Anthony Korner

  • Judith Godwin at the opening of her solo exhibition “Judith Godwin: An Act of Freedom” at Berry Campbell, New York, 2019. Photo: George Sierzputowski.
    passages June 11, 2021

    Judith Godwin (1930–2021)

    WHEN THE ARTIST Judith Godwin died on May 29 in her ninety-second year, the art world lost the last living member of a generation of women Abstract Expressionists, a group of artists largely overlooked in favor of their male peers. I lost a dear friend. 

    My connection with Judith came about through our mutual friend Julie Lawson, a London art-world personality and assistant to Sir Roland Penrose, one of the founders of the city’s Institute of Contemporary Arts. Years later, when I was living in New York, Julie introduced me to Judith, who struck me as a delightful and irreverent Southern lady.

  • Claes Oldenburg, Coosje van Bruggen, and Frank Gehry, Il Corso del Coltello, 1985. Performance view, Arsenale, Venice. Basta Carambola (Germano Celant).
    passages July 01, 2020

    Germano Celant (1940–2020)


    For Germano:

    Often the memories we have of friends are tied to small things that are marginal in the history of the friendship but which promptly come to mind the moment we remember them.

    I met Germano in 1968. I had just made my works about the growth of trees in Garessio, a small town on the border between Piedmont and Liguria.

    Germano asked me to send him material for a book he was preparing, the Arte Povera book published by Mazzotta.

    It was only later that he told me that part of his family was from Leca d’Albenga, a Ligurian town twenty kilometers from mine.

    This chance geographical

  • Satyajit Ray, Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), 1955, 35 mm, black-and-white, sound, 125 minutes. Apu’s father, Harihar (Kanu Banerjee), and mother, Sarbajaya (Karuna Banerjee).


    ANTHONY KORNER: I wanted to begin by asking you about the significance of gesture in your work—the idea that a movement on film, as in private life, can mean so much more than the words it would take to express the same thing. In Pather Panchali [1955], for instance, the father returns home after many years, bringing a sari for his daughter, Durga, who he does not know has died. The mother takes the cloth and puts it to her mouth as if to tear it. In that moment, the grief that is expressed is more intense than if she had shouted, “But your daughter is dead!”

    SATYAJIT RAY: Well, one thing

  • Fred Sandback

    I met the sculptor Fred Sandback through my partner in Artforum and copublisher Amy Baker, though I only got to know him after they married in 1982. He was a shy, kind, wryly humorous bear of a man, with the look of someone who wanted to be anywhere else but in the middle of an art-world function. He was an outdoorsman who loved to travel but was happiest and most at home in the woods and lakes around Rindge, New Hampshire, where his family had a house and where he spent much of his time.

    When we first met I knew his work only through illustrations, which give little sense of its quality. I

  • Left to right: David Frankel, Amy Baker Sandback, Anthony Korner, and Ingrid Sischy, 2003. Photo: Lilian Haidar.


    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times—it was a time to eat salad with your fingers. In 1981, INGRID SISCHY, ANTHONY KORNER, and AMY BAKER SANDBACK, the editor and publishers of Artforum, interviewed me for the job of managing editor. They hired another candidate, but we liked each other, and Ingrid soon invited me to dinner. The guests included the film critic David Denby and an apparently wasted Artforum writer who used his fingers to eat oil-and-vinegar-soaked lettuce that drooled down his chin. (“Isn’t he fabulous?” said Ingrid.) Outside afterward Denby huffed, “What is Ingrid

  • Raghubir Singh, 1942–1999

    Raghubir Singh, who died in April, was the most widely published of all photographers of India. Born and raised in Jaipur, Rajasthan, he eschewed the tradition of black-and-white photography in his thirteen books of images of India: Indeed, he considered color to be intrinsic to the culture of the subcontinent. As he wrote in his final collection, Rivers of Color, which shares its title with his recent Art Institute of Chicago retrospective, color is the “fountain of the continuum of life” in India.

    Singh, who was a lecturer at New York’s School of the Visual Arts at the time of his death, was

  • Fourteen Years On: Just the Highlights

    IT IS HARD to believe that 14 years have passed since October 1979, when Amy Baker and I were handed the keys to the old Artforum office on Madison Avenue. We had just concluded the negotiations to purchase the magazine from Charles Cowles, who had owned it for the previous 14 years. Had I known even half the problems and crises that lay in Artforum’s future I might not have embarked on this venture, but what a lot of pleasure, what a lot of friends and allies, and what great art and writing I would have missed.

    We began with “brilliant” ideas and “grand” ambitions. Some, like changing the


    IN A SENSE, O. Winston Link is a diarist. Using notebook jottings as reminders of names and locations, some sound recordings for atmosphere, and, above all, his superb black and white photographs, he documented the end of the era of the steam railway engine in the United States. These photographs are highly idiosyncratic and cogent, being mostly taken at night, when white smoke, steam, fire, bright lights, oiled pistons, and the gleaming metal of locomotives show up to best effect for the camera.

    The handling of scale, balance, lighting, and composition in Link’s photographs makes it hard to


    IN NOVEMBER 1965, A SMALL-BUDGET black-and-white film released in London caused a sensation among film critics. Only the second feature made by its young director, producer, and writer team, Shakespeare Wallah told the story of a small, discouraged group of itinerant Anglo-Indian actors in India, and in doing so interwove such themes as the loss of Britain’s empire, the outsider, and the fascination of movies at the expense of theater. The film became an instant classic. The director was James Ivory, an American; the producer was Ismail Merchant, an Indian; the writer was Ruth Prawer Jhabvala,

  • Aurora Musicalis

    BRIAN ENO IS BEST KNOWN for his music—he has l3 solo albums and 7 singles to his credit, besides numerous collaborations (with Roxy Music, David Bowie, John Cale, and Daniel LanOis, among others) and over 20 productions of albums for other musicians (including the Talking Heads and U2). He has also written music for films and commercials. Yet Eno, who attended art schools for five years, beginning at age 16, is also a video artist, whose work has encompassed not only videotapes but also 45 audiovisual installations in galleries and public places in Europe, America, and Japan. Until recently, my

  • A Not So Still Life and Social Graces

    “I HOPE THAT IS NOT the way Jimmy will remember me after he’s gone,” said Max Ernst. He was referring to an incident at Café Flore in Paris a few days before his son, Jimmy, was due to emigrate to the United States. Max’s first ex-wife, Jimmy’s mother, Lou Straus-Ernst, was present, as was his current mistress, Leonora Carrington, when his second ex-wife Marie-Berthe Aurenche passed by. She saw them all, but for once did not make a scene. This is typical of many occasions more awkward than revealing that Jimmy remembers in this autobiographical book, which concentrates mainly on his parents.