Faculty Picks "Little Sculptures, in the Round"
Image: John Nelson Battenberg, Dry Melon AE VI, 1982, Mixed metals, Las Vegas Art Museum Collection
Faculty Picks "Little Sculptures, in the Round" in the Barrick's Teaching Gallery
Susanna Newbury, assistant professor, Contemporary Art History, Criticism & Theory
September 18 - December 31, 2015
Las Vegas is a city of enormity. Our monuments are scaled to extra-large, from pulsing neon signs to glass-fronted towers. Vegas is also a city of “false fronts.” Those neons glow on only one side (facing the street), those glass towers are clustered along a single thoroughfare. Sometimes it seems as if those spectacular surfaces are the only things Vegas presents to the world, images whose splashy luster overshadow the sprawling reality of a city of millions of small buildings, and the individuals who populate and make it run.
Like the city we all live in, sculptures must be seen from all angles, in the round. In a place devoted to spectacle and size, what could it mean to refocus attention on the small, the singular, in all its particularities? Or to the negligible, forgotten, or inconclusive? Each of the objects assembled here operates under these conditions, what the French Surrealist Georges Bataille referred to as an art that presents decomposition and destruction instead of concrete form—minor monuments to life cycles that break apart their object of focus. The interaction of parts is what interests both artists and viewer, rather than any one thing a sculpture can be said to resemble.
Looking at little sculptures in the round, front and back and side to side, for how their parts shift, compose, and decompose from every angle, we might think of ourselves, too, and a new way of learning from Las Vegas. Whether a city or a sculpture, what are the parts that make it run?
Learn more about the Barrick's Teaching Gallery by visiting the Barrick Museum website.
This event is free and open to the public.
- Mondays - Fridays: 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m.
- Saturday: 12 p.m.–5 p.m.
More info on this event
UNLV Marjorie Barrick Museum