|"Sitting Couple" by Lynn Chadwick (1990)|
I felt like I'd hit the jackpot when I arrived at Landau Fine Arts' booth with its aluminum and bronze statues by Lynn Chadwick. His "Sitting Couple" is human-sized and full of life and fun despite the pair's hard edges. Don't you love the heads?
Chadwick was a British sculptor with no formal art training other than some architectural drawing classes. Perhaps this is why he created his sculptures without the benefit of preliminary sketches. Just think about that for a moment. Instead, he created maquettes, smaller "test" versions of his works. (The maquettes on display were equally beautiful.)
Chadwick rose to fame when he was awarded the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1956. The smart money had been on Alberto Giacometti to take home the honor. Click here to see more of Chadwick's work.
"Massing Studies for The Pavilion #1
(V.B. Gowns) by General Idea (1975)
General Idea used the construct of a faux beauty pageant to create works that satirized ideals of glamour and art. In 1971, the Collective held its first "Miss General Idea" pageant. It was a mail art project. The field of title-seeking participants was narrowed down to 16, and each was sent a brown taffeta dress to model. The winner appears to have been selected via photographic entries, but there was in fact an event complete with a red carpet. On another occasion, live models sashayed down a runway wearing the ziggurat VB gowns. I wish I could have been there. To read more about General Idea (and see a picture of the pageant), click here.
|"Boats" by Jennifer Bartlett (1987)|
Bartlett is a conceptual artist whose work elevates the mundane to something significant. I wasn't surprised to learn she had studied at Yale with Alex Katz. There's a simplicity to this work that dovetails with Katz' pared down style.
But her grids are the work Bartlett is best known for in the art world. She would paint small, square, enamel-coated steel plates and arrange them into an image. Sometimes she used media like crayon and ink on paper instead.To see more of her work, click here.
|"Gliding into Midnight" by Betye Saar (2019)|
Saar's work is so extensive that a short description could not begin to do it justice. Click here for a fascinating article that talks, among other things, about assemblage and Saar's "reclaiming" of the image of Aunt Jemima. And to watch a video in which Saar speaks about her work, click here.
"Sound of Tree Water"
by Katsura Funakoshi (2019)
The Japanese artist hand carves these works with a chisel and hammer over a period of months. Funakoshi's choice of camphor wood as his material is not based purely on its tactile qualities. Camphor wood comes from laurel trees, which have traditionally been used in Japan to make religious objects. Knowing this gives the work a meditative quality I didn't immediately see.
Funakoshi has said his figures live “in a world of joy and suffering, of passion and anger, of resignation.” Art critics have commented on their futuristic feel, the realistic quality of their skin and the eerie marble eyes that unblinkingly look ahead. If you're fortunate enough to live in New York, you can see an exhibit of Funakoshi's work and make your own assessment. "A Tower in the Night Forest - Recent Works (2011-2019)" will be on display at Van Doren Waxter through January 17. The rest of us will have to settle by seeing more of his work by clicking here.
Next up: Favorite 2D Art at Art Basel