PRINT October 2002


LIVING ARTISTS HAVE LONG MADE for conflicted subjects of museum retrospectives, as Ed Ruscha's drawing I Don't Want No Retro Spective testified on the cover of his first retrospective catalogue, in 1982. Institutional laurels can lend an eerie historicity to a career in full bloom (and the newly popular euphemism “major survey” isn't fooling anyone). But the historical perspective can be a boon to artists too, offering them a singular opportunity to consider the development of their work—and their changing relationship to the work of others. With a twenty-year “survey” of his paintings opening this month at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, Carroll Dunham has lately been engaged in precisely this kind of personal reflection, which he shares here in a companion “retrospective” of sorts for Artforum.

“Mostly it's about putting myself in the middle of this bunch of things that

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