WBEZ | sculpture http://www.wbez.org/tags/sculpture Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Flamingo unchained: Restoration makes famed modernist sculpture shine again http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/flamingo-unchained-restoration-makes-famed-modernist-sculpture-shine-again <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA090282.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 458px;" title="" /></div><div>Alexander Calder&#39;s <em>Flamingo</em> looks great, thanks to last summer&#39;s restoration that returned the sculpture to its brilliant vermillion &mdash; allowing the work&#39;s color, arcs and curves to again properly contrast against the dark and right-angled modernist buildings of the city&#39;s federal plaza.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The&nbsp; $213,000 restoration by McKay Lodge Fine Arts Conservation Lab is a pretty good early birthday present for the sculpture which turns 40 next year.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA090251.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 584px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">The 53-foot tall steel sculpture was formally dedicated in 1974 with a visit from Calder himself who got a key to the city from Mayor Richard J. Daley. The work was previously restored in 1998.</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/PA090254.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 675px; " title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 15 Oct 2012 08:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2012-10/flamingo-unchained-restoration-makes-famed-modernist-sculpture-shine-again Seeing baking ingredients from a Swedish angle http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-21/seeing-baking-ingredients-swedish-angle-92320 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-22/bondkakor_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Swedish furniture store <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/">Ikea</a> has pretty much set the design standard for the modern American dorm room and first apartment. But it recently tackled a new challenge: Making baking sexy, even to non-bakers.</p><p>Ordinary stuff like flour and sugar take on sculptural qualities in a cookbook called <a href="http://demo.fb.se/e/ikea/homemade_is_best/hr/inside.asp">Homemade Is Best</a>, which the company gave away to customers buying kitchen appliances last year.</p><p>The books, which feature classic Swedish cookies and other pastries, went like the proverbial hot <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/real-swedish-pancakes-pannkakor-31040">pannkakor</a> — they sold out almost immediately.</p><p>"We could never guess that it would be that successful," says Christoffer Persson, the project's art director.</p><p>He chalks it up to simplicity. "And because it's simple and quick, people know straight away if they love it or don't like it at all," he says.</p><p>"We let ourselves be inspired by high fashion and Japanese minimalism," Persson says.</p><p>We've picked a few beauties to inspire you, and got Persson to dish the details.</p><p>Q: The layout for Bondkakor (Farmer Cookies) looks like the U.S. flag — any connection?</p><p>A: Nope.</p><p>Q: Mandelkubb (Almond Biscuits) — Frankenstein or ancient pyramids?</p><p>A: Well, I'll have to go with ancient pyramids, then.</p><p>Q: Radiokaka (Radio Cookies) We couldn't resist the name. What are the ingredients in the circles at the top left?</p><p>A: Vanilla sugar mixed with chocolate flour.</p><p>Q: Nationaldagsbakelser (National Day Tart) — what's that green leaf doing on a dessert?</p><p>A: It's Melissa.</p><p><em>Note: In English we call it <a href="http://herbgardening.com/growingbalmlemon.htm">lemon balm</a>. It's in the mint family and frequently used in teas.</em></p><p>Persson assured us that the food is real and took about two weeks to shoot. Stylist Evelina Brattell and photographer Carl Kleiner made custom molds for some of the shapes, and also made use of some Ikea kitchenware.</p><p>Unfortunately, Ikea only printed 50,000 copies, all of which are gone. We can't even find it on <a href="http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Ikea+baking+book&amp;_sacat=0&amp;_dmpt=US_Nonfiction_Book&amp;_odkw=Ikea+Cookbook&amp;_osacat=0&amp;_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313">eBay</a>. But there is hope.</p><p>There will be a second edition, Persson says.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-21/seeing-baking-ingredients-swedish-angle-92320 Sculptor Charles Ray: The man who lives inside a tree http://www.wbez.org/content/sculptor-charles-ray-man-who-lives-inside-tree <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/Hinoki_CharlesRay_v2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="Charles Ray's massive sculpture &lt;i&gt;Hinoki&lt;/i&gt;. " class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-10/Hinoki_CharlesRay_v2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 306px;" title="Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago"></p><p>The year was 1997. While driving up the central coast of California, Chicago-born sculptor Charles Ray made a discovery that would impact the next ten years of his life: a massive fallen tree decomposing in a meadow just off the highway. He describes the moment he saw the tree this way:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>I was instantly drawn to it. It was not only a beautiful log, but to my eyes, it was perfectly embedded in the meadow where it had fallen decades earlier.&nbsp; Pressure from the weather, insects, ultraviolet radiation, and gravity were evident. Total collapse appeared to be no more than a handful of years away.&nbsp; I was inspired to make a sculpture.</em></p><p>And that he did. He created a sculpture that is surprising and captivating. It is impressive in its scale and in its detail, in its precision and in the way it uses the man-made not to mimic but to re-interpret the natural.</p><p>Working with Japanese carvers who normally fashion sacred wooden Buddhas displayed in temples, Ray created an intricately carved, life-sized replica of this decaying wooden tree. And he did so not in fiberglass or cloth or stone (all options he considered at one point) but in wood. He explains his decision this way:</p><p style="margin-left: 40px;"><em>When I asked [master carver Yuboku] Mukoyoshi about the wood and how it would behave over time, he told me that the wood would be fine for 400 years and then it would go into a crisis; after two hundred years of splitting and cracking, it would go into slow decline for another 400 years. I realized then that the wood, like the original log, had a life of its own, and I was finally able to let my project go and hopefully breathe life into the world that surrounds it.</em></p><p>The sculpture would eventually carry the title Hinoki, named for the sacred Japanese cypress wood from which it’s carved. &nbsp;But before he was able to create this finished piece, now on display in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ray had to figure out how to get hold of this enormous tree.</p><p>In the audio excerpt above, Ray explains how he got the tree, and why he had to be sneaky about it. He spoke at the Art Institute in March, in a talk moderated by art historian Bernhard Mendes Burgi. (I highly recommend listening to Ray’s whole talk with Burgi. The way he describes making this sculpture start to finish is fascinating.)</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Charles Ray spoke at an event presented by <a href="http://www.artic.edu/aic/">The Art Institute of Chicago</a> in March. Click <a href="../conversation-charles-ray-86428">here</a> to hear the event in its entirety.</p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 19:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/sculptor-charles-ray-man-who-lives-inside-tree Cardinal blesses ‘healing garden’ for sex-abuse victims http://www.wbez.org/story/cardinal-blesses-%E2%80%98healing-garden%E2%80%99-sex-abuse-victims-87664 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-09/CardinalGeorge_Healing_Garden.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago’s top Catholic official Thursday blessed what his archdiocese is calling its “healing garden” for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.<br> <br> The garden covers a plot next to Holy Family, a 19th century Chicago church at 1080 West Roosevelt Road, and includes more than two dozen varieties of trees, plants and flowers as well as a 600-pound bronze sculpture of a man, woman and child holding hands, dancing in a circle and smiling. An archdiocese committee that includes four abuse survivors started planning the project more than two years ago.<br> <br> At a prayer service before giving his blessing, Cardinal Francis George said the garden shows “a permanent voice of victims, a permanent apology on the part of the church, and a permanent commitment by the ministers of the church . . . that we are there” for victims who seek help.<br> <br> “We hope,” George added, “that, in the midst of this tragedy, there will be the possibility of new life, of resurrection of the heart in such a way that one can continue with new energy and new vigor and to be not trapped in something that brings death but, rather, find new life — with the help of others and the help of God — that will be, itself, a light to the world.”<br> <br> But the garden isn’t impressing some victims of Catholic clerical abuse.<br> <br> “Cardinal George and other church officials have empowered and enabled sexual predators to abuse more children,” said Barbara Blaine, president of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “Instead of being punished for those reckless actions, many have been promoted.”<br> <br> Blaine says many church officials ought to face criminal investigation.</p></p> Thu, 09 Jun 2011 21:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cardinal-blesses-%E2%80%98healing-garden%E2%80%99-sex-abuse-victims-87664 When someone else’s art lands in your neighborhood http://www.wbez.org/story/abductions/when-someone-else%E2%80%99s-art-lands-your-neighborhood <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Sculpture2.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><b>Ten sculptors have put up outdoor pieces in Chicago&rsquo;s East Garfield Park neighborhood. The installation&rsquo;s supposed to stay up for a year. The group says the purpose is to expose people to art that they might not be able to see otherwise. But, then again, residents never asked for the opportunity. So what happens when someone else&rsquo;s art lands in your neighborhood? We report from our West Side bureau.</b><br /><br />Before looking into how the 10 pieces are going over in East Garfield Park, I ask Chicago sculptor Terrence Karpowicz to show them to me. He led the installation.<br /><br />MITCHELL: To me it looks like a huge, three-fingered claw. What is this?<br />KARPOWICZ: This is a sculpture by Fisher Stoltz titled &ldquo;Moonbench.&rdquo; I see it as a rendezvous point for the local community. They can actually come and sit down and converse.<br />MITCHELL: Yeah, there&rsquo;s a marble bench here.<br />KARPOWICZ: Actually it&rsquo;s granite. There is an electrical element that lights up at night so that the white marble sphere glows. Come on and sit down.<br />MITCHELL: Yeah, now that we&rsquo;re sitting down, this granite is very cold on my fat rear end.<br />KARPOWICZ: It warms up in summertime.<br /><br />The sculptures stand as high as 14 feet. They&rsquo;re spanning a half-mile boulevard called West Franklin for the next year. The artists are all members of a group called Chicago Sculpture International.<br /><br />Karpowicz takes me to a pile of rings made of industrial tubing.<br /><br />KARPOWICZ: That&rsquo;s a sculpture by Dusty Falwarczny. The title of the sculpture is &ldquo;Scrap.&rdquo; I measure that one as, probably, a three-shopping-cart operation.<br />MITCHELL: You measure the volume by shopping carts?<br />KARPOWICZ: That&rsquo;s how many shopping carts it&rsquo;ll take to get that to a scrap yard. Because you see a lot of hardworking men with shopping carts and they pick up debris and take it to recycling places.<br />MITCHELL: Have you ever lost one of your works to shopping carts?<br />KARPOWICZ: No, thank goodness.<br /><br />And there&rsquo;s more to see. Karpowicz shows me a giant, spiky sphere made of orange traffic cones. And there&rsquo;s a stainless-steel piece called &ldquo;Abduction.&rdquo;<br /><br />The installation is definitely capturing attention in the neighborhood.<br /><br />MAN: Oh, man, that&rsquo;s cool. Who did that?<br />WOMAN: It beautifies the neighborhood.<br />MAN: It&rsquo;s really nice for the block.<br />GRANT: I like them.<br />MITCHELL: What&rsquo;s your name?<br />GRANT: My name is Felincia Grant.<br />MITCHELL: Do any of the pieces stick out to you -- that you can really relate to?<br />GRANT: The one that&rsquo;s all the way down on Franklin and Kedzie. It looks like a hook. Actually, to be honest with you, I had a nephew that was--there used to be a tree there. My nephew ran into this tree. And that&rsquo;s where he died. And that piece, right there, it was put where the tree was.<br />MITCHELL: Does it remind you of him?<br />GRANT: Yeah. He had these hooked attitudes at times. He made a lot of bad choices. But he was a good kid.<br /><br />It&rsquo;s easy to find people who admire at least some of the 10 new sculptures in East Garfield Park. It&rsquo;s harder to find folks who have a beef with the installation, but they are around.<br /><br />FIELDS: My name is Cy Fields.<br /><br />Fields is pastor of New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church, a few blocks southeast of the parkway.<br /><br />FIELDS: It seems like they just plopped artwork in the community and just sort of said, &lsquo;Well, here it is and, surprise, I hope you enjoy it.&rsquo; I&rsquo;m not against community beautification and artwork, but I think the process and the end goal are very important. Many schools are struggling to have art classes in the schools. Can the artists come and teach the kids in East Garfield Park? Communities of color--African American and Latino--have their share of capable artists. Will their artwork be able to go to the North Side or to other communities as well? Let&rsquo;s have a cultural exchange.<br /><br />Fields isn&rsquo;t the only one talking about race. An unemployed interior decorator named Tony Green wants to know why the sculptures ended up in his neighborhood.<br /><br />GREEN: Only in the black community with no blacks involved. That&rsquo;s not personal, is it?<br /><br />These are fair questions. Karpowicz&rsquo;s group got an alderman&rsquo;s approval to put the sculptures up. But the group did not work with residents to choose the art or get them involved any other way.<br /><br />MITCHELL: How about helping artists in this community display their art here on the boulevard?<br />KARPOWICZ: Well, if those artists were members of Chicago Sculpture International, which they certainly can become part of, they&rsquo;d be the first ones on the list. It&rsquo;s not about shutting anybody out. It&rsquo;s about inclusivity.<br /><br />But then Karpowicz tells me the group&rsquo;s got a hundred and forty-nine members and not one is African American.<br /><br />MITCHELL: Why is that? Something like a third or 40 percent of the population here in the city is African American. <br />KARPOWICZ: We don&rsquo;t reach out, we don&rsquo;t publicize. As a result of an exhibition like this, if there are sculptors out there who happen to be African American [and] they want to be sculptors, the door is open. It&rsquo;s always open.<br /><br />He points out annual memberships cost only 25 dollars.<br /><br />Karpowicz and I keep talking as he shows me some sculptures toward the end of the parkway. He reminds me they&rsquo;ll be up in East Garfield Park only a year.<br /><br />KARPOWICZ: A lot of the people who live around here probably wouldn&rsquo;t venture downtown to see sculpture. And this is our opportunity, as part of the sculpture community of Chicago, to bring art to the communities.<br />MITCHELL: Where we&rsquo;re standing right now, we&rsquo;ve got a vacant lot on this side and we&rsquo;ve got another vacant lot we&rsquo;re standing in right now. The population here--they&rsquo;re not going to be buying these pieces afterwards.<br />KARPOWICZ: No, they probably won&rsquo;t, Chip, but I think they&rsquo;ll appreciate art a lot more. They&rsquo;ll appreciate sculpture. Next time they see a piece of art, they&rsquo;ll say, &lsquo;Oh yeah, we had one of those in our neighborhood once.&rsquo;<br /><br />If this installation works out, Karpowicz says his group&rsquo;ll try to bring sculptures to other Chicago boulevards. Next time, he says, the artists will try harder to get the neighborhood involved.</p></p> Wed, 08 Dec 2010 22:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/abductions/when-someone-else%E2%80%99s-art-lands-your-neighborhood