Like the braided clay that adorns some of her ceramic sculptures, Leigh’s practice articulates a richly interwoven narrative of recuperation, resistance, restitution, and healing that directly addresses this core viewership even as it puts the broader public on notice.
PARIS Fondation Cartier
Thomas Delamarre, senior curator for the Fondation Cartier, didn’t know what he would learn when he visited 200 European artists who came of age after the fall of the Berlin Wall. How, he wondered, did the still politically charged landscape of today shape their perspectives and impact their work?
LOS ANGELES Craft Contemporary For me, the hallmarks of singularity in an art object are to be found in certain manifested obsessions, idiosyncratic techniques, and animating tensions. Echiko Ohira’s complexly reductive works declare that singularity by way of a compulsive tropism toward simple, repetitive, labor-intensive techniques.
HELSINKI Kunsthalle Helsinki
The unassuming title could not have been any more paradoxical, effectively belying the vitality of the work created by Alice Kask, Neeme Külm, and Jass Kaselaan, three Estonian artists. Their objects not only played off each other, but also responded astutely to the spaces in which they were set.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute
Though not by design, there is often a shared thread among the works in the annual Charlotte Street Visual Artist Awards Exhibition, which accompanies a $10,000 unrestricted grant to each artist.
NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS When Christopher and Joelle Zakak purchased a late 19th-century Queen Anne Victorian house in Newton, Massachusetts, they intended to demolish the aged relic and rebuild on the site. Local zoning regulations, however, required that they wait one year. Being artists, as well as enterprising developers, they began using the empty rooms as studios.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN Grand Rapids Art Museum From the meteoric launch of her artistic career in 1981 to the present, Maya Lin has harnessed an elegantly Minimalist vocabulary to convey potent messages, frequently using her work to demonstrate humanity’s impact on the natural environment. “Flow,” Lin’s recent exhibition, was devoted to sculptural works addressing the need to be more mindful of water.
Considering the long-held view that, for ordinary people, manufacturing jobs hold the key to the American dream, there is something almost elegiac about the often reported fading fortunes of blue-collar workers. But is material, or physical, labor really a thing of the past to the extent that so many seem to think?
BOSTON Boston Sculptors Gallery
“TransAtlantic,” Jessica Straus’s recent exhibition at Boston Sculptors Gallery, consisted of an immersive, room-filling, mixed-media installation that viewers could enter and roam around. Parts of the floor and wall were covered with World War II-era maps mounted on plywood tiles, showing the coastlines of North America and Western Europe, with the Atlantic Ocean stretching in between.
NEW YORK Whitney Museum of American Art
The Kanders protest may have pushed the Whitney to deal with its cultural and ethical responsibility, but that was only one of many issues raised through the work of the 75 artists and collectives on view.