International Sculpture Center

   
Jan/Feb 2012
Vol.31 No 1

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Houston - Marc Swanson: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
by Laura Albritton
Marc Swanson’s recent solo exhibition was named for Second Story, a now defunct gay bar in San Francisco that had closed before the artist even visited the city. Inevitably, the sculptures make reference to a past time in gay culture. The “second story” can be a level hidden from street view, as well as a less obvious narrative or story. Untitled (Harold Box), Untitled (Gold Box), and Untitled (Black Fabric and Chains), each constructed of “boxes” that appear to have been sawn in half length-wise, stand open and vertical. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Marc Swanson, Untitled (Shoes), 2011. Wood, shoes, plaster, paint, raw?hide, twine, light bulbs, and light sockets, 18 x 77 x 24 in.
Troy, Alabama - Duane Paxson: Johnson Art Center
by Dorothy Joiner
With works from the past decade, as well as a new series, Duane Paxson’s recent show offered an interesting contrast in subjects and materials. Whereas his earlier works in fiberglass and wood reveal a kinship with nature, the new series, “Ivory Tower,” illuminates the not so admirable workings of society. For these works, he prefers steel and fiberglass, abandoning undulant rhythms and relying instead on stately symmetry. One piece serves as a microcosm of Paxson’s work over the past two decades. Encircling a fiberglass center, wire “netting” suggests atomic particles whirling around a nucleus or the trajectories of planets circling a sun. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Duane Paxson, Pawns of Guilt I and II, 2011. Wood, fiberglass, and steel, 69 x 27 x 25 in. and 69 x 23 x 23 in.
Honolulu - Steven and William Ladd: The Contemporary Museum
by Marcia Morse
Think “box” and what comes to mind might be Joseph Cornell’s lyrical mise-en-scène, Donald Judd’s obdurate rows and stacks, or a singular work like Eva Hesse’s Accession II—its lush austerity signaling, among other things, a finely tuned balance between industrial materials and hand labor. The work of Steven and William Ladd, New York-based brothers and creative partners, is part of that diverse lineage, intimately fusing the container and the contained, form and content. The works in their first museum exhibition, “Steven and William Ladd: 9769 Radio Drive,” are the product of an intense fraternal symbiosis that comes at art-making sideways (via the world of costume design, fashion shows, and one-of-a-kind luxury accessories) and brings to it an eclecticism of material and process, much of it fiber- and textile-based....see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Steven and William Ladd, Ant Infestation, 2009. Archival board, fiber, beads, and metal, 54.75 x 36.5 x 16 in.
Chicago - Aristotle Georgiades: Chicago Cultural Center
by Victor M. Cassidy
Aristotle Georgiades’s recent exhibition “Repurposed” featured eight sculptures constructed from salvaged wooden and metal objects. In his artist statement, Georgiades explained that his work uses “existing objects and repurpose[s] them into expressive sculptural forms,” adding that most of his sculptures “make reference to our continuous desire to move through life with purpose.” He sees his repurposed objects as “a metaphor for our human need to adapt and change directions when confronted with obstacles or failures.” In Old School (2010), he constructs a cube from sawed-up wooden school desks to create an interior space full of odd-shaped forms that we see at different angles and depths. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Aristotle Georgiades, Resource, 2009. Salvaged barn wood, 3 x 3 x 4 ft.
New York - William Corwin: The Clocktower
by Jonathan Goodman
A chess game played by two American masters at The Clocktower in Lower Manhattan marked the culmination of a residency held by William Corwin, a New York sculptor who thinks long and hard about conceptual motifs. The chessboard and pieces echoed Corwin’s work for his month-long stay; during the game, limited to less than an hour, the foot-high, wonderfully sculptural pieces were moved and then removed from play after being taken by the opposing player. According to Corwin, the game of chess is a version of the real, just as his own work—an X-shaped, wooden structure placed in a small room that tenuously supports small plaster objects on narrow shelves—is a miniaturization of reality. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

William Corwin, Auroch's Library (detail), 2011. Plaster, wood, and found objects, 168 x 300 x 114 in.
New York - Jene Highstein: Danese Gallery
by Robert C. Morgan
Jene Highstein’s new stainless steel sculptures have a formal morphological relation to his earlier work, going back to the 1970s. In contrast to the generation of Minimal artists who emerged in the early 1960s—Judd, Flavin, Morris, LeWitt, and Andre—Highstein entered the Minimalist stage somewhat later. At the time, his forms were less involved with geometry than with monumental organic shapes—not exactly rocks or boulders, but something ineffable, less indebted to construction or Constructivism and more open to the singular form that could stand in relation to nature or culture. For the most part, Highstein’s forms were painted black, further intensifying their relationship to the space around them. Whereas one could identify with the existence of “primary forms,” in Highstein’s work, the form was largely unknown and therefore not primary. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Jene Highstein, installation view of “New Sculpture/Towers and Elliptical Forms,” 2011.
Buenos Aires - Juan Miceli: This Is Not A Gallery
by Maria Carolina Baulo
Sculptor, installation, and performance artist Juan Miceli says, “I am my work.” Without him, the work doesn’t exist. Miceli thinks in terms of projects; he imagines worlds and works without previous formal organization or model. His strategy derives from the fact that he receives his inspiration from his materials—animal bones, teeth, and disposable plastic objects. Something, channeled through the materials, seems to speak to him, and his intuition guides him to create an entire world inhabited by fantastic beings that double as alter egos. Miceli says, “I understand art as a way of looking/seeing and fundamentally as a practice, a way of life…through my artistic production, I can’t help questioning the world around us and our culture.”...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Juan Miceli, Piranha, 2009. Sculpted elements, plastic, stones, and bones, 60 x 45 x 30 cm.
Venice - Fabrizio Plessi, Pier Paolo Calzolari, and Marisa Merz: Biennale di Venezia, Ca’ Pesaro, Fondazione Querini Stampalia
by Laura Tansini
Venice recently hosted three solo shows by three leading Italian sculptors whose language couldn’t be more different: video-techno visionary Fabrizio Plessi at the Venice Pavilion at the Venice Biennale; Arte Povera master Pier Paolo Calzolari at the Ca’ Pesaro; and the mysterious, solitary Marisa Merz, whose works were integrated into the permanent collection of the Fondazione Querini Stampalia. Plessi has been obsessed by water and its voice since the beginning of his career. Ten years ago (at the 2001 Biennale), his Waterfire filled the windows of the Palazzo Correr with waterfalls and tongues of fire. This year, paying homage to Venice, water, and the ocean, Plessi created Mariverticali for the restored Venice Pavilion in the Giardini. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Fabrizio Plessi, Mariverticali, 2011. Mixed media, installation view.

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