IN 1980 I WANTED a closer relationship to the sun, and to get that I decided to make a gold field. I found an engineer at Engelhard Precious Metals in Massachusetts who helped me figure out how to produce a gold mat of four by five feet. It needed to be as thin as possible. It needed to hold together as an object, and it needed to be one hundred percent pure gold. This meant no glue. We came up with a thickness of six ten-thousandths of an inch, which is considerably thinner than a human hair. I was happy about this because it made the object pretty much all surface. We figured out that

  • The Best Exhibitions of 2005

    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 2005.


    “Edward Munch by Himself” (Royal Academy of Arts, London) This show gave me butterflies, screwed me up, and made me cry.


    John Baldessari, “A Different Kind of Order” (Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna) I rarely go to exhibitions these days. Perhaps I’m too jaded. But the Baldessari retrospective was something else. Focusing on his production from 1962–84, it was notable for its curatorial indifference to the marketplace—so


    As LA MoCA’s traveling survey “The Architecture of R. M. Schindler” opens the eyes of museum-goers to the Vienna-born expatriate’s precedent-setting domestic designs, Artforum calls on architects and artists Michael Maltzan, Sam Durant, Roy McMakin, Michael Rotondi, and Wolf Prix to share their views on the California modernist’s legacy. Adding a firsthand reminiscence is Julius Shulman, whose vintage photographs appear here alongside contemporary shots by Grant Mudford. Schindler specialist Judith Sheine opens our roundup with an overview of the architect’s career and reputation, while Sotheby’s

  • Sam Durant

    Self-love and love of others are both modes toward increasing self-valuation and encouraging political resistance in one’s community. These modes of valuation and resistance are rooted in a subversive memory—the best of one’s past without romantic nostalgia . . .

    —Cornel West, Nihilism in Black America

    No culture can develop without a social basis, without a source of stable income.

    —Clement Greenberg, “Avant-Garde and Kitsch”

    R.M. SCHINDLER’S BETHLEHEM BAPTIST church in South Central LA was built in 1944. It replaced a previous structure that was destroyed by fire. Schindler’s only