Tag Archive | Sculpture

Hew Locke, Koh-i-Noor, Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

Koh-i-Noor,Hew Locke
Photo By Gail

For his mixed media assemblage, Koh-i-Noor (2005) Hew Locke (Scottish, born 1959) arranged thousands of cheap plastic toys and trinkets — disposable products of the new global economy — into one edition of a series of portraits of Queen Elizabeth II (entitled the House of Windsor Series), one of which was among the most extraordinary works in the Museum’s exhibition, Infinite Island: Contemporary Caribbean Art (2007). Locke, born in Scotland but raised in Guyana, created these works in response to ethnic tensions within contemporary British society, often growing out of Great Britain’s colonial history, with that history now brought home to Britain.

Koh i Noor Detail
Koh-i-Noor Detail

The title of this Silver work from the portrait series refers to the Koh-i-Noor  (“Mountain of Light”) diamond, once the largest in the world. Mined several thousand years ago, this uncut Indian treasure passed through the hands of many regional rulers and was likely cut during the seventeenth century, before ultimately being seized by Britain in 1849 in the name of Queen Victoria. The series also includes a Golden sculpture entitled El Dorado, and a Black edition entitled Black Queen.

Koh i Noor Detail

Cost of Living (Aleyda) By Josh Kline

Cost of Living (Aleyda)
All Photos By Gail

To make Cost of Living (2014) and other works in this series,  Josh Kline interviewed workers – janitorial staff and package delivers – and then made casts  of their body parts that they used to complete their daily tasks. In this case, he spoke with the housekeeper named Aleyda,  who worked at the Rivington Hotel.

Cost of Living (Aleyda)

The artist created each element of the sculptural assemblage using a 3-D printer. The results call attention to the laboring bodies of  an often invisible work force, and offer a grim reminder that these workers’ humanity is often valued less than the tools they use to complete their job. Cost of Living (Aleyda) reflects what the artist has described as “the relentless push to squeeze more productivity out of workers – turning  people into reliable, always–on office appliances.”

Cost of Living (Aleyda)

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.

HR Giger’s Birth Machine Baby

Birth Machine Baby
Photo By Gail

The Birth Machine Baby sculpture pictured above was photographed by me in the Last Rites Gallery in Manhattan, which has a number original HR Giger pieces on display. Giger, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 74, is perhaps best known in popular culture as the designer of the Alien creatures in the film franchise of the same name, or, if you are a bit older, the designer of the cover of Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s 1973 epic prog rock masterpiece, Brain Salad Surgery. But his career was about so much more than that.

The limited edition Bullet Baby sculptures (30 in Bronze, 30 in Aluminum) sit inside the shell of a 9mm Luger Casing: the bottom surface of the sculpture is finished to look like a real bullet and is marked ‘9mm Giger,’ along with the artist signature and the edition number.

The inspiration for the Bullet Babies is the 1967, pen and ink Giger artwork, Birth Machine, a cut-away image of a fully loaded Walther pistol, in which the bullets are these crouching mechanical-looking babies.

HR Giger Birth Machine
Birth Machine, 1967 (Image Source)

The Birth Machine is HR Giger’s artistic manifestation of his strongly held belief that the greatest threat to our civilization is the approaching overpopulation of the planet. Conceived nearly 40 years ago, the Birth Machine Babies have made appearances in a number of Giger paintings. A Birth Machine Baby – as well as a sculptural representation of the Birth Machine painting – stands guard in front of the HR Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland.

Marble Statue with Smart Phone

Indian Girl
Photo By Gail

You can be sure that we all did a double-take when we passed this statue at The Met this past weekend, because, seriously, doesn’t it look like she’s checking her Instagram feed or catching up on Tweets? That’s what we thought as well, but if you are standing nearby and look really closely, you can see she has a small Crucifix nestled in her palm, which makes much more sense considering the name of this piece is Indian Girl, or The Dawn of Christianity, rather than something like Girl, Distracted by iPhone, Forgets to Put on a Top.

Created by Erastus Dow Palmer in 1856, this sculpture marked the artist’s first attempt to model a full-length, female figure. He did a pretty great job, don’t you think?

Not a Painting Group Show at The Hole

Adam Parker Smith, Charlatan
Adam Parker Smith, Charlatan, 2015 (All Photos By Gail)

The Hole gallery can be hit (Holton Rower, André Saraiva) or miss (Jim Joe) with its single artist exhibits, but it tends to get it right when curating a group show where work by multiple artists follows a common theme, and they deserve high fives all around for Not a Painting, a vibrant new group show which opened on Tuesday, June 9th.

Adam Parker Smith, Charlatan
A detail from the above “wall sculpture” by Adam Parker Smith includes a cluster of artificial succulents.

Not a Painting presents a group exhibit of wall-based works from emerging artists that are contingent upon painting, or refer to painting, or negate painting; but are not paintings. Partipating artists include Adam Parker Smith, Andrew McNay, Bob Eikelboom, Colin Oulighan, Evan Robarts, Evie Falci, Ezra Tessler, Gabriel Pionkowski, Martha Friedman, Nick Theobald, Radamés Juni Figueroa and Will Stewart. With an expansive array of materials, these individuals construct artworks that hang on the wall and have the logic of a painting but that do not use paint on canvas.

Here are a few of our favorite pieces from this fun show!

Evan Robarts Hemlock Trail
Evan Robarts, Hemlock Trail

Evan Robarts uses a weathered chain link fence as his canvas and places found colored balls where he would otherwise want to apply paint. This one is so clever.

Adam Parker Smith Bob
Adam Parker Smith, Bob

Adam Parker Smith’s Bob has the appearance of a caricature drawn with a finger on a condensation-covered antique mirror, but the condensation is actually clear resin.

Evie Falci, Ani (L), Manipura (R)

Evie Falci’s Ani (above left), and Manipura (above right) were created by affixing brightly colored rhinestones to denim. Bedazzling!

Evie Falci, Manipura (Detail)
Evie Falci, Manipura (Detail)

Ezra Tessler The Grangerfords
Ezra Tessler, The Grangerfords

Ezra Tessler’s row of monochromatic, identically shaped wall sculptures were created using oil paint on paper pulp over aluminum awning parts. Here’s a closer detail shot, below.

Ezra Tessler The Grangerfords

Loaf 2 by Martha Friedman
Loaf 2 by Martha Friedman

Martha Friedman casts colored rubber to make what looks like a slice of Pimento Loaf stuck to the wall. Brilliant.

Loaf 2 Detail
Loaf 2, Detail

Not A Painting will be on Exhibit Through July 26th, 2015 at The Hole, Located at 312 Bowery (at Bleecker) in NYC.

Not a Painting Signage

Tara Donovan’s Styrofoam Cup Cloud Installation

Tara Donovan Cloud
Photos By Gail

If you happen to be doing the tourist thing in the city of Boston, you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to visit the Museum of Fine Arts, which, like The Met here in NYC, is massive, and has a little bit of everything that an art lover wants to see, all under one roof. It is really quite a remarkable place.

Favorite areas of the museum, for me, are the Contemporary Art galleries, which make amazing use of the space with several installations placed against the high vaulted ceilings. One such piece is Tara Donovan’s Untitled, (2003); a representation of a cumulus cloud formation, which she created solely from Styrofoam cups stuck together with hot glue.

Untitled Clouds

This piece is not only very beautiful, but it also encourages imaginative extrapolation as to how the Brooklyn-based artist chooses her materials. You can read more about that at This Link.

Marisol’s Women and Dog at The Whitney Museum

Women and Dog
All Photos By Gail

It’s always fun to discover a new work by Pop artist /sculptress Marisol (AKA Maria Sol Escobar, born 1930 in Venezuela) when we are out on an art safari. Her pieces, which are like 3D portraits, can be found not only at the Whitney but in the permanent collections of the Met and MOMA as well, and they are instantly recognizable.

Equal parts painting, collage, carving, and assemblage, Women and Dog (1964) was inspired by sources as diverse as its constituent materials. Marisol worked in New York during the emergence of Pop Art in the early 1960s and was one of few women associated with the movement. This sculpture reflects the fascination with everyday life that was fundamental to Pop, and yet its larger-than-life, totemic forms and the multi-faced profiles of the figures belie influences from Pre-Colombian and Native American folk art to analytic Cubism.

Women and Dog

The trio of females strolling with a child and a dog seem to suggest Marisol’s interest in social norms and conventions relating to women in society, but the composition is ambiguous. Elements of the women’s clothing are colorfully whimsical, yet they are literally “boxed in” by their garments, and their faces are marked by a deadpan impenetrability. The women, and perhaps the child too, are self-portraits — indeed, a photograph of the artist is applied directly onto the face of one of the figures — suggesting a fluid inhabitation of different female roles and identities.