Valérie Blass, Dire á jamais qu’une seule chose á jamais la même chose, 2015. Sculpting epoxy dough, sand, fool’s gold, Plexiglas, and metal, 51.25 x 9.5 x 9.5 in.

Valérie Blass


Catriona Jeffries

One of the rewards of looking at contemporary art, and at sculpture in particular, is the opportunity to track, for want of a better description, the genealogy of the field and its many innovations. More than any other art form, sculpture deserves the historical distinction of being the most adaptive and experimental of artistic disciplines—if today’s sculpture seems set on redefining itself, it is in keeping with a longstanding tradition. Of late, it appears that artists are being mindful of the key formal and stylistic tropes of Modernism. Valérie Blass’s recent exhibition, “To Only Ever Say One Thing Forever the Same Thing,” presented an intriguing intersection of sculpture and performance art photography. The choreography of her actors’ activities was limited to static and slightly absurdist poses that, once transcribed photographically, become instrumental to the orientation of various sculptural assemblages, tableaux, and objects. The failure of it all is a vaguely Cubo-Futurist/Machine Age piece (think early Léger) constructed of gypsum cement, epoxy dough, and acrylic paint. Conically formed and mold-cast, this two-part, stacked hollow object with photographically transferred abstract brushmark motifs articulating multiple surfaces can only be fully appreciated in the round. Its overall artistry in fabrication also includes a surface treatment that masquerades as sculptural modeling…see the entire review in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.