Reviewing Artforum’s Advertisements: January 2013

  • The January 2013 edition of Artforum—volume 51, number five—has arrived, complete with a winter preview, a superb essay by Beau Rutland on the work of Anicka Yi and Dara Birnbaum writing on Hilma af Klint. There is also a very substantial piece on Frances Stark by Mark Godrey. Lots of great material! However, we are here today for the ads. Six especially strong ones are in the slide show at left. Have a look.

  • For his third solo show at Jack Shainman Gallery, El Anatsui continues to explore sculpture made with found metals. There's one, sort of floating in the white ether of the Artforum page. Also, "Pot of Wisdom" is a good title.--Michael H. Miller

  • Given the ubiquitous presence of rats, asses, and rats' asses in New York, this one hit pretty close to home.--M.H.M.

  • Presentation is important when it comes to showing Robin Rhode, and this ad really nails it. They could have gone with a one pager here, but in giving the piece the space it needs, Lehmann Maupin allows us to experience it like it's taking up an entire wall. It's forcing a chronology, you absorb it piecemeal rather than all at once. Thumbs up all the way. —Dan Duray

  • Well now isn't this just great? How many subway ads have you seen that look just like this? I'm going to quote from the press release here because it's written in the same tone: "...in this latest stab at re-establishing relevancy [Pierson] has opted for the one commercial Grand Guignol he had managed to avoid lo these 30 years: The Badass Motherfucker in a Blockbuster. At 50+ the once winsome troubadour will star as a grizzled anti-action hero in this his biggest budget disaster spectacle to date: THE END OF THE WORLD! As if to insure sang-froid devil-may-fuck you delivery, the recently remodeled Pierson will star AND direct himself in this sure to be crowd pleaser." Me, I'm already pleased. — Dan Duray

  • Showing a work installed in your gallery is a risky move for an Artforum ad. Oftentimes it's safer to create a little bit of mystery, ensuring that people will actually make the trip to see the exhibition. Make them work for it! Here, Zwirner gives us a taste of their upcoming Sandback show, and it just makes one want to visit all the more, to run up and down that palatial staircase, examining each and every inch of that remarkable string. —Andrew Russeth

  • As in Zwirner's Sandback ad, we get just a little slice of the story here. That work on the floor is James Lee Byars's 1989 sculpture The Angel, and it's made out of 125 handblown Murano glass spheres. Can you even begin to imagine what this looks like in person? It's impossible to look at this ad and not start looking at airline tickets to London. —A.R.

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