sculpture

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Art

Through Organic Sculptural Furniture, Artist Nacho Carbonell Channels the Sensual Details of the Mediterranean

June 29, 2022

Grace Ebert

“One-Seater Concrete Tree” (2022), metal mesh, cork, steel, concrete, light fittings, 139 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 112 1/4 inches. All images courtesy of Carpenters Workshop Gallery, shared with permission

Evoking the textures and colors of his native Valencia, the sculptural furniture pieces by Spanish artist Nacho Carbonell are sensual interpretations of life in the Mediterranean. A bulbous, metal mesh canopy sprouts from a rugged pink seat, small wooden sticks comprise the sinuous patterns on a buffet, and a vibrant mosaic takes the form of a headphone-shaped lamp. Tactile and potentially functional, the objects reference the natural, sun-soaked environment of Carbonell’s childhood, in addition to art historical traditions like those of 15th Century painter Hieronymus Bosch and 20th Century Austrian sculptor Franz West.

Constructed from a wide array of recycled and industrial materials like glass bottles and concrete, the works are largely organic and archaeological, rooted in personal memories the artist likens to fossils. He tells designboom:

I learned that when you build something, nature can take over. Here, in this context is where I learned it. But this is not unique in the world, it is happening everywhere. So I just take [the natural elements] and I appropriate them because they are part of me… I feel entitled to say ‘Because we grew together, I can use you in my work to create this narrative for others, to let them know that you exist here.’

Carbonell’s works are on view through September 9 at the new Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Los Angeles, and you can find more from the artist, who is currently based in Eindhoven, on his site.

 

“Contain Nature Cabinet” (2022), metal body, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, metal mesh, spray varnish finish, 84 5/8 x 61 1/8 x 24 3/4 inches

“Candy Cotton Long Coccoon Chandelier” (2022), metal mesh with paverpol and pigments, metal welded branch, silicone cable, light fittings, 31 1/2 x 106 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches

Detail of “One-Seater Concrete Tree” (2022), metal mesh, cork, steel, concrete, light fittings, 139 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 112 1/4 inches

“Broken Glass Rainbow” (2022), broken blown glass bubbles, metal welded branch, stone base, silicone cable, light fittings, 37 3/4 x 35 3/8 x 15 3/8 inches

Detail of “Candy Cotton Long Coccoon Chandelier” (2022), metal mesh with paverpol and pigments, metal welded branch, silicone cable, light fittings, 31 1/2 x 106 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches

“Archaeological Folding Screen” (2022), metal structure and pink concrete, 76 3/4 x 89 3/8 x 11 3/4 inches

“Pink Wooden Stick Buffet” (2022), wood structure, sand, paverpol, wooden sticks, spray varnish finish, 31 7/8 x 104 3/4 x 20 7/8 inches

 

“Dried Cabinet” (2022), metal body, sand, paverpol, plaster, spray, varnish finish, 68 1/8 x 52 3/8 x 15 3/4 inches

“Colorful Rainbow” (2022), wood, colored marmol sand, paverpol, metal mesh, concrete, spray varnish finish, 31 1/8 x 72 1/2 x 31 1/8 inches

 

 

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Art

Paper Show: A Group Exhibition Highlights 14 Artists Exploring the Vast Potential of Paper

June 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

Julia Ibbini. All images courtesy of Heron Arts, shared with permission

One of the most reliable communication materials for centuries, paper historically has served as a vessel, a container for notes or the foundation of an artwork. An upcoming group exhibition at Heron Arts, though, focuses on the humble medium itself and highlights 14 contemporary artists expanding its creative potential. Paper Show features an array of styles, structures, and techniques from the whimsical mobiles of Yuko Nishikawa and Roberto Benavidez’s piñatas to Julia Ibbini’s laser-cut motifs and typographic messages from Judith + Rolfe. Opening July 9, the exhibition will be up through August at the San Francisco gallery. You also might enjoy this book that looks at the artists defining the medium.

 

Yuko Nishikawa

Pippa Dyrlaga

Julia Ibbini

Roberto Benavidez

Roberto Benavidez

Pippa Dyrlaga

Judith + Rolfe

Ale Rambar

Huntz Lui

Huntz Lui

 

 



Art

Wangechi Mutu’s Sculptures in Bronze Populate Storm King Art Center with Mythical Beings

June 22, 2022

Grace Ebert

“In Two Canoe” (2022). All images courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery, by David Regen, shared with permission

Storm King Art Center is situated on the ancestral homelands of the Lenape, a reference point that Kenyan-American artist Wangechi Mutu returns to for a new exhibition at the outdoor museum in Hudson Valley. Comprised of her signature sculptures of immense hybrid figures, the largely bronze body of work addresses settler-colonialism and the inextricable tie between people and the land.

Perpetually evoking nature and mythology to address historical issues of contemporary relevance, Mutu positions women as the most powerful, revering their physical form and highlighting their innate connection to ecology. The artist’s latest work, “In Two Canoe,” features a pair of figures with branch-like appendages momentarily straddling a skinny vessel, their faces wrapped in mangrove leaves. “This plant has moved everywhere, has made journeys like those who were kidnapped from Africa and taken to the Americas. The water seals this unified story we’ve created for ourselves. We are all connected on this sphere of Earth and the water is how we go and find each other,” Mutu says in an interview.

Also on the Museum Hill site is the regal “Crocodylus,” a sleek reptilian creature that faces an opening in the trees. The scaly form corresponds with the massive coiled snake that occupies “Nyoka,” one of five sculptural baskets spread across the meadow. Inside the center are smaller earthen works constructed with natural materials like bone and soil gathered near her Nairobi studio.

Mutu’s sculptures are on view at Storm King through November 7, and she’s hosting a film screening at the museum on September 3. To follow her practice, head to Instagram.

 

“Crocodylus” (2020)

“In Two Canoe” (2022)

“Shavasana II” (2019)

Detail of “Nyoka” (2022)

“Crocodylus” (2020)

Detail of “Shavasana II” (2019)

“Nyoka” (2022)

 

 



Art

Notches, Scores, and Gouges Add Textured Pattern to Kokemusu Mokkou’s Carved Wooden Creatures

June 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Kokemusu Mokkou, shared with permission

Japanese artist Tomohiro Suzuki is behind the minimal wooden menagerie of Kyoto-based workshop Kokemusu Mokkou. From hunks of walnut, Suzuki carves miniature sculptures of wildlife like antelope, elephants, and bears, with innumerable divots and gouges forming the distinct textured patterns of their coats or skin. The artist tells Colossal that he focuses on achieving the natural shape of a hind leg or tusk first and uses the small impressions to add tactile depth to the creatures, which often appear mid-movement atop their metallic supports. Suzuki has a few pieces available from Eckepunkt, and you can follow his latest works on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

A Daily Sculpture Project by Frode Bolhius Spawns a Quirky Colorful Cast of Tiny Figures

June 16, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images Frode Bolhius, shared with permission

Wander into Frode Bolhuis’s Almere-based studio, and you’ll be introduced to an entire cast of characters pinned to the wall. There’s one figure picking at the tufts of her broom-like head, another sporting a bubble gum pink suit resembling the Michelin man, and a woman swaddled in a cozy, fabric cocoon.

Sculpted primarily from polymer clay, the miniature works are part of the Dutch artist’s ongoing project that involves creating a few of the colorful personas each week. “They are small sculptures, intuitively made in one, two, or three days,” he says. “And the magic is that they start to live a life of their own. They kind of appear while working, one leading to the other, different every time.”

He’s made 65 pieces since starting the series in February—see the most recent addition on Instagram—with myriad garments and accessories crafted from textiles, wood, plastic, and metal and finished with paint and gold detail. Similar to other projects of this nature, the goal is “to be in the creative process all the time. Nothing big, long, or complex to take me out of that,” he shares.

Bolhius has a few works on view in a group show at Museum de Voorde in Zoetermeer, Netherlands, through July 10, and you can pick up a copy of his book Magic on his site.

 

 

 



Art

Deceptive Stone Sculptures by Hirotoshi Ito Unzip to Reveal Surreal Scenes in Miniature

June 15, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Hirotoshi Ito, shared with permission

Stone isn’t naturally malleable, and yet, Japanese artist Hirotoshi Ito (previously) carves his sculptures to make the material appear as if it can be unzipped or sliced with a butter knife. Using rocks he finds near his home in Matsumoto City, Ito chisels tiny caverns that he lines with clasps or simple fasteners. He then tucks miniature objects like teeth, a collection of seashells, and futuristic scenes into those pockets, creating surreal and intriguingly deceptive scenarios in the span of a few inches.

Ito’s family has worked in stone sculpting since 1879, and although he planned to take over the business, his experience studying metalsmithing in college prompted him to begin an art practice instead. Some of his sculptures are on view through the end of the month at Tokyo’s Gallery Little High, and keep an eye on his Instagram for news about upcoming shows.