Journal Entry 4
Art Since 1900
1970 – 1979
October 14. 2016
In this journal entry, I am going of the rails. Why? Because I am trying to figure out whom I am as an artist and I do not know. That is not to say I have not gained anything in the last few months, for sure I have. I believe I am getting a sense but am not sure. In addition, because in the comment section journal entry 3 notes “concepts that you find most challenging personally to focus on“. So here I respectfully advance these thoughts.
Early on, I learned that for the artist process is much more enjoyable over visual satisfaction and have become keenly aware the self-actualization is more important to the viewer than esthetics..
This current section 1970 to 1979 bring some clarity, but why? In all likelihood, it is because of several factors. Before getting into the weeds two are very clear. No longer seeing myself as a painter nor printmaker but as an artist, my horizon of possibilities of the work I do is largely expanded to more thoughtful projects involving installations and work in public spaces etc. (i.e.: my Northern Rail/Trail project). Therefore, the first consideration with out elaboration is this entire unit is seemingly devoted to large-scale installation projects. In addition, myself being a child of the seventies I was in my 20’s almost the entire decade, it was cool, I knew it was cool, I knew it was the time of my life never to be repeated (my generation had broken from our parents forbids and the past, we where free). Thus, there is a shared identity with the work expresses and freedom to explore new boundaries.
So what I know about my visual work in painting is that stylistically it is some variant form of impressionistic with an occasional abstract expressionist work. My printmaking is all about varied process of which I feel proficient in several while photograph is a tool. New to the mix is using found object which function as sculpture, incorporation video and an interactive component.
From the current period under discussion, three key word Structuralism, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. This is what I understand this period to be about and in a more general way; it is what I wish my installation work to portray. Herein, while these are specific to avant-garde in application to my work it is difficult for me not to see elements of all and now am purpose motivated to apply these various forms, space, light, field of vision, etc. in my work.
Structuralism gives us a model for social forms in logical relationship of color and spatial qualities etc., but also in inclusion and exclusion of contrasting spacing objects, process or activity. As an example in my series, I contrast health life style (oil paintings) against industrial past (solar plate prints) and use of shifters (copper plate prints for script) with found objects that are modified into sculpture to (actualize presences). The arrangement of the piece with the availability of a ride-able trail bike and video presentation will create an interactive experience.
Minimalism is American art often associated with sculptural is well represented in painted medium by Barrett Newman, Ad Reinhardt and David Smith. It may vary widely evocating the sublime monochrome to simplistic repetitive geometrics. (There are not less that 4 monochrome paintings in my series). Thomas Kerns creatively get the Massachusetts legislate to buy into a massive museum spectacle. In a hallucinatory sense he sees Minimalism in a similar light, the idea pure intensity. Fredric Jameson would call it “the hysterical sublime”. But it is a work making itself happen. It is the apex of it’s beholder and the work itself. Thus, it is the exploitation of simulacrum.
The last to be consider is Conceptual Art. If Minimalist object is the “taking relationships out of the work” by making them “a function of space , light, and viewers field of vision “Robert Morris., Then Conceptual Art remove the object, space and light. It is void of any formalism and a reaction against commercialization. It is a conflagration of Sermonic, Feminism, and Popular Culture. It is a reaction against everything else and a place for anything else.
It is a natural progression to move from Minimalist to Conceptual and it signifies pluralism and presupposes that everything is available to any artist in the production of art.
These three art forms mention have eventually found there way into establish process but not without serious challenges for institutions and museum.
Base on the feed back from the last journal entry my responce is in an aera that am stuggling of idenity as an artist and where do I fit in. It seem to me that if I can not answer that question I will find it difficult moving forward. I dug in to each of the three sub point but did not elabarate here. I selected these bcause they seem applicable to me.