Beverly Pepper: Monumenta

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Beverly Pepper’s catalogue Monumenta opens with an introduction by art historian and curator Robert Hobbs, “Beverly Pepper: Time as Space,” in which he situates Pepper’s work within the critical context provided by Henri Bergson, André Malraux, and Walter Benjamin. The continuum of time and space and their indivisibility are apparent in Pepper’s works, which are often monumental—if not in size, in presence—and integrated with their surroundings, the materials of the sculptures interacting and changing with their environment over time. Continue reading

Circus: Paintings and Drawings By Fernando Botero

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Fernando Botero, recipient of the ISC’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture award, is of course at least as well known for his work in two dimensions as three. In Circus, Botero uses drawing and painting to capture a theme that Modernists have addressed from Renoir to Picasso, Léger to Calder, collecting all 130 paintings and 50 works on paper that the artist has been assembling since encountering a traveling circus in Mexico, similar to those humble circuses he remembered from his youth in Medellin.  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

Art Parks: A Tour of America’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens

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Francesca Cigola’s new guide to Sculpture parks and gardens in the U.S. (scheduled for publication this June) overlaps a bit with the ISC’s own 2008 Landscapes for Art: Contemporary Sculpture Parks, but the content and strategy of the two books is very different. Art Parks is a genuine guidebook (with a portable but sturdy “flexibind” cover), though arranged thematically more than geographically, with generous photos and short descriptions of each park. Landscapes for Art was not intended to be a guidebook, but instead an exploration of the history and significance of the sculpture park “movement,” told in kaleidoscopic form in 48 short articles that focus on individual parks around the world or tendencies among the parks that emphasize modern and contemporary art. Continue reading

Presence: The Art of Portraiture

Presence: The Art of Portrait Sculpture, published to accompany an exhibition on view at the Holburne Museum through September 2, addresses an eerie quality shared by portraiture from antiquity to the present. What ties these three-dimensional works together is an undeniable presence—a strange, life-like quality beneath their stony (or waxy, or wooden, or bronze) surfaces. In this book, Sturgis manages to capture and articulate the uncanniness behind portrait sculpture. Whatever a portrait sculpture’s style (hyper-realistic or subtractive and archetypal), when we come face-to-face with one, we succumb to an almost uncomfortable sensation as we try to reconcile the sentient presence we feel with our knowledge that the work is, in fact, inanimate. This sense of presence, and fear of it, in inanimate objects has been a subject of great fascination throughout time. From Hoffman’s Olimpia in “The Sandman” to Blade Runner’s replicants, to the wax figures of Madame Tussauds, there are many examples of our obsession with the thin dividing line between animate and inanimate, real and unreal. This quality, this presence, this ambiguity, lies behind the powerful and endlessly captivating power of portrait sculpture, which Sturgis demonstrates in his comprehensive survey of three-dimensional portraits. Continue reading

The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context

Historically, art-making has been associated with individual expression and artists have been seen as creative geniuses isolated from mainstream society, attempting to communicate creatively through visual means. In the aftermath of World War II, after having experienced the dire consequences of staunch individualism (i.e., nationalism), keeping the peace through cooperation arose in all spheres of human experience, including the arts. Rather than Dadaist (or other) approaches to the horrors of war, postwar art brought about a more forward-looking optimism. Artists became drawn to collaboration, and the collective was born.

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Lin Emery

Emery is a long-standing member of the ISC and a former ISC Board Member. This gorgeous volume celebrates the work of New Orleans native Lin Emery’s sculpture from the 1950s to her current work on view in New York and an upcoming exhibition in her home city’s Contemporary Art Center. Philip Palmedo, who also wrote a recent article on Emery’s work for Sculpture magazine, thoroughly surveys the artists career and accomplishments.

The images of Emery’s work and that of artists who inspired her are reproduced exceptionally well, giving a visual counterpoint to Palmedo’s text. There is also extensive documentation of the artist’s career at the back of the book.

Once again, Hudson Hills Press has produced a beautiful and a much needed survey of an artist’s career.

—Glenn Harper

Book Information:
Lin Emery
By Philip F. Palmedo, with an introduction by John Berendt
164 pages, 122 color plates, $60
Hudson Hills Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55595-369-0