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Sculpture cover


May 2017
Vol. 36 No. 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Washington, DC: Nicole Salimbene- Flashpoint Gallery
by Sarah Tanguy
Mending Waters Mending comes alive in Nicole Salim - bene’s breathtaking work, awakening complex sensations of loss, empathy, and healing. An obsolete or forgotten activity for some, for others, it endures as a cultural norm born of economic necessity. In Salimbene’s vision, participatory installations incorporating thread, needles, and seating invite viewers to experience mending as a hands-on, multivalent art medium, rich in metaphor and ritual. Like many artists currently exploring tangible solutions to building community, Salimbene is concerned with our overwrought lifestyle and troubled environment. Rather than directing group activities, however, she opts for a silent, more solitary interaction to generate something new from the collective voice of anonymous partners. With no damaged textile in sight, Salimbene concentrated instead on the stitching process with Zen-like purpose. Who or what needed repair was left to the imagination. Simple furnishings and a minimal palette of white, cream, brown, and black lent a contemplative mood to the gallery and set off the works on view. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Nicole Salimbene, Mending Waters, 2016. Needles, thread, and wood, 60 x 108 x .5 in.
Bronx, New York: Jackie Brookner- Wave Hill Glynder Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Of Earth and Cotton First trained as an art historian at Wellesley College and Harvard, Jackie Brookner moved to downtown New York in 1976, where she studied art at the New York Studio School. Her paintings and sculptures reflect a thorough knowledge of and kinship with the legacy of the New York School, but she is primarily known for her social practice. In 2000, she began developing unusual public proj - ects (Brookner died in 2015), which used water—rivers, streams, storm run-offs—and water-related issues as the centerpiece of an effort to merge art, ecological awareness, and practical intervention in troubled outdoor landscapes. “Of Nature,” a mini-retrospective organized by Wave Hill’s senior curator Jennifer McGregor and independent curator Amy Lipton, gave long overdue appreciation to this highly active and independent artist. The show could only hint at the scope of Brookner’s ....see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Jackie Brookner, Of Earth and Cotton, 1994-98. Earth on shipping skids, 34 portraits
New York: Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels- Catinca Tabacaru Gallery
by Jan Garden Castro
A Defect// to Defect Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels re-built the floor and walls of the Catinca Tabacaru Gallery as part of her powerful installation. It seemed spare while I studied it before the opening, but not after many hundreds of people jammed inside the relatively small space—and kept coming. The exhibition title, “a DEFECT // to DEFECT,” and its question, “How do we learn to change for a future we can’t imagine?” perfectly expressed the Trump election jitters experienced by many New Yorkers. This city—founded by the Dutch and known for its support of immigrant rights, its tolerance, and its huge artist communities—is nervous about America’s future, not only for itself, but also for the world. “A defect” suggests something flawed. It seems to be about letting acts of making be intuitive, even imperfect. The noun both contrasts with and parallels the verb “to defect,” which suggests running ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, installation view of "a DEFECT // to DEFECT", 2016, with detail of Untitles (flooring), 2015, floor boards. shims, and plaster, 27 x 154 x 153 in.
Hillscheid, Germany: Jochen Brandt- Kunstraum am Limes
by Kay Whitney
Beyond This CaseCombining a conceptual foundation with elements of outsider art and archaic sculptural forms, Jochen Brandt’s retrospective charted 20 years of multifaceted paths through six discrete installations. Each section presented ideas so highly concentrated and self-referential that subsequent galleries literally demonstrated the show’s enigmatic title, “beyond this case.” Brandt’s mainly ceramic work stems from a creative process in which formal decisions are based on given material circumstances. His installations are hermetic, forming the impression of a landscape of clues in which everything is metaphor and nothing merely itself. Some of the titles are in English; Brandt plays on the gaps in meaning that result from translation, emphasizing the divide between the nature of his objects and their profound ambiguity. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Jochen Brandt, installation view of "beyond this case", 2016.
Tel Aviv: Eli Gur Arie- Tel Aviv Museum of Art
by Gil Goldfine
DogHairless albino squirrels, darting here and there across a crowded floor or nibbling on quasi-scientific paraphernalia, formed a visual connection across the startling installations, freestanding assemblages, and zany reliefs in Eli Gur Arie’s recent exhibition “Growth Engines.” These sinister rodents, together with robotic metallic dogs, reflect the artist’s unrelenting interest in genetic engineering and post-apocalyptic life; in this show, they played an unsettling role in an alarming, yet visually gratifying drama. V-Day, an elevated insect-figure whose vertical gesture and scale recall the celebrated Winged Victory of Samothrace, transforms into empty elegance as inert gossamer wings rise above a violet-turquoise techno-face surrounded by red tentacles. Jammed into a patch of ersatz earth and rock salt sprouting sheaves of wild wheat, this pseudodeity was engineered as a 21stcentury aesthetic replacement for Hellenistic splendor. Realistically or symbolically modeled predators, domesticated animals, and bugs are central to Gur Arie’s work, whereas human forms are absent, replaced by “things” associated with human activity—weapons, parachutes, shovels, mortar shells, pods, floral arrangements, and equipment for space travel. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Eli Gur Arie, Dog, 2016. Polymer casts and layered acrylic paints, 120 x 75 x 60 cm.
Brooklyn, New York: Ant Farm and LST- Pioneer Works
by Sue Canning
Citizens Time CapsuleSustainability received an ironic spin in “The Present is the Form of All Life,” an exploration of time capsule works created by Ant Farm and LST. Shown at Pioneer Works, a nonprofit space dedicated to fostering crossdisciplinary practice, community, and collaboration, the exhibition took a nostalgic look at Ant Farm’s 1970s projects, even as it argued for the group’s continuing relevance as LST. Founded by Chip Lord and Doug Michels in San Francisco in 1968 and continuing on to Houston, Texas, where they were joined by Hudson Marquez and Curtis Schreier, Ant Farm was one of the earliest collaboratives to use cultural objects as “social practice.” Drawing from their background in radical architecture theory and graphic design, they gained notoriety for their inflatables— cheap, portable vinyl shelters used for performances and events that referenced the work of architects like Buckminister Fuller and Paolo Solari and whose fluidity and freedom gave form to the group’s counterculture credo. ...see the entire review in the print version of May's Sculpture magazine.

Ant Farm, Citizens Time Capsule, 1975. Chip Lord and Doug Michels with the tar-covered station wagon, ready to be buried, Lewiston, NY.

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