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Gateshead, UK

The Angel of the North statue is covered in snow,

as a yellow weather warning for snow and ice remains in place

for the eastern coast,

stretching from Scotland to East Anglia

 

Photograph: Owen Humphreys

PA

 

A helicopter crash and a cat in the wild:

photos of the day – Friday

The Guardian’s picture editors select photographs

from around the world

G

Fri 1 Dec 2023    13.43 CET

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2023/dec/01/
helicopter-crash-and-cat-in-wild-photos-of-the-day-friday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gateshead, England

A dusting of snow decorates the Angel of the North in Gateshead

 

Photograph: Owen Humphreys

PA

 

A Nasa capsule and wintry weather: Monday’s best photos

The Guardian’s picture editors select photo highlights from around the world

G

Mon 12 Dec 2022    12.57 GMT

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2022/dec/12/
a-nasa-capsule-and-wintry-weather-mondays-best-photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Moore sculpture.

 

Reclining Figure (1951)

outside the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge,

is characteristic of Moore's sculptures,

with an abstract female figure intercut with voids.

 

There are several bronze versions of this sculpture,

but this one is made from painted plaster.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Moore

 

Image: HenryMoore RecliningFigure 1951.jpg from Wikipedia

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e1/HenryMoore_RecliningFigure_1951.jpg

added 25 July 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Moore sculpture.

Killian Court. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Canon EOS-5, 15mm fisheye lens

copyright 1995-1996
philg@mit.edu

http://photo.net/photo/pcd2388/henry-moore-23.tcl

added 25 July 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthony caro's "Jupiter."

Mitchell-Inness & Nash

 A Passage for the Master of Heavy Metal

NYT

July 25, 2007

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/
arts/design/25caro.html 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strike: To Roberta and Rudy, 1969–71.

Hot-rolled steel, 96 x 288 x 1 inches.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum,

Panza Collection. 91.3871.

© 2005 Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS),

New York.

http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_work_md_144A_7.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antony Gormley > London sculpture

1 of 31 life-size figures on London's skyline

Author: Antony McCallum

Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Gormley-event-horizon.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'performing' sculptures        UK

 

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jul/31/
tate-2015-programme-calder-hepworth-pollock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Presence: The Art of Portrait Sculpture – review    3 June 2012

Holburne Museum, Bath

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/jun/03/
presence-art-portrait-sculpture-holburne-review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sculptor        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/
arts/design/john-mccracken-sculptor-of-geometric-forms-dies-at-76.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

women sculptors        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/may/22/
sarah-lucas-polly-morgan-female-sculptors 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

workshop        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/apr/29/
michael-landy-patron-destruction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

model        USA

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/15/
obituaries/audrey-munson-overlooked.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grand sculptures > Antony Gormley        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/
gormley

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Angel_of_the_North

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2023/dec/01/
helicopter-crash-and-cat-in-wild-photos-of-the-day-friday

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2022/dec/12/
a-nasa-capsule-and-wintry-weather-mondays-best-photos

 

 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/jun/03/antony-gormley-lights-white-cube

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/
gormley-reveals-labyrinthine-artwork-1990527.html - 3 June 2010

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2010/mar/10/antony-gormley-new-york-sculptures

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art-and-architecture/news/
modern-public-artworks-are-crap-says-gormley-this-is-how-it-should-be-done-791922.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/gallery/2007/may/15/1?picture=329852334

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/gallery/2007/may/03/art?picture=329805762

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/jun/25/
art

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/jun/25/
art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antony Gormley > angel of the North        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2023/dec/01/
helicopter-crash-and-cat-in-wild-photos-of-the-day-friday

 

https://www.theguardian.com/news/gallery/2022/dec/12/
a-nasa-capsule-and-wintry-weather-mondays-best-photos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

metal sculptures > Richard Serra        UK

 

https://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2007/serra/ 

 

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,1329744,00.html

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/johntusainterview/serra_transcript.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

metal sculptures > Anthony Caro        UK

 

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/news/story/0,,2134196,00.html

 

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,2078342,00.html

 

http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1385495,00.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1164240,00.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

neon sculptures > Chryssa        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/
arts/chryssa-artist-who-saw-neons-potential-as-a-medium-dies-at-79.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kinetic sculpture        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/apr/29/
michael-landy-patron-destruction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sound sculpture / a sound piece        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2007/apr/17/
art.jonathanjones  

 

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2004/oct/12/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fibreglass sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

steel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

plastic        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/arts/design/15kauffman.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

papier mache        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/may/07/
household-favourites-everyday-objects-in-papier-mache-bernie-kaminski-in-pictures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ceramics        USA

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/25/
arts/design/ken-price-sculptor-who-helped-elevate-ceramics-dies-at-77.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

steel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

crushed-up cars        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/dec/22/
john-chamberlain-sculptor-cars-dies 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sculptural installation        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/dec/05/
martin-boyce-turner-prize-winner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

conceptual Art movement        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/
arts/design/michael-asher-artist-dies-at-69.html

 

 

 

 

conceptual artist        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/
arts/design/on-kawara-conceptual-artist-who-found-elegance-in-every-day-dies-at-81.html

 

 

 

 

British pop art        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2005/apr/22/obituaries

 

 

 

 

statue        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2012/oct/11/
damien-hirst-statue-monstrosity

 

 

 

 

Duane Hanson, American Photorealist Sculptor        USA        1925-1996

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duane_Hanson

 

 

 

 

carve        UK

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/aug/25/
female-uk-sculptures-women

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking the Tate into the future

Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent

The Guardian        p. 9

Monday September 12, 2005

https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2005/sep/12/
arts.artsnews1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

iconoclasm        UK

 

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/jul/05/
tate-art-under-attack-british-iconoclasm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guardian        p. 3        22 September 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Ray's "Unpainted Sculpture" (1997)

Photograph: Craig Lassig for The New York Times

April 15, 2005

NYT

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/15/
arts/design/probing-fringes-finding-stars.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corpus of news articles

 

Arts > Sculpture

 

 

 

Art Review | Alexander Calder

Calder at Play:

Finding Whimsy in Simple Wire

 

October 17, 2008
The New York Times
By HOLLAND COTTER

 

Is art basically glorified child’s play, extending into adulthood, through a lifetime, picking up ideas and gaining finesse as it goes? That’s one way to think of “Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Few exhibitions have focused so intently on one artist’s child within. It’s a Peter Pan syndrome show.

It’s also a large show, with a chunky, charming catalog. Yet it feels intimate and light, not to say lightweight. Gallery by gallery, it’s as suspenseful and insubstantial as a magic act: what will the artist pull from his sleeve next? The story it tells is like a Kids R Us version of early 20th-century Modernism, with a grown-up surprise at the end.

Calder didn’t start out with ambitions to be an artist; if anything, he was pulled in the opposite direction. He watched his father, a professional sculptor, fret over commissions and struggle with money. So when it came time for college the young Calder chose an engineering school in New Jersey over art school.

But of course he was an artist, a natural. He may just not have known at first what that meant. Even as a child he was astonishingly inventive. The tiny figure of a rocking-horse-style bird shaped from brass sheeting is, for economy of form and conceptual daring, one of the more radical works in the show. He made it when he was 11.

He made stuff all the time. He was one of those people with nonstop eyes and hands: every scrap of stray matter was a candidate for transformation. Give him some wire, clothespins and a scrap of cloth and, presto chango, you had a bird or a cow or a circus clown: nothing, then something, which is what magic is.

There’s a hyperactive pace to his early career. While working at engineering jobs after college, he was also drawing like crazy and designing toys. In 1923 he enrolled at the Art Students League to study painting; John Sloan and George Luks were his teachers. At the same time he took on illustrating gigs for publications like The New Yorker and The National Police Gazette.

His academic drawings from the time are gauche and ordinary. The staying-still-in-a-studio they required obviously cramped his style. Much fresher is the dashed-off, manic-looking magazine work. And his Ash Can School-type paintings of New York scenes — a drunken party; a trip to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus — have a gawky spark of life. Then there are his pen-and-ink drawings of zoo animals. They’re in a different category, almost by a different artist, one more relaxed and assured. Often done as one continuous line, they are like an effortlessly sophisticated form of penmanship. So are some of the openwork sculptures of bent and twisted wire that he began to experiment with at this time.

In 1926, with all these balls in the air, he suddenly moved to Paris, because motion for him was a stimulant and because he felt that Paris was the hot place to be, which it was. With its crowded cafes, charged thinking, endless talking and jumpy personalities, the city was hyperkinetic. Calder fell in love with it. And, although he continued to return to New York for long stretches, he made Paris his home base for seven years.

His wire sculpture took off there. Several examples in the form of portrait heads are the first thing you see when you step off the elevator on the Whitney’s fourth floor. They’re an arresting sight, in a gently wow-inspiring way. Wows were what Calder was after, along with chuckles and satisfied ahs. He was a showman, a performer. “See what I can do, right before your eyes, without even trying?” his art seems to say.

For his purposes industrial steel wire was an ideal medium. It was cheap, malleable, portable and equally adaptable to precision work and doodling, which to him were almost the same thing. Wire was like three-dimensional ink; it was a means of combining drawing and sculpture in space.

In the Paris years he used it for portraiture. His first subject was a star he admired from afar, Josephine Baker. She was the toast of the town in the 1920s. One look at film clips of her dancing a semi-nude Charleston tells you why. Calder made five small Baker figures; four are in the show. With their tiny heads, spiraling breasts and long, long single-strand legs, they catch something of the image Baker wanted to project: that of an ethnographic specimen come to irrepressibly self-amused life.

He made other figures too, of the tennis champion Helen Wills, of John D. Rockefeller playing golf. They are the work of a pop illustrator, clever but nothing special. But for people he actually knew, portrait heads were the form of choice. Of the 18 examples in the show, most depict people Calder had met in avant-garde circles in Paris, including celebrity friends like Edgard Varèse, Joan Miró and Alice Prin, the multitasking muse better known as Kiki de Montparnasse. You can see why Calder did these likenesses: they were an attention-getting novelty; they advertised his skill; they gave him a pretext to network.

They also look as if they were fun to make. One of the attractive features of Calder’s art from this period is its gee-I-could-do-that unpretentiousness. At the same time each is a fabulous little virtuosic feat, abstract but exacting. Set on bases or freely suspended, and casting subtle shadows — Jennifer Tipton, the theatrical lightning designer, was in charge of illumination — the portraits have the wit and refinement that will show up again in Calder’s first abstract sculptures.

Refinement is not a quality associated with the famously funky tabletop assemblage known as Calder’s Circus. A prime draw of the Whitney’s permanent collection, it has rarely been off view since the museum acquired it 25 years ago. But it gets a rethinking here.

Up to now it has been exhibited as a compact, one-ring affair with its many tiny handmade figures — clowns, acrobats, animal trainers and so on — doing all the varied things they do at once. The show’s curators, Joan Simon of the Whitney and Brigitte Leal of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, have separated the components into individual acts meant to be seen as taking place sequentially, a format that corresponds to the way Calder himself presented the work in live performances.

You can see him giving one in a 1955 film by Jean Painlevé, which is in the show. Calder introduces the figures silently one by one, manipulating them and activating the low-tech mechanisms (cranks, pull-strings, air hoses) that animate their activities. If, like me, you’ve always found Calder’s Circus a little too cute for comfort, the film may change your mind.

When at one point Calder slowly and carefully removes layer after layer of hand-sewn costumes from one clown figure until he arrives at what looks like a skeleton, it’s hard to known whether you’re seeing a circus or a medieval morality play. No wonder the original Paris performances pulled in the savvy audiences they did. Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian were among the many vanguard types who sat on crates and watched with rapt attention.

The Whitney show’s real shock comes a bit later, though, in the last three galleries, when Calder the polymath entertainer becomes Calder the Modern sculptor. The shift happened almost literally overnight. In October 1930 he visited Mondrian’s Paris studio; instantly he became an abstract artist. And for some people Calder starts to become interesting only at this point. No more Kikis and tennis players. Now everything is floating circles and curving lines anchored by balls in space.

But two things stayed constant: motion and play. For conservation reasons only one sculpture in the Whitney show is now motorized as intended; others can be seen in action on film. And action is the essence in a piece like “Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere” (1932-33), which consists of two suspended wooden balls and, set out on the gallery floor, a wooden box, four wine bottles, a can and a gong.

Nothing much, right? Until — as seen on film — the balls, attached to a motorized bar, start to move in a slow circle, hitting a bottle, then the can, then the gong. Music! (Varèse loved this piece.) Yet move a bottle an inch or two this way or that and the performance changes. Turn on a fan or open a window and you could create a new score. The game Calder is playing is a finely tuned, verging on magical, game of chance. And it really is a game. And it really is play.
 


“Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933”

remains at the Whitney Museum of American Art,

945 Madison Avenue (at 75th Street),

through Feb. 15.

It will then be at the Centre Pompidou, Paris,

from March 18 through July 20.

Calder at Play: Finding Whimsy in Simple Wire,
NYT, 17.10.2008,
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/
arts/design/17cald.html 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern public artworks are 'crap',

says Gormley.

This is how it should be done

 

Thursday, 6 March 2008
The Independent
By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent


Antony Gormley made his name as the creator of grand sculptures with his monumental Angel of the North. So it may surprise many artists attempting to emulate his success to hear that he has condemned the current crop of modern public artworks across the UK as "crap".


"On the whole," he said, "We have not reinvented the statue very convincingly for the 21st century," adding "There is an awful lot of crap out there."

A decade after his experimental 65ft-high figure was erected in Gateshead, Gormley said the success of the sculpture had inadvertently set a precedent for the proliferation of unchallenging works of art in public spaces.

He singled out The Meeting Place statue of two lovers embracing at St Pancras International Station for criticism. Other works he dislikes are a statue of Churchill and Roosevelt on Bond Street and David Wynne's Boy With a Dolphin in Chelsea.

He went on: "I don't like the way the Angel of the North has been used for some kind of precedent to encourage people and local authorities looking for European funding or investment. When we made the Angel, it was an experiment. We managed to get lottery money and European funding but it was a huge risk."

To many, Gormley, who is currently on a shortlist for creating a sculpture for the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square, is the most prominent producer of public art alive in Britain today. Aside from the Angel sculpture of 1998, he also produced Another Place for Crosby Beach near Liverpool and Iron:Man, placed in Birmingham's Victoria Square.

He said it was not the quantity of public artworks in Britain that offended him but the prevailing lack of creativity.

"So much of the art of the 20th century has ended up being corralled into museums. I would love to see more significant work in public spaces that is not institutionalised – work that is truly everyone's. There are works that really challenge you that maybe you don't understand at first but you keep going back to see them because they niggle. But art placed in public spaces that does not challenge does a disservice.

"A lot of public art is gunge, an excuse which says, 'we're terribly sorry to have built this senseless glass and steel tower but here is this 20-foot bronze cat'," he said.

The artist also felt that Britain needed a proper structure to shortlist and judge commissions, similar to that currently in place in Germany and Holland, which he claimed have greater forms of quality control for a commissioned piece of public art.

"Here, the standards are very low [for] the way submissions are judged," he said.

Gormley's outspoken comments came as he unveiled an indoor sculptural piece, Lost Horizon, priced at £1.35m and displayed at White Cube Gallery in Mason's Yard, London. It follows last year's public art project 'Event Horizon', which he did with the Hayward Gallery, in which he placed several statues modelled on his own body on buildings around central London.

Another new work, Firmament, priced at £850,000, is a geometrical structure based on the human body and could also be suitable for outdoor display.

The artist joins a long-running debate on the value of public art which was reinvigorated by Marjorie Trusted, senior curator of sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum, who said many commissions were "disappointing, old-fashioned and awkward" while Tim Knox, director of Sir John Soane's Museum in London, dismissed them as "horrors".

Modern public artworks are 'crap', says Gormley. This is how it should be done, I, 6.3.2008, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art-and-architecture/news/modern-public-artworks-are-crap-says-gormley-this-is-how-it-should-be-done-791922.html

 

 

 

 

 

Art Review | Richard Prince

Pilfering a Culture Out of Joint

 

September 28, 2007
The New York TimeS
By ROBERTA SMITH

 

Richard Prince has heard America singing, and it is not in tune. The paradoxically beautiful, seamless 30-year survey of his work at the Guggenheim Museum catches many of our inharmonious country’s discontents and refracts them back to us. The central message of this array of about 160 photographs, drawings, paintings and sculptures, most of which incorporate images or objects cribbed from popular culture, is that we won’t be getting along any time soon. But in Mr. Prince’s view, little of life’s cacophony is real except the parts deep inside all of us that are hardest to reach.

Mr. Prince has devoted his career to this surface unreality, attempting to collect, count and order its ways. He has said that his goal is “a virtuoso real,” something beyond real that is patently fake. But his art is inherently corrosive; it eats through things. His specialty is a carefully constructed hybrid that is also some kind of joke, charged by conflicting notions of high, low and lower.

Frequent targets include the art world, straight American males and middle-class virtue, complacency and taste. His work disturbs, amuses and then splinters in the mind. It unsettles assumptions about art, originality and value, class and sexual difference and creativity.

The work in the Guggenheim exhibition opening today, subtitled “Spiritual America,” defines the nation’s culture as a series of weird, isolated subcultures — from modernist abstraction to stand-up comedy to pulp-fiction cover art — and gives them equal dignity. It begins on the ground floor with “American Prayer,” a magnificent, haunting new sculpture for which the chassis of a 1969 Charger, a classic muscle car, has been stripped bare and cantilevered above the floor by a large block that merges with its hood. As aerodynamic as a bird’s skull and as commodious as a double coffin, it is not on blocks but lodged in one, like a stray bullet. Its bulky support suggests a pedestal, a Minimalist box, an anchorage and an altar. It is spackled and Bondoed, ready for its final, shiny coat, unlike the rest of the car. Together they form a memorial to custom cars presented as an abstracted body awaiting resurrection or a truncated crucifix lying in state.

Mr. Prince’s ancestors include Duchamp, Jasper Johns and especially Andy Warhol. But unlike Warhol, he is much less interested in the stars than in the audience. Thus he is just as much an heir to Walker Evans and Carson McCullers, with their awareness of the common person.

Over the years, Mr. Prince has shown himself to be in touch with the same shamed, shameless side of America that gave us tell-too-much talk shows, reality TV and the current obsession with celebrity. Practically every last American could find something familiar, if usually a bit unsettling, in his work. If he were the Statue of Liberty, the words inscribed on his base might read: Give me your tired, your poor, but also your traveling salesmen and faithless wives; your biker girlfriends, porn stars, custom-car aficionados and wannabe celebrities; as well as your first-edition book collectors (of which he is one).

It often seems that Mr. Prince has never met a piece of contemporary Americana he couldn’t use. Customized checks with images of SpongeBob SquarePants or Jimi Hendrix? He pastes them to canvas and paints on them. Mail-order fiberglass hoods for muscle cars? He hangs them on the wall — instant blue-collar Minimalist reliefs. Planters made of sliced and splayed truck tires? There’s one at the Guggenheim, cast in white resin, where the fountain should be. Is it a comment on the work of Matthew Barney, a gallery-mate who had his own Guggenheim fete? Probably. But from above it resembles a plastic toy crown or the after-splash of milk in that famous stop-action Harold Edgerton photograph.

And borscht belt jokes? They are a signature staple that runs rampant in the show, appearing on modernist monochromes, on fields of checks and as arbitrary punch lines for postwar New Yorker or Playboy cartoons. These examples of a better class of humor are variously whole, fragmented, steeped in white or piled into colorful, nearly abstract patterns yet still retain their familiarity. The same jokes occur in different works, alternately writ big or little, sharp or fading, straight or rippled as if spoken by someone on a bender.

“My father was never home, he was always drinking booze. He saw a sign saying ‘Drink Canada Dry.’ So he went up there.” “I went to see a psychiatrist. He said, ‘Tell me everything.’ I did, and now he’s doing my act.”

Mr. Prince’s act has been one of continual breakouts and surprises, some better than others, and of increasing command. Selected and expertly installed by Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s chief curator, with considerable input from Mr. Prince, the show includes examples from nearly 20 series of works, but it also skips a lot of weaker efforts, tryouts and rehearsals. It sums up more than recounts the path of a brilliant artist whose sense of visual style is matched by an ear for language, as he progresses from hip, hermetic mind games to hip, inclusive generosity and even tenderness.

Mr. Prince was born in the Panama Canal Zone in 1949 and has shown in New York since the late 1970s. He is a leading member of the sprawling appropriation generation of the early ’80s that included artists like Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons and that continues to add new recruits, like Wayne Guyton and Kelly Walker.

In a sense his career has been a process of self-liberation by expanding upon an esoteric mode that he helped invent. His early work, the essence of orthodox postmodern appropriation, consists of influential yet hermetic rephotographs of the ads and fashion spreads in glossy magazines. Cropped, enlarged and grouped according to subject and pose, these images exposed with almost anthropological precision advertising’s subliminal codes and stereotypes. For all its elegance, the early work had a spindly endgame air that seemed to disdain anything as touch-feely as making an actual art object. But that is just what Mr. Prince proceeded to do, regularly introducing new subjects, mediums and techniques.

The primness of the early photographs gives way to the Technicolor flamboyance of the Cowboy series, pirated from the famous Marlboro Country campaign. Then come the grainy, clustered “gangs,” as he called them, of related magazine images — big-wheeled trucks, rock bands, surfers’ waves. Surprisingly, Mr. Prince’s latest camera works reject appropriation altogether. They are dour yet lyrical images of the hardscrabble area in upstate New York where he lives.

His paintings have become similarly free, or perhaps traditional, as evinced by his pulp-fiction-cover Nurse series. But the final gallery leaves him working at new extremes. On the one hand he seems to be painting for all his worth in his garish new reprises of de Kooning’s “Women,” in which most of the girls are guys who look a little too much like Jar Jar Binks. On the other are his latest straight-out ready-mades: the American English series simply and suavely juxtaposes American and English editions of books like Lenny Bruce’s “How to Talk Dirty and Influence People” or Bob Dylan’s “Tarantula,” creating a subtle exegesis of the national character of design.

Early in the show an especially imposing joke painting offers a summation of his ambition. “I Know a Guy” (2000) has a snowy surface powdered with eminently touchy-feely plumes of pastel but starkly divided by a horizontal band of large black Helvetica type, all caps and hand-stenciled. In a crowded rush, the words inject a twitching dose of stand-up monologue: “I knew a guy who was so rich he could ski uphill. Another one, I told my mother-in-law my house is your house. Last week she sold it. Another one ... ”

The clincher here is the urgent aside “another one,” which has echoes in subsequent joke paintings: “Again.” “One more.” It turns these paintings into portraits of the artist at work, sweating it out, honing his material and timing, egging himself on to come up with another one and then another one until he gets our full attention, cracks us up and, in stand-up parlance, kills.

That, in a nutshell, might be the story of Mr. Prince’s career, one of nonstop production, of collecting, editing and honing, of sifting and shifting styles and techniques, and getting better all the time. Among other things, it means that the Nurse and the de Kooning series, if continued, can only improve.



“Richard Prince: Spiritual America”

continues through Jan. 9

at the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue,

at 89th Street; (212) 423-3500.

Pilfering a Culture Out of Joint, NYT, 28.9.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/28/arts/design/28prin.html

 

 

 

 

 

A Passage

for the Master of Heavy Metal

 

July 25, 2007
The New York Times
By CAROL VOGEL

 

LONDON — Although he is widely viewed as Britain’s greatest living sculptor, received a knighthood 20 years ago and has been the subject of countless museum retrospectives, Anthony Caro has yet to have an exhibition in New York’s Chelsea, the epicenter of today’s contemporary art scene.

“I used to go to New York all the time, but it’s been three years,” Mr. Caro, 83, said one recent morning over tea at a long wooden table in one of the former pipe and piano factories where he works in North London.

But this fall, he will finally have his Chelsea moment. He recently completed a series of monumental painted steel sculptures, weighing about two tons each, titled “Passage.” Five of them will go on view at Mitchell-Innes & Nash in Chelsea in October, and four will be shown at Annely Juda Fine Art in London in September.

A return to the abstract steel sculptures that made him famous more than 40 years ago, the latest work is as architectural as it is sculptural. Yet unlike the vast pieces by Richard Serra that are currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art, which physically envelop the viewer, Mr. Caro’s latest sculptures can be experienced only from a slight remove. There is no point of entry.

“When I saw this body of work I felt he had done something dramatic,” said Lucy Mitchell-Innes, Mr. Caro’s New York dealer. “Although he picked up on old themes from the ’60s of using grills and grids, this time they don’t just define space but restrict access to it.”

Those who know Mr. Caro’s work will instantly recognize the “Passage” series as his, yet the artist considers these sculptures a significant departure.

“I’m not interested in doing old things,” he said. “I’m always trying to push it and see what happens.”

He said he chose that title for the series because he conceived of the sculptures as visual passages, even though you cannot physically walk through them.

One of the biggest changes from his past work is that he used galvanized steel rather than rusted steel. “I thought I wanted to paint them, so I sent the steel out to be galvanized in order to get the surface right,” he said. “And when it came back, I liked the way it looked.” So he kept it as is.

While fragments of sculptural objects are strewn around his studio — remnants of steel and machine parts that he buys by the weight at scrap yards around Europe — the works from this new series were nowhere in sight. Some had been sent to storage, and others were on their way to the dealers. He did have transparencies of them carefully laid out on a lightbox.

In the Cubist tradition, Mr. Caro has long seized on found objects and used them as the basis for his sculptures. One of the new works, “Star Passage,” made of steel galvanized and painted blue, incorporates a big guillotine for slicing steel that he found in the South of France. For another, “Chalk Line,” he took a long stone drinking trough, laid it on wood and applied galvanized steel planes to it in sections to make it seem as though he had dissected the stone.

Resting atop it is a hollow steel pole. “It is almost as if you crossed a Donald Judd with a Roman sarcophagus,” Ms. Mitchell-Innes said.

Unlike most artists, Mr. Caro generally does not work from drawings or maquettes when making sculptures. “I prefer to do the real thing,” he said. “You can feel the weight and reality of moving around steel. Whereas if you do something on a smaller scale, when it gets bigger it looks different.”

Sometimes, however, such free-style thinking is impossible, as with his current project for a choir for a church in northern France.

Occupying several studio buildings of his London work space are a series of dollhouse-like structures that are scaled-down models of the medieval Church of St.-Jean-Baptiste in Bourbourg, including stained-glass windows and a pair of round towers.

“It’s a 12th-century building, and at the time of Dunkirk, a plane landed on the roof and caught fire to the church,” he said, referring to the German invasion of the region in 1940. “The roof was restored but not the choir. Eight years ago, they asked me to do the choir.”

Unlike his sculptures, in which issues of scale, materials and design are all up to him, this project involves fitting a predetermined architectural space. “I’m leaving nothing to chance,” Mr. Caro said as he peered into a wood model.

He has created two towers for the choir and what he called an immersion tank for christenings. There will also be nine niches with sculptures in them that tell the story of the Creation. “Not exactly the Creation from the Bible,” he said. “More about animals, fish and things we see around us.” Outside the church, he has designed a tower of Cor-Ten steel, which he also calls a visual passage.

Mr. Caro is accustomed to big projects. After attending Cambridge University and art school, he began working as Henry Moore’s assistant in 1951. A decade later he created his own large-scale abstract structures. They were considered revolutionary at the time because he had abandoned figurative sculpture and gone totally abstract. And rather than setting his sculptures on a pedestal, he placed them on the ground, relating them directly to human scale.

By the 1960s and ’70s, he had become as well known as a Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons is today. But with the wane of formalism in the United States, his popularity waned, and he is now far better known in Europe.

Some contemporary artists still look to him for inspiration. The Los Angeles sculptor Charles Ray has made works in homage to him, including a re-creation of one of his most famous works, “Early One Morning,” a bright red horizontal metal sculpture of disparate lines and planes.

Jessica Stockholder, a sculptor who directs graduate studies in sculpture at the Yale University School of Art, says she is an enthusiastic fan. “I’ve always admired him,” she said. “His work is about how things jump across space to meet each other, and my work is about that too. In the ’80s I made a tabletop sculpture piece called ‘Ode to Anthony Caro.’ ”

Just how a Chelsea audience will react to Mr. Caro’s latest work is anyone’s guess. “Who can say what’s going to be hot or cold from one year to the next?” Ms. Stockholder asked.

Meanwhile, Mr. Caro seems unconcerned. “When you get older,” he said, “you just have to go your own way.”

A Passage for the Master of Heavy Metal,
NYT,
25.7.2007,
https://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/
arts/design/25caro.html  
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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