Toxic Seas


Institute For Figuring’s Crochet Coral Reef project, 2005–ongoing. Photo courtesy of the Institute For Figuring

Margaret and Christine Wertheim’s coral reef crocheted project has been shown all over the world, but the current exhibition of their work and that of their many worldwide collaborators at Museum of Art and Design’s Crochet Coral Reef: Toxic Seas show is one of the best that I’ve seen. Continue reading

Weaving Space


Restoring the Breath– Sacred Relationship, CCNA Portland Art Museum, courtesy Portland Art Museum.

It’s easy to think of sculpture as art in three dimensions. But at root, sculpture is about space.

Walking into the Center for Contemporary Native Art gallery at the Portland Art Museum to see the Salish weaving show Restoring the Breath— Sacred Relationship, I wasn’t immediately struck by the use of space in the way that I would be at a more traditional exhibition of sculpture. And yet, the space is in the room. Continue reading

Inside the Artist’s Studio: Sterling Crispin

Sterling Crispin Sculpture

Neophyte image, by Sterling Crispin. Image courtesy of the artist

Artist Sterling Crispin has been engaging in a remarkable project over the course of the year: designing software to simulate the “growth” of a plant in a 3D model, which can then be printed using standard 3D printing equipment. He was kind enough to explain to me how this project is going, what it means to “grow” something in simulation, and how it fits in with the work of other artists working with additive sculpture technologies. Continue reading

Drone Perception of Land Art

Reuben Wu Sculpture

Reuben Wu’s Planetary Observers

Margaret Dreikausen, in her book Aerial Perception: The Earth as Seen from Aircraft and Spacecraft and Its Influence on Contemporary Art, notes the difference between two different views of the ground from the air. There is the vertical angle, or directly above, as we perceive the ground from a high-altitude aircraft or see the earth from the satellite perspective of Google Maps. And then there is the oblique angle, seen from lower altitude aircraft, looking outward over the landscape. According to Dreikausen, “the oblique angle gives a sense of wide-open space and is perceived in terms of aerial perspective involving the gradients of color and texture.” The oblique angle accentuates perspective, the three-dimensional shape of buildings, and the topography of the earth. Dreikausen traces how the oblique was first theorized in art as far back as Leonardo Da Vinci, who wrote about the way the views through the atmosphere change color and light, and the way perspective is shaped by far-off distance. She also notes the use of similar techniques in the paintings of Yvonne Jacquette and Susan Crile in more contemporary times. Continue reading

Case Work


Dutchess County Estate – Main House site and massing concept study. Acrylic, cast resin, polished brass and charred pine. 24 in x 24 in x 6 in.

There is a shared dream of architecture. A wish that we have, both for architecture, and that we desire to carry out through architecture. In this dream we reshape the world around us like powerful wizards, holding out our hands in front of our bodies and, with mere gestures, cause the landscape to be moved and shaped around us. Rock rises from within the earth, dimples form burning brilliant blisters of crystal and glass into steel and sand, wood grows instantaneous into the deep burnished hues of old-growth, as if we command not only space but time itself. Continue reading

In the Studio Susan Leibovitz Steinman

Susan Leibovitz Steinman Sculpture

“River Hopes & Dreams” by Susan Leibovitz Steinman. Photo by the artist,
© SL Steinman from

Susan Leibovitz Steinman creates sculpture out of many different re-purposed materials: ladders, bicycles, shopping carts, and tires. Another material she uses that we consider renewable rather than re-purposed, is living plants. Between recycled material and growing plant life is the continuum of permaculture: an inspiration and method within Steinman’s work. I asked her a few questions about how she considers the balance of these themes. Continue reading