Reviewing Artforum’s Advertisements: February 2012

Intrigued by what this couch in a tree has to do with Robert Grosvenor's terrific new show at Paula Cooper? So were we (Googling "Robert Grosvenor couch tree" yielded nothing). The gallery isn't entirely sure either, but when they called the artist looking for input on the ad, he sent along this slide. They ran it without question, which pretty much satisfies us as well. --Dan Duray
It’s a cheap white lawn chair floating in the black ether of Artforum ad-world. The show is filled with innocuous, everyday objects like this, but we mostly like how much more out-of-place cheap furniture looks in the pages of Artforum than it does even in a commercial gallery. --Michael H. Miller
This ad makes it nearly impossible not to be excited for the upcoming Gagosian Beverly Hills show of new Urs Fischer work. From the hair to the pipe to the James Dean shirt, this painting suggests understated juxtapositions and stellar execution. The press materials say the artist's sculptures in the show are "Pop Minimalist" and you sort of know what they mean, with this ad. --D.D.
The Danish painter snapped this peculiar image himself. Like his paintings, it's pretty easy to overlook, but if you're so inclined, you can spend some time with it and begin to spot some weirdness. What's with the odd door handle? And that text on the door? And that little table in back? --Andrew Russeth
Here's a two-page beauty by Mr. Shrigley made of nothing more than the artist's inimitable scrawl. It's sort of nice to imagine him sitting at a desk somewhere in the U.K. carefully penning the announcement of his first museum show in Britain on behalf of his gallery: "We are very pleased to announce..." --A.R.
It feels a bit like we just dropped into the center of one of Ms. Kusama's large paintings. It's a pretty good feeling. --A.R.
Yinka Shonibare is known for his provocative postcolonial statements and also for, as Karen Rosenberg once put it, occasionally being "embarrassingly literal." So we've got it all on display here, in the Turner Prize shortlister's Fake Death Picture (The Death of Chatterton - Henry Wallis) (2011). Marat never knew how good he had it! He could have gone out looking like an O.D.ed harpsichord virtuoso. Anyway, don't you want to see what else he has in store? --D.D.
We’re used to seeing a young Lynda Benglis appear in Artforum a little more, uh, naked. And dildo-equipped. Behold! Ms. Benglis wearing a scarf! And pants! --M.H.M.
This Artforum ad for Standard (Oslo)’s artist roster appears to showcase some kind of delicious cucumber on toast with an indefinable red, tomato-ish spread concoction and an ambiguous mayo-esque sauce drizzled on top. Good enough for us! Oh, the artists don’t look bad, either. --M.H.M.

What an issue! February’s Artforum has art historian Benjamin H. D. Buchloh discussing Gerhard Richter’s new work in a 20-point essay, David Joselit slamming the New Museum’s Carsten Höller exhibition (“This show succeeded in dispensing with the hope (or fantasy) that museums can offer an alternative to the mall.”) and a portfolio of work by Jack Whitten. It is also rich with advertisements–good ones!–which is why we’re here. In the slide show at left, we present the month’s nine best ads.

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