Sook Jin Jo: Complete Works 1985-2011

Sook Jin Jo’s current exhibition (through May 29) at West Virginia’s Huntington Museum of Art, which features both older works and a new site-specific installation, originated with her participation in the museum’s Walter Gropius Master Artist Workshop Series. In the catalogue foreword, Margaret Mary Lane, the museum’s executive director, writes that Jo is best known for her wood works, which are composed mainly of discarded materials. This generously illustrated volume allows readers to explore the details of these beautiful sculptures; color photographs of older works are supplemented with numerous images from the current show. Short articles in English, followed by Korean translations done by Liz Kwon, Dug Jin Cho, Hyun Kyung Sung, explore Jo’s main concerns: Assemblage, Installation, Public Art, and Collage and Drawing.

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Lynda Benglis

This generously illustrated monograph on American sculptor Lynda Benglis was published to coincide with her traveling retrospective, now at the New Museum in New York through June 19. An excellent reference for those planning to see the show and a comprehensive resource, the catalogue provides a complete overview of Benglis’s work and life from the 1960s to present, with 20 essays, some newly commissioned. In “A House Built in a Body: Lynda Benglis’s Early Work,” which explores the artist’s early wax and polyurethane pieces, Dave Hickey characterizes Benglis as a radical, rebellious new breed of artist, stating, “Male artists have always been welcoming to female artists—except for artists like Lynda Benglis, Hannah Wilke, Bridget Riley, and Joan Mitchell whose sheer talent and erotic charisma scared the hell out of everybody, women included.”

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Rodin: Sex and the Making of Modern Sculpture

David J. Getsy’s new book on Auguste Rodin seeks to address the sculptor’s association with sex, and what that relationship means for his place in modern art. Instead of discussing specific iconic works, Getsy focuses on Rodin’s sculptural practice, arguing that his fame came from his ability to convey a sexual persona through the objects that he created.

Getsy’s thesis essentially states that the characterization of Rodin as a modern “genius” relied on and was consistently maintained through a screen of virility and sexual conquest. He believes that many scholars have dismissed or inadequately investigated this connection, although the two moments in Rodin’s development that he chooses to investigate are considered by most scholars to be the major turning points in the artist’s career.

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Anthony Caro: Drawing in Space

Mary Reid’s Anthony Caro: Drawing in Space is part of a five-volume series commemorating the British sculptor’s 85th birthday. The other books in the series are Figurative and Narrative Sculpture by Julius Bryant, Interior and Exterior by Karen Wilkin, Presence by Paul Moorehouse, and Small Sculptures by H.F. Westley Smith. Reid’s focus is on Caro’s engagement with line in three-dimensional space, examining elements of weightlessness, color, movement, and environment within his works.

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Anthony Caro: Figurative and Narrative Sculpture

Part of a new five-volume series commemorating the British sculptor’s 85th birthday, Julius Bryant’s richly illustrated Anthony Caro: Figurative and Narrative Sculpture explores the most recent phase in a long and distinguished career. The other books in the series are Drawing in Space by Mary Reid, Interior and Exterior by Karen Wilkin, Presence by Paul Moorhouse, and Small Sculptures by H.F. Westley Smith.

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Wolfgang Laib

This generously illustrated book chronicles Laib’s 2009 exhibition at the Fondazione Merz, which featured a site-specific installation of his trademark rice and pollen “mountains” paired with a towering ziggurat of beeswax intended to symbolize “the bond of the sky with the earth.” In an effort to demonstrate the belief systems underlying Laib’s work, the foundation invited 33 Brahmin priests from various South Indian temples to perform their rituals at 33 altars placed in an open-air courtyard. Twice daily for seven days, they lit 33 fires and burned various herbs, fruits, and spices as part of the 1,000-year-old mahayagna. This ritual, which comes from Hindu Vedic traditions, explores both sacrificial and spiritual sentiments. Things from material life are consumed and surrendered so that the continuing cycle of new beginnings remains uninterrupted.

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