Sunday, August 20, 2017

Easy Come Easy Go - LSP

Having been a docent at Laumeier for more than five years I cannot help but notice our outdoor museum does a remarkable job of exhibiting contemporary sculpture. At the same time, as I watch works come and go, I cannot help thinking that nothing lasts forever.  

Ernest Trova (1927-2009) is perhaps most famous for his falling man series but Poet Sitting by a Tree is one of seven works in a series focusing on the silhouettes of one or more figures. The poet is abstract image of a poet as he calmly rests by a tree in a meditative state. Trova’s gift of forty works to St. Louis County helped Laumeier Sculpture Park come into being.  This sculpture is not currently on view. Of course, if you are a fan of Ernest Trova you will note that his works are on view in Clayton, Brentwood, Buroughs High School among other locations around town. 

Jene Highstein (b. 1942, Baltimore, MD; d. 2013) earned a BA in philosophy from the University of Maryland in 1963, completed postgraduate work in philosophy at the University of Chicago, and committed himself to art practice in 1966. He was influenced by Minimalism and began to work in large-scale, simplified sculptural, and monochromatic forms. Iconic Minimalist artists, such as Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt, emphasized stark geometry and pristine surfaces. Ada’s Will is a ferro cement sculpture based on what Highstein described as a vocabulary of basic imagery that is found by observing natural forms. Another Heighstein sculpture entitled Window 1/3 is on loan from Laumeier to Webster University.
Matts Leiderstam (b. 1956 in Sweden, based in Stockholm) investigates the mysteries and veiled narratives that populate paintings across art history. Viewfinder was a part of the artist’s multilayered response to Laumeier’s River between us but is currently under repair.
Hawthorn Tree by Isaac Witkin (b1936) is on loan from Laumeier and can be viewed at Lambert Airport. 
David von Schlegell (1920-1992) a Saint Louis born abstract sculptor and painter who was also a professor emeritus at the Yale University School of Art. His father was William von Schlegell, an American Impressionist painter. David von Schlegell studied painting at the Art Students League in New York, where his father taught. He turned to sculpture in the early 1960s. This Untitled sculpture which is not currently on view at Laumeier shows the artist’s interest in engineering and aircraft 
construction methods. 

Alison Saar (b. 19656, LA, CA), daughter of artist Betye Saar, continues her mother's attention to marginalization of women and minorities. Leelinau was installed high in a tree top along a trail until it fell and was damaged beyond repair more than a year ago. 
The current exhibition in the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Buildingh is evidence of four decades of working with artists who have created, planned, proposed and collaborated with Laumeier. The fine arts building opened last fall. A number of works were put into storage during construction I'm told. I'm hoping to see the return of Muro by Walter Dusenbery and Plaques by Jenny Holzer. In the meantime the patio is blooming with flowers and in the distance you can see Tony Tasset's Deer.
Note: All photos in this blog post are by Wes Morgan except Window 1/3 by Jene Highstein and Hawthorn Tree by Isaac Witkin. 



OH DEER - so much to see here! - LSP

Laumeier Sculpture Park is full of surprises and worthy of multiple visits.
Tony Tasset (b. 1960 in Cincinnati) received his B.F.A. at the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1983 and his M.F.A. at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. Tasset works with video, photography, bronze, wax, fiberglass, film and even taxidermy. Go past Tasset’s Eye and on the horizon of the southern field you will see this 12’ tall Deer by Tony Tasset. He’s new to the park.  

Jonathan Borofsky (b. 1942 in Boston) earned his B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in 1964 and his M.F.A. from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1966. Man with a Briefcase has been moved to a new location at the entrance to the trail.
Sol LeWitt (b. 1928 in Hartford, Connecticut) earned his B.F.A. from Syracuse University in 1949. LeWitt is considered a founder of both the Minimalist and the Conceptual art movements. His Intricate Wall is showing some signs of wear and tear.
Joseph Havel (b. Minneapolis in 1954) earned his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Havel is currently the director of the Glassell School in Houston. His Twins is proudly displayed near the garden in front of the estate house and is a bronze casting of twin bed sheets which appear to point to the sky.


Ian Hamilton Finlay (b. Nassau, the Bahamas, in 1925) designed a unique site-specific place entitled Four Shades. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Look for the model maquette nearby.

Jerald Jacquard (b. 1937 in Lansing, MI) earned his B.A. in 1960 and his M.A. in 1962 from Michigan State University. Jacquard was a professor of art at Indiana University for more than 25 years. His Cube Squared is made of Cor Ten steel, is painted a light blue and is positioned along a trail. 
Charles Ginnever (b.1931 in San Mateo, CA) received his B.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1957 and his M.F.A. from Cornell University in New York in 1959. Crete is a visual treat made of Cor Ten steel that must be viewed from many angles.
Pearl Fryar (b. 1939) is a self-taught topiary artist living in Bishopville, South Carolina. His Topiary trees are maintained by the county and are sure to bring a smile. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Inttricate Wall Chains Bugs and a Dark Garden - LSP

Some more things to look for at Laumeier Sculpture Park
Intricate Wall Sol LeWitt (b.1928 in Hartford, CT) earned his B.F.A. from Syracuse University in 1949. He is considered a founder of both the Minimalist and the Conceptual art movements.
Buzzer, Dottie, Whisker the War Werm playground spring and climbing toys Tom Huck (b. 1971 in Potosi, Missouri) received his M.F.A. in Printmaking from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.F.A. in Drawing from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 1993. He resides in St. Louis and owns Evil Prints, a studio where he produces his own woodcuts and offers printmaking classes.
Free. Hanging. Chain. Sam Durant (b. 1961 in Seattle) received his B.F.A. and his M.A. from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts. He lives and works in Los Angeles. He engages a variety of social, political and cultural issues, often using American history to explore fraught relationships among culture, politics and official memory.
Earthmover Marie Watt (b.1967) is of Seneca, German and Scottish ancestry. She received her B.S. in Speech/Communications and Art at Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, and her M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University in 1996. This work juxtaposes a tire and a basket that represent the tools for earth moving a thousand years ago vs today.  
Hortus Obscurus (Dark Garden) Frances Whitehead (b.1953 in Richmond, VA) earned her B.F.A from East Carolina University in 1975 and her M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University in 1978. Since 1984, Whitehead has been a professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. 




Face of the Earth Donut Knots Buoys and more - LSP

Another handful of fun sculptural expressions at Laumeier Sculpture Park:
Face of the Earth Vito Acconci (b. 1940 Bronx – 2017) He received his B.A. from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Maine, in 1962 and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1964. Shown here with students from Washington University. 
Reading Room without Words Harriet Bart (b. 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota) earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota. Influenced by books and the written word, Bart is known for creating large-scale installations and sculptures.  
Donut #3 Fletcher Benton (b. 1931 in Jackson, Ohio) earned his B.F.A. from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1956. Benton taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and California State University in San Jose.
Ball? Ball! Wall? Wall!  Comprised of 55 marine buoys (each one weighing 650 pounds) that are arranged as a string in the woods adjacent to the park. Donald Lipski (b.1947 in Chicago) earned his B.A. in 1970 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his M.F.A. in 1974 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. 
Knots Cosimo Cavallaro was born in Montreal in 1961, and has a successful career as a visual artist and film director.
Flooded Chambers Maid Jessica Stockholder (b. 1959 in Seattle) and grew up in Vancouver. She received her B.F.A. from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and her M.F.A. from Yale in 1985. 
Cores for Laumeier Mark Mennin (b. 1960 in Cedar Falls, Iowa) earned his B.A. from Princeton University in 1982. He is known for his massive granite carvings, connecting the old tradition of stone carving to contemporary art.





Monday, August 7, 2017

Linking History Art and Place - LSP

An invitation to come to Laumeier Sculpture Park and view some of my favorites from the collection: 
LAUMEIER U ME UM  Terry Allen (b. 1943 in Wichita, KS) earned his B.F.A. from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. He works in a wide variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, video and music. It is a neon welcome sign to this museum.
Twins Joseph Havel (b.1954 in Minneapolis) earned his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota and his M.F.A. from Pennsylvania State University. Havel is currently the director of the Glassell School in Houston. This work is a bronze castings of twin bed sheets tied together. 
Sugabus gets its name as a combination of the molecular term for sugar and the mythical creature Cerberus. Robert Chambers was born in Miami in 1958. He earned his B.F.A. in 1983 from the University of Miami and his M.A. in 1990 from New York University. Chambers currently lives and works in Miami.

Linked Forms is tucked among trees along a trail. Richard Hunt (b.Chicago in 1935) earned his B.A.E. from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1957. Hunt received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1962 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center in 2009.
Pool Complex Mary Miss (b. 1944 New York) received her B.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1966 and her M.F.A. at Maryland Art Institute in 1968. She has collaborated closely with architects, planners, engineers, ecologists and public administrators on a diverse array of projects. This site-specific work enhances an actual pool that was once in use in the 1930s.
Crete by Charles Ginnever. He was born in 1931 in San Mateo, California. He received his B.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1957 and his M.F.A. from Cornell University in New York in 1959. 
The Place between Plessy and Scott by Ken Lum features the busts of Dred Scott and Homer Plessy whose lives span more than 125 years and do not overlap. Ken Lum received his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University in 1980 and his M.F.A. from the University of British Columbia in 1985. 


Literal Architectural Reflective Nautical - LSP

Visit Laumeier Sculpture Park and you will be treated to a wonderful array of contemporary sculpture. Here are some of my favorites.
Laumeier Lamps adorn the parking area adjacent to the fine arts building spelling out the word UPSIDE (but upside down). T. Kelly Mason (b. 1964 in Hollywood, CA) earned his B.A. in Music/Liberal Arts from California State University, Long Beach, in 1988 and his M.F.A. from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 1990.
Saint Louis Bones by Robert Stackhouse (b. 1942 in Bronxville, NY). Stackhouse earned his B.A. from the University of South Florida and his M.A. from the University of Maryland. His interest in ships is evident in this piece created for Laumeier.
Bornibus by American artist Mark di Suvero (b. 1933 Shanghai, China) is an abstract expressionistic monumental sculpture. Di Suvero earned his B.A. in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1957. While studying philosophy, he began pursuing sculpture and became recognized for his massive architectural sculptures. 
If the world is a fair place… was conceived by Raqs Media Collective, a group of artists formed in 1991 by independent media practitioners Jeebesh Bagchi (b. 1965, New Delhi, India), Monica Narula (b. 1969, New Delhi, India) and Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968, New Delhi, India). Trees are wrapped with select responses to the prompt. 
Triangle Bridge by Dan Graham (b.1942 Champaign-Urbana, IL). Graham is a pioneer in performance and video art who later turned his attention to architectural projects designed for social interaction in public spaces. 
Redwood One by Johann Feilacher (b. 1954 Villach, Austria). Feilacher created this using his preferred tool, the chainsaw. It is one of the world’s largest wooden sculptures from a single piece of wood.
Tower Hybrid is a dramatic piece that seems to point skyward. Artist Richard Hunt (b. 1935 in Chicago) earned his B.A.E. from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1957. Hunt also received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1962 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center in 2009. 



Sunday, August 6, 2017

Exploring a site and finding the way - LSP

Laumeier offers a confluence of thought provoking works of art, each of which is a starting point for discovery. Here is a handful of meaningful examples I would like to share with you.
Laumeier Project by Jackie Ferrara (b. 1929 in Detroit) explores relationships between sculpture and architecture in her wood constructions. Her Laumeier Project is red cedar construction is a kind of puzzle.
Alexander Liberman’s The Way stands as Laumeier’s signature monumental work.It incorporates 18 oil tankers painted red in complementary color contrast to its lush green surroundings. Alexander Liberman (b. 1912 in Kiev, Russia - now the Ukraine) studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris in the early 1930's. He came to New York in 1941 and joined Vogue and went on to become the Editorial Director of Condé Nast.
Laumeier Project by Richard Fleischner (b. 1944 in New York) is a wonderful site-specific installation. He found a way to incorporate art and nature and straddle the community and entrance to Laumeier Sculpture Park. Fleischner received his B.F.A. and his M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design. 
Old Temple by Jene Highstein (b. 1942 in Baltimore) is another use of cedar wood, Jene Highstein studied both at the New York Studio School and the Royal Academy School in London.
Jerald Jacquard’s Cube Squared brings a smile as it is encountered along a wooded trail in the park. Jacquard (b. 1937 in Lansing, Michigan) earned his B.A. in 1960 and his M.A. in 1962 from Michigan State University. He established a sculpture department at the University of Illinois, Chicago, in 1967 and was a professor of art at Indiana University for more than 25 years. 
An Untitled work of aluminum I-beams are on view at Laumeier. Artist Robert Morris (b. 1931 in Kansas City) studied at the University of Kansas City from 1948 to 1950 and at the Kansas City Art Institute. Robert Morris is regarded as one of the most prominent theorists of Minimalism along with Donald Judd.
Gigi Scaria (b.1973 in Kothanalloor, Kerala, India) in his totem-like structure titled Woodhenge reminds us how population and construction can change a place (nearby and a thousand years ago in mound city or around the globe in New Delhi). He received his M.F.A. in Painting at Jamia Millia University, New Delhi, in 1998 and his B.F.A. in Painting from the College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram, in 1995. Scaria currently lives and works in New Delhi