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Art

Kehinde Wiley’s Contemporary Counterpoint to Old Confederate Monuments Unveiled in Times Square

October 12, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Kehinde Wiley, Rumors of War, 2019. © 2019 Kehinde Wiley. Presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Sean Kelly, New York. Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley (previously) recently unveiled a bronze sculpture of an African American man riding a horse in the center of Times Square at Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th streets. Titled “Rumors of War,” the statue references controversial Confederate War monuments that still stand in Richmond, Virginia over a century after they were erected.

Commissioned by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Wiley’s first public artwork will be relocated to a spot near the museum’s entrance. Just over a mile away is the statue of General J.E.B. Stuart that inspired “Rumors of War”. The artist first saw the monument during a trip to Virginia in 2016. He said in an interview with the Washington Post that he chose it as a reference because of the “gestural feel of the horse.” Standing over 27 feet tall, Wiley’s sculpture mimics Stuart’s half-turned pose and the stride of the horse, but his figure is a Black man with locked hair and contemporary apparel, including a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers.

“Today we say yes to something that looks like us,” Wiley said at the unveiling event last month. “We say yes to inclusivity. We say yes to broader notions of what it means to be an American.” For a closer look at more of Kehinde Wiley’s important work, follow the artist on Instagram.

Photographer: Walter Wlodarczyk for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ian Douglas for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

Photographer: Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.

 

 



Art

Bronze Sculptures of Regal African Women by Wangechi Mutu Make History at the Metropolitan Museum

September 14, 2019

Andrew LaSane

The Seated I, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to create four bronze sculptures of African women collectively titled “The NewOnes, will free Us.” The seated women are nearly 7 feet tall and each weigh more than 840 lbs. The sculptures are the first works of art to fill the niches of the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade since the building’s completion in 1902.

Mutu’s sculptures, individually titled The Seated I, II, III, and IV, are dressed in coiled garments and feature polished discs on different parts of their heads. This ornamentation references the jewelry and lip plates worn by women in some African tribes. They also reference the West African and Greek tradition of caryatids, female figures carved out of wood or marble that were depicted as structural or metaphorical supports.

“Caryatids throughout history have carried these buildings to express the might and the wealth of a particular place,” the Nairobi-born artist said in a video interview on The Met’s website. Looking to use her sculptures as a way to stage what The Met calls a “feminist intervention,” Mutu added that she wanted to “keep the DNA of the woman in an active pose, but I didn’t want her to carry the weight of something or someone else.”

The NewOnes, will free Us” will remain on view in the museum’s niches through January 12, 2020. Follow along with Mutu’s travels and cultural inspirations on Instagram. (via Hyperallergic)

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

Photo: Zachary Small / Hyperallergic

The Seated II, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated III, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

The Seated IV, 2019. Wangechi Mutu

 

 



Art

Ghostly Figures Occupy Sculptures of Architectural Ruin by Diana Al-Hadid

July 26, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

“Nolli’s Orders” (2012), Steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, paint, 156 x 264 x 228 inches, all images via Marianne Boesky Gallery

Diana Al-Hadid creates large-scale sculptures and installations that merge bodily forms with collapsing altars, columns, and other architectural forms. Headless bronze figures in repose appear to drip down concrete blocks, while organs surround fictional players like beautiful beasts. In each, the Syran-American artist references archaeological remains, creating ghostly figures that reference the ruins from societies past. In addition to traditional sculptural media like bronze, steel, and concrete, the artist also incorporates more experimental materials like beeswax, fiberglass, and foam. “For me to get a sculpture to lift off the floor…that’s the first way to rebel,” Al-Hadid explained about her gravity-defying work in an Art21 interview.

The Brooklyn-based artist has concurrent Nashville-based exhibitions at both the Frist Art Museum until September 2, 2019 and Cheekwood Estate&Gardens. You can see more of Al-Hadid’s sculptural work on her website and Instagram. (via Hi-Fructose)

“Synonym” (2016), Polymer modified gypsum, fiberglass, powder coated aluminum, pigment, 83 x 60 x 60 inches, Edition of 5, with 1 AP

“Suspended After Image” (2012), Wood, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, high density foam, plaster, paint, 126 x 282 x 204 inches

Detail of “Synonym” (2016), Polymer modified gypsum, fiberglass, powder coated aluminum, pigment, 83 x 60 x 60 inches, Edition of 5, with 1 AP

Detail of “Antonym” (2012), Steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, paint, 68 x 63 x 54 inches

Detail of “In Mortal Repose” (2011), Bronze and concrete, 72 x 71 x 63 1/4 inches

Installation view of “Falcon’s Fortress” at Boesky Gallery, (2017), Photography Credit: Object Studies

Detail of “A Measure of Ariadne’s Love” (2007), Mixed media 84 x 108 x 96 inches

“A Measure of Ariadne’s Love” (2007), Mixed media, 84 x 108 x 96 inches

Installation view of “Phantom Limb,” NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, 2016

 

 



Design

Sanded Down Versions of Mass-Produced Chairs Speak to an Economy in Crisis

July 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Dutch designer Frank Tjepkema of Studio Tjep created the Recession Chair in 2011 as a response to the world’s economic crisis. To produce the work, Studio Tjep sanded down a mass-produced IKEA chair to a ragged and skeletal structure. “The resulting object is barely functional as it most likely won’t withstand the weight of the person it is trying to support,” said Tjep in a statement about the chair, “much like a society plagued by recession.”

As an opposing gesture, Tjep cast the work in bronze, adding strength to the chair’s areas of fault. You can see various states of the chair in the images below, including a partially sanded version of the chair in white, and several examples of the piece fully cast in luminous bronze. To view more examples of Tjep’s work with architecture, objects, and interior design, visit their website. (via @designers_need)

 

 



Art

Pensive Faces Peer Out From the Pages of Bronze Book Sculptures by Paola Grizi

February 11, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Italian sculptor Paola Grizi creates bronze sculptures of faces emerging from the tousled pages of books, often with an exposed hand that appears to gently push aside the pages. Some of the pieces are sculpted as traditional novels, while others are more abstract— bronze pieces of paper folded and stacked in cube-like formations. The enduring metal works are meant honor the physicality of printed materials, resources which are quickly being lost due to the ease and immediacy of technological devices. You can see more of Grizi’s literary sculptures on Instagram.  (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Art Design Science

Biochemistry Professor Transforms His Research into Bronze Recreations of Ancient Trilobites and Modern Insects

December 17, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

D. Allan Drummond (previously) is an associate professor of biochemistry, molecular biology, and human genetics at the University of Chicago. A few years ago Drummond began turning his extensive research of fossils and prehistoric sea creatures into detailed computer renderings which he then 3D prints and casts in bronze. Although many of his sculptures are inspired by ancient creatures like the trilobite, which existed for over 270 million years before its extinction 250 years ago, he also creates modern-day insects such as praying mantises and large bug-eyed jumping spiders.

Drummond currently has a solo exhibition titled “Curiosity” at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle through January 6th, 2019. In addition to several large individual sculptures, the show features a grid of wall-mounted trilobites that pay homage to the work of the 19th-century illustrator and naturalist Ernst Haeckel. Visitors are encouraged to remove the bronze pieces to explore the underside in greater detail—a part of the creature which is often eroded in fossils over time. You can see more of Drummond’s metal recreations of animals past and present on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Twisting Bronze Figural Sculptures by Isabel Miramontes

April 28, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Image via Casart

Image via Casart

Spanish sculptor Isabel Miramontes creates figural bronze sculptures that bring a visual movement to ordinary silhouettes. Her works provide unusual shapes within the body of her subjects, opening up torsos to reveal elongated spirals and horizontal bars that seem to reveal an inner turmoil. Often the faces of her sculptures have blank or passive expressions, unknowing participants to the tangle of bronze which twists below. Miramontes is represented by Canfin Gallery in New York and Lucy B Campbell Gallery in London. You can also see more of her work at Galerie De Medicis.

Image via Casart

 

 

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