The State of Sculpture –

How to define sculpture in 2022? This issue of Art in America offers considerable insight in answering that question, beginning with thoughts from curators we asked to weigh in. The Dia Art Foundation’s Alexis Lowry quotes sculptor Melvin Edwards: “My whole thing about sculpture is that it’s relative.” Julieta González from the Inhotim Museum in Brazil points out that “sculptures provide not only physical and perceptual experiences, but often symbolic ones as well.” SculptureCenter’s Kyle Dancewicz refers to the sculptor’s pursuit as a “a void-shaped discipline.” And Karen Lemmey from the Smithsonian American Art Museum reminds us that “unlike in the past, sculpture today is assembled from anything.”

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Art in America's September 2022 Issue:

Sculpture can be as big and broad as a landscape, as we see in Kirsten Swenson’s story about treating land reclamation as a form of art project in the 1970s. And it can be as intimate as something a hand can hold, as Glenn Adamson suggests in a consideration of different ways that craft and sculpture connect. Analyzing the sculptures of Clementine Keith-Roach, one of which graces our cover, Adamson writes that they “prize craft not just as a practical way to get things done, but as a source of cultural resonance.” He goes on to note that “making-by-hand is a way to express a sense of belonging.”

Do Ho Suh, who made the special pull-out print in this issue, speaks of pedestals—an integral part of his work, and of sculpture’s history—sharing similarities with the way that words function in a sentence. In a roundtable moderated by Art in America Ideas Editor Mira Dayal, artist Gordon Hall says, “The thing I love about sculpture—which is also maddening and makes it difficult—is that it puts you into such a close relationship with physical stuff, with things and weight and messes.” He tells his students to think of sculpture “less as a category of artwork than as a way of approaching artmaking in general: it could involve writing or speaking, as well as any kind of making that has to do with material intimacy.”

Every article in this issue has a shape and a multitude of dimensions, and each is the result of making. I hope you’ll take each one in and consider it from a variety of vantage points. 

—Sarah Douglas, Editor in Chief 

Art in America's September 2022 Issue:

Work by Ruth Asawa on view in “The Milk of Dreams” at the Venice Biennale, 2022.

Photo Roberto Marossi/Courtesy La Biennale di Venezia



Reviews of international exhibitions of note:

Rachel Wetzler on the Venice Biennale 

Nancy Princenthal on the American Pavilion 

Emily Watlington on the Berlin Biennale

Minh Nguyen on Documenta 15 


Yooyun Yang by Andrew Russeth

Often working from photographs, the Korean painter renders interior scenes drenched in sadness and anomie.


Amanda Hunt, the Walker Art Center’s head of public engagement, learning, and interpretation, tells us what’s on her mind.


Sartorial Studies by Chen & Lampert 

Artist-curators Howie Chen and Andrew Lampert offer advice on social media and social style.


Ten artists tell us about a book that has shaped their practice this year.


History’s Painter by Daniel Spaulding

A review of Benjamin H.D. Buchloh’s Gerhard Richter: Painting after the Subject of History.


Q&A with objects and sculpture conservator Emily B. Frank.

An abstract sculpture by Katarzyna Kobro at the Muzeum Sztuki's Neoplastic Room

Katarzyna Kobro’s sculpture Spatial Composition 6, 1931, on view in the Neoplastic Room at the Museum Sztuki in Łódź, Poland.

Photo Anna Zagrodzka/Courtesy Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź



Curators Karen Lemmey, Alexis Lowry, Julieta González, and Kyle Dancewicz consider links between today’s fluid artistic practices and sculpture’s elusive definition.


by Kirsten Swenson

In the 1970s, a Seattle-area initiative made land reclamation a key element of artists’ earthwork designs.


by Rachel Wetzler

Working with meager resources in interwar Poland, Katarzyna Kobro pioneered a fusion of abstract sculpture and social space.


by Mira Dayal

Do Ho Suh’s new project is a wry take on traditional monuments—as seen in a special pull-out print.


by Glenn Adamson

Artists rooted in craft tell different kinds of stories in their work—some procedural, others thematic.


Sculptors Gordon Hall, Abigail Lucien, Lydia Ourahmane, and Michael Rakowitz discuss their transformations of materials and objects.


by Joseph L. Underwood

A huge figurative monument in Dakar, Senegal, raises issues of governmental power, religious propriety, financing, creative control, and taste.

Art in America's September 2022 Issue:

Kathleen Henderson, Cage, 2021, oil stick and oil on paper, 24 by 28½ inches.

Photo Sean Meredith


Piero Gilardi
Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York
Louis Bury

Toronto Biennial
Multiple Venues
Mira Dayal

William Wegman
Sperone Westwater, New York
Emily Watlington

Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho
47 Canal, New York
Hyunjee Nicole Kim

Ani Liu
Cuchifritos Gallery + Project Space, New York
Diana Seo Hyung Lee

Joshua Rashaad McFadden
George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York
Jackson Davidow

Oscar Murillo
St. Louis Art Museum
Del O’Brien

“New Earthworks”
Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe
Travis Diehl

Kathleen Henderson
Track 16, Los Angeles
Leah Ollman

Musée du Luxembourg, Paris
Hannah Stamler

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