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. 54, No. 3, November

"Absolute Beauty": Ludwig Muzeum
"Absolute Beauty" LUDWIG MUZEUM Shot in the Neoclassical splendor of Saint Petersburg, Russia's Mikhailovsky Palace, Igor Bezrukov's eight-minute-long film The Red Square, or the Golden Ratio, 1999, follows a would-be painter (played by gender-bending...
Albert Oehlen: New Museum
Albert Oehlen NEW MUSEUM The works in "Home and Garden," the first major retrospective of Albert Oehlen's work in New York, explore separate but parallel universes--representation and abstraction, manual dexterity and pixelated matrix--and commonly...
Anita Molinero: La Galerie Thomas Bernard-Cortex Athletico
Anita Molinero LA GALERIE THOMAS BERNARD-CORTEX ATHLETICO When activating her potent selections of form and color with the cataclysmic force of gas flames, French artist Anita Molinero does not fully know where her experiments with heat and chemical...
Anne Hardy: The Common Guild
Anne Hardy THE COMMON GUILD Two site-specific structures in two near-identical rooms: Anne Hardy's TWIN FIELDS, 2015, shared a similar architectural starting point, but the outcomes could hardly have been more different. Drawing on the dimensions...
Arresting Development: Winnie Wong on China's Museum Boom
HOW MANY MUSEUMS does the ideal society need? During the Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s, the Chinese Communist Party had a slogan: "Every county must have its museum, every commune its exhibition hall." In 2002, the Chinese government rededicated...
Ashish Avikunthak: Chatterjee & Lal
Ashish Avikunthak CHATTERJEE & LAL Set in a location with few distinguishing qualities, in lieu vague, Samuel Beckett's spare, minimal Waiting for Godot (1953) is in many ways an ideal transcultural text, easily adaptable to different geographical,...
Atlantic Records: Jan Tumlir on British Sea Power
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SEA OF BRASS, the album by British Sea Power released this month, is a collection of songs spanning the band's entire discography, which they have rescored (with the help of collaborator Peter Wraight) to include a full brass...
"Atopolis": Manege De Sury
"Atopolis" MANEGE DE SURY One of the two European cultural capitals of 2015, Mons was the perfect place for "Atopolis," an awesome exhibition of twenty-three artists, organized by Wiels Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels. The show's theme was...
Barbara Hepworth: Tate Britain, London
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] FOR ALL ITS CHALLENGES, the career retrospective has long dominated art-museum programs. Underpinned by Renaissance notions of singular artistic virtuosity and the Romantic concept of the solitary genius, the retrospective's...
Bodily Rites: Ara Osterweil on the Films of Ana Mendieta
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SOMETHING IS AMISS in the first shot of Ana Mendieta's film Moffitt Building Piece, 1973. The image is of an ordinary white Midwestern exterior with a glass door and a storefront window, both blinkered...
Carlos Bunga: Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Carlos Bunga MUSEUM HAUS KONSTRUKTIV "I Am a Nomad," the first exhibition in Switzerland by the Barcelona-based Portuguese artist Carlos Bunga, was articulated by its curator, Sabine Schaschl, in two distinct parts. The first was an installation...
Changing Partners: Richard Meyer on "Reimagining Modernism" at the Met
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A CURATOR FRIEND once asked me what I thought of her proposal for an exhibition of two painters who had never met or known of each other's work. I was skeptical: Why bring together artists who have no demonstrable connection...
Cynthia Daignault: Rowhouse Project
Cynthia Daignault ROWHOUSE PROJECT Cynthia Daignault's "Home. This must be the place." was the fifth installment in a three-year series of site-specific shows that will cumulatively constitute the Rowhouse Project. Every season a new artist occupies...
Dana Schutz: Petzel Gallery
Dana Schutz PETZEL GALLERY When was the last time you walked into a show of paintings and couldn't remember your art-history safe word? Dana Schutz's recent display of twelve canvases and four charcoal drawings overwhelmed. Every work, all but...
David Hockney: L.A. Louver
David Hockney L.A. LOUVER Around 2008, when David Hockney began making work on iPhones, the artist opined, "Who would have thought that the telephone would bring back drawing?" It was a glib statement for a painter who clearly relishes the opportunity...
Due Process: Jeffrey Weiss on Richard Serra's Early Splash/cast Works
SPEAKING OF HIS EARLY PRACTICE, Richard Serra makes a succinct claim: "This is this. This is not that." (1) His works from the mid to late 1960s were intended to express the actions of "process." In so doing, they demonstrate the deployment of basic...
Ellen Gronemeyer: Greengrassi
Ellen Gronemeyer GREENGRASSI "Keine Minute Rube" (Not a Moment's Rest) was the title of Ellen Gronemeyer's recent solo exhibition, and it served as an apt description of any encounter with her paintings. Reminiscent in style of both James Ensor...
Feeling the Part: Kathy Noble on Wojciech Kosma
TWO WOMEN lie reclining in different positions on a matte-black foam floor. "How are you?" asks one. "I'm better than yesterday," replies the other. As they continue to chat, they begin to move--pacing and swerving around each other--surrounded by...
Fiona Connor: Lisa Cooley
Fiona Connor LISA COOLEY The fountain has a storied and--given its outwardly prosaic nature-oddly auspicious history in modern and contemporary art: from Duchamp's foundational icon (actually a urinal, of course) to more recent examples including...
"Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions": Tate Liverpool
WALKING INTO "Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions" at Tate Liverpool, visitors found themselves poised between Jasper Johns's 1962 lithograph Painting with Two Balls II and a mid-1970s David Hammons body print in which the artist's features are...
Gordon Matta-Clark: David Zwirner
Gordon Matta-Clark DAVID ZWIRNER Gordon Matta-Clark was as accomplished at making drawings with pencils, pens, markers, and crayons as he was at cutting into abandoned warehouses, suburban homes, and dilapidated tenement buildings with a chain...
Helen DeWitt
Helen DeWitt is a novelist based in Berlin. She is the author of The Last Samurai (Hyperion, 2000) and Lightning Rods (New Directions, 2012). Last year, she mounted the installation The Library of Helen DeWitt at Artists Space in New York, as part...
Hermann Nitsch: Marc Straus
Hermann Nitsch MARC STRAUS In the decades following World War II, Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch and his contemporaries pursued an approach to artmaking that--like those of so many artists around the globe at midcentury--attempted to deal with...
Hu Xiangqian: Long March Space
Hu Xiangqian LONG MARCH SPACE A central concern of Beijing-based artist Hu Xiangqian's oeuvre seems to be: Is the body a performance artist's only tool, and are the performative acts of a single body enough to constitute a resonantly critical...
Imi Knoebel: White Cube Bermondsey
Imi Knoebel WHITE CUBE BERMONDSEY Imi Knoebel has been worrying away at the problem of abstraction for decades. His 1968 painting Schwarzes Kreuz (Black Cross) paid witty, wonky homage to Malevich's Black Square of 1915, still a touchstone for...
Janis Avotins: Galerie Vera Munro
Janis Avotins GALERIE VERA MUNRO Janis Avotins's paintings seem intangible, like the mental images that embody cherished memories, and yet their beholder experiences them with epiphanic immediacy. The Latvian artist's most recent exhibition presented...
Justin Adian: Skarstedt
Justin Adian SKARSTEDT Justin Adian's show "Fort Worth" presented sixteen works that were made using a technique he has employed since 2007, and that has come to be his signature and calling card: The artist places hunks of foam on shaped wooden...
Kate Costello: Laxart
Kate Costello LAXART Drawing has a directness and immediacy capable of revealing an artist's thought process and, over time, formal development. It can document aesthetic mutability and demonstrate technical acumen, all the while circumventing...
Korakrit Arunanondchai: Palais De Tokyo
Korakrit Arunanondchai Palais De Tokyo Stepping into Korakrit Arunanondchai's exhibition "Painting with history in a room filled with people with funny names 3," one had the sensation of entering the set of a music video, an elaborately contrived...
Lais Myrrha: Galeria Jaqueline Martins
Lais Myrrha GALERIA JAQUELINE MARTINS A large gray mound on the floor of the gallery--visible at an angle from the street, through the glass door--suggested an indoor renovation project. But this seemingly mundane mass was actually part of one...
Larry Johnson: Raven Row
Larry Johnson RAVEN ROW Untitled (Raven Row Giraffe), 2015, is a wall-spanning photograph of a cartoon giraffe with an image of a pencil inserted in its asshole as it sucks on another--the pencils manipulated by images of two human hands. The...
Laura Owens: Capitain Petzel
Laura Owens CAPITAIN PETZEL The five freestanding canvases that make up Laura Owens's Untitled, 2015, were arranged in a diagonally angled row, like a scaled-down painterly cousin of Richard Serra's Promenade, 2008, or a scaled-up line of ready-to-fall...
Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen
Lawrence Abu Hamdan KUNST HALLE SANKT GALLEN Surah al-Balad 90:9 of the Qur'an states that man was created with "one tongue and two lips," the latter presumably conceived to keep the former in check. More than an idea, the verse suggests an actual...
Lina Selander: Galleria Tiziana Di Caro
Lina Selander GALLERIA TIZIANA DI CARO Lina Selander's first exhibition at Galleria Tiziana Di Caro comprised three video installations from the same series with which she is currently representing Sweden at the Fifty-Sixth Venice Biennale. These...
Lines of Sight: Joyce Tsai on Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and the Optics of Military Surveillance
LASZLO MOHOLY-NAGY made us look, and look again. The Bauhaus pioneer was one of the most ardent advocates of new ways of seeing, embracing an art that could--like city lights, X-rays, telephony--radically reconfigure our sensory experience of the world....
Lukas Geronimas: David Petersen Gallery
Lukas Geronimas DAVID PETERSEN GALLERY "Geatest Show on Rearth," the title of Lukas Geronimas's summer solo exhibition, appears to contain typos but doesn't. "Being a Rearthling is Geat," wrote Geronimas in the show's press release, which doubled...
Michaela Eichwald: Overduin & Co
Michaela Eichwald OVERDUIN & CO. Michaela Eichwald's first solo show in Los Angeles bore a gnomic title-"quo vadis gnothi sauton and cui bono"--that was the result of three phrases in Greek and Latin jammed together: "Where are you going?,"...
"Nacht Und Traume": Altman Siegel
"Nacht und Traume" ALTMAN SIEGEL The way in which creative expression is achieved in an era of often extreme ironic self-positioning was an implicit subtext of this summer group show, albeit one uncertainly realized. Zarouhie Abdalian's a caveat,...
"Phenomenology of Perception": Exhibit 320
"Phenomenology of Perception" EXHIBIT 320 The thread was as taut as a tightrope, showing no hint of a quiver as it wound itself past two nails and turned a corner. Not even its shadowy doppelganger dared heave. Elsewhere, a fine crack in the...
Prints + Editions
PETER BLUM EDITION 20 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019 Tel: 212 244 6055 Fax: 212 244 6054 E-mail: art@peterblumgallery.com Web: www.peterblumgallery.com Tues.--Fri. 10-6, Sat. 11-6 New book, John Zurier, Paintings 1981-2014,...
Radical Chic: Nick Mauss on the Art of Susan Cianciolo
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] HOW DO YOU MAKE FASHION that's not fashion? That's not simply or only aspirational, trending, the eternal return of the new? In New York just before the turn of the millennium, artist Susan Cianciolo...
Raymond Roussel: Galerie Buchholz
Raymond Roussel GALERIE BUCHHOLZ Difficult author; reclusive aesthete; visionary fabricator of fantastic objects literary, conceptual, and material: The reputation of Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) often precedes him. In photographs he is a pale,...
"Recesses": Parkview
"Recesses" PARKVIEW As might have been expected, much of the talk around this group exhibition--and it did generate a great deal of talk--blithely skimmed over the art on view. Comprising works by the class of MFA students who dropped out en...
Rita McBride: Alexander and Bonin
Rita McBride ALEXANDER AND BONIN Rita McBride's recent exhibition "Access" displayed a number of new sculptures in the shape of keys, keyholes, knockers, and locks, as well as a variety of large metal sheets out of which at least some of the...
Sociable Realism: Esther Choi on Assemble
TATE BRITAIN'S Turner Prize is among the most publicized awards in the art world, long associated with the kind of sensational, headline-making artwork--from Tracey Emin's soiled bedsheets and used condoms to Chris Ofili's elephant-dung-studded paintings--that...
Source Code: Kate Nesin on the Art of Diane Simpson
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] EVERY SCULPTURE by Diane Simpson proceeds from at least one source, though this is a deceptively simple statement: Her singular three-dimensional works tend to come from another dimension entirely, from flat printed matter,...
Stanley Whitney: Studio Museum in Harlem/Karma
Stanley Whitney STUDIO MUSEUM IN HARLEM/KARMA In a career going back to the early 1970s, Stanley Whitney is having a moment, with simultaneous uptown and downtown shows that drew excited responses in the press. This for abstract paintings that...
Sue De Beer: Boesky East
Sue de Beer BOESKY EAST "He never talked about where he was from. At the funeral, that was the most I ever heard about his life." So begins the spoken narrative of Sue de Beer's new two-channel video The Blue Lenses, 2014, which tells the story...
Tabor Robak
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE MOST VISIBLE ART about technology today often comes across as a kind of Net art brut. Think of glitch art, of the nostalgic proliferations of drop shadows and gradients, of the post-Internet preoccupation...
The Film Is the Search: J. Hoberman on Jean Rouch's Moi, Un Noir (1958)
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] NEW IDEAS in motion pictures typically arrive from the so-called margins. Thus, modern (or postmodern) cinema comes to Europe by way of Africa. Working out his own particular destiny as an ethnographic filmmaker in France's...
"The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 to Now": Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
AT THE THRESHOLD of this exhibition is Glenn Ligon's Give Us a Poem, 2007, positioned immediately adjacent to the show title that spans the entirety of the gallery's outer wall. Ligon's neon wall work quotes Muhammad Ali's response to a 1975 Harvard...
They Shoot Historians, Don't They? Nassar Rabbat on ISIS and Palmyra
MEDIA OUTLETS around the world have grown increasingly indifferent to the brutality of the ongoing war in Syria, numbed by more than four years of senseless killing and destruction in that cursed country. But a recent attack finally touched a raw nerve...
Thomas Locher: Silberkuppe
Thomas Locher SILBERKUPPE As if to recall the consistency of his project over the decades, some of the works in Thomas Locher's exhibition "Post-Information" were as much as twenty-five years old. Gestell (Frame), an aluminum shelf engraved with...
Tom Phillips: Flowers
Tom Phillips FLOWERS In 1966, at age twenty-nine, Tom Phillips began his Humument project, the "treatment" of the 1892 novel A Human Document, by the Victorian author William Hurrell Mallock. The first artist's book that resulted was initially...
Tony Lewis: Shane Campbell Gallery
Tony Lewis SHANE CAMPBELL GALLERY In The "Calvin and Hobbes" Tenth Anniversary Book, Bill Watterson explains his decision not to commercially license his comic strips as an attempt to preserve the imaginative place generated by the characters:...
Trevor Paglen: Metro Pictures
Trevor Paglen METRO PICTURES Curious viewers looking for advance information on Trevor Paglen's recent exhibition at Metro Pictures in the run-up to its opening probably encountered a rather unusual promotional tease created by the artist, an...
Tuscan Idyll: Melissa Anderson on Alice Rohrwacher's the Wonders
WRITER-DIRECTOR Alice Rohrwacher's oeuvre to date may be small, but she has quickly established herself as one of the finest chroniclers of girlhood in two uncommonly graceful and astute coming-of-age stories. Her feature debut, Corpo Celeste (2011),...
Ugo Rondinone: Galerie Eva Presenhuber
Ugo Rondinone GALERIE EVA PRESENHUBER When Ugo Rondinone reluctantly gave his first public lecture in New York at the New School in 2013, it consisted of an extraordinarily literal walk-through of a retrospective exhibition that had been held...
Ulrich Ruckriem: Koenig & Clinton
Ulrich Ruckriem KOENIG & CLINTON For his first solo exhibition in New York in almost twenty years, Ulrich Ruckriem quietly confounded the expectations of those familiar with his monumental sculptures. After all, it would not have been unreasonable...
Vera Neumann: Alexander Gray Associates
Vera Neumann ALEXANDER GRAY ASSOCIATES Sonia Delaunay's textile designs are seen as art these days, but that may be because she began and ended her career as a painter. In the 1970s, the feminist-inspired Pattern and Decoration movement claimed...
Vincenzo Agnetti: Studio Giangaleazzo Visconti
Vincenzo Agnetti STUDIO GIANGALEAZZO VISCONTI Vincenzo Agnetti (1926-1981) rigorously explored the genesis of artistic ideas through a polyvalent practice based on a critique of language. His investigations spanned a broad range of mediums and...
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