International Sculpture Center

   


March 2012
Vol. 31 No 2

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: Sarah Sze
Through March 25, 2012
For nearly two decades, Sze’s distinctive assemblages of common disposable objects have riveted and challenged viewers. Her complex spatial matrices combine water bottles, drawing pins, paper, salt, string, lamps, matchsticks, and wire into spectacularly intricate universes that mold themselves to their host spaces, spreading across, over, and through architectural surfaces. Within the delicate balance of her compositions, the slightest change seems capable of precipitating a descent into chaos. “Infinite Line” is the first exhibition to focus on the process behind Sze’s illusions. Exploring line across media, from drawing to sculpture to installation, the works collected here (including a new installation) demonstrate how the careful calibration of disorder can re-orchestrate our understanding of and relationship to space.
Tel: 212.517.ASIA
Web site www.asiasociety.org

Sarah Sze, Notepad.
Bass Museum of Art - Fondation Cartier - Paris Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere
Through March 18, 2012
“Mathematics” instigates what algebraic geometer Alexandre Grothendieck calls “a sudden change of scenery.” Intended to expand the mind and senses, this unique collaborative endeavor teamed mathematicians and scientists with a group of artists distinguished by their curiosity and their ability to observe. Jean-Michel Alberola, Raymond Depardon and Claudine Nougaret, Takeshi Kitano, David Lynch, Beatriz Milhazes, Patti Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Tadanori Yokoo, as well as Pierre Buffin and his crew (BUF), have translated the most arcane beauties of equations (from number theory to differential geometry, topology, and probability) into a series of sensorial and inspiring experiences. From the finite boundaries of material reality to the infinite vastness of conceptual universes, mathematics governs our world: this show allows even humanities majors to grasp the wonder behind the code.
Tel: + 33 (0) 1 42 18 56 50
Web site www.fondation.cartier.com

The Library of Mysteries, from “Mathematics.”
Gemeentemuseum - The Hague: André Kruysen
Through March 18, 2012
In Kruysen’s sculpture, the numinous effects of light contrast sharply with today’s fast-moving image culture. Harnessing the constant barrage, he distills a meditative experience from its cacophony—though the harmony is not without rebellious, anarchical strains. Like the stacked planes of Russian Constructivism or the buildings of Daniel Libeskind, Kruysen’s haphazard heaps of curbside waste and informal structures strike a precarious balance between chaos and order. Detailed investigations of the interactions among space, light, and material, they coalesce in huge floating architectural compositions. For his Ouborg Prize exhibition, he has constructed a new “space in movement” that takes natural light as its starting point. Captured within the distorted planes of the sculpture, timeless luminosity becomes a vehicle for ever-changing experience.
Tel: + 31 (0) 70 3381111
Web site www.gemeentemuseum.nl

André Kruysen, Close Enough.
Henry Moore Institute - Leeds, U.K.: United Enemies
Through March 11, 2012
“United Enemies” explores the 1960s and ’70s, a radically fertile period in the history of British (and Western) sculpture, when the very idea of three-dimensional art came under intense scrutiny. Three themes organize opposing approaches. “The hand” celebrates the artist’s (and the viewer’s) touch and the role of manual thinking, from folding to eating (a re-creation of Roelof Louw’s Soul City [Pyramid of Oranges] opens the exhibition with 6,000 free snacks). “The standing form” investigates the body and verticality, a departure from the prone position preferred by many artists of the period. And “the ground” examines three-dimensional representations and interventions in the landscape (outdoor sculpture as usual comes under fire in An English Frontier, which documents a walk conducted by Richard Long with Tony Cragg, Roger Ackling, Jim Rogers, and Bill Woodrow). Works by a range of artists—including Keith Arnatt, Shirley Cameron, Anthony Caro, Angela Carter, Helen Chadwick, Barry Flanagan, and Wendy Taylor—reveal how the disparate achievements of this era pushed perceptions and opened the way to today’s unfettered sculptural expressions.
Tel: + 44 (0) 113 246 7467
Web site www.henry-moore.ac.uk

John Davies, Three Figures: One Standing, One Kneeling, One Standing on a Chair, from “United Enemies.”
Kunsthaus Bregenz - Bregenz, Austria: Antony Gormley
Through April 2012
Gormley’s explorations of the human body mediate between individual and collective, containment and extension, what can be seen and what can be sensed. Making unexpected connections across ideas and disciplines, his works have moved the domain of figural sculpture beyond the confines of the physical body to include interaction with the surrounding world, whether that be the matrix of community, space and energy, memory, or built form. One hundred of his life-size figures are now about to end their sojourn in the Austrian Alps. Spread over a 150-square-kilometer area, some of the sculptures can be reached on foot or skis, while others remain visible but unapproachable, defining a relational field that places the human in its original, unprotected context, weathering the elements and the unknown.
Tel: + 43 55 74 4 85 94-0
Web site www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at

Antony Gormley, Horizon Field (detail).
Mori Art Museum - Tokyo: Lee Bul
Through May 27, 2012
Bul approaches the human form not just as individual body, but also as social entity. Expanding the idea of the physical, her work embraces new technologies and redraws the frontiers of human existence. “Monsters” and “cyborgs” conflate reality, science, and fiction, deliberately leaving their borders open to interpretation. Her recent sculptures and installations have become more ambitious in scope, exploring a global history of humanity in which the recognizable human form is replaced by its products and achievements. This retrospective, covering more than 20 years, reveals a progressively expansive vision. Within Lee’s sensuous and darkly seductive spaces of glittering ruin, human desire and ambition give rise to a realm of disintegrating utopian aspirations.
Tel: + 81 3 5777 8600
Web site www.mori.art.museum

Lee Bul, After Bruno Taut (Beware the sweetness of things).
Museum of Chinese in America - New York: Lee Mingwei
Through March 26, 2012
Whatever materials Lee uses in his installations, his true medium is people, and shared experience. For over a decade, he has played a pivotal role in the expansion of “invitational aesthetics” through his generous people-to-people participatory projects. His new work, The Travelers, began in 2010, when Lee and MOCA released 100 artist-designed notebooks to the public, inviting each recipient to write a personal story about leaving home, then pass the book along like a chain letter. The last writers were charged with the return of the books, and those that made their way back are featured here. A second work, The Quartet Project, considers displacement from a more immediate perspective, this time through Dvorak’s “American String Quartet.” Viewers dictate the work’s orchestration, activating or silencing parts of the music as they move through the darkened space.
Tel: 212.619.4785
Web site www.mocanyc.org

Lee Mingwei, The Travelers.
Museum Ludwig - Köln: Cosima von Bonin
Through May 15, 2012
von Bonin epitomizes the protean media- and role-shifting that defines contemporary artistic practice. Her conceptual-feminist work shifts across sculpture, installation, performance, photography, video, and painting, just as von Bonin herself transforms from artist to curator, to DJ, to raconteur, to collaborator. Her hybridized approach finds inspiration in a wide range of sources, including pop culture, fashion, and electronic music, as she tackles ideas of play and indoctrination, structure and improvisation, cultural and gender representations, and identity and self-reflection. This home-town exhibition of 70 works features both old and new work elaborately combined in ensemble installations, as well as a new architectural intervention and outdoor sculptures.
Tel: + 49 221 221 26165
Web site www.museum-ludwig.de

Cosima von Bonin, installation view of “Cut! Cut! Cut!”
Museum of Modern Art - New York: Sanja Ivekovic
Through March 26, 2012
A feminist, activist, and video pioneer, Ivekovic came of age in a post-1968 Yugoslavia, where artists broke free from mainstream institutional settings and rebelled against official art. Part of the generation known as the Nova Umjetnika Praksa (New Art Practice), she produced works of cross-cultural resonance that range from conceptual photomontages to video, performance, and social sculpture. In the 1970s, she probed the persuasive qualities of mass media and its identity-forging potential, but after 1990—following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and the birth of a new nation—she focused on the transformation from socialist to post-socialist political systems. Her first U.S. museum show features more than 100 works, including the controversial monument Lady Rosa of Luxembourg (2001), which trades mythic ideals for hard facts and replaces definitions of male heroism with terms of female abuse.
Tel: 212.708.9400
Web site www.moma.org

Sanja Ivekovic, Lady Rosa of Luxembourg (detail).
Museum of Old and New Art - Hobart, Australia: Wim Delvoye
Through April 2, 2012
In Delvoye’s work, opposites attract: the divine merges with the secular, past meets present, and ornament overcomes function. Needless to say, high also encounters low. His ongoing “Gothic” series applies traditional craft and folk art practices to industrial objects, such as gas canisters hand-painted with blue Delftware motifs and Caterpillar excavators perforated with tracery. The undeniably popularizing, and perhaps a bit juvenile, Cloaca project transforms the mechanics of the human body into a tongue-in-cheek machine for the production of art and commodities. MONA, an institution that defies almost every accepted convention of institutional practice, is the perfect foil for such obstinate flaunting of decorum. The 13 subterranean galleries devoted to Delvoye’s first Australian exhibition also feature his version of the word made flesh—a tattooed man—and Suppo (2010), a giant suspended sculpture in “rectal Gothic style.”
Tel: + 61 (3) 6277 9900
Web site http://mona.net.au

Wim Delvoye, Untitled (Suppo)—scale 1:2.
The Noguchi Museum - Long Island City, New York: Civic Action
Through April 22, 2012
The Queens neighborhood that hosts the Noguchi Museum and Socrates Sculpture Park boasts a vital mix of large open spaces, waterfront access, industrial buildings, residences, and studios. Once a polluted, almost abandoned zone, the area again faces serious threat—this time, from speculative development that flaunts zoning regulations and disregards infrastructure capacity, traffic, parking, and quality of life. In response to these abuses, the museum and sculpture park invited Natalie Jeremijenko, Mary Miss, Rirkrit Tiravanija, George Trakas, and their teams to create visionary alternatives to mindless expansion. This exhibition offers a first glimpse of their plans, which tackle nothing less than the redefinition of growth. Their integrated concept of planning envisions an evolving and sustainable neighborhood, rich in public amenities, affordable housing, jobs, and creative outlets. Later this year, a show of large-scale prototypes at Socrates will continue the dialogue.
Tel: 718.204.7088
Web site www.noguchi.org

Natalie Jeremijenko, X-ing Problem, from “Civic Action.”
Toledo Museum of Art - Toledo, Ohio: Small Worlds
Through March 25, 2012
The power of the miniature receives nuanced treatment in this consideration of smallness and what it means in today’s world. Artistic microcosms have not enjoyed this degree of popularity since the Victorian era (the Museum of Arts and Design ran a similar show last year), perhaps because we once again need relief from the burdens of responsibility and escape from the boredom of reality; their almost magical view of the ordinary lends something fantastical, colorful, and adventurous to the grayest, most prosaic of everyday scenarios. The five artists featured here—Gregory Euclide, Tabaimo, Joe Fig, Lori Nix, and Charles Kanwischer, offer more than 40 intricate and intimate worlds that instill wonder into the everyday normality of the home, the studio, the neighborhood, the city, and the natural world.
Tel: 419.255.8000
Web site www.toledomuseum.org

Gregory Euclide, Capture #9, from “Small Worlds.”
de Young Museum - San Francisco: Stephen De Staebler
Through April 22, 2012
De Staebler (who died last year) once observed that the human figure “is obviously the most loaded of all forms because we live in one…It’s our prison. It’s what gives us life and also gives us death.” For more than 50 years, this equivocal approach to the human condition found expression in fragmented clay sculptures that fuse nature, mortality, and culture in forms both contemporary and ancient. Questioning both the relevance of the figural tradition and the efficacy of faith in a postmodern world, these crumbling, alienated ruins (55 of them gathered here) capture the metamorphic potential between matter and spirit, creation and decay.
Tel: 415.750.3600
Web site www.famsf.org

Stephen De Staebler, Standing Woman and Standing Man.

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