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Art

Colorful Strips of Metal Coil into Minimal Animal Sculptures by Artist Lee Sangsoo

October 12, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Lee Sangsoo, shared with permission

Considering his practice a form of “drawing in the air,” artist Lee Sangsoo forges colorful, spiraled flamingos, dogs, parrots, and other creatures with long strips of metal. He sculpts the minimal works with resin or stainless steel depending on the size—he uses the latter for any piece that spans more than one meter—and coats each angled side with subtle gradients or a complementary palette. Although three-dimensional and sometimes so large that they tower over the landscape, the creatures are inspired by Picasso’s small, abstract animal drawings, which the artist explains:

Lines, planes, and colors are important elements that work in my work. The lines drawn in the two-dimensional sketchbook determine the large flow and form of the work, and it becomes three-dimensional in the three-dimensional space. The square lines are shown in various shapes and colors according to the flow and twist, and you can feel the dynamism in the still work. Also, depending on the flow, the thickness of the lines may be rhythmically thickened or thinned.

Some of Lee’s works are on view as part of KIAF Seoul, and you can find more of the twisted menagerie on his Instagram. (via Lustik)

 

 

 



Art

Unearthly Anatomical Works Sculpted in Crystal and Glass by Debra Baxter Explore Grief and Loss

October 8, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Catch your Breath” (2021), alabaster, bronze, and druzy snow chalcedony, 10 x 10 x 5 inches. All images courtesy of form & concept, shared with permission

Artist and jewelry designer Debra Baxter (previously) explores the endurance of grief, mortality, and human bonds in Love Tears. Comprised of anatomical and figurative sculptures, the multifaceted series blend alabaster, quartz, and wood with delicate glass or metal to create forms that contrast the fragility of the body and natural world with the rugged topographies of crystals and rock.

Simultaneously corporeal and unearthly, the spliced works evoke the Victorian tradition of mourning jewelry, which used various motifs and deep colors as memorials. In “Catch Your Breath,” for example, branch-like veins in bronze sprawl throughout crystalline lungs, while “Love Hard” bisects a smooth, glass heart with spiky quartz. “There’s inevitable pain in every form of love,” Baxter says about the series. “I’m fascinated by the ways in which we decorate this grief and mourning, and I wanted to see how far I could push myself with balancing the immediate, often ornate, demonstration of loss, and my use of permanent materials. This is about loss and legacy.”

Love Tears will be on view at Santa Fe’s form & concept gallery from October 29, 2021, to January 15, 2022, and you can find more of Baxter’s bodily works on Instagram.

 

“Crystal Brass Knuckles (forever)” (2021), sterling silver and quartz, 5 x 4.5 x 2 inches

Left: “Soften the Blow” (2021), walnut and glass, 9.25 x 10 x 7.5 inches. Right: “Tear Jerker” (2021), alabaster and glass, 9 x 6 x 6 inches

“Love Hard” (2020), glass and quartz, 8 x 3 x 3.5 inches

Left: Detail of “Ear to the Ground” (2020), alabaster and glass, 10 x 4 x 3 inches. Right: “See No Evil” (2020), alabaster and green onyx, 12 x 7 x 4 inches

“Holding It Together” (2021), bronze and amethyst, 9 x 16 x 5 inches

 

 



Art

Innumerable Metal Leaves and Flowers Cloak Intricately Sculpted Animals by Taiichiro Yoshida

September 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

“The Dog in the Night Fog”

Japanese artist Taiichiro Yoshida (previously) continues his surveys into the possibilities of metalsmithing with a new series of elaborately layered sculptures. Spending between two and six months on each work, Yoshida meticulously molds copper, bronze, silver, and other materials by hand, creating countless metallic pieces with intricately impressed textures and edgings. Once wrapped around an armature of a dog, chick, or stuffed teddy bear, the fragile components ripple across the form, or as is the case with “The Dog in the Night Fog,” they appear as dozens of butterflies poised for flight. Explore a larger collection of Yoshida’s wrought sculptures on his site.

 

“Shell.” All images © Taiichiro Yoshida, shared with permission

Detail of “The Dog in the Night Fog”

“Red chick no. 6”

“Vessel”

“Calico”

“Doppel”

“Mottled rabbit”

 

 



Art Craft

Wrinkled Drapery and Speckled Orbs Disguise the Figures of Jessica Calderwood's Peculiar Sculptures

August 24, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Digging Heels,” copper, enamel, blown glass, porcelain, glass pins, and milk paint, 4 x 6 x 12 inches. All images © Jessica Calderwood, courtesy of Momentum Gallery, shared with permission

Indiana-based artist Jessica Calderwood imbues her whimsically camouflaged figures with questions about the female psyche. Whether covered by a polka-dotted orb or stuck in a ruffled tube of fabric, her nondescript women are temporarily trapped by their environments, their only defining features the sleek black pumps or striped kneesocks that stick out from their disguise. This concealment, Calderwood says, serves as “a negation, a censoring or denial of what lies beneath. These anthropomorphic beings are at once, powerful and powerless, beautiful and absurd, inflated, and amputated.”

Deftly melding historical techniques with contemporary themes of identity, each of the works is rooted in traditional craftsmanship. A focus on mixed media is at the center of Calderwood’s broad body of work, which spans metalsmithing, jewelry, and wall-based ceramics, and many of her projects blend materials like enamel, porcelain, polymer clay, and felted wool to further evoke craft forms.

Many of the pieces shown here are all on view at Asheville’s Momentum Gallery through September 7, and you can find more of Calderwood’s peculiar sculptures on her site and Instagram.

 

“Plop,” copper, enamel, porcelain, glass micro-beads, milk paint, and gold luster, 6 x 8 x 6 inches

“Ivory Tower,” copper, brass, polymer, blown glass, vintage plastic buttons, glass pinheads, porcelain, milk paint, and enamel, 5 x 10 x 10 inches

“Stacked,” aluminum, powder coating, cast bronze, brass, blown glass, ceramic decals, porcelain, and milk paint, 15 x 6 x 6 inches

“Shortcake” (2019), copper, enamel, porcelain, rayon flocking, glass head pins, and milk paint

Left: “Succulent” (2014), slip-cast vitreous china, brass, stainless steel, polymer clay, milk paint, 5 x 4 x 4 inches. Right: “Shade” (2017), slip-cast vitreous china, felted wool, head pins, milk paint, stainless steel, and sterling silver, 6 x 4 x 4 inches

“Public and Private,” copper, electroplated enamel, porcelain, milk paint, and steel, 7 x 13 x 4 inches

“Spout,” copper, enamel, glass microbeads, porcelain, pearls, sterling silver, and milk paint, 9 x 5 x 4 inches

“Twist,” copper, enamel, glass seed beads, powder coating, porcelain, milk paint, and brass, 9 x 9 x 5 inches

 

 



Art

Expressive Portraits Made as Scrap-Metal Mosaics Question Societal Notions of Value

July 19, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Matt Small, shared with permission

At the heart of Matt Small’s practice is the idea that “there’s always potential within everything.” The British artist gravitates toward an overarching theme of disregard in both subject matter and material, choosing oxidized hunks of iron, bits of patinaed copper, and crinkled aluminum strips that have been relegated to the trash to construct his metallic portraits.

Expressive and emotionally charged, the corroded mosaics link rampant overconsumption and widespread tendencies to throw away what’s deemed obsolete or undesirable to the ways adolescents are marginalized and subsequently not seen as viable members of society. “Because of the social backgrounds they come from, young people find themselves overlooked, disregarded, and left uninvested in,” the artist says. “Marrying the discarded item and painting a portrait of a young person on it or utilizing the material to construct a mosaic face, I hope that the viewer sees that everybody and everything has a right to be viewed as valuable and of worth. It’s just up to us to see that.”

 

Detail of “Jake” (2020), assembled metal on wooden board, 35.5 x 35.5 inches

In a conversation with Colossal, Small references Marcel Duchamp’s urinal and the way that readymade sculpture upended long-standing notions of worth as a foundational concept he draws on his own practice. By turning debris and seemingly useless materials into works of significance, he hopes to prompt questions about the arbitrary values assigned to objects and people alike, explaining:

The scrap metal has worth because of what I did with it, not because I say it is of worth. The rusted tin can becomes a tone in the face. The shiny metal brings out a highlight on the forehead. All these worthless items have been incorporated into something that someone may now appreciate, and the potential of this scrap item can now be realized.

Small, who lives in his hometown of Camden, currently has work on view as part of Vanguard, which is considering the role of Bristol-area artists who’ve had an outsized impact on British street art since the 1980s. The extensive exhibition, which includes memorabilia and dozens of originals works, is open at M Shed through October 31. If you’re in London, watch for a large-scale mural portrait of the young British entrepreneur Jamal Edwards that Small is working on in Acton, and follow the artist on Instagram to stay up to date with his latest projects.

 

“Jake” (2020), assembled metal on wooden board, 35.5 x 35.5 inches

 

 



Art

Unruly Metals and Barbs Repair Broken Porcelain Dinnerware by Glen Taylor

July 15, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Glen Taylor, shared with permission

Ohio-based artist Glen Taylor (previously) mends porcelain dinnerware with brutal bits of metal and soldering that starkly contrast their smooth, delicate counterparts. Lengths of rusted barbed wire bind two halves of a teacup, sharp spikes border a saucer painted with flowers, and mangled silverware is piled in messy assemblages reminiscent of dinner-party aftermath. In recent months, Taylor’s repaired interventions have grown in size and scope, from single-serving dishes patched with a pair of jeans to full-scale tables set for eight.

In a note to Colossal, the artist shares that he’s in the midst of preparing for an exhibition this fall, and you can keep an eye out for details about that show on Instagram.

 

 

 

A Colossal

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