International Sculpture Center

   
December 2013
Vol. 32 No 10

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.

Castello di Rivoli, Turin: Marinella Senatore
Through January 6, 2014
Senatore, who describes herself as an “activator,” directs participatory works in which viewers act as protagonists. Blending studio and public art, she engineers situations that people must negotiate or contest, seeking “to put into action an affective exchange that moves from story to story.” Her recent projects have been structured as cinematic productions, workshops, parades, and photo shoots that explore creative process and collective dynamics. This show highlights the spaces—both metaphorical and real—opened up by her works, including School of Narrative Dance, a creative writing lab/film and photographic set. These spaces may be reserved at no cost for the duration of the show, allowing anyone and everyone to construct innovative communities and experiment with art as an agent of exchange and cultural growth.
Web site www.castellodirivoli.org

Antoni Tàpies, Chair and Clothes.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville: Ana Maria Tavares
Through January 12, 2014
Tavares finds inspiration in the architecture of the Modernist city, particularly the stylistic vocabulary of Oscar Niemeyer and the other utopian architects who transformed postwar Brazil. Employing the same materials—steel, glass, and mirrors—her structures occupy the gray zone between design and fine art, alluding to interiors and products.  The airport terminals, waiting areas, and departure lounges that recur in her work symbolize exit from every-­ day life, evoking contradictory sensations of floating and falling, real life and virtual space. This show features the immersive video installation Airshaft (to Piranesi), which fragments a succession of elaborate interiors into multiple perspectives and then sets them in motion within a deep, dark sound environment of aural collage (composed by Brian Siskind).
Web site www.fristcenter.org


Ana Maria Tavares, Airshaft (to Piranesi).
Gasometer Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany: Christo
Through December 30, 2013
Fourteen years after The Wall, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s first installation for the Gasometer Oberhausen, Christo has returned to the world’s highest exhibition space with a new and equally dramatic work. In 1999, the artists bisected the former gas tank with a wall of 13,000 oil bar­rels; this time, Christo has filled it with something much more ethereal—air. Big Air Package consists of 20,350 square meters of semi-transparent polyester fabric and 4,500 meters of rope that swell into an inflated form, just about filling the inside of the Gasometer. A small walkway circulates around the sculpture, and airlocks allow passage into its interior, which offers an extraordinary experience of light and space. (Seven original design drawings, on display at the nearby Ludwig Galerie in Schloss Oberhausen, show how the idea developed from its initial stages in 2010.) Christo and Jeanne-Claude created their first Air Package in 1966 (the last was at Documenta IV in 1968), but he says that this one is unique: “When experienced from the inside, the space is almost like a 90-meter-high cathedral.”
Web site www.gasometer.com

Christo, Big Air Package, Project for Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany.
Guggenheim Bilbao, Bilbao: Antoni Tàpies
Through January 19, 2014
Tàpies may be best known as a painter, but the creator of “matter paintings” also had a lifelong preoccupation with sculpture. Since his heavily built-up, seductive surfaces incorporating marble dust, ground chalk, sand, and earth already defied the limits of two-dimensionality to verge on three-dimensional relief, it is no surprise that he began to craft a language of “three-dimensional objects” in the mid-’60s. The same sensitivity to material qualities (physical and symbolic) that characterizes his paintings defines his sculptural work, which continued until his death in 2009; like the artists of Arte Povera, he sought a return to origins—an art of fundamental materials and universal forms—as a means of political action. From potent assemblages of everyday life made with furniture, paper, clothes, sawdust, and wood to bathtubs, doors and walls, and chairs rendered totemic in gouged and scarred ceramic and bronze (often combined with raw earth and organic matter) these works resonate with a primal, intimate energy, returning mystery and a “sense of the eternal” to ordinary life.
Web site www.guggenheim-bilbao.es


Antoni Tàpies, Chair and Clothes.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia: Jason Rhoades
Through December 29, 2013
Rhoades, who died in 2006 at the age of 41, belonged to a generation of artists who exploded self-contained sculptural form into space-devouring environmental sprawl. Immediately accessible and eye-catching, his spectacular and overloaded installations also reward close engagement. Underlying the visual cacophony of odds and ends—neon, Lego pieces, power tools, macramé, tangled wires, figurines, and countless other treasures—lies a deeply systematic sense of order that cuts through the labyrinth like Ariadne’s thread. Following the trail, one discovers humor, vibrancy, and a provocative audacity that approaches irony but never insincerity. A Rhoades retrospective (in the normal sense) may be impossible, but the four installations here do the same job, offering four “roads” through what he considered one unified project. These routes navigate distinct thematic zones—Americana, biography, systems, and taboo—finding common ground in a can-do ethos that enshrines Duchamp and Judd alongside Kevin Costner and race car driver Ayrton Senna.
Web site www.icaphila.org


Jason Rhoades, The Creation Myth.
Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis: Rashid Johnson
Through January 6, 2014
Working in photography, painting, sculpture, and video, Johnson confronts ingrained assumptions about the African American experience while exploring the complexities, con­tradictions, and singular histories that form black identity today. Though he frequently alludes to historical and cultural figures, he also incorporates commonplace objects from his own childhood, a process he describes as “hijacking the domestic.” Plants, books, record albums, photographs, and soap become working materials for conceptually loaded, frequently playful works of personal myth-making. In a distinctly Beuysian manner, Johnson uses his work as a form of artistic self-creation, mining the past (real and imagined), pop culture, and the archives of modern art to locate himself in the historical landscape and project his ideas into the future.
Web site www.kemperartmuseum. wustl.edu

Rashid Johnson, Death by Black Hole “The Crisis.”
Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria: Dora García
Through January 12, 2014
García’s conceptual works challenge the borders between reality and representation, the improvised and the staged, artist and audience. Her texts, photographs, films, performances, and installations, which often include actors and the public, construct scenarios and situations that allow her to experiment, distort, and play with expectations. In these continually unfolding spatial ensembles, fiction becomes a means of projecting alternative realities that subvert societal rules and roles. Her new site-specific installation for the Kunsthaus, following works at Documenta XIII and the Spanish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, redirects the propaganda of communications media, including radio and tele­vision, through radical theater and protest strategies.
Web site www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at


Dora García, The Inadequate.
Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria: Barbara Kruger
Through January 12, 2014
For more than 40 years, Kruger has probed mass-media strategies, turning advertising’s persuasive power into a tool of exposure and critique. Her new exhibition, “Belief + Doubt” (named for a 2011 work in support of Ai Weiwei), covers the full range of her practice, from the celebrated photocollages of the 1980s through recent videos and a suite of new installations that merge message, architecture, and spatial trajectory. Regardless of medium, her work breaks out of the art system’s closed circuit to enter public space and consciousness. Magazine projects, posters for bus shelters and vehicles, and site-specific interventions all display the same understanding of how words and images can seduce, deter, and inspire. In her hands, the tropes of trade become slogans of commitment, advocating for women’s rights, freedom of expression, and individual empowerment. Political, iconic, and poetic in equal measure, her manipulations of social memory transform crass manipulation into thought-provoking engagement.
Web site www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at


Barbara Kruger, Belief + Doubt.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar: Adel Abdessemed
Through January 5, 2014

Working across video, performance, sculpture, and installation, Abdes­semed confronts religious, social, and sexual taboos to dissect power dynamics. Using the streets outside his Paris studio as auxiliary space, he creates what he calls “acts,” deliberately rejecting the neutrality of “performance” in favor of clear political implication. This exhibition features a wide selection of new and recent works, all characterized by their forceful impact and symbolic resonance. Sculptures such as La Chine est proche (a bicycle crafted from camel bones), Le Vase abominable (a brass pot sitting on top of an explosive device), and Practice Zero Tolerance (a blackened terra-cotta replica of a burned-out car from the 2005 Paris riots) add material realism to conceptual abstraction; in other works, gold, jade, salt, cannabis, bamboo, and stone link past and present, tradition and insurrection. Exploring the best and worst of human nature, from love and curiosity to exploitation and violence (and all points in between), Abdessemed gives form to a passionately held belief: “Art is a fire that cannot be put out.”
Web site www.mathaf.org.qa

Adel Abdessemed, Le Vase abominable.

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo: Emre Hüner
Through January 13, 2014
Hüner questions the very notion of civilized society. Grounded in a critique of progress, modernity, and utopian aspirations, his sculptures and installations frequently use Foucault as an entry point into the machinations of disciplinary societies. Freer universes built on wild-eyed dreams and experiments seem to provide an alternative to these controlled social systems, but any relief is short-lived: such grand exper­iments inevitably turn dystopian when vision and reality collide. This edition of MAM Projects features Juggernaut (2009), an installation capturing irrepressible, massive force, and the newly commissioned sculpture Trylon. Both works continue Hüner’s investigations into the confrontational bonds of history, nature, and culture, particularly the marriage of science and war. Revisiting past follies (and unrealized possibilities) to shed light on future missteps, his work offers no solutions beyond the redeeming effects of nature and time.
Web site www.mori.art.museum


Emre Hüner, Juggernaut (still).
Musée d’Art Modern (MUDAM), Luxembourg: Thea Djordjadze
Through January 19, 2014
Created from humble materials and domestic detritus (wood, clay, plaster, glass, fabric, soap, and cardboard), Djordjadze’s elusive sculptures and installations are charac­­- terized by fragility and transience. Seemingly produced on the spur of the moment, they crystallize the process of their production and possible alteration through time, manifesting as temporarily inscribed “gestures” in an exhibition space. Though they resemble familiar forms such as domestic objects, architectural elements, and presentation devices (plinths, display cases, and cabinets) and hint at narrative and personal recollection, these assemblages refute explanation. Djordjadze describes her practice in terms of poetic form, comparing the dialogue between her works to the relationship between words. The artifacts themselves project a certain power, retaining something of the aura that injects Surrealist juxtaposition with frisson or infuses Beuys’s materials with shamanistic/ ritualistic potency, but their efficacy is held in check by a doubting literalism—an effective and sometimes uncomfortable combination.
Web site www.mudam.lu

Thea Djordjadze, installation view of “our full.”
Museion, Bolzano, Italy: Klara Lidén
Through January 12, 2014
Lidén creates architectural interventions and installations by cannibalizing existing structures and mater­ials, including cardboard, corrugated metal, drywall, wood, and carpet remnants. With a spirit of activist rebellion, she rethinks the places that we inhabit and builds spaces that deviate from normal functionality. Her video works, which challenge accepted codes of behavior, explore the same critical territory from a human angle. Brimming with ferocity, she performs illicit acts for the camera, from the methodical destruction of a bicycle to an eccentric dance on a crowded Stockholm commuter train. For her first solo show in Italy, she has brought the streets of Bolzano indoors, transforming urban life into a large-scale installation made of asphalt road surfaces. Other new and recent works continue her investigation into the physical, psychological, and social limits of public and private space.
Web site www.museion.it

Klara Lidén, Untitled.

Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main: Hélio Oiticica
Through January 12, 2014
While Oiticica’s exploration of color and form began with paintings and gouaches, it quickly expanded into radical reconfigurations of optical and physical experience. It would be many years before environment, participation, and immersion became key factors in European and North American art, but these concerns already dominated his work in the 1950s. In the “Spatial Reliefs,” “Bilaterals” and “Nuclei,” viewers move in and around suspended, painted wood constructions. In the “Penetrables,” they navigate labyrinths filled with sensations, touching ropes, fabrics, plants, sand, gravel, and other objects. Pure spatial energy reaches its climax with the “Parangolés,” colored capes and cloth objects meant to be “habitable.” Inspired by the street culture of the Brazilian favelas, Oiticica’s interdisciplinary approach replaces the everyday with the delirium of art as life, dissolving space, time, and societal norms.
Web site www.mmk-frankfurt.de

Hélio Oiticica, Éden and Parangolé P25 capa 21 "Xoxoba.”

Museum of Modern Art, New York: Carol Bove
Through January 12, 2014
Bove’s work marries signature Modernist forms such as cubes, rectangles, and cylinders with a wide variety of materials—some at home with this vocabulary (I-beams and powder-coated steel) and others seemingly at odds with it (driftwood, seashells, and peacock feathers). “The Equinox,” a new suite of seven sculptures, is all about equilibrium. The title alludes to both the celestial event in which the sun crosses the equator, causing day and night to be of equal length, and to esoteric traditions that study natural phenomena as a key to harnessing nature’s power. Mirroring that perfect balance, each sculpture blends the organic and the non-organic, the geometric and the biomorphic, the natural and the manmade. Like talismans or charms, these lyrical artifacts possess mystical properties that emanate from form and material in equal measure.
Web site www.moma.org

Carol Bove, Terma.

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas: Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso
Through January 19, 2014
Though previous shows have considered clay as a sidebar in the work of major 20th-century artists, “Return to Earth” is the first exhibition to focus on the more general phenomenon of ceramic sculpture as an avant-garde form in the postwar period. Responding to a variety of personal impulses and historical circumstances, Lucio Fontana, Fausto Melotti, Joan Miró, Isamu Noguchi, and Pablo Picasso produced significant bodies of work in fired clay, engaging the material in novel, even radical ways—some rooted in process, others skimming the surface of decorative invention. More than 70 ceramic works, from the intimate to the monumental, shed light on a forgotten chapter in the development of Modernism. Though many of these objects have received scant attention, particularly in the U.S., their radical exploitation of the expressive potential inherent in fired clay managed to influence a subsequent generation, including Ken Price and Peter Voulkos, setting the path for today’s resurgence of ceramics in contemporary art.
Web site www.nashersculpturecenter.org

Joan Miró, Monument, from “Return to Earth.”

National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC: Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa
Through January 5, 2014
This ambitious exhibition of more than 100 works dating from 1800 to the present offers a critical new perspective on the state of relations between our species and the planet. The peoples of Africa have humanity’s longest-standing relationship to the earth, and they have sought to express and strengthen those ties through art for centuries. Five thematic sections draw together traditional, colonial-era, and contem-­­­­ porary works (by 40 artists from 24 African nations and the African diaspora) to show continuity and evolution in ideas about “Material Earth,” “Power of the Earth,” “Imagining the Underground,” “Strategies of the Surface,” and “Art as Environmental Action.” A sixth section features three commissioned sculptures installed in the Smithsonian gardens. Though the individual selections are impressive, “Earth Matters” is about more than art objects. Its strength lies in reconnecting those works to a temporal, geographical, spiritual, and political context that includes us all. The show fearlessly enters contested territory, seeking to unify rather than divide: we are all originally Africans, and what happens in our ancestral land may once again change the course of humanity and the planet.
Web site http://africa.si.edu

19th-century Pare or Zigua artist, Tanzania, bound figure, from “Earth Matters.”

New Museum, New York: Chris Burden
Through January 12, 2014
A pioneer of performance art, Burden first gained notoriety in the early ’70s for his flirtations with self-inflicted danger. While he has mellowed over the last 40 years, his sculptures and installations have continued to open up new horizons of physical possibility while challenging traditional assumptions of what sculpture is and how it is made. “Extreme Measures,” his first major exhibition in the U.S. in more than 25 years, traces the course of his career from the early performances through several recent series of large-scale constructions built from childhood toys (including Erector and Meccano sets, toy soldiers, and model trains). Miniaturized but still monumental, these reconstructions of bridges and environments diagram dense historical and political relationships while registering the depth of our mechanical and technological imagination. If nothing else, Burden’s work across media—investigating the breaking point of materials, institutions, and the human body—teaches us that limits, whether physical or psychological, mean nothing.
Web site www.newmuseum.org

Chris Burden, 1 Ton Crane Truck.

Sakip Sabanci Museum, Sabanci University, Istanbul: Anish Kapoor
Through January 5, 2014
Kapoor’s geometric and biomorphic objects seem to come from another world, a realm of almost impossible purity, lightness, and beauty. But there has always been a tension in his work that undermines harmonic perfection: roughness intrudes on refinement; messy internal implications qualify austere voids; and made matter threatens to dissolve into the unmade. His work in stone, the focus of this exhibition, shares these qualities, though with a particular twist. Carved from marble, onyx, alabaster, granite, and sandstone, each of these sculptures has its own way of defining infinity and duration. Though contemporary in form, these works take on a veneer of agelessness, unfolding the mysteries of historical and geological time through the depths of their transformative substance.
Web site http://muze.sabanciuniv.edu/en

Anish Kapoor, With a Past.

Savannah College of Art and Design, Museum of Art, Savannah: Diana Al-Hadid
Through January 5, 2014
Baroque and darkly evocative, Al-Hadid’s fragmented architectural forms conjure forgotten civilizations and allude to cataclysmic acts of destruction. Constructed of materials as prosaic as cardboard, plywood, plaster, wax, and resin, her towers, labyrinths, and pipe organs reveal an array of influences, both Eastern and Western—biblical and mythological narratives, Arabic oral traditions, Gothic architecture, and Islamic ornament. Metaphors of cross-cultural identity, these contemporary relics offer a vision of lost civility across divides. Advances in physics and astronomy also fuel her imagination. Viewed together, the large-scale sculpture and drawings brought together for the first time in this exhibition construct civilization all their own, a culture both ancient and contemporary—an ideal foil for sculptural musings on ruin and the human condition.
Web site www.scadmoa.org

Diana Al-Hadid, Tomorrow's Superstitions.


Complete text in print version available at fine newsstands and through subscription. Please visit our Membership page for more information.

Click here for Sculpture magazine ARCHIVES
To advertise in Sculpture magazine, call 718.812.8826 or e-mail advertising@sculpture.org.



Get a digital subscription
to Sculpture for just $25.
Click here
to sign up.
         TERMS AND CONDITIONS
         AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT STATEMENT

Website Design & Development by Cybermill Interactive