International Sculpture Center

   


September 2013
Vol. 32 No 7

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - Drew Conrad: Fitzroy Gallery
by William V. Ganis
In “Ain’t Dead Yet,” Drew Conrad’s iconography of turned wood, Victorian printed wallpaper, and LP record albums evoked an indeterminate past. Indicative of prewar architecture, wood lath and plaster become vehicles for sculptural communication, especially as Conrad strategically clusters, exposes, and breaks them down. The fresh splintering of each lath-line reads as an Expressionist brush mark and shows that despite applied soot, the wood is not decayed or burned. The works at first seem like architectural fragments, the recognizable bits that remain after a disaster....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Drew Conrad, Dwelling No. 2 (The Wonder Wheel), 2011. Mixed media, 110 x 101 x 14 in.
Oakland - Cyrus Tilton: Vessel Gallery
by Peter Selz
This is Cyrus Tilton’s fourth exhibition at a gallery near downtown Oakland, part of a recent burst of art activity that started there in 2006, when a few storefronts began to display artworks. Now, nearly 30 galleries and mixed-use venues show works by young artists; there are art walks on Saturdays, and on first Fridays, busy Telegraph Avenue is closed to traffic, food trucks appear, and the place becomes an art party. It’s a bit like the East Village in the ’70s or Venice Beach without the beach.Tilton grew up in the Alaskan wil­derness near Anchorage, and nature remains primary in his work. A previous show, called “The Cycle,” featured works using the locust as a metaphor for problems of overpopulation and conspicuous consumption....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Cyrus Tilton, High Hopes, 2010. Concrete and steel, 63 x 26 x 18.5 in.
Chicago - Benjamin Bellas: slow
by Jason Foumberg
A church pew and cold beer greeted visitors at the entrance of Benjamin Bellas’s recent show. The beer was a basil ale, brewed specially by the artist, and the pew was Protestant, moved hundreds of miles from a small-town chapel to this storefront gallery in Chicago. The artist’s grandparents sat together on the red-cushioned bench every Sunday for their whole lives, and now it cut diagonally through the space like a domesticated Tilted Arc, its gentle curve attracting strangers to sit and drink the ale, which tasted of herbaceous dough....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Benjamin Bellas, An individual places an undeveloped canister of film, that was purchased and exposed in the moments immediately after being notified of a death, upon a bookmark, that was formed from a tree that had fallen in the woods, that marks the page in the script of Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon, that details his period of exile in Elba, 2012. Wood, film, and book, 8 x 24 x 12 in.
Boston - Mags Harries: Boston Sculptors Gallery
by Christine Temin
Welsh-born sculptor Mags Harries comes from a long line of sea captains, and water, with its visual, aural, tactile, kinetic, and even olfactory properties, has long inspired her work. In 2012, together with her partner, artist/architect Lajos Héder, Harries was invited to create a permanent installation in China’s Xixi National Wetland Park. Seven large umbrellas made of prismatic film float on a river, appearing mirrored or transparent depending on where you stand. ...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.


Mags Harries, Slurp, 2013. Water, wood, and mixed media, 3 x 2.75 ft.
Detroit - “Subverting Modernism: Cass Corridor Revisited 1966–1980”: Eastern Michigan University
by Roger Green
Artists of the Cass Corridor movement, active in Detroit during the 1960s and ’70s, are known to have been a hard-living, hard-drinking lot. Their provocative works, often created from industrial materials and detritus, have been popularly seen as reflecting Detroit’s (and, by extension, America’s) decline as an industrial superpower. But a recent, revisionist exhibition has effectively challenged entrenched ideas about the Cass Corridor movement, casting its aims and achievements in a new light. “Subverting Modernism: Cass Corridor Revisited 1966–1980”—the culmination of years of research by Julia Myers, who also wrote a comprehensive catalogue essay—interpreted representative works as combining Minimalism’s self-contained formalism with references to the outside world—that is, as transitioning between modern and postmodern art....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Robert Sestok, Untitled (Cage), c. 1975–76. Particle board, wire, and resin, 15 x 15 x 15 in. From “Subverting Modernism.”
Albany, New York - John Van Alstine: Opalka Gallery
by Tim Kane
When members of the Ellen Sinopoli Dance Co. spun and piqued their way through John Van Alstine’s recent solo exhibition “Arrested Motion and Perilous Balance,” they underscored a resonant, though not always apparent theme in the sculptor’s work—the figurative. Made primarily of stone and metal, Van Alstine’s sculpture mixes the manmade and the natural into angular abstract structures brimming with ideas, including the tension between gravity and inertia and the found versus the fab­ricated object. The body doesn’t usually come to mind. ...see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.


John Van Alstine, Splay, 2012. Granite and pigmented and sealed steel, 121 x 132 x 54 in.
Bellaire, Texas - “It’s a Phase”: Russ Pitman Park
by Michael Griffiths
A phase is a division in time or space. “It’s a Phase,” a recent group show in Houston’s Russ Pitman Park, reflected and questioned the phasing between the natural and the artificial that defines the site itself. Russ Pitman Park is both an apotheosis of the natural/native and of the construction now necessary to preserve and convey a cohesive “natural” space in an urban setting. This tension between the ecology of “nature” and its (re)construction traversed a number of pieces in the exhibition. The subtlety of the show’s construction first emerged as the viewer attempted to locate the works, which were set amid high native grasses....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Raishad JaBar Glover, H20 C15 H12 Br4 O2, 2012. Ice blocks and hoodies, installation view. From “It’s a Phase.”
Toronto - Maskull Lasserre: Centre Space
by Krystina Mierins
Maskull Lasserre creates technically accomplished sculptures that achieve a delicate balance between familiar, everyday objects and fragile, often macabre forms. His curiosity and willingness to experiment lead him to push the limits of his materials, while his rigorous drawing practice gives him the ability to depict forms with almost scientific accuracy. Lasserre takes inspiration from the dilapidated and forgotten. For many of us, these objects do not warrant a second look, and yet, he sees entirely unexpected possibilities; by revealing them, he revitalizes the old and the broken-down....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Maskull Lasserre, Fable, 2012. Carved chair and axe, 26 x 23 x 37 in.
London - “Bronze”: Royal Academy of Arts
by Christine Temin
If you wanted to argue that the whole of art history could be told through one medium, and one show, I’d vote for the Royal Academy’s stunning “Bronze,” curated by David Ekserdjian and Cecilia Treves. Ancient bronzes from China and Indonesia, Benin bronzes from Nigeria, Roman and Greek works, masterpieces by artists from Ghiberti to Matisse, they were all here in this tremendously ambitious exhibition. A fascinating gallery devoted to processes, including lost wax casting and patinas, with short videos of different fabrication methods and objects that visitors were invited to touch, provided helpful information, and a hefty 300-page catalogue completed the experience....see the entire review in the print version of September's Sculpture magazine.

Unknown Nordic artist, Chariot of the Sun, c. 1400 BCE. Bronze, 60 cm. long. From “Bronze.”
 
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