Two exhibitions of large-scale sculpture, Defiant Beauty: The Works of Chakaia Booker and Remixing History: Manolo Valdés, are currently on view at the Georgia Museum of Art.
Four of Booker’s assemblages of steel and rubber, in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden, and three of Valdés’ bronze sculptures, on the grounds of the museum and the Performing and Visual Arts Complex, are on view until April 30.
Referred to as a “radial radical,” Booker, an African-American artist born in New Jersey, is known for using discarded tires in her monumental abstract works. To create such towering and intricate forms as “Shhh,” one of the more imposing sculptures on view at GMOA, Booker must first rip the tires apart, cutting through bands of steel with industrial-strength tools. She then slices, twists, folds and mounts the strips of rubber onto stainless steel or wood armatures, transforming them into dynamic and highly textured objects.
Spanish-born Valdés is known for his paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures, which draw heavily from Spanish art history through appropriating and simplifying familiar forms. Many of his subjects reveal art historical motifs. “Caballero V,” for example, which depicts a man on horseback, alludes to the works of Diego Velázquez, the famed 17th-century Spanish court painter. These three freestanding sculptures’ size and regal presence command attention on East Campus.