Barbara Chase-Riboud ’60MFA at the Frieze

Focusing on her works from the 1960s and 1970s, Barbara Chase-Ribound ’60 MFA will be spotlighted by the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery at the Frieze. The event will be hosted on May 4th from 2:00pm to 6pm. The Michael Rosenfeld Gallery’s press release for the event describes the development of Chase-Ribound’s work, “For over forty years, Barbara Chase-Riboud has created profound sculpture and drawings that are deeply connected to history, identity, and sense of place. She is known for her monumental metal and fiber abstractions that combine a range of dichotomies central to her practice: hard/soft, male/female, two-dimensional/three-dimensional, Western/non-Western, stationary/in flux, figurative/abstract, power/beauty. In 1958, she created her first bronzes through the direct lost wax method, a technique she returned to a decade later to produce the abstract sculptures for which she became known. She started creating thin sheets of wax that she could bend, fold, meld, or sever in order to create unique models, which she would then bring to a local foundry for casting. This new approach to the lost-wax casting process enabled her to produce large-scale sculptures comprised of ribbons of bronze and aluminum. In 1967, she added fiber to these metal elements, devising the seemingly paradoxical works for which she became famous—tall, sturdy sculptures of cast metal resting on supports hidden by cascading skeins of silk or wool so that the fibers seem to support the metal. Of these works were a group of steles memorializing Malcolm X and his transformation “from a convict to a world leader.” His assassination in 1965, which upset the artist, was the impetus for the creation of her first works in the series, begun in 1969. Additions to the series came in 2003, 2007-08 and 2016-17, totaling twenty sculptures. Known collectively as the Malcolm X Steles, the first thirteen sculptures were exhibited in 2014 to acclaim at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Berkeley Art Museum (University of California Berkeley).