International Sculpture Center
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March 2005 Vol.24 No.2
A publication of the International Sculpture Center

Complete text in print version available at fine newsstands and through subscription.

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From the ISC Executive Director

In 1969 I attended the Whitney Sculpture Annual. Two works there, a Dan Flavin light piece and a Robert Morris wire mesh piece, changed art for me forever. Ten years later, as I was finishing my internship at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study program, I had become even more fascinated by contemporary artists and the ways they worked and lived. Thirty years later, that interest is still alive and well.

So one might ask, why come to the ISC and why now? My association with Sculpture magazine dates back to 1986 when I was profiled in an article by Tsipi Ben-Haim. At the time, I was representing artists as an agent, without a traditional gallery space. Later I became a gallery owner, writer, educator, and freelance curator. I spent the last six years building an international contemporary collection for the Microsoft Corporation. Over the years I was an occasional contributor to Sculpture, but always an avid reader. Coming to the ISC means working with artists again in real time; working with the ISC Board of Directors and the staff brings me back to the exchange of ideas, the discovery
of new work, and the better understanding of artists with whom we are familiar. It means working together to create a new legacy for the organization.

Sculpture is interdisciplinary: it is diverse, inventive, and much more than the thing you bump into as you step back to look at a painting. It can be fragile, solid, colorful, or monochromatic. It can stand quietly indoors, or it can dominate the skyline. It is static or dynamic, it is as small as a thimble or as large as a building. Because of its many-sided and quizzical nature, it is subject to a great deal of interpretation—and that is the nature of the dialogue at the ISC. Leading the ISC puts me at the center of an ever-evolving community, one without geographical boundaries. I see one of my many goals during the next few years as continuing to build connections with the sculpture community, reaching out to new members who may be working artists, art students, collectors, curators, critics, art historians, or simply art lovers. The ISC is a forum for the exchange of ideas, a sculpture think-tank manifest in our conferences, symposia, and future educational events, as well as on the Internet and in the pages of this magazine.

Some of our current projects include exploring how we can better serve you, our members: we will oversee the second generation of the ISC Web site and expand our activities with conferences and symposia such as the very successful event in Salt Lake City this past fall dedicated to Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Our June 2005 ISC conference in Cincinnati will feature a variety of panel discussions, individual presentations, regional gatherings, and mentoring sessions for attendees. Plans for the 2007 ISC conference program in Seattle are also in the works.

In the recent 10th anniversary edition of Fast Company, the editor quotes from the sculptor Henry Moore. So even big business knows that the ideas, practices, and beliefs that propel us more often than not come from artists. It’s time that they hear more, and they will—from us.

Michael Klein
ISC Executive Director

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