November 1, 2007 - Artforum - November 2007
November 1, 2007

November 2007

November 2007

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This month in Artforum: Surfing on acid? Painter Mary Heilmann catches the “fall line” of postwar abstraction–then flares through its highs and its lows–with her retrospective that goes on view this month at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, after opening last spring at the Orange County Museum of Art. Art historian and critic Anne M. Wagner takes a close look at the artist’s reinvention of color, surface, and pattern, as well as mark, system, and grid; and then Heilmann herself curates an exhibition in the magazine’s pages, “Signs and Wonders,” which ranges from the iconography of Black Flag to the stacked sculptures of
Donald Judd.

“If Heilmann [is] a painter’s painter, then so be it. She is also a painter for anyone who has paid attention to the art of the century so recently behind us and who has wondered how and whether painting will manage to keep itself afloat in the century to come.” –Anne M. Wagner

“I came to New York expecting to align myself with the sculptors, like Smithson. . . . I thought I would be part of that gang. Of course, that doesn’t happen so easily. I wasn’t invited into the Smithson/Serra gang. So I switched my practice rather vocally to painting, because they all hated painting.”
–Mary Heilmann

Also in November: Le Corbusier’s 1923 Vers une architecture. Architectural historian Mark Wigley considers the long-overdue new translation–John Goodman’s Toward an Architecture–and finds a radical modernism that, far from adhering to cliché notions of fetishized order and rationality, is driven by the hectic fragmentation and sheer momentum of life in the industrial age.

“Press-ganged into allegiance, we have long been able only to nod approval and intone some of Le Corbusier’s slogans. Now we are, one hopes, at a different threshold. The biology of the architect is on the line.” –Mark Wigley

And: In this month’s “1000 Words,” Yvonne Rainer talks about her new dance RoS Indexical, which is loosely based on Riot at the Rite–a recent BBC dramatization of the tumultuous 1913 premiere of Nijinsky’s Rite of Spring. Both parody and homage, Rainer’s work looks afresh at the realities and clichés of scandalous avant-garde artwork, even stealing some moves for her “pedagogical vaudeville” from a Robin Williams
HBO special.

“Historical memory is so very questionable. To incorporate that questionability is part of my project here, and it’s part of the fun.” –Yvonne Rainer

Plus: “Ghost in the Machine.” Habitus as material; tactic as gesture; production as performance; artist as brand: On the occasion of Cosima von Bonin’s midcareer survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles–the Cologne-based artist’s first major institutional outing in the United States–curator and critic Yilmaz Dziewior and artist and critic John Kelsey isolate the variables in a complex, mutable, subtly
reflexive practice.

“Even though the collective and critical ethic of ’90s Cologne is now performed as an ironically romanticized ritual–part fashion show, part music video, and part training camp–it persists, acting out the hope of surviving its own perversion.” –John Kelsey

Finally: P. Adams Sitney contemplates the meditative experimental cinema of Nathaniel Dorsky; Catherine Wood takes on British artist Bonnie Camplin’s self-performative oeuvre; Michael Ned Holte unravels the complexity beneath the coolness of Los Angeles artist Nathan Hylden’s work; Tom Holert immerses himself in the compromised sublime of Stan Douglas’s retrospective; Artforum editor at large Jack Bankowsky reconstructs the late Jason Rhoades’s decadent dinner parties; contributing editor Daniel Birnbaum anoints Swedish publication OEI heir to the innovative spirit of Pontus Hultén and Billy Klüver; Pawel Althamer weighs in with his Top Ten; and Seymour Chatman pays tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni, while Robert Storr and Amy Sillman remember Elizabeth Murray.

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