International Sculpture Center

   


July/August 2012
Vol. 31 No 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - Do Ho Suh: Lehmann Maupin
by Jonathan Goodman
Do Ho Suh, easily one of the most interesting sculptors working in America today, presented a lot of things in this show—models of homes (one like a dollhouse and the other done in a pale-green resin), as well as such mundane objects as a sink, a circuit-breaker, and a doorknob (the last three made of translucent cloth). As early as 1991, when Suh left his residence in Korea to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, he sought to mitigate the anxiety of his displacement by measuring the spaces that he occupied in America. These elements correspond to actual homes and objects in the artist’s life and serve as a way of establishing the reality of home in a foreign country....see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Do Ho Suh, Fallen Star 1/5, 2008–11. ABS, wood, paint, ceramic, glass, honeycomb board, LED lights, plywood, resin, and mixed media, approx. 131 x 145 x 300 in.
Los Angeles - Michael Arata: Beacon Arts Building
by Jessica Rath
To say that Michael Arata is prolific is almost laughable. “Arataland!,” a retrospective of this Los Angeles-based artist, recently filled more than 20 rooms in the three-story Beacon Arts Building. Walking through hundreds of works, one could imagine that Arata has spent every night of his life furiously cranking work out, most often using sculpture as a way to insert himself into an existing political, religious, and art historical dialogue and interrupt our assumptions about it. Curated by artist and critic Doug Harvey, “Arataland!” was deftly organized into three floors: “It’s Complicatedland,” “Innocenceland,” and “Negativespaceland,” thus providing convenient theme parks in which our minds could play...see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Michael Arata, Flock, 2005. Styrofoam, wood, acrylic resin, paint, gold leaf, and hardware, dimensions variable.
Washington, DC - Rima Schulkind: Touchstone Gallery
by Mariah Josephy
This exhibition of eight complicated assemblages made from a variety of recycled objects marked a departure from Rima Schulkind’s earlier work. Collectively addressing the fertility of human invention and the wastefulness produced by obsolete technology, each “totem” displays a particular category of technological devices, including those used to manipulate numbers, reproduce images, communicate sound, write words, measure time, and record history. These raw materials are organized into freestanding towers attached to six-foot-tall welded steel armatures with wire and “set-screw O rings.” Each thematic form progresses historically from the bottom up and is crowned with a small electronic device. These tiny computers have already replaced, or are on the way to replacing, dozens of machines and materials used in the past. From cameras to typewriters, clocks to record players, from the abacus to the slide carousel, they are all here...see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Rima Schulkind, Say Cheese, 2011. Found objects, steel, and wood, 76 x 24 x 19 in.
New York - “Boundaries Obscured”: Haunch of Venison
by Susan Canning
These days, the synergy between art and life occurs so quickly that it is hard for artists to keep up. Opening a few months after the Arab Spring and only a week after Occupy Wall Street decamped from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, “Boundaries Obscured” took on the hot topics of globalization, technology, and the blurred geographic boundaries responsible for outsourcing, Facebook revolutions, and collaborative protests over economic inequality. The artists gathered here provided a remarkably prescient take on contemporary experience, but their perspectives were forced to vie for attention with the messy and ever-shifting reality show unfolding daily just outside the doors. The sculpture, paintings, and photographs on view were arranged in dialogues of connectivity, circulating narratives of war and violence, politics and sex, science and technology, waste and excess ...see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Installation view of “Boundaries Obscured” at Haunch of Venison, 2011.
New York - Maurizio Cattelan: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
by Robert C. Morgan
Some years ago, I argued in favor of making a critical distinction between works of art that are significant and those that are merely symptomatic of the times. While I believe the former are more important than the latter, the proliferation of trends in the art world continues to hold the upper hand and to move in the direction of what is symptomatic, which generally includes imagery or “readymades” that mirror the times, rather than significant art that challenges our sensory and cognitive faculties by taking us to another level of perception and discovery. Maurizio Cattelan aspires to be a renegade, jester, and anomaly, all under the guise of being an artist whose work’s authenticity we are meant to question...see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Installation view of “Maurizio Cattelan: All” at the Guggenheim.
New York: Vanessa German - Pavel Zoubok Gallery
by Michaël Amy
Vanessa German paints over old, white-skinned dolls with black pigment and tar, delving into identity, race, and racism (as in the use of the term “tar baby” to refer to someone who is very dark skinned). Her figures have wide-open eyes and fleshy lips—attributes that feed further stereotypes—and come buried under clusters of worn and damaged objects such as sockets, jewelry, spark plugs, Jim Beam whiskey stirrers, cowrie shells, nuts and bolts, hair, nails, keys, and small flasks. Arman showed us how one object, however banal, could achieve increased visual effect through repetition within the same composition. This idea was not entirely new; it turns up in diverse cultures, from the colonnade wrapped around the Parthenon to the African warrior statuette whose chest is pierced on all sides by rusty nails of unequal size and design...see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Vanessa German, Fire Extinguisher: Figure to Quell the Rage of Remembering Things you did not remember in the First Place, 2011. Found objects and mixed media, 27 x 9 x 10 in.
New York - Jonathan Prince: The Sculpture Garden at 590 Madison Avenue
by Dorothy Joiner
Felicitously staged among stately bamboo in the soaring atrium of New York City’s IBM building, Jonathan Prince’s four monumental steel sculptures brought to mind one of Plato’s favorite sayings: God is always doing geometry. Classic forms bearing historical and symbolic associations, Prince’s obelisk, flattened sphere, cube, and torus all display rich sienna patinas that accentuate their contours. Militating against geometric perfection, however, silvery patches gash the forms, disrupting their simplicity and giving rise to the series’ title, “Torn Steel.” A slender upright ripped at the apex by a jagged triangle of silver, Totem (2011) suggests—because of its title—protective ancestral spirits, as well as the masculine generative powers inherent in the obelisk and the Indian lingam...see the entire review in the print version of July/August's Sculpture magazine.

Jonathan Prince, Vestigial Block, 2011. Oxidized and stainless steel, 6.25 x 6 x 6 ft.

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