• View of “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture,” 2006, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC. From left: Mark Handforth, Trashcan Snake, 2005. Mark Handforth, Northern Star, 2005. Mark Handforth, Mobile (Green, Yellow and White), 2002. Mark Handforth, I-Beam, 2002.

    “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas”

    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

    LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING, in sculpture especially so. However expanded its field of activity has become, “sculpture” today might be seen to cohere around the deviousness of physical matter—its inexhaustibility, opacity, and guile. This, at least, was the common proposition of the works in the recent show “The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture”: You will never be able to apprehend all aspects of a sculpture at once, and it will always evade availability as universal (phenomenological) or collective (ideological) experience, despite modernist hopes to the contrary.


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  • Joseph Cornell

    Smithsonian American Art Museum

    Joseph Cornell loved the ballet, broken glass, nude models from photography manuals, jewels and jewel boxes, airplanes and ships, old books, old master paintings, optical devices, palace facades, penny arcades, photographs of movie stars, sand, soap bubbles, star maps, stuffed birds, and toys. Scouring Woolworth’s, bookstores, second-hand and antique stores, and other promising-looking outlets across the US and Europe, he gradually accumulated materials presented in the 177 boxes, collages, graphic design projects, dossiers, and films that were shown in a recent exhibition—the artist’s first

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  • Leo Villareal


    Leo Villareal’s sumptuous and transporting light sculptures are firmly rooted in the artist’s interest in underlying structures and rules, particularly the systems-based theories of mathematician John Conway. For more than a decade, the Yale-trained sculptor has been developing a rich visual vocabulary based on the use of multicolored incandescent, strobe, neon, and LED bulbs. His preferred format is a light-studded circular, square, or rectangular wall-mounted structure fronted with translucent Plexiglas that diffuses the changing patterns of the illumination beneath. The effect is part ’60s

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