Glasgow-based Karla Black is known for boundary-pushing experiments with materials, both conventional and less so. Though her installations employing toothpaste, cosmetics, and powdered custard might come to mind first, plaster powder—albeit frequently in raw form—remains her primary medium.
BRISTOL, U.K. Spike Island “Along a Spectrum,” Veronica Ryan’s most ambitious U.K. show to date (on view through September 5, 2021), features a new body of work created during a two-year residency at Spike Island. Viewers entering the light and airy gallery space encounter a beguiling array of forms, many held within sumptuously colored netting in shades of orange, yellow, and lime-green.
Jamie Hamilton’s work encompasses photography, drawing, high-wire walking, and, of course, sculpture. His large-scale, site-specific installations (2012) for the Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, incorporated nylon webbing and steel poles, creating forms suggestive of both interplanetary travel and the complexities of erotic attraction.
PITTSBURGH The Frick Art Museum The Frick Art Museum, located on the Pittsburgh estate of the late-19th-century coke and steel magnate Henry Clay Frick, was founded in 1970 by his daughter Helen to house her collection of European fine and decorative arts. This rich setting provides a perfect context for War and Pieces (on view through September 5, 2021), an installation originally created by Dutch ceramics-conservator-turned-artist Bouke de Vries for the Holburne Museum in Bath, England.
LONDON London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE For “Forest on Fire,” the sixth iteration of the project, Lucy Skaer, whose practice draws on history, art history, archaeology, and nature, drew inspiration from the Tauroctony (bull slaying) at the heart of the Mithraic cult and from walks through the surrounding district of London, redolent, as she explained in an online talk, with the history of the animal trade.
MONKTON, MARYLAND Ladew Topiary Gardens As the world screeched to a standstill last year, Laura Amussen continued working on the large-scale installations for her 2020 sculptor-in-residence exhibition at the Ladew Topiary Gardens. “Flourish” acted as a living testament to Amussen’s practice, which explores natural phenomena, human relationships, and climate change.
For the past five decades, Joan Tanner has pursued a rigorous and sustained investigation into spatial relationships via methods of concealment, combined with ideas of instability, impermanence, contradiction, and disruption.
“Making Amends” started with a broken laundry basket—a mass-produced, disposable product that, once broken, is designed to be thrown away and replaced, not fixed. The handle cracked, and my first thought was to buy another one.
SEATTLE Museum of Museums Energy Drink, an extensive, immersive installation by the artist team of Brian Sanchez and Neon Saltwater (on view through August 29, 2021), presents a number of possible interpretations: a gay dystopian environment for a “happy” couple; a hallucinatory fun house revolving around domestic symbols; a series of discrete activity areas for upscale urbanites who require access to gyms, spas, art galleries, sculpture studios, bars, and lounges.