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November 2016
Vol. 35 No. 9

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center

This selection of shows has been curated by Sculpture magazine editorial staff and includes just a few of the great shows around the world.

Fondazione Prada, Venice: Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz
Through December 31, 2016
Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz, Five Car Stud Edward Kienholz once declared, "I can see the results of ideas in what is thrown away by a culture." A compulsive bricoleur, he foraged for materials in thrift shops, dumps, and garbage cans, gathering them together in passionate, often brutal tableaux of social and political satire. The figures—generally pieced together from body casts, mannequins, and altered found objects— inhabit painstakingly detailed, dream-like, yet realistic environments that implicate viewers in situations that they might prefer to ignore. This exhibition features 26 works made between 1959 and 1994, by Kienholz alone and in collaboration with his wife, Nancy Reddin Kienholz, including O'er the Ramparts We Watch, Fascinated, which mocks the American- Soviet space race, The Caddy Court, which offers a grotesque group portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and Five Car Stud, a nightmarish scene of racial violence that spent almost 40 years in the storage facility of a Japanese collector.

Web site

Edward Kienholz, Five Car Stud.
Haus der Kunst, Munich: Michael Buthe
Through November 20, 2016
An adventurous traveler, Buthe (1944–94) was always looking for new stimuli, in art as well as in life. To a bland stew of German Informal painting and American Minimalism, he added the spice of non-European exoticism, balancing Western coolness with a heated sensuality of allusions and materials. The two dimensions of traditional painting couldn't hold him for long; after draping rags over stretchers, he quickly graduated to cloth objects and spatial installations, whose outward expansion mirrored his omnivorous ingestion of mysticism. Overflowing with obscure symbols, prolific ornamentation, and lavish color, his sumptuous works attempt to assemble the world, and the cosmos, for sensory delectation. The exuberant artistic license in these works, including the late, archaizing assemblages, might serve to loosen the restraint of today's more staid approach to cross-disciplinary hybridization.

Web site

Michael Buthe, Die Heilige Nacht der Jungfräulichkeit.

Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia: Nicholas Mangan
Through December 18, 2016
Nicholas Mangan, Progress in Action. One of Australia's most important contemporary artists, Mangan is a consummate storyteller, as well as an avid researcher with a predilection for debunking the status quo in relation to nature and culture. His multifaceted installations involving film, sculpture, and photography collapse dominant historical and ideological narratives, reconfiguring them into new forms and alternative modes of understanding. "Limits to Growth" features five major projects made between 2009 and 2016 that call attention to the disconnect between the deep (geological) time of the earth and the must-have-itnow expediency of exploitation (particularly the political economy of the energy industry). Regardless of specific subject—Nauru—Notes from a cretaceous world explores the boom and bust economy of Nauru; Progress in Action considers indigenous activism against mining corporations in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea; and the newly commissioned Limits to Growth compares ancient stone coins from the Micronesian island of Yap to Bitcoin—Mangan ingeniously deploys materials as mechanisms to demonstrate how humanity fits into a much larger narrative of evolution and entropy.

Web site

Nicholas Mangan, Progress in Action.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago: Diana Thater
Through January 8, 2017
Diana Thater, Life is a Time-Based Medium Thater's huge video installations, which she calls "sculptures with images of nature in space," analyze the complexities of the natural world and how they relate to human beings. An environmental activist as well as artist, she uses moving images of nature to dissolve architectural spaces and break down our dominant subject/object attitude toward the rest of the world. "The Sympathetic Imagination," her traveling U.S. museum survey, features 22 works from the early 1990s to the present that weave together a wide variety of source material, including literature, magic, animal behavior, mathematics, chess, and sociology. Exploring past and present, fact and fiction, illusion and reality, Thater's evocative and layered imagery establishes an ambiguous zone of awe and pleasure, where intimacy and estrangement, self and other, merge and immerse human beings and their creations in a complex web of relationships across time and space.

Web site

Diana Thater, Life is a Time-Based Medium.
MoMA PS1 / Fort Tilden, Queens, New York: Katharina Grosse
Through November 30, 2016
Katharina Grosse, RockawayTaking inspiration from frescos, pleinair painting, Abstract Expressionism, and urban graffiti, Grosse explores how painting can "appear in space"—in the dimensional realm of sculpture and architecture. Her installations of bright acrylic paint sprayed onto walls, ceilings, floors, piles of dirt, furnishings, and sculpted Styrofoam and fiberglass constructions give color palpable, unruly, and monumental form. Rockaway!, her new outdoor color stage, applies a swirling, sometimes vertiginous explosion of saturated energy to a decaying aquatics building at Rockaway Beach. Incorporating remaining architectural features, as well as sand, trees, sea grass, and pavement, this temporary installation willfully skews the rigid stability of rectilinear space in favor of a direct, evolutionary, and physical dynamic that undermines the experiential nature of matter as we know it.

Web site

Katharina Grosse, Rockaway!
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City: Nick Cave
Through December 31, 2016
Nick Cave, Property If Cave's soundsuits—mad, grotesque, and glamorous wearable works crafted from scavenged detritus— disguise race, gender, and identity with celebratory, ritualistic masquerade, his sculptures reveal the African American body as a target of hate and catalyst for change. Assuming a dark and critical stance, these assemblages exploit the physical and metaphorical heft of their mass-market and thrift-store components, explicitly connecting them to current events—particularly the skewed nexus of gun violence and race. Like Cave's monumental new installation at MassMOCA, which opened on October 14, his sculptures capture the tension between an aspirational ideal of equality and the ugly, earthbound reality of American prejudice, past and present. Property (2014), one of a suite of sculptures originally shown in the exhibition "Made By Whites For Whites," confronts viewers with a powerful vision of subjugation and (circumscribed) freedom. Surrounded by a nimbus, a lawn-jockey statue surveys an array of boxes containing almost 1,000 objects—things substituting for people bought, sold, and shipped in cargo holds. He's above it now, but how far can you rise on a shoeshine chair?

Web site

Nick Cave, Property.
Pérez Art Museum, Miami: Matthew Ronay
Through January 15, 2017
Matthew Ronay, Janus Ronay's beautifully crafted works (mostly made of wood, occasionally from fabric or clay) draw out the totemic and surreal qualities that lie dormant in ordinary objects. For at least a decade, he has tested the boundary between singularity and duality, exploring what happens when two things conjoin or one thing divides—a project that exudes erotic associations, sometimes comic and sometimes just gross. The biomorphic forms in "When Two Are in One"—figures, body parts, orifices, and protrusions—alternate between the compulsion to merge and the need to separate, playing out strategies of symmetry, reflection, and doubling. Rendered in bold colors and arrayed like ritual fetishes, these folksy, cartoonish fertility gods vibrate with desire thwarted and fulfilled, paying homage to nature's myriad approaches to fecundity.

Web site

Matthew Ronay, Janus.
Wave Hill, Bronx, New York: Jackie Brookner
Through December 4, 2016
Jackie Brookner, Veden Taika Back in 2010, when Wave Hill hosted "Remediate/Re-vision," Brookner described how her first 20 years as a sculptor consisted of "a period of introspection" that eventually led her to realize that her work didn't have to be "about" nature—it could be "of" it. Over the next 20 years, until her death last May, she found her place as an environmental and social activist, translating intellectual feminist concerns with the body and the earth into personal, direct engagement with the world. This retrospective demonstrates how a commitment to materiality and touch flows through her entire output, from early bronze, rubber, dirt, and water sculptures to the seminal Of Earth and Cotton project, which toured the American South in the 1990s, to community-building efforts designed to restore the health of fragile wetlands, rivers, and streams.

Web site

Jackie Brookner, Veden Taika, project in Salo, Finland.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield, U.K.: Not Vital
Through January 2, 2017
Not Vital, Moon As nomadic as the artist himself, Vital's work wanders freely amongstyles, materials, and possible meanings. His forms reflect the place of their making (Vital has workplaces around the world) and the influence of collaboration, from steel-chasers in Beijing and glass blowers in Murano to Tuareg silversmiths in Agadez and papermakers in Bhutan. Such shape-shifting work not surprisingly also rejects explicit subject matter. It might call to mind landscape elements, animals, and body fragments, but filtered through a conceptual lens and rendered almost unrecognizable by surreal materialization—an enlarged camel pelvis in stainless steel, a house that disappears underground at the touch of a button, shadowy scholar's stones rendered in coal. Vital's first U.K. exhibition emphasizes his anthropomorphic works with monochrome portraits, a series of mesmerizing chased-steel heads that absorb and reflect light, and another group of heads, this time in ceramic, produced in Jingdezhen, the capital of imperial porcelain production.

Web site

Not Vital, Moon.

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