International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover


April 2015
Vol. 34 No. 3

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Olomouc, Czech Republic: Magdalena Jetelová - Museum of Modern Art at the Olomouc Museum of Art
by Dinah Ryan
Magdalena Jetelová, aPEL, 2013. Magdalena Jetelová’s work has always been antipodal, bringing to a point of suspension such opposites as displacement and precise coordinates, imbalance and equilibrium, occlusion and disclosure. Even before her emigration from the former Czechoslovakia in 1985, her work was déraciné, uprooted and destabilized by its resistance to the strictures imposed on artistic practice by the communist regime. Yet, in the years before she left Prague, she had already developed the basis of an adaptable vocabulary, a lexicon recombinant and transformative, transitory and insubordinate. This exhibition functioned as a retrospective, an ambitious collection of new work, a multi-gallery series of installations, and an activist call to other artists in Central and Eastern Europe. Characteristically, three of the new works...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Magdalena Jetelová, aPEL, 2013.
Los Angeles: Mike Kelley - Museum of Contemporary Art
by Sandy Wagner
Installation view of “Mike Kelley,” Geffen Contemporary
MOCA’s Mike Kelley retrospective was at once intense, deconstructed, and deeply self-referential. To accommodate an extensive body of work, dating from 1974 to 2012, the museum chose the 40,000-square-foot open plan of the Geffen Con­tem­­porary, the perfect space to give visual and aural flow to Kelley’s multifaceted production. The largest installation, a trailer, arrived mid-way through the run of the show and was installed in front of the building. Sculptures, drawings, paintings, photographs, performance art, videos, music, dialogues, and combinations thereof all bumped up against each other in distinct groupings of ideas (visual and aural) ruminated over and revisited by Kelley for decades. For instance, the remarkably intricate sculptures of the “Memory Ware” series (2000– 10) covered the floor...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Installation view of “Mike Kelley,” Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 2014.
San Francisco: Ai Weiwei - Alcatraz Island
by Jane Ingram Allen
With Wind, 2014.
Ai Weiwei’s “@Large” exhibition (on view through April 26, 2015) features seven new site-specific installations situated in four buildings on Alcatraz Island. A steep and rocky island at the mouth of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz measures only about 1,575 feet by 590 feet. During its long history, it has served as a military fort during the Civil War, as a maximum-security federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, and as a site of Native American protests and occupations from 1964 to 1971. In 1972, it was designated part of the Golden Gate National Parks Conser­vancy, managed by the National Park Service (NPS). This first-ever art exhibition at Alcatraz works within the restrictions of a historic national park and a protected site for nesting seabirds...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.
Ai Weiwei, With Wind, 2014.
Washington, DC: Salvatore Scarpitta - Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
by Sarah Tanguy
Salvatore Scarpitta, installation view of “Traveler” with (left) Sled Log, 1973Nowadays countless artists make use of everyday discards, but Salvatore Scarpitta (1919–2007) was a trailblazer at, as he put it, “introduc[ing] into the art experience the life experience.” Given his passion for cars, he didn’t just recycle car parts. He constructed actual racing cars and participated directly in the sport. In this sensitively curated show, the presence of an absent user was felt anonymously, while his touch was ubiquitous. Throughout, one sensed Scarpitta’s energy reaching beyond the grave, a kind of silent pulse stirring just below the surface, yet digging deep into the psyche and gut to impart vitality to the works on view. The contrasting stillness of the galleries created an inescapable tension. Better known in Europe than in the U.S...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Salvatore Scarpitta, installation view of “Traveler” with (left) Sled Log, 1973, wood, canvas, resin, and mixed media, 226 x 68.6 x 86.4 cm.; and (right) Snowshoe Sled, 1974, canvas, resin, paint, wood, and leather, 220 x 242.6 x 10.2 cm.
New York: Lee Bul - Lehmann Maupin
by Michaël Amy
Via Negativa II, 2014, Untitled, 2014Lee Bul remains difficult to pin down. While wandering through her recent exhibition, a steady flow of visual connections and compelling ideas crossed my mind. Lee embraces theory, but does not drive it down our throats. Her work is sumptuous, occasionally repellent, often dynamic, and sometimes downright sexy—all of which indirectly draws attention to the messages that she seeks to convey. There is a lot to get out of her grafting of the newest forms and ideas from the worlds of science, technology, and culture onto Modernist armatures. Her rich and multifaceted constructions deliver a great deal to conceptually as well as optically inclined viewers. Via Negativa II (2014), a striking architectural structure with mirrored walls both inside and out hovers on stilts above a mirrored floor. A narrow, labyrinthine silver passage, rising more or less from hip level (the legs of anyone inside can be seen by those outside the structure), offers entrance and leads to a golden chamber, ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Lee Bul, installation view with (bottom) Via Negativa II, 2014, polycarbonate sheet, aluminum frame, acrylic and polycarbonate mirrors, steel, stainless steel, mirror, two-way mirror, LEDs, and silkscreen ink; and (top) Untitled, 2014, crystal, glass, and acrylic beads, mirrors, stainless steel, aluminum, black nickel, and steel and bronze chains.
Philadelphia: Mary Mattingly - Delaware River
by Leslie Kaufman
WetLand, 2014.From a distance, Mary Mattingly’s floating installation WetLand could be a storm-lashed hovel or beach cottage fighting to remain above water. And that wouldn’t be far off—this “house under water” summons associations with Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, as well as with homeowners struggling to keep their mortgages afloat. Mattingly was commissioned by the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival to create a work “on the water to draw attention to the water,” and her ensuing collaboration with artists, engineers, students, and many local environmental organizations resulted in a project meant as much as a conversation starter as an art installation. Nestled in the boat basin on the Delaware River in front of the Inde­pendence Seaport Museum, which is located on Penn’s Landing, WetLand provides a striking contrast to the commercial and pleasure boats moored around it...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Mary Mattingly, WetLand, 2014. Mixed media, dimensions variable.
Seattle: Doris Chase - Abmeyer + Wood Fine Art
by Matthew Kangas
Space Study, c. 1968The fourth exhibition of Doris Chase’s work since her death in 2008 focused on the decade 1964–74. Drawn from the artist’s estate, the survey revealed Doris Chase before she became “Doris Chase,” pioneer godmother of dance video. Chase did not arrive a nobody in New York when she moved there in 1972. Her painted and laminated wood sculptures, which predated Marisol, were hailed in ARTnews in 1965 and were seen in Tokyo that year. Abmeyer + Wood uncovered four pristine examples that suggest a semiotics of abbreviated gestures: hunched shoulders, clasping or warning hands, embracing couples, and crucially, rotating figures (Dancing, c. 1965). The latter are at the root of Chase’s dance-related videos, not to mention her public sculptures, including Changing Form (1968), her best known outdoor work in Seattle ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Doris Chase, Space Study, c. 1968. Fir and stain, 60 x 51 x 24 in.
Montreal: Art Souterrain 2014
by John K. Grande
Patrick Beaulieu, Blanc dehors, 2014. One of the world’s great experiments in bringing art into an open context, Art Souterrain animates the tunnels, walkways, Metro stations, and buildings of Montreal’s underground city. Founded in 2009, the festival has grown from humble beginnings under the guidance of founder and CEO Frédéric Loury, creating opportunities for art to go directly to public audiences where they gather and circulate. As Loury says, “People are intimidated by museum and gallery venues, and I am trying to bring art into a living forum.” Future plans call for greater collaboration between Art Souterrain and the Musee d’art contemporain and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The sixth edition offered higher quality works than previous shows. Following a route that leads from the Place des Arts through old Montreal via Chinatown, then on to ...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Patrick Beaulieu, Blanc dehors, 2014. Snowmobile, video projector, and 2 audio speakers, 4 x 8 x 3 meters.
London: Phyllida Barlow - Tate Britaint
by Jonathan R. Jones
untitled: dock: crushedtower, 2014. Phyllida Barlow’s site-specific commission for Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries was one of the most successful uses of this space in recent years. Made from a number of distinct, but closely related, elements, it dominated, even challenged, John Russell Pope’s somewhat pompous Neoclassical interior. The title, Dock, seemed a useful way into the piece, simultaneously suggesting a place for building and harboring ships (and Tate Britain’s location on the Thames), the place where one appears before a judge and jury, and the abstract principle of joining together. When thinking of shipping, it might also be worth remembering that the space is named for Lord Duveen, who made his fortune in the international art trade, and housed in an institution established through the philanthropy of 19th-century sugar magnate Sir Henry Tate. The first of the work’s seven elements consisted of five...see the entire review in the print version of April's Sculpture magazine.

Phyllida Barlow, untitled: dock: crushedtower, 2014. Steel, timber, cardboard, and tape, 12 x 2 x 2 meters.

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