International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover



Sept 2017
Vol. 36 No. 7

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.

Doris C. Freedman Plaza - New York: Liz Glynn
Through September 24, 2017
Liz Glynn, Open HouseGlynn's work frequently references historical objects to trace shifts in political, cultural, and economic value over time. RANSOM ROOM (2014, SculptureCenter), for instance, focused on a moment of total loss - the melting down of a large cache of precious metal artifacts during the Spanish conquest of the Incan empire. Mining such lost material cultures, Glynn considers how objects embody, preserve, and challenge values and social systems, in their own time as well as in ours. Open House shifts from rapacious destruction and obliteration to the umbilical cord of gold that chains art to wealth and power. Like Darren Waterston's Filthy Lucre, which re-envisions Whistler's Peacock Room as a Dorian Gray-like portrait of corruption lurking beneath a mask of undefiled beauty, Glynn's Open House reduces Gilded Age excess to a "ruin." Inspired by one of Sanford White's grandest interiors (a demolished Fifth Avenue ballroom for the politician William C. Whitney), her opulent furnishings - reproduced in ghostly Miss Havisham-gray concrete - lay the specter of vanished luxuriance to rest in an anti-monument that renders exclusivity (or at least the remains of the feast) accessible to all.

Web site www.publicartfund.org


Liz Glynn, Open House
Fondazione Memmo - Rome: Giuseppe Gabellone
Through October 15, 2017
Giuseppe Gabellone, Untitled Orange Gabellone's elusive, enigmatic sculp - tures systematically renegotiate relationships to traditional material and historical referents - monument, site, architecture, and landscape. Following some of the medium's greatest (Italian) innovators, including Medardo Rosso, Umberto Boccioni, and Arturo Martini, Gabellone emphasizes dialogues between light and shadow, form and space, while incorporating other techniques and practices, particularly photography, in boundary-defying acts of synthesis. His new interventions follow the same strategy, breaking down separations between natural and artificial, interior and exterior space. In this fusion of opposites, the works do not so much depend on their surroundings as respond to them, ironically gaining power through the interaction. A minimally illuminated, almost barren space acts as a container modeled by "the force of reduction," reverberating with its own content, which encourages apparent transformations of matter and shifting states of being in casual-seeming objects built of hidden labor, carefully constructed situations, and uncanny realities.

Web site http://fondazionememmo.it



Giuseppe Gabellone, Untitled (Orange)
HangarBicocca - Milan: Rosa Barba
Through October 8, 2017
Rosa
Barba, installation view of From Source to Poem to Rhythm to Reader For years, Barba has experimented with the languages of film and sculpture, reflecting on the poetic qualities of the natural and human landscape while exploring place as a vessel of memory and dismantling the structure of linear time. She chooses her raw materials carefully, setting both physical and intangible elements to work in multi-track narratives that take on form in film installations, sculptures, and publications. Though she borrows the properties of light, sound, movement, and time from cinema, as well as its associated hardware of celluloid and projector, she embeds her anachronistic 16mm projectors in machine sculptures that display all the anarchic life and personality of Tinguely's kinetic works. The disposition of these projectors - facing each other in public debate, held in precarious balance, or wrapped in straitjackets of celluloid strips - adds additional interpretative strata to their generated images. "From Source to Poem to Rhythm to Reader" features 14 densely layered works, including a meditation on Vesuvius as a meta - phor for contemporary Italian politics and a sensorially jarring deconstruction of the Audio-Visual Conservation Center at the Library of Congress that transforms collected data into a maelstrom of Babel-esque white noise. Like Barba's machines, her once-innocuous working assumption that "reality is a fiction based on individual interpretations of real events" threatens to take on a life of its own, escaping theory to descend into chaos.

Web site www.hangarbicocca.org


Rosa Barba, installation view of "From Source to Poem to Rhythm to Reader."

Legion of Honor Museum - San Francisco: Sarah Lucas
Through September 17, 2017
Sarah Lucas, NUD CYCLADIC 7 Lucas's provocative sculptures exalt in coarse visual puns, common vulgarities, and a defiant, bawdy humor. Created from an idiosyncratic mix of everyday materials, including worn furniture, clothing, fruits and vegetables, newspapers, cigarettes, cars, resin, plaster, and light fittings, their grungy, sometimes haphazard ap pearance only reinforces serious and complex subject matter. Lucas makes sculpture of and from the human body - a time-bound, decaying object that requires maintenance and care - and her quasi-narrative scenarios question gender definitions and defy macho culture. As she puts it, "With only minor adjustments, a provocative image can become confrontational, converted from an offer of sexual service into a castration image." "Good Muse," her first museum exhibition in the U.S., features two new works, as well as a selection of recent sculptures, installed in dialogue with the Legion of Honor's Rodin collection. Confronting the palpable eroticism of Rodin's nudes with blatant, naked truths, Lucas's surreal hybrids and fragments emphasize how far representations of sexuality and gender have progressed, and how far they haven't, challenging artistic as well as social proprieties in pursuit of a new balance in human relations.

Web site https://legionofhonor.famsf.org

Sarah Lucas, NUD CYCLADIC 7
Lismore Castle Arts - Lismore Castle, Ireland: Anthony McCall
Through October 15, 2017
Anthony McCall, Swell An important contributor to the birth of Arte Povera, Gilardi has devoted his career to creating an "inhabitable" art, one that establishes a permanent interaction between individual and environment. All of his projects, including the well-known Nature Carpets (poly urethane rolls that simulate natural phenomena such as river beds, leaves, and fruit), use technology as a tool to restore contact between urban man and nature. Fiercely independent, he has put his political beliefs into practice by making art an accessible part of ordinary life - in the late '60s, he dropped his own work in order to conduct creative therapy with psychiatric patients and factory workers, moving from the studio into the street to support youth, labor, and environmental actions. Though he returned to more conventional forms in the '80s with a series of interactive, computer- based environments, he remains an activist, championing artistic autonomy over commodity, variety of expression over monolithic hegemony, collaboration over singular authorship. "Nature Forever" brings together more than 60 militantly inspired works from the entire span of his 50-year career - from hyper-realistic artificial renderings of natural scenes ("disguises" exorcizing the death of nature) and new media experiments to political animations and the culminating achievement of his approach to art "within life" - the founding of the Parco Arte Vivente in Turin, a "museum beyond the museum," conceived as a total living organism.

Web site www.lismorecastlearts.ie


Anthony McCall, Swell
MAXXI - Rome: Piero Gilardi
Through October 15, 2017
Piero Gilardi, installation view of La Leçon de choses An important contributor to the birth of Arte Povera, Gilardi has devoted his career to creating an "inhabitable" art, one that establishes a permanent interaction between individual and environment. All of his projects, including the well-known Nature Carpets (poly urethane rolls that simulate natural phenomena such as river beds, leaves, and fruit), use technology as a tool to restore contact between urban man and nature. Fiercely independent, he has put his political beliefs into practice by making art an accessible part of ordinary life - in the late '60s, he dropped his own work in order to conduct creative therapy with psychiatric patients and factory workers, moving from the studio into the street to support youth, labor, and environmental actions. Though he returned to more conventional forms in the '80s with a series of interactive, computer- based environments, he remains an activist, championing artistic autonomy over commodity, variety of expression over monolithic hegemony, collaboration over singular authorship. "Nature Forever" brings together more than 60 militantly inspired works from the entire span of his 50-year career - from hyper-realistic artificial renderings of natural scenes ("disguises" exorcizing the death of nature) and new media experiments to political animations and the culminating achievement of his approach to art "within life" - the founding of the Parco Arte Vivente in Turin, a "museum beyond the museum," conceived as a total living organism.

Web site www.fondazionemaxxi.it


Piero Gilardi, installation view of "La Leçon de choses.".
Milwaukee Art Museum - Milwaukee: Rashid Johnson
Through September 17, 2017
Rashid Johnson, Untitled
shea butter table Johnson's installations, sculptures, photographs, and videos offer deep meditations on the phenomena that shape African American culture while questioning the uniformity of the "black experience." Wading through dense thickets of reference and information, he blends personal and historically loaded objects (including books, album covers, and shea butter) into complicated aggregates that defy taxonomy and confound collective identity. To that base of race and history, the works in "Hail We Now Sing Joy" add a nerve-wracking anxiety and the temptation to escape - emotions that Johnson started to explore in the run-up to last year's election. For him, "anxiety is an alert system" and potential motivator, when it doesn't paralyze or destroy. This possibility hangs over the agitated black soap and wax faces of Anxious Audience (collectively responding to the endless police shootings of unarmed black men, as well as to broader social tensions deliberately inflamed by politicians seeking to widen a fracture into an unbridgeable divide). Though the unease is (somewhat) relieved by the bucolic imagery of the Escape Collages, escape can only be a temporary state, not a solution. The real answer lies in the jazz track of the show's title, with its themes of "meeting" and resolution, and in Antoine's Organ, a towering grid structure bursting with potted plants, videos, lights, sculptures, and books (including Paul Beatty's The Sellout and Deborah Dickerson's The End of Blackness), which creates a lush oasis where creative expression can transform anxiety into action.

Web site http://www.mam.org

Rashid Johnson, Untitled (shea butter table)
Museum für Moderne Kunst - Frankfurt am Main: Carolee Schneemann
Through September 24, 2017
Carolee Schneemann, Flange
6rpm Schneemann, who was awarded the Golden Lion at this year's Venice Biennale, is best known as a pioneer of performance art. Whether undermining gender roles or ecstatically celebrating desire and female sexuality, her body-based works - including the subversively explicit Fuses, Interior Scroll, and Meat Joy - blazed a path for subsequent generations of artists kicking at the traces of proscriptive identities and social norms. But her contribution to the history of contemporary art extends beyond these actions, so intimately tied to the New York avant-garde scene of the '60s and '70s. At an early stage in her career, she was already using simple mechanisms to set paintings in motion and integrating photo - graphs and found objects into works that she referred to as "painting constructions." Focusing on this aspect of her work, "Kinetic Painting" demonstrates how her drive to take painting beyond the canvas and into the realms of action and space permeated every aspect of her production, from the now-iconic assemblages and performances, including the fullbody take-down of Abstract Expressionism in Up to and Including Her Limits, to the recent Flange 6rpm. Suspended against a backdrop of projected foundry fires, these seven motorized units set the history of sculpture (from hand-crafting to lost wax casting to extended media) into motion, their unpredictable energy leading to unforeseen outcomes.

Web site www.mmk-frankfurt.de

Carolee Schneemann, Flange 6rpm
Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 - Münster: SPM
Through October 1, 2017
Pierre Huyghe, After ALife Ahead, from SPM 2017 This year, SPM celebrates a half-century of public sculpture with a huge exhibition of new and former commissions installed in 35 locations around Münster and, for the first time, in the neighboring city of Marl. Ignoring thematic parameters, curators Britta Peters, Marianna Wagner, and co-founder Kasper König continue to redefine what art can be in the public realm (embracing video, performance, and tattooing in the case of Michael Smith's Not Quite Under_Ground) and how it can mediate spatial/social experience. Past milestones and achievements also find acknowledgement in this anniversary edition, in occasionally cheeky form. Cosima von Bonin and Tom Burr's Benz Bonin Burr, a huge Mercedes Benz loader parked in front of the Kunstverein, not only blocks a Henry Moore bronze, it's also poised to crane, pack, and ship the sculpture away in a custom-sized crate. The joke goes back to the first SPM, which defied expectations by jettisoning the safe familiarity of Modernist outdoor sculpture. This year's works carry that legacy forward with res - ponsive, and constructive, approaches to current political and quality-oflife issues: Oscar Tuazon's concrete Burn the Formwork doubles as an oven for those without shelter, and Ays˛e Erkmen's submerged bridge, On Water, puts people before commerce, allowing pedestrians to cross a section of the port by eliminating access to vessels of any kind. Action takes precedence over preaching and hand-wringing in many projects - even exhibition tours simply accept Germany's diverse social fabric as a given - they're conducted in Arabic, Turkish, Farsi, and basic German for beginners - without making a fuss. The highlights are many, with participating artists entering niches and chinks in the urban fabric where they can unleash dramatic force, but Pierre Huyghe's re-invention of an abandoned ice rink may be the stand-out. Despite its bombed-out appearance, the barren, muddy landscape of After ALife Ahead, (patterned on 3D puzzles used for IQ tests) supports life; in fact, the entire installation is a living, breathing organism, a bio-technological incubator for nurturing cancer cells, whose growth, in turn, triggers augmented reality sequences. Weaving together biological entities, real and symbolic environments, vis ible and invisible processes, and static and dynamic states, this precarious symbiosis expresses itself as an amoral system running without a creator, without concern for human interests - a fitting meta phor for the post-human world order currently in the making.

Web site www.skulptur-projekte.de


Pierre Huyghe, After ALife Ahead, from SPM 2017
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst - Ghent, Belgium: Michael E. Smith
Through October 1, 2017
Michael E. Smith, Untitled Smith's sculptures are made from everyday things that can be found on any street or in any dump - household items, dead animals, and organic materials - and yet he manages to invest this worthless, mundane detritus with atmosphere and power. Hoses, basketballs, bathtubs, toilets, and articles of clothing come together to almost alchemical effect, forcing us to question what precisely we are looking at and why. Coalescing in pared-down collections of materials that suggest the fundamental need for nourishment, warmth, and protection, his assemblages evoke demolished buildings or abandoned urban lots, redolent of transience and mortality (though not without morbid humor and sympathy). Filled with PVC foam, hardened with resin, or covered in canvas, Smith's transformed debris inhabits another dimension, an alternative zone in which respect is restored and natural processes can redeem even the worst of manmade horrors. "How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken" expresses the pessimism that lurks just beneath the surface of Smith's critique through absurdity - natural or manmade, we have the capacity to ruin it all.

Web site www.smak.be


Michael E. Smith, Untitled
Walker Art Center - Minneapolis: Jimmie Durham
Through October 8, 2017
Jimmie Durham, Tlunh Datsi An artist, performer, poet, essayist, and activist, Durham abandoned the narrow strictures of identity politics years ago in favor of a broad-based approach to justice, freedom, and equality - a move reinforced when he left the U.S. in 1987 to live first in Mexico and then in Europe. In his work, as well as in his life, he strives to follow his "mentor" Italo Calvino and elude all constraints. Rather than making obvious political statements, his work has evolved to embody a political/philosophical stance through materials, forms, and processes. He once expressed his credo as "against architecture, against narration, against structure." This defiance of the law - any law - characterizes all of his work, from performances with stones as the medium, or tool, of a formless, scattered reality to icon-like sculptures made out of animal parts, recycled PVC pipes decorated with feathers, tortured furniture, and found stones. "At the Center of the World," his first major exhibition in the U.S. since 1995, features nearly 200 works, inc luding degraded readymades evoking global wastelands; object-poems adorned with capricious inscriptions, tags, and scars; spurious totemic shrines; and compositions of garbage that might just harbor talismanic power. With strategic wit and skill, these charged assemblages reveal sculpture as a medium tactically and conceptually intertwined with everyday life while demonstrating a vision of united progressivism, unfractured by specialized interests and committed to critical thinking and critique, no matter what the subject.

Web site www.walkerart.org

Jimmie Durham, Tlunh Datsi
Walker Art Center - Minneapolis: Katharina Fritsch
Through October 15, 2017
Katharina Fritsch, Pistole Fritsch's iconic and singular sculptures play on the tension between reality and apparition, between the familiar and the surreal. Like the insidious images of advertising, her objects, installations, and sound works seem to imprint themselves indelibly on the mind. Hearts, crosses, skulls, bottles, umbrellas, body parts, and religious figurines play on common resonances and shared fantasies, but they are transformed through color and material into open-ended and mysterious presences - latent, private notions transfigured into primal, deeply symbolic forms. "Multiples" spans Fritsch's career with more than 40 works selected to accompany the debut of her 20-foot-high, ultramarine blue Hahn/Cock, recently installed at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Rooted in collective experience, these recurring icons trace a kind of general mental archive addressing primeval, and very ordinary, ideas, desires, and fears.

Web site www.walkerart.org


Katharina Fritsch, Pistole
Westfälischer Kunstverein - Münster: Tom Burr
Through October 1, 2017
Tom Burr, installation view of Surplus of Myself For almost three decades, Burr's sculptures, writings, and collages have proposed alternative relationships between the built environment and subjectivity, focusing on access, site-specificity, and the confluence of public and private space. His sculptures appropriate the formal vocabulary of Minimalism but violate its most sacred principle, smuggling reference and narrative into seemingly neutral shapes and materials. Everything from the emancipation of subcultures to autobiographical allusions, architectural influences, and icons from the worlds of music, literature, art, and politics finds its way into his forms and anti-forms. If this infraction of the creed weren't enough, he also interferes with its macho bias, reinscribing hard-edged rigor with (illicit) desires, most notably a "softness" in certain forms and gestures. "Surplus of Myself" features five new sculptures set amid a selection of earlier works, all notable for their fearless embrace of contradiction, apparent ugliness, rough edges, disparity, and disintegration - qualities underscoring the similarities that Burr finds between human and architectural bodies, and their constriction and malformation under authoritative codes.

Web site westfaelischer-kunstverein.de


Tom Burr, installation view of "Surplus of Myself."

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