Intricate Sculptures by Zheng Lu Suspend Splashes of Water in Stainless Steel

Detail of “Water in Dripping – Heartflower”

Harnessing the energy of water in motion, Zheng Lu’s metallic sculptures appear frozen in time. The Beijing-based artist defies utilitarian or industrial associations with steel, creating tension between the material and the fluid forms. Challenging our expectations and understanding of physics, smooth, chrome-like surfaces reflect the surroundings and change in the light as the viewer moves around them, further adding to the perception that the sculpture itself is in motion.

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Paper Sculptures by Lyndi Sales Rupture into Vibrant Masses to Explore Life’s Fragility

Detail of “Unmapped realm,” 140 x 120 x 3 centimeters Image © Lyndi Sales

Cape Town-based artist Lyndi Sales translates life’s vulnerability and fleeting nature into colorful sculptures that appear to burst and rupture in vivid forms. Using painted strips of blank paper or fragments of printed maps, Sales layers abstract compositions that splay outward, mimicking the structures of ice crystals or the cell replication process. The tension between the ephemeral and durable and the microscopic and macroscopic manifest in the large-scale works—all the pieces shown here stretch more than 4.5 feet—a relationship the artist teases out as “a way to locate myself in this universe.”

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Memory and Knowledge Intertwine in Chiharu Shiota’s Immersive String Installations

Image by Charles Roussel

In Signs of Life, a dense installation of knotted and wound string fills much of Galerie Templon’s New York space. The work of Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota (previously), the solo show transforms the gallery into a monochromatic labyrinth of intricate mesh that ascends from floor to ceiling. Shiota considers the multivalent meaning of the web, from the structure of neural networks within the human brain to the digital realm today’s world relies on.

One of the works features bulging cylinders and dangling threads in red, while another white structure traps numerous book pages within its midst. Created during a two-week period, Shiota envisions the installation as connecting personal memory and the collection of knowledge. “I always thought that if death took my body, I wouldn’t exist anymore,” she says. “I’m now convinced that my spirit will continue to exist because there is more to me than a body.

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Mind-Bending Geometric Art Creates Flowing Forms From Folded Paper and Plywood Pieces

Artist and architect Anna Kruhelska creates mind-bending art using geometry. Her repeating designs feature three-dimensional pyramids and circular shapes that produce undulating forms and tactile tessellations. Crafted from either folded paper or specially cut plywood, each piece highlights how math and art go hand in hand. Together, the two forces help create flowing shapes brought to life through light, shadow, and the strategic use of color.

As a trained architect, Kruhelska uses her knowledge of the field and 3D modeling software to help plan her pieces. Then, depending on the material, she will create separate shapes before arranging them in a way that conveys movement. Regardless of whether she’s folding small pieces of paper or cutting smooth sections of wood, there is a beautiful harmony present in each piece.

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Linda Lopez’s Playful Ceramic ‘Dust Furries’ Pick Up Detritus Like Pebbles and Peas in Their Colorful Coats

Image © Linda Nguyen Lopez

Bending and swishing as if poised to wiggle right out of the room, Linda Nguyen Lopez’s playful ceramic sculptures just want to do a little cleaning up. In the ongoing series Dust Furries, satisfying color gradients complement the supple textures of the works, which have a knack for getting odds and ends, like a dust bunny under the bed, stuck to their “fur.” “The detritus ranges from rocks to fingernails to peas,” Lopez tells Colossal. “All the things you would find on the floor or in corners.”

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Barbara Chase-Riboud Breathes Life Into Bronze

Installation view of Barbara Chase-Riboud: Monumentale: The Bronzes at Pulitzer Arts Foundation (© Barbara Chase-Riboud. Photograph by Alise O’Brien Photography, © Pulitzer Arts Foundation and Alise O’Brien Photography)

ST. LOUIS — Sober and imposing, bronze has a way of making human achievement feel both unimpeachable and paralyzed in time. Before a bronze, we are apt to feel puny, breakable, shedding lashes and skin cells as our temples gray. To cast in bronze is to reconcile matter with mythos, to conjure the illusion of solidity within earthly experience.

But such is not always the case. Barbara Chase-Riboud: Monumentale: The Bronzes, on view at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation through February 5, foregrounds six decades of the American artist’s daring approach to our oldest alloy. Less monolithic than lithe and sinuous, Chase-Riboud’s large-scale sculptures balance lightness with depth, soft with hard. Wool, cotton, and silk fibers twist into metal, prompting the eye to reassess material differences within her undulating surfaces.

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The Wondrously Defiant Art of Contemporary Ceramics

Installation view of Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art at the Hayward Gallery, London. Pictured: Klara Kristalova, “Far From Here,” detail (2022)

LONDON — Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is a bold move by the Hayward Gallery: many will remember the shock at Grayson Perry’s Turner Prize win in 2003, entering the (then) most cutting edge contemporary competition with this most underused, humble medium. And yet of the 23 international artists on view, he and the show’s other best known ceramicist, Edmund de Waal, are arguably the least compelling — demonstrating that curator Dr. Cliff Lauson has gone all out for high visual impact in his other selection. He’s brought together artists from all over the globe and works that span a range of topics, from “architecture to social justice, the body, the domestic, the political and the organic,” according to its press release. How, then, from a curatorial perspective, can the show make cohesive sense, for the audience to better grasp the discipline and its recent history? The answer is, through pieces so proudly disparate, tactile, and wondrously defiant of categorization that it doesn’t matter.

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Isamu Noguchi: Challenging the boundaries of design and art

Isamu Noguchi posing in front of his father’s poem Kane ga naru at his exhibition at Mitsukoshi Department Store, Tokyo, August 1950

In a career spanning six decades, the artist and architect Isamu Noguchi’s belief that sculpture could be a vital force in our everyday life helped to form the foundations of his lasting legacy that integrated his Japanese and American heritage into innovative creations that challenged the boundaries of design and art. 

Noguchi saw art as something that teaches human beings how to become more human. He realized his belief through sculptures and designs that merged geometric and organic forms with both positive and negative space.

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Precise Geometry and Color Gradients Undulate in Anna Kruhelska’s Three-Dimensional Paper Sculptures

Images © Anna Kruhelska

In the meticulous folds of Anna Kuhelska’s paper sculptures, contrasts of light, shadow, and hue give the impression of undulating motion. An abiding interest in form, symmetry, and space developed from the Lodz-based artist’s work as an architect, combining precise engineering and design skills with and interest in geometry and origami. Reminiscent of the spatial explorations of Günther Oecker, humble materials form delicate patterns to create perception-bending, three-dimensional wall pieces.

Kruhelska’s earliest sculptures were constructed from white paper, which demonstrated how exact cuts and creases highlight the interplay between light and shade.

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Giovanni Comin’s Putto with a Skull and a Book

Giovanni Comin, “Putto with a skull and a book (allegory of vanitas)”. Late XVII century (before 1695), Carrara marble, cm 80. Courtesy of Botticelli Antichità, Florence.

This inedited kneeling putto has its face directed towards the onlooker. Indeed, he shows us his weeping, which must be read as the most primordial answers to the discovery of the inevitability of the common human destiny, that is its material transience [1]. A painful feeling that has in the presence of the skull – on which our child rests his right hand and which he holds to himself by means of the mantle that partly dresses him – his primary cause. The skull, which is without the mandible and the incisors and canines of the upper dental arch, is placed over a closed volume. The dense shadows arising from its concave eye sockets and deeply hollowed nostrils are aligned almost vertically to the putto’s face, but opposing it for the play of solids and voids. The putto is in fact characterized by a hyper-expressive facial expression with a strong prominence chiaroscuro. In short, we are faced with the lively reaction of one on the silent and perennial impassivity of the other.

The work is carved in a single block of Carrara marble and is presented on the left side, entirely covered by the rough marks of the pointed chisel and the mallet, both tools used by the artist for the first roughing. The back also offers some similar tracks; in the center the wall of the marble is substantially smooth, with, however, the presence of an evident difference in height in the middle.

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