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April 30, 2009

Jennifer's group: Gallery visit

I went to the Swedish Isntitute where they were having an exhibition of glass art. The collection contained over 200 peices made by American and Swedish artists. The exibit was held on thesecond story of the main mansion where the art was displayed on dining tables, pedistles, and behing glass in polished oak display cases. Works were arranged based on the artist that made them, though no order was given to the artists themselves. Throughout the 5 rooms the exibit was hosted in American and Swedish artists were miked alike. The glass itself came in a wide array of different colors, sizes, shapes, and designs. Although the collection was all glass with very little other material added in decoration all the works were different. They were molded, blown, twisted, pulled, layered, fused, etched, colored and cut.
The main theme of the exibit was just to showcase different glass artists and the techniques used by them. Sweden is known for it's glass work and many of its techniques an dinfluencs are employed by artists all around the world. For examle a well known American artist, David Lonnquist, who made cut glass peice for Dayton and J. B. Hudson was displayed for his use of Ariel and Graal Technique. While most of the art was just for the beauty of the peice and hence did not have any relation to any of the artists that we have been studying, there being no deep thought or political message to the peice, several of the peices had a modern design. Take fore example a colorful fused glass peice that was a fountain of water dropping into the glass bowl. Or, a molded brick of glass that had other colorful glass peices in it along with coils of wire and found metal nick-knacks.
One of hte artists that relly facinated me was Michael D. Boyd who had 5 peices within the collection. My favorite peice of his was called "Cell Schism." This was a peice made from multiple ovel ball of glass fused together. Most were clear though 6 were colored with red, pink, and yellow. His other works included a large 2ft multi-colored glass vase and clear glass peices created from blown glass pushed into a mold to trap in air bubbles, then covered with large amounts of glass so as to create solid glass peiced that look like they have fractures, star bust appearence.
I would highly, highly recomend this exibit to my friends if it's still up. It is set in a beautiful building which is decorated wonderfully. It's traditinal swedish ceramic stove are beautiful and it's wood panneling glows. This makes a wonderful backgound for the gass peices that are some of the nicest peices I've ever seen and one of the biggest collecions of glass ware I've ever seen. As long as someone doesn't go looing for political/activist art it is an exibit that I'm sure my friends would love.

April 29, 2009

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit

Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam
by Joanne Liu

I visited the exhibit “Changing Identity: Recent Works by Women Artists from Vietnam” at the Weisman Art Museum. It was a group exhibition of about fifty different works by various women from around Vietnam. These works varied in medium depending on artist. There were sculptures, videos, and photographs, but most were paintings. But even the paintings were done in various mediums, like watercolor, oil, and Chinese ink.

At the entrance of the exhibition, an introduction is printed on the wall which explicitly states that this exhibition hoped to “celebrate the diverse expression of female identity in a changing society. Each artist in this exhibition shares a unique perspective on her own culture... [The exhibition] aims to emphasize Vietnamese women’s individual experiences and personalities in order to challenge both the notion of ‘women’ as a single category and the ‘Vietnamese artist’ as a single genre.” To this end, each artist displayed a set of pieces that exhibited a certain idea or feeling in a very cohesive style.

These pieces are very personal, and while walking through the exhibition, I felt like I was almost intruding on some else’s thoughts and feelings. I have not gotten this feeling from any of the other artists we have discussed in class but Nan Goldin’s comes the closest, because she reveals her own life through her photographs. However, Goldin’s are spontaneous and documents events as they occur. The women in the exhibition, on the other hand, all have very well planned pieces. Everything appears to be well thought through before being made, and their pieces express their point of view of what it means to them to be Vietnamese. For example, Phuong M. Do presents a set of photographs of herself in environments that continue around her while she stares back at the viewer to highlight her sense of alienation in American and Vietnam.

The piece that caught my attention the most was in the farthest room in the corner. It was made by Nguyen Bach Dan whose pieces are scenic paintings of forests and paths made with Chinese ink on brown paper that try to capture the vigor of the landscape in a photographic image. The piece I was attracted to was named “Forest Reflections” (2005). From far away, it looked like a scratchy sepia photograph of a bend in a peaceful river reflecting the forest above. However, up close it is obvious that it is made of a series of energetic, dry brush strokes crisscrossing all over the place. I really liked the contrast of energy between far and near. It truly captured the life of a quiet, personal stroll through a forest.


I enjoyed the exhibition, and I wish it included more pieces. I recommend it to others, but only if they have the time to walk around and reflect on the pieces. If I had run through the exhibition quick, I would have missed the atmosphere created by the pieces which hold the entire exhibit together. Without it, the pieces are just a series of nice looking artworks.

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit, Lauren Glatstein

In the Company of Artists: Photographs from the DIA Collection

In the Company of Artists was an exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Art from November 19th to February 15th of this year. It was a large collection of photographs from thirty photographers including André Kertész, Man Ray, Yousuf Karsh, Arnold Newman and Robert Mapplethorpe capturing the lives of famous creative individuals. It is by far my favorite photography exhibit of all time. The exhibit consisted of ninety photographs of some of the most important creative individuals of all time. The subjects include artists, authors, photographers, performing artists, songwriters, models and others from artistic and bohemian circles from the late 1890s to the present. The portraits are informal and intimate capturing a rarely seen perspective. The exhibit was displayed in a small basement gallery with several individual sections. The photographs are small and posted simply in unremarkable frames.

Though the photographs are from many different artists and subject matter spans ninety subjects the exhibit has a unified feel. The images, primarily black and white, portray their various subjects in a personal way. Images of studios, family members, and homes are often included in the photograph giving viewers a unique view. The exhibit was cleverly designed to show you the art within the artist rather than the art they create. Year after year museums display to products of these remarkable people but for once audiences get a deeper look at what’s behind the art.

The exhibit includes images of Andy Warhol, Georgia O’Keefe, Richard Serra, Kiki Smith, Jean Michel Basquiat, and Jeff Koons. The list goes on with more names just like these. I only wish I could see this exhibit again. It closed the day after I saw it and I don’t think it traveled. I feel unbelievably privileged to have seen this exhibit and I would recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to see it to go. If you ever find it please give me a call!

Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus, “Love-In”, Central Park, New York City, 1969
(printed in 1982–83); gelatin silver print

Gallery Visit, Rowan's Group. Ashley Kreidler

Tom Arndt’s Minnesota exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was composed of a collection of photographs taken from the mid 1960’s to present. The collection shows contemporary American life with mid-western flavor. There are a plethora of different photographs, ranging from farm auctions to snapshots taken in front of Sex World in Minneapolis. Tom’s work is highly acclaimed for his ability to show Minnesota life for it’s intriguingly simple attributes and qualities. The collection also highlights the isolation and destitute conditions of Minnesota winters and rural areas. The black and white photographs portray a strong sense of loneliness trapped inside of single moment of mid-western life.
Although there is a powerful feeling of isolation within the photographs, this is contrasted by vivacious scenes of the Winter Carnival in St. Paul, parades from small towns in southern Minnesota, and the Cinco De Mayo Festival in the Twin Cities. These photos work to draw a distinction from the harshness of the land to the energized spirit of the people who occupy this area. More specifically, the juxtaposition of the isolated, desperate scenes and the lively gatherings of the Midwesterners give a strong essence of the spirit of Midwestern culture. Another artist who uses the dichotomy of perceived persona and actual character is Suzanne Opton. Her photographs capture the fragility of soldiers, which contrasts the supposed warrior-like status many people associate with people of war. Her billboard work works to create a new personality for soldiers.
A specific piece that illustrates this concept is the photograph titled “Winter Carnival, St. Paul” from the 1980’s. This piece shows the harshness of the climate while highlighting the persistence of Minnesota people to celebrate their homeland. The photo shows a large group of Minnesotans standing huddled together, standing with their freezing fingers stuffed into their pockets. The title suggests festivity and celebration, while the people’s posture seems the opposite. There is, however, a strong contrast of the subjects’ composure and their happy, smiling faces. Therefore, the photograph’s title, the people’s poses and the look on their faces alludes to the contentment that Midwesterns’ have to the desolate winters and their stubborn insistence to celebrate what most people would move away from.
Tom Arndt’s collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts successfully illustrates Minnesota’s culture and way of life. The work not only shows contemporary Midwestern Americans, but works to create contrast between how people perceive the Midwest landscape and the people who occupy this area.

Margaret's Group-Gallery Visit Christina Lopez

I visited Tom Arndt’s Minnesota exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. This was a one-person exhibition that included over 60 photographs that were lined up at about eye-level on seven separate walls.
The main theme of the exhibition was Tom Arndt’s perspective of Minnesota over the past forty years. Many of his pieces illustrated street scenes or people at the State Fair. When comparing him to artists we have talked about, I would say that he is most like Nikki Lee in that he was trying to show his representation of how he saw different people and, although he did no performing art in the photographs, he was showing “an honest account of everyday life” and I feel like that was what Nikki Lee was shooting for as well.
The piece to which I responded was a photograph entitled Street Scene, Minneapolis, 1981. The photograph was of a wealthy woman walking down the street with her purse and shopping bag in downtown Minneapolis, but she was walking on a makeshift sidewalk through a dirty construction site. She had a distressed look on her face and I think that Tom might have wanted to make this photograph because this woman was in real life, but when you see the photograph it almost seems staged because it is hard for one to imagine a woman like that walking where she was.
I would tell a friend that this exhibition is collection of Tom Arndt’s black and white photographs throughout the years depicting images of Minnesota. I would recommend that they visit the exhibition, especially if they live or have lived in Minnesota because it is really interesting to see parts of the city from years ago.




Rowan's Group: Gallery Visit

Gallery Visit—Excess at Larson Art Gallery
Ben Alpert

The Excess exhibit at the Larson Art Gallery showcased the work of two artists: Becca Shewmake and Mari Richards. They each had roughly 15 mixed-media pieces in the exhibit, which were shown on walls, floor, and pedestals. All of Shewmake's work was done on canvas, and consisted of acrylic paint combined with collage elements (e.g. fabric, thread, gesso), and sometimes crayon or chalk. They were easily-distinguishable from Richards' works, which took found objects—such as plastic bags, blenders, or phones—and combined them with a flesh-colored plastic/rubber substance. Richards' work was displayed on a pedestal if it was small, and the floor if it was large (one work spanned the length of the gallery floor).

As made obvious by the title, the theme of the Excess exhibit was the wasteful nature of our society. Both artists commented on the state of our over-consumption and questioned the way in which we live. For Shewmake, this took the form of ambiguous shapes, which represented people and situations. Most of her work focused on an interaction between a being and a place, or a consumer and the consumed. Often the title was the best way to understand what was being signified, with illustrative names like We Drifted About Until One of Us Drowned and the series Meeting, Entering, Leaving. Her work was very much about cause and effect, and the interrelationship of us and the things around us. Effective imagery she employed includes acid rain, robot plants, and ameoba-like forms consuming each other. Richards' work was more direct and physical. She used melted, formless flesh-colored plastic to form relationships with recognizable objects. Her work focused on the way we continuously consume everything in front of us, even when we have no need to, or don't benefit from it. Effective pieces included a mound of flesh-plastic growing cell phone buttons, and a fleshy blender creating a sphere of trash. Neither artist relates too directly with ones we've discussed in class, but Richards' flesh creations could be seen as somewhat voyeuristic, like the photography of Nan Goldin. You get a certain sense of uneasiness looking at them.

One piece I found particularly interesting was Mari Richards' Stay Awhile (mixed media, 2007). It featured a metal-framed, diner-style chair covered in the plastic flesh, which was leaving a 15-foot-long trail of thick, lumpy rope made from garbage bags, cloth, and plastic. It was quite effective because it looked as thought the chair were defecating or its entrails were spilling out behind it, and they were made entirely of discarded human trash. The bags and cloth were also stuffed and sewn, so they looked like intestines or bizarre sausages; very anatomical. I think the artist probably chose this format because she felt it was the best way to show how we destroy. Her motivation was human wastefulness, and Stay Awhile represents each individual. It is like a horrific mirror.

If I were to talk to a friend about the exhibition, I would probably place more emphasis on Mari Richards' work, since I think it was more effective and memorable. I would tell them that it is a good gallery to visit because it is easy to forget how wasteful we all are. Excess is a good reminder for anyone. So I would tell them to go, but I would not be offended if they did not. It wasn't life-changing, just interesting.

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit by Sierra Johnson

Gallery Visit

I visited the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI. The name of the exhibition I visited was called Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities. It was a collection of 500 works from Chinese minorities (15 in all) from the late 19th century to the present day. The exhibition covered the east half of the second floor, and was arranged with all of the pieces from a particular group in close proximity to one another. Clothing is an important signifier of identity among these groups. Since it is uncommon for them to have written languages, word of mouth is one of the only way to communicate histories and legends of the past. Textiles provide tangible alternatives to this oral tradition. It can be difficult to differentiate between some of the pieces because over the years, migration of these groups resulted in blending between cultures. Presently, Miao (or Hmong) is a term used to describe a large fraction of these minorities
The textiles, mostly made by Miao women, are intricately woven with patterns and images. Silver ornamental jewelry, mostly crafted by the men, commonly accompany the outfits. The clothing is mostly made with special, indigo dyed cotton. The fabric is soaked in soybean juice then dyed in plant extract. Then it is soaked in water and buffalo skin extract. The fabric is then beat for a crisp finish.
One piece that was repeated throughout the exhibit was a Miao Baby Carrier. One that particularly caught my eye was from the Late 19th to early 20th century from the Pingyong Town in Miao Dong. Like the many of the other garments, the baby carrier was made out of the same, indigo cotton fabric. The central design was a very intricately embroidered dragon, and on either side were spectacular birds, butterflies, and flowers in a cloud-like design. These embroideries were made with really rich colors, especially reds and yellows. The description of the piece said that the scalloped edges are reminiscent of the Han ruyi motif, and that cloud pattern means a “wishes granted”, and the imagery is meant to identify the child as a member of the group and to assure protection.
I really enjoyed this exhibition. I thought that it was really interesting how much care and detail goes into not just ceremonial clothing, but also clothing that is worn from day-to-day. Many Hmong refugees came to the United States after the Vietnam War, especially the Madison area. Growing up in Madison I knew that there was a high population of Hmong people but like many, didn’t really know much about their culture. It was enlightening to be able to learn a bit about where they came from and their traditional values.

The link below is an image I found of a child watching someone in the process of dying the indigo cotton.


Rowan's group: Gallery visit by Aziz

For my gallery visit, Nash gallery happens to be most convenient so it was my choice to write the report about. During my visit, the gallery’s exhibition was tailored to showcase the thesis projects for class of 2009. There were around ten exhibitions with unique themes characterizing each artwork. One chose to work on carpet, another chose to work with pillows, and a third chose to have torn walls to be his artwork, …etc.

Given the variations of works presented at the gallery, it is understandable to choose the word “thesis” as the title for the Nash gallery exhibition because it is the only way to group all these artworks under a coherent theme. This way every artist has no restrictions over his creativity. Henceforth, one used digital technology to narrate the story of his work, another wrote an essay, while other artists just trusted the viewers’ guts to interpret their work. The last group is similar to Chris Ofili’s approach to his artwork where he leaves it to the audience to take from his paintings what they need without giving any instructions or further details.

Out of all the artworks presented in Nash gallery, the one that caught my attention was Sonja Peterson’s “The Underground Plot of The Royal Pommes Frites.” The materials used in Sonja’s work were cut paper and acrylic on wall. Sonja’s work is trying to revisit the colonial era of the United States during the 18th century. I believe the artist inspiration about this piece comes from the richness the U.S history possess, since we can still see its reflection on our present day.

The Nash gallery is a unique place to visit but with the thesis exhibition, it seems to be targeted more toward the mature fan of art. I would not recommend my friends to go to this exhibition because they would feel lost. Their idea about art is paintings like the ones seen in the louver museum not torn walls they might found in their basement. Someone with an advance understanding of art would probably enjoy the unique variations this gallery offers but not the mass public who all they know about art is paintings like the Mona Lisa.

Margaret's Group - Gallery Visit

By Alex Morse-Noland

The “Contemporary Monsters” exhibition is being held in the Minneapolis Northern Clay Center, having opened on March 19th and running until May 3rd. Having attended the opening night, I was able to take advantage of the free food and a certain sense of smugness. Guest-curated by Londoner and ceramicist Edith Garcia, the exhibit features approximately three dozen ceramic artworks made by seven different artists of wildly varying styles. Though all seven work predominantly in clay, several incorporate mixed-media in their works, including wood, glass, yarn, and (in one instance) piles of dirt. Edith Garcia in particular incorporates drawings in her artwork. Because the gallery in the Northern Clay center is rather small, it is a very intimate exhibition; visitors are able to walk all around and in-between many of the works, an ideal way to admire the various sculptural forms. Each artist has their works clustered in roughly the same area, generally near other artists with some stylistic or thematic similarities. It’s hard to imagine how else the artworks might be displayed, as the limited gallery space doesn’t allow for much creativity in the way of presentation.

Image courtesy of the Northern Clay Center website

As its name implies, the exhibit focuses on contemporary artists who create artwork with a darkly surreal bent. Most works are entirely sculptural, and only two or three could potentially serve a utilitarian purpose as a bong or as dishware. The majority of artists involve the human figure in some manner—Tom Bartel, for example, created a series of deformed, foreboding heads mounted along one wall, and Wesley Anderegg’s art involves small, vaguely sinister figures mounted on richly textured wooden stages. Among the artists we were exposed to in class, the one with the most similar work would probably be Kelly Connole. She similarly creates sculptural forms in clay, though not quite so dark thematically nor so political—more than one artist in the exhibition featured work that addressed issues such as gender expectations and social roles. To name the exhibit “Contemporary Monsters” seems a very appropriate choice. These are not artists interested in pushing the conceptual limits of the ceramic medium—they are clearly content to explore the physical presence of sculptural form and the vagaries of form. Consequently, the artwork on display is free of superfluous conceptual baggage, a refreshing celebration of the versatility of the ceramic medium and the way it lends itself to the imagination of the individual artist. That is not to say that the artworks aren’t challenging or open to interpretation—the surrealist touches leave many of the works mysterious and unsettling in a highly satisfying manner. On the whole, the exhibited works are dreamlike, slightly sinister, and sometimes humorous, a pleasingly cohesive selection.

Wolf Girl III (2009).jpg
Cynthia Consentino - "Wolf Girl III" (2009), ceramic and mixed media
Image courtesy of the Northern Clay Center website

One noteworthy sculpture is “Wolf Girl III,” by Cynthia Consentino, which depicts a three-foot-tall little girl in a pretty pink dress with a snarling wolf’s head. In one hand the girl is squeezing the life out of a tiny man in a suit, and by her other hand sits a large rabbit. I found the overall effect to be quite humorous and somewhat unsettling, and I consider this work to be my favorite from the exhibition. The nearly life-size sculpture has a very immediate physical presence, and continued to draw me back for another look during my visit. The work appears to be entirely done in clay, but the label states that it is “mixed media,” which I suspect refers to the materials used to paint the surface of the clay. The artist was motivated by a desire to explore preconceptions about gender and the associations we are taught to make from an early age, and “Wolf Girl III” seems intended to be a humorously subversive take on the issue. On her website, Consentino states that the wolf girl and similar sculptures formed from a desire to “explore how fairy tales and mythology form and reflect our ideas about gender. The series grew out of my thoughts about a study that asked five year old children to state an animal that was most like themselves. The girls answered the names of cuddly, passive, even stuffed animals (one girl said a flower), while the boys responded with more aggressive, predatory animals.” Consentino works in clay because the medium allows her to mold virtually any form she desires, and because it allows her to experiment and work quickly in three dimensions. Ultimately, the content of her artwork is more important than the medium itself.

Tom Bartel - Drag Head (2008) ceramic, mixed media.jpg
Tom Bartel - "Drag Head" (2008), ceramic and mixed media
Image courtesy of the Northern Clay Center website

Overall, the Contemporary Monsters exhibition is a highly interesting collection of sculptures that illustrates the versatility of clay. I have already enthusiastically recommended this exhibition to several friends for the simple reason that there is good artwork on display—the gallery may be very small, but the selection of works rewards close examination. Furthermore, if you have a few thousand dollars to throw around, purchasing artwork provides an excellent opportunity to support the artistic community. At the very least, I would recommend the gallery to anyone interested in modern surrealism or ceramic sculpture, which is essentially the entire focus of the exhibition.

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit by Maia Pavitova


Maia Pavitova
Gallery Visit: The Quick and the Dead at Walker Art Center

The Quick and The Dead exhibit at the Walker Art Center is a surveying exhibition that showcases mainly conceptual art from 1960’s to 1970’s but also includes some modern pieces that were created for this exhibit. All kinds of media were used to showcase conceptual ideas of the exhibit from photography to live human beings. Approximately 53 artists from all over the world presented their work.
The exhibit is focused around the phrase The Quick and The Dead that is coming from a bible in reference to the last judgment. It is exploring the mystical and hidden meaning behind the objects and the reality. The reality is what is immediate and that would be the “Quick” and the unknown of the objects is the “Dead”. The exhibit also explorers the idea of time and space and the objects found in between. To me the whole place has this kind of surreal feeling of Alice in Wonderland, it seemed that objects were real but at the same time you were hanging in some kind of a dream. There were some many things going on at the same time that it felt also like Jenny Schmidt’s prints, where she has the time and space compressed all on the same plane, where the time and reality is mixed with gender role, in her case.
The piece of work that I was looking forward at seeing in this exhibit was work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. The title of work is “Untitled” (Orpheus, Twice) from 1991. It is two part mirror 75 by 55 inches. The title of this piece refers to the myth about Orpheus, who descends the underworld to bring back his lover. The mirrors also make a reference to the Jean Cocteau’s film where the hero passes through the mirror. The artist places two mirrors that make an interaction with the audience members standing in front of it or moving across as a possible reference to the time passing and that nothing staying still, even a person standing in front of the mirror changes.
This exhibit inspires you to explore the internal psyche of your mind and heart. I would recommend coming to explore the exhibit and see how much of it you find it inside of you. You pass through time in a dreamlike fashion and see the objects flowing through time that you start questioning what is real and what is not.

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit

I visited Chamber Art gallery. It was group exhibition. Each person and group had one art work. There were paintings as the most exhibited and some of the sculptures and the photographs. There were no specific arrangement but some art work was too large that it could only placed on largest room gallery had.
The main theme of the gallery is contemporary art. I didn't see any order of showcase because each artist had only one art work.
There was one art work created by Japanese artist. His name was Yasumura. His work was done by photograph and painting. He thinks the art is entertainment. He said even the Leonardo Da Vinci was an entertainer.
I would definitely recommend my friends to go here. There are lots of interesting works and artists' ideas and thought about art.

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit


The Weisman Art Museum located on the University of Minnesota campus currently hosts two different exhibits; Changing Identity, artworks by women from Vietnam and Looking into Likeness, a series of different self portraits from the Weisman museum collection. Intrigued by the Vietnamese artists, I explored that exhibit most intensely. There were about fifty works or more, from all mediums and forms; videos, cloth, photography, ink, oil on canvas, etc. Each woman artist represented a different form of medium incorporated into the bigger idea of how they live in their culture. Most of the artwork was arranged in four separate cube-like rooms. Drawings of women by artist Dinh Y. Nhi introduced the exhibit. Unconventional artwork such as videos and photography followed in the second room. Ink and oil painting were clumped together in the back section and more traditional works and clothing were together in another room off to the side.

Growing up in Vietnam, women are continually ignored and forced to make sacrifices for their families. Very few women artists are able to have their work displayed, let alone be acknowledged as an important, driving force in the Chinese culture. This exhibit is a small window into the lives of these strong, brave women and the challenges they face.

Dinh Y Nhi, had at least six works hung in the first room. She portrays daughters of the same family in different generations in black and white using gouache on plain paper. Her women are very dark and ghoulish looking. Others have a more whimsical feel. Nhi simplifies the body so that they are more universal and relateable, quoting that everyone human has a mouth, eyes and lips. She feels color is socially loaded, and the darkness of the women describe their anguish in the role of being a woman in a different culture such as her own.

Entering the next room, a black and white film titled La Vie plays continuously. The artist, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuey, portrays the sacrifices Vietnamese women have to make by migrating from the country into the city to work to feed their family. Often times, they have to leave their children behind. In the video, women are seen selling baskets of bread on their heads, walking aimlessly around the city. The video footage is raw and some of the women make eyes with the camera, their faces lighting up for one second, and then returning to work.

The last intriguing artist sharing the opposing wall to the videos is Vietnamese-American photographer Phuong M. Do. She has seven photographs, only one in black and white of her and her family. With her photographs she captures a moment when life continues around her as she stares out into the camera. No one else seems disturbed by the camera. This series symbolizes her outsider status in Vietnam and America. Do does not know where she fits in, but she does not feel welcomed by her native Vietnamese family, as shown in the photographs.

My favorite artwork is found in the far back room. The artwork is titled “The Clearing.” Vietnamese artist Nguyen Bach Dan found inspiration in traditional Chinese style ink paintings and black and white photography to create this whirlwind ink drawn landscape. The ink marks are small, but frantic. From a distance, the clearing leading into a pathway divided by two sides of dense brush and thickly drawn tree trunks anchoring the space, resembles a photograph. The scene is simply drawn in black ink, but the effect is overwhelming. The short, frantic strokes create a tornado movement effect. It is almost dizzying to look at, yet calm and peaceful.

Changing Identity is a fantastic exhibit that should not be overlooked. It is not difficult to understand the hardship these women have endured. However foreign Vietnamese culture may seem to the American public, the exhibit teaches and explores. The many forms of media provide the opportunity for a diverse audience to enjoy. The exhibit runs through May 24th. Go enjoy!

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Rowans Group: Gallery Visit, Erin Westover

I saw Elizabeth Peyton's "Live Forever" exhibit at the Walker Art Center. It was a one person exhibit featuring many of her drawings from the beginning of her career to today. There were over a hundred different portraits. She had many portraits up that were done with oil on board and canvas and other sketches with pencil and colored pencils. It didn’t really seem like there was any specific arrangement, such us early work to current work, it was fairly all mixed in.
The main theme of the exhibit was portraits. She has done some portraits of famous people or pictures in history as well as her friends, which were the majority of her work. One of the things that I really like about her work was the way she put colors together. She used a lot of jewel tone colors, but wasn’t limited to just that. There was this one portrait of a young child ‘max’, a blond kid with a light pastel blue shirt on and he was surrounded by this really rich dark purple.
A lot of her work is very similar to photography as far as cropping and tonal colors. It was stated in the art on call phone service that for a lot of her work she uses pictures she had taken and turned them into oil paintings. The one I liked that showed this aspect was titled “Tokyo Craig” and it shows an image of a guy looking out a window and its monochromatic with deep blue tones. They say this was to inspire a feeling of evening in the picture but I got the opposite feeling of daytime.
The brochure put out by the museum made note of the fact that her portraits are grounded in ‘a kind of popular realism that has had a major influence on contemporary art in the United States and Europe.’ I think the most defining factor of her portraits is the style it was done in. With the oil paintings and the brush size you can really see the different strokes. To me this added a less than realistic element to her otherwise realistic images and I really appreciated that.
I would recommend this exhibit to a friend and would tell them of its rich colors and engaging subject matter. Her portraits freeze people in a certain point of time while adding a richness of color and vibrancy that isn’t always as present in photography.

Tonya's Group - Gallery Visit

Robert Xiong

I went to see the “Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton” exhibition at the Walker. The exhibition contained around 100 pieces by Peyton, and consisted of various styles of: watercolors, oil paintings, and basic pen and pencil drawings. The organizing of her paintings seemed to be in categories of: her friends, historical figures, musicians, but wasn’t always in restricted within this guidelines, it kind of jumped around. Going back, and checking out Walker’s Website, “This first comprehensive survey of the artist’s paintings examines Peyton’s mature work over the past 15 years.”, so it’s also clear that this was organized in a time frame from her past to her most present work.

In this format of a timeline, we can observe her life and the changes that have occurred in our society, from the portraits of JFK, to the painting of Michelle Obama and daughter. This also showcases how her styles of making her portraits have, in my opinion, became more complicated and more detailed to create (In comparing her most recent Michelle and Sasah Obama 2008 portrait versus Rirkrit, age 3, 1993). In comparing her to the work of an artist we’ve talked about, she is very much alike with Nan Goldin excluding the fact that Goldin uses photography, while Peyton paints, and draws, they both use subjects that whom they are friends with.

The piece that I like the most was the “Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008.” Peyton wanted to paint the two on how they were in the middle of changing history. I admired this exactly the way Peyton describes it, and is a powerful piece that conveys the history of our society on the culture changes that has developed over the past year. Depending on the person, I would recommend a friend about this exhibition if they were a fan of people portraits, if not, then I wouldn’t.

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Rowans Group: Gallery Visit

The Quick and the Dead gallery visit by Josh Clemons.

• Briefly describe the exhibition.
Was it a one-person exhibition or group exhibition?
More then 50 artists
How many artworks (roughly) were included?
Three galleries worth, roughly 60-100
What media (art materials) were used?
Many different medias to include: canvas, photography, audio, video, metal working, complicated machinery
How was the exhibition arranged or organized?
There was a general flow and openness feeling. Everything was simple except for the artwork. By keeping the walls white and the floor plain it draws attention to all the artists works.
• Identify and describe a main theme of the exhibition.
What was it about
The show was focused on spatiotemporal realms. It took a different look in how we experience time and places in time as we know them. From the Walker's website, "The Quick and the Dead seeks, in part, to ask what is alive and dead within the legacy of conceptual art."

Was it about a theme or idea?
Yes, it art to time and space. It asked, "what is alive and dead within the legacy of conceptual art."
Was it designed to showcase the work of individual artists?
I don't think so, it was more of a collective gallery that focused on a main idea rather then particular artists.
Use specific examples from the exhibition. Compare to the work of artists we’ve discussed in class.
The first artwork that I thought of relating to class was called "The Subtraction of Zeros." It was simple, but reminded me of the repetition and change assignment we had. I just had one of those lightbulbs go off and thought to myself how I should have done that for the classwork.
• Pick one specific work in the exhibition.
List the title and materials (if the exhibition is a single installation by an artist, you will list the installation) and briefly describe it.
Title- Into Black Artist- Jason Dodge
This piece of art was fascinating to me, it was 8 a large piecse of undeveloped photograph paper that was first introduced to light during an equinox at 8 different places in the world.
What inspired or motivated the artist to make this work?
I'm not sure what inspired the artist but I found it fascinating how it captured a specific point in time. Not in the way the normal picture is taken, but in a way that focuses on the time not the place. It was easily my favorite piece at the exhibit.
• What would you tell a friend about this exhibition?
Would you recommend they visit it? Why or why not?
I would recommend the exhibition to anyone. I found many of the pieces to me very interesting at the very least and some were totally rad! My second favorite was 2 fax machines set up feeding each other the same piece of paper and just faxing it back and forth. It reminded me of political rhetoric. Beyond that, there were many interesting pieces and even if the person I told to visit didn't like the exhibit, there is always the sculpture garden at the Walker that rocks.

Tonya's Group: Gallery Visit by Hannah Botzet

This was a group exhibition titled Mythologies. There were six very large pieces with a few smaller ones in a very large room so they complemented each other very well. The pieces were a variety of different medias including painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. In the middle of the room is one of the larger pieces which is a sculpture of a crushed car. On two of the walls there are 3 very large paintings. On the other walls there are series of photos.

The themes of the exhibit are history based stories and myths. Each piece in someway tells a story making the viewer involved with each piece. The exhibit was desgned to showcase each artist. Each piece was so different it could stand on its own but there was still similarities between them all. Another main theme was the size the paintings such as Sigmar Polke's 'Frau Herbst und ihre zwei Töchter (Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters)' took up almost the entire wall. There was a huge chain like necklace on top of a hallway. Many of the pieces are very abstract so i could see the may pole that Nancy Spero made in this exhibit because of the size and story she was trying to tell.

Like I said above an example would be Sigmar Polke's painting 'Frau Herbst und ihre zwei Töchter (Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters)'. It is a massive painting that takes up almost an entire wall. It is primarily painted with neutral colors. It tells the story of the seasons and why they change.

The exhibit is based off of history and mythologies on a grand scales. The paintings trap the viewer as the look into the canvas. The sculptures make you think what is the artist trying to tell me. I would recommend theis exhibit because it is different. It has such a wide variety of medias that there is something that will appeal to everyone.

tonyas group - gallery visit

Karrah Kobus
Gallery Visit Report

I visited the Walker Art Center and was particularly struck by the exhibition entitled "The Shape of Time." The artwork consisted of paintings and sculptures alike and included works by a wide variety of artists including Chuck Close, Lorna Simpson, Jasper Johns, and Mark Rothko. The works in this exhibition are organized in groups.

The theme of the exhibition was art history. It covered 50 years of history and was arranged in four sections. The first was called "Mid-Century Radical" and presented both classic and radical elements in the works. It dealt with abstractions, created by the postwar era in American and European history. The second set of artworks were put together into a group entitled "Alternative Modernisms." This section contains highly unconventional works created in the 1960's and 1970's, all of which help to demonstrate the turmoil of the times. The third portion of the gallery was called "American Standards" and had a heavy focus on the pop art movement. Works by Andy Warhol, "Grocery Carton Sculptures," are the center of this section. Lastly, "Variations on Convention" contains works from the 1980's up through the 1990's. This section displays the diversity of works found from this time period.

I really enjoyed the Andy Warhol sculptures from the "American Standards" section. The Grocery Carton series contains Warhol's most famous sculpture: the Brillo Boxes. Also included in the grocery carton series are Campbell's tomato juice and Heinz ketchup containers. The sculptures reflect Warhol's work with pop culture and symbolism and you can see this again in his paintings that are also on display. It was interesting to see, in person, a famous work of art that we had discussed in class.

I would definitely recommend visiting this exhibition. My favorite aspect of this collection of works is the diversity. The works of art vary in their style, so there is a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy. Visiting this gallery would also be particularly beneficial for someone interested in history, such as myself. It is fun to see how the styles changed over time and what kind of issues the artists were dealing with. The Walker also did a great job selecting works overall and ended up with a very enjoyable collection.

Margaret's Group - Gallery Visit

Danielle Frye
Walker Art Museum
"The Quick and the Dead"

I went to the Walker's show, the "Quick and the Dead" that just opened last Friday. The show was a compilation of several artists works, with exact number on the site’s website saying it showcases 53 different artists? Media for the pieces ranged anywhere from photography, a performance piece, to a sound booth. The exhibition didn't seem to be arranged in any particular order, but there was one room designated to an artists work that involved a time line along with old records and what I believe was a tuba.

The Walker site states the concept of the show better than I could explain it so here is a snippet from that:

“Surveying art that tries to reach beyond itself and the limits of our knowledge and experience, The Quick and the Dead seeks, in part, to ask what is alive and dead within the legacy of conceptual art. Though the term “conceptual” has been applied to myriad kinds of art, it originally covered works and practices from the 1960s and ‘70s that emphasized the ideas behind or around a work of art, foregrounding language, action, and context rather than visual form. But this basic definition fails to convey the ambitions of many artists who have been variously described as conceptual: as Sol LeWitt asserted in 1969, conceptual artists are “mystics rather than rationalists.” Although some of their work involves unremarkable materials or even borders on the invisible, these artists explore new ways of thinking about time and space, often aspiring to realms and effects that fall far outside of our perceptual limitations.”

The overall show wasn’t meant to focus on a single artist I feel but rather highlight all of as a whole. While the pieces shared the theme, all applied it in very different ways that I found interesting. For example, one photographer chose to do a piece of a balloon being shot. He had the bullet as well as three different balloons aligned in the photo, each balloon at different states of bursting. I believe this to a conceptual piece perhaps highlighting how disaster can affect people in different ways. Another piece that was on the opposite side of the spectrum from photography was a sound booth. It was a small white room, with a curtain for an entrance and as well as one covering the exit. Only one viewer was allowed in the room at a time. Once entering the room, I wasn’t sure what to expect, all that was in the room was myself on one end and a speaker set on a tripod at the other end that I would have to walk close to in order to reach the exit. Not a single spot on the walls to keep my attention, so I began to walk to the exit and upon the second step, suspenseful music boomed from the speaker ahead. The closer I got to the speaker, the louder it became and it had a tone like one form a movie that builds suspense. I didn’t understand his piece in the fullest I don’t think but looking back, my interpretation is he was highlighting the unavoidable that we all die. The blank on the wall represented perhaps how it doesn’t matter if a person is a saint or a convict, the music still builds and ends, gone.
If I were to compare a piece from the "Quick and the Dead" I would compare the photo of the balloon (sorry I didn’t document the name of the artist) to the work of Lorna Simpson. For example, her piece that we observed in class “Guarded Conditions” had slight changes frame to frame, as well as numerous interpretations as to the disaster that may or may not have been inflicted on the subject. The thought of disaster affecting people in different ways comes to mind upon viewing her pieces as well as the photo of the balloons.
While walking through the exhibit, I believe I strayed from the "Quick and the Dead" show unto another collection of pieces, so I’m afraid that the piece that I chose to document while there wasn’t from the correct show but I feel that it could have been apart of it as it too was a conceptual piece. The piece is titled “Tre ragazze all balconata” (which translates to Three Girls on a Balcony) by Michelangelo Pistoletto. This piece was on display at the Walker at first for a solo exhibition with just Michelangelo’s work called the “Reflected World” in 1966. It is done with oil, graphite on tissue paper mounted to mirror polished stainless steel and was gifted to the Walker by Mrs. Julius Davis in 1999.


Again, I am not sure of the exact interpretation Michelangelo was trying to draw from the viewer, but the one I received was one of delicacy. He chose to do the girls with on tissue paper, which is extremely fragile as it is prone to tears very easily. By having it done on mirrors, I feel that he is highlighting that like the girls in the photo, we are spectators. Standing and waiting to live perhaps, verses going out and making a life for ourself.
I would recommend the Quick and the Dead to a friend to view as it found it to contain such a variety of media that all viewers with an appreciation for the arts could enjoy.

art exhibit margaret's group

Laura Callaghan
Margaret's group

I visited the art exhibit in Coffman Union at the University o Minnesota, featuring the artists Nicholas Bustamante, Julie Anand and Damon Sauer. The Minnesota Programs and Activities Council and Student Unions and Activities made this exhibit possible. These artists are a part of The Fiber Artists’ Study Group (FASG). The theme of the exhibit is a textile art exhibit featuring work that reflects diverse environmental, social and psychological perspectives on the topic of climate change. The artists say they hint at global warming, the relationship between humanity and Earth, and the emotional aspects of climate change in the context of personal relationships. The exhibit is made up of quilting, sculptural fiber and figurative art. Nicholas’ work is primarily about homes and shelter and the way humans create personal space. The other two artists collaborate their work. Their pieces deal with climate change.
The artwork made by the individual artist, Nicholas Bustamante was featured on one wall and the works collaborated by Julie Anand and Damon Sauer were displayed on the other wall. The works of art were encased by locked shadow boxes for their security. Overall the gallery is somewhat hidden because it’s location serves for a duel purpose. The room is also the lobby of the Coffman movie theater.
I picked one of the collaborated pieces to expand upon. Julie Anand’s and Damon Sauer’s piece called Sky 6/14/07 7:35 pm and 8:04 pm was particularly interesting to me. The artists took a picture of the sky at 7:35pm and also later in the evening. They blew up the two pictures to a large size. They shredded one of the pictures into vertical strips and the other into horizontal strips and wove them together to look similar to a quilt. The materials used were Archival inkjet prints, Acrylic and resin. The collaboration of the two night scenes make a whole new scene if the viewer takes a step back and looks at the picture like an impressionist painting. Up close the viewer can clearly see the cubes are different colors such as purple colors in horizontal strips and blue in the vertical ones. Far away though the two colors mix to make a beautiful indigo skyline.
This method of stitching two different artworks together to create a whole new look reminds me of the work of Yinka Shonibare. He is a Black British artist who combined themes from both cultures to make artwork that reflects who he is. The rooms he creates are made out of British styled furniture and the print is African. The outcomes power comes from the combined effect just like the woven art piece in Coffman. Also in both works of art the audience can focus on part of the piece by itself and still see beauty and find an equally moving message as looking at it as a whole.
I would recommend this exhibit for others to go see. These topics addressed in the exhibit are hard to talk about with words. These visual messages about the topic could easily inspire excellent conversation about global warming and humanity’s environment that would be hard to talk about when it was inspired by something else, such as an essay on the topic. This piece moved me and it will move others too.

Margaret's Discussion Group - Gallery Report

Justin Rutherford

For my gallery visit I decided to go to the Science Museum. Mainly because this is more of an unconventional "gallery" but it is a gallery nonetheless. A very interesting thing about the Science Museum is that just about everything there is interactive. Because it is meant to be a learning experience for the kids that visit every day on their field trips.
There was one exhibit that was meant to teach kids about preventing disease. So there were a lot of little things to play around with, such as trying to figure out what is making a fictional child sick. First you do some research on the child by taking a nose swab (on a nose that is about half the size of me), and matching the results to the proper curve to discover what's wrong with him. It's cool how they can water something down like that, but still make it so that it is educational, and not too boring because all the while I have to keep in mind that they mainly cater to the 5-9 age group.
Of course there was the area with all the dinosaur skeletons that are reconstructed. I was looking forward to going to this spot the most because all I could think of was the last time I visited, which was probably more than 10 years ago, and the dinosaurs all seemed to be so huge. But visiting now, they definitely don't seem as big. Of course they are still massive, but they just don't have that same grandiose feel that they once had.
One very elaborate looking piece simulated a tornado with fog and air. The piece was probably 15 feet tall, and it constantly has two fans going, one fan on top and one on the bottom. If the stream is uninterrupted then the fog that is constantly being blown out will eventually form a tornado like structure going from the bottom all the way up to the top. This one stuck out to me because it really is a piece of art, and at the same time it is being educational. A lot of the artwork there is pushing that boundary, where it would take a lot of talking to convince people that it is in fact art.
So it was interesting coming back to the science museum, it was a completely new experience. It was almost like gaining an all-new appreciation for the pieces of art that are there. When I was younger and visiting there I would just take it all for what it was, just stuff that’s at the science museum. I didn’t consider how the things were designed or built, or how there is a lot of thought that goes into everything there.
And whenever I went on a class field trip it was always a daylong ordeal. But when I went with one of my friends we saw everything there was to see in about 45 minutes or so. It was kind of crazy to us how quickly we got through it all. That probably stems from the fact that the exhibits are meant to be visually and physically stimulating. And since we weren’t so compelled to touch everything there is to touch, that could be how we got the whole experience and didn’t take the whole day to do it.

Jennifer's Group - Gallery Visit

I visited the exhibition entitled "Contemporary Monsters" at the Northern Clay Center. The exhibition featured many different artists' work, all centered around the use of sculpture and a sense of distortion and imagination with their real world interpretations.

Artists included John de Fazio, Michael Lucero, Wesley Anderegg, Arthur Gonzalez and Tom Bartel, among others. Though the medium was relatively simalar (clay), the end products between artists ranged hugely. John de Fazio created works such as "The Grinch Bong", a humorous interpretation of the holiday season and the sedation needed to endure it. His other works included "Skull Stein", an oversized beer stein used to illustrate the story of William Bouroughs, as well as mugs featuring Prince and James Dean- as zombies. Michael Lucero showed intensely colorful, abstract sculptures the displayed the collision of many different worlds at different times, and Tom Bartel mounted three separate sculptures of heads, each representing fragmentation of the human form and various stages of life.

I found every artists' work incredibly fascinating and inventive. I love the Northern Clay Center's sales gallery and had been able to visit the back studios last semester, but this was the first time I had been back to the artist's gallery in months. It was refreshing to see a gallery of modern art within a relatively "old-fashioned" medium, and contemporary issues addressed in such a classic yet incredibly imaginative way.

Rowan's Group- Gallery visit entry, Alanna Olson

Alanna Olson
ARTS 1001
Gallery Visit
“Olive Trees” - Vincent Van Gogh
Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The exhibition/work that I saw at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) was a permanent work of the collection that I have always admired from afar, every time I’ve attended the museum. Vincent Van Gogh has always been an inspiration for me in my paintings. The Expressionism era was one when people transitioned from taking art as a literal, realistic interpretation to taking the emotions of an artist into account, expressed through their paintings.
The medium that Van Gogh used was oil paint on canvas; the sheen of the paint has outlasted time and still has raised texture that is visible through the glass frame covering. The placement of the painting by the MIA is also really interesting; when you stand on the other end of the gallery on that floor, rooms away, you can see the Van Gogh piece, “Olive Trees,” framed between about 4 doors to other rooms, as if it were a centerpiece of that floor.
I think that the Van Gogh work was an expression of his interpretation of being surrounded by nature at that moment in time. The theme is a natural surrounding, an ease of relaxation, even though it is not a realist painting of the setting. I think that his painting that I saw at MIA is very different than the modern artist Cooper. Cooper’s images all are ones of natural places, as are most of Van Gogh’s. However, Cooper focuses on showing people the historical places where major events in history have taken place. Van Gogh mainly paints as he feels, paints his feelings in his surroundings and forms beautiful loose stroked works that resemble natural aspects in European gardens, and the outdoors.
I could not afford to get into the current exhibition of modern artists at the MIA, however I did admire this painting that I’m writing about very much, and realize that he is not a modern artist. However, his work can be seen as revolutionary for his time. He was one of the pioneers of Expressionism and many artists today, including myself, prefer his style. He was a modern thinker for his time.

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/gogh/fields/gogh.olive-trees.jpg (picture of painting)

Gallery Visit- Tiffany Guth

Currently the Walker Art Center is featuring an exhibition entitled “The Quick and the Dead”, its opening was this past weekend. This exhibition is featured in three gallery spaces, galleries four, five, and six. The objective of this exhibition focuses on the last forty-fifty years of conceptual art, dating back to the 1960’s. There is a particular focus of young emerging artists who seem to be influenced by social/political/cultural movements of the each time period. More importantly, this exhibition examines art and artists who strive to define art outside its normative terms and also describe the limits of the known and unknown. This tension between knowing and not knowing appears to ring true in many of the featured artists within this exhibition.
In this exhibition, there were dozens of artists/artworks displayed within the three galleries (an exact number was not determined) and a wide spectrum of mediums was used by various artists. Some artists used photography, graphite, ink, film, human hair, finger nails and skin, prints, and there were even live performances.
One of the main themes was a struggle to understand the concept of time and space and their relationship to the body and or the piece of work. Many artists explored this relationship and tried to articulate in various ways. For example, one piece of work included collection of clear glass jars filled with human hair, finger nails, and human skin. The artist seemed to be document her life, age, and experiences through the collection of her own bodily material. You can see the many jars of hair, and with the progression of time, the hair becomes more grey and less black. There is a strange relationship of time that this artist creates. In some ways, our hair, finger nails, and even skin are present with our mind and part of body through whatever we experience. By storing them in jars, it is as though the artist has captured a piece of time, reclaimed a portion of her life, a piece that is so easily forgotten and disregarded into the trash.
Another piece of work was a film made in 1959 by Francis Alys in Antwerp Belgium, entitled "Paradox of Praxis". This film is approximately 5 minutes long and has color as well as sound. In the beginning you see a young man pushing a large block of ice down the street, the block of ice is perhaps 3'x3'x4'. Someone is recording the young man and the block of ice down various sidewalks and streets, a trail of melted water is left by the block and the man. As time progresses, the block of ice is reduced to a small base ball size piece and now the man is simply kicking the ice from time to time. Eventually the ice evaporates and a small puddle of water remains as the ending scene in the film. This specific piece is interesting to me because it is so simple and yet tries to understand the lack of infiniteness. The artists well states, "sometimes making something leads to nothing" this rings true in the piece. The artists documents a simple task or journey and in the end, with the hard labor of pushing a block of ice down countless city blocks, the ending result is nothing. (As for finding a statement by the artist as to what inspired or motivated him to create this film, none could be found.)
I would recommend this exhibition to any of my friends, or strangers. There is a wide variety of artists from last 50 years. There is also a wide selection of mediums, anyone can go to this exhibition can find a piece of work to appreciate.

Jennifers group- Elizabeth Peyton

Frankly, when ever I go to the Walker art Center I go begrudgingly. I try not to go as much as I can manage being an art student in Minneapolis for the place seemingly puts me in a sad coma. Yet with the curiosity of a cat, I went to see this "revolutionary" Elizabeth Peyton. Okay so the exhibition took up a rather large piece of the museum and lined room after room with small paintings, "intimate" some may call them. When I walked through and about switching from wall to was I was seemingly only impressed by the sheer number-possibly close to two hundred- of pieces that were being displayed. I saw that she was interested in small adolescent scenes with little baby titted women and girlish looking boys that along with it comes a strange youthful sexuality, but I also saw tube color and sloppiness. I know that others would disagree with me for saying that I didn't really admire the practices of her hand, but the exhibit only confirmed my unsavory taste for the Walker.

The main theme of the exhibition seemed to be something along the lines of skinny limbed clamor withing the fabulous youth in the lime light. Something that she may have always wanted and didn't end up with the body type. It seemed that bone structure was an obsession and all that she wanted was a pale skin and a pretty young man to lay around with. A superficial world of never growing up, day dreams of being beautiful and living with a bad figure, to bad miss Peyton, too bad your art work sucks and your so famous for shit.

"I was researching the common thought on the young lady and found an exerpt from a art blog that made me feel like I wasn't alone.
In this story, we learn that Peyton is sweetly stupid and that writer Dodie Kazanjian is way impressed with this. ("I ask her how it feels to have her painting become so widely accepted.") Oh, and we learn that Peyton wears a lot of Marc Jacobs clothes and that she has "an understated but stylish nonstyle." Which, if you read Vogue a lot, probably means something.
But as silly as Dodie's text is, it simply can't rival Peyton's silliness, nearly all of which is excitedly embraced by an apparently breathless Dodie. "I made some paintings of [Abraham Lincoln] the other day," Peyton tells Dodie. "I discovered he looks a lot like Cameron Diaz."
Right after swallowing this, Kazanjian tells us that Peyton is smart. "It turns out that what Peyton does isn't as limited or as 'light' as people used to think."
-Modern Art Notes

This explains it her work is that of someone who spends too much time thinking about beauty and the obsession to be sadly thinly under thought -big eyes glancing up-beautiful. I say F all you vogueing idiots with way to expensive budgets for fabulous.

Arts 1001 Eric Tanaka: Gallery Visit Paper

Eric Tanaka
Arts 1001
April 28, 2009
Walker Art Center Gallery Paper
The second room in the Walker Art Museum has, collectively, the most amazing works of art in the museum. There are many different works of art that have striking, beautiful colors or concepts that capture the viewer’s attention. Many different artists had their own works included in the exhibition, but they all share a very Surrealist aura. The works of art ranged from oil paintings, acrylic paintings, and sculptures. The bright blood red abstract paintings, decrepit sculptures, and other surrealist paintings all pull this exhibition together as one. Most of the works of art are placed on the wall, with one sculpture placed in the center of the room. These works of art can be compared to Gregory Green’s amazing works on nuclear bombs, with its beautiful, high-impact visuals. One of the most striking pieces of art I found in the Walker Art Center is Bruce Conner’s Bride. This piece of art is a sculpture composed of wax, linen, cloth, wood, and other mixed media. This artwork was placed right in the middle of the which, in my opinion, had the most interesting pieces of art. Because it is placed in the middle of the room, it is very evenly lighted, allowing all of its detail to be shown bare. It is a rather cryptic, decayed looking sculpture. The title The Bride heightens feelings of uneasiness and anxiousness in the viewer even more. It deals with how people today overlook beauty, so he seeks to surprise the viewer with anti-aesthetics and hideousness, which brings a certain aspect of beauty to the bride. The work is highly reminiscent of the movie The Corpse Bride, which features a zombie wife that has come back to life. I would definitely tell my friends about this exhibition because it is the most beautiful collection of works I have come across. They are inspiring and truly masterful works.

Tonya's Group - Gallery Visit - Ethan Weber

Gallery Visit
Expanded Drawing
Works by Nicholas Conbere, Michelle Johnson, Jack Pavlik, and Sonja Peterson
by Ethan Weber

I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and visited the Expanded Drawing exhibition. The theme behind the exhibition was to create an expanding image of what drawing could be. All four artists in the exhibit showed extremely different styles of art. Nicholas Conbere has a unique technique where he draws detailed architectural scenes overlapping each other to create imaginary landscapes. Michelle Johnson made illusionary paintings consisting of tiny patterns inside larger patterns. Jack Pavlik brought a new element to the exhibit by creating mechanically powered metal sculptures. To complete the exhibition, Sonja Peterson created paper murals by cutting intricate scenes out of large sheets of heavy paper.

There were roughly thirty to forty pieces in the exhibit between all the artists. The exhibit was held in the newly redesigned corner of the MIA. The exhibit displayed Nicholas Conbere in the first showroom, Michelle Johnson in the second, and Jack Pavlik lastly with a mix of Sonja Peterson’s work throughout the whole show.

Personally I enjoyed viewing the works by Nicholas Conbere the most because of the interest that I have in art and architecture. His piece titled, “Footbridge” was a very interesting piece because the scene depicted was centered on a small body of water. The landscape expanded out around the pond encompassing the entire page until the “footbridge” over the body of water was barely noticeable. His overlapping technique was something that I had never come across before. Clearly the most attractive thing about his work is the flawless understanding of linear perspective that he uses. The pictures could literally be taken for blueprints if in a different setting.

I would definitely recommend this exhibit to my friends to go and visit if at all still possible. After viewing the different works in this exhibit, my imagination of what drawing could be was greatly strengthened. Visually, it is much easier for me to understand what it would be like to draw in 3D, especially because of the sculptures by Jack Pavlik. Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibit because of my large grounding in drawing and also because of the fresh insight I gained from it as an artist myself.

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit

Gretchen Ruehle
ARTS 1001
Gallery Visit

I saw the “Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton” exhibition at the Walker. This exhibition contained about 90 pieces by Elizabeth Peyton. There was a mix of oil paintings, drawings with pen and pencil, and watercolors. The exhibition consisted of five large and one small room. It appeared as though each room housed works of a specific subject, although it this was not strict categorization. Paintings were hung on every wall of every room at the same height, creating a line of works tracing the walls. One large room housed Peyton’s portraits of historical figures, at least two large rooms housed portraits of Peyton’s close friends and musicians, there was a room for portraits of other artists and current popular figures in society, and the smallest room was only filled with Peyton’s Kurt Cobain portraits. Since these rooms weren’t strictly themed, I think it was also sort of categorized by when the portraits were made.

The exhibition rightfully celebrates Elizabeth Peyton’s fifteen years of existence in the contemporary art world. It is clear that the exhibition is based off of her work throughout the whole time period, showing her earliest works through her most present works. The exhibition was supposed to reflect how her works are like snap shots of past and present popular culture. Alongside her portraits of rock stars were ones of JFK, friends, Frida Kahlo, and Michelle Obama. That is how they showcased her snap shots, while making the exhibition like a visual timeline of her work too. It also showcased the theme of how her work changed over the fifteen years, one can see her early Cobain pieces along with her “friends” pieces, which came after, and then her more complicated compositions of the 2000s. Her work often has the same candidness and closeness to the subjects as Nan Goldin’s work. Except for Peyton uses beautifully painted or drawn pieces of her subjects, rather than a raw low quality snap shot. They are similar in the fact that usually one cannot really distinguish the background of the picture or piece. Peyton uses neutral or solid backgrounds for her subjects and Nan’s backgrounds are just hard to see because of the raw lighting.

http://thedailything.com/post/81943275 "Kurt with cheeky num-num" by Elizabeth Peyton

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/2104690434_0eb7102134.jpg?v=0 Original picture of Kurt Cobain and cat (photographer, date, and title unknown)

Kurt with cheecky num-num, made in 1995 with oil paint on board, is a portrait of Kurt Cobain and a cat. The painting is based off a previously existing black and white picture. In the painting (and picture) Kurt’s body is facing forward and his arm is extended to the side where there is a small cat walking on top. Kurt’s face is facing the cat. The painting is fairly monochromatic with only the blue of Kurt’s shirt, the red of his lips, and his blonde hair popping out from the background. Along with the other Kurt Cobain portraits, this one was completed barely one year after Kurt’s suicide. This painting, along with the others, is not supposed to show Kurt as a big rock star or as a normal person. Peyton was inspired by the many photographs and videos of Kurt in the media, and also how young such a promising star died. So her portraits portrayed Kurt as young and vulnerable to the viewer.

I would recommend to my friends to check out this exhibition. It is very interesting to see various figures of pop culture presented in such an almost abstract manner of painting. The use of bright jewel tones is very pretty and is sure to catch the eye. I would also say that even though there are many pieces being shown at once, it is not over whelming and an easy exhibit to view.

http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=4487 The Walker Website page about the exhibit and pictures of some of her works.

Rowan's Group: Gallery Visit

Sofia Bilkadi
Gallery Visit
Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton

Currently, the Walker is exhibiting the works of artist Elizabeth Peyton titled Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton. The five room exhibit displays around 100 paintings of Peyton’s in the Target Gallery. Each room had about 20 portraits of celebrities, politicians, even friends, each capturing a little bit of history that could otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Walking through the exhibit, without even reading the brochure, it was not hard to determine the main theme of Elizabeth Peyton’s work: portraits. However, these portraits were not just a painting of a person sitting; they were about a moment in time, whether it was imagined or an actual event, that was captured. Some of these moments were more recognizable, like the painting titled Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008, and some were of moments that were probably forgotten by many, like the painting of Prince William titled Prince Eagle. Peyton’s paintings reminded me of Yinka Shonibare’s work. Their styles and topics may be different but they have used popular figures in their work. They have also used history in their work and they both have a fantasy-like flare to their pieces.
One painting that stood out to me was a painting of Jackie Kennedy and her son John, titled Jackie and John (Jackie fixing John’s Hair). Peyton used oil on board and painted this in 1999. It is 14 by 11 inches, a lot of blue was used, and is of Jackie Kennedy walking besides her son, John, and fixing his hair, pretty much what the title tells you. I think what inspired Peyton to paint this particular portrait is that it is of a very normal moment between two very important people. It is very intimate because it shows a loving, healthy relationship between mother and son. Even though they were in the spot light and seemed larger than life, they were just like everybody else. I think what stood out to me about this painting, besides what I stated above, is that it is a moment in time that I never really thought about. When I think of the Kennedy family, I do not think of moments like this, and I feel like that is one reason that I really liked this piece.
The Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton exhibition is something that I would recommend to numerous people. Her art has something to offer to many different people, whether they are looking for more icon images or something out of the everyday, she has a painting for it. Her use of color only enhances the paintings; they add a surreal feel to the portraits and yet remain recognizable. Her work displays history through moments that belong to the subject of that painting, and she is allowing these sometimes forgotten moments to live forever.

Links to paintings
For Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008 and Elizabeth Peyton, Jackie and John (Jackie fixing John’s hair)
For Prince Eagle

Tonya's group: Gallery Visit

To view Nick Conbere’s Landscape with Ups and Downs, go to:
Nick Conbere, Landscape with Ups and Downs, 2008, Mixed media on Mylar, 31 x 50 inches.

The group exhibition under the title Expanded Drawing was composed of artworks by Nick Conbere, Sonja Peterson, Michelle Johnson, and Jack Pavlik. The works from these various artists were at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts from January 23 to March 15, 2009. Many visitors went through the gallery to view what may have been nearly one hundred works, put on display by the artists, and were astounded at how art was used. I first encountered Pavlik’s moving sculptures which gave me an eerie sense of mechanics. I entered another gallery space and found myself staring at Johnson’s lovely letter designs. Then I moved into another area and encountered Conbere’s strange landscapes and comments, Peterson’s drawings that had been cut up into strange sculptural pieces and more of the kinesthetic sculptures by Pavlik.

The main theme of this exhibition was drawing, but not in a traditional way. The artists were to “extend their use of line and the concept of drawing” (artsmia.org). However, as they expanded their concept of drawing, their work spilled over into the exploration of other media types (for example: Pavlik’s sculptures). The artists were chosen to be a part of this exploration because they were explorers of art and therefore the exhibition was used to show off the work of the individual artists and formally set them apart as different, special. Each had their own space to show in and when one walked into each space, the artworks were there imposing a different mood on the setting because they spoke moods from the hand of each individual artist. It seemed that in the same way Ellen Gallagher filled a room with her strangely collaged artwork, these artists used the ordinary concept of line or drawing to create something out of the ordinary. Or perhaps the work was similar to that of William Kentredge because it was beautiful, different, and about something, but one could not always know for certain what it was about.

Nick Conbere’s Landscape with Ups and Downs was a beautiful mixture of media on Mylar that was included with his installations and was particularly intriguing. There was a wonderful balance of light drawings at the top of the paper and darker lines at the bottom along with a few delicate touches of color in various places that made it all the more interesting. Yet it was not much more interesting than the rest of his work on display at the exhibition. In fact, all of his work was fabulously captivating in the way that he used them to create his own fantasy world in which landscapes were as flat or as dimensional as he desired.

I think that everyone who has the chance should see the artwork that was displayed in the exhibition. I was thrilled with the way my imagination was allowed to go free when I looked at the art in the Expanded Drawing show and thought of the processes that were used to make those particular works. I hope to take what I have seen, not to reproduce it, but to use it as inspiration at the thrill of going against the norm of how art is usually made.

Works Cited:
Expanded Drawing: Nick Conbere, Sonja Peterson, Michelle Johnson, and Jack Pavlik. 2009. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. April 28, 2009.

Rowan's Group: Gallery Visit by Sarah Moen

“Excess” at the Larson Art Gallery was a two person exhibition by Mari Richards and Becca Shewmake. There were approximately 30 paintings done by Becca Shewmake and 20 three dimensional works by Mari Richards. Shewmake’s paintings were mixed media painted on very thick canvas. They often looked very textured and had layers of paint, paper, and gloss. Richards works included small clay sculptures as well as larger pieces composed of plastic bags, paper, and even a chair. Shewmake’s paintings were hung in clusters along the walls while Richards’ pieces were on stands and in corners all around the room.

The main theme of this exhibition was excess and sustainability. A description of the gallery claimed that Richards is “inspired by society’s need to consume” and wants her works to speak of “mass production and consumption. Shewmakes paintings took on the same role, often depicting the act of pollution, such as factories, and its effects, such as acid rain. I think that the purpose of the pieces was to inspire people to be more sustainable. I think it was in part meant to showcase the work of the artists, but largely to spread the word of environmental issues. Their environmental message is similar to Betsy Damon, who designed the water purifying park. Also, one of Richards pieces was similar to Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Untitled (portrait of Ross in LA) in that it was displayed in the corner of the room. However, Richards was not interactive.

One of Richards’ pieces was entitled “Stay Awhile.” The work was made in 2007 and is composed of a folding chair and garbage bags. The garbage bags were in pastel spring like colors and formed a chain extending from the chair across the room. Richards wants her works to showcase the excess consumption of Americans so she used waste to create her work. This ironic use of materials makes the viewer consider the subject matter thoroughly.

I would tell friends about this exhibition, and recommend that they visit it. I enjoyed the theme of the works and thought they conveyed a good message. Also, all of the works were very beautiful and flowed together nicely. I especially enjoyed Shewmake’s paintings they were composed of such beautiful colors and were very carefully crafted, showing much attention to detail and effort on her behalf. They managed to turn a dirty subject into something inspiring.

Richards' "Stay Awhile"

Shewmake's "Lump"

April 28, 2009

Tanya's Group: Anita Jung

The artist exhibition that I went to was at the Regis Center for Art on campus and the artist was Anita Jung. She is a teacher that the University of Iowa. It was a one-person exhibition. She showed her artwork through a slide show. She showed about 50 different pieces of art and explained how she created them. She used several different medias. Some of them were gesso, charcoal, beeswax, chalk, carbon, dry pigment, photocopy, intaglio, collagraph, screen print, spray paint, decal, and paint color swatches. She used a lot of paint chips. She said she got a huge number of paint chips donated to her.

Anita Jung had several different themes in her work. The main theme was grief/death. Two of her series that went along with this theme were the Cemetery Bride Photogravure and the Requiem Series. While she was working on the Cemetery Bride Photogravure, she spent a lot of time in cemeteries. While she was in a cemetery in Prague, she saw a statue that was obviously no longer visited. This figure is what inspired her most for the Cemetery Bride Photogravure. The Requiem Series had a death theme in a different sense than grief. It was more like death within ourselves. She used the phrase “little deaths” to explain it. She created this series after her daughter was born and she had a lot more to lose. The “little deaths” were the things she gave up when her daughter was born. Other themes of Jung’s artwork are being a parent and the AIDS epidemic.

An artist that we have discussed in class that I would compare Jung to is Nancy Spero. I would compare them because Spero created the War Series and Jung created a series during the Persian Gulf War. This series did not have a title. She used fire to create it because she was very intrigued by it. In this series, we see the death theme again.

We did not see an installation at the exhibit, but she did show one in the slide show that she had created. The installation was called Beneath the Surface. She created it in Atlanta and through it she wanted to show that all families are singularly happy but unhappy in individual different ways. She used materials that were disposable. She used metallic tapes, silk screen on walls, and silk flowers to portray butterflies.

I was glad that I went to this exhibit because I found Jung’s work interesting and inspiring. She is very creative and portrays and interprets her themes well. I would recommend anyone to visit an exhibition of Jung because it was not just any boring exhibition. Jung kept me interested and did not bore me.


Tonya's group: Elizabeth Peyton


I chose Elizabeth Peyton’s gallery at Walker Center for my gallery visit assignment. The gallery was named “Live forever.” In a white room, her works were hung around neatly and organized. There was around 20 to 30 art works; most of them was in a very small size, which is about the size of a paper sheet. These art works were painting, charcoal, pencil, and watercolor. One special thing about Peyton’s art works is the bright color of her paintings. These bright colors seem to create more energy for the paintings; they are powerful and attractive arty works. All of her art works is portrait. Each portrait seems to tell viewers stories about each person’s life. As a viewer, when I saw these portrait, they caught my attention and curious about these people in the painting. When I went further into the gallery, I found out one interesting thing that I recognized some faces that I had seen before in the gallery. From this point, I knew that Peyton paint her model more than one time. The same person appeared in different context, painting style, and outside look (hair, clothes, position). A chance to see a same model again helped me to understand more about that person’s characteristics or life.

Peyton’s work reflected the cultural context of late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The works represented the aesthetic of youth, fame, and creative genius. She is successful to show the beauty in every life of variety people on the planet. Because the art works are about daily life of normal people, they help us understand more about the painting. Elizabeth Peyton’s art works form a new kind of contemporary art; her works is the connection between art and life.

View Peyton’s gallery, it reminds me about Nan Goldin’s photographs. Goldin’s pictures are about her friends’ lives, include hers. Each of them has different media but they both want to show their friend’s lives and also their lives. Their art works are the connection between art and life. One common thing between Goldin and Peyton is viewers can recognize the similar faces which appear one more time in the galleries. These repeat models help viewers to understand not only the artists’ works but also about the models.

My favorite Peyton’s work is the painting "Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008." The portrait was made only in five days and it was very unusual compare to other paintings. Peyton decided to paint the picture in Jet Magazine because she wanted to express a transcendent mother-and-child in the midst of history being made. Also, Peyton thought that the original photograph was great but by making it into a painting transformed it into a transcendent image. The picture later became famous for being a painting of an African American first lady and her daughter. This painting expresses about the culture changing and the remarkable American history in 21st century. I would recommend everyone to visit Elizabeth Peyton’s gallery. If you are a fan of Nan Goldin, you would love Peyton’s gallery. Their works are similar together. Be in Peyton’s gallery, we can experience the variety of bright color, and different form and styles of portrait.

Tonya’s Group: Gallery Visit

Susanna Callaghan

On March 11, I visited the Experimental Media Interactive exhibition put on by the Experimental Media Arts graduate students in Nash Gallery. The exhibition had a lot of interesting exhibits. My Experimental and Media Arts undergrad class teacher was showing one of her installations as well. The installations varied in size and media but most were all interactive in some way. There were about 10 or so exhibits and many of them used televisions or some movement in their exhibit.

The main theme of the exhibition really rested in its purpose—to show off the projects of the experimental media arts graduate students. The exhibit as a whole did not relate much besides that. Each exhibit was the individual graduate student’s project and so the theme was found in their common interests, the experimental and interactive media arts.

I chose to review a piece by Travis Freeman. His exhibit was called Energy Pyramids. Essentially the piece was a charcoal drawing on the wall of intersecting pyramids. Travis’ inspiration came from the idea of built up energy. These pyramids, along with tags on the wall and a ladder are framing this space full of energy. The goal is to feel something as opposed to seeing something. His focus was how energy is deposited—both contemplatively and playfully. I think that he portrayed his goals and inspirations well. I could in fact feel and see the energy he was talking about—however attainable and unattainable it felt like.

I would most definitely tell a friend about this exhibition. It was an interesting use of interactive arts. I have mostly gone to exhibitions of traditional fine art—mostly just paintings or photographs on a wall. With these works, I wasn’t just looking at the pieces; I was understanding them by experiencing them. I think that this experience is an important one that each person should have.

Gallery Visit- Jenny Olson (Margaret's Group)

The exhibition I went to was the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition at the Walker Art Museum. It was a one person exhibition and there were hundreds of pieces of her artwork hung up in the exhibit. The artist’s collection of pictures was in the form of oil on board or canvas, colored pencil, lithograph, charcoal, or just pencil. The exhibit was arranged in a maze like format of what walls with her pictures hung up on the walls, one after another, so people could simply walk through and view her pictures.
The main theme of this exhibit was Elizabeth Peyton’s work throughout the years. It was the first comprehensive survey of her works from the past 15 years, starting in 1994 according to the description of the exhibit on the Walker website. Her works are collectively a biography of herself as well as pop culture. Examples of this would be that there were both paintings of celebrity and famous figures, like Michelle Obama, Bob Dylan, Princess Elizabeth, Eminem, Marie Antoinette, John Lennon, Jackie and John Kennedy and Kurt Cobain as well as depictions of her close friends and self portraits of herself. Her work was unique from the artists we’ve discussed in class, but her work could compare to that of Andy Warhol’s because she did many portraits of pop stars like he did. However, the style of her work, which was mostly in the form of paintings, differ from the artists we’ve discussed in class because we haven’t studied an artist that does mostly oil portrait paintings.
One of the works I really liked was called Berlin (Tony), painted in 2000 on oil on canvas. A pamphlet from the exhibition Tony Just, as “an artist she met in 1999 that inspired almost two years worth of paintings, drawings, and prints depicting Just in a multitude of poses, intimate as well as formal.” The wig-wearing hipster portrait of Tony is shown below. In an interview with Elizabeth Peyton, she describes that she paints people she’s interested in identifying with and she sees many of her subjects as great role models. She says that her works on celebrities are not just about capturing their image because they’re celebrities, but because she believes they are artists that are good at what they do, they are people to look up to. Although I liked her portraits of celebrities, I really enjoyed her portraits of her close friends because I like that she knew them personally. The inspiration for this painting was Tony himself and her relationship with him.

Elizabeth Peyton, Berlin (Tony) , 2000
Oil on canvas 40 x 30 in. Private collection [Tony Just, artist]

Lastly, I would suggest this exhibition to my friends because I think that anyone could get something out of her work. In the interview with her, she states that she wants her art to be accessible to everyone and that she thinks a lot about her audience that might come to her exhibitions. There is variety in her work, so whether a person really likes portrayals of celebrities or not, there are many different subjects to her work so each audience member could find a painting to identify with. Her use of color and technique of painting is beautiful and the exhibit brought something with each individual painting as well as looking at all of the paintings as a whole. I could study one painting and take notice of the details of her technique, or think about the whole exhibit and how all of her art could come together as people who she admired and artistic expressions of her biography.
Other Paintings:

Craig, 1997.Oil on canvas 14 x 17 in. Collection David Teiger, fractional and promised gift to the Museum of Modern Art, New York Courtesy Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York [Craig Wadlin, artist]

Elizabeth Peyton, Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention August 2008 , 2008
Oil on board 14-1/4 x 11-1/4 in. Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York

Pictures from: http://visualarts.walkerart.org/detail.wac?id=4487&title=Current%20Exhibitions&style=images
Interview with Elizabeth Peyton:

Tonya's Group--Gallery Visit

The exhibit I visited was one of the featured exhibitions within the Minneapolis Institute of Art. It was called “Tom Arndt’s Minnesota,” and just as the museum brochure says, it was a “collection of deadpan black and white images that span the state’s geography, history, and spirit.” I chose this one because I was interested in seeing Minnesota through someone else’s eyes (or camera lens). I would guess that there were at between 50 and 100 photographs within the exhibit. The media consisted only of black and white photographs. The pictures were set up in a fairly big room with two rectangle wall structures in the center, and all along every wall space, between 4-5.5 feet above the ground the pictures were displayed. The size of the images varied but they were interspersed nicely so the overall look was balanced.
The main theme of the exhibition was Minnesota. There were images from the 1970’s through 2007. The images depicted daily life and people going about their everyday activities. Some images captured people, others were just scenes, but all took place in Minnesota. I remember a scene from Ely Minnesota that was just a snow covered road at night with a street lamp highlighting the white of the snow. I also remember one called “Aunt Fud’s Chair” that was literally just a picture of a chair inside a house from the 70s. A third picture I remember was of baseball fans at a game. A fourth example was of three older people sitting in chairs out in a front yard. There were also pictures of people on a grassy hill waiting to watch Fourth of July fireworks. I enjoyed the variety. Tom Arndt’s work actually reminded me of the picture of the two people and all their dogs that Jeff Koons recreated, and called “String of Puppies.” Jeff Koons made that picture into a work of his own, but the picture itself would be a quite fitting among Tom Arndt’s photos. Jeff Koons could no doubt come up with some interesting sculptures and works of art based off of Tom Arndt’s photos like he did with “String of Puppies” photo.
One of my favorite pictures was one of baseball fans at a game. It was called, “Baseball Fans, Met Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota, 1974.” I liked it because it was not posed, and it is also not from a particularly significant moment of the game (judging by the facial expressions and lack of cheering). The faces in the crowd were all similar, but all different. There was an expression of boredom on some faces, while others were focused, others were lost in thought or engaged in conversation. I liked searching the faces and attempting to imagine what they were thinking. I do not know what specifically inspired Tom Arndt to make this work but it adds to his overall theme of Minnesota and capturing daily life and at any given moment. His photographs “convey his sense of the moment” and create a genuine “account of American life with a Midwest accent.”
I would recommend this exhibit to others. I would especially recommend it to Minnesotans because I think we have an extra appreciation for the images due to our familiarity with them. Our knowledge and the ability to relate helps capture our attention when viewing his work. Even when we can’t relate directly, such as with a picture of Nicolet Ave from about thirty years ago, you can still link it to something you do know. I enjoyed looking at it just because I was able to compare it to what it is today versus back then. It is cool to have history documented through visual images versus, say, reading about changes in a textbook. Again, it is cool to see Minnesota through someone else’s camera lens and I would recommend this exhibit to others!

April 27, 2009

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit, Live Forever Elizabeth Peyton

For my gallery visit I decided to venture to the Walker Arts Center and take a look at the Elizabeth Peyton exhibition. I take the bus past there all the time for work and have always been intregued by what I see through the windows so it was nice to have an excuse to go inside. The Elizabeth Peyton exhibit was just a one-person piece and from what I could tell I would say there were roughly around 30 or so pieces there. It was basically just a bunch of her works hung up on the walls.
The theme was "Live Forever". A majority of her work is portraits and I interpret it as because she has them all on canvas her characters and the personalities she has created can "Live Forever". Peyton's work is simlar the the works of Andy Warhol because of her contemporary style, color choices, and the amount of culture she includes in her work.
One of her pieces that expecially caught my eye was one she just did recently of Michelle Obama and one of her daughters, Sasha Obama supposedly listening to Barack speaking at the DNC this past August. It is really appealing because it really catches the emotion they are feeling in that moment. It is Michelle sitting up in her chair listening intently while her daughter Sasha lays in her lap obviously exhausted from traveling with her dad running for office. The painting shows incredible detail with the clothing which is something Michelle is well known for, her style. The materials used were oil pants on board. I imagine that the artist was motivated to make this work because it was history in the making having Obama become our first president of color.
If I were to tell a friend about the exhibition I visited I would describe it as mainly portraits of people significant to the artist but also of people we can recognize. The works aren't perfectly painted but are a good enough resemblence. I would recommend they visit the museum as well because to me it is impressive seeing portraits done, I find them the most challenging part about art.
Overall it was a good gallery visit that I am glad I did. I learned and saw a lot of interesting pieces.

Michelle & Sasha Obama photo link:

Rowan's Group: Artist Research, Ashley Kreidler

Thomas Hirschhorn’s work has been deemed everything from wasteful and unstable to absolute genius. He uses his contemporary artwork to critique societal devices and he frequently uses the urgency and disparity of protest banners and hand-written grievances to convey his ideas to his audience. Hirschhorn’s work also gives the viewer a strong sense of urgency as he uses everyday objects, such as cardboard, masking tape, and construction paper to create intense and chaotic scenes, sending confusing and overwhelming messages to the viewer.

Born in Bern, Switzerland in 1957, Thomas Hirschhorn is known worldwide for his installations, collages and out-of-gallery works. Although he started in the art world as a graphic designer in the mid-1980’s, Hirschhorn has always used art as a way to convey political and societal critiques. After he abandoned graphic design to immerse himself within sculptural displays and other installation work, he began to explore the use of everyday objects to create strongly critical and unrefined artworks that became his own signature style. Three of Hirschhorn’s works, The Launderette, Hotel Democracy and The Blue series exemplify Hirschhorn’s style and many of his political ideals. Within these pieces he explores the ideas of societal and ethnic cleansing, democratic hypocrisy, militarization and patriarchy.

In his installation titled “Launderette”, Hirschhorn created a mock-up laundromat entirely from cardboard, tape and paint. Instead of viewers watching clothes tumble through the washing machine, however, they are subjected to watching horrific real-life executions, documented torture and rotting human corpses. He transformed the common landscape of a laundromat into a scene of ethnic and societal cleansing in which the viewer is morbidly transfixed into watching. Mixed in with the gruesome scenes of murder and decay, however, are snippets of celebrity gossip and even an article about fly-fishing. There are hundreds of newspaper clips on the walls surrounding the 16 washing machines. According to Adrian Steale of The Guardian magazine Thomas Hirschhorn’s “work often looks like confusion, but it is not always possible to tell whether that confusion is his or ours. He piles on the layers, the words, the images, the cross-references. If he wants to reclaim the world, to rescue it, he also recognizes the impossibility of the task, art's impotence.” By creating a tumultuous and disordered environment that also commented on the state of our world in “The Launderette”, Hirschhorn implied the hopelessness and disillusionment that many of the world’s citizens’ face. Although the materials used in the installation were simple and easily accessible, the juxtaposition of the well-known and mundane setting with the sinister images and newspaper snippets sent a strong message about his discontent with our world as well as the way people choose to deal with it.

Apart from full installation work, Hirschhorn also creates two-dimensional collages. His work at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis reflects upon the September 11th attacks in the United States. Each collage is composed of magazine clippings, ink, tape, and sheer plastic wrapping. All of these pieces reflect upon war, violence, and the sexual imagery of women. Hirschhorn juxtaposes women’s nudity, designer labels, and the violence of war in a way that creates a confusing connection while simultaneously forcing the viewer to make parallels between each of these concepts. In “Engagement”, Hirschhorn uses an image of a Muslim woman being hung, women in the army, and shows the sexual exploitation of women in advertisements. These images expose the systems of patriarchy, militarization and exploitation that capitalism endorses. Similar to his installation pieces, these too are composed of a multitude of different images and materials. Each looks as if it was violently attacked with blue ink, which is a strong contrast to the heavy reds and other warm colors found throughout the collages. In this way, the blues are emphasized within the collage to transform the magazine images. He uses the ink to create a tear-like quality to the majority of the women’s faces, as well as scribble messages and titles throughout each piece. These techniques together employ a chaos that is a staple to his work while also making a strong critique of the devices that are common among capitalist societies.

Thomas Hirschhorn’s unrefined and crude style along with his strong social and political critics has made him an important contemporary artist. Much of his work dwells upon how and why the evils among us are let to live on and how these devices affect each person in the world. In a time of societal and political unrest, Hirschhorn’s work is bound to continue to explore new realms of public ideals.

Jennifers Group: gallery. Emily Novotny

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Gallery Visit: Chambers Hotel, by Vicki Albu (Margaret's Group, ARTS1001 Spring 2009)

I visited the Chambers Art Hotel at 9th and Hennepin in Minneapolis, which bills itself as “the country’s first luxury art hotel,” www.chambersminneapolis.com. Owner and local real estate magnate and Walker Art Center board member Ralph Burnet displays over 200 contemporary artworks from his collection throughout the public areas of the hotel lobby, bar, and restaurant, as well as the guest rooms. In addition to Burnet’s collection, the hotel houses the Burnet Art Gallery that is currently exhibiting “Deep North,” works by St. Paul artist Chris Larson.

My visit was limited to the artworks on the main floor public areas, and works viewed included paintings, sculptures, and video art. A corporate meeting function was going on in the exhibit area, so I plan to return to see the “Deep North” exhibit before it ends on June 13, 2009. Artists represented at the Chambers include Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Gary Hume, Indian artist Subodh Gupta, Asian artists Morimura and Ahn Sung-Ha, Canadian artist Evan Penny, and American artist Alec Soth, as well as others. There did not appear to be a theme or specific organization to the locations of the artworks; they appear to be placed randomly to entertain and sometimes to surprise the viewer. The exhibit labels mounted alongside the artworks contain narratives to aid the novice contemporary art fan in understanding more about the artists and their intentions. Following, I will share a few examples of the diverse works that are displayed at the Chambers.

Perhaps my favorite piece was a sculpture titled “(Old) No One – In Particular #6, Series 2” (2005) by Evan Penny, born 1953 in South Africa and a Canadian citizen. The artist’s website address is http://www.evanpenny.com/. It is made of “silicone, pigment, fabric, hair, aluminum.” The larger-than-life 3-D bust of an aging man is really quite startling and amazingly lifelike. I was sorely tempted to violate the “DO NOT TOUCH” sign to see if I could figure out how Penny made the sallow skin and stubbly beard appear so incredibly real. Would the skin be as soft and elastic as it appears? Examining the work close-up makes one feel uneasy and uncomfortable in a science fiction sort of way. Penny is known for his realistic sculptures of supposedly anonymous human beings.

I am also posting an image of a painting by Spanish painter Salustiano, who was born in 1965 in Seville. This portrait hangs in the lobby near the 9th Street entrance. There are benches where one can lounge and contemplate the artworks on the walls. Salustianoss portraits of live models are painted using natural pigments, such as cochineal (made from insects) for red and lapis (from the semi-precious lapis lazuli stone) for blue. The use of these rare and costly pigments and a technique of layering glazed give a deep, rich and intense look to the paintings, resembling the works of the Dutch masters.

Also posted is a photo of "Riesen." Had they not been about seven feet tall, I might have mistaken these life-sized sculptures titled “Riesen” (Giants) for real men. Their creator, Martin Honert, was born in 1953 in Bottrop, Germany. According to the exhibit label, the “figures are taken from his childhood memories of circuses, when human oddities were often put on display—the fat woman, the giant, the snake woman, etc.” The work is composed of polyurethane-rubber, wool, clothing, leather, and natural hair.

While I was not able to visit the temporary “Deep North” exhibition in the hotel’s Burnet Gallery, which I heard about on MPR the other morning, I definitely plan to go back to take it in. Local artist Chris Larson creates art related to bullets and shotguns. For example, for his 2008 digital print titled “Deep North Shotgun Shack,” Larson apparently doused a little cabin in the Minnesota North Woods with water during a frigid cold spell, and photographed the icicle-laden structure in black and white. I heard that one of his other pieces involves the use of clay, into which Larson has shot bullets with a gun, and then made castings from the shapes left behind by the ammunition. I would like to learn more about the motivation for his work.

As noted, this is a mere sampling of the artworks on display at the Chambers Hotel. I strongly encourage you to visit. Having not been a big fan of contemporary art prior to my brief visit to the Chambers, I can say that the diverse collection and its non-traditional gallery display and setting provide an unusual and exciting sensory experience. While you’re at it, try the restaurant or have a drink in the Gorilla Bar on the patio. It is a very cool art destination!

Margaret's Group: Gallery Visit- Michael Garlinghouse

Michael Garlinghouse
Arts 1001
Margaret Pezalla-Granlund
29 April 2009
Gallery Visit
I visited the exhibition Tom Arndt’s Minnesota at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The gallery features one artist, Thomas F. Arndt, and consists of 75 black and white Gelatin silver print photographs. The photos are arranged in one room, framed and mounted on the walls; occasionally some of the pictures are stacked two high.
The exhibit is about the people, culture, and events of Minnesota from the past 4 decades. There are photographs from as early as 1965 and as recent as 2008. The images are of people in their homes, at their jobs, in public, and at events and festivals around the entire state of Minnesota. These photos show the large change and lack of change that the people and culture of Minnesota has experienced over the last 45 years. During this large time period, a lot of aspects of our society has changed, although the decade of many of these photos is undistinguishable. Photos from the 1970s contain many similarities to photos from 2000-20008. There are a few reasons I believe this is true. I think the largest reason is because all the photographs are black and white and mounted the same in the room, leading the viewer to no obvious differences in the images. Arndt also does not reveal any hints of the time period by the subject matter and composition of the pieces. He does not include many objects in the contemporary works that tell the viewer it is from modern culture. The images from the last decade do not include contemporary vehicles, signs, or ordinary objects that are matched with our lifestyle. Also the people in the modern photos are very modestly dressed, concealing those clues as well. A good example of this similar feel is found in the many images of the Minnesota State Fair throughout many years. Many of the interior compositions feature furniture of a real classic, ageless style. There are portraits of strangers on the streets from the 1970s and as recent as 2007 that are undistiguisable.
There is a raw, candid style of composition and subject matter present in the photos from all the eras. This aspect of the exhibition reminds me of Nan Goldin’s work that we discussed in class. Goldin’s work has a very spontaneous, real life feel, also present in Arndt’s work, although the events he photographs do not have themes of sex and drugs like Goldin.
A particular piece I had interest in is called People in the Yard, Montgomery Minnesota taken in 1976. This picture is of 2 old men and 1 old lady sitting in lawn chairs in front of a small house. I think the artist was trying to depict easy, small town living. Immediately when I saw this photo I thought it was taken in a small neighborhood of St. Paul. Many aspects of the image also made me believe it was a modern photograph, until I looked at the description. The style of the house, design of the chairs, and the clothing the people in the photo are wearing all created a scene you would see walking in a small neighborhood of St. Paul. I think this image is a good example of the theme of the exhibit; there are many similarities in the current people and culture of Minnesota as found in decades of the past, such as the 1970s.
I would definitely recommend this exhibit to a friend. I think the parallels in culture and lifestyle found between the decades of Minnesota are very interesting. It is enjoyable to see the recognizable locations, such as the State Fair, in the older photographs. Thomas Arndt does a great job depicting the Minnesotan life, and think that it is definitely worth the time.

link to exhibit info.


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April 26, 2009

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit- Amanda Rezutek

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton

For this assignment, I chose to attend “Live Forever,” Elizabeth Peyton’s exhibition which is being held at the Walker Art Center. This group of work was all completed by Elizabeth Peyton and contained approximately one hundred pieces. Most of the materials used were pastel, colored pencil, and watercolor on paper, oil on wood board, and lithography. Though these materials may seem flat, Peyton’s work is far from being one dimensional. The exhibition was organized with a painting hung every four feet or so, in square and rectangular rooms adjoined by a few doorways. All of these rooms were arranged in a way that led you through every one of her pieces; the museum made it impossible for you to miss one. Also, her pieces were grouped by the time they were created, which inevitably grouped them by subject matter.

The theme of this exhibition was “living forever” and also to showcase Elizabeth Peyton’s work. It was designated to showcase Peyton’s work only, no additional artists had art on display. The main themes that are evident in Peyton’s work encompass ideas of youth and vulnerability, as well as friendship. Many of Peyton’s pieces are portraits of celebrities or figures who have died tragically. She has painted portraits of Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. Many of these portraits show these icons as being more youthful than the way they appeared right before their death occurred. A good example of this is in the painting Zoe’s Kurt (1995). Peyton is also intrigued by the way our society views these deaths and how these deaths can be benchmarks in the viewer’s own time line. Essentially, these celebrities live forever in the lives of others, intertwined within their own memories of personal events.

Another theme in Peyton’s work is to photograph her own friends that inspire her; she loves her friends very deeply. She believes that her paintings are also photographs, because in a sense her friends take on the role of a still life in her paintings. In some of these paintings, she is much more distanced from her friends, as though she is “looking into” their lives. A good example of this is in the painting Flower Ben (2002). Nan Goldin encompasses these same ideas within her photographs. She takes snapshots of her friends because she wants to document their lives. She also never takes photographs unless she thinks they are beautiful; her love for her friends is all encompassing, which relates well to Elizabeth Peyton’s work.

A work of art that stood out to be was Berlin (Tony) (2000). It is comprised of oil on canvas and measures 40x30 inches. This portrait is of one of Peyton’s close friends, Tony Just. This painting struck me immediately upon looking at it. In this portrait, Peyton emphasizes Tony’s angular jaw, pale skin, and his mop of hair (which was actually a wig). In this portrait, Tony also has a feminine and gentle quality about him. Peyton’s friends have always inspired her artwork, and Tony Just did so for almost two years straight.

First of all, if I were to talk about this exhibition to a friend, I would tell them that they should go and see it in person. Elizabeth Peyton’s paintings carry a lot of weight and emotion, while still being very soft-edged paintings. Since many of her paintings revolve around pop culture, such as Kurt Cobain and John Lennon, many people would enjoy and relate to most of her paintings. There is a very photographic feel to her paintings as well, and it is easy to relate to the beauty that Peyton sees in everyday life. This exhibition is definitely one that everyone should see.

Elizabeth Peyton, Zoe's Kurt, 1995

Elizabeth Peyton, Flower Ben, 2003

Elizabeth Peyton, Berlin (Tony), 2000

April 24, 2009

Jennifer's Discussion Group: Gallery Visit

For the Gallery Visit assignment, I went to the Weisman Center and saw an exhibit called "Changing Identity." This exhibition is meant to showcase the work of Vietnamese women artists. It is a group exhibition consisting of about 45 works of art. Media ranges from textiles and sculpture to painting and photography. There is great variety within the works, but they are all tied together by their creators. This show is set up in four separate rooms that all connect in a square so the viewer can roam freely from one room to another without disrupting the viewing process.

The main theme of the exhibition deals with the diverse expressions of female identities in an ever-changing society. Many of the works blend ideas of the past with those of modernity. The works explore both what it means to be a woman and what it means to be Vietnamese. The exhibition is designed to showcase the works of many individual artists and it does this in the context of one unifying theme about how identities change.

One work that stood out to me in particular was Dinh Thi Tham Poong's "Mother Nature." This is a watercolor painting on a traditional Vietnamese paper called do. It depicts three women bent over baskets in the forest. The silhouettes of the humans are literally intertwined with the trees in the background. Juxtaposing humans and nature reflects the experience women who live in border regions have in proximity to the earth. I think this work was inspired by Poong's life experience because she grew up very near to the border of China. Poong's work contains the same story telling aspect that we see in Shirin Neshat's work. Neshat's style is a little more bold. She uses striking images such as a Muslim woman holding a gun near her face. Poong's work is more subtle, but both women use art to explore ideas of cultural and personal identities.

I would certainly recommend this exhibit to a friend. The exhibition is filled with a variety of artistic mediums and styles. I liked this aspect of the show because each artist I saw did something fresh and new. Ultimately, I enjoyed this exhibit because of the culture experience. The viewer truly gains a sense of who these women artists are and how their identities have shifted over time. I felt that the groupings of the art were very cohesive and readable. Anyone who appreciates art is sure to enjoy the "Changing Identity" exhibit.

Liz Pelton

April 22, 2009

Margaret's group: Sarah Morris

Laura Callaghan
Arts 1001
Artist Research Project

Sarah Morris’ works of art have been impacting the global community since the middle of the 1990’s. Her galleries have been presented all over the world, including Tokyo and locations in Germany. She is from British Columbia but also has lived in the United States. She identifies with both cultures. Her works of art reflect this. She is interested in the characteristics of individual cities, external and as well as interior. Her interest in the architecture of the buildings and the attitudes of the city’s inhabitants is shown in her film, Los Angeles. In a description of the film written by the Friedrich Petzel Gallery, who was debuting her film, said she used seduction and deflection to portray this urban city. She also portrays urban life through abstract paintings that are very geometric and bright. These show the beauty and attraction of urban life. They are very abstract and even though their titles describe tangible objects, there content of the picture is confusing and no objects can be deciphered in the pictures.
Through the mediums of paintings and films she is recording the culture and feeling of urban life. She acts as a modern day historian for future generations. They will get an idea of what urban life feels in the 90’s and early 2000’s. She also gives her audience an idea of the world from her perspective.
Her artwork reminds me of the work of Thomas Rose. They share many interests and portray them in their artwork. They both like their work to be abstract. Thomas Rose said in class that clarity is o no interest to him because it is boring. He makes his instillations abstract and uses symbolism. Also another interest they both share is that they are interested in communion. Sarah Morris is interested in the how modern communication works. Thomas Rose made a piece of artwork in collaboration with his grandfather. He used his grandfather’s autobiography to help him in creating a book. His grandfather was interested in architecture just like both Thomas Rose and Sarah Morris. Many of her paintings look like scaffolding and Thomas had the architecture roots from his grandfather and has built many of his art instillations. One key example of this was the room that had two levels filled with objects, such as scrap pieces of material. A ladder connected the two floors. His design was a vital part of his artwork.
I would not suggest Sarah Morris’ artwork to someone who likes classical artwork from periods of art history such as baroque or Rococo because these people enjoy to viewing specific content. It is not hard to see the intent of the artist. For my friends who enjoy mystery in their art or like to see multiple interpretations of the works of art, then I would definitely suggest them to acquaint themselves with Sarah Morris’ works of art.
Works cited
Riemschneider, Burkhard. Ed. Uta Grosenick. Art Now, 25th edition (2005): 196-99.
"Bibliography of Sarah Morris." Artnet.com. 2007. Artnet. 22 Apr. 2009 d=12125&ViewArtistBy=online&rta=http://www.artnet.com/Artists/ArtistHomePage.aspx?artist_id=12125%26page_tab=Exhibitions>.

Sarah Morris’ "Los Angeles" Artnet.com. 2007. Artnet. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.artnet.com/Galleries/Exhibitions.asp?gid=140527&cid=72259&source=2&type=2&rta=http://www.artnet.com/Artists/ArtistHomePage.aspx?artist_id=12125%26page_tab=Exhibitions

Tonya's Group: Artist Research by Hannah Botzet

Artist Research
Richard Hawkins was born in Mexia, Texas in 1961; he currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Hawkins works in a variety of mediums, from collages to sculptures to lanterns and most recently painting. His work is constantly shifting between pieces, nothing is similar. Some of the pieces are cartoon like pieces that have a few frames on the canvas that is telling a story, other pieces are random collages that contain the photos of former actors that left a mark in history. Hawkins pieces are inspired by the social, cultural and historical phenomena in the world.
Hawkins more recent pieces are based off of the idea of gay sex-tourism. He got his main inspiration from the go-go bars, strip clubs and cheap hotel rooms in Southeast Asia for his more recent pieces of art. The pieces are meant to make people aware of what is happening with the sex industry in Asia. He has stated that his pieces are "hallucinations from a Viagra overdose”. Compared to the other artists that we have learned about in class he fits in the genre of protest art. He is working with materials that make his ideas pop out at the viewer forcing them to think about what the issue is.
Of all the protest artists that we studied in class Richard Hawkins and Nancy Spero can be easily compared. They have similar styles in painting the victims in outlandish ways. Hawkins and Spero both would start with an idea and then stretch it to make it more dramatic to catch the attention off the viewer. Nancy Spero’s pieces were based off of the Vietnam War and Hawkins as said before has been concentrating on the Sex Industry of Southeast Asia, so both artists have been using problems in Asia as their inspiration to bring light on what has happened there. They both use collage and paint as their main mediums but have worked with others.
I would tell my friend’s that some of his work is dark but it speaks a very loud message. I would defiantly tell them to check it out if they can. His work is very different from other art and he works with such a wide variety of mediums that every piece will look different but still state the same message. Viewing his work would be a different experience and displays a different way of art with an untouched topic by the artists of the world.

Dominic Eichler ("Variety Shows", in: Afterall, spring/summer 2007, pg. 52) http://www.e-flux.com/shows/view/4850


Chuck Close

Chuck Close is a photorealist painter, printer, and photographer. His primary work consists of taking photos and reinterpreting/translating them onto canvas by utilizing a grid technique. For example, he often takes a polaroid or photo of himself or someone else straight on--much like a driver's license photo. Then he maps out the image onto a large canvas. Rather than representing an identical image, Close creates a palette of colors and creates a somewhat of a mosaic of grid-like squares that when fully complete, create an obscured image of himself/his subjects.
Close was born in Monroe Washington in 1940, he went attended the University of Washington in Seattle and received his B.A. Later he attended Yale and received his MFA. Initially Close's work focused on large-scale portraits. Perhaps his most famous self portrait was revealed in 1969 at the Whitney Biennial. It is a striking image of himself in his late twenties, shoulders bare, a lit cigarette and black thick framed glasses. From afar and even up close, the image looks like a print or a photo but is in fact a black and white painting. Dating back to his early career and works, Close demonstrated his ability and skill in painting and choice of subject matter.
By 1988, Close experienced a rare spinal collapse and became severely paralyzed, however, this unfortunate event did not end his career. Close continued to paint and reinterpret the self-portrait and it is perhaps this event that we see his work begin to evolve. His earlier works revealed a striking resemblance to his subject matter, but it is later on that his style begins to change/become more abstract and perhaps even more expressive.
In comparison to Close and some of the previous artists we have discussed, particularly Daniel Martinez, both choose to represent themselves with a self-portrait. Martinez utilizes photography and manipulates his appearance with the assistance of make-up, prosthetics, thereby radically transforming his "self" to invoke a certain kind of mood from his audience. i.e. his self-portrait with the fake stitches in his head or the fake wound across his torso. On the other hand, Close uses photography as a guide and transforms the image with paint on canvas. Close's style is perhaps not as confrontational or controversial as Martinez' but still warrants a sophisticated sense of skill and attentiveness.
The opportunity to see Close's work is worthwhile, the style, size, subject matter, and overall aesthetic quality are all equally attended to and should be experienced.

To see some of Close's work try this link:

Tonya's Group - Ethan Weber- Artist Research Project

Damien Hirst
by Ethan Weber

Damien Hirst was born in Bristol, England in 1965. He attended Goldsmith’s College where he studied art. Hirst had his first solo exhibit at the Woodstock Street Gallery in 1991 entitled In and Out of Love. In this exhibit he filled the gallery with live tropical butterflies, and also displayed monochrome canvases with butterflies hatching off them.

The following year, Hirst participated in the groundbreaking Young British Artists exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery. In this exhibit he displayed is now famous piece entitled Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which consisted of a dead tiger shark preserved in a glass tank of formaldehyde.
Hirst enjoys working through all different types of mediums and forms in his artwork. His pieces combine art and science with today’s contemporary culture. Some of his most controversial pieces he has created consist of bejeweling a skull, sculptures replicating medicine cabinets, and murals using butterfly wings. His work is very unique in the way that when displayed during exhibitions, there is a physical attraction to reach out and touch the art even though it is forbidden.

After learning about Felix Torres in class, it is very easy to compare his work with Hirst’s. They both use very unusual and sometimes morbid techniques to invoke a certain feeling or self-reflection on the viewer. I remember vividly, the pictures of Torres reaching his hands inside his torso which I directly relate to seeing a preserved severed cow from Hirst. Hirst also has a tendency to relate a lot of his sculptures to historical themes using irony. His piece The Golden Calf, consisting of a preserved a bull with horns and hooves plated in 18 carat gold, draws connections back to a well known story from the Bible.

I definitely would recommend going to see an exhibit featuring Damien Hirst because his work will go way beyond the walls of the gallery and into your psyche. There is no other artist close to replicating similar artwork with same intensity as Damien Hirst.



"Picturing the Beast - Animals, Identity, and Representation"
Steve Baker
The University of Illinois Press, copyright 2001.

Tonya's Group

Tonya's Group: Artist Research

Robert Xiong
Artist Research

"My best works are erotic displays of mental confusions (with intrusions of irrelevant information)." - Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas was born on August 3, 1953, in Cape Town, South Africa. She began her studies at the University of Cape Town from 1972 until 1975 when she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1975. A few years later she relocated to Holland and studied psychology for approximately two years, and has been pursuing her career as an artist ever since. Her main type of media consists mainly of painting and drawing. She is renowned for the exoticness displayed with her paintings which leaves viewers with expressions of "complicity and confusion", as quoted from Patricia Ellis.

Much of her inspiration is said to be found from everyday images she finds in newspapers, and also personal events. Many of her pieces seem to be in correlated with idea of racism, sexuality, religion, motherhood and childhood. I’m not sure if a deliberate message trying to be put out, but many of her pieces do have a feministic perspective on them. In comparison with an artist we’ve discussed in class, I think Nancy Spero and Marlene would have would have great conversations. They both incorporate a lot of exoticness and erotica on their pieces, and both are tie in a feministic effect. In relation with the audience, I think Dumas tries to connect with them on an intimate scale. There are rarely any paintings or drawings she has created that do not lead you into a daze.

If I were to recommend a friend on this particular person, I would probably say that they would enjoy viewing her artwork. I found majority of her pieces to be visual aesthetic, and well done. There are a few painting, such as Die Baba, Feather Stola, and Jule-die Vrou, that just captures your attention.


Boogerd, Dominic van den, Marlene Dumas.

Jennifer's Group: Artist Research. Emily Novotny

Chuch Close. By Emily Novotny

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Jennifer's Group: Artist Research- Lauren Glatstein

Lauren Glatstein

Tom Friedman’s work is aesthetically appealing, culturally relevant, and conceptually founded. He truly understands how to turn his idea into an image. Tom Friedman experiments by taking objects out of the natural world and placing them into the gallery. One of his most well known pieces was created in 1994, Untitled, he carved his self portrait directly into an aspirin. Using such a small surface as his medium displays a higher level of workmanship, and his use of the ready made is reminiscent of sixties artists like Marcel Duchamp. Another piece, Untitled, 1990, shows a bar of soap with a perfect concentric black spiral which upon closer examination appears to be formed out of Friedman’s own pubic hair. This displaced object created a reaction of disgust in the viewer who is forced to get close in order to see the true medium. To the trained eye this work is intriguing for it scrupulous craft and detail, something truly beautiful made out of something commonly seen as grotesque. Such a small object holds such a large concept.

So why use miniatures rather than the more impressive large scale? Tom Friedman is inspired by the minute; small works force the viewer back into an honest viewing experience. It eliminates the “drive by” art experience. Large pieces can be read at a distance, seen through the window of the gallery in mere seconds. Small ones demand slow, close-up examination, immersing the viewer in the very act of seeing and absorbing. The viewers are forced to interact with the artwork in a way they haven’t had to in the past. He uses this act of creating an extreme distortion of scale to gain more information about the artwork. His work takes a closer and closer investigation of an object with every piece, forcing the viewers to take that closer look as well.

When looking at Tom Friedman’s work it makes me think of Jeff Koons. In class, his work became out most talked about and debated over of any artist. We’ve gone back and forth asking the question, “What is art? How do we define it?” Tom Friedman’s work sits in the same basket alongside Jeff Koons. Both are inspired by the ready made, using found objects to create conceptual statements. They take those inspirational items and distort them slightly in some way. The objects remain in tact but a new meaning is added. Jeff Koons blows them up to larger than life proportion while Tom Friedman shrinks them down. While each piece is unique the parallels are clear to any viewer.

I would definitely recommend Tom Friedman to a friend but it depends on which friend. Tom Friedman’s work, while valuable to the art community, is not for everyone. His work, in it size, can seem unimpressive to some viewers. One would have to have interest in contemporary art to appreciate and understand Friedman’s work. I would, however, advise everyone to check out his exhibits. Whether it’s your thing or not all artwork is important to view and to be exposed.

Margaret's Group: Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein, born October 8 in 1948, is an Austrian-Irish artist who works in hyper-realistic painting, photography, sculpture, performance, and installation art. While he works in a wide variety of mediums, Helnwein consistently revisits two major themes: the child and the cartoon world. However, Helnwein’s artwork exhibits none of the naïveté to be expected from his subject matter, instead focusing on matters of cruelty, violence, and sexualization. His output is generally considered provocative, and controversies have arisen from those depicting scenes of wounded children and Nazism. Despite the disputes over such content, Helnwein’s works reflect an ardent anti-war, anti-fascist message that he has consistently expressed through his work over the course of his life. Helnwein often combines photography with his painting, altering blown-up photographs with oil paints to create a menacing, turbulent atmosphere—in his recent “Disasters of War” series of mixed-media paintings, children lie bleeding, bandaged, or uniformed as though soldiers, frequently juxtaposed with kitschy toys and erotic figurines. His work, he says, has more to do with identification with those he sees so oppressed: "When I see how kids grow up, how they are neglected and mistreated, how they get polluted with drugs, junk food, insane television and bad schools, it's terrible—and dangerous, because they are our future. Children are sacred—we need to protect, support and encourage them."

the disasters of war 13 2007.JPG
The Disasters of War 13 (2007), oil and acrylic on canvas

Helnwein draws his inspiration from the brutality and oppression he observes in the world around him, particularly when directed towards children. Growing up in post-war Vienna, Helnwein was profoundly affected by the depressing atmosphere in the aftermath of WWII. When asked about his early life, Helnwein has said that, “I remember my childhood being surrounded by depressed people. I never heard anybody sing. I never saw anybody laughing. It was really black and dark. There was no art or culture.” He found an escape from this dreariness upon discovering Disney comic books, and became fascinated with Donald Duck. On the subject of this particular fowl, Helnwein has expressed the sentiment that “from Donald Duck I have learned more about life than from all the schools I ever attended.” Helnwein came into art as a means of defying the society he was born into. One of his early “public artistic happenings” involved walking down the street dressed as Hitler with blood coming out of his mouth. Later work would have definite political effects—in 1979, when Dr. Heinrich Gross, Austria’s Head of State Psychiatry, admitted to having poisoned handicapped children during the war, Helnwein was disturbed by the lack of public outcry. He proceeded to create a picture entitled “Life not Worth Living” that depicted a child slumped over into a plate of food, sparking a debate that resulted in Gross’s resignation. Much like political artists such as Gregory Green and especially Daniel Martinez, Helnwein uses his art as an instrument of provocation in the hopes of bringing about change.

Life not Worth Living (1979), watercolor

Other artists have made use of kitschy cartoon imagery, not the least of which being Jeff Koons. Both Helnwein and Koons work in a wide variety of media—frequently on a large scale—and incorporate elements of pop culture and sexuality. But whereas Koons rejects hidden meaning and embraces the superficial “kitsch” element, Helnwein reappropriates these symbols as a means of enhancing his message. Symbols of innocence take on a decidedly sinister air—in Helnwein’s “Los Caprichos” painting installation, a maniacally grinning plastic Mickey Mouse looms over a series of canvases depicting maimed and vulnerable children. Yet Helnwein’s work comes across as more a statement about general victimization of the young and loss of innocence rather than purely a jab at pop culture. Both Koons and Helnwein have produced multiple self-portraits, but they are also drastically different in tone. Koons’ self-portraits glorify the artist in an excessively heroic manner that verges on the ironic, flawlessly groomed and surrounded by attractive women and/or the trappings of success. Helnwein’s self-portraits, on the other hand, depict the artist as a bandaged, disfigured, sub-human figure, often splattered with pigment and displaying all manner of expressions of pain and worry. Both artists indulge in a certain narcissism, but the effect is utterly different. This contrast highlights the basic difference between the two artists: Koons is content to revel in the decadent and superficial, while Helnwein is obsessed with physical and psychological anxieties.

Los Caprichos 2006.JPG
Los Caprichos (2006), oil and acrylic on canvas

Helnwein is highly recommended even to those who do not have a predilection for morbid or grotesque art, for his intention is not merely to shock or titillate. Whereas many modern artists get lost in the artifice of excessive conceptualism, Gottfried Helnwein continues to produce challenging, thought-provoking work based on the weight of the subject matter, not the way in which it is presented. Having produced a wide range of imagery in a variety of mediums, Helnwein’s development is fascinating to trace from conceptual beginnings to his current synthesis of pop and fine art. Granted, many people find his work too objectionable due to the implied violence against children, and those individuals have every reason to disregard this recommendation. I would urge my friends to see an exhibit by this artist based on what I know about their tolerances for disturbing themes in art.

song of deputies 1986.JPG
Song of the Deputies (1986), photograph


"English Texts." The Official Website of Gottfried Helnwein. 2009. 20 Apr 2009 <<>http://www.helnwein.com/texte/local_texts/abstracts_1.html<>>.

Giger, H.R.. www HR Giger com. Zurich: TASCHEN, 2008.

Tonya's Group: Artist Research

Enrique Chagoya knows exactly what he is doing. He can adequately describe himself and his artistic niches – painting and printmaking – without one iota of hesitation. His direction is clear: fuse the cultures. He was born in Mexico in 1953, and in his work he experiments with various elements of the culture he was born in and the culture he now lives in – San Francisco sunny skies and American popular culture at its finest.

Chagoya often juxtaposes pop culture images into an otherwise demurely colored piece. This is not to say his work is in any way boring or bland; it is simply to define the visual difference being represented in his works. For example, a background may be very subtle in regards to detail and/or color. Often, Chagoya will add a surprising element (or two, or three) to the piece to create a story and cause one to question it.


Liberty Club #1, 2006, Acrylic and water-based oil on canvas


Untitled (Liberty), 2004, Charcoal and pastel on paper mounted on canvas

“Most of the time I have no idea what I am doing when I start out, especially with my books and prints. I put a ton of images from my archives on a big table, and then I work like a musician, whistling notes that may sound good or interesting next to each other but don’t necessarily make immediate sense. Sometimes I have bad, and even horrible thoughts that strike me as irreverently funny, and those I include in the piece. Then I translate it to a print or book. I figure out what it all means after I am done. It is similar to waking up and trying to make sense of a dream.” (2)

One of the most interesting things about Chagoya is his complete lack of intention when initially starting to create a piece. He simply lets his imagination control the flow of his hands as he creates something from what he already has. He is not merely juxtaposing images to create a complete and final artwork: he is, in fact, juxtaposing his thoughts. What you see in a work by Enrique Chagoya is an inexplicable, yet ridiculously intriguing work of art.

Enrique Chagoya is brilliant not only artistically but also interpretively. He may not realize what his creation will mean when he is finished with it. But when the meaning is filtered through the eyes of imagination, the eyes of cultural openness and study, the eyes of many years of observation: then, and only then, can the meaning come full circle. Then, and only then, are we granted the privilege of interpreting it for ourselves.

"Enrique Chagoya on artnet." Artnet - The Art World Online. 22 Apr. 2009 .

"Enrique Chagoya." Shark's Ink. 22 Apr. 2009 .

Nesbett, Peter. "Laughing at a Bad Dream." Art on Paper Sept. & oct. 2008. Sept. & oct. 2008. 22 Apr. 2009 .

Rowan's Group: Artist Research

Ben Alpert
Artist Research—Kara Walker

American artist Kara Walker uses her work to address issues such as gender, sex, and most importantly, race. She is best known for her work with black paper silhouettes on stark white backgrounds, which often deal with these subjects. Walker is an African American from Stockton, California and now resides in New York, where she teaches at Columbia University. She attended Atlanta College of Art for her BFA in Painting and Printmaking, and went on to Rhode Island School of Design, where she earned her MFA.
Obviously, much of her work is drawn from experiences she has had growing up, or things her ancestors experienced in the past. Her racial identity is important and comes through in almost everything she does. She also draws from the contrasting histories that black and white Americans receive and accept to be true. Her work is not usually for entertainment; it is done to inform people that this disconnect exists, and she hopes people become more aware of it.
In contrast to Neshat, Walker addresses cultural differences directly, instead of leaving the viewer to ask questions and answer them for themselves. Neshat uses ambiguity to get her points across, while Walker uses blunt truths to hammer the message into her viewer. Obviously their media are very different, but both artists use race and identity as their primary focus.
I would definitely tell friends—especially white friends—to go to a Kara Walker exhibit. It is very bold and relevant to the way we think about America and race relations. Almost everyone could benefit from hearing what she has to say.

1. D'Arcy, David. "The Eyes of the Storm: Kara Walker on Hurricanes, Heroes and Villians." Artinfo. 19 April, 2009. .
2. DuBois Shaw, Gwendolyn. Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker. Duke University Press, 2004.
3. "Kara Walker." Wikipedia. 20 April, 2009. .
4. Kruger, Barbara. "Kara Walker." TIME. 20 April, 2009. .

Margaret's Group: Artist Research Project

Cai Guo-Qiang by Joanne Liu

“In my work, there are two distinct levels of culture: my Chinese culture and the product of my experience.” - Cai Guo-Qiang

Born in 1957 in Quanzhou, Fujian, China to a historian and painter, Cai Guo-Qiang first trained in stage design at the Shanghai Drama Institute before moving to Tokyo, Japan, and then to New York, where he continues to reside today. He achieved fame while in Japan, and to date has received numerous awards from around the world. More recently, he is known as the director of visual and special effects for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

Image of the Closing ceremony from the Olympics:

Cai once admitted that the “my works don’t look alike, in that I use all sorts of different materials and it is difficult to associate one work with another.” For example, he claims that although he took part in the Venice Biennial three times, people cannot associate his pieces, Bringing to Venice What Marco Polo Forgot, The Dragon has Arrived, and Venice’s Rent Collection Courtyard, because one is a junk from China, another is a rocket, and the last is a series of clay statues. This lack of “unity” between his works stems, in part, from his father whose motto was “I do not want to go out of my way”. As a result, Cai attempts to create the “spirit of he who dares to accomplish nothing and who says: ‘That’s life!’.” However, despite this non-committal attitude towards style, his works are “often scholarly and often politically charged” while drawing on mysticism, Taoism, oriental cosmology, and fengshui for inspiration. Cai believes that as a literati, he must have a “spirit of reaction.” That is why, while in Japan, he worked on connections between man and nature, and while in the United States, he works on issues involving culture shock and international politics.

Although Cai tends to use a variety of mediums and styles, he is most known for his gunpowder drawings which he first began doing as a reaction against the restricted artistic and social environment in China. These pieces are huge canvases first covered with strategically placed gunpowder before the entire thing is ignited, leaving behind residues and singes on a white background. Arguably his most famous work is his series Projects for Extraterrestrials. Those who are able to witness these pieces are able to feel a connection to the larger universe while transcending the sense of being “human”.

Image of a piece from Projects for Extraterrestrials:

In this sense, Cai’s work can be compared to Thomas Chooper’s. Both are interested in exploring the spiritual relationship between humans and the world and are heavily influenced by cosmology to create powerful works that question. To this end, Cooper attempts to capture the energy of a historical landscape in a well-planned photograph to force viewers to think about the earth’s influence on humans and vice versa, like in his piece An Indication Piece. Cabot Strait – Looking N., N.E. – Towards the New World. Cape North, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada 1999-2001 (One of the two Northernmost Points of Nova Scotia – and along the site of John Cabot’s Canadian discoveries and explorations of the New World for the English). This lengthy title brings to life an otherwise dull looking photo. The audience feels an intimate connection to the piece of land shown at the bottom of the photo because of the history of the location. Cai, on the other hand, tries to release energy in an ephemeral explosion to create a sense of “emptiness” during which the viewer may be able to objectively think of his or her relation to nature.

From the previews and reviews of his many, various works and exhibitions, it is clear that anything by Cai will be impressive, and I would recommend him to my friends. The sheer scale and grandiose of all his pieces are awe-inspiring, and because of his constantly shifting style, each exhibition will be different and surprising enough to keep people entertained for several years.

Cai Guo-Qiang. Retrieved 21 Apr 2009. http://www.caiguoqiang.com.
Fei Dawei. "To Dare To Accomplish Nothing". Cai Guo-Qiang. London: Thames & Hudson and Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain, 2000. 116-136.
McConnell/Hauser Inc. Cai Guo-Qiang Explosion Work. Retrieved 21 Apr 2009. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrTrKJQnwJs.
PBS. Art:21 Cai Guo-Qiang. Retrieved 21 Apr 2009. http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/cai/index.html.
Schwabsky, Barry. "Tao and Physics: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang". Artforum (New York) Summer 1997: 118-21, 155.

Jennifer's Group: Frank Gehry--the Wiseman Behind the Weisman

Frank Gehry is a relatively famous artist, known mostly for his work as an architect. Gehry was born in Canada, but studied architecture at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA. Through his years as an architect, Gehry has taken on a definitive style. Buildings designed by Frank Gehry look like they were designed by Frank Gehry. His buildings are typically extraordinary shapes, with jutting points and rounded planes, and are covered in highly polished and reflective metal. Some of his most famous works include the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA and the Weisman Art Museum on the East Bank of campus.


Gehry’s works are not necessarily representative of specific themes or messages. His works are obviously built for a purpose; they are buildings, designed to house things, musical performances, artworks, or people, whatever the case may be. Despite this utilitarian aspect of Gehry’s buildings, they always include a dramatic aesthetic quality. His buildings are visually stunning and eccentric, but with no discernable purpose for this eccentricity.


Gehry’s building remind me of some works by Jeff Koons, in particular his giant balloon animals and his giant puppy. Koons work is similar to Gehry’s in that it doesn’t necessarily have an outright message, or at least a message that is inherent and obvious to an observer. Instead, these works draw on their shape, color, size, and texture to draw out raw emotional responses from viewers. Another similarity between Konos and Gehry is that they both design their works, but ultimately the creation of those works is often passed onto others. It is interesting to note that Koon’s Puppy, the giant living floral statue of a puppy, is actually housed at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao that Gehry Designed.


For those of you who have not taken the opportunity to observe Gehry’s works, I would suggest taking a moment to do so. I would start with the Weisman; Gehry’s talent as an architect has given his the ability to not only create structurally sound buildings for art, but to create another piece of art to accompany them. For us to have such an example on campus is an amazing opportunity. Another great example of this is his work on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago. Gehry has created a visually amazing stage for performances, and has managed to do so in an outdoor venue. The Stage is housed in a steel band shell, reminiscent of an exploded Weisman, with a small seated amphitheater, backed by a huge lawn. The amphitheater and lawn are covered by a metal trellis riddled with speakers, to reproduce the sound of an indoor concert hall. Millennium park’s website takes a quote from Gehry on the design of the pavilion,

"How do you make everyone - not just the people in the seats, but the people sitting 400 feet away on the lawn - feel good about coming to this place to listen to music? And the answer is, you bring them into it. You make the proscenium larger; you build a trellis with a distributed sound system. You make people feel part of the experience."
-Frank Gehry

It seems that Gehry has a knack for placing people within the art that they are experiencing. His works are not ordinary buildings, they are not museums, or concert halls, or pavilions, they are experiences for audiences to be encompassed in.


Margaret's Group: Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy is not only an artist, but a naturalist. He uses natural landscaping in rural and urban areas to create sculptures that are very captivating. He got his start in England and Scotland where his is from but has since created pieces in the North Pole, Japan, Australia, and U.S. Only a true artist could take what is provided by mother nature like twigs, rocks, leaves, ice, snow, weeds, or thorns, and turn it into something amazing. Andy's theme is quite unique because his artwork is like something you have never seen before. He takes ordinary natural objects and transforms them into a masterpiece.
Andy Goldsworthy is inspired by nature and his surroundings. When he is outside working in various elements, he uses something that there is a surplus of, like rocks, and puts them together to form something larger. He wants us as viewers to see our natural surroundings in a different way as well and be kind to what mother nature has given us. It is hard as a viewer not to be entranced by his work because it is truely unique and unbelieve to look at. One can only wonder how he does such things.
It is kind of a stretch but Andy and Nan Goldwin might have a little in common. Because Andy takes pictures of all of his sculptures when his is finished, both have experience with photography. But they both also take things as they come naturally. Nan likes to work with people that are raw, real, and natural and Andy likes to work with natural objects in nature as well. The only difference is that Nan works with human beings and Andy works with landscapes and items he finds outdoors. Both artists however to share the same feelings of seeing things as they are, natural.
If I were to tell a friend about Andy Goldsworth I would say he is very dedicated to his work. He travels the world doing something he loves. His artwork is complicated and time consuming which takes a lot of patience and dedication. He represents artists that see things different than what an average person would see. I would recommend they do see his work because it isn't the stereotypical art that they might be used to. It is truely amazing what he can do with some rocks and sticks. It's hard to believe that some of the things he has done came from nature.
Andy says that working in nature gives him sort of a freedom because he has so much to work with. He doesn't like to be picky and just uses what nature has provided.

Unsure of how to attach photos but this website has a few to look at.


Jennifer’s Group: Artist Research – Elizabeth Peyton

Maia Pavitova

Jennifer’s Group: Artist Research – Elizabeth Peyton

Elizabeth Peyton is an American artist, born in 1965 and based out in New York. She attended School of Visual Arts in New York in the 1980’s. Her work is focused on portraits of her close friends and celebrities, such as Liam Gallagher of the band of Oasis or Marc Jacobs, the fashion designer. She has done some still life as well, but her main focus is the portraits done in the fusion of contemporary, romantic style using bright colors. A lot of her work is done on cardboard instead of canvas, with paint
Peyton’s inspiration comes from such as artists as David Hockney, Alex Katz, and the most important inspiration is Andy Warhol. She has also drawn her painting technique from such classics as Eduard Manet and Sargent (www.newmuseum.com). Peyton has started out painting portraits from photographs of contemporary artists such as Kurt Cobain and later on she progressed to making live portraits. Her portraits could be categorized into two groups. The first groups of portraits are the people that she knows personally and whom she loves such as her ex husband or some of her friends. The seconds group of portraits are the one that feed her internal and creative world such as Marie Antoinette and Georgia O’Keeffe. Peyton is capturing the atmosphere of the individual that she is painting. She is communicating almost something personal about the individual that you, as an audience member feel like you know these famous figures personally.“Each image is a point on entwined strands of artistic or emotional growth, memorializing a relationship acknowledging an inspiration or exposing an aspect of ambition” (New York Times, 2008)
When I visited Peyton’s exhibit at the Walker Art Center, Forever Elizabeth Peyton, I felt a very silent emotion of sorrow and tenderness. To me she strokes the same note as Felix Gonzalez’s work. Even though they worked in different mediums, Peyton works with paint and cardboard where as Gonzalez has more of the conceptual pieces. There presentations of work are different, how what they do have in common is more important. Both of them reach out into the emotions of the audience. The both touch something tender that each one of us keeps for our friends and loved ones. Their audiences mainly are their lovers and friends. There is something very enchanting and vulnerable in their work.
Elizabeth Peyton’s work should definitely be seen. Bright colors and very strong and distinctive brush strokes create the atmosphere of translucency about them. It is the atmosphere of the spring, where emotions are reawakened and when you walk past some of the icons that Peyton created and you revisit the characters of those individuals.

Sources Cited


Smith, Roberta The Personal and the Painterly The New York Times October 10,2008

Rowans Group: Artist Research by Josh Clemons

William Kentridge is a South African native born in Johannesburg. His most known work is his animated films. They are made by him filming a drawing, then changing that drawing slightly. He does it over and over using each fram for only a split seconds time. He uses a single drawing until the end of a scene. Much like making a cartoon, except it's a single drawing on a single sheet of paper that is changed over time.
Much of Kentridge's inspiration is politically motivated. His main work portrayed the apartheid that existed in South Africa. He wanted to express actual feelings and what it was like to live through it. He wanted people to remember, he is quoted as saying "In the same way that there is a human act of dismembering the past there is a natural process in the terrain through erosion, growth, dilapidation that also seeks to blot out events. In South Africa this process has other dimensions. The very term 'new South Africa' has within it the idea of a painting over the old, the natural process of dismembering, the naturalization of things new." The idea of the past being eroded, or the interpretation of it changing over time has been another main theme carried through his work.
I would have to say Suzanne Opton, especially the Soldier Billboard project, can be compared to Kentridge. They don't share any particular form of styles, except that photography is more similar to film making then other forms of art, but what really matters are their ideas. Both are trying to touch people socially, in a very simple way. Opton takes a simple picture of a simple soldier, while Kentridge uses simple charcoal and paper to create very touching film. I find it fascinating how sometimes the smallest, most simplistic ideas, can create the most profound affects. Not only does that help the average person view more connected to the artwork, but also to the artist. In my opinion, artwork doesn't really become something until it has a meaning and the greater the meaning the greater the piece. Both artists do a profound job of embodying meaning into their works.
If I was talking with a friend I would recommend anyone to see work by William Kentridge. You may or not be able to connect directly to his work, but seeing the amount of depth each piece has is pretty cool. It can be a little gloomy looking since it's primarily charcoal on paper with maybe a little blue or red pastel. That aside though, his work is very interesting and unique to himself.


Margaret's Group: Lebbeus Woods

Lebbeus Woods is an American artist and architect best known for his disregard for the normal conventions of architecture. After studying architecture at the University of Illinois and engineering at Purdue University, he worked with Eero Saarinen before shifting his interest to theory and experimental projects. Woods' work consists of various themes and ideas, such as the political nature of architecture, the relationship between an architect and society, and the confrontation of the new on an already existing order. Since the content of his work often features contorted, armored buildings, imposing steel structures, and a dark atmosphere, many of his designs suggest a reality responding to the uncertainty and continual shifts of contemporary society. More specifically, they suggest a distant future in which a constant struggle with war and survival is prevalent. His primary media is his drafts, which he makes using electrostatic printing, colored pencil, pastel, and ink on paper.


Although uncertain of the root of his inspiration, Woods mentions reading, especially texts by Jean-Paul Sarte, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer, as giving him ideas that motivated him. He was never really inspired by visual things, although he admired painters such as Brueghel, Goya, and Picasso. After moving away from traditional architecture and focusing more on theory and experimental projects, Woods was rejuvenated during an architectural conference in Brazil. Seeing the squatter settlements built as housing by the city's poor, he came to the realization that, "all my work up to that time was insufficient in confronting urgent human problems, not only in São Paolo, but anywhere." His work after this point is more political in nature, as seen in projects like the "Berlin Free-Zone", and a series of renderings he created in response to the Bosnian war. What Woods is trying to do through his art is get us to look at the world differently. He wants to provoke questions, since he feels that there is never a definitive, conclusive answer to anything. Specifically, he wants to us to, "questioning the stability and permanence of architecture, and, in turn, the stability of society." Compared to the work of artists we've studied in class, the concept and theory behind Woods' work is a bit more abstract and specific to one type of art, architecture.


Although very different from one another, I think Woods' work has some philosophical aspects similar to Betsy Damon's "Keepers of the Waters" work. Damon wants people to work together in order to preserve, restore, and remediate water sources, where as Woods wants people to realize the volatility of contemporary life and the importance architecture has on society. Both artists have a strong message behind their work that involves the current state of human society, and correspondingly calls for proactive thought. The only difference lies in what their area of research is, and the way they choose to present their call for action and awareness. The way in which these artists relate to their audiences is also similar; both have designed interactive structures meant to speak to people, with the idea in mind that they will gain something from the experience.


I would for sure tell a friend about Lebbeus Woods, especially if they happen to enjoy design. I would also recommend an exhibition, because it would be good to see the work of an artist with such strong ideas and opinions regarding architecture. Any artist that can say, "Architecture and war are not incompatible. Architecture is war. War is architecture. I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority that resides in fixed and frightened forms," obviously has some strong, meaningful work to display.

Lebbeus Woods, Anarchitecture: Architecture is a Political Act

Jennifer's Group: Artist Research Project - Mika Kato

Mika Kato is a Japanese female artist. She was born in Mie prefecture, Japan in 1975.
She is a painter but their is couple of process before Kato starts painting. She sculpt a doll with clay and dress it up. Then She photographs it and she will finally starts paint it on a canvas. Even her subject looks like animation character her work is in hyper detailed. Her dolls have common characteristics of: round face, small nose, and huge dark eyes.
There is no articles of interviewing Kato and she doesn't have her website either but White Cube said that "Kato’s stylised and very particular vision not only references the preoccupation with idealised forms and youthful beauty in Manga, but also Surrealism, especially the dolls of Hans Bellmer and the erotic fantasies of Salvador Dali (White Cube)."
I would recommend to my friends about how detailed her works are. She hasn't exhibit much internationally but she has several times in Japan. Her work is very detailed and I think it is very cool.

Darwent, C. Deadpan Dolls. Modern Painters (April 2005) p. 46-7
Falconer, M. Mika Kato: White Cube [Exhibit]. Modern Painters (March 2005) p. 102-3

Margaret's Group: Tim Hawkinson Research

Justin Rutherford
Artist Research

Tim Hawkinson

Tim Hawkinson was born in 1960 in San Francisco. He graduated from San Jose State University, and went on to earn his MFA at UCLA. For his artwork he mainly does sculpture work using self-portrait as the theme. Which equates into a wide range of pieces, going from a large representation of an index finger to a reproduction of a coke can. With the sculpture work he puts moving parts and music to make it more aesthetically pleasing for the audience. Recently he has been working more with photo collage. All in all the artwork Hawkinson creates tends to be more in the realm of the abstract.
Hawkinson uses his own body for a lot of his inspiration, hence the work with self-portraiture. From here he just stretches it as far as he can. Another area that he gets inspiration from is just from everyday life, he can hear or see something that is interesting to him, and from there he recreates it or uses that sound and makes some form of artwork out of it. For instance there is a piece he made called “Drip”, and the idea for it came from walking around the studio one day that it was raining, and there were buckets everywhere catching water drips. So from there he thought it would be interesting to create something with that same type of “rhythmic sound pattern.”
In an interview he did with New Art Tv, the interviewer stated that his work is meant to be funny, and there’s a sense of humor about. Hawkinson responded by saying; “I think it’s a definite kind of a way of engaging the work in route to other ideas beyond basic humor, but it’s certainly a component of the work.” Meaning that even though the audience can see the humor element from the beginning, it is more meant as a means of drawing the viewer in, to see the deeper meaning in the different pieces. Because if the work he does has nothing to draw people in, it has much less chance of being seen. So instead of just thinking about what wants to do, he is combining what the public wants to see with what he wants to create and say, to arrive at the middle ground, which is the art that he is creating.
One artist that we have discussed in class that I would say Hawkinson could be compared to is Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Since they both have done abstract self-portraiture. They are both in vastly different realms though. Gonzalez-Torres works on a much smaller scale than Hawkinson, and didn’t really include himself directly in any work. Whereas Hawkinson includes life-sized models of himself in his works, and tends to create things that are on a much grander scale. For example he created a stadium sized fully automated bagpipe titled Überorgan. So even though their results and tactics are vastly different, it is also interesting how much alike they are with their abstract takes on self-portraiture.
If I were to be discussing this artist with a friend, I would recommend checking him out. After listening to an interview with him it seems like he is a down to earth person. His art is aesthetically pleasing to look at, even if you don’t understand the message that he is trying to say, you can still enjoy just looking at it. Which I feel is a very important aspect to art. It isn’t always about shock value, most of the time if one wants to be an artist and to make money, and have it as their career, there is a certain give and take that one must make as an artist. And I feel that this is what Tim Hawkinson exemplifies through his use of humor, and abstract tendencies.

Works Cited
"Art:21 . Tim Hawkinson . Biography . Documentary Film |." PBS. 20 Apr. 2009 .

Interview. New Art TV. 5 Apr. 2008. .

SCHWENDENER, Martha. "Art in Review; Tim Hawkinson." The New York Times 25 May 2007.

Tonya's Group: Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy was born in Cheshire in 1956. He was bought up in Yorkshire; now he lives in the village of Penpont in Dumfries shire with his wife and children. He was well-known as a young British artist, and later he became the most famous British sculptor of the 21st century working with nature. Many of his exhibitions are around Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the U.S. By traveling to many places, he has gained experience and knowledge about nature, landscape, and culture.
The material for his works come from the nature such as flowers, wood, mud, rocks, leaves, snow, and sand. They are literary and symbolic. From these free and natural materials, he can create fantastic art-works such as an egg sculpture from many pieces of rock, a block of dry and cracked mud, or spider webs from sticks hanging on the tree branch. Even though these works of art sometimes only last for days or few seconds, they represent the full understanding of Goldsworthy in the landscape, the nature, and his relationship to them; he calls it is the spiritual relationship between him and the nature. Goldsworthy also mentioned the ideas of energy, transformation, and flow in his work. Because it is from nature, it contains the great energy of the Earth, sun, wind, water. "Energy that is running through, flowing through the landscape.” His art-works allow the changes of time, season, and temperature to add into the works. In the other words, his works are like a growing body of feeling towards understanding the Earth. His art- work is the expression about who he is; it is less concerned with whether it was Art and how it fits into the context of Art. He is a pioneer in art field, who relates art and nature together. Andy Goldsworthy is also well-known as an artist who is sympathetic towards the Green Movement, and other ecological concerns. Because most of his art-works are temporary, photographs also engages into his work. They record the changing of time, the color, and the light of his works.
The work of Thomas Joshua Copper is similar to Andy Goldsworthy’s work. It is similar in the appearance but not the form, or progress. Both of them have a love of nature and are curious in learning and experiencing its beauty. They also apply the force and change of time and nature into their works. For instance, Copper took a picture of North Atlantic Wave; he observed and waited until the right time to take it. He did not use human power to control it instead he let the nature appear and control itself. Both of their works encourage us to value nature and its necessary connection to our lives.
I recommend everyone to visit and see his art-works. Everyone will be surprised how nature’s material such as leaves, rock, sand, snow can be created and formed into fantastic art works. At that moment, we will recognize the beauty of the nature which is transformed through the hands of a talented artist, Andy Goldsworthy.

"Passage". Author/Creator:Goldsworthy, Andy. 1956
"Stone". Author/Creator:Goldsworthy, Andy. 1993
"Hand to Earth". Author/Creator:Goldsworthy, Andy. 1976-1990






Rowans Group: Robin Rhode by Erin Westover

Robin Rhode currently lives in Berlin Germany but was born in Cape Town, South Africa. At age 8 he moved to Johannesburg where he still draws his inspiration for his art from the energy of streets of the town. His art deals social issues such as race, individuality, culture and public expression. He has had many different exhibits in many different countries in a relatively short amount of time. Born in 76, he is now 32 and has only been doing exhibits since 2000. Things such as the hip-hop and youth culture affect his work, as well as sports and current events. This is even evidenced in the way he dresses and talks. “The spaces in which Rhodes works and reworks present physical manifestations of state policies and their resulting marginalization of apartheid South Africa’s majority and also allude to current sociopolitical and economic issues in both his native country and abroad” (Hitting the Pavement). He is always trying to find new ways to express his ideas through engaging the audience and creating something that stays in the public sphere for a temporary time.

I really liked the way that Robin Rhode uses several different mediums in creating his art. His main medium is stuff like charcoal and chalk with which he creates drawings on public walls. He also uses photography to record these drawing and display them later. His museum exhibits have a storyboard feeling as you look at images he has made of his chalk drawings on public buildings. They aren’t just snapshots of his work, it’s him actually posing with the different stages of the drawings. This gives his otherwise ordinary drawings significance. It also is reflective of the type of performance art that is his main goal. His art is meant to be something with which he can engage, and he has taken a very entertaining standpoint with trying to interact with his 2D drawings. He did an exhibit here in Minneapolis in 2003 where he drew a car on the wall and then tried to break in. When that didn’t work he threw a rock at it. His drawings also reflect on society by the fact that they are temporary and exposed to change. They only last as long as conditions allow in the street, reflecting back on how the streets and public in general are constantly changing.

The other thing that is really striking to me is that he makes the ordinary special. In all of his works he uses very simple drawings of every day objects such as a boom box or a yoyo. They are things that everyone can relate to and yet presented in such a way that it makes you rethink the significance of why he’s drawing attention to them. Along with the everyday objects are also the everyday locations he chooses to work in. Most of them are areas we pass everyday and normally wouldn’t give a second glance. For him, a run down building wall becomes a blank canvas to express himself. By using such urban areas as empty lots, or crumbling walls he is drawing attention to the historical social implications of the space, which also reflects on the issues of freedom and marginalization that interest him as a post apartheid South African.

If I were to compare him to any of the artists we’ve talked about in class it would be William Kentridge. Both of their works are dealing with post apartheid South Africa and both of them are from that area. What’s interesting was in one of them books I read that near the end of this social transformation that was happening, South Africa went through a kind of art transformation as well. For the first time, being an artist as a profession became possible and they “became unrestricted in their movement and communication.” With Kentridge as the first, they started getting attention on an international level. Similarities between the Rhodes and Kentridge would be that they both work with charcoal and work in a way that allows them to change things for each scene. It isn’t just static art they are making it is changing. Kentridge’s work is more personal where I think Rhodes work is more social. If I had the chance to see some of Rhodes drawing performances live, I wouldn’t miss it. The way that his drawings are made and reworked are so unique and even the still images are just a glimpse of stuff he’s done.


Book: Hitting the Pavement, from Street Level: Mark Bradford, William Cordova and Robin Rhode, produced by the Nasher Museum of Art

Book: Robin Rhode: Who Saw Who, produced by the Hayward Museum in London

Tonya’s Group: Artist Research by Briana Brookshaw

Briana Brookshaw
Artist Research
Laura Owens
Laura Owens was born in 1970. In 1992 she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. from the Rhode Island School of Design and she graduated in 1994 with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts. She now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She usually makes large paintings of subjects. They are sometimes for certain places like the Inverleith House in Scotland. She likes for her audience to be engaged in her work. She also likes to separate her paintings into parts. She usually leaves an area of unpainted canvas in between the two parts. Hey paintings are simple, yet complex. She creates her paintings in “a matter-of-fact way in order to take some of the preciousness or exclusiveness out of the history of the practice” (Laura Owens). She mostly uses paint and canvas for her media.
The artist is inspired by many different things including animals, landscape, ships, romance, Japanese prints, and Hindu beliefs. She says that her “work gets created in this space of freedom, and that’s why a lot of it has to do with experimentation, invention, and sort of a juxtaposition of things you wouldn’t normally juxtapose“ (Laura Owens). She says her art does not usually come from emotion. I think the artist is trying to entertain us and inform us.
I would compare Laura Owens to one of the guest speakers we had in our class. The speaker I would compare her to is Jenny Schmid. I think they are somewhat alike because they both like to portray something large in their art. Jenny had a lot of large heads in her art. Laura likes to make most of her subjects large in her paintings. Making these subjects large put more of an emphasis on them.
I would tell a friend that Laura Owens is an interesting artist. She has great artwork that I think is pretty. I would recommend to a friend that they check out an exhibit of her work because it is enjoyable to look at and her art is not like some other artists’ work that is hard to even understand why it is art. You can just tell from looking at one of her paintings that it is art.


Owens, Laura, Paul Schimmel, and Thomas Lawson. Laura Owens. Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2003. Print.

"Laura Owens." 2008. Crown Point Prestt. 22 Apr 2009 .

Kushner, Rachel. "Laura Owens." May 2003 Web.22 Apr 2009.

Arts 1001 Eric Tanaka: Artist Research Paper

Eric Tanaka
Arts 1001
April 21, 2009

Man Ray

Man Ray is a surrealist photographer known for his outlandish and though-provoking works of art. He is a “legendary photographer, painter, and maker of objects and films, Man Ray was one of the most versatile and inventive artists of this century” (manraytrust 1). He grew up in America, but is best known for his works since he moved to Paris and on his return to America. He is known as a modernist painter, as he delved into movements such as Dadaism and Surrealism. With that said, he was highly interested with anti-aesthetics, rejecting beauty as the main purpose of art. He was constantly looking for new ways to break the parameters of art, trying to explore what could be considered art or not. He used new techniques with photography as well, trying to get new effects and produce new images never seen before. His works are very outlandish and interesting. Many of his most famous photographs are nudes of women in black and white with something unique added to each photo to make it more interesting. He uses unnatural, irregular positions with his models to form striking, sometimes uncomfortable images for the viewer. This was one of the biggest attributes about Dadaism, which can be seen throughout other Dada works of art. His works of art are very different than Nan Goldin’s works in a sense that her pictures are very spontaneous and documentary, while Man Ray’s photographs are planned, set up, and he messes with film photography rather than digital photography. They are similar in a sense that both of them sometimes use grotesque figures as their subjects. I would tell my friends that Man Ray is one of the most influential Dada/Surrealist photographers of his time.


Jennifer's Group - Research Paper

Jessica Eisenmann

Hernan Bas:
Slim-Fast Enthusiast, Dandyism Supporter, Miami Queer Artist Extraordinaire

Hernan Bas began his work ten years ago, in 1999. Since his initial showings he has delved into paintings (using both standard paints and Slim-Fast), charcoal drawings, installations and continues to show growth as an artist. Bas resides in Miami, citing the intense competition within the New York art scene as a distraction, and prefers the less fame-focused Florida scene. Earlier in his career, Bas focused more heavily on gay themes in his works, and has consistently presented the image of well-dressed, Victorian men (dandies) and explored narratives through a male dominant lense. In an Interview with Flavorwire, he expressed his work as “pop understanding of obscure references.” In his works he has represented an entirely male interpretation of the movie Carrie, as well as interpetations of vintage Boy Scout manuals and the classic novel Moby Dick. His work crosses borders; it is lush and decadent, but always filled with reference and allusion to old world literature and lifestyles.

Hernan Bas is inspired by pop literature, the gay community, dandyism, and history, specifically the Victorian time period. Bas makes art because art, to him, is the way to connect with something bigger than day-to-day experiences. One of his shows was once touted as creating a Never-Never Land for the visitors to lose themselves in; the decadence and story-telling of his work helps do this. His inspirations and motivations are almost entirely from within himself- his own interests, his experience as a young gay man, his favorite books and stories. This kind of personal interest and influence makes me think of one of our visiting artists, Wayne Portraz. Both of these articles experienced and involved themselves with certain themes and subjects early on in life, and continued to represent them for years. For Portraz it was turtles and wilderness. For Bas, it's old stories and stylistic gay men.

Hernan Bas and Felix Gonzalez-Torres both created art as interpretations of personal stories, drawing on histories and influences; their motivations were personal. Gonzalez-Torres has expressed that his sole audience was Ross, his partner, while the intended audience for Bas's work is more wide. The backgrounds of these two artists are very different: Bas is from and currently lives in Florida, Gonzalez-Torres grew up in Puerto Rico and worked while based in New York City. THe two artist's use their mediums in entirely different ways- while Bas is at once lush and colorful and dramatic, Gonzalez-Torres is intensely minimal, and entirely symbolic. Bas often cites being part of the gay community as inspiration for his work, simply, that men and the perspective of a young gay man infiltrate his work. I think it is interesting to look at the work of another gay male artist, and see not the dandyism and extravagant colors of Bas but the symbolism and quietness of having your partner die of AIDS. These two very different perspectives I think are very interesting, as they both come from telling personal stories in very different ways.

If I were to describe the work of Hernan Bas in a conversation with a friend, I would comment on how his incredibly colorful, intricate and creative paintings tell melodramatic tales; I would say that his work at points becomes silly because it is so dramatic. I also really enjoy that his has compared his hyper-dramatic work to the soap opera Passions (his personal favorite), and that he absolutely enjoys the melodrama that can take place in his work. I'd absolutely recommend visiting an exhibition. I would recommend this because I feel his work, melodrama and all, could indeed create some sort of elaborate Never-Never Land, where old stories become new and fantastic things, both good and bad, can replace the banality of everyday things. Hernan Bas's ultimate collection of inspirations and motivations combine to create something sort of surreal, beautiful and intoxicating - and that's something I'd like to see.

http://www.bombsite.com/issues/88/articles/2654 (Periodical Article)
http://flavorwire.com/12203/exclusive-hernan-bas-at-the-brooklyn-museum (Interview)
http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/hernan_bas.htm (Selected Paintings)
http://www.artnet.com/Artists/ArtistHomePage.aspx?artist_id=2061&page_tab=Artworks_for_sale (Selected Works)

Margaret's Group: Louise Bourgeois

Danielle Frye
Margaret Granlund-Pezulla
ARTS 1001
Louise Bourgeois

Born December 24th, 1911 in the city of Paris, Louise Bourgeois has been drawing and sculpting since she could remember. She currently resides in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, keeping nearly entirely to herself, making drawings as if it were as necessary as locking the door each night. Bourgeois, however, has embraced the modern world by studying geometry and twice she traveled to Moscow embracing the Feminist Movement. She has provocatively posed for Robert Mapplethorpe, recorded her own rap CD, and experimented in mediums ranging from orange peels to various papers, clays, and everything in between it seems.
Bourgeois fears misunderstandings, and the difficulty of “saying the unsayable” yet at the same time wants to reveal all and be a “woman without secrets.” Everything that is said or seen, she feels the need to document in some form because this is her way of waging war against time, by recreating the past as she pleases. “Drawings have a featherlike quality. Sometimes you think of something and it is so light, so slight, that you don’t have time to make a note in your diary. Everything is fleeting, but your drawing will serve as a reminder; otherwise it would be forgotten.”
To compare and contrast Bourgeois to an artist we’ve studied in class, the first name that arises in my mind is Nan Goldin. Goldin had a way of conveying what she wanted to that was in a very personal manner, but left a lot of wiggle room for the viewer to take and leave what he pleases. She seemed open to outsiders entering her world, while Bourgeois fears letting someone into her world. Yet, Bourgeois doesn’t want to be misunderstood by anyone and wants to leave zero space for other possible interpretations to her work. Bourgeois believes her art speaks for itself, yet personally, when I first witnessed her art without any explanation from the artist, I was left confused.
I would tell a friend to not check out her exhibition, because I feel that her strength is more so in her verbal or written explanation than the pieces themselves. If a show were to be of just her sculptures, perhaps I would suggest her because I feel her sculptures have the power to speak for themselves as she claims all her work to do. On the other hand though, upon looking at her drawings, even having read into her background and mind set, I found them to be so puzzling that I struggled to receive any message from them at all, let alone the particular message she was trying to convey.




The last link above is her piece “Take Me Right Back to the Track Jack” done in 1946. Below is her explanation of the piece:

“This is a defensive drawing. This is the attitude of a person who is definitely afraid of the visitor. You see he is armed to the teeth. You see the arrow at the top. He says, ‘You cannot come close to me.’ And at the same time there is a smile on his face and the hands are reaching out: a paradox. It is a self portrait.”

(I didn't cite them directly in what I wrote because both sources had a lot of overlapping information and direct quotes from Bourgeois but I referenced both books to research her.)

Bourgeois, Louise, and Lawrence Rinder. Drawings & Observations. 1st ed. Berkeley: University of California, 1995. Print.
Bourgeois, Louise. "Writings and Interviews 1923-1997." Destruction of the Father Reconstruction of the Father. Comp 1923-1997. Marie-Laure Bernadac. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998. Print.

Jennifer's Group: Artist Research

"I am not interested in making people uncomfortable, but at the same time I don't have an interest in paintings that are truly passive. The best paintings are ones that require an active, discerning viewer."—Laura Owens

Laura Owens is an abstract painter living in Los Angeles, CA. Her work is frequently playful and whimsical, but not easily set aside. Born in Euclid, Ohio, Owens has quickly made a name for herself in the art world, at 33 Laura Owens is the youngest person to have been given a survey show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Since graduating from Cal Arts nine years ago she has proved herself a near-genius at mixing representational elements and abstraction (1). Though her work often references some element of art history like eighteenth-century embroidery, Chinese and Japanese landscape painting, and especially Henri Rousseau, her work frequently is free of historical baggage.
As a student of art, she was taught to struggle through the artistic process. She however takes a different approach, instead of adjusting an image after it’s been put on a canvas, she tests elements separately and then figures out how they can work together. Instead of just diving in, like most painters do, she takes the time to refine her vision before putting her brush to the canvas. Much of her work incorporates textiles and an assortment of other materials. Owens works out of her studio in Los Angeles, a place that she goes to when she is in a state of personal freedom. When she sits in front of her paintings, she gets “a feeling about the process of creativity, the synapse of connections happening” (4).
Owens doesn’t paint as an artist looking for social commentary; her paintings are usually feel-good and light-hearted, not negative, desperate or hopeless. She says, “Ultimately you really want to make a painting that you want to be with. Not one that is constantly telling you everything it knows” (2). Her paintings explore the relationships of the elements in her paintings and keep the viewer moving without resting. Unlike artists like Gregory Green, who makes art as a platform for his dislike of our current bureaucratic system, Owens paints first and foremost for herself. Green’s work has a blatant message and doesn’t leave the viewer with much ambiguity. At first glance, Owens’ work is full of whimsy and light-hearted, although she frequently connects with a piece on a more profound level.
I really enjoy Laura Owens’ work, to me, it seems like so many modern artists are trying to make themselves activists through their work and I find it refreshing to see an artist who is making something beautiful just for the sake of it. In one interview, Owens said that someone had accused her of only having the benevolent in her work, so later on she put a bat in her piece as a more macabre element but really, she based this bat off Chinese embroidery, where bats are considered to be good luck. I would definitely tell a friend to check out her work, especially if they are looking for something imaginative.

Laura Owens

1. Weissman, Benjamin. "Laura Owens." Frieze Summer 2003. Frieze. 18 Apr. 2009 .

2. "Laura Owens." Sadie Coles. 18 Apr. 2009 .

3. "Laura Owens Online." Art cyclopedia: The Fine Art Search Engine. 22 Apr. 2009 .

4. "Interview with Laura Owens." The Believer. 22 Apr. 2009 .

Links to some of her work:

Rowan's Group: Artist Research Paper by Alanna Olson

Alanna Olson
ARTS 1001
Artist Research Paper
Andy Goldsworthy
Andy Goldworthy was born in Chesire, England and later raised in York, England. After attending two accredited universities in England, he proceeded to begin his artistic career. His works have a partnership with the natural. Nature is his medium and he thinks of the most unique arrangements using pre-existing natural materials. His main theme throughout is sharing a type of human connection and compassion with everything natural. His works aren’t meant to last forever in some gallery in New York, they are expected to decompose with weathering. This deconstruction of his pieces of art is indeed part of his message. He sees himself as merely an influence on nature, and a moment in time. The photographs he snaps of his short-term works are another expression of that moment in time.
Goldsworthy is not saddened or remotely affected whatsoever by the collapse of his artwork. He thinks of his works as this quote describes:
“The intention is not to “make his mark” on the landscape.”
He finds his materials already in a place, outdoors somewhere and simply builds what he feels at that moment. His series are a continuation of a certain architectural structure, all across different climates, landscapes and countries. I think what he is trying to express to we, the viewers, is that nature is superior to everything. It can bring life into the world, take life away; it will outlast any human life. I believe he is looking for everyone to appreciate nature more than they do as of today. This assignment is due on Earth Day, and therefore I think choosing this artist was most appropriate. He really is calling out to everyone to notice nature, notice how it is disappearing, and realizes that we as humans can’t live without nature, and that nature needs our help to survive.
Compared with Goldsworthy, Cooper’s work is focused more on image. Cooper’s work is a photographed replication, of the location of historical events. The image and the camera he uses are more important to his artistic goal (to represent important history) than Goldsworthy’s of providing a purely natural structure. For Goldsworthy, the building process, based on what he feels at the moment, with what materials may be available, is the important aspect, the image is merely a way of documenting the structure, after it will weather away. So in a way, I suppose these artists are similar in that they both document what once was. Their techniques as different as they are, nature is an important element in both of their works.

If you could track down or simply come across one of Goldsworthy’s natural “Arches” or “Walls,” or even one of his “Snowballs” placed in unorthodox climates and places, I would say definitely check them out. This artist is all about his connection to the natural elements of the world, and appreciating and paying homage to this natural environment that influences his every project, and the nature that breathes life into everyone.
So yes, if you ever can find his projects, new or decaying, stop and appreciate the natural process that Goldsworthy deems his art.

Book: ARCH, Goldsworthy &Craig, 1999
Internet Site:

Rowan's Group: Artist Research by Ashley Huegel

Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt was born on September 9, 1928 in Connecticut and died on April 8, 2007 in new York at the age of 78. Best known for Sculpture he also uses drawing and printmaking as his other media's. LeWitt uses minimalism within his conceptual art.

He was inspired by the cube and two and three dimensional geometric shapes,he liked for his work to be uncomplicated and viewed with an opened mind. Sculpting is his main media that ranges from gallery sized installations to monumental outdoor pieces.

I believe that he is trying to inform and motivate us to do what ever it is we want in art and not care about criticism. In a small way I feel that LeWitt is similar to Wearing in the sense that they both want people to become involved in their art .

I would have to compare LeWitt with Tiravanija even though both of their art is different a lot of their philosophy is the same. They both want their audiences to be involved in their art. LeWitt has sketches so that his works can be replicated with the exception that what is being reproduced is encouraged (in a sense) to have it's flaws. Tiravanija's art on the other hand is based solely on group participation with his many interactive installations. Both artists use simple supplies in their art; LeWitt uses bold basic colors with geometric shapes and Tiravanija uses simple recipes and basic foods with a few basic cooking items. For both it is about inspiring their audience and getting them involved to some degree to participate in the end product.

I would definitely tell a friend about LeWitt's work because I find it to be the type of art that just draws you in. For me his use of minimalism and unique style just makes you want to view more.


I used articles from the New York Times (www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/arts/design/09lewitt.html) and I used an artist website www.massmoca.org which profiles artists and their upcoming shows.

Margaret's Group: Artist Reserch Paper

By Lyssa Hansen

"Basically, I think art is just a way to think. It’s like standing in the wind and letting it pull you in whatever direction it wants to go.” Kiki Smith

Born in Nuremberg, Germany in 1954, Kiki Smith uses animals, human anatomy, and the female form to create very evocative sculptures, drawings and prints. Her interest in sculpting originated from her father, Tony Smith, a famous American sculptor. She helped him build molds growing up in New Jersey. In the 1980’s, Smith began a series of drawings of human organs and the nervous system. She later incorporated animals and folklores and popular mythology. Her theme focuses on life, death and resurrection, influenced by her Catholic upbringing.

Being a poor reader in school inspired Smith’s learning philosophy. She believes that she needs to find physical proof of something through visual interpretation. Smith educates her audience through many different visual representations. Her lonely childhood living with an unconventional artist as a father was very difficult for her. In an interview with the Art 21 website, she recalls being nicknamed a witch by her peers. She claimed to have lived in a morbid Adam’s family-like household. Her religious background influenced a majority of the work she produced, churches and religious deities such as the Virgin Mary are a few examples of her inspirations. Her desire to explore death and human anatomy was inspired by being constantly surrounded by death as a child. Smith also uses religion as a tool to describe the undermining social issues of women.

Her artwork makes a direct connection to artist Chris Ofili, particularly the controversial work “The Holy Virgin Mary.” Both artists depict the Virgin Mary in terms of its religious impact on the world. Ofili depicts the Virgin Mary as African American, playing with sexual representations and offensive materials (cow dung) to explain the heritage of Africa’s people. Smith takes a feminist approach to the Virgin Mary in “Virgin with Dove.” The etching deals with nature and mortality and birth. The idea of manipulating a powerful religious deity to convey cultural issues of sexism and racism are very different approaches both artists successfully created.

Those interested in Smith’s multifaceted styles and the idea of women in history, life, death and reincarnation are welcomed to study Smith’s works. Her etchings, drawings, sculptures and prints speak to those intrigued by religion and morbid studies. To better understand Smith’s message, checking out an exhibit, possibly the Museum of Modern Art which holds the largest collection of Smith’s prints, would be a fantastic way to perceive her as an artist, activist and feminist. The most interesting part of her life is what inspired her to draw and sculpt the works she does.


Here is a link to a few of Kiki Smith's artworks:

Download file

Rowan's Group: Artist Research: Sofia Bilkadi

Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas is not a shy artist when it comes to her body of work. When going to one of her exhibits, it would not be unusual to view paintings of pornographic content mixed in with paintings of children. Born in Capetown, South Africa in 1953, Dumas immigrated to Amsterdam after she graduated from the University of Capetown. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dumas studied psychology, which is a theme that shows up in some of her work. At first, Dumas was more of a Conceptualist with her work, often using collages, text and photography; however, she switched over to painting in the 1980s. She often uses oil-on-canvas or ink-on-watercolor for her paintings, which could be described as Neo-expressionist.

Marlene Dumas often draws her inspiration for her paintings from polaroids of her friends and lovers, pornographic pictures, and magazines. The subjects of her paintings are not only adult males and females but also children. Her paintings deal with sexual and racial politics, birth and death, contemporary events, feminist ideas, and themes that deal with philosophy and psychology. Her work often causes a rise amongst the viewers and makes them think about the statement they are making. The shock value of Marlene Dumas’s work can be compared to the work of Nan Goldin.

Although Nan Goldin works with photography, she also uses her friends and lovers as inspiration and subjects of her work. When looking at both of their work, there is something very personal about them. Goldin’s photographs bring the viewer into her world, not as an intruder, but just as an observer. Dumas’s paintings on the other hand, make the viewer seem like they are intruding or are watching the person behind a glass window. Most of her subjects are looking out at the viewers, making the paintings very intimate. Both of their work are very exposed, hiding little; however, Goldin’s work tells more of a life story, making you think about why those people are there, where were they before and what happened, while Dumas’s work keeps you in the moment and makes you wonder if they are alone or is there somebody with them. Despite their differences, it is hard to deny that both of these artists’ work deal with their experiences and their own personal histories.

Looking at Marlene Dumas’s body of work, I would not recommend her art to people who are easily offended. Since a large portion of her work deals with pornographic images instead of just simply nude people, her paintings can be overwhelming to audiences. I think that when her work is on display, her more subtle paintings become overshadowed by her numerous pornographic paintings. Dumas does receive criticism that her work is dull (she often has monochromatic colors in her paintings) and sometimes tasteless, and that her work becomes boring; however, looking at many of her other paintings, it is hard to deny that her work is not graceful. If she presented her work more balanced, less porno more subtle so that neither one is overwhelming, then many more people would see some of the beauty in her paintings, because she does have a lot to offer to the art world.

Painting links: Jule-die Vrou:http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/artpages/dumas_Jule-Die_Vrou.htm
Turkish Girl:http://www.frithstreetgallery.com/works/view/turkish_girl


Hendrikse, Mary-Rose. "Beyond possession: Marlene Dumas and the mobilization of subject, paint and meaning." UNISA (2007). UNISA Online. University of South Africa. 18 Apr. 2009 .

"Marlene Dumas: At Helsinki Festival." AbsoluteArts.com. 19 Apr. 2009 .

Naves, M. "Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave." The New Criterion 27 (2009): 49-50. Art Full Text. Wilson, Minneapolis. 19 Apr. 2009. Keyword: Marlene Dumas.

Tonya's Group: Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang was born December 8th, 1957 in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. He was the son of a historian and a traditional painter. He was taught stage designs in the Shanghai Drama Institute for four years from 1981 to 1985. He had worked in a variety of mediums doing paintings, sculptures, and various other art works before moving to Japan. In Japan he began experimenting with gunpowder, and using it as an integral part of his art. Moving on from there, Cai Guo-Qiang has amazed the world with his contemporary art works such as the new Guggenheim exhibition in New York.

One of Cai Guo-Qiangs major public work of art is the coordination of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening and closing fireworks ceremony. He does explosion tours around the world where he uses gunpowder to create art in a spontaneous moment of explosions.Coming from an artistically oppressed background, gunpowder was his main choice in creating art mediums. He looked for a spontaneous feel to confront his suppressed background. His works of explosions just awe the mind of the viewer. They only last a moments but the explosions create a flash of emotions, much like an explosion.

His gunpowder explosions were cool to say the least and lasted mere seconds. The loud noises, bright lights, and smoke attract people regardless of who they are. His series of explosions named the Project for Extraterrestrials, was considered to be very poetic in form and to reach out to the viewers and the universe around them. The viewers could be the flame on the gunpowder and the universe is the space around the flame. The flame burns quick and brightly while the universe remains at peace. It could be the existence of life in that flame is a mere moment of time to the larger universe.

I would definitely recommend others to watch his art works either in the various museums around the world and youtube his explosions or find it somewhere in the internet. His explosions are a must see, quick, meaningful, poetic, and beautiful. His sculptures are also a sight to behold, especially his exhibit in the Guggenheim exhibit in New York.

YouTube links (web addresses) to Cai Guo-Qiang explosions: (note that the Beijing fireworks is a slide show of the opening ceremony)

CNN on Cai Guo-Qiang

Black Rainbow in Valencia

Immensities of Heaven and Earth - Project for Extraterrestrials

Black Rainbow in Edinburgh

Foot Prints in the sky - part of the Beijing 2008 Olympics opening ceremony

Beijing 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony Fireworks


Cai Guo-Qiang. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.caiguoqiang.com/shell.php?sid=4.

"YouTube - Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony 2008 -- AMAZING Fireworks!!" YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E_Sm_SygOs&feature=related.

"YouTube - beijing 2008 olympic china footprint fireworks." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icfC_q2HYAQ&NR=1.

"YouTube - Cai Guo-Qiang. Black Rainbow. Explosion Project Valencia." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgd-IUArcBk&NR=1.

"YouTube - Immensities of Heaven and Earth: Project for Extraterrestria." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPP2r0caPNw&feature=related.

"YouTube - The Art of Olympic Fireworks." YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. 22 Apr. 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEWWSdhxDVs.

Rowan's Group: Artist Resarch by Aziz

Candice Breitz is a female artist born in 1972 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her work centers around the fame status achieved by celebrities in showbiz and how it is impacting popular culture. She approaches her subjects using edited video and photo installations to emphasize certain aspects about these superstars and the great influence they induce on the mass public in a global scale (1).

Breitz’s childhood years in Johannesburg have inspired to communicate her artwork in a global context where language is not an obstacle that needs to be overcome in order to be understood since she grew up in a multi-language atmosphere where she had to deal with Africana, Zulu, and English the main three languages to get by in South Africa. Therefore, focusing on superstars and celebrities provided her with an opportunity for the mass public to get attracted to her artwork since there is a factor of familiarity. Breitz has previously acknowledged in an interview with BBC, “What I’m doing is giving people just what they want – the essence of pure superstar.” She is not trying to influence the world with her work but more so explain to the world what are the influencing factors(2).

Breitz’s work reminds me of Nan Goldin’s work, in the sense that both try to express their feeling about the world in a matter that’s easy for the mass to relate. For example, Goldin’s work is mainly about taking raw photos about her friends and family, in a way to express their vulnerability so the audience is able to realize that there flaws is everyone else’s flaws. As to Breitz’s work, she definitely creates a connection with her audience through video installations projecting worldwide recognizable faces to be the center of her work.

I hope there will come a day when Candice Breitz decides to showcase her exhibition in a gallery around the twin cities because very few times that I go to an art museum and be able to understand the work presented in front of me. Breitz work is doing a great favor for people with a novice interest in the world of art since it’s the popular culture she’s zeroing on. I would highly recommend my friends to check out Breitz’s work because it is contemporary art that relates to the world’s culture as a whole not just a certain ethnicity.

1. http://www.modernamuseet.se/v4/templates/template3.asp?lang=Eng&id=2485&bhcp=1


Tonya's Group: Elizabeth Peyton

Elizabeth Peyton (1965- ) was born in Danbury, Connecticut and later attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, which is where she now resides (www.artnet.com). Peyton’s most notable artworks, perhaps, are her vibrant and intimate paintings of celebrities which have been said to be reminiscent to the work of Andy Warhol. Not because she tries to duplicate Bristol boxes- or any other kind of box- but because her paintings feed off of the culture that they depict and then give back to that culture. Indeed, her work has become part of a small sect of artists who created the grand mixture of “realism and conceptualism” that is now so desirable (www.newmuseum.com).

The source of Peyton’s inspiration to paint the people she chooses to is from those people themselves, people who cause her to want to make art. Often those people are celebrities or musicians because Peyton makes art for the popular culture and she herself loves today’s infatuation with stardom. In “An Interview with a Painter’s Model” Linda Pilgrim stated that Peyton paints those to whom she is drawn and that she fantasizes them into what she paints. They must have some significance to her, whether it be that she found something about them ideal or she was just unexplainably drawn to them. Also, like Nan Goldin, Peyton often paints her subjects numerous times because she is interested in how they look in the moment and how that person might process their experiences at different stages in life (Elizabeth Peyton 109).

Not often is it that Peyton speaks of her art in great depth. Similar to the philosophy of Suzanne Opton, she believes there to be a chasm between “intention and interpretation.” (8). However, her work seems more similar to the work of Andy Warhol because she has taken Stardom, a thing of today’s popular culture and has recreated those “stars,” showing their “real life” attributes, so both Warhol and Peyton, through making art based on popular culture, are both making documents of the more popular culture that can be viewed later as history. Yet the intentions behind their works are quite different from one another. Warhol created to duplicate, cause a stir, and experiment with his materials. Peyton uses her materials to interpret personal histories and situations, appeal to the Star-loving culture, and appease her artistic draw toward her subjects. Peyton often uses photos as reference material for her artwork, the images often have a wonderful dramatic quality that is beautifully saturated in color.Peyton is also interested in specific moments and how they are experienced by her subjects (109). So, Peyton’s art relates to her audience in an emotional-psychological way due to the unique way she reinterprets her popular subjects, while Warhol related to people through playing with boundaries and recreating commonplace objects.

Elizabeth Peyton’s art work is refreshing in color and high in energy even when the subject of her painting conveys a downtrodden emotion. This may be because Peyton often uses photos as reference material for her artwork, so the images often have a wonderful dramatic quality that is beautifully saturated in color. It has been said that her vibrant work adds to today’s culture by taking a part from it and giving that part back in a new way. For example, celebrities conceived to have immortal attributes are depicted with real life emotion. Therefore her paintings allow the public to think about popular people in the way that one might think about a friend or a co-worker. Her work should be viewed by all who are interested in today’s culture, to broaden the horizons of how celebrities are viewed and to entertain.

Works Cited
Elizabeth Peyton. 2009. Artnet Worldwide Cooperation. April 18, 2009.

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton. 2009. New Museum. April 18, 2009.

Peyton, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Peyton. New York: Rizzoli, 2005.

To view a painting by Elizabeth Peyton:
Flower Ben, 2002.

Rowan's Group: Artist Resarch by Sarah Moen

John Baldessari was born on June 17, 1931 in National City, California. He uses a wide variety of media including video, performance, and painting, but he focuses on photography, often in combination with text and paint. When he does use paint on his photographs it is only in solid chunks of color, often to cover a portion of a human in the photo. In an interview done with a UCSD art director he said, “I think pure color is just as interesting as any thing or image.” http://www.artfagcity.com/wordpress_core/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/baldessari.jpg A major theme in his art is the placement of human forms in juxtaposition with other objects to emphasize certain areas or evoke thought about the subject.
Baldessari once said, "If I saw the art around me that I liked, then I wouldn’t do art.” He is inspired by many things, primarily popular view and criticism of conceptual art. In his video “Baldessari sings Le Witt” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6eSfKeJ_VM) he sings the words of acclaimed critic Sol Le Witt in regards to conceptual art. Baldessari also finds inspiration in changing the ordinary such as in his “wrong” series; “I was exploring just vague, not vague, but just general sort of rule of thumbs for beginning photographers for improving ones pictures and I think you still see these things around in books for people who have never handled a camera. You know, don’t pose in front of a tree because it will look like the tree is growing out of your head and I just love that idea so much.” http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/MWEBimages/all%20departments/full/M71_40.jpg I think that Baldessari is trying to entertain us, as seen in his desire to “not make boring art” as seen in one of his pieces, http://front.bc.ca/image?id=23 I also think that he is trying to bring light to things we wouldn’t always consider, and push the boundaries of what can be considered art. He said in an interview with Nicole Davis of Artnet that, “My mission for my own art I think was to break the certain "no-no's" and "taboos" for galleries. One: that you never saw photographs in art galleries, they were always in photo galleries. So, I wanted to do that. . . photography as a tool that an artist can use. Then, I was very much interested as using language as a tool for art and just information, rather than something visual. Both of those battles have been won.”
Baldessari’s work, though containing many differences, is in some aspects similar to that of Andy Warhol’s in its concepts and often aesthetic values. Both Baldessari and Warhol have worked with bright blocks of color in addition to photographs. They also have both juxtaposed text onto photographs. Also, they both try to bring attention to the ordinary and question the boundaries of art. Like Warhol’s “Brillo Box” Baldessari did a piece about sharpening a pencil he found on his dashboard. (http://thepunctum.files.wordpress.com/2008/12/15043w_thepencilstory.jpg) In the text beneath the photo he claims, “I’m not sure, but I think this has something to do with art.” However, they are different in that Warhol does three dimensional displays, which Baldessari does not, and Baldessar does video, which Warhol did not.
I would tell friends about Baldessari, because much of his work is thought provoking and aesthetically pleasing. I haven’t even mentioned my favorite piece which is a film entitled, “Respectful cameras” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COw2EBXbxIc) in which he films people walking on the street, but blots out some faces with solid circles of color. It was in response to the amount of surveillance and lack of privacy in modern day cities. I think that he has a lot of original ideas that deserve to be seen.

Art in America: John Baldessari and Alejandro Cesarco at Murray Guy by David Coggins Brant Publications, Inc.

Rowan's Group: Artist Research by Keit Osadchuk

Kiki Smith is an American artist well-known for her sculpture, prints, installations, and a variety of other media work. Most of her art work deals with the topics of women, birth, regeneration, and political events of the time, with surfacing Catholic motifs. A sense of detailed intimacy and use of the body figure is key in Smith's work, gaining her much critical acclaim since the 1980s. Her work also extends to a great collection of self-portraits, screen printed clothing, and unconventional representations of fairy-tales.

Smith is largely inspired by various social issues such as race, violence against women, and AIDS. Most of her work is a deeper insight into social issues as personal issues, giving detail to the individual as a part of a whole. In a way, Smith motivates the viewer to pay more attention and be moved by issues of each subject that she either draws, sculpts or somehow presents; her evocative style propels her art work even further.

To contrast Smith's portrayal of women to that of Neshat, Smith translates more frailty and vulnerability in her work, even though the two artists' themes are eventually related. Neshat's women, on the other hand, strive for bravery and resistance. In a way, Smith's portrayal is more factual, descriptive, and heavy, whereas Neshat glorifies her own perception, even though it may not be as current or factual to the reality. The physical difference between the two artists is also their choice of media; Smith's published work is mostly hand-made prints, sculpture, or painting, whereas Neshat uses photography, film, and installation as her main media.

Kiki Smith would be a great artist to explore because of her innovation, unconventional perspectives and products, and level of skill and detail. Her work is as real and tangible as the issues with which it deals, and for that I have tremendous respect and admiration.

Kiki Smith: The Venice Story by Vivien Bittencourt & Vincent Katz

Jennifer's Discussion Group: Vija Celmins

Vija Celmins’s art uses exquisite detail to depict natural scenes such as oceans, deserts, night skies, and infinite space. She utilizes a dark palette in her work consisting mostly of whites, blacks, and grays. Her images often lack a focal point or horizon line and instead investigate on the vastness of the subject matter. Celmins is originally from Riga, Latvia, but her family immigrated to the United States when she was ten years old and they lived in Indiana. Celmins’s works mostly in oil paint on canvas, but she has also worked in sculpture, charcoal drawing, and printmaking. The primary theme of her work is about exploring genuinely timeless natural forms. Her work depicts tangible spaces that evoke a sense of awe in the viewer.

Celmins’s work is inspired by natural phenomena that are quite common, such as the stars in the sky and delicate spider webs. She gets her ideas directly from nature and she is able to render it flawlessly. She experiments with depicting three-dimensional spaces on two-dimensional surfaces. Celmins makes art because she is inspired by her own life. She aims to capture small moments of awakening through art because she cannot put them into words. It is through her artwork that she can share experiences like walking on the beach and staring into the night sky with the world. Celmins’s work focuses on realism much more than any of the other artists we have talked about in class. Many of the contemporary artists we have discussed aim to create something entirely new rather than replicate the natural world as Celmins does.

I think it is interesting to compare Celmins’s work with that of Suzanne Opton’s. Both women artists aim to capture reality in some way. Celmins takes a literal approach by actually mimicking nature, while Opton chooses depict reality in a much more subtle way. Opton photographs soldiers to expose the reality of war and its effect on people. Celmins relates to her audience by sharing the same experience with them. In her famous Night Sky 2, both the artist and the viewer can become equally lost in the painting. They share the experience of awe in face of nature. Opton relates to her audience by leaving her work rather open-ended. The viewer is left to draw their own conclusions as to what the photographs are saying.

I would definitely refer this artist to a friend. I would encourage this friend to go to an exhibit of Celmins’s work because it is so awe-inspiring. The subject matter alone is incredible, but paired with Celmins’s passionate and flawless skill, the works are truly extraordinary. The viewer can easily get lost in the immense detail of her paintings. I think it would be very enjoyable and inspiring to see these works up close in real life.

1. “Vija Celmins Biography.” Art in the Twenty-First Century. 2007. PBS.

2. Whiting, Cecile. “‘It’s Only a Paper Moon’: The Cyborg Eye of Vija Celmins.” American Art. Spring 2009: Vol. 23 no. 1. 36-55.

Liz Pelton

Tonya's Group: Elizabeth Murray

Elizabeth Murray is an innovative artist with an exuberant style of expression. Her work is bold and chaotic, with a fascinating inventiveness about it. She is a painter who uses primarily oils on canvas, but occasionally watercolor is found in the mix. She creates a universe that blends, distorts, or twists objects into new shapes and images. Her mutation and deconstruction of objects such as coffee cups or tables, as well as her use of various unexpected colors, are her trademark. Art21 made the statement that Murray’s paintings “breathe life into domestic subject matter.” According to Corinne Robins, “Murray’s paintings tend to move sideways, horizontally across the wall. Their odd outer physical forms become bridges to the painting, to the interior shapes created on them…Murray’s current paintings demand a craning of the neck to see how it is her shapes exist.” The unique work of Elizabeth Murray is captivating and inspirational.
Elizabeth Murray’s work is often anchored by domestic objects such as tables or furniture or, again coffee cups. Her subject matter is often material from her own life, which according to Corinne Robins also makes the work “subversively feminine.” She begins with an object and from there she is very inventive. Murray is quoted in Corinne Robin’s article, describing her art as something that “starts physically, but ends intellectually.” Figures collide, shapes are shattered, skewed forms emerge, and colors are manipulated, creating wonderfully abstract master pieces. Sometimes her focus is to turn an object inside out and see if from a new perspective. The inner world and “what is behind those wall pieces” help to inspire Murray. As a result, Murray helps us see things differently as well.
Elizabeth Murray’s work is a style of its own, but the free spiritedness of it reminds me somewhat of Nan Goldin. Nan Goldin took free spirited pictures and had a distinct style in what she did as well. Although Elizabeth Murray and Nan Goldin use different mediums, both artists have an element of spontaneity in their work. Both artists relate to their audiences, but in different ways. To me Murray’s work seems to instigate the more imagination, while Goldin’s work seems to instigate more emotion. Elizabeth Murray’s work is more open to interpretation and sparks more energy in viewers; while Nan Goldin’s work sparks a deeper range of emotion. Goldin’s work is more personal because the subject matter is her close friends, and scenes from their lives. We can relate to both.
I would definitely recommend an exhibition featuring Elizabeth Murray’s work to friends. I think there is a genuine sense of fun that is sparked from viewing Murray’s work. The art itself looks like it was fun to create, and looking at it is stimulating. I think that exploring Murray’s work would be worth everyone’s time!



Art in America v. 95 no. 2 (February 2007) p. 148-9 "Elizabeth Murray at PaceWildenstein" by Eleanor Heartney

Woman's Art Journal v. 27 no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2006) p. II, 33-6, 67"Elizabeth Murray: Deconstructing Our Interiors" by Corinne Robins

*** *** ***Images do not seem to "paste" for display, but to see the fun work of Elizabeth Murray, go to "GOOGLE IMAGES" and search "ELIZABETH MURRAY ART" and you will see some of her work! OR use the ART21 link from my sources to get a visual!

Tonya's Discussion Group: Artist Paper

Susanna Callaghan
Artist Research Project: Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud is most often connected to his famous grandfather, Sigmund Freud, although he has made a big name for himself in the art world—attracting both fans and critics alike. Freud was born in Germany in 1922, but his family moved to England soon after. He briefly studied at the Central School of Art in London, Cedric Morris’ East Anglican School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham and Goldsmiths College-University of London. Freud is also known for his many affairs, many children and many controversies. In 2008, his portrait Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, sold for $33.6 million, making him the record holder for the most expensive sale of a painting by a living artist. Freud’s early paintings are often connected with surrealism and show people, animals and plants in unusual positions. Beginning in the 1950s, he started to paint portraits and now most often nudes (Literal, 2008). He paints most often using the impasto method—thick brushstrokes on a canvas using muted colors, although he also uses thin pain and etching. Freud most famously has said, “I paint people, not because of what they are like, but how they happen to be.” (Tate Britain)

Freud’s inspiration is often the people in his life: his family, friends, colleagues, lovers and children. He has said, “The subject matter is autobiographical, it's all to do with hope and memory and sensuality and involvement really …It is about myself and my surroundings. It is an attempt at a record. I work from the people that interest me and that I care about, in rooms that I live in and know. I use the people to invent my pictures with, and I can work more freely when they are there.” (Tate Britain). This really helps to summarize his work’s purpose. He is painting people as they appear, not glamorized and presenting them organically and in unstylized poses. He presents a subject as the main subject in his artwork and their essence and being is the main point to the piece of art.

This idea is similar to Nan Goldin’s ideas about art. She often uses her closest friends as her subjects. Both artists also do not glamorize their subjects; it is the subjects’ unique eccentricities that give their artwork its intimate and alluring appeal. Both artists often use their subjects in more than one piece of artwork, allowing the viewer to gain more knowledge and understanding about them. Nan’s use of photographs gives a slightly different feel from the thick impasto painting technique that Freud employs. The photographs give a snapshot into her subject’s life whereas the subjects that Freud paints seem a little more removed from the situation. Both portray a natural look in their subjects—natural in the sense that their imperfections are not hidden away.

I think that Freud’s artwork deserves to be known even if for its unique and sensual appeal although it is not my favorite sort of art. I do think, however, that he uses an interesting outlook on life to create his paintings. It is amazing that he uses his surroundings and the people closest to him to create this art. It gives a personal and touching appeal to his artwork. I would most certainly suggest looking at an exhibition to anyone I know. It is important to see his work and the impact that it has.

Lucian Freud. Tate Britain. Retrieved April 21, 2009 from http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/freud/
Naked Truths. The Observer (2005, November 6). Retrieved April 21, 2009 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2005/nov/06/art
The Reality is Disturbing. Literal Voces Latinoamericanas. Spring 2oo8. Retrieved April 21, 2009 from http://www.literalmagazine.com/pdf/l12.pdf#page=14



April 21, 2009

Margaret's Group: Artist Research Project

Jenny Olson
Artist Research Project: Andrea Bowers

Andrea Bowers was born in 1965 in Wilmington, Ohio and currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Her art has been shown in exhibits both in America and Europe. The places where her art has been shown include states like New York, Texas, Wisconsin and California, as well as countries in Europe such as Germany, Austria, France, Spain, and England. Having been described as a political activist and feminist in the art world, her art focuses on issues such as race and gender discrimination. She also connects historical events, such as the struggle for reproductive rights, to the present political state. She is interested in nonviolent protest and civil disobedience in the lives of women and explores individual expression within society at large. Her work is done in a variety of media including visual installations, photo-realistic drawings, sculpture and performances.

Bower’s art stems from her views of politics and inequality that she sees evident in the world today. She explains her feelings by saying, “In the art world and beyond, race and gender discrimination is thriving, and this makes me sad. If this weren’t the case, more young women would not be so afraid to call themselves feminists“ (“Feminist Art Base”). She also describes that in the art world, artists are afraid of being associated with an adjective, such as black, Latino, feminist, political, gay etc., and that this is an understandable concern because those attitudes are alive, but that art that is viewed as nonpolitical or neutral is actually succumbing to a majority. She believes that “you can choose to make ‘Art’ or be one of those ‘other artists’. As far as I can tell, ‘art’ is about the interests and identities of a modernist tradition of Euroethnic men and is easily consumed by a capitalist system because its politics coincide with the agendas of those in power” (Feminist Art Base”). She therefore gets her ideas from historical struggles and activism as well as issues in the political or social spectrum today that she feels needs to be addressed. She makes her art as a form of activism, not just to aesthetically portray a subject, but to describe and vocalize an issue. Her art forces people to take notice of the issue that inspired it, the problem or subject it is trying to express. Because she is trying to portray an political or controversial idea, opinion, or issue with her art, she could be compared to Felix Gonzales-Torres, Daniel Martinez, Betsy Damon, or even Gregory Green. However, the artist whose art is most similar to hers is Nancy Spero.

Like Andrea Bowers, Nancy Spero’s art focuses on contemporary political, social, and cultural issues and she is thought of as being in part, a feminist artist. She also draws on current and historical events or issues for her art. Within the artists’ exhibitions is where the differences unfold. They use different media for their art and have different focuses or messages for their audiences. Nancy Spero largely used paper and tapestry in her art, such as her collaged paper scrolls of women and war drawings on paper. Bower uses paper in a different way, she uses it for her photorealistic drawings that include portraits of people at sporting events and political topics, like “Still Life Memorial of AIDS Quilt in Storage” and her nonviolent civil disobedience drawings. Where Spero seems to use her paper technique for much of her art, Bowers often displays her art in installation and film as well. Examples of Bower’s other use of media include “Defense of Necessity” which is a sculpture weaving that blocks one half of the installation room. The inspiration came from the first Women’s Pentagon Action, where some women wove the doors of the pentagon shut with brightly colored yarn. The weaving is part of a project that originated with a nonviolent movement that took place in the 1970s and 80s that combined feminism, spiritualism, and environmentalism. Another more famous installation of hers is called “Nothing is Neutral.” The three parts of this piece use paper, sculpture, and video to depict women’s letters that were written to three suburban women (called army of three), who from 1964 to 1973 crusaded for abortion rights. The letters from women around the nation were written to support the activism or urgently voice the need of legalized abortion and they were showcased in Bower's installation on were on walls and read aloud on video.

I think the main difference between Nancy Spero and Andrea Bower’s relationship with their audience is the degree of controversy they choose to portray. Although Bower deals with controversial topics like Spero, the artwork itself is not as controversial as Spero’s; there are no depictions of penises in Bower’s work like there are in Spero’s work ,“The Male Bomb”. Both artists want their audience to notice the importance of the issues that they depict in their work, but they do so in different ways.

Another difference between the two artists is that Bowers often brings attention to issues that took place in history, sometimes recreating the approaches used by activists, or she focuses on the topic of activism itself. Spero seems to draw especially from her personal relationship with the issues she artistically expresses. Spero’s “War Series” stemmed from her feelings about the war, and her paper scrolls of women deal with in part, her personal experience with male oppression. Bower’s work is obviously personal in the fact that her topics she works with are important to her and have impacted her, but her approach is more to broadcast the work of activists before her, to comment on activism and bring its role in history together with its place in today’s society and her own views.

With her use of history, Bowers draws from historical activism and issues for a large about of her work, taking inspiration from historical ideas and recreating events in history in her own way. Spero, on the other hand, focuses on her own personal relationship to controversy or injustice, and uses history to help her convey her ideas, such as when she used historical depictions of women in art to create her piece, “Torture of Women.” Bower’s art therefore draws more extensively from history and past events, whereas Spero art focuses on a specific idea, and then draws from history. Bower’s remembrance of activism gone by is activism in itself because she is forcing people to not forget important issues in the past and use the past to learn from for dealing with issues today, many of which are the same, such as the pro-choice controversy.

I would tell a friend that this artist is a woman artist who uses political movements and events in history, as well as her own feelings and responsibility towards issues concerning women, equality, and discrimination, to draw inspiration for her art. She is an artist who works in many different media and techniques. Some adjectives I would use to describe her work would be powerful, feminine, real, and opinionated. I also think that much of her art works are like little windows in that the art may be a small picture or display of something, but it represents an issue that is much bigger and broader. The art pieces are the jumping off point for the viewer to further research and study the controversy or event that is being artistically remade. I would recommend that my friend go to an exhibit of the artist because I think that she is not just another political artist; she portrays the issues she cares about with a different use of media in a unique way. Her art is explicit in a way that the viewer understands that it is a form of activism, but it is ambiguous enough to provoke questions and possibly inspire the viewer to look deeper.

Works Cited:

Butler, Connie, Leclere, Mary, and Joo,Eungie. Nothing is Neutral: Andrea Bowers. Valencia, California: California Institute of Arts and REDCAT. 2006

“Feminist Art Base: Andrea Bowers.” Brooklyn Museum. (19 Apr. 2009) http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/andrea_bowers.php

Additional Sources:

Interview with Nancy Spero: http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/spero/clip2.html

REDCAT website: http://redcat.org/gallery/0506/bowers.php

United States Artists Website:

* I could not get pictures to come up on here

Pictures of Andrea Bower's art can be found at:

Margaret's Group: Artist Research

Gretchen Ruehle
Artist Research:
Richard Phillips

Richard Phillips was born in Massachusetts in 1962, but now lives in New York where he has a large studio where his art works are made. Phillips’ art consists of large oil paintings, up to eight feet tall and 6 feet wide, in either very vibrant colors or black and white. His paintings can be described as photorealistic because they are so meticulously painted. His subject matter is mostly images taken from porn and fashion. He uses fashion photography techniques, like having super close up views of his subjects. A lot of his work can be slightly to overtly pornographic in order to address the issues society has with sex. Most of his backgrounds are landscapes or solid colors to allow for a disassociated environment for his subjects.

Variety of different works
United States Marine inspired by a recruitement add

Phillips’ paintings are inspired by many cultural influences, such as, porn, advertising, fashion spreads from the 50’s through the 70’s, and pop art artists. Although he looks at Pop artists, like Andy Warhol, for inspiration and his work looks similar to Pop art, he doesn’t consider it to be Pop art. Philips states, “I wanted to rob Pop of its commercial feeling and re-embody it with beauty in oil painting” (Interview Magazine). Through his very traditional technique of painting he is trying to give pop art more humanity and meaning. The reason Phillips uses so many figures and themes from pornography is because he is unhappy with how society views sex. He says, “Sex can be seen everywhere in advertising but the actual articulation of our sexual activity must not be seen anywhere but in pornography” (Interview Magazine). This shows his work is trying to make the viewers see that society is so obsessed about how sex is supposed to remain unseen, but on the other hand it is used all the time in advertising. Phillips also includes many other themes in his work, like unachievable beauty, stereotypes, love, isolation, and tension.
Because Phillips works with so many different themes he can easily be compared to many of the other artists we studied. First, his work and Nan Goldin’s are similar in the subject matter and controversy surrounding their works. Both artists have created some controversial pieces that have been called pornography instead of art. Although Goldin’s more “pornographic” photos are of friends or herself, where as Phillips’ actually uses real images from pornography. This makes Goldin’s pieces much more personal than Phillips’. Another interesting comparison is with the artist Chris Ofili. One of Phillips’ paintings, called “Scout”, is of a young girl (she could be late teens to early 20s) wearing a Boy Scout uniform exposing her breasts. This painting caused a lot of the same controversy as Ofili’s “Holy Virgin Mary painting”. Both paintings have very erotic themes and pieces taken from pornography. The pornography in Ofili’s piece was definitely more subtle; the collaged pieces he cut from porn magazines transformed into something else, but even so people were still enraged to see his Virgin Mary figure with such sexual content. Virgin Mary herself was also painted in such a way to show her feminine sexuality. The controversy in “Scout” is that the viewer does not know the age of the young girl and that she is just an object of desire for men. The controversial ideas that viewers came up with for both these pieces are not the same ideas that the artists had in mind. The main ideas of these two artists are quite different. Ofili focuses on expressing his religion and heritage his own way, and Phillips is interested in expressing a social problem.
I would tell a friend to go check out a Richard Phillips exhibition if I thought that person wouldn’t be offended by his themes. I would say that his pieces are beautifully painted and would be amazing to see in person, but that his themes and subjects can be very pornographic. So it really depends on someone’s personal beliefs and interests on whether or not they should see his work.

Works Cited
Bracewell, Michael. "Some Candy Talking: The Art of Richard Phillips' in Richard Phillips." White Cube. 2005. 07 Apr. 2009 .
Johnson, Ken. "Art in Review; Richard Phillips." The New York Times 3 Apr. 2009: 29-29. Http://nytimes.com. 3 Apr. 2009. 7 Apr. 2009.
"Richard Phillips." Interview with Linda Yablonsky. Interview Magazine. 27 Feb. 2009. 07 Apr. 2009 .
"Richard Phillips." Interview with Yilmaz Dziewior. White Cube. 2002. 07 Apr. 2009 .
"Richard Phillips." White Cube. 07 Apr. 2009 .

tonyas group - artist research

Karrah Kobus
ARTS 1001
Artist Research Project
April 22nd, 2009

Artist: Joshua Petker

Joshua Petker is an artist based in southern California. He was originally born in Van Nuys and currently resides in Silverlake at the age of 30. Petker is a painter who works almost exclusively in acrylics but has experimented with nail polish, glitter, ink, and paint pens. His subject matter consistently focuses on beautiful woman, but can have an eerie feel as well due to his interest in “life, meaning, understanding, black magic, and skeletons on horseback.” The idea of the female as a subject is one that has been used throughout time, and Petker uses this to incorporate history into his work while still trying to portray the individual emotions in each piece. To begin his paintings, he references photos but admits that they are simply a framework as they are often morphed through the process of painting and expression (Bello).

Petker’s main influence is Gustav Klimt, an Austrian symbolist painter who often focused on the idea of a dominant female figure and was inspired by many different types of art ranging from Egyptian to late medieval styles (Wikipedia). The use of color in Petker’s work is influenced by his interest in juxtaposition: “putting blue on top of red is fun for me.” Life is a huge influence for him, in the sense that he finds life beautiful overall even though it can be rough at times. Petker also discusses the idea of “too much happiness” being like a sickness in regards to the contrast of happy/dark emotions in his work and challenges viewers to see the world in a new way. He also attributes his interest and success in fine art to his teenage days of graffiti even though he does not call that work art: “For me graffiti was more about my friends and doing what we did rather than it being about art. But, it was graffiti that led me into fine art” (Bello)…

Petker’s work can be compared to Jenny Schmid’s. Like Petker, Schmid uses the female figure, often in the form of a “cute little girl” (Lecture). Both artists challenge the audience to see the world differently, yet each has an individual way. Petker wants viewers to see the overall good in life despite the bad, and does so by using bright colors but through an often eerie sign such as smudged lipstick (Bello) while Schmid creates the idea of a utopia and displays her ideal views of the world through this fictional, magical place where gender roles do not matter (Lecture). Also, both artists work in traditional mediums: Petker with painting and Schmid with printmaking. Each artist uses his or her medium in a new and unique style and ends up creating very distinct images.

I highly recommend checking out the work of Joshua Petker. His images are so beautiful; one has no choice but to be captivated by them. His style is unique and interesting and every painting offers something new. Petker’s influences behind his work are also appealing and fun to learn about. Seeing his work in person is surely better than photos online or in books as the bright color palette is sure to pop. Not only is Petker an amazing visual artist, but he has enjoyable interests and a great view of the world.

Works Cited

Bello, Manuel. "Joshua Petker Interview." Fecal Face Dot Com. 26 Sep 2008. 20 Apr
2009. view&id=1272&Itemid=99999999>.
"Gustav Klimt." Wikipedia. 19 Apr 2009. 20 Apr 2009
Lecture. 1 Apr 2009.

Margaret's Group: Artist Research (Vicki Albu on Kara Walker)

Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California in 1969 and now resides in New York City and teaches at Columbia University. She received her B.F.A. from Atlanta College of Art in 1991 in painting and printmaking, and her M.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design in 1994 in painting and printmaking. Walker's most well-known works are disturbing, life-sized black and white paper silhouettes of people and relate to themes of history, slavery, violence, racism, and opression. Appearing at first sight to be intrictately lacy, whimsical cut-paper silhouettes, the subjects on closer inspection are portrayed as engaging in horribly violent and shocking acts.

Walker says that most of her work deals with "exchanges of power, attempts to steal power away from others." The inspiration for her silhouettes are history and culture, stereotype, and her own imagination. Themes of the antebellum South play heavilty into her art. John P. Bowles says, "The debate surrounding her art demonstrates the difficulty we have with work that implicates viewers in the perpetuation of whiteness' claim to privilege." Some examples of titles of her exhibitions are, "Song of the South," "Excavated from the Black Heart of a Negress," "An Abbreviated Emancipation," and "African't." Walker's works have been exhibited in the United States (including the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis), Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.

Critic Simon Wallis describes Walker's silhouettes as "black paper cut-outs (that) are burlesque, folksy figures of white slave owners and black piccaninnines taken from Southern plantation iconography." Her works express anger at the violation, oppression and disempowerment that Blacks have experienced throughout American history. Critiquing Walker's piece, "Mastah's done gone" (1998, exhibited at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London), Wallis describes the effectiveness of Walker's "multi-faceted historical and sexual fantasies" in a violent depiction of slaves who rebel against their white oppressors. Several of Kara Walker's artworks may be viewed on the web sites of the Walker Art Center and the Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery (references below).

In some ways, the art of Kara Walker can be compared to that of British artist Yinka Shonibare. Like Walker, Shonibare draws on historical themes to deal with issues like slavery and power structures,often employing ironic methods; they mock historical, stereotypical representations of Africans. Both artists have African ancestry but live in countries that profited from the exploitation of slave labor. Walker deals primarily in 2-D paper and in film projections, while Shonibare is a painter and also works with "ethnic" print textiles to create 3-D installations. Shonibare seems to experiment with a wider variety of media. Both artists challenge viewers to contemplate the present-day impacts of historical events involving slavery and oppression of African peoples. Walker addresses themes of the post-Civil War South in the U.S., while Shonibare has addressed colonialist themes of Victorian England.

I would highly recommend further exploration of Kara Walker's work, because it is highly detailed and uniquely presented. Walker's art definitely provokes thought and emotional reactions.

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis web site http://learn.walkerart.org/karawalker/Main/Biography accessed March 25, 2009

Sikkema Jenkins & Co. Gallery web site http://www.sikkemajenkinsco.karawalker_works.html accessed April 20, 2009

Wallis, Simon, "Recent American Painting, London," in The Burlington Magazine, Vol. 140, No. 1144 (July 1998), pp. 494-496

Bowles, John P., "Blinded by the White: Art and History at the Limits of Whiteness," in Art Journal, Vol. 60, No. 4 (Winter 2001), pp. 39-67

Jennifer's Group: Artist Research- Amanda Rezutek

Louise Bourgeois

It all goes back to childhood. When cracking open the container of play-dough, the smell reminds you of kneading it into “pancakes” on the table while dinner was being prepared with edible substances. At least, that is what pleasant childhood memories consist of. For Louise Bourgeois, things were not so simple, but themes of her childhood tend to dominate most of Bourgeois’ work (Art21, n.d., ¶1). She was born on December 25th, 1911 in Paris to a family who was wishing solely for a boy. This was mostly her father’s wish, for he wanted someone who would carry on his tapestry business. Because there was tension between her father’s wishes and her mother’s love, Louise grew to be a very strong person. She often had to deal with her father’s teasing and his many mistresses. Louise was also required to take care of her mother while her mother was struck with the flu. To do so, Louise was obligated to “cup” her mother to expel toxins, and to remember such events, she used these glasses in a piece of art to relieve her of these tough memories (Greenberg & Jordan, 2003, p. 24). Within most of her artwork, Louise confronts issues dealing with fear and love that relate back to her childhood. Usually frustration also makes its way into her work, stemming from diary entries she had written early in her life (Spector, 2008, ¶1). Most of her pieces begin with “murderous” scenes. For example with She-Fox, she made the creature without a head because she believed that her mother could never love her. Upon exorcising this sculpture by polishing or “nurturing” it, she realized that her mother did in fact love her, even through her illnesses. Most of Louise’s pieces are made of marble, stainless steel, bronze, rubber, and other types of stone. She also explained that no piece of art is ever finished because the subjects are never exhausted.

Since childhood is such a huge theme in Louis Bourgeois’ work, it is evident that the past is her largest inspiration. She even stated that her “childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama” (Greenberg & Jordan, 2003, p. 7) and also that her “ inspiration comes from the beauty of the past” (Greenberg & Jordan, 2003, p. 17). Even though most of her past was difficult, she is still fond of her memories that consist of her father’s teasing, disproval of pursuing art, and participation in war. She believed that memories are things that belong to you, and because no one else can have those exact ones, they are always beautiful. Louise creates art because she felt betrayed as a child, which helps her explore ideas of love and anger, and loyalty and betrayal. Her mother accepted too much from her unreliable father, and her father was disloyal and betrayed her family. Another prominent subject in her work is the spider. She used the spider symbol to describe her mother and said that “she was deliberate, clever, patient, soothing, reasonable and dainty, subtle, indispensible, neat and useful as a spider” (Greenberg & Jordan, 2003, p. 22). The spider is a guardian figure and Louise recalls her mother spending days repairing and restoring things that needed such work. The spider is also a symbol of Louise being an artist by spinning a web and pulling art out of her own mind. She believes that art is about making connections and communication, not entertaining (Greenberg & Jordan, 2003, p. 62). This view of art making can be related to Nan Goldin’s artwork.

Though Nan Golding and Louise Bourgeois use very different media in their artwork, their backing ideas are relatively similar. Both Louise and Nan have very emotional pieces. They make the viewer feel something by letting the viewer into the artists’ lives. Both of these artists also had emotional struggles as children. Nan had to deal with her sister’s death, which led her to photography, while Louise was forced to deal with a disloyal father who resented her. This resentment led Louise to using sculpture as an outlet. There are clearly many differences between the artists as well. Nan’s photography was an extremely literal view of what her life entailed while Louise’s sculptures were extremely abstract. Once a viewer gets to the core of what a piece is trying to express, the two artists are not so different.

I would strongly recommend the work of Louise Bourgeois to a friend. The scale alone of her most recent spider sculptures is enough to awe them. I would definitely give background information on the artist, while it is crucial in understanding exactly what her pieces represent. Louise’s artwork is about her childhood, and without thinking about nurturing, fear, loathing, and love, her pieces may not mean much to the viewer. Seeing an exhibition of Louise Bourgeois would be incredible. Her craftsmanship is beautiful and her pieces hold an immense amount of emotion.

She-Fox (1985)



Greenberg, J. & Jordan, S (2003). Runaway Girl: The Artist Louise Bourgeois. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Incorporated.

Art21: Louise Bourgeois. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/bourgeois/index.html

Spector, Nancy (2008). A Life In Pictures: Louise Bourgeois. Guggenheim Museum. Retrieved from http://pastexhibitions.guggenheim.org/sackler_louise/index.html

April 20, 2009

Margaret's Group- Artist Research Christina Lopez

Robert Polidori, born in Canada but raised in New York, started out as an avant-garde filmmaker in the 1970s and later turned his career to still photographs, specifically those that required a tripod. Robert Polidori is known for his work in The New Yorker and his most recent work, After the Flood, which included photographs from post Hurricane Katrina. He makes photographs of architecture that is important to him in his quest for the answers to his questions. He said in Metropolis, "where you point the camera is the question and the picture you get is the answer."
Polidori is inspired at portraying images that relate to sociology, anthropology, architecture, and philosophy. He gets these ideas from his personal life and hw he sees the world and likes to make photographs with these themes in mind. His work, especially After the Flood, is meant to use Pathos to get us to think about Global Warming and what kinds of atrocious and disasterous things can, will, and are happeneing because we are not working hard enough to change our lifestyles (www.metmuseum.org).
It is hard to compare Polidori with an artist that we talked about in class, but I would say that the work of Thomas Cooper has some similarities in the sense that they both make photographs that show very grand constructions. The differences are that Thomas Cooper shoots in black and white, doesn't pay as much attention to small details as Robert Polidori, and he shoots grand images that are places already found in nature such as rock formations, whereas Polidori shoots color, pays very close attention to composition, and specializes in photographs of architectural man-made works.
Thomas Cooper relates to his audience in communicating very sharp black and white images that one would see hanging in a modern art museum, abstract images of objects found in nature that is pleasing to look at.
Polidori relates to his audience by expressing the idea of the house being like the "external materialization of the internal life." In his images of the 160,000 homes in New Orleans that were destroyed in the Natural Disaster, as Martin Pedersen said in Metropolis, “Polidori’s eye for composition brings hurricane katrina’s disaster from biblical proportions down to human scale by documenting the simple , mundane objects that make a house a home.”
To tell a friend about the work of Robert Polidori:
Out of his book from 2004, Metropolis, the work to which I responded the most was his photograph entitled, On Stealing Souls. Not only is the photograph of the cemetery in Central Cairo positively amazing for me, in the fullness of the frame, the small and cloudy but significant background, and the way the sun hits the earthen-made homes leaving your mouth feeling dry, but the side note about death, Satan, stealing souls, and the story of his tour guide matches the photograph in a humorous but thoughtful way. This, I feel is a great example of the kind of work that is Robert Polidori's best. I would recommend that they check out his work because from the sounds of what his installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was like, it would be worth the trip and the money to get in for a first-hand encounter.

Side note: I could not find an image of Stealing Souls online but it can be found on page 72-73 in Metropolis.

Rosenheim, Jeff. "New Orleans after the Flood: Photographs by Robert Polidori." September 19, 2006.http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId={23E721E6-F42D-4773-8FF7-B1EE1CDD00A9} (accessed 04/20/2009).

Polidori, Robert, and Martin C. Pedersen. Metropolis. New York: Metropolis Books, 2004.


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Margaret's Group: Artist Research- Michael Garlinghouse

Chuck Close, born in 1940 in Monroe, Washington, grew up to become a very influential contemporary artist through his remarkable skill, original ideas, and innovative techniques. His incredible attention to detail and pioneering methods for creating large-scale, photo-realist portraits separate him as an artist that will always be an inspiration to generations to come. Close graduated from University of Washington, Seattle in 1962, immediately following, he attended Yale University for graduate school, working under the printer Gabor Peterdi. In 1973, he had his first exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art called Project 11: Chuck Close/Liliana Porter. Soon after in 1975, Close had an exhibit here in Minnesota at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts. In 1978 Chuck Close began experimenting with using his finger to make ink impressions on the surface of paper, eventually leading to many detailed portrait exhibitions that toured the United States. In the mid-eighties he also begins working with Japanese-style woodblock printing. Close is most well known for his incredibly innovative, enormous portraits. He created a grid on photographs, of his friends and family, and then made a proportional grid on a large canvas, using an airbrush, he applied acrylic paint to create extremely detailed pieces.
In 1988, Chuck Close experienced intense chest pain followed by a violent seizure from a spinal blood clot, leaving him almost completely paralyzed. He continued to work, although his technique changed due to being limited to using a brush-holding device. His portraits of immense detail changed into pieces that close up appeared to be abstract tiles with swirling colors and shapes and far away colorful representations of human faces.
Early in his childhood, Chuck Close was inspired by an exhibition he saw of Jackson Pollock. These abstract paintings encouraged Close to become a painter. By limiting his techniques, Chuck Close hoped to discover alternative ways of seeing and creating. His large-scale works broke boundaries of details and size, continuing to inspire modern artists.
Close’s work can be compared to Andy Warhol’s in the sense that Warhol’s work was also very innovative. Although both artists use materials differently, both individuals’ techniques and ideas were revolutionary, and changed expectations of what artists are capable of.
I would strongly suggest a friend, or anyone to check out Chuck Close’s work. I do not think that I would give them any background information, because releasing the information that his pieces are paintings would ruin the surprise and lessen the response of the viewer. His photo-realistic portraits are something everyone should see. The public can easily appreciate them because from far they look like photographs and upon close inspection it is realized that each mark is made with an airbrush. To a person unaware of Close’s will be amazed by the detail.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic
Chuck Close UP CLOSE by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

April 16, 2009

Jennifer's Group: Gallery Visit-Juliana Delgado

The Contemporary Art Museum of Chicago
R. Buckminster Fuller
Exhibition: “Starting With the Universe”

I went to the Contemporary Art Museum in Chicago over Spring Break. On the fourth floor R. Buckminster Fuller was the artist on display. There were about one hundred works that he had done or that other artists had commented on, replicated, indirectly influenced or done in his honor. The majority of the work however was Fuller’s. A brief synopsis of Fuller’s work at the front of the exhibition said that the collection made up “five decades of Fuller’s integrated approach to design and technology of housing, transportation, navigation, and communication” altogether. The exhibition really kept viewers interested in Fuller’s work. There were so many models and 3-D figures that presented his ideas more realistically than just sketches, drawings, books and films could.

When you enter the floor from the stairs you see a celestial mural incorporating day and night. Then as you turn left into the mural there is a video on the wall of Fuller describing his work and from there you pick which room you want to go in. Each room was labeled as works given by a specific donor or in a certain collection. Within the galleries/rooms for Fuller, there were displays of his books, brochures, directions, and videos of Fuller explaining his “Dymaxion” projects. Many of the drawings were on the walls, with a main focus of a table in the center of the room showing the work that was described on the walls. Many works were sketches of ink on paper or tracing paper of his ideas for “4D” houses. However there were actual models of his works and the materials he used were plastic, aluminum, wood, plexi glass, wire, and gravel.

Fuller’s main focus lied within preserving resources and as a wall description at the museum said “harnessing the positive potential of new technology for the greater good.” Upon the death of his daughter, he took a worldwide perspective of how he could improve humanity. As a designer, architect, and innovator Fuller wanted to create shelters or homes and cars that were easily constructed, cheaper, and made with materials that were at common access. He had a “doing more with less” approach when creating his works, which with this phrase in mind coined the word “ephemeralization.” His works with his “Dymaxion” projects were based on the notions that the tetrahedron was the most important shape all around nature. Many of his projects incorporated the geodesic sphere. The word "Dymaxion" was coined by combining parts of three of Fuller's favorite words: DY (dynamic), MAX (maximum), and ION (tension). He shared a common passion with Betsy Damon of improving conditions for citizens and the world as a whole. Both regard nature very highly and have strong interest in what it takes to live on earth. One of Fuller’s most interesting works at the museum was of a three dimension model of his “Dymaxion house.”

The title of the work was “4D Dymaxion House Project, 1927, re-created 1987” and it was made with aluminum, plastic, wire, and gravel. It had built-in furniture along the core column that was supposed to provide the need for little maintenance. It looked like a doll house with all the appliances and furniture it needed. It was very real looking with faucet knobs and door handles and everything. The walls of the house were transparent to see all of the details. This was one of many of Fuller’s works to create an environmentally-efficient, easily transportable and convenient home that could be mass-produced. I loved his idea of a circular home. It was really unique in its fabrication. However my concern would be severe weather conditions and its fragility.

The exhibition as a whole was very interesting. There were a number of geodesic domes and 3-D tetrahedrons of many different materials, shapes, and sizes. I would definitely recommend this exhibition because it is like looking into the future and taking engineering and architecture to a whole new level. His works are very innovative and interesting.

(Pictures below)

Top left:
Buckminster Fuller
Undersea Island- Submarisle from the portfolio Inventions: Twelve Around One, 1981

Top Right:
Buckminster Fuller
Dymaxion House, 1945

Bottom Right:
Buckminster Fuller
Dymaxion House, 1927

Jennifer's Group: Artist Research-Juliana Delgado

Vito Acconci

Vito Hannibal Acconci was born to Italian parents in Bronx, New York on January 24, 1940. He grew up there and by the time he was about 14 years old he was exploring his artistic talents with writing poetry and short fiction. He received his B.A. from Holy Cross College and eventually a M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa. After school, Acconci got bored with what he was doing and was introduced to performance art by other friends and peers. This began his journey through a number of different mediums, from poetry to visual arts like performance, video, sound, sculpture-furniture and architecture.

Vito Hannibal Acconci is very provocative, limitless, and a multifaceted artist. He did a number of works making the private public and crossing the personal limits of society. He wanted to induce real feelings with his audience whether it was physical, emotional, or intellectual feeling. He loves reality and making “individuals collide.” He did work regarding “real space”- the physical space, the social space, the cultural space, private and domestic space and time. Some of his work doing this consisted of The Red Tapes (1977), a 3-part videotape bringing together elements of video space and movie space, using language and images fading in and out of each other. A lot of his work focuses on him and his actions with himself. Other pieces Acconci would follow random people throughout their day, until they went to a private place, like their work place (office) or home. Acconci’s main focus is to make his audience “think and take action.”

Acconci did a number of pieces with this in mind, during the 1970’s with sociopolitical themes, due to the Vietnam war, feminism, the economy, the Watergate fiasco which inspired works like “Where are We Now (Who Are We Anyway)”, 1976. Then during the 1980s, he changed his pace and created modern pieces of furniture within the environment, forcing people to interact with and experience his works. He wants society to question and examine their role socially, privately, and publically. Acconci achieves this with, at times, very disturbing performances like Seedbed (1972) and thought-provoking installations. His reality is very exposing like the work of Nan Goldin.

Goldin uses photography to catch every moment her family, friends, and herself have. Whether they’re having sex or at a funeral, she is catching every candid moment. She brings the taboo up-close and personal with the audience viewing her work. She values relationships and their rawness of life’s intimacies. Acconci also gets very personal with his work but it is of himself and his actions. He is in the videos, pictures, and apart of some of his installations. He more forcefully brings people to have relationships and get involved in his work, whereas Goldin is like an unnoticed fly on the wall. I would recommend Acconci’s work because it is very it does make one think greatly about his intent and your part in regards to the work.


Acconci, Vito. Acts of Architecture. © 2001 Milwaukee Art Museum. Catalogue supported by Camille O. Hoffmann; printed by Fox Company Inc.

Electronic Arts Intermix Website: http://www.eai.org/eai/artistBio.htm?id=289

Vito Hannibal Acconci Studio. © 2004 Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona …Actar …. “This book is published on occasion of the show “Vito Hannibal Acconci studio”, co-organized by Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes and Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and presented in Nantes from July 15 to October 17, 2004, and in Barcelona from November 17, 2004 to February 20, 2005.”

April 1, 2009

Examples of Visual Narratives

I've pulled together a few examples of visual narratives as inspiration for your narrative project. The object for your project is to choose a story, then choose a visual form from art history or popular culture through which to tell your tale. Here are a few examples of how artists have re-used forms to relate narratives:

A time-lapse photograph - showing motion through a space over time in a sequence of photographs. (by Marey, Etienne-Jules, French, 1830-1904)

Allen Ruppsersburg used the format of a scrapbook of snapshots to create this narrative, which was about a friend's attempt to locate the "missing" Al.

Comics are an art form - and R. Crumb is a master of this immediately recognizable form. (R. Crumb, Zap Comix, number 13: Dumb: page 5)

This image works with the traditional format of the comic (or graphic novel), but uses images that look more like film stills. (Tracey Moffat, Adventure Series 3)

Raymond Pettibon often uses poetry, music, and literature as inspiration for his drawings and paintings, and often incorporates both text and image. His drawing style is influenced by comics and by the illustrations in pulp novels. (Of a river..., 1992)