International Sculpture Center
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November 2014
Vol. 33 No.9

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.

Castello di Rivoli, Turin: Sophie Calle
Through January 2, 2015
Sophie Calle, Rachel, MoniqueSince the late 1970s, Calle, who combines the roles of writer, artist, director, and even detective, has offered her personal life for public consumption. Though she reveals the intimate life of the soul, she is no tell-all exhibitionist: the provocation and controversy surrounding her practice arises not from subject matter, but from an almost complete disregard for the private lives of the people arbitrarily caught within her stagings. But if Calle is a voyeur, then at least she turns the same unrelenting gaze on herself, subjecting her own pain and joy to rigorous analytical scrutiny. Her new, site-specific installation in the monumental halls of the Sabauda Residence extends two ongoing projects: Rachel, Monique and Voir la mer. Distinct yet united, both works revolve around affection and emotion, life and death, and the analogy of mother and sea, extending the reach of their original videos and documentation to embrace objects, space, and human interaction. Web site

Sophie Calle, Rachel, Monique.
Exploratorium, San Francisco: Paul Ramírez Jonas
Through January 5, 2015
Paul Ramírez Jonas, We Make the TreasureRamírez Jonas’s sculptures, performances, and video works make an interactive pact with the public. Transforming pre-existing texts—words, walking trails, sheet music, ancient law codes inscribed on clay tablets, and patriotic catch-phrases—his works offer “an invitation to read together.” We Make the Treasure, his new commission outside the Exploratorium, re-writes historical time and reassigns value to objects lost and recovered, above and below the water line. A 19th-century shipwreck off the coast of San Francisco—invoked as a phantasmic disturbance in the water—serves as a starting point for a series of imaginative and physical actions on the pier above, as strangers come together in collaborative acts of discovery and reciprocal exchange that generate a new economy of meaning and redefine the very nature of treasure. Web site
Web site

Paul Ramírez Jonas, We Make the Treasure.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC: Salvatore Scarpitta
Through January 11, 2015
Salvatore Scarpitta, Cot Lock Step n. 2 Cargo and Osoppo 44Scarpitta, dubbed “the outlaw of art and racing,” turned his love of speed into an art form. Vehicles of all types dominate his work, from reconstructed racing cars (built for use as well as display) to primitive sleds, which he began to produce in 1974. His interest in automotive power reached its peak that same year with Lynx, a rebuilt Italian World War II armored desert reconnaissance vehicle. Strapped to the floor, cannon sealed, and sides flanked by Red Cross awnings (each filled with a pool of water), the tank retools aggression into pacification—a recurring theme in Scarpitta’s work, which seems to seek a redemptive, counter-mythology on the order of Beuys, an apologia for succumbing to the allure of beastly machines. This retrospective, which journeys from the avant-garde circles of postwar Rome to the speedways of rural Maryland and Pennsylvania, reveals an artist of wide-ranging technical and formal experimentation, willing to archaize modernity and blur industrial precision with handcraft, found components, and organic materials to create vehicles of imaginative adventuring.
Web site

Salvatore Scarpitta, Cot Lock Step n. 2 Cargo and Osoppo 44.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston: Fiber: Sculpture 1960–present
Through January 4, 2015
 Sheila Hicks, Banisteriopsis II, from “Fiber.” Beginning in the late 1950s, pioneering fiber artists—most of them women—began to bend age-old techniques and traditional materials to contemporary concerns. While manipulating gravity, light, color, mass, and transparency to demonstrate the almost protean formal flexibility of their materials, they also underscored its liberating potential, using “women’s work” as a medium to create radical, non-representational forms. “Fiber: Sculpture 1960– present,” the first exhibition in 40 years to examine the development of abstraction and dimensionality in “soft sculpture,” crisscrosses generations, nationalities, and processes to flesh out the fiber art canon. With 50 works by 34 artists, from early trail-blazers such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Claire Zeisler through Olga de Amaral, Eva Hesse, Ernesto Neto, Rosemarie Trockel, Anne Wilson, and Haegue Yang, “Fiber” addresses the cultural and critical forces that contributed to the initial efflorescence of the fiber revolution, its contraction in the 1980s, and its recent reclamation by contemporary artists. 
Web site

Sheila Hicks, Banisteriopsis II, from “Fiber.” .
Lambert Collection, Avignon, France: The Disappearance of the Fireflies
Through November 25, 2014
Francesco Vezzoli, Self-portrait as Antinous Loving Emperor Hadrian, from “The Disappearance of the Fireflies.”Inspired by Pasolini’s famous 1975 Corriere della sera essay, “The Disappearance of the Fireflies” uses the extinction of a beloved species as a springboard for a considered med­itation on the meaning of freedom, progress, and nostalgia. Pasolini equated the demise of Italy’s fireflies—pollution began to kill them off in the early ’60s—with rampant polit­ical corruption and oppression: the firefly, source of individual and collective light, is nothing less than a symbol of liberty; its death nothing less than a harbinger of social and ecolog­ical disaster. His metaphor remains relevant today, and it finds a sensitive realization in this exhibition, installed within the cells, corridors, and courtyards of Sainte-Anne Prison (located behind Avignon’s Papal Palace). No efforts were made to whitewash the past of this scarred and graffiti-covered 18th-century structure, which was abandoned in 2003; instead, the featured works (from the collection of Enea Righi, including pieces by Adel Abdessemed, Ai Weiwei, Christian Boltanski, Dominique Gonzales-Foerster, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Pascale Martine Tayou, and a host of others) become another layer in a memory-steeped sensorial experience. Against this setting of confinement, surveillance, and punishment, each work, like Pasolini’s fireflies, shines a soft light of resistance.
Web site

Francesco Vezzoli, Self-portrait as Antinous Loving Emperor Hadrian, from “The Disappearance of the Fireflies.” .
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York: Spencer Finch
Through January 11, 2015
Spencer Finch, A Certain Slant of Light
Finch asks if it is possible to see oneself seeing. This question, requiring no clear answer and best approached as a meditative puzzle, reflects his ongoing investigation into light, time, and the nature of perception. Operating between the eye and the mind, his work attempts to depict the most elusive of subjects, from the changing conditions of the Hudson River to the colors of a sunset in Monument Valley, to the breezes along Walden Pond and shadows cast by passing clouds. Such investigations into the ineffable are premised on the notion that insight comes not through logic, but through intuition and receptiveness to the poetry of experience. A Certain Slant of Light, his new, site-specific installation, transforms the Morgan’s glass-enclosed courtyard into a dazzling jewel-like chamber that doubles as a solar calendar. Inspired by the museum’s collection of illuminated Books of Hours, this intervention not only records hourly and seasonal changes, but also offers what Finch describes as the “purely visual spectacle of light and reflection and color” and what medieval visionaries knew as the clearest evidence of the divine
Web site

Spencer Finch, A Certain Slant of Light.
Mori Art Museum, Tokyo: Lee Mingwei
Through January 4, 2015
Lee Mingwei, The Mending Project.Whatever materials Lee uses in his installations, his true medium is people, and their shared experiences. For over a decade, he has played a pivotal role in the expansion of “invitational aesthetics” through his generous people-to-people participatory projects. Many of his open-ended works, which he labels “social conceptualism,” start with a conversation or exchange and take different forms depending on the participants. This retrospective of sorts, with its all-inclusive subtitle “The Art of Participation—Seeing, Conversing, Gift-Giving, Writing, Dining and Getting Connected to the World,” is the first exhibition to offer a comprehensive experience of his work. (A “reference section,” featuring related works by such artists as Hakuin, D.T. Suzuki, Yves Klein, Allan Kaprow, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Ozawa Tsuyoshi, sets the context for Lee’s efforts.) Visitors enter a world that conjoins real and imagined, past and present, public and private, each scenario seeking completion in hands-on activity. Connecting life and art, thought and action, cooperative works such as The Living Room, Stone Journey, The Mending Project, and Fabric of Memory continue to live and grow, offering spaces of change, comfort, repair, and renewal in which trust, intimacy, and self-awareness become tools to produce art.
Web site

Lee Mingwei, The Mending Project..
Royal Academy of Arts, London: Anselm Kiefer
Through December 14, 2014
Anselm Kiefer, Language of the Birds
Dense and evocative in terms of materials (paint, organic matter, clay, ash, lead, and found objects) as well as sources (alchemical treatises, mythology, Jewish mysticism, and modern history), Kiefer’s work offers an almost endless palimpsest of discoveries and possible interpretations—all dramatizing the process of ethical/historical purification. By bringing the violence of the world into art, he attempts to reach “the very center of the truth,” a point of purgation and potential renewal. This retrospective—Kiefer’s first in the U.K.—features work from the past four decades, ranging from early paintings to sculptures and recent monumental installations. Highlights include his celebrated lead books, as well as a number of new sculptures and a Gesamtkunstwerk that transforms the academy’s courtyard and underscores the hope that resides in art as a continuous active force.
Web site

Anselm Kiefer, Language of the Birds
Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, Marl, Germany: Mischa Kuball
Through December 2014

Mischa Kuball, Les Fleurs Du Mal (Flowers For Marl). Kuball’s temporary “public propositions,” or suggestions for the public and public space, question the definition and extend the context of public art. He develops these light- and video-based situations in response to specific locations, always in consultation with local residents. Light—whether flooding a disused synagogue or an entire city—becomes a tool to confuse or collapse conventional distinctions between interior/exterior, public/ private, and architecture/non-architecture. His new work, Les Fleurs Du Mal (Flowers for Marl), echoes Baudelaire to entice participation in a temporary ritual of flower-leaving that recalls the creation of spontaneous memorials without the impetus of tragedy. A logo of illuminated letters installed on the museum’s façade becomes a beacon, while a large vase of flowers at the nearby town hall invites visitors to leave floral gifts for the city, doubtlessly accompanied by comments, as a form of democratic communication that conjoins artist, artwork, and ordinary people in a potentially transformative dialogue about civic life.
Web site www.skulpturenmuseum-

Mischa Kuball, Les Fleurs Du Mal (Flowers For Marl).

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s
Through January 7, 2015
Piero Manzoni, Achrome, from “ZERO.”Following a series of recent solo exhibitions devoted to Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Piero Manzoni, and Hans Haacke, ZERO (1957–66) finally gets its due with a large-scale survey charting its history and legacy. Founded by Piene and Mack, joined by Günther Uecker in 1961, the pioneering, Düsseldorf-based group dedicated its redefining endeavor to re-harmonizing man and nature and restoring a metaphysical dimension to art. The “Zero Hour” experiments conducted by this core group soon attracted an international network of like-minded artists, including Haacke, Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Yayoi Kusama, and Manzoni. Featuring more than 40 artists from 10 countries, “Countdown to Tomorrow” gives generous consideration to ZERO’s forward-looking practices rooted in the magic and science of optical phenomena. From light, fire, and smoke to sculptural kineticism, live action, and “living” systems, their unconventional materials and methods attempted to conjoin earth and space, technology and biology, in a more holistic vision of what it might mean to be human. Though their ’60s optimism has succumbed to subsequent history, their methods and outlooks, which anticipated Land art, Minimalism, and conceptual art, are finding renewed resonance today in a new generation of light, kinetic, and ecological art.
Web site

Piero Manzoni, Achrome, from “ZERO.” .
Storm King, Mountainville, New York: Virginia Overton
Through November 30, 2014
Virginia Overton, UntitledUsing simple construction methods and materials, Overton revises the perfect forms and surfaces associated with Minimalism. Her often large-scale works, including pedestals suspended between walls and leaning triangles of Douglas fir wedged between columns, set up ominously unstable structures. Though straightforward in their fabrication and composition, these constructions maximize tensions inherent in and between materials, as well as between site and sculpture. Her new work at Storm King is simultaneously sweeping and delicate in scale. Five hundred feet of four-inch-diameter brass tubing glide above a hayfield, echoing the contours of the land. A two-fold measure of its environment, this untitled work operates both as abstraction, recalling the symbolic language of topographical lines, and as direct response, changing its appearance over the course of time as the brass develops a patina. A sonic dimension completes the experience, as visitors are invited to speak into and strike the line, sending sound and vibrations down its length for others to hear.
Web site

Virginia Overton, Untitled
Turner Contemporary, Margate, U.K.: Jeremy Deller
Through January 11, 2015
Jeremy Deller, installation view of “English Magic.” Deller may not yet qualify as a modern-day William Morris, John Ruskin, or JMW Turner, but he has already picked up the mantle. Like those Victorian radicals, he won’t separate art and politics, particularly when it comes to questions of equality and freedom. After a stint at Morris’s former home and studio, “English Magic,” Deller’s combative exhibition for the British Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, completes its U.K. tour at another venue associated with an iconic (and socially progressive) British artist. In a time-jumping whirlwind of ambiguous patriotism, Deller has a bit of fun with national myth-making, taking on money, fantasy, history, and horror. Surrounded by a backdrop of incendiary murals—Channel Island tax havens in flames, the banks of St Helier consumed in an insurrection—visitors can sit on a bench made from a pulverized Range Rover or hold Neolithic and Paleolithic axes found in the Thames Valley. And in the best tradition of wish-fulfillment, Morris returns from the dead as a vindictive god who punishes bad taste and extravagant wealth. From the Troubles to Thatcher- era union-busting, civil riots, and the fallout from the latest entanglement in Iraq, Deller reminds us of unfinished, and what seem like interminable, travails, but he also shares his enthusiasms generously: he likes wildlife, David Bowie, and steel bands.
Web site

Jeremy Deller, installation view of “English Magic.” .

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: Radical Presence
Through January 4, 2015
Maren Hassinger performing Senga Nengudi’s RSVP from “Radical Presence The first comprehensive survey of performance art by black artists working from a visual arts perspective, “Radical Presence” demonstrates the power of artistic action as a strategy for progressive resistance. As the title makes clear, no chronicle of black performance art from the 1960s through the present can avoid content. Responding to the bleak facts of segregation, the fight for equal rights, and the ongoing struggle against everyday racism in today’s “post-racial” society, these performative gestures—ironic, angry, poetic, absurd, and frequently comic—challenge complacent acceptance of the status quo, demanding that discriminatory abuses be faced and addressed. Some might dismiss the effectiveness of this dialogue through art, but when 75 percent of white Americans lack a single black friend, imaginative empathy—temporarily inhabiting other perspectives, skins, and sexes—and staged confrontation are the closest things we have to honest exchange. With more than 100 works by some 36 artists, including David Hammons, William Pope.L, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Sherman Fleming, Adrian Piper, Maren Hassinger, Lorraine O’Grady, Jayson Musson, and Dread Scott, “Radical Presence” does not mince words or aesthetic relevance. Video and photo documentation, scores, installations, interactive works, and relics of actions are accompanied by an ongoing program of new performances and discussions, as well as up-to-the-minute artist blogs on the Walker’s Web site reacting to current events.
Web site

Maren Hassinger performing Senga Nengudi’s RSVP from “Radical Presence.

Wiels, Brussels: Mark Leckey
Through January 11, 2015
Mark Leckey, installation view of “The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things"Leckey’s works in sculpture, sound, performance, and video reveal a dual fascination with the material thing-ness of objects and the pervasively disseminated immateriality of digital images. Not unlike Jeff Koons (whom he admires), Leckey combs through the icons, brands, and products of popular culture, but his goal is to get to the source of their power and to understand just how they work on desire, identity, and memory—without turning mass culture into art. Perhaps only fellow Brit Jeremy Deller, makes equally non-artlike art. The real-life immediacy shared by their work, achieved through free appropriation from the British cultural fringe, saves Leckey from Koonsian rarefication and commodification. Beginning with the premise of letting “culture use you as an instrument,” he ends up with raw, emotionally true-to-life glimpses into the human psyche. “Lending Enchantment to Vulgar Materials” features a panorama of new and older works, from Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) to sculptures related to his latest biographical film, On Pleasure Bent (2014), including Made in ’Eaven (2004), a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Koons’s Rabbit that reduces its “inhuman” perfection to a ghostly virtual trace.
Web site

Mark Leckey, installation view of “The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things".

Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, U.K.: Ursula von Rydinsgsvard
Through January 4, 2015
Molly Haslund,<em> Ursula von Rydingsvard</em>, view of exhibition at YSP. von Rydingsvard is best known for large-scale, often monumental, cedar-beam sculptures—complex, textured constructions that she painstakingly cuts, assembles, glues, clamps, laminates, and finally finishes with rubbed graphite. Though abstract, her signature forms reference simple objects, from vessels and bowls to familiar household items and traditional tools, to human bodies and the natural world. Imbued with great psychological force and powerful physical presence, these re-interpreted artifacts convey a primal dignity akin to the grandeur of time-weathered land formations. This exhibition, von Rydingsvard’s first large-scale survey in Europe, features more than 40 sculptures (in cedar, bronze, resin, cow intestines, and cast abaca fiber) and drawings made over the last two decades, each one imbued with a sense of history and emotional resonance.
Web site

Molly Haslund, Ursula von Rydingsvard, view of exhibition at YSP.

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