Anne Pontégnie

  • 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


    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.


  • 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

  • picks July 03, 2002

    Kori Newkirk

    Kori Newkirk

    On the ground floor of the James Van Damme gallery, Kori Newkirk has installed three landscapes made with colored beads strung on artificial hair. Ranging from gray to blue by way of pale green—and by choice of banal subject, for instance, a tree or a large wheel—they manage to evoke the sweet, melancholy atmosphere of a summer evening. On the first floor, however, the reference to summer is expanded to signify a specific social milieu by juxtaposing and combining the basketball net and the reference to braided hair. These same beads hanging down to the floor from a basketball net recall not

  • picks June 06, 2002

    Evan Holloway

    Evan Holloway

    In the middle of the new space that the gallery has devoted to young artists, Evan Holloway has installed the most remarkable sculpture of the exhibition, Red, White and Blue Tree Sculpture, 2002. A long structure made of thin, evenly spaced branches that meet at right angles, its sections are painted bright red, white, and blue. The mixture of nature and sculpture, the tubes that recall Gordon Matta-Clark, the colors, at once modernist—Fernand Léger springs forcefully to mind—and common—those of the English, French, American, Dutch, and Czech flags, for example—weave a network of references

  • picks May 03, 2002

    Koenrad Dedobbeleer

    Koenrad Dedobbeleer

    On the occasion of his second solo exhibition at Drantmann, Koenrad Dedobbeleer confirms his talent for deconstruction. Tubular sculptures of yellow-and-gray painted metal, halfway between abstraction and figuration, present working drawings of everyday structures and an ambiguous evocation of urban furniture that has lost all function. In the center of the gallery sits a three-pointed plaster sculpture somewhere between monument and model that reveals—and perhaps challenges—the consensual neutrality that characterizes so much public sculpture. Less convincing is a set of light boxes resembling

  • picks May 02, 2002

    Ann Veronica Janssens

    Ann Veronica Janssens

    This exhibition is based on an installation titled Blue, Red, and Yellow originally created by Janssens for the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin in June 2001. A cube composed of transparent plastic partitions, each of a different color, and thick fog that blends these into one another, the work denies nearly all spatial references to the viewer, who upon entering the cube experiences the pleasure and intensity of pure color, of both individual colors and the full spectrum. To this chromatic excess is contrasted the pure white of another model, L’Espace infini (Infinite Space), 2002, a relief

  • picks January 22, 2002

    Lionel Esteve

    New Work by Lionel Esteve

    The work of Lionel Esteve, a young French artist living in Brussels, oscillates between being discrete to the point of invisibility and decidedly indiscreet violence. This installation presents these two tendencies side by side—a combination that possesses its own brand of perverse beauty. The main room is taken up by the movements of Untitled, 2001, a mobile made of a collection of brightly colored elements, attractive baubles tied to one another with nylon thread. A small motor turns the assemblage at a speed that forces the visitor to glue him- or herself to the wall to avoid being caught up

  • 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

  • picks December 19, 2001

    Alessandra Spranzi

    Alessandra Spranzi's Emblems of Melancholy

    Alessandra Spranzi is an Italian photographer who explores both visual and social structures. Here, she presents several dozen images from the life of a bearded woman who turns out to be none other than the artist herself, wearing a long false beard and flower-patterned aprons. Alone in wintry landscapes that recall Italian Neorealism from the 1950s and '60s, as well as '70s socially conscious photography, the bearded woman is captured in moments of mental drift and daily actions. Slowly, Spranzi unfolds a subtle portrait of a life marked by her particular difference but also by a lack of

  • picks December 19, 2001

    Euan Macdonald

    Where Art and Life Meet and Part Ways

    In this exhibition, using the modest means of illustration and animation, Euan Macdonald explores the overlap of daily life and art. On view are a selection of watercolors and videos recounting both lived and imaginary narratives. Several series of small watercolors play on a variety of spatial and temporal effects. In one series, a building slowly emerges out of the ground floor by floor; in a second black-and-white series, Macdonald recounts the catastrophic weekend of a friend who falls victim to a traffic jam, a car accident, and a typhoon. Each series of watercolors is paired with a

  • picks October 15, 2001

    Eric Duyckaerts

    • Duyckaerts Ironies Are Scorching

    The film at the heart of this exhibition presents the silhouette of the artist, Eric Duyckaerts, his body at once elegant and fragile, as he dances from one crate to another in a studio he is vacating. At first, the dance seems meant to illustrate the appealing pop song that he is singing, but it may very well be the opposite: The song might be illustrating Duyckaerts’s dance. Judging from its soft lament, we come to understand that the objects found in the studio will be returned to their owners, that they have been either given or taken. A series of drawings presents us with the full range of

  • picks September 16, 2001

    Ici et Maintenant

    • Many Belgiums in One Exhibition

    Given the opportunity to mount an exhibition in an old royal warehouse in Brussels, opened to the public for the first time ever, curator Laurent Jacob invited 100 artists living in Belgium to produce work for the space once reserved for receiving merchandise from the colonies. His goal was to overcome the countless barriers of language, culture, generation, and so forth that divide the artists of Belgium. The wager has succeeded insofar as some of the most important artists in the country were brought together under the same roof; it also succeeded because all seem to have engaged and fully

  • picks May 24, 2001

    Experimental Archigram

    Archigram on view in Brussels

    This long-running retrospective is devoted to the ’60s English experimental architecture collective Archigram, made up of Warren Chalk, Peter Cook, Dennis Crompton, David Greene, Ron Herron, and Michael Webb. Traveling for a remarkable seven years, it presents collages, slides, videos, models, and installations that immerse the visitor in the group’s ludic, organic sensibility. The show suffers somewhat, perhaps, from the sheer virtuality of the projects on view and the demands this places on viewers to imagine what they’re looking at. Some may wish for more contextualization to help distinguish