International Sculpture Center

   


May 2012
Vol. 31 No 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Newark, New Jersey - Amy Young : Kedar Studio of Art/ Index Art Center
by Jan Riley
Inspired by the Street Art movement, social media, and the work of Walker Evans, Amy Young has created a series of tiny sculptural works nestled in the art of giving and sharing. Since June 2010, she has placed hundreds of tiny street-art works in New York, London, and Paris. Each work is part of an edition signed and dated by the artist, who identifies herself by printing her Web site address and a QR code on each piece. A complete list of the works, along with the comments of those who find them, is posted on her blog at www.seemetellme.blogspot.com. ....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Amy Young, Subway Saints, 2011. Photography, watercolor, rice paper, plastic boxes, beads, bells, sequins, magnets, thread, and string, installation of 50 elements, 1.75 x 1 x .5 in. each
San Francisco - Brian Wall : Hackett | Mill Gallery
by Peter Selz
The tradition of Constructivism is still with us and remains especially strong in the San Francisco Bay Area with two outstanding sculptors—Brian Wall and Fletcher Benton. Wall, whose early work was recently shown in Hackett | Mill Gallery’s “Brian Wall: Spatial Planes 1957– 1966,” was born in London in 1931 and moved to St. Ives in 1954, where he became an assistant to Barbara Hepworth the following year. Hepworth and her husband (England’s foremost abstract painter, Ben Nicholson) were friends of Naum Gabo, a leader of the Constructivist movement in Moscow, who moved to St. Ives at the beginning of World War II and remained there until 1946. There is little doubt that Constructivist theory and praxis had an impact on the young Wall, whose sculpture defines the space it occupies. ....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Brian Wall, Kind of Blue, 2000. Waxed steel, 360 x 204 x 63 in.
Santa Barbara - Brad Miller : Cabana Home
by Marlena Doktorczyk-Donohue
At the core of Brad Miller’s unusually diverse work—ceramic vessels, “burn” paintings, site-specific installations—there is a principle shared by set theory, blastocoels (early dividing embryos), electron dispersions, computer programming, compositional aesthetics, and political economies. That principle might be described as the manner in which systems spontaneously and randomly distribute units, space, information, and materials, while observing a kind of meta-patterning, or internal logic, ordered enough to achieve effective/symmetrical/efficient/ attractive solutions. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Brad Miller, installation view of “Primordial Algorithms,” 2011.
Santa Monica - Adrian Saxe : Frank Lloyd Gallery
by Kathleen Whitney
While Adrian Saxe’s previous work embodied dual aspects of beauty—penetrating attraction and a natural link to the grotesque—the work in his recent exhibition, “GRIN,” is not easy on the eye. The sculptures are freeform Surrealist objects that make suspect everything that categorizes the sense of things. The linkage of a highly crafted, non-utilitarian object with a utilitarian technology is, as de Lautréamont wrote, as “beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.” Such dissonance is characteristic of Saxe’s work. Each object bears overtones that stand in ambiguous relationship to its tangibility. The current work is humorous in a deeply questioning, philosophical fashion. ....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Adrian Saxe, Holy Trinity, Fat, Salt, Sugar, 2011. Porcelain, lusters, and mixed media on antique wood base, 16 x 8 x 5.38 in.
Atlanta - John Grade : Emory University
by Jane Durrell
John Grade’s Piedmont Divide installations at Emory University inhabited two very different areas of the campus. A constantly moving curtain of hundreds of individual parts was suspended over the Quadrangle, a grassy, tree-filled space briskly inhabited by students, faculty, dog walkers, and pecan gatherers. The location is close to the busy streets flanking this urban university, and campus auto traffic comes even closer, a counterpoint to the ostensible calm of the Quadrangle. The second installation appeared in the Lullwater Preserve, an unusual feature to find on an urban campus. An expansive, park-like setting, the preserve can be approached and traversed only on foot. Here, a strange and glittering island of unreal vegetation sprouted in the large, central pond. Silvery stalks took on color from tricks of light, responded gently to air currents, and were wholly ignored by the ducks and geese. . ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

John Grade, Piedmont Divide, 2011. Heat-formed salvaged plastic bottles, 2-part installation at Emory University; work over Quadrangle 18 x 22 x 24 ft., work in the Lullwater Preserve, 7 x 28 x 28 ft.
Chicago - Dianna Frid : devening projects + editions
by Jason Foumberg
Five hundred years ago, Albrecht Dürer created a vivid woodcut of a rhinoceros not from first-hand observation but from hearsay. Now that we’ve closed the gap between the exotic and the observable, one can use Dürer’s method to describe the world retroactively. That artistic strategy was manifest in Dianna Frid’s recent solo exhibition. In this materially sensitive and richly formal showing of wall-bound and freestanding sculptures, handmade cloth books, and lithographs, it was tempting to disregard Frid’s titles and simply float among her boundless, freeform abstractions, but the titles frame the works. “Evidence of the Material World” was the exhibition’s name, and though the material world has not vanished, Frid re-created its elements by interpreting found texts....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Dianna Frid, The Refulgents, 2011. Cloth, colored pencil, clay, paper, and graphite, 37.75 x 13 x 11.5 in.
Indianpolis - William Dennisuk : White River State Park The Herron School of Art and Design
by Dorothy Joiner
William Dennisuk’s vessels designed for outdoor display and his works meant for indoor exhibition were recently seen in tandem for the first time. Three of his stately, mesh-like vessels graced White River State Park, “floating” on water in apparent defiance of gravity; while just steps away, inside the Herron School of Art, forms in the “Hidden Variables” series were positioned behind translucent Plexiglas, apparently dissolving into a painterly haze. The two sets of containers represent dual incarnations of Dennisuk’s focal preoccupation—the fluctuating and sometimes precarious interaction of human consciousness with the outside world. ....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

William Dennisuk, Hidden Variables, 2008–11. Rebar and Plexiglas, 7 x 3 x 3 ft.
New York - Michael Combs : Salomon Contemporary
by Joyce Beckenstein
“Be All You Can’t Be,” Michael Combs’s first solo exhibition in New York, featured a white elephant in the middle of the room. Standing atop a delicate, hand-carved pillow, the creature (cast from a rubber toy, then enhanced to resemble a charging bull), is small in size but symbolically huge. Minds That Matter (2011) represents the psychological behemoths that lurk beneath Combs’s constantly evolving theme of macho male sexuality. It also serves as a platform for this rising star’s beginnings as a direct carver in wood and a launch pad for where he’s headed as a conceptual multimedia artist. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Michael Combs, Man Up, 2011. Lincoln Logs, rubber cladding, and fishing suspenders, 55 x 15 x 10 in.
New York - Matt Hoyt : Bureau
by Jonathan Goodman
Matt Hoyt recently presented an inspired, albeit somewhat quizzical show of very, very small sculptures, arranged on shelves in Bureau’s diminutive Lower East Side space. These small wonders are striking in their specificity of form, repaying Hoyt’s considerable investment of time and labor. Like tiny artifacts taken from an unknown culture, they are compelling despite the fact that their function and purpose remain unknown. Indeed, they feel closest to museum pieces, an affiliation heightened by the objectivity of their display in groups—as if individual pieces might simply fade from view. Sometimes smaller is, in fact, better, which becomes clear as these quirky objects inspire bemusement as well as admiration. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Matt Hoyt, Untitled (Group 18), 2006–11. Wooden shelf with ABS support and 2 mixed-media objects, 1 x 8.5 x 4.75 in.
New York - Esther Kläs : Peter Blum Chelsea
by Jonathan Goodman
Esther Kläs came to New York for graduate studies at Hunter College, and it looks like she is determined to stay. This is to the city’s advantage, for Kläs is an excellent practitioner of postmodern sculpture, a genre that offers considerable freedom and a respite from the burdens of traditional art. Although Kläs’s work clearly engages in a dialogue with Modernism, there is an ad hoc, indeterminate, and informal attitude in her constructions. For instance, HA (2011) is held together by tape, while Trouvé (2011) consists of concrete, a coarse material associated more with building than sculpture. Unlike the Minimalists, who usually worked in series, Kläs seems to have a different motive—or at least an individual respect—for each individual piece as a discrete work of art. For example, the two sculptures mentioned above share an aesthetic of fundamental, rudimentary materials, yet visually they couldn’t be more different. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Esther Kläs, HA, 2011, Wood and tape, 3 elements: 71 x 25.5 x .75; 73.5 x 25 x 1; and 74.25 x 27.25 x .75 in.
Pittsburgh - "Factory Installed 2011" : Mattress Factory
by Elaine A. King
In 2006, the Mattress Factory introduced a new exhibition series devoted to site-specific work. For “Factory Installed 2011” (the second installment), independent curator Katherine Talcott, together with MF co-directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk, selected six international artists from 600 submissions: Natalia Gonzalez (Bolivia), Mariana Manhães (Ukraine), Nika Kupyrova (Brazil), Than Htay Maung (Burmese-born, Pittsburgh-based), Veronica Ryan (West Indies-born, now New York), and Pablo Valbuena (Spain, living in Toulouse, France). This multi-faceted show fluctuated in value and presented an assortment of concepts, materials, and styles. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Natalia Gonzalez, Light Recordings, 2011. Steel, automated lights, wire, pulleys, plumb bob, concrete, and shadows, dimensions variable.
Seattle - Matt Sellars : Platform Gallery
by Suzanne Beal
Seattle-based Matt Sellars is known in the Northwest for meticulously carved minimal forms that suggest structures no longer in their prime. A native of Spokane, Washington, whose motto “Near nature. Near perfect” reveals community ideals firmly rooted in the natural world, Sellars has poetically connected images of the rural landscape (catawampus barns and swaying sheds) to concepts of transformation, memory, and loss of resources. Now, with Supra tidal, he takes to the sea.....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Matt Sellars, Supra tidal, 2011. Detail of Untitled (clouds), carved poplar, stain, aluminum rods, and wood pedestal.
Humlebaek, Denmark - Ai Weiwei : Lousiana Museum of Modern Art
by Elna Svenle
It is difficult to curate an Ai Weiwei exhibition these days. The 54-year old Chinese artist/activist has been unable to travel since his 2011 imprisonment and, consequently, unable to work on his shows. Ai is best known for site-specific works, including the 100 million porcelain sunflower seeds he installed in Tate Modern's Turbine Hall and the 1,001 Chinese men and women he flew to Kassel for Documenta. At the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art—the site of his first Scandinavian solo show—none of the planned new projects could be realized. Instead, the exhibition featured a handful of older works. It may sound like a small presentation, but some of the sculptures were monumental. For example, Forever (2003) is a Duchamp-inspired readymade of 42 bikes welded together in a circle. If any of them were to be removed, the whole structure would collapse, a reference to China as a mass society, with a system that limits individual freedom. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Ai Weiwei, installation view with Rock, 2009–11, porcelain, 117.8 x 75 x 33.7 cm.; and Tree, 2009–10, dead tree from southern China.
Dublin- "Tool Use" : Oonagh Young Gallery
by John Gayer
“Tool-Use” provoked surprise, dismay, and disorientation. Though modestly scaled objects clung to the gallery walls and occupied the floor, the space felt bereft of material content, hollowed out somehow, more unoccupied than if it were empty. Given the title, one might have anticipated works demonstrating unique technical abilities or processes, but the selection presented by curator David Beattie effectively subverted such expectations. Getting a grasp on what the work conveyed required careful consideration and persistent reconnoitering. ....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Amy Yao, Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be, 2007. Glass, wood, newspaper, and household paint, installation view.

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