sculpture

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Art Design History

Artists Explore Self-Expression Through Bizarre and Whimsical Masks at Denver's Vicki Myhren Gallery

October 26, 2020

Christopher Jobson

Felicia Murray, “Our Dying Reefs,” felted COVID mask, 2020. All photos shared with permission.

There is perhaps no symbol more representative of contemporary life than the humble face mask. A simple health device crucial to saving millions of lives around the world from a deadly COVID-19 pandemic spread by invisible airborne pathogens, and yet an object that’s been quixotically politicized at the callous expense of humanity for the gain of an elite few. A new exhibition at the University of Denver’s Vicki Myhren Gallery approaches the lighter side of face coverings: the ancient tradition of masks as self-expression.

Arranged on mannequins lining the gallery space, over 40 artists present interpretations of protective face wear in MASK, currently on view by appointment through December 1, 2020. The collection of whimsical, grotesque, quirky, and beautiful masks are medically non-functional but guaranteed to provoke a reaction through their novel construction. Several designs mimic natural filtration systems like foliage or a coral reef, while others use repurposed objects like zippers or pipes to create wholly unusual face sculptures.

“Through this project, we hope to call attention to the significance and signification of masking as an issue of public health and demonstration of civic responsibility,” the gallery shares in a statement. “As the selected artists show, masking is also a mode of outward self-expression and opportunity for creativity. In turns utilitarian and fantastical, the wearable artworks shown demonstrate how makers and thinkers are engaging with the pandemic and applying their skills and individual styles to a newly important medium.”

As part of the exhibition, Vicki Myhren Gallery has partnered with Denver’s RedLine Contemporary Art Center to fabricate free masks for distribution for those in need. (via Hyperallergic)\

 

Scottie Burgess, “Mask for Our Unseen Smiles” (2020)

Serge Clottey, “Mask for Our Times” (2020) (photo by Nii Odzenma)

Elizabeth Morisette, “Beak” (2020)

Liz Sexton, Porcupinefish, 2020.

Freyja Sewell, “Food” from Key Worker Series (2020)

Matt Harris, “Hope” (2020); Cristina Rodo, “Covidus,” wet and needle-felted wool, 2020. Photo courtesy Emma Hunt.

Kate Marling, “Classical Sculpture Mask” (2020)

 

 

 



Art Craft

Oversized Spiders by Mister Finch Transform Vintage Textiles into Fairytale Sculptures

October 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Mister Finch, shared with permission

Leeds-based artist Mister Finch (previously) thrifts scraps of brocades and cottons to shape into fantastical creatures that are both whimsical and slightly unnerving. His recent pieces include a series of oversized spiders that the artist photographs suspended from the ceiling or scaling his workshop wall. “The past few years my work has become more sculpture-based with my creatures pretty much all stood up and attached to bases.” Finch writes. “I love the way this looks and enables me to dress and humanize them, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Although the ongoing pandemic has stifled the artist’s foraging of fabrics and other materials in recent months, Finch notes that he’s been pulling textiles from his home stash and occasionally visiting fairs and markets. He’s also been scaling down his sculptures so that they’re easier to handle without assistance.

Finch published two books filled with his fairytale-style sculptures and settings in recent years—and currently is working on a third—which you can purchase in his shop along with cards and totes. Dive further into his eccentric projects on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Lustrous Strips of Glass Bisect Debris, Bricks, and Semi-Precious Stones in Ramon Todo's Sculptures

October 16, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Debris” (2016), debris and layered glass. All images courtesy of Art Front Gallery, © Keiso Kioku, shared with permission

Between gnarly chunks of concrete, basalt pillars, and smooth rounds of lapis lazuli, Ramon Todo (previously) positions sleek segments of layered glass. The Tokyo-born artist splices fragments of found objects that otherwise would be regarded as refuse, like a crumbling brick from Iizuka City or coal waste, to repurpose the existing material with a lustrous embellishment.

Whether volcanic rock or chunks of demolished architecture, the resulting juxtapositions carry the original history, although they’re presented anew. “The characteristics of the place. The uniqueness of the place. Like the memories of the place and time,” the artist says in an interview about a recent solo show at Art Front Gallery in Tokyo. “I use the rocks, debris, Bota (stone similar to coal) for my works believing they have such memories inside. I used the glasses as material in the middle to peek into the time and the history of inside the rocks.”

Find more of Todo’s textured sculptures on Artsy, and see where his work is headed next on Art Front’s site.

 

(2015), basalt and glass

(2015), basalt and glass

“Debris 267703” (2016), debris and glass, 23 4/5 × 7 7/10 × 5 3/5 inches

Top: “Debris – 267411” (2014), debris and glass, 8 1/10 × 23 3/5 × 7 1/10 inches. Left: “o.T-GS” (2018) stone and layered glass, 11 × 16 1/2 × 8 3/10 inches. Right: “o.T. -dtk267801″ (2016), stone from Datekan and glass, 7 1/5 × 7 1/5 × 7 inches

(2015), basalt and glass

“Afghanistan” (2017), Lapis lazuli and glass, 7/10 × 2 1/2 × 1 3/5 inches

“Chikuho Coal waste #15” (2020), coal waste from Chikuho and glass, 12 3/5 × 12 1/10 × 5 3/5 inches

“Chikuho Red Brick” (2020), brick pieces collected from Iizuka City and glass, 7 1/5 × 4 2/5 × 2 2/5 inches

 

 



Art

Two Fabric Homes by Artist Do Ho Suh Float Above an Atrium in Incheon International Airport

October 13, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches. Images © Do Ho Suh, courtesy of Lehmann Maupin, shared with permission

Living and working in London, Korean artist Do Ho Suh (previously) is concerned with “home, physical space, displacement, memory, individuality, and collectivity,” ideas he evokes in his life-sized fabric sculptures and installations. His 2019 piece “Home within Home,” which is suspended from an atrium in Incheon International Airport in Seoul, positions two structures vertically, with the larger polyester and steel construction on top. This newer work evokes a similar piece from 2013, titled “Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home,” which placed replicas of Suh’s former living spaces within one another, from his first house in South Korea to an apartment building in Rhode Island.

Often using his own experiences as source material, Suh’s multi-media practice explores both the physical and metaphorical understandings of home as he considers the ways people occupy structures in specific times, locations, forms, and histories. “The spaces we inhabit also contain psychological energy, and in his work, he makes visible those markers of memories, personal experiences, and a sense of security, regardless of geographic location,” a statement about his practice says.

Suh is represented by Lehmann Maupin, and you can explore more of the artist’s architectural sculptures, installations, and smaller works on the international gallery’s site.

 

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches

“Home within Home” (2019), polyester fabric, stainless steel, 292.91 x 325.59 x 316.93 inches

“Passage/s” (2017)

“Passage/s” (2017)

 

 



Art

Using Shattered Ceramics, Artist Bouke de Vries Revitalizes Found Porcelain in New Sculptures

October 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Bouke de Vries, shared with permission

Bouke de Vries (previously) refers to some of his porcelain sculptures as “three-dimensional still lifes.” The artist, who was born in the Netherlands and now lives in London, creates sprawling assemblages that resemble a classic bowl of fruit or table setting frequently found in Dutch art. “I compose these pieces as, after the painter has finished with them, the ceramics get broken and decayed, and I breathe new life into them. The butterfly in still life is a symbol for the resurrection in (the) way I see what I do through my work,” he tells Colossal. In de Vries’s works, though, the seemingly mundane scenes are fractured with bursting ceramics, encroaching insects, and decaying fruit.

The artist began working with porcelain as a restorer for 15 years before embarking on his own practice, which begins with a search for broken pottery and glass shards. He never breaks an undamaged piece but rather revitalizes those that are damaged already by creating new figures that celebrate the beauty of their previous forms. With a penchant for Kintsugi, he often utilizes gold lacquer to highlight the repaired cracks.

Alongside sculptural still lifes, the figure of Guan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, mercy, and kindness, recurs in de Vries’s work. Often surrounded by cracked shards and recomposed garments, she conveys an ability for understanding and repair.

In recent weeks, de Vries has been working on commissions and new pieces, in addition to a large-scale project that spans the entrance of one of Sotheby’s Bond Street galleries, which you can see on Instagram. To find out more about the artist’s vision behind that piece, watch this interview. (via Cross Connect Magazine)

 

 

 



Art Craft

A Plant Overruns an Incredibly Intricate Cardboard Universe for Robots by Greg Olijnyk

September 18, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Greg Olijnyk, by Griffin Simm, shared with permission

Until now, Greg Olijnyk’s cardboard robots have been poised for adventure, whether perched on a speed bike or sailing an undulating sea. His meticulously crafted universe, though, has taken an eerie and slightly dystopic turn. The Melbourne-based artist presents fully articulate robots lying on an operating table and attempting to wrangle an aloe plant bound to a cage. Complete with LED lights and glass where necessary, the latest iteration even features an illustrated danger sign, warning that the plant will soon breach its enclosure.

To follow the latest sculptures in Olijnyk’s science-fiction inspired reality, head to Instagram, where he shares process shots and videos of the robots in action.