Molly Nesbit

  • “OLAFUR ELIASSON: IN REAL LIFE”

    Curated by Mark Godfrey and Emma Lewis

    Sixteen years ago, Olafur Eliasson took over the Tate’s Turbine Hall and filled it with the light of a single day. The yellow sun and its orange glow made for an afterimage so overwhelming and profound that the memory of The Weather Project, 2003, set a high bar for anything else he might ever do. He has, nonetheless, been busy. The Tate has invited him back for a retrospective this summer that will load three decades of work into all manner of available space. Intuition, teamwork, logical paths, open roads, and honest dreams have produced an extremely

  • TOMÁS SARACENO

    The Palais de Tokyo will be entirely given over to Tomás Saraceno this fall—enough room, finally, to lay out the true nature of his practice. Forget the question of medium; it is too small. Caught between architecture and sculpture? Not really. Think in plotlines. In the suspense between balloons and spiders, dust particles and scientific collaborations, Saraceno works to cross-limit conditions: He finds his space of operation on the other side, in the air that supports life. He integrates, jumps forward—an action artist—with projects, prototypes, and new music.

  • COSMIST RAYS: THE RISE OF COSMISM

    IF ONLY HE COULD WAKE UP, Nikolai Fedorov would be very surprised. He has gone from being merely an unknown writer; the illegitimate son of a Russian prince; a man drawn back again and again to the stark landscape of the steppes; a minor librarian with a magisterial command of Moscow’s greatest library, the Rumyantsev Museum; a nineteenth-century Russian about whom any number of novels might have been written—he has gone from a life lived in relative obscurity to a place in history. Today, he, Fedorov, is being celebrated as the father of cosmism.

    Cosmism is on the march. Lately it has been

  • Linda Nochlin

    FOR THOSE OF US who knew her, there is no summing up Linda Nochlin. Where to start? With “Matisse Swan Self” (the title of the poem she wrote about a drawing of a swan Matisse made the year she was born)? With the Royal Portal of Chartres (the subject of a lecture that Adolf Katzenellenbogen gave one day to the students at Vassar, where Linda went to college, and where the Portal and the doors of art history opened for her)? Or with her recipe for meat loaf? The pink lemonade promised by the Utopian Charles Fourier? All these things mattered to her, but many other things did as well—her

  • Philippe Parreno

    Philippe Parreno will bring the Park Avenue Armory back to life as a hydra-headed Gesamtkunstwerk gamelan. It will rise like the summer wind and swell with dream and dance, impulse and pulse. Parreno, the keeper of the beats, will be on hand to play his meta-instrument forward. No loops. Some films will be set in motion—they include Marilyn (2012), Invisibleboy (2010), Anywhere Out of the World (2000), and a new work made in New York. Twenty-five movie marquees will blink back in the darkness. Tino Sehgal’s reanimation Ann Lee, 2011, will walk up

  • CLOSE-UP: NORTHERN LIGHT

    WHEN ARTFORUM WAS BEING BORN some fifty years ago, it was not uncommon for artists themselves to write. “Before he became a painter,” Lucy Lippard explained in 1970, “[Lawrence] Weiner was a poet. He no longer writes, but his book, Statements, published by Seth Siegelaub in 1968, presents his work in a form generally associated with poetry––a single phrase per page, with blank facing page, no punctuation, and such eccentric, nonhyphenated word breaks as f/rom, st/andard, pressur/e.” These lines anchored an essay titled “Art Within the Arctic Circle,” which she included in her book Changing the

  • the best books of the year

    Twelve scholars, critics, and artists choose the year's outstanding titles.

    YVE-ALAIN BOIS

    A book like Alastair Wright’s Matisse and the Subject of Modernism (Princeton University Press) is enough to rekindle my faith in the future of art history as a discipline. (Here I could also mention two other such rare pearls from 2005: Maria Gough’s The Artist as Producer: Russian Constructivism in Revolution [University of California Press] and Christina Kiaer’s Imagine No Possessions: The Socialist Objects of Russian Constructivism [MIT Press]). The first amazing trait of Wright’s book is that it manages

  • BRIGHT LIGHT, BIG CITY: THE ’80s WITHOUT WALLS

    In Buffalo, in art school, Cindy Sherman sat down in a photo booth and gave the camera a look. She came up under Lucille Ball’s face so successfully that her own face subsided. Most people her age were swimming in another direction, preferring the pond of their own nonconformity. Hers was a different, though still contrary position: The negative of your negative is my Lucy. This idea had led her first toward elaborately unpredictable appearances at parties. Her boyfriend, the artist Robert Longo, suggested she combine them with her work. Was he proposing an imitation of life? The two of them

  • BEST OF THE ’90s: BOOKS

    Homi K. Bhabha: The times are out of joint, perhaps never more so than when we are seduced by that decade-end desire to say, One last time, what was the great work of the ’90s? The ’90s began in the late late ’80s with the big bang of The Satanic Verses, and the decade dribbles on with small arms sniping around an elephant-dung madonna. In between times, we realize how powerful is the appeal to religious orthodoxy; how insecure our sense of the secular; how fragile any idea of global cultural understanding; how the politics of art rarely lies in the artifice itself, but all around it, in the

  • HOUSE PLAY: REM KOOLHAAS

    Rem Koolhaas is identified with an architecture that addresses the city, or as he would say, bigness. He is probably better known to the art world for S, M, L, XL (1995), the fat brilliant book he did with Bruce Mau. Koolhaas is an architect much admired for his thinking, one about whom one speaks dramatically and justifiably of great buildings not built (the TGB in Paris, the ZKM in Karlsruhe, the MoMA in New York). But he and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) are anything but paper architects. If their finished buildings seem obscure to Americans, it is because there are none for

  • Arturo Schwarz

    ARTURO SCHWARZ CAN be happy. His relation to Marcel Duchamp has by now become a permanent part of the artist’s story. His own account of Duchamp’s life and work, which made its initial appearance with the first edition of this book in 1969, is another, much more controversial, less joyous matter, but Schwarz has already received his criticism, wears it as a badge, and grandly, even proudly, gives us virtually the same account again. Anyone who cares at all about Duchamp’s work will be happy, too, for the appearance of the new edition of his long-out-of-print Duchamp catalogue raisonné. Expanded

  • Les Cases Conjugèes: Hommage à Teeny Duchamp

    Teeny Duchamp died peacefully, not quite ninety, ever the lady, at home in Villiers-sous-Grèz on the Wednesday before Christmas. She will be much missed by those who knew her. For those who never had the chance, something of her light could still be seen last spring in this small but elegant homage at the Jeu de Paume, which was conceived by Daniel Abadie, curated by Olivier Grasser, and realized with the help of Teeny’s daughter, Jacqueline Monnier-Matisse. The show consisted simply of portrait photographs, chess sets and memorabilia, a large drawing of Teeny by Henri Matisse (the father of