William E. Jones

  • A SEASON IN HELL

    DAVID WOJNAROWICZ first became widely known during the brief vogue of the East Village art scene in the 1980s, but he distinguished himself from his contemporaries with the seriousness of his literary interests and the depth of his rage. In a passage from his book Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration, he describes his writing as a way of overcoming alienation:

    I had almost died three times at the hands of people I’d sold my body to in those days and after coming off the street and adapting to familiar routines of working and living under a roof, I could barely speak when in the company
  • Vern Blosum

    Between 1961 and 1965, an artist using the pseudonym Vern Blosum made forty-four paintings of common objects in the style of Pop art. These attractive artifacts were sold by Leo Castelli to prestigious collections, while the abstract paintings to which the artist would devote most of his working life achieved little worldly success. This summer at Kunsthalle Bern, curator Lionel Bovier will assemble nearly the entire oeuvre of Blosum’s brief vogue. A catalogue raisonné of this work is also in preparation. However, the artist, who has lived to see the revival of interest

  • THEIR FAVORITE EXHIBITIONS OF THE YEAR

    To take stock of the past year, Artforum contacted an international group of artists to find out which exhibitions and events were, in their eyes, the very best of 2011.

    ERICKA BECKMAN

    Mary Reid Kelley, Sadie the Saddest Sadist (Armory Show, New York) Tucked away in the back of the Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects booth at the 2011 Armory Show was a monitor showing a costumed figure with exaggerated face paint, pacing in front of a hand-drawn black-and-white background. The piece was Mary Reid Kelley’s Sadie the Saddest Sadist, 2009, and the mixed metaphors, narrative snippets, and repurposed

  • film August 23, 2008

    Halsted Plays Himself

    BORN IN LONG BEACH IN 1941 and raised all over the state of California, Fred Halsted rarely left his adopted city of Los Angeles. Capturing the city as few other films could, L.A. Plays Itself (1972), Halsted’s first film, has come to be regarded as a classic within the genre of gay porn. It looks more like an experimental film than a porno, and, in its time, it garnered Halsted the kind of celebrity that simply isn’t possible today. Halsted never held a regular job; he didn’t teach; he had no gallery representation; he had no agent; he didn’t shoot commercials or advertising campaigns; he didn’t

  • THEIR FAVORITE EXHIBITIONS OF THE YEAR

    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 2007. Contributions by ten of those artists have been reproduced below. For the rest, see the December issue of Artforum.

    CATHERINE SULLIVAN

    Daniel Mendel-Black, “The Paintings Are Alive” (Mandarin Gallery, Los Angeles) The eleven paintings in this show seemed to create a place for the palette of Play-Doh to oppress acrylic and oil into some perilous graphic universe of cynical optimism. Looking is like falling in these paintings; your eyes are