A flamboyant herd of concrete goats seem to strut their stuff across Socrates Sculpture Park on the waterfront in Long Island City, Queens. Part of the exhibition “Nari Ward: G.O.A.T., again,” each goat has a shaft of rebar shooting up from its back that’s embellished with materials. Some are adorned with dazzling gold leaf or an extravagant pompadour of hairy black palm. The one Mr. Ward calls “the social media goat” sprouts a tangle of electric cords and has a body tinted red, white and blue. Another, tarred and feathered, stands alone.

The goat can be a loaded symbol, according to Mr. Ward, 53, who was born in Jamaica and now lives in Harlem with his wife and two children. He likes to elicit association, memory, history and politics through installations and large-scale sculptures laden with commonplace and often-discarded objects that he collects from the streets. At his studio and home in a former fire station, he described how the goat can be perceived as a sacrificial animal as well as an image of debauchery, as humble or arrogant, an insult or a boast. Musicians and athletes often use G.O.A.T. as an acronym for Greatest of All Time.

After Donald J. Trump won the election, Mr. Ward thought the goat seemed like the suitable form for populating the public park. “Audacity was in the air, with this ego running rampant,” said Mr. Ward, a natural storyteller with an easy sense of humor. He had intended to do something “absurdist and ridiculous” with chickens after being offered the Socrates commission last summer but scrapped that plan in November.

“I didn’t feel playful anymore,” he said, emphasizing that the idea is bigger than the new president. “There was something urgent that I needed to talk about. The title ‘G.O.A.T., again’ is referencing the small-minded concept of history that you’re the Greatest of All Time.”

“What’s universal,” he said, “is the notion of a savior, the notion of a charlatan, the abuse of power and manipulation.”

Splayed across the center of the park is a 40-foot-long hobbyhorse with a colossal faux-stone goat’s head. Titled “Scapegoat,” a term that goes back to the Bible, the sculpture is like a caricature of a political monument or the abandoned plaything of a deity. Mr. Ward imagines the outsize animal as part of a play “where the main character is killed.” Whether “Scapegoat” is meant to be worshiped, ostracized or mourned is left ambiguous. “It’s up the viewer to figure out their role in that,” said Mr. Ward, who likes to keep his imagery open-ended enough to invite multiple readings.

“The goats become the ambassadors for the conversation,” he added.

Indeed, Mr. Ward seems to be courting public opinion in the park with a giant glowing sign that spells “Apollo,” like the Harlem theater. But in Mr. Ward’s version, the first and last letters blink to flip the message to “poll,” a word linked to the 2016 election. “It’s the linchpin of the show,” said Mr. Ward, connecting the theater’s Amateur Night, where the crowd cheers contestants or boos them off the stage, with the protests, rallies and social media eruptions across the American landscape.

“G.O.A.T., again” marks the first time a single artist has taken on the entire five-acre park. The executive director of Socrates Sculpture Park, John Hatfield, felt Mr. Ward was the right artist for the challenge. “It’s a rarity to have an artist immersively occupy an outdoor space with works that can amplify one another,” Mr. Hatfield said. “Nari often combines two aspects masterfully — a darkness that leads you into a critique of the social strata with the joyousness of a toy or celebratory aspect of scale — and then lets people create their own stories.”

For Mr. Ward, who just had a midcareer traveling museum survey open at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, working outside the white cube of the gallery is a return to how he started.

In 1993, during a residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem after receiving his master of fine arts degree at Brooklyn College, he began collecting abandoned baby strollers from the streets. They were a poignant symbol to him of disrupted lives. Staging his own exhibition in a rented fire station (where he moved in 1999), he clustered 365 strollers and carved out an ellipse-shaped pathway lined with fire hose. The installation suggested both a vulva and a ship’s hull. Titled “Amazing Grace” — a song that permeated the space in a haunting loop — it evoked journeys both painful and transcendent and helped develop Mr. Ward’s approach to assembling found objects rich with past lives and stories.

Cecilia Alemani, who commissioned Mr. Ward’s “Smart Tree” for the High Line last year, called Mr. Ward “a poet of urban transformation.”

“Nari’s able to chronicle the life of the city and the people who live in the cities through the objects that they use and leave behind,” she said. He stopped traffic on the High Line with his sculpture of a car propped on cinder blocks and covered with a patchwork of cut tires that became a giant vase for an apple tree. It was based on a childhood memory of his father buying a broken car that he intended to fix but left sitting so long in his yard in Jamaica that it sprouted a tree.

“There was quite an element of hope,” Ms. Alemani said.

This year Mr. Ward won the $100,000 Vilcek Prize, awarded annually to an immigrant artist who has contributed significantly to American culture. He came from Jamaica at 12 with his family, first to Brooklyn and then Parsippany, N.J. There, his mother worked as a housekeeper for Fred Schwartz — famous locally for his “Fred the Furrier” TV ads in the 1970s — and the family lived with Mr. Schwartz’s mentally handicapped brother-in-law. “It became my job to take care of Howie,” Mr. Ward said. “I felt this weird sense of protection for him. It was my tour of duty.”

The works in Mr. Ward’s museum survey, which opened in 2015 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and also traveled to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, explore clichés of Caribbean culture, the simultaneous visibility and invisibility of black men on city streets, and ideas of migration, struggle and ascension. Ruth Erickson, associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, who coordinated the presentation there, said she “could not have imagined how newly timely Nari’s survey would be in our current political moment.”

“Naturalization Drawing Table” from 2004 shows the procrastinatory doodles Mr. Ward made on an Immigration and Naturalization Service form the first time he set out to become a citizen. “The work I was making was questioning what it means to be an American, in response to post 9/11 fervor and distancing ourselves from other people,” Mr. Ward said. “I thought I needed to get my citizenship if I wanted to critique this country that I love.”

He finally completed the process in 2012 after multiple starts and stops.

His drawing table will be activated on May 4, when visitors to the show can receive an edition set of Mr. Ward’s elaborate doodles in return for filling out the I.N.S. form and having a passport photo taken on-site. The notarized applications will then be hung on the wall of the museum and become a permanent part of the piece.

Participation is also weaved into a billboard-size installation in which thousands of shoelaces spell the first words of the Constitution, “We the People,” originally conceived in 2011 using hand-dyed laces. Mr. Ward was persuaded by the philanthropist Diana DiMenna to make a new version this year as a permanent acquisition for the New-York Historical Society after landing on the idea of collecting used shoelaces from among the 200,000 schoolchildren who visit the society annually. “We wanted people, and especially children, to be able to put themselves literally into the narrative of what it means to be ‘we the people’,” Ms. DiMenna said. On view in the lobby, “We the People” has been integrated into the society’s curriculum on constitutional history and is a pit stop for visiting school groups.

This month a frequent visitor to Socrates Sculpture Park watched Mr. Ward installing “Bipartition Bell,” a bulbous organic shape made of hammered copper dangling from a steel frame and reminiscent of the Liberty Bell. The man called out to Mr. Ward, asking him if it was testicles “you have hanging up there.” The artist pretended not to hear, but then told the man it was an “upside-down heart.” Finally he sheepishly admitted it was indeed modeled on a goat scrotum.

“It’s this massive organ that’s about virility and potentiality,” said Mr. Ward, who will also have a gallery exhibition at Lehmann Maupin in June. While his sculpture seems to promise a resounding gong, viewers who duck their heads inside the bell will find only the tiniest billy goat chime that they can ring. Mr. Ward said he’s playing with the idea of “unfulfilled expectations,” something he feels many Americans are currently experiencing. For black Americans, he said, it has long been “the norm.”

“When what you want to happen doesn’t happen, how do you then deal with the shortcomings?” he asked. “I think artists are good at shedding light on emotional spaces that are buried because they’re painful to revisit.”

Yet he never wants to leave viewers without a silver lining. In Mr. Ward’s goat-land, where testicles can be read as a heart, the little bell inside may be a letdown, or a seed of hope.

A Rural Shrine to New York’s Angels and Gargoyles

CHARLOTTEVILLE, N.Y. — New York City has nearly 750 museums and galleries that showcase paintings, dinosaurs, ships, fire trucks and gangsters, to name a few. But when it comes to a certain category of lost New York, the most intriguing collection is in a museum 175 miles away: stone fragments that once adorned city buildings.

They are a throwback to an era of embellishment — scores of exuberant faces positioned cheek by jowl, sometimes literally; angels and sea monsters; griffins and goddesses; smiling cherubs and stern knights in helmets. They now reside here in the Anonymous Arts Museum, in a hamlet where the soundtrack outside, when there is one, is not taxis honking or bicyclists shouting “Get out of the way!” It is roosters crowing.

The museum is a shrine to decoration from the days before long smooth walls of glass. But the museum’s home is not made of the materials it celebrates: granite, marble, limestone, sandstone and various kinds of terra cotta. The building is all wood.

The artifacts on display came from demolition sites in New York, starting in the late 1950s. They were salvaged by an art dealer, Ivan Karp.

He was known in the art world for pioneering the way for galleries in SoHo and for promoting Pop Art pillars like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. But he also lamented the loss of the cityscape he had grown up with.

So, operating as a self-described “rubble rouser,” he set out to save what he could, driving around in a beat-up Jeep in search of cornices, capitals and gargoyles. Many were high up. A few would have been right at eye level for a second-story man.

Mr. Karp stashed some of his finds in the basement of his gallery on West Broadway, but in the 1980s, he and his wife bought the building here and opened the museum. They called it the Anonymous Arts Museum because they never found a signature on any of the artifacts they retrieved.

Like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it has its presidential portraits. Abraham Lincoln, in limestone, came from a long-gone building in Brooklyn. So did Chester A. Arthur, the Vermont-born vice president who moved into the White House after James A. Garfield’s assassination.

It also has Joe Dahms, who did the carpentry work and installed the artifacts, and is stronger for having lifted them all.

“Everything was start-to-finish heavy,” he said one morning last month as he stood in front of an ornament labeled “Biblical head amidst vegetal ornament, c. 1880.”

“It took four guys to lift that off the floor,” he said. “That thing was on a building.”

Some would say this is actually stolen New York, since the artifacts were usually taken, sometimes after small cash payments to guards at demolition sites. Some would call the cash payments bribes. Preservationists would say that the items were destined to be destroyed, and that hauling them off to Charlotteville, about an hour’s drive west of Albany, was a way of saving them.

But Marilynn Gelfman Karp said that her husband’s scavenging had the blessing of Mayor John V. Lindsay.

“Mayor Lindsay gave us a letter, so that if we were stopped by the police, if the police tried to stop us from saving the ornament that was being smashed willy-nilly, we could show the letter,” she recalled. “It said, in mayorly terms: ‘Cease and desist. These people have permission.’”

A stroll through the museum is an immersion in an era that began around 1875, when the city was beginning to climb skyward. That era lasted until just before World War I. Many of the carefully carved keystones and classical column capitals lasted until the heyday of urban renewal a couple of generations later, when wrecking crews pried them off.

“They weren’t saving anything,” Mrs. Karp said. “When a building was under demolition, Ivan would go up to the foreman and say: ‘See that up there? Bring it down gently.’ Ivan would give him $10 and go back at the end of the day, and the foreman would tell him where it was.”

The adventures of Mr. Karp, who died in 2012, fueled the recent novel “The Gargoyle Hunters” by John Freeman Gill, a freelance writer who has contributed to The New York Times and The Atlantic. He took the title from the headline on a 1962 article in The New York Herald Tribune’s Sunday magazine that he said described “a subculture of folks who haunted demolition sites to salvage endangered architectural sculptures during that period of sweeping urban renewal.” Mr. Gill said his mother had done some gargoyle hunting. He said he had heard about Mr. Karp from her, and tracked him down in 2009.

The museum is open only three hours a week, from noon to 3 p.m. on Sundays, and only three months of the year, from Father’s Day through August. Charlotteville is so far from the madding crowd that no one from New York “actually makes a trip here,” Mr. Dahms said. He added that local residents come for the second floor, a separate museum about Charlotteville itself that Mrs. Karp assembled.

The Karps spent summers in Charlotteville, but at first Mr. Karp did not publicize where the museum was because “he didn’t want artists besieging him with slides” to look at, Mrs. Karp said. The town had shown promise before the Civil War, with a couple of colleges and five general stores, but the colleges burned and the general stores foundered. Later a photographer from Vogue redid the town’s one hotel “as a getaway place for the models,” Mr. Dahms said, but he married one — “and she decided she wanted a castle in France, and they moved on.”

An Artistic Partnership Reunites in the Bronx

Lennon and McCartney. Abbott and Costello. Siegfried and Roy. Ahearn and Torres.


In the history of creative duos, John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres may not have name recognition — or money — but they have longevity. For almost 40 years the two artists have collaborated on life casts, making them from the South Bronx to Taiwan and from Brazil to Puerto Rico. Creatively, they are like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, sharing credit on life-size sculptures of famous and obscure people. Temperamentally, Mr. Torres can be reticent to the point of being more like George Harrison, the quiet Beatle.

Their partnership has endured through distance, even as both pursued solo projects. About 15 years ago Mr. Torres left New York for Orlando, Fla., while Mr. Ahearn continued working in his South Bronx studio. With Mr. Ahearn the one with connections to the city’s art world, people sometimes forget about Mr. Torres’s equal contributions to their oeuvre. But if anything, Mr. Ahearn was relieved and excited when Mr. Torres returned to his studio recently to prepare several pieces for a show in Chelsea in the fall.

“John has his own anxieties going on,” Mr. Torres, 54, said with a laugh. “I’m the more relaxed one. I’m the one who fixes everything after they’re broken. I’m not so anxious about things.”

They met in summer 1979 at Fashion Moda, a fabled gallery near 149th Street and Third Avenue in the Bronx that attracted downtown artists like Tom OtternessJane Dickson and Mr. Ahearn, as well as local graffiti artists and break dancers. Mr. Ahearn had been making casts of people by the gallery’s big storefront windows when a cousin of Mr. Torres’s stopped by to check out the scene. Mr. Torres soon went to see for himself.

Sculpture ran in the Torres family — his uncle Raul had a statue factory not too far away, churning out saints and knickknacks that graced countless living rooms where plastic-covered furniture bought on installment was the major design statement. He mentioned to Mr. Ahearn that he had worked in the factory.

“I knew we were meant to work together,” Mr. Ahearn, 65, recalled. “He had a poise, a sense of independence and a warm, strong, simple and clear presence. He was honest and sincere and wanted to talk about the technical aspects. He came back the next day and began assisting me with the casting.”

That meeting changed both of them. Mr. Ahearn took a studio apartment in the building where Mr. Torres lived on Walton Avenue, where they would cast people on the sidewalk during block parties. Mr. Torres’s skills would take him overseas to work on installations — or to help Mr. Ahearn when he got into a jam.

“John was in Taiwan doing a project with scooters and a friend called to tell me he was freaking out,” Mr. Torres recalled. “I’m good under high pressure, so I went and spent a month there. When things get tough, I’m O.K. with that. I don’t panic.”

He may not always have been that laid back. In the early 1990s, he suffered an asthma attack that deprived his brain of oxygen for several minutes. He was hospitalized for weeks, followed by a long convalescence during which he had to relearn simple tasks. The attack came while he and Mr. Ahearn were doing a project in Times Square that had them working around the clock.

He has since learned to take it easier, even if it has unexpected results. Last year, the day of his marriage to Wanda Echevarria, he was sick with a cold and passed out in church. Undaunted, he got a chair, sat down and asked his wife-to-be to sit on his lap for the ceremony.

Since moving to Florida, Mr. Torres has devoted himself to his solo projects, exhibiting at a local museum, as well as doing workshops and demonstrations for students. A recent piece — of the former Tuskegee airman Richard Hall Jr. — is now on display at a show in Winter Park. Still, he knows that being in Orlando, he is far from the spotlight, working in relative anonymity.

So as much as Florida agrees with him on a personal level, he felt good to be back in New York, teamed up with Mr. Ahearn. They went about recasting some pieces and touched up some older ones. Mr. Torres spent time painting a pair of 12-year-old boxers whom he had cast in Puerto Rico years ago.

“It had been a long time, but we still got it,” Mr. Torres said. “We can still work together. We still got it. We can do one more run.”

Why Send Germany a Statue of Marx? The Chinese Have Some Ideas

BEIJING — From China, with love. Or something more insidious?

For weeks, Chinese have been debating the meaning of a superhero-size statue of Karl Marx headed to Trier, the German town where the political philosopher was born. An attempt to spread Communist revolution back to democratic Germany? A joke?

The 18-foot work by the sculptor Wu Weishan is a gift from the Chinese government and is to be unveiled next May as part of wider commemorations for the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birth. Marx is officially revered in China, the last major Communist state after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

This noble-looking Marx gazing into the future expresses “the confidence of today’s China in its own theories, path, system and culture,” Mr. Wu wrote in People’s Daily, the party newspaper, in January describing a visit he made to Trier last year to conceptualize the work.

Mr. Wu’s vision prompted controversy in Germany after a model was unveiled in Trier in March. Historians and politicians asked whether it was appropriate to honor so uncritically a man whose ideas led to dictatorship, including in the former East Germany. In April, Trier’s City Council gave final approval to the gift but whittled down its size by more than two feet.

In China, “there are two completely different voices in the debate” over the statue, said Zhu Dake, a cultural commentator and professor at Tongji University in Shanghai.

“One is that Germany is now a wholly capitalist state that has abandoned Marxism. Sending the statue is tantamount to sending his ideas back to try to reignite the spark of revolution,” he said in an interview.

“The other is that Marx’s theory of class struggle had a very negative effect on China,” he said. “Sending the statue is symbolically returning defective goods.”

Much of the discussion in China is taking place in private, given the sensitivity of commenting publicly on a project overseen by the Communist Party’s Propaganda Department. But Zhihu.com, a question-and-answer service, provides glimpses of those views.

“The International will certainly succeed!” wrote a user identified as Wang Dongyang, referring to the Communist International, founded in 1919 to advance world Communism

“Am I the only one who thinks this looks like Mao in ‘Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan’?” asked another commenter, referring to a famous propaganda painting from the Cultural Revolution.

“At midnight on day two a South China Sword team” — a special forces unit of the People’s Liberation Army — “will leap out of the statue,” wrote a person with the handle Ning Andong, comparing it to a Trojan horse.

“What China means is: We’re sending it back to you. We don’t believe in it,” the user Wu Jia said.

Millions died in Communist political campaigns after the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949, and in a famine precipitated by an effort to collectivize agriculture in the late 1950s. Still, the government insists the party remains essential to China’s prosperity and stability, pointing to recent decades of high economic growth.

In that time, trade with Europe has also prospered, raising for some questions of how democratic nations should deal with an economically powerful state that rejects democracy and has a poor human rights record. Last year, China became Germany’s leading trading partner with two-way trade of $180 billion, overtaking the United States for the first time.

“Haha, Germans have to kowtow to the renminbi. They no longer care about political ideology when the money pours in from rich Chinese,” a user identified as Guo Xiaomeng wrote on Zhihu.com.

To Chang Ping, a Chinese journalist who has lived in exile in Germany since 2011, the Marx statue represents a challenge most Germans fail to understand.

“This is not just a question of commemorating a historical figure. It’s also a question of how to deal with the Chinese government’s ambition to shine on the world stage,” Mr. Chang said by email.

“I think that I can see better than ordinary Germans the hideous grin behind the statue that is to be erected in Trier, and the threat it represents to the civilized political cultures of the world,” he said.

The mayor of the city, Wolfram Leibe, finds such concerns overblown.

“It was a gesture of friendship and has nothing to do with ideology,” Mr. Leibe said in a telephone interview in April, shortly after returning from China, where he met with Mr. Wu, the sculptor.

“Maybe a certain naïveté is not always bad if it prevents over-interpretation, so you don’t always dissect things in detail and suspect everything,” he said.

Mr. Wu declined three requests for an interview, saying that the statue was a state affair and that he did not want to interrupt his creative flow.

Well known in China for his monuments to historical and cultural figures, as well as his flowing mane of hair and cravats, Mr. Wu, 55, is the director of the National Museum of China and holds a seat in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a government advisory body.

He has produced other sculptures of Marx, notably one that shows him with his collaborator Friedrich Engels, at the party’s Central Compilation and Translation Bureau in Beijing. In 2011, an enormous statue of Confucius he created briefly stood near Tiananmen Square in Beijing, before being removed under circumstances that have never been fully explained.

He is known internationally, too, having won the 2003 Pangolin Prize of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, sculpted a bust of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and presented a sculpture to the International Olympic Committee.

Mr. Wu’s grandiose vision for the statue in Trier overturned a more approachable concept proposed by residents who wanted Marx depicted as a child, seated on a bench in a small square, where people could sit beside him.

“Mr. Wu came to Trier and said, ‘This square is too small and cramped. Karl Marx was a great man and we can’t put him in a small square,’” Mr. Leibe said.

To Geremie Barmé, a founder of the Wairarapa Academy for New Sinologyin New Zealand, the sculpture is an expression of party power.

“The Germans’ suggestion was for an early, humane, humanist Marx, a source for change in China — not the heroic, sclerotic, formalized Marx used for party purposes that Wu offered,” Mr. Barmé said by telephone.

China’s message is, he said, “Since we’re the only one that’s been successful and adapted Marxism to state leadership, we’ll tell you what it’s about.”

Charles Ray Joins Ancient and Contemporary in Sculpture Debut in Rome

ROME — Mention the name of the American artist Charles Ray, and Italy holds its breath. Mr. Ray made waves in the country in 2013 when his “Boy with Frog,” a hypernaturalistic, 8-foot-tall sculpture commissioned by François Pinault, the French luxury goods magnate and collector, was removed from the Punta della Dogana in Venice because of protests on the part of locals, who demanded the return of a displaced lamppost there, a favorite smooching spot.

In his sculpture debut in Rome on Thursday, Mr. Ray showed “Mountain Lion Attacking a Dog,” which he developed at the American Academy in Rome, where he is the spring 2017 Deenie Yudell artist in residence. Reaction so far has been muted, perhaps because the work is in a private space, not a public one.

The piece is on exhibit at the academy along with an earlier work, “Shoe Tie” (2012), two sculptures that Mr. Ray said had been informed by his reflection on two works of antiquity from the Capitoline Museums in Rome that he saw “at different times at the Getty” museum in California, where he lives. One is a fourth-century B.C. sculpture of a lion attacking a horse, the other is a first-century B.C. bronze showing a young boy plucking a thorn from his foot. “For me, those works were really enjoyable,” he said during a public lecture at the Academy on Thursday.

For many years, Mr. Ray has taken long predawn walks in the Santa Monica Mountains, “thinking about the mountain lions” that populate them and how they kill by jumping on a prey’s back. This formed the narrative to both works. Literally, in the case of the dog mauled by the lion, but also in the case of the young boy who by tying his shoe exposes his neck, leaving himself vulnerable, he said.

Charles Umlauf’s Studio in the Museum

re:sculpt | International Sculpture Center

 Exhibition view. Photo taken by the author. Exhibition view. Photo taken by the author.

In 1985 the city of Austin received the gift of sculptor Charles Umlauf’s residence, studio and 168 sculptures from the artist after his retirement from the faculty at the University of Texas in Austin in 1981. A land-swap agreement with the state provided six acres adjacent to the original property that became home to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum in 1991, a project which Umlauf helped design and install. Although the museum is presently located in an important area of Austin, the quiet isolation of the wooded area, purchased in the 1940’s remains an integral element to the grounds located next to Ziker Park and Barton Springs.

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Sculpture at Scenic World 2017 Call for submissions

re:sculpt | International Sculpture Center

12-L-PrintUse-featureLouis Pratt, Wonder, 2016. Photo by Keith Maxwell

Sculpture at Scenic World has opened the call for submissions for its 2017 exhibition. It is the most important prize in Australia for an outdoor artwork that in the 2016 edition has been increased up to 20,000 AUD. Located 100 kms from Sydney, the idyllic village of Katoomba is the main destination for all who want to admire the breathtaking views of the rock formation called The Three Sisters in the heart of the Blue Mountains National Park. Scenic World, one of the oldest tourism business in New South Wales, is owned by the Hammon Family – now in their third generation, and siblings Anthea and David have brought fresh air to the company; in the last few years they have been committed to providing a extensive experience to the visitor and, at the same time, contributing to the already vibrant art…

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Into the Woods

re:sculpt | International Sculpture Center

Michigan Legacy Art Park SculptureFallen Comrade, 2009. Artist: David Greenwood. Photo courtesy of the Michigan Legacy Art Park

This sculpture park took shape around 14,000 years ago, when a retreating glacier raked out the vistas and hills that now comprise the rugged terrain of the Legacy Art Park, a thirty-acre patch of earth not far from Michigan’s famous Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  But credit certainly also goes to the late David Barr, a visionary sculptor and poet, who had the tenacity to found an art park and educational center in which contemporary sculpture could unobtrusively integrate into nature. 

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Shape-Shifting: The Need for Sculpture

re:sculpt | International Sculpture Center

Laura Moore SculptureLaura Moore, One Man’s Junk (installation photo by Paul Cimoroni)

I want to talk a bit about context – specifically, what sculpture can do to our experiences and expectations of public and private spaces. It’s all about shape-shifting.

I’m drawn back to this because of an exhibition recently opened at the Maclaren Art Centre in the city of Barrie, Ontario, just north of Toronto. Laura Moore’s One Man’s Junk is a seemingly simple and understated installation: essentially a wooden shipping pallet carefully stacked with a number of carved limestone sculptures – 1:1 scale – of old cathode-ray tube computer monitors. The contextual part of this has to do with the work’s placement in a small, interior courtyard at the gallery that is shared with an adjacent café. There are plants in concrete containers, and a few tables and chairs. Moore’s work sits off to one side atop a concrete slab.

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Harley Tallchief’s Beaded Sculptures

re:sculpt | International Sculpture Center


Harley Tallchief was born in 1968 on the Cattaraugus Reservation approximately 30 minutes outside of Buffalo, New York. His father was from the region as a member of the Seneca Nation and his mother from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. From infancy until the age of sixteen, Harley Tallchief’s family moved from one migrant farm field to the next outside the San Francisco area including Stockton, Manteca and Tracy. This line of work was familiar to the family, especially to his maternal grandmother, Florence Owens Thompson, the subject of Dorthea Lange’s famous Depression-era photograph, Migrant Mother.

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