Irina Kulik will distinguish some groundbreaking takes on contemporary sculpture in the practices of the legendary Lenore Tawney and an eminent contemporary artist from Portugal, Joana Vasconcelos.
American Lenore Tawney (1907–2007) studied art under Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Archipenko at the University of Illinois, as well as weaving at the Penland School of Crafts. Following a move to New York in 1957, she became closely associated with the circle of artists which included Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, and Robert Indiana. Towards the 1970s however, Tawney developed her own highly recognizable manner, which implied the use of fiber for producing unique objects, which soon became her signature pieces. Along with tapestries, Tawney is famous for her drawings, collages, and assemblages. Throughout her extended career, she had solo exhibitions at the New Jersey State Museum (Trenton, 1979), American Craft Museum (New York, 1990), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 1996), and many others venues.
Paris born, Lisbon based artist Joana Vasconcelos (b. 1971) works primarily with sculpture and installation, appropriating and recontextualizing everyday objects and mundane environments. With her works often addressing the themes of gender, class or national identity, Vasconcelos received much critical acclaim at the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) for her piece A Noiva (The Bride, 2001–2005)—a monumental installation made of over 25,000 tampons. In 2012 she became the first woman and the youngest artist commissioned by the Palace of Versailles within the venue’s annual single-author exhibition of contemporary art. Vasconcelos’s personal shows also include Netless—her first retrospective run by the Berardo Collection Museum (Lisbon, 2010) and I’m Your Mirror, currently on at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.