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civilization v england

2021-06-04 14:19 Tag:

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¡¡¡¡? Carol Bove. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

¡¡¡¡Carol Bove, 2020-008, 2020.

¡¡¡¡All of these efforts demonstrate the Swiss-born sculptor¡¯s uncanny knack for updating mid-century tropes¡ªand Bove is a busy borrower, indeed. Her work can put you in mind of David Smith and Anthony Caro¡¯s balancing acts of form, as well as Donald Judd¡¯s obdurate emphasis on thingness. More crucially, Bove¡¯s preferred method of improvisationally crushing, crimping, and bending square steel tubing with an industrial power hammer recalls John Chamberlain¡¯s mangled auto bodies. The tubes, something of a Bove signature and usually powder-coated in satiny finishes, are often draped or wrapped around stubby cylinders in black, conjuring contrasts between soft and hard, malleable and rigid out of heavy metal. Sometimes she adds a soupcon of Richard Serra to her recipe with elements sliced from raw steel plates.

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¡¡¡¡? Carol Bove. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner.

¡¡¡¡Carol Bove, Chimes at Midnight VI, 2021 (detail).

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¡¡¡¡The last figures prominently in Chimes with a half-dozen or so vertically oriented sculptures featuring narrow, upright shards of the stuff whose edges have been left rough and beaded by the cutting torch. Resembling totems, they¡¯re propped against each other, serving as backdrops for Bove¡¯s more familiar motifs, which, dipped here in primer orange, snuggle against their brutish partners like debutants dancing with stevedores. Toughness and tenderness co-exist anxiously in each pairing, and just as Welles¡¯s Falstaff loomed over movie audiences, these objects tower ten feet and more above the viewer.?

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¡¡¡¡Photo: Maris Hutchinson. Courtesy David Zwirner.

¡¡¡¡Installation view, Carol Bove, David Zwirner, New York, April 29 ¨C June 19, 2021.

¡¡¡¡Uptown, the offerings, wall-hung or set on tables, are more modestly scaled. In the front gallery, a group of them twist around like ribbons, echoing the interior¡¯s beaux-arts molding in a palette of yellows, greens, olives, and pinks. In back, two sculptures, one white, the other a pale mauve, create a ghostly contrast with silk wall coverings printed in a rusty fishnet pattern. All of these objects share a sinuousness that reminds you of brushstrokes¡ªa propensity to evoke painting in three dimensions which Bove shares with some of her aforementioned predecessors.?

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¡¡¡¡Photo: Maris Hutchinson. Courtesy David Zwirner.?

¡¡¡¡Installation view, Carol Bove, David Zwirner, New York, April 29 ¨C June 19, 2021.

¡¡¡¡Further north, Bove¡¯s work occupies the niches flanking the Met¡¯s main entrance. It¡¯s only the second entry in a commissioning series launched by the museum to complement its wildly popular rooftop garden installations, though Bove¡¯s foray into architectural ornamentation has the virtue of being free to visitors.

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¡¡¡¡A post shared by The Metropolitan Museum of Art (@metmuseum)

¡¡¡¡Adorning buildings with figures is as old as civilization itself, reflecting the stubborn persistence of the human figure in architecture and art. While nominally abstract, Bove¡¯s pieces are firmly within that tradition as they distill classical antiquity and its numerous revivals. Here, Bove does her snake charming routine with writhing tubular elements sandblasted to a silvery sheen. These interact with mirrored disks reflecting the tony apartment blocks across the street. Set on their vertical axes, the platters range from edge-on to profile view as the sculptures contort to suggest standing or sitting. The former wander over the latter to evoke heads and, in one instance, someone in a wheelchair.

¡¡¡¡Bove calls her piece The s¨¦ances aren¡¯t helping, but why? Perhaps it¡¯s a metaphor for a contemporary culture stuck in the past, unable to reach beyond itself. That wasn¡¯t a problem in Welles¡¯s time, but given that today¡¯s art has become a blur of shallow homages and indiscriminate appropriations, Bove, who knows how to adroitly calibrate references to make them look new, may have a point.