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Karla Black: Practically in Shadow

Susie Simmons
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

Scottish sculptor Karla Black (born 1972) constructs large-scale, site-specific sculptures using amorphous yet everyday materials—from dirt, chalk, and dough to the powders, sprays, and gooey substances we use to coat our bodies. Her work reacts to the light and space of each site with a sense of play and indeterminacy. This volume features extensive documentation of the major, multi-part sculpture incorporating her largest hanging polythene object to date, made at the ICA in 2013. The many large photographs and in-depth essay allow a reader to intimately engage the nearly 7,000 pounds of powdered plaster and paint, chunks of delicately-hued bath bombs, a dramatically diaphanous curtain object, and crown-like form crafted from cellophane. Essay by ICA curator Kate Kraczon.
Karla BlackFloating Color in Air: Karla Black at ICA