Personal Investigation. A2 level. 2013.
For an A2 level course in Fine Art that will finish in 2013, students at William de Ferrers School have to do a Personal Investigation (coursework). This has to include a related Personal Study (1,000 to 3,000 words).
The following titles were starting points for their work:
Abandoned and foresaken
Ken Currie "... consistently concerns himself with those individuals who are victims of social injustice. His paintings have focused upon the abandoned and forsaken in a rapidly changing world. Yet just as significantly, he meditates on the subject of existence in order to construct some idea of meaningful life."
(‘Ken Currie: Details Of A Journey.’ by Tom Normand. London. 2002.)
- A Man is a Man Ken Currie 2008.
- Dancing Couples Ken Currie 1992.
- Room with Two Windows Ken Currie 2004.
Art is an unlikely, but powerful weapon against the wounds of war. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can result in feelings of abandonment, depression and anxiety in the aftermath of war.
"When a trauma happens, the person will react to get through the experience, but it leaves the trauma unprocessed. A person might then get a sensory memory like a sound, or sight, or smell, that is reminiscent of the trauma and they re-experience it happening again." (Janice Lobban).
Art for Heroes examined the role of art therapy in the rehabilitation of military who have returned from combat with post-traumatic stress disorder. Art making is pitched as an "unlikely weapon" against trauma reactions and the presenter explored how drawing, painting and imagination were helping veterans to repair and recover from the psychological wounds of war.
Themes of war, separation and betrayal.
- Queen and Country Steve McQueen 2006.
- Cleansed by Peter Howson 1994.
- Separation Edvard Munch 1896.
- Jealousy Edvard Munch 1895.
- The Supper at Emmaus Caravaggio 1601.
- The Taking of Christ Caravaggio 1602.
Absence and presence
"When you start working everybody is in your studio – the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas – all are there." (John Cage, as recalled by Phillip Guston).
Edward Hopper's work has inspired generations of film makers, photographers, writers and artists including Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola, Todd Haynes, William Boyd, Norman Mailer, John Updike, Ed Ruscha, Peter Doig and Luc Tuymans.
Victor Burgin writes: "... there is a real sense in which the work of Edward Hopper constitutes a world parallel to our own: a latent presence in the interstices of the present.
We need not look for Hopper in order to find him. We may encounter him by chance at random places where his world intersects our own. We might ask whether or not this photograph [Sharon Wild, 2001, from The Valley] by the American documentary photographer Larry Sultan, was taken with Edward Hopper's paintings [Hotel Room, 1931] consciously in mind. But the question is irrelevant. To know Hopper's work is to be predisposed to see the world in his terms, consciously or not.
Victor Burgin continues: "I am not interested in the question of what one artist may or may not have taken from another.
I am referring to the universally familiar phenomenon of looking at one image and having another image spontaneously come to mind.
The images that come to mind are not only such things as identifiable paintings or photographs, or particular images or scenes from films. They may also be more or less vague impressions to which we cannot assign any particular origin. To these belong the ‘fixed images’, the stereotypes of ‘commonsense’ that are the common coinage of mainstream media – popular journalism, television sitcoms, and so on."
- Office at Night Edward Hopper 1940.
- Office at Night [Yellow], Victor Burgin 1986.
- Office at Night [Blue newsreader], Victor Burgin 1986.
- Office at Night [Green], Victor Burgin 1986.
Other possible lines of enquiry are:
- Edward Hopper and the ‘Decisive Moment’.
- Edward Hopper's Influence.
- Gauguin's chair Vincent van Gogh 1888.
- Van Gogh's Chair Vincent van Gogh 1888.
- Big Electric Chair Andy Warhol 1967.
- Graffiti art and negative space destruction art Zhang Dali.
- A Bigger Splash 1967 by David Hockney.
- Absence J. Meejin Yoon 2003.
- Your House 2006 by Olafur Eliasson.
- Marsupial 2006 by Anish Kapoor.
"If you let your eye stray over a palette of colours ... you experience satisfaction and delight, like a gourmet savouring a delicacy. Or the eye is stimulated as the tongue is titillated by a spicy dish. But then it grows calm and cool, like a finger after touching ice. There are physical sensations, limited in duration. They are superficial too and leave no lasting impression behind if the soul remains closed."
Wassily Kandinsky is referring to the effect of colour, from his book ‘Concerning The Spiritual in Art.’
Kandinsky: "Colour provokes a psychic vibration. Colour hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body."
Other artists who share Kandinsky's search for colour balance and sensitivity are:
- Josef Albers.
- Pablo Picasso.
- Frank Stella.
- Howard Hodgkin.
- Photographers Ernst Haas and Joel Meyerowitz.
- The Fauves.
- Colour Field painters (Morris Louis, Hans Hofmann, Kenneth Noland).
- Girl with Parrot Pierre Bonnard 1910.
- La Vie Pablo Picasso 1903.
- Three Musicians Pablo Picasso 1921.
- Torn Poster III - Face, NYC Ernst Haas 1960.
- Joel Meyerowitz.
- In Bed in Venice 1984 – 1988 by Howard Hodgkin.
- Homage to the square Josef Albers 1964.
- Equinox Hans Hofmann 1958.
- Sequence No. 11 Jegori Koski 2003.
Who is watching and why?
"Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object – and most particularly an object of vision: a sight."
(John Berger, Ways of Seeing. 1972.)
Victor Burgin: "Looking is not indifferent. There can never be any question of 'just looking'."
The range of meaning of the verb ‘to see’ is so vast that a typical thesaurus contains a list of fifty-odd synonyms, among them ‘to look, glimpse, eye, notice, stare, etc.’ While each word involves the act of perception, all have slightly different shades of connotation: for example, ‘behold’ has religious undertones, ‘scrutinize’ involves some sort of intellect, and ‘gape’ indicates an element of surprise. From this long list of synonyms, however, ‘gaze’ has almost been singled out for use in discussions about art.
Jonathan Schroeder notes, "to gaze implies more than to look at - it signifies a psychological relationship of power, in which the gazer is superior to the object of the gaze."
Daniel Chandler notes, "Some theorists make a distinction between the gaze and the look: suggesting that the look is a perceptual mode open to all whilst the gaze is a mode of viewing reflecting a gendered code of desire (Evans & Gamman)." The term ‘the male gaze’ has become something of a feminist cliché for referring to the voyeuristic way in which men look at women (Evans & Gamman).
In Renaissance images, nude women were painted almost exclusively for the male viewer. Women are often depicted with their bodies turned towards the viewer while their heads are turned away and gazing in a mirror. The woman is aware of being the object of the male gaze.
This awareness of male gaze is illustrated in the painting Susanna and the Elders (Jacobo Tintoretto 1555-1556).
The biblical story of Susanna and the Elders tells of a young married Jewish woman living in Babylon. Susanna is bathing in her garden. She sends her two maids into the house to fetch oil and perfumes for her bath. Two lecherous elders of the community spy on her, conspiring to force her to submit to them sexually. They threaten her that, if she refuses, they will denounce her of adultery with another man, adultery being, according to ancient Jewish law, a capital crime for women.
"The story is a complex narrative of sexual desire and visual temptation, female chastity and masculine law. During the Renaissance the dramatic focus on the moment of the woman's nakedness while bathing exposed to a lecherous conspiracy emphasized the sexual, voyeuristic and visually violating aspects of the theme, while providing a biblical and even theological justification for the painting of an erotic female nude, a genre that was emerging in this period, shifting the connotations of the female nude from its traditional iconographic association with Truth towards its modern signification of (masculine) desire and its privileged visuality." (See: Susanna and the Elders).
In contrast, Dutch painters of the 1600’s, such as Rembrandt, painted women in a far less sexualised and idealised way.
Van Gogh in a letter to his brother Theo (Saint-Rémy, 2 July 1889) describes a ‘Tenderness of Gaze’:
"And so what Rembrandt has alone or almost alone among painters, that tenderness of gaze which we see, whether it's in the ‘Men of Emmaus’ or in the ‘Jewish Bride’ or in some such strange angelic figure as the picture you have had the good fortune to see, that heartbroken tenderness, that glimpse of a super-human infinitude that seems so natural there - in many places you come upon it in Shakespeare too. And then above all he is full of portraits, grave or gay, like ‘Six’ and like the ‘Traveller,’ and like ‘Saskia’."
- Bathsheba at Her Bath Rembrandt 1654.
Who is watching who?
"This piece of contemporary media is an example of how the woman has been positioned to be looked at by men in a way that comes across that she doesnt mind the fact that this is happening. She is not looking directly at us which makes us feel comfortable to look at her. She is also looking at her cleavage, which again gives us permission to do the same. Because she is not gazing at us, it doesnt feel like a stand off or that she is not wanting you to look at her, her stance is inviting. This woman is watching herself by looking at her cleavage, knowing that she is being watched by men."
- Untitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face) Barbara Kruger 1981.
- Artist Sarah Lucas J Stoddart.
- Le déjeuner sur l'herbe Edouard Manet 1863.
- Yves Saint-Laurent Steven Meisel.
Geometry is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position of figures, and the properties of space.
Artists use aspects of geometry for measurement, line, shape, form, pattern, relative scale, proportion, perspective, symmetry, tessellation, optical illusions, architecture, understanding nature, balance and harmony.
- The Fighting Téméraire by Turner, 1839, with a rule of thirds grid superimposed.
Euan Uglow preferred that his canvas be a square, a golden rectangle, or a rectangle of exact root value, as is the case with Root Five Nude,(1976). He then carried out careful measurements at every stage of painting.
Remnants of the measurements he took and the drawing guide he used remain visible in his finished paintings. He would make his life models pose in ways to emphasise simple geometric shapes. Planes are articulated very precisely, edges are sharply defined, and colours are differentiated with great subtlety.
Uglow registered measurements by means of a metal instrument of his own design (derived from a modified music stand); with one eye closed and with the arm of the instrument against his cheek. The surfaces of Uglow's paintings carry many small horizontal and vertical markings, where he recorded these coordinates so that they could be verified against reality.
- Reclining Nude William Coldstream 1976.
- Vonal Stri by Victor Vasarely 1975.
A picture of autumn trees is ambiguously titled The Fall. Outbuildings and a pub feature in a series called Scenes from the Passion. A routine place becomes unexpectedly meaningful.
"You think of childhood as something you walk away from and you look back at it from a long way away. But I feel like ... I'm walking towards the past." George Shaw.
Jock McFadyen’s bleak cityscapes chart contemporary East London which has been his subject for over 25 years. He paints monumental landscapes of urban wastelands, stagnant canals, filling stations and derelict cinemas.
North, South, East, West.
Consider the four points of the compass, the areas of the World, Europe, Britain, the patterns in the night sky, our cultural and artistic differences, social differences, conventions and matters of taste... Does where you are determine who you are, what you think and believe?
The Renaissance (14th - 17th centuries) determined the direction of western culture and its art, bringing about great changes in how we view man and his place in the world.
- Vitruvian Man Leonardo da Vinci c. 1487.
There were clear differences between the Southern and Northern Renaissance.
The comparisons between western and eastern or African art are marked, particularly through the development of perspective and the study of light, shadow and anatomy. Yet, in the 19th and 20th century’s, European artists were continually looking east (Japan and China) and to Africa for more expressive and spiritual ways to express the human condition.
- Detail of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and African mask used by Picasso.
- The Great Fishing God of Sefar Algerian rock painting, circa 10,000 BC.
- Untitled Mickey of Ulladulla.
- Wisteria at Kameido Tenjin Shrine (Kameido Tenjin Keidai) Utagawa Hiroshige 1856.
Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies
Claude Monet 1899.
Travellers among Mountains and Streams
Fan Kuan 11th C.
- Snowdonia Sidney Richard Percy 19th C.
In England, the term North–South divide refers to economic and cultural differences.
The artist Grayson Perry, in his 3 part series for Channel 4 entitled ‘All in the Best Possible Taste,’ visited Sunderland in the North East, then Tunbridge Wells in the South to talk to people about working class and middle class taste.
His six tapestries The Vanities of Small Differences are a riff on A Rake's Progress; like William Hogarth's 18th-century paintings they tell the story of a man as he rises from working-class obscurity to greatness – and then falls again.
"Hogarth's Tom Rakewell ends up in Bedlam. Perry's Tim Rakewell meets his end in a car crash, the emblems of his lifestyle – fancy car, Louis Vuitton bag – scattered uselessly around him. Death will put an end to everything, the tapestry tells us. Class trappings will not follow us to the grave."
Quotes by Grayson Perry:
"The story starts with Tim Rakewell as a babe in arms in Sunderland. The first scene is in his great-grandmother's front room, where he's sitting on his mother's knee trying to get her mobile phone, because that's his main rival for her attention. She's just about to go out with her mates on the lash and they've just arrived to pick her up. Her grandmother's in the background, and it's about showing the taste of that nan's front room: the nick-nacks and the associations. And the big thing about working class taste is that it holds this ghost of heavy industry still, the social emotions are hangovers from a time when we had heavy industry, and they're changing very slowly, so they're not necessarily appropriate to the modern world but they're still there. The scene is called The Adoration of the Cage Fighters because it depicts two cage fighters coming up to Tim and giving him the symbols of membership of the tribe, which are the Sunderland football shirt and a miner's lamp.
The second image is called The Agony in the Car Park. It depicts Tim's stepfather doing a bit of singing and his mother enraptured by it, and Tim looking a bit embarrassed. He's almost crucified against an image of a shipyard crane because he's on the brink of social mobility himself - the stepfather - he's going to go into the call centre and become a manager there, moving away from the traditional jobs.
The Expulsion from Number Eight Eden Close depicts our hero Tim with his girlfriend who he's met at university - a nice middle-class girl - having rowed with his mother because she thinks she's turned him into a snob. So he's moving through to a dinner party in a nice bourgeois home with William Morris wallpaper and mid-century British paintings on the wall. He goes up into the quite chichi Islington world: the world of the Aga and organic vegetables."
More possible lines of enquiry are:
Crucifixion 1523-25 by Matthias Grünewald.
School of Athens 1509–1510 by Raphael.
Eastern Art meets West;
see The Art of the Brush.
Reine de Joie 1892 by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
Sketch for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907
- Art Through Time: A Global View.
- Hogarth. A Rake's Progress.
- Masaccio's Expulsion from the Garden of Eden 1425.
- Nocturne Jessica Rankin 2004.
- ‘The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography’ a book by Katharine Harmon 2009.
This Is Tomorrow?
This is tomorrow was the title of an exhibition held in 1956 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. Its aim was to summarize the influences that were beginning to shape post-war Britain through the integration of the different arts; painting, sculpture and architecture.
The emblematic image of the exhibition was a small collage by Richard Hamilton for reproduction as a poster, entitled Just what is it the makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?
Hamilton attempted in this image to summarise his view of the contemporary world, splicing art, science and technology. An interior where "Adam and Eve strike a pose along with the rest of gadgetry."
It signalled the advent of Pop Art defined by Hamilton as: Popular, Transient, Expendable, Low Cost, Mass Produced, Young, Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big Business.
It could be said that the collage reflects a certain anxiety about a ‘cosy little future’ which can go ‘pop’ at any time in this consumer paradise which cannot be sustained forever.
Hamilton’s image has been appropriated many times since 1956 (e.g. Digital Collage using Photoshop and Google-found imagery. 2010.), often with a great sense of irony, to comment on our rapidly changing culture and the issues we face.
Areas for further research might include:
- Other’s involved in the Exhibition, e.g. Eduardo Paolozzi, Alison and Peter Smithson, Nigel Henderson, Kenneth Martin, Victor Pasmore, John McHale, John Voelcker and William Turnbull.
- Richard Hamilton’s later work.
- Interiors. Present and Future. Science, Technology and their relationship to Art.
Anselm Reyle's work hovers uncomfortably in the present. His work has been described as futuro-modern, perhaps, or retro-contemporary.
Reyle is constantly exploring the boundaries of art. His colourful abstract works, while referencing abstract art of the 1950s and 1960s, are unmistakably of the now. Often, the artist will start from found everyday objects that he reinterprets by means of glittering materials and garish neon colours.
In Wagon Wheel (2009) he takes an object that generally signals nostalgia and longing for the past and, applying bright fluorescent colours, transforms it from kitschy icon to abstract sculpture. "What interests me most are the dead ends of modernism", says Anselm Reyle.
Keith Tyson's work spans art, philosophy, science and technology.
- Large Field Array Keith Tyson 2006
- Nature Paintings Keith Tyson 2006
- Studio Wall Drawing: 1st Feb 05 : These Resources are Mine to Mine Keith Tyson 2005
- Operator Paintings Keith Tyson
Manipulation of second hand images.
"Taking others’ work as subjects for one’s own- to copy, to allude to, or freely transpose into new creations- has long been a staple of art education, and a major avenue of preserving and exorcising tradition."
(Susan Grace Galassi, ‘Picasso, Variations on the Masters’, 1996.)
Picasso made use of all of these methods of appropriating the past to convert works into "something else entirely”.
Between August and December 1956 Picasso produced 45 paintings directly based on Velasquez’s Las Meninas which depicts the court of Philip IV of Spain 1655. In it, 9 life-size figures are responding to something or someone beyond the picture frame.
Picasso was always interested in exchanges between real and pictorial space, (Cubism), the subtleties of appearance and reality, paintings within paintings, and signs and symbolic meaning. He would have seen the painting in the Prado when he was a boy and the variations that he produced were a way of reconnecting with his Spanish artistic roots.
In Picasso's Meninas (1973), Richard Hamilton appropriates Picasso who appropriates Velasquez. Hamilton transforms Velázquez into Picasso and replaces the original figures in the painting with others in the different styles in which Picasso worked. Thus we see the Blue and Pink Periods, cubism, classicism and expressionism. He pays homage to two Great Masters in one print.
Other possible lines of enquiry:
Richard Prince is an American painter and photographer. Prince began appropriating photographs in 1975. His image, Untitled (Cowboy), 1989, a ‘rephotograph’ of a photograph taken originally by Sam Abell and appropriated from a cigarette advertisement, was the first ‘rephotograph’ to raise more than $1 million at auction when it was sold at Christie's New York in 2005.
Marcel Duchamp and The Readymade. Changing the context of images and objects.
In 1919, Duchamp made a caricature of the Mona Lisa with a moustache and goatee. To this he added the caption L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic script which, when read out loud in French hastily ‘Elle a chaud au cul’.
Definition: Partially concealed, disguised, or obscured. Indistinct.
Ian McKeever's work embraces eye, body, mind, soul and spirit. His abstract paintings poetically explore the space and time of nature and the imagination, questioning the very nature of existence itself.
They have been described, "as breathing, luminous surfaces where consciousness floats in veiled structures that lie between the artist and the wider world."
McKeever explains that he explores two major forces of nature; Gravity which roots us to the ground and Light which elevates us and infuses the human spirit.
"In painting a painting one does not set out to paint what one knows but rather tries to touch those things which one does not know and which perhaps cannot be known."
- Hartgrove Painting No 10 Ian McKeever 1993 – 1994.
- Assumptio (appearance) Ian McKeever 1997 – 1998.
- Assembly Painting Ian McKeever 2006 – 2007.
Other lines of enquiry:
and McKeever's influences. For example:
- Johannes Vermeer
- Vilhelm Hammershøi
- William Blake
- Caspar David Friedrich
- Robert Smithson
- John Piper
- Graham Sutherland
McKeever describes Vermeer as a painter who painted towards the light, and makes a striking comparison with Hammershoi who he describes as squeezing out all the light that he could.
- Young Woman with a Water Pitcher Johannes Vermeer ca. 1662.
- Woman in Blue Reading a Letter Johannes Vermeer ca. 1663.
- Interior, Strandgade 30 Vilhelm Hammershøi 1908.
- Bedroom Vilhelm Hammershøi 1890.
- Interior with Woman at Piano Vilhelm Hammershøi 1901.
- Entrance to a Lane Graham Sutherland 1939.
- San Marco Venice John Piper 1961-2.
- Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson 1970.
[Excerpted from a paper written by Wendy Walker at William de Ferrers School.]
Personal Investigation. A2 level. Pre-2013.
Titles used at William de Ferrers School in years previous to 2013 have included:
"Painting," Gerhard Richter has commented, "is the making of an analogy for something non-visual and incomprehensible: giving it form and bringing it within reach."
(‘Gerhard Richter Portraits. Painting Appearances.’ by Paul Moorhouse. National Portrait Gallery, London. 2009).
His early work is of blurred figurative paintings, both with and without colour followed by seductive abstract paintings, with a colour palette that is either brilliant or subdued.
His surprisingly diverse range of work has received prolonged discussion from critics, especially due to Richter's disregard for ‘traditional’ stylistic progression and his use of photographs.
Richter has tried to subvert the hierarchy of art and the everyday. "I believe in nothing", he has said.
Examples of Richter's diverse work both figurative and abstract:
- Firenze 2000.
- Abstract Painting 1995.
- Apple Trees 1987.
- Abstract Painting 1984.
- Three Candles 1975.
- Abstract Painting 1975.
- Gilbert & George 1975.
Auguste Rodin was a naturalist, less concerned with monumental expression than with character and emotion.
Departing with centuries of tradition, he turned away from the idealism of the Greeks. His sculpture emphasized the individual and the concreteness of flesh, and suggested emotion through detailed, textured surfaces, and the interplay of light and shadow.
His interest in architecture and the human form resulted in ‘caryatid’ sculptures.
A caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head.
- Fallen Caryatid Carrying Her Stone Auguste Rodin 1881.
- Crouching Woman Auguste Rodin 1882 – 1884.
- Crouching Caryatid Auguste Rodin.
- The Three Shades Auguste Rodin before 1886.
- Luba Caryatid Stool Luba, D. R. Congo, Zaire, Mid 20th Century.
- Caryatid Amedeo Modigliani 1914.
- Sorrow Vincent van Gogh 1882.
- The Porch of Maidens at Erechtheion, Acroplis 421 – 406 BC.
- Caryatids Caesar's Palace Forum shopping arcade, Las Vegas.
In Pepper, one of the photographer's best-known works, a simple vegetable is transformed into a massive form, one with the muscularity of a human torso and the modelling of a great sculpture.
In this world of urban clatter and fast pace, artists and architects explore structures and spaces which can provide opportunities for meditation, contemplation, observation and inspiration.
From Mariko Mori's Temple installations to the paintings of Mark Rothko, the site specific art of Andy Goldsworthy or the windows of Marc Chagall.
- Transcircle Mariko Mori 2004.
- Dream Temple Mariko Mori 1999.
- America Windows Marc Chagall 1977.
- Broken Pebbles by Andy Goldsworthy.
- Red on Maroon (Seagram Murals) Mark Rothko 1959.
‘Doppelganger: Images of the Human Being’ is the title of a newly published book which asks the question: just how do we mask or reveal our inner selves?
"In it, contemporary artists show how digital media has shattered allegiances to Da Vinci's ideal proportions and equipped us with radical modes of expression, erasing or positing new archetypes."
It is possible that the Internet, as the dominant medium for social interactions, can lead to physical anonymity and the birth of new digital identities which reduce the human identity to data?
What might this mean for artists who traditionally challenge stereotypes and explore beyond the superficial.
Christiane Paul, curator of Media Arts at Whitney Museum, says:
"I would say that social media in general have definitely had an enormous impact on artistic practice within the digital field, and by that I do not only mean Facebook or social media platforms ... but also experimentation in virtual worlds such as Second Life".
The traditional definition: A doppelgänger is a tangible double of a living person in fiction, folklore, and popular culture. The word has come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person.
Artists, writers and film-makers have long been interested in portraying doubles, other selves, alter egos, shadows, mirror images and stories of doppelgangers from myths, legends and folklore.
Duchamp as Rrose Sélavy Man Ray (Emanuel Rabinovitch) ca. 1920 – 1921.
Duchamp's imaginary self (alter ego.). Spoken, it sounds like "Eros, c'est la vie," or "Eros, that's life."
- Identical twins, Roselle, N.J Diane Arbus 1967.
- La Reproduction Interdit René Magritte 1937.
In Alfred Hitchcock's film ‘Psycho,’ Norman Bates' ‘split personality’ is signalled by his reflection in window glass.
Later, Norman is confronted by Sam Loomis: critics have commented on the physical similarity between the actors cast for the two roles.
- Google by Olaf Breuning 2010.
- Faces Olaf Breuning 2009.
- Kazimir Olaf Breuning 2011.
- Romulus and Remus.
Other possible areas of enquiry are:
- Aziz and Cucher.
- Gillian Wearing.
- Cindy Sherman.
- Dorothee Baumann.
- Tony Oursler.
- William Wegman.
- Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.
Japonism is a French term generally said to have been coined by the French critic Philippe Burty in the early 1870s. It described the craze for Japanese art and design that swept France and elsewhere after trade with Japan resumed in the 1850s, the country having been closed to the West since about 1600.
The rediscovery of Japanese art and design had an almost incalculable effect on Western art. The development of modern painting from Impressionism on was profoundly affected by the flatness, brilliant colour and high degree of stylisation, combined with Realist subject matter, of Japanese woodcut prints.
Artists such as Klimt, Bonnard, Whistler, Beardsley, Toulouse Lautrec [Toulouse Lautrec: The Full Story, a documentary by Waldemar Januszczak] and Degas were all influenced by Ukiyo-e and the work of Utamaro, Hiroshige and Hokusai.
- France – Champagne Pierre Bonnard 1891.
- The Peacock Skirt Aubrey Beardsley 1893.
- Divan Japonais Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1893.
- Chocolat Dancing In Bar Darchille Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec 1896.
- Woman wiping sweat Kitagawa Utamaro 1798.
- 28 Nagakubo from ‘The Sixty-nine Stations of the Kiso Kaidō’, by Utagawa Hiroshige 1834 – 1842.
- The Great Wave off Kanagawa Katsushika Hokusai ca. 1829 – 1832.
The drawings of artist Daniel Zeller are rife with repetition, spontaneity, mind boggling obsession and labour-intensive discipline, turning the act of doodling into a full-time, exploratory endeavour.
He has likened his drawings to meditation, aerial photography, digital circuitry, microscopic imagery, anatomy and landscape.
Other micro artists include Jacob El Hanani, Marco Maggi and Simon Frost.
- Basket 2005 (A) Jacob El Hanani 2005.
- Untitled #92 Simon Frost 2006.
- Untitled #82 Simon Frost 2006.
- Hipo-Real Marco Maggi 2008.
David Hockney quotes these words from Rowley's ‘Principles of Chinese paintings’ as his focus for his painting Mulholland Drive: The Road to the Studio "... one might travel through miles of landscape, might scale the mountain peaks, or descend into the depth of the valleys, might follow streams to their source or move with the waterfall to its plunge. How wonderfully our apprehension of nature has been expanded, combining in one picture the delights of many places seen in their most significant aspects."
Thomas Hirschorn: "I'm not trying to be stupid, naive, or intuitive; I am simply interested in praxis."
Definition: Praxis is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practised, embodied, or realized.
Praxis may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas.
This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, and many others.
It has meaning in political, educational, and spiritual realms.
Thomas Hirschhorn's projects employ humble materials to create low-tech sculptures and structures that are permeated with images and information.
Hirschhorn's Cavemanman (2002) is a sprawling installation, a packing-tape-and-cardboard cavern with several chambers connected by winding tunnels. Its floor is strewn with empty aluminum cans and fake rocks. Posters from popular culture are plastered on the walls and ceiling, and photocopies of assorted political and philosophical texts line the hallways.
Repeatedly spraypainted across the wall of one room like a mantra is the motto "1 Man = 1 Man", an affirmation of universal equality and a call to disassemble hierarchies. This slogan sets the tone for the utopian postapocalyptic community that might inhabit these caves.
Groups of cardboard human figures and mannequins wrapped in tinfoil are joined together by a system of foil cords that also extend to books on topics such as democracy, equality, and community, as well as to foil explosives – a combination that suggests the power of thought and information.
"To me, the cave is in your brain, the cave is in your mind ... You have to build this cave in your mind and to struggle with what happens in this cave in confronting it with the world."
Thomas Hirschhorn describes his sculptural environments as "collages in the third dimension" and explains that this means "putting things together that are not meant to be put together." Created from the most basic everyday materials, his monumental works are concerned with issues of justice and injustice, power and powerlessness, and moral responsibility.
The artists' propositions, filled with idealism, poetry, and sometimes humour, visualize a space independent of social conventions and xenophobia, where different experiences of love, approval, racial and sexual identification, and equality could exist.
Paula Rego was born in Portugal, which at that time was a country that had not yet become Americanized, and it still fiercely clung onto its tradition and culture which revolved around storytelling.
There weren't TVs humming away in every house. Families instead gathered around and told each their stories for entertainment. Paula remembers the stories her grandmother, aunts, and other relatives would tell her.
As a child Paula remembers loving the illustrations in her father's big book, Dante's Inferno.
"My paintings tell stories; they do not illustrate stories ... they are not narratives ... everything happens in the present."
- Swallows the Poisoned Apple Paula Rego 1995.
- Snow White and her Step Mother Paula Rego 1995.
- Lucifer, King of Hell Gustave Doré illustrating Canto XXXIV of Divine Comedy, Inferno, by Dante Alighieri; created between 1861 and 1868.
Krefeld Redux: Bathroom, Scene #4
by Eric Fischl 2005.
- Ophelia John Everett Millais 1851 – 1852.
Systems and Structures
Conrad Shawcross combines in his work an interest in sculpture and science – in particular cosmology, quantum mechanics and musical theory.
"Take an impossible machine design by Rube Goldberg, a contraption built by Heath Robinson, and cross it with a junk sculpture by Jean Tinguely, and you might get something a bit like Conrad Shawcross's The Nervous System. Ridiculously mammoth, and perilously rickety, Shawcross's monstrous structure is a testament to Luddite technology." (Saatchi Gallery)