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. 50, No. 10, Summer

7th Berlin Biennale: VARIOUS VENUES
"THIS IS NOT OUR MUSEUM / THIS IS YOUR ACTION SPACE," reads a banner greeting visitors to KW Institute for Contem-porary Art, the Berlin Biennale's main venue and traditional host. Its authors, members of Occupy Berlin and affiliated groups invited...
Adrienne Rich 1929--2012
WHEN THE POET ADRIENNE RICH appeared on the front page of the New York Times on March 29--two days after her death at age eighty-two--she was sitting just below the fold, an article on Syrian refugees at the Libyan border hovering over her. Beside...
Akira Yamaguchi
TOKYO MAISON HERMES 8TH FLOOR LE FORUM Visitors to Akira Yamaguchi's recent show might not have noticed at First that five columns inside the gallery had been turned into a row of towering electric poles; the mock fixtures--transformer box, power...
Albert Oehlen
GAGOSIAN GALLERY In the 1980s, Albert Oehlen began exploiting hackneyed figuration to exquisitely perverse effect, thereby rendering "bad painting" an unassailable good object. By the end of that decade, he had mounted a reaction-formation-like...
Alessandro Roma
BRAND NEW GALLERY The works of Alessandro Roma are complex visual machines, perfectly constructed to deceive the eye. The artist uses collage to compose landscapes that only at first glance seem to possess a possible uniformity. The deception is...
Alex Bag and Patterson Beckwith
TEAM GALLERY Between 1994 and 1997, Alex Bag and Patterson Beckwith produced sixty-odd hours of two public-access cable-TV shows, Cash from Chaos and Unicorns & Rainbows. Their recent exhibition condensed it all to 458 minutes. The installation...
Alex Hubbard
HAMMER MUSEUM In his I 975 book. Notes on the Cinematographer, Robert Bresson stated, "Nothing [is] more inelegant and ineffective than an art conceived in another art's form." However, attempting to account for film's specificity, Bresson arrived...
Allan Hughes
LIMERICK, IRELAND BELLTABLE ARTS CENTRE The process of "demilitarization" has been a protracted one in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Army bases have been demolished, observation towers have been disassembled; but, here and there, the architecture...
Anita Steckel 1930-2012
I'VE MET ONLY ONE ARTIST who wrote dirty limericks, founded an anticensorship collective, dated Marlon Brando, worked on a cargo ship, and won the Mambo Queen of Southern California contest. Her name was Anita Steckel--and she was a pip. IN HER...
Anna Jermolaewa
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA SALZBURGER KUNSTVEREIN Hung in a corner, the central picture in this show was easy to overlook. A small untitled black-and-white photograph, it shows five young women and one young man. Taken in 1986 at a high school for the...
Another World Michelle Kuo Talks with David Graeber
THE BIG PICTURE is David Graeber's picture: An anthropologist, anarchist, and activist based at Goldsmiths, University of London, Graeber adopts a bracingly wide-angle view in our era of specialization. His acclaimed 2011 book Debt: The First 5,000...
Anton Tapies 1923--2012
ANTONI TAPIES was one of the most prolific artists of the twentieth century. His vast body of work--which encompasses several thousand paintings, drawings, and sculptures, from the early canvases of the 1940s to the final sketches he produced not long...
A Progression of Forms: Richard Aldrich on the Art of Daan Van Golden
EARLY IN HIS CAREER, in a series of paintings that recreated found fabric and wallpaper patterns with perfect fidelity, Dutch artist Daan van Golden achieved a stunning equipoise between Pop appropriation and geometric abstraction. Later, he developed...
Bayrol Jimenez
PARIS GALERIE DUKAN HOURDEQUIN In early 2012, the Musee d'Art Moderne de la Vile de Paris opened "Resisting the Present: Mexico 2000/2012," an unexpected selection of work by young Mexican artists that narrowly, although knowingly and playfully,...
Beryl Korot
BITFORMS GALLERY Nearly forty years ago, Beryl Korot began a long-term, ongoing affair with three seemingly unrelated media: textile, print, and video. At the time, she was an editor of the seminal Radical Software, a magazine that she cofounded,...
Blow-Up: Taryn Simon and Brian De Palma in Conversation
a. Haigh's chocolate Easter Bilby replaced Haigh's Easter Bunny in 1993. Haigh's stopped making chocolate bunnies and joined forces with the Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia in an effort to counter the annual celebration of rabbits. Product of...
Born on the Bayou: Amy Taubin on Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild
A PRIMAL EXPERIENCE of the beginning of the end of the world, Benh Zeitlin's debut feature, Beasts of the Southern Wild, opens amid chaos and closes with catharsis. Beasts is, above all, a film about girlhood told through the voice, eyes, and ears...
Brian O'Doherty
GALLRIE THOMAS FISCHER So they still exist, these miraculous little shows in Berlin's galleries, when, for a little while, commercial spaces shake off the unbearable lightness of the mercantile world to become little kunstvereins or museums. Thomas...
Damien Hirst: TATE MODERN, LONDON
WHATEVER ONE THINKS of its architecture, strolling across the London Millennium Bridge on an early spring morning is an agreeable way to start the day, and I arrived at Tate Modern feeling clearheaded and not a little excited. The occasion was a retrospective...
Declaration of Independents: Eric Rentschler on the 50th Anniversary of the Oberhausen Manifesto
A HANDFUL OF WORDS in large type filled a page of the West German journal. Filmstudio's spring 1962 issue. The editors' telegraphic message--devoid of punctuation and eccentric in its line breaks--proclaimed: [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION...
Delia Brown
LOS ANGELES ANGLES GALLERY/COUNTRY CLUB AT MARTHA OTERO A Marxist critic would argue that the uniquely unstable position of the artist within the social hierarchy is a central determinant of all that he or she makes, even it it is not explicitly...
Ellsworth Kelly: HAUS DER HUNST, MUNICH
THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER, Ellsworth Kelly has continually worked in black and white, often in parallel to making the same forms in color. Devoted exclusively to his black-and-white works, this show, subtitled "Schwarz & Wei [BETA] (Black & White),...
Enrico David
MICHAEL WERNER GALLERY/NEW MUSEUM The body is supposed to decay. It's supposed to ooze, deliquesce, attract carnivorous insects, and unto dust return. A sculpture in Enrico David's exhibition at Michael Werner imagines what happens when it doesn't....
Fear and Loathing in Brazil: Melissa Anderson on Kleber Mendonca Filho's Neighboring Sounds
"THIS IS NO FAVELA, MAN," a late-adolescent scion snarls to a thirtyish security guard in Brazilian director Kleber. Mendonca Filho's stunning Neighboring Sounds. Though there are no shacks or shanties in this ambitious debut feature,. class and racial...
Hanne Darboven
CAMDEN ARTS CENTRE German Conceptual artist Hanne Darboven offers an intriguing combination of cool Minimalism and curio-shop chic. Beginning in the mid-1960s, her "daily writing" took the form of journals, letters, and jotted numbers, dates, and...
Harry Dodge
WALLSPACE Intro to Logic, freshman year, college. I recall these sentences on the blackboard: "God is love. Love is blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore Stevie Wonder is God." The example was given as the epitome of fallacy, illustrating, that...
"In the Spirit of Walser: Rosemarie Trockel"
CHICAGO DONALD YOUNG GALLERY At the time of his death this past April, the UK-born dealer and influential Chicago gallerist Donald Young left us with perhaps the most inspired and absorbing exhibition of his roughly fifty years working in the...
"In the Still Epiphany"
PULITZER FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS To celebrate the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts' tenth anniversary in its Tadao Ando designed building, the institution decided to showcase the world-class reserve of work collected by its founders, Emily Rauh...
Jacqueline Humphries
GREENE NAFTALI In our troubled economy, some people are putting their money into gold. How's silver doing? In her latest series of abstract paintings, Jacqueline Humphries continues to mine the pictorial and affective valences of silver metallic...
Jeanette Mundt
MICHAEL BENEVENTO A large mirror faced the tinted-glass door at the entrance to Michael Benevento: the first doubling of vision in New York-based artist Jeanette Mundt's debut Los Angeles solo show. On the mirror hung a small black-and-white painting...
John Waters
HOUSTON Mcclain gallery Would John Waters's artwork be any good if it wasn't by John Waters? That's a hard question to answer, because it's nearly impossible to separate the experience of looking at his art (featuring such Waters-csque things...
Jonathan Binet, Lydia Gifford, and David Ostrowski
ZURICH BOLTLLANG The gestural, the provisional, the elliptical, the casual, the specific, the latent; the cool, the warm; the frame, the floor, the wall: Perhaps it is right that this show of abstract paintings (or framelike, wall-supported assemblages...
L.A. Riot: Vaginal Davis on Jabberjaw
THE LOCATION WAS PERFECT. Jabberjaw, the legendary all-ages Armageddonist salon-galleria, opened in Los Angeles in 1989 at 3711 West Pico Boulevard: a former evangelical church turned sign shop (or vice versa) that had also been the site of a gruesome,...
Mamiko Otsubo
HORTON GALLERY A sculpture called Equivalent, 2012, neatly sums up the premise of Mamiko Otsubo's exhibition. The work is partly composed of used copies of a mass-market edition of the 1946 book Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein, which the artist...
Mario Garcia Torres: Talks about Tea, 2012
MARIO GARS TORRES'S 2004 slide show Shot of Grace with Alighiero Boetti Hairstyle might not seem indicative of an especially profound interest in the titular Italian Conceptualist. The thirty-seven black-and-white photographs capture Garcia Torres...
Max Gimblett
GARY SNYDER GALLERY This was New Zealand born, New York based Max Gimblett's first solo show in several years, and his first at this gallery. It included thirty-three paintings produced in the past nine years, canvases dense with associations that...
Michael Fliri and Asta Groting
MILAN GALLERIA RAFFAELLA CORTESE Michael Fliri and Asta Groting were, respectively, student and teacher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, and this past spring the younger artist decided to show his most recent work together with that of...
Miriam Backstrom
LUND. SWEDEN LUNDS KONSTHALL A revelatory moment in Miriam Iiiickstrom's impressive retrospective "The Opposite of Me Is I" was her documentary-style video Rebecka, 2004, in which she shifts between interrogating and directing the actress Rehecka...
Mod Squad: Owen Hatherley on Neneh Cherry's the Cherry Thing
IN THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM'S recent block-buster "Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990," there was a room where fragments of pop videos flashed on overhead screens and small eye-level monitors. The show's effect was mostly deflationary--various...
Moyra Davey
MURRAY GUY Toronto-born photographer--or, to use a term more common north of the forty-fifth parallel, Photoconceptualist--Moyra Davey has been quietly at work in New York for more than twenty years, garnering a strong fan base among fellow artists,...
Nina Katchadourian
SAN FRANCISCO CATHARINE CLARK GALLERY Claustrophobic and rank, suffused with a clinical fluorescence that does nobody's mirror reflection any favors: Few places rival the air--plane bathroom for inhospitality. Most of us minimize our time there,...
"Notations: The Cage Effect Today"
HUNTER COLLEGE/TIMES SQUARE GALLERY No study of composer John Cage's legacy would be complete without acknowledging his own influences and frequent collaborations. In the case of visualart practices, his work with Robert Rauschenberg looms largest....
Over the Edge: Michael Wood on Fiona Banner's Heart of Darkness
IF YOU CROSS London's Waterloo Bridge heading south, you wiII see the familiar complex of large buildings that make up the Southbank Centre--the. Royal Festival Hall, the National Theatre, the Hayward Gallery. To the right you will see the more recent...
Paloma Polo
MADRID MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFIA "Posicidn aparente" (Apparent Position), Paloma Polo's first institutional solo show in Spain, comprised an approximately twenty-minute 16-mm film transferred to HD video, a series of fourteen...
Patterson Beckwith
A lecturer at the City College of New York, Patterson Beckwith is a photographer and founding member of Art Club 2000, a collaborative started in 1992 by Colin de Land. Currently at work on a new series of analog "special effects" photographs, he is...
Paul Graham
NEW YORK PACE GALLERY Explaining to an interviewer why he called his recent show "The Present," Paul Graham said the name was a reminder of photography's "struggle to deal with time and life. Sometimes I think those are our materials. Not film,...
Peter Piller
BARCELONA PROJECTESD Storms at sea and waves of history. A long series of photographs of choppy seas and of landscapes devastated by the battles of World War I. It was impossible not to suspect that a secret genealogy lay behind this exhibition...
Peter Saul
MARY BOONE GALLERY Peter Saul's paintings are clever, witty, ironic--and nasty. In Peter Saul vs. Pop Art, 2012, a grimacing, sweating figure--a representation of the artist himself uses a chain saw to cut into a can of Campbell's tomato soup, clearly...
Phil Chang
LAXART Straightforward depiction simply doesn't cut it for a photographer like Phil Chang. Not today, not this deep into the digital-imaging revolution unleashed by Google, Instagram, iPhones, and all the other democratizing platforms, apps, and...
Pierre Vadi
RIBORDY CONTEMPORARY For his recent exhibition, Pierre Vadi presented a group of works realized over the past two years. The pieces chosen, all sculptural, were arranged on the floor and formed a landscape seen from above, an imaginary city map....
Pietro Roccasalva
FIRST, THERE IS THE PAINTING. For Pietro Roccasalva, this medium occupies the radiant center of an ever-expanding constellation of formal and conceptual analogies that takes in photography, video, sculpture, installation, and performance. All are derived...
"Querelle-Photographed by Roger Fritz"
BERLIN VENEKLASEN WERNER In 1982, the year in which Rainer Werner Fassbinder made his film Querelle, one of the actors, Roger Fritz, took several hundred photographs on the set. On the film's release, a book was published with reproductions of...
Radcliffe Bailey
WELLESLEY, MA DAVIS MUSEUM AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE Radcliffe Bailey's multilayered narrative art explores issues of culture, memory, and history related to his heritage and experience as an African American. Titled "Memory as Medicine," this near-two-decade...
Rashid Johnson: MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, CHICAGO
IN THE PAST YEAR, Rashid Johnson has received both high honors and the occasional low blow from various quarters of the art world for his wildly referential, formally promiscuous, and increasingly slick conceptual practice. His current exhibition at...
Rineke Dijkstra: SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
ENTERING RINEKE DIJKSTRA'S SURVEY at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, one was greeted by an arresting image of a young woman standing in a bathing suit and cap, wet, looking exhausted after a swimming workout. The solitary figure is centered...
Robert Overby
FREDERICKS & FREISER/ANDREW KREPS GALLERY Though lacking the letters patent conferred upon the original Ferus Gallery crowd, Robert Overby--who began as a notable graphic designer--has entered the West Coast canon, if rather circuitously. Overby's...
Sarah Lucas
SITUATION There's the briefest phase during early puberty when one's hapless ignorance of firsthand sex is combined with an obsessive curiosity for all its obscene details, weirdly accompanied by a childish revulsion toward the whole stinking business....
Seth Kim-Cohen
AUDIO VISUAL ARTS KILL "KILL. YOUR IDOLS." YEAH YEAH YEARS, LIARS, BLACK DICE: WHATEVER. TRULY RADICAL ANTI-ROCK. LIKE A CINDER BLOCK FROM THE TOTH STORY WINDOW. GROOVES. SLASHING GUITARS. FED UP SAMPLERS. TAKE DOWN THE CORPORATACRACY. ANY GENDER,...
Steve McQueen
AMSTERDAM VONDELPARK For his project Blues Before Sunrise, organized by the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam this past March, British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen fitted all 275 lights in the Vondelpark with blue filters (Lee #075, Evening...
Sui Jianguo
BEIJING PACE GALLERY Sui jianguo's oeuvre illustrates a common dilemma for artists of his generation, a kind of dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personality disorder) in both theory and practice. Although not billed as a retrospective,...
Takashi Murakami
DOHA, QATAR AL RIWAQ ART SPACE Visitors were greeted on the way into the latest megashow by Takashi Murakami with Welcome to Murakami--Ego, 2012, a nearly twenty-foot-high balloon in the shape of the artist sitting down in his casual shorts and...
The More Things Change: Ina Blom on the Art of Roman Ondak
THE ENDURING EPHEMERAL: I borrow this term from Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, who introduced it in her 2011 book Programmed Visions in order to articulate the following paradox of digital memory culture. As our worldly goods become increasingly immaterial,...
"This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s": MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, CHICAGO
IN SEPTEMBER 1983, Lorraine O'Grady made good on a decades-old avant-garde bromide and brought art to the street. Or, rather, she refrained the street as art--literally. For her work Art is ..., O'Grady mounted an elaborately oversize golden frame...
Thomas Huber
GENEVA MUSEE D'ART MODERNE ET CONTEMPORAIN Some years ago at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, I saw an exhibition of architectural maquettes depicting buildings and cities that in some strange, spectral sense were instantly familiar, though...
Tom Burr
BORTOLAMI Reading through recent interviews with Tom Burr--whose second show at Bortolami, "Deep Wood Drive," provided another persuasive demonstration of the artist's elegaic, conceptually assured sculptures and scenarios--several recurring lines...
Torsten Lauschmann
NEWCASTLE, UK LAING ART GALLERY Experimenting with old and new technologies to explore the performative and sculptural possibilities of moving-image installations, Glasgow-based artist Torsten Lauschmann mounted five disparate pieces in this...
Trace Elements: Andre Rottmann on the Art of Nairy Baghramian
THE ORGANIC AND THE GEOMETRIC, the corporeal and the mechanical, the biomorphic and the technical: At first glance, Nairy Baghramian's sculpture appears firmly grounded in these antinomies, inevitably recalling the decisive role played by such dualisms...
Under the Influence: Dennis Lim on Antonio Reis and Margarida Cordeiro
INCUBATED ON THE LITERAL and figurative margins of Europe, Portuguese cinema can often seem a world unto itself, a semiautonomous territory that evolved at its own pace and at a productive remove from the rest of the continent. The lost years of the...
Vera Lossau
DUSSELDORF GALERIE RUPERT PFAB Vera Lossau pulls off an unusual balancing act with her sculptures. They are self-consciously Conceptual but nevertheless display traces of the artist's hand, and like works in the tradition. of Minimalism, they...
Zarina Bhimji
LONDON WHITECHAPEL GALLERY The title of Zarina Bhimji's latest film, Yellow Patch, 2011, gives away no secrets, and having watched it, viewers are none the wiser. We know it was shot in India; that Bhimji has been researching it for years; that...
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