Vol. 37 No. 7
A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Art + Practice
| The idea of consciousness-altering
plays a central role in Maren
Hassinger's thinking. Her practice
transcends the formal demands of
sculpture, the ABCs of it, amplifying
the idea of making an object in
such a way as to recast it as performance.
At their most basic, her
objects deal with the tangibility of
materials and their existence in
the manifested world, evoking what
it is to move through this world as
an embodied presence. This elegant
and forthright work, which stands
at the intersection of multiple axes
of history and culture, precipitates
an intense contemplation of everything
from nature and industry to
gender and race. The extraordinary
balance that Hassinger strikes
between poetry and topicality is, by
its nature, complex and multidisciplinary,
demanding an intense level
of focus and control.
...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Maren Hassinger, Love, 2008/
2018. Plastic shopping bags, each
filled with a love note and inflated
with human breath, dimensions variable.
La Grange, Georgia:
A cursory glance around the gallery—
a tastefully restored, turn-of-thecentury
dry cleaning establishment—
offers no aesthetic frisson. Open
packing crates used to ship art are
strewn about seemingly at random.
Tools for mounting exhibitions litter
the floor: a drill, hammer, and nails.
Next to a ladder, two slender tree
trunks stand against a wall, crookedly
supporting a brightly hued print. The cover of one crate is lifted to
reveal an almost indistinguishable,
shadowy gray image. Visually unexciting,
this display nonetheless
carried out a multi-pronged spoof,
tackling societal biases, narcissism—
artistic and otherwise—and an art
world inverted into a business. Learning that the angled print set
high against the wall was by
Mildred Thompson began to unravel
the allusions. An African American
who escaped racial prejudice and
sexism by living in Germany for several
decades, Thompson never
enjoyed the recognition she deserved
during her lifetime.....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
3 views of Unsealed and Delivered:
Portrait of a Collector, 2018. Mixedmedia
installation with (left) Mildred
Thompson's silkscreen Caversham
Press, South Africa, 1999.
"Sculpting with Air"-
deCordova Sculpture Park and
| Ian McMahon and Jong Oh are both
interested in shaping the intangible,
though their work, and processes,
couldn't be more different. Brought
together for "Sculpting with Air"
(on view through September 30),
they also introduced a new experience
for deCordova visitors, who
were invited to watch the progress
of their site-specific installations.
McMahon, because of the size
and complexity of his works, has to
plan everything down to the last
detail. Engineering and computer
modeling are essential for him.
His process (much simplified) goes
something like this: first he blows
up big plastic forms, then he sprays
a plaster coating inside, lets it
harden, peels off the plastic, and
voila—a rigid form that looks soft
and balloonish. Of course it's more
complicated than that—the interconnected
balloons are big enough
to walk into, and they have to be
airtight....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Ian McMahon, Tether, 2018. Plaster
and steel hardware, 65 x 25 ft. Both
from "Sculpting with Air."
| Who can you trust when all's been
lost? "Embodied Forms," a modest
but compelling retrospective of
fiber, wood, and bronze works by
the late Polish sculptor Magdalena
Abakanowicz, raised this existential
question and charted the artist's
way through it. Set in a niche
at the gallery entrance, From the
Anatomy Cycle: Anatomy 29 (2009)
features a strange limb—a cast
burlap arm, with a hand at each
end, resting on a knotted, riven
wooden beam. It reverberates with
the memory of Abakan owicz's
mother, who lost her arm in 1943,
shot by drunken German soldiers
who burst into the family home.
Abakanowicz's sweet childhood vanished
in a flash. From then on, she
trusted only her intuition and the
natural world of her childhood—
the mystical forest where she
played out her childhood fantasies.
These realms nurtured a daunting
body of work that, by turns intimate
and monumental, speaks of
her resilient spirit....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Marrow Bone, 1987. Wood and iron,
58 x 137.75 x 31.5 in.
Cindy Rucker Gallery
|Two scratchy, roughly hewn little
figures emerge from uneven strips
of wood mounted vertically on the
wall: a man about four inches tall
and a tiny girl in a dress, about
an inch and a half high. A leering
monster face sits on a low pedestal
nearby, its eyes a bunch of drilledout
holes and the rest of its features
crudely chopped out, leaving a
plethora of scars.
Groups of endearing, goofy figurines
loaf around on plinths and
platforms of various heights. A literally
ass-backwards guy with an
upside-down head stands in front
of a crouching fellow attached
to four wheels—whether they are
extensions of his hands and feet
is for the viewer to decide. Other
creatures are less like people, with
and without bodies between their
heads and legs (like SpongeBob
or the anthropomorphic pieces of
candy in M&M's ads).Though
some share animal and human traits,
they all have human-looking faces
like the Sphinx. One group of seven
certainly forms a pride of silly little
lions. Most of these sculptures take
the form of individual characters,
but a few consist of several figures
lumped together, carved from a
single chunk of wood....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Hirosuke Yabe, Untitled,
2017. Wood, 5 x 4 x 9 in.
Del Deo & Barzune and The
|In Foundation, a site-specific installation
at The Drawing Center, Susan
York focused on the granite foundation
stones that run along a narrow
corridor in the lower level of
the building. Drawn to the age and
shape of these stones, she created
echoes in the form of cast and
carved graphite sculptures, each
one hung above the real stone so
that originals and cast counterparts
moved down the corridor like
irregular railroad ties. Each graphite
shape became progressively less
detailed; the last one—hung high
on the wall like an exit sign, or a
stiffened flag—took the form of a
signature York sculpture—a subtle
amalgam of fine angles and glowing
black surfaces...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Susan York, installation view of "New
and Recent Work," 2018.
Castleton University Bank Gallery
|Engaging, humorous, and disconcerting,
Angelo Arnold's quirky sculptures
invite and mystify with their
anthropomorphism. The figures seem
displaced from their usual place
in life. In Not Today, for instance, a
feminine form, dressed in elegant
brocade, sits demurely with legs and
arms crossed. But this figure is,
in fact, a deconstructed and re-constructed
Chippendale chair, so
deftly posed as to conjure the person
who might have sat on it.
Arnold is a consummate craftsman,
as well as an adept observer of the
world. He consciously brings about
a metamorphosis in his oncefunctional
forms, so that they evoke
memories, inspire stories, and
introduce social commentary. Some
pieces, such as the enticingly impossible
Apathy—a chair supported on
broom legs—are reconstructed with
a mordant sense of humor. In this
show, the tongue-in-cheek deconstructions
were tempered by a
growing sense of unease as one
sculpture after another reiterated
a feeling of emptiness. Each work is
like a shell that seems to speak to a
sense of "anomie," Émile Durkheim's
famous word for a condition of
instability resulting from a breakdown
of standards and values...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Arnold, Apathy, 2010. Wood and
corn brooms, 4 x 3 x 2 ft.
LKFF Art & Sculpture Projects
Materializations of pure thought,
Armen Agop's sculptures are
charged with inherent monumentality
regardless of their dimensions.
His recent exhibition, "Emergence,"
focused on an exploration of volume,
with works unburdened by narrative
or association that transcend solidity
of shape to suggest potential energy.
What comes into focus is line, suspended
between exteriority and containment.
The contrast between the
serenity of rounded stone mass and
the defiance of straight, angular line
creates a new level of tension, empha -
sizing the vital quality of the forms.
Agop's idea of a complete synergy
of mind, body, and spirit comes to
life in a long, contemplative process
of creation, which is invisibly woven
into the matter of the stone. Physical
at first, his method gradually gives
way to the intellect, decelerating
toward the final touch. This meditative
operation is repetitive, neverending,
based on an instinctual need
to create. Removing all signs of
gesture and intervention using both
contemporary and ancient tools,
Agop completes his works with a
flawless finish...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Armen Agop, Untitled 108, 2014.
Black granite, 81 x 22 x 20 cm.
Oskar OK Krajewski-
Oxo Tower Gallery
| Oskar OK Krajewski, a Polish artist
living in London, works across multiple
media, often combining traditional
sculpture techniques and materials with the latest technology,
sensor lights, movement, and
sound. The title of his exhibition,
"Recycled Future," refers to a project
of the same name—a "NeoSculpture"
made of over 25,000 recycled and
up-cycled pieces, which has taken
approximately three years to finish.
Recycled Future offers an overwhelming
experience. One can't just
look at it because it addresses all
of the senses. Composed of leftover
bits of everyday life, this complicated
miniature urban environment
pulsates with light and sound, its
intricately crafted structures evoking
a utopian (or dystopian) vision of a
recycled future not far removed from
Blade Runner. What appears to be
a collection of unused, unwanted
junk aesthetically repurposed into
eye-pleasing constructions, on closer
inspection turns into a rather
demoralizing vision of a future almost
devoid of life...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Oskar OK Krajewski, Recycled
Future, 2016. Mixed media, installation
"Like Life: Sculpture, Color,
and the Body (1300--Now)"-
The Met Breuer
Daring and at times creepy, "Like
Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body"
celebrated the pursuit of imitative
realism in Western figurative art,
the desire to replicate the living
human body. Invitees to this raucous,
party-like exhibition included
a mechanical, brocade-gowned
Sleeping Beauty from Madame
Tussauds (remade in 1989) "breathing"
softly in slumber on a divan,
her faint perhaps induced by the
sight of the muscled nude Dory -
phoros (a copy of Polykleitos's 440
BCE Greek warrior). Curators Luke
Syson and Sheena Wagstaff brought
scholarship and humor to their
insightful mix of masterworks, folk
art, store mannequins, robots, and
mechanical toys...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.
Exhibition view of "Like Life" with
(left to right): Hermes, 1st or 2nd century
CE; Domenico Poggini, Bacchus,
1554; Hiram Powers, California, 1850--
55; Bharti Kher, Mother, 2016;
and Charles Ray, Aluminum Girl, 2003.