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September 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.

Aspen Art Museum - Aspen, Colorado: Lucio Fontana
Through October 7, 2012
Though Fontana is best known for his slashed canvases of the 1950s and ’60s, the origins of his gestural force lie in the raw immediacy of working with clay. Beginning in the 1930s, he produced a body of baroque and proto-Funk sculptures that, while ostensibly figurative (with subject matter as varied as battle scenes and flowers), are more about registering process than representing any external subject. Contemporary critics reacted to these writhing masses of energy with the same contempt they later aimed at the Concetti Spaziale, failing to understand that the apparent violence of the modeling and discordant glazes, like the action of slashing, was all about liberating the sculptural surface from its confines and drawing it into space. This show, the first to focus on Fontana’s ceramic works, brings together 20 seminal experiments that link beautiful accident with exquisite control and material purity.

Tel: 970.925.8050
Web site:

Lucio Fontana, Cupido.
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art - Gateshead, U.K.: Mark Wallinger
Through October 12, 2012
A two-time Turner Prize nominee, Wallinger (who won in 2007) turns everyday moments into transcendent possibilities. “SITE” features three ambitious installations that investigate the paradoxical interactions of order, chaos, and the self. 10000000000000000 catalogues and compares 65,536 stones, each occupying its own square on a gargantuan checkerboard—the simplest binary ordering device—palpably visualizing a remote abstraction (10000000000000000 is the binary form of 65,536 in decimal) while systematizing natural disorder. The Other Wall, in contrast, seeks randomness in the regularized form of a monumental brick wall. The bricks, numbered sequentially by hand prior to construction, were used in no particular order, their final arrangement just one out of several million possible permutations. Finally, on the side of the Baltic building, overlooking the River Tyne, Wallinger has notated an emblematic self-portrait for the digital age, declaring an oppositional “I” in the face of the null and void.

Tel: + 44 (0) 191 478 1810
Web site:

Mark Wallinger, installation view of “SITE.”
Berlinische Galerie - Berlin: Michael Sailstorfer
Through October 8, 2012
Sailstorfer revels in transformations, contextual shifts, and spatial appropriations. His work reveals an acute interest in everyday things and materials taken from his immediate surroundings, as well as a fascination with the identity and history of his sources. Broken down into their component parts, these items are deformed, adapted, and re-assembled into powerful spatial installations. Despite the seeming violence of his approach, his objects and installations radiate sentiment and compel emotional response. The new and recent works in “Forest” question ordinary appearances in the natural world, bringing nature into art (a gallery transformed into a magical suspended woodland) and art into nature (a Suprematist square of black paint left to disintegrate in the forest, watched over by a video camera).

Tel: + 49 (0) 30-789 02-600
Web site:

Michael Sailstorfer, installation view of “Forest.”
Castello di Rivoli - Turin: Thomas Schütte
Through September 23, 20120
Schütte’s installations, sculptures, architectural models, paintings, and drawings challenge the fundamental premises of contemporary life. His work presents a strange hybrid, joining different modes of visual expression while creating contradictory and illusory worlds, without ever losing sight of the socio-political status quo. Perhaps best known for his radically simplified and exaggerated models (Model for a Hotel topped Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth in 2008), his emotionally potent figural sculptures, including the “Frauen” and the “Zombies,” take a different tack, exploring human isolation, vulnerability, and hopelessness with bitter humor. This show focuses on his extraordinary depictions of women, their bodies submitted to spatial and organic distortions and deformations. Eighteen of the “Frauen” appear with the original ceramic models that launched the series, 100 watercolors from the artist’s collection, and United Enemies, a new outdoor work that captures the ambivalence, tension, and conflict behind individual and global fragility.

Tel: + 39 011 9565222
Web site:

Thomas Schütte, United Enemies I–II.
Fundació Joan Miró - Barcelona: Mona Hatoum
Through September 24, 2012
Hatoum transforms everyday domestic objects into uncanny sculptures that harbor a nagging sense of displacement, uncertainty, and conflict. No longer reassuring spaces of protection, her domestic territories subvert familiar items such as chairs, beds, and kitchen implements while reconfiguring clean, Minimalist forms into ciphers of ambiguity and threat. In her surreal terrains, even the human body becomes strangely unfamiliar and disassociated. This show, which commemorates her win of the third Joan Miró Prize, features more than 40 works from the last 20 years, including Turbulence, a new piece that continues an ongoing investigation into the intersection of the poetic and the political.

Tel: + 34 934 439 470
Web site:

Mona Hatoum, Suspended.
Indianapolis Museum of Art - Indianapolis: Allora & Calzadilla
Through October 14, 2012

For 60 years, the U.S. Navy used the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a training ground, scarring the landscape with bomb craters and contaminating the environment with pollutants. Finally in 2003, a civil disobedience campaign succeeded in forcing the military out, though its presence is still felt. (The Navy only began removing unexploded munitions in 2009—detonating them in the open air—and the question of locating and exploding sensitive cluster bombs still remains—the first proposal was to burn nearly 100 acres of tropical forest.) The ongoing clean-up of this Superfund site says a great deal about the quality of the “victory” won by residents. Far from gaining the ability to steer their own future course, they watched as the Navy handed a large parcel of land over to the U.S. Department of the Interior, which declared a wildlife refuge. Enter Allora & Calzadilla, whose “Vieques Series” applies their interest in a future “that could be something other than an extension of the present” to a real-world context. With the participation of local activists, three videos—Returning a Sound (2004), Under Discussion (2005), and Half Mast/Full Mast (2010), appearing together here for the first time in the U.S.—enact a symbolic reclamation of the land while asserting the islanders’ right to democratic process, self-determination, ecological justice, and sustainable development.

Tel: 317.920.2660
Web site:

Allora & Calzadilla, Half Mast\Full Mast.

Institute of Contemporary Art Boston Josiah McElheny
Through October 14, 2012
Fascinated by the problem of infinity, McElheny has spent the last two decades attempting to represent the unrepresentable. Always eluding stable grasp, the infinite haunts his work, manifesting itself in a variety of dazzling effects, from intricately whirling spirals to endless reflections in mirrored surfaces. Meticulously crafted glass forms and assemblages double as metaphors for time and space, poetically reinterpreting the human quest to anatomize something that remains, of necessity, beyond direct experience and knowledge (at least for now). Under?standing, misunderstanding, and imagination all play a role in our models and abstracted systems of order, particularly in cosmology—McElheny’s greatest infatuation. This survey moves from early works exploring remote archaeological time to the new, all-encompassing sculpture, The Center is Everywhere, which cloaks cutting-edge astronomy in unabashed aesthetic beauty.

Tel: 617.478.3100
Web site:

Josiah McElheny, Island Universe.
Lismore Castle Co. Waterford, Ireland Hans Josephsohn
Through September 30, 2012
For more than 60 years, Josephsohn has grappled with sculpture’s most deep-rooted theme—the human figure. From the beginning of his career (after studying with Otto Müller, he moved into his first studio in 1943), he has worked from the model, capturing the figure in its many attitudes and guises—standing, sitting, and reclining—yet he has no interest in likeness. For him, the human form is a volume in space devoid of time. Searching for enduring presence, he rejects narrative in favor of the iconic and replaces recognizable features with allusive form. Inspired by prehistoric stone stelae and weathered Romanesque saints, his anonymous, abstracted beings achieve a kind of stoic inevitability. This show of indoor and outdoor works dating from 1950 to 2011 brings together the full range of his mysterious, indeterminate, yet profoundly human pantheon.

Tel: + 353 (0) 58 54061
Web site:

Hans Josephsohn, Untitled.
Louvre - Paris: Wim Delvoye
Through September 17, 2012

In Delvoye’s work, opposites attract: the divine merges with the secular, past meets present, and ornament overcomes function. Needless to say, high also encounters low. His ongoing “Gothic” series applies traditional craft and folk art practices to industrial objects, including gas canisters hand-painted with blue Delftware motifs and Caterpillar excavators perforated with tracery. The popularizing, and perhaps juvenile, Cloaca project transforms the mechanics of the human body into a tongue-in-cheek machine for the production of art and commodities. Installed at the Louvre (under I.M. Pei’s Pyramid, in the Napoleon III apartments, in the Gothic galleries, and in the Jardin des Tuileries), his subversive and ironic reinterpretations of historical styles take on another level of paradox, conjuring eclectic and exotic fantasies of an “art outside of time.”

Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 20 57 60
Web site:

Wim Delvoye, Kashan.

Milwaukee Art Museum - Milwaukee: Tara Donovan
Through October 7, 2012
Donovan bases each of her phenomenologically charged installations on the physical properties and structural capabilities of a single accumulated everyday material. In a leap from the mundane to the miraculous, she responds to the texture, density, mass, and size of everything from electrical cables, paper plates, straws, and straight pins to roofing felt and toothpicks, building large quantities of individual components into distinctive forms. Layered, twisted, piled, or clustered with almost viral repetition, her work grows via processes that mimic those of the natural world while seeming to defy the laws of nature. This show features several signature installations, as well as a new series of pin works that occupy a border zone between sculpture, drawing, and assemblage.

Tel: 414.224.3200
Web site:

Tara Donovan, Drawing (Pins)
Musée Océanographique de Monaco Monaco Marc Quinn
Through October 15, 2012
From a self-portrait head rendered in his own blood to portraits of his infant sons crafted from their frozen placentas and umbilical cords, to white marble portraits of amputees, Quinn’s work never fails to spark contention. But behind the notoriety lies a serious investigation into the body’s physical presence, mutability, and cultural anxiety. Mortality, beauty, kinship, and the interplay of science and art all come into play in his trenchant sculptures. In “The Littoral Zone,” his uncanny hybrids strike up a perfect partnership with the wondrous flora and fauna of the marine world. More than 60 works, including underwater paintings, explorations of evolution, cybernetics, and life support, and a series of burning sculptures collapse the boundaries between discrete fields, illustrating the fertile exchanges that can arise along permeable borderlands, whether of sea and shore, life and death, order and chaos, or nature and culture.

Tel: + 377 93 15 36 00
Web site:

Marc Quinn, Another Angel.
Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia - Madrid: Rosemarie Trockel
Through September 24, 2012
Since the late 1970s, Trockel has challenged gender stereotypes and prejudices, particularly in terms of imagination and creativity. Drawing on the legacies of Dada and Surrealism, as well as the activism of Beuys, her installations, sculptures, collages, ceramics, furniture, clothing, and books cannot be reduced to a single genre or style—the common denominator resides only in the intensity of their content. Works such as “knitting pictures” bearing nationalistic logos, a steel cube fitted with hot plates, and Minimalist monoliths made of yew trees establish bridges across the gendered chasm of production. Altered spider webs (made under the influence of LSD and hash) and a mechanical painting machine with brushes composed of donated hair (from Cindy Sherman and Georg Baselitz, among others) probe the interconnections of creativity and survival. In “A Cosmos,” Trockel surrounds herself with kindred spirits—free-thinking scientists and outsider artists whose contributions have been ignored or dismissed. The exhibition (named for Alexander von Humboldt’s controversial masterpiece of natural history) features drawings and objects of discovery that explore another fundamental issue at the heart of her activity, the interrelations between humans and other species and our impact on the natural world.

Tel: + 34 91 774 10 00
Web site:

Rosemarie Trockel, installation view of “A Cosmos.”

Museum of Cycladic Art - Athens: Jannis Kounellis
Through September 30, 2012
Powerful and deeply stirring, Kounellis’s sculptures and carefully staged installations evoke shared experiences of people, places, and history. His signature materials of steel, cotton, coal, coffee, wood, stones, burlap sacks, and gas lamps form the basis of an artistic language more than 40 years in the making. In this new installation, which fills the museum’s neoclassical Stathatos Mansion, materials collected from Athenian markets and junkyards bear witness to endless changes in the city’s population, ideologies, and levels of prosperity. Symbols of hope and desire, failed dreams and aspirations, these cast-offs might respond to current Greek economic woes, but their message is more universal, blending ancient and contemporary in an epic visual saga of human struggle.

Tel: + 30 210 72 28 321- 3
Web site:

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled.
Neue Galerie Graz - Graz, Austria: Michelangelo Pistoletto
Through October 14, 2012
Pistoletto’s international reputation continues to grow, thanks in large part to a younger generation of artists inspired by his participatory practices and democratic approach to art. This exhibition focuses on the early works, locating his radicalism in postwar Italian socio-cultural transformations and exploring connections to Pop, Minimalism, and conceptual art. More than 100 works, ranging from early self-portraits to Quadri specchianti (Mirror Paintings), Oggetti in meno (Minus Objects), and Stracci (Rags), trace an artistic progression from rigorous investigation into representations of the self to collaborative objects and actions uniting art and everyday life. Beginning on September 29, a second part of the show opens at the Kunsthaus Graz with current work from Pistoletto’s interdisciplinary laboratory, Cittadellarte, which fosters intellectual, political, and social dialogues that put subversion to positive use.

Tel: + 43-699/1780-9500
Web site:

Michelangelo Pistoletto, Filo elettrico appeso al muro.
Pinchuk Art Centre - Kyiv, Ukraine: Anish Kapoor
Through September 30, 2012
Kapoor’s geometric and biomorphic objects seem to come from another world, a realm of almost impossible purity, lightness, and beauty. But there has always been a tension in his work that undermines the harmonic perfection: roughness intrudes on refinement; messy internal implications qualify austere voids; and made matter threatens to dissolve into the unmade. This survey—the artist’s first in Eastern Europe—underscores the duality at the heart of his practice, gathering a selection of iconic works as well as a new monumental commission. From the refined saturations of the pigment sculptures through the voids and the non-objects, to the ritualized, mechanized acts of creation/violence performed by his recent installations, Kapoor’s illusion of immateriality is grounded in transformative materiality.

Tel: + 38 (044) 590/08/58
Web site:

Anish Kapoor, Between Shit and Architecture.

Versailles - Paris: Joana Vasconcelos
Through September 30, 2012
Vasconcelos brings a new, highly personal perspective to the opulence of Versailles, drawing out fem?inine and operatic overtones that breathe a larger-than-life animation back into the moribund stones of history. Her work may be as bold, brash, and contemporary as that of her predecessors at the chateau, but her brand of luxe gigantism resonates with something older and deeper than the recent past. Reveling in sensory details of texture, color, and material, particularly textiles, her dramatic installations and sculptures cut across time and culture, skillfully translating high and low, private and public, into unanticipated critiques of social ills. Yet even in a chandelier made of tampons, beauty, sensuality, and a profound understanding of tradition trump militant protest, restoring the artful (and pleasurable) language of nuance, irony, and ridicule. Installed in the Grand Apartments and around the gardens, her new works transpose the mythic ghosts of a lost world into the present day, teaching us subtle lessons about reality, symbolism, absolute power, and the pitfalls of uncompromising idealism.

Tel: + 33 (0) 1 30 83 78 98
Web site:

Joana Vasconcelos, Golden Valkyrie.

Waterschei Mine - Manifesta 9: Genk, Belgium
Through September 30, 2012
“The Deep of the Modern,” this year’s edition of the traveling biennial of European art, occupies a former mine in the small Belgian town of Genk. Lead curator Cuauhtémoc Medina has used this unusual setting to timely advantage, organizing a three-part exhibition that focuses on the ambivalent legacy (social and environmental) of coal extraction and art’s connections to it. The first section features new works by 39 artists and teams that interact with the ruins of the mine and its immediate surroundings to address local and global “restructuring”—i.e., the top-to-bottom retooling necessary to clean up and revitalize 21st-century production. The second section looks to the coal industry’s material and cultural effects (on the land and in the popular imagination), while the third (curated by Dawn Ades) highlights more than 80 historical works concerned with coal as a material (Duchamp) and as a social factor (Demuth). With featured artists including Lara Almarcegui, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Jeremy Deller, Claire Fontaine, Eva Gronbach, Erik van Lieshout, and Raqs Media Collective, this show promises more than cursory treatment of an energy source that—for good and ill—has fueled the course of human development for more than 200 years.

Tel: + 32 (0) 89 710 440
Web site:

Jeremy Deller, Exodus (film still).

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