Prada headquarters was divided in two, longitudinally, by a large red curtain. On one side was a movie theater with 120 Mackintosh chairs organized in rows in front of a large white screen edged in black at...
Gareth James: American Fine Arts, Co
Origami may seem a funny way to "articulate the persistence of the logic of capitalist property relations in the visual," but Gareth james's working concept here is topology, and what better way to visualize nonlinear space-times than via the fold?...
Gedi Sibony: Canada
For his recent show at Canada, New York-based artist Gedi Sibony appeared to have raided the supply closets, mail rooms, and cubicles of America, cobbling the unassuming materials he found there into rough-hewn, kooky, weirdly elegant sculptures that...
Helena Almeida: Centro Cultural De Belem
"Pes no Chao, Cabeca no Ceu" (Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds) encom-passes thirty-five years of work in which, between the studio floor and the blue sky, everything passed through the body of Helena Almeida. In the '60s the artist began questioning...
Helen Chadwick: Barbican Art Gallery
Ego Geometria Sum (I Am Geometry), 1983, is the title of the first body of work to have earned Helen Chadwick significant attention. Leonardo, who inscribed his ideal male body in the overlapping figures of the circle and square, would undoubtedly...
Historical Survey
In 1970, HANS HAACKE presented his famous MOMA-Poll in the "Information" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, asking visitors whether New York governor Nelson Rockefeller's position on Nixon's Indochina policy would be reason not to vote for Rockefeller...
Howardena Pindell: Sragow Gallery
Howardena Pindell tells a story about how, traveling through northern Kentucky and southern Ohio in the '40s, she and her family were offered root beer mugs that had large red circles drawn on the bottom. When she asked her father what the circles...
Information Man: David Joselit on Jon Kessler's "Global Village Idiot"
THE WAR ON TERRORISM is a war fought with information. As a May 13 New York Times article on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal declared: "Defenders of the operation said the methods ... were necessary to fight a war against a nebulous enemy whose strength...
Jenny Perlin: Gallery 400
The raspy clackety-clack of 16 mm cine projectors is already a poignant and wistful sound, and this exhibition of recent films and drawings by Jenny Perlin included four such projectors running nonstop. One of them showed Washing, 2002, a grainy, ten-second...
Joe Andoe: Feigen Contemporary
"All of us had police records, some more than me. But still, before I was sixteen, I got busted for acid and was put in jail over night on two hits of it. Then I got arrested for driving under-age and had to work at the zoo. At sixteen I got a car...
John O'Reilly: Howard Yezerski Gallery
Miniaturist John O'Reilly has been constructing montages since the late '60s, creating photographic tableaux from pictures and props that he reassembles into complex worlds that are always poetic and intimate. The black-and-white Polaroid montages...
Julie Mehretu: The Gallery at Redcat
Julie Mehretu's intertwined compositions in ink and acrylic on canvas, which range from easel size to monumental, are, to use a word that is particularly charged at the moment, explosive. Though shape and color punctuate her paintings, line dominates,...
Kai Althoff: Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
Kai Althoff's career seemed to take off in a big way, at least in New York, after his 2001 exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery. In 2002, a suite of watercolors was exhibited to great acclaim in Laura Hoptman's "Drawing Now: Eight Propositions," at the...
Kelly Mark: Tracey Lawrence Gallery
As public sculptures step down from their pedestals, they struggle to establish a rapport with the person on the street. Most cities are inhabited by a few loitering bronzes, listlessly shaking hands, tipping hats, or sitting at metal boards awaiting...
Larry Sultan: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Fernando Valley, the collection of middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods and industrial parks that sprawls along the arid flatlands behind the Hollywood sign, is notorious as an ur-suburb, the location of the Brady Bunch split-level...
Learning from Las Vegas: Eric Banks on Frank Sinatra's Paintings
[Adolph Gottlieb] is Byron to Greenberg's George Eliot--the most vulgar-minded genius that ever produced a great effect in oils. A Mantovani or a Lawrence Welk. Charlie Parker playing insolent variations on the theme of "I'd Like to Get You on a Slow...
Loony Tunes: Dennis Cooper on DIG!
ART HISTORY HAS long maintained a church and state-style separation between naive, unsophisticated work by so-called outsider artists and work whose construction and style are unmistakably savvy and sociable. Henry Darger, the Chicago janitor who spent...
Made in Hong Kong: Geoffrey O'Brien on the Films of Shaw Brothers Studio
AT THE DAWN OF THE 1960S, on the shore of Hong Kong's Clearwater Bay, a world capital of sorts came into being: Movietown, the production center of the seemingly unbeatable Shaw Brothers Ltd., a company that had parlayed a movie-theater business in...
Manhattan Project: Jeffrey Kastner on Friends of William Blake
The map, as the saying goes, is not the territory, yet experience suggests that some maps express their respective territories more vividly than others. As this issue of Artforum went to press, summer in New York City was edging toward its extravagant...
Manifesta 5: Various Venues, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
When it was held two years ago in Frankfurt, Manifesta's fourth incarnation offered art pilgrims little more than a dry, somewhat nonvisual exhibition in a lackluster banking town--right down to a catalogue printed in black and white. This time around,...
Mario Sala: Galerie Erika and Otto Friedrich
In Mario Sala's images, the window, painting's old paradigm, opens onto doors, which close off passages to illusionary space at the same time as they evoke it. The viewer stands, repeatedly, at a threshold. We find ourselves, for example, on the outside...
Material Witness: Martin Herbert on Santiago Sierra
When Santiago Sierra was invited to inaugurate the new exhibition space of London's venerable Lisson Gallery in 2002, he was fairly well behaved for someone who, in Mexico City five years earlier, had flambeed a gallery's interior with gasoline and...
Michael Minelli: Michael Kohn Gallery
The head of a nurse, an Arab woman in Niqab, and a cicatrized, monocled Daddy Warbucks-like man stare at the viewer blankly, not even asking, in the manner of De Niro's Travis Bickle, You lookin' at me? The problems inherent to representing in sculpture...
Michal Rovner: Pacewildenstein
Michal Rovner's "in stone" consisted of a series of cavernous, darkened rooms filled with perfectly aligned rows of internally lit vitrines, each containing a stone tablet marked with hieroglyphs. Brooding and sterile, the installation recalled an...
Mira Schendel: Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo
Because of her use of simplified geometric forms to evoke poetic feelings and sensuality, the Brazilian artist Mira Schendel (1919-88; born Myrrha Dagmar Dub in Switzerland) has often been linked to the Neo-concrete art developed in Brazil as an offspring...
Monika Sosnowska: Galleria Continua
The labyrinth is often a metaphor for an inner psychological state. Monika Sosnowska, born in Ryki, Poland, in 1972, uses it to evoke Eastern Europe during the Soviet era. In constructing her "buildings" inside other buildings, she pushes the imagination...
Openings: Doron Solomons
If any subject seems intractable, polarized, and at this point almost beyond reasonable commentary, it is the battle in the Middle East between Israelis and Palestinians. The two factions have been embroiled in a dispute over land, religion, claims...
Out of the Vox: Martha Rosler on Art's Activist Potential
Art with a political face typically gains visibility during periods of social upheaval. "Marxism and art" of the '70s and "political art" of the '80s are among only the most recent examples. A good proportion of artists typically aim their work into...
Philipp Lachenmann: Galerie Andreas Binder
The eye is not the only organ that determines what we see. Our acquired knowledge plays a role, as do our experiences, which are stored in our brains as memories. In this sense the cherished saying of the art historians is true: We see only what we...
Pia Fries: Galerie Mai 36
Pia Fries typically crosses broad, white grounds with thick brushstrokes, furrowing and altering the picture plane with blots, traces of drops, superimpositions, and washes, as if the canvas were once again the arena it was for classic gestural painting....
Player Piano: Kevin Pratt on Museum Design
WHILE ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS AT THE Harvard Design School are hardly shouting "The king is dead, long live the king!" a recent readjustment of architectural priorities within the tightly knit world of museum trustees and directors has had one obvious...
"Possessed": Western Bridge
The conceit of "Possessed"--the overlap between the things that we own and the things that own us--is a common-enough curatorial theme, but this exhibition had no particular ax to grind. Neither explicitly anticonsumerist nor especially hostile to...
Rico Gatson: Ronald Feldman Fine Arts
Rico Gatson's work to date has consisted primarily of large-scale videos that explore racial stereotyping in Hollywood film. Here, however, his investigations took the form of multimedia installations that touch on similar issues but additionally confront...
Rodney Graham: 303 Gallery
In his three-act play La machine a ecrire (The Typewriter, 1941), Jean Cocteau presents a female protagonist indistinguishable from the eponymous tool of her modern trade. This mysterious character's deep-seated aggressiveness is borne out in typewritten...
Roni Horn: Art Institute of Chicago
An extensive iteration of Roni Horn's encyclopedic project to photograph the Thames, staged at the Art Institute of Chicago, saw the artist partner her own signature fluidity with the solidity of the modernist canon. Curated by James Rondeau, this...
Sister Gertrude Morgan: American Folk Art Museum
This retrospective, which featured the paintings, sculpture, writings, and music of New Orleans-based self-taught visionary artist Sister Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), reflected a recent shift within the hybrid field of folk/outsider art from market-driven...
Tactics Inside and Out: Gregg Bordowitz on Critical Art Ensemble
To the Research Labs, Sirs: You may be proud As peacocks. You've endowed Us from the start with freedoms that entrap. We are the red-eyed mice on whom your maze Is printed. At its heart a little cloud Thins and dwindles--zap!-- To nothing in one blink...
Techniques of Today: Bennett Simpson on Bernadette Corporation
It is the summer of 2001, and the New York--and Paris-based collective known as Bernadette Corporation has temporarily merged with Le Parti Imaginaire, a faction of post-Situationist militants and intellectuals with links to the burgeoning antiglobalization...
The Art of Politics
Writing in these pages in September 1970, Artforum editor Philip Leider recalled a heated summer-time argument with Richard Serra. "What," they debated, "was the most revolutionary thing to do?" Haunted by the activist theatrics of Abbie Hoffman, Serra...
"The Art of Science": International Center of Photography
In light of recent art-historical obsessions with technology, information theory, vision, and modes of attention--not to mention our acute cultural preoccupation with all things scientific--it is perhaps unsurprising that the ICP has devoted a number...
"The Big Nothing": Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
"Make a silhouette, but fill the inside, which is nominally empty, with something--something that should be as nothing as black, but something," says Richard Artschwager of the blps he's been making since the '60s. Intermittently stuck on peripheral...
The United States of America V. Steven Kurtz
Dispatches from the front: On May 30, after the opening of "The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere" at Mass MOCA, in North Adams, Massachusetts, some fifty artists gathered outside the museum for a hastily called meeting. In the waning light,...
Tony Oursler: Margo Leavin Gallery
First Mike Kelley, then Jim Shaw and Raymond Pettibon have each taken a turn carrying the torch of the "Pop Informel" school, and each has seen his star rise accordingly. Only Tony Oursler--the fourth member of a loose-knit crew that once collaborated...
Tracey Moffatt: Museum of Contemporary Art
Back in 1992, in a note to an overly earnest museum curator, Tracey Moffatt wrote: "As an artist, I have never been on a mission to educate. If people are racist, sexist, homophobic or out of step with issues I say bad luck. Let them stay dumb. Art...
"Treble": SculptureCenter, New York
In 2000, sound-art pioneer Max Neuhaus responded to the tremendous resurgence of interest in his field by calling for a dissolution of the term that he himself had helped to coin. "Sound art," Neuhaus contended, had become a sloppy catchphrase encompassing...
Turn, Turn, Turn: Martin Herbert on the 2004 Turner Prize
"EVERYBODY GETS A TURN. THAT'S WHY IT'S called the Turner Prize," quipped Dinos Chapman to Time Out (London) last year, when he and his brother Jake were nominated for the UK's most prestigious art award. There may be no love lost between the Chapmans...
Urbino Legend: David Drogin on Raphael
IN THE WAKE OF ARTISTS SUCH AS CINDY Sherman, Yasumasa Morimura, and John Currin, playing "I spy the Old Master citation!" has become a popular sport, offering opportunities to reexamine (and occasionally give facile nods to) figurative art's early-modern...
Willem De Kooning: Gagosian Gallery/Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
The dominant view of de Kooning's brushstrokes maintains that they were heroic masculine gestures, deposits of existential Self; I prefer to imagine that they were self- (not Self-) propelled. They have what a biologist would call motility. This is...