Assignment 2 - Walker Art Center response
I've been to the Walker Art Center twice now, and each time I've gone, my favorite piece has been "Emanation" by Anslem Kiefer. this artist is a German painter and sculptor whose works incorporate materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. His art is rather depressing with a destructive tendency. Kiefer's themes seem to be based off addressing controversial issues from recent history.
His work feaured att the Walker was finished in 1986, and is made of oil, acrylic, wallpaper paste, and lead on canvas. It's very large - 161.5 x 110.75 x 9.25 inches, to be exact. Literal qualities? It's a painting of a stormy ocean and a grey sky. Down the center of the piece is what appears to be a jagged tear. The painting is very powerful, and evokes a feeling of hopelessness and incongruity. The boldness and sheer size of the work is what makes it so powerful.
Another piece I really liked is called "Schuttbild" (Poured Picture) by Hermann Nitsch, another German artist. It is made of oil on canvas, and was completed in 1963. The fact that my two favorite pieces were both made by German artists whose goal was to convey the horrors of the second World War makes me want to look into more art from that period... Anyway, his painting appears to be simply a big blood splatter. The paint is a very bold red - some spots are darker than others. Like the last piece I mentioned, it is very powerful in the emotions it conveys. The painting is gruesome, violent, and distressing. There is variation in that the left half of the splatter has very sharp, defined lines, where as the right half has more blotches and smears. It made me wonder what happened. Another aspect I liked about this piece was that the background color is a sort of murky, reddish-brownish-pink. It really adds to the overall composition and feel of the piece.
The Walker Art Center is cool, and has some really good pieces, but I'm always disappointed that it's not bigger!