International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover


January/February 2014
Vol. 33 No. 1

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - Gregg Louis: Nohra Haime Gallery
by Michaël Amy
Hair is a loaded subject. Tied to gender, ethnicity, class, age, and health, it reveals identity. If we care enough about our hair—and provided that we have enough to make it signal all that we want it to—it can say a lot about who we are, where we come from, how we see ourselves, what our views are, and who we look up to. These observations were prompted by the eerie and strangely effective environment of Gregg Louis’s recent show, where sculptures built up from artificial wigs and faux fur seemingly floated in mid-air, suspended on thin black metal rods rising from the floor. In the press release for “Psychic Ménagerie,” Louis states that the Inklings, as he calls these works, were inspired by the idea of gazing at clouds and discovering recognizable forms in their abstract masses. The success of his sculptures lies in their use of familiar materials to create forms that teeter between abstraction and figuration—many of these bodies contain hints of life. ...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Gregg Louis, Inkling No. 4, 2012. Foam, metal, and synthetic hair, 23.5 x 16 x 8 in.
Los Angeles - Steven Claydon: David Kordansky Gallery
by Kathleen Whitney
In this exhibition, English artist Steven Claydon presented a group of sculptures that, despite their conceptual nature, are oddly traditional and highly theatrical. The work is concerned with communicating connections between matter and infor­ma- tion, meaning and status. Because of this, interpretation depends on memories, associations, and implied meanings instilled in the objects. The fact that these meanings can’t be pinned down accentuates the thingness of the works, their dual position as material projections and repositories of social values. Claydon produces a distancing and somewhat mysterious experience that, regardless of its coolness, still invites absorption and engagement. While working with notions of beauty and formal relations, he also critiques these values...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Steven Claydon, Saturated Triangle (double sea-lion), 2013. Oil on canvas, laminated wood, ceramic, synthetic straw, Perspex, and rivet, 36 x 36 x 4 in.
San Francisco - Alan Rath: Hosfelt Gallery
by Donna Schumacher
Electronic arts pioneer Alan Rath has been making robotic sculptures that challenge the boundaries of biomorphic projection since the 1980s. Each sculpture in his recent exhibition, “Irrational Exuberance,” has a personality of its own. This individuality is made evident through specific patterns of whimsical and often quirky movements. Fabricated from aluminum, fiberglass, and feathers, his creations give the appearance of independent action, though they depend on small industrial motors programmed with open-ended algorithms. Rath, an MIT engineering graduate, definitely has the skills to infuse these complex computerized sculptures with an enchanting animation that hovers on the edge between industrialized machinery and sentient being...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Miroslaw Balka, 2 x (350 x 300 x 300), 36 x 36 x 29 / The Order of Things, 2013. Steel, water pumps, plastic, rubber, water, food coloring, and wood, installation view.
Boston - “OccupyING the Present”: HarborArts Outdoor Gallery
by B. Amoren
HarborArts Outdoor Gallery not only features a permanent collection of large-scale sculpture, it also hosts temporary exhibitions at the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina. Located in East Boston, directly across the harbor from the Institute of Contem­porary Art, the 14-acre shipyard offers its grounds, walls, and roofs to artists with the imagination to re-envision the industrial environment as a home for sculpture. “OccupyING the Present,” a show of 15 site-responsive installations curated by Elizabeth Michelman, filled the bustling shipyard with carefully orchestrated works that inhabited and complemented the built environment. Many of the sculptures evolved over the duration of their installation, slowly transformed by the harsh harbor weather. Nature was a welcome collaborator, and the theme of our relationship to the natural world echoed through­out the show...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Catherine Evans, Sea Anemone/Boston, 2013. Repurposed plastic fiber, dimensions variable.
New York - Kathleen Elliot: Tenri Cultural Institute of New York
by Dominick Lombardi
Kathleen Elliot’s glass sculptures straddle the line between ritual and playfulness. Her work, which stems from a love of natural forms, explores how the wonders of nature, big and small, have an indisputable calming effect on us as we muddle through the distractions of daily life. Works such as Whispering Vine (2008) recall ceremonial dance, as a circle of latticed glass, capped with upward-reaching leaves, forms a web of ideals. Similar, but more colorful works such as Untitled Miniature (2008) and Untitled Miniature (2009) have the same basic construction, though their intimate scale makes them even more playful and charming. Growing in a Land Far Away (2007) represents Elliot’s exploration into alternative realities via the visionary writings of Carlos Castañeda. As a new observer of Elliot’s work, I was unaware of the connection, and I saw this work more as a transitional gesture in which the suggested movement of the metal framework supporting the glass botanical elements introduces thoughts of transition through abstraction. Elliot’s process of turning tubes and rods of clear glass into organic shapes can, at times, be quite political...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Kathleen Elliot, Periwinkle Vine, 2013. Flameworked and sandblasted glass, 15.5 x 10 x 3 in.
New York - Frieze New York 2013: Randall’s Island Park
by Susan Canning
With Paul McCarthy’s 60-foot-tall Balloon Dog leading the way, sculpture made a strong showing at Frieze New York 2013. Nearly every gallery displayed three-dimensional work, often involving installation or non-traditional materials, making it clear that sculpture can be made from and be just about anything these days. Located in a large, architecturally designed tent on the grounds of Randall’s Island in the middle of the East River, this second Frieze art fair was even larger than the first, featuring 55 New York-based galleries in addition to galleries from 32 countries...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Paul McCarthy, Balloon Dog, 2013. Vinyl-coated rubber, 60 x 47 x 20 ft.
Newport, Rhode Island - Maya Lin: Queen Anne Square
by Suzanne Volmer
Maya Lin’s The Meeting Room, a redo of Newport’s Queen Anne Square, incorporates the talents of two longtime Lin collaborators: calligrapher and stone carver Nicolas Benson and landscape designer Edwina von Gal. Together, the three have created a serene and inspiring public space that offers opportunities to interact on many levels with a unique environment. The Newport Restoration Founda­tion commissioned Lin to re-envision the square in honor of the late philanthropist Doris Duke, who preserved many of the city’s 18th-century buildings. Lin’s concept for The Meeting Room suggests a kind of archaeological dig that can also be related to her career. In terms of sculpting the land, she has changed a once flat, angled expanse into a gently rolling landscape...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Maya Lin, The Meeting Room, 2013. Permanent public installation in Queen Anne Square, New­port, RI.
Buenos Aires - “Art and Sustainability IV: Metaphors to Embrace the World”: Praxis International Art Gallery
by María Carolina Baulo
“Art and Sustainability IV” curator Rodrigo Alonso selected his six artists based on their ability to create “metaphors to embrace the world.” The exhibition’s subtitle is extremely important, because as Alonso explains, “Unlike other professional spheres, such as architecture or design, art cannot easily contribute to the actual material transformation of the planet. Nonetheless, if any one thing can be claimed as appropriate for it throughout history, it is the possibility to stimulate thought and reflection on the great problems of humanity. Artists, as shrewd and analytical witnesses of their time, have never ignored these themes, but rather have tackled them, and tackle them still, through their specific tools: symbolism, metaphor, marking and signaling, poetry.” Joaquín Fargas, an industrial engineer oriented toward technological art, presented Don Quijote contra el cambio climático, a series of windmill-inspired sculptures designed to power a cooling system placed over the surface of Argentine Antarctica...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Romina Orazi, Espécimen, 2013. Mixed-media participatory object, 150 x 90 x 50 cm.
Le François, Martinique - “Global Caribbean IV: French West Indies & Guiana”: Fondation Clément
by Laura Albritton
Approaching the Fondation Clément, one was struck by the incongruousness—or justice—of a contemporary Caribbean art exhibition at a former slave plantation. Yet with the first step into the foyer, the past ceased to matter. A vibrant, neon-pink chair, upholstered in vinyl, appeared to melt into the floor. Ano (Eddy Firmin) crafted the amusing Chiklèt (i.e., chewing gum), with a matching pink blob like an ottoman. Pay attention, Ano seemed to tease, this exhibition may not be what you expect. Although curator Edouard Duval-Carrié refers to maroon communities (settlements of escaped slaves) in his catalogue essay, the work appeared entirely current and at ease on an international stage...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Ano, Chiklèt, 2012. Mixed media, 28 x 71 x 79 in. Left: Laurent Valère, Bindidon, 2012. Mixed media on wood, 39.5 x 39.5 in.
Venice - 55th Venice Biennale Collateral Events
by Laura Tansini
Ai Weiwei was a strong presence at the 55th Venice Biennale, all but dominating the collateral events. You could leave his exhibitions, but you couldn’t stop thinking about them. The German pavilion hosted Bang, a forest of 886 piled-up wooden stools. These three-legged seats have been used in China for centuries, though aluminum and plastic replaced wood after the Cultural Revolution. An expanded version of Straight (first shown at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC, in 2012) covered the floor of the Zuecca Project Space in the Complesso delle Zitelle. The rebar lengths that form the installation—150 ton’s worth—were recovered from schools destroyed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, when more than 5,000 children died...see the entire review in the print version of January/February's Sculpture magazine.

Ai Weiwei, S.A.C.R.E.D, 2011–13. Fiberglass and iron, 6 elements, 377 x 198 x 153 cm. each. Installation at the Chiesa di Sant’ Antonin.
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

Get a digital subscription
to Sculpture for just $25.
Click here
to sign up.