International Sculpture Center

   


March 2014
Vol. 33 No. 2

A publication of the
International Sculpture Center
New York - New York - Jene Highstein: Clocktower Gallery
by Robert C. Morgan
When I arrived in New York in late 1975, straight from an MFA program in sculpture, I recall seeing Jene Highstein’s forms and not knowing exactly what to make of them. They played a prominent role in various exhibitions at the alternative spaces where sculpture was being shown at the time, and somehow the context was exactly right. Late Mini­malism had taken over raw-space galleries and the other vast avant-garde haunts that attracted younger artists, many of them in SoHo, TriBeCa, and Long Island City. Within this relatively contained, yet thriving environment, there could be lit-­ tle doubt that Highstein’s organic mounds, tapered menhirs, and smoothly compressed ova rode on the crest of some new visual tendency, an energetic reach beyond the previous decade’s Platonic “primary forms.” ...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Exhibition view of “Jene Highstein: Early Works,” with (background) Black Mound for Suzi, 1976/2013. Concrete, chicken wire, black pigment, and wood, 12 x 18 x 6.5 ft.
Los Angeles - Johannes Girardoni: Nye + Brown Gallery
by Kathleen Whitney
After a trip to West Africa, installational light artist Johannes Girar­doni was sharply reminded of the extent to which algorithms for digital identity have influenced how we read our environment and relate to one another. His focus on this influence and his continuing use of light and light-producing mechanisms developed into a notion that he refers to as “reality augmentation.” Girardoni’s recent show featured two interactive installations that transform light and sound through sensors and Spectro-Sonic refrequencing sound devices coordinated by an algorithm that converts light waves into sound waves, thereby making light audible. These elements are influenced in turn by surrounding conditions and the presence of viewers. In this atmosphere, the environment senses the viewer’s presence, while the viewer senses the environment, creating a situation that’s constantly, subtly in flux. Chromasonic Field-Blue/Green is a series of long, narrow light units made from a pale blue, semi-translucent resin illuminated by LEDs....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Johannes Girardoni, Chromasonic Field-Blue/Green, 2013. Resin, LEDs, aluminum, and Spectro-Sonic Refrequencer, 93 x 4 x 3 in. each.
Los Angeles - James Turrell: Los Angeles County Museum of Art
by John O’Brien
James Turrell’s ongoing exploration of light as art is grounded in the phenomenological even as it touches on the philosophical. Immanence comes quickly to mind because the consistency or quiddity of his work is keyed to the viewer’s act of perceiving and because light also alludes to something beyond itself, foreshadowing a conversation about the metaphysical. The immersion in baths, beams, and chambers of variable or fixed light, the lapse of time required to physically absorb the changes in the light and in our shifting perception of it, the long walk to cover the square footage of the exhibition layout all add up to an entirely other experience than a usual museum tour. You cannot peruse a James Turrell installation; you have to commit to encountering it....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013. LED light, 4 views of installation.
San Francisco - artMRKT: Fort Mason
by Jane Ingram Allen
artMRKT is small in comparison to most art fairs, but it is in a much more interesting place. The third edition was held at Fort Mason, right on the Bay, with the salt water, wind, and fog creating a special, San Francisco kind of atmosphere outside the venue. Inside, the historic Fort Mason building offered high-ceilinged and expansive spaces for art. About 75 galleries participated with booth spaces—most from California, though there were a few international galleries and all kinds of modern and contemporary art on view. Opening night drew a crowd of 6,000 patrons, with 500 more turned away at the door, and raised about $30,000 for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s New Acquisitions Fund. The Fort Mason exhibition hall hosted a number of special sculpture installations, either new works made for the fair or reconfigurations of past works....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.


Future Cities Lab, Datagrove (detail), 2012. LEDs, LCD panels, IR sensors, Arduino, plywood, poly­propylene, acrylic, and galvanized steel, from artMRKT.
Broward County, Florida - Broward County Public Art
by Laura Albritton
While Miami has attracted international attention for its art scene over the past decade, its neighbor to the north, Broward County, has been quietly expanding its collection of public sculpture. Broward encompasses several cities, including Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Davie; like Miami, it benefits from considerable tourism. Much of the county’s focus has been on installations in tourist hubs such as the airport and cruise ship port. At the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, Lay of the Land (2010), by Pam Beyette, consists of 22 striking inlays in the terminal vestibules. Tiles and mosaics represent the unique ecosystem found in southeast Florida: wetlands, coral reefs, estuaries, and marshes. While Beyette’s work in Washington and Oregon echoes the muted tones of the Pacific Northwest, Lay of the Land features the vivid colors and dramatic organic shapes of this subtropical region. Other floor instal-­­ lations at the airport include Carolyn Braaksma’s River of Grass (2003) and Thomas H. Sayre’s Mangrove Islands (2005)...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Alice Aycock, Whirls and Swirls and a Vortex on Water, 2008. Aluminum and acrylic, 20 x 34 x 20 ft. Central Broward Regional Park, FL.
Boston - “Convergence”: Boston Sculptors Gallery at the Christian Science Plaza
by Marty Carlock
When a group of artists working in various styles installs a site-specific show, uniformity is not guaranteed, nor even likely. Boston Sculptors’ summer installation, the first large-scale public art display in this city in living memory, set out to reflect its surroundings. Sometimes it did; sometimes it didn’t. “Convergence,” a 20-sculptor show that enlivened Boston’s Back Bay, was installed at the Christian Science Plaza, a vast open space that features popular warm-weather magnets: plantings, benches, a ground- level fountain, and a reflecting pool....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.


Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein (Myth Makers), Poised, 2013. Saplings and wire ties, 20 ft. tall. From “Convergence.”
East Marion, New York - “LAT. 41° 7’ N., LONG. 72° 19’ W”: Martos Gallery
by Joyce Beckenstein
There’s no sign. An address painted on a rock marks a narrow driveway leading to Jason Metcalf’s “historical” plaque commemorating ancient red-haired giants who may never have lived here. Beyond lies the combined summer home/gallery of Chelsea art dealer Jose Martos, artist Servane Mary, and their three-year-old son. Sequestered by preserved wetlands hugging Dam’s Pond, this 10-acre Victorian estate in East Marion, New York, gazes toward Great Peconic Bay, which separates the East End’s South Fork—and its Hampton celebrity—from its bucolic North Fork neighbor. Martos, drawn to an idyllic community where downplaying one’s assets is the local creed, invited independent curator Bob Nickas to organize “LAT. 41° 7’ N., LONG. 72° 19’ W.”...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Jim Lambie, ZOBOP, 2000–13. Metallic vinyl, installation view. From “LAT. 41° 7’ N., LONG. 72° 19’ W.”
New York - Mel Bochner: Peter Freeman Gallery
by Robert C. Morgan
Mel Bochner, who is best known for his theoretical notations and use of basic materials such as stones, masking tape, walnuts, glass shards, burnt matches, and chalk, began his career using mathematically derived determinants as a means to articulate a playful, albeit rigorous analysis of sculpture. A recent survey of his iconic works, “Mel Bochner: Proposi­tion and Process: A Theory of Sculpture (1968–1973),” clearly situated his influence on the development of process art, particularly among Post-Minimal sculptors working in the late ’60s and ’70s. This timely and superbly mapped-out exhibition further offered a link that today’s digital artists might find enlightening. Less constructed than placed, these astonishing works, with their rigor and simplicity, are a delight to behold. Bochner’s formal vocabulary brings us back to basics, back to the notion that structure precedes form, as it did for the Russian avant-garde...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Mel Bochner, Measurement Plants, 1969. Three live plants and vinyl on wall, dimensions variable.
Raleigh and Penland, North Carolina - “0 to 60: The Experience of Time Through Contemporary Art”: North Carolina Museum of Art and Penland School of Crafts
by Barbara Schreiber
The premise of “0 to 60” sounded too big for one show. The sprawling effort, which incorporated time arts and time as subject matter, was aggressively inclusive, featuring 32 artists famous and obscure. It was also presented at two separate venues—the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Penland School of Crafts (more than 200 miles away), which hosted four artists-in-residence who completed projects for both sites. Despite its ambitions, “0 to 60” was a tight, coherent, and often dazzling exhibition. The concept was inspired by Tehching Hsieh’s seminal One Year Peformance: Time Clock Piece (Modified), in which the artist, clad in a gray uniform, punched a time clock every hour on the hour from April 11, 1980 to April 11, 1981. The time-lapse film of each punch, compressing a year into six minutes, and artifacts of the performance constitute a paean to tedium and bureaucratic ritual....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Beth Lipman, Bride, 2010. Glass, wood, paint, and glue, 120 x 90 x 90 in.
Toronto - Ed Zelenak: Christopher Cutts Gallery
by John K. Grande
Ed Zelenak’s recent show, “Divining the Frontiers,” marked a new departure in his work with a grid-like series of tin on copperplate pieces. These sculptures are incredibly distant from Zelenak’s monumental Pop Minimalist fiberglass works such as Traffic (1968–69) or his bronze sculptures, which build a volumetric feeling of space out of cast tree branch forms. For Zelenak, these forms are like divining rods, a notion that becomes clear in the floor-based “Concave” series in which the branches are suspended in the space, contrasting with the geometries of their satellite dish-like containers. Zelenak excels at this kind of organic versus geometric tension in his bronze sculptures....see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Ed Zelenak, Levitation Channel Pass, 2011–12. Alloyed tin on copper, 54 x 39 in.
Beijing - Anita Glesta: Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology
by Lily Wei
Anita Glesta’s multimedia installation, Gernika/Guernica, stitches together two earthshaking events, the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 and the bombardment of Guernica in 1937. It was first shown in New York in 2007 at the Chase Manhattan Plaza and White Box in Chelsea. Since then, it has traveled to the Instituto Cervantes in Belgrade, Serbia, in 2008; the Museo Nacional de Antropología in La Paz, Bolivia, in 2009; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, in 2012; and Beijing’s Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology in 2013, where it inaugurated the Dame Jillian Sackler International Artists Exhibition Program. Glesta lived across the street from the World Trade Center and fled the collapse of the towers, an indelible memory...see the entire review in the print version of March's Sculpture magazine.

Anita Glesta, Gernika/Guernica, 2007–13. Steel, bronze, controller board, sensor, and speaker, steel boxes: 12 x 22 x 10 in. each
 
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