Antiquities Carved by Computer: The Art of Barry X Ball

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Barry X Ball on view at Sperone Westwater’s booth at the ADAA Art Show.

New York sculptor Barry X Ball makes sculptures that are simultaneously contemporary and classical. Ball uses digital processes to scan both living subjects and historical objects that then get carved in sensuous stone via computer programs, then hand-polished to a luscious finish.

Ball is having his first solo show in New York in six years at Sperone Westwater’s booth at the ADAA Art Show at the Park Avenue Armory. (The show closes today at 5 pm.)

The gallery is showing two Ball sculptures from his “Masterpiece” series, which recreates sculptural works from European churches, museums and private collections in new, unexpected materials. Ball transforms two 18th-century works from the collection of Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice—Antonio Corradini’s La Purità / Dama Velata (Purity / Veiled Woman) and Giusto Le Court’s La Invidia (Envy)—by carving them in Mexican onyx that’s veined and pitted to make dramatic and disturbing interpretations of these symbolic subjects.

“We are thrilled that we have this opportunity to present our first solo show of his work since his major exhibition at the Ca’ Rezzonico, as part of the Venice Biennale in 2011,” Angela Westwater told the Observer.

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Sculptures by Barry X Ball.

Jeanne Portrait, decoratively carved in Belgian black marble, depicts the head of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, the artist’s former art dealer, while Perfect Forms appropriates Futurist artist Umberto Boccioni’s iconic 1913 sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space at full scale in the same, seductive Belgian black marble. Another version of Boccioni’s celebrated man-in-motion is luxuriously recreated in 24-karat gold at a smaller, tabletop scale.

The prices for sculptural works range from $135,000 to $500,000 and the photographs on view are $10,000 apiece.

A series of 14 color photographs—shot in the precise style of the Düsseldorf School (made famous by Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth)—round out the display, while providing a context for some of pieces on view.

Antiquities Carved by Computer: The Art of Barry X Ball