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Artforum March 2013 Published

March 2013 in Artforum: “The Eighties Called, They Want Their Painting Back”: This is Laura Owens‘s nickname for one of her recent works, whose acid neons and dragged filigrees certainly suggest a gleeful bout with MacPaint circa 1984. But then again, the ’80s never looked quite like this. Over the past few years, Owens has been making pictures that extend her signature exploration of style and decor, at a newly expansive scale and with a striking layering of illusion and opacity, simulation and depth. Critic Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer met with the artist at her new studio, exhibition, and performance space in Los Angeles, 356 S. Mission Rd., where she debuted twelve paintings in January.

“Painting is still painting, but it exists in a post-studio world. The question becomes, What do you do with that tension?”
—Laura Owens

· Curator and scholar Jeffrey Weiss reconsiders the crisis of the object, in response to the recent exhibitions “No Longer Art: Salvage Art Institute” at Columbia University and the Drawing Center’s “In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity.” If the viability of the art object is ever increasingly contingent on paperwork—whether Conceptual document or legal contract—where, then, does aesthetic identity lie?

“The identity of the work—be it object or idea—emerges as negotiable, as if its aura has been fitted with and on/off switch.”
—Jeffrey Weiss

· Avant-garde film and video artist Lewis Klahr has, for the past three decades, made motion pictures out of sounds and images cut from his own cultural cloth—middle-class America of the 1950s and ’60s. Tony Pipolo interviews Klahr about the sources and subtexts strung throughout his works.

“There is a collaborative but also parasitic reality to appropriation analogous to swindling or a confidence game. As a filmmaker, am I a fake or a poser?”
—Lewis Klahr

· In response to recent tides in contemporary curating, criticism, and global artistic production, Tom Holert prescribes a rethinking of art’s responsibilities after the so-called social turn.

“Art can take responsibility, but it need not do so in the linear ways that the law does.”
—Tom Holert

· And: James Meyer sees double in “Matisse: In Search of True Painting” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Todd Reisz expands on the new Stedelijk Museum addition; Maria Lind gets abstract with Doug Ashford, in a discussion about his recent projects; and Alex Kitnick watches Formica become form, at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s retrospective of the late Richard Artschwager‘s work.

· Also: Brian Dillon takes a “Close-Up” look at Helen Marten‘s recent installation Peanuts, 2012; two “Openings”—Travis Jeppesen on video and performance artist Sung Hwan Kim and Suzanne Hudson on painter David Ostrowski; and a suite of “Passages”—Luc Tuymans and Rebecca Morris on artist Raoul De Keyser, and Paul Griffiths and Ursula Oppens on composer Elliott Carter.

· Plus: Nasser Rabbat imbibes “Tea with Nefertiti” at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar; Julian Stallabrass critiques the rhetoric of contemporary curating, reviewing new books by Paul O’Neill and Terry Smith; J. Hoberman gets possessed by Cristian Mungiu‘s Beyond the Hills; Sarah K. Rich pieces together “Artist’s Choice: Trisha Donnelly” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Helen Molesworth trumpets Bennett Simpson’s “Blues for Smoke” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Mexico City–based artist Abraham Cruzvillegas counts down his Top Ten.

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