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March 2016
Vol. 35 No. 2

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Dispatch: Roberley Bell and Boston Sculptors at Chesterwood
by Christine Temin
Roberley Bell, 22 May, 2015. Margaret French wrote a line or two a day in the diaries that she kept in the early 20th century. French was the only child of Mary and Daniel Chester French, the sculptor best known for the Lincoln Memorial. He and his wife and daughter spent as much time as possible at his Berkshire summer estate, Chesterwood, until his death in 1931. Margaret’s entries in the diaries were terse and factual. On August 9, 1905, she wrote: “Went down to the store in morning. Played tennis in aft. And drove over to Stockbridge. Mamma & Pappa went to Concord, NH, for a week.” When Roberley Bell came to Ches­ter­wood as its 2015 artist-in-residence, she didn’t know of Margaret French’s habit, but she had been chosen on the basis of her proposal to do an object a day for the month of May, an idea that resonated with Chesterwood’s executive director Donna Hassler. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Roberley Bell, 22 May, 2015. Wood, stick, paint, and clay, 19 x 5 x 5 in.
Istanbul: 14th Istanbul Biennial - Saltwater
by Susan N. Platt
Blue, 2006. As a migration crisis unfolded in Turkey (refugees on rubber rafts were trying to reach Greece from the Turkish coast), a biennial titled “Saltwater” seemed an amazing coincidence. But innocuous as the title appeared, the theme encompassed political, spiritual, mystical, and scientific metaphors reaching back into history through the present and into the future. “Tuzlu su” (“Saltwater”) featured venues that could not be seen, installations in obscure locations, and ferry trips to the Princes Islands in the Sea of Marmara and up the Bosphorus. The organizer of the 14th Istanbul Biennial, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, who referred to her role as drafting a “composition,” took on the metaphor of saltwater as a synonym for “transformation and change on the planet…It is a theory of life.” ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Grace Schwindt, Little Birds and a Demon, 2015. Sea salt, wooden table and chairs, copper cauldron and bowls, silver spoons, used-pointe-ballet-shoe-soup, speakers, and sound.
Santa Monica, California: Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle - Christopher Grimes Gallery
by Kathleen Whitney
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, P’oe 34°01’03”N—118°29’
12”W, 2014. Detail of mixed-media installation. “Well 34°01’03”N–118°29’12”W,” the title of Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s recent exhibition, represents the coordinates of the Grimes Gallery’s location in Santa Monica, introducing a multi-part work that required consideration of the geographical, social, economic, and political dimensions of water. The installation itself was titled P’oe 34°01’03”N—118°29’12”W. P’oe means “gift” in Tewa, the indigenous language of the Santa Clara Pueblo in New Mexico; the numbers indicate the coordinates of a well dug there in 2014. P’oe was clinical in its stark minimality. Three walls bore gleaming rows of stainless steel commercial shelves holding clear glass gallon jugs filled with water taken from an aquifer directly under the Santa Clara Pueblo and trucked to the gallery. On the floor in front of the west wall, as if in a tasting room at a winery, was a square stainless steel table with a shelf bearing jugs and numerous glass tumblers. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, P’oe 34°01’03”N—118°29’ 12”W, 2014. Detail of mixed-media installation.
Boston: Leigh Hall - Atlantic Works Gallery
by Marty Carlock
Samara Golden, The Flat Side of the Knife, 2014–15. Silvered foam insulation board, installation view The Atlantic Works Gallery, at the edge of Boston Harbor, occupies the top floor of a repurposed building that was once part of the East Boston shipping industry. Leigh Hall, the sculptor of the two-person exhibition “Metaphors and Metamor­phoses” (which also included the assemblages of Suzanne Mercury), combed the streets of the surrounding industrial neighborhood for many of the materials included in the show. Hall uses a combination of needlework techniques to stitch together found pieces of metal wire of different thicknesses. The results are exquisitely wrought, intimate sculptures that range in size from six inches to six feet. Needlework, once the provenance of the wealthy, is turned on its head by Hall’s quirky sensibility, which pairs refined techniques with the humblest of found materials. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Leigh Hall, Connective Tissue, 2009. Found wire and cotton and linen thread, 22 x 14 x 9 in.
New York: Agnes Denes - Socrates Sculpture Park
by Jonathan Goodman
Agnes Denes, The Living Pyramid, 2015. The Living Pyramid, recently installed at Socrates Sculpture Park, marked Agnes Denes’s first major New York environmental statement in art since 1982, when she constructed the fabled Wheatfield—A Confron­­tation, a two-acre site of wheat growing only two blocks from Wall Street. This time, her motif was not so directly adversarial. The Living Pyramid was dedicated to David Rockefeller on the occasion of his 100th birthday for his interest in art and the environment; it looks like Denes has made her peace with the captains of industry. Sited close to the water at the edge of the park, the pyramid connected with the East River, and the northern tip of Roosevelt Island could be glimpsed beyond the work. So The Living Pyramid referenced both local geography and the relatively early beginnings of Denes’s career as an ecological artist. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Agnes Denes, The Living Pyramid, 2015. Wood, soil, planted grasses, and flowers, 30 x 30 x 30 ft.
New York: Mark Hadjipateras - Denise Bibro Fine Art
by Jonathan Goodman
Mark Had­jipateras, Pinocchio small, looking left, smaller legs, 2010. American artist Mark Hadjipateras, of Greek background and now based mostly in Athens, recently put up a terrific show of grisaille paintings and stained aluminum sculptures. The latter are particularly strong, continuing his long-established practice of whimsical artifact. Behind the playfulness, however, viewers will find a formal intelligence that links Hadjipateras in spirit, if not exactly in form, to some of the Modernists, specifically Calder and Jean Arp. In particular, Arp’s preoccupation with the boundaries of abstraction and figuration seems to set a precedent for Hadjipateras’s treatment of organic shapes, which offer a melding of the nonobjective and forms found in nature. As a result, he nicely interprets a cusp that has and will remain important in art—the area where what is visible merges with what is imagined. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Mark Had­jipateras, Pinocchio small, looking left, smaller legs, 2010. Stained aluminum, 5 x 7 x 4 in.
New York: Ulrich Rückriem - Koenig & Clinton
by Robert C. Morgan
Ulrich Rückriem, The Last Fifty Years, 2015. James Siena’s extensive show of large and small, intricate sculptures in wood and metal seemed very much like an essay in structure. In an interview with Julia Schwartz for Figure/Ground, Siena acknowledged the influence of open-wire works of art: “I met Alan Saret early in my years in New York and was tremendously moved by his light-permeable wire sculptures.” While the range of sculpture in Siena’s exhibition was broad, both in size and materials (bronze, cherry wood, bamboo), the fabrication process was close to identical: sticks are attached to the ends of other sticks, the connections building an open design in which light and space are as important as the construction itself. The angular splices between one element and the next show us how a very simple process—the joining of two linear elements—can result in three-dimensional works of unusually attractive complexity. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Ulrich Rückriem, The Last Fifty Years, 2015. Wood, steel, iron, and granite, 7 elements, 6 x 200 x 500.5 in.
New York: Tatiana Trouvé - Central Park
by Susan Canning
 Tatiana Trouvé, Desire Lines, 2015. On first encounter, Desire Lines, Tatiana Trouvé’s installation at the Doris C. Freedman plaza in Central Park, looked like it could have been discarded from a textile mill. Four large racks—each containing spools grouped large to small (212 in all) and filled with coils of rope in an array of colors and textures—stood at the ready. Each rope, when unwound, gauged the length of a walkway or path in the park, while a small brass plaque mounted along the spool’s rim, and inscribed with a serial number, a descriptive title, and the name of a historical march or walk, or a writing, performance, song, or artwork, lent new associations to the chosen route. Invitations to take a walk along Central Park’s many paths metaphorically, conceptually, and perhaps even physically, Trouvé’s spools let loose multiple narratives, evoking poetic correspondences connecting the present to history, time, and place through naming and unwinding. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Tatiana Trouvé, Desire Lines, 2015. Metal, wood, ink, and rope, 137.5 x 299.5 x 374 in.
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: James Welling - Brandywine River Museum of Art
by Stephen Petersen
James Welling, “Gradients,” a series of nine works placed around the sprawling, picturesque Brandywine Conservancy surrounding the Brandywine River Museum, was subtitled “A Sculptural Installation by James Welling,” although Welling himself has said that the works are really more like “site-specific photos.” This deceptively simple characterization only hints at the complexity (both visual and conceptual) of these large-scale digital prints on metal erected in the landscape. The project was commissioned to accompany “Things Beyond Resemblance,” a show of Welling’s photographs relating to Andrew Wyeth (who died in 2009). For that project, Welling photographed various places in Chadds Ford, including Wyeth’s studio, his childhood home, and the neighboring Kuerner family farm, where Wyeth made many of his best-known pictures. For the “Gradients,” Welling returned to these and other locations and took digital photographs that became the basis for color samples, which he used to produce abstract color gradients made in Photoshop. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

James Welling, “Gradients,” 2015. Dye sublimation on aluminum
Banbridge, Northern Ireland: Mark Revels - F.E. McWilliam Gallery
by Brian McAvera
Mark Revels, Biofilm under Con­struction (detail), 2015. Ceramic and concrete, 68 x 310 x 160 cm. Mark Revels is a young Irish artist who initially trained in London as a set designer, a disciplined grounding that he brings to bear on his relatively recent career as a sculptor. His latest work, the ceramic and concrete Biofilm under Construction, was sited on the main paved pathway of the F.E. McWilliam Gallery’s sculpture garden, directly in front of the café windows. Described as “a fusion of art and science,” the installation used the same short, narrow bricks (in dull pink, gray, and yellow) as the path so that it appeared as though some new biological formation had suddenly burst its way through the pavement, rather in the manner that bracken will erupt through asphalt or Japanese knotweed will grow through concrete. The effect didn’t quite work, however, because the bricks, instead of being sunk at an angle to indicate upward thrust, simply sat atop the pavement. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.


Mark Revels, Biofilm under Con­struction (detail), 2015. Ceramic and concrete, 68 x 310 x 160 cm.
Melbourne: Erwin Fabian - Australian Galleries
by Ken Scarlett
Erwin Fabian, Dark Dawn, 2015. In a society obsessed with youth and innovation, older artists are often ignored and forgotten. Not so with Erwin Fabian, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday with a major exhibition of new works. There is no need to make concessions for his age: the sculptures have a very strong presence, ranging from the intimate to the imposing. The son of the distinguished painter Max Fabian, Erwin Fabian was born in Berlin in 1915. He was already in London in 1938 when the situation for Jews in Germany was most precarious. At the outbreak of World War II, since he still carried a German passport, he was arrested as an enemy alien and deported to Aus­tralia, where he was interned for two years. After the war, he returned to London, but eventually Melbourne became his home. And so, by a twist of fate, Australia gained a major artist. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Erwin Fabian, Dark Dawn, 2015. Welded steel, 179 x 133 x 84 cm.

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