Stuart Morgan

  • Anselm Kiefer

    Anselm Kiefer’s paintings here are head-on depictions of architecture seen from inside and out. On a black-and-white printed paper inset, a daubed landscape in black, red, brown, and ocher shows a cone-shaped building; a kind of palace seems to radiate force from its walls to the surrounding countryside. As ever, the paint is smacked, smudged, and smeared, applied thickly like plaster and mixed with sand and straw. Yet the buildings themselves, cut paper shapes, deny expressionist emotion. Though the artist himself is absent Kiefer summons up the idea of art in his titles, inscribed as usual on

  • Georg Baselitz

    “In my eyes you see the altar of nature, the sacrifice of flesh, the remains of meals in the lavatory pan, exhalation of bedsheets, blood on stumps and aerial roots, oriental light on the pearly teeth of the beautiful, gristle, negative forms, flecks of shadow, parades of epileptics. . . . ” At the time of his first “Pandemonium Manifesto” Georg Baselitz saw dismemberment as a function of the grotesque. To focus on remnants, protuberances, and fleshy paraphernalia, all with the appearance of independent life, was to force painting to act as “conciliatory meditation,” a means of defusing the

  • THE FIELD OF RHETORIC: AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTOPHER LeBRUN

    The following conversation took place in October in London between Stuart Morgan, a critic who writes regularly for Artforum, and Christopher LeBrun, a painter who lives and works in London.

    Stuart Morgan: In your work this year you have concentrated mainly on painting horses—sometimes pastoral and arcadian, sometimes frenzied and romantic. But before that your work consisted of Claudian landscapes, executed in a composite, historicizing style.

    Christopher LeBrun: I was trying to produce a sting out of the collision of styles. I used various devices, particularly spatial devices, to produce the

  • David Mach

    Everyone knows that Englishmen sit at home in the evenings making models of Westminster Abbey out of matchsticks. No exception to this rule, David Mach piles up thousands of books and magazines to make monumental sculptures—a sphinx, an Eiffel Tower, a reclining nude, a steam train, a Centurion tank. All are monumental but impermanent: each showing demands a laborious remake. And the very nature of Mach’s materials—mainly unsold magazines ready for pulping—hints that this is only one stage in their life. Like Jean-Luc Vilmouth, Tony Cragg, and Bill Woodrow, all Lisson Gallery artists who recycle

  • David Hockney

    David Hockney’s social life seems rather like that of a talk-show host. Events, however trivial, are recorded and used as fuel for the continuation of a semipublic career. Read a book and he’ll photograph you. Relax in a chair and he’ll draw you. For goodness’ sake don’t undress; then he’ll make one sketch of you and another of your discarded clothes. How banal it all is. And with Hockney’s collusion, the media make it both banal and pretentious. My own hunch is that this has led to an acceptance of sheer lack of finish in his work; maybe it’s the vaunted homage to Picasso or the elevation of

  • DOCUMENTA 7: CONTINUED

    This is the second section of Artforum’s coverage of the Documenta 7 exhibition, in which the work of some of the individual artists in the show is discussed. (See Artforum, September 1982, for a review of Documenta’s curatorial approach.) In the November issue, the Venice Biennale will be covered.

    SOL LEWITT

    Sol LeWitt seems to be in a period of productive splendor, a period that was trumpeted here by last fall’s high-reverb, triumphant cubes. LeWitt’s site-specific wall drawing for an alcove at Documenta 7 seemed nearly reckless, so thorough was its involvement with the architecture, even that

  • Joseph Beuys

    While the location of Joseph Beuys’ thinking varies between street and study, thematically his sculpture seems to be undergoing some alarming temporal fluctuation. This recent installation, Dernier espace avec introspecteur (last space with introspector) features his Fettstuhl, an artist’s stool covered with wax, now 24 years old, as well as childhood reminiscences of the Schwanenburg Castle in Cleves, reduced to rubble during the war. At first the dating of the piece, “1964–1982,” suggests a Proustian reminiscence, a desire to fox art history by doubling back while remaining within an avant-garde,

  • Sandro Chia

    In Sandro Chia’s Fratello, one of 42 drawings and paintings in this show, a muscular man stands with arms akimbo, steam shooting from his cranium, and the bulging material of his apron proclaiming a massive erection. In Speed Boy a hefty youngster, with muscles in places where most boys don’t even have places, wears roller skates and seems powered by the violence of his own farting. The mysterious protagonist in Confidential Declaration fires a cannon at nothing, for no apparent reason. Chia’s preoccupation with presenting energy hints at his conception of painting. An explosion exists at a

  • Conrad Atkinson

    Conrad Atkinson’s subjects so far have included unemployment on Merseyside, a strike at a thermometer factory in West Cumbria, the incidence of pneumoconiosis and asbestosis in miners and factory workers, poverty in Britain, and the refusal to withdraw the Royal Warrant from the Distillers’ Company after the announcement of their responsibility for the thalidomide scandal. He can also claim a measure of success in a number of different areas—compensation in a lawsuit against the Arts Council of Great Britain for suppression of the “thalidomide” print, the unionization of whole departments of

  • Markus Lüpertz

    Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Markus Lüpertz made 48 paintings during a six-month period in late 1980 and 1981. In spirit, if not in appearance,they combine that blend of the absurd and the pompous stressed by Sir John Tenniel with elements of secrecy and terror which are Lüpertz’ own addition. The contrast in Lewis Carroll’s book between implacable authority and a natural order in which flux seems the dominant principle yields two distinct styles in Lüpertz’ rendering. In the first, a type of Surrealist portraiture, shapes like deserted buildings are situated in landscapes; the Caterpillar,

  • Victor Newsome

    Victor Newsome’s shift from sculpture to drawing ten years ago marked the beginning of a group of obsessions—with a human figure in a room, with the need to find ways to describe hollow masses, with artistic creation as a function of stylistic demands. Newsome works with painful slowness. Though he paints, the major part of his work now seems to consist of elaborate, drawn preparations for a masterwork—a painting of a woman in a bath—and preparations for these preparations: sets of studies of a single ear, for instance. The drawings and lithographs in his present show have the air of explanatory

  • Braco Dimitrijevic

    As traditional painting the work of Braco Dimitrijevic is chic, stiff, diagrammatic, and impersonal, an insult to the masterpieces it parodies. By calling his show “New Culturescapes” he can sabotage this criticism and gain free play in the area of his choice. The show focused on modernism and returned to a prevailing theme of Dimitrijevic’s career—the application of democratic principles in art, society, and history. A cat may look at a king; by the same token a painted tiger may stroll elegantly through a Dimitrijevic-painted Jackson Pollock abstraction as in Dimitrijevic’s Two Steps Ahead.