When Maya Lin (American, b. 1959) created “Storm King Wavefield” in 2009, she was in sync with the mores of late 1960s artists including Michael Heizer, Nancy Holt, Dennis Oppenheim and Robert Smithson, each of them prominent in the Earthworks or Land Art movement. Lin’s “Wavefield” is an undulating terrain of grasses rolling across an eleven-acre site within the five hundred-acre sculpture park in Mountainville, New York. Continue reading
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; photography by Joseph McDonald; © FAMSF.
Two museums exhibitions – one in San Francisco and one in Brooklyn – attest to the pliability of metal and how that material can be resilient, refined, and even shape-shifting. Compared to Mark di Suvero’s commanding industrial-scale steel beams or Richard Serra’s imposing sheets of weatherproof steel, two other artists have taken on metal for its ephemerality rather than its endurance. Continue reading
When a sculptor leaves the studio and descends into the basement, her process can be invigorated. For the figurative sculptor Judith Shea (American, b. 1948), a tour of the storage facility of the National Academy Museum in preparation for an exhibition led the artist to confront portraits of female academicians dating from 1846 to 1994 and to create new sculpture inspired by the historic works. Shea has worked in bronze, wood and presently polystyrene across her four decade career. Continue reading
In the deep wintertime – on the eve of a colossal snowstorm – you would not imagine half a dozen artists creating work based on nature in the middle of the Bronx. Yet six artists – Manuel Acevedo, Zachary Fabri, Asuka Hishiki, Maria Hupfield, Paloma McGregor and Linda Stillman – are facing the dormant winter landscape at Wave Hill, a twenty-eight-acre public garden and cultural center in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, and initiating works inspired by their surroundings as part of a six week Winter Workshop Program. Continue reading
On November 13, sculptor Gabriel Orozco (born 1962, Jalapa, Mexico) and art historian Benjamin Buchloh had a public conversation at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. The occasion was the opening of Orozco’s exhibition, Asterisms, which closed at the Museum on January 13. Orozco’s installation was in two parts: Sandstars displayed collected detritus from the sea washed ashore onto a protected beach in Isla Arena, Mexico; Astroturf Constellation categorized and displayed found objects by color and scale that the artist and his team unearthed from the Astroturf on a playing field in Lower Manhattan. Continue reading
When artist Valerie Huhn (American, b. 1962) was a bachelor of fine arts student at the San Francisco Art Institute in the mid-1990s, she lived in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. “I lived in a neighborhood of mainly transgender, gay, black, Latino and Asian. There were also a lot of students, like me. A lot of my neighbors were really desperate. It was the remnants of crack and enormous drug use, prostitution, and homelessness. The area had so many of the fragile and most vulnerable. It came down to race and class,” Huhn said in a recent interview. It was Huhn’s reaction to seeing her “marginalized neighborhood full of marginalized people” that caused her to create art from fingerprints, work she continues to today. Speaking about hostile police behavior towards her neighbors, Huhn stated: “I would watch them get arrested for trivial things. It seemed incredibly unfair. I could see that these guys would be taken down, fingerprinted, maybe even roughed up, and no one would speak for them.” Continue reading
She works with plant stalks and grasses; airborne seeds from thistles, ivy, dandelions and cattails; and tree blossoms. She finds her materials in the Italian countryside or the city of Cologne, Germany “on the periphery of urban agglomeration” as she rides her bicycle to the studio. Christiane Löhr’s mediums don’t have the vast physical scale of 1960s and 1970s Earthworks or the political expressions of Land Art. Rather through quiet natural plant materials, Löhr (born in 1965 in Wiesbaden) creates delicate sculpture which pulls elements of the landscape indoors. “In gathering the plants, I take them out of the cycle of growth and decay,” she wrote in a recent email message. Continue reading