Ida Panicelli


    Voice: What for each of us is inevitable?
    Yudhishthira: Happpiness.

    “OUR YOUTH IS OVER,” declares Yudhishthira, as, with reluctance, he accepts Krishna’s request that he become the King of Kings. And as the eldest of the Pandavas brothers assumes his adult responsibility, Peter Brook’s Mahabharata switches from the calm, legendary tone befitting the childhood of humankind to the chaotic roar of passion, desire, power hunger, and trickery that inevitably accompanies the development of an articulated society. The Mahabharata is a vast cosmogony that pits humans and gods in a worldly conflict between


    That art is non-conceptual in character seems to me self-evident; for what makes possible a work of art is not simply a good translation of ideas, but the capability of “somehow” betraying those ideas.
    —Leonel Moura

    AT FIRST GLANCE, WE MAY think Leonel Moura’s art is conceptual, that it is simply a good translation of ideas into the realm of the visual. On deeper examination, we find his “betrayals,” as he takes into account both the field of language and the field of icons, but ultimately escapes the self-referentialism of both. In Moura’s manipulations of images and words, objectivity and

  • ...Captions

    ON A DOZEN PAGES of this issue of Artforum we have reproduced black and white photographs of artworks from the epochal year 1968. These images, these slices of time and history, inspire a poignancy oddly double-edged. Like the year 1848 so often mentioned in connection with it, 1968 has cast a long shadow of intense expectations and painful disappointments.

    It was a year of endings and beginnings. The generation that was coming of age was born after World War II. These young men and women, whether invigorated by the relative comforts of the ’50s and ’60s, covetous of them, or suspicious of them,


    HAVING TAKEN ON the position of editor, I imagine this magazine as a house, a house large enough to accommodate the ideas and images of all those who participate in the making of contemporary art. Like a house, Artforum has its foundation—the awareness of the past; its frame and walls—the intersections of the present; its doors and windows (even a skylight or two)—the view toward the future. And like a house, Artforum has been built—and continues to stand—through a collaboration among many different kinds of people, with each individual playing an indispensable role. Still, with all this work

  • Alighiero e Boetti

    In the 11 works shown here Alighiero e Boetti once again stages his divided self as the work’s protagonist. This time he has used mirror images of a simplified self-portrait, an emblematic figure of the artist as “artificer” that has appeared in his work since the mid ’70s. The very title of the show, “Tra se e se” (Between self and self), is a reference to Boetti’s two specular images, which close off the upper and lower borders of all 11 of these paper-on-canvas pieces from 1986. The viewpoint is from above, showing the artist’s head in black silhouette and his two outstretched hands holding

  • A Roman correspondent observes a New York institution.

    IF A COMPARISON OF TWO artworks in the 1985 and the 1987 biennials of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, can evoke the difference in mood between the two shows, the best examples for the purpose are Kenny Scharfs vividly colored invasion of the bathrooms and telephone booths in the earlier exhibition and lzhar Patkin’s doleful room in the current one. Patkin’s allegory is painted on sheets of rubber hung like curtains to cover the four walls of a room; it has a sense of didactic heaviness, notwithstanding the rippling movement suggested by its drapes and folds. Where the earlier show

  • Clegg & Guttmann

    In this exhibition, as in a classic 17th-century picture gallery, the color photographs of Michael Clegg and Martin Guttmann (all from 1986) were installed on the walls in two horizontal rows: still lifes above, large-format portraits below. It may seem paradoxical to apply a reference to 17th-century painting to the work of these two young New York photographers, but the images presented in this show are indebted to that particular social and artistic period.

    The subjects in the portraits are posed according to specific formal conventions. In some of these, their eyes are turned toward the

  • Carlo Maria Mariani

    Carlo Maria Mariani’s recent exhibition consisted of two distinct parts. The first showed 11 paintings from 1986, identical in format, that portray American and Italian protagonists of “high art” of recent decades (all of them male), with the exception of the eleventh work, which is a classical allegory that served as the grand finale and the conceptual nucleus of the installation. For this group of paintings Mariani chose to depict eight European artists (Sandro Chia, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Paladino, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, and a double portrait of himself and the 19th-century

  • 4 Scultori

    This show presented the work of Leoncillo, Pino Pascali, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, and Nunzio, ideal representatives of the ’50s, the ’60s, the 70s, and the ’80s in Italian sculpture. The work of Leoncillo exemplifies Italian sculpture of the postwar period. During the ’50s, art informel introduced a new way of confronting the problem of three-dimensionality. The artistic investigations of Leoncillo and other artists centered on the new potentials of their materials, the hidden layers of which were brought to the surface through lacerations, tears, and scratches. The existential sense of this process


    ONCE UPON A TIME. In childhood these magical words announce departure for the worlds of fantasy, story, and myth; in adulthood, that once simple, spontaneous passage loses its ease and immediacy, and the words become a nostalgic memory, a verbal madeleine. As Bruno Bettelheim has argued, fairy tales speak “simultaneously to all levels of the human personality, communicating in a manner which reaches the uneducated mind of the child as well as that of the sophisticated adult. . . . [they] carry important messages to the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious mind, on whatever level each

  • Alfredo Pirri

    Alfredo Pirri has behind him a long career as a set designer; he worked with the theater group Kripton and has also produced videos and video installations. Yet his work as a painter has had little documentation up to now. In this, his first one-person show, he presents a homogeneous group of works that already demonstrate a level of maturity in terms of both stylistic form and richness of content. His is a difficult kind of painting, without estheticizing concessions. His range of articulation begins at zero and varies through the addition of calibrated and firmly controlled minimal passages.

  • Rhonda Zwillinger

    To embellish means to make something more beautiful, and Rhonda Zwillinger embellishes the panorama of everyday life, with its furniture and mass-produced household goods. The way she embellishes ordinary objects is so extreme that it cannot be defined as “decoration,” but rather constitutes an esthetic statement per se. Above all, Zwillinger deals with the issues of low versus high art and the separation of domestic objects from art objects. Furthermore, she questions other esthetic stereotypes, particularly sexual ones, and contrasts female archetypes with the male archetypes that have been