sculpture

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Art

Sweeping Gestures of Negative Space and Typography Complete Bronze Works by Jesús Curiá

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Uve” (2020), bronze, 17 7/10 × 15 2/5 × 9 1/10 inches

The bronze sculptures of Spanish artist Jesús Curiá are intentionally ambiguous. Evoking ancient relics, the patina-covered works denote no explicit gender or ethnicity. Instead, the sculptures center on nondescript figures severed by an abstract element or negative space. Whether signaling to another, marching downstairs, or grasping a skirted gown, the slim personas are often in motion. These decontextualized movements offer a glimpse into the modern condition as they fuse the most surreal aspects of experience with the real.

Dive into Curiá’s process, which includes a precise application of acid and fire, in this studio visit, and explore more of his evocative sculptures on Artsy.

 

“Nuntius” (2018), bronze and steel, 67 × 16 × 12 inches

“Sin Fin III/4” (ca. 2016), bronze and steel, 23 3/5 × 10 1/5 × 11 4/5 inches

Left: “Milenium III” (2020), bronze, 42 1/10 × 26 × 6 3/10 inches. Right: “Aire IV” (2013), bronze and iron, 18 9/10 × 7 9/10 × 5 1/2 inches

“Downstair,” bronze and iron, 34½  x 31½ x 8¾ inches

“Cuatro” (2019), bronze, 19 3/10 × 11 2/5 × 4 7/10 inches

“Decisión” (2011) bronze and iron

 

 



Art

Dizzying Kinetic Sculptures by Anthony Howe Billow and Writhe in the Wind

December 7, 2020

Grace Ebert

Washington-based artist Anthony Howe (previously) has mesmerized viewers for nearly a decade with towering kinetic sculptures that twist and turn with hypnotic motion. Weighing hundreds of pounds, the hefty artworks are activated with even the slightest breeze and resemble otherworldly organisms, four-legged creatures, and mechanisms as they coil in the wind. Howe documents his fabrication process for one of his works in a new video on his YouTube channel, where he shares a growing collection of sleek sculptures.

 

“Mums the Word,” 475 pounds, 206 x 96 x 60 inches

“In Cloud Light IV,” 830 pounds, 234 x 86 x 60 inches

 

 



Art

Paper Torsos Covered with Ancient Chinese Paintings by Peng Wei Reimagine Femininity

December 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Peng Wei, courtesy of Tina Keng Gallery, shared with permission

Through delicately layered flax and cotton paper, Peng Wei (previously) reconceptualizes common notions of femininity. The Chinese artist casts figurative sculptures depicting only the human torso, which are shapely in front and abstractly gathered in back. Inky tableaus of spectral figures, scenes of war, and domestic tasks all evoking ancient Chinese narratives—like Paragons of Feminine Virtue by Ming-dynasty thinker Lv Kun and Qing-dynasty novelist Pu Songling’s Strange Tales from the Chinese Studio—envelop the exterior. Combined with evocative poses, Peng’s freehand paintings subvert traditional understandings of women’s roles by removing their original context and displaying them anew.

Many of the delicately sculpted works shown here are part of Feminine Space, a collection that “privileges the female vantage point,” a statement says. Peng’s “stance is less an insouciant look from afar than an earnest gaze that pierces through the ancient works of Chinese literature.” If you’re in Taiwan, Feminine Space is on view through January 30, 2021, at Tina Keng Gallery. Otherwise, explore more of Peng’s work on Artsy.

 

 

 



Art

An Eccentric Cast of Hybrid Creatures Mirrors the Diversity and Humor of Human Experience

November 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

Right: “Eagle Pose” (Yoga Parakeet) (2016), stoneware and mixed media, 12 x 6 x 13 inches. All images of Alessandro Gallo, shared with permission

From a dowdy California quail to an incendiary horned lizard, Alessandro Gallo’s peculiar menagerie of animal-human hybrids is teeming with personality. The colorful characters reflect the breadth of interactions occurring every day throughout public spaces as folks encounter others unlike themselves, like a parakeet contorted into a yoga pose or a suit-wearing hooded merganser.

Based in Helena, Montana, the Italian artist likens the animalistic features to a mask or caricature. “I combine it with the silent language of our body and the cultural codes of what we wear in order to portray not only a specific individual, but also the larger groups and subcultures they belong to and, ultimately, the common habitat we all share,” he says.

Generally spanning one to two feet tall, the anthropomorphic sculptures are modeled after a meticulously rendered reference image complete with distinct choices on posture, clothing, and facial expression. Gallo creates an armature from plumber’s piping before hand-building the clay figures. As they dry, he carves in minute details and adds color with acrylic paints.

Gallo’s creatures are included in Intersect Chicago 2020, which runs through December 5. Based in Helena, he’s currently an Archie Bray Foundation resident, and you can find details about his process and works-in-progress on Instagram.

 

“Evening empire” (2019), ceramics and mixed media, 15 x 15 x 12 inches

Detail of “I will not burn bridges” (2020), stoneware and mixed media, 23 x 10 x 10 inches

“Jack of Spades” (2019)

“I Don’t Want to Grow Up” (Jonathan bearded dragon)(2016), stoneware and mixed media, 18 x 6 x 6 inches

“I will not burn bridges” (2020), stoneware and mixed media, 23 x 10 x 10 inches

“Lost in Thought” (2017) in collaboration with Beth Cavener

“We Are Not Who We Seem” (2016) in collaboration with Beth Cavener

 

 



Art

Steampunk Busts Sculpted from Resin and Repurposed Objects Evoke Futuristic Relics

November 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Hippy Betsoebe,” resin, recycled objects, and paint. All images © Tomàs Barceló, shared with permission

Spotted with corroded patches, Tomàs Barceló’s sculptures fuse classical antiquity and retro-futurism. The Cala Millor, Mallorca-based artist casts steampunk-style figures from resin and recycled objects that resemble ancient art while evoking otherworldly relics of an alternate reality.

Barceló sculpts the polychromatic artworks with a narrative and identity in mind, considering the way each will interact with others. He expands on the idea in a recent interview:

I believe that sculpture is the art of presence… Sculpture shares space and time with the viewer, and that is what makes it so powerful. That’s why I don’t try so much to tell stories as I try to create powerful presences, each in its own way. The fact that a small robot girl looks at you more intensely than you look at her, is fascinating to me.

Despite having created sculptures of clay, LEGO, and cardboard since childhood, Barceló fully immersed himself in the art world in 2014 after working for years as a high-school teacher. Throughout the 20 years leading up to his current practice, Barceló has realized the potential of juxtaposing traditional and fantastic elements. “For too long, I was focused only on the language of sculpture, and I forgot the content,” he says. “As if, to make a classical sculpture, I could only make naked figures; or if I wanted to make something of Egyptian-style, I had to make writings, and so on.”

Barceló lists available pieces on Etsy, and you can find more of his figurative sculptures on Instagram.

 

“Happy KAL-IX,” sculpted in clay and plaster, cast in resin and details added with epoxy and recycled objects, painted with shellac, acrylics, and metallic paint

“Happy KAL-IX,” sculpted in clay and plaster, cast in resin and details added with epoxy and recycled objects, painted with shellac, acrylics, and metallic paint

“WINNA-T,” resin

“WINNA-T,” resin

“Hippy Betsoebe,” resin, recycled objects, and paint

“Kek Betsoebe,” wall sculpture in resin, painted with shellac, acrylics, and metallic paint

“Kek Betsoebe,” wall sculpture in resin, painted with shellac, acrylics, and metallic paint

 

 



Art

Graffiti-Laden Shelters Arise From an Uncanny Post-Apocalyptic Universe Crafted in Miniature

November 19, 2020

Grace Ebert

“La Tourelle, IDF2068” (2020), 41 x 14 x 14. All images © Simon Laveuve, shared with permission

Enveloped by trailing vines and mosses, the dilapidated shelters that Paris-based artist Simon Laveuve crafts appear to emerge from a post-apocalyptic universe as eerie safe-havens. Often elevated aboveground, the miniature buildings feature vertical constructions with various platforms and stairs leading upward. “My pieces, for the most part, have this aspect of shelter… I like to work on the height and the inaccessible. Protection and surrender. Fallen icons and their symbolism. Resistance and insubordination,” the artist says.

Marked with signage and advertisements plastered on the walls, the decaying dioramas showcase an alternate world now abandoned. Graffiti marks the siding, and thick vegetation cradles the remaining environments. Each sculpture displays the destructive qualities of humanity, while ultimately showing the natural world’s ability to survive.

Laveuve’s shelters are featured in Small Scale, Big World: The Culture of Mini Crafts, which is available from Bookshop. Explore more of the uncanny works on the artist’s site and Instagram, where he also shares glimpses into his process.

 

Detail of “La Tourelle, IDF2068” (2020), 41 x 14 x 14

“Vestige IV” (2020), 26 x 10 x 8

“Station 9/4, IDF2068” (2019), 20 x 20 x 45

Detail of “Station 9/4, IDF2068” (2019), 20 x 20 x 45

“Le Navigator, IDF2068” (2020), 25 x 15 x 39