1. Mel Kendrick: sub-stratum is open at David Nolan Gallery until December 5, 2015.
A preeminent American sculptor – considered among the leading practitioners in the medium – Kendrick’s thoroughgoing practice has involved the use of cast bronze, concrete, a variety of woods, as well as investigations with cast paper. Kendrick addresses fundamental questions around sculpture: namely, the relationship between the object as we experience it and the clearly evident means by which it was created. An abiding theme over the years has been the role of a sculpture’s base as not only a practical support or display feature but also as a crucial generative component within the work itself. Kendrick’s process typically starts with a simple cubic volume (resembling a plinth) from which cylindrical or conical forms are unearthed and then set atop or underneath this original element. Guided by the essential properties of his chosen material, the naturally occurring character of wood or concrete can define the direction of the artwork.
2. Max Ernst: Paramyths: Sculpture, 1934-1967 is open at Paul Kasmin Gallery until December 5, 2015.
Max Ernst turned to three-dimensional materials and sculpture in intense bursts of activity at various moments in his career from his Cologne Dada period in the 1920s onwards. After spending the summer of 1934 in Switzerland with Giacometti quarrying and carving works in stone, he returned to Paris with a serious commitment to sculpture and developed the processes he would utilize for the rest of his career. Paramyths explores several phases of the artist’s sculptural output with iconic works ranging from 1934–1967 that emphasize the importance of sculpture within his artistic oeuvre. Ernst is known for the inspired development of frottage and decalcomania, process-based methods of artistic production that served to unlock the powers of the imagination. These techniques also infused his approach to sculpture, but resulted in a very different vocabulary of simple forms derived from everyday objects he had on hand. Ernst would often accumulate and recombine these ordinary shapes, initially cast in plaster, to create anthropomorphic sculptures of rare poetry, humor, and symbolic power.
3. Sheila Hicks is open at Sikkema Jenkins & Co until November 28, 2015.
For over 50 years, Sheila Hicks has expanded the boundaries of the woven form to create a distinctive and innovative body of work that defies traditional categorization into the fields of fine art, craft, design, and architecture. While constantly innovating with the use of novel materials and forms, Hicks’ work continues to reflect her early art training. A student of Josef Albers at Yale in the 1950s, color remains a central concern for Hicks. Awarded a Fulbright scholarship to paint in Chile, Hicks photographed indigenous weavers and archeological sites in the Andes. This, along with extended trips throughout Peru, Bolivia and the volcanic region of Villarrica, the island of Chiloé, and Tierra del Fuego, reinforced Hicks’ interest in the textile vocabulary as an artistic medium which she continues to expand today. The current exhibition revisits and reimagines The Treaty of Chromatic Zones, a monumental bas-relief of pure pigmented fiber originally realized for Art Basel Unlimited in June of 2015. Hicks showcases the supple and flexible qualities of her materials, sometimes deconstructing and reassembling previously used entities to explore their infinite possibilities of form and movement.
4. Moljciech Gilewicz: Cuboids is open at Cuchifritos Gallery until November 29, 2015.
Cuboids, a solo exhibition by Polish American artist Wojciech Gilewicz comprised of three eponymous spatial, painted objects and a video. This autonomous film narrative combining painting and performative interventions reminds of an early student film by Roman Polanski “Two Men and a Wardrobe” (Dwaj ludzie z szafa, 1958). In his work, Gilewicz touches upon the value of labor, both artistic and physical, fulfillment as it relates to the production and over-production of art in a global economic slowdown and the roles of critics and art institutions. His work ultimately reveals, in picturesque and even humoristic ways, the limits of artistic activities themselves and the part they play in a wider social environment. His DIY-like project shows how art and life are interwoven and that art can still be done for the sheer pleasure of creation without any explicit plan or purpose.