Magazine article Artforum International

David Rimanelli

Magazine article Artforum International

David Rimanelli

Article excerpt

1 Abject Art If abject art wasn't exactly the miserable stepchild of a market fallen on hard times, its various forms nevertheless found a perversely suitable terrain on which to thrive as we witnessed the overnight disappearance of an art scene that had hitherto nurtured scores of art students on dreams of '80s largesse. In contrast to the pristine fetish objects of Neo-Geo and the bombast of neo-Expressionism, the art of abjection found its proper forms in a Pop-inflected version of scatter, viz. installations by Mike Kelley, Cady Noland, and Karen Kilimnik. Other artists, e.g., Sean Landers, skidded around abjection's mutable playing field, theatricalizing the gulf between real and ideal. Abject art also freely colludes with another of the decade's reigning trends, the ascendance of fashion, as in Kilimnik's drawings and paintings of various glamour images--works that tear apart the ideal even as they pay homage to it.

2 Nobuyoshi Araki Having attained fame in Japan in the '60s, Araki can hardly be called an artist of the '90s, but his visibility in the West is fairly recent (I for one was unaware of him until I saw his interview with Nan Goldin in a 1995 issue of this magazine). When I began collecting volumes of his photographs, the first I acquired--Bondage--supports the not-universally-admired idea of Araki as an extravagantly aestheticizing master of kink. More recently, I've purchased collections in which perversity is recast in a more deliciously underhanded way: volume 10, Chiro, Araki, and 2 Lovers, and volume 17, Sensual Flowers. The former is a compendium of pictures detailing the thoughts and moods of his kitty, Chiro; the latter features images of wilting flowers, many of them providing bowers for desiccated chameleons. New Frontiers in pet photography and ikebana.

3 Alex Bag Every time I visit an art school, I show Fall '95, Alex's diary-cum-evisceration of life as a student at New York's School of Visual Arts, and every time it's a hit. In a decade during which New York has been routinely shunned as a merely commercial art center, Alex's work distills a particular kind of irritated and bemused New York sensibility, one bristling among the young, even as it is memorialized by the erstwhile denizens of the Mudd Club.

4 Matthew Barney The most important new artist of the decade. If you don't believe me, ask Michael Kimmelman.

5 Vanessa Beecroft I still don't know what to say about Beecroft's performances and their attendant documentation. I guess I like it, but... Certainly her Gucci thing in the Guggenheim's rotunda gave people something to talk about. But her "collaboration" in San Diego with the US Navy SEALS won me over completely: In the Photoshop of my mind, I continually paste the heads of Demi Moore and Viggo Mortensen (as they appear in G.I. Jane) over the more ordinary superguys, while relegating the really hot ones to future porn.

6 Andreas Gursky Gursky's renovation of both the landscape and cityscape genres is well known, but if I had to select a single strand from throughout this glittering corpus, it would be the photographs of stock exchanges around the world. Nearly identically attired masses of figures contemplate computer screens; some run about nervously, doing Capital's errands. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.