Art on the Grounds

Color Face

High fired clay with glaze30 x 31 x 37 in.Courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San FranciscoPhoto: Isaiah Plaza Wanxin Zhang began his Color Face series in 2007 as an homage to his homeland. These works specifically reference Chinese opera performances where actors’ faces are painted in a stylized fashion or masked to represent a character’s personality or cultural status. The use of certain colors can distinguish goodness from evil, and strength from serenity. Although the designs can be complex, there are usually only two or three colors used for each character. Dripping with multi-colored glaze, this sculpture…
Art on the Grounds

Strike

Polished stainless steel122 x 120 x 30 in.Courtesy of the artistPhoto: Airyka Rockefeller In Strike, based on a 1935 lithograph by Louis Lozowick depicting an encounter between a protester and a policeman, a disembodied arm raised up and wielding a nightstick is grasped at the wrist by another hand, the forearms forming a triangular geometry. This piece, made of gleaming stainless steel with a mirrored finish, resembles a trophy. In these works too, the intentional ambiguity, the incompleteness of the disembodied figures, leaves viewers the opportunity to find meaning in their own questions about what it is they are seeing.…
Art on the Grounds

Marble Sculpture No. 1

Marble56 x 23 x 27 in.Courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery, San FranciscoPhoto: Isaiah Plaza Jackson spent extended periods in 1983 and 1985 in Carrara, Italy, working on marble sculptures, which he has continued in his studio in Oakland, California. In an art historical sense one might perceive the figures in his otherwise abstract paintings as an attempt to resolve or at least investigate the space between abstraction and figuration. That would be wrong. His figures are not trying to become something else, they exist in between states — being and becoming, living and dead, dreaming and awake.…
Art on the Grounds

Resilience of the 20%

Cast bronze61 x 45 x 48 in.Courtesy of the artistPhoto: Cassils with Megan Paetzhold. Courtesy of the artist Resilience of the 20% is a sculpture cast from the bashed clay remnant of Cassils’ Becoming An Image performance, and acts as a monument to the resilience of queer communities. The title underscores a sickening statistic: in 2012, murders of trans people increased by 20 percent worldwide. Cast in bronze and weighing nearly two tons, this massive sculpture forms the centerpiece of Monument Push. Monument Push is a four-hour performance of collectively pushing the 1,900 pound bronze Resilience of the 20% sculpture…
Art on the Grounds

Winter

Cast bronze22 x 31 x 23 in.Courtesy of the artist and L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CAPhoto: Margaret Kemp Winter is a work out of a larger series of four that Saar conceived around each season. In her own words, the work is "about, of course, the cycles of nature, but they're also about the cycles of women—our bodies and their maturations. Additionally, the whole project also came to embody, to me, the cycle of creativity." "Summer is pregnant with fireflies…I wanted her pregnancy to signify a very fertile stage in a woman's life, but also the idea of summer, and…
Art on the Grounds

A Common Thread

"In providing skeins of multicolored yarn and needles to my talented, multifaceted refugee sisters—who otherwise spend their time counting long, torturous days in flimsy crowded tents, at the mercy of inclement weather and fellow humans in power—my hope is to help them create space in their minds where they may otherwise have none: crocheting their meditative states into beautiful flowers. My choice to use the colors from the rainbow as a macro representation of their delicate, detailed and breathtaking meditative stories comes from my displaced sisters themselves. When it was time to pick yarn, it became impossible to choose a…
Art on the Grounds

Caravan

Within Montalvo’s Italianate Garden and along the Great Lawn, you will find Caravan by Hellen Ascoli, an artist, weaver, and mediator living and working in Guatemala City, Guatemala and Madison, Wisconsin. Since her migration from Guatemala to Madison, Ascoli continues to ask herself, How do you rebuild and remember at the same time? How do you make sense of where you are, when you are so deeply invested elsewhere?Caravan is a reference to movement both internal and external, both physical and emotional. Today, “caravan” also carries political overtones meant to incite fear of the migrants at our southern border, while…