Tag Archives: sculpture

Modern Art Monday Presents: Sol LeWitt, Five Towers

sol lewitt five towers photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

One of the pioneers of Conceptual art, Sol LeWitt gave primacy to the originating idea of a work of art rather than to its execution. LeWitt had been developing these ideas in three-dimensional objects he called “structures.” Based on the unit of an open, rather than solid, cube, the works peel away what he perceived as the decorative skin on traditional sculpture, revealing their underlying skeleton, or structure.

sol lewitt five towers photo by gail worley

Though he created structures in a range of scales and shapes — the permutations growing more intricate over the decades — LeWitt maintained the use of white cubes with a ratio of 1:8.5; that is, the open space between the edges of a cube is 8.5 times the width of each edge. Five Towers (1986), a later, more complex structure, rises more than seven feet high, culminating in four towers on each corner of a square, with a fifth tower in the center.

sol lewitt five towers photo by gail worley

Photographed in The Whitney Museum in NYC.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Pink Lazy Throne Sculpture

pink lazy throne photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

We honestly felt like we had stumbled upon a real life version Pee-Wee’s Playhouse when we entered design store / art gallery Leroy’s Place, and immediately encountered this monumentally enchanting (and Pink) Lazy Throne by artist Jacques Duffourc. A New Orleans native whose specialties include set design and puppeteering,  Duffourc works primarily in recycled and found materials, and has a signature skill of transforming everyday materials into extraordinary works of art.

pink lazy throne finish detail photo by gail worley
Finish Detail

The chair has a wood structure, and is then sculpted using a unique method of building with contact cement and cardboard.

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Eye On Design: César Expansion Table

cesar expansion table photo by gail worley
Installation View With Rene Gabriel’s Bridge Armchair (All Photos By Gail)

The celebrated French artist César (born Cesare Baldaccini) was a founding member in 1960 of the Nouveaux Réalistes group. His amorphous bronze and glass Expansion Table (1977) is one of the rare works in which César applied his Expansion technique to a functional object. Whereas he also created a handful of bronze ashtrays, lamps, as well as the console commissioned by Henri Samuel, the Expansion Table is the object in which César philosophy — his belief that life and art are one entity, indivisible —achieves its apex.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

Some background on César’s Expansions: One of the artist’s great breakthroughs in the late 1960s took the form of sculptural spills called Expansions. Realized with liquid polyurethane foam, a novel material at the time, each spill involved actively pouring specifically tinted foam, allowing it to expand, and then leaving it to set in a process that resulted in soft forms several times larger than their original liquid volume.

cesar expansion table detail photo by gail worley

César was moved by this material’s freedom and energy — rather than conforming to the matrix of a mold, it actually spread and expanded in what would famously become a critically admired analog for the new spirit of liberation that marked the era. As Pierre Restany noted in 1970, “César’s expansions reveal a new phase in his work, the phase of maturity: the mastering of the technique allied to the freedom of form.”

cesar expansion table installation view photo by gail worley

Photographed at at Demisch Danant, Located at 30 West 12th Street in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Judgement of Paris By Johan Joachim Kandler

the judgement of paris photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Kandler’s brilliantly composed figural group, The Judgement of Paris (1762) was intended as a table centerpiece that would appear with dessert. It depicts the story of the shepherd Paris awarding the golden apple to Venus, whose charms he preferred to those of Minerva and Juno. The splashes of color add a frivolous note, in tune with the frothy rococo spirit of the sculpture. Moreover, hints of naturalistic coloring deny these goddesses the timelessness of idealizing sculpture, making them instead into modern beauties who perform a titillating after-dinner entertainment.

Photographed in The Met Breuer (Now Closed) as Part of the 2018 Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body.

Modern Art Monday Presents: New Salome By Max Klinger

max klinger new salome photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail Worley

Salome is an archetype of the femme fatale, the embodiment of a deadly femininity. The Biblical seductress who was responsible for the beheading of Saint John the Baptist was a frequent motif in the repertoires of male artists during the end of the 19th century. For New Salome (1893), Max Klinger reimagines her as a modern vixen in living color, with not one but two grotesquely severed male heads as her side. Applying watercolor to her flesh and bright paint to her lips (now worn off) and hair, Klinger emphasized her sensuality, though he left the gray marble cloak in its natural state. Her piercing amber eyes transfix her intended male admirers, threatening to make thinner next victims. Just as color vivifies dead matter, the living bust turns the viewers to stone. Pygmalion’s statue and Medusa become one.

Photographed in The Met Breuer (Now Closed) as Part of the 2018 Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture, Color and The Body.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Arlene Shechet, Travel Light

arlene shechet travel light Installation view photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

In Arlene Shechet’s sculpture, past, present, and future are subtly intertwined. For Travel Light (2017) she begins with pair of candlesticks  that her grandmother brought from Belarus in 1920; the only material objects that the family possesses from their country of origin.

arlene shechet travel light photo by gail worley

As she sought to learn more about them, Shechet uncovered long-forgotten family documents, from which she was able to track-down previously unknown relatives. The work is a functioning candelabrum grown from the old candlesticks; like them, it may be used for the Sabbath ceremony.

arlene shechet travel light photo by gail worley

Three more iterations of the work are planned. The artist has embedded an image of the cover of her grandmother’s passport in the sculpture and will ask each subsequent owner to give her a cherished family record, which she will also embed in the piece. Thus, Travel Light will accumulate new stories, as a suitcase acquires travel labels, embracing the future as well as the past.

Photographed in The Jewish Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Death of Munrow

the death of munrow photo by gail worley
“Ouch, My Head” (Photo By Gail)

The Death of Munrow (circa 182030), a glazed earthenware figure group by an unknown artist, records a specific historic event in 1791, in which Hugh Munrow, a British soldier, was killed by a tiger in India. Its composition was inspired by an almost life-size wooden automaton of a tiger killing a European that was owned by Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore in India. Tipu’s Tiger was seized by the British army in 1799 and brought to London, where it was placed on public display.

Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan.