American Representation at Sculpture and Object XVIII
On view at two venues in the Republic of Slovakia
The American representation at Sculpture and Object XVIII
Stirring the Waters | Beyond the Pond
See a short video of the work in the Functionalist building Galeria Svu Velka Sala here - with The Sculpture Center's exhibition in the first minute.
The group of artworks in this exhibition Stirring the Waters | Beyond the Pond has travelled from Cleveland once before in the summer of 2012 to Boston as part of an exchange exhibition with Boston sculptors. Then it was titled Stirring the Waters | Between Two Bodies referring to the two bodies of water, Lake Erie and Boston Harbor, that border our cities. This same group of artworks has now travelled Beyond the Pond - another body of water, this time the Atlantic Ocean - 'the pond' separating the old world from the new.
Viktor Hulik, the Director of Gallery Z and chief organizer of an annual international sculpture exhibition in Bratislava, became aware of the Boston exhibition through Robert Thürmer and invited The Sculpture Center's artists to participate in the context of Sculpture and Object XVIII, in part because Cleveland and Bratislava are sister cities and there is a mutual desire for cultural exchange. It is a tremendous honor for Cleveland sculptors to represent the United States at this international festival celebrating contemporary sculpture. Hulik has been supported in his efforts by Ambassador Theodore Sedgewick, the American ambassador to Slovakia, who has also invited The Sculpture Center to extend this exhibition to a second venue in Kosice, Slovakia.
Sculpture and Object XVIII will exhibit works of over 110 artists from Slovakia, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Uruguay, and The United States. Artists from the US range from first generation Americans, from Austria, Ireland, and Russia, to second and third generations who can trace their roots back to Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia. At least one of these artists participating had an ancestor who came to America on the Mayflower. This diversity of artists reflects the diverse inhabitants of both Cleveland and Bratislava.
This variety is also very prominent in the artwork itself. A high level of exuberance of material choice, intensity of emotion, DIY aesthetics (Do It Yourself), and humor is found in the works. The sculptures lean, pile up precariously, multiply, glow from interior light or extreme color, develop into video performances, and become complete, discrete installations within the gallery space. Some of the pieces mordantly address feminist and gender issues, body image and illness, governmental repression, anarchy, and war.
Each artist pursues a unique and important line of inquiry and investigation that has its own logic and coherence. The works engage us by structure, by form, by ideas, or by way of a certain sense of beauty. There is no regional flavor here, no dialect, and no national boundaries.
Hulik writes about the annual international sculpture exhibition, which draws about 200,000 visitors each year:
This event was first held in the streets, squares and courtyards of Bratislava in 1996 and gradually a small exhibition of several Slovak artists has expanded into an important and prestigious international event and has become an inseparable part of Bratislava cultural activities in the summer.
Stirring the Waters | Beyond the Pond is most generously sponsored by His Excellency the American Ambassador Theodore Sedgwick, the Embassy of the U.S.A. to the Slovak Republic and the Cleveland Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Lauren Kalman through a Faculty Creative/Research Grant College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts, Wayne State University, Robert Thurmer through the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences of Cleveland State University and Mark Soppeland through a Folk Grant, Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, The University of Akron.
The Sculpture Center is an arts institution dedicated to the advancement of the careers of emerging sculptors of Ohio and its greater region and the preservation of Ohio outdoor public sculpture as a means to provide support for artists and to effect the enrichment, education, enjoyment, and visual enhancement of the Cleveland community and beyond.
The Sculpture Center receives generous support from The Callahan Foundation, the Kulas Foundation, The John P. Murphy Foundation, the Bernice and David E. Davis Art Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, studioTECHNE|architects, Sculpture Center board members, and many individual donors to Friends of The Sculpture Center. The 2014 W2S series is directly supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation. The Sculpture Center is supported in part by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. It is also supported by grants from the Ohio Arts Council.
Gallery hours: Wednesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 pm, Saturday 12 noon to 4 pm or by prior appointment (Free Parking, Handicapped accessible)