Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Re- purposing in sculpture

It seems my last art trip became more about viewing three dimensional art than my usual 2D. It just happened that way. My friend took me to Storm King Art Center which is in Mountainville, New York.

Storm King is a museum that celebrates the relationship between nature and sculpture. There are 500 acres of landscaped lawns, fields and woodlands which provide a backdrop for the sculptures of international artists. Certainly we didn't walk the 500 acres, but we did get to see quite a bit of the property. We opted to begin our explorations with a tram ride that highlighted many of the major works on display. This gave just enough information for us to decide where we wanted to spend more time and get close up views.

I had my favourites which I'll continue to explore in several future posts. One of the themes I noticed was the re- purposing of materials.

The re-purposing of of materials to create objects that are both functional and beautiful is artfully accomplished by Johnny Swing. Among other things he's created a series of Coin Furniture. His Butterfly Chair (2002) was created by welding7000 half dollars together and the Nickel Couch is self explanatory. Additional works in this series can be found on his website. The undulating curves were very inviting and made me want to caress the surfaces. The overall appeal was one of softness but sitting on them was anything but! They were hard, cold and damp on the overcast day we visited.

A Moment in Time (2004) by Chakaia Booker was created using rubber tires, stainless steel and wood. The organic shapes and the texture drew me in immediately. I couldn't imagine that such delicate forms could be created from tires. My mind was running wild with questions about her process. I wasn't familiar with this artist when I first came upon her work but further research when I got home reminded me that indeed I had seen some of her sculpture in various art magazines. This Africian American artist was born in 1953 in Newark, NJ and attended Rutgers University, receiving a degree in Sociology and a Masters of Fine Art from City College of NY in 1993. She began working with rubber tires in the early 1990's and continues to work in this medium. Writings about her work indicate a concern for social issues. Want to find out more? Check out these articles in Art Daily and The Village Voice '


Tina Steele Lindsey said...

I've not been there - thank you so much for sharing your visit!

hwfarber said...

Wow, I love these sculptures--money and rubber.

I actually have three arty planters made from tires. They were pulled up from the rim inside-out and painted. My neighbors thought they were ceramic--I bought them from an elderly local man with a mean-looking dog. I think of Southern landscaping when I see tires. Last year I bought some black rubber and diamond earrings when I sold some paintings (can't remember the designer's name and it takes me about thirty minutes to get them into my ears).

Are you thinking of sculpting?

Margaret Ryall said...

Somewhere in me there is sculpture. I can tell by how I feel when I touch things, especially textured things.

I am trying to imagine your earrings. As of yet, I have no image of black rubber and diamonds but they sound very interesting.

ArtPropelled said...

Interesting looking sculptures especially the rubber tire pieces. I'm off to follow your link. Thanks margaret.

paula said...

you've got some great links here! love the tire stuff.