Referencing artists to support my exhibition ideas and plans

I have researched a range of different artists and platforms in reference to how I should curate my work. ArtSteps has provided me with ideas of how to use the platform and how other artists have used it. Some of the exhibitions have used the template layout and others have created their own space to place their work. It is clear from this platform that artists have used it for a long time but, it has been more active during isolation. Some student artists have used it as a method of showing their work but assessments. These different styles of exhibition have provided me with an array of examples to work from.

The artists I have looked at include Yvonne Rainer and Pablo Picasso as reference because they use similar media to create and display their art to what I am hoping to do. Rainer uses a projector to display her work on the wall in the Raven Down Gallery, London. The work is not displayed in a cinematic but on white walls in a boxed area. I felt this curation was very clever and suited the exhibition because by closing it off from the rest of the work, this piece becomes isolated and different from the rest.

 

‘How to make a great exhibition’ by Paula Marincola references different arguments as to the importance of curation. Some suggest curation becomes part of the artwork and that the relationship between the viewer and the art itself is a key part of the display. Others talk about the importance of exhibitions simply having a purpose of display art and artefacts for viewers to see. These factors, I believe are both important in curation because as an artist who displays their work, the way the viewer engages with the artwork is just as importance as the exhibition being a way of viewing said art.

The drawings I am exhibiting in my work will not be framed because the torn edges are part of the pieces. I have researched into the way Alison Lambert and Williams Kentridge, two charcoal artists I have been using in reference to my art. These artists although not part of the exposure module and the inspiration, they still have a reference to how I should exhibit my work because of the media they use. Referencing these charcoal artists through how they exhibit their work has helped me with mine as a young artist.

As well as these artists, I have researched how hanging art which cannot be framed is the best way to display it. Many small artists have suggested on chatrooms and Pinterest that hanging the art from the ceiling or a beam is a great alternative to fixing it to the wall. Many exhibitions including the ‘Boys at Home’ by Girls Exhibition in the Library Space at Battersea Park is a great example of this. The art would hang just touching the wall or could be hanging in the middle of the space. By hanging art, you are giving the art a floating presence in the room rather than it being fixed to the wall which could give it a stiff harsh feel.

You can see on individual blogs the full details of each artist and one on the ArtStep exhibitions and their relevance to my work and exhibition.

Yvonne Rainer and her ways of exhibiting Film

Yvonne Rainer is an artist who I have referenced in my work because of her relevance to my theme and method. Rainer made a hand film which she has exhibited as part of her projects throughout her career.

As a film artist, I wanted to explore how this artist exhibit her film work. I researched her work and came across the Raven Row Gallery in London which has exhibited her work. The website shows her film in the exhibition space played from a projector, on a white table with white walls. Why so much white? The film is in black and white with little contrast. Exhibiting like this gives the film a presence in the space but does not force a strong awareness of the film to the audience.  By doing this the audience does not walk into a cinematic viewing for the film and so it is almost as though it is part of daily life. This also means the film is not obvious within the exhibition and yet still a part of it. There are actually two films in this exhibition both within a white back drop. By changing the colour of the walls around the film also changes the concept away from the rest of the work in the gallery so by keeping it the same, keeps the concept in the mind of the audience the same.

Yvonne Rainer. Lives of Performers, 1972, Digital. Black and White
Yvonne Rainer. Hand Movie. 1996. Digital. Black and white

ArtStep Exhibition References and Example works

Although the exhibition I am creating is very much my own, I wanted to look at different examples of artists who have used it as a platform for their work. The program holds a massive range of different styles of working, different genres and even different qualities of curation. By looking through a few of the different examples, I am able to grasp an understanding of how to think about exhibiting my work. I haven’t had the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition and so the space is mine.

I decided to focus my search on drawers, photographers and film exhibitions because these are the media I am considering to have in my final exhibition. By focusing my search to these genres, I am able to decided the best and most effective way to exhibit my art. If I was to research sculptural exhibitions or performance art, it would be irrelevant and not helpful to me.

It is obvious that some of the artists present on this program are not professional artists and clearly use it as a platform to promote their hobbies and amateur doings. I am not ruling these out as irrelevant exhibitions to look at because they to give ideas and methods of exhibiting work. I believe there is no one way to exhibit work and so I need to think about the theme as well as the actual physical work. Some artists have mounted their work into a smaller space so it is more compacted and closer together whereas, others have created bigger spaces to allow room around each piece. Looking through a few of the different exhibitions on here has given me an idea of how the program works and how I can display my work. Looking at the exhibition allows you to walk through it and stand in front  of the work to experience it.

Derek Brueckner

The Canadian artist born in 1965 is a contemporary artist known for working with the figure in performance. These performances consist of a collaboration of film, digital editing, prosthetics, audio and a range of different environments.

Brueckner explains in his artist statement which unfortunately is dated back to 2007 but still provides a strong idea of what he explores through his art. Through the film, painting and drawing Brueckner is portraying the human figure in a way which explores gesture and emotion through its movements and stances. In his drawing, Brueckner has created a blurred effect with the pencil by fading out the figure. In the digital work, Brueckner captures the image on a digital camera, manipulates said image on Photoshop and then present the work on paper or on a canvas. The artist goes through a process of combining numerous images and versions of the images and mirroring images together to form collages. These create a repeating pattern which looks microscopic. It is interesting to see the way Brueckner has manipulated the images of the figure which he has taken to form these pieces. It is clear from these that Brueckner is exploring the figure down to the molecular level to truly understand it.

The film art Brueckner has produced has evoked the idea of internal and external journeys the body goes through daily. Through these Brueckner is combining technology with the figure to create what he calls ‘cybrids’. These creations are making that connection between the two phenomenons and provoke responds from the audience about the relation between technology and the figure. Brueckner is the only artist to have explore this idea but, he is the first I have come across which explores it in this way.

From the artist statement, it is clear Brueckner wants to continue explained his knowledge on the subject though his art and continue expanding his body of work. I am fascinated by his work because the way he blurs the images in the film and overlaps raw footage to create his films. This is also evident in his digital imagery work which I think creates an interest still with movement.

I feel his work is very relevant to mine at this current time with the way the artist uses this effect and creates illusions in his work.

Hanging my work – Eye Level and the scale of my work

When exhibiting my work there are many different aspects I need to think about including the space, the colour and mood, the lighting and where to place my work on the work.

EYE LEVEL 

When visiting exhibitions and museums, it is obvious that curators have taken where on the wall to display the artwork. Mostly, it is clear the curation has placed the work at ‘eye level’ which as suggested by the ‘Exhibition Walls Company’ is to ensure the viewing to comfortable in order for the viewer to enjoy the work. Why has art make you feel comfortable? Isn’t that a factor many contemporary artists take into account? Producing art which highlights issues in society such as Ai Wei Wei’s “Names of the Student Earthquake Victims Found by the Citizens’ Investigation, 2008-11 (injket print)” (installation view at the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.) and depict one’s through such as Tracey Emin’s My Unmade Bed’ 1997. These are both examples of how art is used to inform but also encourage the viewer to think and emotionally response to the work.

Where the art is hung in the space plays a factor which will alter the depiction on the viewer. This is something I am taking into account with my exhibition before Covis-19 but also with ArtSteps as the alternative.

LARGE SCALE DRAWINGS 

Increasing the size of my drawings and photographs on ArtSteps has been a huge benefit for my work. Increasing the size has enhanced the impact on the audience. Along with the small scale films in a grid form and the large scale drawings and photographs, the exhibition has been broken up to form a more diverse show. I decided to increase the size of the charcoal drawings because the images are smaller than the real pieces but, also because the white canvas behind the art was less obvious. This canvas is a problem I encountered when using ArtSteps but I feel have been able to find a solution which does not fix but helps to reduce the problem. Even after editing out the background on Photoshop, I still ended with this canvas. I have had to work with the issue but feel I have still been able to produce a strong submission.

Silvia Grav

Silvia Grav is a Spanish fine artist and creative director based in LA. The artist pulls and distorts the image to cause it stress resulting in the figure in the image showing distress. Grav’s art is characterised by distorting and changing bodies which blur into dark spaces. The ghostly imagery creates a disturbing view for the audience. I came across this artist through researching different ways to change an image for my work.

Grav’s work has a darker meaning than my own but, the intensity and darkness within the materials are relevant to my own and have an inspiration on my work. The actor in each image has readily prepared the photograph for it to then be further distorted through editing.

I enjoy her work because it holds great intensity and distortion through the stressing of the figure. This is relevant to my work because the monochrome along with the figure dissolving into the background. This distortion ins interesting but, not something I want to do with my own work. It is relevant though as another way I could produce my work with a deeper darker meaning. The trailing and blurring effect in her work is something I have used in my own.

Bill Morrison

The American Film Maker born 1965 is a contemporary artist who, throughout his career has been inspired by history. Through this inspiration he uses old decaying film and imagery. During the early stages of his career he took new film data and edited it with dated effects. As his career progressed Morrison uses old film data where the chemicals in the work have broken down causing it to smear and the image is unclear. This idea rather than using new data and making it look old, means Morrison is keeping that specific memory or clip in time in the minds of people now.

 

Decasia meaning ‘fantasia of decay’ is one of the artists film which I found most inspiring. The reason for this is the broken up film in this piece is relatable to my torn paper in my drawings. The old footage used is broken and uneasy to see in parts. In relation to my own work, damaged media has been used in way which creates depiction of the era Morrison is exploring. The film itself is a combination of old footage and music especially written for this pierce. The footage consisted of workers in an industrial area surrounding with material, dust and building. This is companied by piercing intense music which could be described as ‘noise’. The instruments used have created a true sense of the real sounds found out the sites in the footage. The imagery in the piece continues into more blurred film which I feel gives a ghostly look referring in back to the past. Another depiction from the art is Morrison is attempting to educate the audience of the past but also get across the idea that not all of the past can or should be remembered.  When looking at the film it feels very dramatic with the intense music and hard work in the film itself. Morrison has used materials with a range of different conditions. Some of the materials is extremely damaged so the imagery is not very clear at all whereas, other materials is not so damaged meaning the imagery is clearer than the rest. Morrison has combined these pieces to form his art. Morrison has even overlapped the work to create a ghostly dramatic effect to the work. This style of creating relates to an old dramatic war film form the fifties or sixties. It is obvious that Morrison has almost edited the raw footage by making it look more damaged. Although with the music, it has created an interesting piece of work.

Bill Morrison’s ideas behind his broken footage has inspired me in my drawing through the use of damaged material to create art.

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Bill Morrison, Decasia, 2001, 35mm film, (colour, sound), 67 min

Yvonne Rainer’s Hand Movie

Yvonne Rainer is a contemporary artist who predominantly specialises in dancing and choreographing. The artist along with others broke away from the contemporary dance to create this art. The piece is question is Rainer’s Hand Movie, 1996, which is a 8 minute film in Black and white of a single hand performing movements. These movement create a dance sequence where the hand is introducing itself, performing small moments and creating a sort of dance with the fingers. The black and white effect on the video makes the whole film neutral in colour and so keeps all of the focus on the movements of the hand. Making the film monochrome is a very artistic because it creates tone and contrast making it seem ‘dreamlike’ and imaginative. The deliberate black and white of the film takes away any realistic emotion the audience may associate with it. I feel this aids the playful creativity of the piece.

Even with just a single part of the body, the hand is able to express ones emotions through its ability to put pressure on itself and with gesture. Negative emotions will be expressed through strain and discomfort whereas, positivity would be a soft more open gesture. This film was portray a soft more playful emotion through the movements of the hand I find this piece inspiring because it has given me ideas of ways, other than drawing, in which I could explore the hand. Film is a contemporary way for me to work and creates another way to show my thinking. The film would show actual movement and change in emotions and gestures whereas, through drawing, the movements are static.

Yvonne Rainer. Hand Movie. 1996. Raven Row Gallery. Digital. Black and white

Lee Krasner

Born in 1908, Lee Krasner was a contemporary artist who’s work has a strong connection to figurative painting because most, if not all, of her work holds an essence of figures. It is obvious in the work she has an interest in this way because it has come very naturally to her and the figurative painting may be unintentional within the work. There were strong personal influences in her life which was the push for her concepts. After the loss of her husband, her work was inspiration by the pain she was experiencing. The emotions are shown through her work are pain and anger also she has also incorporate nature into this portfolio. The Earth Green project incorporates nature and fleshy tones to portray the pain she was experiencing during this time.

This pieces of her work which I found most inspiring are the images below because when looking at the work you can begin to identify figures within the collage. The figures she has used are cut up life drawing works from her earlier studying. Along with the integrated colour she has produce very interesting pieces of art. The way the art draws the eyes of the audience cross the whole work by creating a busy compact artwork.

Picasso and Paper

The Royal Academy of Arts, London, is currently holding an exhibition to both record and celebrate the artistic career and lifetime of Pablo Picasso. The exhibition starts at the beginning of his artistic career when he attended the Fine Arts School in Barcelona where he father worked. Picasso was only thirteen years old when he attended the school and so clearly had a keen interest in art from a young age.

The exhibition was intriguing because it acted as a timeline exploring the different stages and experimental periods during the artist’s lifetime. During his early years Picasso studied expressionism through his work with many studies of hands, figures and self portraits. ‘The Artist Drawing and studies of hands’, 1897-99 [figure 1]  is one of the pieces found in the exhibition which I found interesting because it is a simple study created during his Expressionism period. The use of crayon and charcoal on paper has created a simple piece with little detail. Picasso has used shading and tone in the piece but has refrained himself from added detail. The style of Picasso’s work throughout most of his career refrains from great detail and focuses more on simple yet effective tone and shading. Not only this, Picasso regularly used single lines to outline the body of the work without using lots of little lines. By doing this, the artist is only capturing the single lines of the model and not creating what I would see as more movement by adding a few lines in an attempt to capture the figure. The singular line does however, form a clear fluidity to the work.

For me, there is not one stage of his career which is most inspiring and relevant to me because when walking around the exhibition I focuses mostly of the hands within pieces and the studies of hands which he produce throughout his lifetime. Within the different eras, the hands are shaped, contoured and even how they are interpreted. Picasso, whilst exploring Expressionism will have interpreted a hand differently than during his exploration for Surrealism.

The exhibition focused on the way Picasso used drawing and painting on paper. The exhibition showed how he used anything and everything to create his art especially during the war where materials were limited. It is evident in his work that he used paper of different sizes, qualities and even torn pieces within his work. This type of work is relevant to myself because this is the style I enjoy creating because I feel it creates texture and detail into the work sometimes without needing to add too much pencil, paint of charcoal.

picasso
Figure 1. A Artist drawing and study of a hand, Pablo Picasso, 1897-99, crayon on paper