posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 21, 2009
In her editor’s introduction to the Fall 2009 issue of Art Journal, Judith Rodenbeck discusses a text by Erwin Panofsky that she relates to the current interest in reenactment. Making a further connection to the four essays and the roundtable discussion in the current issue, she suggests that “Panofsky’s insistence on the detailed and intertwined study of form, content, and context here bears reconsideration, albeit under the revised skies of our own time.”
In “Imperious Griffonage,” Hajime Nakatani explores the role of the Chinese written character in the work of the artist Xu Bing and several of his contemporaries, finding that both the standard script characters and Xu’s inventive pseudocharacters show curious signs of a life of their own. In an essay that contextualizes Jo Baer’s paintings and writing of the late 1960s, Patricia Kelly accentuates the artist’s innovative exhibition strategies, intended to engage the viewer in a participatory manner.
Jane McFadden writes about the art of Walter de Maria in “Earthquakes, Photoworks, and Oz,” focusing first on his photoworks of the 1960s and then on his best-known work, The Lighting Field, and its mediation through photography. In her essay on the reception of Louise Bourgeois’s 1964 Stable Gallery exhibition, Elyse Speaks examines the consistency of the artist’s treatment of themes of the body and the home.
Art Journal assembled an expert panel of scholars for a critical discussion of the promises and pitfalls of transcultural exchange in The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989, a 2009 exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. Alexandra Munroe, the chief curator of the exhibition, responds.
In the Reviews section of this issue, Clark Buckner considers three recent books on curatorial and exhibition practice, Marc James Léger examines two books about art and activism, and Soraya Murray evaluates two books on new-media art.