NEW YORK Gavin Brown’s enterprise “I consider myself a silent poet, a blind painter, and a deaf musician,” Jannis Kounellis once said. Such knotty contradictions were a through-line in the Arte Povera pioneer’s work, as a recent show of 20 sculptural assemblages, dating from 1969 through 2016, recently made clear.
ISLE OF BUTE, SCOTLAND Mount Stuart An Inn For Phantoms Of The Outside And In borrows its title from a line in Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Reverie (1960): “Sleep opens within us an inn for phantoms.” Boyce was also inspired by hearing about a long-gone tennis court elsewhere on the grounds.
DETROIT Former State Savings Bank Doug Aitken’s Mirage—a full-sized model of a ranch-style house in which every surface is mirrored—originally occupied a site in the desert, adjacent to Palm Springs, California. For Mirage Detroit, he relocated the entire structure to the interior of a long-vacant Beaux-Arts bank building (which dates from 1900 and is attributed to architects McKim, Mead, and White) in Detroit’s Central Business District.
PARIS Monnaie de Paris Anti-heroic, Schütte’s art mixes the mythic with the utilitarian, turning child’s play into a sculptor’s experimentation with materials. An unclassifiable artist, he’s still following the advice that Gerhard Richter gave him when he was a student: find your own way by creating a repertoire, not a style.
SINGAPORE STPI Creative Workshop & Gallery Aaron Curry’s ebullient sculptures, recently surveyed in “Fragments from a Collective Unity,” are stretched, swollen, sometimes barbed, and slightly off-kilter. A plethora of organic-looking things filled an entire wall, some wriggling from side to side, some becoming jack-in-the-boxes and popping up from an opening here or there, and yet others more closely approximating bones and remains than life itself.
LONDON Royal Academy of Arts As “cul-de-sac” demonstrates, Barlow’s skill in courting accident and chance remains unsurpassed. While her materials—plaster, cement, steel, wire mesh, plywood, timber, and fabric—are rooted in the sculptural canon, her methods of deployment are freed from any past constraints.
LINCOLN, MASSACHUSETTS deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum A few years ago, the deCordova Museum, famed for its outdoor sculpture collection, transposed its name in order to focus attention on the sculpture park. Yet in choosing this edgy group of 2019 biennial artists, exhibition curators gave short shrift to those who work in three dimensions, admitting only a handful.
VANCOUVER Vanier Park Six months after Ajlan Gharem’s Paradise Has Many Gates was unveiled in Vancouver’s beachfront Vanier Park, the little mosque made of chain link and steel pipe began to feel like part of the scenery.
VENICE Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione The installation’s aesthetic appeal resonates universally with its emphasis on beauty and absence. For those familiar with Byars’s work, it furthers his legacy of conceptual vigor, exploring the unknown and unknowable.