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. 37, No. 8, April

Amy Adler Talks about "Nervous Character."
I see Nervous Character as a live-action, animated film. In my previous work, I'd always used preexisting photographs, but I took these pictures myself. And I directed myself to perform for the camera, so I suppose, for now, that makes me the actor-writer-director....
Closet Space
As we approach the millennium, in architecture as in fashion, our appetite for salvaging designs from recent decades grows ever more voracious. But would some artifacts do well to simply remain in the closet? Many fail to see how critically maligned...
Devil to Play
A viper has bitten me, a bitter viper: The play on words, and the singsong turnabout repetition, instantly channel Gertrude Stein, but are also in key for the Wooster Group and their patented line of mutations of classic modern plays. It has taken...
Four Play
Urine picturesquely running down a hit man's socks into his wing-tip shoes, a systematic pillow girl servicing an army battalion on the Manchurian frontier, a cold-blooded killer getting aroused sniffing at a pot of rice, a frustrated student pounding...
Francis Bacon, Louise Bourgeois, & Franz Xaver Messerschmidt
The sculpture fitly arches, achieving a rare sanctity what earlier commentators on the Sublime declared to be a grace beyond the reach of art. It is possible to say it represents a lithesome body caught as if springing out of an acrobat's routine,...
Fruit Loops
"Architecture is frozen music," Friedrich Schelling remarked at the beginning of the nineteenth century, signaling both the distance between these two arts and their proximity. In some respects, they lie at opposite ends of the aesthetic spectrum:...
Head to Toes: Francis Alys's Paths of Resistance
CARLOS BASUALDO My epigraph was easy enough to find. It was typewritten by Francis Alys on the lower left corner of a tourist map of Stockholm, which had been spread out on a simple antique wooden table complete with a matching chair in a room inside...
"Jim Dine: Walking Memory, 1959-1969."
SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, NEW YORK Many artworks were noisy in the '60s - much clanking and buzzing in the galleries. Most of them are now silent. More memorable is a nonsound, the implied thud of ax into wood in several of Jim Dine's dangerous-looking...
Jim Iserman's Top Ten
1 VERNER PANTON, TRAPHOLT MUSEUM, DENMARK (AUG. 1998-JAN. 1999) He's the Danish architect who designed the first one-piece stacking molded plastic chair in 1960. After a brief association with Arne Jacobsen in the early '50s, Panton reached beyond...
Joseph Cornell: Soap Bubble Set (Lunar Rainbow, Space Object), Ca 1950s
Soap Bubble Set (Lunar Rainbow, Space Object), ca. In this ongoing series, writers are invited to discuss a contemporary work that has special significance for them. I must have been taken by my parents to see the Joseph Cornell boxes at the...
Manfred Pernice
One chestnut of modernist architecture has been the gradual transformation of the role of the window. Once simply a source of light and a framed view of the external world, in the International Style skyscraper the window has become a semi-transparent...
Moral of the Stories
I used to think of myself as the love child of Lewis Mumford and Diana Vreeland. Meaning, architecture critics need a moralistic streak (Mumford's was a mile wide), but we should also know how to wrap and tie it into a fetching bow from time to time....
Moving Pictures
WITH THE SECOND AND FINAL LEG OF THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART'S JACKSON POLLOCK RETROSPECTIVE UNDER WAY AT LONDON'S TATE GALLERY, ART-FORUM CONTRIBUTING EDITOR THOMAS CROW IS JOINED BY ART HISTORIAN MICHAEL FRIED IN ASSESSING THE NEW YORK INSTALLMENT OF...
Optical Allusions
One strong impression left by the Jackson Pollock exhibition at MOMA is just how specific his gift was. Put brutally, he couldn't draw, had no deep feeling for color, and (as Clement Greenberg noted a long time ago) never developed a painter's touch...
Patrick Caulfield
HAYWARD GALLERY, LONDON My, how time flies - six years on, and Patrick Caulfield's up for another retrospective. (The last one was at London's Serpentine Gallery, in 1992-93.) It's one of those things a person can rely on, a little like the eternal...
"Post-Hypnotic."
UNIVERSITY GALLERIES OF ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY NORMAL, ILLINOIS All paintings are created optically, but some are more optical than others. In "post-hypnotic," organized by Barry Blinderman, the works of twenty-eight contemporary painters put...
"Transformations: The Art of Joan Brown."
UC BERKELEY ART MUSEUM/OAKLAND MUSEUM For years I've had a jones for Joan Brown's '70s work. The paintings - with their ham-fisted clarity, their relish for pattern and costume, their goofy hieratics and allegorizations, in those hip housepaint...
Young American
Norman Bluhm was an extreme example of the many Americans, mostly World War II veterans, who went to Italy and France after the war to learn about art history and in doing so simultaneously taught the typically despairing and poverty-stricken European...