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Sculpture cover


Mar 2018
Vol. 37 No. 2

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.

Bildmuseet - Umea, Sweden: Do Ho Suh
Through April 15, 2018
Do Ho Suh, Passage/sSuh's installations blend the monumental and the transient to explore the emotional tensions of displacement: belonging while being alien, being home while longing for "home." His architectural sculptures start "from a reflection on space, especially personal space--not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one." Passage/s, his new installation, takes an appropriately hybridized approach to the search for the perfect home, fusing passageways and corridors lifted from various abodes-- his parents' house in South Korea, various apartments and studios in New York and London--into a single 16-meter-long construction. Rendered in jewel-tones of gossamer fabric and accurate down to the minutest details, this lightweight series of conjoined hallways and vestibules embodies Suh's concept of "carrying a space in a suitcase." Leading to no fixed destination, these mundane spaces of transition reflect the nomadic nature of identity and life--without them, we would not be able to "get from point a to point b."

Web site www.bildmuseet.umu.se


Do Ho Suh, Passage/s
Bronx Museum of the Arts - Bronx, NY: Gordon Matta-Clark
Through April 8, 2018
Gordon Matta-Clark, Day's End Though his artistic career lasted only a decade, Matta-Clark continues to exert a powerful influence today. Focusing on the social, psychological, and political realities of the urban context, he pursued a transmutation of discarded spaces--whether buildings, rooms, public areas, or neighborhoods-- creating new entities filled with "hope and fantasy." His monumental holes, apertures, and excisions, carved out of abandoned buildings with a power saw, violated the structural integrity of façades, walls, and floors to "transform place into a state of mind" while shifting everyday experience into extraordinary visual and kinetic confrontations. Long ago destroyed by wrecking balls, these temporary interventions live on in photographs, films, and a few building segments known as "cuts." "Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect," which focuses on a pivotal series of Bronx-based cuts from the 1970s, includes more than 100 works, rarely seen archival materials, film projections, and a new iteration of the FOOD project, all revealing how direct engagement--treating the city as a field of imaginative activism-- can not only critique the symbiotic relationship of architecture and capitalism, but also instigate new models for lived experience.

Web site www.bronxmuseum.org



Gordon Matta-Clark, Day's End.
Kunsthaus Bregenz - Bregenz, Austria: Simon Fujiwara
Through April 8, 2018
Simon Fukiwara, Hope House In Fujiwara's ambitious and diverse practice, people, technology, images, and objects contribute to a complex and evolving portrait of a 21st century in which individualism and autonomy are increasingly at risk and appearance/branding can take on greater reality than fact. It's hard to sustain a belief in the self when systems as divergent as the political, the biological, and the industrial all conspire to structure and appropriate the personal. Yet, rather than accepting the impossibility of agency, Fujiwara's work insists on the power of the informed individual to survive and even challenge the simplistic expectations of corporate homogeneity. In Hope House, he exposes the ideological forces at work within the Anne Frank House, where every detail serves the master narrative of good and evil, hope and tragedy, but almost nothing of the original remains. Based on a model bought in the gift shop, his 1:1-scale replica raises sticky issues of authenticity, value, history, and response. It also doubles as a scathing critique of cap - italism: to survive, even the Anne Frank Foundation must offer a product and a sense of participation. As Fujiwara says, "It made me marvel at the power and agility of capitalism to really consume everything, but also the truly equalizing, democratic fact that before marketing, we all stand naked and defenseless. Even Anne Frank."

Web site www.kunsthaus-bregenz.at


Simon Fujiwara , Hope House

Mori Art Museum - Tokyo: Leandro Erlich
Through April 1, 2018
Leandro Erlich, <em>The Clous</em> (detail) In Erlich's world, appearances are always deceiving. Known for installations that seem to defy the basic laws of physics, he leads befuddled viewers into jarring environments that threaten balance, upend spatial perception, and generally overturn the parameters of reality. In these visually confounding spaces, ordinary elements of daily life-- an elevator, a swimming pool, a staircase, a boardwalk overlooking rocking boats on "water"--lead into the unreal. The experiences can be utterly stunning and convincing, yet it's all visual sleight of hand, and deliberately so; as Erlich says, "Revealing the trick is crucial." "Seeing and Believing," his largest exhibition to date, surveys 25 years of projects that open "windows concealed in the everyday." A master of illusion, Erlich denies the status of reality as a given, treating it instead as an enigma to be decoded, "a matter of major construction made by us."

Web site www.mori.art.museum

Leandro Erlich , The Cloud (detail)
Museo Amparo - Puebla, Mexico: Sheila Hicks
Through April 2, 2018
Sheila Hicks, <em>Perpetual Migration</em> In the 1960s, Hicks's revolutionary approach to fiber brought that marginalized "craft" material to the forefront of sculpture's expanded field. Since then, she has continued to use textiles and fiber (broadly defined to include paper, leather, and found objects) in conjunction with stainless steel and natural materials to create a body of work as devoted to formal pleasure as it is to structural rigor and metaphorical suggestion. Independent in spirit and itinerant in practice, she has deliberately engaged what are usually considered mutually exclusive domains, building bridges across art, design, architecture, and the decorative arts. "Free Threads" casts new light on her pictorial and spatial concerns by exploring pivotal connections to Latin American art and architecture, both modern and historic, particularly Pre-Columbian textiles and ancient Andean weaving techniques. More than 100 works, from the 1950s through the present, together with photographs and archival documents, reveal a creative mind in action as it studies and internalizes influence before converting it into something altogether new and personal.

Web site http://museoamparo.com


Sheila Hicks, Perpetual Migration
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia/Palacio de Cristal - Madrid: Doris Salcedo
Through April 1, 2018
Doris Salcedo, Palimpsesto. Salcedo has a rare ability to give visual form to traumatic loss and suppressed sorrow: a pair of shoes or ordinary chairs, tables, and beds become alternative memorials impregnated with absence. A sculptor of memory and life, poverty and dignity, she has cracked the floor of Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, walled up a room of the Castello di Rivoli, filled the "human void" left by the destruction of a building in Istanbul, and commemorated the dead with a "mute prayer" in which silence screams with outrage. Palimpsesto, her new installation at the Palacio de Cristal, combines powerful gestural understatement with stunning visual and emotional resonance. An unnervingly intimate commemoration of people who have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean and the Atlantic in search of freedom and a better life, Palimpsesto reenacts, mourns, and remembers. Almost unseen, drops of water emerge from the stone floor, slowly join together to form names, and then disperse and fade away. For Salcedo, each name represents a universe; together, they restore particularity to an abstraction, establishing a direct connection to the individual human beings classified as immigrants: "The piece cries these names, the names are present to you, and then you almost sense a life." You may not have known these people, but you feel them--brief evocations rescued from statistical anonymity and disregard.

Web site www.museoreinasofia.es


Doris Salcedo, Palimpsesto.
Museum of Contemporary Art - Detroit: Carlos Bunga
Through April 15, 2018
Carlos Bunga, Simultaneous, Fragmented, Discontinuous.
In Bunga's architecturally scaled installations, mass-produced materials such as cardboard, packing tape, and house paint coalesce in improvised structures that recall temporary shelters or life-size models. With their cheap materials and rapid construction values, these works give the lie to the illusion of permanence that propels human undertaking. Everything is subject to decay and destruction, from buildings and memorials to ideologies and shared values--a fact brilliantly underscored by his series of sand and cardboard monuments at the 2010 Carrara Biennale. Each act of creation, displacement, and disassembly eats away at architectural and, by extension, intellectual solidity. "Doubled Architecture" features a responsive new work made on site, a spiraling maze that heightens the sense of architectural and psychological enclosure. Echoing the rawness of the MOCAD building, this labyrinth, which acts as an analogue for forms and patterns of thought, leads visitors on an ambiguous journey that doubles as a confrontation with the self.

Web site www.mocadetroit.org


Carlos Bunga, Simultaneous, Fragmented, Discontinuous.
National Gallery of Art - Washington, DC: Anne Truitt
Through April 1, 2018
Anne Truitt , Insurrection
Many aspiring artists, even those completely unfamiliar with Truitt's work, have treated her Daybook and other journals as a kind of Rosetta Stone holding the key to creative inspiration in the real world. That adulation comes with a tendency to forget that she was, in fact, a serious sculptor, not a self-help guru--one of only three women included in the Jewish Museum's milestone 1966 exhibition "Primary Structures." Her aggressively plain and frequently large works blend the rigors of Minimalism with the chromatic subtlety of Color Field painting, though she disliked being called a "Minimalist" as much as she disliked the designation "woman artist." Life, memory, and process play as important a formal role in her poetic explorations of structure and surface as proportion, scale, and color. Floating on a thin line of shadow, her signature columns, which gain presence in dialogue, blur distinctions between sculpture and ground, gravity and verticality. This intimate show focuses on the role of place--home and studio--in her brand of abstraction tempered by personal reference.

Web site www.nga.gov

Anne Truitt , Insurrection
San Jose Museum of Art - San Jose, California: The Propeller Group
Through March 25, 2018

The Propeller Group, Antique Earth Satellite The Propeller Group--an artist team based in Ho Chi Minh City and Los Angeles--embraces the formats of branding campaigns, television commercials, Hollywood movies, and music videos to explore the complex ideologies driving global commerce, war, and cultural memory. The ambitious multimedia projects created by Matt Lucero, Tuan Andrew Nguyen, and Phunam, who share an interest in street culture and a background in filmmaking, may be anchored in Vietnam's past and paradoxical present as a growing capitalist market, but their insights have a more universal relevance. Combining sculpture, film, video, and documentation, the collective has developed a model that merges collaborative, conceptual art practices--partially steeped in '90s politically inflected art--with the forms and methods of today's popular media. Highlights of their first museum survey include the multifaceted installations The Living Need Light, the Dead Need Music (a documentary/ fantasy film about funerary traditions in the Mekong Delta and sculptures inspired by traditional Vietnamese funerary objects), AK-47 vs M16 (an investigation of iconic Cold War weaponry in the popular imagination), and sculptures that employ traditional Vietnamese carving methods to project the imagination of the future onto objects of the past.

Web site www.sjmusart.org


The Propeller Group, Antique Earth Satellite

Tate Modern - London: Superflex
Through April 2, 2018
Superflex , One Two Three Swing! "Art" doesn't mean much to the Danish art collective Superflex. Their proj - ects, which they call "tools" for people to use, range from a simple biogas unit that turns human excrement into cooking gas to a huge park, created with "extreme participation," that has transformed a rundown Copenhagen neighborhood into a multicultural oasis. Since 1993, they have been producing a staggeringly diverse body of work, much of it in public space, connected by just one common thread--the refusal to conform to any traditional idea about the appearance and making of art or the role of the artist. Even their commitment to social change approaches issues from left field, substituting off-kilter subversion for earnest truth-telling, often to devastatingly insightful effect. One Two Three Swing!, this year's Hyundai Commission, brings extreme play to Turbine Hall, with a line of orange swings that weaves through the space and out the building. Following the Superflex work model, these swings require cooperation, each one accommodating three people. Swinging together (in theory) increases momentum, resists gravity, and challenges the laws of nature. The lesson: individuals can achieve a lot on their own, but collaboration can unleash greater potential--unless human nature gets in the way.

Web site www.tate.org.uk


Superflex , One Two Three Swing!
Vancouver Art Gallery - Vancouver: Asim Waqif
Through April 15, 2018
Asim Waqif, Salvage New Delhi-based Waqif began his shift from architecture to sculpture with innovative structures made of bamboo, a traditional construction material in India. But with invitations to work in Europe and around the world, he had to find a new vernacular, something available and familiar everywhere that would also reflect his commitment to sustainability. He settled on waste. Salvage, his maze-like new project, builds an immersive spatial and tactile experience from nothing more than discards found at demolition sites (timber, roofing, doors, window frames, and wall sections) and "garbage" from Vancouver-area residences, businesses, and institutions. As more first world cities like Vancouver aim for zero waste status, projects like Waqif's may help shift conceptions, not only educating about social responsibility and the politics of waste management, but also demonstrating that salvage, reused and repurposed, can be more than a necessity-- it can also provide an outlet for discovery and expression.

Web site www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Asim Waqif, Salvage
Salvage - San Francisco: Edgar Arceneaux
Through March 25, 2018
Edgar Arceneaux, Installation view of “Edgar Arceneaux.” Working in installation, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video, Arceneaux uses a wide range of sources--American history, astronomy, science fiction, architecture, music, and movies--to investigate historical patterns (both erasure and connections) and the fleeting present. For him, all modes of inquiry and systems of knowledge are contingent: there is no singular history, only overlapping fragments. This exhibition features two interlocking projects. Library of Black Lies (2016) constructs a labyrinthine, Borgesian repository of crystallized books, each one a partial (frequently dated) take on African American histories, while the installation/performance Until, Until, Until… (2015–17) re-envisions one of the most racially charged performances in recent memory--what Arceneaux calls the "Twilight Zone" chain of events that led Broadway legend Ben Vereen to perform in blackface at Ronald Reagan's 1981 inaugural gala. Televised nationally in a truncated version that omitted a script-flipping second act, what Vereen intended as a tribute to pioneering entertainer Bert Williams, a black artist forced to don blackface on stage, and a pointed message aimed at Republican stalwarts, derailed his career for decades. Such jarring dissonances and the consequences of partial knowledge and incomplete understanding lie at the heart of Arceneaux's critique of epistemology.

Web site www.ybca.org


Edgar Arceneaux, Installation view of "Edgar Arceneaux."
Yorkshire Sculpture Park - West Bretton, Wakefield, U.K.: Alfredo Jaar
Through April 8, 2018
Alfredo Jaar, The Garden of Good and Evil For Jaar, "all art is socially conscious" and "context is everything." His multidisciplinary practice thoughtfully confronts some of the worst ills of today's world, from the inequality and divisiveness spawned by globalization to the compassion fatigue precipitated by a seemingly endless stream of natural and manmade crises. Anchored in the bedrock of real life, his work manages to break through callousness, burning indelible images into minds that we thought were numb. The key is a "certain element of magic," an almost theatrical approach that seduces viewers into going somewhere they don't expect, no matter how unpleasant the revelation behind the curtain. In addition to seminal installations that embody a philosophy of intellectual conscience--"I will not act on the world unless I understand the world"--this show features a major new outdoor commission. In The Garden of Good and Evil (2017), a serene grove of 101 planter-boxed trees masks nine stainless steel cells--stand-ins for the CIA's hidden "black sites." Though they appear empty, these perfectly Minimalist forms are not devoid of content-- on the contrary, they overflow with the knowledge of horrors that remain unseen and ignored.

Web site www.ysp.co.uk de


Alfredo Jaar, The Garden of Good and Evil

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