International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover



April 2015
Vol. 34 No. 3

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.

Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago: Pedro Cabrita Reis
Through May 9, 2015
Pedro Cabrita Reis, A broken line.Since the early 1990s, Cabrita Reis’s work has revolved around themes of housing, habitation, construction, and territory. A keen collector of civilization’s refuse and of evocative sensory impressions, he finds inspiration in abandoned building sites and treasure in discards. Like his sculptures based on commonplace furnishings (tables and chairs, doors and windows), his architecturally inflected installations transform the ordinary fabric of everyday life, drab surroundings, and banal construction materials into new worlds that border on the sublime. These expansive environments counter the classic white cube with massive brick walls, found objects, industrial neon tubes, steel girders, and rough wooden planks. The result of a mini-residency, his new site-specific installation blurs the line between work and exhibition space, taking its point of departure from the Arts Club’s celebrated Mies van der Rohe staircase.

Web site www.artsclubchicago.org


Pedro Cabrita Reis, A broken line.
Centre Pompidou, Paris: Jeff Koons
Through April 27, 2015
Jeff Koons, Hoover Celebrity III.Love him or hate him, Koons mirrors society’s obsessions. Though his work makes obeisance at the altars of celebrity, sport, porn, and the marketplace, he is at best an ambivalent acolyte, replacing faith with cynicism and negating simple divisions between appearance and reality, surface and depth, and art and commodity. With roots in Pop, Minimalism, and conceptualism, his sculptures modeled on store-bought products dramatize mass-produced cultural objects while exposing the subtleties of marketing. Unlike his ’60s predecessors, however, Koons also addresses our psychological investment in consumer items and deconstructs the mechanisms of their siren call. This retrospective, now on the penultimate leg of its international tour, features nearly 120 iconic works from all of his most famous and/or infamous series, including “Luxury and Degradation,” “Banality,” “Made in Heaven,” and “Celebration.” A true child of the advertising age, Koons is the consummate salesman, who will, as he says, “employ all possible tricks and do everything—really everything—to communicate and win the viewer over.”

Web site www.centrepompidou.fr

Jeff Koons, Hoover Celebrity III.

Gemeentemuseum, The Hague: Berlinde De Bruyckere
Through May 31, 2015
Berlinde De Bruyckere, Inside me III.Among contemporary artists, De Bruyckere (who represented Belgium in the last Venice Biennale) is unique in her ability to see beyond the form of the figure and feel the body as unrelenting physicality—meat, tissue, and sinew. Not since art imitated the miracle of the word made flesh has a sculptor created such fully enfleshed works. De Bruyckere, not surprisingly, is fascinated by medieval and early Renaissance religious imagery (as well as ancient mythology), and her recent work finds a contemporary idiom for the intense physical suffering that accompanies incarnation. Though we have become almost immune to images of pain and violence, De Bruyckere’s pallid skin, torn muscles, and gaping wounds, brought to visceral life through nothing more than wax, resin, rope, and worn leather and textiles, restore the possibility of sensitivity. This retrospective, which includes about 100 sculptures, installations, and drawings, focuses on the transformations and contradictions at the heart of her vision—the tensions that haunt the body and its imagery as sensuality blurs into compassion and sins of the flesh shade into sins against the flesh.

Web site www.gemeentemuseum.nl

Berlinde De Bruyckere, Inside me III.
Madison Square Park, New York: Paula Hayes
Through April 19, 2015
(proposal rendering).Known for living sculptures as well as public and private landscapes, Hayes explores the connections between humans and the natural environment, particularly the question of stewardship. From beautifully crafted, hand-held terrariums to large-scale gardens, her curated arrays of plant life require care and maintenance to thrive. With Gazing Globes, she creates a magical forest composed of 18 pedestal-mounted crystal balls. Cousins of the terrarium and the snow globe, these spheres trace their origins to the medieval garden, where they warded off evil while summoning the present and predicting the future. Hayes’s globes reveal a clear vision of contemporary life and its consequences. Veils of shimmering fairy dust (made from pulverized CDs) open on to views of used batteries, computer scraps, cast-off electronic transistors, shredded rubber tires, and recycled plastic flotsam interspersed with crystals and minerals. Combining the mystical and the critical, scrutiny and clairvoyance, these visions of what has been, what may be, and what has not yet come to pass offer fascination as well as warning.

Web site www.madisonsquarepark.org

Paula Hayes, Gazing Globes in Madison Square Park (proposal rendering).
Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts: Lee Boroson
Through May 10, 2015
Lee Boroson, Uplift.Boroson’s installations begin with ideas of nature, but a nature mediated through culture. Rejecting any notion of the “wild” or “untamed,” he focuses on issues of denial, appropriation, and ownership. Inflatables, fabric, and light mimic natural forces, elements, and effects—from air, fog, and smoke to fire and cosmic energy—reducing marvel-worthy phenomena to parlor tricks. Unlike many conjurers of phenomenological spectacle, Boroson does not traffic in the poetic sublime. Hell-bent on containment, his prosaically descriptive environments revel in naked artifice. “Plastic Fantastic” features a suite of four new, and very different, works—Moisture Content, Deep Current, Uplift, and Subterranean Set—whose progression eventually resolves into a single vision of the four elements in a 21st-century world. A hazy terrain of sheet plastic, vinyl, and fabric passageways initiates the journey by resetting the senses and the understanding. This reorientation prepares the way for a piece of Rube Goldberg theater in which ductwork, motors, and wooden structures play the part of the most celebrated and unnatural of waterfalls; a dark primordial underworld of inflatable fabric; and a field of hand-blown glass “lava lamps” that generate a manmade landscape of green carpet and faux wood.

Web site www.massmoca.org


Lee Boroson, Uplift.
MAXXI, Rome: Huang Yong Ping
Through May 24, 2015
Huang Yong Ping, Bugarach.Huang is considered one of the most influential figures in recent Chinese art. Since moving to Paris in 1989, his overriding concern has been to confront the structures and operations of ideological hegemony, challenging definitions of history and truth. His installations, objects, and drawings have simultaneously negotiated, mended, and preserved the divide between East and West, as well as between traditional and avant-garde art practices, while addressing the (in)validity of rational knowledge and the limits of language. This selection of large-scale installations—including a 10-meter-long minaret, a re-creation of the mountain of Bugarach, a Buddhist prayer mill that brushes the ceiling, and the skeleton of a 30-meter-long serpent—reflects on the tense relations between different systems of religious belief, taking an ironic and critical look at the philosophical and geopolitical origins of seemingly intransigent conflicts. In Huang’s “space of emancipation,” a hybrid of diorama, excavation, menagerie, and exploratorium sets the stage for creative skepticism, drawing an alternative “map of global civilization.”

Web site www.fondazionemaxxi.it


Huang Yong Ping, Bugarach.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago: Richard Hunt
Through May 17, 2014
Richard Hunt, Small Hybrid. For more than 50 years, Hunt has used bronze, steel, aluminum, and copper to explore lyrical form, the lofty ambitions of abstraction, and the reconciliation of the organic and the industrial. This exhibition—one of the largest presentations of his work in his hometown—traces the development of his style from smaller objects made of welded scrap materials (he once said, “What I do is just what you see in any body shop”) to monumentally scaled metal sculptures (more than 30 of which are installed around Chicago’s libraries, community centers, universities, and office buildings). A selection of drawings highlights his cultivation of linear gesture and movement across media, while the sculptures demonstrate his ongoing commitment to technical experimentation and his ability to infuse ideal, abstract form with the immediacy, and relevance, of real-life concerns drawn from aspects of the black experience in America.

Web sitewww.mcachicago.org

Richard Hunt, Small Hybrid.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago: Doris Salcedo
Through May 24, 2015
Doris Salcedo, Untitled.Salcedo has a rare ability to give visual form to traumatic loss and suppressed sorrow: a pair of shoes or ordinary tables and beds become alternative memorials impregnated with absence. A sculptor of memory and life, poverty and dignity, she has cracked the floor of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, walled up a room of the Castello di Rivoli, filled the “human void” left by the destruction of a building in Istanbul, and commemorated the dead with a “mute prayer” in which silence screams with outrage. Her first retrospective brings together a full selection of her work from the past 30 years, demonstrating a remarkable balance of vigorous fieldwork and poetic reinterpretation, individual tragedy and systemic injustice. From the dead-weight monumentality of concrete-filled armoires and chairs to the fragility of silk, earth, living plants, and rose petals, these works (supported by a new film documenting Salcedo’s site-specific interventions) give strength to weakness and testify to an endurance that outlives erasure.

Web site www.mcachicago.org

Doris Salcedo, Untitled.
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas: Melvin Edwards
Through May 10, 2015
Melvin Edwards, Benefane. Edwards, who works primarily in welded steel, is perhaps best known for his “Lynch Fragments,” an ongoing series of small-scale wall works begun in 1963, born out of the social and political turmoil of the civil rights movement. Incorporating ordinary tools—scissors and hammer heads—as well as other, more brutish implements of oppression—chains, locks, and ax heads—these moving and evocative power objects summon a range of references and associations, countering sorrow with revolutionary fervor, trading passivity for action. Edwards’s career, however, extends beyond the “Lynch Fragments” to include groundbreaking barbed-wire and chain sculptures, kinetic works, and a host of important public artworks. In addition to mid-size and large-scale sculptures, this retrospective includes a re-creation of his 1970 exhibition at the Whitney, where he was the first African American sculptor given a solo show, maquettes of his works in the public sphere, rarely seen drawings, and a selection of sketchbooks.

Web site www.nashersculpturecenter.org

Melvin Edwards, Benefane.
Palais de Tokyo, Paris: Takis
Through May 17, 2015
Takis (Vassilakis), Le Bassin Takis at La Défense, Paris.A pioneer of artistic expression through the functional exploitation of natural laws, Takis defines himself as an “intuitive scientist.” For him, stones shaped over time by moving water and metal twisted by heat and fire are as much sculpture as forms carved in marble or cast in bronze. His earliest works consisted of explosions and their accidental artifacts, but his career took off in the 1950s with the “Signals,” compositions of piano wire that create musical vibrations as they strike against each other in the wind, and the “Telésculptures,” formed of nothing more than magnets and needles—the latter is attracted by the former and remains poised in space, held in frustrated suspension by a restraining wire. Sound and magnetism, with the later addition of light in the “Telélumieres,” have guided his work since these initial experiments. Like his contemporaries in the German postwar group Zero, Takis once sought a better world through a synthesis of science and art, seeing natural forces as a correlate for human power relations, a way to correct imbalances. In a famous 1960 performance, for instance, he briefly suspended the British poet Sanford Beiles in a magnetic field in a Paris gallery, later claiming to have sent a man into space six months before the Russians. This retrospective—his first since a 1993 show at the Jeu de Paume—features more than 50 works, all vibrating with the intense energy of “scientific magic.”

Web site www.palaisdetokyo.com

Takis (Vassilakis), Le Bassin Takis at La Défense, Paris.
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia: Cy Twombly
Through May 2015
Cy Twombly, Anabasis.Like Fifty Days at Iliam (1978), Twombly’s masterful cycle of 10 paintings (in the PMA’s permanent collection and on view in galleries 184 and 185), the sculptures in this show were inspired by Homer’s Iliad. Evoking the minutia that add up to epic, these abstracted forms seemingly dredged from the mists of time recall battered armor, charging and stationary chariots, the rising sun before battle, and the sunset closing over a day of victory and defeat. Pale, irregular surfaces, weathered and washed into serenity, blur the scars of violence, translating the immediate into the remoteness of myth. Yet the resonance of these deceptively simple sculptures (chosen by Twombly before his death as companions to the Iliam paintings) extends beyond the Trojan War, their very anonymity powerfully embodying the impulse to overcome, obliterate, and cancel.

Web site www.philamuseum.org


Cy Twombly, Anabasis.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: Paul Chan
Through May 13, 2015
Paul Chan, Sade for Sade’s sake. From the outset of his career, Chan (who was awarded the 2014 Hugo Boss Prize) has worked simultaneously as an artist and a political activist, eschewing a signature style in favor of a multi-disciplinary approach that ranges from documentary video and computer animation to sculpture, light projection, and community-based performance. An inveterate experimenter committed to provocation, he has defied U.S. sanctions to work in Baghdad with the aid group Voices in the Wilderness (2002); helped to create and distribute The People’s Guide to the Republican National Convention (2004), a map for protesters delineating key RNC events; and organized performances of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in the Lower 9th Ward and Gentilly neighborhoods of post-Katrina New Orleans (2007). The 7 Lights (2005–07), a group of large-scale projections of animated paper silhouettes that collapse and fall in a hallucinatory vision of apocalypse, takes a similar approach to devastation, tempering the shock of violent dissolution with a sense of potential rebirth.

Web site www.guggenheim.org

Paul Chan, Sade for Sade’s sake.

Suyama Space, Seattle: Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor
Through April 25, 2015
Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, heart in throat, head in hands; tong­ue in knots, heart on sleeve. O’Connor’s work walks a fine line between tenderness and the grotes­que, pathos and absurdity, accretion and loss, and vulnerability and resourcefulness. The human/ animal hybrids in her new site-specific installation, heart in throat, head in hands; tongue in knots, heart on sleeve, act out a complicated, oblique narrative not only through the accumulation of closely observed postures, gestures, and expressions, but also through their very make up. Built from discarded upholstered furniture, bedding, household fabrics, found cardboard, and painted paper, mounted on wooden armatures and held together with drywall screws, these cast-off and recovered entities convey comfort and discontent, childhood hope and fears, birth, sex, and death—all through the fantastical illusions of dreams and nightmares.

Web site www.suyamaspace.org

Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, heart in throat, head in hands; tong­ue in knots, heart on sleeve.

Witte de With, Rotterdam: Energy and Raw Material
Through May 3, 2015
  MAP Office, The Oven of Straw²The first in a three-part series, “Art In the Age Of…Energy and Raw Material” features works that investigate the human exploitation of resources to fuel the necessities and luxuries of life, from creation and communication to travel, industry, and political power. Assuming that art objects have always followed the flow of raw materials, subject to trade routes, treaties, and war, the show wonders what such relations look like now and how they might look in the future. Participating artists Nina Canell, Celine Conderelli, Mikhail Karikis, Nicholas Mangan, MAP Office, Marlie Moore, and Anton Vidokle examine the distribution and symbolic capital of wheat as foodstuff and commodity, energy and information loss in telecommunications, geothermal harnessing as a vision of hell, the intimate connection between the cotton industry and nationalism in Egypt, and the contaminated relationships of mineral and markets.

Web site www.wdw.nl


MAP Office, The Oven of Straw², from “Raw Material.”

Complete text in print version available at fine newsstands and t hrough 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.




Click here to sign up for a digital subscription ($60) to Sculpture