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. 7, March

Abraham Cruzvillegas
An artist and member of the International Taoist Taichi Society, Abraham Cruzvillegas lives and works in Mexico City. In the past year, he participated in Documenta 13 in Kassel, won the Fifth Yanghyun Prize in Seoul, and presented a solo show at Mexico...
"Acts of Voicing": Wurttembergischer Kunstverein
The voice has been a major theme in contemporary political theory, especially since Judith Butler began directing attention to the potential violence of speech, for instance in her 1997 book Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative. The great...
Aida Makoto: Mori Art Museum
Japanese artist Aida Makoto plays the devil's advocate, tweaking his nation's collective conscience by opening a Pandora's box of issues from which most of his compatriots typically avert their eyes. For example, his "War Picture Returns" series, 1995-2003,...
Alicja Kwade: Harris Lieberman
Alicja Kwade's exhibition "The Heavy Weight of Light" had a laboratorial cleanliness appropriate to its outward focus on scientific phenomena. In a precision-tooled array of sculptural-sensorial tableaux, the Berlin-based artist tested a variety of...
All That Is Solid: Brian Dillon on Helen Marten's Peanuts, 2012
IN A COMMERCIAL for Weber's bread from the late 1960s, Linus, the stripe-shirted boy from Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic strip, instructs Charlie Brown's sister, Sally, who has forgotten to bring an object to school for show-and-tell, simply to present...
"All the Best People": 1:1
One year ago, artists Jarrett Earnest, Leigha Mason, Alex Sloane, and Whitney Vangrin opened a small space on the second floor of 121 Essex Street. Called 1:1, it served, variously, as exhibition space, film set, studio, dining room, guest apartment,...
Amelie Bertrand: Semiose Galerie
Featuring a limited palette of matte oil paints, whose saturated hues channel something of the bright, flat light of David Hockney's Los Angeles poolscapes, Amelie Bertrand's surrealist environments are as enticing as they are disconcerting. An odd...
Anne Chu: Kunstmuseen krefeld/Museum Haus Lange
"Animula vagula blandula" (Pale Little Vagabond Soul), the title of this exhibition, which reads like a cantata of sonorous vowels, is the opening line of a poem by the Roman emperor Hadrian. In these words are echoes of sensuality, playfulness, and...
"Becoming Van Gogh": Denver Art Museum
Vincent van Gogh's last years--which witnessed the production of such canvases as The Starry Night, 1889, and Wheatfield with Crows, 1890; the ear episode; and his untimely demise--exert an inexorable pull, often serving to define the Post-Impressionist's...
"Blues for Smoke": THE GEFFEN CONTEMPORARY AT MOCA, LOS ANGELES
STANDING AT THE THRESHOLD of "Blues for Smoke," one could see the following, reading from foreground to background: a video monitor playing Richard Pryor Live in Concert (1979); a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat; portraits of Jean Genet, Charlie Parker,...
Burden of Proof: Tom Holert on Contemporary Art and Responsibility
ONTOLOGICAL TROUBLE In our age of fatigue and collapse, it is harder than ever to know what we mean when we speak about "art." Art has always been entangled with power, its autonomy and self-definition thus perpetually troubled. But today, as finance...
Cinthia Marcelle: Centro Cultural Banco Do Brasil
Cinthia Marcelle is a young Brazilian artist who has gained international recognition in the past few years (she won the Future Generation Art Prize in 2010). If there are connections to be drawn between her work and that of her contemporaries, one...
David Ostrowski
THE DESKILLING OF ARTISTIC PRODUCTION is a century-old story. But the "smell of turpentine" that Duchamp so detested has not proved all that easy to leave behind, nor have the qualities--composition, pictoriality, Romantic creativity, the aesthetic--that...
Egyptomania: Nasser Rabbat on "Tea with Nefertiti"
"NEVER DID THE LABOR OF MAN show me the human race in such a splendid point of view. In the ruins of Tentyra the Egyptians appeared to me giants," exclaimed Dominique-Vivant Denon when, in the winter of 1798, he encountered the temple now known as...
El Anatsui: Jack Shainman Gallery
By now the story of El Anatsui is famous: In 1995, a Ghanaian artist in his fifties who lives in Nigeria, in an off-the-beaten-track town called Nsukka, has his first one-man show with a London gallery. Over the next fifteen-plus years, he shows extensively,...
Elliott Carter
PAUL GRIFFITHS FOR ALMOST A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, we cheered Elliott Carter on, as he approached and passed the age of eighty, then ninety, then a hundred. And he cheered us with his continuing productivity. At 103, he was still busy composing pieces...
Esteban Vicente: Ameringer / Mcenery / Yohe
Esteban Vicente died in 2001, having lived to the ripe age of ninety-seven and worked to the end. It was not a bitter end, as his last paintings--thirteen of which were on view in this exhibition--indicate. Made between 1998 and 2000, these bright,...
Facing the City: Todd Reisz on Benthem Crouwel's Stedelijk Museum Expansion
For some reason, monumental buildings do not work in Amsterdam. ... The monumentality of Amsterdam exists only in the heads of its inhabitants, not on the streets.--Geert Mak, Amsterdam: A Brief Life of the City (1994) GEERT MAK, a popular Dutch...
Florian Hecker: Sadie Coles
In previous London shows, sound artist Florian Hecker pursued a kind of sonic sculpture, configuring his speakers carefully in space--some-times bunched in groups, at others forming irregular lines--in order to precisely calibrate the sonic qualities...
Frank Ammerlaan: Upstream Gallery
There's something unsettling about the beauty of Frank Ammerlaan's paintings. Their surfaces look almost like pools of oil suspended on water: Hallucinatory rainbow colors form voluptuous clouds that are delicate, all-encompassing, sublime. Yet their...
Gestural Abstractions: Alexander Provan on Touch Screens
APPLE HAS FILED PATENTS for Pinch-to-Zoom, Slide-to-Unlock, Multifinger Twisting, Double-Tap-to-Zoom, and Over-Scroll Bounce, aka Rubber-Banding, among other functional finger gestures. The company is indisputably striving to corner the market on how...
Giorgio Griffa: Casey Kaplan Gallery
"Fragments 1968-2012" was the first solo exhibition of Giorgio Griffa's work in New York since 1970, and the first time since 1973 that the artist's paintings have been shown anywhere in the city at all. Sadly, it got off to a rocky start. Just four...
Giovanni Kronenberg: Studio Guenzani
Giovanni Kronenberg is a collector of marvels. In order of appearance, starting from the gallery entrance, there were three sea sponges, a three-hundred-year-old tree root, and a whale vertebra: five found objects with which the artist transformed...
Henry Flynt: Kunstverein Fur Die Rheinlande Und Westfalen
The Kunstverein in Dusseldorf pulled off a coup with "Henry Flynt: Activities 1959--," the "first institutional solo show" of the seventy-two-year-old artist, traveling from the kunstverein to ZKM I Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (March 2--May...
Image Resolution: John-Paul Stonard on Richard Hamilton's le Chef-D'oeuvre Inconnu
RICHARD HAMILTON'S Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu--a painting in three parts, 2011, was left unfinished at the time of the artist's death, at the age of eighty-nine, in September 2011. Whereas he had originally intended the work to be a single painting,...
"In Search of Time": Broad Art Museum at Msu
With ribbed sides flaring like the gills of some steely fish, Zaha Hadid's new building for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University does anything but rest on its Grand River Avenue plot. This importunate assembly of angles...
Jan Kotik: Jiri Svestka Berlin
Why are we so in love with the art of the 1960s and '70s? Maybe because in our times of nostalgia and ironic detachment, it promises to satisfy a very contemporary desire for authenticity. Artists from that period, we feel, were exploring, not revisiting;...
Jay DeFeo: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Jay DeFeo labored obsessively over her legendary painting The Rose, nearly exclusively from 1958 to 1966. The work became so dense with pigment during those eight years that when she and her husband, Wally Hedrick, were evicted from their Fillmore...
Jordan Wolfson: REDCAT
Jordan Wolfson appears in his Raspberry Poser, 2012--a fourteen-minute video that premiered this winter at LA's REDCAT--as a shaven-headed punk, his leather jacket emblazoned with the names of the Clash and the Jam, his bovver boots kicking up dust...
Jozef Robakowski: Zak / Branicka
"Der Linie nach" (Along the Line), a recent exhibition of work by leading Polish avant-garde filmmaker Jozef Robakowski, took as its cohesive ingredient a simple formal element: the line. Not in itself a particularly compelling theme, it is nevertheless...
Jules De Balincourt: COLLEZIONE MARAMOTTI
"Parallel Universe," Jules de Balincourt's first solo show at an Italian institution, includes five paintings from 2012, each different in subject and content. That all were painted around the same time helps make it clear that this body of work may...
Letha Wilson: Higher Pictures
How does an artist become both modish and quaint? Both timely and anachronistic? Such is the predicament of Letha Wilson. In photography circles, the conversation seesaws between ontology and social function--that is, between a modernist concern with...
Lin Tianmiao: Asia Society
Lin Tianmiao's works, gathered here in her first retrospective, flesh out her evolving relationship with organic fibers while revealing that the sophisticated and collective processes by which she produces her sculptures and installations has remained...
Luc Tuymans: David Zwirner
Has it ever been summer in Luc Tuymans's paintings? I doubt it. So by titling his most recent exhibition "The Summer Is Over," was Tuymans just promising more of what we've learned to expect from him? Not quite. Although the saturnine sensibility and...
Manfred Pernice: Konrad Fischer Galerie
Manfred Pernice's exhibition "blubber(t)" opened in a room filled with wooden boxes of varying sizes stacked one on top of the other like pyramids, lacquered in solid-white blocks and lines of colors such as turquoise, fluorescent lime green, and deep...
Marcel Van Eeden: Galerie in Situ/fabienne Leclerc, Paris
Since 1993, Marcel van Eeden has adopted a daily practice of making pencil-and-charcoal drawings, black and white with the occasional introduction of color. The accumulation of drawings marks the passage of his existence, yet the works do not depict...
"Matisse: In Search of True Painting": METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK
SOMETIME DURING the summer of 1906, in the French border town of Collioure, a teenager named Camille Calmon sat down to model for Henri Matisse. Matisse completed two paintings of Calmon in sailor's clothes. Young Sailor I possesses the brilliant color,...
Miguel Rio Branco: Galeria Millan
Following an artist's career for more than twenty years, we construct a memory of him as an amalgam of images and experiences that have fascinated us and come to belong to us. I'll never forget the first works I saw by Miguel Rio Branco: photographs...
New Objectivity: Maria Lind Talks with Doug Ashford
Both pedagogue and painter, Doug Ashford is a founding member of the collective Group Material, whose radical work defined an era of activism in art. In his current solo practice. Ashford explores the means by which abstraction--despite its historical...
Nick Relph: Gavin Brown's Enterprise
In Nick Relph's recent exhibition, two rhyming rooms recalled a garage, while a pair of framed portraits--showing dealer Gavin Brown by parked cars--hinted at one of the building's past functions. In the first gallery, twelve upright car wheels stood...
Nikolas Gambaroff: Overduin and Kite
Last September, Ei Arakawa commenced his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, "I am an employee of UNITED, Vol. 2," at Overduin and Kite (Volume One preceded at Galerie Neu in Berlin), with a performance skewering the model of the peregrine, contemporary...
Norman Zammitt: Carter & Citizen
Here's a telling anecdote about Norman Zammitt's large-scale paintings: His monumental North Wall, 1977, which featured prominently in the J. Paul Getty Museum's "Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970," was...
Optical Drive: Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer Talks with Laura Owens
"THE EIGHTIES CALLED, They Want Their Painting Back": This was one of LAURA OWENS's nicknames for a recent work, whose acid neons and dragged filigrees certainly suggest a gleeful bout with MacPaint circa 1984. But then again, the '80s never looked...
Origin Myth: Sarah K. Rich on Trisha Donnelly at MOMA
TAKE ALFRED H. BARR JR.'S famous flowchart of Cubist and abstract art, ca. 1936, and bend it back so that it makes a long cylinder. Make sure the edges overlap a bit so Redon (that hermetic sensualist whom Barr shoved over to the sinister side of his...
Paolo Gonzato: A Palazzo Gallery
Inside an eighteenth-century palazzo, two opulently decorated rooms boast frescoed ceilings, marble fireplaces, and an arch decorated with gilded stucco. Such spaces are extremely beautiful but fraught with traps when, as in this case, they become...
Raoul De Keyser: 1930-2012
LUC TUYMANS THE WORK OF RAOUL DE KEYSER, although informal and abstract, comes across to me as extremely personal, highly specific, and fully based on Raoul's own interiorized visual experience of the reality around him. In this sense, Raoul, for...
Richard Artschwager: WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART, NEW YORK
FITTINGLY, PERHAPS, for someone who enjoyed his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the age of forty-two, Richard Artschwager often played the roles of both wise guy and wise man in relation to his peers. Though commonly pigeonholed as an odd, idiosyncratic...
Richard Hughes: Tramway
Over two walls of the expansive gallery housing Richard Hughes's largest exhibition to date, "Where It All Happened Once," a network of rusting pipes spelled out the word NOWHERE. Titled Sleeping Rust, 2012, this piece suggested a regional hinterland--forgotten...
Robin Rhode: Lehmann Maupin
The protagonist of Robin Rhode's photographic works, who is played either by the artist or a stand-in for him, is a fellow in casual street gear--puffer jacket, sneakers, watch cap, sunglasses. His face is almost always turned from the camera, his...
"Rural North China, 1947-1948": Taikang Space
In today's People's Republic of China, little is explicitly Communist, save perhaps the Chinese Communist Party itself. The country's socialist period is rife with thorny, unprobed complexities, a legacy so fraught and out of step with that of today's...
Scott Hocking: Susanne Hilberry Gallery
Mixing the documentary mode with lyrical fiction, "The End of the World," Scott Hocking's recent show at Susanne Hilberry Gallery, presented Detroit as a surrealist archive: a site of contradictions in which revolutionary energy erupts from abject...
Shine on You Crazy Diamond: TIM GRIFFIN ON RODNEY ASCHER'S ROOM 237
BY SO MANY MEASURES, Room 237 is a diminutive film. Directed by Rodney Ascher (reputed for his 2010 short, S from Hell), it is restricted in scope to the interwoven commentaries of five devotees of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 classic, The Shining, whose...
Stephanie Taylor: Samuel Freeman
By boggling the name of gallerist "Sam Freeman," LA artist Stephanie Taylor arrived at "Swam Sea Span," the title of her recent show at his space. These three words, in turn, generated not just a punning narrative but also a set of related art pieces--six...
Sung Hwan Kim
FOR SUNG HWAN KIM, ideas are less the thing than stories. "I know that it doesn't matter if things are true or not," Kim begins in From the Commanding Heights ..., 2007. "But this is a true story." He launches into a narrative that starts out believably...
Tal R: Cheim & Read
The Copenhagen-based artist Tal R is a catholic sort, having made sculpture, installations, clothing, and more as well as paintings, and having ventured into theater, music, dance, and other fields. His art has appeared in both solo and group shows...
The Illustrated Man: Tony Pipolo Talks with Filmmaker Lewis Klahr
FOR MORE THAN THREE DECADES, Lewis Klahr has been among the most prolific and original avant-garde film and video artists in America, producing over seventy-five works to date. A perennial presence in the New York Film Festival's Views from the Avant-Garde,...
Things Not Necessarily Meant to Be Viewed as Art: Jeffrey Weiss on the Crisis of the Object
WHAT DOES IT MEAN to speak of the "status of the object" in art? The phrase has generally been deployed in discussions around the unfixed material identity of the aesthetic object in the postmodern era. When used this way, it is meant to signal, among...
Thomas Barrow: Derek Eller Gallery
This exhibition surveyed more than thirty-five years of photographer Thomas Barrow's art, from the early series "Cancellations," 1974-81, for which he first became widely known, to a recent body of work, "Detritus Bags," 2009--, made by placing objects...
Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt: MoMA PS1
Pick any single work by Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, and chances are it glows. Or sparkles, or shimmers, or, at the very least, reflects light, thanks to some medley of the glitter, foil, theatrical gel, tinsel, cellophane, neon tape, floor shine, and vinyl...
Trisha Baga: Greene Naftali gallery/Whitney Museum of American Art
I once considered Trisha Baga a video artist, but the appellation doesn't really fit any longer. Increasingly over the past two years, Baga has allowed the objects that have always accumulated around her projections--which she composes from off-the-cuff...
Tula Plumi: Can Christina Androulidaki Gallery
In her recent show "Interspace," Tula Plumi flirted with the duplicity of perception in both sculpture and works on paper. The ensemble was introduced by multicolored upright cylinders, two untitled 2012 works from her "Lines and Circles" series, 2011-,...
Vicious Habits: J. HOBERMAN ON CRISTIAN MUNGIU'S BEYOND THE HILLS
BEYOND THE HILLS, Cristian Mungiu's new film, is in some ways the quintessential expression of the Romanian New Wave that broke at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival with the international premiere of Cristi Puiu's Death of Mr. Lazarescu and reached its...
Victor Lind: Kunstnernes Hus
Not long ago, survivors of World War II were still writing, testifying, and giving interviews. But now that the last members of that generation are passing away, the responsibility for telling the stories of the war is being handed over from those...
Waltercio Caldas: FUNDACAO IBERE CAMARGO, PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL
IT IS NOTORIOUSLY DIFFICULT to translate an encounter with Waltercio Caldas's work into words. As soon as one attempts to articulate the effects of his production, one betrays one's own experience and thus the work's force. This very difficulty, however,...
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