Jean-Pierre Criqui

  • EATER'S DIGEST: WIM DELVOYE'S CLOACA

    PURE NIGHTMARE OR FONDEST DESIRE, we all dreamed of it; Wim Delvoye has made it. After eight years of collaboration with a team of experts in fields as diverse as gastroenterology, computer technology, and plumbing, the Belgian artist debuted his defecation machine at the Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, last fall, just in time for it to leave its mark on the twentieth century.

    Any observer of modern art could smell it coming: The history of the relationship between art and excrement has yet to be written (no doubt dissertations are in the pipeline), but the link is a solid one. We know,

  • Gerhard Richter, Vier Glasscheiben (Four panes of glass), 1967, Installation view.

    “Voici”

    It is possible to say, if one has a slight taste for paradox, that from the very beginning there has only ever been contemporary art, and so the history of art in its entirety could be described as an interminable succession of contemporary moments. There is something of this Zeno-esque perspective in the subtitle of “Voici: 100 Years of Contemporary Art,” a show that presented such unusual pairings as Jeff Koons and Rodin, Sue Williams and Manet. The inclusion of Manet alone suffices to demonstrate that the strict limits of the century were blithely transgressed; in fact, the oldest work on

  • Christopher Williams

    For example: What relationship is there between a French car from the ’60s—a Japanese student posing for a fashion photo in 1993, papayas (of the Carica papaya Linné sort), and a dishwasher tray filled with brightly colored plates? This is the sort of question raised by Christopher Williams’s first solo exhibition in a French institution, “Couleur Européenne, Couleur Soviétique, Couleur Chinoise” (European color, Soviet color, Chinese color)—a title that is already somewhat confusing in light of the images presented. What was found on the walls of Le Magasin’s rooms, hung (“orchestrated,”

  • Galería Kurimanzutto

    AS SPECIFIC AS A BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT, it was the first thing you read on the back of the small poster that served as the invitation to an exhibition: “The Kurimanzutto Gallery was founded on August 21, 1999, in Mexico City, by Mónica Manzutto, José Kuri, and Gabriel Orozco with thirteen artists to collaborate and represent their work: Minerva Cuevas, Eduardo Abaroa, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Damián Ortega, Philippe Hernández, Gabriel Kuri, Sofia Táboas, Jonathan Hernández, Fernando Ortega, Alejandro Carrasco, Luis Felipe Ortega, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Daniel Guzmán.”

    Kurimanzutto doesn't have its own

  • François Morrelet

    The natural child of Max Bill and Alphonse Allais, born by chance in 1926, François Morellet combines the joys of geometry and wordplay in his work. This ninety-five piece full-career survey, his first in Paris since the 1986 retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou, should prove once and for all that he is one of the four or five most important French artists of the postwar period (to resort to the kind of appraisal that never fails to cause dissension). Daniel Abadie, the museum's director, places particular emphasis on the neon pieces, where the genius of the absurd vies with a programmatic

  • Daniel Buren

    Of the handful of upcoming European exhibitions devoted to Daniel Buren, this pair looms large. In Villeneuve d’Ascq, the emphasis is on the artist’s beginnings through the refinement of his “visual tool” (striped canvas in bands 8.7 centimeters wide, alternately white and color) in 1967. Also on offer, in Villeurbanne, is a retrospective of the “Cabanes,” an in-progress suite begun in 1982 that takes architecture and the notion of in situ (central to Buren’s thought) in a radically new direction. The occasion coincides with the publication of the first volume of Buren’s catalogue raisonné.

  • “Murdering the Media: Karl Kraus's Die Fackel”

    “Art must displease,” wrote Karl Kraus, a master stylist whose artistry was equaled only by his pessimism. A friend of Adolph Loos and Oskar Kokoschka, admired by Walter Benjamin and Bertolt Brecht, Kraus published 922 issues of Die Fackel (The torch), the journal he founded in 1899 and edited almost single-handedly from 1911 until his death in 1936. The exhibition at Vienna's Jewish Museum (which includes nearly 600 photographs) offers a detailed presentation of this unique undertaking that attacked all the moral and cultural pillars of Austria—with particular ferocity reserved for journalists.

  • Bernard Frize

    Someone who makes paintings this, well, different, then gives them titles like 61% True–38% False and Drexel-Burnham-Lambert is bound to hold your attention. Bernard Frize, the most singular French painter working today, has been pursuing a remarkable European career. With about forty paintings, most from the last two years, the show in Tilburg (organized by De Pont director Hendrik Driessen with a catalogue authored by Dominic van den Boogerd) allows a detailed look at a way of thinking about painting in which nothing goes without saying and each work problematizes the conditions of its own

  • Thomas Struth

    At the entrance to the Carre d’Art, site through mid June of the first large-scale exhibition devoted to Thomas Struth’s work in Europe, two oversize photographs face one another: an exterior shot of the Buddhist monastery of Todai-Ji in Nara, Japan, and an interior view of the Pantheon. These international tourist destinations were also originally places of worship, so it’s not unexpected to see these images, among seventy-eight other works by Struth, displayed here, a few yards from the Maison Carrée—a Roman temple from the beginning of the Christian era now transformed, naturally, into a

  • Bruce Nauman

    How does one become a monochrome? The four Art Make-Up films, made between 1967 and ’68, answer that question and show their maker, Bruce Nauman, to be not only painter but painted. This work, in which the artist covers his body in white, pink, green, and black, stirs up from the spectator’s musings an assortment of memories: Noh theater, Al Jolson, the pink and blue bodies of Pontormo’s famous Entombment, even Rodchenko. Faithful to the logic of the monochrome, it is silent, a silence rendered all the more enigmatic by an exhibition subtitled “Image/Text 1966–1996,” and largely (if you take

  • Ghosts of Chance

    IN BOOK 35 OF HIS Natural History, Pliny the Elder tells how the Greek painter Protogenes, frustrated by his inability to finish one of his paintings to his satisfaction, ended up throwing a sponge he was using against the artwork. A small miracle resulted: the hurled sponge did what the painter was unable to do, and “chance placed nature into the painting.” This painterly dilemma—How does one finish? When does one stop?—seems never to have concerned Ellsworth Kelly, whose work, though extremely attentive to the operations of chance, has developed instead through a meditation on beginnings. This

  • New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Venice, Turin, Paris, Cologne, Berlin, Stockholm, Liverpool, London, Brisbane

    MAKING MISCHIEF: DADA INVADES NEW YORK

    This fall, Dada finally gets its due as a stateside movement. Curated by Dada scholar Francis M. Naumann with staffer Beth Venn, the WHITNEY’s show will include Duchamp’s Bride Stripped Bare. . . , as well as more than 200 objects by American and European artists associated with the movement on this side of the Atlantic. Along with the usual suspects—Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and, lately, Florine Stettheimer—you’ll also get to see works like Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (feathers and a champagne glass) and a partial