December 2021

December 2021


Cover: Anne Imhof, Natures Mortes, 2021.


December 1, 2021
December 2021
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This month in Artforum:

hannah baer and Monica Huerta on the Year in Hell:
“The rave teaches me about revolution because it’s durational. You are invited to keep going, keep dancing, perhaps past when you are sore or want to sleep.” —hannah baer

“What if we took seriously what our bodies knew this year: that we might no longer know how to tell time, which is also how to orient ourselves in space, which is also how to tell stories, which is also how to mark a sense of scale.” —Monica Huerta 

Best of 2021: A renowned group of critics, artists, and curators from around the world—Lynne CookeCecilia AlemaniDavid JoselitErin ChristovaleMiguel A. LópezMalik GainesJohanna FatemanAmy SillmanJack BankowskyDarby EnglishSky HopinkaCaroline Busta and Lil InternetSusanne PfefferJohn Kelsey—take stock of the year in art. 

“The twenty-seven artists and groups in ‘Illiberal Arts’ each explore, in quite distinct ways, how to make art while avoiding wielding one’s own identity—or anyone else’s—as property.” —David Joselit 

“Anne Imhof’s monumental ‘Natures Mortes’ exhibition was a requiem for twentieth-century subculture—if not for the twentieth century, full stop.” —Caroline Busta 

Film: Five celebrated cineastes—John WatersAmy TaubinJ. HobermanJames Quandt, and Cassie da Costa—select the top films of the year:

The stupidest art film of the year, directed by a Gallic auteur who specializes in one-joke dumbbell comedies, about a giant fly and two French stooges, is also one of the funniest and most charming.” —John Waters 

Music: Five musicians and critics—Alan LichtJJJJJerome EllisSasha Geffen, and Harmony Holiday—name their highlights of the year:

“Posting in nine one-minute segments on Instagram, Flemmer literally unpacks a staggeringly lavish compendium of archival work by the long-running free-improv collective. In the age of streaming, I’m cheered to see the continued existence of album releases that constitute art objects unto themselves.” —Alan Licht

Books: Nine writers, artists, scholars, and curators—Bruce HainleyJoan KeeNegar AzimiDennis CooperMolly WarnockDodie BellamyColby ChamberlainThomas (T.) Jean LaxJackie Ess—choose the year’s outstanding titles: 

“More an experiment in art writing than an artist’s biography as conventionally understood, Alexander Nemerov’s Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York is notable in part for what it does not cover.” —Molly Warnock

“A heaping pile of life detritus, what it reveals and, maybe more crucially, what it obscures, is a point of departure for Maria Stepanova’s breathtaking zigzag meditation on memory.” —Negar Azimi

And: The Artists’ Artists: Darren Bader, Kevin Beasley, Chris Bogia, Diedrick Brackens, Katherine Bradford, Ian Faden, Hadi Fallahpisheh, Genieve Figgis, Miles Greenberg, Heidi Lau, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Lia Clay Miller, Tyler Mitchell, Erin Jane Nelson, Frida Orupabo, Jimmy Robert, Tracey Rose, Mira Schor, Fin Simonetti, Paul Soileau/Christeene, Gili Tal, Anna Uddenberg, and Claude Wampler.

Plus: More than 35 exhibition reviews from around the globe.

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