International Sculpture Center
Facebook Twitter Instagram

Sculpture cover


May 2018
Vol. 37 No. 4

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.

Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci - Prato, Italy: Mark Wallinger
Through June 3, 2018

Mark Wallinger, installation view of Mark.  
A two-time Turner Prize nominee (and 2007 winner), Wallinger turns everyday moments into possibilities. Known for his investigations of identity and a career-long engagement with ideas of power, authority, artifice, and illusion, he has smuggled humility and doubt into a bastion of heroic certainty (Ecce Homo, the first work sited on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth) and transplanted political resistance into the institutional halls of power (State Britain, a painstakingly detailed rep - lica of peace campaigner Brian Haw’s Parliament Square protest camp at Tate Britain). “Mark” features works from all phases of his multifaceted career, including several examples of extreme and minimally notated selfportraiture, which shout an oppositional “I” into the null and void of the digital age, and Pietre Prato, a new installation of numbered stones that captures the paradoxical interactions of order, chaos, and the self while returning full circle to the themes of Ecce Homo. In this unflinching view, we are creatures driven off course by hubris, unwilling to understand that even the nonphysical “I” has a finite lifespan. All our attempts at permanence, our struggles for recognition and aspirations to an eternal pantheon, miscalculate the endurance of a merely human history. The true motivation for achievement lies in the here and now, in personal integrity and commitment—all the rest is just blind faith in a mythic afterlife. The humblest stone, not to mention the craftings of geological action, will outlive the immortal Achilles.

Web site

Mark Wallinger, installation view of Mark.
Fondazione Carriero - Milan: Sol LeWitt
Through June 24, 2018
Sol LeWitt, Installation view of Sol LeWitt: Between the Lines. For LeWitt, conceptualism and geometry were more than ends in themselves. Art may be the embodiment of an idea, and that idea, encoded in explicit directions, may be reproduced by anyone, but the art itself, and the idea behind it, must express beauty. In 1984, he described his objectives: “I would like my work to be seen by many people…I would also like to create universal beauty. I would like to produce something I would not be ashamed to show Giotto.” Over the course of a career devoted to “re-creat[ing] art, to start[ing] from square one,” LeWitt challenged a very old idea—that a work must adapt to, even serve, surrounding architecture. One decade after his death, “Between the Lines,” co-curated by architect Rem Koolhaas, examines the freedoms and restrictions inherent in LeWitt’s selfimposed parameters. Seven “Wall Drawings” and 15 three-dimensional works, or “structures,” argue for his radical reformulation of the division between art and architecture, emphasizing a deeper understanding of the process behind his approach to form and space rather than judgment of the results.

Web site

Sol LeWitt, Installation view of Sol LeWitt: Between the Lines.
Fondazione Merz- Turin: Fatma Bucak
Through May 20, 2018
Fatma Bucok, Fatma Bucak, Fall, from the series Four Ages of Woman. A conversation on the Turkish-Armenian border, a performance in a minefield surrounding a refugee camp a text printed in ink made from the ashes of burned books, endangered damask roses from Syria cultivated in foreign soils, and a palimpsest of names etched in stone, each recording of enforced disappearance erasing the last—Bucak’s projects and environments investigate the fragility and irreversibility of history, the power of testimony and memory. Using images, sound, and performance, she gives voice to unexpressed stories, reversing exclusion and empowering opposition (if only in a small way). “So as to find the strength to see,” her first major museum exhibition, features newly commissioned installations, as well as performance, video, and sculptural works that strive for collaborative self-determination by example. From political and ethnic identity to censorship, repression, expropriation, migration, and state violence, she tackles the big issues, blending meticulous research with resonant “repurposings” of documentary materials, objects, and actions in order to force reflection on how these are shared experiences, not remote problems confined to some other part of the world. For Bucak, each work “is where we create our own order.”

Web site

Fatma Bucok, Fatma Bucak, Fall, from the series Four Ages of Woman.

Fundació Antoni Tpies - Barcelona: Allora & Calzadilla
Through May 20, 2018
Allora & Calzadilla, Lifespan. Since 1995, Allora & Calzadilla (the husband-and-wife team of Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla) have been producing an interdisciplinary body of work known for its distinctive blend of art, poetry, and sociopolitical critique. Playful farce and social interaction underlie their installations, videos, performances, works in public space, photographs, and collages. Acutely attuned to world events, they offer unique perspectives on global issues and injustices, particularly in relation to democratic process, self-determination, ecological justice, and sustainable development. Their first show in Spain brings together a range of works dating from 2005 to the present, many of them focused on the geopolitical forces determining conditions in Puerto Rico, a non-incorporated U.S. territory whose residents live as second-class citizens at best—a situation all too familiar in Barcelona after Spain’s crackdown on the separatist regional government in Catalonia last year. Reflecting the artists’ continuing commitment to Puerto Rican rights, the Fundació Tàpies is also publishing A Modest Proposal: Puerto Rico’s Crucible, the first installment in a larger, Jonathan Swift-inspired public project designed to call attention to and possibly redress the abuses heaped on this Caribbean island and a key element in Allora & Calza - dilla’s crusade to build a future “that could be something other than an extension of the present.”

Web site

Allora & Calzadilla, Lifespan.
Haus der Kunst - Munich: Kiki Smith
Through June 3, 2018

Kiki Smith, Head with Bird.  Best known for her depictions of the human form—in anatomical fragments as well as full figures—Smith has explored a broad range of subject matter, from religion, folklore, and mythology to natural science, art history, and feminism. Whether realized as room-sized installations or miniatures, her meditations on the human condition display a mastery of materials and their expressive potential: bronze, beeswax, hair, and papier mâché become alternately intimate, visceralfunant, or fragile invocations of the physical, philosophical, spiritual, and sociopolitical aspects of human nature. Her investigations of the body—without fear of shame or taboos—explore wounding and healing, birth, age, death, and memory, all seen through a highly individualized lens. “Procession,” her largest museum exhibition to date, traces the trajectory of her 30-year career with sculptures and reliefs, drawings, and tapestries that expansively engage the natural world, the spirit, and the cosmos while elaborating on ideas of creative inspiration and the cycle of life in relation to female artists.

Web site

Kiki Smith, Head with Bird.
Kunstmuseum Luzern - Luzern, Switzerland: Taryn Simon
Through June 17, 2018
Taryn Simon, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII.  Simon’s multi-disciplinary practice involves rigorous research, guided by an interest in systems of cate - gorization and classification that hinge on sociology, history, anthropology, political philosophy, and constructed authority. Always concerned with the precarious nature of survival, her photographs, texts, films, sculptures, and performances focus attention on the margins of power, where the contours of control and disruption become visible. Determined to reveal that imperceptible space between language and reality, she deals with the construction of fantasies and competing truths, teasing out distortions caused by (mis)translation and willful misinterpretation. “Shouting is Under Calling” features a wide range of recent projects exploring everything from contraband to bloodlines to the staged signings of peace treaties, from an ornithological study of the birds in Bond films to an homage to the New York Public Library’s picture archive (whose classification system also gave the exhibition its title). Inspired and governed by order, Simon’s works deliberately embody the same control and authority they seek to expose, with the key difference that everything is open to scrutiny. Their technical, physical, and aesthetic transparency reveals the agenda and behind-the-scenes machinations, giving the lie to assumed neutrality and calling attention to the invisible hands pulling the strings of even the most seemingly benign system.

Web site

Taryn Simon, A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I–XVIII.
MIT List Visual Arts Center - Cambridge, Massachusetts: Gordon Hall
Through May 20, 2018

Gordon Hall, The Number of Inches Between Them. A sculptor, performer, and writer, Hall examines the personal and political effects of how we relate to objects and to each other. Investigating how we might use and physically interact with handmade abstract forms and creatively reconstructed copies of found objects, he reveals the social and political dynamics of engagement. Intentional, yet enigmatic, these objects function as both provocative instigators of performance and allegories for an ethics of relationality. His new project, The Number of Inches Between Them, continues a series of works replicating found, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. A twice duplicated, geometric stone bench discovered in a friend’s backyard appears first as eight interlocking cast concrete panels assembled into seating and then as the same components disassembled and leaning against the walls. All aspects of the object—its design, tactile quality, material, history, and the narrative of its maker (the largely unknown Dennis Croteau, who died in 1989)become implicated in its reanimation, raising questions of functionality, attraction, intimacy, and accessibility.

Web site

Gordon Hall, The Number of Inches Between Them.
Pinchuk Art Centrer - Kyiv, Ukraine: Dineo Seshee Bopape
Through May 13, 2018

Dineo Seshee Bopape, mabu / mubu / mmu. Bopape, winner of the 2017 Future Generation Art Prize, has stated that she hopes to “tickle” something in the viewer, planting seeds of memory that might sprout into future visions through verbally inexpressible metaphysical encounters. Sown with feathers, gold leaf, healing herbs, and sculpted objects (including clay pieces formed by a clenched fist), her molded and compressed soil structures explore a liminal terrain located somewhere in the borderlands between myth, history, ritual, and present-day reality. Despite the evocative associations, these raw landscapes record a politics of locus, scarred from battles for sovereignty over land and bodies. Wealth and impoverishment, exploitation of natural and human resources, colonizer and colonized rise to the surface in installations that undermine the machismo and domination of land art. In mabu / mubu / mmu, a new iteration of a project first presented in Venice last year, formed Ukrainian soil breaks up encrusted nationalistic associations to host synergies of signs, beliefs, and energies, expanding from politicized propaganda to embrace more deeply rooted systems of belief. Like all of Bopape’s recent works, this is an evolving environment, matter to be reformed in the face of different geographies and contexts.

Web site

Dineo Seshee Bopape, mabu / mubu / mmu.
Whitney Museum of American Art - New York: Zoe Leonard
Through June 10, 2018

Zoe Leonard, How to Make Good Pictures. Leonard’s photographs, sculptures, and installations combine lyrical, psychologically astute observations of daily life with a rigorous questioning of the politics and conditions that shape experience. Attuned to the conventions of image-making and display, she reframes images and objects, using repetition, subtle changes in perspective, and shifts in scale to re-examine the familiar from every possible angle. Loss and mourning, transience and the passing of time, the flow of merchandise, urban decay and regeneration, displacement and migration all echo through these evocative slices of life, captured in arrangements of old suitcases, uprooted and re-propped trees, and stacks of books—most pertinently, Tipping Point (2016), a tower built from copies of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. “Survey” brings together approximately 100 key works from the mid-’80s through the present, including Strange Fruit (1992–97), a collection of desiccated banana, orange, and lemon peels sutured together into wasted and disfigured objects that bear witness to the early days of the AIDS crisis.

Web site

Zoe Leonard, How to Make Good Pictures.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park - West Bretton, Wakefield, U.K.: Zak Ové
Through June 3, 2018

Zak Ové, Black and Blue: The Invisible
Men and the Masque of Blackness. Ové seeks to “reignite and reinterpret lost culture using new-world materials, while paying tribute to both spiritual and artistic African identity.” In Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness, he uses graphite to explore “future world black,” expressing traditional African forms while replacing ebony with plastic. Originally conceived for London’s Somerset House, where 40 figures occupied the courtyard, the installation directly referenced Ben Jonson’s play The Masque of Blackness, which was performed in the same location in 1605 by courtiers in blackface (this period marked the beginning of the West’s obsession with light skin). Here, Black and Blue has doubled in size and emphasizes the first of its inspirational sources— Ralph Ellison’s pioneering fictional account of racism and marginalization. The figures themselves derive from a small wooden sculpture given to Ové by his father (acclaimed filmmaker Horace Ové) in the 1970s.
Traveling across time and continents, adapted and re-shaped by the experiences of life, the layers of meaning accrued around this single object become a metaphor for the complexities of contemporary identity. Multiplied into an 80-strong collective, this power figure, as interpreted by Ové, may strike a traditional pose, but the gesture of the raised hands bristles with current tensions, pairing willing submission to law with defiant resistance to its abuse.

Web site

Zak Ové, Black and Blue: The Invisible Men and the Masque of Blackness.

Complete text in print version available at fine newsstands and t hrough subscription. Please visit our Membership page for more information.

Click here for Sculpture magazine ARCHIVES
To advertise in Sculpture magazine, call 718.812.8826 or e-mail

Click here to sign up for a digital subscription ($60) to Sculpture


Website Design & Development by Cybermill Interactive