International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover


March 2013
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.

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art - Kanazawa, Japan: Do Ho Suh
Through March 17, 2013
Suh’s installations blend the monumental and the transient to explore the emotional tensions of displacement: belonging while being alien, being home while longing for “home.” His architectural sculptures start “from a reflection on space, especially personal space—not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one.” This show, which includes a complete re-creation of his parents’ house in Korea and several new works, explores his various attempts to create the “Perfect Home.” Mostly rendered in gossamer nylon fabric, these lightweight, 1:1-scale, walk-through models originate in his concept of “carrying a space in a suitcase.” Accurate down to the minutest architectural details, such nomadic extensions of identity create an uncanny sense of the real while transforming density into lightness and the concrete into the remembered. Though they deny the primary attributes of home—privacy, security, and stability—these stunning approximations make us appreciate whatever home we define for ourselves. Tel: + 81 (0) 76 220 2800 Web site

Do Ho Suh, Fallen Star—1/5th.
Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston - Houston: Tony Feher
Through March 17, 2013
Feher’s works challenge conventions through apparent ordinariness. Mining the world’s limitless supply of consumer detritus, he selects his humble components with care and attention, turning the generic and ubiquitous into the specific and unique. In his eyes, everything has potential; his job is to find “the ‘trick’ in materials, that indescribable something that allows me to exploit an object for my own purposes…a little something that sets it off.” This survey of 60 sculptures reveals the unusual optimism behind Feher’s project, which embraces fragility, transience, and emotion. Instead of social critique, he offers moments of solace in which order and beauty replace chaos and ugliness. Teasing out character and inimitable formal possibilities in what the rest of us dismiss as valueless, these highly personal works celebrate the power of creativity and the ability to see differently, beyond accepted norms and definitions.
Tel: 713.743.2255 Web site

Tony Feher, Untitled.
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum - Lincoln, Massachusetts:
Paint Things: beyond the stretcher
Through April 21, 2013
“Paint Things” presents new directions in the ongoing attempt to expand the picture plane into sculptural form. As painting merges with installation, post-Stella generations are testing the limits of spatial and material freedom. Featured artists Claire Ashley, Katie Bell, Sarah Braman, Sarah Cain, Alex Da Corte, Cheryl Donegan, Franklin Evans, Kate Gilmore, Alex Hubbard, James Hyde, Sean Kennedy, Wilson Lawrence, Steve Locke, Analia Saban, Allison Schulnik, Jessica Stockholder, Mika Tajima, and Summer Wheat build on the premise that a painting is nothing more than a structural object activated by a series of performed gestures. Their genre-busting efforts ask us to re-examine the age-old practice of painting in a new light and to consider the limitless possibilities for the future of the medium, as well as its physical context in terms of physical, social, political, and emotional space. Tel: 781.259.8355 Web site

Franklin Evans, timecompressionmachine, from “Paint Things.”
Fauschou Foundation - Beijing:
Louise Bourgeois
Through March 24, 2013
Over the course of a prolific career, Bourgeois worked in dialogue with most of the 20th century’s major avant-garde movements, but she consistently stood apart from trends and frequently at the forefront of contemporary practice. Her powerfully inventive sculptures run the stylistic gamut—engaging abstraction, realism, and the readymade—and explore almost every possible material. These different inflections, however, always remain at the service of an unswerving set of themes, pulled forth from the depths of human experience. This exhibition, the first of the artist’s work in China, spans seven decades of creative output—from sensuous bronze and marble sculptures to the “Cell” installations, fabric works, iconic spiders, and evocative gouaches of her later years—that together spin a web of stories about the paradoxes of the human condition while defining a self through connections to others. Web site

Louise Bourgeois, The Couple.
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park - Grand Rapids: Hanneke Beaumont
Through April 28, 2013
Beaumont, who says that she is “very much a clay person,” creates enigmatic figures that retain the essence of the earth. Like the ash-encased bodies of Pompeii, her human forms are transformed, shrouded in rough and unrefined surfaces worn down by time and the elements, even when cast in iron or bronze. Captured in unexplained circumstances, these individuals and groups, often undifferentiated in terms of gender and age, are neither idealizations nor portraits. Their generic, approximate quality casts a stoic air over the mystery of their existence, removing them from the specifics of time and place, while providing a way to consider, from a distance, general ideas about the nature of the human race. Fragile but strong, motionless but ready to move, they seem to inhabit a weightless spatial equilibrium, their humanity tied to something unidentifiable that defies perception. Tel: 888.957.1580 Web site

Hanneke Beaumont, Terracotta #27 and #29.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts - Nashville: Camille Utterback
Through May 19, 2013
Utterback’s interactive installations and reactive sculptures stimulate basic human responses in a dynamic process of kinesthetic discovery and play. Through artist-designed software, she explores the aesthetic and experiential possibilities of linking computational systems to human movement and gesture in layered and often humorous ways. This exhibition presents a display of her recent public art projects and four interactive digital installations, including the landmark Text Rain (1999), a collaboration with the Israeli artist Romy Achituv, in which letters, words, and phrases from Evan Zimroth’s poem “Talk, You” cascade like discrete objects through a projected image of participating viewers to “rest” momentarily on their heads, arms, and shoulders. Tel: 615.244.3340 Web site

Camille Utterback, Untitled 5.
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth - Forth Worth: Yinka Shonibare
Through March 24, 2013
Shonibare’s objects, photographs, and installations take on issues of economic history and cultural authenticity. From the goods and fashions of Victorian England to African fabrics (manufactured for the colonial trade), he gives nuance and irony to stereotypical cultural icons, which are all too easily and unambiguously categorized. This show features two recent works—the large-scale installation Scramble for Africa and the video Odile and Odette—that crystallize his investigations into cultural credibility, identity construction, class, integration, and assimilation. From mindless hunger for what Belgian King Leopold II called “a slice of this magnificent African cake” to type-casting of good and evil in terms of black and white, these deceptively beautiful works expose the dark underbelly of today’s identity and economic politics. Tel: 866.824.5566 Web site

Yinka Shonibare, still from Odile and Odette.
Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia - Madrid: Cristina Iglesias
Through March 13, 2013
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. This show features more than 50 works that cast a spell of invigorating magic. Water, earth, light, bronze gardens, living plants, and alabaster and glass transparencies guide viewers through a present-day Arcadia of timeless suspension, where matter ceases to obey the laws of nature and crosses into the realm of metamorphosis and myth. Tel: + 34 91 774 10 00 Web site

Cristina Iglesias, Untitled (Pasillo Vegetal III).
Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia - Madrid: Heimo Zobernig
Through April 15, 2013

Over the past 25 years, Zobernig has created a considerable body of work, including sculpture, video, painting, installation, architectural intervention, and performance. Drawing on various modern art movements, he questions their underlying principles and conditions, challenging and reinterpreting them with a lightness of touch and an economy of material. This retrospective features a number of new interventions in which display devices take the place of artworks and space becomes an essential element in the exhibition. Reconfigured walls from a previous show become pieces of sculpture, while curtains, screens, and carpeted floors establish a deceptive intimacy, pitting permanence against obsolescence. In this setting, the staging of art becomes the driving force behind the works themselves. Playful, unsettling, and disarming, Zobernig’s various endeavors all aspire to the same goal: “With art, I would like to raise questions and as a result produce things that put themselves in question.” Tel: + 34 91 774 10 00 Web site

Installation view of “Heimo Zobernig.”

Museum of Contemporary Art - Chicago:
Goshka Macuga
Through April 7, 2013
Macuga’s work interweaves two prominent trends in contemporary art: historical and archival research and an interest in curatorial display strategies. Initially, she tapped into overlooked traditions in art history, incorporating the work of other artists, both living and dead. But in recent years, her interests have taken a political turn, with post-Soviet Poland and Iraq II serving as profitable points of departure for investigations into the nature of fact and fiction. In her associative approach to assemblage, images, facts, and figures add up to stunning cumulative effect. As “Exhibit, A,” her first survey, makes clear, these densely woven visual arguments rely on a familiar evidentiary logic, though their “proofs” might be inadmissible in a court of law. In The Nature of the Beast (2010), visitors can step beyond judgment of predigested materials to occupy (and use) an infamous space in the annals of misinformation. The reconstructed war-room houses a replica of Picasso’s Guernica, whose tapestry copy presided over U.N. Security Council decisions from 1985 to 2009. So strong is this indictment of violence that its “inconvenient truth” had to be covered up during the Bush administration’s lies of mass destruction. What did they fear? How might the uncensored message have shaped actions, votes, and events? Tel: 312.280.2660 Web site

Goshka Macuga, Model for a Sculpture (Family).
Museum Ludwig - Köln: Andreas Fischer
Through March 31, 2013
Fischer’s machine sculptures rant and complain, obsessively venting their grievances while endlessly repeating futile routines. Caught in a Sisyphean loop, their actions never result in change; instead, these parodies of the human are doomed to continue ad infinitum in the same rut—a sad and all-too-truthful reflection that belies the straight-line trajectory of progress and achievement. More than a metaphorical exploration of the relationship between human and machine, these avatars, which uncannily mimic our behavioral patterns and thought processes, expose accepted physical and psychological constraints, railing against cultural and social norms that might ensure social stability but also stifle individuality, expression, creativity. Perhaps Wirds Bald (Get a Move-On) expresses the conflict best: “It’ll get better, it won’t get better.” As these mindless drones of determinism carry on, resignation loses its appeal. Tel: + 49 221 221 26165 Web site

Andreas Fischer, Rollen & Gieren.
Stedelijk Museum - Amsterdam: Mike Kelley
Through April 1, 2013
One of the most important media artists to emerge in the 1990s, Mexican-born, Montreal-based Lozano-Hemmer explores the politics of public space through architecture, new media, and performance. Originally developed in response to the Mexican government’s crackdown on pirate radio stations in Chiapas and Guerrero and shown here for the first time in the U.S., Frequency and Volume, Relational Architecture 9 (2003) transforms viewers into partially witting radio receivers and transmitters. Responding to the size and position of human shadows on the wall via a computer tracking system, the installation leads participants to use their bodies as tuners for a range of public and private frequencies—from commercial music stations to police bands, wireless telecomm systems, and air traffic control. Raising timely questions about who has access to public space (whether real or virtual) and who controls communication, Frequency and Volume also reveals the two-sided bargain at the heart of these exchanges: for every conversation, there is a listener (whether we’re aware of it or not). Tel: 415.357.4000 Web site

Mike Kelley, John Glenn Memorial Detroit River Reclamation Project (Including the Local Culture Pictorial Guide, 1968–1972, Wayne Westland Eagle).

Suyama Space - Seattle: Deborah Aschheim
Through April 13, 2013
Aschheim’s obsessive and immersive installations focus on interactive approaches to neuroscience, memory, and cognitive processes, drawing parallels between invisible and visible patterns. Entering these multi-sensory webs of light, audio-video elements, and sculptural components, viewers are transported into a physical and metaphorical manifestation of the brain’s networking operations. For the last six years, her investigations have narrowed to memory (real, imagined, and involuntary). This new installation treats memory as a spatial thing—a place rather than an archive of images, a model city (of a kind). In a reversal of Giordano Bruno’s perfectly planned (cerebral) architectonics, Aschheim’s (physical) model maps an imprecise terrain of forgetting and misremembering built on her imperfect memories of a previous installation. Elusive and evocative, this ghostly city materializes the neural processes haunting our built environment in stunning fashion. Tel: 206.256.0809 Web site

Deborah Aschheim, Threshold.
Trafalgar Square, 4th Plinth - London:
Elmgreen & Dragset
Through April 1, 2013
Elmgreen and Dragset, who have collaborated since 1995, explore how design, architecture, and urban planning shape behavior. Their installations, performances, and environmental works, particularly the “Powerless Structures,” challenge architectural and social structures in order to investigate the underlying desires of everyday objects and the mechanisms of ideological control behind even the simplest arrangements of walls, ceilings, entrances, and exits. Powerless Structures, Fig. 101, a boy riding his rocking horse, overturns any and all messages of imperial ambition and militaristic triumph, celebrating the future rather than commemorating the past. A monument to hope, expectation, and change, this golden child embodies nothing less than the heroic promise of growing up and taking one’s place in an unknown world, even if it remains unfulfilled. Web site

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Powerless Structures, Fig. 101.
Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina - Greensboro, North Carolina:
Diana Al-Hadid
Through May 5, 2013
Baroque and darkly evocative, Al-Hadid’s fragmented architectural forms conjure forgotten civilizations and allude to cataclysmic acts of destruction. Constructed of materials as prosaic as cardboard, plywood, plaster, wax, and resin, her towers, labyrinths, and pipe organs reveal an array of influences, both Eastern and Western—biblical and mythological narratives, Arabic oral traditions, Gothic architecture, and Islamic ornament. Metaphors of cross-cultural identity, these contemporary relics offer a vision of lost civility across divides. Advances in physics and astronomy also fuel her imagination. Viewed together, the large-scale sculptures and drawings brought together for the first time in this exhibition construct a unique civilization, a culture both ancient and contemporary that serves as an ideal foil for musings on ruin and the human condition. Tel: 336.334.5770 Web site

Diana Al-Hadid, Trace of a Fictional Third.

Complete text in print version available at fine newsstands and through subscription. Please visit our Membership page for more information.

Click here for Sculpture magazine ARCHIVES
To advertise in Sculpture magazine, call 718.812.8826 or e-mail

Click here to sign up for a digital subscription ($60) to Sculpture