Carapace is a kinetic sculpture designed by Derek Hugger (previously) that mimics the motion of a sea turtle gliding through the ocean. The wooden work is composed of over six hundred parts which allow the creature to elegantly tilt its fins, move its body up and down, and even crane its head as if rising above the water for air. A single crank controls the complex structure of gears and mechanisms which were designed to flow as organically as possible.
“A non-trivial amount of time was spent watching and studying videos of turtles swimming,” explains Hugger. “Getting the motions of Carapace to closely resemble the motions of real turtles was a true challenge. Countless hours were spent refining the sculpture’s motion to be as lifelike as possible, even before any mechanisms were developed to drive those motions.”
Hugger has also developed a hummingbird in addition to several abstract wood sculptures. You can see these works in action on his website and Youtube.
“Lunar Spin” (2016), Paper, copper, brass, aluminum and acrylic on canvas, 78 inch diameter, all images via Amy Genser
Connecticut-based Amy Genser (previously) uses rolled paper and acrylic paint to create topographic explorations of rocky and oceanic landscapes. Her sculptures reference natural forms and creatures such as barnacles, the tubular formation of beehives, and the way water travels and flows through Earth’s oceans. The works are also inspired by macro and micro depictions of nature, like cellular processes or a satellite images of a mountainous terrain.
Recently Genser has begun making multi-part pieces that allow her to work more sculpturally. She will present her rolled paper landscapes in the upcoming group exhibition Common Ground opening at Amy Simon Fine Art in Westport, Connecticut on November 3, 2018 and running through December 31, 2018. You can see more of her work on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
“Black and White Squares” (2018), Paper and acrylic on masonite, 42 x 42 x 3 inches
“Black and White Squares”, detail (2018), Paper and acrylic on masonite, 42 x 42 x 3 inches
“Collecting Pebbles” (2017), Paper and acrylic on canvas, 20 x 30 x 4 inches
“Black and White Squares” (2018), Paper and acrylic on masonite, 42 x 42 x 3 inches
“Aquatic Interstellar Dream” (2018), Paper, acrylic, copper on canvas
“Black and White Squares” (2018), Paper and acrylic on masonite, 42 x 42 x 3 inches, all images via Amy Genser
“The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider” (2017), Paper and acrylic on canvas, 65″ x 35”
Last week, Little Italy’s beloved sculpture park, the Elizabeth Street Garden (ESG), received notice from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) that it must uproot each of its sculptures for soil testing. This Sunday, October 28, local activists, business owners, politicians, and supporters gathered for a rally of over 350 people to oppose the order, which they say would permanently ruin the greenery.
While HPD asserts the tests do not necessitate a permanent closure, Joseph Reiver, ESG’s Executive Director, questions their tactics as a power play in the City’s plan to build a housing complex in its place. The City has proposed bulldozing the garden to build an affordable housing complex for seniors called Haven Green, developed by Pennrose Properties and Habitat for Humanity NYC. The seven-story building will have a luxury ground floor of retail shops and discounted office space reserved for Habitat NYC.
A representative of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development told Hyperallergic:
This city is in the midst of an affordability crisis, with the number-one issue being a lack of affordable housing for New Yorkers. We have worked diligently to strike a balance between the dire need for low-cost housing for seniors with maintaining New York’s vibrant open spaces, which is why the site is keeping some public space for the community while also creating affordable housing for the seniors who need it most.
ESG advocates have suggested an alternate location on Hudson Street which could accommodate a space nearly five times the size without destroying a garden, but NYC officials have dismissed the idea.
“HPD, [Councilmember] Margaret Chin, and [Mayor Bill] de Blasio are not listening to the community,” Reiver told Hyperallergic over the phone.
While they say the removal is a temporary measure as part of the decision-making process, Reiver says, “Removing the statues would destroy the garden. And they’re very aware of that.” He says ESG is one of many community organizations “in the fight for green space.” Just last week, the Mandela Garden in Harlem was bulldozed one day after HPD’s lawyers, Chris Rio and Amy McCamphill, ensured them otherwise.
“The City should not be pitting community gardens against affordable housing, we need our gardens just as much. This is a city-wide issue. We stand with you,” a leader of the Mandela Garden said at the rally. He was one of 13 speakers at the two-hour-long event, including NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh and Ray Figueroa, president of NYC Community Gardens.
“We need spaces like this. This choice that the city government is asking people to make is a false choice,” Kavanagh said.
Thanks to the 350+ who rallied for Elizabeth St Garden! Our protest is in our action so here it is:
1) Donate to the legal fund: https://t.co/Pkdcxqcjuv 2) Write Habitat NYC: https://t.co/rblErogM0M 3) Sign the petition: https://t.co/jquqdvMx3p 4) Spread the word! RT #SaveESG pic.twitter.com/jTI7iUzmlm
— Elizabeth St Garden (@ElizabethStGrdn) October 29, 2018
Reiver told Hyperallergic one local restaurant-owner, Frankie DeCarlo, said at the rally that if ESG was forced to close, he would relocate his business. Reiver believes he is one of many local small business owners who would take such action in defense of the beloved garden.
The plot on which the sculptures stand is city-owned, but the collection of statuaries belong to Allan Reiver, who has lived on Elizabeth Street since 1989. He has held a lease on the plot since 1991, when he cleaned up mounds of garbage to beautify the neighborhood.
The ESG has launched a petition with over 8,000 signatures as part of their plan to pursue legal action against the City and a letter-writing campaign to reach Habitat For Humanity representatives.
The post Beloved Lower Manhattan Sculpture Garden Defends Itself as City Demands Total Removal appeared first on Hyperallergic.
Gosia, known for crafting intimate ceramic figures, contributed a sculpture to “Hi-Fructose Presents: The Art of the Mushroom” at The Compound Gallery. See her step-by stepinsight into making the piece, titled “Enoki,” below.
Nahoko Kojima’s talents in paper cut sculpture produced her largest work to date in the life-sized whale “‘Shiro” at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in Thailand. From the initial concept to its completion, the project took a year of work from the artist. Kojima was last featured on HiFructose.com here.
Sculptor and toy maker Jeff Soan transforms discarded furniture, driftwood, industrial pallets, and other reclaimed wood into creatures of the land and sea. Using a self-described technique called “Wobbly Wood,” Soan creates articulation in his sculptures by scoring the wood into multiple sections along their tails and torsos. This allows them to wiggle and gently move side-to-side as they are picked up or stroked. In order to eliminate as much waste as possible, the artist considers future sculptures during the building of each otter, pangolin, or mollusk. He slices shapes that might make sense for the tail of a fish, while considering the beak of a bird, or the leg of an iguana.
Soan studied art and design at Goldsmiths College in London in the 1960s, and later followed up his art training with a course in toy making at the London College of Furniture. You can see more of his sculptures and examples of “Wobbly Wood” works on his website and Instagram. (via Lustik)
The strange textile sculptures of Etc. and the Madness subvert humanity in their writhing forms. For some, the creatures may resemble the pop culture-Internet-born villain Slenderman. But Etc.’s characters are decidedly less sinister, and are more disconcerting in how their casual, slumped existences.
TOLEDO, Ohio — I missed both the keynote for Sculpture X 2018, presented by artist Mel Chin on September 28, and the September 29 symposium keynote by Laurie Jo Reynolds, a policy advocate and artist who seems to be the ideal representative for this year’s festival, themed “Igniting Change.” This year’s offerings are exhibitions heavy on interactive works, audience intervention, and social practice art, but also, perhaps unsurprisingly, a little light on sculpture.
At Toledo Museum of Art, for example, a large installation work, called “TWO ME,” by Chin, is positioned on the front terrace of the TMA campus. This interactive work was originally commissioned for the courtyard in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall in 2017, and is comprised of two white scaffold-like ramps that lead participants to two terminal points glassed in at roughly waist height on four sides. What can only be seen by facing the installation head-on is that these terminuses are actually high stone pedestals, each labeled “ME” — essentially placing whoever has walked up there in the position of ancient marble statuary. The participants finish the art, and by having two pedestals, they may also create intentional or inadvertent tableaux with someone who has chosen to mount the adjoining pedestal.
This is a playful kind of social practice art, and certainly employs some of the artist’s signature moves: Chin’s work often leverages symmetry and is often extremely literal. It is also inarguably an interactive sculptural work. But whether it can be judged aesthetically as a sculpture is difficult to say. The ramps by which participants approach the platforms are visually distracting to the actual presentation point of pedestals. The glass walls atop the pedestals interfere with the finished effect, which would be more like the thing it emulates without them. Presumably, the artist has made these choices to accommodate considerations of safety and inclusion; the ramp makes these terminal points handicapped-accessible, where the more visually discreet direct-approach of a staircase would not, and the glass walls hedge against the possibility that any of these works of living statuary slip from the pedestal (statues, after all, seem to accept loss of limb with magnanimity; museum-goers are rather more likely to sue).
Making the concessions in the interest of access and safety are laudable, to be sure — but it raises questions about the metrics by which we evaluate a work of sculpture. Chin’s message here seems to be the idea that any/everyone is (or can be) a work of art, or perhaps a monolith of their own perspective in life (“ME”). A different kind of social practice art might make these pedestals intentionally difficult to access, as a commentary on the exclusivity of the forms that have been traditionally commemorated in this medium. But that is perhaps not in keeping with the humanist spirit of the artist, or the current imperative of most museums to impress upon the general public that all are welcome.
If the travails of public sculpture are not evident via thought experiments such as these, they were highlighted in comedic detail in the symposium presentation of Cleveland-based artist James “Jimmy” Kuehnle. Kuehnle — who has made a name for himself via the public presentation of complex, whimsical, largely inflatable, and sometimes unofficially sanctioned works of interactive sculpture — ran the audience through the complete evolution of a public work commissioned by the city of Cleveland. The number of concept and venue changes that plagued the artist in the development of this work probably caused more than a few blood pressure spikes among audience members, many of whom were artists that have had their own share of bureaucratic tangles. Obviously, those entities that deal with public spaces have to ensure, at the end of the day, that they are safe places for the public — the sanctity and freedom of art is, for them, perhaps a secondary concern. But one has to wonder where this leaves artists, in terms of their ability to convey their ideas; is the trade-off, in terms of access to the public via display in prominent places, worth the compromises in vision?
Of course, SculptureX presented numerous works that are both uncompromised in their conceptual underpinnings and conventional, in terms of their sculpture-ness. But even the less interactive exhibitions presented artists very much at play with the idea of building an alternative sculptural relationship with real-world space. A solo show, Soft Thrones: Sites of Power, by intermedia artist Jova Lynne, presented a series of photographic portraits in juxtaposition with a series of objects — machetes — that were inspired by the portrait subjects. The portraits were taken in Lynne’s ancestral homeland of Jamaica, and feature five female-identified queer Jamaicans of the artist’s acquaintance, posed variously in seated positions against a background of lush jungle. Working from these portraits, Lynne then created five machetes to correlate with her subjects, and the whole assortment is presented in a gallery dominated by a wall-sized blow-up of one portraits, “Soft Throne” (2018), and punctuated by a freestanding piece of decorative iron fencing, “Thresh(Hold)” (2018). Where is the sculpture, here? At least half the works are photographs, and the only freestanding item is a piece of fencing, presumably prefabricated. The five machetes can be argued as sculpture, but the artist also specifically classifies them as weapons; it is unclear whether an art historian might characterize these as a more vernacular kind of artwork, as is the case with ornate scrimshaw carvings on the handles of pocketknives, for example.
Does this matter? Not really. With a theme that places such focus on the social impact of sculpture, it stands to reason that the defining aspects of sculpture might be stretched to include, for example, sound sculpture, as with Susan Byrnes’s “Epiphany” — a subset of a larger work called “Discover;” direct political action, as with “RUN,” a collection of souvenirs from the 2017 mayoral campaign of Erie, Pennsylvania-based “social sculptor” Lisa Austin; and “Survey,” the lo-tech survey apparatus by Micaela de Vivero, which keeps tally by inviting visitors to take a number from two opposing signs, in this case one that instructs “If you want to live in this country take a number” or “If you do not want to live in this country take a number.” These were all part of the group show, Igniting Change, which ran at BGSU’s Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery during the symposium and core weekend for Sculpture X.
This year’s Sculpture X underscores the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of contemporary art, the current wisdom that we gain little by strictly siloing artists by medium, and the often necessary changes that must be made when an artist chooses to physically involve the public in a work of art. Perhaps the greater quibble here is whether or not it remains productive to create festivals and showcases that hinge on the theme of common discipline, only to shatter that construct in every way conceivable.
Gallery and installation aspects of SculptureX continue at various locations in Toledo, OH, through November 11. The festival features various curators, including Halona Norton-Westbrook, who is the curator of the Mel Chin exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art.
The post An Ohio Sculpture Festival that Is Curiously Light on Sculpture appeared first on Hyperallergic.
The Whitney Museum of American Art received a gift of sculpture and works on paper from the Mary Ann Unger Estate. The gift includes one sculpture and five works on paper produced by Mary Ann Unger between 1978 and 1980. “We are delighted that the family and estate of Mary Ann Unger have chosen The Whitney as the repository for these important works made by a pioneering female sculptor,” said Jane Panetta, associate curator at The Whitney. “The gift will allow the Museum to make people aware of this important female American artist and adds to our holdings of work made by women of this generation.” Unger’s later work, “Across the Bering Strait” (1992–94) will go on view today in the artist’s former home and studio at 5 East Third Street, 8th Floor. The re-installation was curated by Alexandra Schwartz. [via email announcement]
Artist Ugo Rondinone’s newly commissioned work for the Liverpool Waterfront, commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool, was unveiled on Tuesday. The work is called “Liverpool Mountain” and is Rondinone’s first public artwork in the UK. This is part of Rondinone’s Magic Mountain series, with similar sculptures in Miami, Gwangju, and Las Vegas. [via email announcement]
This month, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will unveil 11 new acquisitions in its permanent gallery and 40 new loans from around the world. According to the press release, the new acquisitions include: a monumental Avalokiteshvara Buddhistsculpture from China (11th–12th century); four tapestries depicting “The Hunts of Maximilian” from an original drawing by Bernard van Orley from France (1665–1674); a Japanese Samurai armor (18th century); a rare conical helmet from Mongolia or China (13th–14th century); a Phoenix-headed Ewer from the Tang Dynasty, China (8th century); a rock crystal knife with a jeweled parrot from India (c. 1600); a jeweled katar dagger from India (18th century); a rare Albarello decorated with fleurs-de-lys from Syria or Egypt (14th–15th century); a three medallion Mamluk carpet from Egypt (late 15th century); a rare Ottoman horse armor (15th–16th century); and a Mamluk bowl from Egypt or Syria (late 13th or early 14th century). [via email announcement]
William Crovello’s “Cubed Curve” (1972), once on display in the plaza of the Time-Life building in Midtown Manhattan, was donated to Ursinus College’s Berman Museum by the Rockefeller Group. The sculpture sat in the plaza of the Time-Life building for 42 years and was installed at the Berman Museum on Monday. The official unveiling will be on Saturday, November 3. “We are delighted to receive this major gift, which signals the growth of our collection and programming at the museum,” said Berman Museum Director Charlie Stainback. “Just as it was a recognizable feature in New York City, so too will it be a place marker and meeting place on our campus, as well as a symbol of our commitment to showcasing the best examples of contemporary art.”
Ruby City contemporary art center in San Antonio, Texas has acquired Liz Larner’s ceramic wall relief sculpture “iv (inflexion)” (2014–15) from Regen Projects, Los Angeles. According to the press release, the chromatic surface “is uneven with breaks and fissures, cracks, and a bend that bisects them vertically.” Initially, Larner did not intend for these imperfections, but the the sculpture broke in the process. As a result, she began to explore a “more experimental and unpredictable practice.” [via email announcement]
Sotheby’s Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art sale in London brought in a total of £974,313 (~$1,260,000) on October 23. The sale’s top lot, Ram Kumar’s “Untitled (Benares Ghat)” (c. 1960s), sold for £106,250 (~$137,000).
Sotheby’s sale of L’Art de Vivre: Property from the Collection of Kathleen and Martin Field in New York brought in a total of $2,251,875 on October 20. The sale’s top lot, a Louis XV gilt bronze-mounted tulipwood, amaranth, and marquetry commode by Mathieu Criaerd, circa 1755, sold for $187,500.
Sotheby’s French Cancan by Natalie Seroussi sale in Paris brought in a total of €4,739,750 (~$5,405,000) on October 20. The sale’s top lot, Jean Dubuffet’s “Cafetière, Tasse et Soucoupe, Sucrier [Coffee Cup and Saucer, Sugar Bowl]” (1965), sold for €669,000 (~$763,000).
Sotheby’s Art Impressionniste et Moderne sale in Paris brought in a total of €6,021,500 (~$6,867,000) on October 19. The sale’s top lot, Marc Chagall’s “La Mariée au Collier [The Bride at the Necklace]” (1977–80), sold for €825,000 (~$941,000).
Sotheby’s sale of Works from the Oscar Mairlot Collection from Magritte to Zao Wou-Ki in Paris brought in a total of €7,026,750 (~$8,013,000) on October 19. The sale’s top lot, René Magritte’s “La Table, L’Océan et le Fruit” (1927) sold for €1,929,000 ($2,200,000).
Sotheby’s sale of Prints & Multiples in New York brought in a total of $11,937,479 on October 18–22. The sale’s top lot, Jasper Johns’s “Cicada (Ulae 215)” (1981), sold for $1,215,000.
Sotheby’s La collection Renand-Chapet sale in Paris brought in a total of €5,458,875 (~$6,225,000) on October 18. The sale’s top lot, Paul Cézanne’s “Abricots et Cerises Sur une Assiette [Apricots and Cherries On a Plate]” (c. 1877–79), sold for €1,809,000 (~$2,063,000).
Sotheby’s Modernités sale in Paris brought in a total of €9,606,500 (~$10,955,000) on October 18. The sale’s top lot, Auguste Rodin’s “Penseur, Petit Modèle [Thinker, Small Model]” (c. 1880–81) sold for €2,409,000 (~$2,747,000).
Sotheby’s Collections and Curiosities sale in New York brought in a total of $2,326,125 on October 18. The sale’s top lot, a Dutch gold snuff box, Jacobus de Gilde, Amsterdam (1761) sold for $75,000.
Sotheby’s Arts of the Islamic World sale in London brought in a total of £8,988,325 (~$11,595,000) on October 24. The sale’s top lot, a highly important blue and white Iznik pottery charger, Turkey, circa 1480, sold for £5,359,950 (~$6,914,367.66).
Sotheby’s sale of 20th Century Art/Middle East in London brought in a total of £2,488,000 (~$3,210,000) on October 23. The sale’s top lot, Mahmoud Sabri’s “Iraqi Jnazet (Funeral)” (1961), sold for £346,000 (~$446,000).
Christie’s Art Moderne sale in Paris brought in a total of €10,139,750 (~$11,550,000) on October 18. The sale’s top lot, Marc Chagall’s “Les mariés au bord de la Seine [The bride and groom on the banks of the Seine]” (c. 1980), sold for €1,543,500 (~$1,758,000).
Christie’s She Was a Giant Collection Bénédicte Pesle sale in Paris brought in a total of €3,241,625 (~$3,692,000) on October 18. The sale’s top lot, Max Ernst’s “Âmes-sœurs [Soulmates]” (1961), sold for €787,500 (~$897,000).
The post Whitney Museum Receives Works by Mary Ann Unger, and an Ugo Rondinone Sculpture Unveiled in Liverpool appeared first on Hyperallergic.
Taiwanese artist Han Hsu-Tung (previously) skillfully carves figures from blocks of wood, adding and and eliminating cubed segments that make each bird, hand, and human look as if they are morphing into a monochromatic array of pixels. The works hint to our relationship with the screen, presenting the increasingly distracted way in which we view the world. You can see more of Han’s carved walnut, teak, and African wax wood works on Flickr.