Reviewing Artforum’s Advertisements: February 2014

  • February is the shortest month of the year, which means that you have to make your way through Artforum even more quickly than other months. (Except when it’s summer, of course.) Best start cracking now! You’ll want to look out for Jeffrey Weiss on Robert Morris, Manthia Diawara on Kader Attia and Hal Foster on Isa Genzken. Lots of good stuff.

    We’re here now for the ads, though. Click the accompanying slide show to savor the best of them. There are some fine ones, including a mysterious unattributed full-pager, which is apparently part of a secretive ad campaign. (Some wise marketer knows how closely the pages of the art world’s journal of record are examined each month.) Enjoy.

  • I enjoy such textural abstract paintings as much as the next guy but am consistently frustrated that it's not socially acceptable to put my face up right against them. This ad solves that problem. Plus look at those books! — D.D.

  • Almost too many great things going on here to list. I love the name, obviously, since it reminds me of playing lacrosse back in the day, when we would yell that at each other on the field: "Sacrifice your body!" Here it's written in a delicious, almost Road House-style font. Plus there's a skeleton wearing a Florida Seminoles cap. They're winners—2013 national champions—just like Mr. Ethridge. Then you have the crazy wallpaper thing going on in the background and I just have to stop now. So great. —A.R.

  • This may be either too nerdy or too gross, but "Panopticum" is not only not a word, it suggests something really icky. Like a porno set in prison. —Z.L.

  • When I picked this ad, it was mostly because the overcrowded beach scene reminded me that, while it may be miserably cold here, there are at least some hot places I wouldn't rather be. There's no trace of a gallery name, though, so in the tradition of the hard-hitting journalism that brought you the Pentagon Papers, I called Artforum, to investigate. There, a representative told me "It’s part of a secret campaign that will reveal itself in an ad in the March issue." Try not to fall off the edge of your seats, folks. —Z.L.

  • We've all seen the image in the background, but the one on top really gives us an idea of how weird this new movie is going to be. —D.D.

  • Little Richard once told Rolling Stone magazine, "The Rolling Stones started with me, but they're going to always be in front of me. The Beatles started with me — at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, before they ever made an album — but they're going to always be in front of me. James Brown, Jimi Hendrix — these people started with me. I fed them, I talked to them, and they're going to always be in front of me." Now here he is. In this Artforum ad. I can't help but see that as some kind of validation. —Michael H. Miller

  • The noble barn owl, dear reader, is a favorite animal of mine, and seeing one here sitting on top of that snazzy falconry glove makes me wonder why I would write about this, or any, fair, when I could be pursuing a career in the owl-related arts. —Z.L.

  • It says: "MARK FOOL IS RESENTED BY STUART SHAVED MODERN ART." I somehow doubt that anyone in this photograph really cares about that, or the "hidden message" behind it. —M.H.M.

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