COLUMNS

  • Architecture

    Lost Property

    The disappearing architecture of Jean Welz

    THE LOST ARCHITECTURE OF JEAN WELZ. BY PETER WYETH. DoppelHouse, 2022. 346 pages. 

    WHEN IT COMES TO THE UR-HISTORY of modernist architecture, we all pretty much know the first few lines by heart. In the beginning there was nothing; the Earth was void, and without Corb; then Sullivan said “Let there be Wright,” and Loos and behold, Behrens begat Gropius begat Mies—or something like that. Even other, sublimated ancestries (the “zones of silence,” as critic Reyner Banham once called them) long omitted from the grands récits of modernism have, by now, largely become part of the general conversation.

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  • Diary

    Stranger Than Fiction

    Agnieszka Gratza at LIAF and the 2022 Bergen Assembly

    LYING JUST NORTH of the Arctic Circle, Bodø is the gateway to the Lofoten peninsula. A regional hub, the town is gearing up for its stint as the European Capital of Culture in 2024. A two-and-a-half-hour layover at Bodø airport en route to Svolvær—the headquarters of the Lofoten International Art Festival (LIAF)—left me with enough time to take in the opening ofBodø Biennale, coinciding with LIAF’s. The airport is, after all, only a fifteen-minute walk from the city center.

    Curated by Elise Cosme Hoedemakers and Hilde Methi, who was the chief curator of LIAF’s last edition, the inaugural Bodø

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  • Passages

    Issey Miyake (1938–2022)

    Lisa Robertson on Issey Miyake

    THOUGH I DIDN’T CRY FOR BOWIE, I cried for Issey the way I cried for Leonard Cohen. My best friend wore Issey’s perfume, which bottled the sensation of water on skin. I have a few of his Pleats Please garments, harvested from eBay, and there is a thrifted, asymmetrical, gray ribbed heavy wool pullover sweater that I still regret giving away. It was from the early ’80s, like the raw silk, pleated madder-red smock I still treasure for its color and drape. His garments tend to stay with you. My ninety-six-year-old Parisian mother-in-law recalls an Issey jacket she bought decades ago. It was a green

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  • Interviews

    Julia Phillips

    Giving form to the attachment and ambivalence of motherhood

    While Julia Phillips’s visual language remains informed by functional tools and ceramic body casts that serve as metaphors for social and psychological experiences, recent motherhood has complicated and expanded her visual and emotional arsenal. Her exhibition “ Me, Ourself & You” is on view now at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York through October 29. Below, the German-born, Chicago-based artist discusses her recent work in the context of the longer arc of her practice.

    MY WORK OFTEN STARTS with a title that describes a relation, a role, a person, a function all at once. My first language is

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  • Diary

    Open City

    Rejection and rebirth in New York

    A LOT WAS GOING ON LAST WEEK. The opening of the season sloughed off the last couple years’ tentativeness for something that verged on overcompensation. Wednesday, for example, was VIP day at the Armory Show and Independent 20th Century. Thursday saw the Wolfgang Tillmans opening at MoMA; a reception for Nan Goldin at the Swedish Consulate in honor of her exhibition at Stockholm’s Moderna Museet; various downtown gallery openings and fêtes by and for places like Company, Essex Street/Maxwell Graham, Derosia, and Housing, the last at newly designated hotspot Skinos; and a rave, loosely defined,

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  • Film

    Town and Country

    The American auguries of Riotsville, USA

    IT LOOKS LIKE AN IDEAL SMALL TOWN with an ideal Main Street. Hand-painted signs outside the Cut-Rate Supermarket advertise specials on white potatoes, canned hams, and cottage cheese, and a US Army recruitment office banner flies outside City Hall. The camera pans across a row of storefronts—The Fashion Shop, United Tobacco Shop, Corner Drugs—and you notice the flimsiness of the construction, the cardboard walls, the sheet-plastic windows. Your sense of scale becomes confused—are we in the colorful, miniature-model neighborhood of Mister Rogers?—until a lone motorcyclist rides across Main Street’s

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  • Film

    A Love Supreme

    Nicolas Rapold on the 79th Venice Film Festival

    BEFORE THE PANDEMIC crashed into our lives, the opioid epidemic was well underway, but both share a legacy of pain and suffering that has yet to be absorbed and properly addressed. So it felt somehow gratifying when the Venice Film Festival awarded the Golden Lion not to any of several fall-season “contenders,” but to All the Beauty and the Bloodshed—Laura Poitras’s sensitively wrought portrait of consummate survivor Nan Goldin. Taking us through Goldin’s numbing family history (her sister’s suicide, parents in furious denial, foster homes) and her many lives in New York in the late 1970s and

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  • Film

    Dangerous Liaisons

    Who’s afraid of Doris Wishman?

    HAVING RESURFACED late in life due to a revival of her sex films, an eighty-nine-year-old Doris Wishman, clad in leopard print and wedge sandals, appeared on Late Night with Conan O’Brien in 2002. Conan is flummoxed by Wishman’s spiky retorts and willfully evasive manner. Affecting sheepishness when asked for the name of her latest (penultimate) film, she finally discloses the title: Dildo Heaven. Sensing discomfort, Wishman asks, “Conan, are you afraid of me?” The other guest, Roger Ebert, enters the fray to discuss Wishman’s work, announcing his familiarity with Deadly Weapons (1973) and Double

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  • Interviews

    Puppet Master

    The art world according to Jayson Musson

    THIS JULY, after more than a year of working quietly as the artist-in-residence at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia, Jayson Musson finally revealed His History of Art, a raucous multimedia installation featuring three episodes of a sidesplitting sitcom starring Musson as Jay, a pontifical art collector in a corduroy suit, and his unlikely roommate Ollie, a permastoned puppet rabbit. Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein, and the Venus of Willendorf make cameos, the latter inspiring an orgy. Produced and filmed inside the museum, His History’s sets and props—which alternately needle, salute,

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  • Interviews

    Hack the Planet

    Hans Ulrich Obrist talks with Pak

    From December 2–4 of last year, an NFT fetched the world record for a public sale of an artwork by a living artist. In forty-eight hours on the platform NiftyGateway, 28,983 collectors spent $91,806,519 to purchase a total of 312,686 units, which were then combined in a single collection called “Merge.” In July, Artforum contributing editor Hans Ulrich Obrist spoke over email with Pak, the anonymous creator behind “Merge” and a leading force in digital art and NFTs.

    Hans Ulrich Obrist: You have pioneered design “at the nexus of beauty and technology,” as you put it, for two decades. What were

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  • Architecture

    Paradise City

    Samuel Medina on Zoe Zenghelis

    Near the bottom of The Egg of Columbus Centre, 1973, a painting by Zoe Zenghelis, the cerulean slab of the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York comes face-to-face with an impish impostor and blanches. At the top of the frame, a cluster of gilded Arkhitektons synthesizes Malevich and Trump, as if to prefigure the luxury hotel the latter had hoped to impose on perestroika-era Moscow. Down First Avenue, a sprawling megastructure reminiscent of a ’60s Spanish casino hopscotches across the marmoreal plinths that have begun to supplant Manhattan’s blocks. Clambering amphibious volumes

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  • Interviews

    Clara Ianni

    The ongoing legacy of Disney diplomacy in Brazil

    At the root of Clara Ianni’s latest exhibition lies a thorny, overlapping network of powerful actors central to the history of twentieth-century art in the Americas: New York’s Museum of Modern Art, its former chair (and former US vice president) Nelson Rockefeller, The Walt Disney Company, the United States government, and the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art. Titled “Education by Night” and on view at Brooklyn’s Amant through September 4, the show revisits 1940s-era cultural programs intended to encourage US investment and deter Nazi influence in Latin America. The São Paulo–based artist pursues

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