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January/February 2016
Vol. 36 No. 1

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.

Carré d'Art-Musée d'art contemporain - Nîmes, France: Abraham Cruzvillegas
Through February 19, 2017
Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autodestrucción
6. Cruzvillegas's thought-provoking arrangements of disparate, apparently unrelated objects employ everything from feathers and studio props to bowling balls, candles, leaves, and other everyday finds. The volatile energy that pervades his work re-creates the street life of Mexico City and other urban centers, flirting with popular culture, television, music, advertising, and flea markets. This show features new installments in his long-running project, Autoconstrucción, that integrate an interest in form and matter with materials collected around Nîmes, as well as a performance aspect. As Cruzvillegas explains it, Autoconstrucción, or self-construction, operates as a metaphor for individual identity and the unfinished, changing character of place. Privileging improvisation and alternative economic systems that value craft, the handmade, and strategies of making do, his work demonstrates an empowering notion of "survival economics" and solidarity in the face of globalized power.

Web site

Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autodestrucción 6.
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, New York: David Shrigley
Through February 26, 2017
David Shrigley,
MEMORIAL. Best known for intuitive and dysfunctional drawings filled with wry wit and deadpan humor, Shrigley is a master of nonsense whose works range from the poignant to the absurd. He approaches sculpture, and public art in particular, with the same anarchical, mordant sensibility: physical form becomes a malleable substance as he transforms everyday objects and shifts scale in order to create curious and eccentric propositions like Really Good, a grotesquely distorted thumbs-up currently sitting on London's 4th Plinth that signals anything but good times and approval. MEMORIAL, his new tongue-in-cheek interpretation of a civic monument, is equally sassy, inserting the contents of a mundane shopping list-sausages, paper towels, diapers, tampons, and cleaning stuff-into the hallowed place of a lastingly significant epitaph. Inscribed on a 17-foot-tall block of granite, the throwaway reminder becomes a potent query into time and memory, memorializing no one and everyone in a simple ode to humanity and its achievements.

Web site

David Shrigley, MEMORIAL.

The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, U.K.: Anthea Hamilton
Through March 19, 2017
Hamilton, Alabaster Leg Hamilton, a nominee for the 2016 Turner Prize, investigates cultural appropriation and pop culture, mining the worlds of music, fashion, sport, and avant-garde design to produce theatrical spaces for yet-to-be-realized narratives. Projecting herself into these sculpture-filled scenarios, she creates elaborately staged self-portraits that resemble three-dimensional Surrealist tableaux. The sculptures themselves, precarious and prop-like formations, seem poised on the cusp between realization and collapse. Yet for all their ambiguity and autobiographical reference, these scenarios manage to draw the viewer bodily and emotionally into worlds of perverse fantasy and desire on the brink of obsession. "Kettle's Yard Reimagined" features a new body of work created in response to and installed in tandem with objects from Kettle's Yard, the former home of Tate Gallery curator Jim Ede in which the ideals of Modernist art and the functional details of domestic life blend into a harmonious whole. (The house, preserved intact as the museum of modern and contemporary art at the University of Cambridge, is currently closed for renovation.) In Hamilton's sensitive restaging, which captures the soul of what Ede called a "way of life," distinctions of time, categorization, and authorship all blur into one grand collaboration, a Gesamtkunstwerk in which generosity outstrips constraint. Web site

Anthea Hamilton, Alabaster Leg.
The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, U.K.: The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture
Through February 19, 2017
Helen Marten, White cotton is so platonic,
or something The four finalists for the U.K.'s newest art prize-open to British or U.K.-based artists of any age-offer rich, varied, and often contrary visions of sculpture in its broadest definition. If Phyllida Barlow, David Medalla, Helen Marten (also shortlisted for the 2016 Turner Prize), and Steven Claydon have anything in common, it is their willingness to push boundaries-of form, material, space, and concept. Barlow's anti-monumental, boldly ambitious conjurings of wreckage on the brink of collapse, like Medalla's ephemeral bubble spumes and delicately precarious motorized assemblages of almost nothing, stage a continual dance between form and formlessness. Marten and Claydon, on the other hand, tread the fine line between order and chaos, assembling cacophonous displays of arcane juxtapositions and excess that spill into fascinating interpretative rabbit holes that lead nowhere in particular, and yet everywhere. Web site

Helen Marten, White cotton is so platonic, or something.
Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich: Phyllida Barlow
Through February 19, 2017
Helen Marten, White cotton is so platonic,
or something.Barlow, who is representing Britain at the 2017 Venice Biennale, makes large-scale sculptures from rubber, tarpaulin, bitumen, concrete, aluminum foil, rags, paint, wooden pallets, and plaster. Such materials-often sourced directly from city streets-offer an important advantage: their contingency bypasses the gravitas and status of stone and metal, parodying traditional aims of heroic monumentality. Assembled quickly and intuitively, her sculptures become distant memories of objects that reject faithful reconstruction in order to transform architectural space. Her new, two-part exhibition, "demo," as in demo-cracy, demo-lition, and demo-nstration, demands absolute physical attention, setting out to disrupt patterns of perception and celebrate the power of sculpture to obstruct and play with authority while restoring the joyfulness, absurdity, and transience of life.

Web site

Helen Marten, White cotton is so platonic, or something.
Kunstmuseum Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland: Laure Prouvost
Through February 12, 2017
Laure Prouvost, Grandma's
Drawer (detail). Prouvost, the winner of the 2013 Turner Prize, says that her work "is about blurring the boundary between fiction and reality. It is about audience-about digging deeply and, maybe, getting lost." A storyteller who seduces viewers with supposedly amateurish material, sound, and imagination, she has moved beyond specially staged films to combine video, everyday objects, sculpture, and painting in holistic scenarios that create encompassing, idiosyncratic realities. Her new installation, And she will say: hi her, ailleurs, to higher grounds…, conjoins truth and fiction in an ongoing investigation into the question of whether Prouvost's grandfather was really a conceptual artist whose last work-a hand-dug tunnel from Europe to Africa-remained unfinished because he got lost in it. After plunging underground and traveling below the surface of the earth, visitors finally return to the light in this total physical experience, a journey guided by discrete artworks that culminate in a sensory paradise. Rich details and detours abound, but beware, the gripping possibilities that unfold in this labyrinth may never let go.

Web site

Laure Prouvost, Grandma's Drawer (detail).
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney: Tatsuo Miyajima
Through March 5, 2017
Tatsuo Miyajima, Counter
CoalOne of Japan's foremost sculptors and installation artists, Miyajima uses high-tech materials, including electrical circuits, video, and computers, to address age-old human concerns. Since the late 1980s, his supremely technological works have relied on digital LED counters or, as he calls them, "gadgets." Flashing in continual and repetitious, though not necessarily sequential, cycles from 1 to 9, these numbers represent the journey from life to death; finality, symbolized by 0, never appears in his work. This conceptual premise blends humanist ideas and Buddhist teachings with the precepts of Miyajima's personal philosophy: Keep Changing, Connect with All, and Goes on Forever. Whether arrayed into grids, towers, and complex integrated circuits or maintained as simple counters, the LED numbers align with continuity, connection, and eternity, as well as the flow and span of time and space. "Connect with Everything," his first retrospective in the Southern hemisphere, offers a comprehensive meditation on mortality and the relentless, cyclical nature of time as a foil for the beauty and purpose of life, driving the efforts of the human spirit.

Web site

Tatsuo Miyajima, Counter Coal
MoMA PS1, Queens, New York: Mark Leckey
Through March 5, 2017
Mark Leckey, UniAddDum -
Ths. Leckey's works in sculpture, sound, performance, and video reveal a dual fascination with the material thing-ness of objects and the pervasively disseminated immateriality of digital images. Not unlike Jeff Koons (whom he admires), Leckey combs through the icons, brands, and products of popular culture, but his goal is to get to the source of their power and to understand just how they work on desire, identity, and memory-without turning mass culture into art. The real-life immediacy of Leckey's work, achieved through free appropriation from the British cultural fringe, saves him from Koonsian rarefication and commodification. Beginning with the premise of letting "culture use you as an instrument," he ends up with raw, emotionally true-to-life glimpses into the human psyche. "Containers and Their Drivers"-his largest show to date, titled after a song by the Fall-brings together several major bodies of work, including the "Sound Systems," with their alternative channels of communication; the "glypotheque," which explores the power of objects as distilled in film and video; and autobiographical works, including the iconic homage to youth culture Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and sculptures related to On Pleasure Bent (2014): all of which add up to a multiplicitous truth-telling that cannot be contained or even adequately labeled.

Web site

Mark Leckey, UniAddDum - Ths.
Proyecto Siqueiros-Sala de Arte Pùblico, Mexico City: SANGREE
Through February 12, 2017
SANGREE, Temporary
Stone. The idiosyncratic imagery of Mexican artist duo SANGREE (Carlos Lara and René Godínez Pozas) combines elements of popular culture, pre-Hispanic and mystical traditions, and the visual languages of social media and marketing to create alternative critical histories. Their new installation, Temporary Stone, investigates the strategic politics of cultural appropriation and display, taking as its starting point the displacement of the iconic Tlaloc monolith. During the construction of Mexico's National Museum of Anthropology (1963–64), authorities decided to move the god of rain from his temple at Coatlinchan, Texcoco, to Mexico City, charging architect Pedro Ramirez Vazquez with the task of creating an appropriate space within the museum. Photographs of Vazquez's model reveal an artwork in itself, the original carvings simplified and abstracted to create a temporary sculpture blending geometrical Modernism and Nahuatl art. With Temporary Stone, SANGREE explores the charged relationship between original and replica, querying the mechanisms by which a sacred sculpture, stripped of its contextual authenticity and replaced by a facsimile, takes on new meaning in a new location through its conversion into a monument of national identity, one object among many subsumed into a contemporary mythology of conquest and power.

Web site

SANGREE, Temporary Stone.
Queens Museum, Queens, New York: Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Through February 19, 2017
Mierle Laderman
Ukeles, I Make Maintenance Art One
Hour Every Day In 1969, Ukeles's "Manifesto for Maint­­enance Art" challenged ingrained oppositions pitting art against life, nature against culture, public against private and proposed a new, socially based role for artists-the maintenance of everyday life ("sustain the change; protect progress"). Rather than consider art as a means of "development" akin to industrial innovation, she posited creation as an act of caretaking: artists could apply the concept of trans­ference to inspire people to act as agents of change, creating community involvement and ecological transformation. Since then, she has put this idea to work, principally as artist-in-residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation, where she has produced a number of iconic interventions since 1977; in recent years, she has spearheaded efforts to transform the former Fresh Kills landfill into an ecological park/artwork almost three times the size of Central Park-a visionary collaborative project that progresses fitfully under the auspices of 45 city agencies. This show spans five decades of interventionist works, from pioneering feminist performances and early articulations of her system of values to engaged public art-all revealing how "listen[ing] to the hum of living" can offer a viable alternative to the predatory strategy of "skimming off the top" as practiced by "advanced" culture. Web site

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, I Make Maintenance Art One Hour Every Day
Tate Liverpool, Liverpool: Edward Krasinski & Yves Klein & Cècile B. Evans
Edward Krasinski
Yves Klein

Through March 5, 2017

Cécile B. Evans
Through March 19, 2017
B. Evans, Hyperlinks. These three solo shows bring into close proximity two pioneers of performative art and one of their most unusual contemporary heirs. Over the course of seven prolific years until his premature death, Klein pursued an expansive approach to art and life, drawing together sculpture, painting, performance, theater, music, film, architecture, fire, and even judo-all in the interest of achieving absolute immateriality, infinite space, and infinite freedom. Krasi´nski (1925–2004), one of the most important Eastern European artists of the 20th century, took a radically experimental approach to art and exhibition-making. Preoccupied with space, he sought to integrate sculpture into its surroundings-living and malleable contexts as opposed to the mausoleum of the white cube. His gravity-defying linear sculptures, fluid installations made of his signature blue adhesive tape, and dynamic installations all focused on changing relationships among objects and space and viewers-concerns that continue to find new interpretations today. Evans approaches these problems through the lens of new technologies and their influence on perceptions, feelings, and relationship. Her new commission, Sprung a Leak, presents an automated "play" outsourced to two humanoid robots and a robot dog, who collaborate with three "users" tethered to poles. In this near-future scenario, characters act in accordance with information overflows, or leaks, from ruptures in the system.

Web site

Cècile B. Evans, Hyperlinks.

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