ART, DESIGN AND CULTURAL REPORTAGE: NEW YORK — LONDON
15 June 2010

Last Saturday in a balmy, Mountainville, New York, Storm King Art Center celebrated its 50th anniversary with an exhibition that explored its rich sculptural history. Part of the historic Hudson River Valley, Storm King features over 100 sculptures on an lush 500 acre estate, making it a “singular haven” for experiencing some of the most renowned twentieth century sculptors in a pristine and unspoiled environment.

The anniversary exhibition is located within the French-Normandy style mansion, and leads visitors through Storm King’s history, archival documents, exhibition timelines, landscape architecture, and the many processes and conservation concerns for some it’s major pieces (illustrated by artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Alexander Calder, Alexander Liberman, and Loise Bourgeois). The rooms of the mansion are beautiful and offers views of the sprawling estate, and sculptures in the distance.

The View from Here

Exhibition detail

Exhibition detail

Room

3D CNC Model and projected history Storm King

Projection Mapping

Model Detail

Calder timeline and model of The Arch

Calder Model

Model of Five Swords by Calder

louise bourgeois - conservation room

David Smith Room

David Smith Detail

The grounds featured over 100 works from the permanent collection, and the landscape was absolutely stunning. I could have easily spent far more than the 4 hours I allotted to my visit. The 2010 season closes in November, and I highly recommend a visit. Sculpture heaven.

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Louise Nevelson, City on a High Mountain, 1983

Alyson Shotz, Viewing Scope, 2006

Kenneth Snelson, Free Ride Home, 1974

Mark di Suvero, Mon Père, Mon Père, 1975-75

(rear) Stephen Talasnik, Stream: A Folded Drawing, 2009-10

Sol Lewitt, Five Modular Units, 1971

Mark di Suvero, Jambalaya, 2002-06

Mark di Suvero, Old Grey Beam, 2007/2010

Andy Goldsworthy, Storm King Wall, 1997-98

Andy Goldsworthy, Storm King Wall, 1997-98

Richard Serra, Schunnemunk Fork, 1990-91

Maria Elena González, You & Me, 2010

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Sarcophagi in Glass Houses, 1989

Alexander Liberman, Iliad, 1974-76

South Fields with longview to Mark di Suvero's Beethoven's Quartet, 2003 and Pyramidian, 1987/1998

Robert Grosvenor, Untitled, 1970

David von Schlegell, Untitled, 1972

Tal Streeter, Endless Column, 1968

Meadows

Alexander Calder, The Arch, 1975

Alexander Calder, Five Swords, 1976


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Triple the love at Matthew Marks Gallery

by Melissa Gamwell

10 January 2010

Peter Fischli & David Weiss are basically my favorites from the realm of celebrity artists, and Matthew Marks currently has given them the attention of all three of his Chelsea galleries. This show is almost over! It ends on the 16th and I strongly recommend a visit.

The show is in three parts, the first (in the order that I visited them) is Clay and Rubber at 523 W24th. This show included 26 objects that span the past three decades of the duo’s rubber casting and hand-built clay works. I have seen some of these pieces at their Tate Modern retrospective, but the lot is an amazing spectrum of elemental beauty in objects. The clay pieces are primarily models of machined, recto-linear objects. Marks of the artists hands are proximally apparent, subtly highlighting the surface and distinguishing their over-sized forms from a real smooth-cast brick, sono-tube or chain-link. The rubber objects contrast as casts of natural or highly detailed forms, and the material is often hidden by the original detail of the pieces. Both of the materials engage the viewer and the object, negating the importance of purpose and true material, allowing the pure form of everyday objects to be considered. The gallery was also perfect, in that it didn’t overwhelm the objects with massive space, but was large enough to investigate the pieces with/out the context of the others.

Matthew Marks Gallery@ 523 West 24th

Wood Table, 2005, Black Rubber, 157 x 96 x 45cm

Raven, 1986, Black Rubber, 28 x 41 x 14cm

Chain, 2009, Reinforced clay, 14 x 107 x 14cm

Little Wall, 1987, Black Rubber, 77 x 34 x 41cm

Root, 2005, Black Rubber, 60 80 x 60cm

Stairs, 1987, Black Rubber, 36 x 87 x 53cm

Drawer, 1987, Black Rubber, 14 x 51 x 43cm

Down the street at 522 West 22nd is Sun, Moon and Stars, an exhibition of a book that F&W started as a project for an annual report. The book is pretty daunting to flip through, but here I spent quite a bit of time re-examining the flats which I thought were more successful than the original format in conveying the visual and topical similarities. Below is quoted from the MM press release:

Sun, Moon and Stars is an encyclopedic accumulation of 800 magazine advertisements culled form hundreds of international periodicals. Begun as a project commissioned by a Swiss corporation for its annual report, the finished project is displayed in thirty-eight wood and glass tables, totaling 330 feet in length. A dizzying reaction to late capitalism in various chromatic groupings, the ads are shown in a specific order that exploits the formal, thematic and color similarities between advertisements.”

Matthew Marks Gallery@ 522 West 22nd

Case Detail

Case Detail

Case Detail

Case Detail

Gallery Detail

Resting next door at 526 West 22nd, are the deflated avatars of Fischli & Weiss, titled Sleeping Puppets. Rat and Bear were first shown in the film The Least Resistance, 1981, and The Right Way, 1983 ( translated dialogue quoted below) Click on the links to watch the films.

“BEAR: Do you see the moon? Look at it carefully.

RAT: I need more stones. We have hardly begun.

BEAR: I’ve been watching it. It’s like me.

It comes and goes.

Always on the move…looks at everything.

It does what it pleases.

RAT: So you want to leave.

BEAR: What am I suppose to do? Are you staying here?

RAT: Now all it needs is a roof

BEAR: Good. I’ll come with you.

RAT: I’ll leave the stones here..

BEAR: …but I’m taking the dream with me

Into the unknown.”

Bye Bye! Matthew Marks Gallery @ 526 West 22nd

Peter Fischli & David Weiss

Matthew Marks Gallery

October 30, 2009- January 16, 2010


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10 January 2010

Before the end of the year I visited the Turner Prize show at Tate Britain. One of the short-list artists, that fell to the golden Richard Wright, was Roger Hiorns who was nominated for his amazing off-site installation called Seizure. There was no photography allowed at the Tate but I was able to get some shots of  ”Seizure” which was installed in an abandoned 1970’s council building at Elephant & Castle.

While waiting on this line I had vague notions of what was inside the building, which is that Mr. Hiorns crystallized the space with copper sulphate.  Additionally I was given these instructions, and an interview which I am including excerpts from below.

“Take great care when entering and leaving. There is a step. Walk slowly and carefully throughout. The floor is very uneven. Mind your head. Surfaces are sharp, and many crystals hang down. You may touch the walls but please dont break or damage the crystals. Do not attempt to climb or sit on the surfaces.”

Installation Site

Standing outside the viewer is presented with the emotional aspects of this abandoned building. There is the expectation that it’s desolate, empty, and has been an eventual failure as a structure, socially and constructively. It is now a by-product that is unquestionably uninhabitable and has yet to be worth the cost of demolishing.

Upon entering the stark low-rise, I stepped into a coveted jewel box, a crystal-encrusted flat, something that appealed to my childhood anticipations of discovering hidden spaces. I haven’t seen copper sulphate used as a material since I was in science class trying to grow rock gardens (oh yeah- and Tokujin Yoshioka’s Venus Chair- interesting to look at alongside Hiorns), but nothing remotely challenges the scale which Hiorns presented here. It was psychologically and visually heavy. The manner that it addresses the architecture is that of a secretive moss, or heavy dust covering, but in an apocalyptic, violent sense, almost to the degree that volcanic lava might cover a landscape and leave vague reminders of a historical form. This covering was actually still growing, while the building adversely was in a state of decay.

Detail

Bath coated in Copper Sulphate Crystals

James Lingwood, Co-Director of Artangel, conducted an interview with Roger Hiorns for the text titled The Impregnation of an Object, July 2008:

JL: What led you to the kind of architecture which would host the project? The space we found is quite specific and there is the idea of working in a small part of a larger whole, where the living spaces were replicated, all the same size with all the same configurations.”

RH: I have a deep interest in Brutalist architecture and the best example of that is the Robin Hood Estate designed by Alison and Peter Smithson in Poplar in East London. That was the place I was initially thinking about.

JL: What is it about the Robin Hood Estate?

RH: It was the first of its kind in London and one of the most extreme. These buildings were about containing large groups of people who were all living in the same kinds of places and being encouraged to think the same kinds of thoughts. There was the idea of a collective, the dream of growing together for the greater good, and I suppose I have always been very distrustful of the collective, it’s like my attitude to religion. These kinds of buildings don’t work, as a model they have not passed the test of time.”

“JL: These kinds of buildings began to deteriorate quite quickly. By the 1970’s they were already in bad shape.”

RH: They’re still somehow rather beautiful, they seem to carry the stain of life, to take in everything they were experiencing. I am always interested in this material called experience and what that would be. The grinding of an engine is an experience. The collective nature of the place is a kind of experience, an amalgam of memories.”

Details of Main Space(L) and Entry(R)

Ceiling Detail

Detail

“RH: I am completely objective about my own artwork, I can stand outside of it and work out whether it should exist or not. That’s why I use materials which enable me to be detached, materials which are their own thing, have their own genetic structure. Rather like copper sulphate is as auto-genetic, my work is also auto-genetic, it tries to make some sense of my psychological position and then basically makes itself.

JL: What about the blueness of the crystals-was that something else that attracted you to the material?

RH: The color was always a sidetrack for me, it was never about the beauty, about claiming something to be a beautiful object after it had undergone the crystalizing process. That would just be banal, though banality is not a bad thing always.”

Seizure was commissioned by Artangel and the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, in association with Channel 4 and also by the National Lottery through the Arts Council England.


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