International Sculpture Center
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Sculpture cover


March 2017
Vol. 36 No. 2

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Pittsburgh: Dennis Maher- Mattress Factory
by Elaine A. King
Dennis Maher, A Second HomeDennis Maher is an artist, architect, and educator whose undertakings over the past 15 years have focused on the process of deconstruction and reconstitution. For years, he has been investigating an art/architectural method of building that involves demolition, renovation, and restoration. Using a variety of media, including drawing, photography, collage, video, sound, and light, he creates works that appear to intertwine order and chaos. A Second Home, his new walkthrough, site-specific installation, occupies all three floors of the Mattress Factory's annex gallery through August 12, 2019. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Dennis Maher,A Second Home, 2016.
Los Angeles: Hanne Darboven- Sprüth Magers
by Kay Whitney
Hanne Darboven, Installation View Hanne Darboven describes her methodology as "writing without describing." Her enormous installations are encyclopedic in nature, densely packing walls from floor to ceiling. Viewers of her difficult and challenging works have multiple alternatives for comprehending her vision. It may be dismissed as opaque and recherché. It can be read as brilliant Minimalist innovation, the residue of specific conceptual choices. And her repetitive inscription of words and gestures on hundreds of sheets of paper can be seen as durational performance. An ability to read German and a knowledge of German culture and history ....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Hanne Darboven, Installation View, 2016.
San Francisco: Tom Sachs- Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
by Maria Porges
Tom Sachs, Space Europa In the world of art-speak, some words are used to the point of nonsense - "liminal" was one, not so long ago - while others, though perennially revived, manage to retain some kind of meaning. "Bricolage," as used by Tom Sachs to describe his method of working, seems to fall into this latter category. Virtually all of the objects in his sprawling recent exhibition (Sachs is the only artist ever to have filled YBCA's cavernous first-floor galleries with a solo show) were united by their method of manufacture and the philosophy behind it: the bricoleur's practice of cobbling something together out of a diverse assortment of available materials. Sachs enlarges this definition, describing the process employed by himself and his staff of 12 as re-tooling and re-signifying materials at hand into something new, novel, and - above all - playful. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Tom Sachs, installation view of "Space Program: Europa," 2016.
Denver: Laura Shill- Museum of Contemporary Art
by Daisy McGowan
Laura Shill, Phantom Touch Laura Shill works across media, maximalist artist operating at the intersection of collecting, costuming, performance, installation, and photography. For her first solo museum exhibition, curated by Nora Burnett Abrams, Shill sprawled "Phantom Touch" across nearly the entire second floor of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Building on a tradition of soft sculpture from a feminist perspective, she ambitiously stretched her practice - and broke some museum "rules" in the process. Shill's work confronts the oftenfraught nature of touch, absence, and intimacy. "Phantom Touch" focused on A Tall Room, a sitespecific and immersive installation composed of 900, 18-foot-long stuffed pink tubes. Suspended from the ceiling to create permeable...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Laura Shill, installation view of "Phantom Touch" with detail of A Tall Room, 2016.
Boston: David Lang- Boston Sculptors Gallery
by Suzanne Volmer
David Lang, JourneyDavid Lang's room-size multimedia installation Journey, an elegant flying machine apparatus suspended about a foot above the floor, communicated a kind of retro sci-fi fantasy. With slowly rotating, frictionless gears to suggest a dreamy traverse across space and time, the sculpture's delicate metal lattice engaged an upper tier of feathered paper wings that moved ethereally in simulated flight. On the underside of the wings, Lang projected moving imagery synchronized with music, audible only in close proximity. The conceptual statement, fortified by process, dramatically triggered the imagination by relating to interiority and to the potential of a vast worldly and cosmic experience beyond. Journey expanded Lang's earlier work - toy-like, mechanized gizmos with tongue-in-cheek titles - adapting small-scale processes to a grand scale in order to frame a layered schematic of immersive information. In Journey's precise engineering, fine ....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

David Lang, Journey, 2016.
Newton, Massachusetts: Kennard Sculpture Trail- Kennard Park
by Marty Carlock
Marco Vargas, Hombre PatoBecause few venues can, or will, show large-scale outdoor sculpture, a community tends to forget how much talent is available to be tapped. Curator Allison Newsome isn't letting Boston forget. It took three years of petitioning, permitting, and organizing, but a littleknown green space on Newton's south side recently hosted a display of outdoor art of surprising quality. Although Newsome stressed the goal of developing works inspired by the site, not every piece conformed. The epitome of the idea was best expressed in Jean Blackburn's Ken - nard Web. Seeing an affinity among five mature trees near the entrance to the park, Blackburn bound them together visually and literally with a set of colored bands made of webbing belt. The simplicity of the idea became sophisticated thanks to the choice of which trunks to link, and which colors and widths to use for the bindings, leading the eye through the maze in intricate ways. ....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Marco Vargas, Hombre Pato, 2016.
Brooklyn, New York: Drew Conrad- Kustera Projects Red Hook
by Rania Mehler
Drew Conrad, The Cold WakeDrew Conrad's exhibition, "The Cold Wake," offered a view of Red Hook through a literary lens. Using H.P. Lovecraft's "The Horror of Red Hook" as a launching point, the Red Hookbased artist researched local historical events to construct a sitespecific installation and self-portrait. Conrad took new materials, like lumber and metal, then aged them through a labor-intensive process of oxidizing, soiling, breaking, and shaping. Dwelling No. 11 (Jacobs Ladder) suggested a half-sunken dock and a boat on the precipice of collapse. The aesthetic and mood recalled Lovecraft's descriptions of decay and doom. When viewed from the front, jagged slabs of wood created a walkway to a dilapidated structure tethered to cinder blocks and anchors....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Drew Conrad, installations view of "The Cold Wake," 2016.
New York: Joe Fyfe- Nathalie Karg Gallery
by Jan Garden Castro
Joe Fyfe, Horse"Kiss the Sky," Joe Fyfe's recent exhibition, was a tour-de-force, seamlessly merging bright colors and quotidian materials, including steel, plastic, nylon, fabric, found wood, ink, rope, acrylic, and crayon. With some sculptures zigzagging down the middle of the long gallery, the show created a sort of color field so that the space itself became an active player in the interaction of mass, color, and movement. It's obvious that Fyfe's works merge collage, painting, and sculpture with a nod to architecture. What is less obvious is that his abstract constructions materialize interiority. As many objects as possible are shown inside out, as is the case with Advisement, the inside of a fender with a screen and colored balls inside. Gilles, a cotton-on-banner collage, is a reversed red and black Michael Jackson "Bad" poster (the words are backwards); Fyfe has added polka dot, green, and orange fabrics ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Joe Fyfe, Horse, 2016.
New York: Joan Giordano- June Kelly Gallery
by Thalia Vrachopoulos
Joan Giordano, Start Spreading the NewsJoan Giordano's recent exhibition "Woven in Time" spoke to both the history of art and postmodern phenomena. Her constructions, which straddle the boundaries of painting, collage, and sculpture, can be compared to Kurt Schwitters's "Merz" Her process begins when she selects an issue from the global news and prints the sometimes-illustrated article on heavy-weight archival watercolor paper to preserve it, before rolling, twisting, and/or scorching it. By soaking the paper, she is able to shape it into dimensional forms directly on the wall, which she combines with other materials before painting the entire composition. She uses encaustic, because this waxbased medium intensifies color and permanently seals the surface. In Epoch, Giordano rolled lithographs of New York Times newspapers together with real international newspapers to create vertical citylike forms. The Digital Fortress, a techno-thriller by Dan Brown, comes to mind....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Joan Giordano, Start Spreading the News, 2015. Mixed media, handmade paper, archival New York Times, and encaustic on board, dimensions variable.
New York: John Monti- Grace Building
by Robert C. Morgan
John Monti, BeautiesThe works in John Monti's recent series "Beauties," or more casually "flower clusters," touch on elements of Surrealism associated with Kurt Seligmann or Joan Miró. With their heightened organic levity, these unique individuals might be seen as intertwined flora and fauna - plantlike entities given over to a spontaneous bursting forth into quizzical, unexpected forms with an alien presence. Less humanoid than cunningly eerie inhabitants of another world, their weird organs remain isolated, as if discovered in a lost spacecraft hovering between turbulent galaxies. Their roguish color binaries hold a tempo between intensely pinkish and yellowish hues, calling to mind a Flash Gor don time machine miraculously forged in foam and resin-coated fiberglass and spray-painted with fluorescent color. Flourishing trinkets, cast resin flowers, gorgeous amputations, these ponderous, ironically pathetic creatures are born of a coy, yet sensible, if not solicitous imagination....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

John Monti, Beauties: Single Head, 2016.
Old Westbury, New York: Harry Leigh- Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, SUNY Old Westbury Octogenarian Harry Leigh
by Jonathon Goodman
Harry Leigh, Untitled Octogenarian Harry Leigh has made a long career of constructing Mini - malist sculptures that are highly evocative in their Shaker-like simplicity. Educated at SUNY, Buffalo, and at Teacher's College, Columbia University - supplemented by stints of private study with Peter Voulkos and Richard Pousette-Dart, and numerous stays at Yaddo and Mac - Dowell Colony residencies - Leigh is clearly well-trained and historically versed in late-modern and con - temporary art. He lives upstate in Suffern, New York, and his work, almost entirely constructed from wood, not only accommodates the Minimalist penchant for absolute...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Harry Leigh, Untitled (The Shape of Sound), 2002. Wood, 70 x 140 x 30 in.
Pittsburgh: Ed Parrish, Jr.- The Irma Freeman Center For Imagination
by Alice Winn
Ed Parrish Jr., Sublime MitosisIron, written in the stars, holds the earth together deep within its core. It glides through the bloodstream, lustrous, magnetic, essential to existence. In Ed Parrish, Jr.'s hands, this elemental metal seems palpably alive. His sculptures embody iron's molten volatility, cooled into austere, meditative forms that describe a dynamic cosmos while creating moments of revelatory quiet. Assemblage, iron casting, and painting merge in works that appear otherworldly - as if from a place of mysterious possibilities - yet feel intimate, full of familiar, sensual elements. Parrish's patterns for sand molds arise from intense engagement with found materials and open a lucid discourse between them. Elegant designs balance tender clumsiness and startling gracefulness, echoing the nature of everyday experience. ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Ed Parrish Jr., Sublime Mitosis, 2016.
Austin: "Generations"- Russell Collection Fine Art Gallery
by Renata Karlin
Arthur Umlauf, Mother and ChildEvery art historian knows that art is born from art, and yet critics and curators persist in celebrating the lone genius, seemingly sprung from nowhere and preferably having already succumbed to a tragic death. So it is a special pleasure to review this legacy exhibition of Charles Umlauf (1911–94) and four of his children - his sons, Arthur and Karl, and two daughters, Madelon and Lynn. ambiguities. Wall, paper, and canvas become multiple layers of skin, adhering to and peeling away from each other and constantly reforming. Light is a critical factor in her work. In her drawings, she creates light with bronze powders and translucency. Her sculptures are drawings in space, structurally employing wire, wire mesh, rubber, transparent Plexi - glas, and occasionally electric motors and lights. They can hang from the ceiling or wall, thrust up from the floor, or stand outdoors. Umlauf is conscious of the relation of the work to its environment: "In particular the light, walls, and people interacting with it. It has been my ambition to create work that explores my metaphysical self [thus the central importance of light] to discover meaningful new relationships...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Arthur Umlauf, Mother and Child, 2014. Honeycomb calcite, 6 x 9 x 16 in. From "Generations."
Salt Lake City: Cara Despain- Central Utah Art Center
by Alexandra Karl
Cara Despain, Seeing the StoneDespite appearances to the contrary, the 23 rocks protruding from the walls in Cara Despain's Seeing the Stone were not the final end game. The installation was more like a veneer or mirage pointing to the actual artwork. Attached to the walls with sturdy iron hooks, the stones ranged from pea- to melon-size and undulated between knee- and eyelevel. Accompanying GPS coordinates signaled the original locations of the rocks, which were found scattered around Utah. Seasoned gallery-goers would have read these stones as ill-shaped pieces of abstract sculpture, marveling at the gravity-defying engineering of the display. But they might also have drawn connections between rock and location, prompting them to ask...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Cara Despain, Seeing the Stone, 2016. Cast Concrete dimensions variable.
Helsinki: Kristján Gudmundsson- Galerie Anhava
by John Gayer
Kristjan GudmundssonA strikingly potent, yet ultimately illusory air of reticence pervaded "Olym - pic Drawings," a show highlighting Kristján Gudmundsson's discerning series of recent sculptures and a carefully selected handful of related works. Their singularly reductive style evades facile interpretation. This frequently induces consternation in gallery-goers, who are faced with familiar objects situated in contexts that thwart expectations and offer no obvious clues as to how they could or should be read. In this show, the sculptures neither shed light on the practice of drawing nor made overtures to one of the world's most popular athletic events....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Kristjan Gudmundsson, Olympic Drawing--- Men's Ice Hockey, 2016. Graphite, ice hockey goal, and mixed media, goal: 24 x 130 cm.
New Delhi: Himmat Shah- Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
by Chitra Balasubramaniam
Himmat Shah, UntitledHimmat Shah's recent retrospective formed one third of a three-part showcase at the Kiran Nadar Museum. Like the other two artists featured in "Abstraction in Indian Modern Art 1960s Onwards," Nasreen Mohammedi and Jeram Patel, Shah is associated with the Faculty of Fine Arts Baroda. His show, "Hammer on the Square," considered his prolific output from 1957 to 2015. The title work, Hammer on the Square, consists of an unpretentious cube and a hammer with no hand holding it. This composition capturing gravity at work shows how two forms can exist in suspended isolation. Over the course of his career, Shah has experimented with numerous materials, from mud and terra cotta to bronze and paper marked with cigarette burns. He consistently demonstrates an ability to transform the mundane into the astounding. Monographs devoted to his work have been innovatively designed so that readers can feel the materials while looking at the photographs....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Himmat Shah, Untitled, late 1990's. Terra cotta, 35 x 11.5 x 11.5 in.

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