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. 53, No. 4, December

31st Sao Paulo Bienal
IN THEIR INTRODUCTION to the catalogue for this year's Sao Paulo Bienal, the exhibition's seven-member curatorial collective make a statement that is sure to arouse a measure of ambivalence, to say the least: "Beyond all scientific or economic arguments,"...
Adam Putnam
P. P.O.W Exhibitions by Adam Putnam test the boundaries between architecture and bodies--specifically his own. The New York-based and-born artist explores this theme in a number of ways, most notably through a particularly uneasy brand of performance:...
Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato
GALERIA BERGAMIN "He doesn't belong to cliques / He paints what he feels like painting / Amen." Amadeo Luciano Lorenzato (1900-1995) wrote this prayer on the reverse side of an untitled painting from 1948. And indeed, Lorenzato was an artist who...
Amy Feldman
BLACKSTON There's a photograph in the catalogue for Amy Feldman's exhibition "High Sign" that depicts one of her large square canvases being winched out of the artist's Brooklyn studio. As the painting hovers momentarily in front of an open garage...
Amy Taubin
GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (Jean-Luc Godard) The 3-D of past, present, and future; more intimate than spectacular. although the eyes boggle as well as the mind. As revolutionary as Breathless was fifty-four years ago. 2 BOYHOOD (Richard Linklater) A six-year-old...
Ana Torts
WIELS CONTEMPORARY ART CENTRE Each year, Wiels devotes a museum-scale exhibition to a major Belgian artist, curated by the institution's director and founder, Dirk Snauwaert. In contrast to the lush 2013 display of 124 paintings that spanned...
Andy Coolquitt
LISA COOLEY An extended investigation into the character and qualities of things-in-the-world, Andy Coolquitt's practice situates objects in compelling, provocative reciprocity with the viewer. Coolquitt is at base a committed devotee of stuff--what...
Annette Kelm
GIO MARCONI Most of the photographs in Annette Kelm's show "In the Realm of" depict displays or exhibits of one kind or another, some already existing, others constructed by the artist in her studio. She gives in to the pleasure of letting herself...
Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri
TENSTA KONSTHALL In their exhibition "The Paths to the Common(s) Are Infinite," Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri explored the great themes of the era that began with the 2008 financial crisis--the all-pervasive power of money, the disciplining effect...
Bernardo Ortiz
CASAS RIEGNER Bernardo Ortiz's work often involves the rewriting and reconceptualization of images. Using drawing as his favorite technique, he takes existing images and pictures them anew, frequently via obsolete processes. Such transformations...
Bernd Ribbeck
GALERE KAMM When Joanna Kamm announced, in July, that her gallery would close at the end of September, an exhibition by German painter Bernd Ribbeck--his fourth with Kamm--had already been slotted for that month. A September show coincides with...
Body by Body/Odilon Redon: Chateau Shatto
Without a hiccup, the Los Angeles--based entity Body by Body--artists Melissa Sachs and Cameron Soren, whose joint efforts constitute a single practice--digested Chateau Shatto's curatorial imposition of four black-and-white lithographs by French Symbolist...
Body Doubles: Chamayou, Gregoire
THIS YEAR, LIKE EVERY OTHER YEAR, brought a crop of indispensable new gadgets, all of which will soon be dispensed with and replaced by newer, more stylish, and equally short-lived objects of consumers' desire. In September, Apple unveiled its latest...
Books: Nine Scholars, Curators, Writers, and Artists Choose the Year's Outstanding Titles
CARROLL DUNHAM Extreme-sports memoirs don't interest me much, and James Nestor's Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science. and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) would seem to be just that: a lengthy investigation of the...
Bruce Weber
DETROIT INSTITUTE OF ARTS In its simultaneously celebratory and critical framing of stereotypical Detroit in its current, postindustrial state, Bruce Weber's recent exhibition was a welcome visualization of the Motor City. Comprising more than eighty...
Christine Macel
1 BRAZILIAN MODERNISM Two thousand fourteen was the year of the great modernist Brazilian trio of Hetio Oiticica, Lygia Clark, and Mira Schendel, each granted his or her own retrospective. The Oiticica exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art,...
"Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness": Museum of Modern Art, New York
LOCATED AT THE VERY HEART of Christopher Williams's retrospective, "The Production Line of Happiness," at the Museum of Modern Art in New York was an image that stood apart for seeming at once so incongruous and yet utterly representative of the artist's...
Chuck Nanney
JENNY'S The sculptures that constituted "BODY PARTS & ORACLES," Chuck Nanney's first solo exhibition in more than a decade, abide by a lurid color scheme of lime green, neon pink, scarlet, and cerulean, which cumulatively generated an electric...
Daniel Birnbaum: Daniel Birnbaum Is the Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Where Next Summer He Will Co-Organize, with a Multi-Institutional Team of Curators, "After Babel," a Polyphonic Exhibition about Art, Poetry, and Translation
1 "KANDINSKY. MALEVICH. MONDRIAN: THE INFINITE WHITE ABYSS" (K20 KUNSTSAMMLUNG NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN. DUSSELDORF: CURATED BY MARION ACKERMANN AND ISABELLE MALZ WITH ANSGAR LORENZ) In a nice twist to the ubiquity of the modernist black square, this excellent...
David Rimanelli
1 SIGMAR POLKE (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART. NEW YORK: CURATED BY KATHY HALBREICH WITH MARK GODFREY AND LANKA TATTERSALL) This has been rather an annus mirabilis for the Modern, which at one point this summer offered, simultaneously, extraordinary exhibitions...
Dennis McNulty
LIMERICK CITY GALLERY OF ART One way to begin decoding Dennis McNulty's tech-savvy, aesthetically impersonal work might be, perversely, to consider two key aspects of his biography. First, McNulty's main training was not in art but in engineering,...
Desire Machine Collective: Project 88/galerie Max Mueller
Hailing from Assam in strife-ridden northeast India, Desire Machine Collective has participated in shows at premier venues such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, and Paris's Palais de Tokyo, and has...
Elena Filipovic
1 PIERRE HUYGHE (CENTRE POMPIDOU. PARIS: CURATED BY EMMA LAVIGNE) Three hours into my first of several visits to this show, I called several people (breathless, one remembered) to tell them to drop everything and come see it. It wasn't just that a...
Emanuel Rossetti: Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland
IT SHOULDN'T HAVE WORKED: just some red carpeting on the floors and walls, speakers, five small bells, an image pasted on an otherwise empty wall, and sound. These were the sparse ingredients of Swiss artist Emanuel Rossetti's first institutional solo...
Francisco Ruiz De Infante
GALERIA ELBA BENITEZ Francisco Ruiz de Infante is among the best Spanish artists working with moving images. As a teenager in the midto late 1980s, he was already making Super 8 films that evidenced his inclination for textured images, which he...
Gabriel Orozco
MARIAN GOODMAN GALLERY Coming to Gabriel Orozco's work a generation late, I find it difficult to imagine the impact it had when it was first presented to New Yorkers in the form of the legendary installation Yogurt Caps at Marian Goodman Gallery...
"Gego: Line as Object": Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK
WHAT DOES SCULPTURE BECOME when it is suspended in space, containing nothing but air? What does drawing become without paper to provide its surface? The work that the German-born artist Gego (who emigrated to Venezuela in 1939) made in Caracas from...
George Lewis
1 STEVEN SCHICK (Miller Theatre, Columbia University, New York, January 30 and February 1) Not once during Schick's journey through some of the most complex music for percussion ever written did a single page of music appear. Instead, as if preparing...
Geta Bratescu: University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
"Geta Bratescu," the artist's first solo exhibition in the United States, gave a pithy introduction to this pioneering figure of Romanian Conceptual art. Organized by Apsara DiQuinzio as part of the MATRIX program at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific...
Hannah Hoch: Whitechapel Gallery, London
Left: Hannah Hoch, Kleine Sonne (Little Sun), 1969, collage. 63/8 x 91/2". Above: Hannah Hoch, Untitled. 1929. photomontage and collage, 191/4 x 123/4. From the series "Aus einem ethnographischen Museum" (From an Ethnographic Museum). 1924-30. ...
Heather Guertin
BRENNAN & GRIFFIN With "Development," her second solo show (following in quick succession from her first, held this past January in Brooklyn), Heather Guertin confronted viewers with ten largish paintings packed into a fairly small space. The...
Helidon Gjergji: NATIONAL GALLERY OF ARTS
The titular centerpiece of Helidon Gjergji's show "e-mages," at the National Gallery of Arts, is a slide show in which fragmented photos of Joseph Stalin's family and friends are projected onto a shattered mirror lying on the floor in front of the...
Henry Flynt
AUDIO VISUAL ARTS (AVA) The philosopher, artist, musician, and one-time hard leftist Henry Flynt has engaged questions of bourgeois culture, formalism, and modernist aesthetics since at least 1961, when he coined the term "Concept Art" (not to be...
James Bishop
This thoughtfully selected, beautifully installed show of James Bishop's work--his first solo exhibition in New York since 1987--opened with four small paintings, all from 2012, of the sort to which the eighty-seven-year-old artist has devoted himself...
James Quandt
I GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (Jean-Luc Godard) Godard's thrilling valediction bids farewell to the word and the world, its 3-0 effects evoking both the antic (GoPro) and the antique (stereoscope). 2 AMOUR FOU (Jessica Hausner) One of the great films about...
J. Hoberman
I GOODBYE TO LANGUAGE (Jean-Luc Godard) J-LG's first 3-D movie bids farewell to one language and invents another, which is pretty much what this transcendent film artist has been doing for more than half a century. 2 INHERENT VICE (Paul Thomas Anderson)...
John Waters
I MAPS TO THE STARS (David Cronenberg) Hilariously funny and, dare I say it, yes, pernicious. I love this film more than I love my own mustache. 2 CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO (Robert Berger. Patrick Daniels, and Karlyn Michelson) A nail-biting, fear-of-flying...
Jules De Balincourt
GALERIE THADDAEUS ROPAC Jules de Balincourt's exhibition of twenty new paintings reprised his signature naive-style landscapes and portraits in oil on wood. But new to the French-born, US-raised and-based artist's characteristically dys-topian and...
Kate Shepherd
GALERIE LELONG The surfaces of Kate Shepherd's paintings in "Fwd: The Telephone Game" are glossy, rich, and warm, even when the colors are cool. Made on large wood panels, the works feature compositions of thin white lines in oil applied to unmodulated...
Kathleen Hanna
I GIRLS ROCK CAMP ALLIANCE The best rock/rap shows in the US, South America, Europe, Iceland, and Canada are at the Girls Rock Camp showcases that happen every summer. Seven- to seventeen-year-olds take the stage for the first time and perform original...
Katinka Bock
GALERJE JOCELYN WOLFF In Katinka Bock's recent exhibition "Populonia," everything was a matter of fluidity--fluidity not just of gaze, but also quite literally of water, which periodically flowed through two transparent tubes winding their way across...
Laure Prouvost
GALERIE NATHALIE OBADIA Smeared with mud, Laure Prouvost's letter of invitation for her exhibition "This is the visit" announced a tea party and an evening of "fond-razing" for her Grand Dad, described elsewhere as "a very close friend of Kurt Schwitters"...
Lee Minwei: Mori Art Museum
"Lee Mingwei and His Relations: The Art of Participation--Seeing, Conversing, Gift-Giving, Writing, Dining and Getting Connected to the World": the ambitious but unwieldy title of this retrospective exhibition spanning twenty years is deliberately...
Lynne Cooke
1 ROBERT GOBER (MUSEUM OF MODERN ART. NEW YORK: CURATED BY ANN TEMKIN WITH PAULINA POBOCHA) Enormously impressive, this exhibition evidences an exceptional level of commitment on the part of the artist, curator, and institution. Though Gober's mapping...
Marcel Storr
ANDREW EDLIN GALLERY Marcel Storr (1911-1976) was a self-taught, so-called outsider artist who lived and worked in Paris, initially at Les HaIles food market, later as a street sweeper in the Bois de Boulogne. Abandoned by his mother at the age...
Mary Kelly
PIPPY HOULDSWORTH GALLERY One line in the 1959 Situationist film from which Mary Kelly's exhibition "On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time" took its name hovered over the show: "When freedom is practiced in a closed...
Mary Reid Kelley
PILAR CORRIAS Mary Reid Kelley's nearly nine-minute black-and-white video Swinburne's Pasiphae, 2014, and its accompanying handmade props and drawings constitute the second installment in the artist's ongoing trilogy based on the life of the Minotaur,...
Matthew Higgs
1 MAMMAN SANI. TAARITT (Sahel Sounds) This future-thinking, synth-heavy Saharan folk album was recorded in Niger and France in the late 1980s but was only released this year. It's hard for me to remember what life was like without Sani's exquisite...
Mel Bochner
CONCISELY, SUCCINCTLY, PITHILY, "Mel Bochner: Strong Language" opened with two works, both titled Self/Portrait--the first, from 1966, ink on graph paper; the second, from 2013, oil on canvas. In each, the words SELF and PORTRAIT sat atop parallel...
Michael Raedecker
GALERIE MAX HETZLER When a painter embroiders a canvas, it is hard not to wonder what this technique--in a sense, drawing with a needle--means in terms of content. In the case of Michael Raedecker, it seems to have been a radical gesture against...
Mickalene Thomas
KAVI GUPTA GALLERY On the heels of Mickalene Thomas's widely screened HBO documentary Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman (2012) comes "I was born to do great things," yet another heartfelt exhibition dedicated to Sandra Bush, Thomas's late mother...
"Morris Louis: Veils": Mnuchin Gallery, New York
MICHAEL FRIED A RECENT REVIEW OF SHOWS by Helen Frankenthaler at Gagosian Gallery and Morris Louis at Mnuchin Gallery gave New Yorker critic Peter Schjeldahl the chance to express his considered views on Color Field painting: Color-field reacted...
Nervous System: Michelle Kuo Talks with William Gibson
IF IT WEREN'T FOR WILLIAM GIBSON, we would hardly know ourselves. The science-fiction writer's works have perpetually revealed and predicted our condition: what it is and what it will become. From Neuromancer (1984) to his new novel, The Peripheral,...
Nicolaus Schafhausen
1 "SPECULATIONS ON ANONYMOUS MATERIALS" (FRIDERICIANUM. KASSEL; CURATED BY SUSANNE PFEFFER) Announcing a high threshold for risk by giving pride of place to the collective GCC's kitsch sci-fi mural, which loomed over the museum's atrium, Pfeffer inaugurated...
Pauline J. Yao
1 HONG KONG PROTESTS As is the case with any question of cultural identity, what it means to be Hong Kong Chinese today is constantly evolving. On September 28, as young people took to the streets demanding true democracy, a crucial new phase of self-definition...
Paulo Nazareth
MEN DES WOOD DM Upon entering the gallery's warehouse space during the opening of this exhibition, the visitor was greeted by the sound of an unusual chant and the smell of home-cooked food. The aroma was of traditional Brazilian fare offered visitors...
Phyllida Barlow
TATE BRITAIN Over the past decade, Phyllida Barlow has deservedly moved from being a cult artist to exhibiting on the international circuit. This year saw a triple bill from the septuagenarian, including a retrospective of drawings at Hauser &...
Polly Staple: Polly Staple Is the Director of Chisenhale Gallery in London, Where She Is Currently Working on Projects with Wojciech Kosma, Nicholas Mangan, and Jumana Manna, among Others. See Contributors
1 TRISHA DONNELLY (SERPENTINE GALLERY. LONDON: CURATED BY EMMA ENDERBY AND MICHAEL GAUGHAN) Donnelly's consistent refusal to conform to conventional exhibition formats has allowed her to create something increasingly rare in our age of nonstop streaming...
"Puddle, Pothole, Portal"
SCULPTURECENTER "Puddle, pothole, portal": Repeat the title five times fast and you might have some clue as to this exhibition's exuberant slipups. Not just the tongue trips: You must always watch your step here, a feat still easier said than done...
Richard Smith
GALERIE GISELA CAPITAIN In his wonderful book We Have Never Been Modern--the original, Nous n'avons jamais ete modernes, came out in 1991--the French sociologist Bruno Latour shines a spotlight on the ways in which Western modernism was obsessed...
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer: Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer Is a Writer in Los Angeles Who Publishes the Journal Pep Talk, Co-Runs the Finley Exhibition Space, and Teaches at the University of Southern California. She Is the Author of Lee Lozano: Dropout Piece (Afterall, 2014)
1 356 S. MISSION RD., LOS ANGELES As soon as it opened, just under two years ago, 356 S. Mission Rd. made a major--and majorly uplifting--impact on LA's local culture. The effect has only deepened with each exhibition, performance, screening, conversation,...
Secrets and Lies
IF 2013 WAS THE YEAR the Internet lost its innocence, 2014 may be remembered as the year the backlash began. Now, it seems, the hacker body politic has found new resolve in its opposition to the nation-state, deeming it a wholly unacceptable organizational...
Shintaro Sakamoto
1 MYRON & E WITH THE SOUL INVESTIGATORS. GOING IN CIRCLES (Timmion) I love Myron & E's "Broadway" and "Everyday Love" seven-inch vinyls from 2013, so I was excited to follow their other recent projects. But when I first heard this record, I...
SiIke Otto-Knapp
MUSEO MARINO MARINI Silke Otto-Knapp is a painter, and, as Matisse wrote, "A painter doesn't see everything that he has put in his painting. It is other people who find these treasures in it, one by one, and the richer a painting is in surprises...
Stefanie Schulte Strathaus
1 COMING FORTH BY DAY (Hala Lotfy) Lotfy's first feature is not a film about the Egyptian revolution, but it is revolutionary in the way it turns the inner captivity of a young woman outward, and for having been released at Zawya, the first art-house...
Stephen Shore
303 GALLERY With William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and others, Stephen Shore was one of those who established color photography as an important aesthetic medium in the 1970s. (Before then, in sympathy with a famous dictum of Walker Evans's--"Color...
Steven Baldi: Thomas Duncan Gallery
"Branded Light," Steven Baldi's second solo exhibition at Thomas Duncan Gallery, picked up the theme of the camera as simultaneously tool and institution previously broached in "Lens Reflex," a group show the artist curated at the gallery earlier this...
The Year in Fashion
RIHANNA wore a mammoth fur stole emblazoned with the four-letter word FEAR to Paris Fashion Week this past spring, and no one was confused about whether it was Rihanna or the rest of us who should be afraid. A new phase of radical invulnerability was...
The Year in Performance
THIS SEEMS TO BE THE YEAR that dance went discursive. The possibilities and limitations of this shift marked the two most influential performance experiences I had in 2014. The first was Ralph Lemon's Value Talks at the Museum of Modern Art, New York,...
Vaporware
THIS WAS A YEAR OF TOO MUCH INFORMATION, and too little. We were inundated by news of deadly viruses, for instance--but it was the gap in communication, in safety protocols, in knowledge, that spread panic. What inspires fear reveals weakness. Systems...
Vince Aletti
1 GARRY WINOGRAND (METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART. NEW YORK: CURATED BY LEO RUBINFIEN WITH ERIN O'TOOLE, SARAH GREENOUGH. AND JEFF L. ROSENHEIM) Most black-and-white street photography since the 1960s looks like Winogrand's work: anxious, hectic, spontaneous...
Walead Beshty
PETZEL GALLERY For his first solo exhibition at his new New York gallery, Walead Beshty brought back-of-the-house operations to the front, revealing the otherwise invisible systems of exchange that underpin Petzel's brisk business. By enlisting...
Wayne Koestenbaum
1 MARIA LASSNIG (MoMA PSI., NEW YORK: CURATED BY PETER ELEEY WITH JOCELYN MILLER) Lassnig meets my eye's hunger by offering the entire banquet of "body," rendered with expressionistic ease and candor, as if the Blue Rider had ridden straight over patriarchy...
Wu Tsang
I ARCA. XEN (Mute) It might not be an exaggeration to say that twenty-four-year-old Venezuelan producer Alejandro Ghersi--aka Arca--is one of the most important artists of our time. This debut LP (named after his feminine/genderless alter ego) is paradigm-shifting....
Xanti Schawinsky
DRAWING CENTER/BROADWAY 1602 Xanti Schawinsky, a Swiss-born Polish Jew, studied at the Bauhaus under that oft-recited pantheon of modern masters--Walter Gropius, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer--and took a bit from each. Already trained in architecture...
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