International Sculpture Center

   
November 2013
Vol. 32 No 9

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - Ann Hamilton: Park Avenue Armory
by Michaël Amy
Ann Hamilton, who trained as a weaver, understands the importance of repeating the same gesture or movement over and over again until one obtains an accumulation of actions, which may merely seem, or may actually be, significant. These actions may come and go, leaving—like much of what we do—no tangible trace, or they may result in an object. Hamilton’s work relies on largeness of scale, as well as grandness of setting, repetition (which presumably leads the practitioner into a near trance-like state), and Bergsonian durée. It is also steeped in nostalgia, which, when handled lightly, can lead to gripping results; however, Hamilton’s gravitas and quasi-penitential work ethic (also embraced by her participants) can come across as bombastic. For a recent multimedia installation, Hamilton took over the huge Wade Thompson Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory, an oddly fascinating building dedicated in 1880. The 55,000-square-foot vaulted hall, with its brick, metal, and glass surfaces burnished by wear, is imposing indeed, threatening to dwarf much of the work exhibited in it, but Hamilton triumphed...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Ann Hamilton, the event of a thread, 2012–13. Participatory installation with 42 swings, ropes, pulleys, cloth, radio receivers, 42 homing pigeons, wooden cages, wooden tables, paper, and performers, 55,000 sq. ft. overall.
Venice, California - Matt Wedel: L.A. Louver
by Kathleen Whitney
The works featured in Matt Wedel’s “Sheep’s Head” exhibition can be perceived in one of two ways—somewhat saccharine and silly or muscular and profound. The balance that he achieves between these two poles makes his sculptures challenging, significant, and moving. His figurative work, which lies squarely within the Modernist tradition, is strongly reminiscent of Elie Nadel­man and Marino Marini. His botanical objects are pure science fiction. The over-sweetness is located in the subject matter: child-like figures with mild, sketchy features and colorful flowers. The profundity is grounded in the touching emotional simplicity of the characterizations...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Matt Wedel, installation view of “Sheep’s Head,” 2013.
New York - Hiroyuki Okumura: Howard Scott Gallery
by Robert C. Morgan
At first glance, one might mistake Hiroyuki Okumura’s stone forms for a return to Surrealist sculpture, with comparisons ranging from Hans Arp to David Hare. But after taking the time to examine his machine- and hand-worked protrusions and indentations, one realizes that they have little in common with Surrealism or, for that matter, with Expressionism. Instead, Okumura’s elegant sculptures reveal the emergence of nature as a state of mind and an emptiness far removed from the linguistic concept of absence as applied to 20th-century, Western aesthetics. Two important works included in Okumura’s recent show “Nest of Wind” illustrate this concept. The first, carved from volcanic rock (basalt) and carrying the same title as the exhibition, appears to laminate a large, but unknown machine part into the stone, as if it had been encased by flowing lava. Nest of Wind implies that culture and nature are not oppositional, but two elements inextricably bound to one another...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Hiroyuki Okumura, Nest of Wind, 2012. Volcanic rock, 19 x 14.5 x 12 in.
Cincinnati - Robert Fry: Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery
by Jane Durrell
The adjective “wooden,” with its stolid overtones, has no place in discussions of Robert Fry’s wood sculptures. The works recently on view in “Redux” are lively excursions into an imaginary world where nothing actually moves, but much of it looks as though it might, just when you turn your head. Fry, based in Covington, Kentucky, has devoted his 30-year career to the sculptural possibilities of wood. He is fully aware of the different characteristics of, say, ash and walnut and combines them with their inherent qualities in mind. All of the materials for “Redux” were “recycled from old buildings and yards, fallen trees, floor joists, and sticks,” Fry explained in his artist statement. Some wood was also taken from previous sculptures. With the exception of Shed Some Light (2009) and Not Just a Bench (2011), all of the featured works were made in 2013. In Stepping Out, one of Fry’s most playful excursions, variously angled legs support a horizontal top; it seems as though music is all that’s needed to bring on a dance. The piece stands about five feet high and is somewhat wider than its height...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.


Robert Fry, (left) Into the Wild, 2013, metal, paint, and wood, 18 x 6.25 x 6.25 ft.; and (right) Stepping Out, 2013, walnut, cherry, and beech wood, 60 x 41 x 68 in.
Buenos Aires - Miguel Harte: Ruth Benzacar Gallery
by María Carolina Baulo
A beetle inside a glass bubble, the pink entrails of an unrecognizable being, a stone cave with insects embedded in its walls, and a number of organic, wall-mounted forms representing some kind of shelves but failing to support anything other than themselves created an atmosphere of mystery in Miguel Harte’s recent show. Harte explained that “the initial idea was to perform a series of objects of small and medium size, with a seductive ‘precious’ spirit, presented on shelves where the exhibited objects would not be more or less important than the supports.” In his fusion of science fiction and imagination, the supports grabbed prominence over the objects that...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Miguel Harte, installation view, 2013.
Dublin - Aleana Egan: Kerlin Gallery
by John Gayer
Aleana Egan’s richly evocative sculptures, which range from the representational to the abstract, recall various types of spaces. Many of her works are created out of welded steel, but she also incorporates more fragile materials such as cloth, string, plaster, and cardboard. She then exhibits these structures and arrangements composed of miscellaneous elements alongside photographs of excavation sites, historic buildings, and patterned fabrics—images that she has either produced or found. A walk through one of her shows reveals works possessing a fragmentary quality, that resonate with ambiguity (as opposed to discontinuity or incompleteness) and promote contemplation through which...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.


Aleana Egan, installation view of “The Sensitive Plant,” 2013.
 
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