The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Exhibition presents sculpture by fourteen of the most prominent artists of the last century
Installation view.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- L.A. Louver is presenting an exhibition of sculpture by fourteen of the most prominent artists of the last century. The exhibition takes place in the first-floor galleries and includes works by Tony Cragg, Edgard de Souza, Richard Deacon, Mark di Suvero, Toshikatsu Endo, Shirazeh Houshairy, Sui Jianguo, Ed Kienholz, John McCracken, David Nash, Olaf Nicolai, Ken Price, Alison Saar and Peter Shelton.

Encompassing a wide range of scale and medium, the group is unified by an emphasis on embodied abstraction. The body remains a constant presence throughout, with an insistence on spatial physicality. Material diversity includes bronze, cedar, ceramic, iron, fiberglass, lead, leather, plastic, polyester resin, steel, stainless steel, titanium, wood and zinc.

Works by John McCracken, Richard Deacon and Tony Cragg confront the viewer on a human scale: each has an upright presence that serves as a stand-in or foil for the human form. McCracken’s slick, hyper-finished surfaces reflect the viewer while Deacon’s cool ceramic has an organic feel. The three stacked, colorful forms that comprise Tony Cragg’s Peggs (1988) become a small family, each member a distinctive personality.

A pedestal sculpture by Sui Jianguo bears the marks of the artist’s body. The work began as a chunk of raw clay squeezed by hand: an enlarged version was cast in bronze and bares the texture of the artist’s skin and grasp. A lost but vital presence is also conveyed in Alison Saar’s Proclamation (2006) that depicts a braid made of bronze nailed to the wall.

Mark di Suvero conjures delicacy and movement in his elegant kinetic steel Untitled (2017), which balances on a single point, and Shirazeh Houshairy’s An Angel Offering Milk (1986), while created in zinc and grounded on the floor, conveys the lightness of wings. David Nash frames space with a scorchededged window carved through conjoined cedar segments and Olaf Nicolai contains space within his slick faceted white form that sits atop a wooden crate in Bastei (2004). The earliest sculpture in the exhibition is that of Edward Kienholz, who invites the viewer to peer into a mysterious, industrial, yet painterly vision that is Paradise Lost (1959).

Ken Price, Peter Shelton and Edgard de Souza draw from a surrealist sense of the body, one in which exaggerated form and a playful sense of scale turns the familiar into something strange: Price’s Dos (2003) evokes a curious creature, its lustrous multicolored surface both organic and topographic. Edgard de Souza’s leather-robed wall sculpture Untitled (2001) strikes one as an otherworldly head; while Peter Shelton’s frogleg (1999-2000) dominates the gallery with its giant plié form comprised of lead-ribbed milky fiberglass.

The south gallery holds Toshikatsu Endo’s powerful installation Untitled (ring of chain) (1995). This minimalist work consists of a length of steel chain laid on the ground in a circle twelve feet in diameter. Installed in the intimate space of the south gallery, the work becomes a powerfully embodied experience. The viewer is invited to must move around, over and within the heavy chain to experience its power.

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