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. 3, November

11th Havana Biennial
VARIOUS VENUES "REVOLUTION IN RETREAT." So blared the cover of the March 24 issue of The Economist, a "special report" on Cuba and the dawning capitalist prospects of the only Communist state in the Western Hemisphere. With Fidel Castro's health...
18th Biennale of Sydney
VARIOUS VENUES Globalization and its consequences are standard biennial fare. What made the "18th Sydney Biennale: all our relations" different was its sheer optimism. Artistic directors Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster clearly wanted to...
Aaron McNamee
HERIARD-CIMINO GALLERY Following Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, and a murder epidemic described by the city's mayor as nothing less than "unnatural," New Orleans lays claim to another tragedy--one that has been afforded comparatively little...
A Cultivated Poise: Portfolio in Memory of David Weiss 1946-2012
AS A YOUNG ARTIST just starting out, David Weiss made a series of drawings that he published in a small edition in 1975, and in the ensuing decades this Regenbuchlein, or "little rain book," has achieved an almost mythic status. After David died this...
Alex Hanimann
MUSEE D'ART MODERNE ET CONTEMPORAIN The temporary exhibitions mounted in the former industrial space that is now MAMCO almost never claim the status of "autonomous" solo shows; instead they demonstrate the complex facets of a contemporary art museum....
A Love Supreme: JAMES QUANDT ON MICHAEL HANEKE'S AMOUR
I do view the society I live in as pretty loveless. --Michael Haneke "I WAS SO YOUNG ONCE!" cries the unnamed woman played by Emmanuelle Riva in Alain Resnais's Hiroshima mon amour (1959). More than a half century later, the octogenarian Riva...
Amelie Von Wulffen
ASPEN ART MUSEUM Amelie von Wulffen's first solo museum show in the US comprised fifteen canvases that surrounded a conspicuous architectural intervention: The main gallery's ductwork had been handpainted green and connected to the gallery floor...
A Museum of One's Own: Harry Cooper on the Clyfford Still Museum
TAKING STOCK OF CLYFFORD STILL (1904-1980) in these pages on the occasion of a Hirshhorn Museum show in 2001, I made the not exactly daring prediction that even though it had been more than twenty years since his death, and even though single-artist...
Antonio Palolo
CULTURGEST Antonio Pablo is mostly known as a self-taught painter whose work veered between Pop and abstraction. His recent exhibition at Culturgest focused instead on his films, revealing a side of his practice that, with a few exceptions (notably...
A Second Life: GREIL MARCUS IMAGINES A CENTURY WITH ROBERT JOHNSON
ON FEBRUARY 21.2012, at the end of a White House blues night, President Obama sang a chorus of Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago." Two weeks later, on March 6, to mark Johnson's centennial, the Apollo Theater in New York staged the tribute concert...
"Caribbean: Crossroads of the World"
EL BARRIO/STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM/QUEENS MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK IN 1949, the great Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier published his novel about the Haitian Revolution, El reino de este mundo (The Kingdom of This World), describing in its preface those...
Collective Body: Christina Kiaer on the Art of Aleksandr Deineka
WHY DEINEKA NOW? At a time when contemporary art is revisiting all forms of figuration, realism, and neoclassicism, it should come as no surprise that the work of Russian artist Aleksandr Deineka (18991969) is garnering new audiences, with four major...
Dennis Adams
KENT FINE ART For his forty-two-minute-long video Malraux's Shoes, 2012, artist Dennis Adams disguises himself as Andre Malraux, a novelist, art historian, and politician who is known in part for his concept of the "museum without walls." Malraux...
Derrick Adams
MILLS GALLERY AT THE BOSTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS Situated within a performing-arts complex, Derrick Adams's exhibition "The World According to Derrick: Performative Objects in Formation" synced nicely with its surroundings. The show, organized by...
Dominique Figarella/Raphael Hefti
GALERIE ART: CONCEIT Two distinct perspectives: French artist Dominique Figarella explores painting, its forms, its space, its material possibilities, its accidents as well as its relationship to the image; Raphael Hefti, from Switzerland, looks...
Elena Asins
KOLDO MITXELENA KULTURUNEA Elena Asins first began exhibiting her work in 1960 at the age of twenty. Yet despite her long-standing presence in the Spanish art world, she can still be considered an outsider in the sense that she has tended to ignore...
Ellen Gronemeyer
KIMMERICH Is that a grin or a rictus? The kooky, bug-eyed faces that leer from the eighteen oil paintings in this exhibition raise the question more than once. Ellen Gronemeyer's first solo exhibition in New York was titled with the German word...
"Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974"
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES GIVEN THE SEISMIC SHIFTS that rocked Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art over the summer, wandering through "Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974" felt a bit uncanny. The exhibition showcases intellectually...
Fabio Mauri
PALAZZO REALE Fabio Mauri was an intellectual par excellence, and while the twentieth century all too readily supplied the subjects of his politically engaged work, it was the age of Enlightenment that provided him with a model of ethical responsibility....
Framed: James Quandt on Robert Bresson's L'Argent (1983)
BEFORE THE MASSACRE OF INNOCENTS in the final twenty minutes of Robert Bresson's L'Argent, the director's last and most drastic film, Bresson pauses his tautly vectored tale of exploitation and revenge to fasten his camera on a coffeepot nestled in...
Franz Erhard Walther
ZKM | CENTER FOR ART AND MEDIA In recent years, the story of Franz Erhard Walther, when told, has been of his influence. A classmate of Gerhard Richter, Sigmar PoIke, and Blinky Palermo at the art academy in Dusseldorf, later the teacher of Martin...
Franz West: 1947-2012
PETER PAKESCH AS SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED in the field of art for a long time, and who sees art as an essential part of human identity, I have always found it a great privilege to be able to watch firsthand the gradual development of an artist. I...
Gretchen Bender
THE POOR FARM Seeing video art as "ghettoized [by] the eighties art world," Gretchen Bender (1951-2004) described herself not as a video artist, but as a visual artist working with television as her material. It is in part because of this wary definition...
Guillaume Bresson
GALERIE NATHALIE OBADIA I probably shouldn't like Guillaume Bresson's work; it's really not my thing. And what kind of thing is that, that's not mine? Well, it's something like what certain Italian critics of the 1980s promoted under labels like...
Hariton Pushwagner
MK GALLERY Visitors were introduced to Hariton Pushwagner's exhibition "Soft City" by an enormous, open mouth, with graphic pink lips and protruding scarlet tongue, painted around the gallery's entrance. But the happy Pop appeal of Mouth, 2012,...
It's Only Rock 'N' Roll
WITH THE BEATLES' FINAL PERFORMANCE on the roof of the Apple Records building at the beginning of 1969, documented in Michael Lindsay-Hogg's film Let It Be (1970), the Rolling Stones' claim to being the greatest rock band in the world was now uncontested....
James Lee Byars
MICHAEL WERNER GALLERY Throughout his long career, the great American mythmaker and Conceptualist James Lee Byars produced performances, sculptures, and installations that contained irreverent allusions to his own demise, from the performance This...
James Welling
DAVID ZWIRNER There are two dominant ways in which photographers have envisioned the landscape of the American West. One, glorying in the land and emphasizing descriptive specificity, is rooted in government-survey pictures of the 1870s; the other,...
Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda
REDCAT Who are Jay & Q? And what have they been doing these past ten years? Nylon flags decorated the walls, each featuring a drawing of two horse heads sporting matching hats, and bearing the same rough script--10 YEARS OF JAY & Q. The...
Jessica Rath
JACK HANLEY Jessica Rath's large-format photographs of apple trees in winter, all made this year, have a kind of alarming beauty. Taken with clinical precision, the ten images portray the barren trees against lengths of white muslin, either alone...
Jonathan Horowitz
1 ORCHARD BEACH PAVILION, BRONX, NY In the mid-1930s, Robert Moses filled in one-third of Pelham Bay to create Orchard Beach, the "Riviera of New York City." No expense was spared on the site's towering modernist pavilion, a crescent-shaped structure...
Kaucyila Brooke
BADISCHER KUNSTVEREIN Explicitly gay perspectives in art can all too easily be interpreted as merely individual permutations of "otherness" or "difference," and now-familiar strategies of camp and queerness can be used to evade essential questions,...
Klaus Lutz
MUSEUMHAUS KONSTRUKTIV The Swiss artist and filmmaker Klaus Lutz's universe was a dense mind-scape, full of imaginary creatures and objects, some of them realistically rendered, others more diagrammatic, fantastical, or stylized. The protagonist...
Marcia De Moraes
GALERIA LEME With an intensity bordering on obsession, the young Brazilian artist Marcia de Moraes questions the nature of coexistence in the six large-scale abstract drawings in colored pencil and graphite--five diptychs and one polyptych--that...
Mark Flood
LUXEMBOURG & DAYAN Mark Flood's exhibition "The Hateful Years," curated by Alison Gingeras and surveying work from 1979 to '89 (though including paintings from 2012), brought a materialist dialectic to lifestyle choices that refuse to distance...
Mateo Lopez:
"THERE ARE OPTICAL ILLUSIONS in time as well as space." For his 2011 exhibition "Maio" (May) at Galeria Luisa Strina in Sao Paulo, Mateo Lopez neatly lifted Marcel Proust's famous words, writing them out in graphite on a crisp white sheet of paper...
Memory Wars: Benjamin Paul on the Gemaldegalerie
THIS SUMMER, old-master paintings were--for once--a hot topic. The Gemaldegalerie, the branch of Berlin's state museums long celebrated for its world-class collection of late-medieval to eighteenth-century art, might soon have a new purpose: housing...
Michael Bell-Smith
FOXY PRODUCTION There's a pretty vacancy at the heart of Michael Bell-Smith's four new videos that is as nauseous as anything in Sartre. Drawing on the fatally bland aesthetic of the stock shot and the digital template, Bell-Smith's recent exhibition...
Mickalene Thomas
SANTA MONICA MUSEUM OF ART Courbet's L'Origine du monde (The Origin of the World), 1866, was staged to great effect in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 2008 retrospective, where a protective wall, rather than secreting it away, none too subtly called...
Patrick Staff
MONTE VISTA PROJECTS Since the summer of 2007, Monte Vista Projects has operated as an artist-run cooperative space in Los Angeles's Highland Park neighborhood. The venue's commitment to communal programming made it an apt location for London-based...
Paul Pfeiffer
PAULA COOPER GALLERY To Johan Huizinga, author of the classic 1938 study Homo Ludens, it is the healthy, energetic civilization that is able to constantly engender new forms of play, whereas in decadent societies, highly organized systems of recreation...
Petrit Halilaj
KUNST HALLE SANKT GALLEN The installation It is the first time dear, that you have a human shape (all works 2012) opened this solo show by Kosovar artist Petrit Halilaj. One might be tempted to describe it as a sort of neo-Povera assemblage made...
"Picasso and Francoise Gilot: Paris-Vallauris 1943-1953"
GAGOSIAN GALLERY The details of Pablo Picasso's public and private life are by now well known. No artist of parallel celebrity (is there one?) has been so written about--often enough in records as delightful to read as they are fundamental to art...
Sara Barker
STUART SHAVE/MODERN ART Sara Barker's thoughtful, delicate constructions of wire, metal, and canvas were the quietest, slowest objects on view in London this Olympic summer. Standing on the floor at approximately human height, or wall-mounted and...
Sarah Oppenheimer
P.P.O.W A thoroughly serious and accomplished maker, and unmaker, of both space and structure, Sarah Oppenheimer intervenes in architectural environments in ways that not only destabilize and reorganize the physical facts of those given sites, but...
Sarnath Banerjee
CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS Best known for his graphic novels Corridor (2004), The Barn Owl's Wondrous Capers (2007), and The Harappa Files (2011), Berlin-based Indian artist Sarnath Banerjee expanded the presentation of his cultural and historical...
Simryn Gill
My Own Private Angkor, 2007-2009, is a document that looks like a dream. Simryn Gill's suite of ninety black-and-white photographs, which has previously been exhibited at the 2011 Istanbul Biennial, was taken near Port Dickson, Malaysia, a seaside...
Social Realism: Isabelle Graw on the Art of Jana Euler
YOU ARE YOUR NETWORK. This aphorism, freely adapted from theater director Rene Pollesch's 2012 play Kill Your Darlings, trenchantly captures the new worth of connections and friendships in contemporary life. Of course, it is a well-known fact that...
"Theatre of the World"
HOBART, AUSTRALIA MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW ART Alternately described as a Bond villain's lair or a subversive Disneyland for adults, MONA, the Museum of Old and New Art, has been serving up an anachronist's menu of dismembered culture since opening...
"The Small Utopia. Ars Multiplicata"
FONDAZIONE PRADA Can an exhibition structured historically extend its reach to the very recent past without losing its scholarly legitimacy in favor of offering a reflection on contemporaneity? Can it adhere to a sense of the present better than...
User-Friendly: Jakob Schillinger on Digital Labor
"IMAGINE A WORLD WITHOUT FREE KNOWLEDGE." To help the public envision such a scenario, Wikipedia went black for twenty-four hours on January 18, 2012, emblazoning its front page with that ominous slogan. In support of this action, protesters took to...
Vadim Fiskin
GALERIJA GREGOR PODNAR Vadim Fain makes art. "Well," you might ask, "so what else is new?" As empty as the statement may sound, it really encapsulates Fgkin's practice: His objects and installations look as simple and blunt as that sentence, and...
Woman in Revolt: Rachel Kushner on Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli's Anna (1975)
"HOSPITALS, PRISONS, AND BARRACKS ARE LIKE THIS. Once you're in, you're screwed. ... You're sick because you don't understand their medicine," says Vincenzo Mazza as he encounters, and diagnoses with astonishing clarity, the repressive nature of life...
Wooster Enterprises
CHURNER AND CHURNER It's a pathetic scene. Painful, even. In 1930s Paris, Marcel Duchamp hawks his Rotoreliefs from a booth at the Inventors' Fair. "Like a smiling salesgirl," Henri-Pierre Roche would recall. Obviously, Duchamp won't be the last...
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