In this issue Border Crossings looks in large part at contemporary sculpture in the work of two artists, American icon Richard Serra and Montreal-based Jean-Pierre Gauthier. Both invoke a sense of empathy and engagement through a sensual understanding of material. The hard steel and industrial material is transformed, through scale in the case of Richard Serra, and through kinetic assemblages in the case of Gauthier. Serra reflects on the physicality of space and the nature of ones own relation to it. Gauthier uses a programmed randomness to accentuate the unpredictability of the work. The monumental and the chaotic become transformed by the poetic inherent in indeterminacy. With both artists, we are drawn to this delicate balance.
Richard Serra is one of the most widely recognized and significant artists working today. In this issue, Border Crossings talks with Richard Serra in New York where he describes his early years at the University of California in Santa Barbara where he studied literature. He also studied at Yale University with teachers Philip Guston, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, and Ad Reinhardt. Serra maintains that the rhythm of the body through space has remained the central tenet of his work over the years. Tectonics rather than representation forms the on-going basis of his large-scale installation work.
We also look at the humour, pathos and poignancy in the work of Montreal based kinetic sculptor, Jean-Pierre Gauthier. Gauthier is an innovator of low-tech kinetic work. He uses ordinary industrial objects to make mechanized instruments that create dissonant, and at times, delicate soundscapes. The installation works evoke a sense of order and chaos; sensors mark the spectators’ engagement, and the devices respond unpredictably like anthropomorphic organisms. Erratic movement further heightens this sense of aliveness and generates feeling of empathy in the mechanized worlds Gauthier creates.
In our articles section, Gary Pearson discusses works by senior Canadian photographer and filmmaker, Ian Wallace, in “The Art of Deep Collecting: Ian Wallace and the Rennie Museum”. Forty artworks by Wallace were recently donated, along with several other notable works, to the National Gallery of Canada by the Rennie Museum, Vancouver.
Michael Davidge takes an in-depth look at the National Gallery of Canada after the recent reconfiguration of its Canadian and Indigenous Galleries.
Stephen Horne takes the “grand tour” of arts exhibitions as the Venice Biennale, documenta, and the Münster Skulptur Projekte align in what is nearly a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition lineup.
And Aryen Hoekstra discuses fakery and fiction in the work of artist Thomas Demand, filmmaker Alexander Kluge and scenographer Anna Viebrock in “The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.”
The Crossovers section includes reviews on Robert Rauschenberg, Carolee Schneemann, Philip Guston, Olafur Eliasson, Rodney Graham, Carol Rama, photographers Brenda Francis Pelkey and Elad Lassry, painter Kim Neudorf, indigenous artist Roger Crait, Berlin experimental music festival: Berlin Atonal, an exhibition of indigenous work entitled “Beshaabiiganan,” a survey of late artist Evan Sabourin, “STAGES: Drawing the Curtain” organized by Plug In ICA, the Sarajevo Film Festival and much more…