Peter Plagens

the Whitney Biennale

US News

April 2008

REVIEWING THE WHITNEY BIENNIAL of American Art has gotten to be something like playing a round of golf just to get rid of pent-up aggression. Let’s see, which club will we whack the vulnerable little ball with this year? If the play is from… READ ON

IN PRINT May 1999

the MoMA/ P.S. 1 merger

US News

April 2008

“HEY, THAT’S NICE,” quickly followed by “Uh-oh.” So goes the near-unanimous reaction of the art world to the probable merger of the august, hyper-institutional Museum of Modern Art and the capaciously funky P.S. I Contemporary Arts… READ ON

IN PRINT May 1999

SUNNY SIDE UP: SAM FRANCIS

April 2008

Simultaneous home-turf retrospectives for California native Sam Francis and west cast adoptee Bas Jan Ader provide the occasion for a pair of Artforum contributing editors to reassess the respective legacies of two central protagonists in … READ ON

IN PRINT March 1999

Sam Francis

April 2008

If your idea of a great painter is one who shoots for the stars at the expense of frequently falling flat on his face, then Sam Francis is the artist for you. When Francis was on—in big paintings such as The Whiteness of the Whale, 1958, … READ ON

PREVIEWS

STAGE FRIGHT: CLAUDE WAMPLER

April 2008

THE THIRTY-THREE-YEAR-OLD performer/artist Claude Wampler boasts a résumé that reads like something out of one of those David Lodge novels about trendy, internationally peripatetic intellectuals: domestic studies in theater, dance, and … READ ON

IN PRINT January 1999

the critics lineup

Focus Preview

April 2008

SOON IT’LL BE SPRINGTIME WHEN, as everybody knows, the hickory meets the horsehide. But it’s also the time when on the playing fields of Chelsea and SoHo and in a few elegant old white cubes up on Fifty-seventh Street—the hermeneutics … READ ON

IN PRINT January 1999

Daniel Birnbaum

NEWS

April 2008

THEY DON’T MAKE ’EM LIKE KASPER KÖNIG anymore, and maybe for Daniel Birnbaum that’s a good thing. Asked about the choice of Birnbaum to succeed him as director of the Städelschule art academy in Frankfurt, König blithely remarks that… READ ON

IN PRINT November 2000

Madelein Grynsztejn

NEWS

April 2008

GIVE MADELEINE GRYNSZTEJN some credit for diplomatic consistency: She doesn't miss a beat when the subject of negative reviews of her 1999 Carnegie International comes up. “I would turn,” she says in response to my line of questioning, … READ ON

IN PRINT October 2000

Open Ends

April 2008

Last time we checked, George Lucas was at work on Episode XIV of the fifth cycle in the forty-second Star Wars übertrilogy. He'd better hurry. Come September, credits roll on the first section of the third cycle of MoMA's year-and-a-half … READ ON

PREVIEWS

Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900–2000

April 2008

How's this for an exhibition idea: “Touched by Human Hands: All the Art Ever Made by Anyone Anywhere, 30,000 B.C. to Just Last Tuesday”? OK, so I'm exaggerating: “Made in California,” organized by LACMA's Stephanie Barron and a team… READ ON

PREVIEWS