Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Walker Art Center

The best example I found of a piece with strong FORMAL qualities was Christopher Wool's Drunk II. The reason for this is because of the solid line throughout the lettering, and the large bold shapes the letters become. Looking up close the letters don't even look like letters. They become shapes. Looking far away they become letters than spell out DRNK, rather than DRUNK. Wool has captured the feeling of being 'drunk' from far away and from up close. Up close, you get a overwhelmed feeling, as you're much smaller than the oversized letters on the gigantic canvas. From far away you're confused, because the letter U is missing. This is a good example of both strong formal qualities and formal aspects that I really like and wish to get into my own work. Check and a win for Mr. Wool.

Christopher Wool
Drunk II

There was a piece that startled me to say the least. It was a peculiar find at first, and then it became downright disturbing the more I looked at it. While it was particularly offensive in some parts, it was completely intriguing and the vileness of it kept my interest nearly the whole time I waProxy-Connection: keep-alive
Cache-Control: max-age=0

at the Walker. It was a piece by Ann Agee, a collection of small white clay figurines. From a distance, they look similar to ballerinas or dancers or posers. But from close up you see the small details that make them more gruesome than they look from far away. Some of the figurines are of mothers and their children, though the children are posed as though they are molesting their mothers, cupping their hands around her breasts. Another figurine is of a woman hanging out of a tree and a man below her with his arms and hand underneath her, waiting to catch something. If you move your angle so the figurine is at eye level, you'll see that the woman is giving birth, a baby hanging upside down from her rear end and the man is going to catch it. There were other unmentionable acts going throughout these figurines such as two women burning bras and other undergarments and a few figurines together and making weird hand gestures. The VERY weird part about these clay sculptures is that each and every one of them wore a fantastically happy grin across their faces. Talk about creepy. This piece's content is it's strongest quality. I want this kind of content in my work. Not the creepy kind, but more so the kind of impact it has on the viewer. Make sense?

Ann Agee

This piece called "Untitled' by Kazuo Shiraga was a mass of thick layers of paint in red, navy blue, and pink colors. This painting has both formal and content qualities that I would like to incorporate into my own designs. To me, it looks like a mass of lines, like an explosion of color and light and shadow. Learning the history behind it, that the creator was trying to emphasize a message behind an Asian war... well I began to see it. Now that I know the history, I kind of understand why the artist used such bold, livid colors and why it's in a maelstrom of pattern and lines. It's a good concept for formal qualities and content.

Image taken from: http://cva-oad-sectb-allan09.blogspot.com/2009/10/images-of-work-we-saw-at-walker-from.html
"Untitled" by Kazuo Shiraga

The fourth piece of art that lacks both formal and content qualities is this one, "Suaire de Mondo Cane" by Yves Klein.

To be honest, I didn't get this one at all. Our guide didn't talk to us about it, so I didn't get to hear about the history behind it or get the message explained to me. It was difficult to understand what the message was, and to be honest, I still haven't got it. It kind of made me angry that I didn't get it. This one was a fail for me.

Image taken from: http://cva-oad-sectb-allan09.blogspot.com/2009/10/images-of-work-we-saw-at-walker-from.html

"Suaire de Mondo Cane" by Yves Klein

The last piece that really caught my eyes... wasn't one we were introduced to, but it had by far the most lasting impression on me. I really wanted to talk about this one, but it just wasn't flying with my tour guide. I completely ignored her while she droned on about a slash in the middle of a canvas and stared at this other piece for a while. This piece that had me so infatuated was a blank white canvas with nothing on it. The only intriguing aspect about it was that the canvas had been stretched wrong. Instead of completely flat, it was wrinkled and bunched up in places, overlapping in others. It made me think, what would Van Gogh's Starry Night look like if it were on a screwed up canvas like this? It made me itch throughout the rest of the tour to go home and try it. Try my own hand at painting on a canvas that was screwed up like this piece.

( I haven't got a photo of the piece and I couldn't find one, but I think you get the idea of what it looked like.)

1 comment:

  1. You have a careful eye for work that is startling and raw. The kind of work that seeps into your subconscious and wrestles with your thoughts. So you've described that very well. You need to work on the formal aspects though: Shape, line, color, texture, composition - and not just dropping the words, but really DESCRIBING the work. I think the way you were in the Ann Agee piece was great. I can see how the figures change, their gestures and this line,
    "If you move your angle so the figurine is at eye level, you'll see that the woman is giving birth, a baby hanging upside down from her rear end and the man is going to catch it." - I can see myself move to be in your place and see what you see.

    the last few paragraphs are more reactions, and less about what you see. so I would take that further next time.

    Great Choices on work! The Anne Agee piece description I love.