Contemporary Native Artist Jeffrey Gibson

We’ve been looking into the works of Native Americans in class recently, and it brought my mind back to an artist who instructed me in France last semester. His name is Jeffrey Gibson. He is a big man with an even bigger attitude. He was very helpful for me in his instruction because he always kept the discussion frank. I remember he once said about my dislike of the gallery system that “You have this thing where you hate galleries but like them, but nobody cares.” His works are visually arresting. I will tell you all a bit about one of my favorite projects of his, as they relate to the final subject matter of our class.

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A little break from contemporary discourse–A renaissance portrait

Andrew Odlin

Francois 1, Le Premier Rois De France by Jean Clouet

            In the midst of all this contemporary dialogue in class, I thought it would be interesting to explain a Renaissance work that captivated me to a degree that few contemporary works do. Thousands upon thousands of art historians since the Italian Renaissance have analyzed the masterworks of the period, and surely their comprehension and knowledge outstrips my own. This fact is not bothersome to me given that I am not an art historian, they will not read this analysis and in fact it is not written for them. It is written for the sole purpose of expressing and exploring the reasons that the portrait of Francois 1, Premiere rois de France leaped from its surface and held my gaze for no less than ten consecutive minutes.

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Exhebition review–Keeping it Real


Andrew Odlin

Exhibition Review: Keeping it Real


ArtH 3539

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Lawrence Argent Logan Lecture

Andrew Odlin

Logan Lecture: Lawrence Argent

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Arlene Shechet’s attitude-infused lecture–if you missed it, too bad.

Arlene Shechet’s lecture really conveyed her personality. Every statement she made was imbued with her personal style of delivery and insights into the nuances of her practice. This personal touch is the best ingredient of a successful lecture because beyond informing the audience about the artist, it inspires them in their own process as well. The structure of the lecture was indicative of Arlene’s sculptural practice. She molded her points and observations in such a way as to create both a chronological look at her selected works and a conceptual weaving through them. Just like her sculptural practice, her talk ebbed and flowed, drawing on previous points and highlighting the prevalence of fluidity and circularity in her sculpture. Continue reading

Minimalist art and my non-art friends

Minimalist art is undoubtedly the least favorite art subject of all of my friends. I learned this the other evening as I was perusing an old issue of Art in America in which there was an advertisement for a show of Judd’s work. I would say that the looks it received were nothing short of contemptuous.

“So why don’t I just take a stack of books and call it fine art?” one friend asked me. As I myself have never been the largest proponent of minimalist art, I thought that rather than exhausting myself in an attempt to justify the ideas and accomplishments of the minimalist art movement, I would simply answer their questions by asking them questions. “Which books? Where? How many and why?” These questions proved to be the right ones.

In the lengthy conversation about the motives of art and the succession of art movements–from Surrealist and Regionalist to Abex to Pop and minimalism–I realized the chasmic difference of interest and knowledge between myself and my friends with regards to the art world. This is not to claim some sort of superiority for myself, rather, I want to point out the unfortunate barrier that I find in most young non art majors. There is a fundamental lack of will, at least in 75 % of the people that I know, to learn and engage in art. I suppose that I cannot blame minimalist art for this, but I can say that the movement’s removal of the artist from the piece and the lack of what Dan Flavin would call “keenly realized decoration” (lecture) certainly damaged their perceived ability to interact with fine art as a whole.

So how come? Is it only my experience that proves so dichotomous? I’d like to know what you think and how your non-art major friends respond to fine art.

Clyfford Still’s effects on my psyche

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Terry Smith’s “What Is Contemporary Art?”

In Terry Smith’s view, there is a concrete answer to the question “What is contemporary art,” and contemporary art’s definability is a result of a contemporaneous art historicism which marks the birth and development of current art trends in such a way as to identify the ideas, objects and practices of contemporary artists and how these art aspects interact with one another. The answer to the book’s title, when boiled down, is that contemporary art is the reflexive, distinctive structures of stasis and change in the institutionalized and globalized economic culture of  current art. Smith applies her precise (if sometimes exhaustive) rhetoric to the question of defining contemporary art, suggesting that contemporary art may be classified as the sum of three currents of art production. The first is the aesthetic of globalization, the second is post-colonialist world diversity, and the third is the quantitative increase in young artists practicing today.

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Andrew’s IP yall

1. Give some basic information about your studies and fields of interest.

My fields of interest are wide and varied, and change with the wind. I think that I have ADD, which might be a part of that. Anyway, I love art and always have, but only recently have I garnered the stomach for the “high” art milieu. When  I was five years old I was drawing and comparing my work to my father’s. I drew naked people with knives and exploding helicopters then. Now I make relief and aquatint prints. Tongue-in-cheek narratives and a sense of the fantastic nature of illustration pervade my work. I also play tennis, wish I played music but can’t find the time and am a former lover of pop culture who now gets buried in mountains of information, becomes intimidated and ends up not paying too much attention.

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