Tag Archive | sculpture

Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center Returns in September 2020!

Ghada Amer Happily Ever After
Ghada Amer, Happily Ever After (2005) Image Courtesy of the Artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery

A summer without art is no summer at all. If you’re an art fan who misses going to museums, keeping up with local galleries and exploring art fairs as much as I do, then you will be excited to learn that the second edition of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center will usher out the summer with one-month outdoor exhibit of works by six internationally renowned artists: Ghada Amer, Beatriz Cortez, Andy Goldsworthy, Lena Henke, Camille Henrot and Thaddeus Mosley. The site-specificworks will be installed in open, public locations throughout Rockefeller Plaza, allowing for ample social distancing space in compliance with all City and State guidelines. Offering free admission to all, Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center will be on display from September 1st through October 2, 2020.

Curated by Brett Littman (Director of the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum in Long Island City, New York), the second edition is inspired by the site’s and the city’s natural materials of earth, rock, and plants, and by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, the original date when the exhibit was scheduled to debut. Participating artists have responded to that inspiration, with five of them creating major new site-specific works.

Works on display in the Rockefeller Center program include:

ghada amer womens qualities
Image Courtesy of the Artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery

Ghada Amer (Goodman Gallery, Marianne Boesky): Egypt-born New York-based artist Ghada Amer presents an ambitious garden installation, titled Women’s Qualities. The piece was first conceptualized and installed in Busan, South Korea, in 2000 after the artist undertook a simple study, asking members of the public what qualities they found most important in women. 20 years on, the artist revisits the piece in New York, combining gender stereotypes that she encountered in Busan in 2000 with perspectives from Americans in 2020. The responses are written with flowers to create a living portrait of the impossible “woman ideal.”

RedFlag - Maryland
Image © Andy Goldsworthy, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Andy Goldsworthy (Galerie Lelong & Co.): Red Flags (2020) is a major new installation looking at the contexts of flags – their inherent and potential meanings – in one of New York’s most iconic flag flying sites. Goldsworthy replaces Rockefeller Center’s flags with flags colored with earth gathered from each of the 50 states.

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Alexander Calder’s Saurien Sculpture on 57th Street

alexander calder saurien sculpture photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

In the absence of any organized celebrations for the holiday, I spent the afternoon of July 4th stretching my legs in midtown and enjoying the sites ‘on exhibit’ in the museum of the streets. At the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 57th Street, I paused to appreciate a monumental sculpture that I’ve been passing by for years now, which is Alexander Calder’s bright orange, steel installation known as Saurien.

alexander calder saurien sculpture photo by gail worley

Saurien reaches a height of 18 feet at its tallest point, and the piece reminds me of one of Louis Bourgeois‘ monumental spiders, in that it stretches its ‘legs’ across the entrance to the IBM building, inviting visitors to walk under and around it. Although I’ve never read this in a formal description of the sculpture, one critic has claimed that this Calder is clearly meant to represent a dinosaur, with its stegosaurus-like spikes emerging from the top two arches. I can see that.

calder sculpture detail photo by gail worley

The irregular-edged, top forms inspired me to take this shot, with the spikes set in contrast against the skyline. Artsy!

alexander calder saurien sculture photo by gail worley

While Calder is most famous for his kinetic sculptures and delicate, hanging mobiles, Saurien is an example of the artist’s fixed work, which are called stabiles. Saurien was created in Calder’s Connecticut studio in 1975.

alexander calder saurien scuplture photo by gail worley

Alexander Calder’s Saurien is Located in Front of the IBM Building in Midtown, at 590 Madison Avenue, on the Southwest Corner at 57th Street, NYC.

Joy of Life Sculpture in Zuccotti Park

joy of life sculpture photo by gail worley
Photos By Gail

Zuccotti Park in the Financial District is perhaps most famous for being ground zero for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it’s also home to several pieces of monumental public art. For example, behold this bright red, 70-foot-high painted steel installation by sculptor Mark di Suvero, entitled Joie de Vivre (Joy of Life), which went up at the corner of Broadway and Cedar Street in June 2006. The sculpture is comprised of “open-ended tetrahedrons” as described by di Suvero, and was formerly located at the Holland Tunnel rotary.

joy of life sculpture photo by gail worley

joy of life sculpture detail photo by gail worley

Update: I was in the area on July 25th and took a couple of new shots (above and below). You can see the city has put barriers around the sculpture to keep people from congregating in the park.

joy of life sculpture photo by gail worley

John Mosler’s First Large Scale Sculpture Decusatio Now On View Outside The Norwood Club!

Decusation by John Mosler
All Photos By Gail

Brooklyn-based artist John Mosler’s first large-scale outdoor sculpture, Decusatio – meaning Intersection in Latin – is now installed on the terrace at Norwood, the historic townhouse and private members club at 241 West 14th Street. The figurative work was informed by its 14th Street location which, for many, has come to serve as a delineation point between uptown and downtown.

Placed on the balcony, Decusatio is hard to miss; rising over eight feet tall, and painted in a vibrant yellow hue. The work offers a conceptual framework that is intended to respect and enhance the Club and its history, while simultaneously connecting to the location, activity and history in the surrounding area.

Decusation Sculpture

Decusatio’s placement required innovative technical and engineering applications by the artist to ensure it was light enough to be easily placed on a metal balcony, while also durable enough to withstand the outdoor elements.  Mosler offers, “The figurative over tone and the bright yellow color is intended to capture the intersection of humanity and the vibrant human interaction in the surrounding physical environment.”

Decusation Close Up

Martin Kesselman, color influencer and owner of INCOLOUR, worked with Mosler on finding the right hue. “Yellow tends to be perceived in many different ways, more so than other colors,” he explains. “We wanted to stay clear of a frosty cast, one that may veer green. Natural exterior light can play some trickery, so we had to walk that warm and cool fine line.”

Norwood Club Exterior

About Norwood:

The Andrew Norwood House is an elegant urban residence designed in a transitional style which combines Greek revival and italianate features. A remarkably preserved slice of early Victorian architecture and lifestyle – both inside and out; the House is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.In 2007 Alan Linn opened Norwood Club, a bustling five-story club with more than 1,100 members ranging from 21 to 80 years old. Its ranks include architects, artists, fashion designers, musicians, media moguls, and art collectors.

Decusation at Night

Modern Art Monday Presents: Woman in Tub By Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons Woman in Tub
All Photos By Gail

Jeff Koons’ Woman in Tub (1988) combines a cartoon-like rendering of a nude woman startled by a submerged snorkeler with the exquisite, hard-paste porcelain finish of typical 18th-century Rococo figurines. Part of KoonsBanality series, which is characterized by oddly eroticized, comic and kitsch images, this work takes personal taste — good and bad — as its primary subject.

Jeff Koons Woman in Tub

Koons has explained the work’s biographical origin:

When I was a kid, my grandparents had an ashtray on a table in their television room. It was a small porcelain of a girl in a bathtub. It was white, with pink and blue details, and the legs went back and forth. As a kid, I was mesmerized. My Woman in Tub comes from that, though it references [the toiletry scenes painted by] Manet and Degas. I had such as experience of awe looking at that object.

Jeff Koons Woman in Tub

Photographed in The Art Institute, Chicago.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Malibu Barbie / Virgin Mary Mash Up Sculpture By Heath Kane

Malibu Mary
Photos By Gail

OK, so what exactly are we looking at here? What initially appears as a fairly standard-issue Virgin Mary desktop statue is revealed, on closer inspection, to be a mash up of the holy mother and a Malibu Barbie (check out the sunglasses propped casually on her head, for your first clue).

In Brands We Trust
Image Source

The statue, by UK-based artist Heath Kane, is based on a print entitled In Brands We Trust, originally created in June of 2016 in association with Jealous Gallery of London. The idea for the print was to create a mock idol by galvanizing a Malibu Barbie figure with the Virgin Mary.

Says Kane: In Brands We Trust is designed to look on the surface like a classic piece of pop art – juxtaposing Barbie’s face with an image of the Virgin Mary. But the light facade masks a deeper question about consumerism. Whereas Pop Art fetishized consumerism, In Brands We Trust challenges it. In March 2016 two people were shot and seriously injured in America when Nike released a new version of its Air Jordan 2 Retro shoes. In Brands We Trust ponders the question ‘have brands become our new religion?’ And if so are they encouraging division and extremism? Brands have such a profound impact on our daily lives it’s raises the question if religious faith can compete.

In Brands We Trust

Spotted at The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn, NY.

Malibu Barbie Virgin Mary Sculptures

Modern Art Monday Presents: Gun Magnet By Randall Harrington

Randall Harrington Gun Magnet Wool Tapestry
Photo By Gail

Randall Harrington’s Gun Magnet is but one example of the sculptor and painter’s statement work. Known for his high-concept fabrications of recomposed weaponry, Toastasaurus herds and eerily human robots, the Los Angeles-based artist found his niche in metal and mixed media after years of assisting big-name installation and performance artists working in film-set design. The Gun Magnet wool tapestry (2019, above) was inspired by the bronze sculpture (2014), seen below.

Gun Magnet Sculpture

Photographed as Part of Beyond The Streets in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Radio Station Call Letters Sculpture, Chicago

95.1 WBEZ FM
Photos By Gail

At first (or even second) glance, this colorful, towering sculpture comprised of jumbled letters and numbers may appear very random and indecipherable. Take a look at it from the correct angle, however, and it clearly spells out the frequency and call letters of radio station 95.1 WBEZ FM, in Chicago, which is an NPR station. Created by artist John Adduci, who is Chicago native, the sculpture has been around since 1996 and it changes location in and around Navy Pier at random intervals.

WBEZ BY John Adduci

Five Conversations By Lubaina Himid On The High Line

Five Conversations
All Photos By Gail

The High Line always seems to have new public art installed along its mile-plus length of green space, and Five Conversations by Tanzanian-born artist Lubaina Himid, although it has been up since April, was new to me as I walked south along the path on my way to the Whitney Museum one sweltering Sunday afternoon.

Five Conversations

For Five Conversations, Himid introduces five wooden doors reclaimed from traditional Georgian townhouses, painted with life-size portraits, cut into silhouettes, that stand freely as flat sculptures. The portraits depict everyday, stylish women who love talking to each other!

Five Conversations Detail

These works have a theatrical quality, referencing stage sets and the simplified histories that dominate our world. In her signature way, Himid brings the two-dimensional medium of painting into our three-dimensional world.

Five Conversations Detail

Part of the En Plein Air, a Group Exhibit that Examines and Expands the Tradition of Outdoor Painting, On View Through March 2020.

 

Simone Leigh’s Brick House On The High Line

Brick House By Simone Leigh
All Photos By Gail

The first time I laid eyes on Simone Leigh’s monumental Brick House sculpture I was on the bus heading uptown on 10th Avenue.

Simone Leigh Brick House from Distance

I looked up and there she was, gazing out over the oncoming traffic from her perch on the 30th Street overpass, which I am told is now known as The Plinth. A month or so passed before I was able to pay her a proper visit and find out what she is all about.

Brick House Taken From Street Level

Brick House By Simone Leigh

Brick House is a 16-foot-tall bronze bust of a Black woman with a torso that combines the forms of a skirt and a clay house. The sculpture’s head is crowned with an afro framed by cornrow braids, each ending in a cowrie shell. Brick House is the inaugural commission for the High Line Plinth, a new landmark destination for major public artworks in New York City.

Brick House By Simone Leigh
View of Brick House Looking East to 30th Street

This is the first monumental sculpture in Leigh’s Anatomy of Architecture series, an ongoing body of work in which the artist combines architectural forms, from regions as varied as West Africa and the Southern United States, with the human body. The sculpture’s title (which is familiar to most as the title to popular 1977-era song by The Commodores) comes from the term for a strong Black woman who stands with the strength, endurance, and integrity of a house made of bricks.

View of 10th Ave Looking South
View From The Plinth Looking South Down 10th Ave

Brick House references numerous architectural styles: Batammaliba architecture from Benin and Togo, the teleuk dwellings of the Mousgoum people of Cameroon and Chad, and the restaurant Mammy’s Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi. The sculpture contrasts sharply against the landscape it inhabits, where glass-and-steel towers shoot up from among older industrial-era brick buildings, and where architectural and human scales are in constant negotiation. Resolutely facing down 10th Avenue, Leigh’s powerful Black female figure challenges us to consider the architecture around us, and how it reflects customs, values, priorities, and society as a whole.

Brick House By Simone Leigh

Leigh works across sculpture, video, installation, and social practice, stitching together references from different historical periods and distant geographical locations. As a sculptor, Leigh works predominantly in ceramics—a medium that she mastered early in her career—continually pushing the boundaries of her chosen material by working in new methods and larger scales. In her intersectional practice, Leigh focuses on how the body, society, and architecture inform and reveal one another. She examines the construction of Black female subjectivity, both through specific historical figures such as Josephine Baker and Katherine Dunham, and more generally through overlapping historical lineages across Europe, Africa, the US, and the Caribbean.

The High Line Plinth presents a series of art installations that rotate every eighteen months. Designed as the focal point of the Spur, the newest section of the park that opened in spring 2019, the Plinth is the first space on the High Line dedicated solely to new commissions of contemporary art.

Simone Leigh’s Brick House will be on View on The High Line Plinth (at the Spur), 30th St. and 10th Ave., NYC, Through September 2020. (Update: Due to Covid 19, Brick House has been Extended to Spring 2021.)

Simoe Leigh Brick House from Distance