International Sculpture Center

   


December 2012
Vol. 31 No 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center

This selection of shows has been curated by Sculpture magazine editorial staff and includes just a few of the great shows around the world.

Asia Society - New York: Lin Tianmiao
Through January 27, 2013
One of only a few Chinese women artists born in the 1960s to gain international recognition, Lin creates paintings, sculptures, and installations based in tension: male versus female, function versus form, and physical versus psychological experience. Using her own artistic journey as a means to investigate broader social issues, she focuses on the lives of women—the progress made and the promises that remain to be fulfilled. Combined with plastics and new media, the soft materials and labor-intensive techniques of women’s work find new strength in her hands—particularly in her signature method of binding. In the “thread winding” sculptures, she wraps silk or cotton thread around objects until they are completely shrouded, individual identity subsumed into mute, homogenized beauty. Lin’s first major U.S. exhibition unveils a brutally honest exploration of a complex terrain. Where universal myths of femininity run aground on an anti-redemptive pragmatism, the only real liberation comes through creativity.
Tel: 212.517.ASIA
Web site www.asiasociety.org

Lin Tianmiao, Bound and Unbound.
Bergen Kunstmuseum - Bergen, Norway: Real Life Stories
Through February 3, 2013
In September, Ai Weiwei wrote an op-ed piece for the Guardian, speaking out against “Art of Change: New Directions from China” at London’s Hayward Gallery. While he acknowledged that the featured artists all challenge the strictures of the state, he found the show itself akin to the food at a Westernized Chinese restaurant: “People will eat it and say it is Chinese, but it is simply a consumerist offering, providing little in the way of a genuine experience of life in China today.” “Real Life Stories” attempts to restore the missing context and cast a more critical eye on recent Chinese cultural propaganda. There is perhaps no better recommendation of the commitment behind this group show than the fact that Ai chose to debut a new installation here. Jing Kewen, Li Songsong, Liu Jianhua, Mao Tongqiang, Song Dong, Xiang Jing, Xu Bing, Yin Xiuzhen, and Yue Minjun all share Ai’s concerns, linking their country’s past history to present-day choices and priorities. Ai called for an exhibition “curated [with] respect for the people’s struggle, [with] concern for an artist’s honest need for self-expression.” “Real Life Stories,” with its willingness to shed light on the social conditions that necessitate vocal dissent, may be that exhibition.
Tel: + 47 55 56 80 00
Web site www.kunstmuseene.no


Mao Tongqiang, Tools, from Real Life Stories
DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum - Lincoln, Massachusetts: Jean Shin and Brian Ripel
Through December 30, 2012
Shin’s installations give new life to the castoffs of consumer society. Scavenging discarded objects such as worn shoes, lost socks, broken umbrellas, and old lottery tickets, she dismantles, alters, and reconstructs them into elaborate assemblages of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of seemingly identical objects. Tea House, Castles in the Air, and Measuring the Depths of his own Nature, three interconnected new works created in conjunction with longtime collaborator Brian Ripel, respond to Lincoln’s legacy of idealized escape. Drawing on Thoreau’s move to nearby Walden Pond in 1845 and museum founder Julian DeCordova’s retreat to Flint’s Pond in 1882, Shin and Ripel give form to the human impulse for refuge by using the very materials that made these physical and psychological havens possible—pencils and tea, the sources of Thoreau and DeCordova family wealth. Evoking cultural memories and faded industrial histories, these works also engage the present, creating a collective and collaborative portrait of today’s community.
Tel: 781.259.8355
Web site www.decordova.org

Jean Shin and Brian Ripel, Tea House.
Denver Art Museum - Denver: El Anatsui
Through December 30, 2012
Constructed from crushed bottle caps, obituary-notice printing plates, cassava graters, and other found, everyday objects, El Anatsui’s visually stunning sculptures evoke universal hopes and dreams in the face of desperation and global inequality. Over the course of five decades, he has built a vocabulary that draws on traditional African idioms (everything from Nok terra-cotta sculptures to kente cloths), as well as Western art practices, alluding to the past and present of the continent, its social concerns and position in world politics. This retrospective of more than 60 works traces the development of his multi-layered narratives from the early ceramic-fragment and carved, etched, and burned wooden works of the ’70s to the scarred chainsaw sculptures of the ’90s, to the massive and meticulously detailed metallic tapestries that have brought him an international following.
Tel: 720.865.5000
Web site www.denverartmuseum.org


El Anatsui, Open(ing) Market.
Govett-Brewster Art Gallery - New Plymouth, New Zealand: Singular Companions
Through January 27, 2013
“Singular Companions” features more than 20 recent works by Australasian sculptors who employ a wide variety of materials to explore form, light, sound, space, memory, and illusion. Diverse styles and modes of expression—from vessels and models to three-dimensional language and reconfigurations of everyday objects—address ideas of illumination, domesticity, containment, the environment, and traditional making techniques. Selected artists include Mary-Louise Browne, Bill Culbert, Neil Dawson, Andrew Drummond, Paul Hartigan, Christine Hellyar, Laurelle Pookamelya, Lisa Reihana, Peter Robinson, Filipe Tohi, and Lauren Winstone.
Tel: + 64 6 759 6060
Web site www.govettbrewster.com


Lisa Reihana, Colour of Sin: Headcase Version, from “Singular Companions.”
Haus der Kunst - Munich: Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974
Through January 20, 2013
The first large-scale exhibition to deal broadly with Land Art, “Ends of the Earth” takes a historical/critical look at a wildly over-simplified movement. Imbedded in and sustained by the cultural and economic systems that they cannily appeared to critique, most of these seminal experiments of the ’60s and ’70s had little to do with the land as environment and everything to do with art. Curators Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon wisely reject the usual romantic mythology of “return to nature” and “escape from culture” as the motivating factors behind the widespread impulse to use the earth as an artistic medium, looking instead at political and social attitudes. With works by more than 80 artists from the U.K., Japan, Israel, Iceland, Eastern and Northern Europe, as well as North and South America, comprehensibility is not in doubt here; on the contrary, the selection might be too generous—from the Harrisons to Heizer—blurring rather than drawing necessary distinctions.
Tel: + 49 89 21127-113
Web site www.hausderkunst.de

Charles Simonds, Landscape<->Body<-> Dwelling, from “Ends of the Earth.”
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Boston: Raqs Media Collective
Through January 7, 2013
Formed in 1992, New Delhi-based Raqs (Jeebesh Bagchi, Monica Narula, and Shuddhabrata Sengupta) started as a way for its founders to pursue documentary film-making, but its reach expanded into a larger sphere at Documenta 11 (2002). Since then, the collective has created highly compelling installations that still make use of film while engaging in progressively more complex and poetic conversations between video or still images and text, sound, software, performance, sculpture, and found objects. Displaying a sustained ambivalence toward modernity, these hybrid works refuse most of its organizing principles, including progress and development. The Great Bare Mat and Constellation, one of two new works inspired by a flashlight-guided, nighttime visit to the museum, sets a repeated motif based on Ursa Major against a background that traces exchanges between the collective’s three personal computers and the world. The room-sized weaving becomes a stage for conversations about time and space. The second installation, a silent, digital projection, animates the hidden life of the museum, as objects anchored to art history by day come alive in the darkness.
Tel: 617.566.1401
Web site www.gardnermuseum.org


Raqs Media Collective, The Great Bare Mat and Constellation (detail)
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg - Wolfsburg, Germany: Frank Stella
Through January 20, 2013
For more than 50 years, Stella has pursued a “maximalist” strategy of ever-increasing spatial engagement. Even in the seminal Black Paintings (a Minimalist watershed), he was preparing to “exit from the picture into space.” Flat color and right-angled canvases soon gave way to an explosive palette, complete with optical effects, and free-form surfaces that eventually expanded illusionary push-and-pull into true relief. Just where painting ends and sculpture begins doesn’t matter: Stella’s abstraction defies boundaries—most recently, he has folded architecture into his ever more baroque mix. This retrospective features approximately 70 grand-scale works, including a new outsized ArchiSculpture, that successively “conquer” two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and now, virtual space.
Tel: + 49 (0) 5361 2669 0
Web site www.kunstmuseum-wolfsburg.de


Frank Stella, installation view of “The Retrospective.”
Los Angeles County Museum of Art - Los Angeles: Ken Price
Through January 6, 2013

Price’s glazed and painted clay works not only transformed traditional ceramics, they also expanded rigid definitions of sculpture. Among the first generation of iconoclastic Los Angeles artists to gain international stature, he denied any distinction between or hierarchical separation of art and craft. Like his Bauhaus heroes, he sought to bring the values of the handcrafted into the modern age. The evolution of his work—from the slumps, rocks, geometrics, cups, eggs, and mounds to the bulging, rippling, late voluptuaries—reflects different approaches to that 50-year mission. This retrospective (the first devoted to Price’s work in 20 years) reveals a life devoted to consummate craftsmanship, unorthodox technical exploration, and seductive formal wit.
Tel: 323.857.6000
Web site www.lacma.org

Ken Price, Pastel.

Mass MoCA - North Adams, Massachusetts: Making Room
Through January 2, 2013
“Making Room” celebrates creative hybrids. Formed from a synthesis of two- and three-dimensional viewpoints, the featured installations also marry handcrafted and out-of-date processes with new technology. Daniel Arsham and Jonah Bokaer, Dawn Clements, Inci Eviner, Claire Harvey, Laleh Khorramian, Kakyoung Lee, Chloë Østmo, Laura Riboli, and Luke Stettner all strive to capture an elusive, in-between space that defies spatial and temporal measurement. In the interstices where like meets unlike—engraving and high-definition video, painting and projection, digital photography and sculpture—where acceleration is held in suspension, the intangible becomes momentarily perceptible. The environments may be familiar, but they’ve acquired a certain instability: between dimensions and time frames, we can glimpse the potential of imagination, memory, and the unknown.
Tel: 413.662.2111
Web site www.massmoca.org


Claire Harvey, if this is then, from “Making Room.”
Nasher Sculpture Center - Dallas: Eva Rothschild
Through January 20, 2013
Rothschild may not be a household name (yet), but in 2009 she met the challenge of the Duveens Commission with a dramatic and ambitious work that colonized the neoclassical galleries at the heart of Tate Britain. Though Cold Corners possessed minimal materiality, it stretched to nearly the full length of the space, undermining 70 meters of grandiloquent and rational architectonics with energetic chaos. Rothschild’s new installation at the Nasher, like all of her works, explores unexpected relationships between volume and mass, surface and structure. The intricate network of piping runs up the walls, along the floor, and over the furniture, turning the mundane, transitional space of the museum entrance into an open-ended experience in which visitors become explorers attempting to navigate an anarchic, topsy-turvy terrain.
Tel: 214.242.5100
Web site www.nashersculpturecenter.org

Eva Rothschild, Cold Corners.
Nasher Sculpture Center - Dallas: Sculpture in So Many Words: Text Pieces 1960–80
Through January 13, 2013
In the 1960s, the word became sculpture. From gallery announcements, newspaper and magazine ads, and posters and broadsheets to articles, flyers, and other ephemeral documents, artists immersed themselves in a laboratory of language that allowed them to rethink the nature of sculpture. Their experiments resulted in a radical reassessment of the object and its relation to space, making way for the multi-disciplinary range that characterizes the field today. Featured artists, including Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, Bruce Nauman, Alison Knowles, Vito Acconci, Lawrence Weiner, John Baldessari, Dan Graham, Walter de Maria, and Yoko Ono, defined their text work as sculpture, making a clear statement about the physical and conceptual place of the art object in the real world. The unassuming physical character of these works—papers that could be mechanically printed and just as easily discarded—and their implication of the viewer/participant play a key part in their appeal, though not every early advocate would follow through on the ramifications of this anti-precious, and anti-market, stance.
Tel: 214.242.5100
Web site www.nashersculpturecenter.org

John Baldessari and George Nicolaidis, Ghetto Boundary Project, from “Sculpture in So Many Words.”

New Museum - New York: Rosemarie Trockel
Through January 13, 2013
Since the late 1970s, Trockel has challenged gender stereotypes and prejudices, particularly in terms of imagination and creativity. Drawing on the legacies of Dada and Surrealism, as well as the activism of Beuys, her installations, sculptures, collages, ceramics, furniture, clothing, and books cannot be reduced to single genre or style—the common denominator resides only in the intensity of their content. “Knitting pictures” bearing nationalistic logos, a steel cube fitted with hot plates, and Minimalist monoliths made of yew trees all establish bridges across the gendered chasm of production. Altered spider webs (made under the influence of LSD and hash) and a mechanical painting machine with brushes composed of donated hair (from Cindy Sherman and Georg Baselitz, among others) probe the interconnections of creativity and survival. In “A Cosmos,” Trockel surrounds herself with kindred spirits—free-thinking scientists and outsider artists whose contributions have been ignored or dismissed. The exhibition (named for Alexander von Humboldt’s controversial masterpiece of natural history) features drawings and objects of discovery that explore another fundamental issue at the heart of her activity—interrelations between humans and other species and our impact on the natural world.
Tel: 212.219.1222
Web site www.newmuseum.org


Rosemarie Trockel, Replace Me.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - New York: Gabriel Orozco
Through January 13, 2013
Orozco creates his sculptures, installations, photographs, and paintings from everyday objects and situations, twisting conventional notions of reality by inserting the ordinary into unexpected contexts. From one project to the next, he deliberately blurs the boundaries between art object and prosaic environment, situating his contributions in a hybrid place ruled by imagination. His new sculptural and photographic installations, Sandstars and Astroturf Constellation, focus on the detritus that he gathered at two sites—a playing field near his home in New York and a protected coastal biosphere in Baja California Sur, Mexico, which also collects flows of industrial and commercial waste from across the Pacific Ocean. Poetic and intriguing, these encyclopedic accumulations of nearly 2,400 objects—from plastic buoys, wooden oars, and hard hats to ossified rolls of toilet paper, coins, sneakers, and wads of chewing gum—demonstrate the resonant power of visual ricochet, as rigorous order meets entropic dissolution.
Tel: 212.423.3500
Web site www.guggenheim.org


Gabriel Orozco, Sandstars.
Tufts University Art Gallery - Medford, Massachusetts: Lucy+Jorge Orta
Through December 16, 2012
Together and separately, the Ortas bridge sculpture, performance, fashion, and architecture to produce conceptual, as well as functional works that address real-world problems caused by everything from climate change to war. Their clothing designs, survival kits, and modular dwellings, developed with community groups around the world, give assistance in natural, social, and political disasters and provide shelter/protection for people living in precarious and marginal situations. Other models and machines fol- low a different strategy, substituting humor for sobriety, absurdity for practical necessity. These jerry-built contraptions suggest, among other things, alternative means to purify, prepare, and transport food and water or launch humanitarian efforts. Regardless of their practicality, these insightful “instigator sculptures,” as Lucy Orta calls them, move us toward greater awareness and action.
Tel: 617.627.3518
Web site http://artgallery.tufts.edu

Lucy+Jorge Orta, installation view of “Food—Water—Life.”
Van Abbemuseum - Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Piero Gilardi
Through January 6, 2013
An important contributor to the birth of Arte Povera, Gilardi has devoted his career to creating an “inhabitable” art, one that establishes a permanent interaction between individual and environment. All of his projects, including the well-known Nature Carpets (rolls of polyurethane carpeting that simulates natural phenomena such as riverbeds, leaves, and fruit), use technology as a tool to restore contact between urban man and nature. Fiercely independent, he puts his political beliefs into practice by making art an accessible part of ordinary life—in the ’70s, he dropped his own work in order to conduct creative therapy with psychiatric patients. Though he returned to more conventional forms in the ’80s with a series of interactive, computer-based environments, Gilardi remains an activist, championing artistic autonomy over commodity, variety of expression over monolithic hegemony, collaboration over singular authorship. This show focuses on the first 22 years of an atypical and inspired path ultimately leading to the Parco Arte Vivente in Turin.
Tel: + 31 40 238 10 00
Web site www.vanabbemuseum.nl

Piero Gilardi, Totem domestico.
Wiels - Brussels: Joëlle Tuerlinckx
Through January 6, 2013
Tuerlinckx collects the arbitrary. Whether she’s working in film, sculpture, public projects, or print, she makes visible a personal and aesthetic territory drawn from the overlooked, the ubiquitous, and the impersonal. Here, she explores random and familiar subjects—lines, points, planes, floating figures— as inexhaustibly new, multiplying the originals and effacing the clues and bearings—gravity, weight, balance—that make them recognizable. In the gaps that separate looking, perceiving, and naming, she discovers a wealth of possible experiences. “Wor(ld)k in Progress?,” her first large-scale museum exhibition, traces her practice through new pieces and the reactivation of earlier works and constellations.
Tel: + 32 (0)2 347 30 33
Web site www.wiels.org


Joëlle Tuerlinckx, installation view of “Wor(ld)k in Progress?.”

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