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Sculpture cover


November 2015
Vol. 34 No. 9

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Mainz, Germany: Lois Weinberger - Kunsthalle Mainz
by Peter Lodermeyer
Installation view of 'Lois Weinberger,' 2015. Drawings, notes, texts, objects, models, sculptures, installations, photos of performances, and interventions—Lois Weinberger’s recent exhibition employed a multitude of media, each one on a par with the others. Even within individual genres, Wein­berger’s works are extremely heterogeneous in terms of style, theme, and choice of material. Thus, this exhibition, which followed no clear, recognizable order, required attentive observation, or rather careful reading. Weinberger’s approach could be grasped in passing from work to work, as viewers drew connections for themselves. In so doing, they experienced in a very vivid way how Weinberger is more concerned with transitions, with surpassing boundaries, than with defined forms and determined concepts. Specifically, the realm between culture and nature is his preferred terrain: the ephemeral, the peripheral, the fallow land on the outskirts of cities—out-of-the-way areas overgrown with modest ruderal plants, i.e., weeds. Here, nature is free from all aesthetic, philosophical, and ecological idealizations. Weinberger is something like a gardener of uncontrolled growth, who watches what happens when you simply leave a certain area to its own devices. This might be a plastic bag full of dirt; a plastic tub filled with water and containing letters (cultural signs per se), fired from clay that slowly becomes overgrown with algae. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Lois Weinberge, Installation view of "Lois Weinberger", 2015.
Miami: Christina West - Mindy Solomon Gallery
by Laura Albritton
Installation view of 'Intimate Strangers,' 2015. Christina West’s recent exhibition “Intimate Strangers” highlighted the importance of seeing three-dimensional work in person. Photographs of her human figures, such as Stranger #3 and Stranger #4, give the impression that their rendering of flesh is cold and austere and that they loom large in the gallery space, but visiting this show of six sculptures uncovered an entirely different reality. West used painted resin in these works; in person, the “skin” of the figures appears soft, as though one’s fingers might squish into their shoulders or forearms. Rather than appearing cold, the white surfaces emit an ethereal, almost warm glow. West worked from live models, and each “person” seems to have been caught in mid-motion. The overall effect is quite dynamic. With few lines or creases, these human representations look life-like and realistic—except for two elements. First, none of the figures stands at a realistic adult height: they are either much shorter or much taller. Secondly, their feet are painted a vivid, neon red-orange, as though they were wearing socks. Stranger #1 depicts a balding man in his early 60s, in the process of removing his shirt. He appears nude from the waist down, except for the sock-like paint covering his ankles and feet. At 44 inches tall, Stranger #1 is noticeably smaller than most (or all) viewers. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Christina West, Installation view of "Intimate Strangers," 2015
Sarasota, Florida: “Re:Purposed” - The Ringling Museum
by Ann Albritton
Hut #10, 2015. After passing through the Ringling’s beautifully decorated Baroque galleries, viewers encountered “Re:Purposed,” a show of 21st-century art with a Baroque exuberance. Curator Matthew McLendon brought together disparate works that incorporate both ordinary and exotic detritus. He cites Marcel Duchamp’s readymades as an inspiration—several early Duchamp pieces are in the collection. Following Duchamp’s lead, the artists in “Re:Purposed” create with trash and throw-away objects. In addition to the superstars of recycled materials—Nick Cave, represented by several of his exuberantly innovative “Soundsuits,” and El Anatsui, represented by two of his monumental wall hangings—“Re:Purposed” also gathered works by less well-known practitioners. Aurora Robson’s Blood, Guts, and Glory and Hot Mess deceived at first with their beautiful drawings of red flowers and leaves. Closer inspection revealed the very political texts scattered through the petals. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Jill Sigman, Hut #10, 2015.
Chicago: Dorothy Dehner - Valerie Carberry Gallery
by Victor M. Cassidy
The City to the Bridge, 1970. Dorothy Dehner (1901–94) once said, “The minute I started doing sculpture, I felt it was something I had done all my life.” She waited 54 years to make her first sculpture and then worked in bronze, wood, and fabricated metal for almost 40 years. After a childhood in Cali­fornia, a brief career in theater and dance, and a year in Europe absorbing Modernist art, Dehner settled in New York City in 1926 and enrolled at the Art Students League, where she studied painting and drawing with the Constructivist Jan Matulka and met David Smith. After marrying in 1927, Dehner and Smith spent six months in Europe, including Greece, and the Soviet Union. On their return, they found a summer place in Bolton Landing, New York, and wintered in Brooklyn. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Dorothy Dehner, The City to the Bridge, 1970.
Boothbay, Maine: George Sherwood - Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
by John K. Grande
Memory of Water, 2014. With roots in Russian Construc­tivism—Naum Gabo, Anton Pevsner, and László Moholy-Nagy—kinetic art has developed its own idiosyncratic brand over the years. Among its best-known practitioners is George Rickey, who spurred an entire movement in the U.S. Rickey was something of a mentor for George Sherwood, who has continued to evolve and experiment with the language behind Rickey’s playful kinetic works. Compared to Rickey’s maximal approach, Sherwood’s sculptures are minimal in how they respond to the time of year and their surroundings. His approach follows a kind of bio-dynamism, very sophisticated in terms of its "actions" and tooling, but almost primitive in its simple exchange with the elements. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

George Sherwood, Memory oƒ Water, 2014.
Boston: Sarah Bliss, Rosalyn Driscoll, and James Wyness - Boston Sculptors Gallery
by Marty Carlock
still from video installation, score by James Wyness. How does an artist make a tactile work when the viewer can’t touch anything? Sarah Bliss has done so, in collaboration with sculptor Rosalyn Driscoll and sound artist James Wyness, in their video installation Blindsight at Boston Sculptors Gallery. Much of the work takes place in the rain—or the sauna or the shower—and the actors/performers are primarily depicted nude. (Scarcely any genitals appear, although the camera flirts with the idea.) An older man—gray stubble-beard, close-cropped gray hair, earring in one ear—stands in the ver­­­t­ical stream first. A young Asian man appears, his smooth back, arms, and hands contrasting with the timeworn frame of his elder. Later, an older woman interacts, sometimes expressionless, sometimes ecstatic. Water pouring across skin and through wet, stringy hair renders powerful haptic memories in the watcher. The performers move in fluid, controlled ways, wet skin sliding across wet skin. Bliss’s lens is kept close to the bodies, which perform in an unstated environment. The cinematographer directed the performers’ positions in relation to the camera, but encouraged them to improvise. Their dance-like movements are mysterious and mesmerizing, enhanced by Bliss’s unflinching chiaro-­­scuro lighting. Feathers come into the frame—a fan of white primaries, like a domestic turkey’s wing—eliciting thoughts of Amerindian rituals. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Sarah Bliss and Rosalyn Driscoll, Blindsight, 2015. 2 stills from video installations, score by James Wyness.
Springfield, Massachusetts: Gloria Garfinkel - George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum
by Jonathan Goodman
Hanabi #7, 1995. Gloria Garfinkel’s recent exhibition featured a strong selection of sculptures, paintings, and works on paper, particularly the “Hanabi” series, based on origami forms, and the “Flip” series, made of aluminum. Both groups exemplify her interest in painted surfaces made more complex by folds, either structural or painterly. In some ways, Garfinkel comes from the great American Modernist sculptural tradition initiated by David Smith, oriented toward a frontal presentation. At the same time, of course, she is deeply interested in a decorative exterior; her finish is painterly, much more so than Smith’s polished surfaces. The brightly colored, highly patterned exteriors also have a precedent in feminist pattern art, first produced in the 1960s and ’70s. In the smallish to mid-size "Hanabi" works, individual planes, painted differently on each side of the aluminum, are put together in ways that bridge the gap between sculpture and painting. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Gloria Garfinkel, Hanabi #7, 1995.
New York: Barbara Edelstein - Christian Duvernois Landscape/Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Installation view of 'Leaf in the Air', 2015. Barbara Edelstein has spent the last few years living in Shanghai, where she teaches American and Chinese students and shares a studio with her husband, artist Jian-Jun Zhang. She has acclimated quite well and is now known as a Shanghai artist, if not a Chinese one. Coming from America to China, she reverses the familiar direction of movement in the international art world; we are used to Chinese artists attending school in the U.S. and often establishing careers in New York. Though Edel­stein has made a successful go of building a career in a foreign country with a markedly different aesthetic, she is influenced to some extent by her contact with Chinese culture. For instance, a major public piece in Shanghai (2010)—a fountain of tangled steel tubes spouting water, along with a towering leaf—looks Asian in its organic intricacies and is highly appreciated by park visitors. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Barbara Edelstein, Installation view of Leaf in the Air, 2015.
New York: Anya Gallaccio - Lehmann Maupin
by Susan Canning
Installation view of 'Anya Gallaccio', 2015. At first glance, Anya Gallaccio’s sculptures recall Minimalism. Spread across two rooms, a cube and its variations purposefully quote the skeletal frame and open modular structures used by Sol LeWitt in the 1970s. But rather than appropriation or homage, Gallaccio has subterfuge in mind. Like LeWitt’s works, Gallaccio’s delineate volume, space, and mass, and they are similarly to human scale. Yet instead of sculptures industrially fabricated in aluminum or steel, Gal­laccio, with the same exactitude, fashions her cubic forms from rectangular planks of limestone, sandstone, and granite. Undermining the reductive Minimalist paradigm, this subtle yet insistent intervention naturalizes the ideal, returning variation, systems, and perception to their formative origins in the natural and organic. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Anya Gallaccio, Installation view of "Anya Gallaccio," 2015.
New York: Aiko Hachisuka - Eleven Rivington
by Bansie Vasvani
Installation view with (foregound) Slow Turn, 2015. In Aiko Hachisuka’s second solo exhibition at Eleven Rivington, fabric sculptures beckoned with stalagmite forms and brightly printed surfaces. Continuing her neatly sewn patchworks of mostly outerwear and jackets, these seemingly static cylinders belie an eerie world of body forms that leave traces of their presence through substantial absence. Using this mechanism, Hachisuka’s work deftly explores the deeper implications of transience and imperfection within the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-sabi. In Slow Turn (2015), filled-out sleeves, inflated button-down corduroy jackets, and thick woven shirts intertwine like a heap of supine human figures flung together. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Aiko Hachisuka, Installation view with (foregound) Slow Turn, 2015.
New York: Martha Walker - The Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Art Gallery
by Joyce Beckenstein
Heart of The Matter, 2014. Martha Walker is a microbiology-minded Surrealist whose recent show, “Broken World, Anxious Heart,” imagined a toxic garden. Long ago, its seems, life rose from luxuriant waters, briefly inhaled the air’s sweet­ness, then froze. Denizens of this now-petrified forest of twisted steel skeletons include feminine breeds undulating their potent animas and biomorphic forms caught between joie de vivre and a danse macabre. Formally elegant species defy weighty steel, and negative arabesques assert themselves within masses of dense metal. It’s all best described as lyrical gravitas. Walker’s deft handling of molten steel produces these inverted narratives. Mixed Emotions (2015), for example, consists of a pair of outstretched, tentacled arms rising like starfish limbs performing a water ballet. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Martha Walker, Heart oƒ The Matter, 2015.
Richmond, Virginia: Myron Helfgott - Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts
by Paul Ryan
Buddha Wisdom/What Women Have Told Me, 2005-06. Myron Helfgott is as skeptical of language as he is fascinated by its tendency toward misrepresentation and digression, effects that can be problematic but also poetic, ironic, or humorous. A recent retrospective covering 45 years of studio practice revealed his interest in the machinations of conversation, the various emotional, psychological, and intellectual manifestations of its give and take. The work contains the everyday musings of friends and lovers, inward negotiations, pronouncements of high theory, dialogue from novels and films, and graffiti tags. Helfgott is interested in the narratives, conjectures, categorizations, and inaccuracies spinning out of this chatter. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Myron Helfgott, Buddha Wisdom / What Women Have Told Me, 2005-06.
Buenos Aires: Nicola Costantino - Colección de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat
by María Carolina Baulo
Eva. The Dreams (detail), 2013. The Argentine artist Nicola Cos­tantino can’t be ignored. Some people praise her persona and her work—which are almost the same thing since she has made her body the support of most of her works—and some people hate them; there is no gray area. Last March, her “Rap­sodia Inconclusa,” which debuted at the 2013 Venice Biennale, was shown for the first time in Argentina. The exhibition, which consists of four video installations combined with objects/machines and photographs, focuses on the figure of Eva Perón as an icon of Argentina’s socio-political context during the 1940s and ’50s. Costantino embodies Evita in order to appropriate an image frozen in the social imagination and put it in motion. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Nicola Costantino, Eva. The Dreams (detail), 2013.
London: Pascale Marthine Tayou - Serpentine Sackler Gallery
by Lisa Paul Streitfeld
View of 'Boomerang', 2015. “Boomerang,” Pascale Marthine Tayou’s first solo exhibition in Lon­don, was a hit on many levels and a crowd pleaser for all ages. His engrossing multimedia works created a circular flow within the square space of the gallery, transforming it into a unified, site-specific installation. “Boomerang” insisted on a new vocabulary for art, even as it slyly subverted the art marketing system. Presented as artifacts from a journey taken by an acute artist/observer, Tayou’s images and objects of environmental devastation accompanied by handwritten captions extended the subjective experience of colonialism into an objective phenomenology of destruction. ...see the entire review in the print version of November's Sculpture magazine.

Pascale Marthine Tayou, View of "Boomerang," 2015.

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