Stephen Willats

  • Gustav Metzger, Norfolk, England, 1960. Photo: Ida Kar. © National Portrait Gallery, London.

    Gustav Metzger

    IN THE LATE 1950S, I was an assistant at Drian Galleries in London, and that job brought me into close contact with Denis Bowen, who had a small exhibition space nearby called the New Vision Centre. On weekends I would earn extra money by working there. It was a pioneering avant-garde gallery, open-minded enough to exhibit radical artists whom no one else would look at. One day a small figure came in with a pile of paintings and set them up for Bowen to look at. They were figurative works in the David Bomberg style of Vorticism. Bowen, who was kind but didn’t mince words, told the artist that

  • Still from the animated invitation to Flame’s 2013 show at Real Fine Arts, New York.

    The Best Exhibitions of 2013

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum asked an international group of artists to select the single image, exhibition, or event that most memorably captured their eye in 2013.


    Two thousand thirteen was a good year for art. Whoever says the opposite is an ignoramus. I like the artist Flame.


    Alighiero Boetti (Museum of Modern Art, New York) I don’t see all that many shows, but I’d bet on MoMA’s recent “Alighiero Boetti: Game Plan” as one of the recent best. Boetti’s work and name are equally memorable, and to think that he was operating like this well before “

  • Stephen Willats talks with Cory Arcangel

    CORY ARCANGEL: Can you press the video button so we can see you?

    STEPHEN WILLATS: OK. Can you see me?

    CA: No, I—yes. There you are. Oh, there is your studio. Oh, wonderful. There is your other computer. And tons of lamps.

    SW: Yeah. You see, these English studios are very small. The book you’ve got, what book is that?

    CA: Your new book, Artwork as Social Model; and I have a couple issues of your magazine, Control, which I had bought over the years. But before you started Control, in 1965, you had a moment when you realized that art was about the audience, about a new kind of “visual communication.”