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Art

Copper Wire Weaves and Spirals into Organic Sculptural Forms by the Late Artist Bronwyn Oliver

May 11, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Ammonite” (2005), copper, 95 x 90 x 90 centimeters. All images courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney, shared with permission

Widely regarded as one of the most renowned sculptors in Australia, the late artist Bronwyn Oliver possessed an unparalleled ability to shape thin copper wire into intricate patterns. Her sculptures of ammonites, palm leaves, and single buds are minimal in form and incredibly detailed in construction, with oscillating lines delineating the edge of a fossil or an elaborate web expanding into a plump cherry blossom.

Evidence of Oliver’s devoted and time-consuming practice, the pieces are the result of intense twisting and brazing, a higher-temperature version of soldering. “My sculpture, I like to think of them as the bones of something. It might only be bone, but it might be the beginning or ending of something as well,” the artist says in a clip from the recent documentary about her life and work, The Shadows Withinthe trailer is available on YouTube, but the full documentary is only streaming in Australia at the moment.

Oliver has gained greater recognition in recent years and is included in the corrective exhibition held at The National Gallery of Australia. Know My Name, which runs through June 26, showcases works from dozens of women who’ve significantly contributed to the country’s culture. Oliver’s sculptures are housed in major Australian collections, including those at The National Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the National Gallery of Victoria, and her public pieces can be seen at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, the University of New South Wales, and Queen Street Mall in Brisbane. (via Women’s Art)

 

“Fringe” (2006), copper, 107 x 107 x 10 centimeters

“Sakura” (2006), copper, 48 x 48 x 20 centimeters

“Globe” (2002), copper, 2.5 meters in diameter

“Grandiflora (Bud)” (2005), copper, 60 x 58 x 58 centimeters

Left: “Palm” (1999), copper, 190 x 180 x 180 centimeters. Right: “Magnolia” (1999), copper, 210 x 150 x 150 centimeters

“Grandiflora (Bloom)” (2005), copper, 63 x 63 x 55 centimeters

“Eyrie” (1993), copper, bronze, 500 x 200 x 50 centimeters

 

 



Art Craft

Spikes, Rusted Wire, and Scissors Bind Shattered Porcelain in Sculptures by Glen Taylor

April 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Glen Taylor, shared with permission

A visual metaphor for imperfection and the possibilities of repair, the porcelain sculptures created by Ohio-based artist Glen Taylor (previously) are steeped in contrast. Soldered spikes confront the gilded, floral designs on a stack of teacups, a rusted pair of scissors binds shards of a plate, and wire restrains a concrete hand as it lurches from dinnerware. In his most recent pieces, Taylor also draws on his background in ceramics, creating the witty “Introvert Mug” with the handle strategically placed inside the vessel.

Some of the artist’s antagonistic sculptures are included in Overdose, a group exhibition at Design Museum Holon, and you can peruse an archive of his works on Instagram.

 

“Detached”

“What Heals You”

“Introvert Mug”

“The Reluctance”

 

 



Art Craft

Skeletal Lace Patterns Define the Copper Wire Vessels of Artist Suzanne Shafer-Wilson

April 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Suzanne Shafer-Wilson, shared with permission

At once malleable in material and secure in shape, the vessels that comprise Suzanne Shafer-Wilson’s body of work are intricate studies of texture, pattern, and space. The Illinois-based artist loops and twists lengths of wire into intricate baskets that range in size from 20 inches tall to the width of a fingertip. Using a technique similar to the one employed by sculptor Ruth Asawa to create her rounded, metallic forms, Shafer-Wilson works with an Italian needle lace method designed for fibers like wool and silk. She intertwines brass, copper, or sterling silver in place of textiles and fashions porous vessels with wide, gaping bodies and elaborately constructed outer walls.

If you’re in Chicago, you can see some of Shafer-Wilson’s sculptures at Vale Craft Gallery. Otherwise, head to her site to explore an archive of her works.

 

 

 



Art Design Food

Thin Strips of Metal and Spaghetti Connect in Architectural Collars and Headdresses

April 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Fabienne.” All images © Alice Pegna, by Jacques Peg, shared with permission

Paris-based designer and artist Alice Pegna revolves her practice around structures. She’s concerned with both the relationship between individual components and how a larger framework responds to its environment, and her pieces tend to amplify the connection between adornment and the human body. “The structure is an integral part of the universe,” she tells Colossal. “It is not always visible, yet always present, material or immaterial, just like our body, our thoughts, and our life.”

This interest culminates in her architectural body of work that’s comprised of sculptural garments, headdresses, and accessories with sharp points and acute angles. Previously working primarily with uncooked spaghetti, Pegna’s new collection incorporates thin strips of metal that similarly hug the wearer’s form with geometric detail. The pieces were created in collaboration with the Phoenix Alternative Model association for Paris Fashion Week 2021 and worn by models with physical disabilities to highlight their figures. All of the works, which are photographed against stark black backdrops on minimal mannequins, rely on negative space to alter how the body is viewed without obscuring it entirely.

For more of Pegna’s intricate constructions, visit her site and Instagram.

 

“Anna”

“Barbe”

“Crete”

“Clemence”

“Crete”

“Parure”

 

 



Art

A New Book Explores the Innovative Sculptures of Abstract Artist El Anatsui

March 30, 2022

Kate Mothes

All images courtesy of Damiani Publishing, shared with permission

Ghanaian-born Nigeria-based artist El Anatsui is known for sprawling metal sculptures that drape, twist, and fold across expansive surfaces in colorful, undulating patterns. A forthcoming book, El Anatsui: The Reinvention of Sculpture, traces his work and career that has pushed the boundaries of sculpture, starting with the terracotta pieces made in the late 1970s. In the following decade, he transitioned to using wood and began to experiment with scale, layers, color, and pattern. These pieces led to the development of his larger metal works, which are made by manually cutting, twisting, or flattening pieces of aluminum such as bottle caps and then stitching the material together with copper wire, creating enormous, textile-like sculptures.

Published by Damiani, the new 360-page volume is the product of more than three decades of research and collaboration with the artist by scholars Okwui Enwezor and Chika Okeke-Agulu, who place Anatsui’s work in the historical context of post-independence Ghana and mid-20th century African modernism in art and writing. Hundreds of color images examine the sculptures in detail, giving the reader an in-depth insight into the artist’s process, how transformation is central to his pieces, and how his approach evolved over time.

El Anatsui: The Reinvention of Sculpture is now available in the U.K. and can be purchased from Damiani. It will be released in late April in the U.S. and is available for pre-order from Bookshop.

 

 

 



Art

Coiled Cats, Parrots, and Deer Form a Menagerie of Metal Animal Sculptures by Lee Sangsoo

February 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Lee Sansgsoo, shared with permission

Lee Sangsoo (previously) bends angular strips of metal into coiled bellies and long, curled tails that form the bodies of his colorful creatures. The Seoul-based artist is known for his minimal sculptures in stainless steel that mimic line drawings in three dimensions. Shaped with as few metal components as possible and painted in subtle gradients or fantastical hues, Lee’s animals range from a pair of cats and a parrot on a perch to deer and flamingos, all of which exude energy and vitality.

The artist has a solo exhibition in Singapore slated for July, and you can see more of his process, which starts with digital renderings before he shapes the final forms, on Instagram.