International Sculpture Center

   
Oct 2011
Vol.30 No. 8

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - Sook Jin Jo: O.K. Harris
by Jonathan Goodman
Korean sculptor Sook Jin Jo has been living in New York since 1988; she had her first solo show at O.K. Harris in 1990. In the more than 20 years that she has been working in America, she has produced outstanding sculptural assemblages, drawings, collages, photographs, performances, and site-specific installations. Her first public project, the recently completed Wishing Bells/To Protect and To Serve (2004–09), consists of 108 bronze bells—one for each of the 108 negative emotions recognized in Buddhist theology—hanging from an open steel grid situated in front of a detention center in downtown Los Angeles. Always searching for a language that does justice to her spiritual concerns, Jo treads the waters of modernity rather carefully, finding refuse on the street and reassembling it into remarkably evocative installations. Presence and absence—the inevitability of death—mean a great deal to her; her sensibility engages in constructions that build a world of spirits, with emptiness providing a formal aesthetic as well as philosophical insight. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Sook Jin Jo, Chairs, 2000-10. 200 found chairs, dimensions variable.
San Francisco - Andy Goldsworthy: Presidio National Park and Haines Gallery
by Peter Selz
Andy Goldsworthy has been a presence in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost 20 years. The Haines Gallery, which curated “California Projects,” Goldsworthy’s first U.S. show (1992), has also sponsored residencies for the artist to create work in the Sierra Nevadas and the Santa Barbara coastal area, as well as in Sonoma County. At the Oliver Ranch in Geyserville, he produced six small installations of wood and stone, “lasting a few minutes to several months.” Unlike Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Martin Puryear, and others working at the ranch, Goldsworthy did not want to make his mark on the land. In fact, most of his early works were ephemeral pieces made of wood, pebbles, icicles, or feathers that can be seen as unassuming oblations to nature. His non-intrusive work is related to that of the English sculptors Richard Long, David Nash, and Hamish Fulton, standing in opposition to the American Land artists whose monumental works in the Western desert were at times disruptive of the ecology. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Andy Goldsworthy, Hand hit site dust, 2008. 6 unique Ilfochrome prints, 16 x 16 in. each.
Boston - Rosalyn Driscoll: Boston Sculptors Gallery
by Marty Carlock
Rosalyn Driscoll’s concern throughout her career has been haptic studies, the investigation of tactility. She has sometimes invited viewers to don blindfolds, touch, and guess the materials—wood, metal, stone, leather, pebbles—used in her constructions. Her new work takes a different but logical direction. Dris?coll’s material of the moment is rawhide. She shapes it wet over a form, encouraging it to follow her ideas but never knowing how the skin will change as it dries. There’s a good deal of happy accident here—the hide in Homage to Turner curls up like surf and breaking waves—the curing process even provided some white froth. (I feel sure this piece was titled after the artist saw the result.) The translucence of rawhide is exploited to good effect in large pieces stretched over cubical frames, tans and browns overlapping in abstract ways. Driscoll plays off the organic aspects of the skins by combining them with hard-edged contemporary materials such as copper tubing and neon tubes. Depending on whether she uses or conceals the beauties of rawhide, her work ranges from visually luscious to grotesque. Revelation, sensuous and rich, is at the sumptuous end of the spectrum....see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Rosalyn Driscoll, Homage to Turner, 2008. Rawhide, 48 x 54 x 56 in.
New York - Ronald Bladen: Loretta Howard Gallery
by Robert C. Morgan
In recent years, Ronald Bladen has been cited as a “Romantic Minimal?ist,” along with Robert Grosvenor and Robert Smithson. As I recall, the term first appeared in Robert Pincus-Witten’s book Post?minimal?ism (published in the late 1970s), where it distinguished what these artists did from the epistemologically pure Minimalism of such artists as Judd, Flavin, Morris, Andre, and LeWitt (who was the first to disown “minimal” in favor of “conceptual”). Bladen, though, has his own unique history among this group of artists, who all emerged in the 1960s in New York. While part of the movement, he was rarely cited as one of the clan. Bladen was never an insider, though he appeared in important early exhibitions such as “Primary Structures” (Jewish Museum, 1966), “American Sculpture of the Sixties” (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1967), and “Scale as Content” (Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1967–68). The list of important exhibitions goes on (both before and after his death in 1988), with significant exposure both in the U.S. and Europe. This show of large-scale works, including Wedge (1971) and Host of the Ellipse (1981), revealed Bladen’s originality and his willingness to go beyond the scope of hard-core Minimalism....see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Ronald Bladen, Black Lightning (Garden), 1981. Painted Aluminum, 8 x 20 x 2 ft.
New York - Jim Campbell: Hosfelt Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
San Francisco-based light artist Jim Campbell, who studied math and engineering at M.I.T., began constructing interactive video environments in the mid-1980s. He has worked with LEDs for more than 10 years, using them in arranged sequences of lights whose brightness changes over time; the dim, blurry images that result can suggest anything from bird flight to a taxi ride. The low-resolution images intimate real things, but they ask that we fill in the spaces as the numerous lights go on and off. In doing so, we complete the picture, the lights almost becoming part of the brain’s consciousness. There is an interesting synthesis between the moving image and the lights that represent it. Arranged in a grid, the light pattern reads as a sculpture in its own right—before viewers make sense of the flickering images. Exploded View (Birds) (2010) consists of a three-dimensional outlay of 1,100 LEDs hanging at intervals that allow visitors to walk through them. Viewers see birds fluttering as they take flight and land— but only when they face the lights....see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Jim Campbell, Taxi Ride to Sarah's Studio, 2010. Custom electronics and 775 LEDs, 14 x 9 x 1 ft.
New York - John Clement: Causey Contemporary
by Jonathan Goodman
The very large, garage-like space of Causey Contemporary just barely had room for John Clement’s Oiler (2011), which consists of two curved tubes of 20-inch-diameter welded steel that reach more than 18 feet in height. A remarkable gesture, Oiler gives the nod both to the monumental art of Mark di Suvero—as a young man Clement apprenticed with him—and the metal arcs of the French-born, New York-based sculptor Bernar Venet. But it should be said that Clement’s art is very much his own, both in its playful extravagance and its handling of form. Surprisingly, even the big works have a lightness to them; one of the most attractive aspects of Oiler is the seemingly weightless lyricism of its overall gestalt—this happens despite the fact that it weighs some 16,000 pounds. (Scale became a point of interest in itself: the work was so large that it had to be assembled in the gallery, which provided ear protection and hard hats so the public could watch.) ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

John Clement, Freckle, 2010. Welded steel with pigment, 10 x 8 x 8 ft.
New York - Betye Saar: Michael Rosenfeld Gallery
by Stephanie Buhmann
Betye Saar spent four years preparing for this exhibition—not a small effort, considering that she is 84 years old. The result was an impressive installation, and it demonstrated that Saar continues to be a creative and critical voice to be reckoned with. In addition to several collages, the show featured 20 of Saar’s signature mixed-media assemblages, all involving birdcages. Collected at yard sales, flea markets, and antique shops, these finds were presented on pedestals and suspended from the ceiling. Each one contained different objects, ranging from model ships, woven braids, and artificial birds to racially degrading Aunt Jemima figurines. Within this dramatic display, formerly lifeless objects were transformed into confined protagonists, alluding to social, racial, gender-based, psychological, spiritual, economic, and historical exclusion. Saar has worked with notions of repression and resistance for over four decades. As a woman born in the 1930s of African, Native American, and Irish descent, she has experienced firsthand the difficulties of exclusion....see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Betye Saar, installation view of "Cage: A New Series of Assemblages and Collages," 2010.
Richmond - “The Nameless Hour: Places of Reverie, Paths of Reflection”: Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University
by Michael Maizels
“The Nameless Hour” explored the oneiric imagination through a variety of sculptural and projection-based installations. Featuring Janine Antoni, Pipilotti Rist, Stephen Cartwright, Spencer Finch, Sigalit Landau, Paul Pfeiffer, and Stephen Vitiello, the show drew its inspiration, as well as its title, from Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Reverie. For Bachelard, reverie is not a condition of idle musing but a state that can invigorate the imagination and stir the soul. Collected within the context of the exhibition, the selected works were intended to function as stimuli for such active reverie. Water—and our weightlessness within it—served as a unifying theme, a metaphor for the detached fluidity of the dream state. Landau’s projection DeadSee features the artist floating in the famously saline Dead Sea, buoyantly lounging in the midst of a slowly unraveling spiral of watermelons. The seeming non sequitur of the melons (watermelons perhaps operating at the level of linguistic rather than logical association) lends the piece a dream-like quality, and the artist’s nude body, languid in the aqueous environment, seems suspended in a realm of amniotic fluid. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Janine Antoni, Tear, 2008. Lead, steel, and HD video projection with surround sound, dimensions variable.
Victoria, Canada - Daniel Laskarin: Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
by Rachel Rosenfield Lafo
When encountering an artwork for the first time, there’s a natural desire to try to understand it, to ponder the artist’s motivation and the work’s meaning. Daniel Laskarin’s 10-year survey, “Agnostic Objects (things persist),” thwarts this impulse. The sculptures intrigue yet mystify, their meanings open-ended and seemingly just out of reach. They demand close and repeated looking. Laskarin uses a range of hard and soft materials and works with video, sound, and mechanical components, fabricating new forms and combining them with found objects. His sculptures are experimental in nature—or at least they appear to be. We can imagine him trying one material and shape, associating it with another, then rearranging it, adding, subtracting, and so on. The sculptures stand on the verge of becoming something, or suggesting something, hovering around the edges of recognition. As a former engineer and helicopter pilot, Laskarin certainly knows how to build things, yet some of his sculptures appear on the brink of collapse due to the seemingly precarious nature of their construction. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Daniel Laskarin, Packing the Fleece and Trapping Owls, 2006-10. Powder-coated aluminum, steel, rope and moving blanket, 44 x 58 x 50 in.
Birmingham, U.K. - Donald Judd: IKON Gallery
by Nina Murayama
Few opportunities exist to see Donald Judd’s furniture. Chronologically arranged and subtly installed, this exhibition introduced viewers to the renowned Minimalist’s lesser-known career through a comprehensive overview of his furniture design from 1966 to 1992. Judd’s furniture offers a gratifying visual experience, providing a range of perspectives from which to interact with the works, whether as a whole, from the sides, or through details. Though the pieces all have rational dimensions and function-serving forms, they also possess a strong sense of aesthetic control. For instance, when viewed from the side, Bookshelf #34 displays a perfect square grid from the bottom to the top shelf, but its compositional integrity would be compromised if books were placed on the shelves. The thin white width of the Finland Color Plywood stools elegantly defines their geometric shapes, yet they appear too thin and delicate to sustain human weight....see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Donald Judd, instalation view of "A good chair is a good chair," 2010.
Munich - Arne Quinze: Galerie Thomas Modern
by Elizabeth Lopeman
Arne Quinze’s works are immediately recognizable—composed of multiple bright orange boards that flow together at seemingly arbitrary angles to make huge, organic, cloud-like shapes, meant as metaphors for cooperation between people. He frequently designs his sculptures as bridge-like forms; for instance, in Brussels, he created an 80-meter-long installation connecting the Flemish Parliament to the House of Representatives, and in Shanghai, his Red Beacon is meant to inspire conversation. But the works in “My Home My House My Stilthouse” appear to be less interested in the fluidity that Quinze has explored for years, returning instead to the strong 90-degree angles found in his earlier constructed stilthouses and in the “Bidonvilleview” series. The exhibition included pieces in four categories: Chaos Boxes, Stilt?houses, Views, and one large Stilthouse-like installation. The most polished forms are the Chaos Boxes—neatly packaged collections of brightly painted, intersecting sticks contained in large glass boxes....see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Arne Quinze, My Home My House My Stilthouse 100910, 2010. Wood, paint, nails, and print plates, dimensions variable.

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