15 October 2009

Sculpture & Installation 

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Dorsch Gallery, Miami
Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York
Galeria Fortes Vilaca, Sao Paulo
Cheim & Read, New York
Dorsch Gallery, Miami
Richard Haden, "Venting," 2009
Richard Haden

October 10 - November 7, 2009

In "Venting" Richard Haden exhibits a collection of hyper-realist sculptures, made between 1980 and tomorrow. Haden presents his painted wood sculptures as though routed through his ever-broadening philosophy.

For "Venting", Richard Haden will present new and old hyper-realist sculptures. He sculpts his works from wood and then paints them to resemble their referents uncannily. Haden is also a fierce auto-didact, who takes advantage of the hyper-linked culture we all have at our fingertips. For instance, he participates in philosophy and cultural studies that are part of a growing online international community who share through open-source education, outside institutional walls; he also contributes to art blogs and participates in lectures that further ongoing critical dialog with current art or cultural practices. With this exhibition, his material and philosophical skills converge.

Haden writes that "the point of this peculiar title--Venting--is not to limit our focus on the noun or object of a vent, it is the action of venting that I wish to interrogate. I am interested in the double entendre that the word reveals as well as what spins off in the course of this discourse." He expands on the verb to vent, then transitions into a discussion of the tradition of carving wood writing that, "although I work in a traditional manner, tradition is not the meaning of the work. I find meaning by doing." He concludes "What is before you is a conversation critical of tradition that goes back to a richer heritage of making meaning by doing. It begins in a world of craft and carries on in a world of discourse."

Haden was born in Frankfort, Kentucky and began his art education at the University of Kentucky. He apprenticed with Robert Bourdon in Sheridan, Wyoming, then he moved to San Francisco, then the Lower East Side in New York, back to the West Coast, then South Florida and now Miami. His work has been shown around the country; exhibitions include "New Art South Florida" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and solo shows at lincart, San Francisco and Allan Stone Gallery in New York. He was recently included in a group exhibition exploring aspects of trompe l'oeil in modern and contemporary sculpture at Nicholas Robinson Gallery in New York. One can find him interviewed, writing and written about online at, and, among other sites. This will be his first solo show in Miami.

The exhibition will open at Dorsch Gallery on Saturday, October 10, 2009, with a reception from 7-10pm. They will be on view through November 7, 2009. Dorsch Gallery is located at 151 NW 24 St, Miami, FL 33127. Gallery hours are Tues-Sat 12-5pm.

Richard Haden, "Venting," 2009
23 x 23 x 10 inches
Carved and painted wood.
Courtesy of Dorsch Gallery, Miami
Dorsch Gallery
151 NW 24 St
Miami, FL 33127
+1 305-576-1278

Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York
Bill Thompson, Toro, 2009

October 15 - December 12, 2009
reception: Thursday, October 15, from 6-8 PM

Thatcher Projects is pleased to announce the opening of Shift an exhibition of new work by Bill Thompson. From curvilinear and cloud-like to pointedly flexed and bowing, Thompson's colorful wall structures combine painting and sculpture into a unique minimalist art form.

The sculptures included in Shift begin their lives as solid blocks of urethane, which Thompson outlines with sweeping sketches before hand-grinding the pieces into their final eccentric and individual shapes. Shift introduces several new "species" of Thompson's work. In striking contrast to the fluid organic forms to be exhibited, one of these, the "Horn" species, attempts to stretch the constraints of its material form -- jutting and rising out from the structure in four pointed corners. Each work is given a unique identity both in form and hue, such that no single color is repeated in Thompson's sculpturally diverse oeuvre of work. With their luscious sheen, these monochromatic pieces act as unique lenses, engaging and reflecting their surrounding environment. The exhibition will present the first floor sculpture created by the artist.

This is Bill Thompson's first solo exhibition with Thatcher Projects. His works have been internationally collected and exhibited at institutions including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Institute for Contemporary Art at MECA, Portland; the List Visual Art Center, M.I.T, Cambridge; The New York Public Library; and the Song-Eun Art and Cultural Foundation, Korea, among others. Thompson was the featured artist in the May 2009 issue of, a contemporary art magazine published in Spain.

New Location
Shift marks the grand opening of Margaret Thatcher Projects newly renovated ground level venue, located at 539 West 23rd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues). Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Bill Thompson, Toro, 2009
24" x 20" x 7"
Urethane on polyurethane block
Image © the artist, courtesy of Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York

Margaret Thatcher Projects
539 W. 23rd street
Ground Floor
New York, NY 10011
+1 212.675.0222

Galeria Fortes Vilaça,  São Paulo
Barrão, Cabeça povoada, 2009

October 8 - November 11, 2009

Galeria Fortes Vilaça is pleased to present the exhibition by Rio de Janeiro artist Barrão. This show, Barrão's first in São Paulo since 1992, features ten new sculptures constructed through a process of gluing together the fragments of porcelain objects.

The artist began to work with appropriations of everyday objects in the 1980s. Since then, he has used household appliances, such as refrigerators, egg beaters and televisions, and more recently has begun to create sculptures with decorative porcelain, always subverting - with humor and irony - the original meaning of the objects.

Barrão groups pieces of the things he appropriates, gluing them together with epoxy resin and leaving the glued seams visible in the finished sculpture. As Luis Camilo Osório has stated, "some of the pieces can suggest new formattings, and the result arises from chance happenings along the way - purposeful and random acts go hand-in-hand." The artworks are guided by classic sculptural questions, such as the concern for volumetrics. In all the sculptures there is a central cohesive volume from which the extremities extend.

Generally made with old and used commonplace objects, the sculptures are loaded with pop and kitsch references. There is no logical hierarchy among the objects; Barrão's interest is focused on their forms, colors and sizes, and therefore an elephant, a skull, a Buddha, a teacup, a teapot or a little cat belong to the same classification.

In Delícia Tropical [Tropical Delicacy], a series of teacups, little vases, pots and pieces of decorative items with stamped fruit patterns are balanced to create a colorful and narrow 1.9-meter-high totem pole. At its top are four little ceramic parrots. Ninfas Derramadas [Spilled Nymphs] is made up of small sculptures of Greek goddesses with bare breasts arranged upside down. The delicate goddesses form a kind of white tail for the rest of the work, consisting of an accumulation of fragments of blue jugs and teacups.

Another "unforeseen conjoinment" is seen in Hospedeiros [Hosts], in which a ceramic dog has its head cut off and separated from its body, to which the artist glues a series of other ready-made objects, such as an elephant, a teapot and an umbrella handle.

His works evince a curious spirit that enjoys taking objects apart and then sticking them together in a way that confers a new sort of operation to them. With no regard for the household use or decorative function of these objects, Barrão disorders and destroys them, to then construct his artworks from their fragments.

Cabeça povoada, 2009
Porcelain and epoxy resin
27 x 57 x 29cm
Image © the artist, courtesy of Galeria Fortes Vilaça,  São Paulo

Galeria Fortes Vilaça
Rua Fradique Coutinho 1500
05416-001 São Paulo
+ 55 11 3032 7066

Cheim & Read, New York 

Jack Pierson, Abstracts at Cheim & Read, New York
8 October - 14 November 2009

Cheim & Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of abstract sculpture by multi-media artist Jack Pierson. Pierson's last exhibition with the gallery was in 2006. Most recently, his show, "Abstracts," was on view at Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, from June 19 to September 27, 2009.

Jack Pierson was born in 1960 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston in 1984. He works in several different mediums, including photography, video and sculpture, and is well-known for his re-appropriation of commercial signage and large-scale vintage lettering, with which he creates evocative word-sculptures and installations. For this exhibition at Cheim & Read, Pierson presents recent sculptural abstractions using his trademark signage materials. He repositions letters and other signage details - broken pieces, numbers and symbols - so that narrative is no longer recognizable. By removing the hierarchy of language, and therefore its immediate associations, Pierson strives for universality - the sculptures do not rely on words to communicate, instead provoking a more visceral reaction.

Pierson's work has long embodied sensations of nostalgia and melancholia, memory and loss. The distinctly American nature of the signage he uses references road-side ephemera and American cultural symbolism, and is imbued with poignancy and disillusionment. His work is also inherently autobiographical, balanced by a sly sense of irony and humor, which allows the viewer to identify with his imagery. In his sculptural abstractions, the emotional sensibility of Pierson's style remains, but his themes are less explicit.. The work is intentionally non-objective and non-literal - a given word might still exist in a pile or hang reconfigured on the wall, but its signification is diffused. While Pierson's abstractions are inevitably related to his "readable" word-sculptures, they attempt to move beyond a singular interpretation. He questions the construction of meaning by deconstructing the viewer's search for it.

The formal beauty of Pierson's abstractions is evident. Some are calligraphic, some brightly colored; some reference Minimalism, while others seem to descend from Pop. Many resemble totems, or astronomical constellations.. The repositioning, re-contextualizing and recycling of Pierson's source material resets the viewer's expectations. While letters and symbols are identifiable, the composition as a whole requires a different reading, a suspension of assumption in exchange for possibility. As Pierson states: "Some are abstractions, some calligraphic, and some are cantations. The the same as the subject of all my work: hope."

Jack Pierson 'Abstracts'
Installation view
Courtesy of Cheim & Read, New York

Cheim & Read
547 West 25th Street
New York, NY 10001
+1 212 242 7727

IZUMI Keiji, Underarm Waterfalls, 2009
Underarm Waterfalls

September 26 - November 7, 2009

ARATANIURANO is pleased to announce "Underarm Waterfalls," an exhibition by Izumi Keiji, to be held from September 26 to November 7. Izumi Keiji was born in Kanagawa prefecture in 1973. He is a young artist who studied sculpture at Tokyo Zokei University and expresses a unique world through wood sculpture pieces. His wood sculptures were first introduced last November through a group exhibition held at ARATANIURANO and at an art fair in Miami, where the pieces were favorably received. The upcoming exhibition will be Izumi's first solo exhibition at ARATANIURANO.

The figures created by Izumi are all fantastical, yet somehow familiar, and humorous: a man who is a union of an afro and a Martian; a man who is clenching a fist that seems crowned with an erupting volcano; a girl with flyaway balloon hair; an elderly person with a beard connected to smoke; and so on. They all bring forth
laughter with their sense of humor and leap in logic. At the same time, there is a sense of familiarity and reality that tends to remind the viewer of someone they know.

The creation process is quite unique also. First, a semi-nude figure clad in underwear is carved. Then, clothing is added in putty. Lastly, color is added mainly through the use of colored pencils. It is amazing to see Izumi's skillful attention to particulars that allows him to creatively express motifs without a predetermined shape: the clothing's wrinkles, textures, waves, clouds, and smoke. The balance between such attention to detail and his fantastical and humorous motifs brings forth a tension that makes for unique sculptural pieces that achieve a high level of completion.

As expressed by Izumi, "I want to incorporate various elements in my pieces, just as my own personality is structured from various elements," all the pieces are a union of waves, smoke, clouds, rainbows and other such natural elements, and fantastical creatures with the human body. Through these works, it seems that the
individuality and uncontrollable feelings and sensations that characterize us are embodied as a part of the world that transcends humanity. Also, these pieces can be viewed as the reflection of modern man who has become sublimated by the fantastic. Izumi's imagination is sure to expand the viewer's own. We look forward to this
exhibition with anticipation.

Underarm Waterfalls, 2009
175 x 37 x 33 cm
Wood (camphor tree), plastic resin,
color pencil, acrylic
Courtesy of ARATANIURANO, Tokyo.

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104-0041 Tokyo
+81 (0) 3-3555-0696
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October 21-22 Painting / Drawing
October 28-29 Photography, Film & Video
November 4-5 Sculpture / Installation
November 12-13 Mixed / Multi Media 
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