David Frankel

  • Jacob Hashimoto

    To say that Jacob Hashimoto makes kites, then strings them together in the air, will do as a description of his process but gives no sense at all of the visual quality of Skyfarm Fortress, 2014, the installation that made up this show. To get a sense of the work’s presence, you have to understand that it contained thousands of kites, each a small square or circle of mulberry paper, from four to eight inches across, stretched on a bamboo frame; that the kites were multicolored, some intricately patterned, some monochrome, though even the monochromes kept a sense of pattern and texture through

  • Stephen Shore

    With William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and others, Stephen Shore was one of those who established color photography as an important aesthetic medium in the 1970s. (Before then, in sympathy with a famous dictum of Walker Evans’s—“Color photography is vulgar”—serious photographers had worked mainly in black-and-white.) Beyond the applause he won for this formal shift, Shore is equally acclaimed as a documenter of the American scene. Although he has occasionally worked abroad, he took his best-known photos in the United States, many of them on cross-country drives; he relishes motel

  • Dan Graham

    Dan Graham is famously wide-ranging, working in film, performance, print, photography, and more, but his best-known pieces remain the pavilions that he began to develop in the late 1970s, steel-and-glass structures that shift in the viewer’s mind between sculpture to be looked at and architecture to be entered and moved through. These works are usually designed for specific places, and this year, working with the Swiss landscape architect Günther Vogt, Graham made one for the roof of the Met. Having hosted memorable shows—Doug and Mike Starn and Jeff Koons come to mind—this high outdoor

  • Duane Michals

    Around 1964, Duane Michals had the habit of leaving home in the early morning to take photographs in New York. Michals was already beginning a celebrated career, both in the glossies and in galleries and museums, where his contributions to photographic discourse would come to include the staging of pictures to be viewed in short narrative sequences, fictive and symbolic, and the addition of text, usually in an apparently handwritten or hand-printed script, to guide our reading of them. The New York photos of around 1964, though, remain relatively unknown, and, in fact, this exhibition marked

  • Robert Longo

    Conjuring some of the best-known images in American art through a method both meticulous and transformative, Robert Longo’s Metro Pictures show this past spring comprised a dozen charcoal drawings of classic works of Abstract Expressionism. Copied not exactly 1:1 but in sizes evoking the grand canvases of Jackson Pollock and the rest, the pictures seem instantly and deliciously familiar but at the same time strange, for while they minutely duplicate every detail of their originals, they of course lose all of those works’ color. That’s not so disorienting in the case of Franz Kline’s black-and-white

  • “Judith Scott: Bound and Unbound”

    What’s called “outsider art” has informed modern art for over a century; Judith Scott’s story shows that its example remains powerful. Born with Down syndrome and then left deaf by a childhood illness, Scott spent most of her first forty years in institutions until she was rescued from them by her twin sister, Joyce, in 1986. Within a couple of years, Scott began to make art—works often taking the form of irregular multicolored bundles and poles, intricately constructed of yarn and found mixed materials and with surfaces recalling the wrapping

  • Brian O’Doherty

    Artist, writer, editor, arts administrator, and more, Brian O’Doherty has been well known in the New York art world since coming to the city, in the late 1950s, from his native Ireland. His book Inside the White Cube, first published in 1976 as a series of essays in this magazine, is a foundational critical text, an analysis not so much of art as of its physical environment—the white-walled modern gallery—and of the sociological and ideological networks invisibly embedded there. This was a context designed to sanctify its content by itself receding from the eye, by going unseen, but

  • Kathy Butterly

    As an artist whose medium is clay, Kathy Butterly works between two histories: the tradition of pots—of objects that may well be refined but as vessels must also be useful—and the tradition of art, of useless objects that are nevertheless valuable to us because of the meanings embedded in them by the complexities of their appearance. This basic binary seems to have led Butterly to other ones. As a student, she majored in painting, but she was pushed into ceramics, she has said, by an encounter with the California sculptor Viola Frey: “She took twenty-five pounds of clay, whomped it

  • Moira Dryer

    When a cherished artist dies young—and Moira Dryer died at the age of thirty-four, in 1992, after a five-year struggle with cancer—it is unsurprising if the writing on her verges on hagiography. Everyone who met Dryer seems to have admired both her painting and the artist herself, and if there was anyone who didn’t, he apparently kept his opinions to himself. This recent exhibition, then—the first New York show of Dryer’s art in nearly twenty years—seemed to me something to be approached both eagerly and a little warily. The sadness of her early death could not but add its

  • Dotty Attie

    Dotty Attie first began to exhibit in the early 1970s, a period often remembered as hostile to painting as a medium of significant art. Indeed, although she began her career as a painter, from 1970 onward Attie worked not in painting but in drawing, and when she started to paint again, around 1985, she leaned on the strategies of Minimal and Conceptual art, the schools that had displaced painting in the art world’s attention. Attie worked and continues to work serially, mostly on canvases of the same size, a small six inches square, and she shows her groups of pictures in grids or rows. In doing

  • Helmut Federle

    Once again working in series, as he did for his last show at this gallery, in 2009–10, the Swiss artist Helmut Federle has produced a still more refined and concentrated group of paintings than he did then. As in those earlier works, whose overlapping planes admit a pentagonal shape toward the center of each picture, Federle is working with a single geometric form, this time a circle. But he has eliminated almost all color, and in fact has largely eliminated paint: The medium of most of the new works is no more than vegetable oil applied to unprimed canvas. To the extent that there is color, it

  • Dan Walsh

    “My joke early on about how to describe myself was ‘Philip Guston paints an Agnes Martin,’” Dan Walsh told an interviewer recently, and he is an artist who knows both his art history and himself. The early works he was describing are more spare and less colorful than those he makes now, but his analogy from the interview holds: The paintings, drawings, and books in this show all have an underlying severity—some intimation of Martin-like system and rigor and more broadly of an understanding of the ambitions of modernist abstraction—but Walsh’s subtly humorous designs and color schemes

  • Tim Hawkinson

    Looking at Tim Hawkinson’s work over the years, I’ve sometimes thought of François Truffaut’s famous book of interviews with Alfred Hitchcock, published first in 1967, then with an additive revision in 1984. Truffaut begins by asserting that “Hitchcock is universally acknowledged to be the world’s foremost technician; even his detractors willingly concede him this title.” Yet while making this concession, Truffaut complains, American audiences feel the title is empty, since the films have “no substance,” and for Truffaut substance is inseparable from technique—given all that technique,

  • Philip Taaffe

    I’ve liked Philip Taaffe’s work since I first saw it, in the early to mid-1980s, but I’ve also been puzzled by its reception—by its considerable success and reputation. That puzzle was pointed up for me this summer, when this show of thirteen works mostly from 2013, all but one mixed media on canvas or linen, ran a few blocks away from a simultaneous exhibition by the Pattern and Decoration (P&D) artist Robert Zakanitch, which I wrote on here last month. P&D emerged in the 1970s, won a good deal of attention, then largely fell from critical grace; just a few years later, Taaffe’s early

  • CLOSE-UP: SWAMP THING

    THE WORLD OF WILLIE DOHERTY’S Secretion, 2012, is entropic and still, a place where little moves. Set up visually as a sequence of views of woods, waters, and a deserted house, the video might perhaps have come off as pastoral if shot in breezy sunshine but speaks instead of stagnation and decay. Shooting on windless days of gray light, Doherty finds fungi, lichens, and damp leaf litter in the dank forest, and growths, molds, and creeping mildews in the crumbling house. The only thing in motion is running water, but running water spreading spores of algae, or screened by a milky film. Combining

  • Robert Zakanitch

    A founding member of the P&D (Pattern and Decoration) movement of the 1970s, Robert Zakanitch made a series called “Hanging Gardens,” 2011–, for this exhibition, producing ten paintings in gouache on paper in the same large size, eight by five feet, as well as a handful of smaller pieces. In each work, a curtain of flowers—wisteria, honeysuckle, apricot—runs from top to bottom of the paper. At the top there is always some kind of architectural structure—a frieze, a scroll, an ironwork grid—that hides the flowers a little, sometimes blotting them out, sometimes just making

  • “Max Kozloff: Critic and Photographer”

    Max Kozloff should be well known to longtime Artforum readers, as he has written for the magazine on and off since 1964 and most recently just last September. In the mid-1970s, when he spent some years as Artforum’s executive editor, he began to focus his writing on photography, and at around the same time he became a photographer himself. Now the Art Institute of Chicago is presenting a show of around eighty of his pictures. Also on hand will be a selection of Kozloff’s essays and a group of works by photographers about whom he has written, providing an unusual

  • Thomas McEvilley

    DAVID FRANKEL

    THOMAS MCEVILLEY’S most widely remembered appearances in Artforum, to which he contributed often between 1981 and 1997, must be his essay “Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief” of November 1984 and his ensuing exchange of letters with William Rubin and Kirk Varnedoe, curators of the “Primitivism” show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, that had been the essay’s subject. Anyone not around at the time, almost thirty years ago now, may find it hard to imagine how intense was the argument around those texts, and how wide the fallout, and how both outrageous and courageous they seemed in the

  • Marisa Merz

    Marisa Merz’s name is better known than her work is, at least in the United States. A founding figure of Arte Povera and its only woman artist, she began to exhibit in Italy in the late 1960s, but her first solo show in New York—or anywhere in this country, for that matter—didn’t come until 1994 and was followed by a bare handful of repeats. Her last show in this city, in 2010, contained all of two pieces, and the one before that was back in 2006, so many in New York will have had little direct exposure to her. This may be in part her own doing: She has a reputation as an artist whose

  • Tacita Dean

    Though best known as a filmmaker, Tacita Dean works in a variety of media, including chalk drawings executed on blackboards at large scale. Last year, after a ten-year pause in making such drawings, Dean decided to produce a suite of them as her contribution to the Documenta 13 exhibition in Kassel, where they were installed not in the show’s main exhibition halls but in an off-site space, a onetime bank building appropriated by the Documenta team for the occasion. These were the works Dean brought to New York for her recent show: six drawings of the mountains of the Hindu Kush, the storied