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Sculpture cover


September 2014
Vol. 33 No. 7

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Brooklyn - Andrea Loefke, Smack Mellon
by Charles Boone
Andrea LoefkeConfronting the prow of Andrea Loefke’s ark head-on made a powerful first impression. This foreshortened view indicated something vast and ominous looming just inside the gallery but offered only the merest hint of what was actually there. Home­coming marked a significant departure from Loefke’s previous installations, which have filled spaces with all manner of objects, large and small, through which viewer-participants were expected to walk, crawl, and even climb to become part of the visual experience. Here, however, in the middle of an otherwise empty space, was an object—a boat-like platform loaded with stuff—that was more sculpture than installation, something to be experienced through circumnavigation, the more circuits made, the more to be discovered. While Noah’s ark served to rescue the essentials of creation, Loefke’s ark set out to deal with nature in more immediate, personal ways. Her goal as well as her subject was remembrance. Working from a New Yorker’s first-hand experience of Hurricane Sandy, she reimagined, constructed, and juxtaposed sometimes idealized, sometimes rough, remnants of the havoc....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Andrea Loefke, Homecoming, 2013. Found tree branches and stumps, wood, ladders, chicken wire, traffic cones, photographs, plaster casts of tree branches, hardware, glitter, pigmented latex, pedestals, milk crates, mirrors, carpet, clamps, foam, mixed media, and painted water level on walls
Denver - Donald Fodness, Rude Gallery, Rocky Mountain College of Art
by Frances DeVuono
Donald Fodness
Viewers entered Donald Fodness’s installation, LUVRZ B H8RZ, through a beaded curtain, the kind that separates one living space from another in apartments too tiny to warrant full-fledged doors. If his title (lovers be haters) suggested the ambiguities of human relationships, the room itself was transformed into something equally equivocal—a slightly funny, slightly icky domestic setting. LUVRZ B H8RZ was full of stuff. Two life-size, legless mannequins dominated the room, their torsos mounted on what could have been a gilded coat rack. A few worn rugs covered the floor. A large, tired-looking, mid-20th-century record console stood directly across from a video screen on which one could watch a wax peace symbol slowly disintegrate. The far wall was spray-painted with “Raider H8RZ,” intimating a certain amount of violence, which was reinforced by a hole punched through its surface as if by a fist. Reflecting the dichotomy inherent in the title, Fodness delicately arranged a row of green and orange glasses directly across the room. A blue plastic tarp hung overhead, next to a bare fluorescent fixture that highlighted two sculptures resting on top of the console below....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Donald Fodness, Lamp of Lover’s Uniforms, 2014. Found objects and mixed media, detail of LUVRZ B H8RZ installation.
Lincoln, Massachusetts - 2013 DeCordova Biennial, DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
by Suzanne Volmer
John C. Gonzalez
Organized by curator Lexi Lee Sullivan, the deCordova’s third biennial had a retro vibe and ad hoc feel, featuring works from across New England that demonstrated connections to mainstream multi-disciplinary trends. Sullivan sampled drawing, sculpture, painting, print-making, photography, new media, and performance, and the confluence of these media within individual works was particularly noteworthy. Though emphasizing abstraction, this biennial was informed by connections with DIY culture, social politics, human behavior, action/intervention, text, and religion. Sullivan categorized “regional” as synonymous with “incubator,” and her curatorial strategy played out that rationale. The installation of the show, spread through five floors of the museum, resembled the signature “casbah” layout of Bloomingdales in New York....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

John C. Gonzalez, Home Depot House, 2013. Mixed media, 9 x 8 x 12 ft.
New York - Michele Brody, Casa Frela Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Michele Brody“Harlem Roots,” Michele Brody’s recent show, paid homage to the neighborhood where she has lived for half a dozen years. Brody is an environmentalist/artist committed to community work (one reason for the show) and to sustainable art that incorporates seeds and living plants into simple but elegantly constructed installations. At Casa Frela, she made rows of brownstones from handmade paper, folded and turned into accordion-like arrangements. Supported on glass shelves mounted to the walls with recycled copper tubing, these architectural “books” celebrated the historically important brownstone buildings in the area. Now subject to gentrification, these structures represent the memory of Harlem’s development from its beginnings through its Renaissance to its decline and subsequent renewal....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Michele Brody, North Side, 2013. Glass, copper, handmade paper, sprouted seeds, and light, 11 x 21 x 4.25 in.
New York - Lonnie Holley, James Fuentes
by Lilly Lampe
Lonnie HolleyCast-off items and other detritus are rich loci of meaning for Lonnie Holley, who uses found objects to create sculptures and assemblages with hidden narratives. Each item, regardless of size, plays a significant role within the larger story told by each work. The weathered and precarious appearance of Tornado Alley (2011) brought a sense of pathos to Holley’s recent exhibition, “Keeping You Out of Harm’s Way.” It references the storms that devastated the southeastern U.S. in 2011, particularly Holley’s home state of Alabama. An adjustable wooden stool, its seat almost completely unscrewed, lends a sense of instability to the base of the work. Thick wire molded across the seat creates a pyramidal form not unlike a cell phone tower. Affixed to the tower is a prominent wooden cross with a nosegay made of yellow-tipped wire; additional wire in red and white gives the impression of a flag waving in the wind. The cross implies a memorial, the tower alludes to the highway, and the humble stool references rural communities destroyed by the storms. ...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Lonnie Holley, Mother P, 2011. Mixed media, 76.5 x 43 x 20 in.
New York - “Radio Waves: New York, Nouveau Réalisme and Rauschenberg”, Sperone Westwater
by Robert C. Morgan
Jean TinguelyToo few small exhibitions celebrate important events in the history of contemporary art in New York. It is both pleasurable and informative to see this kind of show, particularly when the works address the impact of European artists on their New York counterparts. Such was the case with “Radio Waves,” a fascinating and ultimately progressive exhibition consisting of 14 works—mostly sculptural assemblages and assisted readymades—that explored Rauschenberg’s central role in attracting French artists associated with Nouveau Réalisme to come to New York in the early 1960s. One of these artists was the magical Jean Tinguely, whose well-known kinetic sculptures occupied a central place in the show. Tinguely’s importance for New York artists in the 1960s largely derived from his major performance/spectacle Homage to New York (1960), which was staged in the sculpture courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art. “Radio Waves” began with the Robert Breer film of Tinguely’s legendary construction in operation and in the process of catching fire....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Jean Tinguely, Radio No. 1, 1960. Metal construction with motor, 29.75 x 26.25 x 13.25 in. From “Radio Waves.”
Dallas - Jeff Gibbons, Centraltrak: The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency
by Charissa Terranova
Jeff GibbonsTexas inter-media artist Jeff Gibbons is interested in the feedback loop of living creatures, especially when that circle wobbles between equilibrium and disequilibrium. The title of his small exhibition at Centraltrak: The University of Texas at Dallas Artists Residency—“Let the Drip from the Ceiling Become an 8 Foot Hole in the Roof”—aptly expresses the related tension between simple mechanical aberration and full-bore catastrophe. Gibbons’s machines, made from TVs, live cameras, tape-recorded music, VHS tapes, manip­ulated BitStrip characters, mechan­ized ballpoint pens slowly drilling holes into the wall, cacti, and the like, mimic the burble and gurgle of living systems in their movement, photosynthesis, and simple circulation of electricity. Gibbons installed several large and small tube TVs in the gallery at Centraltrak. Neither wall-mounted nor arranged harum-scarum, their square plastic bodies and glassy surfaces suggested a certain biomorphism. No longer televising a boxing match or favorite soap opera, they seemed maquettes of life—large-scale models of crystal formations or perhaps species in development on another planet....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Jeff Gibbons, Kid in Big Shoes, 2013. Cac­tus, air-dry clay, pot, furniture fragment, and wire.
Seattle - Haegue Yang, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington
by Kazuko Nakane
Haegue YangSouth Korean-born and Berlin-based multimedia artist Haegue Yang has proved her mettle. With a clever imagination, she has shown that she can assemble unique and, at times, puzzling works characterized by a cool ambition. Following the concerns of traditional women’s work, she pays close attention to common household objects and wraps them in colored fabric; but she also quotes from and interprets scattered ideologies from the early 20th-century avant-garde. She combines her own spunky energy with the European intellectual tradition and then adds an element of the unexpected as in Series of Vulnerable Arrangements—Voice and Wind (2009), a beautiful multi-sensory installation with Venetian blinds and a wind machine that emitted various scents (Korean pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale). Her recent exhibition introduced a different look into her work....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Haegue Yang, Towers on String—Variant Dispersed, 2012/13. Venetian blinds, aluminum hanging structure, powder coating.
Toronto - David R. Harper, Doris McCarthy Gallery
by Gil McElroy
David R. HarperBeastliness characterizes the sculptures in David Harper’s recent exhibition “Entre le chien et le loup,” running the gamut from the animal as disguise to the animal as keepsake or memento—all of which has to do with an aesthetic inquiry into our devaluation and trivialization of the natural world. Such work comes with intensely personal baggage, provoking a range of visceral responses that might extend from the innocuousness of a warm and fuzzy remembrance of, say, childhood Halloweens spent hiding behind a gorilla mask to stuff far more adult and unsettling. At the seemingly innocuous end of the scale is A Fear of Unknown Origin (all works are 2012), an installation consisting of a wall-mounted grid of 72 clay masks that includes representations of gorillas, wolves, foxes, pigs, oxen, and horned sheep....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

David R. Harper, Then We are Lost Forever in the Gloaming, 2012. Wood, felt, paper, cast acrylic, enamel, epoxy, polyurethane, cow hide, ceramic, tinsel, and vessels, 1829 x 2438 x 610 mm.
Dusseldorf - Susan Philipsz, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Standhaus
by Mark S. Price
Susan PhilipszFraught chords and choked notes from unseen instruments fill three galleries. In two of the spaces, recorded string sounds emerge from black electronic speakers mounted in a serpentine line across a long white wall, while a floor-level speaker offers unexpected horn noises. Between the bookended rooms, a third houses small floor speakers that emit more horn blasts. Some visitors will rightly surmise that they are hearing an unusual interpretation of “Metamorphosen for 23 Solo Strings,” a Richard Strauss composition written in 1945. In an adjacent hallway, a didactic text and a looped video of busy studio musicians inform us that Susan Philipsz’s project, The Missing String, was performed with battle-damaged instruments from German museums....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Susan Philipsz, The Missing String, 2013. Sound installation, dimensions variable.
Dublin - Sam Keogh, Kerlin Gallery
by Adrian Duncan
Sam KeoghThe Kerlin Gallery in central Dublin is a long, narrow, and tricky space that requires careful or clever handling. Sam Keogh, a young Irish artist exhibiting his first solo show there, worked that space extremely well. “mop” featured a considerable array of small, ground-based works, with Oscar the Grouch of “Sesame Street” fame occupying a central place, being at once the villain, muse, and scaffold of the show, both materially and conceptually. The entirety of the floor was covered with an enormous, collaged vinyl print depicting versions of Oscar, whose image surfaced and submerged amid a skillful flurry of dense marker, crayon, paint, and Photo­shopped mark-making. Keogh placed a number of strange (and weirdly familiar) sculptural objects on top of this vinyl print, re-creating a world of re-appropriated and anxiously interconnected rubbish, tat, and pseudo-filth....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Sam Keogh, Mop, 2013. Laminated non-slip vinyl floor covering, sculptures, found objects, photographs, and pictograms, dimensions variable.

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