Posts tagged "art history"
Hannah Höch, Imaginary Bridge (Two Heads), 1926
From the National Gallery of Australia:
The two heads in Imaginary bridge have the appearance of anonymous wooden mannequins. There are certain peculiarities about these heads, however, such as the brow of the male head folding over the long, straight nose, and the bobbed haircut of the female head, which invite us to identify them as caricatures of the artist herself and Raoul Hausmann (1886-1971), with whom she had a stormy personal relationship from 1915 until 1922-23.
Hausmann made the mannequin head a central image of his own work. In his sculpture The spirit of our times1919 (Musée National d’art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris) Hausmann attached various gadgets to a real wooden mannequin head to express the robotic existence he perceived in contemporary city-dwellers. In his drawing Portrait of Felixmüller 1920 (Nationalgalerie, Berlin), he drew the head of the artist as if reduced to mannequin impersonality, sitting on a square base exactly like those seen in Imaginary bridge. For Hausmann the mannequin head was a vehicle for satire. In Imaginary bridge Höch seems to have taken over Hausmann’s satirical image and turned it back on its author, perhaps to describe an uneasy personal confrontation.
Sans titre (Verticales), 2009-2010
Bois, peinture acrylique et cirage
- Stéphane Dafflon, “PM055″, 2010
ed: I think I posted a photo of this sculpture before, but I really like it.
Richard Serra and others assembling One Ton Prop (House of Cards). I have become moderately obsessed with this work.
Richard Serra, One Ton Prop (House of Cards), 1966-69
In it’s original form, this piece by Serra was held together with friction and weight; these massive sheets of steel were quite literally placed together as delicately as a house of cards (hence the title). This piece is incredible dangerous - so dangerous, in fact, that it killed a museum worker while he was helping to disassemble the piece. As a result, museums who display this piece and others like it by Serra now include welding points that ensure the structure won’t collapse and the area around the sculpture is roped off to prevent museum visitors from getting too close. Even so, this work is always in danger of collapsing, adding an element of danger to the piece that can never be fully eliminated.
Dan Flavin, Three Sets Of Tangented Arcs In Daylight And Cool White, 1969
In this piece, Flavin creates an artistic environment out of the gallery space. As a site-specific installation, the length of fluorescent tubes depends completely upon the orientation of the room. Flavin has effectively taken control of the space, dictating where the viewer can and cannot walk, again activating the viewer as a participant in the piece rather than a static onlooker.
Somebody said to [Rothko], “Why do you paint these great, big maudlin canvases?” And he said, “Because if there happens to be somebody who’s feeling a bit lonely and they come and stand in front of one of my works, they know they’re not alone.” — Will Gompertz (img)
Richard Serra, Cutting Device, 1969
In this work (the above image is the piece re-created in a gallery setting), Serra used industrial machinery to cut through pieces of marble, wood, and steel, letting the pieces “kick back” and remain where they fell in a random arrangement of forms. As a process piece, it is possible to trace the actions of the artist that serves to unite the work; it is more about Serra’s action than the aesthetic qualities of the piece itself. When viewed in a gallery setting (as seen above), the piece becomes almost sterile; in its original form, the piece was first created in a warehouse where sawdust, dirt, and grime added grittiness to the work.
Naum Gabo, Opus 5, 1953
From the Cleveland Museum of Art:
Rather than carving or modeling, Gabo constructed his sculptures from planar and linear elements, often using transparent planes of glass and plastic to describe a three-dimensional form not only in terms of the outer shell of its surface, but also in terms of a skeleton of structural planes. In 1950, he began a series of twenty-one wood engravings in which line defines forms surrounded by a stippled background; the viewer sees through the shapes to the inflected tones and textures of the space around them. In this medium, the effect of transparent forms floating within an indeterminate space is even more pronounced than in Gabo’s paintings of the 1940s. Gabo experimented continually, inking blocks differently for each impression because while the engraving created the basic image in the block, the inking and printing produced texture and tone. He printed by applying pressure with a burnishing tool to the back of the paper as it lay on the inked block. By using thin Japanese paper, Gabo could see the image through the paper and, by carefully controlling the amount of pressure exerted, achieved variations in tone.