Anne Pontégnie

  • Daan van Golden in his studio, Schiedam, the Netherlands, September 11, 2014. Photo: John Hesselberth.

    Daan van Golden

    DAAN VAN GOLDEN vowed never to give an interview or a lecture. In 2004, when awarded the Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for Art, he chose to accept the honor with a number of found quotes. “Art is not a contest” was a particular favorite of his. Van Golden elected not to participate in the competition of art. He worked slowly, even stopping altogether for a decade beginning in the late 1960s. He participated in the BKR (Beeldende Kunstenaars Regeling), a system of financial support then given to artists by the Dutch government in exchange for their works, and so his art, for the most part, belongs to

  • Christopher Wool, Untitled (detail), 2012, glass, lead. Installation view, Chapelle capitulaire du Prieuré de la Charité-sur-Loire, France. Photos: André Morin.

    SEEING THROUGH

    ON OCTOBER 25, a major retrospective of the work of CHRISTOPHER WOOL opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the artist’s most comprehensive exhibition to date. But just last year, Wool completed a much quieter and more unusual project: a series of stained-glass windows for a Romanesque chapel in France’s Loire Valley. Artforum invited curator ANNE PONTÉGNIE, who helped commission the work, to reflect on the windows’ luminous realization and their relation to Wool’s oeuvre—in a context equally digital and archaic,painterly and crafted, earthly and divine.

    CHRISTOPHER WOOL is

  • Franz West, 2009. Photo: Markus Rössle.
    passages November 12, 2012

    Franz West (1947–2012)

    IN 1999, I curated an exhibition of the work of Mike Kelley and Franz West in Brussels. Catherine Bastide joined me in this adventure; it took place almost by chance, and was based solely on an intuition that those two bodies of work had something to say to each other, and together something to say to the times—which were then dominated by identity politics and relational aesthetics. I had worked with Mike before, but never with Franz. We all met in Franz’s home in Vienna. The idea was to record a conversation between us that would also lead to the exhibition. I was young, inexperienced, and

  • Debt Collectors

    "MODERNISM HAS ITS CASUALTIES. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO are paying its debts,” said Central Asia pavilion curator Viktor Misiano to a colleague of mine, surveying the exhibition of fifteen artists from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan—countries represented in the Venice Biennale for the first time ever. The grounds for Misiano’s assessment are clear enough in sociopolitical terms: Forcibly disconnected from their cultural traditions at the dawn of the Soviet era, people in these territories found themselves, at the collapse of the USSR more than a decade ago, victims of a kind of double

  • Gary Webb

    Opening the door onto Gary Webb’s exhibition “Deep Heat T-Reg Laguna,” one hesitated a moment in the face of its profusion of intense colors and unidentifiable forms. But once this fleeting moment of surprise passed, one discovered eight large sculptures, all reflected in, and fragmented and multiplied by, a wall covered in mirrored rectangles tilted in different directions. Gradually, the sculptures revealed themselves in their incredible strangeness. Mr. Miami, 2004, for example, is composed of a large curve of yellow metal placed on a shiny black form, from which slender stems rise bearing

  • “Before the End”

    “Before the End” is an exhibition for two voices: on the one hand, that of critic and curator Stéphanie Moisdon-Tremblay, who has assembled about twenty “first” works by artists inspired by the legacy of Conceptualism, chosen by the artists themselves; and on the other hand, that of the artist Olivier Mosset, who brought together the last paintings made by several seminal Conceptualists before committing themselves to an art of ideas. The two parts of the exhibition are at once separated and united by Eric Troncy’s “display,” which juxtaposes Claude Closky’s wallpaper and Simon Linke’s painting

  • Daan van Golden

    It has been ten years since Daan van Golden exhibited work in a gallery in Antwerp. That exhibition—also at Galerie Micheline Szwajcer—included four paintings entitled Heerenlux, the name of the brand of paint used by the artist. The four paintings, each 47 x 37 3⁄8", all represented the same detail of a decorative pattern of leaves and fruit found on a piece of fabric.

    Last fall van Golden returned with six more paintings entitled Heerenlux; they refer to the same motif and are painted in the same way, with the same paint, in the same color red. However, they are very different works. This time,

  • Josh Smith

    To be invited to Brussels for one’s first solo exhibition when one was born and bred in Tennessee and lives in New York is one of the odd happenstances that always seem to befall Josh Smith, a young painter who for several years now has mostly painted a single subject: his name. From painting to painting, the letters that make up “Josh Smith” are extended, shortened, twisted, melted, or broken down until signifying nothing but meaninglessness itself: a clever and very sensible way of dealing with the question of subject, in all senses of the term.

    This first exhibition presented eight paintings

  • Charlemagne Palestine

    Charlemagne Palestine is a pioneer of experimental and minimalist music (with recent discs on the Alga Marghen and Barooni labels) as well as video art. But he is also known for his sculptural détournement of stuffed animals. This last obsession has led some—particularly young artists enamored of electronic music—to believe that he is the unjustly overlooked inspiration for the stuffed-animal work of one Mike Kelley. But to emphasize the connection would be to misunderstand Kelley’s intellectualism as much as the obsession that haunts Palestine; above all it would be to ignore the

  • Damien De Lepeleire

    Damien De Lepeleire is a Belgian painter whose work proceeds in series, with all that this implies in dealing with difference and repetition, coherence and uncertainty. In response to the invitation from the publishing house La Lettre Volée to produce an art book, the artist chose as his subject—having already treated such diverse themes as soccer, Op art, and pornography—the art book. The result is “Trop beau pour être vrai” (Too good to be true), 2000–2001, a series of sixty watercolor and ink renditions, more or less exact, of selected pages.

    One group took as a subject books devoted

  • Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

    In Japan there are several agencies that design cartoon characters for use by publishing houses specializing in manga. The most complex of these characters are best able to become protagonists and therefore survive, but they can be prohibitively expensive for the publishers. Other characters are sold at more moderate prices because they’re unlikely to survive, to keep their place in the narrative, for more than a few pages. French artists Philippe Parreno and Pierre Huyghe bought the rights to one of these characters destined to disappear in an instant. She became the basis for their project,

  • Tadashi Kawamata

    The Middelheim sculpture park on the outskirts of Antwerp is devoted to modern as well as contemporary work; it shares its name and the no-man’s-land that it occupies with the large modernist hospital that looms over it. Often, the invited artists delve into the depths of the park. Tadashi Kawamata, by contrast, deliberately avoided such sites in order to tackle the park’s peripheral status. He constructed a bridge above the road that separates the park's contemporary section from its modern section and a trench that plunges into the ground where the earth had been freshly turned up from a recent