Michael Krebber

  • Sigmar Polke

    I FIRST MET SIGMAR POLKE in the 1970s—a decade that has been dealt with too summarily in most of his retrospectives to date, since the prevailing opinion has been that the artist spent these years devoting himself to almost anything but painting: photography, film, travel, experiments in collective living, and other consciousness-expanding activities. But shortly before his death at age sixty-nine in June of this year, an extraordinary exhibition at the Hamburger Kunsthalle—organized by Petra Lange-Berndt, Dietmar Rübel, and Dorothee Böhm—offered a finely articulated, revisionist


    HOW CAN ONE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE COURBET YEAR? After all, that’s what I’m hoping this year will become. I saw the major retrospective in Paris last winter, when it was showing at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais; it is now on view at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art until May 18 and makes its final stop in June at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, France. Notably, for this exhibition, the Fabre, home to so many of Courbet’s major works, loaned out La Rencontre, or Bonjour Monsieur Courbet—whose title the painter’s contemporaries parodied by calling it La Fortune saluant le génie


    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions were, in their eyes, the very best of 2007. Contributions by ten of those artists have been reproduced below. For the rest, see the December issue of Artforum.


    Daniel Mendel-Black, “The Paintings Are Alive” (Mandarin Gallery, Los Angeles) The eleven paintings in this show seemed to create a place for the palette of Play-Doh to oppress acrylic and oil into some perilous graphic universe of cynical optimism. Looking is like falling in these paintings; your eyes are