Jan Tumlir

  • Night, 1994.

    James Welling

    Unlike the bulk of his re-photography peers—Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Jack Goldstein—who simply applied the medium as a tool for making fine art (even if fine art about art), James Welling has always identified himself as a photographer first, never ceasing to relate the medium’s particular traditions and conventions in his work.

    Unlike the bulk of his re-photography peers—Sherrie Levine, Robert Longo, Jack Goldstein—who simply applied the medium as a tool for making fine art (even if fine art about art), James Welling has always identified himself as a photographer first, never ceasing to relate the medium’s particular traditions and conventions in his work. Organized by Marie-Thérèse Champesme for the Palais des Beaux-Arts, this 200-work retrospective differs from recent exhibitions in privileging the most abstract strain within Welling’s oeuvre: the early-’80s series “Aluminium Foils”

  • Chris Burden

    Jan Tumlir looks back at the shot heard round the art world—Chris Burden’s 1971 performance piece, Shoot.

    HAVING TRUDGED THROUGH the muted reliquary that was Paul Schimmel’s 1998 survey “Out of Actions” at LA MoCA, one local critic closed his review with the complaint, “You had to be there.” These familiar words of apology gain a particular poignancy when applied to the works of Chris Burden, which coax an often devastating lyricism from the discrepancy between an intense action and its openly insufficient record. Nowhere is this more evident than in the infamous Shoot, 1971, which yielded just

  • Liz Larner, Ignis (Fake), 1998–99.

    Liz Larner

    Over the past fifteen years, Liz Larner has charted a particular (and productive) course, with one foot firmly planted in the historical discipline of sculpture and the other sliding in the directions of architecture and installation, painting and drawing, even photography.

    Over the past fifteen years, Liz Larner has charted a particular (and productive) course, with one foot firmly planted in the historical discipline of sculpture and the other sliding in the directions of architecture and installation, painting and drawing, even photography. What ties it all together is her concern with the perceptual frame. From the early, reputation-making Corner Basher (a wrecking-ball-and-chain contraption let loose on the corners of the gallery) to her recent wonky cube structures, the eye is constantly drawn to the edge, where the imagination may begin its work of deformation.

  • Katharina Fritsch, Elefant, 1987.

    Katharina Fritsch

    The Tate press packet calls Katharina Fritsch “one of the most important artists to have emerged from Europe in the last twenty years”; still, she remains something of a critical enigma. Her familiar forms, derived as much from Disney gift shop as medieval reliquary, exert broad appeal, but the purported accessibility can be deceptive. Shifts in scale and hue, single motifs such as the ubiquitous Madonna proliferated into mountains of replicas—these are her means of reenchanting the generic object. Or is it the other way around? Interpretations are split, which might be the point since value

  • “Snapshot”

    In the slim catalogue to this latest overview of “New Art from Los Angeles,” all twenty-five participants are said to be either “investigating” or “exploring” something. First up, Mark Bradford is “investigating the mixed, contradictory and hybrid space of the popular.” Next comes Edgar Bryan, who “has taken his investigation of this traditional medium [i.e., painting] to an unusual depth.” Tessa Chasteen, meanwhile, is herself proposed as the object of inquiry with “drawings [that] reflect the role that drawing plays in self-discovery.” With Lecia Dole-Recio we are back to investigation, pure

  • THE HOLE TRUTH

    VANCOUVER, BC—BRITISH CALIFORNIA, some locals call it, referring no doubt to their city's ongoing annexation by the Hollywood dream factory. As a matter of fact, Vancouver's topography and even its temperature are reminiscent of Golden State climes, and there's that nagging sense of unreality. Vancouver, like LA, is a filmmaker's paradise, providing every sort of setting—city, suburb, and wilderness—in a relatively compact area. Jeff Wall has lived in the Canadian metropolis since earliest childhood, and his photographs, even at their most fantastic, are inevitably rooted in the

  • TENTH REUNION: “PUBLIC OFFERINGS”

    THE EXHIBITION NOW titled “Public Offerings” has undergone a lengthy and complicated gestation. The idea of exploring the impact of art schools on the production of art in Southern California first came to LA MOCA curator Paul Schimmel when a series of ever more derisory articles looking at the phenomenon—Dennis Cooper’s “Too Cool for School” in Spin (July 1997), Andrew Hultkrans’s “Surf and Turf” in these pages (Summer 1998), and Deborah Solomon’s New York Times Magazine piece “How to Succeed in Art” (June 1999)—began to appear. To endow the proceedings with the requisite critical breadth,

  • Public Offerings

    Helter Skelter, Part Two? Initially planned as a sociological inquiry into the impact of art schools on the contemporary scene, Paul Schimmel’s latest curatorial scoop has metastasized into nothing short of a sprawling overview of the ’90s. London, New York, Berlin, and Tokyo have joined the lineup of pedagogical pressure points. Now, alongside the ubiquitous Jorge Pardo and Diana Thater, we can consider such figures as Renée Green, Manfred Pernice, and Takashi Murakarni—all relatively young artists who hit it big, fast. Some key shows will be reproduced in full, others not. Hackles are

  • OPENINGS: HEIDI KIDON

    Following the efforts of artists like Liz Larner and Jim Isermann, alongside the larger concerns of their work a whole new category of West Coast abstraction has emerged that is at once revisionist and—here’s the hook—irony-free. For this “next generation,” only the barest vestiges of a critical cover remain to mask the frivolity of aesthetic play or experiment. Their avenues of choice are those ungainly in-between moments of late-modern art history when painting began to morph into sculpture, projecting its mass up to the ceiling, down to the floor, from wall to wall, or simply out into the