International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover


November 2003 Vol.22 No. 9
A publication of the International Sculpture Center


  <Back to Contents page>

Martin Puryear, Vessel

Baltic The Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead, U.K.
Martin Puryear: New Work
Through November 30, 2003

Puryear’s organic and semi-abstract forms are realized in wood, which he often paints and combines with wire and steel. This simple, reductive vocabulary produces sculptures with a strong and direct physical presence, based in traditional craft techniques. An extensive knowledge of nature, wildlife, history, and geography, as well as an interest in Native American, African, Scandinavian, Japanese, and Arctic cultures informs Puryear’s work. His sculptures often present dual meanings in both their physical form and their meaning. This show features recent sculptures, including two new large-scale works created for Baltic. The Baltic is also featuring a new large-scale installation by Eva Grubinger and an ambitious new multi-screen film installation commissioned from Jane and Louise Wilson.
Tel: +44 191 478 1810
Web site

Akio Takamori, Sleeping Woman
in Blue Skirt

Bellevue Art Museum
Bellevue, Washington
Clay Body: New Work by Patti Warashina, Claudia Fitch, and Akio Takamori
Through January 4, 2004

This exhibition of newly commissioned work by three of the Northwest’s most recognized ceramic artists focuses on personal interpretations of the human form. The figures in Warashina’s “Real Politique” series include a range of symbols, styles, and references. Each one marks a particular event, including war, internment camps, and environmental destruction. Takamori draws inspiration from Tang Dynasty tomb figures and traditional Ukiyo-e prints. Each hand-painted figure resembles an individual the artist remembers from the small village in which he was raised. Fitch’s abstracted and colorfully glazed figures appropriate pop-culture influences from around the world, combining Egyptian, Asian, and Western motifs into hybrid knick-knacks.
Tel: 425.519.0745
Web site

Pat Keck, Four Sleepwalkers

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park
Lincoln, Massachusetts
Puppets, Ghosts, and Zombies: The Sculpture of Pat Keck
Through January 18, 2004

Since the late ’70s, Keck has made painted wood figurative sculptures, many of them mechanical and interactive. This retrospective features over 50 works and includes related prints and preparatory drawings. Keck’s idiosyncratic and stylized characters exist on the edge of humanity and consciousness: mechanical and utilitarian figures like scarecrows, dummies, toys, puppets, robots, and automatons; semi-sentient figures like somnambulists, ghosts, and monsters; and a host of androgynous “men” engaged in quasi-ritualistic, mysterious activities. Influenced by folk and vernacular arts, especially those associated with carnivals and the circus, as well as visual elements from vaudeville, Glam Rock, Punk, and New Wave, her work leavens fear with humor. It grapples with issues of control versus free will, the relationship of the conscious to the subconscious mind, and the mysteries of self-awareness, sleep, and ultimately, death.
Tel: 718.259.8355
Web site

Othoniel, Harnais

Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain
Othoniel: Crystal Palace
Through January 11, 2004

Othoniel began his career by making sculpture in sulfur, lead, wax, and phosphorus. In 1993, he discovered glass, exploiting its imperfections and irregularities. Transformation, transmutation of matter, rites of passage from one state to another—all of these reflect another interest fundamental to the artist’s work: traveling. In his installations, Othoniel sets up his glass creations—poles, necklaces, and beads—for the fleeting pleasure of a temporary traveling companion, who is both a stranger and an accomplice. His pieces mingle with their context like integral organisms, absorbing shadow and refracting light. Othoniel’s new indoor/outdoor project, created in collaboration with the artists at the International Glass Art Research Center in Marseilles, is conceived as a pendant to the Fondation Cartier’s glass building designed by Jean Nouvel.
Tel: +33 1 42 18 56 50
Web site

Giulio Paolini, Proteo (III)

Fondazione Prada
Giulio Paolini
November 5–December 28, 2003

Since the early 1960s, Paolini (perhaps the most intellectual of the Arte Povera artists) has investigated the artistic process from a conceptual point of view, looking at its methods and tools and exploring the work’s relationship with space and time. Since the ’70s, his works have taken on a scenographic, theatrical character, as he continues to study the conventions of looking at artworks and the relationship of the artist, the work, and the viewer. Art history (the double and copy) becomes the ground for a self-reflective meditation on art. This show focuses on his early output from 1960 to 1972 and includes two major new works.
Tel: +39 2 546 70 515
Web site

Dan Steinhilber, Untitled (Soda Bottles)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC
Directions—Dan Steinhilber
Through January 4, 2004

As part of its ongoing “Directions” program showcasing contemporary artists and ideas, the Hirshhorn presents the first solo museum show for DC-based Steinhilber. Steinhilber, who reconfigures everyday objects into whimsical forms, uses clothes hangers, garbage bags, and plastic tubes filled with soda to create three distinct sculptural projects that respond to the architecture of the museum’s lobby.
Tel: 202.357.2700
Web site

Douglas R. Weathersby, Wet Floor

Institute of Contemporary Art
Douglas R. Weathersby: 2003 ICA Artist Prize
Through January 4, 2004

Weathersby mines the commercial enterprises of cleaning, home repair, art installation, and other services to create temporary installations. Light, together with the dust and detritus accumulated during these activities, becomes the subject of his site-specific works, which he documents with videos and photographs. Weathersby uses his commercial enterprise Environmental Services as a means to support and create his work. Clients hire him to perform a service and give him permission to create temporary works during the process. For this solo exhibition, he has created new work made while performing various cleaning and installation tasks at the ICA.
Tel: 617.266.5152
Web site

Thomas Demand, Labor

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Humlebaek, Denmark
Thomas Demand
Through December 14, 2003

Originally trained as a sculptor, Demand has become known for his photographic work and, more recently, his 35mm films. In a highly conscious way, he plays with the concepts of artificiality and authenticity. Using paper and cardboard, Demand sets up tableaux, which he then photographs. The resulting images depict depopulated, almost shadowless rooms and places, strangely inauthentic and disturbingly uniform. As unreal as they seem, these bizarre, second-hand spaces are based on actual places, seen by Demand in photographs and painstakingly re-created in his models.
Tel: +45 4919 0719
Web site

Tara Donovan, Untitled (detail)

Museum of Contemporary Art
Tara Donovan
Through January 4, 2004

MOCA’s “Curve Series,” an exhibition program devoted to contemporary art, premieres with the work of Tara Donovan. Donovan transforms massive amounts of ordinary materials such as electrical cable, stacked tar roofing paper, Elmer’sTM glue, as well as toothpicks and pencils by the thousands, into installations that yield surprising and completely unpredictable effects. In Nebulous (2002), for instance, miles of twisted and wrapped ScotchTM tape coalesced into an undulating, atmospheric floor piece. Donovan’s new work for MOCA was created from a myriad of paper plates.
Tel: 216.421.8671
Web site


Luca Buvoli, Not-a-Superhero Emblem from Costume

Museum of Fine Arts
Luca Buvoli—Flying Preparatory Exercises
Through November 30, 2003

Buvoli bases his work on the aspiration to flight as a means of escape. Since his childhood, he has worshipped heroes—not mythological gods but popular actions heroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil. His boyhood infatuation influenced his desire as an artist to create works that both pay homage to the superhero and dissect the notion of the individual. His Not-a-Superhero comic book, sculptures, and video series, as well as his Flying: Practical Training for Beginners and Intermediates animated films and installations, focus on flight as the skill most necessary for
the human attempt to attain perfection.
Tel: 713.639.7300
Web site

Michael Gitlin, Sculpture
Slought Foundation
Unconventional Three-Dimensional
Through November 13, 2003

“Unconventional Three-Dimensional” features recent works by Michael Gitlin and Michael Zansky that resist being categorized as either installation or object. Both artists create sculptures that involve the viewer without falling into the genre of installation and without asking for participation. Each asserts the idea of originality and reflects on the history of 20th-century sculpture, while denying easy involvement with pop iconography and political agendas.
Tel: 215.746.4239
Web site


Carsten Höller, Frisbee House, from “Common Wealth”
Tate Modern
Common Wealth
Through December 28, 2003

This group exhibition brings together five contemporary artists from Europe and Latin America to explore the meanings, implications, and politics of the words “common” and “wealth.” The collaborative team of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla have contributed Landmark, a newly commissioned work that re-creates the cratered landscape of Vieques—an island used by the U.S. military for bombing practice. Thomas Hirschhorn’s Hotel Democracy, another new work made for this show, consists of a walk-through model building covered with images of the struggle for democracy. Large-scale installations by Carsten Höller and Gabriel Orozco are also featured.
Tel: +44 20 7887 8000
Web site

Lee Bontecou, Untitled
UCLA Hammer Museum
Los Angeles
Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective
hrough January 11, 2004

Bontecou enjoyed early success in the art world; even Donald Judd called her “one of the best artists working anywhere.” She had her first solo show at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1960—the only woman in the Castelli stable—and a 1972 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. But by 1975, Bontecou withdrew from the New York art scene and moved her studio to rural Pennsylvania, rarely showing her work and refusing to cooperate when curators approached her. The sculptures and drawings she has produced over the last 30 years are little known and have never been seen publicly—until now. The 125 pieces in this exhibition range from 1957 to the present and include the seminal works of the ’60s that bridge masculine and feminine, human and machine. Her imagery and subjects range from the dark orifices of her earliest pieces to a pronounced ecological emphasis in her sculptures of flowers, fish, and birds, to her recent preoccupation with forms resembling celestial bodies.
Tel: 310.443.7099
Web site

Eve Andrée Laramée, Sugar Mud
Wave Hill
Bronx, New York
Hudson River Projects: Brandon Ballengée, Eve Andrée Laramée
Through November 30, 2003

Exploring the ecology and geology of the Hudson River, Ballengée and Laramée engage in an inquiry that blurs science and art by using methods of mapping and observation. The installations overlook the Hudson, providing visitors with an opportunity to consider their own positions as consumers, students, and guardians of the river’s resources. Collecting specimens is at the core of Ballengée’s work, which surveys aquatic biodiversity at various points in the river. His installation features maps, scans of specimens, and tanks filled with aquatic life. Laramée is interested in the ways in which cultures use science and art as devices or maps to construct belief systems. In this work, she explores the structure and form of the river as determined by geological history. Her installation consists of a three-dimensional model of the river made of cast sugar.
Tel: 718.549.3200
Web site