David Rimanelli

  • Graham Hamilton, Parade 1, 2023, ink-jet print on cardboard, storage box, Gaudi bronze powder on water, kick drum pedal, 83 x 41 x 35".
    picks April 26, 2023

    Graham Hamilton

    Graham Hamilton’s exhibition at Theta feels familiar yet off, like its title, “Dearly.” What a curious adverb. What on earth can you be doing if you’re doing it dearly? “Dearly beloved” evokes a wedding ceremony at the outset, though it’s a particular sort of matrimony for those loved very much; the minister might be Protestant but not fire-breathing; and it’s the ’50s, maybe the ’60s. “Dear” is so basic—that, too, is beginning to show its age, its staginess. I myself still address correspondence with the salutation “Dear,” especially when writing to strangers, but that’s all very affected,

  •  Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 1972, stones, doorway. Installation view, Fondazione Prada, Venice, 2019. Photo: Agostino Osio-Alto Piano. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; SIAE, Rome. © Estate of Jannis Kounellis.


    “Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts,” the first retrospective of the Greek artist’s work in North America since 1986, opened this past month at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. On the occasion of this rare survey, Artforum contributing editor David Rimanelli zeroes in on the Arte Povera giant’s career-spanning “blocked door” series, reflecting on the seemingly contradictory qualities that propel—and complicate—the artist’s oeuvre.

    THE LAMEST JOKE about Arte Povera is calling it ricca. I searched my memory and the internet for some hidebound-but-amusingly-so British art critic who made the crack

  • Alfred Hitchcock, Vertigo, 1958, 35 mm, color, sound, 128 minutes. John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart).



    An empty green frame, four and a half by three feet, made of two-inch-wide transparent green acrylic, is suspended from the ceiling about two feet forward of the window to the left of the desk where I write. It was fabricated for a film I made in 1977 but never finished. Bad idea from the start. The green frame was a gesture toward an often-cited scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 Vertigo in which Scottie (James Stewart), the retired detective, waits for Judy (Kim Novak) to return from a hair-and-makeup session that he hopes will complete her transformation into Madeleine, the object of

  • Pierre Molinier, Le messager, 1952, oil on board, 20 1⁄8 × 28 3⁄4".


    In painting I was able to satisfy my leg and nipple fetishism.

    —P. Molinier

    I WAS SHOWING A FRIEND some pictures by cross-dressing painter-photographer Pierre Molinier, and we were arrested by one of the artist en travesti, posing beside one of his paintings, wearing a maniacal grin of the sort one comes to expect in his photographs—a grin that is rich, beautiful, luxurious, desirable, insane, “Joan Crawford stars in Possessed!” The interior is drab, dreary, “comfortable,” in that asphyxiating way we’re familiar with from Zola’s Thérèse Raquin. Molinier is a character mostly of the postwar period,

  • Dean Sameshima, Untitled (Blowjob), 2003, C-print, 12 1⁄4 × 9 5⁄8". From the series “Outlaw,” 2003.


    GIVEN THE RATHER MARKEDLY heterosexual lineups that are taken as the wellsprings of both Minimalism and Conceptual art, one wouldn’t immediately assume that these movements—tendencies or inclinations might be better words—would prove fertile for art with a pronounced gay or queer agenda. Yes, the Gay Agenda—perhaps you’ve heard of it? But a number of queer contemporary artists have indeed proceeded from Donald Judd and Robert Morris and Sol LeWitt and John Baldessari. I’m thinking of Tom Burr’s reinventions of Minimalist and Land art precepts as filtered through gay cruising and the public

  • Jack Pierson, Silver Jackie, 1991, plywood, silver Mylar, Christmas lights, 96 × 48 1⁄4 × 48".


    JACK PIERSON’S SILVER JACKIE looks like nothing much: a rickety little postage stamp of a stage, just a raised platform made by the artist himself, and he says he’s no carpenter. (“Those early stage pieces I did myself—and I’m not a woodworker—so they have a real slapdash quality.”) Behind the stage, there’s a silver Mylar curtain that I can’t pry apart from my memories of 1970s Christmas decorations. It looks cheap; the materials are cheap. This sort of bedraggled, taped-together curtain and stage feel appropriate to those venues that one comes to with few expectations. The best one might expect


    FOR A FIGURE SO SEEMINGLY OBVIOUS, so received into art history and its more populist banlieues, Aubrey Beardsley is fucking hard to write about. My friend and I sit on the bed as I page through Linda Gertner Zatlin’s 2016 catalogue raisonné, and I ask him what appeals, what’s fun. We never say Beardsley. “Aubrey,” my friend always says: just Aubrey.

    So, Aubrey . . .

    Aubrey was born in Brighton, England, in 1872. He died just twenty-five years later, and this premature burial is one of the first things you learn about when you learn about Aubrey. Within the achingly worked-out taxonomies of the

  • Nancy Barton, Swan Song, Lakme, 1988, chromogenic color print and Formica, panel: 60 x 24“; photograph: 36 x 24”. From the series “Swan Song,” 1988.
    picks May 17, 2019

    Nancy Barton

    Nancy Barton’s “Swan Song” is a series in two times. Originally presented in 1988 at New York’s American Fine Arts, Co., this body of work can be located within the trajectory of CalArts’ “Skeptical Beliefs,” with its expectation of ceaseless critique or, at worst, critique reified as “smart” style. This feels like a distant memory, it seems, even though so many significant artists were born of that acidic soil, such as Mike Kelley, Christopher Williams, Carrie Mae Weems, and, of course, Barton herself.

    “Swan Song” consists of ten reliefs that pair photo-based images and text. They mimic the look


    Curated by Chaédria LaBouvier with Nancy Spector and Joan Young

    This woefully timely exhibition takes Basquiat’s rarely shown painting Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart) as its inspiration. Created in 1983 as a response to the killing of the artist Michael Stewart by New York City transit police, after he allegedly tagged a subway station in the East Village, Basquiat painted Defacement directly on the wall of Keith Haring’s studio. In addition to paintings by Basquiat, the exhibition will include works addressing the murder by Haring, George Condo, David Hammons, and Lyle Ashton Harris,


    Curated by Matthew Gale with Helen O’Malley and Juliette Rizzi

    Twenty­-one years after the Tate’s last Pierre Bonnard retrospective, the master dauber of the Nabis will reap­pear at the museum. With one hundred–odd paintings and works on paper, this show should be reliably pleas­ing, even if the pleasure it offers inheres very much in perversity—chromatically unhinged in a genius way, Bonnard’s female models teeter on the edge of decom­position in his claustrophobic paintings. If ever the word deliquescent were unavoidable in art criticism, it ought to be with regard to Bonnard’s torpid

  • David Rimanelli

    PAT HEARN AND COLIN DE LAND were never professionals. Instead, Hearn, who ran a contemporary art gallery that opened in 1983 and whose last show was in 2001, and de Land, whose gallery American Fine Arts, Co., ran from 1984 to 2003, were explorers. Pat Hearn Fine Art was the most elegant gallery in the most bombed-out zone of the pre-gentrified East Village; de Land’s American Fine Arts later followed Hearn onto Wooster Street in South SoHo; and in February 1995, Hearn’s was one of three galleries to open in then-deserted West Chelsea. But more than pioneers of real estate, they were cosmonauts

  • Borna Sammak, Not Yet Titled, 2015, heat-applied T-shirt graphics and vinyl on canvas, 70 x 60".
    picks June 14, 2018

    Borna Sammak

    Those sectional sofas from a timeless 1970s—meaning you can buy one now at Roche Bobois—that suburban feeling, with a hint of swingers (cinematically, more L.I.E. than The Ice Storm key parties, but still: from the ’70s). Or from the Middle Ages, from the Baroque. In my own memory: a seemingly vast serpentine mountain range upholstered in gray velvet, a barrier reef in the seldom-used living room of the house I grew up in. Mystery and fantasy, science fiction and the hint of as-yet-undiscovered porn: One Million Years BC meets Escape from the Planet of the Apes. So yeah, Borna Sammak’s Not Yet