International Sculpture Center

   
July/August 2013
Vol. 32 No 6

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center

This selection of shows has been curated by Sculpture magazine editorial staff and includes just a few of the great shows around the world.

Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm: Jeppe Hein
Through July 28, 2013
While Hein’s work seems to belong to the Minimalist continuum, his geometrically refined objects and installations go against the grain, setting up an incongruous dialogue with the viewer. Moving walls, mirrored theaters, shaking cubes, gravity-defying kinetic sculptures, and modified functional constructions redefine indoor and outdoor space while perplexing even the most willing participants. “A Smile For You” abruptly slows the antics, offering a mellower take on interactivity. A Zen calm permeates these new and recent installations, all connected by a meditative inquiry into the nature of happiness and success. What do we want out of life? Are socially dictated ambitions counterproductive? The answers range from the universal to the personal, taking their cue from I am right here right now…, a diaristic installation documenting Hein’s recovery from art world fatigue. Unpredictability still reigns, but viewers have nothing to fear from these gentle provocations other than insight.
Tel: + 46 (0)8 736 42 48
Web site www.bonnierskonsthall.se

Jeppe Hein, Smoking Bench
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn: The Bruce High Quality Foundation
Through September 22, 2013
The Bruce High Quality Foundation has big ambitions: “to invest the experience of public space with wonder, to resurrect art history from the bowels of despair, and to impregnate the institutions of art with the joy of man’s desiring.” Like Jeremy Deller, the anonymous members of the collective (named for a fictional artist who supposedly perished in 9/11) have cultivated an irreverent approach to the creation and display of art, with the goal of democratizing traditional relationships between artist and public, alternating deadly serious concerns (war, economic disparity, inequality) with satirical and silly agit-prop. Isle of the Dead, a send-up of Night of the Living Dead, chronicles a zombie-led revival of the art world, while the unaccredited Bruce High Quality Foundation University offers a free education in “metaphor manipulation.” Behind it all (again like Deller) lies a commitment to unmitigated joy: in people, shenanigans, creative expression, and Play-Doh. This retrospective gathers 50 works in a celebratory “Ode to Joy,” including a re-interpretation of Géricault’s iconic Raft of the Medusa and Public Sculpture Tackle (Love), a full-body lesson in art appreciation.
Tel: 718.638.5000
Web site www.brooklynmuseum.org


The Bruce High Quality Foundation, The Gate
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum - Lincoln, Massachusetts: Tony Feher
Through September 15, 2013
Feher’s works challenge conventions through apparent ordinariness. Mining the world’s limitless supply of consumer detritus, he selects his humble components with care and attention, turning the generic and ubiquitous into the specific and unique. In his eyes, everything has potential; his job is to find “the ‘trick’ in materials, that indescribable something that allows me to exploit an object for my own purposes…a little something that sets it off.” This survey of 60 sculptures reveals the unusual optimism behind his project, which embraces fragility, transience, and emotion. Instead of social critique, he offers moments of solace in which order and beauty replace chaos and ugliness. Teasing out character and inimitable formal possibilities in what the rest of us dismiss as valueless, these highly personal works celebrate the power of creativity and the ability to see differently, beyond accepted norms and definitions.
Tel: 781.259.8355
Web site www.decordova.org

Tony Feher, Just So.
Denver Art Museum, Denver: Nick Cave
Through September 22, 2013
Mad, humorous, grotesque, glamorous, and unexpected, Cave’s soundsuits recontextualize scavenged detritus into visionary and wearable sculptures that fill a ritual and mythical void in contemporary culture. As reminiscent of African and religious ceremonial garb as they are of haute couture, these works contain a richly layered mélange of concepts, techniques, and traditions, expressed through a wide array of materials—from handmade fabrics, beads, and sequins to bottle caps, rusted iron, twigs, leaves, and hair. “Sojourn” includes more than 20 new soundsuits, but its real interest lies in a significant departure for Cave—large-scale sculptures and installations. Following his last group of soundsuits, these works focus on animal imagery, conjuring the strength and power of ancient totems while restoring a sense of our connection to, and responsibility for, the earth. In addition to the sculptures, which include a monumental passageway constructed from thousands of buttons, “Sojourn” features several new films.
Tel: 720.865.5000
Web site www.denverartmuseum.org


Nick Cave, Untitled.
Doris C. Freedman Plaza, New York: Thomas Schütte
Through August 25, 2013
Schütte’s installations, sculptures, architectural models, paintings, and drawings challenge the fundamental premises of contemporary life. His work presents a strange hybrid, joining different modes of visual expression while creating contradictory and illusory worlds, without ever losing sight of the sociopolitical status quo. Perhaps best known for his radically simplified and exaggerated models, his emotionally potent figural sculptures take a different tack, exploring isolation, vulnerability, and hopelessness with bitter humor. His new outdoor work, United Enemies, captures the strains and conflicts of individual and global relations. Two separate pairs of male figures, balancing on tripartite peg legs and bound together for no discernable reason, embody physical, psychological, and sculptural tension. Deformations of logic and form abound in these strange, truncated characters whose swaddled torsos and exaggerated expressions offer little interpretative guidance.
Tel: 212.980.4575
Web site www.publicartfund.org


Thomas Schütte, United Enemies
Haus der Kunst, Munich: Haegue Yang
Through September 22, 2013
Working with non-traditional materials such as customized Venetian blinds and sensory devices, including lights, infrared heaters, scent emitters, and fans, Yang (who represented the Republic of Korea in the 2009 Venice Biennale) constructs nuanced installations that collapse the space between the concrete and the ephemeral. Her recent work explores real and metaphorical relationships between material surroundings and emotional responses, attempting to give form and meaning to experiences beyond conventional order. Despite their rigorous and minimal abstraction, these micro-environments do not negate narrative; instead, as Yang says, “they allow a narrative to be achieved without constituting its own limits.” Her new commission re-imagines the museum’s Middle Hall as a freely accessible public plaza, shifting the boundaries between inside and out, open and closed.
Tel: + 49 89 21127-113
Web site www.hausderkunst.de

Haegue Yang, Accommodating the Epic Dispersion—On Non-cathartic Volume of Dispersion.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC: Over, Under, Next
Through September 8, 2013
“Over, Under, Next” surveys an era (1913–present) in which the embrace of “non-art” materials continually expanded the definition and scope of art. Artists from virtually every major movement of the past century—Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism through Abstract Expres?sionism, Pop, and post-Modernism—contributed to the revolution that brought collage and assemblage to power. From Dubuffet’s raw accretions of iron slag, tar, and cement to Nick Cave’s glitzy, sequined Easter costume and Doris Salcedo’s second-hand furniture, the line-up of unorthodox and incongruous materials includes butterfly wings, glass shards, crumpled car parts, jigsaw puzzle pieces, clothing, colored sand, cabbage-eating snails, and found images and sounds. Remaining themselves while taking on new identities, these found and appropriated elements generate endless chains of meaning, unfolding a narrative archaeology that binds art to the flow of everyday life.
Tel: 202.633.1000
Web site http://hirshhorn.si.edu


Ann Hamilton with Kathryn Clark, palimpsest, from “Over, Under, Next.”
Louvre, Paris: Michelangelo Pistoletto
Through September 2, 2013
Pistoletto’s international reputation continues to grow thanks in large part to a younger generation of artists inspired by his participatory practices and democratic approach to art—particularly his interdisciplinary laboratory, Cittadellarte, which fosters intellectual, political, and social dialogues that put subversion to positive use. “Year 1: Earthly Paradise,” the result of a residency at the Louvre, offers the most complete synthesis yet of the principles behind the humanist faith that has driven his work from Arte Povera through The Third Paradise—the work of art as a secular place for meditation, where man with his capacity for imagination is the only true value. Within the museum’s encyclopedic collections—Pistoletto has intervened in various galleries and parts of the building complex—the multidimensionality of space and time come to the fore, with mirror-clad intimations of boundless space (and the mind’s boundless capabilities) conjoining past (the Louvre’s artifacts) and future (The Third Paradise symbol) in a visionary, and optimistic, unity.
Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 20 57 60
Web site www.louvre.fr


Michelangelo Pistoletto, L’Etrusco.
Madison Square Park, New York: Mad. Sq. Art: Orly Genger
Through September 8, 2013

Genger transforms high-strength nylon rope into monolithic sculptures that hold obdurate mass and organic softness in an elemental tension. Looped and knotted by hand, these elaborate works evoke the intimate crafts of knitting and crocheting but expand them to epic proportions—it takes more than delicate hand movements to wrestle industrial rope into position. The final, impenetrable forms provoke a visceral response, prompting viewers to reconsider their relationship to space and its obstruction. Red, Yellow and Blue, a new installation whose total length of rope would stretch to nearly 20 times the length of Manhattan, is her largest and most ambitious to date. Created from repurposed material collected up and down the Eastern seaboard, three separate, undulating forms take a gibe at Minimalism’s masculine pretensions. Though these interactive structures pose challenges, no one will be afraid to explore the hidden depths of their primary-colored spaces.
Tel: 212.538.6667
Web site www.madisonsquarepark.org

Orly Genger, Red, Yellow and Blue.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Ken Price
Through September 22, 2013
Price’s glazed and painted clay works not only transformed traditional ceramics, they also expanded rigid definitions of sculpture. Among the first generation of iconoclastic Los Angeles artists to gain international stature, he denied any distinction between or hierarchical separation of art and craft. Like his Bauhaus heroes, he sought to bring the values of the handcrafted into the modern age. The evolution of his work—from the slumps, rocks, geometrics, cups, eggs, and mounds to the bulging, rippling, late voluptuaries—reflects different approaches to that 50-year mission. This retrospective (the first devoted to Price’s work in 20 years) reveals a life devoted to consummate craftsmanship, unorthodox technical exploration, and seductive formal wit.
Tel: 212.535.7710
Web site www.metmuseum.org


Ken Price, Pastel.
Munich, A Space Called Public
Through September 30, 2013
Last year, in a boldly unconventional move, the City of Munich asked Elmgreen & Dragset to curate a nine-month temporary art project. “A Space Called Public / Hoffentlich Öffentlich,” features works by more than a dozen artists (including a reprisal of It’s Never Too Late to Say Sorry, the duo’s “powerless gesture” of protest) that collectively aim to open up discussion about public space. At the heart of the endeavor is 4th Plinth Munich, Stephen Hall and Li Li Ren’s full-scale replica of the empty London landmark (located in the Wittelsbacherplatz). Hall, who is best known for his work with minority groups exploring the uses and misuses of public space, deliberately set out “to disturb the historic order,” a strategy followed by most of Elmgreen & Dragset’s selections—not least the winner of the Munich plinth competition. Alexan?der Laner’s Schöner Wohnen (Better Living) transforms the “vacant lot” inside and above the pedestal into a two-story living space, complete with fenced-in garden and roof terrace. Available for a nominal fee, this rental unit provides a rare bit of affordable real estate in one of the city’s priciest areas. Other participants, whose projects appear in various locations around the city center, include Iván Argote, Han Chong, Funda, Martin Kippenberger, Ragnar Kjartansson, Henrik Olesen, Kirsten Pieroth, Ed Ruscha, David Shrigley, Tatiana Trouvé, and Peter Weibel. Performative, interactive, idea- and sound-based projects, as well as other non-monumental statements, will take place throughout the summer, accompanied by a series of public programs.
Web site www.aspacecalledpublic.de

David Shrigley, Bubblesplatz, from “A Space Called Public / Hoffentlich Öffentlich.”
Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid: Mitsuo Miura
Through September 2, 2013
Miura’s interventions infuse their host spaces with subtle additions of geometric form and well-defined color that make almost imperceptible, highly stylized references to nature. Imagined Memories, his intimate new work for the Palacio de Cristal, activates the transparency of the structure through the most minimal of means, linking indoors and out in a hybrid realm of possibility, an imaginary zone of uncertain existence that can only be completed mentally.
Tel: + 34 91 774 10 00
Web site www.museoreinasofia.es

Mitsuo Miura, Memorias imaginadas.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: Urs Fischer
Through August 19, 2013
A maker in the truest sense of the word, Fischer turns everything he touches into an unexpected vignette of transformed existence. As Jerry Saltz describes it, “Fischer specializes in making jaws drop.” Characterized by an open and fluid approach to materials and a disregard for practical limitations—glass, wood, and aluminum meet raw clay, melting wax, and rotting vegetables—his work describes a state of constant flux, dominated by the passing of time. In his ongoing quest to engineer new worlds of morbid glamour, he has built houses of bread, exca?vated gallery floors, animated puppets, and dissected objects to reveal the secret mechanisms of perception. This retrospective, the artist’s first, shows how he narrows the gap between the banal and the fantastical, turning even the most prosaic settings into mesmerizing environments of suspended time and internal dynamics.
Tel: 213.621.1749
Web site www.moca.org

Urs Fischer, Untitled.

Museum Ludwig, Köln: Kathryn Andrews
Through August 25, 2013
Andrews finds inspiration in L.A.’s jumble of cultures, values, and styles. Her exactingly finished sculptures, which navigate the histories of Pop, Minimalism, Light and Space, and the readymade, create what she calls “unhappy marriages”—carefully orchestrated juxtapositions of mismatched materials and incompatible concepts. Exquisite chrome-plated objects (everything from steel bars and tubing to security windows and cages) partner with cheap store-bought commodities and rented movie props in contradictory visual scenarios that poke fun at estimations of worth. Just where art falls in this system of val?uation remains unclear, its status dependent on presentation and the company it keeps, though the frequent appearance of mocking clown costumes offers a clue.
Tel: + 49 221 221 26165
Web site www.museum-ludwig.de

Kathryn Andrews, Bowman.

Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas: Katharina Grosse
Through September 1, 2013
Taking inspiration from frescos, plein-air painting, Abstract Expressionism, and urban graffiti, Grosse explores how painting can “appear in space”—in the dimensional realm of sculpture and architecture. Her installations of bright acrylic paint sprayed onto walls, ceilings, floors, piles of dirt, furnishings, and sculpted Styrofoam and fiberglass constructions give color palpable, unruly, and monumental form. These two new works continue her exploration of swirling, sometimes vertiginous explosions of saturated energy, willfully skewing the rigid stability of rectilinear space and undermining structural rules while establishing bold new perspectives that constantly offer more to discover.
Tel: 214.242.5100
Web site www.nashersculpturecenter.org

Katharina Grosse, One Floor Up More Highly.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: James Turrell
Through September 25, 2013
Since the 1960s, Turrell has devoted his career to diverse manifestations of an immaterial medium, working toward a unique, space-defining form of light art. His first New York museum exhibition since 1980 reveals the breadth of his explora?tions into perception, color, and space, with a special focus on the role of site-specificity in his work. A major new project, Aten Reign, dramatically reimagines the Guggen?heim Rotunda as a Skyspace akin to Roden Crater—a temple to the sun that manifests the air and light animating Frank Lloyd Wright’s magnif?icent void. Reorienting the experience of the space from above to below, this embodied light reveals and refers to nothing beyond itself as it interacts with color and space to create an enveloping atmosphere that has to be “felt with the eyes.” In addition to this tour de force, the museum is also presenting a comprehensive selection of Turrell’s work, and a second part of the show, featuring more than a dozen installations that allow visitors to test the limits of their perception, study the play of illusion, and witness the shape-shifting power of light, is on view at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston through August 22 www.mfah.org.
Tel: 212.423.3500
Web site www.guggenheim.org

James Turrell, rendering of Aten Reign.

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: Abraham Cruzvillegas
Through September 22, 2013
Cruzvillegas’s thought-provoking arrangements of disparate, apparently unrelated objects employ everything from feathers and studio props to bowling balls, candles, leaves, and other everyday finds. The volatile energy that pervades his work re-creates the life of Mexico City’s streets, flirting with popular culture, television, music, advertising, and flea markets. This show features recent installments in his long- running project, Autoconstrucción, as well as an important body of sculpture first exhibited at the 2003 Venice Biennale, a series of recent installations, and a source-material archive room. As Cruzvillegas explains it, Autoconstrucción, or self-construction, operates as a meta?phor for individual identity and the unfinished, changing character of place. Privileging improvisation and alternate economic systems that value craft, the handmade, and strategies of making do, his work demonstrates an empowering notion of “survival economics” and solidarity in the face of globalized power.
Tel: 612.375.7600
Web site www.walkerart.org

Abraham Cruzvillegas, Autoconstrucción.

Rice University Art Gallery, Houston: Soo Sunny Park
Through August 30, 2013
Unwoven Light, Park’s new installation, continues her investigation into the ephemeral qualities of light and how those transient effects alter perceptions of architectural space. Made from shaped sections of chain-link fencing fitted with thousands of iridescent Plexiglas crystals, her suspended, undulating structure “unweaves” optics. A changing spectrum of color—from yellow to magenta to deep purple—allows us to see beyond the things revealed by light to the phenomenon itself.
Tel: 713.348.6069
Web site www.ricegallery.org

Soo Sunny Park, Unwoven Light.


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