Three Directions for Sculpture


Among the male sculptors over 70 who have been practicing for half a century, Martin Puryear (born 1941), Frank Stella (born 1936), and Mark di Suvero (born 1933) are quite different in terms of their main themes, media, and processes. One common thread is that each has taken great risks, chosen new directions in sculpture, and created work with universal meanings that have not been explored in depth. Three new monographs each discuss how one artist draws inspiration from a range of subjects; however, only the essays on Puryear discuss craft and process in depth. Another topic that begs to be discussed in this trio’s arts is erotic allusions/tales/allegories. Mark Pascale’s analysis of sensory implications in Puryear’s “The Gates” gave me new ideas about additional sensory references in the artist’s oeuvre. Continue reading

Ursula Von Rydingsvard at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ursula von Rydingsvard Sculpture

Ursula von Rydingsvard working on Bronze Bowl with Lace at Polich Tallix Foundry.
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Lelong. Photo by Jonty Wilde.

On October 23, Ursula von Rydingsvard’s latest solo exhibition opens at Galerie Lelong, Chelsea. As we await the opening, the artist’s solo exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park is also on view through January 4, 2015. This month’s blog takes you inside the pages of von Rydingsvard’s extraordinary catalog and show in West Yorkshire, England – the most exciting exhibition to date of her career. Continue reading

In the Studio Book Review: Not A Rose by Heide Hatry

Brachia sepiae

Brachia sepiae

Heide Hatry’s Not A Rose is a 4-year project that involved the artist’s making of 80 photographs of animal tongues, ears, intestines, penises, and internal organs shaped into flowers. The artist and some of her friends offer many reasons why she has turned animal parts that are usually discarded into pseudo-flowers, starting with autobiographical memories of the smells in her grandmother’s flower shop and her years of cutting up dead pigs on her family’s pig farm near Heidelberg.  Continue reading

The Paradoxical Object: Video Film Sculpture

br-object-featureIn The Paradoxical Object, published by London’s Black Dog Publishing, Joan Truckenbrod explores the paradoxes presented by her own artistic medium, the new and quickly expanding digital realm that fuses both video and sculpture, engaging the viewer in a multisensory, and often extrasensory, experience. Video and sculpture are inherently opposing forces—the former ephemeral and transitory, the latter fixed and tangible. Continue reading

Louise Bourgeois: The Return of the Repressed

Reading Louise Bourgeois’s journals is an intimate, visceral experience. Due to my eagerness to “read” Bourgeois, I skipped the texts by art historians and psychoanalysts and plunged into her writings, which is volume two. Philip Larratt-Smith’s concise editor’s note says that most original spellings, capitalizations, and spacings have been maintained and that the artist’s most intensive period of psychoanalysis was 1952-66 with Dr. Henry Lowenfeld. These journals give us glimpses of those years and writings up to 2008. Continue reading

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape

As part of a touring Miró retrospective, which started at Tate Modern last spring and is currently up at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (through August 2012), curators Marko Daniel and Matthew Gale have published Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape, a monograph covering the entirety of the artist’s career. In contrast to your typical retrospective catalogue, The Ladder of Escape emphasizes how Miró and his work were affected by the political history of his native Catalonia, Franco’s Spain, and World War II.

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Louise Bourgeois: Conscious and Unconscious

The exhibition “Louise Bourgeois: Conscious and Unconscious,” organized by the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and shown at its gallery from January 20–June 1, 2012, features 30 works created between 1947 and 2009. One work that will remain in Qatar is the giant spider Maman (Mother), first shown at the Tate Modern’s giant Turbine Hall in 2000 with three monumental towers, I DO, I UNDO, I REDO.  I discussed these in Sculpture at that time. The towers were not shown in Qatar, but the current exhibition’s curator, Philip Larratt-Smith, gives these works new poignancy by discussing them explicitly in the catalogue in the context of Bourgeois’s other works and of the artist’s Freudian self-questionings of her life as a child and as a mother. Larratt-Smith links I Do to the good mother, I UNDO to the bad mother letting her milk drip as the baby goes hungry, and I REDO to the mother’s self-examination and redress of her state.

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