A vaguely anthropomorphic structure of colossal semi-circles, triangles, and projecting masts, Fletcher Benton’s painted steel Balanced/Unbalanced towers above a nearby fence line and stream of passing cars as if beckoning in an amiable gesture of asymmetrical geometry.
Patricia Leighton and Del Geist, who are married and call New York home, have been making public art for more than 25 and 35 years, respectively. They have developed major site-specific works in the United States, Europe, and most recently, South Korea, where they each created new sculptures for the Jeju Museum of Art, and
Steven Emmanuel’s sculptures are restrained, understated, and cerebral, built on a simple conceptual foundation and culminating in exquisite form. As if fabricated by a craftsman, these intellectually conceived pieces are as beautiful as they are thought-provoking.
HELSINKI Amos Anderson Art Museum Entropy, mazes, memory, and zones of electromagnetic radiation residing just beyond the visible spectrum play an important role in the work of Terike Haapoja.
SAN FRANCISCO Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Taraneh Hemami’s elegant window installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts translated a contentious season of contemporary politics into a dazzling and contemplative work. An enormous radiating star of laser-cut patterning filled the window with the ebullient celebration of the Arab Spring.
WASHINGTON, DC Katzen Art Center, American University Filling the Katzen Art Center’s “sculpture garden” is no easy task for an artist determined to present a coherent display of work. Intended as a light well to enhance the building, two L-shaped concrete rectangles offer no visual integration unless one stands at their juncture.
Thomas Sayre is surveying River Reels, a pair of 20-foot-tall earth castings that he created in 1999. They’re perfectly round circles of rust-colored concrete, 12 to 18 inches thick, the width of a backhoe bucket.
VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA Deluge Contemporary Art Greg Snider’s eight “Models for the Public Sphere” are absurdist and visionary monuments to human, societal, and governmental follies, abominations, and questionable policies. Using the term “critical realism” to describe his approach, the Vancouver artist cleverly and humorously turns normality on its head in his meticulously crafted, speculative models.
WASHINGTON, DC Conner Contemporary Clean-cut yet reclaimed, familiar yet odd, tectonic yet intimate—these were some of the contradictions at play in Joe Ovelman’s recent exhibition. Seemingly a far cry from earlier work, these sculptures tackle similar issues of sexual identity and societal norms, but in a more subversive and, ultimately, more tantalizing way.
LINCOLN, MASSACHUSETTS DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park There was a time when “art” meant sculpture and painting, and “craft” meant useful things like pottery and glassmaking. Any such distinction has grown from fuzzy to non-existent. And now Douglas Paulson and Ward Shelley are intent on erasing boundaries between art and carpentry.