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December 2015
Vol. 34 No. 10

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Bronx, New York: “When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out” - Old Bronx Borough Courthouse
by Susan Canning
work from "When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out," 2015. Installed in the Old Bronx Borough Courthouse, a grand Beaux-Arts-style building built between 1905 and 1914 and undergoing renovation after it was closed for 37 years, “When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out” featured the work of 26 artists invited by curator Regine Basha. Organized by No Longer Empty, a nonprofit group that presents curated exhibitions and public programs in underused spaces, the show took its title from William S. Burroughs. The quotation signaled a Beat, hip-hop-infused poetic spirit, one that echoed throughout the show, as the building and the work reflected on the past, present, and future. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Lisa Sigal and Onyedika Chuke, work from “When You Cut into the Present the Future Leaks Out,” 2015.
Chicago: “S, M, L, XL” - Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
by Elaine A. King
Blue, 2006. “S, M, L, XL,” organized by Michael Darling, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, took its title from a Rem Koolhaas book of the same name—a 1,376-page tome, published in 1995 for OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), that contains essays, manifestos, diaries, fiction, travelogues, and reflections on the contemporary city as a place of change and ever-increasing scale. Unlike that innovative book, which was complex in scope and execution, this show was somewhat simplistic in its concept—it basically invited viewers to interact with sculpture. There were only two thin points of connection to Koolhaas’s architectural analysis—changing scale and a departure from Modernism. The four works in “S, M, L, XL” called to mind Rosalind Krauss’s seminal essay “Sculpture in the Expanded Field” (1979), one of the first texts to map Postmodernist art. They were produced over five decades by noted artists and differ in appearance and size. Although a few didactic labels offered facts about each piece and a general explanation about the evolution of sculpture, little explanation was given about how this work breaks from the Modernist canon. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Franz West, Blue, 2006. Work from “S, M, L, XL.”
Provincetown, Massachusetts: Jay Critchley - Provincetown Art Association and Museum
by Suzanne Volmer
Miss Tampon Liberty Gown, Crown and Torch, 2015. Jay Critchley creatively uses the codified capitalist convention of incorporation. As a CEO, he orchestrates his participation in public discourse, with fascinating outcomes regarding AIDS/HIV, nuclear energy, the carbon footprint, the impact of offshore sewage dumping, and development destabilization. His conceptualist activism is subversive. “Jay Critchley, Incorporated,” a recent retrospective curated by Bailey Bob Bailey, explored 30 years of interventionist practices. The show highlighted Critchley’s prescient mapping of off-kilter variants on the American Dream, delving deeply into a contextualization of his performativity, which was intellectually agile, affable, organic, original, and often hilarious. The product placement strategy for Old Glory Condom Corporation, unfettered by sexual taboo, was accompanied by the patriotic slogan “Worn With Pride Country-Wide.” Critchley’s interpretation of Miss Tampon Liberty trod an equally fine line of decorum, with a campaign that included a processional robe adorned with 3,000 discarded tampon applicators and worn by the artist in his role as the ambassador of TACKI (Tampon Applicator Creative Klubs International). It was developed to raise awareness of the negative impact of plastics in the environment. Critchley’s voice has three-dimensional authenticity, with a maker’s mindset that expresses itself in meticulously crafted objects imbued with the porosity of conscientious objection. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Jay Critchley, Miss Tampon Liberty Gown, Crown and Torch, 2015.
Santa Fe, New Mexico: Bill Georgenes - Santa Fe Community College Visual Arts Gallery
by Scott Rothstein
Metamorphic, 2015. Bill Georgenes’s recent work defies expectations. It is fresh and intensely focused. Made from cheap plastic toys, his constructions could be the fabrications of a young artist, yet Georgenes is a man in his mid-80s, who studied at Yale when Josef Albers was on the faculty. Georgenes’s early works were paintings, elegant and abstract, just what one would have expected from an artist with a Yale education. Yet 23 years ago, he began creating sculptures that were very dif­ferent from anything he had previously made, finding his most personal creative voice. These sculp­tures transcend academic training and resonate with the energy of a man driven and unencumbered by the burden of art history. Toys transformed into sculptures provoke dream-like memories.For Georgenes, however, there were no toys in his childhood. During the first four years of his life, he lived alone in an attic; his only entertainment was a small window from which to observe passersby. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Bill Georgenes, Metamorphic, 2015.
Brooklyn, New York: Ruth Hardinger - Long Island University
by Sarah Goffstein
Split Envoy #29, 2015. Ruth Hardinger’s recent show, “The Basement Rocks,” arose out of her concern about how fuel extraction disturbs the earth’s foundational strata. Functioning like the best science fiction, Hardinger’s activist work projects well-founded fears into the near future, her totem-like sculptures acting as harbingers for anthro-induced ecological ruin. “The Basement Rocks” displayed an impulse toward immersive installation, although the sculptures themselves felt like individual studio experiments. Gray floors, ashen concrete sculptures, and the ovoid shape of the all-glass gallery all evoked a kind of post-industrial Zen garden. A sound collage by Andy Chase swooshed like an echocardiogram in the background, playing recordings of seismic activity and drilling at a fracking site. Har­dinger’s materials are foundational: poured concrete and cardboard (used for molds). The former carries associations with building, permanence, and stability. Cardboard, however, is the epitome of disposable packaging and what we turn to during times of transition. Combining these materials invites chance to collaborate in terms of how the cardboard will sag, stick, bulge, imprint, and sometimes semi-permanently adhere as liquid concrete is poured into it, hardening into a rocky solid. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Ruth Hardinger, Split Envoy #29, 2015.
Kinderhook, New York: El Anatsui - The School
by Jonathan Goodman
Womb of Time, 2014. Gallerist Jack Shainman’s outpost of culture in upstate New York did a terrific job of exhibiting 50 years of work by the Ghana-born, Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui. Now in his 70s, he has had a long, prolific career fashioning shimmering panels out of bottle caps linked to each other with copper wire. After beginning his artistic career as a good painter, El Anatsui is now known as a remarkable sculptor. Early on, he worked with African ceramics. The changes that he made to existing ceramic masks signified a willingness to combine his personal cultural past, understood at least partly as colonized, with what amounts to a visionary reification of Western insights into abstraction. The School’s renovated space, now a year old, shows just how novel and ambitious a gallerist Shainman has become. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

El Anatsui, Womb of Time, 2014.
New York: Yoan Capote - Jack Shainman Gallery
by Joyce Beckenstein
Immanence, 2015. Yoan Capote is among the politically conscious artists currently enjoying eased constraints in Cuba, where Fidel Castro, in 1959, established a Communist regime 90 miles from the U.S. coast. With his pulse attuned to his native culture and his heart beating at a free-world pace, Capote treads terrain still hot-wired with reprisals for dissidence. His works, strongly rooted in local tradition, grow to universal proportions as he deftly detours around homegrown maladies to project his message onto a global stage. It’s a familiar strategy, a phenomenon common in many totalitarian countries (consider China and the art of Ai Weiwei, for example), which selectively permit controversial art to proliferate throughout the art market where cultural insights are often obscured by media hype. The works in Capote’s recent exhibition, “Collec­tive Unconscious,” dig beneath such rhetoric to uncover the psyche of his complex island nation. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Yoan Capote, Immanence, 2015.
New York: Tara Donovan - Pace Gallery
by Amanda Dalla Villa Adams
Draw­ing (Pins), 2014. Drawing seems a misnomer for Tara Donovan's new two-dimensional works. The 14 works, all titled Drawing (Pins), were created with a method that she began using in 2009 and date from 2011 to the present. For each piece, Donovan pressed hundreds of thousands of straight pins into painted white Gator Boards to create simple geometric shapes divided into bands of gray: circles, squares, diamonds and crosses. While the works are sold individually, most of them fall into pairs that offer both the positive and inverse of a given shape in grayscale. Each pin has been methodically and precisely placed; some overlap in tight clusters, while others dot across large expanses of blank space. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Tara Donovan, Draw­ing (Pins), 2014.
New York: Jeppe Hein - 303 Gallery
by Jacques Talbot
Installation view of “All We Need Is Inside.” "All We Need is Inside," the name of Jeppe Hein's third exhibition at 303 Gallery, was also the title of a work that set a strong thematic precedent for the exhibition. All We Need is Inside consists of a two-way mirror, with neon lettering behind it spelling out the title. Viewers seeing their reflection are alerted to the immediacy of their presence within the communal space of the gallery and in relation to adjacent works. Confronting viewers with their own image is a recurring dynamic in Hein's practice. Sine Curve I, a series of head-height reflective panels arranged in a meandering formation, continued Hein's manipulation of space. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Jeppe Hein, installation view of “All We Need Is Inside.”
New York: Hyemin Lee - Art Mora
by Jonathan Goodman
White Shadow_A11, 2013. Hyemin Lee’s recent show “White Shadow” filled both rooms of the Art Mora gallery in Chelsea. The large front room featured works from her “Plaster Bandages” series, which consists of relief sculptures made from plaster bandages arranged in rows. After breaking her arm, Lee was treated with a plaster covering, and she later decided to use the material as a means of building vividly textured surfaces. All white, circular or rectangular in shape, these works feel like a later version of Minimal­ism, albeit with a difference: some of the pieces approach embroidery in their arrangement of soft materials, while others are given a harder exterior—Lee’s plaster of Paris bandages, moistened with water during the construction process, harden to reflect a glossy sheen. In some ways, Lee has feminized the Minimalist tendency, but it feels as though the suggestion of women’s work is undertaken only to transcend assumptions of gender. By acknowledging the Minimalist impulse, Lee places her work in a tradition that she uses for her own purposes. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Hyemin Lee, White Shadow_A11, 2013.
New York: Bradley Wester - Pavel Zoubok Gallery
by Ann Albritton
Tea Dance, 2015. Bradley Wester, best known as a painter and printmaker, has pushed his two-dimensional works into three dimensions, making sculpture out of what might have originally been paintings. A New Orleans native, he celebrates the city’s famed Mardi Gras and glitzy nightlife with works incorporating disco balls and glitter. For Wester, who lived for a long time in New York and now resides in Bristol, Rhode Island, this exhibition paid homage, not only to the glamor of New Orleans, but also to his memories of the gay community there. In these works, Wester moves from the canvas and board on which he has painted and collaged materials for the past few years to custom-made Mylar reflective pegboard that works as a mirrored surface, along with brightly colored tape, pipe cleaners, disco balls of all sizes, tube lights, leather, chains, and a variety of shiny materials. The shift to exotic and clamorous hybrid constructions shows his playful side. Wester’s early career was in performance, and the works in “DISCOurse#2” reflect this. These pieces not only entertain, they also ask for interaction, as the viewer takes in the entirety and then the many small bits and pieces, including toys, whistles, and ribbons that bring to mind personal experiences. ...see the entire review in the print version of December's Sculpture magazine.

Bradley Wester, Tea Dance, 2015.

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