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October 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.

Abington Art Center - Jenkintown, Pennsylvania: Winifred Lutz
Through November 25, 2012
For Lutz, layering facilitates understanding, and truth becomes a natural process of revealing and concealing, a life cycle with no resolution and no definitive end. Her cast paper and mixed-media sculptures and outdoor environmental works synthesize making and finding, fusing found organic objects (rocks, tree parts) and artist-made artifacts into new entities that seem to have formed spontaneously, independent of any outside will. This show, which celebrates her 20-year relationship with the Abington Art Center with indoor works and documentation of outdoor installations, features an ambitious, ongoing installation/ excavation that transforms an abandoned pool and cabana site on the sculpture park grounds into a circuit of fluid change and evolving experience.
Tel: 215.887.4882
Web site

Winifred Lutz, Once was.
Biodôme - Montreal: Richard Purdy
Through November 4, 2012
One of Canada’s most unusual and surprising artists, Purdy has realized a wide range of inventive, interdisciplinary installations, from imaginary civilizations built in miniature to views of Atlantis seen through the clouds, to well-camouflaged projects in public space. He is perhaps best known for “ecH20,” a suite of dramatically crowd-pleasing, and thought-provoking, water-themed installations shown at Shawinigan Space last year. For Biodôme’s 20th anniversary, he extends his exploration of environmentally oriented spectacle. The multi-sensory trOmbe turns things upside down to offer a whole new perspective on the natural world. Forests and lakes won’t look quite the same after this singular experience—towels and umbrellas are included.
Tel: 514.868.3000
Web site

Richard Purdy, trOmbe.
DHC/Art Foundation - Montreal: Ryoji Ikeda
Through November 18, 2012
Japan’s leading electronic composer and visual artist, Ikeda has gained a reputation for working convincingly across media. A fascinating and troubling poet of the digital age, he elaborately orchestrates sound, visuals, objects, physical phenomena, and mathematical notations into immersive live performances and installations. His investigations into time and space begin in mathematical methods and end in works of spare, sublime, and sometimes ear-splitting beauty. Spanning the microscopic to the infinite, his installations produce sine waves, sound pulses, pixels of light, and numerical data in extraordinary combinations. This show features “systematics” in the form of light boxes, sculptural works, and works on paper, as well as “datamatics” in the form of dimensional audiovisual projects that test the limits of perception by making manifest the invisible data streams ceaselessly permeating our world.
Tel: 514.849.3742
Web site

Ryoji Ikeda, data.matrix [nº1-10].
FRAC Lorraine - Metz, France: Doug Wheeler
Through November 11, 2012
A pioneer of the California Light and Space movement, Wheeler has been unhinging the senses with moments of liminality since the 1960s. Suspended in pure light, his indefinite and seemingly infinite spaces appeal not only to vision, but also to the body as a whole, creating experiences both initiatory and meditative. This show features three new luminous installations that challenge perception with a rare sensuality, creating (then dissolving) depth and volume in a perpetual quest for “knowledge through the body”—a rite of passage that overthrows reason with enchantment.
Tel: + 33 (0) 3 87 74 55 00
Web site

Doug Wheeler, 49 Nord 6 Est POV Luminiferous Light Volume.
Galleria dell’Accademia - Florence: “Arte Torna Arte”
Through November 4, 2012
Adopting Luciano Fabro’s dictum that “art returns to art,” this show treats art history as a continuum that renews and regenerates itself over generations, drawing strength from the past. It is no accident that an exhibition devoted to such a time-honored, traditional concept should be set within Florence’s Accademia di Belle Arti, the first Italian institution to systematize art instruction on the now-maligned academic model. More than 40 works by 32 contemporary artists—including Antony Gormley, Hans Peter Feldmann, Jannis Kounellis, Olaf Nicolai, Giulio Paolini, Giuseppe Penone, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Fiona Tan—strike up unlikely and inspiring resonances with the gallery’s unrivaled collection of 14th-century gold-ground paintings, as well as with its most photographed (and perhaps least looked at) attractions, Michelangelo’s David and unfinished prigioni, demonstrating that the discredited, but not dead, classical tradition still has the power to strike out in unexpected directions and derivations.
Tel: + 39 (0) 55 2388612
Web site

Olaf Nicolai, Portrait of the Artist as a Weeping Narcissus, from “Arte Torna Arte.”
Gemeentemuseum - The Hague: Hans van Bentem
Through November 11, 2012

van Bentem’s wildly eclectic installations suck up influences like sponges, combining everything from robots and lotus flowers to a Kalash?nikov and a phallus in unexpected encounters of the strange and wonderful. Despite the bizarre juxta?positions, he considers himself, not Surrealism’s heir, but a “romantic, primarily in search of the beautiful.” His work acquires a new historical twist at the Gemeentemuseum, where six installations colonize a suite of period rooms. A “wild” assemblage of wooden objects created in collaboration with Senegalese artists runs rampant in the Louis XVI Room, while the Gobelin Room now boasts Heaven, a crystal four-poster bed, complete with mood lighting. Pure white porcelain renditions of body parts and a Table of Seductions round out this post-punk rejection of established norms in which free association is the only rule of order.
Tel: + 31 (0) 70 3381111
Web site

Hans van Bentem, The Louis XVI Room.

Henry Moore Institute - Leeds, U.K.: Sarah Lucas
Through October 21, 2012
Lucas’s provocative sculptures exalt in coarse visual puns, common vulgarities, and a defiant, bawdy humor. Created from an idiosyncratic mix of everyday materials, such as worn furniture, clothing, fruit and vegetables, newspapers, cigarettes, cars, resin, plaster, and light fittings, their grungy, sometimes haphazard appearance only reinforces a serious and complex subject matter. Lucas makes sculpture of and from the human body—a time-bound, decaying object that requires maintenance and care—her quasi-narrative scenarios questioning gender definitions and defying 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.” “Ordinary Things” features 30 works that challenge sculptural as well as societal proprieties in their pursuit of a new balance in human relations.
Tel: + 44 (0) 113 246 7467
Web site

Sarah Lucas, NUD 2.
Liverpool - Liverpool Biennial 2012: The Unexpected Guest
Through November 25, 2012
Combining a feel-good response to the Cultural Olympiad with a critique of rising intolerance around the world, “The Unexpected Guest” takes up the question of hospitality. Though not as creatively rich a subject as 2008’s “Made Up,” which celebrated the power of artistic imagination, this year’s theme of the welcome extended to strangers is intended to do more than probe codes of conduct; “hospitality,” as conceived by biennial organizers, doubles as “a metaphor that suggests conditions and energies that inspire artists.” More than 60 artists (including Suzanne Lacy, Fritz Haeg, Enrico David, Mona Hatoum, and Pedro Reyes) were invited to consider our willingness and capacity to be “unprepared” in today’s paranoid climate. As in past installments, much of this year’s show takes place in public space, where questions of what it means to be hospitable in the face of suspicion, distrust, and ever-present surveillance play out in everyday life. The most anticipated new commissions include a Doug Aitken and David Adjaye collaboration on the Albert Docks, Jorge Macchi’s intrusive, “plonked” shipping container, Elmgreen & Dragset’s guarded VIP lounge to which no one gains admittance, and Oded Hirsch’s infiltration of the Liverpool ONE shopping center.
Tel: + 44 (0) 151 709 7444
Web site

Jorge Macchi, Marienbad.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York: Tomás Saraceno on the Roof
Through November 4, 2012

Saraceno confronts fatalistic views of the future with invention and imagination, “looking to the sky to escape the reality of the earth.” Merging sculpture, architecture, and engineering to explore the possibility of a better world, he creates structural and theoretical proposals for sustainable systems of travel and habitation (from cloud clusters to flying gardens and space elevators). The whiff of utopianism in his approach is more than offset by the buoyant exuberance fueling his clusters of spheres, explosions of lines, and geometric constellations. Cloud City, the newest habitat in his ongoing investigation into the possibility of building a city in the sky, is open to public exploration. For visitors who climb through its interior seeking new perspectives on Manhat?tan’s iconic skyline, Saraceno promises a somewhat different experience, a vehicle for the imagination “ready to transport us beyond social, political, and geographical states of mind.”
Tel: 212.535.7710
Web site

Tomás Saraceno, Cloud City.

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona - Barcelona: Gordon Matta-Clark
Through October 21, 2012
Donovan bases each of her phenomenologically charged installations on the physical properties and structural capabilities of a single accumulated everyday material. Though his artistic career only lasted a decade, Matta-Clark has exerted a powerful influence on subsequent artists and architects, emerging as a key figure in the generation after Minimalism. Focusing on the social, psychological, and political particularities of the urban context, he pursued the transmutation of discarded objects and spaces—whether buildings, rooms, public areas, or neighborhoods—into new entities filled with “hope and fantasy.” In the most well-known of his planned interventions, he carved out sections of abandoned buildings with a power saw to “transform place into a state of mind by opening walls,” creating incisions that shifted everyday experience into extraordinary visual and kinetic confrontations. When wrecking balls destroyed these sculpted structures, little remained beyond photographs, films, and a few building segments known as “cuts.” This exhibition, which focuses on a stunning intervention at Antwerp’s Internationaal Cultureel Centrum, features 46 documentary photographs taken by the artist. Called “the most beautiful flight of light, time, and air,” Office Baroque (1977) combines formal exuberance with a sly joke about the bankruptcy of capitalism.
Tel: + 34 93 412 08 10
Web site

Gordon Matta-Clark, Office Baroque, Views of 2nd Floor and Removed Section.
Nouveau Musée National de Monaco - Monaco: Thomas Schütte
Through November 11, 2012
Schütte’s interest in architecture goes way back: even before his models exploring concrete designs for living and practical use value in art, he was investigating questions of functionality, spatial illusionism, and the fusion of painting and sculpture. “One Man Houses,” a recent series of “self-portrait” models exploring favorite themes such as bunkers and temples, marks a return to his early interventions in which he used minimal means to enact conceptual changes in a particular space. Simple components, including cylinders, cubes, and rhomboids, combine to form intimate shelters, places of retreat and solitary survival. As whimsical as children’s forts at first glance, these structures indulge the escapist impulse; being the creations of someone older and wiser, however, they replace fantastical adventure with a profoundly skeptical, pessimistic approach to (and withdrawal from) the world.
Tel: + 377 98 98 19 62
Web site:

Thomas Schütte, One Man House I.
La Petite Escalère - Saint-Laurent-de-Gosse, France: Cristina Iglesias
Through November 18, 2012
A sculptor of mazes, trellis-work follies, and tapestry-like gardens, Iglesias immerses viewers in spaces of the imagination. Giant ceilings fly through the air, intricate Moorish screens multiply into labyrinths, and rooms transform into forests. Fusing traditions and techniques from architecture, theater, printmaking, and photography, her installations approach the world through allusion. Untitled (Vegeta?tion Room XI) has found the perfect setting within this “secret” sculpture garden (built by art dealer Paul Haim). Sheltered within a lush landscape, it transforms ordinary woodland into an Arcadia of timeless suspension, where matter ceases to obey the laws of nature and crosses into the realm of metamorphosis and myth.
Tel: + 33 (0) 6 32 52 91 01
Web site

Cristina Iglesias, Untitled (Vegetation Room XI).

Tate Modern - London: Tino Sehgal
Through October 28, 2012
Sehgal rejects the material aspects of conventional art-making in order to focus on the fleeting gestures and social subtleties that define human relations. Informed by studies in dance and economics, his ephemeral works consist of nothing more than the unpredictable interactions/dialogues that he sets up between “trained volunteers” and unsuspecting museum-goers. His new work, These Associations, takes up where the Guggenheim’s This Progress (2010) left off. A quasi-sculptural, choreographed crowd alternately wanders and sprints through the darkened space of Tur?bine Hall, sometimes moving in unison, sometimes losing formation as members break ranks to talk to visitors. Their rehearsed tales offer the illusion of shared intimacies—everything from parental relationships and sexual histories to the trauma of erasing a tattoo, each story shifting in response to individual exchanges. Reaction to these not-quite-spontaneous encounters says more about personal psychology than attitudes toward art: some visitors have called the experience daring, humanistic, and life-changing, while others, “allergic” to unsolicited contact, have likened it to a “mugging,” an invasion of personal space as congenial as rubbing shoulders with nosy strangers in an over-crowded subway.
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7887 8888
Web site

Tino Sehgal and These Associations participants.
The Tin Tabernacle - (12–16 Cambridge Avenue) Kilburn, London: Lindsay Seers
Through October 21, 2012
Set within one of England’s last surviving corrugated iron chapels, Seers’s ambitious new installation (commissioned by Artangel) blurs autobiography and documentary. From unlikely connections between the 19th-century structure; the birth of her great-great-uncle, George Edwards; the birth of Mina Bergson, artist and sister of philosopher Henri Bergson; and her own birth exactly 100 years later, Seers has created a journey across time that entangles global histories with intimate stories while exploring the possibilities and limits of image-making. One event leads to another in this world where coincidence takes on the character of necessity. The unfurling narratives project forward as well as backwards, from the present to a future when dates have become irrelevant and images redundant. Combining photography, performance, sculpture, video, and animation, Nowhere Less Now searches in vain to fix truths that refuse to cohere.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7713 1402
Web site

Lindsay Seers, Nowhere Less Now.

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