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Material Personae
Lynda Benglis

by Tom Csaszar

Lynda Benglis's recent sculptures consistently direct the viewer to their materials qualities. However, it is the narratives that develop in relation to the materials and shapes that are stressed in her works. As one moves from their commanding physical power to the richness of their metaphoric and emotional associations, their playful intelligence becomes more evident. Bits of cast sliver or rubberized foam become sinews or smoke; the same form is like an arching human back or a crenelated piece of coral. Rooted in the structure and resistance offered by particular materials and processes, Benglis's pieces are literal and intellectual statements about the conditions of making and artifice, or at least they begin there. King Pin III (2007), a hollow, 20-inch, torso-like shape projected off the wall, is composed of lumps and skeins of silver. Initially these elements appear like wads of chewing gum made from mercury--chaotic crud transformed into a moving surface. The amorphous lumps are too large to become homogenized into one surface, and too small to become forms on their own. These are not easy sculptures until one sees how Benglis uses the broken sheen of the surface to activate the form and untie the little blobs, creating motion across the whole shape, which one cn variously read as a torso, landscape, sea creature, or pixilated bride. 
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MATERIAL DEVICES:THE DRAWINGS AND SCULPTURE OF JOHN ATKIN
by Tom Csaszar

The sculptures and drawings of John Atkin present not so much images of machines as they do diagrams of machines incompletely realized in our imagination. His playful inventions are casual and direct statements. And yet, like a well-written Tokugawa haiku - as opposed to a poorly written Elizabethan sonnet - they are metaphoric and rhetorical in the sense that they help us to discover our own metaphors in them, rather than impress us with the cleverness of the packaged rhetoric of their creator. They are not just literal observations, nor are they surrealistic details from one man's psyche, but more than anything else, they are complex metaphors simply put. Classical haiku frequently create parallels between states of nature and states of the human mind and human condition. Atkin's works explore how the human mind and the human condition are mirrored in the tools and devices that people make.
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Perception's Nature
by Tom Csaszar

Winifred Lutz's installations have established her work internationally in the last dozen years. The recent retrospective of her sculpturesat Moore College of Art and Design's Levy Gallery in Philadelphia, titled "Place of Nature, Nature of Place," started with pieces dating from the late '70s and early '80s. This exhibition made it possible to discern the themes that underlie her diverse works.

Lutz's sculptures have a notably different emphasis than her installations. Her sculptures are earthy to the point of grit, algae, leaves, and mud, and yet intellectual and conceptual in their delicate contemplations of time, surface, and mortality. While these contending qualities are also present in her installations, they are brought together in her sculptures with more obvious contrasts and in greater depth.
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