BARRY X BALL

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BARRY X BALL 67

source:barryxballcom
His work has been exhibited at the Powerhouse Museum / Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Museum of Arts and Design, Bass Museum of Art, Ca’ Rezzonico in conjunction with la Biennale di Venezia, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, SITE Santa Fe, Ballroom Marfa, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Le Printemps de Septembre, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Kunsthalle Krems, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, me Collectors Room Berlin, Modemuseum Hasselt, Beijing Today Art Museum, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Le Quartier, Centre d’art contemporain de Quimper, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, and at many international contemporary galleries and art fairs.

His work is in the collections of the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Norton Museum of Art, The Maramotti Collection, Le Fonds régional d’art contemporain Bretagne, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, The Berlingieri Collection, The Olbricht Collection, and The Panza Collection.

From April 12 to February, 2019, a major retrospective of Barry’s works, The End of History, will be presented at the Villa Panza in Varese (Milano), Italy. The show will be a survey of Barry’s art produced since 1983, featuring works from the Panza Collection plus selected pieces from other European and American collections and the studio.

Scheduled to run concurrently with the Villa Panza exhibition, Barry’s new monumental sculpture, Pietà, inspired by Michelangelo’s last work, will be on view at the Castello Sforzesco museum in Milano from April 12 to February, 2019. Also exhibited will be Barry’s first work in stone, Pseudogroup of Giuseppe Panza, 1998-2000.

July 2 to September 1, 2018, he will have one work on view in the group exhibition On a Pedestal at Castletown House in Co. Kildare, Ireland. The exhibition will explore the contemporary portrait bust in the 21st century.
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source:louisealexandercom
Barry X Ball is a plastician, he was born in 1955 in Pasadena, CA and lives and works in New York City.

His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design, Bass Museum of Art, Ca’ Rezzonico in conjunction with la Biennale di Venezia, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, SITE Santa Fe, Ballroom Marfa, Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Le Printemps de Septembre, Domaine de Kerguéhennec, Kunsthalle Krems, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, me Collectors Room Berlin, Modemuseum Hasselt, Beijing Today Art Museum, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Le Quartier, Centre d’art contemporain de Quimper, Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, and many international contemporary galleries and art fairs.

His work is in the collections of the Hammer Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Norton Museum of Art, The Maramotti Collection, Le Fonds régional d’art contemporain Bretagne, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, The Berlingieri Collection, The Olbricht Collection, and The Panza Collection.

Barry X Ball makes stone portraits that push the physical and conceptual boundaries of sculpture. Using semi-precious materials such as lapis lazuli, Belgian Black marble, and Iranian onyx, Ball’s portrait heads of friends, artists, and prominent art world figures are unlike anything we have seen in recent decades. Consider his portrait of painter Jon Kessler. Using black and white, diagonally-striped ‘Fantastico’ Italian marble, Ball renders Kessler’s irregular visage – characterized by a droopy left eye, a bulbous nose, and a pair of uneven floppy ears – with an overlay of Victorian-style brocade pattern and minute bands of radial fluting. In Ball’s seemingly magical hands, stone loses its stoniness: it appears to shrink, stretch, and sag, looking and behaving more like human skin. Kessler’s portrait reflects Ball’s love of illusionism and theatricality; even though the head is firmly affixed atop a steel shaft, it feels as though it may slip off its support.

Ball’s portraits are marked by a kind of hyper-compressed energy and visceral intensity that sends your mind reeling. Your thoughts vacillate between the likeness of the sitter, the aesthetic qualities of the stone, and the odd contortions of the form — even though you are completely baffled about how these objects came into existence. Ball’s carving process is incredibly complex, and it melds ancient and 21st-century technology to extraordinary effect. He begins by making a plaster life cast of his sitter. Working from the initial mold, Ball makes a plaster positive, which he sculpts by hand in order to create an accurate portrait of the sitter. Next, he digitizes the portrait using a three-dimensional digital laser scanner, creating a virtual model which allows him to stretch or shrink the head and add decorative overlays to it. After the modeling is complete, Ball sends the computer file into a computer-numerically-controlled milling machine that does the initial stone shaping. He uses a variety of progressively finer bits to mill the stone. Once the sculpture emerges from the CNC machine, Ball returns the object to his studio for months of hand-carving and polishing. Just prior to completion, he masks, sandblasts, and oil-impregnates the stone. The average production time for one portrait is approximately 2-3 years.

Ball’s intricate and highly deliberate process involves pairing different exotic stones with individual sitters. In his portrait of Milanese art historian and critic Laura Mattioli Rossi, Ball uses rare Belgian Black marble to great effect: the gleaming, hand-polished open eye of the alluring Mattioli is both captivating and unsettling. In some cases, such as the two “wounded” Lucas Michael portraits carved in Mexican onyx, Ball allows colorful inclusions in the stone to become physical attributes of the sitter.

Although many of Ball’s heads are disturbing in their distortions, their surface ornamentation, use of precious materials, and the enigmatic, visceral effects that they generate speak to a myriad of artistic influences. Egyptian death masks, Roman Republican portraiture, 12th century West African heads, and the Japanese art of tattooing, are among the many references that Ball collapses into his portraits that in effect blur the boundaries between past and present, and conflate the sculptural mark made by both hand and machine.

Accompanying the stone portraits in this exhibition are two additional sculptures made by Ball through similar means that are based upon ancient Chinese Scholars’ Rocks. Over the centuries, these rocks, prized for their deformities and irregularities, have been meticulously copied and sold as “originals.” In Ball’s equally “deformed” versions, he addresses the notion of connoisseurship, and the cultural and monetary values that we assign to notions of artifice and authenticity.
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source:artribunecom
Tra citazioni antiche e contemporanee, Villa Panza a Varese, bene FAI dal 1996, ospita la mostra antologica di Barry X Ball.

Quella di Barry X Ball (Pasadena, 1955) è un’arte controversa: maestosa riflessione sui rapporti tra passato e contemporaneità o esercizio di stile? Utilizzo della tecnologia a scopi espressivi oppure cieca fiducia nel mezzo tecnologico come fine in sé?
L’ampia retrospettiva alla Villa Panza, donata nel 1996 al FAI da Giuseppe e Giovanna Panza di Biumo, permette di farsi un’idea approfondita: quasi sessanta opere ripercorrono la carriera dell’artista, classe 1955, dalla fase minimal ‒ che conquistò il Conte Panza, all’epoca suo collezionista ‒ a quella figurativa, caratterizzata da materiali come marmo, alabastro, onice, lapislazzuli, intrapresa nel 1998 e ancora in corso.
Al termine della visita, le questioni “concettuali” rimangono forse irrisolte, ma è innegabile che il percorso, soprattutto nelle sale storiche della villa di Varese, sia estremamente coinvolgente, toccando anche punti di marcata raffinatezza. Raccolti nelle prime sale, gli originali lavori realizzati negli Anni Ottanta e a inizio Novanta, i cui fondi oro sono ispirati ai polittici medievali, giocano curiosamente con una miscela di minimal e tendenza “barocca”. Sempre al primo piano, due delle stanze migliori dell’intera mostra: quella che ospita il doppio ritratto sospeso dello stesso Barry X Ball e di Matthew Barney; e quella che raccoglie sei ritratti in pietra, collocati in serrato dialogo tra di loro e con la villa ‒ dialogo che è uno dei punti di forza dell’esposizione.
La deformazione dei visi è in fondo lo spunto più importante, al di là di citazionismo e tecnologia: deformati, al limite della rottura ma in fondo resistenti e paradossalmente vivi, i soggetti possono essere letti come interpreti della condizione odierna dell’individuo, più che di patimenti eterni ed esistenziali.
Proseguendo, si incontrano altre opere di livello come il ritratto dell’artista Matthew McCaslin, che trova una collocazione perfetta e suggestiva nella stanza da bagno. Il percorso si conclude negli spazi del pianterreno, che riuniscono due gruppi di sculture giocando sul contrasto di bianco e nero. Qui, però, l’uso della tecnologia sembra prendere il sopravvento su questioni puramente espressive.
Al Castello Sforzesco di Milano, infine, l’appendice della mostra è di prestigio. Nella sala che ospitava fino a poco tempo fa la Pietà Rondanini troneggia una copia speculare e “integrata” realizzata dall’artista americano. A colpire è l’altra installazione, i nove ritratti di Giuseppe Panza che fronteggiano il visitatore con ferma dignità.