Friday, February 26, 2010

Nathan Sawaya

Nathan Sawaya is a New York-based artist who creates awe-inspiring works out of some of the most unlikely things. His recent North American museum tours feature large-scale sculptures using only toy building blocks. LEGO® bricks to be exact. Born in Colville, Washington and raised in Veneta, Oregon, Sawaya’s childhood dreams were always fun. He drew cartoons, wrote stories, perfected magic tricks and also played with LEGO. Sawaya attended NYU. After college he rediscovered LEGO but not as a toy, but rather as a medium. Today Sawaya has more than 1.5 million colored bricks in his New York art studio. His work is obsessively and painstakingly crafted and is both beautiful and playful. Sawaya’s ability to transform LEGO bricks into something new, his devotion to scale and color perfection, the way he conceptualizes the action of the subject matter, enables him to elevate an ordinary toy to the status of fine art. According to journalist Scott Jones, “Sawaya is a surrealist mash-up of forms and artists. Imagine Frank Lloyd Wright crossed with Ray Harryhausen, or Auguste Rodin crossed with Shigeru Miyamoto, and you start to get a sense of where Sawaya is coming from.” Sawaya’s art form takes shape primarily in 3-dimensional sculptures and oversized portraits. He continues to create daily while accepting commission work from around the world. (

February 2006
35" x 13" x 28"
August 2006
28" x 48" x 20"

February 2006
15" x 15" x 15"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rebecca Ward

With her architectural installations the young US artist Rebecca Ward creates impressive effects by using nothing more than different colored isolation tape. Utilizing existing lines, beams, and angles, each piece I create is informed by the individual site and its unique linear movement… I choose patterns and shapes according to detailed measurements of the installation site. Ideally these patterns are numerically symmetrical or somehow numerically balanced, producing a dialogue between line and space”, explains the artist. (
'Black mountains' by Rebecca Ward, 2009

'Tape 10' by Rebecca Ward, 2007

Rebecca Ward, The Bed You Lie In, 2009

Almuth Tebbenhoff

Almuth Tebbenhoff was born in Furstenau Germany in 1949. In 1969 she visited London where she studied ceramics at Sir John Cass School of Art. For the next six years she would continue to experiment and make her own ideas of sculpture. She began working with clay and wood until in 1986 when she began working with metal at South Thames College in London. She works mainly with steel, stone, and clay aside from her drawings. “Inspired by process: she loves the way objects of beauty and intrigue can emerge from a noisy session cutting and welding steel, sparks flying in every sense, or from a quieter but no less messy afternoon pushing wet clay around.” She enjoys sculpting because of the hands on work and connections she gets from it.

In The Beginning, 2002
stainless steel
128 x 128 x 128 cm

Infundere II, 2003
Diameter 28 cm

Beam, 1999
mild steel, stainless steel, gold leaf

Height 800 cm

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers lives and works in Miami. He has played a crucial role in the development of Miami's art scene and contributed greatly to the city's reputation internationally. Born in Miami in 1958, Robert Chambers earned his MA (1990) from New York University and his BFA from University of Miami (1983). He ran the sculpture departments at NYU for a number of years and then continued his teaching career at the University of Miami. "The idea of combining contemporary sculpture and modern science with non-traditional materials is at the core of my work as an artist. My work very often references a sense of experimental playfulness. The rigidity of science, chemistry and physics is broken by a desire to reclaim as my own, and subsequently present to an audience. In some ways the final product becomes almost an esoteric experience." (From his website)

Giant Sling Shot, Museum Under Seize

Bass Art Muesum Miami, 2009

Impact Drawing Machine

Aluminum, stainless steel, electrical components, ceramic tea saucers, graphite, paint

12 x 5 x 5'


Shore Cottage - 8 Bubbles

Installation Photograph.

Karensansui Garden Series. Latex, silk, helium, rope, LED lights, electrical components

20 x 100 yrds


Mount Desert, Maine

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tony Cragg

Tony Cragg was born in Liverpool in 1949. He worked originally as a laboratory technician at the Natural Rubber Producers Research Association until a few years later when he attended Gloucestershire College of Art and Design. He does a lot of work with thing that look likes molecules since he was originally trained to be a biologist. “I think that objects have the capability to carry valuable information for us, but most objects are made in ways which are irresponsible and manipulative.”Tony Cragg is known for his broad use of materials including plastic, wood, stone, metal and industrial objects such as glass bottles. He tries many different materials and then expands what their usual use would be depending on the object.

Grey Moon, 1985
Plastic found objects
7' 2 5/8" x 52" (220 x 132.1 cm)

Stack, 1975
Mixed Media
2000x 2000x 2000 mm (unconfirmed)

Kahzernarbeit, 1985
  • Wooden coat-stand with brass hooks; plastic waste-pipe elements;
  • suitcase in imitation leather with metal hinges and fixtures;
  • metal milk churn with plastic top and string
  • Size 184.50 x 259.00 x 103.00 cm

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tara Donovan

Tara Donovan grew up in Nyack, New York. Her studies began at the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1987-88. Donovan received her BFA at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C. in 1991, and earned her MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in 1999. Before attending VCU, Donovan tended bar and waited tables for six years, and didn't quit her day job until 2003, when her first New York solo show, at the Ace Gallery, probed a breakout success. Donovan's work uses everyday manufactured materials such as Scotch tape, Styrofoam cups, and drinking straws to create large scale sculptures that often have a biomorphic quality. Her sculptures must be assembled carefully and disassembled carefully, which sometimes involve an extremely tedious process. With regards to her artistic process, Donovan explained that she chooses the material before she decides what can be done with it. She noted in an interview that she thinks "in terms of infinity, of [the materials] expanding."

Untitled, 2003
Styrofoam Cups, Hot Glue
Dimensions Variable

Moire, 1999
Adding Machine Paper
2' 8"(H) x 29'(W) x 24' 6 1/2"(D)

Untitled, 2001
Shattered Tempered Glass Held by Friction & Gravity Only
35"(H) x 35"(W) x 35"(D)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

The temporary large-scale environmental works (both urban and rural environments) have elements of painting, sculpture, architecture and urban planning. For instance the Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida,1980-83. could be seen as giant flat paintings (shaped canvases). Our projects are discussed and argued about, pro and con, before they are realized. To understand our work one must realize what is inherent to each project. However there is an important diffrence between our works of art and the usual architecture and urban planning, we are our own sponsors and we pay for our works of art with our own money, never accepting any grants nor sponsors.
Surrounded Island, Biscayne Bay, FL
(585,000 square meters of pink woven polypropylene fabric)

Reichstag, Germany
(100,000 meters of fireproof polypropylene fabric)
The Umbrellas, California
(Total of 1760 Umbrellas and 18 miles long)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread was born in London in 1963. She studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic(1982-85) and sculpture at the Slade School of Art. One of her main focuses is about line and shape and how it brings out space, or forgotten space. An example of this would be space under a bed or some kind of furniture. In 1993 Whiteread was awarded the Turner Prize for her piece entitled House. It was so controversial that it got torn down a few months after it was built. “Whiteread’s choice of subject-matter reflects an awareness of the intrinsically human-scaled design of the objects with which we surround ourselves and exploits the severing of this connection, by removal of the object's function, to express absence and loss.”

Modern Chess set, 2005
Mixed Media
Dimensions of box: 24.5 x 75 x 41.5 cm
Dimensions of board: 3 x 67 x 67 cm

House, 1993
Measurements unknown

Water Tower, 1998
Translucent resin and painted steel
12' 2" (370.8 cm) high x 9' (274.3 cm) in diameter

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is one of the world’s leading artists and a living legend of the international art avant-garde. Flamboyant yet profound, her oeuvre encompasses unique masterpieces in painting, sculpture, and installation, as well as mass production and popular culture. Kusama also produces playful sculpture on a monumental scale. Her first large-scale sculpture appeared in 1994, a huge, vivid yellow pumpkin covered with an optical spot pattern, which was installed at the end of a jetty on the island of Naoshima in the Seto Sea, Japan. She has since completed several major sculptural commissions—ensembles of huge, brightly hued, triffid-like plants and flowers—for public institutions in Japan and abroad. Yayoi Kusama suffers from mental illness.

Dots Obsession.
11 balloons, vinyl dot.

The Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees.

(Artist is featured in the picture.)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tom Otterness

Tom Otterness makes large-scale public sculptures, his work which is figurative and often humorous, appeals to a broad public. In 1977, Otterness was a founding member of COLAB, a New York artists' collective that pressed for art to become more accessible and less gallery-bound. In 1978, he received his first major public commission from the Art-in-Architecture programme of the GSA and produced a 300-foot-long, cast-stone relief filled with his trademark cartoon-like figures. Otterness is inspired by the content and style of fairy tales and comics, although his burlesque figures have a subtext related to money and power. These figures are composed of simple geometric shapes and are cast in smooth, polished bronze. (Sculpture Today)

Free Money 2001
bronze, edition of 3, 107-1/2 x 69-1/2 x 84 inches

Large Covered Wagon 
bronze - 15 1/2 ft x 7 ft
in the DUMBO art district of Brooklyn, NY

Crying Giant, 2002
bronze 132 x 78 x 173 in

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hans Haacke

Hans Haacke was one of the most political of all conceptual artists. He focused closely on systems and processes. The 1960's jump-started his career. Haacke brought to the art world a new concept of viewer involvement. He asked viewers to handle objects, which at the time was a concept normally rejected by institutions. Some of Haacke's early works consisted of physical and biological systems, living animals, plants, and the states of water and the wind. His later works have dealt more with socio-political structures and the politics of art. (Art Today, Wikipedia)

MOMA Poll (1970)
two plexi-glass ballot boxes

Condensation Cube
begun 1965 - completed 2008
plexiglas and water

Helmsboro Country, 1990
silkscreen prints and photograph on wood, cardboard, paper
cigarette packet 77 x 103 x 121 cm
cigarettes 176 cm long

Ossip Zadkine

Ossip Zadkine was born in Vitebsk, Belarus on 14 July 1890. In 1909 he attended the polytechnic and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. Two years later he took part in the 'Salon des Ind├ępendants' for the first time and one year later joined the cubists. He served as a stretcher-bearer in World War I, which many of his scultpures will show an influnece of. "His strongly individual sculptures exploit the qualities of wood and metal in figurative compositions, exploring archetypal fantasies and the potential of space and mass by uniting substance with symbol." He later abandoned the Cubist restraints, combining baroque energy and the hieratic power of African sculpture.

La ville d├ętruite,1951
Bronze ,650 cm

Le cerf, 1923
Wood with gold patina
183 x 135 x 40 cm

Statue pour jardin, 1943
Bronze, 54 x 138.5 x 61 cm
Foundry: Tallix foundry, Beacon, New York