Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for the Sculpture category

"Love & Cruelty" feat. Thom Puckey et al. at Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam

by Suzanne on November 3rd, 2011


Installation view of Love & Cruelty at Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam, showing Beretta M92 by Thom Puckey - click to enlarge

If you're in Amsterdam and you fancy some cruel lovin', you should head down/up to Gerhard Hofland where martial marble sculptor Thom Puckey has brought together three artists - including himself - for an impressive group show.

It's particularly beautiful to see how the smooth skin textures of Thom's marble Amazons compliment Michael Kirkham's hypersexualised yet nonchalant characters (... and aphrodisiac rooms with strangely erect non-phallic furniture and objects).


Beretta M92 by Thom Puckey - click to enlarge

Love & Cruelty opened last Saturday and will remain on view until December 10.

Details below.


Beretta M92 (detail) by Thom Puckey - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 29 - Dec 10, 2011

Address: Gerhard Hofland, Bilderdijkstraat 165-c, 1053 kp Amsterdam, The Netherlands, email: mail@gerhardhofland.com, tel: +31(0) 20 4121772

Hours: Wed - Sat: 1 - 6 PM

Press release

WurzelForum discussion

Richard Stipl & Co.'s "Savant" at High Roller Society, London

by Suzanne on November 1st, 2011


Installation view of Savant at High Roller Society, London, showing Richard Stipl's work - click to enlarge

When I first got an invite to this show, I couldn't believe that a London gallery would put together so many of my favourite young international artists for a group show. And a street art gallery on top of that!

Then I heard that artist Joe Becker was in charge of curating Savant and the epicness of it all immediately made a lot of sense.

Savant shows the works of Richard Stipl - who I still suspect to be the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson (YES, OF COURSE I calculated that!) of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt - Rory Dean, Peggy Kouroumalos, Joe Becker, James Unsworth et al.

I sincerely wish they hadn't slapped the term "New Gothic Art" into their press release and what exactly is supposedly "idiotic" about any of this art I will never understand; as a matter of fact, I don't even find any of it "offensive", but oh well, this is the UK, I come from a different school of cannibalist Marxist thinking and I guess this type of work seems somewhat "strange" and "wacky" to the lazy European eyeball.

So let's just agree that they're fantastic works by very talented young international artists, ja? Danke.

Do go see this. It's rare to get a group show like that in Londinium. Trust me.

Oh, and if someone could please tell me whether Stipl's The Ritual has indeed dentures on it or whether someone just left them there by accident, that would be much appreciated. They only appear in this installation view and the whole thing really confused me. Thanks.


Installation view of Savant at High Roller, London, showing Joe Becker's and Richard Stipl's work - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 29 - Nov 27, 2011

Address: High Roller Society, 10 Palmers Road, London, E2 0SY, UK, tube: Bethnal Green, Mile End, email: info(at)highrollersociety.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)208 981 8177 | Map

Hours: Thu - Sun: 12 - 6 PM, and by appointment

Press release | Installation views

WurzelForum discussion

Felicity Powell's "Charmed Life - The Solace of Objects" at Wellcome Collection, London

by Suzanne on October 15th, 2011

© Felicity Powell, wax on back of mirror - click to enlarge (slightly)

As part of the Wellcome Collection's Miracles & Charms exhibition exploring objects of faith, hope and chance, artist, miniature sculptor and medal-maker Felicity Powell has been invited to enchant us with her vision of the Charmed Life by breathing new life into 400 carefully selected amulets from Henry Wellcome's collection - presented alongside her own mythological works.

Powell is a bit of an elusive one and information about her scarce on the web which is why I'm all the more excited to finally be given the chance to see her work in London.


Skull by Felicity Powell, wax on back of mirror, 2009 - click to enlarge (slightly)

The wonderfully bright and eloquent art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon once said about her work:

"[...] a series of astonishingly virtuoso, utterly compelling and haunting miniature bas-reliefs on the theme of strange Ovidian metamorphoses – human heads that are turning into outcrops of coral, figures shape-shifting into trees, or octopi, faces wreathed in snakes. Worked, with wondrous subtlety, from white wax on dark mirror glass, each one is a miracle of ingenuity."

Well there... he said it, the word I'm always afraid to use, "miracle", and he embedded it in a correct and justified context. Because watching Felicity create her works is truly that: Absolutely miraculous.

Charmed Life is part of the Miracles & Charms season and will remain on show until the end of February 2012.

Also on show at the Wellcome is Infinitas Gracias - a grand display of over 100 Mexican votive paintings.

Further details below.

© Felicity Powell, wax on back of mirror - click to enlarge (slightly)

On show: Oct 6, 2011 - Feb 26, 2012

Address: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7611 2222, email: info@wellcomecollection.org | Map & Directions

Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM, Thu: 10 AM - 10 PM, Sun: 11 AM - 6 PM

Admission: FREE

Miracles & Charms | Charmed Life

WurzelForum discussion

Nathalie Djurberg's "A World of Glass" at Camden Arts Centre, London

by Suzanne on October 6th, 2011


A World of Glass (film still) by Nathalie Djurberg, 2011, courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery NY - click to enlarge

You pretty much know it's going to be a great exhibition when the press release states that "some works in this exhibition touch on issues of a sensitive nature that may not be suitable for children."

So we're coming from one hot young female artist to another hot young female artist: This time, it's Nathalie Djurberg who I've featured here a couple of times before.

From tomorrow Friday, October 7 onwards, Nathalie will be showing A World of Glass, four new claymation pieces with music by the always faithful Hans Berg at the Camden Arts Centre in London.

The show will be on until early 2012 so you'll have plenty of time to check it out. AND YOU SHOULD!

Because they're new films, video footage itself is obviously not online yet so all we have are still images but it does all look very promising indeed.

From the press release:

"A World of Glass consists of four new synchronised films with a soundtrack produced by Djurberg’s collaborator Hans Berg, presented amongst an immersive installation of glass-like objects. Another new installation will flood the central space with luminous colour, and a series of earlier animations will be shown in the Reading Room."

The press release creeps me out a bit because I was just thinking of Goya when it mentioned Goya further down so I won't be quoting any more from it but fetch the tinfoil hat.

And in case you've never heard of Nathalie Djurberg until just now, here's what you can expect (well, it's one of her more creatively perverted pieces, and therefore one of my very favourites...)

On show: Oct 7, 2011 - Jan 8, 2012

Address: Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7472 5500, email: info@camdenartscentre.org | Directions

Hours: Tue - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM, Wed: 10 AM - 9 PM

Press release & preview

WurzelForum discussion

In unrelated yet somewhat related news since I’ve been writing, editing, researching, coding, heck, even napping and falling in love on Macs for ages now:

R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You’ll live on in all these shiny things that have enabled me to do what I love doing. You have improved my life tremendously and in return I’ve given you lots of money, so I see it as a clear win-win situation.

Thank you and goodbye.

P.S.: Comments containing the phrase "capitalist pig" will be ignored for at least 24 hours.

Hugo Arcier's "Woman With A Cube"

by Suzanne on September 29th, 2011

Degeneration - woman with a cube from Hugo Arcier on Vimeo.

Every now and again, you stumble upon a visual or musical description that perfectly sums up some very bad drug-induced trip you had in your past.

This post-cubist piece here by French digital artist Hugo Arcier would probably be K and should be accompanied by Nurse With Wound's Ketamineaphonia from their 2008 album Huffin' Rag Blues for an even more papery groovy feel.

The artist himself says about this piece:

"All my 3D objects are afflicted with a degenerative disease. Gripped by terror, they understand what fate awaits them. Gradually they disintegrate, face after face they lose their appearance, with a fatal outcome. In this way the 3D objects die.”

Don't do drugs, kids, do art.

And drugs. If you really cannot help it.

Idiots' "Romantic Decay" Retrospective at ArtKitchen, Amsterdam

by Suzanne on September 20th, 2011


Hangjongeren by Idiots, taxidermy squirrel, hoodie, 2007, French private collection - click to enlarge

I first posted about Afke Golsteijn and Floris Bakker - better known as Idiots - in my Taxidermia Wurzeltodensis post over 4 years ago.

The taxidermists haven't been idle since then and are currently presenting their most recent creatures, sculptures and embroidery works at Amsterdam's artKitchen Gallery in a retrospective entitled Romantic Decay.

Sadly, the gallery never replied to my image request so I therefore have no clue what's precisely going to be on show and have decided to feature two of my old Idiots favourites here instead. Details for the show below.


Niet aaien! (Do not pet!) by Idiots, taxidermy hedgehog, pins, antique wheel, 30 x 20 x 15 cm, 2006, French private collection - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 18 - 27, 2011

Address: artKitchen Gallery, 1800 Roeden, Joris van den Berghweg 101, 1067 HP Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel: +31 (0)20 6223422, email: info@artkitchen.nl | Directions

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 1 - 6 PM, and by appointment

Press release

Artists' website

WurzelForum discussion

Thom Puckey's "Armed & Relatively Dangerous" at Stichting Kunstfort, Vijfhuizen

by Suzanne on September 11th, 2011


A.V. with Knife and RPG-7 by Thom Puckey, statuario marble, 65 x 72 x 160 cm, 2009, photo by Linda Jansen, courtesy Aschenbach & Hofland Galleries - click to enlarge

My Dutch has clearly seen better days, so I'll keep this post short before I start making stuff up.

What I think I gathered from here is that the great Thom Puckey is presenting five of his recent life-sized sculptural works made between 2009 and 2011 at Stichting Kunstfort in Vijfhuizen in a solo show that's opened today. That's in the Netherlands, in case you're geographically challenged. I wouldn't blame you as it's indeed the first time this institution has been mentioned on the WurzelBlog®. It so happens that the Kunstfort is part of Amsterdam's old defence line and listed as a UNESCO monument.

Thom's selected works for Armed & Relatively Dangerous remind me of a classicistically mellow and more psychologically intimate and innocent version of AES+F's (literally) bombastic Last Riot series - it has to be noted, however, that Thom works with beautifully veined statuary marble whereas AES+F's sculptures are made of porcelain, so their approaches couldn't be more different.


Isabelle Schiltz as Crawling Figure by Thom Puckey, statuario marble, 186 x 67 x 75 cm, 2010, photo Francesco Ozzola - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 11 - Nov 27, 2011

Address: Stichting Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, Fortwachter 1, 2141 EE Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands, tel: +31 (0)23 5589013

Admission: € 2

Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Impressions from Charles Matton's "Enclosures" at AVA, London

by Suzanne on September 11th, 2011


The Untidy Woman's Bedroom by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge

After spending some time drooling over Edwardian and Victorian dollhouses at the VA Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green for the 4th time yesterday afternoon, I decided to go check out Charles Matton's Enclosures miniature room installations and mirror mazes about which I reported earlier.

And what can I tell you, dear reader? Definitely the show of the year. If you're in London between now and October 8, DO NOT miss it. All details here.

It was a bit of a challenge taking these pictures through glass covered in fingerprints so please understand that these works look way better in person. And to give you an idea of dimensions: None of these cases is larger than 1m³ and you can see a typical layout in the last picture.


Studio of a Classical Sculptor IV – Saskia Expecting Titus III by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge


Studio of a Classical Sculptor II by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge


Sigmund Freud's Study by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge


Mariefried's Bathroom by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge


Alberto Giacometti's Studio by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge


The New York Loft, 26th Street by Charles Matton, photo by Wurzeltod – click to enlarge

"Valley of the Dolls" Group Show at Strychnin, Berlin

by Suzanne on September 5th, 2011


Princess Owl by Eric van Straaten - click to enlarge

With Valley of the Dolls, Berlin's Strychnin Gallery will once again pay tribute to some of the world's leading young doll artists.

Curating a doll group show is a challenge in many ways but particularly because the genre has a difficult position in the arts and it's often a very tricky navigation between admirable, if not slightly OCD crafts(wo)manship and downright sugar-coated fantasy kitsch.

Strychnin, however, has avoided falling into the marzipan trap by getting 3D-printing "sculptor" Eric van Straaten on board an otherwise female cast of doll artists and therefore giving a very decorative and fashiony Valley of the Dolls a much needed obscure twist.

Virginie Ropars will certainly once again deliver outstandingly detailed symbiotic and allegorical work, twin sisters Elena and Ekaterina Popovy will be presenting their samurai Barbie®... err... beauties while Marmite Sue has been taking self-harming one step further for this group show and will be showing porcelain lolitas with limbs carved down to translucent filigree.

Basically, there's something for every doll lover in this show. Opens this Friday, September 9. Details below.


Model No. 3 by Ekaterina and Elena Popovy - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Sep 9, 2011, 7 PM onwards

On show: Sep 9 - Oct 2, 2011

Address: Strychnin Gallery, Boxhagenerstr. 36, 10245 Berlin, Germany, tel: +49 30 9700 2035

Opening hours: Thu - Sun: 12 - 6 PM

WurzelForum discussion

Richard Stipl's "Remembering Disasters" at Galerie Dukan Hourdequin, Paris

by Suzanne on September 5th, 2011


Heretic II by Richard Stipl, clay, hair, 66 x 19 x 14 cm, 2011 - click to enlarge

Dukan Hourdequin Gallery in Paris - check out their fantastic roster of artists - presents the first French solo exhibition of Czech artist Richard Stipl's works.

Remembering Disasters opens this coming Thursday and will be showing sculptures from the past decade of Richard's grotesquely physiognomic creative output.

For some reason, I keep reading the show title as "Dismembering Disasters" but I guess that just goes to show that I have a one-track mind.

Curator of the exhibition is Otto M. Urban who brought us the fantastic Decadence Now - Visions of Excess at Prague's Rudolfinum Gallery last year.

You know that Franz Xaver Messerschmidt would have loved to attend this show so please do him a favour and don't miss it if you're in Paris. Details below.


Heretic I by Richard Stipl, clay, found objects, 25 x 17 x 12 cm, 2011 - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Sep 8, 2011, 6 - 9 PM

On show: Sep 9 - Oct 15, 2011

Address: Galerie Dukan Hourdequin, 24, rue Pastourelle, 75003, Paris, France, email: info@dukanhourdequin.com | Map

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 11 AM - 7 PM

Press release

WurzelForum discussion