Do Ho Suh has an amazing sensibility in his repetitions. The way that he thinks about scale, size, especially in the usage of the space that he is provided is extremely exact. He thinks about alternate ways to make a simple plastic model person into different pieces using color, shape or size. From his interview and his Art 21 video, I have realized that he is influenced by his youth in the precision of his father’s style of scholarly painting, his time spent in the mentally exhausting mandatory training and locations, whether in NYC or Korea. I have a profound respect for the focus and command of a feeling that he can elicit in his pieces.
Andrea Zittel has simple concepts, but the process up to the realization is complex. Her pieces are influenced by her family life and the concrete environments where she lives, whether that be NYC or L.A. They comment on the everyday materials that we use that may go unnoticed. There is a lack of interaction when she “experiences” a piece, such as living on an island or mobile home.
Tim Hawkinson’s pieces have a fascination with using and morphing himself, whether on the surface or within. His “emotor” piece deals with mechanically creating different emotions. Pieces like “Uberorgan” explore “sculpting air” in a sense that can parallel with an exploration of what is inside himself in its biomorphic quality.
Layla Ali’s artwork is deceptive. They look simple in their color and figures, but behind is an almost psychotic control in how a color is picked out, what brushes to use for what colors and how to keep it all organized. The way she works as well as her pieces have something to do with her youth, from the lack of control of how she grew up to playing dodge ball and the alienation that comes with being a single minority. While I commend her for the way that she does her work, I also realize that I would never want to work the way that she does.
Museum Visitation #2
Grounds for Sculpture
While at the Grounds for Sculpture I found many different pieces that intrigued me but none so much as Justin Shull’s piece “Terrestrial Shrub Rover”. The piece itself is fully functioning but while on display is always at rest and has its door open. The door of the “Shrub” being open allows those viewing it to see inside, and see that actually mechanics that are going on while whomever is driving it is inside. The piece was created as a reflection of the spirit of exploration partly in relation to the upcoming expeditions to the moon in 2020. The Rover is solar powered and is equipped with cameras on its exterior hidden in the foliage allowing the driver to see his surroundings. Overall I think the piece is quite successful, although I had to go on the Internet to find videos of it in actually use. I feel that perhaps a video looping through showing this video would possibly make the piece more successful to a viewer who can not on their own envision this process.
One thing she does do that I like is she takes files and hangs them on the wall. She puts cut outs from newspapers into categories, which seems to cultivate new ideas or projects. I wish, for her sake, that she tried a new approach to art because she is boring me with the images and her tonal expression of her own art. But, what do I know. This is just my opinion.
Most of his installations relate to architecture and definition. I can not pinpoint what movement it would fall under but I feel like his sculptures mimic types of Korean paintings. A lot of his pieces have a variety of color and some focus on a certain color such as red. Some of this inspiration could have come from his father because he was a painter.
The artists represented in these particular readings all coincide with a conceptual outlook on art, in a sense that inspires critical thought as well as an innate aesthetic beauty. Do Ho Suh is an artist who’s work I have had an interest before. He creates large-scale sculptures using glass as a staple in most. I find his pieces quite interactive in the sense that the different colors, which are reflected by natural night, constantly change the viewers perception. Mostly inspired by his Korean heritage his concepts are well versed and explored pushing the boundaries of art much like the Dadaist of the 20th century.
Andrea Zittel who’s focus coincides with personal space and the recreation of natural beauty using the mundane as a starting point and transforming the thought processes by isolating them from their original environment. The intimacy puts the viewer in a place that is quite comforting and familiar. This attribute is very important because it engages the viewer by making them feel apart of the work, making them interact and most importantly think about how these particular instances reflect their own lifestyle and hopefully gives a new appreciation for the usual everyday items in our life.
These two I found to be the most interesting of the ones discussed. I have researched them prior to this reading and found a natural attraction to their work. The surreal quality established in the making of each is present along with the meticulous and very attentive detail that entices the viewer in the first place,
Similar to Do – Ho Suh, Andrea Zittel takes influence form the Dada movement. Her work features environments created out of “readymades.” The Zen school of Buddhism inspires her work. Her clean aesthetic and the way in which these products are presented to me represent serenity. She uses objects together to create environments that represent her beliefs in them.
“Zoopsia,” meaning visual hallucination of animals, is a body of work by the contemporary artist, Tim Hawkinson. In this body of work he takes images and uses them out of context to make the illusion of animals making the title “Zoopsia” appropriate. In a different way then the two previous artists, Hawkinson uses images, rather than objects, to represent something that it’s not.
Laylah Ali creates gouache paintings that she uses meticulous detail in the subject matter, color choice, and brushes that she uses. A similar style of meticulous detail is seen in Georges Seuret’s work, specifically “Sunday Afternoon on the island of La grande jatte.” In this piece Seuret construct the image with pointillism that reminds me of the detail that Ali uses in her work.
I was most drawn to the work of Andrea Zittel. I find her investigations into the simple, taken-for-granted components of everyday life and interaction with objects fascinating. The creation of her own world, as processed completely through the filter of her self, is an element of artmaking which I find one of the most compelling in my work, and the completely immersive spaces which result are interesting dissections of the backdrop of common experiences. I was particularly drawn to the piece Pocket Property - the elements of control, isolation, self-sufficiency and living are all part of what drives my own work, in ways that are both very different and uncannily reflective.
I am also fascinated by the process by which Laylah Ali creates her work. The degree of thought, planning, gleaning and organizing which informs each visually simple piece is astounding. I'm always interested in the precise process through which artists create their work; in Ali's case, I am astounded. The personally-derived nature of her work is very much mirrored in the systems of organization and development she utilizes; seeing the full skeleton of what she creates brings a new layer to the work itself.
I found Do Ho Suh's pieces incredible in their sheer scale; and the reconstructions of commonly experienced phenomena is poetic in pieces such as his monument and his Seoul / LA home. The ambition which informs each piece is incredible, and I enjoy the questioning rather than message-conveying quality of his work.
When it comes to Tim Hawkinson, I am impressed simply by the skill with which he makes pieces which are compellingly beautiful or fascinating and utterly repulsive at the same time. His bird pieces are ones which also resound with me, initially because of my personal working with them. Upon realization of materials, however, the pieces become nearly transcendental: they are delicate, beautiful pieces made of materials considered disgusting to the point of nearly taboo, and the pieces, ultimately, shed the connotations of good or bad, and simply are what they are.
Andrea Zittel reminds me a lot of time based art in terms of setting conditions for herself to live through and creating an intimate experience for the audience to interact with. Her work involves adapting a limiting environment to accommodate human needs. Zittel's work is quite utilitarian by creating multiple purposes for one piece. For example, in the Art 21 video, they were drinking out of bowls that look small enough to be a glass for beverages but also large enough to be a bowl for meals. Zittel has a lot of control over her work, which creates isolation as a byproduct.
Tim Hawkinson has a lot of organic shapes and textures in his sculptures. He tends to use his own body or found objects that are readily available for him to use. There is a lot of transformation of his body to create other objects, such as animals. He is also inspired create environments that involve sound, including creating his own instruments. I can't exactly think of a precise predecessor for Hawkinson in art, but when I think of using one own body in art, I tend to think of Cindy Sherman. But when I first saw his "Zoopsia" series, I immediately thought of Georgia O' Keefe in terms of colors and organic shapes.
Layla Ali's art style is inspired by graphic art and comic strips in the newspaper. She pays a lot of attention to detail in terms of colors by keeping a log on how she makes certain colors and using a different brush for each color. Ali's work is inspired by her past and social commentary, especially since she grew up as the only black person in her school. Much of her art illustrates the before or after of an act of violence to her imaginary green and blue men. It seems that her art is much inspired like many of her African American predecessors in terms of race and power struggles experienced from life.
Like Marcel, Do-Ho Suh used objects that were associated with one aspect of society like the military and used it as something else. In the piece ‘Some/one’, he took thousands of military dog tags and linked them together so as to make a dress out of them. This was done to illustrate that every soldier was part of one large body and were not just individuals. This comment on the military seems exactly what a surrealist would do in order to bring this to the attention of the people in order to get a reaction to it. When I look at this piece, I feel a sense of awkwardness knowing that these people served their country and yet their tags are used to make a dress which seems like an odd choice of clothing to me. It seems like something an emperor would wear to show his bond to his military or his victory over his enemies.
In conclusion, I think that Do-Ho Suh was an artist that could be linked to the Surrealism/Dadaism movements of the early to mid 20th century. His art seems to reflect the attitude of someone who finds it necessary to use found objects to comment on society. He also reminds me of other artists that would use found objects to create a more conceptual piece like Tate Gallery and Tracy Emin. His subject matter would include many different aspects of society as well as himself including the military dress and the arch way to his family home in Korea. Do-Ho Suh was an interesting person and one of many who should be thought of if anyone considers Surrealism as inspiration for future art.
I thought the video was really great. I was completely immersed into another room in conversation with a metal fish. The fish was beautiful and so was the room. Her voice took me into the story and with the inflexion in her tone I really felt as if she were talking to me. She would raise her voice and I would shrink back as if I were in trouble. She made me feel small and uninformed, but I wasn’t offended. Her stories were a bit vague or imaginative at times. I was constantly trying to comprehend what she was trying to convey as I also tried to fill in the gaps. I was fascinated but felt like I was given snippets that I had to interpret for myself. The fish couldn’t give me any straight answers but she could give me ideas as a starting point. There is so much to appreciate in the animation. The conversation is so intriguing that you want to know more and truly understand. The actresses voice is perfect and very manipulative; you believe her, want to please her, and feel like she has so much to offer you. The scenery is beautiful, and the animation is wonderful; the way the fish glides and moves through the air is so physically correct and gracefully beautiful. The way the camera pans around really pulls you in as if you were in the room, and every time you turn a corner you’re anxiously awaiting to see what else will be revealed to you. It is a very smartly done animation; I would love to watch it over and over. I was told that the animation is clearly inspired by a book of the same name, “Chariots of the Gods.” I will certainly read this book now. I also hope to be able to view some of Matthew Weinstein’s other animations.
During the trip to the Whitney, a group of seniors also went to the Chelsea galleries to get the most out of our New York City experience. Amongst the many galleries that we went to, the pieces of Nancy Graves, called Nancy Graves at the Ameringer, McEnery and Yohe gallery still sticks in my mind. Upon entering the gallery, all that I saw were little splashes of color in odd arrangements. This, unlike some pieces where huge pieces were on display, enticed me to come take a closer look. Being a color lover, it was interesting to see such vibrant colors in sculptural form, accented by the white walls. This gallery displayed bronze pieces in a variety of organic and manufactured items which were welded together and then painted with rich and color patinas which are oxide coatings. These pieces are designed to defy gravity and generate a balance from their imbalance. This tilting and shifting of perspective was enjoyable in its imperfection and the way that they were uplifting and, despite their metal material, did not seem extremely solid. The colors were pure and playful and form not representational. In fact, I did not even see a need to interpret a more recognizable shape onto them, but just saw them as they were.
The piece shown above, simply titled Untitled, was not only exhibited well, but embodied the “balance by imbalance” best for me. All of the pieces were sitting on small white blocks protruding from the wall near eye level so all of the pieces were straightforward. Because of the height of this piece, it seemed to tower over me, dangerously, since it seemed to curve. The colors on all of the pieces were like paintings and were enhanced, not inhibited by the 3D shape of the sculpture. Not only was I attracted to the colors, but there seemed to be more and more details to see in the bronze itself, just like how plaster holds the shape of the tiniest detail in the mold.
Upon researching more about Nancy Graves, I realized that she also has paintings which are 3 dimensional, her description including that her “…works represent Graves’ continuing exploration of the tensions that exist between painting and sculpture, as well as her juxtaposition of real and fabricated imagery drawn from nature, art history, and western and oriental cultures…” She has also produced work in film, costume design, glass, polyoptics in addition to welding, painting and sculpture. Her vast experience in world cultures and her interest in reality and artificiality in pushing the boundaries of art and knowledge of techniques are things that I want to explore.
I always really enjoy watching the art 21 videos. Mike Kelley discussed how he is interested in repetition and how art itself is repetition. He also said that his art has to be available to the lazy viewer and the sophisticated viewer. I think this is very true even though I’ve never thought of it that way before. This way it can appeal on many different levels. I remember watching the Identity chapter before, and I really enjoyed Kerry James Marshall. The introduction to this chapter was great too. Marshall discusses making things seem fresh even when they’re not. This is certainly something we’ve been discussing in class recently. When every subject has been covered already, how do we present it in a new way that doesn’t seem played out? I really enjoyed the piece Marshall does on home. People are obsessed with knowing what others are doing in the privacy of their own homes. In the chapter about Fantasy Cao Fei discusses the understanding of society as a whole. She recognizes that many people are discontent with their roles in life. People play out fantasy lives to try to get something that they feel like they are missing. Another section I remember watching is the Structures video with Matthew Ritchie. He was one of my favorites in the series. He recognizes that we can only process so much, and that to understand anything we have to continually tune out things around us. It is how we get through the day. I love his Universal Cell piece and his ideas on everything being a part of the same thing, a continuum. I found Lucas Sarmaras’s auto interview to be very humorous but also sad. It is very honest and true; it is a very intimate interview. I think it is a wonderful look at someone inside their own head. He mentions that art is dealing with people on your own terms. This gives being an artist a sense of control. You chose how much it is necessary to show. You chose the interaction of the viewer with your artwork. He also says how he isn’t interested in reaching out to the masses. He is interesting in reaching the equivalent of himself amongst those masses. “For continuity” he says. I found the Warhol quotes to be very surprising. I’ve never been interested in his work but I would see it everywhere. His approach to his own artwork is unlike what I’m used to hearing. He says the more you look at the same exact thing the meaning goes away and the better and emptier you feel. I found this surprising, since it’s such a depressing view. He also says he is not a social critic, which I assumed he was. He simply paints what he knows best. He doesn’t think, he just paints; his work is very distant from himself. I’m not sure how seriously to take some of his quotations. There is obviously some truth to what he says, but it is hard to believe he isn’t thinking about what he’s doing. It seems like he does think very much about how to portray himself.
The artist that caught my attention the most was the abstract painter, Mary Heilmann, in the fantasy section. Her way of talking about art being able to transport a person without fear of any consequences, able to express emotion and even the technical aspects of what a 2 squared painting does to a space and on the wall was definitely enlightening and made me want to share in the experience of what her art does. I have always wanted the audience to feel something when interacting with a piece of my work, sometimes in a very uncomfortable way, and I feel like this can be another direction to head in when thinking about how to paint and particular piece. The strokes of her work have a specificity and carelessness to them which I respond to strongly as well.
An autointerview is a great way to direct a conversation – each question and answer is exactly what you want it to be. Samaras turns this into an art form, and through it, portrays a persona much like Warhol does. A similarity that I got from both was not being entirely sure which part was the truth and what was artificial or only for the public. Is it necessary to hide or to portray only a sliver of you as an artist? Is that what our art pieces are doing? Is it necessary to market ourselves along with our work? What purpose would that have?
Roland Barthes’s reading brought up the topic of originality possibilities. Is it really possible to have an original piece of work? Is the artist’s hand as important in the work anymore? How much power is in the viewer’s hands as compared to the artists? As enlightening as this negative piece of work is, I believe that every piece of artwork is original. Even if it were exactly the same as another piece, the fact that artist is different, that it was made in a different time, makes the piece new. I also believe that it will also be possible to make original work. Each artist is guided by unique experiences, that, although might be similar to someone else’s, can still provide the basis to making original artwork.