Posts Tagged ‘Vija Celmins

17
Sep
13

Exhibition: ‘Lifelike’ at The Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas

Exhibition dates: 23rd June – 22nd September 2013

 

Daniel Douke. 'Ace' 1979

 

Daniel Douke (American, b. 1943)
Ace
1979
Acrylic on masonite
8 x 8 x 12 1/4 in.
Courtesy Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul

 

 

Life (like).

.
“For the French theorist Jean Baudrillard, this consciousness of construction finds its most powerful expression in the concept of hyperreality. To appreciate Baudrillard’s view, recall the treatment of literary deconstruction… Deconstruction therorists propose that words gain their meaning through their reference to other words; literary works gain their significance by the way they are related to other writings. Thus language does not derive its character from reality, but from other language. Now consider the media – newspapers, television, the movies, radio. For Baudrillard, media portrayals of the world are not driven by the way the world “is,” but by the steadily emerging histories of portrayal itself. As these histories unfold, each new lamination is influenced by the preceding, accounts are layered upon accounts, and reality is transformed into hyperreality. For example, Baudrillard asks, what is the reality of the “Holocaust”? One cannot deny that certain events took place, but as time goes on these events become subject to myriad re-presentations. Diaries become subject to redefinition by television and movies; biographies influence the writing of historical novels; narrated history is transformed into plays, and each “telling” lays the experiental groundwork for subsequent retellings. Realities accumulate, accentuate, interpenetrate, and ultimately create the world of hyperreality – itself in continuous evolution into the future. We feel we possess an intimate acquaintance of the events in themselves; they are sharply etched in our consciousness. For Baudrillard, however, this consciousness moves increasingly toward hyperreality.

And thus the culture opens to the possibility of selves as artifacts of hyperreality. As political events, health and illness, and world history slip from the realm of the concrete into the domain of representation, so a commitment to obdurate selves becomes increasingly difficult to maintain. What, after all, is the reality of our motives, intentions, thoughts, attitudes, and the like? …

As we find, the current texts of the self are built upon those of preceding eras, and they in turn upon more distant forms of discourse. In the end we have no way of “getting down to the self as it is.” And thus we edge toward the more unsettling question: On what grounds can we assume that beneath the layers of accumulated understandings there is, in fact, an obdurate “self” to be located? The object of understanding has been absorbed into the world of representations.”

Gergen, Kenneth. The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life. New York: Harper Collins, 1991, pp.121-122.

.
Many thankx to The Blanton Museum of Art for allowing me to publish the artwork in this posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the art.

 

 

Evan Penny. '(Old) No One – in Particular #6, Series 2' 2005

 

Evan Penny (South African, b. 1953)
(Old) No One – in Particular #6, Series 2
2005
Silicone, pigment, hair, aluminium
40 x 32 x 7 1/2 in.
© Evan Penny
Courtesy Sperone Westwater, New York

 

Vija Celmins. 'Eraser' 1967

 

Vija Celmins (Latvian American, b. 1938)
Eraser
1967
Acrylic on balsa wood
6 5/8 x 20 x 3 1/8 in.
Collection Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA
Gift of Avco Financial Services, Newport Beach

 

Maurizio Cattelan. 'Untitled' 2001

 

Maurizio Cattelan (Italian, b. 1960)
Untitled
2001
Stainless steel, composition wood, electric motor, electric light, electric bell, computer
23 1/2 x 33 5/8 x 18 5/8 in.
Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

 

Keith Edmier. 'Bremen Towne' 2008

 

Keith Edmier (American, b. 1967)
Bremen Towne
2008
Installation dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist and Friedrich Petzel Gallery

 

 

Bremen Towne was an idea I’d been thinking about prior to [my 2008] show at Bard College. It had been floating in my head for a number of years based on the sales brochure of my parents’ home I had obtained around 1999 off of eBay. It was just one of these things I had around… I didn’t really have the idea of constructing this house back then… As it turned out, the interior dimensions of my parents’ home from the original blueprints fit directly into one of the galleries at the museum. At that point I started considering it more as an art object, or as a sculpture more than an installation… The main visual references were family photographs, mostly taken during critical events or holidays or birthday parties. My process involved going through the photo album – everything. They were all pictures of people posing, so I started looking at the spaces [in the background]… I ended up buying the whole decade of both Sears and JCPenney catalogues up until that time, the early ’70s. Through that I was able to identify some products based on visual descriptions or in the family photographs… I initially went to a place that has all kinds of wallpapers and floorings from other periods, used a lot for movies and things like that. I heard they had thousands of wallpapers. It turned out I couldn’t find the exact wallpaper that was in the house. I guess at that point I started thinking it was more interesting for me to remake it, and to remake it more or less new. I wanted to represent the time element, the moment before the day of the family moving into the new house. It wasn’t supposed to look lived in.

I think I was initially interested in doing that to have some kind of separation from taking a real object that was loaded with personal history or some sentimental thing. It was a way of moving from a subjective to an objective position… [I was interested] in just thinking about the whole interior of the house itself as a cast, or this negative space. I thought about how the house is essentially the space that shapes us, that shapes oneself… I think that my reason to make it, or to make almost anything, went beyond just the visual aspects of it, or the idea of re-creating an illusion of the thing. I’ve always been more interested in a certain level of representation or pictorial literalness… I like words or descriptions like “actual” or “actual scale.” I like the idea of “what is real?”

Keith Edmier

Siri Engberg. “Unconventionally Real: Nine Artists Discuss Their Work in Lifelike,” on the Walker Art Center website Mar 1, 2012 [Online] Cited 20/12/2020

 

 

The exhibition Lifelike, on view at the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin June 23 to September 22, 2013, invites a close examination of artworks based on commonplace objects and situations, which are startlingly realistic, but often made of unusual materials in unexpected sizes.

Organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, this international, multigenerational group exhibition features 75 works from the 1960s to the present by leading figures in contemporary art, such as Andy Warhol, Gerhard Richter, James Casebere, Vija Celmins, Keith Edmier, Robert Gober, Ron Mueck, Mungo Thomson, and Ai Weiwei, and illuminates artists’ enduring fascination with realism.

Avoiding the flashiness embraced by 1960s Pop Artists and the slick urban scenes introduced at that time by the Photorealists, the contemporary artists in Lifelike investigate often overlooked items and moments as subject matter: a paper bag, an eraser, an apple core, a waiting roo, an afternoon nap. Favouring a handmade, labour intensive practice rather than technological enhancements, the works in the exhibition – including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing and video – transform the seemingly ordinary into something beguiling, loaded with narrative and metaphor.

The exhibition explores the many ways artists have pursued realism through a range of media. Some artists featured, such as Vija Celmins, Chuck Close, and Peter Rostovsky, paint from photographs, creating works that exhibit an astonishing degree of likeness and detail. Others work in sculpture often fashioning objects from materials that belie the pedestrian nature of the subject – Ai Weiwei’s jar of hundreds of sunflower seeds, hand painted on to cast porcelain, or Tom Friedman’s bee, made out of clay, plastic, and paint. In photography, artists including James Casebere and Isaac Layman play with the hyperreal, through fabricated scenes or clever layering of images. In video, artists including Thomas Demand and Jeon Joonho create moving images that at first seem familiar, but deceive us through sly use of animation.

Conspicuously absent in most of the works in Lifelike is a reliance on technological intervention. Instead, in seemingly inverse proportion to the ease of producing goods for the marketplace, many artists are slowing and complicating their own working methods, remaking banal things into objects of fixation and desire: Catherine Murphy’s details of textured fabric on the seat of a chair, or Ron Mueck’s strikingly “real” sculpture – down to the last hair and pore – of human subjects. Frequently these artists work from photographs, but just as often, their inspiration is the observed world, and the notion that a tangible, perhaps ephemeral object or moment can somehow be brought back to life æ reinterpreted through the artist’s hand as re-made readymades.

To address the nuances of this subject, the exhibition presents several key conceptual sections:

Common Objects gathers a group of late 1960s and early 1970s works that borrowed strategies from Pop, but rejected that movement’s brand-name emphasis in favour of conceptual, more process-oriented approaches to subject matter.

Another section presents the notion of  The Uncanny, which features work by a generation of artists in the 1980s and 1990s who inflected realism with a psychologically-laden, surreal sensibility, such as Robert Gober’s child-sized chair and flower-covered box of tissues, resting mysteriously atop a floor drain; or Charles Ray’s disarming photograph of himself as a mannequin.

A third section entitled Realism into Abstraction presents a range of works by artists such as Peter Rostovsky, Catherine Murphy and Tauba Auerbach, in which lushly painted surfaces such as velvet curtains, the seat of a chair, and other ordinary items are cropped in such a way that they resemble abstract paintings, their original sources difficult to discern.

Handmade Sleight of Hand, the fourth section, presents work by artists who make objects that are indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts, but made with the traditional techniques of painting, sculpture, or drawing. Highlights include Jud Nelson’s trash bag carved from Carrara marble and Susan Collis’s checkered plastic shopping bag painstakingly rendered in ballpoint pen on paper.

A fifth section, Special Effects: The Real as Spectacle, presents artists making work that engages an instant response – be it astonishment, fear, confusion, or delight – through their surprising size or unusual installation.

Press release from The Blanton Museum of Art website

 

Peter Rostovsky. 'Curtain' 2010

 

Peter Rostovsky (Russian)
Curtain
2010
Oil on linen
72 x 48 in.
Courtesy of the artist

 

 

What does it mean in Warholian fashion to “want to be a machine,” to long for a kind of inhumanity that has to be constantly performed and repeated? Is this not a radical disavowal of an all too human vulnerability? Can we not read in the mechanical appeals of photorealism a kind of excessive sentimentality, a naïve expressionism that uses the camera and the photograph as a shield against trauma?

And likewise in expressionism’s hyperbolic restatement of its humanity, is there not a silent concession to its opposite, a founding anxiety about inauthenticity, a mortal dread regarding the total triumph of simulation and technology?

However, it is important to stress that these are unfulfilled desires. No photorealist painting completely fools the viewer into the fact that it is machine-made; it entertains the fantasy, much like electronic music. And each autonomous artwork is only a temporary escape, a utopian space, “an orchid in the land of technology,” to borrow a phrase that Walter Benjamin applied to the illusion of reality in film.

What these two positions in fact represent are two negative theologies that stand as sentinels, forever pointing to and away from a traumatically unresolved subject position – a position of the never sufficiently technological, and the never completely human. They are both Romantic positions and should be read as such: as positions of longing and disavowal, not of identity.

Why would this be important to emphasise? Because it answers the familiar question asked to every painter painting photographs. It’s not about the ends, it’s about the means. It’s about the performance of painting that re-states the position, not the photo-like product that it yields. In other words, it’s about trying and failing to be a machine. Therein resides the futility and poetic nature of the practice. The failure marks the fragility and evanescence of the subject negatively, knowing that the alternative is to misname, to misrepresent, to conjure the opposite. This poetic is more latent, and seldom acknowledged in art that aspires toward indifference and inhumanity, but I hope that I have shown that every tin man has a heart, just like every photorealist hides an abstract painter.

Peter Rostovsky

Siri Engberg. “Unconventionally Real: Nine Artists Discuss Their Work in Lifelike,” on the Walker Art Center website Mar 1, 2012 [Online] Cited 20/12/2020

 

Matt Johnson. 'American Spirit' 2010

 

Matt Johnson (American, b. 1978)
American Spirit
2010
Paper, plastic, foam, paint, and magnets
1 x 3 1/2 x 2 1/4 in.
Edition of 3
Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Photo credit: Joshua White
© Matt Johnson

 

Ron Mueck. 'Untitled (Seated Woman)' 1999

 

Ron Mueck (Australian, b. 1958)
Untitled (Seated Woman)
1999
Silicone, acrylic, polyurethane foam and fabric
25 1/4 x 17 x 16 1/2 in.
Collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

 

Alex Hay. 'Paper Bag' 1968

 

Alex Hay (American, b. 1930)
Paper Bag
1968
Fiberglass, epoxy, paint, and paper
59 1/4 x 29 x 18 in.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
© Alex Hay
Courtesy of the artist and Peter Freeman, Inc., New York Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson

 

Jonathan Seliger. 'Heartland' 2010

 

Jonathan Seliger (American, b. 1955)
Heartland
2010
Enamel on bronze
103 x 29 x 29 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY

 

Yoshihiro Suda. 'Weeds' 2008

 

Yoshihiro Suda (Japanese, b. 1969)
Weeds
2008
Painted on wood
Size varied according to site
© Yoshihiro Suda
Courtesy of Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo

 

 

The Blanton Museum of Art
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78712

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm
Sunday 1pm-5pm

The Blanton Museum of Art website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top

27
Jun
09

Exhibition: ‘ARTIST ROOMS: Celmins, Gallagher, Hirst, Katz, Warhol, Woodman’ at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Exhibition dates: 14th March – 18th November 2009

 

Fancesca Woodman.'From Angel Series, Roma, September 1977' 1977

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
From Angel Series, Roma, September 1977
1977
Gelatin silver print
93 x 93 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

 

 

Shining brightly in the firmament the star of the show is, undoubtedly, the supremely talented Francesca Woodman. What an artist – both photographer and subject, here and there, enigmatic, sensual, psychotic, beautiful, playful, and desperate. Who is she; who are we.

Baldly put, “Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings… Found objects and suggestive props are carefully placed to create unsettling, surreal or claustrophobic scenarios. Her photographs are produced in thematic series’, relating to specific props, places or situations. In combining performance, play and self-exposure, Woodman’s photographs create extreme and often disturbing psychological states.”

Her photographs are so much more. They promote in the attentive viewer a ghostly insistence that you could be her – in vulnerability, in presence, in fear of suffering, for our death. Who are we that is represented, what is our place in this lonely world, how do we interact with our shadow? “In concealing or encrypting her subjects she reminds the viewer that photographs flatten and distort, never offering the whole truth about a subject.” No. This is no truth.

It is that they offer glimpses of another world, not flattened or distorted, but a lens to focus on the microcosm of the infinite spirit. The personal as universal truth.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Francesca Woodman. 'Space², Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978' 1975-1978

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
Space², Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978
1975-1978
Gelatin silver print on paper
139 x 139 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

 

 

Throughout 2009, 18 museums and galleries across the UK will be showing over 30 ARTIST ROOMS from the collection created by the dealer and collector, Anthony d’Offay, and acquired by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland in February 2008. This is the first time a national collection has been shared and shown simultaneously across the UK, and has only been made possible through the exceptional generosity of independent charity The Art Fund and, in Scotland, of the Scottish Government.

The opening displays at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh this spring will include the work of Vija Celmins, Ellen Gallagher, Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Andy Warhol, and Francesca Woodman. Highlights will include Celmins’ beautiful, delicate images of seas, deserts and the night sky, a complete series of landscape and portrait paintings by the American painter Alex Katz and Francesca Woodman’s intimate, surrealist-influenced photographs. Damien Hirst, the most prominent British artist of today, will feature in an expanded display across several rooms. This will bring together works from ARTIST ROOMS – such as the iconic Away from the Flock (an early example of Hirst’s animals in formaldehyde) and a recent butterfly painting – with additional loans from further collections.

The ARTIST ROOMS display at the Gallery of Modern Art is dedicated to Vija Celmins’ ethereal images of seas, deserts and the night sky, a complete series of landscape and portrait paintings by Alex Katz, and Francesca Woodman’s intimate, surrealist-influenced photographs. Photographs by Warhol and paintings by Ellen Gallagher will also be included. Damien Hirst will feature in an expanded display, which will bring together works from ARTIST ROOMS – such as the iconic Away from the Flock and a recent butterfly painting – with additional loans from further collections.

American artist Vija Celmins makes paintings, drawings and prints. Using charcoal, graphite and erasers she produces delicate images based on photographs of the sea, deserts, the night sky and other natural phenomena.

The ARTIST ROOMS collection comprises 24 works on paper by Celmins, including three unique drawings. Web #1 is typical of her fragile images and is the first of nine works on the theme of the spider’s web. It is accompanied by a series of four ‘web’ prints which echo the web-like construction of the universe. Other works in the collection include an important series from the entitled Concentric Bearings which explores different images of turning space.

Celmins works focus on something small and individual in the context of vastness. The images they depict seem fragile because they record a specific human glimpse through a telescope or camera which is temporary and frozen in time. …

Damien Hirst is the most prominent artist to have emerged from the British art scene in the 1990s. Hirst’s work forces viewers to question their understanding of issues such as the fragility of life, our reluctance to confront death and decay and other dilemmas of human existence.

He is best known for his Natural History works – large-scale sculptures featuring dead animals floating in Minimalist looking vitrines – but also for his mirrored pharmacy cabinets lined with shelves full of evenly spaced drug bottles, pills, sea shells or cigarette butts, and his paintings, which he produces in series.

An example of these, included in ARTIST ROOMS, is the early Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a). Also included in ARTIST ROOMS is the key work Away from the Flock, featuring a sheep floating in formaldehyde. The large butterfly diptych Monument to the Living and the Dead, 2006 was made specifically for ARTIST ROOMS. …

American photographer Francesca Woodman has eighteen rare vintage black and white photographs in ARTIST ROOMS. They have a timeless unique quality. The artist began taking photographs at the age of thirteen and though she was only twenty two when she took her own life, she left behind a substantial body of work.

Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. She puts herself in the frame most often, although these are not conventional self-portraits as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence.

Found objects and suggestive props are carefully placed to create unsettling, surreal or claustrophobic scenarios. Her photographs are produced in thematic series’, relating to specific props, places or situations. In combining performance, play and self-exposure, Woodman’s photographs create extreme and often disturbing psychological states.

Andy Warhol is one of the most influential American artists to emerge in the post-war period. ARTIST ROOMS includes an impressive selection of 232 works which span the artist’s entire work. This display focuses on a group of stitched photographs from the collection.

After graduating and moving to New York in 1949, Warhol quickly became established as one of the city’s most sought after commercial illustrators, working for magazines such as Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar. However, it was in the early-sixties that he began to produce the work for which he is most celebrated.

As the most famous proponent of Pop Art, his earliest ‘pop’ works depict consumer goods and images from the press. This evolved to reveal his enduring fascination with celebrity and mortality, with many of his most powerful images touching on these themes.

ARTIST ROOMS comprises a superb array of important works representing all phases of Warhol’s career and a cross-section of media. Warhol explored the medium of photography extensively and began producing stitched photographs in 1986. Returning to his earlier predilection for repetition, Warhol used multiple prints of the same photographs that he then had sewn together to form a composite work of art. By repeating the same image, Warhol could extend the abstract design to the whole work and emphasise the broader significance of what might seem to be peculiarly singular and oddball.”

Text from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website [Online] Cited 25/06/2009 no longer available online

 

Vija Celmins (Latvian-American, b. 1938) 'Web #1' 1999

 

Vija Celmins (Latvian-American, b. 1938)
Web #1
1999
Mezzotint on paper
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Vija Celmins

 

 

Celmins’s intense monochromatic images, based on photographs, focus on small and individual marks in the context of vastness. The images seem fragile because they record a specific human glimpse through a camera which is ephemeral and frozen in time. Celmins’s serial exploration of her subjects, including spider webs, allows the artist to exploit the distinct characteristics of the variety of media she uses. This meticulous, translucent web is typical of her apparently fragile, ephemeral images. These images echo the web-like construction of the universe, a further preoccupation of the artist. Celmins has explained: “Maybe I identify with the spider. I’m the kind of person who works on something forever and then works on the same image again the next day.”

Text from the Tate website

 

Vija Celmins. 'Untitled (Web 1)' 2001

 

Vija Celmins (Latvian-American, b. 1938)
Untitled (Web 1)
2001
Mezzotint on paper
175 x 194 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Vija Celmins

 

Damien Hirst (English, b. 1965) 'Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a)' 1994

 

Damien Hirst (English, b. 1965)
Controlled Substances Key Painting (Spot 4a)
1994
Acrylic paint on canvas
Support: 1220 x 1224 x 40 mm
Frame: 1307 x 1303 x 81 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

 

 

This canvas is constructed using a grid of dots of different colours, accompanied by letters in alphabetical order that seem to dissect and reorganise the very matter of painting into cells. Hirst has said that he only painted five of his spot paintings himself, since he found them so boring to paint and could not do them as well as his assistants. But the key thing about these works is their conceptual clarity – the potentiality of making an infinite number and variety of paintings, based on size and colour of the dots and size and shape of the canvases. Like Andy Warhol, whom Hirst greatly admires, Hirst has set up a sort of factory with assistants to help him make his works of arts. Like Warhol, Hirst retains central control of what and how it is produced.

Text from the Tate website

 

Damien Hirst (English, b. 1965) 'Away from the flock' 1995

 

Damien Hirst (English, b. 1965)
Away from the flock
1995
Glass, stainless steel, Perspex, acrylic paint, lamb and formaldehyde solution
960 x 1490 x 510 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2019

 

Francesca Woodman. 'Eel Series, Roma, May-August 1977' 1977

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
Eel Series, Roma, May 1977 – August 1978
1977
Gelatin silver print
219 x 219 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

 

 

Woodman lies naked, in a vulnerable state, the curve of her body echoing the curved form of the eel. She has printed several similar versions of this image with her body on either side of the eel. While Woodman was studying in Rome between 1977 and 1978 she came into contact with the Symbolist work of Max Klinger, whose influence can be seen in this series. The image is sexually charged, yet in placing herself on both sides of the camera Woodman hovers between being in control and being defenceless, exploring the ways in which femininity can be portrayed. The photograph is not a self-portrait in the conventional sense, as it explores the possibilities of representation, instead of revealing the artist’s identity.

Text from the Tate website

 

Francesca Woodman. 'Untitled, 1975-1980' 1975-1980

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
Untitled, 1975-1980
1975-1980
Gelatin silver print on paper and ink
144 x 144 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

 

Francesca Woodman. 'Untitled, 1975-1980' 1975-1980

 

Francesca Woodman (American, 1958-1981)
Untitled, 1975-1980
1975-1980
Gelatin silver print on paper
141 x 140 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
© Courtesy of George and Betty Woodman

 

 

Crouched against a dilapidated interior, Woodman conceals her face with her hand. The combination between the vintage pattern of her dress and the peeling wall behind her create an antique, romantic air. Woodman’s photographs exhibit many influences, from Symbolism and Surrealism to fashion photography and Baroque painting. She explores issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. Woodman usually puts herself in the frame, although these are not conventional self-portraits, since as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence. This underlying fragility is emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.

 

ARTISTS ROOMS Essay

American photographer Francesca Woodman has eighteen rare vintage black and white photographs in ARTIST ROOMS, acquired from a collection once owned by the artist’s boyfriend. Woodman’s photographs exhibit many influences, from symbolism and surrealism to fashion photography and Baroque painting. They have a timeless quality that is ethereal and unique.

The artist began taking photographs at the age of thirteen, and though she was only twenty two when she took her own life, she left behind a substantial body of work. Francesca Woodman’s photographs explore issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings.

She puts herself in the frame most often, although these are not conventional self-portraits as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence. This underlying vulnerability is further emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs. We often see her in otherwise deserted interior spaces, where her body seems to merge with its surroundings, covered by sections of peeling wallpaper, half hidden behind the flat plane of a door, or crouching over a mirror. Found objects and suggestive props are carefully placed to create unsettling, surreal or claustrophobic scenarios.

Her photographs are produced in thematic series, relating to specific props, places or situations. Woodman was exposed to the symbolic work of Max Klinger whilst studying in Rome from 1977-78 and his influence can clearly be seen in many photographic series, such as Eel Series, Roma and Angel Series, Roma.

In combining performance, play and self-exposure, Woodman’s photographs create extreme and often disturbing psychological states. In concealing or encrypting her subjects she reminds the viewer that photographs flatten and distort, never offering the whole truth about a subject.

Text from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website [Online] Cited 05/03/2019

 

Andy Warhol. 'Trash cans' 1986

 

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Trash cans
1986
4 photographs, gelatin silver print on paper and thread
Support: 698 x 543 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

 

 

Warhol’s stitched photographs depict a wide range of subjects including signs, objects, celebrities, nude models and buildings. Trash Cans is one of many that focus on everyday and ordinary objects and can be related to some of Warhol’s best-known pop works, in which common objects and consumer goods (for example Brillo boxes, Coca-Cola bottles, and Campbell’s soup cans) are isolated from their everyday context so as to foreground their individual aesthetic value. Many of Warhol’s pop works are also composed of repetitious images, for example his screenprints in which identical images are repeated numerous times across a canvas, such as Marilyn Diptych 1962 (Tate T03093). It is thus useful to compare Trash Cans with Warhol’s screenprints featuring multiple images of Campbell’s soup cans – especially given the similarities between the shapes of the different receptacles.

Text from the Tate website

 

Andy Warhol. 'I am blind' 1976-1986

 

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
I am blind
1976-1986
9 photographs, gelatin silver print on paper
Frame: 1315 x 1066 x 26 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

 

Andy Warhol. 'Venus in Shell' 1976-1986

 

Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987)
Venus in Shell
1976-1986
4 photographs, gelatin silver print on paper and thread
Object: 700 x 542 mm
Acquired jointly with the Tate through The d’Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

 

 

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

Opening hours:
Open daily, 10am-5pm
Admission free

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Orphans and small groups’ 1994-96 Part 2

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email me at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Join 2,732 other followers

If you would like to unsubscribe from the email list please email Marcus at bunyanth@netspace.net.au and I will remove you asap. Thank you.

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Recent Posts

Lastest tweets

April 2021
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Archives

Categories