International Sculpture Center

   


April 2012
Vol. 31 No 3

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Boise, Idaho - Mike Rathbun : Boise Art Museum
by Linda Tesner
The muscular arc of Mike Rathbun’s The Situation He Found Himself In became visible as soon as one entered the foyer of the Boise Art Museum. Even from a distance, this soaring tour de force made momentum visible. The tilted elliptical ring, 73 feet across its longer axis and held aloft by X-shaped supports, ascended through a spacious gallery and seemed to burst through the wall and out into the Sculpture Court before boomeranging back into the building through an adjacent room. The Situation He Found Himself In was constructed of sustainable Pacific Northwest lumber, which Rathbun has employed almost exclusively over the many years of his career. Pacific Albus, a poplar hybrid (and “green” timber) harvested at the east end of the Columbia Gorge (not far from Rathbun’s home in Portland) formed the pale core of the ellipse....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Mike Rathbun, The Situation He Found Himself In (detail), 2011. Pacific Albus, Douglas fir, cedar, and hardware, 73 ft. diameter.
West Hollywood - Andrea Zittel : Regen Projects
by Collette Chattopadhyay
With postmodern savvy, Andrea Zittel’s new works study frontierism as a phenomenon whose legacy continues to reverberate within the American imagination. Her recent exhibition featured examples from two distinct bodies of work. One,
a room-scaled installation, extends traditional definitions of sculpture as an object that re-presents the real in mimetic fashion. The second presents a phenomenally rich, ongoing body of work that celebrates traditional women’s work as art. Absent from this exhibition were the A-Z Living Units that brought Zittel recognition in the early 1970s. These works offered conceptual solutions to the high costs and small spaces of living quarters in cities like L.A. and New York.....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Andrea Zittel, A-Z Personal Uniforms Fall/Winter 2003—Spring/ Summer 2013, 2003–13. Mixed media, installation view.
Hudson, New York - La Wilson : John Davis Gallery
by Edward M. Gómez
Now in her mid-80s, Ohio-based, primarily self-taught La Wilson has long made resonant, even transgressive-feeling assemblage works. Her signature form is the box, which she uses to hold compositions made up of everyday objects, very much like a conventional frame provides a border for a painting’s pictorial space. For years, she has scoured flea markets in search of antique packing boxes, the kinds of containers that once held sewing notions or hardware.Over the years, Wilson has gained a cult following among fellow artists working in collage and assemblage. Because her work is more funky-abstract than literary-romantic, it has never really sunk into the consciousness of viewers whose understanding of box-assemblage sculpture begins and ends with Joseph Cornell or self-conscious Surrealist provocation. With Wilson’s work, a winking, postmodern sense of irony about the appropriated and recontextualized can fall flat; her creations are surreal, abstract, or po-mo only by accident or by unintentional affinity, not by design. ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

La Wilson, Holy Wisdom, 2010. Mixed media, 13.5 x 19 x 3.25 in.
New York - Marisa Merz : Barbara Gladstone Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Marisa Merz, one of Arte Povera’s band of stellar sculptors (and the widow of Mario Merz, who also belonged to the group), looks to the attractions of industrial materials. She has had a long career, her first solo show occurring in 1967 at Gallery Gian Enzo Sperone in Turin. Merz is recognized for her idiosyncratic use of copper wire, clay, and wax—materials in keeping with Arte Povera’s preference for humble substances. For this show, she presented two works made with metal sheeting: Sedia, a smallish sculpture reminiscent of an armchair, and two painted columns hanging from the ceiling—both from the larger group Untitled (Living Sculpture) (1966), a title that makes a strong identification with the Arte Povera philosophy of connecting art and life. In the unpainted “chair,” silver sheets, folded innumerable times, create form. The two columns present painted surfaces; Merz’s use of red, green, and yellow becomes that much more striking when the hues are offset by the silver of the unpainted metal....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Marisa Merz, Sedia, 1966. Wood and aluminum, 31.5 x 19.75 x 19.75 in.
New York - Yutaka Sone : David Zwirner
by Jonathan Goodman
“Island,” the title of Japanese sculptor Yutaka Sone’s recent show, seemed to refer to the remarkable Little Manhattan (2007–09), a
marble sculpture of New York City’s most famous borough. Weighing in at 2.5 tons, but relatively modest in size, the piece offers buildings, piers, bridges, and even the paths of Central Park. Not every structure is reproduced, of course, though the amount of detail is mind-boggling in its accuracy: Sone worked from photos and took a few helicopter rides in his quest for specificity. Little Manhattan certainly works as a sculpture and generates interesting questions about scale and truth to circumstances. . ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Yukata Sone, Little Manhattan, 2007–09. Marble, 21.75 x 104.375 x 33.5 in.
Queens, New York - James O. Clark and Forrest Myers : Regina Rex
by Yulia Tikhonova
Western, particularly American, artists will never cease in their quest to find the aesthetic in common objects, to be inventive with found and discarded materials. James O. Clark and Forrest Myers, whose works recently featured in “Luminous Flux,” have spent their careers creating sculptural objects from discarded plastic, metal, and wooden detritus and cast-off technology. Entering a darkened space, viewers were immersed in an atmosphere of glowing lights and deep sounds. The illumination came from two sources: a transparent pendant hanging by a fiber-optic tube from the ceiling in Clark’s The Future is Now (2011) and a video projecting an array of primary colors gradually transitioning through the spectrum in Myers’s four short videos (Split Decision, Snow, Two Million Colors and Their Opposite, and The Image After [1989–2011]). Myers, who is also known for his inventive furniture designs, installed a couch of assembled found materials in the middle of the gallery so that viewers could watch in comfort....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Installation view of “Luminous Flux,” with (left to right) Forrest Myers, Split Decision, 2011, computer program on LED, 4.5 min.; Forrest Myers, Couch Potato, 2011, steel spring wire; and Jim Clark, The Future is Now, 2011, water, polyethene plastic, acrylic, and fiber optics.
Utica, New York - Jongsun Lee : Sculpture Space
by Gina Murtagh
During her two-month residency at Sculpture Space, Jongsun Lee, a peripatetic artist and social sculptor, produced thousands of hand-shaped rice bowls in the studio by day and presented several interactive performances off site in the evening. After achieving commercial success as a traditional figure sculptor, she renounced her material achievements for a less predictable life on the road as a visual poet—a role that acknowledges her years of hardship as a child in South Korea. Oscillating between attraction and repulsion, between traditional Asian motifs and Western themes, Lee’s work incorporates sculpture, performance, sound, and collaboration. Knot, Unknot, And Again Not, a performance/installation, was held in a former hardware store, now a vast open space of bare wood beams and polished oak floors, with a small bar and restaurant tucked to one side. ....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Jongsun Lee, Knot, Unknot, And Again Not, 2011. Performance.
Marfa, Texas - Bettina Landgrebe : Chinati Foundation
by Martha Hughes
Beaten with a Hammer, a multimedia installation by Bettina Landgrebe, offered a poignant and powerful elegy for the nearly 1,000 women who have been brutally tortured and murdered in the borderlands around Juárez, Mexico, since 1993. Part of the Chinati Foundation’s Open House Weekend, the installation appeared at the unlikely venue of Big Bend Coffee Roasters.
Consisting of 576 white plaster-like models of human hearts, 476 of which were suspended from the ceiling by thin red filaments, Beaten with a Hammer formed a cloud-like shape whose individual elements only became recognizable on close inspection. A woman’s name, age, year of death, and cause of death were hand-printed in red paint on each heart. ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Bettina Landgrebe, Beaten with a Hammer, 2011. Cellulose-based plaster-like material, red archival felt-tip pen, and red filament, 3.25 x 3.25 x 4.5 in.
Ottawa - Jinny Yu : Patrick Mikhail Gallery
by William V. Ganis
Nominally a painter, Jinny Yu explored materiality in her “Latest from New York” exhibition, which included sculpted aluminum and oil pieces. She sees herself at the interstices of identity—of Korean birth, living in Ottawa, practicing in New York, Italy, Montreal, and elsewhere. Her work also operates in liminalities—between installation, sculpture, painting, gesture, and illusion. The seven works in the show mark conversations across these intermediate states, and while they make art historical references, they maintain a safe distance from the “specific objects” of the past. Yu’s intermediations can be taken at face value now that the confines of Modernist media categories have been thoroughly undone.Painting, Wiped, on Wall (2011) is an installation framed by ivory-black pigment. The reflective aluminum square is felt as a presence and as a void when contrasted by the paint—the scale, painterly textures, and site-specificity evoke Lawrence Weiner’s A “36 X 36” REMOVAL TO THE LATHING OR SUPPORT WALL OF PLASTER OR WALLBOARD FROM A WALL (1968)....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Jinny Yu, (left) Stroke, 2011, oil on aluminum, 138 x 24 in.; (right) Bent, 2011, oil on aluminum, 24 x 17.5 in.
Berlin - Wilhelm Mundt : Buchmann Galerie
by Charissa Terranova
Wilhelm Mundt’s boulder-shaped sculptures are immediate, yet they seem to be all about process and duration. They are also physically polished and perfect. Mundt has been making these brightly colored “Trashstones,” as he calls them, since 1989. A stone in an intense shade of yellow bears the number 493, testament to the artist’s stick-to-it-iveness and inveterate fascination with packed, covered, painted, and polished detritus.Though they seem of another world, as if tumbled down from the cosmos to cool in our mortal realm, there is an array of familiar stuff inside these craggy forms: garbage, studio debris, found objects, and personal information, all of which gets sealed within the rumpling surface skin of the rock....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Wilhelm Mundt, installation view of “From Trash to Treasure,” 2011.
Jerusalem - Micha Ullman : The Israel Museum
by Angela Levine
This impressive retrospective brought together 40 of Micha Ullman’s sculptures selected from different periods in his 50-year career. It also featured works on paper, as well as documentation of his many site-
specific works, including Library, the underground cell with empty shelves that he dug out in Berlin’s Bebelplatz, the site of the 1933 Nazi book burning. Like its sister-piece Equinox, on the grounds of the Israel Museum, Library offers continually fluctuating viewpoints, set in motion by its shifting cosmic elements, shadows, and reflections. Human-scale, floor-bound objects in Minimalist geometric shapes and works featuring only sand dominated the exhibition. ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Micha Ullman, Map, 2002. Iron and red sand, table: 110 x 78 x 85 cm., chair: 45 x 45 x 85 cm.
London - Shirazeh Houshiary : Lisson Gallery
by John Routledge
Shirazeh Houshiary’s “No Boundary Condition” presented itself as an exhibition of paradoxes—paintings that felt three-dimensional, manmade objects that felt organic, chaotic sculptural compositions that somehow seemed simple. Works such as Lacuna (2011) created a feeling not unlike an erupting storm, multiple spiraling forms crashing into one another, tumulus forms reminiscent of conflicting turbulent airflows. Yet, despite this turbulence, the piece gave off an odd sense of calm. The curvature of the cast stainless steel followed an organic flow and, in combination with the dominant matte-green color, evoked the feeling of standing in a meadow with a gentle breeze. The two floor pieces Stretch (2011) and Tear (2011) created their own contradictory environment, but in a very different way....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Shirazeh Houshiary, Tear, 2011. Anodized aluminum, 123.5 x 37 x 69 cm.
Santiago and Buenos Aires - Sofia Donovan :
Stuart Contemporary and Federico Towpyha Arte Contemporaneo
by María Carolina Baulo
Sofia Donovan, a multifaceted young Argentine-born artist living in Chile, works in photography, video, painting, and sculpture. In her recent work, she has developed an interesting play between form and content, using ceramic to create amazing sculptures that carry a powerful physical presence. Donovan’s works investigate the human body and its representation. Over the last couple of years, her search has emphasized the mediated body in its daily environment. A good example, according to the artist, is the body’s role in medicine. Donovan questions whether the body still functions as a vehicle for experience and relations with other people or if it has been reduced to a mere object. ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Sofia Donovan, De Los Pelos, 2011. Ceramic and copper wire, 48 x 63 x 20 cm.
Hong Kong - Art Hong Kong 11 : Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
by Shana Beth Mason
If there was one word to describe the fourth edition of Art Hong Kong (also known as Art HK 11), it would be “buzzing.” The hum of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai could practically be felt next door at the Grand Hyatt and down into the subway tunnels.Nearly 64,000 visitors came from across the globe to discover the newest offerings from 260 contemporary galleries hailing from 38 countries. Sculpture played a unique role in shaping the landscape of Art Hong Kong by acting as congregation posts (Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Flowers, recently shown in the halls of Versailles) and geographic markers (Jeff Koons’s brightly striped collaboration with BMW at the center of the main hall). Some of the most respected and recognizable names in the realm of contemporary art supplied the sculptural highlights of Art HK 11.....see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.


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