Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 84

sculpture

July/August 2009
Vol. 28 No. 6
International Sculpture Center
www.sculpture.org
Steve Dilworth
Richard Humann
Elizabeth King
Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out Search Issue | Next Page For navigation instructions please click here
Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out Search Issue | Next Page For navigation instructions please click here
________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
____________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
_______________ _______________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
_____________________________________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Like most organizations, the International Sculpture Center exists in
a state of continual evolution, with familiar Board and staff mem-
bers moving on to new opportunities and new faces joining the mix.
Such change is good: it is important that we explore our strengths
and weaknesses and that we seek the best human resources to help
the ISC move forward as we attempt to serve the organizations mis-
sion.
Recently, we have had the good fortune to add to our excellent
staff, the front line of individuals who serve youour members
and subscriberson a daily basis. We recently welcomed Valerie
Friedman and Mary Ellen Brady to the ISC ranks. Valerie joins us as a
Conference and Events Associate, assisting Dawn Molignano to stage
our terrific conferences, galas, and other events. Mary Ellen joins us
as an Executive Assistant, thereby allowing our already overworked
staff to do even more.
The ISC Board usually consists of anywhere from 25 to 35 mem-
bers, so there are always a few of us coming and going. It is with
gratitude and sadness that we say goodbye to Ric Collier and Bob
Emser as Board members. We are grateful for all that Ric and Bob
brought to the organization, and although they are leaving the
Board, we hope to continue to work closely with both of them in
the months and years ahead.
We are also excited to extend a warm welcome to our three newest
Board membersRee Kaneko, STRETCH, and Steinunn Thorarinsdottir.
Many of you may be familiar with their work, and we are very pleased
to have them on board to share their wisdom for the benefit of the
ISC. Ree and STRETCH help return the ISC to its Midwestern roots while
bringing to us their international knowledge, reach, and experience.
Steinunns home base in Iceland adds to our direct international pres-
ence. We are proud to have current ISC Board representation from the
United States, Mexico, Switzerland, Iceland, Italy, and Australia. With
more international coverage in Sculpture and upcoming conferences
in London and other cities around the world, we are succeeding in
our effort to live up to the I in our name.
The ISC Board and staff are charged with running and overseeing
the organization and its operations; we are the ISCs ambassadors to
the world at large. We are also here to listen to you, ISC members and
Sculpture readers. With more of us around the country and around
the world, please reach out to us and tell us how we are doing.
Josh Kanter
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors
From the Chairman
4 Sculpture 28.6
ISC Board of Directors
Chairman: Josh Kanter, Salt Lake City, UT
Chakaia Booker, New York, NY
Robert Edwards, Naples, FL
Bill FitzGibbons, San Antonio, TX
David Handley, Australia
Richard Heinrich, New York, NY
Paul Hubbard, Philadelphia, PA
Ree Kaneko, Omaha, NE
Gertrud Kohler-Aeschlimann, Switzerland
Marc LeBaron, Lincoln, NE
Patricia Meadows, Dallas, TX
George W. Neubert, Brownville, NE
Albert Paley, Rochester, NY
Henry Richardson, New York, NY
Russ RuBert, Springfield, MO
Walter Schatz, Nashville, TN
Sebastin, Mexico
STRETCH, Kansas City, MO
Steinunn Thorarinsdottir, Iceland
Chairmen Emeriti: Robert Duncan, Lincoln, NE
John Henry, Chattanooga, TN
Peter Hobart, Italy
Robert Vogele, Hinsdale, IL
Founder: Elden Tefft, Lawrence, KS
Lifetime Achievement
in Contemporary
Sculpture Recipients
Magdalena Abakanowicz
Fletcher Benton
Louise Bourgeois
Anthony Caro
Elizabeth Catlett
John Chamberlain
Eduardo Chillida
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Mark di Suvero
Richard Hunt
William King
Manuel Neri
Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen
Nam June Paik
Arnaldo Pomodoro
Gio Pomodoro
Robert Rauschenberg
George Rickey
George Segal
Kenneth Snelson
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Departments
12 News
14 Forum: The New Acropolis Museum by Jane Durrell
18 Itinerary
24 Commissions
80 ISC News
Reviews
70 Belfast and Portadown, Northern Ireland:
Brendan Jamison
71 Los Angeles: Allan Kaprow, Lawrence Weiner
73 Rochester, Michigan: Chido Johnson
74 New York: Louise Bourgeois
75 New York: Nick Cave
76 New York: Moore in America
77 New York: Second Lives
78 Saratoga Springs, New York: Dean Snyder
79 Toronto: Vanessa Paschakarnis
On the Cover: Steve Dilworth, Three Herons,
2003. Herons, fishing line, 186 hooks, 186
fishing-line swivels, gold leaf, fiberglass resin,
and 2.8-billion-year-old stone from the Isle of
Harris, 85 cm. Photograph: Courtesy the artist.
Features
26 Northern Inspirations: A Conversation with Steve Dilworth by Robert Preece
32 Performing Sculpture: A Conversation with Elizabeth King by Gregory Volk
40 The Sculpture is Never What You See: A Conversation with Nicola Bolla by Laura Tansini
46 Pipe Dreams: A Conversation with Fergus Martin by Robert Preece
48 Lois Teicher: Private Voice, Public Benefit by Vince Carducci
52 The Emblematic World of Joan Danziger by Elaine A. King
58 Evidence of Being: A Conversation with Richard Humann by Lisa Paul Streitfeld
52
sculpture
July/August 2009
Vol. 28 No. 6
A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
Sculpture July/August 2009 5
71
32 40
58
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
6 Sculpture 28.6
S CUL PT URE MAGAZ I NE
Editor Glenn Harper
Managing Editor Twylene Moyer
Editorial Assistants Elizabeth Lynch, Deborah Clarke
Design Eileen Schramm visual communication
Advertising Sales Manager Brenden OHanlon
Contributing Editors Maria Carolina Baulo (Buenos Aires), Roger Boyce (Christchurch), Susan Canning
(New York), Marty Carlock (Boston), Jan Garden Castro (New York), Collette Chattopadhyay (Los Angeles),
Ina Cole (London), Ana Finel Honigman (Berlin), John K. Grande (Montreal), Kay Itoi (Tokyo), Matthew
Kangas (Seattle), Zoe Kosmidou (Athens), Angela Levine (Tel Aviv), Brian McAvera (Belfast), Robert C.
Morgan (New York), Robert Preece (Rotterdam), Brooke Kamin Rapaport (New York), Ken Scarlett
(Melbourne), Peter Selz (Berkeley), Sarah Tanguy (Washington), Laura Tansini (Rome)
Advertising information E-mail <advertising@sculpture.org>
Each issue of Sculpture is indexed in The Art Index and the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA).
isc
Major Donors ($50,000+)
Fletcher Benton
Rob Fisher
John Henry
Richard Hunt
Johnson Art and Education
Foundation
J. Seward Johnson, Jr.
Robert Mangold
Fred & Lena Meijer
I.A. OShaughnessy Foundation
Arnaldo Pomodoro
Russ RuBert
Jon & Mary Shirley Foundation
James Surls
Bernar Venet
Directors Circle ($5,0009,999)
Chairmans Circle ($10,00049,999)
Sydney & Walda Besthoff
Otto M. Budig Family
Foundation
Lisa Colburn
Bob & Terry Edwards
Bill FitzGibbons/Blue Star
Contemporary
Linda Fleming
Gagosian Gallery
The James J. and Joan A.
Gardner Foundation
Michael D. Hall
Richard Heinrich
Peter C. Hobart
Joyce & Seward Johnson
Foundation
Jun Kaneko
Mary Ann Keeler
Cynthia Madden Leitner/
Museum of Outdoor Arts
Susan Lloyd
Marlene & William
Louchheim
Patricia Meadows
Merchandise Mart
Properties
Peter Moore
Ralph S. OConnor
Mary OShaughnessy
Frances & Albert Paley
Barry Parker
Patricia Renick
Henry Richardson
Melody Sawyer Richardson
Riva Yares Gallery
Wendy Ross
Walter Schatz
Sculpture Community/
Sculpture.net
Sebastin
Dr. & Mrs. Robert Slotkin
Katherine and Kenneth
Snelson
Duane Stranahan, Jr.
Takahisa Suzuki
Laura Thorne
Robert E. Vogele
Harry T. Wilks
Isaac Witkin
Magdalena Abakanowicz
John Adduci
Atlantic Foundation
Bill Barrett
Debra Cafaro & Terrance
Livingston
William Carlson
Sir Anthony Caro
Dale Chihuly
Erik & Michele Christiansen
Citigroup
Clinton Family Fund
Woods Davy
Stephen De Staebler
Karen & Robert Duncan
Lin Emery
Virginio Ferrari
Doris & Donald Fisher
Gene Flores
Viola Frey
Neil Goodman
Michael Gutzwiller
John Hock
Stephen Hokanson
Jon Isherwood
Joshua S. Kanter
Kanter Family Foundation
Keeler Foundation
William King
Gertrud & Heinz Kohler-
Aeschlimann
Anne Kohs Associates
Koret Foundation
Marc LeBaron
Toby D. Lewis
Philanthropic Fund
Lincoln Industries
Marlborough Gallery
Denise Milan
David Nash
National Endowment
for the Arts
Alissa Neglia
Manuel Neri
Tom Otterness
Joel Perlman
Pat Renick Gift Fund
Estate of John A Renna
Lincoln Schatz
June & Paul Schorr, III
Judith Shea
Kiki Smith
Mark di Suvero
Nadine Witkin, Estate of
Isaac Witkin
Address all editorial correspondence to:
Sculpture
1633 Connecticut Avenue NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202.234.0555, fax 202.234.2663
E-mail: gharper@sculpture.org
Sculpture On-Line on the International
Sculpture Center Web site:
www.sculpture.org
ISC Headquarters
19 Fairgrounds Road, Suite B
Hamilton, New Jersey 08619
Phone: 609.689.1051, fax 609.689.1061
E-mail: isc@sculpture.org
This issue is supported in part by a grant
from the National Endowment for the Arts.
I NT E RNAT I ONAL SCUL PT URE CE NT E R CONT E MPORARY SCUL PT URE CI RCL E
The International Sculpture Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
that provides programming and services supported by contributions, grants,
sponsorships, and memberships.
The ISC Board of Directors gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our members
and donors in our Contemporary Sculpture Circle: those who have contributed
$350 and above.
I NT E RNAT I ONAL S CUL PT URE CE NT E R
Executive Director Johannah Hutchison
Conference and Events Manager Dawn Molignano
Office Manager Denise Jester
Membership Coordinator Lauren Hallden-Abberton
Membership Associate Emily Fest
Web Associate Frank Del Valle
Executive Assistant Mary Ellen Brady
Conferences and Events Associate Valerie Friedman
Patrons Circle ($2,5004,999)
Henry Buhl
Elizabeth Catlett
Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery
John Cleveland
Ric Collier
Federated Department
Stores Foundation
Francis Ford Coppola Presents
Frederik Meijer Gardens &
Sculpture Park
Ghirardelli Chocolates
Grounds for Sculpture
Agnes Gund & Daniel Shapiro
David Handley
Mary Kuechenmeister
Nanci Lanni
McFadden Winery
Museum of Glass
Salt Lake Art Center
Julian & Jacqueline Taub
Edward Tufte
Geraldine Warner
Marsha & Robin Williams
____________
_________
_____________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 7
About the ISC
The International Sculpture Center, a member-supported, nonprofit organization
founded in 1960, advances the creation and understanding of sculpture and its
unique, vital contribution to society. The ISC seeks to expand public understanding
and appreciation of sculpture internationally, demonstrate the power of sculpture
to educate, effect social change, engage artists and arts professionals in a
dialogue to advance the art form, and promote a supportive environment for
sculpture and sculptors. Members include sculptors, collectors, patrons, educa-
tors, and museum professionalsanyone with an interest in and commitment
to the field of sculpture.
Membership
ISC membership includes subscriptions to Sculpture and Insider; access to
International Sculpture Conferences; free registration in Portfolio, the ISCs
on-line sculpture registry; and discounts on publications, supplies, and services.
International Sculpture Conferences
The ISCs International Sculpture Conferences gather sculpture enthusiasts
from all over the world to network and dialogue about technical, aesthetic,
and professional issues.
Sculpture Magazine
Published 10 times per year, Sculpture is dedicated to all forms of contemporary
sculpture. The members edition includes the Insider newsletter, which contains
timely information on professional opportunities for sculptors, as well as a list
of recent public art commissions and announcements of members accomplish-
ments.
www.sculpture.org
The ISCs award-winning Web site <www.sculpture.org> is the most comprehensive
resource for information on sculpture. It features Portfolio, an on-line slide
registry and referral system providing detailed information about artists and their
work to buyers and exhibitors; the Sculpture Parks and Gardens Directory, with
listings of over 250 outdoor sculpture destinations; Opportunities, a membership
service with commissions, jobs, and other professional listings; plus the ISC
newsletter and extensive information about the world of sculpture.
Education Programs and Special Events
ISC programs include the Outstanding Sculpture Educator Award, the Outstanding
Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards, and the Lifetime
Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture and gala. Other special events
include opportunities for viewing art and for meeting colleagues in the field.
Vol. 28, No. 6 2009. Sculpture (ISSN 0889-728X) is published monthly, except February and August, by the International Sculpture Center. Editorial office: 1633 Connecticut Ave. NW, 4th floor, Washington, DC
20009. ISC Membership and Subscription office: 19 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite B, Hamilton, NJ 08619, U.S.A. Tel. 609.689.1051. Fax 609.689.1061. E-mail <isc@sculpture.org>. Annual membership dues are US $100;
subscription only, US $55. (For subscriptions or memberships outside the U.S., Canada, and Mexico add US $20, includes airmail delivery.) Permission is required for any reproduction. Sculpture is not responsi-
ble for unsolicited material. Please send an SASE with material requiring return. Opinions expressed and validity of information herein are the responsibility of the author, not the ISC. Advertising in Sculpture
is not an indication of endorsement by the ISC, and the ISC disclaims liability for any claims made by advertisers and for images reproduced by advertisers. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, DC, and addi-
tional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send change of address to International Sculpture Center, 19 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite B, Hamilton, NJ 08619, U.S.A. U.S. newsstand distribution by CMG, Inc., 250 W. 55th
Street, New York, NY 10019, U.S.A. Tel. 866.473.4800. Fax 858.677.3235.
Ruth AbernethyLinda Ackley-EakerAcklie Charitable
FoundationElizabeth AraliaPorter ArneillMichael Aurbach
Jacqueline AvantHelena Bacardi-KielyMaryAnn BakerJon
Barlow-HudsonBrooke BarrieJerry Ross BarrishBruce
BeasleyEdward BenaventeJoseph BeneveniaPatricia
Bengtson JonesHelen BensoConstance BergforsRoger
BerryCharles BienvenuMartin BlankRebecca & Robert
BlattbergRita BlittSandra BloodworthChristian Bolt
Kurtis BomarGilbert V. BoroAntonia BostromLouise
BourgeoisMichael BrayJ.Clayton BrightCurt BrillJudith
BritainSteven S. BrownCharles BrummellGil BruvelHal
BucknerH. Edward BurkeMaureen Burns-BowieKeith Bush
Evan CampbellJohn CarlsonPaulette H. CarrChristopher
CarterKati CasidaMary Ann Ellis CasselDavid CaudillJohn
ChallengerGary ChristophersonJohn ClementJonathan
ClowesMarco CochraneAustin CollinsLin CookRon Cooper
Wlodzimierz CzupinkaArianne DarJohn B. DavidsonMartin
DaweArabella DeckerG.S. DemirokChristine Desiree
Patrick DiamondAlbert DicruttaloAnthony DiFrancesco
Karen DimitKatherine DonnellyDorit DornierJim Doubleday
Philip S. DrillKathryn D. DuncanThomas J. DwyerElaine
EllisHelen EscobedoJohn EvansJanet EvelandPhilip John
EvettHelaman FergusonJosephine FergusonHeather
FerrellCarole FeuermanTalley FisherTrue FisherBasil C.
FrankGayle & Margaret FranzenJames GallucciDenise &
Gary GardnerRonald GarriguesScott GentryShohini
GhoshJohn GillMichael GodekMasha GoldsteinThomas
GottslebenTristan GovignonTodd GrahamRose Ann
GrundmanBarbara GrygutisSimon GudgeonNohra Haime
Calvin HallWataru HamasakaPortia HarcusChristie Hefner
Michael HelbingDaniel A. HendersonTom HendersonSally
HeplerJoyce HilliouHenry L. HillmanAnthony HirschelAri
HirschmanDave HoffmanDar HornRuth HorwichBernard
HoseyJill HotchkissJack Howard-PotterBrad HowePaul
HubbardGordon HuetherRobert HuffDavid A. Hulseberg
Yoshitada IharaEve IngallsKevin JefferiesRoy Soren
JespersenJulia JitkoffKirk K. JohnsonJohanna Jordan
Yvette Kaiser SmithWolfram KaltTerrence KarpowiczRay
KatzMary Ann KeelerColin KerriganNancy KienholzSilya
KieseGloria KischStephen KishelBernard KlevickasKarley
KlopfensteinEsmoreit KoetsierJeffrey KraftLynn E. La Count
Jennifer LaemleinDale LamphereEllen LanyonKarl Lautman
Henry LautzWon LeeMichael Le GrandWendy Lehman
Dennis LeriLevin & Schreder, Ltd.Evan LewisKen Light
Robert LindsayRobert LonghurstSharon LoperCharles
LovingJeff LoweNoriaki MaedaSteve MaloneyMasha
Marjanovich-RussellLenville MaxwellJoseph McDonnell
Jane Allen McKinneyDarcy MeekerRon MehlmanJames
MeyerCreighton MichaelGina MichaelsRuth Aizuss Migdal-
BrownLowell MillerJB. & Nana MillikenBrian Monaghan
Brad MortonKeld MoseholmSerge MozhnevskyW.W.
MuellerAnna MurchMorley MyersMarina NashNathan
Manilow Sculpture ParkIsobel NealStuart NeilsenJohn &
Anne NelsonMiriam (Mimi) NelsonGeorge NeubertJohn
NicolaiEleanor NickelBrenda NoelDonald NoonJoseph
OConnellMichelle OMichaelJames ONealMica Onon
Peter OsborneGertrud ParkerJames T. ParkerRomona
PayneVernon PeasenellCarol PeligianBeverly Pepper
Robert PerlessAnne & Doug PetersonDirk PetersonAngela
Ping-OngDaniel PostellonJonathan QuickMichael Quintero
Madeline Murphy RabbMorton RachofskyMarcia Raff
Vicky RandallKate RaudenbushAdam ReederJeannette Rein
Wellington ReiterEllie RileyKevin RobbCarl H. Rohman
Salvatore RomanoAnn RorimerHarvey SadowNoah Savett
Tom ScarffMarilyn SchanzePeter SchifrinJoseph H. Seipel
Jerry ShoreDebra SilverJerry SimmsWilliam Simpson
James & Nana SmithSusan Smith-TreesStan SmoklerSam
SpiczkaJohn StallingsEric SteinLinda SteinEric Stephenson
Michael SternsJohn StewartPasha StinsonElizabeth
Strong-CuevasTash TaskaleAnn TaulbeeCordell Taylor
Timothy TaylorAna ThielStephen TironeCliff TisdellRein
TriefeldtWilliam TuckerThomas TuttleLeonidas Tzavaras
Edward UhlirJosiah UpdegraffBoaz VaadiaHans Van de
BovenkampMartine VaugelAles VeselyJames Wake
Leonard WalkerMartha WalkerBlake WardMark Warwick
Richard WattsDavid WeinbergGeorgia WellesPhilip
WicklanderRaymond WicklanderMadeline WienerStuart
WilliamsonJean WolffEfat YahyaogluCigdem Yapanar
Riva YaresLarry YoungHisham YoussefGavin Zeigler
Friends Circle ($1,0002,499)
Bishop & Mrs. Claude
Alexander
Neil Bardack
Verina Baxter
Joseph Becherer
Tom Bollinger & Kim
Nikolaev
Chakaia Booker
Paige Bradley
Sylvia Brown
Elizabeth Burstein
Chihuly Studio
Paula Cooper Gallery
Cornish College of the Arts
James Cottrell
Les & Ginger Crane
Charles Cross
Rick & Dana Davis
Richard & Valerie Deutsch
James Dubin
Bob Emser
Forrest Gee
James Geier
Piero Giadrossi
Helyn Goldenberg
Christina Gospondnetich
Paul & Dedrea Gray
Richard Green
Francis Greenburger
Dr. LaRue Harding
Michelle Hobart
Vicki Hopton
Iowa West Foundation
George Johnson
Philip & Paula Kirkeby
Howard Kirschbaum
Stephen & Frankie Knapp
Alvin & Judith Kraus
John & Deborah Lahey
Nanci Lanni
Jon Lash
Eric & Audrey Lester
Daryl Lillie
Peter Lundberg
Steve Maloney
Lewis Manilow
Martin Margulies
Robert E. McKenzie &
Theresia Wolf-McKenzie
Jill & Paul Meister
Kenneth Merlau
Jon Miller
Museum of Contemporary
Art, Chicago
Alan Osborne
Raymond Nasher
Sassona Norton
Claes Oldenburg & Coosje
van Bruggen
Steven Oliver
Angelina Pacaldo
William Padnos & Mary
Pannier
Philip Palmedo
Justin Peyser
Meinhard Pfanner, art
connection international
Playboy Enterprises, Inc
Cynthia Polsky
Allen Ralston
Mel & Leta Ramos
Carl & Toni Randolph
Andre Rice
Benjamin & Donna Rosen
Milton Rosenberg
Saul Rosenzweig
Aden Ross
Carmella Saraceno
Jean & Raymond V. J. Schrag
Marc Selwyn
Stephen Shapiro
Alan Shepp
Marvin & Sondra Smalley
Thomas Smith
Storm King Art Center
Tootsie Roll Industries
William Traver Gallery
UBS Art
De Wain & Kiana Valentine
Jill Viney
Allan & Judith Voigt
Ursula Von Rydingsvard
Alex Wagman
Michael Windfelt
Professional Circle ($350999)
_______
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
___________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
__________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
____________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
___________
_____________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
___
____
_______
12 Sculpture 28.6
Edinburghs Milestone
In August, Edinburgh College of Art hosts sculptors
from around the world, as they gather for Milestone,
Scotlands largest stone carving exhibition. Participating
artists include Joel Fisher (U.S.), Takeshi Hayashi (Japan),
Jake Harvey (Scotland), Carlos Lizariturry Moro (Croatia),
Gerard Mas (Spain), Atsuo Okamoto (Japan), Peter
Randall-Page (England), Sibylle Pasche (Switzerland),
Daniel Silver (Israel), Susanne Specht (Germany), and
Jessica Harrison (Scotland), the projects dedicated PhD
student. Each artist is carving a new sculpture from a
one- to two-ton block of stone. Visitors are welcome to
watch the development of the works in progress the
artists are working in the colleges quadrangle through-
out the month. Milestone also features a program of
films, photographs, and interviews, as well as an exhibi-
tion of maquettes, and it coincides with the Edinburgh
Art Festival. For more information, contact the
Edinburgh College of Art <www.eca.ac.uk>.
Winners Circle
Enrico David, Roger Hiorns, Lucy Skaer, and Richard Wright were recently
shortlisted for the 2009 Turner Prize. Among art world observers, Hiorns is
the undoubted favorite: his arresting sculptures and installations never fail
to seduce and astonish with their unusual materials (soap bubbles, fire, per-
fume, minerals, and chemicals), which combine to spectacular effect. Tate
Britain will host an exhibition of the shortlisted work, October 6, 2009
January 16, 2010. The winner will be announced on December 7.
Tim Tate has won the first-place Virginia A. Groot Foundation Grant in recog-
nition of recent work combining finely crafted glass with new media. Lauren
Grossman and Travis Townsend received second- and third-place awards.
Judy Pfaff has been inducted into the American Academy of Art and
Letters. She was the only artist accepted this year.
New Turrell Museum Opens
The James Turrell Museum of the Hess Art Collection, which
opened in April in Colom, Argentina, is the first museum
in the world dedicated to the artists space and light works.
Based on a plan created by Turrell, the new museum fea-
tures nine installations dating from the 1960s to the pre-
sent. Among the highlights are Spread (2003), a 4,000-
square-foot walk-in environment of blue light, and Unseen
Blue (2002), Turrells largest Skyspace, which surrounds an
interior courtyard and reaches its greatest intensity at sun-
rise and sunset. All of the exhibited works come from the
collection of Swiss businessman and wine-producer, Donald
M. Hess. The 18,084-square-foot exhibition space is located
on the grounds of his Bodega & Estancia Colom, a vine-
yard and resort in the Province of Salta in northwestern
Argentina. Like Hesss other museums in the Napa Valley
and South Africa, the Turrell Museum offers free admission.
For more information, visit <www.estanciacolome.com>.
news
Judd Restoration
In 1968, Donald Judd purchased 101 Spring Street in New
York City. It was the first building that he owned, and he
chose well. The five-story, classically ornamented structure,
designed in 1870 by Nicholas Whyte, is the only intact,
single-use, cast-iron building remaining in SoHo. For Judd,
it was an inspiration and the birthplace of his concept
of permanent installation. 101 Spring now serves as the
home of the Judd Foundation, which recently received approval from the NYC Landmarks Preservation
Commission for its plans to restore the listed building (it was among the first to be designated under
the Historic Artists Homes and Studios program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation) and
convert it to a public programming space. Construction, which is expected to start later this year, is
scheduled to take three years. When the restoration is complete, 101 Spring Street will open to the
public with a full schedule of programs and exhibitions.
Third Floor of 101 Spring Street.
Tim Tate, I See Myself as an Author.
Top left: James Turrell, City of Arhirit, 1976.
NYs Bard College Unveils New Eliasson
Four years in the making, Olafur Eliassons first perma-
nent outdoor public art project in the U.S. was inau-
gurated on May 16. Commissioned by the Center for
Curatorial Studies at Bard, The parliament of reality
consists of a manmade island surrounded by a circular
lake, 24 trees, and wild grasses. A 20-foot-long, lattice-
canopied bridge leads to the central oasis, which
serves as a gathering place for students and the pub-
lic. The concept comes from the Icelandic parliament
or Althing, one of the worlds earliest democratic
forums and literally a space for all things. With its
evolving blend of the natural and the engineered,
parliament continues to explore Eliassons signature
themes, while giving form to his belief that only ques-
tioning can produce real knowledge. For more infor-
mation, visit <www.bard.edu>.
E
L
I
A
S
S
O
N
:

K
A
R
L

R
A
B
E


S
T
U
D
I
O

O
L
A
F
U
R

E
L
I
A
S
S
O
N

/

T
U
R
R
E
L
L
:


F
L
O
R
I
A
N

H
O
L
Z
H
E
R
R
,

2
0
0
9
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

J
A
M
E
S

T
U
R
R
E
L
L

M
U
S
E
U
M

O
F

T
H
E

H
E
S
S

A
R
T

C
O
L
L
E
C
T
I
O
N

/

J
U
D
D
:

R
A
I
N
E
R

J
U
D
D
,


J
U
D
D

F
O
U
N
D
A
T
I
O
N
,

L
I
C
E
N
S
E
D

B
Y

V
A
G
A
,

N
Y

/

T
A
T
E
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
_______
_____________
_______
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Edited by Glenn Harper and Twylene Moyer
Release date Autumn 2008
For further information, please visit www.sculpture.org
Non-members /$24.95 (plus S & H) and members /$20 (plus S & H)
New from International Sculpture Center, publisher of Sculpture
magazine, and University of Washington Press
Landscapes for Art:
Contemporary Sculpture Parks
Sculpture parks and gardens offer sculpture lovers and artists alike
unique ways to experience the outdoors, sculpture, and the intersec-
tions between nature and culture. Since the mid-20th century, these
venues have become important tourist destinations and essential
aspects of public life in cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, and
Seattle and regions including Yorkshire in England and the Hudson
Highlands in New York. Landscapes for Art: Contemporary Sculpture
Parks surveys a wide range of sculpture parks and gardens that focus
on contemporary artfrom well-established, museum-type institutions
to small-scale, experimental programs. The book includes profiles
of sculpture parks in the U.S., U.K., Japan, Australia, Lithuania, China,
Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Latvia, Sweden, and
Finland (among others), plus articles on key topics by art critics,
landscape architects, and sculpture park professionals and interviews
with Isamu Noguchi, Martin Friedman, and Alfio Bonanno.
________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
If architecture can be seen as
sculpture writ large, the New
Acropolis Museum in Athens
qualifies as a fine example
of the form. Housing works so
splendid that they echo with
meaning millennia after their
making, a building of such
singing grace, that calls atten-
tion to its contents rather than
itself, is like a gift from the
gods. The artworks themselves,
as everyone knows, have suf-
fered mightily over the years:
neglect, battles, dispersion, and
time itself have marked them.
The New Acropolis Museum,
a gleam in the eye since the
1970s, has 10 times the space
of the hopelessly cramped
19th-century museum located
on the Acropolis.
Deciding on a location took
years. Fruitless architectural
competitions were staged
before the final site was deter-
minedthe base of the
Acropolis, with sight lines
flowing directly to the Par-
thenon. Because the area has
been central to the city since its
founding, with modern houses
resting on archaeological
remains dating from prehistoric
times to the 12th century CE,
concerns for the homes of both
living and ancient Athenians
had to be addressed. The courts
settled present-day matters,
while 100 concrete pillars lift
the building above the excava-
tions, which are visible through
glass floorsa brilliant solution
by architect Bernard Tschumi,
14 Sculpture 28.6
f
orum
The New Acropolis Museum
by Jane Durrell
Top: Aerial view of the Acropolis, the
Theater of Dionysus, and the New
Acropolis Museum. Above: Bernard
Tschumi Architects, rendering of the
relationship of the New Museum,
the excavations, and the Acropolis. T
O
P
:

N
I
K
O
S

D
A
N
I
I
L
I
D
I
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

N
E
W

A
C
R
O
P
O
L
I
S

M
U
S
E
U
M
,

A
T
H
E
N
S

/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

B
E
R
N
A
R
D

T
S
C
H
U
M
I

A
R
C
H
I
T
E
C
T
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

N
E
W

A
C
R
O
P
O
L
I
S

M
U
S
E
U
M
,

A
T
H
E
N
S
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
whose appointment didnt
come until the new century
was underway. Optimistic
expectations for an opening
coinciding with the 2004
Olympics didnt materialize.
Successive years produced suc-
cessive projections; most of the
building opened in early 2009,
with the official ceremonies
celebrated in June.
When I visited in fall 2008,
parts of the museum were open
to the public, and the grand
scheme could be understood.
Wisely, I thinkothers dis-
agreethere is no attempt
to mimic classical structures.
Instead, a decidedly 21st-cen-
tury building protects and dis-
plays ancient sculptures and
archaeological remains. As self-
effacing as a non-traditional
building can be, the museum
uses glass lavishly as a way to
disappear among reflections
of its surroundings. The glass
walls defining the top-floor
Parthenon Gallery (its footprint
skewed from the rest of the
structure to parallel the orienta-
tion of the temple itself) reflect
that buildings noble bones,
while, inside, the Parthenon
sculptures still in Greece are
on view in natural light, their
intended illumination. The
smog that once soiled the citys
glorious daylight has been
diminished, and high-spec glass
allows sunlight without damage
to the artworks.
The elephant in the gallery, of
course, is the controversy over
the so-called Elgin Marbles,
long in place at the British
Museum. Asked whether the
New Acropolis Museum is
intended to expedite the repa-
triation of scattered national
heritage, particularly the miss-
ing Parthenon sculptures, a
spokesperson said, The mis-
sion is to present the history of T
O
P
:

B
E
R
N
A
R
D

T
S
C
H
U
M
I

A
R
C
H
I
T
E
C
T
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

N
E
W

A
C
R
O
P
O
L
I
S

M
U
S
E
U
M
,

A
T
H
E
N
S

/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

N
I
K
O
S

D
A
N
I
I
L
I
D
I
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

N
E
W

A
C
R
O
P
O
L
I
S

M
U
S
E
U
M
,

A
T
H
E
N
S

the Acropolis through the finds
from that archaeological site,
among other [unnamed] objec-
tives. The museum no doubt
will make the absence of miss-
ing pieces more obvious.
You may wonder how the
spectacular decorations of the
Parthenon got to London and
took on the name of an English
lord. Its not an uncommon
story. One periods great power
is another periods underdog,
and the accouterments of suc-
cess change hands. In the early
19th century, the Ottoman
Empire controlled Greece;
Thomas Bruce, Earl of Elgin,
was the British ambassador
to Turkey. Elgin had an intense
admiration for 5th-century
Greek sculpture; the Turks were
willing to see it go, possibly for
a few well-placed bribes. After
the works reached England,
Elgin was beset by personal
problems, including a particu-
larly nasty divorce from the
wife who had made him rich,
and had to make the painful
decision to sell his Greek pos-
sessions. He is known to have
felt that these superb works
would raise the level of British
arts if more people could see
them, so perhaps he sold them
Top: Bernard Tschumi Architects, rendering of the museum entrance. Above: The entrance to the museum, with the
exposed excavations.
Sculpture July/August 2009 15
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
to the British Museum with
mixed feelings. There, it must
be said, they were protected
from the almost certain vandal-
ism awaiting them had they
remained in place. As desirable
as the return of the Elgin
Marbles might be, it could set
a knotty precedent, leaving
museums everywhere fighting
for their collections.
Meanwhile, the New Acrop-
olis Museum shows us what it
does have in splendid fashion,
including much beyond the
Parthenon segments. From the
lobby, visitors enter exhibition
galleries by way of a long ramp
studded with glass sections
that reveal the ancient domi-
ciles below. The upward trek is
meant to suggest the approach
to the Acropolis. At the top is
an archaic pediment in which
some figures still retain the
surprise note of their original
paint. Turning right, a
columned gallery sets off
Bronze Age and Archaic period
figures, found in excavations
on the Acropolis beginning in
the 19th century. Included are
female korai, companions to
the more frequently seen
kouroi, idealized young men.
Illuminated by windowed walls
and a generous skylight that
lets sunshine flow through the
building, these works display
a remote dignity.
Prepared for the wonders of
the top floor, visitors cannot
help but find the evocation
of the Parthenon compelling.
Frieze panels are mounted
along the exterior of a hollow
central core that allows natural
light to penetrate through to
the heart of the building. This
arrangement is more like the
original than the British
Museums facing walls of frieze
panels, and plaster reproduc-
tions of missing works do make
omissions obvious. Three hun-
dred or so meters beyond the
glass surround stands the
Parthenon itself, but modern
Athens is also visible, pulsing
with life.
The usual museum amenities
are all here, and the ground
floor features a windowless
gallery for temporary exhibi-
tions. Tellingly, the first show
consisted of works recently
repatriated to Italy along with
several returned to Greece. No
decision had been made con-
cerning future exhibitions, I
was told. That will be decided
by the next governing body
the Organization for the New
Acropolis Museum disbanded
on completion of its task and
will be replaced by a new enti-
ty. That new governing body,
appointed by the Minister of
Culture, has a glorious building
and collection in its charge.
16 Sculpture 28.6
f
orum
Top left: Bernard Tschumi Architects, rendering of the Gallery of the Slopes with the inclined glass floor. Top right: The Gallery of the Slopes, showing the atrium above.
Bottom left: Bernard Tschumi Architects, rendering of the Parthenon Gallery. Bottom right: Ground floor of the museum, with glass window overlooking the excavations.
L
E
F
T
,

T
O
P

A
N
D

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

B
E
R
N
A
R
D

T
S
C
H
U
M
I

A
R
C
H
I
T
E
C
T
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

N
E
W

A
C
R
O
P
O
L
I
S

M
U
S
E
U
M
,

A
T
H
E
N
S

/

R
I
G
H
T
,

T
O
P

A
N
D

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

N
I
K
O
S

D
A
N
I
I
L
I
D
I
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

N
E
W

A
C
R
O
P
O
L
I
S

M
U
S
E
U
M
,

A
T
H
E
N
S

Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
______________________
________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
18 Sculpture 28.6
L
A
Z
Z
A
R
I
N
I
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

D
E
I
T
C
H

P
R
O
J
E
C
T
S
,

N
Y

/

G
O
R
M
L
E
Y
:


F
U
N
D
A
C
I

N

A
R
T
I
U
M

D
E

L
A
V
A
,

V
E
G
A
P
,

A
N
D

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

/

S
Z
E
:


S
A
R
A
H

S
Z
E
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

V
I
C
T
O
R
I
A

M
I
R
O

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

L
O
N
D
O
N
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Robert Lazzarini
Type A
Through September 13, 2009
Lazzarini investigates hyperrealism,
but a hyperrealism gone strangely
awry. His distortions seem to bend
the world, or at least our perception
of it, as familiar objects such as a
chair, a violin, a skull, or a hammer
become almost unrecognizable.
Despite their contorted appearance,
his sculptures are fabricated with
careful veracity from wood, metal,
plastic, and bone. This installation
of revolvers and kitchen knives con-
trasts his interest in phenomen-
ology and the mechanics of seeing
with a meditation on fear and vio-
lence. As always, these uncanny
objects, which slip toward their
own demise, strike a nerve in an
overly digitized world.
Also on view is Barrier, a new work
about boundariesreal and imag-
inedby Type A (Adam Ames and
Andrew Bordwin). Based on Jersey
Barriers, the ubiquitous highway
medians adapted for use as security
barricades, this construction of 24
identical concrete sculptures weaves
through the museums entrance,
lobby, and courtyard, radically alter-
ing the flow of viewer traffic.
Tel: 203.438.4519
Web site <www.aldrichart.org>
Artium
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Antony Gormley
Through September 20, 2009
Gormleys explorations of the human
body mediate between individual
and collective, containment and
extension, what can be seen and
what can be sensed. Making unex-
pected connections across ideas
and disciplines, his works have
moved the domain of figural sculp-
ture beyond the confines of the
physical body to include interaction
with the surrounding world,
whether that be the matrix of com-
munity, space and energy, memory,
or built form. This show of early
sculptures and recent installations
features important examples of
his different approaches (European
Field, Reflection II, Sense, Critical
Mass, and Freefall), all of which
underscore a career-long dedication
to the human experience of free-
dom.
Tel: + 34 945 20 90 00
Web site <www.artium.org>
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead, U.K.
Sarah Sze
Through August 31, 2009
For nearly two decades, Szes dis-
tinctive assemblages of common
disposable objects have riveted and
challenged viewers. Her complex
spatial matrices combine water
bottles, drawing pins, paper, salt,
string, lamps, matchsticks, and wire
into spectacularly intricate uni-
verses that mold themselves to their
host spaces, spreading across, over,
and through architectural surfaces.
itinerary
Top left: Robert Lazzarini, gun (iv). Top right: Type A, Barrier.
Left: Antony Gormley, Sense. Above: Sarah Sze, Tilting Planet
(centrepiece).
__________
_________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 19
Within the delicate balance of her
compositions, the slightest change
seems capable of precipitating
a descent into chaos. In her new
work, Tilting Planet, the sculptures
resemble remnants from a vanished
civilization, each one posing as a
potential mechanism for survival:
tents, rafts, lean-to shelters, and
escape routes.
Tel: + 44 (0) 191 478 1810
Web site <www.balticmill.com>
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art
Gateshead, U.K.
Tobias Putrih and MOS
August 31, 2009
Influenced by Buckminster Fuller
and Robert Smithson, Putrih works
in a variety of non-traditional, tem-
porary materials, including egg car-
tons, packing tape, and cardboard.
His sculptures and installations,
which often distort space and man-
ipulate perception, jump between
magical constructed objects and
active environments in which view-
ers can interact with and make
changes to the work. In this experi-
mental collaboration with the
American architecture and design
studio MOS (Michael Meredith and
Hilary Sample), Putrih uses Styro-
foam blocks and stacks according
to the basic rules of equilibrium and
maximum overhang stacking to
produce stable, lightweight struc-
tures that appear on the verge of
collapse.
Tel: + 44 (0) 191 478 1810
Web site <www.balticmill.com>
Centro per larte contemporanea
Luigi Pecci
Prato, Italy
Loris Cecchini
Through August 2, 2009
Formally diverse but conceptually
consistent, Cecchinis works deal
with our perception of reality and
the need to find equilibrium in
an unstable world. His sculptures,
installations, and photographs
accentuate the effect of alienation
and breakdown in the everyday:
objects collapse, lose their struc-
ture, and relinquish their function,
as ordinary definitions of space and
experience expand into magical
realms (based, nonetheless, on sci-
entific models). This exhibition
focuses on his environments, true
exercises in architecture that radi-
cally alter the viewers relationship
with scale and perspective. It also
includes interactive structures
that morph natural organisms with
architectural form and transfigure
object/environments into vehicles
of light, as well as bubble forms,
virtual models, and extruded
bodies that emerge from the walls
like surreal visions of ghostly fur-
nishings.
Tel: + 39 (0) 574 5317
Web site <www.centropecci.it>
Fondazione Querini Stampalia
Venice
Mona Hatoum
Through September 20, 2009
Hatoum transforms everyday domes-
tic objects into uncanny sculptures
that instill a sense of displacement,
uncertainty, and conflict. No longer
reassuring spaces of protection, her
domestic territories subvert familiar
forms such as chairs, beds, and
kitchen implements while reconfig-
uring clean, Minimalist forms into
ciphers of ambiguity and threat.
This show features over 25 new and
recent works, some made specifically
for the space, such as the delicate
and precariously suspended barbed-
wire and red neon installation Hot
Spot III. Hatoum has also made
a number of interventions in the
museum collection itself, using his-
torical furniture as the container
or frame for new ideas and existing
works, which, when placed among
the relics of the past, generate unex-
pected meanings.
Tel: + 30 (0) 412711411
Web site
<www.querinistampalia.it>
Haus der Kunst
Munich
Thomas Schtte
Through September 6, 2009
Schttes installations, sculptures,
architectural models, paintings,
and drawings (all covering a broad
range of styles and materials) chal-
lenge the fundamental premises
of contemporary life. His work pre-
sents a strange hybrid, joining dif-
ferent modes of visual expression
while creating contradictory and
illusory worlds, without ever losing
sight of the socio-political status
Above: Loris Cecchini, Around and
Around. Top right: Tobias Putrih,
Overhang. Bottom right: Mona
Hatoum, Twins.
C
E
C
C
H
I
N
I
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

C
E
N
T
R
O

L
U
I
G
I

P
E
C
C
I
,

P
R
A
T
O

/

P
U
T
R
I
H
:

C
O
L
I
N

D
A
V
I
S
O
N
,


B
A
L
T
I
C

2
0
0
9
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

G
A
L
E
R
I
J
A

G
R
E
G
O
R

P
O
D
N
A
R

A
N
D

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

/

H
A
T
O
U
M
:

D
A
I
N
A

M
O
U
S
S
A
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
O
W
N
H
O
U
S
E

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

C
A
I
R
O
___________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
itinerary
20 Sculpture 28.6
quo. Perhaps best known for his
radically simplified and exaggerated
models (Model for a Hotel topped
Trafalgar Squares Fourth Plinth last
year), his emotionally potent figural
sculptures take a different tack,
exploring human isolation, vulnera-
bility, and hopelessness with bitter
humor. This quasi-retrospective
places Schttes endeavors firmly
within the context of contemporary
political systems, examining how
his concise and relevant images of
ambivalence, tension, and conflict
speak to both individual and global
fragility.
Tel: + 49 89 21127-113
Web site <www.hausderkunst.de>
Kunsthalle Wien
Vienna
Mona Hatoum: Hanging Garden
Through August 9, 2009
As Hatoums Venice exhibition
demonstrates, her work relies on
an exchange of the familiar and the
strange. Her brand-new outdoor
sculpture for the Kunsthalle, Hanging
Garden, takes the form of an eight-
meter-long bunker made of burlap
sandbags. Seemingly out of place in
the quiet environs of central Vienna,
these ubiquitous features in the
architecture of conflict remind us
of the persistence (and proximity)
of war zones across the world. But
Hatoums message is not without
a hopeful note: the trappings of war
sprout tufts of bright green grass and
plants, becoming elegant, attractive,
even nourishing, a sign that life finds
a foothold everywhere.
Tel: + 43 1 52189 0
Web site <www.kunsthallewien.at>
Kunsthaus Zrich
Zrich
Katharina Fritsch
Through August 30, 2009
Fritschs iconic and singular sculp-
tures exploit the tension between
reality and apparition, between
the familiar and the surreal. Her
objects, images, installations, and
sound works seem to imprint
themselves indelibly on the mind.
Hearts, crosses, skulls, bottles,
umbrellas, and Madonnas play on
common resonances and shared
fantasies, but they are transformed
through color and material into
open- ended and mysterious pres-
enceslatent, private notions
transfigured into primal, universal
forms. With their roots in collective
experience, the works trace a kind
of general mental archive addressing
primeval ideas, desires, and fears.
This retrospective also includes new
large-scale sculptures that venture
into unexplored terrain for Fritsch,
including erotica from a female
perspective.
Tel: + 41 (0) 44 253 84 97
Web site <www.kunsthaus.ch>
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York
Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom
Through October 25, 2009
From mushroom and plant fields
to art-making machines and
large-scale metal trees, Paines work
juxtaposes the natural and the
Above and detail: Mona Hatoum,
Hanging Garden. Top right: Thomas
Schtte, One Man House I. Right:
Katharina Fritsch, Koch.
H
A
T
O
U
M
:


S
T
E
P
H
A
N

W
Y
C
K
O
F
F

/

S
C
H

T
T
E
:


T
H
O
M
A
S

S
C
H

T
T
E

/

V
G

B
I
L
D
-
K
U
N
S
T
,

B
O
N
N

2
0
0
9
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

M
A
R
I
A
N

G
O
O
D
M
A
N

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y

/

F
R
I
T
S
C
H
:

2
0
0
9

P
R
O
L
I
T
T
E
R
I
S
,

Z

R
I
C
H
____________ __________
____________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 21
unnatural. Colliding the organic
with the manufactured, he ques-
tions our position between a world
that we shape ourselves and
the natural sphere, which eludes
human control. Do we make the
world better or wreak havoc by
attempting to improve reality? His
new work for the Met, the largest
ever installed on the museums roof,
sets a massive, tangled thicket of
stainless steel pipe (reminiscent of
plumbing or vascular networks, tree
roots, and fungal mycelia) against
the greensward of Central Park.
While conjuring the brutal forces
of nature, Maelstrom also tethers
themthe whole swirling mass ties
into the surrounding concrete walls
via two valves. Its never quite clear
which construction is the host and
which the parasite, whether order
controls chaos or vice versa.
Tel: 212.535.7710
Web site <www.metmuseum.org>
Middlesbrough Institute of
Contemporary Art
Middlesbrough, U.K.
Possibilities and Losses:
Transitions in Clay
Through August 16, 2009
Possibilities and Losses features
new commissions by Clare Twomey,
Keith Harrison, Linda Sormin, and
Neil Brownsword, artists at the fore-
front of experimental, large-scale
clay sculpture. While they challenge
traditional perceptions of ceramic
practice and its relationship to the
craft model, their installations and
objects remain rooted in clay as a
specific medium. The material prop-
erties that they value, however, are
not the usual suspects: time and
change drive their work. Here,
Brownsword and Twomey reconsider
the economic and industrial shifts
affecting the historic potteries of
Stoke-on-Trent, Twomey with a dra-
matic, cascading configuration of
broken china shards. Harrison and
Sormin, who both include an ele-
ment of performance, consider the
transformative nature of ceramic
practice: Harrison moves his material
toward permanence through slow
electrical transfiguration (as the work
is gradually fired over the course of
the show), while Sormin encourages
breakage and decay.
Tel: + 44 (0) 1642 726 720
Web site <www.visitmima.com>
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
Long Island City, NY
Florian Slotawa
Through September 14, 2009
Rather than create new objects
from scratch, Slotawa re-arranges
and recontextualizes what already
existsfurniture and everyday
objects accreting into elaborate
compositions that respond to sur-
rounding space. For P.S.1, he has
created the 12th installation in his
Property Work series. Most of the
contents from his Berlin apartment,
including the washing machine,
dining table, wardrobe, and kitchen
sink, have been transported to the
gallery, recast from the private into
the public realm. Neither altered
nor damaged, after their fairy-tale
sojourn in the art world, these pos-
sessions will return to the prosaic
reality of daily life and use.
Tel: 718.784.2084
Web site <www.ps1.org>
Bottom left: Florian Slotawa,
Besitzarbeit XII: Pier and Water.
Left: Linda Sormin, Stow, from
Possibilities. Above: Roxy
Paine, Maelstrom.
S
L
O
T
A
W
A
:

M
A
T
T
H
E
W

S
E
P
T
I
M
U
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

P
.
S
.
1

C
O
N
T
E
M
P
O
R
A
R
Y

A
R
T

C
E
N
T
E
R
,

N
Y

/

S
O
R
M
I
N
:

R
O
B

M
A
C
I
N
N
I
S

/

P
A
I
N
E
:

T
E
R
E
S
A

C
H
R
I
S
T
I
A
N
S
E
N
,

T
H
E

M
E
T
R
O
P
O
L
I
T
A
N

M
U
S
E
U
M

O
F

A
R
T
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

J
A
M
E
S

C
O
H
A
N

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
___________
_______
____________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
22 Sculpture 28.6
O
C
H
O
A
:

B
I
L
L

S
T
E
N
G
E
L
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

S
U
S
A
N
N
E

V
I
E
L
M
E
T
T
E
R

L
O
S

A
N
G
E
L
E
S

P
R
O
J
E
C
T
S

/

F
R
E
Y
:

M
I
C
H
A
E
L

T
R
O
P
E
A
,

C
H
I
C
A
G
O

/

B
E
E
:

J
Y
M

S
N
E
D
E
K
E
R
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

S
U
Y
A
M
A

S
P
A
C
E
,

S
E
A
T
T
L
E

/
R
O
L
L
I
N
S
:

A
R
T
H
U
R

E
V
A
N
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

F
R
A
N
C
E
S

Y
O
U
N
G

T
E
A
C
H
I
N
G

M
U
S
E
U
M

A
N
D

A
R
T

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y

A
T

S
K
I
D
M
O
R
E

C
O
L
L
E
G
E
Racine Art Museum
Racine, Wisconsin
Viola Frey
Through August 16, 2009
Best known for monumental,
intensely colored figural sculptures
that explore issues of gender, cul-
tural iconography, and art history,
Frey was a pioneer in contemporary
ceramics. Together with Peter
Voulkos and Robert Arneson, she
played a pivotal role in the craft-as-
art drama. She was also a forerun-
ner in the quest for self-revelation,
creating works based on personal
relationships, recollections, and
family history, and a technical inno-
vator who consistently explored
new approaches to clay, glass, and
bronze. This exhibition, the first
major show of Freys work since her
death in 2004, features her colossal
figures, as well as a selection of
paintings, ceramic plates, and brico-
lagescollage-like clay assem-
blages inspired by found junk and
flea market purchases.
Tel: 262.638.8300
Web site <www.ramart.org>
Site Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Ruben Ochoa
Through September 6, 2009
Investigating how class and race are
expressed in the built environment,
Ochoa concocts his unique approach
from equal parts international
conceptual practice and West Coast
funk. His gritty public art interven-
tions, sculptures, and installations
deny all high-art preciousness while
expressing a solidarity with working
class craft. Construction sites relo-
cated to the gallery, his works con-
figure everyday, working materials
like concrete, rebar, dirt, metal
fencing, and asphalt into unexpected
forms. His best-known work,
Freeway Wall Extraction (200607),
injected photographic murals into a
slice of L.A.s Interstate 10 in order
to restore the unseen landscape
behind the retaining wall. Like his
previous projects, this new installa-
tion, which infiltrates the structure
of Sites building, explores issues
of containment and transgression.
Tel: 505.989.1199
Web site <www.sitesantafe.org>
Suyama Space
Seattle
Andreas Bee
Through August 14, 2009
Bees new, site-specific modular
installation (and his first show in
the U.S.) continues his pursuit of
pure meditation within a sculptural
environment. Raumgreifend literally
translates as far-reaching or
extensive, but in relation to this
work, the title becomes ambiguous.
Bee is more interested in interaction
than his austere creations might sug-
gest, and here he creates a subtle
conversation between viewers and
their physical surroundings. His
wood and paper construction exists
somewhere between the two parts
of the title word: Raum meaning
space and greifen meaning to
grasp. The clustered, hanging forms
establish a transparent, floating
interruption, physically impacting
movement and access to the
gallery.
Tel: 206.256.0809
Web site
<www.suyamapetersondeguchi.
com/art>
Tang Teaching Museum and Art
Gallery, Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, New York
Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
Through August 23, 2009
In 1981, Rollins was recruited to
develop a public school curriculum
in the financially devastated South
Bronx that incorporated art-making
with reading and writing. His stu-
dents had been classified as acade-
mically or emotionally at risk. As
he told them on that first day,
Today we are going to make art,
but we are also going to make his-
tory. Together, Rollins and the Kids
of Survival did make history, by
re-defining the parameters of art
education. Their visually rich col-
laborative paintings and sculptures
based on literary texts developed
Bottom left: Ruben Ochoa, Crooked Under the Weight (process view). Left:
Viola Frey, Family Portrait. Above: Andreas Bee, Raumgreifend (detail).
Below: TIm Rollins and K.O.S., The Bricks.
___________
_________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
itinerary
Sculpture July/August 2009 23
L
O
N
G
:


T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

/

S
A
R
A
C
E
N
O
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

T
A
N
Y
A

B
O
N
A
K
D
A
R

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y

/

O
L
D
E
N
B
U
R
G
:

G
E
O
F
F
R
E
Y

C
L
E
M
E
N
T
S
,


C
L
A
E
S

O
L
D
E
N
B
U
R
G

a signature style and inspired a
devoted following that led beyond
the classroom to traveling work-
shops, then into the gallery. This
selection of 20 works, from 1984 to
1998, traces the history of their
effort and its continuing impact.
Tel: 518.580.8080
Web site
<http://tang.skimore.edu>
Tate Britain
London
Richard Long
Through September 6, 2009
Longs walks, photographs, maps,
drawings, and sculptures are as
much about his personal relation-
ship to the landscape as they are
about the land itself. Like the
younger generation of British envi-
ronmental artists who followed in
his footsteps, he focuses on the
physical and perceptual interactions
that arise from an individuals
presence in and passage through
a particular terrain: human scale
and presence remain key. This retro-
spective, which includes over 80
works, features works on paper,
sculptures, large-scale mud wall
works, and new photographic and
text works documenting walks
around the world.
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7887 8888
Web site <www.tate.org.uk>
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis
Toms Saraceno
Through August 30, 2009
Saraceno faces mounting world
problems and fatalistic views of the
future with invention and imagina-
tion, looking to the sky to escape
the reality of the earth. Merging
architecture with sculpture and
engineering, he creates structural
and theoretical proposals for new,
sustainable systems of travel and
habitation that marry materials and
space into unified constructions. His
buoyant clusters of spheres, radiant
explosions of lines, and geometric
constellations challenge the laws
of gravity and nature while pushing
formal conventions with such signa-
ture materials as elastic ropes and
plastic balloons. His first U.S.
museum show features sculpture,
drawing, photography, and video
from the past six years, as well as
a new large-scale installation on
the outdoor sculpture terrace.
In keeping with the experimental
nature of Saracenos vision, the
Walker is using solar power to gen-
erate electricity for the exhibition.
Tel: 612.375.7600
Web site <www.walkerart.org>
Whitney Museum of American Art
New York
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van
Bruggen
Through September 6, 2009
Over the course of their collabora-
tion, Oldenburg and the late van
Bruggen redefined the concept of
sculpture, disrupting our expecta-
tions of how ordinary objects
behave. This two-part show high-
lights the metamorphoses at the
heart of their practice, with draw-
ings, sculptures, films, and seldom-
seen archival materials. Featured
examples of Oldenburgs iconic
early sculptures include Giant BLT
(Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sand-
wich), Soft Toilet, and the newly
restored Ice BagC Scale. And for
the first time, rare films of his
Happenings, including Fotodeath
and Autobodys, will be shown
together. Finally, a large-scale instal-
lation of The Music Room brings
together an array of musical instru-
ment sculpturesboth hard and
soft, in various scales. A recurring
theme for the artists from 1992 to
2006, musical instruments offered
a rich cache of inventive forms,
ideal for exploring physical/material
transformations and playfully
mocking reality.
Tel: 212.570.3600
Web site <www.whitney.org>
Above: Richard Long, A Line in Scotland. Top right: Toms Saraceno, Flying
Garden. Right: Claes Oldenburg, French Fries and Ketchup.
_________ _____________
__________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
lAwknc Akont Anu Scott kttA
Conduit
Vail, CO
Lawrence Argent is fascinated by paradoxi-
cal juxtapositions that question the nature
of presence. Conduit, an enormous mol-
lusk shell made of ice, responded to the
geological composition of the Rocky
Mountains where steep slopes often reveal
fossilized seashellsremnants of vanished
sea floors forced upward and reconfigured
within the mountains that we see today.
The Minturn Formation, a rock outcrop-
ping near Vail, shows evidence of this
process, and Argent says that he wanted
to provide a link between those ancient
seas and modern Vails snowy environment.
Intrigued by the materiality of ice, he once
again collaborated with ice sculptor Scott
Rella, relying on Rellas technical skills
to create a work that neither artist could
realize alone.
Conduit consisted of a 28-foot-wide spiral
that led visitors toward a 10-foot-tall shell
form. LED lights placed beneath each block
of the sculpture shifted through a slowly
changing spectrum of white and warm blue
to illuminate the work at night. Like a real
shell, the central mollusk element, deli-
cately carved by Rella, included an opening
for viewers to peer into; its form, and that
24 Sculpture 28.6
of the outer spiral, was based on a Golden
Mean Spiral, a ratio commonly found in
nature. The use of ice and the naturally
occurring spiral reinforced associations
with Colorados deep past, transferring
remote geology to an imaginative winter
setting. Visitors found the work inviting
and interesting, fulfilling Argents hope
to illuminate and stimulate the town of
Vail. They could not enjoy his vision for
long, however; due to Colorados unusually
warm 200809 winter, the piece began
to melt after only a month.
v8}kn SAnu
Live Ice
Ilulissat, Greenland
Vebjrn Sands Live Ice combines a passion
for geometry with concern for climate
change. In 2006, Sand was in the audience
Above and detail: Lawrence Argent and Scott Rella, Conduit, 2009. Ice and LED lights, 9.71 x 28.33 ft.
Below: Vebjrn Sand, Live Ice, 2009. Ice, 52 ft. long.
A
R
G
E
N
T

A
N
D

R
E
L
L
A
:

P
E
T
E
R

F
R
E
D
I
N

/

S
A
N
D
:

D
A
V
I
D

D
R
O
O
B
commissions
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
when Al Gore told Norwegians that they
had a particular responsibility to the envi-
ronment since the countrys oil and gas
resources had allowed its citizens to, as
Sand says, build up a fortune based on
pollution. Gores holistic thinking struck
a chord since Sands previous work was
already based on a blend with Platonic
thinking. In 2001, he proposed that a
Leonardo bridge design be constructed as
a public footbridge in Norway, and he is
proud to have facilitated the realization of
this narrow, dynamic arch. Drawn to
the bridges engineering and design intelli-
gence, a balance between art, science,
philosophy, and spirituality, he found it to
be a message from the past to the future.
Sand, who has traveled extensively in
polar regionshe first went to the Antarctic
as a painter on a scientific expedition in
1993is also inspired by the natural geom-
etry of ice and glacier formations. After
hearing Gore, he began to think of re-creat-
ing Leonardos bridge using ice, and not
just any ice, but ice that is threatened, from
the most fragile places on the planet.
Sand has created several versions of the
ice bridge: in Antarctica, on a remote site
where it will likely remain; in New York,
as a fleeting statement within view of
the United Nations; and recently, outside
Ilulissat, Greenland. This site, which
is accessible from Ilulissat, looks toward
Disco Bay, an ice fjord with a glacier
regularly producing new icebergs.
To construct Live Ice, Sand collected glac-
ier ice and used it to fill a mold, like bak-
ing an ice cake. He plans to build another
(melting) bridge in Copenhagen to coincide
with the December 2009 Climate Confer-
ence. He finds a timeless and inspirational
harmony expressed in these bridges, and
he uses them as the basis for discussions
and lectures on geometry. As he says, the
whole project is about enlightenmentnot
just the environmental crisis, but what
I can find in Renaissance-era humanism.
ltookAno/ks
The State of Things and Main Street
Meltdown
Denver, CO, St. Paul, MN, and New York, NY
Responding to the 2008 presidential elec-
tion season, the artist team of Ligorano/
Reese (Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese)
composed a series of ephemeral, politically
charged works. Provisions Library, a non-
profit organization concerned with social
issues, supported their endeavors as part
of BrushFire, a public art series funded by
CrossCurrents addressing the election. The
State of Things, first created at Jim Kemp-
ner Fine Art for the third anniversary of
the war in Iraq, involves the word Democ-
racy carved into a 20-foot-long block of
ice, placed outside, and allowed to melt.
According to Reese, they proposed democ-
racy meltdowns in both convention cities
and worked with the Museum of Contem-
porary Art in Denver and the UnConven-
tion in Minnesota to select sites.
Reese says that the project grew to include
Main Street Meltdown, when, as the
election drew closer, and tighter, we felt it
would be a compelling action to take
Meltdown further, to the streets of New
York, as close as we could get to Wall
Street, and with a new message: the econo-
my. BrushFire also supported this piece,
Sculpture July/August 2009 25
allowing the artists to respond to the
moment. As Reese described the plan, We
felt since we were creating performative
works, we needed to choose an auspicious
date for the economy sculpture, and we
chose October 29, 2009, the 79th anniver-
sary of Black Tuesday, the stock market
crash that caused the Great Depression.
The sculptures were hand-carved in ice,
the words formed from simple, block capi-
tals resting on plinths above white lighting.
Ligorano says that horizontal ridges [were]
cut into the surfaceto help the sculpture
catch light from the illumination source
below. The timely and provocative subject
matter prompted different audience
responses at each location. Close to the
MCA in Denver, the work was seen as a
piece of art; the St. Paul sculpture, on the
state capitol grounds in the midst of an
anti-war march, became a temporary mon-
ument, a site for protesters to gather before
and after the march; and the New York
piece created an atmosphere of disbelief.
For Ligorano/Reese, ice has an openness
different from other mediums: to witness
the economy crumble gives testimony to
underlying concerns in the air. As part of
public election events, their work helped
project the spirit that brought a new
administration to Washington.
Elizabeth Lynch
Juries are convened each month to select works for Commissions. Information on recently
completed commissions, along with quality 35mm slides/transparencies or high-resolution digital
images (300 dpi at 4 x 5 in. minimum) and an SASE for return of slides, should be sent to:
Commissions, Sculpture, 1633 Connecticut Avenue NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009.
Left: Ligorano/Reese, Main Street Meltdown
10.29.08, 2008. Ice, 5 x 20 x 2 ft. Above: Ligorano/
Reese, The State of Things (RNC St. Paul) 09.01.08,
2008. Ice, 5 x 20 x 2 ft.
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
S
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
The site where an artist lives often provides inspirational material for
his or her work, and such is certainly the case for Steve Dilworth. He
has spent the past 25 years on the North Atlantic coast of the Isle of
Harris in the Outer Hebrides in northwest Scotland, roughly equidistant
from London and Iceland. Stretching into the far north and characterized
by rough, windswept weather coming from the ocean, this unique envi-
ronment is home to whales, porpoises, seals, and millions of birds
animals that urbanites usually see only in aquariums. Dilworth, on the
other hand, can watch their daily lives unfold from the windows of his
home and studio.
Over his 40-year career, Dilworth has created sculptural entombments
of animals found dead on the Isle of Harris. He has also made contempla-
tive hand-held objects, works in the land, and recently, public sculpture.
Originally from Northeast England, Dilworth has exhibited in numerous
solo and group exhibitions across the U.K.,
and his large-scale public artworks are in
many U.K. collections. Dilworth is repre-
sented by the Hart Gallery in London.
BY ROBERT PREECE
NORTHERN
INSPIRATIONS
Steve Dilworth
Above: Three Herons (detail), 2003.
Herons and mixed media, 85 cm.
Opposite: Porpoise, 200405.
Bronze and sterling silver, 60 cm. O
P
P
O
S
I
T
E
:

S
T
E
V
E

R
U
S
S
E
L
L

S
T
U
D
I
O
S

/

B
O
T
H
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
A Conversation with
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Robert Preece: Ive traveled a bit around Iceland and Arctic Norway and feel like I have
a sense of where your work comes from: the serenity, the empty beaches, the landscapes
that stretch endlessly, the amazing number of birds and other wildlife. Its their territory.
Is it necessary to travel to the far north to really appreciate your work?
Steve Dilworth: There is definitely a lot of the far north in my work, but I would hope that
even if someone has had no first-hand experience of these northern places that the sculp-
tures would touch something inside. For example, even with ancient cave paintings,
I think that people can relate through time to the work itself. You dont have to be from
that time to have an experience with those works. The archetypal qualities of the land-
scape, myths, and histories feed and run parallel as I work. Brian Catling said that I tapped
archaic undercurrents, which is the same
thing, I guess.
RP: When you are talking to people about
your work, do they ask you about the envi-
ronmental context?
SD: Sometimes people have a tactile experi-
ence, and they will say something like,
The work is beautifully made. You can see
that they feel the power and energy of the
object, which I see as the core of the works.
But they dont ask a lot of questions about
the environmental context, which is an
obvious influence. Its only a part, however;
the internal landscape drives the work and
my need to make it.
RP: What would you describe as the key
developments in your artistic practice?
SD: Two developments stand out for me.
There is no doubt that making and showing
Hanging Figure (197980) opened all sorts
of Pandoras boxes, focusing my attitude
and understanding of what sculpture can
and should be. With this work, I wanted
to take an animal presence and a human
presence and combine them with equal
respect, as we cannot separate ourselves
from nature.
Ive been trying ever since to unravel
these questions and insights, to work with
responsibility and integrity. Sculpture is not
purely a visual art: materials possess ener-
gy and have a presence that can be manip-
ulated by changing their shape and posi-
tioning them with other materials. A more
powerful presence can be created, and
objects can be made that have a power
greater than their physical form. All of
the object is important, whether seen or
unseen, as with everything else in life.
Secondly, making Calm Water (1991)
had a big impact on me. It was very impor-
tant because I was making something
completely outside the art world. It had
nothing to do with exhibitions, showing,
or my artistic identity. It was designing
and making something, with a purpose,
for somebody. It was to be used as a con-
templative, personal object to provide com-
fort to a friend who was dying of cancer.
RP: Could you give examples of how you
conceive your works? Does it depend on
the type of work you are making?
SD: Some of my works begin by simply
placing collected material together, a bit
28 Sculpture 28.6
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Hanging Figure (detail), 197980. Human skeleton, calf muscles, liver, and heart, horse tails, sea grass,
spiky blackthorn shrub, and beef drippings, 180 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
like placing copper and zinc together as
the beginning of a battery. For example,
Rook (1980), which uses bog oak, iron, and
the material of the rook, fits into this
category. Calm Water is another example
of all the materials relating through their
history, combined together.
With Porpoise (200405), I came across
a dead, rotting porpoise washed up on
the beach below my home. I managed to
extract the vertebrae, about 60 bones in
all, and the skull. The skull was particularly
smelly so I left it outside. This turned out
to be a mistake, because a local dog started
chewing it. Afterwards, I boiled and cleaned
the bones and what remained of the skull,
and they became the start of a new work.
The whole spine was used. The 60 bones
of the vertebrae were molded. Using the
lost wax method, they were cast into pure
sterling silver. The body was cast in bronze
at Pangolin Foundry. Doing this was rather
difficult, and Im very fortunate to be able
to work with a foundry of such caliber.
RP: How did you go about making Three
Herons (2003)?
SD: The herons were collected by a friend
who ran a local fish farm. They all had bro-
ken necks, which must have been caused
by them trying to take salmon from the fish cages. This happens often up hereherons
try to stab the salmon with their beaks through the cages. Sometimes two or three herons
will work together, using their combined weight to lower the anti-predator net, which
is stretched over the top of a fish cage. This makes it easier for one of them to catch a
fishquite clever really.
Sculpture July/August 2009 29
Above: Calm Water, 1991. Lignum vitae, old-style fishing line, and sea water sealed in a glass vial, 10 x 10 cm. Below: Claw, 2007. Granite, 220 cm.
Work commissioned by Sculpture at Goodwood.
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
I took the dead herons and injected them with sodium fluoride and formaldehyde to
preserve them. Then I positioned them in my studio so they would dry. This took about
six weeks, but drying time varies depending on the wetness of the air. They become stiff
as a board when dry. I strengthened their legs with stainless steel wire and then encased
the entire birds in glass fiber. For each feather that had a fish hook bound to it with
fishing line, I rehooked it in exactly the same position. The composition is such that, if
unraveled, the birds would stretch into a fishing line of sorts.
RP: You use an internal and external method to preserve the animal material as opposed
to taxidermy, which just uses the animal exterior. Why is this?
SD: For me, its not about what the animal looks like. Its about what the animal is.
RP: Over the past year especially, there has been growing interest in the news media
and among the general public about environmental issues and protection strategies.
How do you see your work as relating to environmental art?
SD: I guess living where I do, on the margins, it would be unusual not to have become
more aware of environmental changes. This includes climate extremes, more violent
storms, and changes in the patterns of
fish and bird life. This must inevitably
influence and feed into my work, even at
a subconscious level. I have made things
directly in the environment, but my stu-
dio work is involved with the raw tooth-
and-claw dynamics of nature, life and
death stuff.
RP: And how do you see your work relating
to Modernist sculpture?
SD: As I understand it, Modernist art deals
directly with and is dependent on contem-
porary issues. In my work, I engage with
and relate timeless issues: those of place,
material, identity, and understanding. My
work is of today, but also of tomorrow, and
I hope relevant for all time. I like to think
that if one of my sculptures were found on
a beach or at a junk stall, it would speak
without props or history. Viewers may not
be aware of all of the internal stuff, like the
thoughts behind the work or some of the
internal materials, but I aim for the works
to be unique, powerful, and special in and
of themselves.
RP: You came to public art recently, with,
for example, Ark (2000) and Claw (2007).
Was the different working processmaking
and negotiatinga challenge?
SD: No, not really, not the negotiating part
at least. I built our home and studio from
ruins, and you learn quite a lot from an
experience like that. The scary thing I found
was to have the confidence to visualize
what a large-scale sculpture would do
before committing to making it. So far, Ive
been delighted and surprised by the final
piecesalthough it is a fait accompli, and
some makers have a different attitude to
what is acceptable. But over the years, Ive
built quite a network of people who care
and get involved in my developing work. At
times this has helped push the works to
places that I wouldnt have thought possi-
ble. Ive tried to build on my skills as
a maker and have been humbled by the
craftsmen Ive worked with.
RP: Theres something about your work that
I have not been able to place. Im not sure
if its a romantic quality in the way you
memorialize life, in the entombments espe-
cially, or if its a profound sensitivity to life.
When I referred to the shock element
of your work, you said, Its just material.
30 Sculpture 28.6
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Rook, 1980. Bog oak, carbon, iron nails, and rook, 45 x 25 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
But youve chosen materials that have specific contexts and meanings, havent you?
SD: This is a very interesting question, and I am not sure that Im able to answer it satisfac-
torily. I dont see shock as having much weight or longevity. The fact that the works may
at times shock has, I think, more to do with the viewer. I live close to nature, with life and
death as part of the place. This is part of the natural turn of events; seeing it up close has
given me some sort of immunity. But Im not insensitive, and I abhor cruelty and suffering
in animals as I do in people.
When you are working with a rook, you are thinking about its life. Its got its history, its
smell, its feathers. For me, its a sculpture. Its not a bird. I suppose that its much like how
a surgeon becomes immersed in the work of an operation or a butcher in creating joints of
meat. Am I memorializing? Some people think so, but Im just partly doing that. I dont
think of it that way when Im making it. Its about doing the animal justice, not making
use of it. I am romantic, but Im not sure if the work is. Theres a sensitivity for sure.
RP: Could you describe the range of materials youve worked with in making sculpture?
SD: As an example of one extreme, I used darkness as the starting point and core of a
couple of sculptures. It was a bit daft really, a bit like London Fog, the jokey stuff that
used to be sold, probably still is, in tins; but I was serious in collecting this material
in the middle of the darkest, longest night of the year as far from artificial light as possible.
Believe me, it does get dark up here in the winter. The collected material was sealed inside
a lead container. This process is comparable to Calm Water. Ive also worked with air.
RP: What about animals?
SD: Im obsessed with birds for some reasonIm still working with them, from very tiny
birds to large swans. Dolphin heads, skin, fat, and vertebrae; eel skins; human teeth; my
own blood; seal oil; whale bones and teeth; partly rotted sheepskin; fish heads, oil, skin,
and bones. Ive got part of the umbilical cord that was attached to my grandson, Finn,
which my daughter wants me to do something with. Also, Ive worked with all sorts
of wood. Im now working with glass, as well as different kinds of stone and bronze.
RP: Youve also been inspired by the stone
on the Isle of Harris, as in Balancing Stone.
SD: Yes, for that work I used a local source,
an outcrop that I found while I was search-
ing for an old Viking soapstone quarry.
Using the Harris stone is like working with
marble; it requires diamond cutters and
polishers. It is very heavy and has a lot of
iron content. It is undepleted magma usu-
ally located about 30 kilometers beneath
the earths crust. It is approximately 2.8 bil-
lion years old, obviously giving or taking
a few years. This stone worked perfectly for
Balancing Stone. I was interested in the
absolute simplicity of it, relying purely on
form. This work was also an important
development in my practice. Previously my
works had developed in complexity, and
this work was about simplifying.
RP: What would you describe as your artis-
tic influences? Do you think its a combina-
tion of Modernist sculpture, the far north
environment, and found art/assemblage?
SD: I think it is. Certainly there are plenty
of artists whom I admire and appreciate
Joseph Beuys, Mark Rothko, Richard Serra,
and the list could go on; but how any of
them have influenced the work I cant say.
When I made Hanging Figure, I was hardly
aware of anything except the work in front
of me. I dont like tradition. I feel that
its counterproductive, but inevitably we
may be absorbed by it. I used to imagine
a tribe that I made things for, and this
tribe constantly changed its culture, place,
and time in history. But thats a kind of
game to assist the creative process.
RP: Do you identify with any of todays
artists?
SD: Again, there is plenty of work that I
admire, but I cant honesty think of any
that I identify with, which Im sure must
be a relief to artists out there.
RP: Future plans? Future dreams?
SD: Ive enjoyed collaborating with artists,
musicians, and scientists from different dis-
ciplines recently. We did a sound/chaos art
proposal for Kings College, Aberdeen Uni-
versity. More of this kind of thing would be
fun. But mainly Im just hoping to stay
upright and keep going.
Robert Preece is a Contributing Editor of
Sculpture, based in Rotterdam.
Sculpture July/August 2009 31
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Ark, 2000. Bronze, silver nickel, and encased hooded crow, 200 cm. Work commissioned by
Sculpture at Goodwood.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
PERFORMING SCULPTURE
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 33
Opposite: A Moment of Regard,
2008. Archival gicle print, 31 x 36
in. (Sculpture: 19942004; porcelain,
glass eyes, wood, metal, eye lashes,
and fiber optics; half life-size.) Above:
Installation view of Studio: Things
Found, Things Made, 2006, Kent
Gallery, NY.
BY GREGORY VOLK
Kings mid-career retrospective, The Sizes of Things in the Minds Eye, was curated
in 2007 by Ashley Kistler, director of the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth
University. The exhibition, which recently finished its run at the Telfair Museum of Art
in Savannah, Georgia, featured new sculpture and animation, major works and signifi-
cant early pieces, and a survey of objects made or collected over many years: figure
studies, wax models, life casts, antique mannequins, and glass eyes. Kings work can
be found in permanent collections nationwide, including the Hirshhorn Museum and
Sculpture Garden, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in
Houston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has received numerous awards,
including a 2006 Academy Award in Art from the American Academy of Arts and Letters,
a 200203 Guggenheim Fellowship, and a 199697 Fellowship in the Visual Arts at the
Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, now the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, at
Harvard. Her book, Attentions Loop (A Sculptors Reverie on the Coexistence of Substance
and Spirit) was published by Harry Abrams in 1999. She is currently finishing A Machine,
a Ghost, and a Prayer: The Story of a Sixteenth-Century Mechanical Monk, co-written
with W. David Todd. Since 1985 she has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University,
where she is now School of the Arts Research Professor in the Department of Sculpture
and Extended Media. A
B
O
V
E
:

L
Y
N
T
O
N

G
A
R
D
I
N
E
R

A Conversation with
Elizabeth King combines meticulously built figurative sculptures with stop-frame film animation in works that
blur the perceptual boundary between actual and virtual space. Intimate in scaleshe speaks of a theater
for an audience of oneand distinguished by a level of craft that solicits close looking, the work reflects her
interest in early clockwork automata, the history of the mannequin and the puppet, and legends in which
artificial figures come to life. The finished works are surprisingly mutable. Figures with hinged limbs are placed
in a particular pose that can, and sometimes does, change. Sculptures, which took months to craft, come
to the viewer solely as photographs or video animation.
Elizabeth King
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Gregory Volk: Your recent mid-career sur-
vey underscores that you are a sculptors
sculptor to the extreme, with a tremen-
dous aptitude for materials, including
wood, porcelain, metal, and glass. You
often work for months on a single piece,
homing in on details with the precision of
a surgeon. The finished sculptures seem
almost eerily perfect, the commitment and
endurance verging on mania or obsession.
They are also uncommonly subject to flux
and transition, and, as much as you deal
in fixity, you also deal in shifts and trans-
formation. Care to comment?
Elizabeth King: There is a photograph that
I love in Donald Keenes book Bunraku: The
Art of the Japanese Puppet Theater. It
shows four puppets mounted on a carrying
pole, erect and fully robed but at rest,
awaiting a performance. Distinct as char-
acter types, they are nonetheless built to
assume different roles depending on the
play, just like the actors that they are. They
are beautiful in arrest, as sculptures, but
you can see from the construction of the
faces and limbs that they are designed for
action, and presently they will be whirling
and gesticulating on the stage. They are,
as you say, mutable. Once the play begins,
they become instruments of the theater.
I think of my own figures as objects that
cross this categorical divide, objects with
roles to performand roles that differ
from one show to the next. Of course, I
feel hesitant to speak of my work in the
same breath as the great theater of Bun-
raku, and yet what an influence its culture
has been for me, for a lot of us. It is a way
for me to try and talk about the double life
of my sculptures, as things in their own
right and as agents of something else.
Later I became involved in stop-action ani-
mation with the pieces, but early on I told
myself that I was making the movable
joints so I could pose the figures. Finding
the pose became an important part of the
life of the sculpture. Once found, all of my
theater was invested in this single pose,
held as a still composition for the duration
of the show. All this takes place in a gallery,
not on a stage, yet each show is a perfor-
mance, each show requires the discovery
of a new pose. Maybe the sculpture is like
a violin, and the pose is the sonata. It can
34 Sculpture 28.6
Top: Pupil, 198790. Porcelain, glass eyes, wood, and brass, half life-size. Above: Installation view of
The Sizes of Things in The Minds Eye, 2008, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University. T
O
P
:

L
Y
N
T
O
N

G
A
R
D
I
N
E
R


/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

B
R
O
O
K
E

H
A
M
M
E
R
L
E
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
take hours, finding the pose and lighting it. Naturally, in the studio, I want to make
an object that can assume the greatest possible range of positions and is also robust
enough to withstand the tumult of improvisatory searching and handling. Im always
amazed at the difference a few degrees of tilt makes in how we read the position of
the head. If I move the eyes so the gaze shifts away from face on, even just slightly,
a thread of tension enters the pose. My own emotional responses, as I manipulate
the sculpture and look at it, are innate and involuntary. I love the visceral evidence
of impermanence, not in the object itself, but in its pose at any given moment.
GV: Speaking of visceral evidence, I was struck by how powerful and evocative your
photographs arethey go beyond documentation to become enthralling works in
their own right. Most of your work occurs in three dimensions: sculptures you can
walk around and video animations displayed in specially built wood and glass cases.
Something very different happens in these photographs: they conceal as much as
they reveal, but this partial information is riveting and evocative. What is the rela-
tionship between sculpture and photography in your work?
EK: I remember early on, applying for juried shows, grants, and jobssend 20 slides
and a self-addressed stamped envelopeand feeling dismay at how much of the
physicality of an object is lost in a photograph. Only one view? I thought that if I
had to limit the whole combinatorial banquet of three dimensions to a single click of
the shutter, then by God, let me make the most of photographys own virtues.
Back in the wondrous days of Kodachrome 25, the best color film ever made, when
it took three days for the film to be developed, I had a system for taking pictures. I
cleared my living room, and I would set up a sculpture, light it with Tungsten day-
light photo bulbs, shoot a whole roll, and then not move anything and bike the film
downtown. Three days later, Id pick up the developed slides and come home to study
the images and look through the camera to see what needed to be done to make the
picture betteradjust the pose, change the light. But before moving a single thing,
Id mark the locations of the camera and tripods with colored vinyl tape, in case my
next step was a failure. Little notes penned on the tape listed heights and angles. Then
Id shoot another roll. No one could come over or use that room: everything had to
stay exactly in place. For some shots, Id go through 10 or 12 rolls of filmover a
month of adjustments and trips downtown, all for one picture. Whole layers of colored
tape accumulated on the floor, a labyrinth of crumbs in the forest. I wish I had pho-
tographed that floor. At the time, it just seemed like what you had to do. Now I see
how crazy it wasmaybe more interesting than the photos themselves. When I was
happy with a shot, then Id take a couple of rolls to have a lot of good copies and avoid
the detail loss of slide dupes. I also shot black and white film and began doing dark-
room printing around 1982. Step by step, light and pose would eventually come
together to make a picture. There was always this cascade, each step a little venture
built on the last, like Jasper Johnss famous comment, Take an objectdo something
to itdo something else to it. You put an image together one blind move at a time.
For many years, Katherine Wetzel made beautiful documentary shots of my sculp-
tures. Like no one I had ever met, she knew how film sees light. What had been trial
and error for me was second nature for her. She showed me how to light a three-
dimensional object to capture its material and volume. And, in turn, I could pay atten-
tion to the pose itself, developing it hand in hand with adjustments to the light, in
pursuit of an emotional statement. Light any sculptureDonatello, Houdon, Nadel-
manand it lives or dies depending on what you do. If it is figurative work then you
are really just continuing to work on that portrait when you light the sculpture and
take a picture. Porcelain, especially, behaves with a mind of its own, from one light
to the next. You induce life into a sculpture with lightthe history of sculpture
reveals how artists have adjusted form to anticipate interaction with light.
A wonderful turning point happened in 1997, when Paul Gottlieb at Abrams gave
me the chance to do a book of poses of one sculpture, a jointed figure called Pupil.
Sculpture July/August 2009 35
T
O
P
:

L
Y
N
T
O
N

G
A
R
D
I
N
E
R


/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

J
O
H
N

S
H
E
R
M
A
N
Top and above: Bartletts Hand, 2005. Wood, brass,
LCD screen, computer, and wooden frame, 72 x 24
x 60 in. overall. Stop-frame animation made with
Peter Dodd.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Working first with photographer Eric Beggs
in Austin, Texas, where the piece was in a
show, and then with Katherine Wetzel back
in Virginia, I found myself crossing the line
from documenting a sculpture (finding the
one pose that could best represent a piece)
to exploring what a sculpture might be able
to do, in shot after shot. All the years spent
not only on modeling and carving, but also
on perfecting the design and machining
the movable joints suddenly paid off in
a way that I had never quite anticipated.
So, the photographs allow me to per-
form the sculpture: to pose it for the cam-
era, to step consciously through the pro-
cess of finding a pose, and to capture pose
after pose. It is very different from posing
the piece in a gallery. Now I am composing
through the lens, for a single frame. And
because I am composing through the lens,
the photographs allow me to change the
sculptures size.
GV: A change of scale seems essential
for your works. Most of your sculptures
are small, and some are downright tiny.
Your photographs, on the other hand, are
large, and in comparison with the sculp-
tures (they are often shown together),
they seem massive. What are you
angling for in this exchange between
small and big?
EK: The exhibition title, The Sizes of Things in the Minds Eye, comes from something
Giacometti said to David Sylvester. They were speaking of the small sculptures that have
come down to us from early civilizations, and Giacometti said, I think that this was the
size that instinctively seemed right, the size one really sees things. When you look at
his smaller sculptures, you see how he tried to make exactly what he saw, together with
how he saw it. If you consider the biology of the human eyethink of those familiar
diagrams of the eyeball and retinathere is a small area in the macula (itself a small part
of the central retina) where the cone cells are packed closely together. This is where vision
is at its sharpest. But it can only exert itself on a tiny percent of your full visual field: about
the size of a dime held at arms length. Bring the dime closer, to the closest focal length of
your eyes lens, and now you have to move your eye from spot to spot to get a good look
at it. We forget that looking is time-based. I think this is why my work is the size that it
is. In truth, Id like it to be a little bigger, but once I start looking up close (the eyes signa-
ture), the sculpture in my hands almost automatically forms itself at a certain scale. All of
the figures and portraits Ive made over the past 20 years are almost exactly half life-size.
So, the very biology, the optics, of close looking entails its own scale. Giacometti said,
I can do your head life-size because I know its life-size. I dont see directly anymore, I see
you through my knowledge.
And then, can ones hands operate on this scale? I have a pair of Zeiss 3x power sur-
geons loupes mounted on a headband. They are designed to let you easily look over the
lenses for native vision, then through the lenses for magnification. So, I am giving my
mind a veritable barrage of scale shifts as Im working. Journeying across the canyons of
a huge ear one moment, then looking at its smaller-than-life, real size in clay the next.
The photographs test my success. How much have I seen? Can the sculpture hold
up to further orders of magnification beyond what my loupes and hands can achieve
in the making? Is there another world here, through the keyhole?
GV: Theres also a different kind of seeing in your work, a kind of soulful vision or
inward scrutiny. Your sculptures, which pull in references ranging from automata to
36 Sculpture 28.6
B
E
V
E
R
L
Y

D
I
C
K
I
N
S
O
N
Quizzing Glass (detail), 19882005. Cast acrylic, wood, brass, projector, fiber optics, and lacquered wood
cabinet, cabinet 24 x 19 x 23 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
dolls and puppets that magically spring into life, medical prototypes, and advanced
artificial intelligence, also investigate complex states of being and layers of the psyche.
A single figure might communicate thoughtfulness and quizzical investigation, as well
as whimsy, agitation, fear, longing, bewilderment, desire, awkwardness, exasperation,
self-consciousness, and total grace. How is it that your ultra-artifices seem so humanly
searching, so avid for the full, wild range of consciousness?
EK: In the 1998 animation Eidolon, I hardly moved the head at all and instead slowly
moved the lights. And the face seems to change. Later on, I was bowled over to find a
fantastic study of this phenomenon with a Noh mask, made by clinical psychologists in
Japan in the late 1990sGoogle Noh Mask Effect to see it. The position of the mask
and the position of the light, changing together, yield a stunning array of expressions
on a computer model of the mask, itself inscrutably fixed.
Im really not thinking about this, though, when I model the heads. The expression I
am after is simply one of maximum here-and-now attention. My studio windows face
east, so I dont have steady northern exposure. I set up lights to try and see the overall
form as best as I can, but its always a losing game and I end up working in all kinds of
light over the months of modeling a head in clay. Im looking at life casts Ive made of
my subjectusually myself, for my simple availability and willingness to submit to some
somewhat invasive silicon body-casting. Casts of the face are always notoriously dead
looking; in fact, there is a kind of little death inside all that rubber, and you are waiting
patiently, breathing through straws, for the plaster mother mold to set up so you can
be reborn to the light of day. In the late 1980s, I had Mark Prent, who is very good at this,
make many, many casts of my head and
body, and of separate parts of my face
raised eyebrows, flared nostrils, all kinds
of expressions of the mouth. Some of these
casts are in the show. Thenas I think of
it, just like the composite photography that
is big in the art world nowI assembled a
facial expression based on looking at many
different castings. I wanted a certain mus-
cle tension on the face. What do we look
like at maximum alertness? Eyes a little
wider than at rest, mouth tense, brow
raised. The one thing a life cast cant do is
capture all the tiny, crucial things with the
eyelids. For this, I have to resort to a live
model, or the mirror. But the expressions
on the sculptures still elude me, as far
as global emotional effects go. Im really
looking at angles, slopes, silhouettes,
relationships in X-Y-Z space. I sometimes
fancy that the expressions on my own
face, whatever they are, as I peer, come
endoscopically into the clay.
So, your question about the emotional
range of a single figure is a kind of terrify-
ing mystery to me. In fact, I am banking
everything on this, on the illusion of an
emotional presence. This is, after all, sculp-
tures age-old task, isnt it? It is not for
me to say if these pieces possess enough
tension to earn the full, subtle, poised,
articulated emotional response of a willing
viewer. After I am finished, look as I might,
I cant see them anymore.
GV: You incorporate copious amounts of
information and diverse influences into
your work. What are some of your real
world influences, for example, current
developments in artificial intelligence?
EK: Im fascinated by all those classes of
objects made in the human shape that
have escaped the strict definition of sculp-
turemannequins, dummies, puppets,
automata, effigies, mandrakes, medical
dissection models, the prosthetic arts, wax
saintsand then all the forms that they
take in literaturethe host of legends in
which the inanimate or artificial figure
comes to life, the homunculus.
In particular, Ive been drawn to the his-
tory of clockwork automata. Renaissance
innovations in regulating the force of drive
springs (fusees, escapements, and other
kinds of mechanical governors) resulted
Sculpture July/August 2009 37
L
Y
N
T
O
N

G
A
R
D
I
N
E
R
By Ear, 2004. Bronze, glass eyes, and basalt, 5.5 x 3.5 x 4.5 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
not just in table clocks, but also in fantastic
clockwork performing objects of all kinds,
including some that imitate animal and
human motion. With a mainspring power
source and transmission gear train, you
could bank all kinds of camsveritable
stacks of camsto transform rotary motion
into timed and articulated three-dimen-
sional movements in space. There were
whole orchestras of figures playing musi-
cal instruments, animated by machinery
hidden under miniature stages or in pedes-
tal settings, produced by the great clock-
making guilds of Germany. And there were
single figures that moved by themselves
across a floor or table, concealing their
own clockwork.
One particular Renaissance automaton,
now in the collection of the Smithsonian
Institution, is a small wood and iron figure
of a monk. Wind it and set it on a table,
and it walks in a rough 24-inch square
path, turning its head and eyes from side
to side, opening and closing its mouth,
beating its chest with one hand, and bran-
dishing a wooden cross in the other. From
time to time, it raises the cross to its lips
and kisses it. After 450 years, it still works,
though its chest is a bit splintered from
all the pounding. Ive spent some years
trying to understand its particular place in the history of artificial life; and with co-
author W. David Todd, Smithsonian emeritus curator and clockmaker, I am just finishing
a book, A Machine, a Ghost, and a Prayer: The Story of a Sixteenth-Century Mechanical
Monk. The maker of the monk (or makers: mechanician and sculptor) was bent on pro-
ducing, if not an alive thing, then something spectators would think was alive. That
he really thought he could do itand everything about this charismatic object urges
this conclusiongives the figure some ineffable quality that is genuinely disturbing,
even to our practiced 21st-century eye. This somethingthis X factormaybe still gets
into some of the more unreasonable things we try to make now.
GV: For all your interest in movement, do your sculptures actually move in real time?
EK: A few of my sculpturesthe objects themselves anywaymove by themselves in real
time. My favorite is Compass, which has a wonderful magnetic drive system made for
me by artist Chris Taggart. A set of hidden rotating magnets generates, at a distance, a
tiny delicate motion in a pair of small carved wooden hands. I like the fact that not every
viewer notices the movement, and those who do sometimes discover it late, with (I live
for this) a little gasp. An early piece called Theater is a chair with two halves of a minia-
ture theater hinged to the backrest. The viewer sits down and swings the halves together,
to close around his or her head. On the stage is a closet, and after 30 or 40 seconds, the
closet door opens to reveal a puppet who looks out and chews gum. The whole thing
is about 10 inches from your nose. Lots of tiny hidden motors, cams, and strings.
But I set most of the sculptures in motion indirectly, with film or video animation,
posing them frame by frame or manipulating them off-camera like live-action puppets.
My first chance to make a film came in 1991 when my friend Richard Kizu-Blair, then a
director at Colossal Pictures in San Francisco, invited me to do a short experimental col-
laboration. I had just finished Pupil, and I packed it in a box and flew out to California.
Those were pioneering years for stop-frame in San Francisco, and a lot of animators came
through Colossal, a famous production company that did animation, special effects,
38 Sculpture 28.6
L
Y
N
T
O
N

G
A
R
D
I
N
E
R
Shutter, 2008. Stop-frame film animation, glass lens, bellows, plasma screen, and steel table, 81 x 44
x 39 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
and live-action for the film and television industry.
We shot for two weeks, using 35mm movie film,
24 frames per second. A good day of work nets
you around five to 10 seconds of action. What
I love about stop-frame, as opposed to cel or com-
puter animation, is that it captures all the sub-
stance, color, and light of the real world. Only
the motion itself is constructed, shot by shot. Its
labor-intensive, but the sculptures retain their
material presence on film. We made up a kind
of script as we went along, each day trying a
simple gesture, working with two superb anima-
tors, Mike Belzer and Trey Thomas (both now
major players in the feature-length animation
world). We were drawn to involuntary movements,
reflex motions, the idle things your hands do
when youre daydreaming. Our finished film
was two minutes (counting the credits).
At first, I simply showed the film (transferred to
video) and the sculpture side by side in the gallery.
This was before flat screens and video projectors,
and I hated the big boxy CRT monitor on one
pedestal and the sculpture on another. How to get
rid of the box? I found that I could do this in a
limited way with lenses and optics, making a kind
of funky projector by hiding the monitor behind a
hole in the wall and placing a lens in the hole. This
led to various ideas for combining the moving
image and the still object in more deliberately
ambiguous settings. I wanted to try and fool the
eye a little, to complicate the distinctions between
time-based and space-based entities. For example,
in Quizzing Glass, I placed a sculpture of the eye
itself in a darkened cabinet; a few inches away, a
small rear-projected video animation of the eye
blinked occasionally. When I move my own eyes
from one to the other, I can almost talk myself into
thinking that I see the pupil of the sculpture dilate;
I can also fleetingly imagine that the moving eye is
three-dimensionaljust for an instant, a kind of
stand-by supplement of one form of representation
by the other.
Now, with digital play-back technology, we have
access to higher and higher image resolution on a
video screen, so that with a piece like Bartletts
Hand, if I light the sculpture exactly as I did in the
film studio and show its film animation at exactly
the same size and color as the sculpture, I can have
a pair of hands that look very close indeed, but are
each from a different world.
Gregory Volk is a New York-based art critic and cura-
tor. He is also an associate professor at the School
of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University.
Sculpture July/August 2009 39
Top and above: The Sizes of Things in the Mind's Eye (second version), 19912000. Mixed
media, sculpture, and video animation (with Mason Mills), 77 x 22 x 16 in. L
I
Z

D
E
S
C
H
E
N
E
S
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
S
E
R
G
I
O

A
L
F
R
E
D
I
N
I
Nicola Bolla
A Conversation with
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
BY LAURA TANSINI
Vanitas Toilet, 2007. White
Swarovski crystals, 60 x 34
x 27 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Nicola Bollas sculptures have many peculiarities, foremost
among them, his choice of materials and subjects. He
uses Swarovski crystals, playing cards, and glass to create
macabre relics such as skulls, tibias, and skeletons; symbolic
objects such as ropes, axes, and chains; and animals,
including domestic cats, panthers, parrots, ostriches, and
unicorns. His aim, however, is not to represent the real
thing but to evoke its metaphor and metamorphosis.
Bollas sculptures remain faithful to their originals, but
they are reinvented, extremely artificially, through his
unusual materials. When Bolla (who is also an ophthal-
mologist) uses crystal, he is perfectly familiar with its
light-refracting properties. Playing with light and shadow,
he pushes the idea of the ephemeral to its extreme: we
perceive these sculptures through their reflection of imma-
terial light.
We could read Bollas work as an allegory revealing the
ephemeral nature of life and art. He titles all of his Swa-
rovski sculptures vanitas. Empireo, his most recent
show of the vanitas works (at Corsoveneziaotto Gallery,
Milan), was named for the highest heaven in medieval
Catholic cosmology, the Paradise of God and the angels.
But the most important piece in Empireo was a group of
five Swarovski toilets. In Vanitas Toilet, the vulgarity of the
object is nullified by the allure of the material. The toilet
becomes an object to be admired for its sparkling beauty,
to be shown and prizednot simply because it has been
chosen by the artist, as with Duchamps urinal, but
because Bolla has transformed and transfigured it into
a vision of seduction.
Bolla was born in 1963 in Saluzzo (Turin). His father is a
painter. He graduated in medicine and specialized in oph-
thalmology in Turin, where he now works as a well-known
ophthalmologist and successful artist. He had his first solo
show in New York at White Columns Gallery and has also
exhibited with the Nohra Haime Gallery in 1988 and 2002;
his most recent New York exhibition was N.B. (2007) at
Sperone Westwater. Since 1991, he has exhibited regularly
in Turin (Franco Noero, Palazzo Bricherasio, Galleria 1000
eventi) and across Italy, including Milan; his work has also
been shown at the European Parliament in Brussels (2004).
42 Sculpture 28.6
Vanitas Skeleton, 2004. White Swarovski crystals, 175 x 45 x 25 cm. S
E
R
G
I
O

A
L
F
R
E
D
I
N
I
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Laura Tansini: In recent exhibition catalogues, your sculptures
are reproduced in an atmosphere of gothic horror. Do you prefer
to show your work in such unusual settings?
Nicola Bolla: I like staging my works because my aim is to create
a fantastic world parallel to the real one, but I do not resent the
antiseptic atmosphere of the white cube. I think that the works
strength and energy, if it has any, defeat and conquer any space.
LT: Does your use of Swarovski crystals come from a desire to invali-
date the meanings of the objects and animals you represent and
to replace them with a significance of your own making?
NB: I want to create a parallel world where I change the meaning
of what I represent: you see an object or an animal, but I represent
a metaphor. It is also a search for lightnessI want to create
sculptures without a precise form. Crystal sculptures are light
sculptures; light creates visions that keep changing.
LT: Is your work a search for beauty, an aspiration for transcen-
dence, but one that also casts an ironic sneer at our glamorous,
sparkling society?
NB: Yes, I play with and make fun of the meaning of the repre-
sented objects. An artist has the capacity to change the meaning
of things. In our globalized society, we take what we are told for
Sculpture July/August 2009 43
S
E
R
G
I
O

A
L
F
R
E
D
I
N
I
Left: Vanitas Unicorn, 2004. White Swarovski crystals, 161 x 85 x 50 cm. Above:
Vanitas Rabbit, 19982000. Aquamarine Swarovski crystals, 35 x 32 x 15 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
granted, without asking questions. But as an artist, I can change
the common meaning of an object and give it a different meaning,
a meaning that is probably intrinsic to that object but is ignored
because we lack the intuition to perceive it.
LT: Many of your vanitas sculptures represent objects (skulls,
bones, skeletons, ropes, axes, and scythes) that we connect with
death or dangernegative associations that contradict the beauti-
ful and seductive aspect of the works. Is this a way to make us
accept mortality?
NB: My vanitas sculptures are light sculptures; I use crystals
because I want to represent not the object but its ephemeral
existence. Life and death are ephemeral moments: whoever you
have been in your life vanishes in a moment, just like a ray of
light on a reflecting crystalthat is the metaphor represented by
my vanitas sculptures.
LT: The vanitas sculptures also use animals as subjects, and
I noticed that you have a preference for rabbits and panthers.
NB: Yes, but I am still interested in the symbolic valence of what
I represent. For me, rabbits and panthers are similar animals.
LT: What is their common ground? The panther is a fierce predator,
like a lion or a tiger; it shares nothing with a rabbit.
NB: For me, lions and tigers do not have symbolic value. But I
consider the panther an absurd animal because of its many ties
to our consumer world of cars, fashion, and advertising. The rab-
bit is a familiar character from childhood, from Alice in Wonder-
land, for instance. Swarovski crystal rabbits and panthers are
Surrealist animals; they are right for my Wunderkammer, right
for my need to create a parallel world, a fantastic world invented
by my imagination. I was a very lonely child, just as I am a lone-
ly adult. I have never felt fit for the real world; I have a need to
create my own fantastic world where I can express myself. Since
I was a child, I have been a compulsive collector of eccentric
objects. I think that to have a parallel fantasy world, and to be
curious about and collect strange objects, is vital for creating art,
at least as far as I am concerned.
LT: Besides crystals, what other materials have you used?
NB: I have used lead. I cut it as if it were fabric and joined it
together to make huge military coats, and inside them, I hung
musical instruments like trumpets and trombones. Trumpets
hanging inside a lead coat (there are 30 to 40 instruments in each
coat) create a sort of vascular system with their pipes. Then I
worked with blown glass and learned how to blow synthetic glass;
for my show at Palazzo Bricherasio (Turin, 1977), I created glass
jellyfish that I exhibited on a black Plexiglas table.
LT: What are you working on now?
NB: A huge atomic mushroom cloud made of playing cards. I
started working with cards soon after the Swarovski crystals, but I
dropped them for a while because they are difficult to handle
and to exhibit. Im also making Swarovski drums.
LT: You did card animals.
NB: Yes. But, of course, they are different animals than the crystal
ones. The card animals are parrots, ostriches, and snakes. Each
sculpture has its own specific material; I could never make it with
a material other than the one I chose. I use real playing cards for
my sculptures. Frequently it has to be the same card, for example,
the ace. I have to buy 500 packs of cards, because I need 500 aces
for one sculpture. I cut the cards to make feathers or scales, and
I do it in a way that creates chromatic texture. For the parrot
chests, I used the two card, to have a lot of white, while I use
figures for wings, where I want colors.
LT: Have you ever exhibited your card sculptures?
NB: Yes, in 2008, in China: a big snake, parrots, and ostriches.
LT: Do you make sketches for new works? Or do you take notes?
NB: I fix the idea in a very basic drawing. I know exactly what I
want right from the beginning, then I need a very skilled artisan
capable of following my instructions.
LT: How do you create the forms of your sculptures?
44 Sculpture 28.6
S
E
R
G
I
O

A
L
F
R
E
D
I
N
I
Top: Vanitas Suicide, 200607. White Swarovski crystals, installation view.
Above: Vanitas Atomic, 2008. White Swarovski crystals, 90 x 50 x 45 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
NB: It depends. For the toilet sculptures, I used a real toilet to
create the form of the grid in which the Swarovski crystals were
set. To create the form of an object, I use any suitable material.
Sometimes I model it, sometimes I cast it on the original object.
The moment I conceive it in my imagination, it is done and
perfect. I am very fussy about the resultit has to be exactly as
I thought. The whole procedure I go through to reach the result
is something I have to do, not something I like to do.
LT: Is the drum connected to the trumpet-filled lead coats?
NB: Not at all. My drum work presents a paradox. The sculpture
is connected with the idea of silence, of absence. There are the
drums and two microphones on a stage. But what I represent
is the silence, the absence. Spotlights are on, microphones are
on, but nobody is there, nothing happens.
LT: Could it be a way to give importance to ordinary objects?
NB: If you wish, but you are on the wrong track. The sculpture,
the real work, is the absence, not the presence; it is the evoca-
tion of what it has been, not its appearance. What I represent,
the work, is never what you see but what I evoke. And I am
interested in creating and evoking memories.
Laura Tansini is a Sculpture contributing editor based in Rome.
Sculpture July/August 2009 45
Top: Parrot and Ostrich Player, 2001. Ramino playing cards, installation view. Above left: Ostrich Player, 2001. Ramino playing cards, metal, plastic bag,
and trash, 120 x 50 x 100 cm. Above right: Parrot Player, 200008. Ramino playing cards and metal, 80 x 35 x 20 cm.
S
E
R
G
I
O

A
L
F
R
E
D
I
N
I
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Dreamscapes are often the subject of artworks, and Fergus Martins Pipe
Dreams 2 takes dreams to a fundamentally visual level with a floating raft
of color in space. But how was this visual solution achieved, and what deci-
sions did Martin make when creating the work?
Martin was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1955 and attended the Dun Laoghaire
College of Art. After teaching English in Italy for nine years, he attended the
New York Studio School. He has had solo shows at Green On Red Gallery and
Oliver Dowling Gallery, among others, and his work is in the collection of the
Irish Museum of Modern Art. He was awarded Pollock-Krasner Foundation
Grants in 1999 and 2006. Pipe Dreams 2 was recently exhibited in the group
show, Yo, Mo Modernism (Part I), at the Center for Contemporary Non-
Objective Art (CCNOA) in Brussels, on the occasion of the First Brussels Biennial.
Pipe Dreams
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

C
C
N
O
A
fkcus MAk1iN
BY ROBERT PREECE
A Conversation with
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Robert Preece: You refer to Pipe Dreams 2 as a raft of
floating color in space, You also say that it is almost
like a paintingcould you explain?
Fergus Martin: First, people should know that I started
out as a painter, and I only brought sculpture into my
practice about nine years ago. Right now, about one-
third of my works are sculpture. I like the play between
the two. For example, Ive also been playing with hori-
zontal shapes in my paintings. When you see Pipe
Dreams 2 from a distance, the lime-green pipes merge
and form a visual solid, a field of color, a play with
optical illusion. It looks almost like a floating painting.
RP: So you are magnifying how an artwork changes
based on the viewers vantage point and playing with
color, shape, line, space, unity/variety, and contrast in
the installation space. Plus, youve created a visually
attractive focal point. The surface is very smooth. Why
did you choose this finish?
FM: I love industrial materials. The plastic is very sensu-
ous to me. Im also working with unpainted stainless
steel in other sculptures.
RP: The plastic tubing is visually a bit ambiguous.
FM: Yes, I like it when things in my work are ambigu-
ous. Here, the tubes are light, but when you look at
them, the smooth surfaces suggest that they could be
made from a heavier industrial material. I also like
finding materials. I found these specific tubes and
rounded caps, which are used in making models of oil
refineries. I liked being true to them, and so the tubes
and caps are the ready-made lengths.
RP: In the orange Pipe Dreams 3, you used tubing with
different widths, but the widths are the same in the
lime-green Pipe Dreams 2. Why this difference?
FM: Its a subtle move in making variations across a
series of work. I also do this with my paintings. It alters
the visual effect. Theres a different visual rhythm, and I
find it gives a new, playful quality. There are four Pipe
Dreams. The other two have different colors, different
numbers of tubes, and one has a different length.
RP: How did you decide on the color?
FM: I wanted a smooth, industrial-looking finish, and I
had a car painter paint the sculptures. I chose the lime-
green because I liked the coolness of the color. I chose
the colors off a chart instinctually.
RP: How are you incorporating the title into the work?
FM: Pipe dreams refers to the pipes and also to
unreal, fantastic, even illusory things, as well as hopes
and plans. This made me think of dreaming and dream-
ers, and I found that right for this work.
RP: What are some of your influences?
FM: First, the industrial materials all around usin the landscape and archi-
tecture, within a piece of furniture or a power tool, for example. Also, I like
things that can be assembled and disassembled, like flat-pack furniture or even
cars. In Pipe Dreams 2, the tubes simply rest on the white stands. Also, digital
photography has affected how I see objects.
RP: Were you obsessed with Legos as a child?
FM: I loved Legos. My father was also obsessed with ship models. Thats never
left me. In fact, when I was making Pipe Dreams 2, it reminded me of blowing
up long balloons as a child.
RP: What do you want people to get out of the work?
FM: Its funny you mentioned childhood. Ive had some difficulty exhibiting the
Pipe Dreams because children want to play with them. One adult burst out
laughing when she saw them, which I thought was gorgeous. Another adult
also said that she wanted to lie on them. I like it when the Pipe Dreams sur-
prise people and generate an emotional reaction. In fact, I like it a lot.
Robert Preece is a Contributing Editor of Sculpture, based in Rotterdam. A ver-
sion of this interview was displayed at CCNOA as an RPP Visual.Textual.Visual
text intervention project. Visit <www.rpprojects.eu> for more information.
Sculpture July/August 2009 47
Opposite: Pipe Dreams 2, 2003. Plastic tubing and auto paint,
each pipe, 98 x 7 cm. Right: Pipe Dreams 3, 2003. Plastic tubing
and auto paint, each pipe, 98 cm. long each. C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Private Voice,
Public Benefit
Curved Form with Rectangle and Space, 2000.
Powder-coated stainless steel, 14 x 7 ft. 2 views
of work installed in Detroit.
LOIS TEICHER
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
BY VINCE CARDUCCI
Lois Teichers Curved Form with Rectangle and Space (2000) is just what its title describes,
a gently bowed piece of sheet steel rising 14 feet from the ground, painted pure white,
with a tall, narrow rectangular space cut out of it just to the right of center. Constructed
of a seemingly simple abstract form, on closer inspection, the sculpture reveals the com-
plex nature of individual perception as it responds to object and spatial environment.
Curved Form with Rectangle and Space sits on a small Detroit garden plot surrounded
by a circular walkway. It is sited next to the modest Cotswold-style, red brick building of
the Scarab Club, a century-old artists association, and across the street from the recently
completed Michael Graves renovation of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Walking around
the sculpture, the space of its title frames an inner-city panorama that moves from the
grandeur (some might say pretension) of DIAs white, marble-clad exterior to the banality
of a parking lot. Each view provides an opportunity to consider questions of the civic
ideal and ones place within the built environment. The potential for art to be a channel
through which private thoughts enter the public domain has been a major theme of
Teichers work from the beginning. A recent retrospective at the Saginaw Art Museum
in Michigan offered an occasion for taking stock of her evolution.
Teicher says that her nearly three decades as an artist have been about the process of
discovering her own artistic language.* Entering art school in Detroit as an adult in the
mid-1970s, after having raised three children, she found herself negotiating specific imper-
atives of time and place. On the one hand, there was the broad cultural current of sec-
ond-wave feminism and, on the other, the more local concerns of a solidifying Detroit
canon that came to be known as the Cass Corridor style. Teichers development can be
seen as a kind of personal and aesthetic coming out.
The multi-part Celebration of Women (1979) consists of a rough-finished lathwork wall
serving as a backdrop for a wooden assemblage that alternately reads like an easel, a
stick figure behind a table or countertop (or perhaps an ironing board?), or a cross. The
piece pays homage to generations of women whose socially defined positions (as in Tei-
chers own experience) both inspired and restricted creative enterprise. Constructed from
recycled materials, Celebration also engaged the prevailing Detroit-style practice of incorpo-
rating castoffs into assemblages that reflected the citys post-industrial environment.
The Cass Corridor aesthetic found expression in many of Teichers early works. Vehicle
Series (1980) resembles a post-Apocalyptic soapbox derby car. With mismatched wheels and
a scrap-wood body rudely held together by found hardware and painted an institutional
dark green, it could have been cobbled together from the ruins of an abandoned work-
shop. And indeed, the tinker (or bricoleur, as Postmodernism would have it) is one of the
most pervasive tropes of the ideal Detroit
artist. The piece also has an autobiographi-
cal component, recalling Teichers child-
hood practice of disassembling and re-
assembling her bicycle and making things
from materials found in the field next
to her familys home. Other mixed-media
works tilt more toward the mandate
of gender identity. For instance, Drawing
with Red Strap (198384), a Styrofoam
medallion worked with modeling paste
and covered with a drawing, was designed
Sculpture July/August 2009 49
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Left: Vehicle Series, 1980. Found wood, 29 x
84 x 20 in. Above: Celebration of Women, 1979.
Found wood, 84 x 120 x 3.5 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
to be worn over the artists mid-section in
performances. The drawn imagery of undu-
lating folds and serrated contours can be
read as an iconographic manifestation of
the vagina dentata. (Teicher describes her-
self as a raging feminist in those years.)
Even in such early works, however, elements of the refined lexicon for which Teicher
has come to be known were beginning to emerge. I Feel Like a Choreographer (1981)
bridges divergent impulses and sets the stage for Teichers later work. Five green wood-
en boxes stand upright on individual casters, their front-facing openings covered in wire
screen. These components can be reconfigured at every installation to suit their sur-
rounding space. (At the Saginaw museum, the boxes were lined up in a row along a single
wall, minding their place as good works of art.) More oblique than the overtly femi-
nist or Cass Corridor-influenced works, I Feel Like a Choreographer leaves interpretation
in the hands of the viewer.
Teichers mature aesthetic became clearly articulated in Observer/Observed (1986),
which was created for a temporary show of outdoor sculpture in Chene Park, on the banks
of the Detroit River near downtown. The installation featured four mirror-clad monoliths
placed in the center of a small pond. Minimalist-inspired seating was arranged around the
waters edge, setting up situations for seeing and being seen, both by oneself and by
others. Observer/Observed embodied what phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in
The Visible and the Invisible, terms chiasmthe threshold between subjectivity and
objectivity and the reciprocity (or reversibility, as he calls it) that connects the two, the
existential condition of being-in-the-world under which one experiences the reality of self
and otherness in the flesh. Exposing the physical and metaphysical parameters of the field
of being is one of arts primary functions according to Merleau-Ponty; it brings together
material form and expressive content in a made thing that communicates a relationship
to the world in a unique way.
Teichers mature workespecially the public sculpture that has preoccupied her for
the last decadehas continued to explore the geometric forms and simple palette
of Observer/Observed, along with questions of creator and audience. Teicher is one of
the most prolific public sculptors working in Michigan, and she is deeply committed
to the idea of art as a public thing, something meant to engage viewers of all kinds,
not just the privileged few.
Her first major public commission, for Bishop International Airport (1996) in Flint,
Michigan, established a pattern of distilling an essential visual language to communi-
cate with broad audiences. Paper Airplane Series with Deep Groove (1996) is simple
enough. It consists of three sheets of steel folded and painted to look like paper air-
planes and placed throughout the airport as if they had just landed after being tossed
by a giant child. The largest sits on the floor of the main concourse. Painted white with
light blue lines like ruled paper, it even has binder holes punched into the tail edge.
The casual whimsy of the piece belies its 3,600 pounds. Another plane is painted yellow
to mimic the signage above the main entrance, and a smaller blue one teeters off the
edge of a ledge.
50 Sculpture 28.6
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Top: I Feel Like a Choreographer, 1981. Wood, wire
mesh, and paint, 5 units, 42 x 16 x 9.75 in. Above:
Observer/Observed, 1986. Mirrored Plexiglas,
Styrofoam, wood, poles, sandbags, water, wooden
benches, and plywood, 4 units, 12 x 4 x 2 ft.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Metaphor (2006) was commissioned for
the State of Michigan Mass Transit Auth-
ority training center in Grand Blanc, just
south of Flint. It uses images taken from
everyday traffic signs. The forms are stylized
and integrated into a dynamic composition
that optimistically considers the possibili-
ties of education in the public interest.
All along, Teicher has maintained a stu-
dio practice while completing her numer-
ous private commissions. Wedge with
Wedge with Wedge (1995) is an excellent
example of her explorations of pure sculp-
tural form. Fabricated of welded aluminum
painted a velvety soft black, it stands seven
feet tall and leans against the wall. The
first wedge refers to the right-hand section
of the form; the second to a notch cut into
the forward-facing plane, which is wider at
the top and narrows to a point as it nears
the base. The third wedge defines the
sculptures overall mass, which tapers in
depth from wider at the base to narrower
at the top. With an economy of means,
sculptures essence as spatial container and
kinetic volume is revealed. Teicher has also
executed numerous works that investigate
the ostensible dichotomy of form and func-
tion. Half and Half Table (1996), for exam-
ple, consists of two narrow triangles that
sit side by side to make up the rectangular
shape of the tabletop. One half is about
form as enclosure of space and the other
about form as figure.
Although it might not seem obvious from
her mature work, Teicher remains an una-
bashed feminist. It should go without say-
ing (though it too often doesnt) that, in an
equitable world, the work would be all that
matters. Second-wave feminists used to say
that the personal is political. For Teicher,
it is aesthetic, too.
Vince Carducci is a writer who teaches at
the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
Sculpture July/August 2009 51
Note
* All references are taken from personal communication with the artist,
published artists statements, or the documentary video Lois Teicher: The
Journey (2008).
Left: Wedge with Wedge with Wedge, 1995. Welded
aluminum, 7 x 5 x 2 ft. Below: Function/Non-
function, 1997. Welded aluminum, 60 x 39 x 11 in.
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
THE EMBLEMATIC
WORLD
OF Joan Danziger
BY ELAINE A. KING
Into the Magic, 2007. Wood and wire armature,
resin-reinforced fabric, celluclay, and acrylic
paint, 34 x 44 x 33 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Joan Danzigers uncanny sculptures do
not fit into todays fashionable art scene.
Conjuring mythic, almost romantic worlds,
they are the exception that proves the rule
of the spiritual crisis that Donald Kuspit
sees in contemporary art.
1
Robert Rosen-
blums argument in Modern Painting and
the Northern Romantic Tradition (1975)
also comes to mind.
2
In his alternative his-
tory of modern art, an important northern
European mystical tradition greatly influ-
enced artists in both Europe and America.
This pioneering work opened up a line of
thinking that now allows us to take for
granted the landscape allusions and spiri-
tuality of Rothko and Newman.
Danzigers work fits readily within this
family of influence. But, unlike the Roman-
tics of an earlier period, who aspired to dis-
cover secreted certainty behind the illusion
of life, Danziger transports viewers into
zones of ambiguity. Her strange characters
refuse a unitary resolution and instead
function as symbolic depictions of emotions
and experiences. Her oeuvre reveals an
artist awed by the power of nature and fas-
cinated by mythology. Despite the fantas-
tic qualities evident in these puzzling works,
her inspiration, in part, stems from a
knowledge of tree species from around
the world. The tree is a distinct symbol
in Jewish and Christian mythology, placed
at the center of both the divine and the
earthly Eden. Both a feminine symbol,
bearing sustenance, and a masculine one,
visibly phallic, trees embody longevity
and endurance and are often identified with
strength. Their formal structure has long
captured the human imagination: the
monumental vertical thrust toward the
sky links heaven and earth, while the
mirroring root network reaches all that is
hidden beneath the earths surface. More
prosaically, they are places of shelter and
sources of nutrition and useful materials.
Each of Danzigers assemblages contains
familiar forms as well as impenetrable
tales. Recognizing the supremacy of nature
and times inevitable effect on all matter,
her magical constructions evince a poetic
innocence. Before turning to three-dimen-
sional work, she was an abstract painter,
and she believes that her knowledge of
abstractions formal language persists
regardless of her current realism. Balance
and order remain the foundation for works
that hint at chaos and urgency. Themes of
temporality, natural imbalance, and lifes
majestic power inform Danzigers recent
sculptural series. An indistinct silence veils
each self-contained and symbol-filled
metaphorical world. Each organic arrange-
ment contains an enigmatic language of
abstraction and representation inspired by
nature, allegory, and private reflection.
Over the past 15 years, Danzigers work
has undergone several transformations. The
sculptures of the late 70s and early 80s
were large, looming, fantastical creatures
that included vividly colored parrots riding
bicycles, androgynous creatures flying
through the air, animal-people, and surreal
flowers. By the mid-1980s, she had scaled
down her Mardi Gras acrobatic pageants
and began producing small contained
tableaux. Danziger intended these diminu-
tive works to slow viewers down in order to
inspect and reflect. Using carefully crafted
54 Sculpture 28.6
Left: October Gathering, 1993. Wood and metal armature, resin-reinforced fabric, archival paper, and acrylic paint, 48 x 23 x 24 in. Right: Rhino Shrine,
1995. Wood and metal armature, resin-reinforced fabric, archival paper, and acrylic paint, 32 x 18 x 19 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
wire armatures for each understructure,
along with celluclay and other materials to
build up the individual forms and surfaces,
she began fabricating tree-centered stage-
sets. The bold colors of the former pieces
gave way to a monochromatic gray palette.
The physical ruckus of the weird and
wonderful masked creatures ceased, and
strange, ambiguous animals began to
emerge. One can see the extreme contrast
in scale and sensibility when comparing The
Flying Lavinia (1972) and The Grand Salon
(1985). Although Danziger does not see
her work as indebted to feminist theory,
women are the primary players on her
mythical stages, along with horses, cats,
and giraffes.
Despite the Lilliputian size of Danzigers
sculptures, an enlarged micro-reality
emerges from the odd juxtaposition of char-
acters, textures, and forms. These haunting
psychological landscapes filled with other-
worldly creatures are the opposite of todays
commercial reality. In each enchanted dis-
play, the imaginary becomes perceptible
and the ordinary becomes the extraordi-
nary, evoking a state of uncertainty.
Two preliminary pieces in the Mythic
Landscape series include October Gather-
ing (1993) and Rhino Shrine (1995). The
former eventually became a large-scale
painted bronze (2001), now permanently
installed at Grounds For Sculpture in Ham-
ilton, New Jersey. In each dream-like set-
ting, a gray tonal scene unfolds on an archi-
tectural, temple-like base. The visual lan-
guage and symbolic systems that become
more pronounced in later creations are
already evident here. Rhino Shrine is per-
haps the simpler and more formal, devoid
of the complex root systems that character-
ize Danzigers later works. Stoic lions, a
cello player, and strategically placed foliage
guard this mysterious two-tiered sanctuary
in which several rhinos reside. Eight
inscribed lower-level columns evoke forti-
fied security for those within the safeguard-
ed temple setting above. Despite its solid
architectonic base, October Gathering
seems an airier composition. Its complex
intertwining tree limbs are more delicately
linear, and the tree trunks slimmer and
elongated. The trees frame an empty stage
sparsely populated by giraffes and human
figures. The jungle sensibility of this work
becomes more pronounced in the bronze
version, which is sited in a stand of bam-
boo. The cascading root systems subtly ren-
dered in relief in October Gathering become
fully three-dimensional in Night World
(1998), and in later works, they will become
still more prominent.
In 2002, Danziger was in a serious car
accident that kept her out of the studio for
nearly three years. Charging to the Seer
(200507), the first piece that she made
after returning to work, was inspired by
mythical women warriors. Forceful energy
and urgency permeate this ambiguous
scene of galloping female riders who strug-
gle through entangled root systems at the
Sculpture July/August 2009 55
Above: Absorbed into the Trees, 2007. Wood and
wire armature, resin-reinforced fabric, celluclay,
and acrylic paint, 30 x 20 x 14 in. Right: Charging
to the Seer, 200507. Wood and metal armature,
resin-reinforced fabric, archival paper, and acrylic
paint, 41 x 31.5 x 43.5 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
base of a hill to reach the austere trees at
the summit. Danziger populates her world
with several animal/human transmuta-
tions, including an odd angel/bird creature
set amid ghostly, sprawling white roots.
While the meaning of this cryptic scene
remains unclear, it is tempting to see it as
a metaphorical self-portrait.
Charging to the Seer marks the begin-
ning of a closely related series of tree-based
tableaux. Ghost Forest (2006) harbors only
a few human forms within its massive con-
gregation of interconnected limbs and
trunks. Artichoke Memories (2006), on the
other hand, is filled with symbolic crea-
tures, including birds, cats, lions, jaguars,
and leopards. Here, Danziger departs from
her familiar monochromatic palette to
paint the flowering plants in bright crim-
son. A twist of scale is visible in this Bosch-
like landscape where cats dwarf humans
and a huge phoenix-like bird somehow
perches on a human shoulder.
In Absorbed Into the Trees (2007), Dan-
ziger restores an architectural foundation
to her landscape. A number of aloe trees,
with their colorful pod-like flowers, grow
from a column-supported platform similar
to the stage in October Gathering. Whisper-
ing Quivers (2007) introduces a new ele-
ment, as Danziger selectively exposes sec-
tions of the supporting armature beneath
the surface. The juxtaposition is like seeing
bones breaking through skin. This is also
the first work in which she elaborates tex-
tural details and patterns with paint. A
riotous energy, analogous to the flowering
of spring, fills this interlocking dance of
limbs and multi-colored flowers. Instead of
an architectural base, this tree system
grows from and gives shape to a multi-level
ground plane, complete with termite hills,
turtles and other creatures, and a grotto
that shelters a strange lizard.
The hybrid The Rhino Is a Tree/The Tree
Is A Rhino (2007) represents an anomaly,
departing from former tree/base configura-
tions. In contrast to Danzigers earlier
productions, the metamorphosized rhino
evinces the marvelous, its inventive forms
tapping into the rich symbolism of legends,
folklore, and fairy tales.
3
The tree is not its
own entity, and the rhino is not an inde-
pendent animaleach blurs into the other
to form a singular transmuted figure.
Initially humorous, this improbable rhino
seems sadly burdened by the additional
appendage rising from its back.
Into the Magic (2007), without doubt the
masterpiece of the tree series, not only
depicts another unique theatrical drama,
but also demonstrates Danzigers ability to
fuse multiple experimental techniques with
her enigmatic fables. Here, she makes use
of varying textures, tones, gestures, and
colors to heighten the dramatic impact.
Several tree groupings occupy the inner-
most section of the tableau, while confi-
dent equestrian women swiftly gallop
around the outer perimeter toward an
unknown destination. Temple Spirits (2007)
offers a very different micro-world, where
numerous cats reside among entangled
banyan roots and architectural ruins. While
color is absent from this scene, Danziger
has used white pigment to highlight
branch tips and selected roots. The struc-
tural focal point centers on a goddess-like
figure positioned within one of the trees.
Her outspread arms appear to protect and
56 Sculpture 28.6
Temple Spirits, 2007. Wood and metal armature, resin-reinforced fabric, archival paper, and acrylic
paint, 38 x 26.5 x 25 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
hold together her private world. Griffins
World (2007) reprises and recombines
many of the features and actors familiar
from Danzigers tree series, but it recasts
these elements into a strange and dream-
like setting. The griffin, a legendary crea-
ture with the body of a lion and the head
and wings of an eagle, is the central char-
acter. Within the context of Danzigers oeu-
vre, Griffins World is unique in its fabrica-
tion and self-assured use of luminous col-
ors. The intense passages of color under-
score the stark gray tones of the unpainted
forms, their living presence mitigating the
skeletal wire that winds its way though the
scene. One is reminded of an Henri Rous-
seau jungle, teeming with flora and fauna,
transported to a desert of monochrome
barrenness. Danziger offers no clue as to
the meaning of this landscape presided
over by the solitary griffin on his platform.
Danzigers puzzling constructions habitu-
ally undermine conventions of surface
and depth, bursting out of their confines.
Interpretations are likewise unruly, for
there is no single meaning behind any
of her sculptures. Underlying the some-
times classically grotesque forms is a
quiet disregard for predictable notions,
whether of the beautiful, the sublime, or
the imaginary. Yet these poetic tableaux
evince an ingenious power. Despite Danzi-
gers refusal to align herself with feminism,
her work mingles feminist attitudes with
the Romantic sublime to achieve a kind of
spiritual transcendence.
In an era that consumes with religious
fervor, with an art establishment that
savors irony, pop culture, and critique, Dan-
zigers idiosyncratic worlds afford an alter-
native experience. Her work reveals an
enthusiasm to capture imaginary, faraway
places filled with unknown desires and
fears, perhaps inspired by todays reality.
These improbable fables emphasize the
fragility of life and re-imagine the sublime
in an age of uncertainty. They make us
aware of ourselves as physical beings within
a larger context of nature while emphasiz-
ing the fragility of the body and the bal-
ance between life and death.
Elaine A. King is a professor of the history
of art and theory and museum studies at
Carnegie Mellon University. She is also a
freelance critic and curator and a co-editor
with Gail Levin of Ethics and the Visual Arts.
Sculpture July/August 2009 57
Griffins World, 2007. Wood and wire armature, resin-reinforced fabric, celluclay, and acrylic paint,
31 x 16.25 x 14.5 in.
Notes
1
On January 21, 2004, Donald Kuspit delivered a paper titled Revisiting the Spiritual in Art, at Ball State University, in
which he used Kandinskys On the Spiritual in Art (1911) to examine the long reign of materialism, the whole night-
mare of the materialistic attitude, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, purposeless game. Arguing
that the spiritual crisis of contemporary art is greater than that identified by Kandinsky (because at least then artists
realized that there was a problem), Kuspit sought to generate and articulate what Kandinsky called the all-impor-
tant spark of inner life or of inner necessity.
2
Robert Rosenblum, Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko (New York: Harper
& Row, 1975). The volume draws connections between pre-Modernist German and Scandinavian practitioners of the
sublime such as Philipp Otto Runge and Caspar David Friedrich and the work of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and
Clyfford Still.
3
In contrast to the genre of the fantastic, the marvelous allows for the existence or occurrence of supernatural
events without the element of anxiety or fear. Examples of the marvelous are found in Russian fables. See Ivan
Andreevich Krylov, Two Fables (Moscow: I. N. Knebel, 1913).
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Chewable Relief, 2003. Childrens aspirin, 50 units, 2.25 x 1 x 1 in. each.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
While Williamsburg can claim no movement as its own, the inventive
sculpture of Richard Humann reveals what made the hip Brooklyn
neighborhood a creative escape from art world institutionalization and
commercialization in the 1990s. Although Williamsburg has recently
succumbed to development pressures, driving out mid-level artists at
crucial stages in their careers, Humann retains his original studio while
exhibiting throughout the United States and internationally.
Humann, who was born in 1961, delivers a crucial message about
the keys to his generations ascent to power: integration and contain-
ment. Arising out of the open community in which he was a pioneer,
his vision matured under a short-lived neo-Fluxus experiment in a
Broadway space linked to Fluxus founder George Maciunas. Humanns
experimental approach led to works that juxtapose historically sanc-
tioned self-exploration with the tightening noose of academic appropri-
ation and the globalized international art market. His examinations of
the personal and the universal alternate between investigations of cod-
ing systems and explorations of the individual subconscious projected
in everyday objects. In 1997, at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center,
he made his mark with The Lightbox, a piece in which he illuminated
the work of fellow artists.
Sculpture July/August 2009 59
BY LISA PAUL STREITFELD
Richard Humann
A Conversation with
Evidence of Being
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

L
A
N
C
E

F
U
N
G

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
His intention was to create a raw exchange of identities, ener-
gies, and ideas. He then embarked on a personal journey that
examined new archetypes within universal systems of coding
(Psycho Killer, Lance Fung Gallery, 1998). In Evidence of my
Being (Lance Fung Gallery, 2000), he used his own image to
explore the choices facing the collective ego: surrender to an
emerging archetype versus the desire for personal fame. This led
to the depletion of his subconscious in A Childish Fear (Lance
Fung Gallery, 2003) and subsequent integration of his dual path
of exploration through the human body. His most recent exhibi-
tion at Elga Wimmer PCC in Chelsea, You Must Be This Tall,
featured a miniature satirical amusement park.
Lisa Paul Streitfeld: Dunk the Clown, to me, is the key to You
Must Be This Tall: the geometry of the noose above the trap door
means death by hanging, but on another level it is an opening
of possibility, discovery, and creativity. When did you start it?
Richard Humann: Two years ago, around the New Year. It was
begun, destroyed, and begun again. It started with me reinvent-
ing myself, the idea of who I am as an artist. I went back to my
roots, asking, Where did my art start? Even at 15 years old, I
was attracted to Minimalism. Donald Judd was my inspiration. So,
I thought, What would I do with a Donald Judd box? I started
envisioning it as a room. The box is a room where things live.
Somehow I got the idea of building an electric chair in this room.
On the wall, there would be a video screen with cartoons. I built a
mini- electric chair, but took it away. It was too obvious. I went
back to other things. And then, six months later, I did this project.
60 Sculpture 28.6
Left: Dunk the Clown, 2008. Bass wood, 10.75 x 11.25 x 4.25 in. Below:
Teacup, 2008. Bass wood, 9.75 x 20 x 23 in.
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

E
L
G
A

W
I
M
M
E
R

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
LPS: When was it completed?
RH: Two weeks before the show. The noose was laser cut. It came
back square, and I had to sit with sandpaper and make it round.
Very few things were cut with the laser: the noose, the letters,
and the signs.
LPS: All of these works have a foundation in geometry. For example,
Teacup contains both the hexagon and the octagon. The reality
of it is a head being cut off.
RH: These are childrens rides. In the teacup ride that you see at
Disney World, a large-scale teacup spins around. But in this ride,
although it is a childrens ride, someone would get their head
chopped off. This presents a metaphorical surprise because of the
idea of a handle.
LPS: The handle that marks a transition. When did you know you
were an artist?
RH: I was about three or four years old. My mothers father was
my hero and best friend. He was in the Navy, and his destroyer
sank: 150 men died, and he survived. There was an anchor tat-
too on his arm. I would draw a ship, and he would show me how
to make waves and a seagull. I did Noahs Ark with crayons and
magic marker. He took it and said, Look at this. He is going to
be a famous artist one day. And I believed him. I always felt that
would be my destiny.
LPS: Has your name consciously factored into the development
of any particular work?
RH: Only once did I address the issue, when we were doing Evi-
dence of my Being. Although it grew into a conscious exploration,
it started with the idea of Hey, how about doing something like
the extra N, meaning I went from human being to humann
Sculpture July/August 2009 61
Below and detail: Electric Bumper Cars, 2008. Bass wood, 23.5 x 49 x 37 in.
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

E
L
G
A

W
I
M
M
E
R

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
with my name because there are two Ns. Even though it could
be a cool name for an artist, it is my name. Its for real. But it
never really comes into play all that much.
LPS: That show required a huge surrender of the persona in order
to arrive at a deeper essence of being. What you were trying to
accomplish specifically?
RH: Evidence of my Being was about exploring the individual
who I am as a person but also me as a person in this conscious
world in which we live. The idea was to figure out how we are
represented and remember what we are. Testimonial was a
sound piece in which people could call a private telephone num-
ber and anonymously say what they thought of me. Someone
took the messages, which were transcribed by a professional and
spoken by actors. I had no idea who actually said these things,
so people could be honest. The idea is that you are defined by
what other people think about you, say about you, write about
you, and, of course, what you think about yourself. It is a multi-
tude of things. The show also had Curriculum Vitae, in which I
cut up every document in my life and filled an urn with the origi-
nalsmy diploma, my drivers license, all of them destroyed.
That grew from the passing comment about my namethe idea of
humanity, as well as my name being Richard Humann.
LPS: There is evidence, too, of your struggle to merge personal
artifacts with universal coding, particularly in regard to time,
such as the video of your braid swinging like a clock pendulum in
Evidence of my Being and the three clocks in A Childish Fear.
How did your interest in coding originate?
RH: The work with coding was an exploration of literature and
writing, things that interested me a lot, but also the idea of art
as multiple layers of codes that a viewer has to climb through in
order to understand what art is. Some people crack the codes
and other people dont. Sometimes the artist doesnt give the
right code, so it cant be cracked.
LPS: Artists have been marginalized from society throughout
history and sometimes need to communicate with one another
through coding.
RH: Well, that is what keeps MFA programs alive, isnt it?
LPS: So, it is a whole new kind of coding that keeps the insiders
from outsiders.
RH: I dont know if it does that, but it certainly is a language
that we speak. The art world has its own vernacular.
LPS: That vernacular can keep it from its ultimate audience, the
public.
RH: Absolutely. Every form of human lifewhether you are a
62 Sculpture 28.6
R
I
G
H
T
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

O
F

S
S
A
M
Z
I
E

S
P
A
C
E
,

S
E
O
U
L
,

K
O
R
E
A
Above: Installation view with (foreground) Curriculum Vitae, 2000, mixed
media, 72 x 43 x 40 in. and (background) Live Every Day in Truth, 2000, video
projection. Right, top and center: Identification Please, 2001. Business cards,
ink, and glue, dimensions variable. Right: Humann with Meehye Lee in Seoul
for Identification Please, 2001.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
farmer or an artist or a mathematicianspeaks its own language.
Here is the difference: a farmer puts his food into the world,
which is universal. An artist puts his art into the world. So, he
is speaking this language in many places of the world where it
is not always understood.
LPS: Is your work process driven?
RH: To me, this art is part of the journey to find the end of it. The
physical manifestation is still the art itself and not the making of it.
LPS: Even so, your work seems to surmount the dichotomy between
a process-oriented approach and a conceptual approach, meaning
an abstract or cerebral approach to making art.
RH: I personally never viewed it that way. The people in my gallery
(Lance Fung) were my home school. No one tagged it.
LPS: It was, at least by geography, a neo-Fluxus movement even
if wasnt specifically called that.
RH: It was George Maciunass living loft. Working in Korea (Cros-
sing Parallels, 2001) was the pinnacle. At that point in time, it
was a collaborative effort based on Fluxus process. It changed my
life. I was paired with Meehye Lee, a female artist who was all
about process. For Identification Please, we handed out name
cards to people and created a city of name cards. When it was over,
I learned so much. For me, it was a breakthrough: I dont have to
make perfection; I can put my idea out there and not worry.
LPS: It has taken 20 years to get to the place of integration sym-
bolized by your noose, which could easily refer to the restrictions
that the art world imposes on self- expression.
RH: I could never have attempted anything like this early in my
career. I never knew how to cut a piece of wood until I moved to
Brooklyn. It took me years to learn how to create. Physically, it
took me this long to use the tools: how to shape and cut and
form. On the conceptual level, I had to go through the journey
of all the works that I didthrough the missteps, the successes,
the failures, and the paradigm shift in the concept and content of
the work. So, this is a merging of a skill set and conceptual growth.
LPS: Which is reflected in a maturity of vision embedded in the
work itself. Could this be a new phaseto have such a multi-lay-
ered narrative of self embedded in geometrical forms, rising from
the ashes of Postmodernism?
RH: In my opinion, Postmodernism was a culture that was running,
took a breath, turned around, and realized that it had to look at
the road it walked down. To go further, the runnermeaning our
culturehad to turn around again to keep walking.
LPS: When did that happen to you?
RH: During 2000 and 2001 is when I began to change. Before that,
I was appropriating ideas. Psycho Killer was an appropriation from
David Byrne, who graciously allowed me to translate his song into
Morse Code. Two years later, he bought Humann Sandpaper from
the Crest Hardware Show (in Williamsburg).
LPS: What is Humann Sandpaper?
RH: That is when I did use my name. I got a picture of myself and
made packs of Humann Sandpaper. My picture is on it, and it
says, Do not rub the wrong way.
LPS: What do you think about the exchange between you and
Byrne? Did you talk to him about the song?
RH: We had a brief conversation at a MoMA opening, and the
nice part about it was that he sent me a letter. I had just met
Lance Fung for the first time that day.
LPS: Can you verbalize the message contained in your work, espe-
cially your most recent series, the satirical amusement park?
RH: If I could, I wouldnt be an artist. I would be a writer.
Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a writer living in Brooklyn.
Sculpture July/August 2009 63
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

L
A
N
C
E

F
U
N
G

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y
Psycho Killer, 1998. Foam and paint, 216 x 144 x 9 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
B
a
s
i
c
/
S
t
u
d
e
n
t
/
S
e
n
i
o
r
P
r
o
f
e
s
s
i
o
n
a
l
U
n
i
v
e
r
s
i
t
y
A
s
s
o
c
i
a
t
e
F
r
i
e
n
d
P
a
t
r
o
n
B
a
s
i
c
V
e
n
d
o
r
P
r
e
f
e
r
r
e
d
V
e
n
d
o
r
Membership Benefits

2 free
images

6 free
images

25%

10 each
month
10 issues of Sculpture magazine
10 issues of Insider
Reduced registration fees for conferences
Access to password-protected areas of www.sculpture.org
Discounts from ISC member vendors
Listing on Portfolio/ Inclusion in ISC websites Directory
A copy of an ISC Press publication
Image of your artwork on the ISC websites homepage
Acknowledgement as a professional artist in Portfolio
Ability to nominate students for ISC Student Award
Aknowledgement of support in every issue of Sculpture
Discount on advertisements in Sculpture
Inclusion on the ISCs website as a contributor
Inclusion in Sculptures and websites exhibition listings
and features
Discounts on multiple copies of Sculpture
2 tickets to the Lifetime Achievement Award Gala
Gift subscriptions to Sculpture
Invitations to special events and symposiums
Opportunity to make presentations at conferences and
post articles on the ISCs website
Inclusion in conference programs
10 each
month
for 3
faculty

10 free
images

25%
10 each
month
10 each
month
for 3
members

6 free
images

25%

4 free
images

30%

25%
discount
1

10 each
month
10 each
month
for 10
members

company
logo

30%

free
2

for trade
fair
4 free
images

30%

New Membership Benefits at a Glance


As you may have heard, exciting changes are happening at the International Sculpture Center! The ISC has created four
new membership categories and enhanced benefits at each level. And now, you can easily look up categories and benefits
with the ISCs online Membership Chart. This straightforward visual guide can help you find the membership category
thats perfect for you. For more information, please visit www.sculpture.org
______________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
,
advertise in
contact: Brenden OHanlon
email: advertising@sculpture.org
________________________________
___________________
___________
___________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
___________________
________________
___________________
__________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
_____________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
,advertise in
contact: Brenden OHanlon
email: advertising@sculpture.org
___________________
______________________
____________________________
_________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
70 Sculpture 28.6
8ttrAs1 AWb os1AbowW,
Nos1MtsW l sttAWb
Brendan Jamison
Queen Studios Gallery and
Millennium Court Arts Centre
Brendan Jamison is one of a group of
younger Northern Irish artists whose
works are entirely unmarked by The
Troubles. His development has been
rapid and engaging. He owes little to
the Irish tradition of sculpture, insis-
tently reminding one of the British
sculptors of the 80s and 90s
such as Richard Deacon, Tony Cragg,
Richard Wentworth, and Anish
Kapoor. Jamisons affinities with
them are marked: playfulness, inven-
tiveness, unusual use of materials,
and the drive to generate exhibitions
across several continents.
In 2001, he was wrapping a tree
with multi-colored threads of wool,
creating an aura for it, transforming
it, and, in effect, dematerializing the
object. This notion of transformation
continues in his recent work,
whether by wrapping, coating in
wax, or even creating objects out of
sugar cubes. Jamison has stated that
his practice attempts to highlight
an in-between state or middle path,
a calm place where extremes, such
as organic and architectural, male
and female, Eastern and Western
rigid and fluid, sexual and spiritual,
can be seen side-by-side or in gentle
convergence.
In the first of his two recent exhi-
bitions, In-Between, the wrapping
element came to the fore. Three
large-scale installation pieces, Yellow
Spiral Staircase, Red Tunnel, and
Blue Bridge, all made out of wood,
had been wrapped in brightly col-
ored wool, specially ordered from
Tivoli Spinners in Cork. Yellow Spiral
Staircase has a strong sense of the
playful and the humorous. Lacking
handrails and ascending from the
floor into the ceiling, it is deprived
of the normal staircase function,
of actually going somewhere. One
could imagine this child-dangerous,
as opposed to child-friendly, piece
being resurrected in another life in
a playground for adults.
The same slightly joky, slightly sur-
real ambience pervades Red Tunnel,
though this much more ambitious
piece taps into archetypal imagery,
tribal sculpture, and the darker
recesses of science fiction. The con-
struction, which echoes womb-like
caverns and can be entered, was
based on the sci-fi drama Earth: The
Final Conflict. This description, how-
ever, makes Red Tunnel seem more
solemn than it is. Unusually, this
piece wears its imagery lightly. Its
interactive (small children are irre-
sistibly attracted into it), and its
feminine elements (the warmth and
softness of the wool, the amniotic
connotations of the womb) are bal-
anced not only by the male under-
pinning of wood, but also by small
boys entering the forbidden zone.
reviews
Brendan Jamison, installation view
of JCB Bucket Series, 2008.
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

Q
U
E
E
N

S
T
U
D
I
O
S

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

B
E
L
F
A
S
T
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 71
T
O
P
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

Q
U
E
E
N

S
T
U
D
I
O
S

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

B
E
L
F
A
S
T

/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

M
I
L
L
E
N
N
I
U
M

C
O
U
R
T

A
R
T
S

C
E
N
T
R
E
,

P
O
R
T
A
D
O
W
N
,

N
O
R
T
H
E
R
N

I
R
E
L
A
N
D
With the JCB Bucket Series,
Jamison shifts into a different gear.
The idea for the exhibition was gen-
erated when he was walking around
post-conflict Belfast, currently one
huge redevelopment site. JCB back-
hoes are ubiquitous in a redevelop-
ment area, and what particularly
appealed to Jamison were the ani-
mal-like qualities of the head or
bucket when it was protectively
down, at ground level, at nighttime.
The works, initially based on Lego
versions of JCB buckets, are made out
of micro-crystalline and paraffin wax
over wood. If one thinks of the sci-fi
world of Alien, particularly of the bio-
morphic, surreal, and menacing ele-
ments, and then introduces a dis-
turbingly playful sense of humor, you
get JamisonWorld. With this series,
the socio-political elements of regen-
eration are barely registered. As in
classic sci-fi, the world of the inani-
mate is made animate. Exuberant
is perhaps too strong a word, but the
world of toys, of childhood, of the
ogre-ish imaginings of fairy tales is
re-animated in these works.
The most successful examples are
those in which the transformative
element dominates. The wax, sug-
gesting stalagmites and stalactites,
drips, for example, into fanged
incisors. Baby JCBs are birthed and
sheltered, kangaroo-style, by the
mother, or the mother form devel-
ops a noticeably pregnant swelling.
Rigid strata are transformed with
wax, transmuted and transposed
the ordinary becomes the extraordi-
nary. Its such a pleasure to welcome
a real sculptor who has a deft, play-
ful touch, as well as an over-active
imagination.
Brian McAvera
los AWsttts
Allan Kaprow
Lawrence Weiner
MoCA, the Geffen Contemporary
Two recent shows at the Geffen
highlighted oddly opposing and
weirdly converging end-points of
arts 30-year (and counting) engage-
ment with what Lucy Lippard has
called the dematerialized art
object. Allan Kaprow and Lawrence
Weiner both advocated, in their
work and discourse, the notion that
art is not a commodity, that framed
linen with colors on it could
no longer represent, tap, or convey
something as complex and elusive
as postmodern meaning. Kaprow
linked true creative invention to
real-time experience, and Weiner
acknowledged that no matter what
we say or make, arts conception
and reception (i.e., its content) can-
not side-step the sieve of ideation
and language. These positions were
duly present in Kaprows few early
Abstract Expressionist canvases and
smartly noted in the evocative
words that Weiner painted directly
on the Geffen in his wall cum sculp-
ture: Many colored objects placed
side by side to form a row of many
colored objects. Smartly planned
for paired viewing, the two shows
made a convincing case that no
matter how you slice or dice them,
even dematerialized art objects
actions, words, dirt, environ-
mentsinevitably end up in five,
10, or 20 years as fossilized, canon-
ized, repackaged museum stuff.
Though they reached very differ-
ent conclusionsKaprow insisting
on the phenomenological concrete-
ness of embodied action in real
time, Weiner insisting on the reduc-
tive supremacy of something as
abstract as idea/languageboth
artists extended a tack that began
with Rauschenbergs first come-hith-
er-press-knobs-lights-a-blinking com-
bines. Both artists understood shar-
ing the creative/authorial position
with the viewer, with the space of
using and seeing where meaning in
art inevitability unfolds. The critical
response to Weiner has been gener-
ally more exhaustive and favorable,
a possible Enlightenment legacy
thats comfortable with high culture
decanted through the intellectual
Above: Brendan Jamison, Decaying Green JCB Bucket (Model GTHB51), 2008.
Microcrystalline and paraffin wax over wood, 46 x 42 x 31 cm. Below: Brendan
Jamison, Red Tunnel (detail), 2008. Wool over wood, 212 x 180 x 550 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
72 Sculpture 28.6
and the linguistic vs. the experien-
tial and visceral (Kaprow). It is nei-
ther small nor incidental that the
latter approach, the one receiving
less serious critical engagement,
continues to be associated with
femininity.
The Kaprow show has been dis-
cussed as nihilistic adolescence
by the less than informed and con-
versely mythologized and rational-
ized by well-meaning docents just
graduated from high-theory classes.
Somewhere between the extremes,
viewers had to decide what to make
of this first serious overview of an
artist who influenced art-making
from conceptualism to feminism,
from performance to installation
to public practice, and whose very
ethos defies the spectacle of mu-
seum presentation.
In the case of Kaprow, who
patently rejected passive fine art
models, a retrospective like this
posed a serious practical and philo-
sophical challenge. The show tried
hard, one must say, to stay true
to the sort of anti-grand-narrative,
anti-art-historical paradigm
endorsed by the artist (as stated
by him in essay after essay of his
seminal work Blurring). Yet it neces-
sarily ended up looking stunningly
handsome, composed, and staged
(except for the corner called Apples
Crate, where shredded papers and
cellophane looked a bit more real-
time interactive). The bright Yves
Klein blue furniture and bric-a-brac
of Barbara T. Smiths homage/rein-
vention of Kaprows Push and Pull
drew the eye to like tones in the
adjacent wall of early paintings
some suggesting that Kaprow might
have become a decent painter, oth-
ers that he did well to turn to art-
as-life. The three-dimensional talis-
mans and artifacts (for lack of
a better way to describe their odd
static poetry in this context), such
as a 60s typewriter sitting alone
on a desk and inviting viewers to
hunt and peck at will, or Allan
Rupperbergs wall of affixed objects
called Circle, which reinvented
Kaprows Words (1962), ended up
looking painfully staged, archival,
and antithetical to experience.
Ironically, the huge single and dou-
ble faces captured in looped videos
as they engage in Actions like tap-
ping out the beats of their pulses
are stunning as aesthetic objects
the very sort of museum beast that
Kaprow bet on avoiding.
Much of the exhibitions success
relied on the variable of action and
use. When the displays just sat still
with no viewers to activate or turn
them on, they did Kaprow no jus-
tice. On sleepy Thursdays, with calm
museum-goers moving slowly from
piece to piece with their hands
clasped behind them, a somewhat
annoying chasm opened between
the radical rhetoric of Kaprows
demand for un-art and the fully art-
as-art experience that unfolded.
On some days, one was allowed to
push and pull Smiths homage/
installation ever so carefully in des-
ignated areas; on other days, view-
ers played the piano, tried on the
shoes, and muddled around the
cellophane marking Baldessaris
responsive homage to Kaprow.
Left: Barbara T. Smith, Push and Pull:
A Furniture Comedy for Allan Kaprow,
2008. Mixed-media reinvention of Allan
Kaprows Push and Pull: A Furniture
Comedy for Hans Hoffman, installation
view. Below and detail: Lawrence
Weiner, As Far as the Eye Can See,
2008. Installation view.
T
O
P
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

G
E
F
F
E
N

C
O
N
T
E
M
P
O
R
A
R
Y

A
T

M
O
C
A

/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

B
R
I
A
N

F
O
R
R
E
S
T
,


L
A
W
R
E
N
C
E

W
E
I
N
E
R
/
A
R
T
I
S
T
S

R
I
G
H
T
S

S
O
C
I
E
T
Y

(
A
R
S
)
,

N
Y
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 73
To mitigate the conundrum of
historicizing work so forcefully
centered on doing, MOCA asked
Kaprows contemporaries to do
these variously successful reinven-
tions. Perhaps the most interesting
was the central interactive piece
by Kaprows good friends Suzanne
Lacy, Michael Rotondi, and Peter
Kirby, who installed a circle of
Kaprows favorite wooden school
chairs in an arena of lights arranged
on a bed of dirt (a play on one of
his famous scores). This quasi-ritual-
istic spacedemarcated to collect
oral historieswas a place where
those who participated in ephem-
eral Kaprow works in the past
or in the course of the MOCA show
could recount their experiences
for museum- goers, everyone then
becoming a creator and actor in
an evolving event.
Whereas Weiner has always used
institutional walls as part and par-
cel of his method and inquiry (his
words reverberate specifically from
and with their institutional sup-
ports), Kaprow began from a
premise that denied those walls,
thus his show felt a little alien.
Weiner makes no bones about the
necessary role of display spaces;
in fact, his works make such a tight
complicity of art-object-museum-
viewer-perception-language that we
cant help but note the boundaries
of art products and the places where
these odd products best flourish.
This was clear in a re-installation of
a now well-known work first done
at Siegelaub Gallery in the 60s:
at MOCA, he carved away a three-
by-three-foot square down to the
craggy drywall, defining/construct-
ing the art idea from the very
space that holds it.
The fact that Weiners works are
super-resonant word pictures links
him to Kaprows starting point: writ-
ten scores/instructions. The simul-
taneous shows allowed Weiner to
respond to Kaprows insistence on
the supremacy of actions/phenome-
na. However transient the painted
words Above it All/Below it All/
All Over it All, their impact on our
bodies and cognitive associations
proves that physical experiences
like direction, dimension, weight,
elation, and doom are inextricably
mediated by language. As for doom,
Weiners floor-bound letters invok-
ing the day when we age enough
to lie about age are a down-to-your-
bones nostalgic bummer to anyone
over 45.
One of the most compelling
aspects of both shows was the
ancillary material indicating the
artists intellectual scope: original
scores, videos, letters, writings, and
non-fine-art projects all deepen our
understanding. In this regard, it is
the persistent courage to expound
ideas that demand a lot from
us as thinkers that links Kaprow to
Weiner. If anything, the MOCA show
and the events around it made
more people aware of the depth
and duration (60 years) of Kaprows
scholarship. However free for all
Kaprow appears, we came away
aware that he studied art history
under Meyer Shapiro at Columbia,
had a complete understanding of
post-Greenberg critical discourse,
studied Abstract Expressionism with
Hans Hoffman, was a practicing
student of Zen Buddhism, and did
a Masters on Mondrian. We must
trust therefore in the odd contradic-
tion that Kaprow came to his romp-
of-a-format from informed respect
for formal strategies of art such as
organizing principles, composition,
color theory, mood, hue, ritual, and
poetic resonance.
This leads to a final point of
comparison. Kaprow and Weiner
were of a particular epoch, and
their work is inescapably part of
its weave. For all their accrued
legacies, both of them were, in
many ways, 60s hippie utopi-
anists. Like the Situationists before
them, they felt that things (art
things and other things) could
not replace a kind of heightened
awareness through which artists
engage us to feel/see/act (Kaprow)
and feel/see/think (Weiner) in
unaccustomed ways.
Marlena Donohue
8ocMts1ts, Mt cMt sAW
Chido Johnson
Oakland University Art Gallery
Chido Johnson recently transformed
the Oakland University Art Gallery
into a domestic space filled with
bright colors and grating sounds
that competed for attention. Such
contradictory impulses can also be
seen in his work, which moves from
exquisitely carved marble to appro-
priated ready-made objects like
Home Depot buckets. By juxtapos-
Above: Chido Johnson, installation view of Domestified Angst: Second
Recording, 2008. Right: Chido Johnson, smile (detail), 2008. Ebony, IKEA
table, and video, sculpture 12 x 6.4 x 5 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
74 Sculpture 28.6
ing clean lines, smooth surfaces,
and often violent encounters, the
artist created a space that was at
once uncomfortable and hilarious.
Johnson is a European American
raised in rural Zimbabwe and urban
Zambia. His current work, which is
characterized by a nagging desire
to place his identity, gives form to
the disjunctures and similarities
that he finds in the multiple con-
texts of his upbringing.
Viewers were immediately con-
fronted with dai ndiri shiri (if I was
a bird). Johnson stenciled a yellow
eagle, the national symbol of both
the U.S. and Zimbabwe, on a Pepto-
Bismol pink wall. He silk-screened the
same bird on a traditional kitenge
cloth, which was draped over a sofa.
Meanwhile loud slamming sounds
interspersed with laughter begged
for investigation. Playball featured
a cast foam, spotlighted ball in the
shape of a rotund head. Sporting
the perma- grin of an overbearing
car salesman, it sat on the floor,
dented and dirtied from excessive
kicking. A net full of surreal smiling
heads hung on a nearby wall.
The same smile could be found in
me me me, a collection of African
sculptures made for the tourist mar-
ket, one re-worked by Johnson into
a self-portrait. me me me comments
on the ways that non-European
Americans are pigeonholed into a
performance of exotified difference.
The figure expresses discomfort, for,
despite his freakish smile, he covers
his penis. A grinding sound coming
from the other side of the gallery
lured already tense and reluctant
viewers into the space of smile.
Here, another grotesque smiling
head tops a plump babys body
carved in ebony. Although Johnson
carved the figure to appear as
though he had altered the head of
a pre- existing sculpture, the entire
configuration is his own work. The
sculpture faced a video projection
of Johnsons latex-gloved hand tak-
ing a Dremel tool to the babys
smile, an image that recalls a night-
marish trip to the dentist. The
smooth surface of the body and the
jagged quality of the head clearly
illustrate Johnsons internal opposi-
tions and external impositions.
I want to be a cowboy showcases
Johnsons sculpting prowess, as well
as his tendency to layer unexpected
references. Carved in Greek marble,
a small cowboy sits atop a night-
stand placed on a white faux fur rug
cut in the shape of Almeria, Spain.
Spaghetti westerns, a popular genre
in Zambia during Johnsons child-
hood, were once filmed there. The
nightstand and rug reference a
cheap motel room, while the narra-
tive element denotes the lone cow-
boy looking down at a scenic prairie,
his intended destiny. Johnsons point-
ed amalgams of various cultures,
whether political or popular, encour-
age viewers to question the authen-
ticity of their own place and percep-
tual references.
Kathy Zarur
Ntw osK
Louise Bourgeois
Cheim & Read
Now in her late 90s, Louise Bourgeois
continues to impress with highly
original sculptures that recall
the Surrealist sentinels she created
at the beginning of her career.
As one of our best-known feminist
artists, Bourgeois has produced
sculptures and installations that do
not rehearse or enact the various
slights and humiliations she
endured from her father; instead,
her work atmospherically reprises
that aura of psychic pain. It is
remarkable to think that Bourgeois
still possesses the wherewithal to
create so late in her life, but it is
clear from this inspiring show that
she has the will and ability to tra-
verse new ground. The works
in Echo literally echo her earlier
efforts, proving that for so august
an artist, the pasther own past
becomes as evocative and creatively
productive as anything else she
might use. This is not to say that
she is quoting herselfBourgeois
remains original and provocative
without overly relying on previous
work. Yet the continuity of her most
recent sculpture is tremendously
exciting because it seems as if she
has come full circleinto the
embrace of the surreal, which car-
ried her so far as a young artist.
Beautifully installed in Cheim &
Reads large room, the Echo series
looked formidably mysterious. Yet
there is nothing very obscure about
the sculptures themselves: the forms
are bronze casts of clothing for which
Bourgeois no longer cares. Most
of the works are painted white and
stand with a vertical rise on a thin
base of steel. Echo VIII (2007), 78
inches tall, resembles a personage so
slender it that invites, at least from
a distance, a comparison with Giaco-
metti. But close up, we see the tex-
R
I
G
H
T
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

C
H
E
I
M

&

R
E
A
D
,

N
Y
Above: Chido Johnson, me me me (detail), 2008. Carved ebony and collec-
tion of tourist objects, 20 x 43 x 10 in. Right: Louise Bourgeois, Echo VII,
2007. White-painted bronze and steel, 56 x 12 x 19 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 75
L
E
F
T
:

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

C
H
E
I
M

&

R
E
A
D
,

N
Y

/

R
I
G
H
T
:

J
A
M
E
S

P
R
I
N
Z
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

J
A
C
K

S
H
A
I
N
M
A
N

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y
ture of the article of clothing, whose
draping opens up mysterious and
vaginal slits. Like the other works in
the show, Echo VIII shows us how a
piece of clothing, usually filled by a
human form, can become a brilliantly
articulated abstraction. The narrow
orifices may be seen as part of Bour-
geoiss ongoing interest in the erotic:
stripped of anything but themselves,
they strike the viewer as a bit alarm-
ing, as if Bourgeois were offering up
her version of the vagina dentata.
The remarkable thing about this
series is its balance between abstract
and figurative possibilities. Echo VII
(2007) is, at 56 inches, smaller than
Echo VIII, yet its drapes, folds, and
rather large opening seem just as
effective. Echo VII feels rather
abstract, but its curves and bulges
also relate its parts to those of the
human body. Echo X (2007),
extremely thin and tall (92 inches
high), doesnt look like anything
familiar; indeed, part of its attrac-
tion stems from its unique sculptural
qualities. About two-thirds of the
way down from the top, the form
flares out to encompass several
openings made by the original
draped cloth. This is, I think, sculp-
ture at its bestbalanced between
categories of figuration and abstrac-
tion, highly unusual, and both sen-
suous and intelligent. It is work
of an elevated order.
Jonathan Goodman
Ntw osK
Nick Cave
Jack Shainman Gallery
Stepping inside Nick Caves world
is like entering a fairy tale or a the-
ater set. But instead of describing
this imaginative place or furnishing
it with props, Cave provides us with
something more specific: the uni-
forms, ceremonial costumes, and
second skins that the creatures at
home there might wear. By now,
the Chicago-based artist has
received much critical acclaim for
his Soundsuitsheavily adorned,
wearable sculptures that produce
sound via the movements of
attached found objects, masks,
beads, or vintage toys. In his second
New York solo exhibition, Cave pre-
sented recent examples of this
signature body of work, along with
several figurative sculptures.
Much of the allure found in Caves
fantastic world springs from his
preference for elaborately patterned
textiles and a palette rich in deeply
saturated and fluorescent hues. The
overall sentiment is playful, at times
whimsical, and celebratory. Both
indulgence and grandeur character-
ize the Soundsuits. They are worthy
of dressing up a mysterious elite
kings and queens, shamans, medi-
cine men, magicians, and witches.
Through skilled fabric manipulation,
Caves garments become much
more than mere physical decoration.
Not unlike tribal ceremonial cos-
tumes, the Soundsuits offer the
promise of spiritual empowerment.
Those who wear them find them-
selves transformed into something
otherworldly, strong and indepen-
dent of social norms.
It is easy to imagine how the
Soundsuits come to life when worn,
even when they appear in a gallery
as still objects. When animated by
the human body, they vibrate with
sound, as the adorned objects
shake and the hairs move in waves,
reflecting each forceful gesture.
Performance has always played a
strong role in Caves work. Having
once studied dance with Alvin Ailey,
it was Caves ambition to fuse his
various interests into one language.
The Soundsuits combine aspects of
dance with sculpture in that they
give a distinct form to something
visceral and sensual.
To Cave, textiles and clothing are
conceptual modes of expression
and pose fundamental questions
about the human condition in the
social and political realm. As much
as his work is based on the free-
dom of dreams and fantasy, it also
entails a very real potential for
escapism. Usually covering the full
body, including the head, hands, and
feet, the Soundsuit can serve as an
elaborate form of make-up. In that
context, the flowers, toys, and
found objects act as a kind of cam-
ouflage, a means to disguise the
surfaces underneath. Here, informa-
tion overload assists in veiling the
truth. The question arises that if a
specific suit can enable us to take
Above: Louise Bourgeois, installation view of Echo, 2008. Below: Nick
Cave, Soundsuit, 2009. Mixed media, 97 x 26 x 20 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
76 Sculpture 28.6
J
A
M
E
S

P
R
I
N
Z
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

J
A
C
K

S
H
A
I
N
M
A
N

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

N
Y
on a new persona devoid of social
and national backgrounds, political
or religious beliefs, is it simply sur-
face textures and colors that make
or break our luck in the real world?
Stephanie Buhmann
Ntw osK
Moore in America
New York Botanical Garden
Large outdoor Henry Moore exhibi-
tions are very rare. Not a single one
was organized during the artists life-
time, despite his well-known belief
that sculpture is an art of the open
air. I have been fortunate to see
major Moore shows in India under
a hot sky on baked earth, in Paris
amid scented rose gardens and
manicured turf, in the U.K. at his
erstwhile home Perry Green (now
the Henry Moore Foundation), in
Leeds, Glasgow, and Toronto, even
a few bronzes on a remote Scottish
hillside under gray drizzle, surround-
ed by bedraggled sheep and rocks.
Now, New Yorks magnificent
Botanical Garden, which recently
hosted 20 major Moore sculptures,
can be added to the list. Moore in
Americathe largest outdoor exhi-
bition of Moores work ever in the
U.S.will be on view at the Atlanta
Botanic Garden through October
2009. In New York, the works were
beautifully set amid 250 verdant
acres. Moore would have loved the
gardens, every corner and curve an
enticing location for his sculptures.
But does the public love him? Is
his work too well known, too old-
fashioned? Or, as the 21st century
gets into its stride, will the tide turn?
Michael Parke-Taylor, curator at the
Art Gallery of Ontario (which has
141 Moore sculptures), has an inter-
esting story: There was a big con-
ference in Norwich to mark [Moores]
centenary in 1998. Organizers tried
to get contemporary artists to
respond to Moores work. No takers.
Now, we are working on a major
Moore reappraisal for Londons Tate
in 2010, to show his work as more
complex, more disruptive or trou-
bling than is normally thought, and
already contemporary artists like
Julian Opie, Bruce McLean, Vanessa
Beecroft, and Simon Starling are
stepping forward. That tells us some-
thing.
By turns admired and hated,
Moore was alternately seen as
a rebel or as part of the old guard.
Never out of the limelight, he had a
long history of controversy in relation
to his fellow artists. When he offered
25 works to the Tate in 1967, 41
artists, including heavy hitters like
Frink, Paolozzi, and Caro, signed a
letter of protest published in the
London Times. Moore was hurt and
went on to donate many pieces to
Toronto, which benefited by default.
A Yorkshireman from the north
of England, Moore struggled with
success. He always lived carefully,
despite exceptional wealth in later
life. (By 1977, he was paying almost
1,000,000 a year in income tax.)
And, in 1951, aged 53, he turned
down a knighthood because he
feared that it might make him an
establishment figure. Ironically, he
became just that. The Henry Moore
Trust, which he established in 1972,
and the Foundation helped to main-
tain this status. But Moore was
always, by far, the most heavily pro-
moted British artist. His dignified,
faceless, mother-centric sculptures
were championed by the British
Council because they appeared safe-
ly nonpolitical. (Between 1950 and
1960, the Council organized touring
shows of 82 venues in 20 countries.)
Mass-producing bronzes on an
almost factory-like scale, Moore
quickly became a household name.
Even today, the popular notion
of a public sculpture is a Moore
in the center of a square, which
means that iconic Moore compos-
itions have to fight myriad pre-
dictable assumptions. Because the
figures are so familiar, they can lack
a sense of immediacy, of relevance.
This is where a new location with
unexpected or surprising sites can
make us rethink stock responses,
and the New York Botanical Garden
was ideal. Curators from the Moore
Foundation created a perfect union
of art and landscapenot an easy
project when siting 20 bronzes on
a flying visit. Unlike a painting, you
cant suddenly decide to move a
sculpture 12 inches to the left; each
work sits on a huge, heavy base
installed long before the sculptures
arrive. These bases also contain
complex security devices, which
makes things more difficult. Moore
once said that sculpture gains
by finding a setting that suits its
mood. Greeting viewers at the
Visitor Center, Goslar Warrior, located
on flint against a backdrop of pine
trees, proved his point.
Goslar Warrior and Mother and
Child are among Moores most
accessible sculptures. He worked on
a large group of family pieces from
1945 to 1948, and Mother and Child
was aptly sited near the Childrens
Adventure Garden. Here, Moore
focuses on the mothers head and
shoulders, her child held in an all-
encompassing embrace. The divi-
sion of solid mass into two parts is
Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2009. Mixed media, 90 x 40 x 32 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 77
C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

N
E
W

Y
O
R
K

B
O
T
A
N
I
C
A
L

G
A
R
D
E
N
an enduring aspect of his work, and
as a subject, the universal relation-
ship between mother and child, even
if sometimes abstracted to an
extreme degree, provided him with
endless possibilities. Reclining
Mother and Child, installed in the
Rose Garden, displays an abstracted,
chunky articulation; Draped
Reclining Mother and Baby (in the
Rock Garden) was made just three
years before Moore died at age 88.
We are so accustomed to Moores
powerful forms of enormous weight,
dramatic tension, and crucial voids
or holes, that we take his outra-
geous vocabulary of radical, organic,
sometimes almost Surrealist,
Modernism for granted. Yet he was,
above all, a pioneer in large-scale
abstraction. In the 1950s, he began
exploring upright motives, rem-
iniscent of Native American totem
polesan association that he
acknowledged. Three stood along-
side ornamental conifers. Large
Totem Head continued the theme
along Azalea Way. Standing Figure:
Knife Edge was reflected in the Haupt
conservatory pool.
Most of these giant sculptures
started out as clay or plaster models
small enough to fit in your hand.
Moore was fascinated by organic
found objects and got his inspira-
tion from small bones, shells, flints,
pebbles, and bits of driftwood.
Standing Figure: Knife Edge originated
from a bone fragment to which he
added a small plasticine head.
No exhibition is perfect. For
instance, Large Reclining Figure
(1984), while technically inventive,
is a startlingly ugly concoction of
white fiberglass. This biomorphic
creature was made specifically for
urban Hong Kong, and it looked
out of place in a natural setting.
An unknown side of the sculptor
appears in Henry Moore Textiles,
on view at Perry Green through
October 18, 2009. In late 1942
or early 1943, during the darkest
years of World War II, Zika Ascher,
a Czech textile manufacturer who
escaped to London in 1939, asked
Moore to produce ideas for fabric
designs. Some went into production
as scarves, (limited editions costing
6 were screenprinted on parachute
nylon or rayon) wall hangings, and
fabrics, launched first in New York
in 1944 and a year later in London.
The show reveals Moores surprising
use of vibrant color, along with
motifs such as barbed wire, caterpil-
lars, and twisted safety pins. Here,
too, the family group is present,
along with his favorite reclining
figures and abstract imagery, all
freely drawn with wax crayons and
watercolor. Moore was ahead again,
anticipating the end of grim aus-
terity and rationing. One magazine
even commented that women
would be blossoming out as walk-
ing art galleries.
Clare Henry
Ntw osK
Second Lives: Remixing
the Ordinary
Museum of Arts and Design
Second Lives: Remixing the
Ordinary was the lively, if not the-
matically original, inaugural exhibi-
tion at the Museum of Arts and
Design (MAD). Formerly the much-
ridiculed, white marble oddity that
was Huntington Hartfords Gallery
of Modern Art and more recently
the site of the New York Cultural
Center, the museums controversial
new home on Columbus Circle
(preservationists fought fiercely to
keep the faade as it was) opened
in September with great fanfare.
Featuring 50 artists and collabora-
tive teams, Second Lives aimed to
promote environmental awareness
through the re-purposing or recycling
of common, mass-produced, often
disposable items (including kitchen
utensils, eyeglasses, handgun trig-
gers, hypodermic needles, rubber
gloves, shoes, and milk bottles) while
blurring the boundary between art
and design. Designers such as Ingo
Maurer, the Campana brothers, and
Johnny Swing, whose shining chaise
lounge of welded quarters was clever
and eye- catching, were joined by
artists such as Tara Donovan, who
stacked innumerable buttons to cre-
ate the towers of Bluff (which might
be a topographical reference or
one of intent), and Do-Ho Suh, who
pieced together a gleaming metal
jacket out of 3,000 U.S. Army dog
tags that, in the spirit of fusion,
recalled a chain-mail kimono.
Quantity evidently counted in this
exhibition, as well as ingenuity. We
Above: Henry Moore, Goslar Warrior,
197374. Bronze, 330 cm. long.
Left: Henry Moore, Locking Piece,
196364. Bronze, 290 cm.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
78 Sculpture 28.6
were asked to admire the canniness
of the usage, and we did; but some
transformations were more profound
than others. Chakaia Booker
remained faithful to her rubber tires,
creating another bold, bristling wall
abstraction that channeled the
power of ritualistic objects. Long-Bin
Chen continued with his sculpted
heads of Buddha and the goddess
Guanyin carved from telephone
directories and auction catalogues.
Subodh Guptas semi-spherical wall
piece of tin pots, a staple of Indian
life, was emotionally resonant but
visually unremarkable. Paul Villinskis
signature butterflies cut from vinyl
records had a retro-loveliness, spread-
ing across the wall like musical notes
or a bevy of memories, as if released
by the record player below. Another
vinyl record piece, Jean Shins slightly
ominous Sound Wave, offered a tall,
freestanding, three-dimensional ver-
sion of Hokusais famous woodcut.
Yuken Teruyas delicate, diminutive
trees cut from designer shopping
bags were, as always, irresistible
the message encoded in the medi-
um. And El Anatsui was represented
by another of his glimmering tapes-
tries made out of liquor bottle caps
and thin wire.
Entertaining, often pleasing to
look at, even provocative at times,
Second Lives might have included
more unusual suspects like Michael
Rakowitz and his version of the
missing artifacts from the National
Museum of Iraq made from Middle
Eastern packaging and newspapers,
an absurdist take on life, war, and
the value of art. One might also
question the environmental friendli-
ness of some works, since they con-
sume an inordinate amount of mate-
rial that didnt seem to be recycled
at allexcept conceptually. Geared
toward a general audience, Second
Lives was ultimately a crowd-pleaser
rather than a sustained investigation
of a vital issue. As such, it was also
a missed opportunity.
Lilly Wei
SAsA1osA Sst Wss, Ntw
osK
Dean Snyder
Tang Teaching Museum and Art
Gallery, Skidmore College
Dean Snyders brightly colored works
are a stark departure from his earlier
constructions of leather, tree
branches, and annotative drawings.
In Almost Blue, he abandoned
organic materials for polymers, syn-
thetic resins, and high-gloss hot-rod
paint. This garage technology, as
Snyder terms it, imposed labor-inten-
sive processes on the formation of
his playful new sculptures, including
shaping Styrofoam, laminating fiber-
glass, and applying epoxy gel and
automotive paint laced with flaked
metal glitter. For each piece, the
application of paint alonemultiple
layers of primer, base coat, top coat,
and clear coat, each cured and
meticulously sandedoccupied
some three days work.
The result: kandy-kolored skins of
yellows, reds, and greens on biomor-
phic forms that combine animal, veg-
etable, and mineral. In one, a dead
tree limb sprouts from an enormous
Above: Installation view of Second Lives, with (left to right) Susie MacMurray, Frailties, 2004, and Pablo Reinoso, Spiralthonet, 2008. Below and detail:
Dean Snyder, Almost Blue, 2008. Cast optical resin and urethane auto enamel over epoxy and carbon fiber, 8.5 x 128 x 58 in.
T
O
P
:

R
I
C
H
A
R
D

B
A
R
N
A
S

/

B
O
T
T
O
M
:

A
R
T
H
U
R

E
V
A
N
S
,

C
O
U
R
T
E
S
Y

T
H
E

A
R
T
I
S
T

A
N
D

T
A
N
G

T
E
A
C
H
I
N
G

M
U
S
E
U
M

A
N
D

A
R
T

G
A
L
L
E
R
Y
,

S
K
I
D
M
O
R
E

C
O
L
L
E
G
E
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Sculpture July/August 2009 79
R
A
O
U
L

M
A
N
U
E
L

S
C
H
N
E
L
L
polyp. Another resembles a chunk
of space rock dripping intergalactic
gore. Though functioning as discrete
pieces, the nine works were displayed
as an ensemble, like some trippy
bestiary or garden of other- earthly
delights, punctuated with dollops of
eros. A funhouse note was added by
a giant, stainless-steel cobweb hung
in a corner of the entrance, fair warn-
ing to all who entered. Inside, with
walls painted cave-brown, the sculp-
tures were presented in tight pools
of light, like celebrities in a super-
natural cabinet of wonder.
The pantomime strangeness of
the objects gains deeper meaning
through Snyders titles, which fuse
whimsy with classical mythopoetics.
The eight-foot Nepenthe, a variegated
yellow-red tuber with a black snaky
stem that terminates in a gaping,
acid- green pitcher plant flower, is
named for the genus of carnivorous
plant and for a Homeric drug that
makes the user forget sorrow.
Amnesia is a puddle of orange ooze
sprouting a crop of glassy-eyed, Lucy-
in-the-Sky poppies. And Snyder rein-
terprets Khronos, the Greek creator of
the universe, as a glittering nugget
with a crust that shifts color from
orange to yellow, broken at one end
to reveal a glistening, meat-red core.
Almost Blue presents another oozy
pool, this time recalling the gassy
surface of a geothermal spring.
Bubbles frozen in mid-burst and
the symmetrical bloom of droplets
exploding on impact echo stop-
action photography, recalling
Snyders artistic origins as a photog-
rapher; similarly, the works resem-
blance to the messy flop of a cow
pie evokes his childhood on a Penn-
sylvania farm and adds to the works
biographical allusions. A sense of
memoir pervaded the installation,
from the humid immediacy of rural
life to the carnival dream of the
Jersey Shore, where Snyder sum-
mered as a boy. In this regard, his
new sculptures are no departure,
but a continuation of his previous
work: meditations on influences that
go back to his source, and on the
rewards of not fully growing up.
Timothy Cahill
1osoW1o
Vanessa Paschakarnis
Alison Smith Gallery
I first encountered Vanessa
Paschakarniss work when she came
to study at the Nova Scotia College of
Art and Design University in the early
90s. Her methodology was highly
refined, and she worked tirelessly at
large-scale plaster casts, graphite
drawings, and ambitious stone carv-
ings. The work read and continues
to read, for me, as simultaneously
optimistic and subtly doleful.
In her recent exhibition, domestic-
sized marble carvings sat atop appro-
priately innocuous bases. Parallel
white walls running the length of the
gallery displayed several large- and
small-scale drawings, punctuated by
evocative intaglio prints. Overhead,
stainless steel 10-gauge aircraft cable
suspended contorted cast bronze
enclosures. Domesticated Beasts,
the shows title, suggested the
notion of servitude, together with
an attendant uneasiness.
Standing on the sidewalk, directly
facing the glass-fronted gallery, view-
er scould clearly see Horned Being
(Pan), a variegated, carved stone with
cow-like, protruding bronze horns,
sitting atop a bolted, multi-timbered
plinth. Encountering this object
inside, one became aware of the
incised lines and divots that scar the
otherwise smooth, serpentine stone
head. The substantial bronze horns
appear to hold the energy that has
departed from the being itself.
Three additional carved marble
heads complete this set of beasts. All
are quite geometric in form and soft
pink in color, except for Horse with
Colors, whose variegation displays
sienna and gray streaks on a pinkish-
white field. Like Horned Being, the
cat, cow, and horse have scars by
way of incised markings, but they
are more the scars of a life fulfilled
than of a life damaged. The titles of
another group, Blue Bell, Blue Echo,
and Shadows for Bells, are whimsical;
the sculptures are not. Blue Bell, for
example, seems rigidly fabric-like
from one vantage point then curi-
ously assumes the form of a rudi-
mentary helmet. Paschakarniss bells
do not contain tongues, nor are
there implements available to strike
them. A ringing bell is a summons, a
calling, and an announcement; when
intentionally silenced, it denotes
censure, oppression, and sadness.
Blue Echo, a suspended bronze sad-
dle-like shape, could be the hide
from one of the marble animal
heads. It describes a form no longer
present and, when struck with the
hand, sounds sadly hollow. Shadows
for Bells, cable-suspended, cast
bronze sculptures with a soft brown
patina, are reminiscent of the evis-
cerated deer carcasses sometimes
found in the deep woods.
In Two-Faced Individual, two elon-
gated marble carvings, each roughly
twice the size of a human head, are
singularly pinned (back-to-back) to a
six-foot-high metal mast. The carving
implies that each form was devel-
oped from the same piece of marble.
The more convex of the two faces
displays aggressive pock marks on an
otherwise smooth surface. A mouth
seems to gape toward the ceiling.
Opposite, a second face projects, its
mouth continuing on to describe
what might be a throat. It appears
incapable of taking nourishment,
while the other waits, like a baby
bird, to be fed.
This dialectic within Paschakarniss
work creates and maintains tension.
Many of her sculptures bring the
viewer to consider notions of separa-
tion, reconciliation, absence, and
concordance. Paschakarnis is devel-
oping a lexicon for describing that
which is not visible, and, in doing so,
she moves toward a higher level of
consciousness. It is, after all, the
space in between that offers poten-
tial for insight and awareness.
Dennis Gill
Vanessa Paschakarnis, Horse with Colors, 2008. Portuguese marble and steel,
20 x 14 x 24 in.
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
80 Sculpture 28.6
I SC STAFF NEWS
Two new staff members have recently joined
the ISC. Valerie Friedman joined the New Jersey
office in November 2008 as the Conference and
Events Associate. After graduating from Colby
College with a Bachelors degree in Art and
Anthropology, Valerie gained experience working
in museums and nonprofits. She is eager to
answer questions concerning ISC conferences
and symposia and looks forward to meeting ISC
members at future events. Valerie can be reached
at <valerie@sculpture.org>. Mary Ellen Brady
joined the ISC this past January as the Executive
Assistant. She received a degree in Art History
from Manhattanville College and brings several
years of arts administration experience from
museums and fine arts insurance. Mary Ellen is
excited to be part of the team and is happy to
help with any questions or concerns. She can
be reached at <maryellen@sculpture.org>.
isc
PEOPLE, PLACES, AND EVENTS
I SC BOARD NEWS
The International Sculpture Center would like to acknowledge the commitment
of two departing members of its Board of Directors and welcome three new
members. Ric Collier and Bob Emser, both dedicated ISC Board members, are
leaving to pursue other projects. Ric remains committed to the ISC and will
be participating at a committee level. Bob said that he really enjoyed his time
serving on the Board and feels good about the accomplishments that have been
made at the ISC over the past three years. While he will be taking time to be
in his studio, he is also looking forward to helping with the ISC Membership
Committee.
Three talented individuals have recently added their support to the ISC
Board. Ree Kaneko has been supporting the arts for over 38 years, providing
artists with studios, stipends, and exhibition opportunities. As the vice presi-
dent and administrator for Kaneko Studios, she is also the driving force behind
the artist Jun Kaneko. STRETCHs works have been on display in private and
corporate collections throughout the world. His sculptures vary in scale from
small approachable pieces to environmentally dominating works. STRETCH
lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri. Steinunn Thorarinsdottir has been
working professionally for over 20 years and has exhibited widely in Europe,
Japan, the U.S., and Australia. Her works are in private, public, and corporate
collections across the world. She works in various forms of sculpture and uses
many different materials for her artistic expression.
Left to right: New ISC Board
members Ree Kaneko, STRETCH,
and Steinunn Thorarinsdottir.
_______________
_____________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
__________________________
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
Previous Page | Contents | Zoom in | Zoom out | Front Cover | Search Issue | Next Page
sculpture
B
A
M S a
G E
F
___________________________
_______________________________

Похожие интересы