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. 42, No. 4, December

Alex Katz: Pacewildenstein
The large-scale landscape and flower paintings in Alex Katz's recent exhibition are luminous paeans both to painterly gesture and to elementary color and form. A few of the landscapes might even pass for abstractions: Green Shadows, 2001, is mostly...
Andrea Fraser: Hamburger Kunstverein
On returning home to Berlin from Hamburg, where I had seen Andrea Fraser's midcareer retrospective, I was besieged with questions about the artist's new "sex work," a videotaped performance for which she was "commissioned" to have sex with a collector....
Anna Sew Hoy: Peres Projects
Part fine art, part folk art, with a dash of bling-bling thrown in, the recent sculptures in Anna Sew Hoy's West Coast solo debut cobble together materials as disparate as driftwood, perfume bottles, and back issues of National Geographic, all with...
Arthur Bispo Do Rosario: Galerie Nationale Du Jeu De Paume
Arthur Bispo do Rosario (1909?-89) refused to call himself an artist. Not out of modesty, but because he had loftier ambitions. Bispo claimed to have been entrusted by seven blue angels and Christ himself with the momentous task of inventorying everything...
"Baja to Vancouver": Seattle Art Museum
Is West Coast contemporary all: synonymous with Los Angeles? "Baja to Vancouver: The West Coast and Contemporary Art," which brings together five curators and thirty-three artists from Tijuana, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle,...
Best of 2003: What Were the Brightest Lights during the Past Year in Art? We Asked Eleven of Our Regular Contributors to Take a Look Back
David Rimanelli (1) Felix Gmelin, Farbtest, Die Rote Fahne II (Color Test, The Red Flag II; "Delays and Revolutions," Venice Biennale) Time travel, 2002 to 1968. Gmelin juxtaposed two small-scale, rather intimate projections: one of his father participating...
Biennale D'art Contemporain De Lyon: Various Venues
The seventh installment of the Biennale de Lyon is subtitled "It Happened Tomorrow"--a reference to Rene Clair's eponymous 1994 screwball comedy and perhaps a valentine to the host city, where the Lumiere brothers invented cinema. But the title's suggestion...
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company: The Kitchen
In the old days, when Alan Suicide played CBGB's and Nan Goldin showed slides at the Mudd Club and Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane performed at the Kitchen on Broome Street, the downtown dance scene and the art world/music scene were part of the same...
Books
Arthur C. Danto Though photography was first believed to entail the death of painting, early photographs presented viewers with a dead world: Objects could be rendered with clarity only under the conditions of nature morte. Unlike paintings, which...
Boyle Family: Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
Mark Boyle started out as a poet, Joan Hills as a painter. Under her influence he took up the brush too--this was in the late '50s--and by the beginning of the next decade the two young Scots had moved to London and were making junk assemblages and,...
Charline Von Heyl: Friedrich Petzel Gallery
It's been roughly ten years since Charline yon Heyl started showing her abstract paintings--first in Germany in the early '90s and by mid-decade in New York. Even though her oil and mixed-media works on canvas have developed considerably, they retain...
Claus Carstensen/ Peter Zimmermann: Esbjerg Kunstmuseum
Once a year, the Esbjerg Art Museum asks a Danish artist to be his or her own matchmaker and invite an exhibition partner from abroad. This summer, painter Claus Carstensen doubled up with Cologne-based colleague Peter Zimmermann under the title "X-pollination...
Deconstruction Boom: Anthony Vidler on Deconstructivist Architecture in 2003
IN 1988, when the Museum of Modern Art mounted Nthe "Deconstructivist Architecture" show, curated by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley, the seven architects assembled beneath this ambiguous banner--Peter Eisenman, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rein Koolhaas,...
"Designs for Living": Margo Leavin Gallery
How refreshing to see this sharp arrangement of bright, crisp, confident recent photographs by Laurie Simmons, Sarah Charlesworth, and Louise Lawler--redolent of '80s smarts and deployed here to consider the domestic and its complex nexus of psychic,...
Erik Steinbrecher: Centre Pasqu'Art
The monstrously distorted shadow cast by Avantgarde, 2003, an oversize, white-lacquered slatted fence lit by two spotlights in one corner of the darkened gallery, signaled, from the start, that the vanguard has become a ghost. That, or it only cares...
"Eye to Eye": Sean Kelly Gallery
"I didn't care much about the print quality," Cindy Sherman wrote recently of her famous first series, the "Untitled Film Stills" of 1977-80. "The photographs were supposed to look like they cost fifty cents.... One reason I was interested in photography...
"Fiction or Reality": Fri-Art, Centre D'Art Contemporain Kunsthalle
"Fiction or Reality" brought together three young artists whose distinct perspectives on identity, language, and memory complemented one another. Senam Okudzeto emphasized the unreliability of memory in the reconstruction of stories. Born in Chicago...
Film
John Waters 1. Irreversible (Gaspar Noe) The art shocker of the year is also the year's best. Put on the horrifying sound track CD (there is one), take a roofie, and remember this amazing journey into rape and, yes ... intimacy. 2. Dog Days (Ulrich...
Gretchen Faust: Greengrassi
This was Gretchen Faust's first exhibition anywhere since 1994, and, depending on your point of view, it could represent either the artist's decline into terminal irrelevance or her accession to a new level of maturity and concentration. Faust actually...
Henrik Hakansson: Moderna Museet/Index
These two exhibitions amounted to the first substantial showing in Stockholm by one of Sweden's best-known younger artists. Henrik Hakansson's exhibition at the Riddarhuset was part of a series organized by Moderna Museet in various venues throughout...
Jack Goldstein: 1301PE
Although Monday is apparently the favored day for suicide, Jack Goldstein did himself in on a Friday--not after the weekend, but just before. Grim observations aside, one can't help but read into this an analogy to his career, which, following an almost...
Jason Rhoades: David Zwirner
Supposedly motivated by a drive to "deconstruct" the nonexistent word "Meccatuna," Jason Rhoades originally intended to journey to Mecca, circle the ancient, holy cuboid structure at its heart--the Kaaba--in the company of a live bluefin tuna, then...
Jessica Stockholder: Gorney Bravin + Lee
There's a lot to be said for the tacky, abject allure of thick paint on fake fur or plush pile carpet. Paint out of bounds almost always looks like a mistake, even when you know it isn't. Since she began gaining attention for her distressed constructions...
Joep Van Liefland: Maschenmode, Galerie Guido W. Baudach
There is something for everyone in Joep van Liefland's "Video Palace," a fully operational video rental store that the Dutch artist has been setting up illegally in abandoned buildings around Berlin over the past two years. In its latest version, VP...
John Pilson: Nicole Klagsbrun
Times have changed since John Pilson's last New York exhibition, which had been open a week when the attacks on World Trade Center gave his photographs and videos--shot in the North Tower, where he'd had a studio--an unasked-for mythic quality. In...
Judy Pfaff: Ameringer & Yohe Fine Art
Like Judy Pfaff's gallery-filling 1997 installation Round Hole, Square Peg, which seemed to push the walls of its site out in all directions (circling the square), her latest project, Neither Here nor There, integrated an astonishing variety of materials,...
"Kunst in der DDR": Neue National Galerie, Berlin
This exhibition was not to be missed. The first--and perhaps, unfortunately, the last--massive museum survey of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and film made in the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) in the forty years of its existence...
Liam Gillick: The Power Plant
For the last ten years Liam Gillick has been preoccupied with the construction of the social His spare, cerebral installations investigate relationships between artistic practice and the networked systems that establish the social realm--written language,...
Lothar Baumgarten: Whitney Museum of American Art
"Ambivalent." The word flashes briefly on-screen toward the end of Lothar Baumgarten's 1973-77 film The Origin of the Night: Amazon Cosmos, a lush, ninety-eight-minute meditation on the rain forest inspired by a Tupi myth about the division of night...
Marcello Maloberti: Galleria S.A.L.E.S
Marcello Maloberti's installations are veritable mise-en-scenes, recant to amplify specific emotions. References to theater are obvious; indeed, this Milan-based artist often casts his works the way a director casts a play, with gallery and museum...
Mark Grotjahn: Anton Kern
Mark Grotjahn's latest works--a series of variously sized jewel-like monochrome canvases that toy with one-point perspective--are flat-out gorgeous. This should be said right off, since discussions of Grotjahn's work tend to leap quickly into speculation...
Miguel Calderon: Andrea Rosen Gallery
Who can blame Mexico City's artists for making a habit of investigating their home town in their work? At twenty million people and counting, theirs--as many an exhibition press release has stated--is a megalopolis of extremes, characterized by vast...
Music
Christoph Cox 1. David Sylvian, Blemish (Samadhi Sound) The former pop icon reemerges as a convincing experimentalist, wrapping his sumptuous baritone around Derek Bailey's angular guitar and Christian Fennesz's electronic mulch. 2. Cul de Sac,...
Playing for Respect: Alexander Galloway on Video Games in 2003
FORMS OF MEDIA that have originated in the past one hundred years have appeared to abide by a kind of "thirty-year rule" of development, starting with the invention of a medium and ending with its effective operation and widespread appearance in culture...
Real Life Rocker: Greil Marcus Talks with Tim Griffin about the Top Ten
When "Real Life Rock'--Greil Marcus's Top Ten column--first appeared in these pages in 1990, his epic, pop-inflected diary on a dizzying range of subjects was perfectly suited to an art world obsessed with heterogeneity. But what does this critical...
Richard Hamilton: Museum Ludwig, Cologne
Early on in his career Pop-art midwife Richard Hamilton decided two things: First, he was determined not to simply produce artworks; second, he would, as he puts it, "control the context." "I often feel, as Marcel Duchamp did before," the British artist...
Rob Birza: Galerie Fons Welters
Around 1990, some powerful local players anointed Rob Birza as The Man Who Will Save Dutch Painting. Overwhelming expectations were thereby heaped oil an uneven young painter often given to a facile virtuosity, heavy-handed irony, and an all too hasty...
Samuel Fosso: Jack Shainman Gallery
Posed against a stained curtain, a slim young sailor-prince wearing high-waisted bell-bottoms, a cap printed with the Kodak logo, and extra-large sunglasses gazes off into an imaginary distance. The studio lights that illuminate him are visible on...
"The Labyrinthine Effect": Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
In "The Labyrinthine Effect," curator Juliana Engberg tracks a genealogy of artists who make mazes, from Bruce Nauman to Francis Alys. From time to rune, the exhibition implies, certain symbols become important in culture. As Engberg notes in the show's...
Thomas Feuerstein: Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman
Thomas Feuerstein is a universalist. Born in 1968, he has received a doctorate in art history and philosophy, been a co-publisher of the journal Medien.Kunst.Passagen, won research grants for electronic art, published articles on art theory, biotechnology,...
Trisha Brown: Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts
Few, if any, exhibitions during the past year were so beautifully conceived and installed as the retrospective of Trisha Brown's work at the Addison Gallery of American Art--an achievement all the more impressive when considering the sheer diversity...
Werner Buttner: Deichtorhallen
Zdenek Felix had long since presented Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger at the Deichtorhallen. To close his directorship, Felix invited Werner Buttner to mount a comprehensive retrospective and complete this "Friends' Trilogy" in Hamburg. No art-school...
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