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June 2014
Vol. 33 No. 5

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Dallas - “Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso”: Nasher Sculpture Center
by Ann Landi
Lucio FontanaThough clay has been in use for about 25,000 years, it has been slow to find acceptance as a fine art material. Ceramic works, perhaps because of their craft connotations, have always seemed a little too friable, too unserious, and too, well, “craftsy.” (Happily, this seems to be changing, as evidenced by Ken Price’s highly praised traveling retrospective.) “Return to Earth,” a handsome show organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center’s chief curator Jed Morse, revealed that in the hands of modern masters, clay can be witty, elegant, and even powerful. During the postwar period covered by the exhibition (1943–63), clay was a cheap and readily available material that offered clear benefits for artists working in the ravaged economies of Europe and Asia. You could knock off an idea quickly, and the satisfactions of working with this malleable and slippery stuff are well known to potters and schoolchildren alike...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Lucio Fontana, Cock, 1948. Poly­chrome ceramic, 41.5 x 48.5 x 31.5 cm. From “Return to Earth.”
Lenox, Massachusetts - SculptureNow 2013: The Mount
by Marty Carlock
Ann Jon
For 16 seasons, sculptor Ann Jon has organized outdoor exhibitions in Western Massachusetts, attracting increasingly able artists as time has gone on. The venues for Sculpture­Now have also changed, as the show migrated from the Berkshire Botanical Gardens to the streets of Stockbridge, Great Barrington, and Lenox. This past summer, “Con­fluence” was installed at Sculpture­Now’s most spacious and appropriate site yet—the vast acreage of The Mount, summer home of the writer Edith Wharton. Some of the boldest work was the simplest, showing up best in the landscape. Traffic barriers inspired Matt Harding’s assertive The Thir­teenth Piece Was a Shape Switch; despite a strong interplay of angles and zebra stripes, there was not much lingering subtlety. The same may be said for Gary Orlinsky’s very visible Proscenium in Green and Bob Turan’s Heat Wave, although both looked great in their environs. Steven Dono’s boldly constructed Medusa Oblongata could be mis­­taken for a playground element, except for the hawser rope delicately held by a mannequin hand...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Ann Jon, Genesis IV, 2013. Wood, Lexan, fiberglass, and pigment, 3 x 36 x 12 ft. From SculptureNow.
New York - Ursula Morley Price: McKenzie Fine Art
by Jonathan Goodman
Ursula Morley Price
Born in Britain, ceramic sculptor Ursula Morley Price now lives in southwestern France. She is known for her fluted vases, bowls, and jars, which begin in craft and end in a place where craft cannot be denied as fine art. In Price’s hands, the traditional pinch-and-coil method becomes a statement of remarkable subtlety, with almost impossibly thin flanges flaring outward in tight circular patterns. While Price’s works are based on functional objects, their lightness and sculptural effects proclaim them more than fit for an art audience. Indeed, these recent works sit secure in their hybrid existence, with their functional purpose becoming nearly negligible in the face of a delicate beauty that transcends practical origins. Yet to assume that the sculptures are impossibly fragile is to make a mistake: even the exceptionally thin flanges hold their own as strong forms, both literally and metaphorically. The dimensions of the objects are almost always less than a foot, rendering them tabletop works that emphasize human interaction...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.
Ursula Morley Price, Brown Flange Bottle Form, 2013. Stone­ware, 11.5 x 7 in. diameter.
Bellevue, Washington - Patti Warashina: Bellevue Arts Museum
by Matthew Kangas
Patti WarashinaOrganized by the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, Califor­nia, “Wit and Wisdom: Patti Warashina” later traveled to the Bellevue Arts Museum, where BAM curator Stefano Catalani expanded its offerings with loans from local collections. The result was a revelatory retrospective that covered the period between 1960 and 2012 and featured works in clay, plastic, and bronze, in addition to prints. A professor at the University of Washington from 1970 to 1995, Warashina has exhibited her work nationally and internationally; her sculptures are included in dozens of museum and public art collections. Her work grows out of West Coast Surrealism and the Funk art of the 1960s, but it goes much further. Like Viola Frey, Robert Arneson, and Stephen de Staebler, Warashina eventually embraced large-scale, assembled-in-sections clay sculpture. Before that, she concentrated on a variety of series that fused autobiographical elements into satires about sex roles and stereotypes, environmental carnage, and deeper relations between men and women...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.
Patti Warashina, Forbidden Fruit, 1979. Low-fire clay, underglaze, glaze, and mixed media, 24 x 24 x 35 in.
Basel - Zilvinas Kempinas: Museum Tinguely
by Olga Stefan
Lorrie FredetteFor an artist’s work to stand out among the sculptures in the Museum Tinguely, a space hyper-charged with multi-sensory stimuli, is almost impossible. Tinguely’s enormous found-metal, kinetic constructions, which boom and bang when activated, are overwhelming in terms of scale, presence, and sound, seemingly subjugating the entire museum. A recent retrospective by Lithuanian-born, New York-based Zilvinas Kempinas, however, demonstrated how awe can be effectively elicited from discreet and modest means. In “Slow Motion,” Kempinas’s kinetic sculptures and installations were placed among existing displays, with only a few works requiring separate spaces of their own...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.
Lorrie Fredette, Implementation of Adaptation, 2013. Beeswax, tree resin, muslin, brass, nylon line, steel, and wood, 6.08 x 36 x 12 ft.
London - Geoffrey Farmer: The Curve, Barbican Art Gallery
by Jonathan R. Jones
Geoffrey FarmerGeoffrey Farmer’s The Surgeon and the Photographer consists of 365 puppets (one for every day of the year) constructed of collaged elements from second-hand books and magazines combined with intricate supports and fabric bodies. The puppets are a motley crew, with film stars rubbing shoulders with soldiers and artists. Even Einstein and Picasso make an appearance. Dramatically spot lit, and in groups of varying size, the glamorous and the grotesque marched through the ellipse of the Barbican’s 90-meter-long Curve Gallery in an unsettling procession. Displayed on plinths at eye level, they bear the marks of their making and have the DIY aesthetic of the obsessional hobbyist or outsider artist. And in our digital age, they appear wilfully backward in their use of print media. The puppets poke fun at how attire and self-presentation are culturally coded and reference pop culture through advertising slogans and packaging...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Geoffrey Farmer, The Surgeon and the Photographer, with the video Look in my Face; my name is Might-have-been; I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell, 2013. Paper, textile, wood, and metal, dimensions variable.
London - 2013 Frieze Art Fair: Regent’s Park
by Carolee Thea
GimhongsokThe 2013 Frieze Art Fair featured three components, Frieze Lon­don, Frieze Masters, and an outdoor sculpture exhibition—all in Regent’s Park. Originally a royal hunting ground, the park includes an artificial lake, tennis courts, cricket ground, children’s playgrounds, and the London Zoo. The sculptures installed here, if only for a few days, drew amazed responses from joggers and other recreational users. Curator Clare Lilley, who has spent 22 years as the chief curator at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), encouraged participating gallerists to think seriously about their proposals for sculpture on the site. This was the first art fair that I’ve attended in which sculpture was curated in such a considered manner. Lilley demonstrated how sculpture inhabits spaces in and between the worlds of reality and imagination. She approaches sculpture physically, searching for variety and rhythm, for anchors that can be intimate or loud, for works that dialogue with each other, as well as engage with the natural environment and viewers, to form a variety of statements and placements...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Gimhongsok, Love, 2012. Stainless steel, 292 x 300 x 123.5 cm.

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