Meridian, 2008. Rubber, rigid foam, cables, and filament, 14 x 16 x 16 ft.

John Grade: Anticipating and Letting Go

John Grade’s spring show at Cynthia-Reeves Gallery gave a good sense of the scope of his thinking, especially following his introduction to New York audiences a few weeks earlier, when he won the $10,000 Willard L. Metcalf Award in Art (for a “young artist of great promise”) at the American Academy of Arts and Letters invitational exhibition. Fold (2008), the sculpture shown at the American Academy, consists of an irregular freestanding wooden circle about 2.5 feet wide and 7.5 feet in diameter, a lattice structure striking for its workmanship and its visually seductive yet almost indescribably complex constructive detail. Grade also showed two photographs of pieces placed in natural settings—not groomed sites, but the wild. The gallery show expanded on that latter aspect with more photos. Grade’s work needs site illustrations to be fully understood, for he is no longer simply a maker of sculptures. His recent work also involves time and performance, since it may be made with the aid of volunteers and trucked to one or more outdoor sites where weather and creatures take over the finishing. By the time this story is published, Fold will be offered to termites…see the entire article in the print version of December’s Sculpture magazine.