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. 51, No. 2, October

Allison Schulnik: MARK MOORE GALLERY
For such gendered mythological creatures, mermaids have a peculiarly sexless anatomy, at least below their scaled hips. So when Allison Schulnik paints a work like Mermaid with Legs (all works cited, 2012)--a large canvas depicting a scared nude spreading...
Andre Masson: BLAIN / DI DONNA
Comprising thirty-five works dating from between 1922 and 1944, this informative presentation offered important examples of Andre Masson's various early phases, providing a rare occasion for a reconsideration of the artist's larger contribution to...
Annette Messager: MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY
In interviews, Annette Messager has spoken of her admiration for Roland Barthes and, in particular, for his Fragments d'un discours amoureux (A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, 1977). It makes sense that the artist, perhaps best known for her portrayals...
Art out of Time: Alexander Nagel on the Relic and Robert Smithson
When, in 1968, Robert Smithson loaded the back of a station wagon with rocks from New Jersey and brought them across the Hudson to New York's Dwan Gallery for one of his non-sites, he was performing a material relocation that would have been familiar...
Asger Jorn: FONDATION DE L'HERMITAGE
Asger Jorn spent six months with his family in a chalet near Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1953-54, recovering from the tuberculosis that had spelled the end of the Cobra movement a few years earlier. Isolated from the culture of the region, he maintained...
Berlinde De Bruyckere: ARTER/CUKURCUMA HAMMAM
For her first solo exhibition in Istanbul, "The Wound," Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere filled three floors of the contemporary art space Arter as well as the historic cukurcuma Hammam with her signature pseudo-anatomical sculptures, including...
Bettina Pousttchi: SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT
First of all, it is probably worth getting one's prepositions right. Bettina Pousttchi showed her new work at the Schirn Kunsthalle, but not so much in it; more precisely, her exhibition took place primarily on it: With her new installation, Framework,...
Brian Duggan: VISUAL CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
Instead of a slick contemporary gallery, a high-beamed wooden barn; instead of twenty-first-century clothes, Wild West costume; and instead of solitary, contemplative observation, communal roller-skating. This was the mixed-up mise-en-scene proposed...
Bucharest Biennale 5: VARIOUS VENUES
The heart of the fifth Bucharest Biennale wasn't one of the works in the exhibition. Rather, it was a library, unrelated to the biennial, that happened to be located in the middle of Pavilion, a nonprofit storefront art space in the city center. Pavilion...
Charles LeDray: BASS MUSEUM OF ART
Human labor revealed itself as the core of this tightly curated show. Featuring only four of Charles LeDray's meticulously crafted pieces, the exhibition was a concentrated extract of the New York-based sculptor's fifty-some-piece retrospective "workworkworkworkwork,"...
Christian Jankowski: FRIEDRICH PETZEL GALLERY
As a metaphor for art criticism, "message in a bottle" is, at best, rather anomic. Is that what we as writers do: just chuck it out there and pray some random reader halfway around the world stumbles on the entreaty of our otherwise lonely prose? Review,...
"Displace, Disclose, Discover: Acts of Painting, 1960-1999": LILLE METROPOLE MUSEE D'ART MODERNE, D'ART CONTEMPORAIN ET D'ART BRUT VILLENEUVE-D'ASCQ, FRANCE
"THE FRENCH TALKED SUCH NONSENSE." This is Clement Greenberg in 1968, as interviewed by Edward Lucie-Smith. The remark comes among a set of judgments about the international reception of postwar American painting: Although the first to pay it serious...
Documents 13: VARIOUS VENUES, KASSEL, BANFF, CAIRO, AND KABUL
WHAT WOULD IT MEAN to think that things could have stories as troubled as those of people? Many of the objects in this year's Documenta--among them engines, a beehive, a palette knife--had complex, sometimes difficult, stories to tell. Take the Korbinian,...
Documents 13: VARIOUS VENUES, KASSEL, BANFF, CAIRO, AND KABUL
A REALLY IN-DEPTH REVIEW of Documenta 13 is probably an impossible task--a task made intentionally impossible?--considering the outlandish size of this show, and considering how many events took place long after the opening, some of them even on other...
Domenico Gnoli: LUXEMBOURG & DAYAN
Domenico Gnoli's untimely death in 1970--just months after the widely anticipated show of his paintings at Sidney Janis Gallery in New York--cut short what had promised to be a prodigious career. This exhibition, a presentation of twenty-four selections...
Evelyne Axell: BROADWAY 1602
Cut short by a fatal car crash in 1972, Evelyne Axell's career burned fast and bright. At the age of twenty-eight, the Belgian artist abandoned a promising career in acting and took up painting, enlisting Rene Magritte for a year of bimonthly art lessons...
Francesco Arena: MONITOR
Francesco Arena's recent solo show featured two pieces, both from 2012. Orizzonte (Horizon) consists of a nearly twenty-four-foot-long metal beam mounted between the walls of the room at a height of approximately five feet--that is, at the artist's...
Gisele Camargo: GALERIA OSCAR CRUZ
Given that Gisele Camargo's career began in the context of 1990s Rio de Janeiro, her urban typology--for example, deadpan painterly fragments of window views or rear facades--is both characteristic of the renewed attention devoted to the city by artists...
Golden State: Jon Raymond on the Art of Chris Johanson
AS THE STORY GOES, about 12,000 years ago human beings migrated to the West Coast of North America. They came from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and brought with them a system of spiritual beliefs based in rituals of astral projection, animal...
Hannah Weinberger: SWISS INSTITUTE
Perhaps the most startling aspect of young Basel-based artist Hannah Weinberger's sound installation Le Moi Du Toi, 2012, is its sheer accessibility. While not technically easy listening--it might be classified, perhaps, as a loungey and sometimes...
Isabelle Cornaro: LE MAGASIN--CENTRE NATIONAL D'ART CONTEMPORAIN DE GRENOBLE
Just as some of the best recent French art is made by artists who live or have lived outside France, many of its best exhibitions take place outside Paris, in the provinces, where regional institutions subject themselves to risks that their more venerable...
Jane Fox Hipple: DODGEgallery
The title of Jane Fox Hippie's exhibition "The Way of Things" suggests a rather matter-of-fact approach to art making, one rooted in the everyday and concerned more with direct observation--even with a kind of logic--than with flights of imaginative...
Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda: Following Their First Major Solo Exhibition in the US, at Redcat in Los Angeles This Past Summer, Artists Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda Are Currently Preparing a Show to Open at Francesca Pia Gallery, Zurich, in 2013. They Live and Work in Berlin
1 ROBERT MUSIL, THE MAN WITHOUT QUALITIES (1930-42) In one of the many subplots of this expansive Viennese novel, General Stumm von Bordwehr makes a visit to the Imperial Library. Neither a socialite nor one much for literature, Stumm hopes that by...
Jerome Acks: 65GRAND
The aesthetics of record collecting are a lingua franca for many contemporary young male artists exploring their social and creative identity. The adolescent vinyl fiend, it would seem, remains, however anachronistically, a fixture of the art world....
Jorinde Voigt: INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY CULTURE, ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM
In June, the Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear undertook playing all of Beethoven's sonatas, end to end, in one sitting. This quantitative protraction (in which torrents from the piano seemed to some like a sound accompaniment for Tarkovsky's depiction...
Jo Spence: SPACE/STUDIO VOLTAIRE
Jo Spence rejected the term "artist," preferring to describe herself as a "photographer" or "cultural sniper" This skepticism toward the art world was reflected in her distinctive modes of practice, the alternative networks via which her work circulated,...
Justin Matherly
IN HIS 1938 PAINTING Imaginary Portrait of D. A. F de Sade, Man Ray renders the great libertine in profile, his features recognizably human--a blue eye, red lips--but his face and body made of worn gray blocks of stone, his name and dates of birth...
Katharina Wulff: SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
In Sheila Heti's recent book How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life, the central character culls a list of international cities most populated by "Important Artists" from a digest of biographies. Finding that New York, natch, tops the tally, she...
Larry Abramson: GORDON GALLERY
The title of Larry Abramson's recent exhibition "1967" inevitably evokes the Six-Day War, which took place in June of that year. The two works it included raise questions about the ideological conditions that made this campaign conceivable as a national...
La Triennale 2012: PALAIS DE TOKYO AND OTHER VENUES, PARIS
"INTENSE PROXIMITY" is a sexy name for an exhibition showcasing art produced for a postcolonial era. It intimates a situation in which distinct cultures, thanks to new technologies and economies, are brought within kissing distance of one another,...
Made in L.A. 2012: HAMMER MUSEUM, LAXART LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL ART GALLERY
HAVE YOU SEEN "The Californians," the Saturday Night Live sketch in which Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig, and Co. play bleached, surf-drawling dimwits whose soap-operatic interactions always lead to discussions about the best way through the traffic-clogged...
Manifold Address: Molly Warnock on Simon Hantai's Etude, 1969
AUTOMATIC WRITING: That's one name, if not the least tendentious, one might consider for the fine lines that appear here and there in the whites of Simon Hantai's Etude, a stunning painting of 1969 that has just entered the collection of the National...
Marianne Heier: BERGEN KUNSTHALL
The annual Festspillutstillingen--the visual art component of the Bergen International Festival--was first held in 1953. Hosted by the city's Kunsthall, it has since become one of Norway's most prestigious solo exhibitions. Successful Norwegian artists...
Markus Karstie[beta]: ANCIENT & MODERN
Although Markus Karstie[beta] plays within the language and possibilities of his chosen medium--clay--the resulting artworks are far from what we typically expect of the material. The works are handmade, with ample signs of squeezing, kneading, prodding,...
Martine Franck: HOWARD GREENBERG GALLERY
Featuring twenty-six photographs made between the early 1960s and 2008, "Peregrinations" offered a retrospective tour of Martine Franck's work. A photo from 1995, Tory Island, Donegal, Ireland, was one of the show's triumphs. It portrays two girls...
Martin Puryear: MCKEE GALLERY
Like most of Martin Puryear's sculpture in this typically virtuosic exhibition of recent work, the piece that met the visitor entering the show, The Rest, 2009-10, has many precedents in his art. Wheels and a long harness pole make this bronze representational--it...
Michaela Melian: BARBARA GROSS GALERIE
If anything is clear today about the era of modernism, it's that it was divided against itself. The utopias of the avant-gardes now seem contaminated by their totalitarian leanings, while Fascist and Nazi art and architecture can seem shockingly modern--and...
"Needles in the Camel's Eye": THOMAS DUNCAN GALLERY
As is well known, artists such as Cindy Sherman and Louise Lawler emerged in the late 1970s with work that effected a critique of representation through the detournement of photographic and filmic tropes. This unusually tight summer show proposed an...
Painted Screen: Beth Citron on M. F. Husain's through the Eyes of a Painter
IN A RADICAL AND SHORT-LIVED initiative in the 1960s, India's national Films Division (established as a documentary unit just after independence in 1947) invited artists and filmmakers to develop their own experimental projects. Under the direction...
"Paperless": SOUTHEASTERN CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
Paper manufacturing consumes 35 percent of harvested trees in America, while 40 percent of our total annual waste consists of paper and paper products. We all hoped that digital communication would alleviate these problems, yet today we churn out more...
Prints + Editions
PETER BLUM EDITION 526 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001 Tel: 212 244 6055 Fax: 212 244 6054 E-mail: chelsea@peterblumgallery.com Web: www.peterblumgallery.com New book by John Beech, The Space Surrounding. Includes 31 collages, 18 photographs,...
Rebecca Horn: WESERBURG / MUSEUM FUR MODERNE KUNST
Rebecca Horn's recent exhibition occupied just a few rooms on the second floor of the Weserburg Museum of Modern Art and resulted in no catalogue. The show consisted largely of films and related material (stills, collage studies, models for props),...
Riccardo Beretta: ZERO
"To re-enter Bude, one has to cross a space cluttered up with piles of cross-beams and metal frames. The steel cable of a crane cuts across the road, and Alex catches hold of it to climb over: Donnerwetter, he looks at his hand black with thick grease....
Richard Avedon: GAGOSIAN GALLERY
This extraordinary exhibition, "Richard Avedon: Murals & Portraits," brought together four vast group portraits made between 1969 and 1971, ranging from eight to over ten feet tall and from twenty to more than thirty feet long, in addition to a...
Robert Zandvliet: GEM, MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Robert Zandvliet's exhibition "I Owe You the Truth in Painting" posed an interesting question: Should a painter copy another's work? While the history of painting is filled with celebrated reinterpretations--Van Gogh's paintings after Millet's The...
Roger Hiorns: MARC FOXX
Previously shown in London and New York, Roger Hiorns's atomized jet engine, Untitled, 2008-, arrived at Marc Foxx in Los Angeles after a significant delay. To be preceded by its reputation was, however, perfectly appropriate for a sculpture that began...
Santiago Villanueva: ABATE GALERIA
The question is recurrent in art: how to escape history's compulsion to categorize and pigeonhole? The answer given by Santiago Villanueva differs in each of his shows, thereby adding new layers of meaning. The artist seems to think art history is...
Sharon Hayes: WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART
Sharon Hayes's ambitious show was set amid wooden dividers, platforms, and stair-units. Designed by Hayes and her frequent collaborator Andrea Geyer, the mise-en-scene was a cross between speaker's corner, radical-history library, and trade fair--mixed,...
"Sint-Jan": SAINT BAVO CATHEDRAL
"Sint-Jan" was an unusual group show organized by Jan Hoet, director of Documenta 9 (1992) and head of Ghent's SMAK from its founding in 1975 through 2003, in collaboration with independent curator Hans Martens. The show included some seventy works...
Tomas Saraceno: TANYA BONAKDAR GALLERY
The sculptures and collages shown in Tomas Saraceno's recent exhibition belong to a wide-ranging scientific and philosophical project begun in 2002, variously called Cloud Cities and Air-Port-City. At the crux of the undertaking is a speculative metropolis...
Tomasz Kowalski: CARLIER / GEBAUER
The first impression is always one of freedom: Tomasz Kowalski flits--almost carelessly, you might say--between his personal imagination and echoes of familiar modernist styles. In the crowded landscape of contemporary painting, it is remarkable enough...
Tom Sachs: PARK AVENUE ARMORY
Though Tom Sachs's preposterously hypertrophic installation "Space Program: Mars" proposed to viewers a kind of voyage, it turned out to provide a very different sort of trip than the one advertised. Organized by Creative Time, the prolific artist's...
Trading Spaces: A Roundtable on Art and Architecture
Art and architecture meet more often and more profoundly today than ever before-from public art to the art-fair tent, from the pavilion to the installation. But if the interchange between these fields offers a host of new possibilities for structure,...
Ulrike Muller: BROOKLYN MUSEUM
What does it mean to make feminist history a little silly? For her contribution to the Brooklyn Museum's "Raw/Cooked" series (a yearlong string of exhibitions dedicated to Brooklyn-based artists), Ulrike Muller handled her personal and political affinities...
Undivided Attention: Martin Herbert on the Art of Luke Fowler
LUKE FOWLER'S All Divided Selves, 2011, a ninety-minute film centering on the once-notorious "antipsychiatrist" R. D. Laing, divides documentary filmmaking against itself. Assembling archival footage of Laing, his critics, and his freewheeling treatment...
Vanishing Point: Sylvia Lavin on the Contemporary Pavilion
THE PAVILION IS EVERYWHERE in the contemporary cultural landscape. Indeed, these structures--generally freestanding but temporary, typically without a prescribed function but often with an intensely aesthetic posture--are one of the few species on...
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