Sunday, August 22, 2010

is art supposed to be onesided?

hello again- sorry it took me so long to get to this,but it always seems that there are so many things to get to-you know? as for the somewhat strange title of this page, it came from someone asking me, after i described some assemblage pieces that i made for an e-class i'm taking,if i thought that by doing so many different types of art that i was diverting myself away from what i should really be spending my time on and by that i think she meant Painting with a capital p. this idea, that painting,oil painting to be specific, is the only really serious art form,and that people who engage in it, can be the only pretenders to the throne, the only "true artists"(take that picasso with your silly pieces of pottery ! ), is to my mind,not uncommon and also to my mind  quite untrue.we must ask the question -WHAT IS ART??, and we must or i must answer that it depends on who asks the question, and  what or why they are asking it for.i looked back in history at some of my favorite artists and also at some more contemporary ones and this is what i found:
"Matisse would focus on developing these means(the practice of returning to and reworking his own art)...working synchronically on many projects, testing ideas in and across various media and finding sometimes wildly divergent ways to pursue his objectives,.....The artist restlessly experimented with various media,borrowing tools and techniques from one for use in another[ he incised into paint for example ,like wax on an etching plate, and scraped it like plaster.He worked and reworked his paintings' surfaces with a near sculptural handling and pushed himself to new levels of physical exertion as he made paintings and sculpture that were monumental in both scale and invention...he identified two canvases, 'Bathers by a River' and 'The Moroccans, as among the most pivotal of his career." from Matisse Radical Invention 1913-1917 by Stephanie D'Allessandro and John Elderfield. Yale University Press.,The Art Institute of Chicago ,2010 .
 and about Picasso "It is of course true that-in his long life Picasso produced a formidable quantity of work,morethan perhaps any artist, and his creative curiousty(LIK E THAT) was boundless.He was active  in painting,sculpture,graphic art and craft,in fact every branch of the visual arts bar architecture.And he remained tirelessly active till the end of his life." Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 edited by Ingo F/Walthur Part 2 The Works,Taschen Press 2007.
 and about de Kooning."Although not so present in his oeuvre as painting and drawing, de Kooning's collages are some of his most assured works in both abstact and figural mode."Willem de Kooning " by Harry F Gaugh Abbeville Press New York,1983. and from de Kooning himself "The first man who began to speak,whoever he was, must have intended it.For surely it is talking that has put 'Art' into painting.Nothing is positive about art except that it is a word...  That's what fascinatesme-to make something I can never be sure of, and no one else can either.I will never know,and no one else will ever know." the first part of the quote is from "What Abstact Art Means to Me" published in The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art,1951. the second part of the quote comes from a piece by Harold Rosenberg 'Interview with Willem de Kooning', publisher and date unknown.
 and what of contemporary artists, "in a marked departure from his earlier approach to painting Michael Haas has turned  pigments on paper into 3D figures.(He)...densely applied pastel, ink and charcoal....onto paper which he then distressed,tore, twisted and layered to form much sculpted as painted, these 30 recent artworks boldly claimed their space". by Mary Krienke Artnews Summer 2009.
and in another more recent exhibit, "This selection of 36 paintings,drawings, collages and reliefs dated from 1965-2007, provide an excellent overview of the work of 70 year otl Pierre Buraglio." His works range from mixed media paintings to collages,assemblage/sculptures that "All demonstrate the artist's relentless need to keep his practice fresh." from a review by Michael Duncan Art in America, May 2010.
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 so what have i accomplished in this long rambling blog entry. to ask some questions and answer others,always,always from my point of view at any particular point in time .i like de Kooning's definition of art-that it is a word.i like Picasso's creative curiousty, Matisse's explorations, our more contemporary experimentation.i believe that each artist's journey is a personal one, and for me all my exporations and experimentations and creative curiousties have strengthed rather than weakened my work. i look with real excitement and wonder towards what i will do next and what else i will experience on my journey and hope that i remain like Picasso tirelessly active till the ver end of my life.What do you think ? i'd love to know.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

end of art camp, is summer far behind?

hi all-tomorrow is the last day of my art class at the art lab. traditionally each session ends with a critique of what everyone's been doing all summer. someone from outside the program looks at everyone's work and discusses it ,offering advice, praise, suggestions etc. it's fun and a little nerve wracking but for the most part the reviewers are kind and positive, and manage to find something good to say about everone's work. so i am tired, having attempted to complete four or five paintings that get started in class but never finished. most of my work is unfinished but i'm going to show it anyway, because that's what we do in art camp. i'm sorry that it's ending, but i'm a little relieved too-now i can relax a little in the last few weeks of summer before school starts again. i can't believe how quicly this summer is going! even tho i still have 3 weeks off i feel as if it's over. and i am having too good a time to go back to work.i promise to write more when this class is behind me. many thanks to mary c. who had us all down to her little mansion in seagirt for a wonderful day. i love getting together with this group of girls-we have such a good for now,brigid

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Goya, El Greco,Velazquez,Matisse and my new toy

greetings! i can't believe how fast time is going-i honestly mean to post a few times a week but it seems that once is what i'm doing. i promise to try harder- i know everyone is hanging onto every word! tee-hee. first my new toy-metal rubbings from ten second studio. i hope you can see it in the photo-i purchased several molds and some incredible tools and voila -metal rubbings for my journals, blog many possibilities!
the other thing i wanted to write about today is a field trip i took with my art lab class into Manhattan to two very different museums. our first stop was at  the Hispanic society of America on Broadway between 155th &156th streets which is a jewel of a museum founded in 1904 by archer Milton Huntington, an American scholar and philanthropist, which contains " the most extensive collection of Hispanic art outside of Spain and Latin America"(from the society's brochure). in addition to paintings and sculpture from such artists as Goya,ElGreco and Velazquez among others, there is an extensive selection of"decorative art" such as ceramics,glassware, furniture, ironwork, textiles and jewelry; and a library which contains more than 600,000  books and other documents  from the 10th century to the present.the museum also has a vast collection of prints and photographs, and is a very cool and beautiful set of buildings, separated by an enormous courtyard full of incredible sculptures. i'd like to show you some examples of the fab paintings and other treasures, but i don't know about what the copy write rules are about things like that. while we were there we were treated to the viewing of a restoration  in progress of one of Velazquez paintings, and the restorer(sorry i don't know the correct title of a painting restorer) showed us how she works and just what she does to restore a painting- an in credibly intricate operation that went right over my head. it was absolutely awe inspiring.
 after our time at the Hispanic society was finished we headed downtown to the museum of modern art(Moma) to see a show about Matisse  called "radical invention 1913-1917" a show which explored what the catalogue of the show calls"one of the artist's most significant periods of production....unlike any other in his career". the exhibition contains over 125 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints  which according  to the beautiful catalogue  which describes the show is subtitled the "methods of modern construction  " in which Matisse  searched for a new way of working which involved among other things reworked paint layers,scraping and incising.i don't do the show justice-in fact i have not yet had time to digest it. go and see the show if you can, read the catalogue. they are both heartbreakingly beautiful.enough...until we meet again, brigid.