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Sculpture cover


June 2016
Vol. 35 No. 5

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York: Vibha Galhotra - Jack Shainman Gallery
by Susan Canning
Vibha Galhotra Consumed Contamination “A river runs through it” could be the subtitle for Vibha Galhotra’s recent exhibition inspired by the Yamuna River, a legendary tributary of the sacred Ganges, which is also one of the world’s most polluted waterways. Tapestry-like constructions, sculptures, an installation, and a film all continue Galhotra’s examination of the effects of globalization and development by focusing on the critical role of water in daily life, not just in the artist’s native India and hometown of Delhi, but for all of us. The Yamuna is featured in Manthan, a short film that served as the show’s conceptual center. Taken from Samudra Manthan, Sanskrit for “churning the ocean,” the title refers to the well-known Hindu myth in which the gods (Devas) and the demons (Asuras) roil the river’s waters to obtain Amrita, the nectar of immortality. Reimagining this myth for contemporary times, the film begins somewhat romantically with the camera slowly panning the river, lingering on its shimmering light. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Vibha Galhotra, Consumed Contamination, 2012. Vegetables from Yamuna River bend and resin, 15 x 7.5 x 2 in. each.
Beverly Hills: Matt Hope - ACE Gallery
by Daneva H. Dansby
Matt Hope To Fasten Matt Hope’s recent solo exhibition was a complex conceptual show that welded together art and science. With formal art degrees from England and California, Hope combines artistry with a knowledge of metal fabrication, structural design, and sound engineering to create his “Sun Dragon Hardware” hybrid creations. The show included two distinct series: a group of finely crafted metal “Tools” and a congregation of mechanical “Towers.” In addition, a salon-style display of drawings and sketches provided a backdrop to Hope’s three-dimensional works. Both series play with scale, materials, and utility. The shiny silver “Tools” are enlarged to a size that robs them of their original purpose, while the totemic “Towers” are minuscule in comparison to their real-life inspirations. A native Londoner, since 2007 Hope has made his home in Beijing’s Caochangdi art district (the creative area identified with Ai Weiwei). The title “Sun Dragon Hardware”—his tool box and muse—refers to a chaotic industrial parts market on the outskirts of Beijing, where raw plastic flies from power saws, sunglasses replace safety goggles, sparks fly, and steel lies strewn about. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Matt Hope, To Fasten, 2006. Hewn stainless steel, PVC, and aluminum.
Los Angeles: John Outterbridge - Art + Practice
by Kay Whitney
John Outterbridge Rag and Bag Idiom II The most salient aspect of John Outterbridge’s recent retrospective was its powerful originality. A prominent and influential Los Angeles artist and activist, Outterbridge creates works that embody erased, obscured, or neglected histories. Though he evokes the writings of Langston Hughes to convey an essentially African American cultural history and experience, Outterbridge converts these elements into forms that oscillate between encoded meaning and the opacity of pure abstraction. His objects are not only products of his relationship to found materials, they’re linked to his childhood in the depression-era, Jim Crow-dominated southern U.S. The 83-year-old artist is part of an extraordinary generation of self-defining, Los Angeles-based, African American artists that includes Betye Saar, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi; all believe in the potential of art to effect social change. The show’s title, “Rag Man,” is rooted in Outterbridge’s childhood experience; in his youth, he knew people who collected and sold rags, and one of his earliest bodies of work is called the “Rag Man” series. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

John Outterbridge, Rag and Bag Idiom II, 2012. Mixed media, 19 x 18.5 x 2.5 in.
Napa, California: Robert Kinmont - di Rosa
by Jane Ingram Allen
Robert Kinmont Willow Forks Robert Kinmont’s recent one-person show, “Trying to Understand Where I Grew Up,” was a mini-retrospective with works from his early years in the 1970s through pieces created as recently last year. Kinmont, one of the California Conceptualists, rose to prominence in the ’70s, then dropped out of the art world in the ’80s and, for about 20 years, studied Buddhism and made his living as a carpenter. Around 2000, he returned to making sculpture, and he still lives and works in Sonoma, California—an important factor for work that explores the peculiarities of place and the human relationship with nature. “Trying to Understand Where I Grew Up” evoked the very particular landscape around Bishop, on the eastern side of California, about halfway between Yosemite and Death Valley. It’s cowboy country—rough scrabble ranches and desolate high desert—where you can see for miles, with the Eastern Sierra Mountains towering on the horizon. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Robert Kinmont, Willow Forks, 2010. Willow, pine, birch plywood, and maple, 84 x 153 x 45 in.
Princeton, NJ: Doug & Mike Starn- Princeton University Art Museum
by Stephen Peterson
Starn Any Body Oddly Propped Standing nearly 18 feet tall and weighing eight tons, Doug and Mike Starn’s luminous outdoor installation (Any) Body Oddly Propped continues their preoccupation with dendritic growth and sunlight, while adding a weightiness not previously seen in their work. Seven tremendous steel frames hold vividly colored glass panels etched with silhouettes of tree branches that form networks akin to veins or synapses. The massive rectangles, like deconstructed architecture, are propped diagonally against one another; two are held up (or rather seem to be) by spindly cast-bronze tree limbs. The richly hued glass, translucent and layered with imagery, catches and filters the light, while allowing surrounding trees and sky to show through. One can walk in and around the piece, experiencing it from inside and out and from multiple viewpoints. Since the 1980s, when they began to fashion composite photographs using Scotch tape, the Starns have worked by fastening parts into a whole, leaving the connecting material, as well as the seams, visible and integral. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Doug and Mike Starn, (Any) Body Oddly Propped, 2015. Glass and steel, view of intallation.
New York: Soo Hong Lee - Art Mora
by Jonathan Goodman
Lee Inside/Outside/Interside Korean sculptor Soo Hong Lee, who teaches at Hong-Ik University in Seoul, makes work out of wood—seemingly simple pieces that we in America would relate to Minimal­ism, but which take on the ritual simplicity of spiritual expression. Though there is no overt reference to Buddhism in his work, his efforts feel infused with that philosophy. Wood is a simple material; and Lee’s pieces possess an honesty that relates them to the long tradition of wooden religious sculpture in Asia. Yet the work is relentlessly abstract, given to schematic imagery that repeats forms in negative and positive space. Korean sculpture is generally made with high skill, but sometimes the concept accompanying the work doesn’t live up to its manufacture. This is not a problem in Lee’s case; his works diffuse an aura that reveals an awareness of the evanescence of things while recognizing the gravitas of material and geometry. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Soo Hong Lee, Inside/Outside/Interside, 2016.
New York: "The Xerox Box" - Paula Cooper Gallery
by Robert C. Morgan
The Xerox Box Conceptual art, which came into being during the mid-1960s in the cold-water flats and raw-space warehouses that spread through Lower Manhattan, was anything but an elitist movement. Instead, it was a phenomenon largely based on the notion than art could exist in pursuit of ideas rather than preconceived object-forms laden with academic entitlement (which it later became). The conceptual aspects of the work evolved at a time when casual materials—like Xerox pages—were either secondary or integral, often integrating time or temporality as part of the idea. Some artists, such as Lawrence Weiner and Robert Barry, came to conceptual art from abstract painting; Douglas Huebler, Robert Morris, Carl Andre, and Sol LeWitt came from sculpture; Victor Burgin, Ian Burn, Joseph Kosuth, and Adrian Piper from philosophy; Ian and Ingrid Baxter, Dan Graham, and Dara Birnbaum from photography; and others, including Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari, came from popular culture. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Carl Andre, 75 Small Wood Square Scatter, 2007. 75 wood tiles, .6 x 3.3 x 3.3 cm each. From "The Xerox Box".
Seattle: Joan Tanner - Suyama Space
by John David O'Brien
Tanner The False Spectator Huddled in impromptu groups, excluding passage in some directions and open to being traversed in others, Joan Tanner’s recent multi- part installation seemed to lumber, stride, and even careen through space. Continuing her distinctive arrays of curiously awkward and yet oddly familiar forms, The False Spectator could be characterized as off-the-cuff, extemporized, or make­shift. Yet Tanner’s installations exude an air of compositional determination even as they appear to head in several different directions simultaneously—a polysemantic strategy that makes seeing them in person a pleasurable experience and retelling them in text a daunting task. The False Spectator consisted of multiple sculptural entities, which expanded to collectively occupy the space as they moved from left to right and front to back. They seemed to be mostly vertical structures, reaching up to the beamed ceiling. There were trough-like erections, leaning columns, wedges, irregular shapes, and ribbed arches made of conduit tubing and covered with sheets of metal, wood, plastic, and other industrial materials. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Joan Tanner, The False Spectator, 2016. Metal, wood and wood veneer, barrier netting, clay paper, sandpaper, and Styro-foam; view of installation, 12 x 30 x 50 ft.
Helsinki: Raul Keller - SIC Galleria
by John Gayer
Keller Six Drums Raul Keller’s artistic trajectory cuts through the realms of sound art, video, photography, live performance, and installation. For his gallery and museum exhibitions, he often brings in elements from several of these spheres to create site-specific installations that immerse the viewer in sonic environments. In recent years, his explorations have tended to use a specific range of sound devices—typically, membrane speakers, trampolines in various shapes and sizes, and parabolic dishes, which he presents in diverse arrangements. At times, colored light imparts an additional aura of drama, mystery, or wonder. Keller’s recent show “Six Drums” suggested that he might be changing his tack, the heterogeneity evidenced in earlier presentations giving way to a much more integrated and decidedly cogent approach. The appearance of the exhibition was quite deceptive. The initial impression of a meager installation accompanied by a humdrum soundtrack belied the work’s visual power and complex sonority. ...see the entire review in the print version of June's Sculpture magazine.

Raul Keller, Six Drums, 2015.

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