For this showcase of recipients of the International Sculpture Center 2009 Student Awards, 11 artists’ works were chosen from 441 nominees from 176 schools, representing the most current and best contemporary sculpture. This showing demonstrates why contemporary artists are now so frequently breaking away from using two dimensions. With limitless form, media and ideas, sculpture today is exciting, provocative, large … and fun.
Luke Achterberg from the University of Kentucky was chosen with Relative (2009). This sculpture at one point reaches almost 8 feet high and 14 feet long. It is as if the plasticity of paint has leapt off the canvas; the vibrant reds and yellows dance in psychedelic loops and swirls, imaginative and alive.
A more contemplative sculpture is the work of Sanford Mirling from SUNY Albany titled Brandi, Won’t You? (2008). His question—addressed from a male perspective, inviting the woman to comply—is a clue to the content of the sculpture. It is expressive of sensual themes, and the 7-foot-tall form is charged with both male and female sexual symbolism.
The sculpture by Caelie Winchester of the University of Oklahoma is more cognitive. Totem (2009, pictured) is 8-1/2 feet high, a column of casted hydrostone masks that she used her own face to create. This mass of nuances of emotion and expression allows for a connection with the viewer who can relate to the temperamental states of any of these masks. It is a demonstration of the broad range of human conditions of being. The other eight works are equally dynamic and impressive.