PRINT Summer 2019


Jacqueline Humphries, :)green, 2017, oil on linen, 100 × 111".

THANKS TO THE PERVERSE incentive structures of platform capitalism, we have witnessed the weaponization and proliferation of the rhetorical technique of decadent insincerity. On our screens, every emotive utterance drips with the air of pseudo-truth: performative outrage, virtue signaling, disingenuous smarm. Even the most heartfelt cris de coeur sound empty. One day, Notre-Dame burns. That night, an Instagram post appears in my feed: A picture of the blaze, captioned: “So sad.” So sad! Eight hundred years of history—-gone, in a white-hot flame. :(


These are some of the thoughts brought to mind by Jacqueline Humphries’s monumental Emoticon Paintings,* which foreground smiley faces, frowny faces, a number of emoji, and other artifacts of affect, in addition to stenciled fragments from Humphries’s previous paintings and “real” brushstrokes. :)green, 2017, which debuted two years

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.