Nayland Blake

  • The Artists’ Artists

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum asked an international group of artists to select a single exhibition or event that most memorably captured their eye in 2018.

    Barbara Kruger

    Bodys Isek Kingelez and “Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980” (Museum of Modern Art, New York, on view through January 1 and January 13, 2019, respectively) Kingelez’s “City Dreams” is all dazzling skill and deep style: a jammy urbanity emblazoned with invented corporate and government logos that speak to both the hope for a peaceful world and the seductions of global capital. The Congolese


    That profound Silence, that only Voice of our God, which I before spoke of; from that divine thing without a name, those impostor philosophers pretend somehow to have got an answer; which is as absurd, as though they should say they had got water out of stone; for how can a man get a Voice out of Silence?
    —Herman Melville, Pierre, or the Ambiguities

    IN 1998, THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY hosted an exhibition called “Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou.” In the final section of the show, one came across several elaborately reconstructed altars, including one for the Haitian secret society

  • “Ray Johnson: Correspondences”

    Despite the fact that his career spanned nearly fifty years, much of it spent in New York and in contact with the most important artists of his day, Ray Johnson has long been famous for being famously unknown. If at times he resented this contradiction, it was also something he relished, refusing to behave in regular-artist ways. He turned down shows, declined interviews, and refused sales. And even though he produced a few trademark images and techniques (his Ignatz-like bunny heads, his clunky yet precise calligraphy, his rubber stamps), none of his works has passed into the common image bank