International Sculpture Center

   


November 2012
Vol. 31 No 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Olympics: London 2012 Festival
by Ina Cole
As the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, the London 2012 Festival fulfilled its pledge to create a nationwide celebration of the arts in conjunction with the Olympic Games. This kind of celebration is designed to appease people, make them feel involved and patriotic. Great effort was expended on organizing the spectacle, which might have succeeded as a temporary distraction from greater concerns, but could also leave a bitter aftertaste should the promise of an enduring legacy fail to improve long-term well-being. Though the epicenter of activity and most commissioned works remained firmly and predictably anchored in London, the festival also created tangible offshoots across the breadth of the U.K. Everything about the festival was big, loud, and participatory: indeed, participation was built into its remit from the outset ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Jeremy Deller, Sacrilege, 2012. Life-size inflatable Stonehenge replica
Santa Monica - Masayuki Oda: Lora Schlesinger Gallery
by Kathleen Whitney
Masayuki Oda’s recent work consists of familiar-looking things made more interesting and sculptural because they are out of proportion, funny, or very abstract. Several objects are strange re-makes of the ordinary and overlooked, and all of them are cute to some degree. Though he draws some of his imagery from banal objects, the work has no connection to issues of consumerism or mass-production; instead, Oda’s insistent humor, particularly in the choice of materials and wacky distortions, gives it some bite. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Masayuki Oda, Frozen Chicken, 2009. Fabricated bronze, 11.5 x 9 x 14 in.
Miami - Ruben Ochoa: Locust Projects
by Jan Garden Castro
Ruben Ochoa’s many talents include excavating and revealing hidden truths. His recent installation at Locust Projects was a fitting “last show” for a soon-to-be-demolished building. In conjunction with this exhibition, Ochoa also created the ironically and literally titled A Bit of Detritus for the James Cohan Gallery at Art Basel Miami. Ten slabs of aggregate with a terrazzo edge and Venetian finish were threaded onto a central metal rod to form a 5,000-pound column. The construction evoked a major “foundation” of Western civilization—Rome’s discovery of pozzolana, a volcanic ash that became the key ingredient in concrete. The slabs also suggested crumbling, present-day economies. Cores and Cutouts at Locust explored the space above and below the floor. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Ruben Ochoa, Cores and Cutouts, 2011. Concrete, dirt, and mixed media, installation views.
Boston - Swoon: Institute of Contemporary Art
by Christine Temin
Self-styled street artist and activist Swoon (a.k.a. Caledonia Curry) recently contributed a site-specific work to the ICA’s 75th-anniversary celebrations. While officially part of a series on the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, Anthropocene Extinction leapt off the wall as soon as possible, erupting into a long, ribbony chain of paper and cloth, like a giant kindergarten art project, that culminated in a 400-pound, suspended sculpture next to the ICA’s glass elevator. During its installation, visitors took more than the necessary number of elevator rides—they were mesmerized. Walking into the museum, viewers immediately encountered an immense portrait of a 90-year-old Aboriginal woman on a copper-colored wall....see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Swoon, Anthropocene Extinction, 2011. Mixed media, detail of installation.
Mountainville, New York - “Light & Landscape”: Storm King Art Center
by Edward Rubin
“Light & Landscape,” organized by Storm King associate curator Nora Lawrence, was inspired by Alyson Shotz’s Mirror Fence (2003), a 130-foot-long stretch of mirrored pickets that reflect the viewer’s every movement, along with the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The show, which remains on view through Nov?em?ber 25, features 14 artists who use the light of the sun as a central component of their work. Katie Holton’s Sun Clock (Making Time) (2012) tells the time of day by using shadows cast by viewers as they stand in front of 12 monthly, planet-shaped markers...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Spencer Finch, Lunar, 2011. 2 solar panels with charger, light-emitting diodes, lamp fixture, lead, aluminum, stainless steel, and polycarbonate, 136 x 200 x 138 in.
New York - Frieze Art Fair Sculpture Park: Randall’s Island Park
by Michaël Amy
The arrival of London’s huge and trendy Frieze Art Fair was the New York City art world event of May 2012. A long, subtly slithering, gigantic white tent was erected on Randall’s Island for the occasion, to accommodate the gallerists’ individual booths. Along the western flank, sculpture was installed in an area designated (rather optimistically) as a “sculpture park,” where “new selected works by emerging artists, curated by Tom Eccles” could be viewed free of charge—though how Subodh Gupta, Jaume Plensa, Matthew Ritchie, Ernesto Neto, and the late Louise Bourgeois could be qualified as emerging artists, I do not know...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Jeppe Hein, Geometric Mirrors I, 2010. Aluminum, stainless steel, and high-polished steel, 78.75 x 39.25 x 39.25 in.
New York - Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse: The Lab Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Breath of Water, an installation created by the collaborative team of Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse for the window space of The Lab Gallery, consisted of thin strips of light-colored wood radiating outward from a central nexus. Attached to beams above them and gently moving, the strips echoed what might be described as the wind’s breath over water. No one was allowed to enter the space; viewers could only see the installation from the outside (like looking into an aquarium tank)...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse, Breath of Water, 2012. Florida cypress and paper, 8 x 35 x 18 ft.
New York - “Jesús Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950–1970”: Grey Art Gallery,
New York University
by Jonathan Goodman
Venezuelan-born Jesús Soto, a major figure in avant-garde, mid-20th-century sculpture, left his country for Paris in 1950. As the intriguing and historically informative “Jesús Soto: Paris and Beyond, 1950–1970” points out, he took quickly to the progressive Parisian milieu, making friends with Yves Klein and Jean Tinguely. The artists in their circle, including, on the periphery, composer Pierre Boulez and critic Pierre Restany, looked at the found materials of urban life as a solution to the privileged use of traditional art mediums...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Jesús Soto, Mural, 1961. Paint, wire, and mixed media on wood, 278 x 493 x 62 cm.
Columbus, Ohio - “Carved and Whittled Sculpture: American Folk Art Walking Sticks from the Hill Collection”: Columbus Museum of Art
by Vince Carducci
Former Cranbrook Academy of Art sculptor-in-residence Michael Hall has challenged art world conventions for more than four decades. Though he has created a significant body of work during that time, his efforts as a critic, curator, and collector have been arguably more influential. In the 1960s and 1970s, he played a key role in shifting consideration of American folk art from old-timey curio to artistic expression demanding to be judged through the lens of contemporary aesthetics. In the 1980s and 1990s, he rescued the output of mid-century artists working in the Great Lakes region from virtual oblivion by using postmodern concepts of identity, site-specificity, and what we now term relational aesthetics. More recently, he surveyed creations of the First Peoples for the Canadian government...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Anonymous, Root with Suggestive Rib Cage Form, late-19th century. Carved and painted root, 38 x 6 x 4 in.
Newport, Rhode Island - China Blue: Newport Art Museum
by Edward Rubin
Over the last 10 years, sound has established itself on solid footing, solid enough to be considered seriously by museums and critics as another form of sculpture. During this same period, China Blue, a forerunner in the so-called contemporary sound art movement, began to think about scientifically mining this territory in the most original and unorthodox ways. After beginning as a painter, China Blue realized that creating with the implied structure of energy in space, the geography of sound, was her true calling ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

China Blue, Firefly 2.0, 2010. Pager motor, flashing LEDs, and guitar strings, installation view.
Ottawa, Canada - David Askevold: National Gallery of Canada
by John K. Grande
As David Askevold’s recent retrospective “Once Upon a Time in the East” demonstrated, Pop, Minimalism, and media culture could all be part of conceptual art. As Askevold commented in 2008, “I never thought conceptual art should be a style. I thought of it as a way to question assumptions and to comment on art history, and also on subjects outside of art, in order to expand the boundaries of art beyond the tastes and styles that had been dominant for so long.” ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

David Askevold, installation view of “Once Upon a Time in the East,” 2011–12.
San Gimignano, Italy - Antony Gormley: Galleria Continua
by Laura Tansini
San Gimignano, a historic town in the heart of Tuscany, recently hosted an absorbing exhibition of new and older works by Antony Gormley. At the heart of the show was Vessel, a site-specific work conceived for the former theater and cinema that forms the central part of the labyrin?thine Galleria Continua space. Made from 39 interconnecting rectangular steel boxes, the structure interpreted the town’s medieval skyline as a reclining male figure. Four other new works filled the first room of the gallery, exploring how bubbles coalesce to create cloud forms. Here, the principles of natural growth and structure are applied to the body...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Antony Gormley, Another Time XV, 2011.
Zurich - Koenraad Dedobbeleer: Mai 36 Galerie
by Olga Stefan
Making sculpture from found objects has become as common today as it was shocking when Duchamp created his first readymade in 1915. It takes something fresh, different, and let’s face it, unique, to make this sort of sculpture interesting. Belgian artist Koenraad Dedobbeleer mostly delivers with constructions re-assembled or slightly altered from pieces of functional objects. His most successful and engaging works use parts of old tools or furniture, which he transforms and reconstructs in ways so absurd that the original object and its function are completely lost, though the aura of the past remains...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Koenraad Dedobbeleer, Resigned Astonishment, 2011. Wood, varnish, and enamel, 81.5 x 68.5 x 72.5 cm.
Tokyo - Motohiko Odani: Takamatsu City Museum of Art
by Kazuko Nakane
Sculptor and multimedia artist Motohiko Odani is a leading young voice in the Japanese art scene. He says that he grew up captivated by American cinema, including the horror genre and the films of David Lynch. His other inspiration comes from anime, computer games, and digital media. Odani is highly knowledgeable about digital technology and keeps his eye on current happenings in the international art world. He became a professor of art at Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2003 and now teaches at Tokyo (National) University of the Arts...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Motohiko Odani, Hollow: Pianist/Rondo, 2009. FRP, urethane paint, and mixed media, 154.5 x 496 x 62 cm.

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