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September 2018
Vol. 37 No. 7

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Los Angeles: Maren Hassinger- Art + Practice
by Kay Whitney
Maren Hassinger, Love, 2008/
2018. Plastic shopping bags, each
filled with a love note and inflated
with human breath, dimensions variable.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: Bruce Checefsky- Cochran Gallery
by Dorothy M. Joiner
Bruce Checefsky,
3 views of Unsealed and Delivered:
Portrait of a Collector, 2018. Mixedmedia
installation with (left) Mildred
Thompson's silkscreen Caversham
Press, South Africa, 1999. 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.

Bruce Checefsky, 3 views of Unsealed and Delivered: Portrait of a Collector, 2018. Mixedmedia installation with (left) Mildred Thompson's silkscreen Caversham Press, South Africa, 1999.
Lincoln, Massachusetts: "Sculpting with Air"- deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
by Marty Carlock
Ian McMahon, Tether, 2018. Plaster
and steel hardware, 65 x 25 ft. Both
from 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."
New York: Magdalena Abakanowicz- Marlborough Gallery
by Joyce Beckenstein
Magdalena Abakanowicz,
Marrow Bone, 1987. Wood and iron,
58 x 137.75 x 31.5 in.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.

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Marrow Bone, 1987. Wood and iron, 58 x 137.75 x 31.5 in.
New York: Hirosuke Yabe- Cindy Rucker Gallery
by Christopher Hart Chambers
Hirosuke Yabe, Untitled,
2017. Wood, 5 x 4 x 9 in.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.
New York: Susan York- Del Deo & Barzune and The Drawing Center
by Jan Riley
Susan York, installation view of New
and Recent Work, 2018.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.
Rutland, Vermont: Angelo Arnold- Castleton University Bank Gallery
by B. Amore
Angelo
Arnold, Apathy, 2010. Wood and
corn brooms, 4 x 3 x 2 ft.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.

Angelo Arnold, Apathy, 2010. Wood and corn brooms, 4 x 3 x 2 ft.
Brussels: Armen Agop- LKFF Art & Sculpture Projects
by Ana Bambic´ Kostov

Armen Agop, Untitled 108, 2014.
Black granite, 81 x 22 x 20 cm.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.

London: Oskar OK Krajewski- Oxo Tower Gallery
by Basia Sliwinska
Oskar OK Krajewski, Recycled
Future, 2016. Mixed media, installation
view.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 view.

New York: "Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300--Now)"- The Met Breuer
by Joyce Beckenstein

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.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.


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