International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover



Nov 2017
Vol. 36 No. 9

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.

Abbey of San Gregorio - Venice: Jan Fabre
Through November 26, 2017
Skull with SquirrelVisual artist, playwright, and stage director, Fabre explores the border between reality and dreams, creating impressive fantasies that frequently descend into nightmare. His bizarre mix of animal and human metamorphoses, unusual and uncanny materials (particularly jewel beetle wings), and eye for the theatrical tableau reveal a world difficult to measure by conventional artistic standards. His installations range from the stunningly gorgeous to the chillingly disturbing - effects made all the more visceral by a seamless interlocking of borrowed and experienced images. Inspired by alchemy and the memory of matter, the 40 works in "Glass and Bone Sculptures 1977–2017" pay homage to the Flemish masters, who ground bone powder into their pigments, and to the artistry of Venetian glassmakers. Hard, yet fragile and delicate, these materials draw attention to the nature of life itself. As Fabre says, "Some animals and all human beings come out of the womb like molten glass out of a melting oven. Everyone can be molded, bent, and shaped with an amazing degree of freedom."

Web site www.emst.gr


Jan Fabre, Skull with Squirrel.
Alfred Ceramic Art Museum - Alfred, New York: Stanley Rosen
Through January 1, 2018
Stanley Rosen, Untitled By the late 1950s, Rosen was in the vanguard of American ceramics. One of a small cohort that included Peter Voulkos, John Mason, and Ken Price, Rosen helped to revolutionize the field, transforming it into a freely inventive and richly expressive art form, liberated from the practical requirements of the vessel and the conventions of the craft tradition. For the last 40-plus years, he has focused on teaching (Bennington College, 1960-91) and making, rarely exhibiting or publishing his work. "Holding the Line" brings together, for the first time, a unique, evocative body of abstract ceramic sculpture spanning more than 50 years. Primal and earthy, sometimes playful, often somber and mysterious, these works make a case for Rosen's place in the history of 20thand 21st-century American sculpture.

Web site ceramicsmuseum.alfred.edu



Stanley Rosen, Untitled.
Bryan Art Gallery, Coastal Carolina University - Conway, South Carolina: Jackson Martin
Through November 17, 2017
40-Hour Workweek Martin's work typically strikes a collaborative détente between nature and culture that acknowledges the human urge to control while accepting the unpredictable and constantly changing world around us. His industrially perfect and carefully worked steel, wood, glass, and plastic frames and vitrines, however, never quite tame their organic contents (plants, dirt, and water), becoming meta - phors for the folly of utopian ordering systems. The new works featured in "Work Ethic," which emphasize commitment to craftsmanship, set up a similar equation in regard to making. What is the value of labor today? Why make things by hand at all? For too many people, making has become just another outmoded definition of humanity. Hand work of every variety--skilled and unskilled, from the building trades to the studio-- has lost its value, undermined by automation, cheap facsimiles, and an uninformed consumer base. By conflating the mind-numbing, rote repetition of piecework production with the meditative creativity of artistic process in hand-crafted replicas of prefab industrial objects like cinderblocks (effortfully built up of cardboard, vinyl, or fabric), Martin pays homage to the dissolving marriage between mind and hand, to lost jobs, engaged labor, DIY selfitinerary sufficiency, and the pride of accomplishment while underscoring how all meaningful human endeavor-- blue collar, white collar, creative, manual--is in jeopardy.

Web site www.coastal.edu/gallery


Jackson Martin, 40-Hour Workweek.

Centre d'art contemporain La Halle des Bouchers - Vienne, France: Juan Fernando Herrán
Through November 26, 2017
Swirling Chronologies Using sculpture, installation, video, and photography, Herrán investigates hidden moments in Colombia's history and questions the mechanisms involved in constructing memory. Materials and archaeological objects become keys to interpreting the past while revealing how present conditions are grounded in forgotten events. From the "dramatic operators" of the hero and the martyr to marginal, anonymous figures, he identifies potential authors to script "palimpsest memories" that add up to a labyrinthine maze of crossroads and intersections, where interpretative choice always remains open to debate. The result is not an alternative narrative, but a series of "meeting points" where meaning can be collectively renegotiated. His solo project in France performs this operation on the material patrimony of Vienne, revealing how the visible surface of daily life grows out of the sedimentary layers of time. The former Abbey of Saint-André-le-Haut-- built on an ancient Roman site, used as a cemetery, confiscated during the French Revolution, then serving as public housing until the late 1990s-- becomes the focal point for Herrán's study of shifts, appropriations, and re-use, an artistic excavation that reveals the inherent violence manipulating the mechanisms of historical change.

Web site www.cac-lahalledesbouchers.fr

Juan Fernando Herrán, Swirling Chronologies.
Contemporary Arts Museum - Houston: Annabeth Rosen
Through November 26, 2017
Bunny For over two decades, Rosen has expanded ceramic practice, moving from the functional and decorative into the conceptual with installations that meld materiality and process. Her alternately diminutive and mon - umental works are built up through obsessive, additive effort that pushes into an exploration of endurance, labor, and feminism while considering nature, destruction, and regeneration. Rosen, who embraces chance as a creative partner, sees the studio and kiln as places of invention. She often "binds" multitudes of discrete works to create large-scale objects. Twisting and shaping the clay, she creates what have been described as organic forms--fragmented bits of flowers, tubers, leaves, and root-like structures-- fires them together and then arranges them in large grids or as standalone works. "Fired, Broken, Gathered, Heaped," her first major survey, celebrates the generative role of experimentation in her practice. As she says, "I break almost as much as I make, and I think I learn as much about the work by doing so." Using hammer and chisel to reform fired pieces, reassembling, reglazing, and refiring them, she manages to make the counter-intuitive completely possible, resuscitating fired clay and infusing it with fluid malleability.

Web site www.camh.org


Annabeth Rosen, Bunny
Mass MoCA - North Adams, Massachusetts: Elizabeth King
Through December 31, 2017
Installation view of Studio: Things Found and Things Made King makes highly detailed objects, sets them in motion with stop-frame animation, then presents object and film together in intimate installations that defy the boundaries separating real and virtual space. Despite the installation setting of the final work, figurative sculpture defines the core of her vision. Meticulously crafted personages and body parts reveal a keen interest not only in the history and mechanics of automata, puppets, and mannequins, but also in their psychological reverberations. Tapping the ancient human fascination with uncanny verisimilitude, these eerie beings capture the desire and repulsion conjured by tales of the inanimate-come-to-life. "Radical Small," King's most expansive show to date, features an ambitious new installation of small, halfscale sculptures and large videos that pits intimacy against cavernous empty space.

Web site www.massmoca.org


Elizabeth King, Installation view of "Studio: Things Found and Things Made".
MIT List Visual Arts Center - Cambridge, Massachusetts: Heimo Zobernig
Through December 31, 2017
Untitled Over the past 25 years, Zobernig has created a considerable body of work, including sculpture, video, painting, installation, architectural intervention, and performance. Drawing on various modern art movements, he questions their underlying principles and conditions, reinterpreting them with a lightness of touch and economy of materials. His exhibitions recycle old pieces into new sculptures in which space plays an essential part. Walls from a previous show might reconfigure as Modernist towers, while curtains and screens establish a deceptive intimacy, pitting permanence against obsolescence. In these settings, the staging of art becomes a driving force, allowing Zobernig to "circumvent conventions." In "chess painting," he continues to treat the museum as a stage, confronting visitors with the constructed nature of the exhibition experience. What differentiates a painting, a sculpture, a building, a piece of furniture? Playful, unsettling, and disarming, his endeavors all aspire to the same goal: "With art, I would like to raise questions and as a result produce things that put themselves in question."

Web site http://web.mit.edu/lvac

Heimo Zobernig, Untitled.
Museum of Contemporary Art - Chicago: Amanda Williams
Through December 31, 2017
Crown Royal Bag from Color(ed) Theory Suite. Williams, who trained as an architect, uses sculpture and photography to respond to urban conditions, drawing attention to how context dramatically informs the value of materials, and by extension, the value of cities. For her, architecture serves as a microcosm for larger social issues, and she forces viewers to consider the social, political, and racial narratives that conspire to devalue certain neighborhoods, such as Englewood on Chicago's South Side. Though locally focused, her work could apply to countless neighborhoods in countless cities around the world. "Chicago Works" features new sculptures related to Color(ed) Theory, a breakout project in which she painted eight soon-to-be-demolished Englewood houses in vivid colors related to black consumer culture--the teal of Ultra Sheen conditioner and the red of a Flamin' Hot Cheetos bag, for instance. Arresting sculptural objects, these gorgeously ironic icons called attention to the hidden, and obvious, racial underpinnings behind urban design and planning, underinvestment, blight, and decay. The new sculptures use bricks and siding from the painted houses (now gone) to subvert demolition as a destructive force of erasure and unmaking-- not just of buildings, but of lives. Whether a toy box constructed with a child who watched a beloved house crumble to the ground or a savvy sealed-off evocation of the "gold standard," these sculptural gestures salvaged from the wreckage, often created in collaboration with Englewood residents, give a purposeful afterlife to building detritus, exposing race-based assessment as an industry standard while elevating human values over social, political, and real estate value.

Web site www.mcachicago.org

Amanda Williams, Crown Royal Bag from Color(ed) Theory Suite.
Oakville Galleries - Oakville, Ontario, Canada: FASTWÜRMS
Through December 30, 2017

FASTWURMS, C.A.T. (Core Affect Traffic) Melding conceptual art with queer culture, Witch Nation mysticism, and an eclectic DIY sensibility, FASTWÜRMS (Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse) have attracted a dedicated viewership with their influential poly-disciplinary work. Beginning in 1979 with feature- length Super 8 films that disrupted conventional narrative structures, they have since branched out into sculpture, video, installation, and performance. Regardless of medium, their work (which also includes public sculpture) retains something of a theatrical quality, serving as a set or stage for interactions and experiences premised on the mutual exchange and cir - culation of aesthetic knowledge. #Q33R_WTCH_P155, a new site-specific project, continues their canny collision of iconographies, aesthetic systems, symbols, and affect codes. Fortune-Teller Machine--Zardoz (FTM) (2014), a custom-designed caravan for interactive divination run by a coven of artist witches, also makes a special appearance.

Web site www.oakvillegalleries.com


FASTWÜRMS, C.A.T. (Core Affect Traffic).

Tate St Ives - St Ives, Cornwall: Rebecca Warren
Through January 10, 2018
Los Hadeans III Ranging from the amorphous to the recognizable, Warren's sculptures have opened brash new possibilities for form, material, and subject matter. Taking one of the most traditional subjects in art history--the female nude--she subverts inherited, male-defined clichés, while simultaneously questioning the formal aspects of sculpture--what it should be and what it should look like. The key to her inspired transgressions, which result in rough, distorted, unfinished or damaged-looking sculptures, lies in the malleability of clay. Left unfired, spontaneous gestures and improvised formal risk-taking breathe life into awkward compositions, even when they are set in bronze; unresolved, still capable of change, these works maintain the freshness of sketches, multiplying into dynamic groups that blend shrewdly intelligent art historical and social insight with an emotional appeal that resonates on a much more basic level. This show, which opens the revamped Tate St Ives, features new and previously unseen works that complicate the art historical canon (including minimal abstract works in steel) with pop culture references and allusions to the histories and mythologies of West Cornwall.

Web site www.tate.org.uk


Rebecca Warren, Los Hadeans III.
Villa du Parc - Annemasse, France: Danilo Dueñas
Through December 22, 2017
El Monte TaborFor three decades, Bogotá-based Dueñas has suffused his work with a strong sympathy for the surrounding world. Found, rescued, and reassembled objects come together in sculptures and installations that broaden the conditions of visibility, interaction, and balance. "The Reparation of Vision," his first solo show in France, blends objects and salvaged materials with a strong local cultural connotation to establish a dialogue between past and present. As Dueñas says, "The before is ours, it is the world's possibility, which we must nourish and feed." For him, the reparation of vision means a constant vigilance in respect to our dealings with history, "taking account of color, of layers, of time in the gaze."

Web site www.villaduparc.org

Danilo Dueñas, El Monte Tabor.
Wiels - Brussels: Rita McBride
Through January 7, 2018
White Elephant (Mini) McBride began her investigations into architecture and design in the mid-'80s, often focusing on the unacknowledged elements of buildings. Though this once quirky subject has since become a key direction in contemporary sculpture, her work continues to stand out for its humor and critically fond understanding of Modernism, its utopian aspirations, and, as one critic put it, its subsequent "nervous breakdown." "Explorer," which fills all three floors of Wiels, features new and recent work, including Guide Rails (2017)--200 meters of freestanding white wooden structures seemingly transposed from a trail leading through the Santa Monica mountains to the ranch of Will Rogers. Smaller pieces reinterpret overlooked mainstays of the built environment, everything from air conditioning units and pipes to skylights and telecom boxes (all dramatically shifted in scale and material). Like McBride's installations, these works derive formal importance from the processes and situations that produce them, emphasizing publicness, community, and movement-organizing systems, as well as interactions between individual and collective.

Web site www.wiels.org


Rita McBride, White Elephant (Mini).

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