Category Archives: Sculpture

Chapman Brothers upset children’s rights group in Rome

Jake and Dinos Chapman, 'Piggyback', 1997

Jake and Dinos Chapman, ‘Piggyback’, 1997

A controversial sculpture by the Chapman brothers has been removed from a permanent collection display at Rome’s contemporary art museum, MAXXI.  The work in question (above) that features two young, naked parasitic twins, one with a penis sticking out of her mouth, has come under fire from a children’s rights group who denounced the piece as child pornography.  MAXXI director Anna Mattirolo defended the work, stating: “Crudity is part of the Chapmans’ work, they are known for works that denounce a sick reality.  They want to generate discussion about false morality and provoke debate and we firmly believe and support the freedom of expression of the artists.”  Despite this, the museum ended up removing the work over the weekend.

Ceramics by Lucio Fontana

'La mia ceramica, Tempo', 1939

‘La mia ceramica, Tempo’, 1939

'Madonna Con Il Bambino',1954

‘Madonna Con Il Bambino’,1954

'Deposizione', 1953

‘Deposizione’, 1953

Hirst Offends in Long Island

Damien Hirst, '

Damien Hirst, ‘The Virgin Mother’, 2005

Long Island residents are up in arms over Damien Hirst’s hideous bronze sculpture The Virgin Mother – a ten metre high representation of a naked pregnant woman complete with glaring red cutaways of her innards. The work has been installed on the grounds of the historic A. Conger Goodyear House in Long Island by property mogul Aby Rosen, a managing member of the property.

Long Island mayor Fred J. Carillo has voiced residents’ concerns by stating: “It’s out of character with the neighborhood… The question is, does it belong in Old Westbury? Does it belong on a residential property?” Village officials claim that the work has been installed without the prerequisite permits and should occupy a part of the property not visible from the street. While the issue is resolved, the bronze monstrosity has been covered with black mesh so as not to cause further offence…

Shrigley vs. Armanious

David Shrigley, 'Nailed biscuit', acrylic composite, nail, 2001

David Shrigley, ‘Nailed biscuit’, acrylic composite, nail, 2001

Hany Armanious, 'Coin', cast pigmented polyester resin, cast bronze, 2013

Hany Armanious, ‘Coin’, cast pigmented polyester resin, cast pigmented polyurethan resin, cast bronze, 2013



Here’s footage of a show by Sarah Lucas at Tramway in Glasgow that contains, among other things, 2.5 metre long sculptural erections, smashed up cars and an enormous wanking hand.  Lucas was interviewed about the exhibition – her first solo in Scotland – by Teddy Jamieson from the Herald Scotland.  Describing her more prurient interests she stated: “I’ve always found the penis a really useful sculptural thing. I’ve always said, ‘When in doubt … knob.’”

(Also worth noting is Tramway’s commitment to video documentation of its exhibitions – an excellent resource for those unable to attend a show in the flesh).

Pots, dropped

Ai Weiwei, 'Droppin a Han Dynasty Urn',

Ai Weiwei, ‘Droppin a Han Dynasty Urn’, 1995

Maximo Caminero has been charged with allegedly destroying an artwork by Ai Weiwei at the Perez Art Museum in Miami. The local artist picked up and smashed the million dollar work from Ai’s 2006 series Colour Vases in protest against the museum’s lack of local artist displays.  He now faces felony criminal mischief charges.  It’s a curious case of life imitating art; one of Ai’s most notorious works, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn (1995) is a series of three silver gelatin prints featuring the artist doing just that.  Describing his protest, Caminero stated: “I was at PAMM and saw Ai Weiwei’s photos behind the vases where he drops an ancient Chinese vase and breaks it. And I saw it as a provocation by Weiwei to join him in an act of performance protest.”  The act was apparently spontaneous.

(And if you’re interested in seeing some of Ai Weiwei’s Colour Vases  in the flesh, there is a suite of them in QAG/GoMA’s collection)

Tom Friedman vs. Antony Gormley

Tom Friedman, 'Untitled', 1999 (self portrait made from sugar cubes)

Tom Friedman, ‘Untitled’, 1999 (self portrait made from sugar cubes)

Antony Gormley, 'Sublimate II', 2004

Antony Gormley, ‘Sublimate II’, 2004


Cock Fight

In 1998 Mexican artist Joshua Okon made a video called Cock Fight, featuring two young women uttering some particularly creative profanities.  Their slurs and behaviour emulate some of the insults and dirty jokes on occasion directed at women.  But Cock Fight turns this problematic conduct on its head, with the female protagonists reclaiming bad language and aggressive posturing and transforming it into an oddly entertaining song and dance routine.

Fourth Plinth Finalists Announced

'Really Good', by David Shrigley

Mock up of David Shrigley’s Fourth Plinth proposal, ‘Really Good’

The 6 finalists for this year’s round of the Fourth Plinth commission have now been announced.  Marcus Coate, Hans Haacke, Liliane Lijn, Ugo Rondinone, Mark Leckey and David Shrigley are all in the running, with the two successful proposals set to be determined by the Fourth Plinth committee in early 2014.  Included in this year’s line up is a horse skeleton covered in stock exchange prices (Haacke), a pair of dancing robotic cones (Lijn) and LOL’s personal favourite, a 10 metre high ‘thumbs up’ sculpture by David Shrigley entitled ‘Really Good’. The winning works will go on display in Trafalgar Square in 2015 and 2016 respectively.  Read more about the finalists here.

Edible Calder

Alexander Calder,

Alexander Calder, ’10-5-4′, 1958

Mobile by Carl and Evelina Kleiner

Mobile by Carl and Evelina Kleiner

First there were art sandwiches, now there are food mobiles, thanks to Carl and Evelina Kleiner.  The Stockholm-based duo have revisited the mobiles of American sculptor Alexander Calder, recreating his efforts with a range of edible ingredients.  See more here.