International Sculpture Center

   


October 2012
Vol. 31 No 4

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - Cristina Lei Rodriguez: Team Gallery
by Jonathan Goodman
Miami-based Cristina Lei Rodriguez makes sculptures that look like they have survived a terrible bombing—purses are crushed, and necklaces, pins, and fabrics are strewn like debris in small heaps of glittering trash. It’s impossible to tell whether the materials are valuable, but clearly a particular point is being made: the haphazard detritus and gaudy jewelry cast a long shadow on the supposed pleasures of the good life, which are increasingly questioned in our roiling society. Rodriguez comments by re-imagining the glowing stuff of privilege as the basis for raw and funky sculpture, most often supported by painted wooden pedestals. Sometimes the work looks like a nod to veteran sculptor John Chamberlain, but the scale is smaller and the implications private to the point of intimacy. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Cristina Lei Rodriguez, Retreat, 2011. Paper, plaster, paint, epoxy, plastic, wood, and found objects, 54 x 37 x 28 in.
Los Angeles - Robert Irwin: L&M Arts / J. Paul Getty Museum
by Kay Whitney
In “Way Out West” at L&M Arts, Robert Irwin was concerned with “light,” illumination, and chance combinations of color. Nine related, but independent works rendered in fluorescent light coalesced in an installation that responded to its site, but could exist in any space, including, Irwin says, the domestic. The gallery checklist describes the materials used for each piece as “Light + Shadow + Reflection + Color,” which perfectly describes what we see and what it is. “Way Out West” merged Irwin’s interests in playing the odds with his interests in light, color, and rhythm. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Robert Irwin, installation view of “Way Out West,” 2011.
Washington, DC - (e)merge art fair: Capitol Skyline Hotel
by Sarah Tanguy
From clever branding to a brassy roster of artists, the debut edition of (e)merge delivered on its promise to shake things up. Showcasing artists with no gallery representation and galleries that take on new artists, the art fair offered a rowdy alternative to its blue-chip cousins. The brainchild of Jamie Smith, Leigh Conner of Conner Contemporary, and Helen Allen, founder and former executive director of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair, (e)merge featured some 40 galleries and alternate art spaces showing in converted guest rooms of the Morris Lapidus-designed Capitol Skyline Hotel, while another 40 or so artists presented on the grounds, the first floor, and in the basement garage (the hotel is owned by collectors Mera and Don Rubell). Throughout, stand-alone sculptures, installations, and performances held sway. Samuel Scharf’s installation, A Moment in Time, set a tone of immediacy as it flapped in the wind and rain. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Holly Bass, Moneymaker, 2011. Performance still.
Miami - Mira Lehr: Kelly Roy Gallery
by Mark S. Price
For years Mira Lehr has employed non-traditional materials and destructive processes to create mixed-media paintings and—more recently—mobiles and videos of chemically transformed, burned, and otherwise repurposed materials. In her 12-foot-tall mobile Indefinite Integral, snarls of wire and twine, smears of rich color, and charred paper scraps trapped in hardened clear resin shards cascaded down taut lengths of fishing line to form a magical trunkless tree whose “leaves” seemed to have been beautifully transformed by a mischievous ice storm. A “how-I-do-it” video in the gallery depicted Lehr drawing illusionistic convexities by guiding the flame of a dynamite fuse across an obligingly manipulated canvas. Her assemblages and collages can be fairly characterized as materially evocative, allegorically naturalistic, or otherworldly. In the painting Flanders Field, Lehr’s crudely penciled operating instructions to herself are to “stay away from obvious beauty… get one idea and blow it up or multiply it over and over.”...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Mira Lehr, Indefinite Integral, 2011.
Brooklyn - Amanda Dow Thompson: Causey Contemporary
by Christopher Hart Chambers
Amanda Dow Thompson’s installation Ghost Moth filled the center of Causey’s vast, elegant, and well-lit space with about a dozen narrow spiral shapes. Dangling from a ring of suspended aluminum tubing, these vertebrae-like forms tapered and twisted down for about five feet, nearly reaching the floor. In the middle of the configuration hung four wooden variations with honeycomb formations carved into them. These served as models for clear resin castings suspended around the circumference, with clear rubber tubing snaking out above and below. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Amanda Dow Thompson, Ghost Moth, 2011.
New York - Anne Ferrer: The LAB Gallery
by Jill Conner
Anne Ferrer’s Billowing Beauty (2011) first appeared in May at The LAB Gallery in Midtown Manhattan; in October, it filled the front window of Rupert Ravens Contemporary in Newark. The touring installation consists of five inflatable, synthetic fabric sculptures that initially appear as flat circles striped with two-tone combinations of white, pink, orange, yellow, and red. With the help of small room fans operated by a timer, these colorful two-dimensional works come to life, bursting forth inside the gallery and against the windows, filling all available space and leaving viewers with no choice but to look on from the outside. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Anne Ferrer, Billowing Beauty, 2011.
New York - Michelle Lopez: Simon Preston
by Jonathan Goodman
Michelle Lopez’s recent show, which featured works exploring the history of contemporary American sculpture, was clearly influenced by the late John McCracken and John Chamber?lain. Educated in literature and art history at Barnard College in New York, Lopez is perhaps unusual in her sensitivity to this narrative. Her work begins with forms that echo but do not exactly imitate McCracken’s acutely simple, exquisitely finished planks and ?Cham?berlain’s brilliantly colored, crushed steel automobile parts. This show represented a major departure for Lopez, who is probably best known for Boy (1999), a Honda car covered with form-fitting leather. Her new works speak to issues of influence and creativity, paying homage to two outstanding American artists while nodding to skateboard culture in the “Your Board” series. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Michelle Lopez, Your Board, 2011.
New York - Clement Meadmore: Marlborough Chelsea
by Jonathan Goodman
Clement Meadmore, an Australian-born sculptor who moved to New York in 1963, is the kind of artist we don’t see much of anymore: a formalist who eschewed the myths of culture in favor of a purely objective art. Denying metaphor or any suggestion of the mystical or infinite, he stuck to his distinctively reductive aesthetic and made marvelous sculptures out of it. Friends with and influenced by the New York School painter Barnett Newman, Meadmore turned toward a more densely realized abstract language; his vocabulary, which can at first seem a bit narrow, actively represents exquisitely crafted volumetric forms—rectangular beams twisted into curved shapes. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Clement Meadmore, Hob Nob, 1992. Bronze, 17 x 40.25 x 21.25 in.
Charlotte, North Carolina - Anna von Gwinner: Projective Eye Gallery, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
by Barbara Schreiber
Berlin-based artist and architect Anna von Gwinner is probably best known for street-level video installations that entice passersby with hints of activity in inaccessible spaces. Among her recent projects are a Winnipeg building that appeared to be filling with water and bunnies doing what they do in the back of a Berlin van. But, in Charlotte, her work took a more subtly provocative turn. For two months this past winter, the Projective Eye Gallery at UNC Charlotte’s new Center City Campus was home to von Gwinner’s Betwixt and Between. In this work, which ran seven days a week from dusk to dawn, two black and white rear-projection videos of uncontrolled explosions appeared on screens that covered the gallery windows. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Anna von Gwinner, Betwixt and Between, 2012. View of video installation.
Buenos Aires - Martin Calcagno: Elsi del Rio Contemporary Art
by Maria Carolina Baulo
The Argentine artist Martin Calcagno created his own cardboard and wooden toys when he was a kid. At the age of seven, while visiting an exhibition of Japanese art, he discovered that he was meant to be an artist. His career thus far has led to shows in some of Buenos Aires’ most important cultural centers and galleries, as well as participation in several international art fairs. “The delicate fragrance of love in the Cañuela woods,” Calcagno’s 2009 exhibition at Elsi del Rio, consisted of carved tree trunks treated as blank pages on which to engrave (and expose) deep and private feelings. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Martin Calcagno, The world is mine! (detail), 2011. Polychrome bronze, Swarovski crystal, and wood, 200 x 50 x 50 cm.
Brussels - Jean Dubuffet: Musee d’Ixelles
by John K. Grande
“Dubuffet Architecte,” a survey of Jean Dubuffet’s public artworks, displayed the evolution of his monumental sculptures (some realized, some not) through large-scale models, exploring space and dimensionality with a signature humanist flair. Shown together with the models, a sketch for the 1965 Nanterre Univer?sity commission and the Guggenheim’s monumental painting Nunc Stans reveal how the painter gradually moved toward a more socially engaged public art vocabulary. Dubuffet wanted art to be part of life, wanted it to educate the imagination and the will, to generate its own spontaneous combustion without the authority of any imposed hierarchy. ...see the entire review in the print version of October's Sculpture magazine.

Jean Dubuffet, Closerie Falbala, 1971–73. Painted epoxy resin and shotcrete, surface 1610 square meters.

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