February 2, 2009 - Artforum - February 2009
February 2, 2009

February 2009

February 2009


This month in Artforum: “Out of Position.” By the time he died in 1997, Martin Kippenberger had generated one of the most significant, and prescient, bodies of work from the postwar era—one whose diversity was matched only by its elusiveness and complicity in its own misprision. For this issue, George Baker considers this larger-than-life artist’s multifarious oeuvre as seen in “Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Prospective,” which opened this past fall at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and travels next month to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“Kippenberger’s only position, in fact, was the endless shuttling through every other available position.” —George Baker

Also: “A Hidden Reserve.” How was painting ever forced to relinquish its claim to the articulation of subjective and historical experience? How could advanced art criticism ever have declared painting dead while the philosophers it cited had frequently focused on the medium in their own writings? Achim Hochdörfer looks back on a crucial transitional period for painting during the late 1950s and early ’60s, before the ascendance of Minimalism and the “banishment” of painting by critical theory: an interval of deeply experimental and provocative strategies that are now being revisited by artists from Jutta Koether to Josh Smith, from Amy Sillman to Christopher Wool.

And: Artforum‘s Michelle Kuo talks with artist Josh Smith about the layered abstractions of his continuing project titled Currents.

“Picasso, I know, said he abhorred abstraction—to him, it represented the absolute stupidity of art—but I think he seemed confused and a little jealous in saying so.” —Josh Smith

Also in February: Artist Carroll Dunham assesses the Whitney Museum of American Art’s current survey of Alexander Calder’s seven-year stay in Paris, when he leaped from working in the two-dimensional to his abstract, signature sculptures; curator Catherine Wood muses on the “ecology of disintegration” in the videos of Cyprien Gaillard; Jeffrey Weiss gives the final word on artist Mel Bochner’s collected writings on art; and Matthew Brannon reviews Lynn Sigel’s book about art on TV in the ’50s and ’60s.

“If you want to ‘talk’ to the public, you can’t wait for tourists to pay twenty dollars and walk by your art in a museum. You have to bring it into their living rooms by working in television, or film, or (gulp) advertising.” —Matthew Brannon

And: Maggie Nelson samples “Oranges and Sardines: Conversations on Abstract Painting” at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; Blake Stimson looks twice at documentary photography in the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona’s “Universal Archive”; Matt Saunders delights in the muddled heterogeneity of the Akademie der Künste’s “Notation” in Berlin; Pulitzer-winning journalist Alexander Stille finds gritty realism in Matteo Garrone’s film Gomorrah; Damon Krukowski becomes the Terry Riley of the iPhone with Brian Eno’s Bloom; and artist Erika Vogt names her Top Ten.

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Visit artguide—Artforum‘s free directory of the international art world, listing art fairs, auctions, and current gallery and museum shows in more than four hundred cities—at www.artforum.com/guide

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