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. 36, No. 9, May

Anselm Kiefer
GAGOSIAN GALLERY In cold December fragrant chaplets blow, And heavy harvest nod beneath the snow. A recognized part of growing older and more decrepit is the unpredictable way one's memory starts (and stops) working. So, at Anselm Kiefer's recent show,...
"China: 5,000 Years." (Exhibit of Chinese Paintings at Guggenheim Museum)
GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM It isn't easy to mount a terrible show in which each piece of art is absolutely fantastic. But until one has confronted the reality of "China: 5,000 Years," one cannot imagine either how good the material or how bad every curatorial...
House Sitting: The Photography of Todd Hido
THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF TODD HIDO The recent vintage of most California houses doesn't make them particularly promising settings for ghost stories. But Todd Hido, a photographer just starting to make his presence known in the Bay Area, manages to elicit...
Isn't It Romantic?
This month the National Gallery in Washington, DC, opens the first full-scale American retrospective of Mark Rothko's work in twenty years. To mark the occasion, art historian Robert Rosenblum, who with this issue joins Artforum's masthead as a contributing...
Jason Meadows
A horse goes into a bar and sits down. The bartender asks, Why the long face? That joke is beautiful and not merely dumb because, for an instant, it coerces you into picturing an insane simultaneity - a generic horse's head merged with a sadsack human...
John Wesley
JESSICA FREDERICKS GALLERY In the rear of Jessica Fredericks' semi-basement Chelsea space, there hangs - or hung, during the gallery's John Wesley miniretrospective this winter - a modest-size painting from 1976 entitled Princess Sacajawea Crossing...
Make It Funky: The Art of David Hammons
David Hammons' art provokes extreme reactions. Some consider him a genius, a high priest of postmodernism; others dismiss him as arrogant and overrated, even a charlatan. Hammons himself is notorious for trapping people into hating him. He doesn't hide...
Piero Manzoni
SERPENTINE GALLERY It's hard to believe that, juvenilia aside, Piero Manzoni's career was so brief. It's always the wide-eyed, chubby face of a precocious, overgrown, mischievous kid that appears to us in photographs. But Manzoni covered more territory...
Pierre Bonnard
TATE GALLERY Among my feelings after first seeing this Bonnard retrospective was an undercurrent of disappointment. The painter had always worked for me before, with past exhibitions and single canvases becoming trophies in the mind awarded to oneself...
Progressive Gene
Take a listen to this. "Rubbish piles, fresh and plain. Empty boxes in a pawn shop brain. License plates stowaway. Standing in line like a readymade." Get it? It's sort of like a mess aesthetic, right? Or maybe a cool poetry thing. But it's not only...
Ross Man
When David A. Ross first arrived as director of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1991, there was intense skepticism among art-world denizens. The museum's board had said publicly it wanted a more scholarly balance after Tom Armstrong's contentious...
SoHo Hum
The $50,000 prize money is nothing to sneeze at, and the six finalists - Bul Lee (Korea), Douglas Gordon (Scotland), William Kentridge (South Africa), Huang Yong Ping (China), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), and Lorna Simpson (US) - whose work goes up...
Southern Stars
For a time at the beginning of the '60s, Buenos Aires felt a little closer to the rest of the world. A growing and febrile community of visual artists had for once reduced the city's proverbial geographic and aesthetic isolation from the international...
Stuart Davis: 'The Paris Bit,' 1959
The Paris Bit, 1959 In art, style is never only technique or mannerism; it is everything. Style articulates difference as sameness. In nature, samenesses are distributed as differences. The Chihuahua, fox terrier, and Great Dane are all dogs. All the...
The White Stuff
It's remarkable how much we express our political lives in the language of color - conservatives with blue, radicals with red, queers with pink, liberals with lilac; Indian Congress Party patriots de rigueur in white, African Nationalists in black, red,...
Thought for Food
No one went to food for the food. One evening the menu might consist of hard-boiled eggs stuffed with live shrimp. Another night it might be necklaces of boiled meat bones. The cuisine, in other words, was often conceptual But the sense of community...
Universalist Exposition
Jean-Hubert Martin isn't shy when it comes to speaking his mind on modernism and non- Western art. The former director of the Musee National d'Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou, who remains best known as curator of the mammoth, controversial...
Weak Affinities: The Art of Thomas Hirschhorn
THE ART OF THOMAS HIRSCHHORN THE MATERIALS On the elevated Metro leading to Thomas Hirschhorn's studio in the working-class neighborhood of Barbes (where he has lived since leaving his native Switzerland in 1984), blurred images flash before my eyes...