Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saville’s painting “Branded” was completed in 1992. It is a rather large oil painting on canvas with dimensions stretching 7’x6’. It is the first prominent picture in Saville’s book and I find myself particularly drawn to this painting because it vividly describes the artist’s subject matter and focus. The painting is of an over weight woman standing with one hand at her side and the other grasping her stomach fat while she looks down at the viewer, which is almost intimidating. Saville’s paint application in “Branded” as well as her many other paintings is extraordinary. She adds oil paint as if she sculpts her figures through brushstroke. She stated that she can mix up to 300 colors for a painting and prefers using pots of paint to mix in rather than a palette. She has been compared to artists like Lucien Freud. “Branded” forces the viewer to think about the ideas of femininity and what’s considered beautiful. Saville does this by creating such a large image and the puts words on the models body. The words read, “support”, “decorative”, “delicate”, and “petite”.
“When I was painting the genital area, I was trying to think about ways to use intense color and make marks that heightened a feeling of sex. Then when I painted the thigh, I had this area at the topside of the thigh and had four or five tones mixed up that I knew I wanted to run into each other. I got them all really oily. It was a one shot, to keep the color clean but slide them together and create the thrusting dynamic of this leg lifting up. The white dripped right across the thigh towards the genitals. It was this incredible, orgasmic”.
In 2004, Saville completed “Entry” ranging around 7’x6’. This painting is a portrait of an older woman who has been deformed by something. She looks down past the viewer with a sad longing look in her eyes. The colors used are cold and sickening evoking a depressing feel. I chose this painting because it speaks to Saville’s more recent work discussing deformities and once again confronting the viewer of what is considered to be acceptable by society.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008
Anselm Kiefer, born on March 8, 1945, is one of the most significant German artists. Growing up during the end of World War II, Kiefer dealt with very controversial subject matters in his paintings and sculptures. Kiefer went to Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat with intentions of studying law. The direction of his studies quickly changed to art in 1966, studying under Peter Dreher. A few years later, he studied under Horst Antes at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, and then studied under Joseph Beuys. Beuys had a large influence on Kiefer and the themes he worked with, such as cultural myths and symbols. In the early 1970s, shortly after getting married and moving to a secluded village in the Oden Forest, Kiefer began working with mythical and historical German figures in large format. More recently, Kiefer has branched out from German themes, incorporating ancient Hebrew and Egyptian history, theology, and mysticism. The theme constant throughout his career is the trauma societies go through, and their continuous rebirth.
Kiefer was greatly influenced by German history, especially the destruction and horror of the Holocaust. Through his paintings, Kiefer is holding a mirror up to the catastrophe and devastation Germany was left with after the war, graphically retelling a story that was – and still is – hurtful and disturbing to many. Ann Hanson observed, “there’s tragedy in every brushstroke.” Kiefer’s belief was that art is a means by which you can have a dialogue with history, so he powerfully represents ideas and emotions that will touch each viewer. Historically significant names, events, and places are often scrawled across his paintings. He juxtaposes contrasting ideas Kiefer’s works utilize materials such as straw, glass, wood, plant parts, clay, and lead. The paint used is usually in earthy or dark, somber colors, giving his paintings a depressing, tragic feel.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
James Rosenquist known most frequently with the Pop Art Movement started out with little schooling but rather chose to focus on working within the industry. Rosenquist became a member of the Sign, Pictorial and Display Union, Local 230 from 1957-59. He was employed by A.H. Villepigue, Inc., General Outdoor Advertising, Brooklyn, New York, and Artkraft Strauss Sign Corporation. While working for A.H. Villepigue, Inc he painted billboards in the Times Square area and other locations in New York. This type of work led him to utilize images that are already available to put into works.
Rosenquists involvement in the Pop Art movement was based off of this idea of using these images. Other artists such as Roy Liechtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Peter Max where also involved in Pop Art during the 50’s and 60’s. Rosenquist specifically worked with images that were primarily recognizable but didn’t necessarily place them with relational object. His paintings throughout his work in the past five decades have remained to be colorful with great imagery. The images in his work or often layered and even separated from the base of the works. To begin most of his paintings he started with collages, which can be seen through the final pieces.
Rosenquist worked primarily on large canvases or even on Masonite. His working on large canvases stemed from his early experiences of working with billboards. Rosenquist utilized mass-produced goods, magazines, films and other aspects of the mass media, together with his dispassionate and seemingly anonymous technique to create these works that are considered key figures in the development of Pop Art.
Oil on Masonite, 84 x 144”
In the Red
Oil on Canvas, 66 1/4 X78 1/4”
Portrait of the Scull Family
Oil on Canvas with two attached panels, 76 3/4 x 96”
Untitled (Blue Sky)
Oil on Canvas with Plastic, 78 x 66”