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. 45, No. 9, May

1000 Words: Matthew Buckingham Talks about the Spirit and the Letter, 2007
WHETHER EXPLORING the colonial history of the Hudson River, recounting the life story of a freed slave in the American Northeast, staging a tale by Edgar Allan Poe, or recording his own attempts to discover the origin of four home movies from the 1920s...
Address Unknown: Yve-Alain Bois on the Sculpture of Henri Matisse
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MATISSE the sculptor that he should be forever haunted by the specter of Matisse the painter? Matisse is, to my mind, one of the most important (and modern) sculptors of the first half of the past century. Yet he has never been thought...
Agnes Denes: Bravinlee Programs
Agnes Denes is perhaps best known for planting a two-acre wheat field at the southern tip of Manhattan in 1982, prior to the development of Battery Park City. An iconic photograph of the artist--waist-deep in golden sheaves, skyscrapers looming nearby--appears...
Amy Vogel: 40000
The UP--Michigan's upper peninsula--is about as topographically dramatic as the Midwest gets. Once the site of extensive copper and iron mines, the UP is now kept afloat largely by tourism and recreation. Wedged between Lakes Superior, Michigan, and...
Andrea Fraser: Friedrich Petzel
There's a storied moment in Andrea Fraser's 2001 video Little Frank and His Carp: Touring the Guggenheim Bilbao, the artist, exhorted by her audio guide to admire the architecture, proceeds to share an erotic interlude with a wall. Fraser's twelve-minute...
Audrey Nervi: Galerie Frank Elbaz
Audrey Nervi's practice relies on a photographic diary that she keeps during her travels around the globe. She brings back innumerable photographs that depict details seized on the fly, sometimes unbeknownst to the pictures' subjects. The camera records...
Bjorn Copeland: China Art Objects
Bjorn Copeland possesses considerable visual prowess, and his obsessively crafted mixed-media works on paper make for compelling viewing. The Brooklyn-based artist and musician is clearly familiar with the ever-changing fashions of printed concert...
Chip Lord
Chip Lord was cofounder, with Doug Michels, of Ant Farm, the subject of a major retrospective organized in 2004 by the Berkeley Art Museum and of upcoming exhibitions at the Fonds Regional d'Art Contemporain Centre in Orleans, France, and the Columbia...
Christian Philipp Muller: Museum Fur Gegenwartskunst
This first major retrospective of Swiss artist Christian Philipp Muller brought together central works of the last twenty years of the artist's steadily context-specific practice, and also featured a new site-specific project, "Basics," 2007, produced...
Christopher Williams: Galleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy
"THE ACHIEVEMENTS of the Italian Communists are nowhere more evident than in the city of Bologna." Thus Donald Sassoon opened his introduction to the English version of the collection of essays Red Bologna (1977), which familiarized an international...
Chris Verene: Gescheidle
Chris Verene has been documenting family and friends in his hometown of Galesburg, Illinois, since 1984, when he was sixteen years old. A recent exhibition presented forty-four images shot between 1987 and 2006. The idea of an artist creating an extended...
Civilization and Its Contents: Natalie Kampen on the New Greek and Roman Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
FOLLOWING A FIVE-YEAR construction project (and a decade of planning before that), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has opened its new Greek and Roman galleries with refashioned spaces and displays that will no doubt spark some debate, comprising...
Claudette Schreuders: Jack Shainman Gallery
Deceptively simple, Claudette Schreuders's painted wooden sculptures have the gravity of a serious child. But their plainness is chosen and careful, arising not out of innocence or ignorance but out of an effort, apt for the reductive process of wood...
Courtney Smith: Roebling Hall
The double-edged title of Courtney Smith's recent exhibition, "Build Up," signals that we are entering a realm of multiple functions, of things seen as both themselves and something else. Smith's primary material is furniture--sometimes she transforms...
Cyprien Gaillard: Cosmic Galerie
Perhaps you remember those T-shirts printed to look like the kind sold at rock concerts but peddled by street vendors at the exits of the Armory Show or the Venice Biennale? They were printed with the names DAMIEN HIRST, VANESSA BEECROFT, and MAURIZIO...
Elke Krystufek: MAK
Cinema is at the center of Elke Krystufek's marvelous exhibition "Liquid Logic: The Height of Knowledge and the Speed of Thought." Dividing the gallery space with white sheets of plastic that extend from floor to ceiling, she shields her new video,...
Eva and Franco Mattes: Postmasters
Eva and Franco Mattes, best known as the collaborative 0100101110101101.org, have engaged in such pranks as launching an ad campaign for a fake movie (United We Stand, 2005) and creating a computer virus as their contribution to the 2001 Venice Bien-nale....
"First Generation": Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofla, Madrid
SOME AMBITIOUS exhibitions devoted to the history of video art have taken place in recent years--"Video Acts" in 2002 at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, for example, or "Beyond Cinema" this past winter at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin--but,...
Franco Vaccari: Spazio Oberdan
As part of the Trigon '75 biennial organized by the Neue Galerie in Graz, Austria, Franco Vaccari invited people to walk up a flight of stairs to the top of the city tower. Standing along their path were a series of people--giants, very short people,...
Fulvio Di Piazza: Bonelli Arte Contemporanea
At first glance, the paintings of Sicilian artist Fulvio Di Piazza seem like precise pictorial representations of a forest whose density is accentuated by a strong, direct light that isolates every detail within an extremely crowded woodland scene....
"Global Feminisms"
"Global Feminisms" BROOKLYN MUSEUM, NEW YORK "WACK!" MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES WHY ARE WOMEN so angry? What do women want? Why can't a woman be more like a man? Can a man be a feminist? Why have there been no great women artists?...
Gordon Matta-Clark: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
THE ALL-TOO-BRIEF, mercurial career of Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) has attracted increasing interest over the past ten years. Thanks to monographic studies by Pamela M. Lee and Corinne Diserens, published in 2000 and 2003, respectively, and several...
Graham Caldwell: G Fine Art
The sixteen wall-mounted transparent- and silvered-glass sculptures in Graham Caldwell's recent exhibition "Anatomies" are, variously, dishlike, globular, and spiky and appear inspired by fangs, antlers, and the weird life forms that grow near deep-sea...
Gregor Schneider: Fondazione Morra Greco
The title of Gregor Schneider's recent show, "26.11.2006"--the date of its first day--was not chosen by chance. This was Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead), the last Sunday before Advent, and therefore the last of the church year, when German Protestants...
Horse Whisperers: Amy Taubin on Zoo
"BUT HOW EXACTLY did they do it?" more than a few people asked after seeing, or just hearing about, Robinson Devor's Zoo, which premiered in the documentary competition at this year's Sundance Film Festival and just opened in New York theaters. It...
Ian Davis: Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects
It's possible to describe Ian Davis's paintings in just a few words: tidy, faux-naive compositions populated by near-identical men who, in enacting futile rituals in unison, become elements of notation more than agents of narrative. Or so it would...
Jake and Dinos Chapman: Paradise Row
On the one hand, these painted cardboard sculptures of animals, farm objects, and country scenes are exactly the kind of thing that gives contemporary art a bad name. With their sloppy brushwork in cheap poster paint, kitchen-table construction materials...
Jim Lee: Hamiltons Gallery
Can fashion photography ever be truly radical, or can it only be radical chic? The answer may seem self-evident, but only under the assumption that politics sits in judgment: Placing desire in the service of consumption, the fashion photo necessarily...
Jose Bedia: George Adams Gallery
Jose Bedia titled his 2005 painting of a giant aircraft carrier--one of a series of warship paintings--El futuro promisorio (Promising Future), and the image is haunting and charged with menace. There it was, greeting visitors to his recent show, looming...
Josef Kramholler: Between Bridges
The colors in Josef Kramholler's photographs are gorgeous: Deep reds, golds, yellows, they hold the promise of something very special--if only one could get things in focus. Even the blacks are luscious, but everything is a blur. In one photograph,...
Julia Bryan-Wilson on Lisi Raskin
LISI RASKIN ONCE SPENT AN ENTIRE MONTH looking for nuclear submarines. The New York-based artist was on a residency in 2005 at Cove Park in Scotland, which overlooks a Trident submarine docking base at Loch Long. While she never caught a glimpse of...
Justine Kurland: Mitchell-Innes & Nash
The celebration of motherhood hasn't been a favored subject for artists since Impressionism and the early-twentieth-century movements on which its influence is immediately discernible. German Expressionist painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, for example,...
Kajsa Dahlberg: Index
Habent sua fata libelli, "Books have their fates." As Walter Benjamin noted, this Latin saying has another meaning for book collectors: Each physical copy of a book has its own fate. For a project presented in her recent solo show, Kajsa Dahlberg followed...
Kristian Burford: 1-20
In his first solo exhibition at I-20, Kristian Burford remained committed to a methodology inspired by elements of the work of Hans Bellmer and Marcel Duchamp. The most direct precedent for Rebecca ..., 2006-2007 (the full title is rather longer),...
Martin Ramirez: American Folk Art Museum
This is the second large-scale survey of the work of Martin Ramirez; the first took place in Philadelphia in 1985. Twenty-two years ago, however, the artist's name was spelled without accents. A small change, seemingly, but much depends on it. The...
Mathieu Briand: Galerie Maisonneuve
"Mr. and Mrs. Briand, the bakers of the 'accursed bread,' have left town on a pilgrimage to Lourdes." "These inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit ate the bread.... Some had to be locked up in padded cells for several days." "Mrs. Payen was the last to...
Matt Stokes: Ziehersmith
Matt Stokes's six-minute forty-five-second Super-16 film Long After Tonight, 2005, may have won him the now-defunct Beck's Futures Prize last year in Britain, but it doesn't follow any of the current trends in American contemporary art. There's no...
Miguel Rio Branco: Christopher Grimes Gallery
You'd be hard-pressed to conjure a phrase at once more earthy and more theatrical than "I won't take anything with me when I die, those who owe me something will pay me in hell." Miguel Rio Branco found the line scrawled on a wall in the Brazilian...
Mitzi Pederson: Ratio 3
A restrained, less-is-more materiality pervades the sculpture of Mitzi Pederson. The eight works in her recent show are made from a limited range of media: reflective paper, tinted sheets and strips of cellophane-thin translucent acetate, and small,...
Monika Napier: Mercer Union
Given the severe material restrictions she imposes on her practice, Monika Napier's sculpture is surprisingly expressive and complex. Her recent exhibition at Mercer Union featured a single, sprawling installation, Power Cord Series: nexus, 2007, which...
Muntean/Rosenblum: Team
A young man sleeps, shirtless, beneath a truck. He wakes up--his eyes are a cool blue-green--and strikes out toward a blonde girl slumped in an armchair in the middle of a windswept field: an older man, his face bronzed and wrinkled, emerges from a...
Nahum Tevet: The Israel Museum
Nahum Tevet lives and works in Tel Aviv, "the white city," which is in the midst of a construction boom even as areas are deteriorating. His work reflects the quintessence of the city--its light and its air, and above all its indomitability. Despite...
On the Road
LISTED BELOW ARE PREVIOUSLY PREVIEWED EXHIBITIONS ON TOUR BETWEEN MAY 1 AND AUGUST 31. VENUE DATES NEW YORK Vik Muniz P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center through May 7 Brian O'Doherty/ ...
Pierre Gonnord: Galeria Juana De Aizpuru/Museo De Bellas Artes De Sevilla
Historically, Spanish portraiture--first in painting and more recently in photography--has put forth a sentimental and stereotyped view of poverty. From Murillo to Zuloaga, this tendency has long been present. There is, however, another Spanish tradition,...
Pipilotti Rist: Magasin 3
Otherworldly femininity, vivacious color, and trancelike fantasy sum up the qualities many viewers have found in the art of Pipilotti Rist. By now overused and hollowed out, whatever these terms once evoked seemed beside the point of her retrospective...
Post War: Martin Herbert on Steve McQueen's Queen and Country
FOR THE PAST thirty-five years, the Art Commissions Committee of London's Imperial War Museum has invited artists to make work responding to the activities of British and Commonwealth troops, whether they be engaged in combat or in peacekeeping missions....
Previews: Three Times a Year Artforum Looks Ahead to the Coming Season. the Following Survey Previews Fifty Shows Opening around the World between May and August
Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years MUSEUM OF MODERN ART June 3-September 10 Curated by Lynne Cooke and Kynaston McShine This year, the public will likely be more receptive to Richard Serra's work than it was two decades ago during his...
Public Offering: Elizabeth Schambelan Talks with the Curators of Skulptur Projekte Munster '07
EVERY TEN YEARS, sculpture's still-expanding field maps itself across a particular geographical terrain: the streets of Munster, Germany, where Skulptur Projekte Munster was inaugurated in 1977. The show, which brings together a diverse array of practitioners...
Rachel Harrison: Greene Naftali
This February, a resident of President Street in Brooklyn received a number of announcements for the same exhibition. The interior of the mailer--folded and sent sans envelope--offers a close-up detail of a densely textured surface swathed in patches...
Renee Green: Galerie Christian Nagel
Renee Green's Free Agent Media (FAM)--an ongoing enterprise covering a wide range of time-based projects, from lectures to excursions--turns thirteen this year. To celebrate, Green created "United Space of Conditioned Becoming2" in Berlin. ("Number...
Robert Russell: Anna Helwing Gallery
On first impression, Robert Russell's second solo show of paintings at Anna Helwing Gallery, much like his debut, conformed to a familiarly Richteresque template. At issue, once more, was the relation between painting as a primary, hands-on means of...
Show and Tell: Tim Griffin Talks with Curator Robert Storr about the 52nd Venice Biennale
NAMED "THINK WITH THE SENSES, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense," the fifty-second Venice Biennale opens on June 10, organized for the first time by an American curator, Robert Storr. Artforum editor Tim Griffin spoke with Storr by phone...
Sleep Therapy: Robin Wood on Tsai Ming-Liang's I Don't Want to Sleep Alone
TSAI MING-LIANG'S previous film, The Wayward Cloud, was almost universally hated; at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival screening there were even walkouts in protest by those who found the work pornographic. It is to be hoped that the hostility...
Sound Tracks: Hannah Feldman on the Art of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla
AS SOMETHING LIKE THE SPRING BREAK OF THE ART WORLD, Art Basel Miami Beach is the kind of give-'em-all-you-got occasion where one expects to see more than just the occasional over-the-top flourish or media-friendly stunt. Perhaps it was this very context...
Space Exploration: Kevin Pratt on "Clip/Stamp/Fold"
THE STOREFRONT FOR Art and Architecture is a small wedge of space, tucked behind Vito Acconci and Stephen Holl's unfolding facade on Kenmare Street in Lower Manhattan. Barely fifteen feet deep, it was the perfect opening venue for "Clip/Stamp/Fold:...
Taking Note: P. Adams Sitney on the Films of Saul Levine
Saul Levine has been one of the most underrated filmmakers in the American avant-garde cinema throughout his more than forty-year-long career. His one-man program at the New York Film Festival last year was his first, although he had been included...
The Artwork Formerly Known as Prince's: Bruce Hainley on the Early Work of Richard Prince
CONSIDER, FOR A MOMENT, "Fugitive Artist: The Early Work of Richard Prince, 1974-77," currently on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, State University of New York, and organized by art historian Michael Lobel, director of the...
The Return of Op: With Two Major Survey Shows on Op Art Running Almost Concurrently in Europe and the United States, We Asked Contributing Editor David Rimanelli and Art Historian Sarah K. Rich to Assess the Exhibitions and Reflect on the Resurgence of Interest In-And Contemporary Resonance Of-This Long-Moribund Movement
Beautiful Loser: Op Art Revisited SO WHY OP NOW? Some forty years after the Museum of Modern Art, New York, introduced Op art to the American public with its landmark 1965 exhibition "The Responsive Eye," two museums have mounted historical shows...
Tommy Stockel: Kunstverein
There's a story about Max Bill, the director of the Ulmer Hochschule fur Gestaltung, which after 1945 aimed to follow in the tradition of the Weimar Bauhaus. It is said that he could be driven into a state of white-hot fury by a bouquet of flowers...
Valie Export: Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert
Given Valie Export's undeniable achievement in directing attention toward the status of women within a "culture of male values" since the late 1960s, it is hard to credit her lack of recognition in this country. In 1967, the Austrian artist traded...
Victor Grippo: Camden Arts Centre
An atmosphere of hushed stillness permeated this exhibition of nearly colorless sculptural work by the late Argentinean artist Victor Grippo. The silence was gradually broken as one became aware of a faint hum, like the noise of a smoothly functioning...
What Is to Be Done? Jennifer Allen Talks with the Curators of Documenta 12
SINCE ITS INAUGURATION in 1955 in Kassel, Documenta has become perhaps the most highly anticipated linchpin of the art-world calendar, arriving every five years to provide an assessment of the international field of contemporary art. But in the case...
Wildlife Conservation: Meredith Martin on Jean-Baptiste Oudry at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
BEFORE BARBARO or Dolly the cloned sheep, there was Clara, an Indian rhinoceros who reigned as the biggest celebrity animal in mid-eighteenth-century Europe. Escorted by her Dutch owner, Clara toured the continent between 1741 and 1758, enchanting...
Worlds Apart: Helen Molesworth on Generations of Feminism
TAKING THE SIXTH STREET EXIT off the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles these days puts you square in front of an enormous mural featuring a group of well-dressed lovelies. When I saw it, my heart skipped a beat--was it the cast of The L Word, fittingly...
Zuyoung Chung: Gallery 175
The Confucian emphasis on "pursuit of tradition" has laid a subconscious guilt trip on contemporary Korean art. Straying far from the tradition of ink painting on hanji (Korean paper), the country's primary art form aside from ceramics until the early...
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