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Review: SLAM show puts sculptors in another light

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 18, 2010 - For "Form in Translation: Sculptors Making Prints and Drawings," assistant curator Eric Lutz of the St. Louis Art Museum (along with research assistant Ann-Maree Walker) has again brought together works that show the strengths of the museum's permanent collection while giving insight into a vital mode of artmaking that deserves more exposure.

The works on view are prints and drawings by sculptors, but they aren't preparatory sketches for sculptural works. Instead, they feature the novel approaches to two-dimensional art employed by artists who primarily work in three dimensions.

Works on paper by Eva Hesse and Martin Puryear reveal close formal ties to the artists' sculptures, while John Chamberlain momentarily shifts his focus from crushed car sculptures to make a screen print on aluminum.

Tara Donovan's sculptures typically employ multiples and everyday materials, and her 2005 "Untitled (Bubble Drawing)" on view here was made by popping inky bubbles on paper.

"Written," a 1999 embossed paper work by Ann Hamilton, is a poetic piece generated from strokes of writing. It makes an interesting companion to "Stylus," the artist's current installation at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. 

Ivy Cooper, a professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is the Beacon art critic.