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Sculpture cover


May 2015
Vol. 34 No. 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Atlanta: Lonnie Holley - Cash Rojas Projects
by Sally Hansell
Lonnie Holley, Painting To Change Things, 2014. Lonnie Holley, best known for his found-object assemblages, sandstone carvings, and otherworldly music, is a self-taught artist who defies easy categorization. Many of his sculptures are imbued with the narrative common to folk art, while others have a Modernist aesthetic, emphasizing formal qualities. A recent pop-up exhibition in Atlanta, held in an empty retail space, invited viewers to ponder this duality in 29 sculptures created from 1994 to the present. An elaborate installation made especially for the show revealed the narrative side of Holley’s art, even in the lengthy title: The Holy Garbage Can: Honoring the Ways of the Civil Rights Women Walkers/All My Stuff Couldn’t Make It To Heaven. An array of debris moved up from the floor in a memorial ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Lonnie Holley, Painting To Change Things, 2014.
San Diego: Ron Nagle - San Diego Museum of Art
by Kathleen Whitney
Ron Nagle, Centaur of Attention, 2014.
Ceramic sculptor and musician Ron Nagle is a master of intimate scale. For the past 50 years, he has been making highly refined objects, often no larger than several inches, which are notable for their irreverence, allusive form, and extreme attention to detail. The title of his recent show, “Peripheral Cognition,” hints at his love for verbal play. Nagel defines peripheral cognition as “something that just happens when you’re doing something you do well.” Though his work has been exhibited around the world, this was his first show in a major museum, and it featured 11 drawings and 19 ceramic sculptures spanning 30 years. The objects were contained within long, rectangular vitrines...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Ron Nagle, Centaur of Attention, 2014.
Indianapolis, Indiana: Julianne Swartz - Indianapolis Museum of Art
by William V. Ganis
Julianne Swartz, Surrogate (JS), Sur­rogate (KRL), Surrogate (ARL), 2012.
For Julianne Swartz, liminality is the common locus across disparate objects and materials. She holds some aspects of her work just outside of perceptibility and invites viewers to become participants, to cross thresholds of comprehension and thus fulfill the works. In “How Deep Is Your,” Swartz installed her works not only according to architectural spaces, but also in anticipation of visitors’ bodies. For Line Drawing, she placed blue plastic tape on the wall, punctuating the line with lenses that invited viewers to squat and peer into lathing and institutional nether spaces containing hyperbolic continuations of her line. This voyeuristic encounter divulged a radical interruption of the minimal wall drawing. As is the case with many of Swartz’s objects, curiosity and interaction were satisfied ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Julianne Swartz, Surrogate (JS), Sur­rogate (KRL), Surrogate (ARL), 2012.
Boston: Jordan Eagles - Mills Gallery
by Marty Carlock
Jordan Eagles, Configuration, 2011. Jordan Eagles has discovered that blood, dried in quantity, turns into rock-like forms and then crumbles into flakes and dust. Distributing this medium with an unerring eye on a large backing, he then seals it into place with UV resin. The results are varied and intellectually engaging. Perhaps a little frisson is added when one knows the medium. Yet it isn’t the first time that a bodily fluid—in this case, slaughterhouse blood—has cropped up in an artwork. With no hint of gore, Eagles’s material of choice has an eerie beauty. In BDLF2, dark lithic clots are spattered on red. BDLF3 presents shiny-sided stones. Confetti-like flakes are scattered on a white ground in Blood Dust 3-4. Several diptychs present such arrangements ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Jordan Eagles, Configuration, 2011.
Mahwah, New Jersey: Ryan Roa - Pascal Gallery, Ramapo College of New Jersey
by Jonathan Goodman
Ryan Roa, installation view of “Constant Velocity,” 2014.Ryan Roa’s black bungee-cord sculptures recall Minimalist efforts of more than a generation ago. His works are perhaps more accurately described as drawings in space: Roa links one cord to another and tethers them to the ceiling, wall, or floor to produce linear as well as volumetric compositions. Visitors to his recent show, “Constant Velocity,” needed to circumnavigate the works, which functioned both in their own right and in aggregate as a large installation. The sophistication of these works is considerable, although there are times when Roa’s art seems a bit too elementary for full engagement. That said, it is important to remember the sculpture of Carl Andre, Donald Judd, and Richard Serra, all of whom have made art of radical simplicity ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Ryan Roa, installation view of “Constant Velocity,” 2014.
Beacon, New York: Carl Andre - Dia:Beacon
by Robert C. Morgan
Installation view“Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010,” a full-scale exhibition of sculpture and poetry by the Mini­malist artist, occupied the entire central floor of the Reggio Galleries at Dia:Beacon. It was a large show, with enough space to maintain a feeling of openness and allow the works to imply connections without obfuscating where one began and another ended. Given Andre’s focus on gravity—his die-cut metal grids encompass more floor than wall space—the exhibition design revealed considerable forethought, a layout rather than an installation. In the ’60s and ’70s, when many of these works were made, the concept of an installation was understood as a means toward an end rather than an end in itself, as it later became. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Installation view of “Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010,” Dia:Beacon, 2014–15.
Clinton, New York: Alyson Shotz - Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College
by Lilly Wei
Alyson Shotz, Recumbent Folds, 2013.Brooklyn-based artist Alyson Shotz has long been fascinated by space and how objects occupy it. Her work investigates perception and how that perception is shaped through process, materials, and natural forces. Effortlessly interdisciplinary in their manifestation, Shotz’s creations are founded on principles of math, science, and the humanities. But they also study sculptural form in a range of materials and guises, stretching the term to accommodate contemporary ideas of permeability and fluidity. In Shotz’s realizations, the definition of sculpture becomes increasingly expansive—each project, often in series, testing another proposition, another possibility, another permutation, while ignoring conventional boundaries. “Force of Nature,” her most ambitious exhibition to date, featured several newly commissioned pieces, including a sequence of vinyl decals pressed onto the upper register ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Alyson Shotz, Recumbent Folds, 2013.
Woodstock, New York: Lowell Miller - Fletcher Gallery
by Faheem Haider
Lowell Miller, Lemon Squeeze, 2014. Lowell Miller, a longtime student of sculpture, recently exhibited his linearly figurative work in a seemingly far-too-early career retrospective. The show offered Miller’s take on storytelling and craft, mapping that take on the body, naked and elemental. Venus presided here, cloaked in ll her guises. The prehistoric, the erotic, the nymphaeaic, and the yonic were made manifest in material. Miller works in a spacious studio next to his home, off the main road to and from Woodstock. He works in metal, primarily bronze, and ceramics, creating classical things that mostly overlook the widely shared view that contemporary sculpture traces its lineage only from David Smith. Miller’s hand is present in all of his pieces, even those cast in the same Hudson Valley ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Lowell Miller, Lemon Squeeze, 2014.
Charlotte, North Carolina: Aurora Robson - McColl Center for Art + Innovation
by Barbara Schreiber
Aurora Rob­son, Kamilo, 2011. Aurora Robson grew up in a family on the run. Early in her career, she made paintings that mapped her childhood nightmares, endeavoring to remake them into dreams. Now, she works with a global nightmare of a material—plastic. Robson was first motivated to work with salvaged material after learning about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She has an oddly personal attachment to her plastic flotsam, anthropomorphizing it in numerous ways, including ritualistic cleaning, a process that seems akin to biblical footwashing. Therein lies the beauty, profundity, and intoxicating WTF-ness of her creative practice. Working with numerous collaborators—among them students in the “Sculpture and Intercepting the Waste Stream” class that she teaches on various campuses; members of Project Vortex, the international collaborative that she founded ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Aurora Rob­son, Kamilo, 2011.
New Delhi: Mrinalini Mukherjee - National Gallery of Modern Art
by Bansie Vasvani
Mrina­lini Mukherjee, Yogini, 1986. “Transfigurations: The Sculpture of Mrinalini Mukherjee,” curated by Peter Nagy, was a triumph of the artist’s vision. It also served as a memorial retrospective; Mukherjee died, at the age of 65, just a week after the opening. Influenced by her early training under the great Indian Modernist painter K.G. Subramanyan in Baroda, Mukherjee hit her stride when she began using dyed hemp and rope to create pulsating sculptures that combine an interest in mythology with strange, primordial shapes. In Yogini and Basanti, for example, tall, formidable, headless figures imbued with the voluptuousness and sensuality of ancient Indian temple sculptures are contrived to resemble nothing and everything at the same time. Tactile and anthropomorphic, Mukherjee’s atavistic forms come alive through folds, curves ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Mrina­lini Mukherjee, Yogini, 1986.
Rome: Park Eun Sun - Mercati di Traiano
by Laura Tansini
Park Eun Sun, Accrescimento colonna infinita III, 2014.Park Eun Sun’s exhibition at the Mer­cati di Traiano was a double experience, just like the artist’s soul (born in South Korea, he succumbed to the seductions of stone and moved to Pietrasanta in the early 1990s). His beautiful forms, created with precious marbles, are run through with fissures—an occasion to meditate on identity and fragility. If we stop at the beauty of Park’s monumental, well-proportioned forms, we lose their spirit. We have to try to understand the thought behind their unbalanced stability. During the press preview, Park explained, “My work has the ambition of rendering perceptible man’s inner conditions. The combination between two different colors—white and gray, red and black—characteristic of many of my works is a sign of duality ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Park Eun Sun, Accrescimento colonna infinita III, 2014.
Rotterdam: Alexandra Bircken - Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
by Robert Preece
Alexandra Bircken, Diana, 2014. Alexandra Bircken’s recent exhibition, which was installed in conjunction with the Boijmans Van Beuningen’s headline show “Brancusi, Rosso, Man Ray—Framing Sculpture,” featured more than 40 sculptural works produced since 2004. Bircken is becoming increasingly known for her assemblages of diverse materials and everyday objects. Her works offer various contrasts, sometimes appearing handcrafted, other times industrially produced, and they thrive on ambiguity. Rather than dictating meaning, Bircken prefers to give viewers a visual framework to generate their own interpretations. Beinahe (Almost, 2010) was perhaps the most intellectually intriguing work in the exhibition. This strange assemblage combines a wax base, an artificial human leg, pantyhose, and a wooden branch with a miniature wooden house overturned and placed atop. In this figural structure ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Alexandra Bircken, Diana, 2014.

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