medium /// sculpture

lorna simpson

Gasp! Just when I thought I couldn’t love the work of American artist Lorna Simpson anymore than I already do… “Unanswerable”. This is just a tiny peek at her latest work, all of which is currently hanging at Hauser & Wirth in London. I have loved Lorna’s collages for years, but these large scale, deep blue, smokey mixed media paintings are new, AND AMAZING. Here is a little bit of the show description from the Hauser & Wirth site that starts to explain the colors, ice, smoke etc…

“… In the last few years Simpson has taken up the medium painting for the first time in two decades, creating works using hazy washes of ink and acrylic over gesso. In works, such as ‘Ice 4’ (2018), Simpson layers the appropriated imagery and Associated Press photographs of ice, glaciers and smoke with nebulous washes of saturated ink which partially obscure the source material. The smoke plumes signal upheaval and discord in nature and society in reference, perhaps, to images of riots following police brutality past and present that Simpson has more explicitly illustrated in other related works. Barely discernable strips of newsprint typography allude to wider issues in society. Here, as elsewhere, the artist is sparing with colour; her disciplined palette consists of inky blacks, greys, and a startling acid blue that has only recently appeared in her oeuvre, contributing to its atmosphere of bristling movement. Deftly navigating the territory between figuration and abstraction, these paintings cut through the calculated glamour of magazine imagery with the brute force of the natural world. As the artist explains, ‘Conceptually, this is in tandem with what I’m experiencing emotionally but also what I feel is going on politically: the idea of being relentlessly consumed.’”

The show will be up until April 28th, 2018. GO.

sonya clark

Sugar flowers and cotton pods ; gold rings and sugar ; handmade bagasse paper ; sterling silver rings, cotton, hair and cast sugar ; money and sugar. Oh my goodness, these sugar pieces by American artist Sonya Clark are beautiful and, oh, so brilliant. Here are some of Sonya’s words about this work:

“In 1870 my African great grandmother married my Scottish great grandfather and began a family in Jamaica at a time when sugarcane was more valuable than the people who cultivated the cash crop. As my forebears negotiated race and commodity in this hemisphere, across the ocean European gentry flaunted sugar-rotted teeth as the status symbol their slave trade wealth. Generations later in my family that ranges in every skin shade and hair texture, an aunt defined race this way: “You cannot tell if someone is black by skin color but by hair texture.”  Her tangled race construction was explained to me as she was braiding the legacy of sugarcane production onto my head.  She, like most Jamaicans, referred to my hairdo, as canerows not cornrows.  …  Some objects presented here are subtle … others are more overt: gold and silver rings set with sugar “diamonds”, cotton, and human hair or an unraveled Confederate battle flag that somehow remains intact despite being deconstructed. Some are visceral: edible cotton flowers made from sugar, images of brown sugar that call the tongue and reflect the viewer, and Lincoln encrusted in rock candy five-dollar bill.”

Love! Sonya’s site is filled with all sorts of amazingness, so pop over and have a closer look.

joana vasconcelos

‘Prolific’ does not even begin to describe Paris born, Lisbon based artist Joana Vasconcelos. She’s been making work since the 90’s, so choosing what to feature was tricky. That said, I love these crazy sculptures. You can see the joy in every single one of them! So much color, attention to detail, gorgeous composition, and her materials lists – well – that’s just something else altogether. The last piece featured here is titled “Kilimanjaro” and the description reads as follows: Stainless steel sink, handmade woolen crochet, ornaments, polyester  ♥


chiaozza chapel

A chapel to celebrate shape and color? I’m in! “Chiaozza Chapel” is the latest work by Chiaozza – the collaborative artistic team of Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao. Oh, and ps. it opens TONIGHT at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn:

“Historically a chapel is a non-religious place of worship and contemplation; a small, non-conforming annex to common and prevalent modes of spiritual practice. The Chiaozza Chapel, installed within Cooler Gallery, is an intimate sanctuary celebrating color, light, and form. Five painted wooden wall works fill the 6- by 7-foot gallery. The formal compositions reference natural and metaphysical concepts such as horizons, atmosphere, time, landscape, and ritual. Repetitive motifs such as grids, diagonals, and arcs augment the visual vibration of the room.

In Chiaozza’s work, color is a vessel for experience. Matte opaque pigment blurs the presence of the sculpture’s surface and its surroundings, emphasizing the interaction of color and space. Light bounces off the painted wooden planks, creating reflected chambers of color that animate the air around and within each piece.”

Amen! Go tonight … Cooler Gallery, 22 Waverly Ave, Brooklyn 7 ~ 10pm

amy joy watson

Oh my goodness, yes. This is an installation by Australian artist Amy Joy Watson. I’ve written about her sculptures twice before {2014, 2011} but I just came across this public installation … and yes, I love it! Plywood, acrylic paint, colored rope, and stainless steel cables come together to create“Celestial Bodies”. Gorgeous! This work is now a permanent public artwork at the Australian Catholic University in the Daniel Mannix Building, Melbourne. Stunning.

*Photos by Lisbeth Grosmann

spencer merolla

A pop-up art “bakery”… but wait… do not eat these grey treats! They aren’t made of sugar and spice, they’re made of ash from burned coal. “Coal Comforts” is the work of Brooklyn based artist Spencer Merolla. What is it about, you ask?

“This is about climate change. Coal power has never been “clean” and continuing to mine and burn it causes irreparable harm to frontline communities and accelerates climate change. The current administration wants to prop up this outmoded industry without regard to the known consequences. As we have seen, nostalgia is a powerful tool—it can make what is familiar seem wholesome and innocuous, as “American as apple pie.” But like the sweet treats we might find in an old-fashioned bakery, a little dirty energy might look like a harmless enough indulgence, but our global consumption patterns will be our undoing. Put simply, we can’t have our cake and eat it too.”

Brilliant! And, even more exciting, most of these pieces are actually for sale in her online bakery, so pop over and pick up a coal cake today! *25% of the proceeds from these sales will be donated to the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. 

li hongbo

Oh, the things Chinese artist Li Hongbo can do with paper!? In 2014 I wrote about his marble busts that are in fact paper, and today… guns that become flowers. Now, I’m a little late to the game on this one, as “Oceans of Flowers” was exhibited for the first time a few years ago. Most recently it was shown at Eight One Art Museum in Beijing last June … I don’t know where it might show up next, but watch for it! Two thousand rainbow-hued paper weapons – from machine guns to hand guns – that unfold into beautiful paper flowers. Stunning.

{images via}

“on the brink”

When you’re an artist just starting out, and you can’t afford supplies… what do you do? Yep, just pick them up off the ground! That’s how Pittsburgh based artist Seth Clark got started on his absolutely mind-blowing collages. I wrote about him way back in 2011 and now, in 2018, I finally got to ask him all of my questions! Where does he get all of this stuff, is his studio like an episode of Hoarders, did he build awesome (while incredibly unsafe) tree houses when he was a kid? I got answers for everything! Listen right up there under that gorgeous / derelict collage, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a bunch of Seth’s collages. Yes, collages… what!?

Bits and pieces of all sorts of things from paper to actual shingles … LOVE.

Ok, so this is the window mountain thing I was talking about that Seth didn’t fully know what I was referring to… that’s because it was actually a work-in-progress shot! The final ended up becoming a piece titled “Hive”:

Yeah. Now THAT is a hive! Stunning.

Next, this is the collaboration Seth did with glass artist, Jason Forck:

Perhaps one of the most amazing collaborations I’ve ever seen! They truly figured out how to blend their artistic skills and talents to create something beautiful. I hope they get the chance to keep working together … LARGE SCALE.

Next, a few of Seth’s sculptures that you can look into/through, and one that’s had a sledge hammer taken to it:

‘On the brink’, indeed. I don’t fully believe him when he says he’s not very handy, but anyway.

And look at this! A peek into Seth’s studio:

Ok, yes… this is crazy. I don’t care, I still want to poke around in there for an afternoon just to see what I could find on the floor! Given that Seth has so many things coming up (links to all below), I’m so thankful that he took a bit of time out to do the podcast; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Terry Boyd, Artist
  2. RISD
  3. Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh
  4. Pittsburgh Glass Center
  5. Jason Forck, Artist
  6. Nicole Ryan, Artist
  7. Paradigm Gallery, Philadelphia
  8. Radiant Hall (the studios where Seth works)
  9. Janet Echelman, Artist
  10. Gallery Bom, Boston (March 2, Seth’s Solo Show)
  11. Art on Paper, NY (March 8-11)
  12. Architectural Digest Show, NY (March 22 – 25)


“ugly beautiful”

Drips, spikes, blobs, sploots and sparkly crystals. Yep, that can only l mean one thing… I got Texas based artist Dan Lam on the podcast! She {yes, Dan is a woman and we’ll get to that right off the top} is amazingly talented, hilarious, and just as sweet as her gorgeous color palette. Listen right up there under that iridescent beauty, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, these were the spiky, gum-like “blobs” I wrote about a few years ago:

Yum! Well, those guys evolved into these guys, aka “drips”:

Gorgeous, and how insanely beautiful are Dan’s color choices? And her newest evolution, which might be potentially known as a “sploot”:

LOVE! But wait, there’s more! Here’s the video of the sprinkle-covered sploot that over 15 MILLION (!!!!) people liked on Instagram:

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Don’t you want to poke that? Me too. Now these bad boys… oh, I just want to watch them dance in the sunlight all day long:


A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Gasp! That video! These Swarovski crystal covered drips are gorgeous, but still photos just don’t do them justice.

And finally, at the very end of the episode Dan mentioned that she was going on a winter holiday to several national parks in Utah… apparently she brought a few friends along for the ride:

How fantastic is that!? Sigh. Thanks so much to Dan for talking to me about all things ugly beautiful; thanks to Saatchi Art and Thrive for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Dan on Instagram (@sopopomo)
  2. Left Field Gallery
  3. Spoke Gallery – SF & NY
  4. The Hole, NYC


ulla-stina wikander

Discarded household items covered lovingly in discarded cross-stitch embroideries. LOVE. This is the work of Swedish artist Ulla-Stina Wikander, and this is her story behind this body of work:

”For more then 10 years I have collected cross-stitch embroideries and today I have quite a big collection with over 100 different designs. These embroideries have mostly been made by women and is seen as kitsch and regarded pretty worthless. I think that sometimes they are really beautiful and I want to bring them back to life. In 2012 I started to cover ordinary household things from the 70s, like a sewing machine, vaccuum cleaner, electric mixer etc. I find it interesting to see how these objects transforms in a new context; the obsolete, the things we do not want any longer, the old and forgotten things. I give them a second life and although I cut the embroideries into pieces, I still think they look very beautiful, when the objects has been ”dressed up”. 


{found via Create Magazine’s Instagram feed}