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Sculpture cover




December 2014
Vol. 33 No.10

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
North Adams, Massachusetts: Guillaume Leblon MASS MoCA
by Christine Temin
Guillaume Leblon, installation view of “Under My Shoe,” with (foreground) Probability that nothing will happen, 2011; wood, steel, glass, plastic, and sand, 90 x 380 x 86 cm.On the floor was a carpet of beige linen intentionally laid down by the artist so that visitors would leave scuff marks to record their presence. Evidence and lingering traces of the past were among the persistent themes of “Under My Shoe,” an exhibition of works by Guillaume Leblon, who lives and works in Paris. While he has exhibited throughout Europe, this show was his first solo in a U.S. museum. Though a revelation, it was also an enigma. Using startling combinations of materials, from the glamorous (shiny metal alloys) to the mundane (towels, a mattress), Leblon alludes to such movements as Surrealism and Arte Povera, both of which flourished before he was born. MASS MoCA curator Susan Cross links him with even earlier, 18th-century English landscape painters, whose meandering paths are echoed in the scuffed tracks on the linen-covered floor. The glitzy, metal-covered pieces are made of chrysocale, an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin, which Leblon weaves to add textural interest.....see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Guillaume Leblon, installation view of “Under My Shoe,” with (foreground) Probability that nothing will happen, 2011; wood, steel, glass, plastic, and sand, 90 x 380 x 86 cm.
Los Angeles, Gabriel Kuri: Regen Projects
by Kathleen Whitney
Gabriel Kuri, stop start exponential growth 02, 2014. Volcanic rock, white boulder, socks, and inflated condoms, 11.5 x 17.75 x 79.92 in.
Gabriel Kuri’s work, though profoundly abstract, forges a relationship between the materiality of an object and the associative properties it embodies. His tightly compact sculptures are saturated with a pointed set of criticisms referencing commodification, waste, consumption, and corporate power. While his work is beautiful, intensely sophisticated, humorous, and ironic, it is never cynical. Distinctly conceptual and materials-based, it combines social phenomena with aesthetics. Although the materials play off the dichotomies, the work adds up to more than visual puns, making explicit Kuri’s conceptual and social concerns. His work is in no way didactic; it is too subtle and complex for one-shot generalities. Kuri employs an idiosyncratic form of post-Minimalism that frames content and functions as a filter, condensing and refining meaning. ......see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Gabriel Kuri, stop start exponential growth 02, 2014. Volcanic rock, white boulder, socks, and inflated condoms, 11.5 x 17.75 x 79.92 in.
Atlanta, Simone Leigh: Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
by Rebecca Dimling Cochran
Simone Leigh, Cupboard, 2014. Steel, porcelain, stoneware, and wire, 18 x 12 ft.
Simone Leigh, who was born in Jamaica and now lives in New York, investigates race and identity through ceramics, sculpture, and video. Her recent exhibition, “Gone South,” marked her first attempt to explore the American South, particularly what she calls “African Ameri­cana,” or the folk art traditions of face jugs and bottle trees, as well as vernacular architecture.
Leigh is not afraid to tackle charged references. One of her signature forms resembles an enlarged cowrie shell that she creates by molding clay around a watermelon, cutting a jagged opening, and glazing in a variety of colors and textures. The results are simultaneously beautiful and loaded with dark references....see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Simone Leigh, Cupboard, 2014. Steel, porcelain, stoneware, and wire, 18 x 12 ft.
New York, Anna Maria Maiolino: Hauser & Wirth
by Jan Garden Castro
Anna Maria Maio­lino, São 21 (They are 21), 2013. Raku ceramics, metal wire, metal table, and electrostatic paint, 125 x 35 x 35 cm,. Anna Maria Maiolino’s work stands out for its elegant aesthetic and gutsy use of homespun processes and materials. Born in Calabria, Italy, Maiolino grew up in Venezuela and Brazil. She and her husband Rubens Gerchman were among the original members of the New Objectivism Brazil movement (Nova Objetividade Brasileira), which exhibited at Rio’s Museum of Modern Art in 1967. The group’s platform included renewed interest in the figure and in Brazil’s indigenous cultures. They were intent on changing the Neo-Concrete and Modernist directions of older Brazilian artists such as Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, and Hélio Oiticica. The 42 works included in Maiolino’s recent show, most of them created in 2013, are notable for their immediacy, intimacy, and range....see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Anna Maria Maio­lino, São 21 (They are 21), 2013. Raku ceramics, metal wire, metal table, and electrostatic paint, 125 x 35 x 35 cm,.
Lorne, Australia, Elizabeth Presa: 2014 Lorne Sculpture Biennale
by Carol Schwarzman
Elizabeth Presa, 2 details from Bee Village, 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variableIn Elizabeth Presa’s installations, active beehives function as small architectural objects that address dwelling-in and shelter. Her deeply process-oriented practice equates materials with political and spiritual value to re-imbue plaster, glass, wax, fabric, flour, paper, thread, bees, and snails with a significance either forgotten or overlooked in the mad rush to commodification. Since 2003, Presa has led the interdisciplinary Centre for Ideas at the University of Melbourne’s Victoria College of Art. She recently traveled to the Vatican to do some research—the Pope’s apiary is home to half a million bees. During her travels, her latest work, Bee Village, was scheduled for installation at the 2014 Lorne Sculpture Biennial, where the more than 30 small plaster hives cast from baskets were gathered to overlook the ocean. Presa’s instructions for the piece included living beehives to be set among the sculptures “to create a sort of frenetic energy.” Upon her return, she learned of a last-minute decision to exclude the live bees because they carried too much risk...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Elizabeth Presa, 2 details from Bee Village, 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variable
London “The Human Factor” The Hayward Gallery
by Jonathan R. Jones
Urs Fischer, Skinny Sunrise, 2000. Polystyrene, wood, dust, spray adhesive, flour, acrylic paint, silicone, screws, and fabric, ?97 x 197 x 46 cm. From “The Human Factor.”. The problem with group shows is that the curator is powerfully present, and when a show attempts a survey or argument, it is hard not to be distracted by potential omissions or possible flaws. “The Human Factor” fell foul on both counts: there were omissions in the selection and holes in curator Ralph Rugoff’s premise—that there is a “ubiquity of the figure in sculpture today.” It seemed arbitrary for the show to include 25 artists and survey the last 25 years of artistic production. And why represent some artists with just one work, but include three by others? The featured artists were not “of” the past 25 years in the sense that they belong to the same generation (Paul McCarthy was born in 1954, while Andro Wekua was born in 1977). Finally, the show’s premise that the last quarter century represents a return to the human figure seemed in itself to be questionable. Given the argument underpinning “The Human Factor,” it is surprising that British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, Antony Gormley, and Marc Quinn were not included.....see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Urs Fischer, Skinny Sunrise, 2000. Polystyrene, wood, dust, spray adhesive, flour, acrylic paint, silicone, screws, and fabric, ?97 x 197 x 46 cm. From “The Human Factor.”.
Miami, Miami Art Fairs 2013
by Sarah Tanguy
Izhar Patkin, Time Clipping the Wings of Love, 2012. Porcelain, 80 x 46 x 34 cm. Left: Bernardí Roig, Practices to Suck the Light (hanging), 2012. Polyester resin, marble dust, and light bulb, 170 x 50 x 45 cm. With so many fairs and biennials all over the world, the inevitable question arises: “Why bother?” But the 2013 Miami spectacle proved that it’s still possible to have meaningful encounters with art in a restricted space and time frame. As leading collectors vied against each other and top dealers operated in overdrive, pockets of tangible authenticity managed to emerge from the dense maze of noisy booths and outdoor spaces. Even fair organizers have recognized the possible economic damage of ennui by adding curated shows and perimeter booths for emerging galleries and artists. It is often here that the breaks occur. At Art Basel, tucked away in the NOVA section at Revolver Galería, Peruvian-born Jose Carlos Martinat created an installation of two fake palm trees spewing bits of paper that appealed from afar with its promise of a deserted island in a frothy sea—a clever take, perhaps, on the artificiality of the fair? According to Martinat, the trees, which stood for Cuba and Puerto Rico, were rigged to search Google for the two islands and the U.S. The data was then processed into notes in English and Spanish. Forming a loose mound, the discharged papers spun a seemingly random yet revelatory account of problematic relations.....see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Izhar Patkin, Time Clipping the Wings of Love, 2012. Porcelain, 80 x 46 x 34 cm. Left: Bernardí Roig, Practices to Suck the Light (hanging), 2012. Polyester resin, marble dust, and light bulb, 170 x 50 x 45 cm.

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