International Sculpture Center
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November 2012
Vol. 31 No 4

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.

Austin Museum of Art—Laguna Gloria - Austin, Texas: April Wood
Through December 2, 2012
Wood’s beautifully crafted works focus on consumption and its psychological extremes—from pleasurable to masochistic, over-indulgent to withholding, alluring to repulsive. Her “Feeding the Hunger” sculptures, which resemble abstracted flowers, become almost painfully disturbing when activated and placed inside the mouth. Surreal and perverse, these “cyborgian” feeding tubes underscore the fine line between choice and compulsion, sustenance and indoctrination. The mouth can receive or reject, but such prosthetics seem to enable, even enforce, the gaping maw of super-sized force-feeding.
Tel: 512.458.8191
Web site:

April Wood, Feeding the Hunger 10
Brooklyn Museum - Brooklyn: Jean-Michel Othoniel
Through December 2, 2012
Othoniel began his career with enigmatic, intimate sculptures in sulfur, lead, wax, and phosphorus, but he is best known for his large-scale work in glass, a medium that he infuses with delicacy, light, and fantasy. This retrospective traces his idiosyncratic path through some of the 20th century’s most important art movements, from Surrealism to Minimalism, Arte Povera, and conceptualism, though “My Way” also refers to his interest in movement—travel, transformation, transmutation, and rites of passage. Featured works include embellished heraldic banners, magical environments sparkling with Murano glass and precious stones, and magnified necklaces and knots that conjure a personal mythology while evoking a fairy-tale universe. Aiming to transcend the realm of the mundane, Othoniel likes “to give visitors the impression that they are alone with the work in an enclosed Garden of Eden, an exotic seraglio somewhere outside of this world.”
Tel: 718.638.5000
Web site:

Jean-Michel Othoniel, The Secret Happy End
City Hall Park - New York: Common Ground
Through November 30, 2012
“Common Ground” brings together works by 10 international artists who approach the public realm with originality, critical vision, and a sense of artistic responsibility. Even such worn-out traditional forms as the classical statue, stone-carved text, and the heroic monument find new relevance once they’ve been co-opted into functioning as tools of the commons or reinvented through a dose of irony and satire. Whether overtly politicized or not, these participatory and frequently performative anti-monuments can’t help but raise a new civic consciousness, questioning the dynamics of power and servitude, permanence and transience, us and them. To whom does public space belong? What is its legimate use? Elmgreen & Dragset, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Roger Hiorns, Jenny Holzer, Matthew Day Jackson, Christian Jankowski, Justin Matherly, Paul McCarthy, Amalia Pica, and Thomas Schütte all offer outlets for individual reflection and collective moments of expression that escape prescribed social control.?
Tel: 212.980.4575
Web site:

Amalia Pica, Now, Speak!, from “Common Ground.”
Contemporary Arts Center - Cincinnati: Green Acres
Through January 20, 2013
Building on “Ecovention,” and “Beyond Green,” the CAC’s new eco-conscious exhibition, “Green Acres,” celebrates the revolutionary history of farming as art. For 40 years, artists from around the world have transformed fields, abandoned lots, city streets, and gallery spaces into fertile sites of creative and vegetal productivity. Agnes Denes, the Harrisons, Patricia Johanson, Mara Adamitz Scrupe, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Futurefarmers, Anya Gallaccio, J.J. McCracken, N55, Permaganic Eco Garden, and Tattfoo Tan, among others featured here, continue to inspire activism by example. With a working farm inside the gallery, a farm stand in the lobby, sculptures used for farming, videos, installations, and satellite projects throughout the city, “Green Acres” covers every approach to this growing field.
Tel: 513.345.8400
Web site

Futurefarmers, Slow Food Nation Victory Garden, from “Green Acres.”
Dia:Beacon - Beacon, New York: Jean-Luc Moulčne
Through December 31, 2012
Moulčne, who moves fluidly between sculpture, photography, drawing, and printed matter, thinks of his work as “one continuous performance” in which he collects, re-arranges, and reframes the reality of his surroundings. For 30 years, he has struggled to liberate the language of art from consensus and literalness, to create something that goes beyond static categorization. “Opus + One,” a title that blends mathematical recurrence with the idiom of advertising, features more than 35 works from the “Opus” series—bronze, cardboard, cement, fiberglass, and wood constructions (some handmade and some industrially manufactured) that together undo predictable classifications of figuration and abstraction while complicating the impulse to impose representational or metaphorical identity on objects. In addition to the “+ One” at Beacon—the monumental La Vigie (a series of 299 photographs documenting changes in a Paris neighborhood through the persistent growth of Paulownia tomentosa volunteers)—the show includes a group of newly commissioned wall objects at the Dan Flavin Art Institute.
Tel: 845.440.0100
Web site

Jean-Luc Moulčne, Body
Faurschou Foundation - Copenhagen: Cai Guo-Qiang
Through December 7, 2012

Cai’s explosion events, gunpowder drawings, and installations unfold spatially and temporally in exquisite partnerings of intention and chance that allow nature to take its course and the artist to make the most of any given situation. Frequently ephemeral and illusory in nature (even when constructed of solid materials), these works conjure a complex web of conceptual and material allusions, from astrophysics, natural processes, and super?natural fantasy to cultural exchange, trade, and pilgrimage. Running through all of these diverse forms and interests is the desire to understand transformation—how the vis?ible world communicates with unseen energies. This show features a new series of gunpowder drawings inspired by the landscape, culture, and history of Denmark, as well as Reflection, the remains of a wrecked Japanese fishing boat run aground on seven tons of Chinese porcelain shards. As in all of Cai’s work, the impact here is immediate, the meaning lingering.
Tel: + 45 33 91 41 31
Web site

Cai Guo-Qiang, ignition of gunpowder drawing from “A Clan of Boats.”

Indianapolis Museum of Art - Indianapolis: Alyson Shotz
Through January 6, 2012
For Shotz, the job of sculpture is to explore the invisible forces of nature. Commonplace materials such as piano wire, glass beads, straight pins, mirrors, and plastic lenses reveal the basic workings of the physical world—through light, gravity, and space—and hint at their mysteries. Geometry of Light, her newly adapted installation, considers the dual nature of light as both particle and wave. Cascades of glass beads and hand-cut Fresnel lenses (magnifying lenses ridged with concentric circles to focus light) capture natural light at varying angles and intensities throughout the day. These concentrated moments allow just a glimpse into the nature of light stopped in time, while revealing how our perception of light and motion shapes the experience of space. A new digital animation winds time back up again, visualizing a strange and beautiful, dawn-to-dusk cycle of the elemental phenomena behind creation.
Tel: 317.920.2660
Web site

Alyson Shotz, Geometry of Light.
Kunsthaus Graz - Graz, Austria: Cittadellarte
Through January 20, 2013
From the beginning of his career, Pistoletto has considered parti?cipation as the starting point for all artistic creation. Frustrated by a world in crisis, sold out by capitalism and betrayed by democracy, he founded the open network Cittadellarte in 1998 to demonstrate a more involved role for the artist—making art in direct interaction with other areas of human activity. While acknowledging distinctions between work, education, environment, communication, art, food, politics, spirituality, and the economy, Cittadellarte finds a common area of activism and inspiration across these spheres. Seeking to create new models of participatory civil society, Pistoletto and his collaborators hope to give a positive answer to the question: What can art really achieve? This show features current work from the interdisciplinary laboratory and its satellites, all fostering intellectual, political, and social dialogues that put subversion to positive use.
Tel: + 43 316 8017 9200
Web site

Michelangelo Pistoletto and Cittadellarte, Tavolo Mediterraneo Love Difference.
Mass MoCA - North Adams, Massachusetts: Anna Betbeze
Through November 2012

Cutting, tearing, and burning Greek Flokati carpets with acid dyes, Bet?beze creates “paintings” that verge on the sculptural. Sagging under the force of gravity, her transformed objects enter into a dynamic relationship with negative and surrounding space as they spill off the wall and onto the floor. Referencing everything from magic carpets to the felt sculptures of Robert Morris and 1970s woven wall hangings, these seductive, layered works expand abstraction into the interstices between dimensional boundaries while exploring the intersection of interior and exterior—in relation to architecture as well as the body. In an echo of natural cycles of decay and regeneration, Betbeze’s process follows the death of an object with its rebirth as something new. At this point of overlap, form and formlessness, the beautiful and the abject, come together in sometimes jarring “sites for color and material transgressions.”
Tel: 413.662.2111
Web site

Anna Betbeze, Veil.

MAXXI - Rome: Regarding Marisa Merz
Through January 6, 2013
Donovan bases each of her phenomenologically charged installations on the physical properties and structural capabilities of a single accumulated everyday material. Marisa Merz once said, “There has never been any division between my life and my work.” The sole woman among the men of Arte Povera, she has given its philosophy a decidedly personal, feminist twist, focusing on practices traditionally associated with home and hearth. The knitted copper, aluminum foil, wax paper, and paraffin wax of her sculptures (some intended for display in her house) inject a powerful dose of everyday intimacies into the glossy sterilities of fine art. This show focuses on a recent untitled installation (2009–10) that draws together all of her gestures and materials; from there, it follows the various paths of Merz’s influence. Works by Rosa Barba, Elisabetta Benassi, Alighiero Boetti, Claudia Losi, Paola Pivi, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, and Franz West, among others, trace the reach of an approach that creates resonance from little more than elementary action, ordinary materials, and the will to navigate a changing and unpredictable creative universe.
Tel: + 39 (0) 6 39967350
Web site

Marisa Merz, Untitled.
Parco Arte Vivente - Turin: The Sun Behind the Clouds: Ettore Favini and HeHe
Through January 13, 2013
Manipulators of ideas and objects, Favini and HeHe interpret environmental hazards through their social and ethical consequences. Designed to react in concert with natural phenomena and manmade conditions, their charged interventions, installations, and public actions give visual form to intangible factors influencing the quality of life on earth. Here, the Italian artist and the French-based duo both start with a creative exploration of the sun and clouds and rapidly progress into critical reflections on human behavior. ?Favini presents the results of his year-long survey of the “mother star,” which began at PAV in 2011; his interrogation of time and memory ends with the possibility of transforming the art center’s facilities into a self-sufficient, solar-powered system. HeHe’s toxically beautiful Man Made Clouds takes a bleaker view, leaving the nagging sensation that humanity’s attempts to produce energy by whatever means necessary are becoming increasingly destructive, and unlikely to change.?
Tel: + 39 011 3182235
Web site

Ettore Favini, I 48 soli (The 48 suns).
SculptureCenter - Long Island City, New York: A Disagreeable Object
Through November 26, 2012
Taking its title from Giacometti’s sculptures, “A Disagreeable Object” explores desire and repulsion, the familiar and the unfamiliar. Like the Surrealist object, which operated beyond its status as an artwork and responded directly to social and cultural attitudes, these recent works move into the spheres of capitalist culture and technology, as well as the gendered zones between interior and exterior space. Participating artists Alisa Baremboym, Alexandra Bircken, Ian Cheng, Talia Chetrit, Martin Soto Climent, FOS, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Camille Henrot, Alicja Kwade, Charles Long, Sarah Lucas, Ann Cathrin November Hřibo, Laura Riboli, Matthew Ronay, Pamela Rosenkranz, Michael E. Smith, Johannes VanDerBeek, Andro Wekua, Susanne M. Winterling, and Anicka Yi give new life to old strategies like the uncanny and the informe, examining present-day relations of the economy, the body, domesticity, technology, and eros through the lens of visceral paradox and obscene disorder. ?
Tel: 718.361.1750
Web site

Susanne M. Winterling, The Dip of Generosity, from “A Disagreeable Object.”

Suyama Space - Seattle: Gail Grinnell
Through December 7, 2012
Grinnell’s densely constructed, gossamer installations conjoin earthly corporeality and ethereal spirit. Using dressmaking patterns inherited from her mother, she structures spatial bodies out of stiffened, translucent fabric that accepts color, stain (from coffee and tea), and sumi ink lines. Fragile and transitory, her web-like environments spin remnants of ordinary human activ?ity into otherworldly landscapes imprinted with the inner workings of the body (intestinal coils, bones, tendons, blood vessels) and the structural elements of clothing (necklines, zippers, pleats). Metaphors for the mismatched, continually altered plans and desires that make up life, these works grow from design subject to contingency. RUFFLE continues her investigation into the creative body, combining theatrical experience with absorbing meditation on the archaeology of human nature.
Tel: 206.256.0809
Web site

Gail Grinnell, RUFFLE.

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