On the Cover:
James Surls, Fifty Wings, 2015. Bronze and stainless steel, 11 x 11 x 8 ft.
View of work installed at the National Botanic Gardens, Singapore. Photo: Robert Millman Photography.
“I want to imbue the materials I use with the sense of a life in and about them,” says James Surls, winner of the 2020 ISC Lifetime Achievement in Contempo- rary Sculpture Award. Like Surls, most of the other artists in this issue evince a particularly strong concern for materials in their practices. Barry X Ball, for instance, scours the globe for the stone he carves into his reworked masterpieces, while Andy Goldsworthy—here, the subject of Brian Hearn’s report on the public art project Walking Wall—famously uses rough stone to build his walls. Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere also employs traditional resources, in his case, stoneware and porcelain. By contrast, Anna Reading experiments with a variety of synthetic and natural materials, going so far as to create her own, and Rita Simoni frequently takes the urban environment as her primary material. In Object Lessons this month, Mildred Howard discusses why she chose hand-blown glass to construct a recent public art project in the form of a house. Of course, each of these artists approaches materials in a unique fashion, and yet we hope that, as you read through these pages, you’ll discover how they also join Surls in giving life to the matter with which they work. —Daniel Kunitz