Art Monthly 402: Dec-Jan 16-17

Art Monthly cover Art Monthly back cover
Philippe Parreno

Interviewed by Olga Smith

After Pollock

Francis Frascina


Mark Prince

Winter Reading

Chris McCormack

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Anywhen 2016 installation view at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall


Being and Nothingness

Philippe Parreno interviewed by Olga Smith

The French artist, one of a group who emerged in the late 1990s associated with the curator Nicholas Bourriaud, talks about his commission for the Turbine Hall, about directing the audience's gaze and about turning an exhibition into a sentient being.

At Tate there are situations where we play and things react – triggered by the bioreactor – so the whole thing becomes this weird biomechanical machine.
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Mary Beth Edelson Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper 1972


After Pollock

Francis Frascina asks why no one is interested in Jackson Pollock any more

Three new exhibitions, including a blockbuster at the Royal Academy, provide an opportunity to examine the hidden processes of persuasion that surround Abstract Expressionism and to highlight those who seek to counter such rhetoric.

Lee Krasner was shocked at being 'kicked out of the gallery because I was Mrs Jackson Pollock'.
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From the Back Catalogue
Babe Power Bad girls or babes – Barbara Pollack on postfeminist art

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Amalia Pica A ∩ B ∩ C (Line) 2013



Abstract art has performed a 50-year volte-face argues Mark Prince

How do iconic paintings by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Mark Rothko, when reconsidered alongside work by contemporary artists including Mark Grotjahn, Laura Owens and Amalia Pica, reveal abstract art's continuing hidden power?

Frank Stella's stripes are paths along which a narrative is plotted. It is characteristic of formalist criticism of the period that, although it inveighed against the minimalist objectification of artworks as mere 'literalism', its insistence on the nuts and bolts of pictorial structure can be over-literal.




Back in 2000 when artist Liam Gillick posed the question 'Were people this dumb before television?', no one foresaw the new dark age of disinformation that social media was about to usher in.

US satirist Stephen Colbert defines truthiness as 'the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true', except that in the post-truth era facts have very little to do with anything.


Responding to Terror

An exhibition held on the site of a terror attack in Baghdad is to be restaged after police closed it down; the gallery at Glasgow Sculpture Studios is to close; the closure of Edinburgh's Inverleith House gallery is to be scrutinised by the culture secretary; LA galleries suffer anti-gentrification attacks in a hate crime row; central Chicago is brought to a halt as students protest outside the Art Institute; the London mayor wants to form a Creative Land Trust to safeguard artists' studios in the capital; the latest news on galleries, appointments, prizes and more.


Tony Carter 1943-20016

Alister Warman

40th Anniversary

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The Missing Issue

Readers with very long memories may remember – and the sharp-eyed among those who have accessed AM's back catalogue online may have noticed – that something is missing from the year 1978. A quick count would soon reveal that only nine issues were published that year instead of ten.

The missing magazine is for the month of April, which would have been issue 16. Instead, the number was carried over seamlessly to the May issue, which ran a fulsome apology and explanation from Peter Townsend and his co- editor and publisher, Jack Wendler: 'The fact is that we got behind on schedules and despaired and decided that the only way to pick up on schedules was to drop an issue.' The apology concludes with the words, 'We'll try not to let it happen again' – and it didn't.

To celebrate 40 years of continuous publication, AM is inviting readers to help create a virtual issue for April 1978 to complete the set, which will be published online in April next year. Contributors are invited to research or simply to imagine what might have been in the issue (for reference, the May 1978 issue can be viewed online). For further information, specifications and conditions check the AM website:

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Katalin Ladik Poem (Serie A), Novi Sad 1978


Deimantas Narkevicius: Doubled Youth

Maria Walsh

Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s

George Vasey

The Scientific Method

Tom Emery


Martin Holman

Nishat Awan: Migrant Narratives of Citizenship

Virginia Whiles

Idris Khan

Lauren Velvick

Pipilotti Rist:Pixel Forest

Chris Clarke

Jonathan Baldock and Emma Hart: Love Life – Act 1

Paul Carey-Kent

Gee Vaucher: Introspective

Matthew Bowman

Keith Piper: Unearthing the Banker's Bones

Mike Pinnington

2nd Bergen Assembly

Bob Dickinson

TULCA Festival: The Headless City

Joanne Laws



12th Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

John Douglas-Millar discovers that art remains vital to public debate

Festival director Peter Taylor is primarily interested in art film and it is here that the festival is strongest, presenting a feast of contemporary work with films by Luke Fowler, Laure Prouvost, Patrick Staff and others in the New Cinema competition.


Winter Reading

Chris McCormack reads about experimentation in literature and life

While the pleasure of an art critic's life is something rarely discussed or mused upon – for largely good reasons – the assembled texts and photographs by artist Joseph Grigely of Gregory Battcock's multifarious life is certainly an antidote to anyone feeling ill at ease with the increasingly hermetic professionalisation of the art world.


Letter From Warsaw

Time Capsule

Laura Robertson finds past and present at Warsaw Gallery Weekend

Warsaw Gallery Weekend has been set up to encourage a more internationalist approach to contemporary art, rather than the previously perceived local, modernist one.

Letter From Cuba

No Utopia

Andrew Hunt on artistic freedom and political control

When utopias, and especially dystopias, are mesmerising the political establishment to a dangerous level, it is clear that the simple act of description becomes a political act.


Arika: Episode 8 – Refuse Powers' Grasp

Naomi Pearce on a weekend of 'taking power by making power'

It was awkward, uncomfortable but felt entirely necessary, a reminder that however partial or fumbling the experience of it may be, active involvement is transformative.



Dealing Differently

Henry Lydiate on new services to help artists get paid by galleries

In the wake of the bankruptcy of the New York-based contemporary dealership Salander-O'Reilly in 2007, and the subsequent imprisonment of its principal director for fraud and theft, flaws in New York State's Arts and Cultural Affairs Law were exposed.




The updated events and exhibitions calendar can also be viewed online.


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