' Sydney Blum - Kim Foster Gallery
Sydney Blum
October 20 - December 17, 2016

Press Release

CTV News: Sydney Blum

Truro Daily: Sydney Blum

The Light: Sydney Blum

Icarus-Colour-Space, a new series of work by Canadian based artist Sydney Blum, is shaped like a wing, suggesting a continuum of time and space. The ways in which the grids, colors and shapes are composed make you feel as if you are about to take off. This is where the title of the exhibition, Icarus-Colour-Space, comes in. Icarus is, of course, the figure in Greek myth whose father fashioned wings of feathers and wax so that they could escape imprisonment on an island. Icarus, young and full of life, skateboarded through the sky, as it were. Yet in spite of his father’s warnings, he flew too near the sun, the wax on his wings melted, and he fell to his death.

Sydney Blum has used the idea of Icarus flying towards the sun as the impetus of her new work. Here, she attempts to describe and create the motion and sensation of flying but in solid form: an incongruity that is not lost on her. She juxtaposes and distorts colors and lines and shapes in such ways as to produce seemingly contradictory vibrating waves of energy in our consciousness. We see the form, the suggestion of a wing, a shield, an expanding and contracting grid underlaid with gradations of color. The flight that draws us through this complex undulating interplay of color, shapes, shadows and light takes us somewhere else. Towards the sun, perhaps. Into the unknown, certainly.

In the previous series “Fuzzy Geometry” we were guided to an inner world of uncertain boundaries of color and space, while this new work describes a movement outward, upward. The mechanics are quite visible and intentionally evident as one moves around the pieces cantilevered from the wall. Perhaps a collaboration between Icarus’ father and the Wright Brothers. It is strangely optimistic.

For Sydney, the creation of a piece of sculpture is an exploration. The development of the process, sourcing the materials and designing the structures are only a part of the whole undertaking. She examines a large selection of computer programs and websites in her research into earth energies, the vibrations of color, grid formations, oscillation, geometric theory, seismology, interference patterns, dowsing, Tai Chi, Chi Gong, shape theory and metallurgy. It is quite evident that she is deeply interested in subtle energies. For the new series, she has also had lengthy discussions with printers who produce the raw materials for the pieces, and she has worked closely with a metal machinist to design the movable mechanism holding the sculptures out from the wall. All this is in addition to thinking deeply about the meaning and implications of her work, manipulating the materials, and engaging her creativity and imagination throughout every aspect of the project.

Sydney Blum has had exhibitions at P.S. 1, the New Museum, the Sculpture Center, the Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, Massachusetts College of Art in Boston as well as locations in Europe. Her work has been reviewed and discussed in international art journals, including Art Forum, Art in America and The New York Times. She taught at the Parsons College of Fine Art in New York for 17 years. She has received grants from Artist Space, the New York Foundation for the Arts and Creation Grants for Arts Nova Scotia.

 excerpt from essay by Elizabeth Spence


Gallery Opening Video

Past Exhibitions

Solo Exhibitions

2017 Saks Fifth Avenue window display, New York, NY

2016 Kim Foster Gallery, “Icarus-Colour-Space” New York, NY   

2016 Grace Jollymore Joyce Arts Center, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

2014 Kim Foster Gallery, “Fuzzy Geometry” New York, NY

2007 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2005 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2003 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2001 Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2000 ADD Gallery, Hudson, NY

2000 Kleinert-James Arts Center, Woodstock, NY

1994 Bill Bace Gallery, New York

1990 Sculpture Center, New York

1985 Avenue B Gallery, New York

1985 A.I.R. Gallery, New York

1985 Just Above Midtown Downtown, New York

1980 Just Above Midtown Downtown, New York


Group Exhibitions

2018 Human/Nature, Wayne State University, Elaine Jacob Gallery, Detroit, MI

2015 “Color Value” Kim Foster Gallery New York, NY

2014 “Particle Physical” Kim Foster Gallery New York, NY

2011  CORDA, Truro, Nova Scotia

“Fables,”  Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia

2004 Collectors Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2000 ‘Millennium Messages,’ Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (national tour in collaboration with Petah Coyne)

2000 Rudolph Poissant Gallery, Houston, TX

1999  PS122, New York

1998  ‘Absolute Secret,’ McKee Gallery, New York

1997   ‘Parsons Leave Five,’ PSDX, New York

‘Material Girls,’ Gallery 128, New York

‘25 Years of A.I.R.,’ Kingsborough Community College Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

1989   ‘Personal Icons,’ City Gallery, New York

‘The Cutting Edge,’ Fine Arts Museum of Long Island, Hemstead, NY

1988   ‘Kindred Spirits,’ Trabia MacAffee Gallery, New York

‘Drawing: New Faculty,’ Parsons School of Fine Arts, New York

‘Figures: Form and Fiction,’ Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY

‘Relic and Residuum,’ Jayne Baum Gallery, New York

‘Kindred Spirits,’ George Cissel Gallery, Baltimore, MD

1987   ‘New Sculpture,’ East Hampton Center for Contemporary Art, East Hampton, NY

‘Personal Poetics,’ Sala 1, Rome, Italy

‘Blum/Coyne/Fishman,’ Slade Ely Gallery, New Haven, CT

1986   ‘Body and Dreams,’ White Columns, New York

‘Blum/Coyne/Fishman,’ P.S.122, New York

‘The Figure Abstract: Intimated Presence,’ Robeson Gallery, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

‘Transformations,’ Richard Greene Gallery, New York

‘Painting in the Third Dimension,’ City Without Walls, Newark, NJ

‘The New Museum Benefit Invitational,’ New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York

‘The All Natural Disaster Show,’ P.S. 39, Bronx Council on the Arts, Bronx, NY

1985   ‘The Figure As An Image of the Psyche,’ The Sculpture Center, New York

‘Group Show,’ Minor Injuries gallery, Brooklyn, NY

‘Group Show,’ A & P Gallery, New York

‘Group Show,’ Avenue B Gallery, New York

‘Little Works by Big Thinkers,’ Bess Cutler Gallery, New York

‘The New Museum Benefit Invitational,’ New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York

‘Illuminations,’ Dramatis Personae, New York

‘2 ½ D,’ Islip Art Museum, Islip, NY

‘I love You Nancy Show,’ A & P Gallery, New York

‘Dedication Exhibition,’ Albert & Vera List Center, M.I.T., Cambridge, MA

‘Figures,’ P.S.1, Long Island City, NY

1984   ‘Drawing Show,’ Sculpture Center, New York

‘Christmas Invitational,’ A.I.R. Gallery, New York

‘Chelsea Art,’ Kamakazee, New York

‘Extravaganza,’ Dramatis Personae, New York

‘Rebirth,’ Moonmade Space, New York

1983   ‘Christmas Invitational,’ A.I.R. Gallery, New York

‘The New Museum Benefit Invitational,’ New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York

‘Lifesigns,’ 55 Mercer Street Gallery, New York

‘Saints,’ Harm Boukart Gallery, New York

‘Art Biz,’ Just Above Midtown Downtown, New York

‘Constructions,’ John W. M. Neely Gallery, New York

‘Personifications,’ Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA

‘Consumer Beware,’ Women’s Inter-Art Center, New York

1982   ‘The Beauty Show,’ ABC NO RIO, New York

‘Angry Art,’ Basement Workshop, New York

‘What I Do for Art,’ Just Above Midtown Downtown, New York

1981    ‘Art Quest,’ New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

‘The Coney Island Show,’ Coney Island Amusement Park, New York

‘Chelsea Artists,’ Tenth Avenue Bar, New York

‘Talent,’ Allan Stone Gallery, New York

‘Window Installation,’ Franklin Furnace, New York

‘Anniversary Benefit Invitational,’ Franklin Furnace, New York


Selected Bibliography

The Light, Fashioning Art: Sydney Blum, February 2017

CTV Atlantic News,NS Sculptor has work featured in famous NYC Department Store, February 2017

Truro Daily, Tatamagouche Artist’s Work Adorns New York Windows, February 2017

Artefuse, Sydney Blum: Fuzzy Geometry, review by Danial Gauss, June 2014

ARTnews, “Sydney Blum”, review by Sandra Ban, November 2007

New York Times ‘Sydney Blum at Kim Foster,’ review by Roberta Smith, April 8, 2005

Village Voice, ‘Sydney Blum at Kim Foster,’ review by Kim Levin, April 17, 2003

Artnet Magazine, ‘Weekend Update,’ by Walter Robinson, April 2003

Art in America, ‘Sydney Blum at Kim Foster,’ review by Janet Koplos, November 2001

New York Times, ‘Sydney Blum & Scott Sherk,’ review by Ken Johnson, May, 2001

Woodstock Times, ‘Gravity and other forces,’ review by Kathi Norklun, August, 2000

Woodstock Times, ‘loss, resolution, creation,’ review by Craig Ryan, July, 2000

Artforum, ‘Sculptor’s Drawings,’ review by Patricia C. Phillips, January, 1995

Art In America,‘Sydney Blum,’ review by R., Taplan, Fall 1994

Artforum, ‘Sydney Blum/ Mark Schwartz,’ review by Patricia C. Phillips, November 1994

Sculpture Magazine, ‘Sydney Blum,’ review by G. Melrod, August 1994

Sculpture Magazine, ‘Dirt-based Sculpture,’ review by Susan Boeteker, November 1992

Vie Des Arts, ‘Art Actuel Et Ecologie,’ review by Claire Gravel, October 1991

Contemporanea, ‘The Anxiety of Influence,’ review by Elizabeth Hoyt-Atkins, September 1990

New York Times, ‘Sydney Blum,’ review by Michael Brensen, June 1990

Village Voice, ‘Sydney Blum Nest-Bag Series,’ review by Raven Arlene, May 1990

Catalogue for exhibition at Sculpture Center, essay by Dominique Nahas, 1990

Long Island Newsday, ‘Future of Art,’ review by Karin Lipson, May 1989

The Syracuse Herald American,‘Figures: Form & Fiction,’ review by Sherry Chayat, October 1988

Catalogue for exhibition at Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY,‘Figures: Form & Fiction,’ essay by Dominique Nahas with C. Gould, and T. Finkelpearl, 1988

Television Interview,‘Figures: Form & Fiction,’ September 1988

The Baltimore Sun,‘Kindred Spirits,’ review by John Dorsey, January 1988

The Baltimore Jewish Times,‘Kindred Spirits,’ review by Kim Muler-Thym, January 1988

Long Island Cable Television Documentary,‘New Sculpture,’ June 1987

Easthampton Star,‘From the Studio,’ review by Rose C.S. Slivka, June 1987

The New York Times,‘Beyond Visual: Alternative to Sculpture,’ review by Phyllis Braff, June, 1987

Southhampton Press,‘New Sculpture,’ review by Robert Long, June 1987

Catalogue for exhibition at Sala 1, Rome, Italy, ‘Personal Poetics,’ 1987

Catalogue for exhibition at East Hampton Center for Contemporary Art,‘New Sculpture,’ 1987

The New Haven Register,‘Blum/Coyne/Fishman,’ review by Shirley Conzalez, May, 1987

Arts Magazine,‘Blum/Coyne/Fishman,’ review by Barry Schwabsky, November 1987

Catalogue for exhibition at the Robeson Gallery, Rutgers Univ., Newark, NJ,‘The Figure Abstract,’ 1986

The Newark Star Ledger,‘The Figure Abstract,’ review by Aileen Watkin, October 1986

The New York Times,‘The Figure Abstract,’ review by Vivian Raynor, October 1986

The New York Times,‘Blum/Coyne/Fishman,’ review by William Zimmer, September 1986

The East Village Review,‘Blum/Coyne/Fishman,’ review by Catsue Robert, September 1986

The New York Times,‘Transformations,’ review by Michael Brensen, June 1986

The Newark Star Ledger,‘Painting in the Third Dimension,’ review by Aileen Watkins, April 1986

The New York Times,‘The All Natural Disaster Show,’ review by William Zimmer, January 1986

The New York Times,‘Figure As An Image of the Psyche,’ review by Michael Brensen, November 1985

Catalogue for exhibition at the Sculpture Center, ‘The Figure As An Image of the Psyche,’ 1985

The New Art Examiner,‘Sydney Blum,’ review by Judd Tully, October 1985

Newsday,‘2 ½ D,’ review by Malcom Preston, May 1985

The New York Times,‘Dedication Exhibition: List Center,’ review by John Russell, April 1985

The New York Times,‘2 ½ D,’ review by Helen Harrison, April 1985

The Christian Science Monitor, ‘Illuminations,’ review by Ted Wolfe, April 1985

The New York Times,‘Figures,’ review by Michael Brenson, February 1985

Daily News, ‘Sydney Blum,’ review by Joan Shepard, January 1985

Art in America, ‘Sydney Blum,’ review by Gerrit Henry, March 1985

Arts Magazine,‘Lifesigns,’ review by Kathryn Kramer, February 1984

Catalogue for exhibition, ‘Sydney Blum/Joanne Freeman,’ essay by Ted Castle, January 1984

Black Currant Art Quarterly Vol. 1 No.2, September 1982

New York Magazine, ‘What I Do For Art,’ review by Kay Larson, June 1982

Catalogue for exhibition at New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York, ‘Artists Invite Artists,’ 1981



Awards / Grants

2015 ARTS Nova Scotia Creation Grant

2013 ARTS Nova Scotia Presentation Grant

2012 ARTS Nova Scotia Creation Grant

1989 Artist Space Grant

1988 The New York Foundation For the Arts Grant in Sculpture

1987 Artist Space Grant

1984 Creative Artists Public Service Program / Visual Artists Referral Service

1983 Artist Space Grant

1980Creative Artists Public Service Program / Visual Artists Referral Service



MFA University of Wisconsin at Madison



Public Collections

Richard Berger, Empire Realty Group, New York

Harper College, Chicago, IL

Vera List, New York

New Museum for Contemporary Art

New Jersey State Museum at Trenton