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. 48, No. 1, September

"A Fantasy for Allan Kaprow": CONTEMPORARY IMAGE COLLECTIVE
The Contemporary Image Collective is located on the upper floor of a dilapidated villa that dates back to the 1920s. To get there, one climbs an elegant old staircase illuminated by a skylight and smoky glass windows. During the exhibition "A Fantasy...
Alex Hubbard: Gallery-C at Team
Alex Hubbard has described the action that takes place in several short videos he has made over the past few years as "Buster Keaton on a table-top." To make these works, the artist employs an overhead view onto a table to document the assembly, rearrangement,...
Alice Shaw: Gallery 16
As the veracity of photographic representation has been thrown into question, it follows by extension that the status of the photographer herself is also in serious flux. Alice Shaw's most recent exhibition, titled "Auto(biography)," initially read...
Anne Eastman: ATM Gallery
Anne Eastman's first solo exhibition in New York used mobiles made of wood, mirrors, and fishing line to ardently sample a range of early-twentieth-century art, from Russian Constructivism and Surrealism to the kinetic sculptures of Duchamp and Calder....
Art/empire/industry: Alexander Scrimgeour on Nottingham Contemporary
IN LIGHT OF THE PAST DECADE'S proliferation of expensively built (or renovated) spaces for contemporary art--and perhaps also because the deconsecrated church next door is now a bar--Nottingham Contemporary prompts reflections on the shifting fortunes...
Ben Jackel: La Louver
Ben Jackel's first solo exhibition made a fine mixture out of the imagery and accoutrements of warfare, its attendant memorialization and glorification, and the putting out of fires. An artist with a background in ceramics, Jackel has studied with...
Cal Crawford: Sister
A haunting, dirgelike melody transformed Cal Crawford's solo debut--a sprawling installation--into a nocturnal menace determined to fix viewers in a trance. The eerie piano line creeps through high octaves, over the slow funereal boom of percussion...
Carsten Fock: GALERIE KATHARINA BITTEL/GALERIE SEPTEMBER
In two simultaneous shows mounted in Hamburg and Berlin, Carsten Fock presented his latest work in the form of all-over installations that group drawings, paintings, and wall treatments into coherent ensembles. The shows shared concerns but did not...
Changing Destiny: Barry Schwabsky on Richard Hell's Destiny Street
"I DO NOT REPUDIATE any of my paintings," Henri Matisse once wrote, "but there is not one of them that I would not redo differently, if I had it to redo." Once a painting is out of the artist's hands, of course, the opportunity to rework it rarely...
Cheyney Thompson: Andrew Kreps Gallery
At first glance, the paintings in "Robert Macaire Chromachromes," Cheyney Thompson's fourth solo show at Andrew Kreps Gallery, seemed a stock conceptual prank: thirteen linen canvases offering the painstakingly hand-rendered image, in color, of an...
Cristobal Lehyt: FUNDACION TELEFONICA
In "The Penultimate Landscape," Cristobal Lehyt presented a compelling meditation on systems of representation and the impossibility of communicating an "authentic" national identity. The artist, a Chilean living in New York since 1995, explored these...
Critical Moments
SEPTEMBER MARKS A FULL YEAR since our encounter with economic cataclysm prompted many in the art world to suggest that seemingly retardataire notions of critique, resistance, and transformation--often easily dismissed as abstract or archaic--were now...
Dave Hullfish Bailey: BRISBANE RIVER/DAVID PESTORIUS PROJECTS
It's a sunny autumn afternoon in Brisbane, Queensland, in the north of Australia. The weather never gets too cold up here; overcoats are rarely worn. The prosperous, up-and-coming city is served by ferries that ply the Brisbane River, which in the...
Elizabeth Price: Spike Island
WELCOME appears projected in large, bright yellow Barbara Kruger-esque lettering on the opening screen of Elizabeth Price's film series "New, Ruined Institute." The first two parts of this unfinished trilogy, WELCOME (The Atrium), 2008, and USER GROUP...
Florian Pumhosl
THE EMERGENCE OF POSTCOLONIALISM during the 1960s, which marked the delegitimization of Western modernism's utopian and universalist project, was accompanied by an eclipse of medium-specificity--something that had in the preceding decades been central...
Florian Slotawa: P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
Since 1996, German artist Florian Slotawa has created "Besitzarbeiten" (Property Works), a series of sculptural installations comprising various functional objects removed from his Berlin apartment and meticulously arranged in a gallery setting. The...
Garrett Phelan: Mother's Tankstation
Garrett Phelan is an avid birdwatcher, and his recent exhibition, "The Last Broadcast Revelations," drew on both folklore and ornithology in its depiction of the mynah bird as a prophet. Noting that the mynah has the capacity to go beyond mere imitation...
Giulia Piscitelli: GALLERIA FONTI
A protocol, in Italy, is a register in which documents and data of every type are transcribed, usually related to a subject or company under review. It serves to identify and describe a person or a thing--characteristic elements, peculiarities, and...
Guy Raz: N & N AMAN GALLERY
Guy Raz's "Liga Terezin" project emerged from a trip to the Theresien-stadt concentration camp in 2006, during which the artist noticed the red uniforms of a local team hanging on a laundry line beside a soccer field outside the walls of the Terezin...
"Hf/rg": Jeu De Paume
Rarely has a title's punctuation been so warranted as the vertical slash cleaving the initials in this double billing, "HF|RG": simultaneously soldering and severing the names and careers of Harun Farocki and Rodney Graham. Both artists were born in...
Hilary Harnischfeger: Rachel Uffner Gallery
Writing about the fallout from Frank Stella's seminal "Black Paintings," Michael Fried charged that he and Carl Andre had been "fighting for [Stella's] soul." For Fried, Stella's paintings were an apotheosis of Greenbergian modernism; for Andre, harbingers...
In It to Win It: Jeffrey Kastner Talks with Jack Bankowsky and Alison M. Gingeras about "Pop Life"
"MAKING MONEY IS ART AND working is art and good business is the best art," Andy Warhol famously wrote. Whether you read this as a revelatory bit of canny pragmatism or as a craven capitulation to the effects of capital on culture should indicate your...
John Chamberlain: L & M Arts
In spite of fashioning his sculptures from the twisted steel of junked cars, John Chamberlain has long distanced himself from the spectacular American history of the car crash: Gatsby, General Patton, James Dean, and, of course, Pollock. He has insisted...
Jonas Dahlberg: GALERIE NORDENHAKE
Were Jonas Dahlberg a film director, his camera work might be described as front and center or a little bit square--but that's OK, because his work is otherwise flush with mystifying dramas. In his earlier three-screen video Three Rooms, 2008, domestic...
Jonathan Monk: Casey Kaplan
Jeff Koons's Rabbit, 1986, an immaculate stainless-steel cast of a silver balloon in the form of a stylized bunny, has become an icon of a decade notorious for hyperbole and narcissism. (Not without reason did its perky ears protrude over Artforum's...
Juan Hidalgo: TENERIFE ESPACIO DE LAS ARTES
In 1964, Juan Hidalgo was a founding member of ZAJ--an avant-garde collective crucial to Spanish art during the Franco years. The group has been compared to Fluxus, thanks to its roots in experimental music and its sense of humor. Hidalgo's work straddles...
Keith Tyson: Blum & Poe
Given the critical antagonism that still faces painting--a sense of abstraction's diminishing returns, the apparent anachronism of representation, and the assumption of market complicity--the decision to work in the medium today cannot be an easy one...
Kerstin Bratsch: BALICE HERTLING
In Kerstin Bratsch's work, the autobiographical elements cannot be discounted. It's important to keep in mind that this young artist was born in Hamburg thirty years ago and now lives in New York--this dual heritage deeply colors her work. Take, for...
Lara Schnitger: Anton Kern Gallery
Spiderwebs of black nylon, made by tensing women's hosiery over wooden chopsticks into interconnecting spiky snowflake forms, extended from floor to ceiling in Lara Schnitger's latest show, partitioning the gallery and screening the objects. The look...
Laurel Nakadate: Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects
For viewers who have struggled to untangle the wicked snarl of contradictions that animate Laurel Nakadate's provocative and polarizing oeuvre, the artist's recent show--her debut at Tonkonow and her first solo exhibition in New York since 2006--suggested...
Leap of Faith: Gary Indiana on the Baader Meinhof Complex
ULI EDEL'S BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX is a hyper-compressed, epic, tile-work rendering of Stefan Aust's definitive 1985 book of the same name. Aust, before becoming editor of Der Spiegel, covered the activities of the Red Army Faction as a young reporter,...
Liliana Moro: GALLERIA EMI FONTANA
In what was the final show at Emi Fontana's Milan space, one of the gallery's "historical" artists, Liliana Moro, exhibited four new works. Proceeding from the entrance toward the back of the exhibition space, one came upon Flo, VI, Ru (all works 2009),...
Luke Fowler: Serpentine Gallery, London
TENEMENT FILMS (3 MINUTE WONDERS), 2009, the opening presentation of Luke Fowler's solo show at the Serpentine Gallery, comprises four 16-mm shorts, screened here one to a wall. Each work records the apartment of one of the artist's neighbors. Helen...
Martin Soto Climent: KARMA INTERNATIONAL
The site-specific show titled "The Intimate Revolt"--quoting the book of the same name by Julia Kristeva--literally closed itself off from the viewer: The gallery was locked and could not be entered. Instead, one had to view the show through a long...
Matias Faldbakken: Discusses "Shocked into Abstraction."
MATIAS FALDBAKKEN is a master of the fine art of sucking all the air out of the room. What room? Hard to say exactly, but it seems to be the space of modernity as seen from the perspective of the Western artist--that overworked zone indelibly marked...
Mel Bochner: Rhona Hoffman Gallery
"Words in art are words. Letters in art are letters. Writing in art is writing." These sentences by Ad Reinhardt commence his "Art-as-Art Dogma, Part III" (1965) and describe well the mocking fatalism ingrained in Mel Bochner's Blah paintings, a body...
Michael Brown: Yvon Lambert
Michael Brown's apparently unassuming show looked at first like the contents of your kitchen closet, but on second glance was more corporate than that--you might well own the dustpan and brush, the brooms, or the mop, but you probably wouldn't do your...
Michelle Gay: Oakville Galleries
"Interfaces and Operating Systems," the title of this exhibition--a survey of recent work by Michelle Gay, elegantly arranged by curator Marnie Fleming--may at first seem a reference to the digital technology present in most of the pieces. But such...
Mimmo Rotella: Knoedler & Company
To announce its new representation of the estate of Mimmo Rotella (1918-2006), Knoedler & Company mounted a survey focusing on the artist's paintings of the 1950s and '60s, a period of intense international avant-garde cross-pollination. Like many...
My Barbarian: Steve Turner Contemporary
My Barbarian, LA's own all-singing, all-dancing, all-acting performance troupe (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, Alexandro Segade), can be read as a gentle parody of alt-rock's claims to ownership over experiential extremes, as per the band My Chemical Romance....
New Conjugations: Emily Apter on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (1950-2009)
WHEN I FIRST ENCOUNTERED Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, in the 1980s, we were both teaching at New England schools. It was a dark and snowy night, but the friends and faculty who came out that evening for Sedgwick's lecture at Williams College (where I had...
Nigel Cooke: Andrea Rosen Gallery
He might previously have been considered a cityscape specialist, but British painter Nigel Cooke turned explicitly toward the figure in his third solo exhibition at Andrea Rosen. Still, in five epic canvases, nine tiny ones, and ten shrunken bronze...
Not the Last Word: Reflections on Sherrie Levine's "After Walker Evans Negative"
THE TERM APPROPRIATION often seems too simple to describe Sherrie Levine's practice--or at least renders her operations too static. For if the artist's reuse of objects, images, and words (now often her "own") is a common thread throughout her oeuvre,...
Oh Chi Gyun: GALLERY HYUNDAI
In 1989, Oh Chi Gyun was painting his naked body in the dim light of a television set in his dark Brooklyn apartment. Although he had just finished his MFA studies at Brooklyn College, New York, the previous year, the resulting nudes should not be...
Ordinary People: Amy Taubin on Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rum
CLAIRE DENIS'S ACHINGLY TENDER, bittersweet 35 Shots of Rum describes a father-daughter relationship that's as good as they get. Lionel (Alex Descas), a widower, has lived alone with his daughter, Josephine (Mati Diop), for most of her life. A railroad...
Pablo Picasso: Gagosian Gallery, New York
PABLO PICASSO CAN BE EXHAUSTING to think about. He seems to occupy a slightly unnatural amount of space in the scheme of things. When he died in 1973, he had been the most famous artist in the world for well over half a century, hut virtually no one...
Patty Chang: Mary Boone Gallery
Would Walter Benjamin be repulsed to find his corpulence represented on-screen? Would he be put off by the portrayal of his flaccid penis, of his own emasculation, as an actor playing him is directed to gingerly delight in a woman's supple foot? Would...
Piero Golia and Fabian Marti: ISTITUTO SVIZZERO DL ROMA
Italian artist Piero Golia and Swiss artist Fabian Marti conceived of their collaboration "Ruins, Regrets and Visible Effects" in an ingenious way: an exhibition on two levels, where the main attraction was the membrane joining the inner and outer...
Polymathically Perverse: Jay Sanders on Masaya Nakahara
THE COOLHEADEDLY STRANGE artistic course of Japanese critic, novelist, and musician Masaya Nakahara has been shaped by a long line of unexpected fits and starts, but few have been so disarming as his "Monthly Hair Stylistics," a series of twelve albums,...
Previews: Three Times a Year Artforum Looks Ahead to the Coming Season. the Following Survey Previews Fifty Shows Opening around the World between September and December
Jack Goldstein MUSEUM FUR MODERNE KUNST, FRANKFURT October 3, 2009-January 10, 2010 Curated by Klaus Gorner FOR DECADES, the reception of Jack Goldstein's work has followed a cyclical pattern, whereby the complexity and wide-ranging influence...
Ranbir Kaleka: Bose Pacia
After a decade of working primarily in video art (albeit often projected onto canvases), Indian artist Ranbir Kaleka turned the bulk of his attention back to his home medium of painting for this exhibition, titled "Reading Man." The show, conceived...
Richard Artschwager: SPRUTH MAGERS
Since the 1960s, Richard Artschwager has been reconstructing objects associated with utility and domestic life--furniture, pictures, and other household items--but with deformations verging on the grotesque. Even purely semantic abstractions like punctuation...
Richard Venlet: ELISA PLATTEAU GALERIE
Walking through the door of Elisa Platteau Galerie, one saw Richard Venler's Untitled (Claustra) [all works 2009), a monumental white grille that stretched from the floor nearly to the ceiling, immediately to the right and parallel to the wall. Behind...
Roni Horn: Tate Modern, London
IS MINIMAL DIFFERENCE a major subject? Even so-called identicals, Marcel Duchamp observed, reveal shades of difference, which he memorably called infra-thin. Roni Horn's work mines that proposition exhaustively, asking us to find differences in things...
Sergej Jensen: KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
The carpet was brown and cheap-looking, showing obvious signs of wear. Parts of the wall were still painted a smarmy pink hue left over from the last show. Nearly all of the temporary walls added for that previous exhibition, however, had been taken...
Sigmar Polke: Michael Werner Gallery
These thirty-odd recent paintings continue to chart the problematic fusion of Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol that makes Sigmar Polke the artist of greatest pertinence to the current generation of painters, be they European or American. His new works--painted...
Sofia Taboas: CASA DEL LAGO
Sofia Taboas threw a stone into a lake. She then rowed a tiny boat to where the stone had landed and sunk, placing a buoy there to mark the spot; she threw a second stone and again directed the boat to where it landed. She repeated this sequence, five...
Stephen Prina: Barbara Krakow Gallery
Stephen Prina suspended five lushly painted, fifteen-foot-long window blinds from the ceiling in his recent show, so that no matter where one stood, at least some of the work was hidden from view. Even the gallery staff were obscured, partly blocked...
"The Pictures Generation."
The hallowed halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would seem an unlikely setting for "The Pictures Generation, 1974-1984": an exhibition of artistic insurgents who dissected the images and words of the mass media with cutting ken. Here...
"The Third Mind": Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
UNTIL SURPRISINGLY RECENTLY, conventional wisdom held that anything from the East that resembled contemporary work produced in the West was derivative, and yet anything that didn't resemble work produced in the West was unsophisticated and naive. Alexandra...
"The University of Trash": SculptureCenter
Envisaged as a site of alternative pedagogy, The University of Trash, 2009, was a collaborative project that took place over three months this past summer. Organized by New York-based artist Michael Cataldi and British artist-activist Nils Norman,...
Top Ten
1 THE LEARNING ANNEX From Tantric-orgasm workshops to Master P's program for "generational wealth" to neuro-linguistic programming taught by a Zen Catholic priest-slash-real estate entrepreneur, the Learning Annex offers an endless supply of curiosities...
Trisha Brown: Sikkema Jenkins & Co
This past spring, in celebration of a presentation of the last forty years of the eminent choreographer's dance works at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as well as of her first solo gallery show ever, a selection of drawings at Sikkema Jenkins &...
Worldly Concerns
For the Fifty-third Venice Biennale, curator Daniel Birnbaum, seeking a kind of "new beginning" for contemporary art in our ever-changing cultural context, turned to the most elementary yet supple aspects of its production and reception--as is clear...
Zhang Hui: LONG MARCH SPACE
In a recent conversation, Zhang Hui recounted the story of an early twentieth-century artist who painted a picture of his garden but realized afterward that he had left a tree out of the composition. So he took an ax and chopped down the tree. For...
Zineb Sedira: Iniva at Rivington Place
Floating Coffins, 2009, the central work in "Currents of Time: New Work by Zineb Sedira," presents footage of the rusting hulls of fishing vessels grounded off the coastline of Mauritania. The immense, fourteen-screen video installation occupied Iniva's...
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