September 25, 2010

A Sculpture Reader

Everyone’s talking about the crisis in modern visual arts, but I believe that their fears are greatly exaggerated. Sure, many artists seem to exploit old ideas. Sure, many artists have gotten caught up in developing their art form for its own sake. However, each artist is part of a society that’s been influenced by so many people that have been part of it. Naturally, the art that is produced in a particular society will have at least some components that have been borrowed from the previous generations.

Oddly enough, right now I find the most interesting ideas in sculpture. Take, for example, Regina Frank. It’s difficult to call her work “sculpture” in its purest sense. There are also elements of installation and performance. As far as composition, her art can be compared to classic Greek sculpture. You can see it in the graceful lines and the elegant gestures. Also, there is Magdalena Jetelova. Her works are saturated with drama and conflict. At the same time, they are succinct, containing paradoxical philosophical ideas.
There is a type of sculpture that I don’t get at all. It has several distinct characteristics. One common feature is a heap of misshapen objects, whose collective form is reminiscent of an enlarged pile of dog poop. Another one involves carelessly scrambled human and/or animal body parts – this is probably supposed to make you think of the inevitable things in life, or something. Also, often featured in this type of sculpture are metallic pieces, which are slightly rusted, as if they’ve been exposed to the weather.
To end on a positive note – I also love Christo and Jeanne-Claude!

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