Week 2 reflection

This week we focused on our individual projects as well as the bird roosting/nesting sculptures under the guidance of Lynne Hull. We were able to put up a 22 foot poll for te raptors to post up on, and a Cestrol bird nest. The nest was put up on a burnt tree taken from the Oasis in Last Chance and was fortunately reinforced with another branch. The two sculptures make an interesting addition to the landscape with their overall compostion, but I question their instrumental significance as there are dozens of other already in place places for the birds to nest or rest.   For my project I was able to get ahold of Evelyn Everhart, the owner of the shack where I found those photos. I asked her about some of the photos that I found and she informed me that they were in laws, some cousins, and family friends. I am planning on documenting my experience of the shack. In addition some of the photos will be photocopied, so their glory can be shared. I have also almost completed my sculpture of found objects- mainly shotgun shells, bones, some parts from a broken camcorder, and wire. The material speaks to what is commonly found on the ground around these parts- this gives an insight into a way of life. 

experimental site

experimental site

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The interest/inspiration I am currently pursuing from this rural environment has to do with the borders that are inherent here. From fences to roads, power lines, train tracks, highways and everything in between, to also imagined and personal feelings of boundaries and space. I am working on a collection of photos to comment on these persistent themes. I have only posted one photo because my materials worked out terribly and I have to change them and take better shots. But I am interested in the conversation they might have with one another, and also how they may comment on personal feelings of being lost or unsure in a new and different environment.

Public Art Missed Lecture Makeup Madison Dye Extra Credit

Madison Dye Missed lectures extra credit, Public Art, March 13 Continue reading

Abstract Expressionism article reflection

I thought that the most interesting portion of this article was the section titled “Strategies of self-expression.” I wish that they would have gone into detail about a few other artist, but I do think that Jackson Pollock is an interesting case study. Throughout the article you learn a little bit about Jackson Pollock’s mental health. Having that bit of knowledge intensifies your understanding of his process. Abstract expressionism was about personal expression. His work is clearly chaotic, but also balances that chaos out with a sort of visual poetry. You can get lots in the work, so when you think about the ideals of the movement, you are really getting lost in Pollock’s mental creation. The works should essentially be an exact replica of his emotions because his action style of painting involves a reactionary process where he his constantly “dancing” with the painting. There is a passage at the end of the section that reads, “Pollock was less interested in manufacturing lasting aesthetic masterworks than in performing acts, or rituals, by which he aimed to express-and heal- himself.” I think that there is something very romantic about that statement. You learn that Pollock believed that primitive art provided direct links to the unconscious mind. So when you think about the way he went about creating his action paintings, by dripping globs in a  seemingly carelessly manner, across the page, one could make the connection to a monkey doing a painting or a caveman painter. Learning those things about Pollock gives you a greater understanding of his work, and the way his process is connected to the ideals of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Clyfford Still Museum Paper

Alicia Baca

05.05.12

ARTH 3539-001

Kira Van Lil

Clyfford Still Museum Paper

My trip to the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver was a fairly interesting one. Other than what we studied and went over in class, I have never really looked at or seriously studied his works. I will be honest however. As important to the history of American art and to the history of abstract expressionism, I just was not terribly impressed with some of Clyfford Still’s works. Regardless of this I still went through the exhibition hoping that something from his later works would catch my fancy. In the end I still left rather unsatisfied regardless how long I sat in front of certain paintings and tried to contemplate them, I just could not get into them. However, this did not entirely take away from my experience because what I found to be most interesting was how Still evolved as an artist over the course of his lifetime.

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Lecture – Amelia Jones

Amelia Jones

                Amelia Jones, Art Historian, did her lecture at CU on Queer Feminist Durationality. Many of her examples displayed genitals or art interpreted as genitals. Valie Export Genital Panic 1969 is a performance piece in which the artist holds a gun while sitting naked. This becomes the genital gaze that exists in many more works shown by Jones. Some might find the imagery to be offensive, other may find it to be erotic, and I was merely indifferent. Although the idea was good and well executed, it did not evoke any sort of conversation in my mind and instead blended in with all of the other works of the era. Continue reading

Artist Lecture 2 – Lawrence Argent – Lane Mitchell

Lane Mitchell

ARTH 3539

Artist Lecture 2

Born in England and raised in Australia, Lawrence Argent brought his massive public art to America and more specifically Colorado, often making us, the viewer, consider the location in which the art is placed. “Through my placing them, they take on a new meaning”, he says. Continue reading

Keeping It Real

Keeping It Real

Korean art is comprised of many different influences, motifs, and mediums, which is what the exhibit “Keeping it Real. Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation” at the CU Art Museum really conveyed to me. Continue reading

Ed Ruscha!

Kevin Barrett Kane Continue reading

Lawrence Argent

Having Lawrence Argent speak at the Logan Lectures at the DAM had a nice circularity about it for me.  Growing up in Colorado, he was one of the only artists that I knew of before coming to Denver, mainly because of his Blue Bear, but also because there was a large controversy surrounding the choosing of his work for the “Solaris Project” in Vail, which is very near my hometown.  Also, my dad is a pilot, and though I have never been to the Sacremento Airport since the opening of “Leap,” my dad often mentioned the piece as a cue into a never-ending argument about the hilarity and inaccessibility of “modern art.”  Following his visit, I was able to visit some of the pieces that I was not formerly aware of, and also to revisit those that I already knew existed.  

The thing I found most interesting and problematic about Argent’s work, and find to be problematic with most public art in general, was its tendency to malfunction (not only technologically, but purposefully as well).  To elaborate on this notion, I offer the pieces “Whispers” at the University of Denver, and “Confluence” in Ft. Collins as examples.  I visited both pieces for the first time this weekend, and my experience there was not a very profound one, though I’m not sure that I expected it to be.  On Friday, at DU, I found the piece “Whispers” to meet the disappointing expectations that Argent had himself placed on the piece, and I quote: “I don’t think the voices are even working at this point.”  I do not disrespect Argent as an artist–in fact, I find him to be quite inspirational.  It is this tendency for public art to fall out of order, in a way, that I find to be a problem.  Furthermore, I am hypercritical in general of art that is placed in a place where it will go unnoticed or under appreciated.  I find it to be self-insulting for the artist him/herself and demeaning to the art world as a whole.  “Confluence” had a similar effect on me.  Despite the artists claims that water would spew from rock to rock, in visiting the piece and talking to locals, it has been a while since the piece has performed such a feat.  The notion of under appreciation is amplified in Ft. Collins, since the rocks are often seen as jungle-gyms rather than art works.  Such notions of misuse and misappropriation should be considered by the artist before undertaking such tasks.

Image

In his speech, I especially liked Argent’s reference to semiotics, and the study of symbols and signage.  As an English student, it was nice to see some literary theory surrounding an artwork.  Argent’s discussion of what I would label [S]objectivity in his pieces–“through my placing them, they take on a new meaning”–was extremely interesting.  Of the work done by Argent, I found the pieces that were either not public works or rather “outside of Colorado” to be the most interesting, perhaps because I have never seen them in person.  I especially enjoyed his piece entitled “Cojones” which re-appropriated two street-sweeping brushes into hanging seminal objects.  It was not the piece itself that interested me as much as the theory surrounding it.  Argent’s claim that “there is a fine line between amusement and art” was a nice circular address of my former constraints in regards to Public Art.  I appreciate, at least, that Argent is in tune with the problems surrounding what his artwork is and the space that it holds, and in that way, I respect and admire his artistic talent.  

Amelia Jones Queer Feminist Durationality by Danielle Mulein

Amelia Jones, professor and Grierson Chair of the Visual Culture at McGill University, brought me back to my days of Feminist Theory. As a women and gender studies minor, Jones’ lecture on Queer Feminist Durationality: The Trace of the Subject in Contemporary Art, was right up my alley.

She began her lecture with the raw and brazen depiction of female strength portrayed in Valie Export’s Genital Panic, a photograph from 1969. The image depicts a woman in chap-like cut outs exposing her genital area in a hostile offering of her sex. It is through this image that Jones begins the discussion of traditional feminism versus Export’s radical relationality or Queer Feminist Durationality and the vast gap in subjectivity.

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Ed Ruscha’s On The Road By Danielle Mulein

Ed Ruscha: On The Road

Ed Ruscha’s On The Road, previously at the Denver Art Museum, is based on the experiences and adventures referenced in Jack Kerouac’s novel about his 1951 cross- country road trip. Both Ruscha and Kerouac are considered profound voices of the Beat Generation; a cultural phenomenon affiliated with an underground anti-conformist youth movement, usually associated with drug experimentation, androgynous sexuality, non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. Continue reading

Logan Lecture: Lawrence Argent by Danielle Mulein

Many may not know, but at least recognize, the big blue bear outside of the Denver Convention Center. Also known as “I See What You Mean”, this influential piece is one of many inspired sculptures by Lawrence Argent. Argent was born in England, studied sculpture at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, and then went to the Maryland Institute of Technology where he received a Masters in Fine Art from the Rhinehart School of Sculpture. Argent, best known for his public art sculptures, is very interested in the research process of each piece and the representation of the sculptures in the space they reside. Continue reading

Exhibition Review: Terry Campbell “No Longer in My Hand”

Alicia Baca

ARTH 3539-001

Kira Van Lil

BMoCA at Macky: Terry Campbell “No Longer in My Hand”

For this final exhibition paper I decided to visit the mini-exhibition that was being put on by the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in collaboration with the gallery at Macky Auditorium on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus. The exhibition that they are currently showing is “No Longer in My Hand”, a series of oil paintings by local Denver artist, Terry Campbell. The exhibition itself was quite small and only consisted of five pieces total. However, these pieces were all very large in size. What was interesting was that the majority of the works seemed to all be portraits and it was a little confusing as to what to make of them after mulling over the title of the exhibition. However, after a good deal of browsing, analyzing, outside research, and interpretation, the exhibition began to come together.

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Visiting Scholar Review: Amelia Jones

Alicia Baca

ARTH 3539-001

Kira Van Lil

Scholar Review: Amelia Jones

The visiting scholars lecture on April 17th 2012 was presented by Amelia Jones. Currently a professor and chair of Visual Culture at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. While she has written many essays and quite a few books, two within the past month, she presented her lecture on one of her papers entitled “Queer Feminist Durationality: The Trace of the Subject in Contemporary Art”. In this she explored her theory of identity in the fine arts and set her main focus on how identity, especially sexual and gender identity, affect the meaning that goes into an artists works.

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Visiting Artist Review: Janine Antoni

Alicia Baca

ARTH 3539-001

Kira Van Lil

Artist Review: Janine Antoni 

Freeport, Bahamas native Janine Antoni gave her lecture at the University of Colorado at Boulder on March 6th 2012. To be quite honest, I had indeed studied her work back when I was still a Studio Arts major, but her name had escaped my memory and it was was not until she presented her artworks that I finally remembered who she was. However, she came off so much more soft spoken and humble than I had imagined her to be in comparison to the strong messages that her works of art communicated.

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Amelia Jones Lecture Review

Document is Attached: Guest Lecture #2.  ANDREW BURNS

Argent Paper

Griffin Beste

Artist Lecture Review

Logan Lecture

Lawrence Argent

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Viviane Le Courtois: Edible? Exhibition paper

Viviane Le Courois held a collection of works at the Boulder Contemporary Art Museum. The title of this work is called “Edible? Twenty Two Years of Working with Food.” Continue reading

Melissa Nunes_“Keeping it Real. Korean Artists” exhibition

I attended the “Keeping it Real. Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation Exhibition”
at CUAM Boulder.  This exhibit consisted of different displays of artworks done by several Korean artists such as Kiwoun Shin, Jaye Rhee, Yeondoo Jung, Sun K. Kwak, Hyungkoo Lee, Shin-il Kim, Yong-ho Ji, and Kyung Woo Han.  These emerging Korean artists are working in Seoul, New York, and Europe (CU Art Museum).  The work is portrayed and created in a way that makes the audience have a deeper understanding of Asian art.  The way that this exhibition is set up shows the many diverse angles that Asian artists take when creating an art piece.  The different works are different and diverse but they all seem to fit together in this exhibition. 

The same artist, Kiwoun Shin, did my two favorite pieces in the exhibition.  Shin lives and works in London and both pieces that were displayed were videos. 

The first piece that I wanted to talk about, and was my favorites work in this exhibition, was Kiwoun Shin’s “Crash Reality Test”.  “Crash Reality Test” is a video that was based on the artist’s personal experience of the loss of friends in car accidents.  The video is made up of several different people all of whom start out sitting at a table with a drink in front of them.  Then an object is thrown at them and their drink then their reactions are recorded. 

What makes this piece unique however is that the video is broken down into very slow motion so the audience gets the whole effect of the “crash”.  I thought this was a very interesting way to show real reactions.  If the video was sped up or at normal time the viewer would be able to see the beginning facial expression then the last expression.  Having this slow motion breakdown, you do not only get to see the reaction of the person, but also the changes of the face including all the aspects of the face: the mouth, eyes, eyebrows, wrinkles, etc. 

What I found interesting was for most of the people filmed, their reactions did not completely form until after the glass had spilled and the object was finished moving.  It showed just how slow humans reflexes were.  As I watched this I began to think of times when I had seen or been apart of a crash like this: a spilled glass, someone dropping something, something thrown and hitting you, etc.  I thought of the surprise that it caused and then I began to think about the reactions that I had witnessed or had myself.  I then realized that most of the reactions happen after the event has occurred.  That surprise and process of the neural transmitters to the brain, take longer than I initially thought they did. 

The “Crash Reality Test” was a true and real shot of how slow our reaction times are.  The person would sit almost completely still while the object was being thrown, hitting their drink and causing the liquid to fly everywhere.  Then there face would slowly change into either surprise, angry, or sometimes-even confusion.  That expression is usually the only thing that we see when we witness an event like that, not even thinking the reaction was after the event and not during.

Another thing that I found interesting about this piece of work was the two different ways to view it: one video in 3D and the other video in 2D.  The 3D video gave the audience more of a real view of the event and reaction.  It made the viewer feel as though they were in the video experiencing the thrown object and spilled glass.  The 3D video, I thought, was more effective because it was more of a “reality” like the title said.  It was not only the slow motion reality of the true reaction, but it also gave the reality of being there while this crash was going on. 

I liked how the artist made both the 3D and the 2D videos.  Showing the way it looked in two dimension made you really appreciate and take in the reasons why he chose the three dimensional video.  With the 2D you did get the slow motion reaction and event but it was more like you were watching someone else’s crash versus experiencing your own.  Having both gave the audience two sides of the crash that Shin was trying to convey.  Even though I knew I was not really having something thrown at me, the 3D video felt like there was.  It almost felt like I was the person with the glass trying not to be spilled on by my drink.  Where as the 2D felt like I was watching someone, like I was, having an object thrown at them and their reaction. 

The two videos made for a great piece of work giving the viewer a show causing them to think about things in a different way and taking something we do not really think about on a daily bases and trying to analyze it and have it make sense in our minds.

Another work that I found fascinating was another work by Kiwoun Shin, “Approach the Truth”.  This piece was another video using high definition digital display, showing a consumer product being sanded down into dust by a sanding machine.  The artist was inspired by Genesis 3:19, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust” and from the Buddhist scripture the quote “We come from dust and go to dust”.  What was interesting about this piece of work was not just the sanding down of the product, but that it was backwards.  The video started out with a pile of dust and the sanding machine worked its way back up taking this dust and creating it back into the product that it was before. 

I found this piece to be full of meaning and depth that was just waiting to be uncovered.  The two scripture quotes talk about the life and death of humans.  Saying that we come into this world the same way as we leave it. 

That concept is the same with our technology and products that we cherish now so much in our world.  We create these things out of nothing or dust and eventually that’s what they become to us.  Our world is moving so fast with technology that what was important, expensive, “the next new thing” so to say, one day, is unimportant, cheap and old the next. 

The last piece of work that really caught my eye was a piece done by Yeondoo Jung.  He created a series of photographic memorabilia with a group of graduate students in the art and art history department here at the University of Colorado @Boulder.  The photographs were of different people camping.  They all seem to represent the same thing but at the same time all of them were different.   I really enjoyed this work because I felt like it represented our school very well.  I love our university because we are so connected to the outdoors.  So many people hike, bike, walk, run, and of course camp.  I believe that this connects us to the art of nature exactly how Yeondoo Jung connected art to nature.  Jung is a mountaineering buff that has hiked and climbed all over the world.  His work that he created here in this exhibit is more than just memory shots of a camping trip.  He uses light, angles, background and different individuals to create this magnificent piece of several photographs that work so well together.

Overall this exhibition was extraordinary, especially for being one that you can see on campus.  It all came together as a great exhibit of the Korean Culture and all of its diversity.  It takes away stereotypes and under appreciation of Asian artists and gives the audience something beautiful.

Work Cited

 

“Keeping It Real: Symposium on Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation.” CU Art Museum. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. <http://cuartmuseum.colorado.edu/event/keeping-it-real-symposium-on-korean-artists-in-the-age-of-multi-media-representation/&gt;.

Lawrence Argent

Morgan Kairey

4/29/12

Visiting Artist

Lawrence Argent

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Melissa Nunes_Lecture: Rosalie Favell

I found a lecture done in 2010 by a woman named Rosalie Favell.  Rosalie Favell was a Native American photographer.  She never learned about her culture or native heritage when she was younger.  When she was young, she did not understand why her skin was so much darker than her mothers.   Later her mother told her she had Native American in her blood and that was when she decided she wanted to figure out who she was as a Native American. 

She started with her work called Portraits in Blood.  She wanted to understand her culture so she began to investigate.  She went around taking pictures of native women that reminded her of herself.  She called this work, portraits in blood because she was looking at her bloodlines in these pictures.  During the time she was documenting these pictures, she fell in love with a native woman.  The relationship did not end well. 

When looking back at her photographs all she could find were pictures of this woman.  She decided she wanted to put these pictures together.  She called this Living Evidence.  She had to ask permission to show this woman in her work but was denied.  So she decided that she would obscure her eyes with duct tape.  When she was in art school for photography she learned that she should never do anything with a photograph because it would destroy the natural image of it.  She learned that each photograph was precious. Before this she would write on the image.  It was big step for her to use the duct tape but it made the work stronger for her.  She said that it made the viewer have to wonder why the image was obscured and ask questions.  I found this work to be incredibly powerful.  Just having the image of this woman or the images of her and the woman it would not be as powerful.  It shows the hurt and the story that this woman and her lover went through.

She found she had all of these photographs and decided to make a book out of it and called this project Longing and Not Belonging.  She desperately wanted to know where she belonged so she put together images of individuals that were important to her.   She thought of this as a ledger book, which was a book Native Americans used to use to record battles. She filled it with pictures of heroic women.  Using these pictures she hoped to find meaning within herself and a place where she belonged.  But while looking at these pictures she decided that she needed to stop looking at others to find a hero but to look within herself and become the hero.  She decided that was the time to become the heroine and become a warrior artist like the people who made the ledger books.

She then used photo shop with her image and the image of her heroes and combined them making her a hero in her photos.  The rest of the lecture she showed us photos representing herself in photographs of people that inspired her or helped her understand her self.

Overall I felt like Rosalie was a very inspiring artist.  Her work is her passion and her culture.  It is her looking for and finding herself, which she lets us as viewers witness.  This lecture also reminded me of my own mother who did not really know where she came from and what her culture was.  She is a mix of many different ethnicities and only knew her family up until her great grandmother.  When I was about twelve she decided to investigate her heritage and made a photo book, which she made as a family tree starting with our family and moving back.  She did research and eventually found photos of her ancestors and learned exactly where she came from and felt like she could finally understand herself. 

This story reminded me of the story of Rosalie.  I think Rosalie is an amazing photographer and I would love to see more of her work.

Melissa Nunes_Lecture:Nao Bustamnte

Melissa Nunes

Artist lecture 1

I attended the lecture with Nao Bustamante.  The lecture was called “An Evening with Nao Bustamante”.  She began by telling us a little about herself and her background.  She was originally from San Juaquine Valley and began her career with sculpture and video.  She said that she considers herself an amateur still and a little bit like a fraud in a way.  But she really appreciates all the people that have been so supportive of her during her career.  She said that she was not supposed to be an artist and had other dreams in mind but ended up following a career in art. 

She then changed tones and said that in order for this lecture to work, we had to be hypnotized.  She wanted us to be her and see her work through her own eyes.  She started with a work done called “Finding Me” which was basically a bunch of “Nao Bustamante” heads.  She also goes on to mention that she hopes that because of the hypnosis, we will be more likely to be comfortable when asking questions.  She wanted us to be able to ask her anything that we wanted and interrupt her if needed.  The first question asked was “what would you want to be if you were not an artist” and Nao replied with “she felt that being an artist is the only thing that she could be.  But when she first started, she did not like it because she felt like an amateur.” 

She also said that there is no hierarchy in the way that we express ourselves, which I found to be a very true statement.  People choose many different ways to express themselves and there is not right and wrong.  I tend to see expression to be not so much an up and down hierarchy but more of a side to side, left to right order making each expression of the self different and unique. 

She talked to us about an exhibit she did in San Francisco that she called “Under the Rug”.  In this piece she stayed under a rug in a museum with a microphone for 45 minutes responding to the people and environment around her.

She then talked about the time she went on the Joan Rivers show, which I thought was very interesting and also exciting because I myself am a huge fan of Joan Rivers.  She told us that her first task was to get asked to be on the show.  Her way of getting on the show was the first part of this lecture where things started to get a little weird.  I was not sure if it was just strange for me because I am not used to speaking with artists or if it actually was getting weird.  She told the audience that she got on the Joan Rivers Show by telling them “while on a public bus, if she knows someone is looking at her, she can squeeze her legs together and have an orgasm”.  I was not sure if she was serious about telling them that or not but she got on the show so I just went with it.  She then showed us the clip of her on the Joan Rivers Show, which I thought was very funny because she was obviously making up extreme stories about herself for the show.  Back stage she told the camera that everything she said was just for show and none of it was true, but it made me wonder if other people who watch the show at the time thought it was true. 

The last thing she showed us was one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen in my life.  It was a film that started off with her running through a forest/field.  Then all of a sudden she looked down and started to grow a penis; that scene was not even the weirdest part of the film.  Right after she grew the penis, several penises started to chase her through the forest and still after that it became even more bizarre.  She finally fell and started to talk to her penis, which was now covered in jewels!  At this point of the lecture I was not even sure what to take seriously.  I felt very uncomfortable and was not sure how to act.  Overall I thought that Nao Bustamante was very funny and extremely creative.  She definitely did not have a problem being open and forward with her artwork.  However I did not like what I saw.  I can appreciate what she has done as an artist but overall I do not think I would want to watch a film with a bunch of penises again no matter how creative and artistic it is.

Amelia Jones: Review of Visiting Scholar – Morgan Rice

Review on Visiting Scholar Lecture – Amelia Jones

Morgan Rice

I attended the lecture “Queer Feminist Durationality”given by Amelia Jones. The lecture was split into three parts, and in each part she ended the section by bringing the conversation back to her main point. In the Continue reading

Museum Visit (CU Art Museum) – Morgan Rice

Museum Visit Paper

Morgan Rice

For this paper, I visited “Keeping it Real: Korean Artists in the Age of Multi-Media Representation” at the CU art museum. My first impression of this show was positive, and there were a few works I was immediately drawn to more than others. The ones that I found at first to be the most interesting were the sculpture pieces, both a big cat made out of car tires, and what appeared to be Continue reading

Logan Lecture Series: Lawrence Argent

            Lawrence Argent participated as a guest lecturer for the Logan Lecture Series held at the Denver Art Museum. In his lecture, he decided to focus on the values of Public art in the sense of culture, emotion, feeling and the mastery of technique and material. Continue reading

Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni is an artist from the Bahamas. She was born there in 1964. She moved to America and received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York and later received her MFA from the Rhode Island school of Design in 1989. Continue reading

Rides to Mr. Micketti’s

I still have two seats left in my van if anyone that was invited is still in need of a ride tonight. Please email me right away if you’re needing a ride for this opportunity Professor VanLil has provided for us! erin.lorentzen@colorado.edu

I prefer you email me before 4 so that I have time to contact you with where we are meeting. Please include your phone number in the email so that I have a concrete way of getting ahold of you quickly.

Networking and Art Group.

Hello fellow students,

I’m trying to organize a Networking and overall Art group for us Art History and Fine/Studio Art Students, well any students interested in the arts. I’m sure you have all found the importance of connecting to students outside you’re department for various reasons (i.e. me searching for architects as a sculpture major.) I made this flyer summarizing the details although I’m no graphic designer (a note for networking for someone may be better at it.)

Basically we would meet one to two times a week to discuss the topics provided, but anything regarding your interests could definitely be a topic of discussion or activity.

What I want to accomplish is designing a network not only between us students, but also an understanding of how art historians, galleries, artists, writers, critics all work together in the Art World. A way of, not only practicing our skills with each other but applying them to the outside world.

Please email me at erin.lorentzen@colorado.edu if you have any questions or interests. There are no specific requirements for who can join the group but must have an interest in the Art World and learning how to be a part of it in the future.

Best, E.

Visiting Artist Lecture: Lesley Flanigan

Morgan Rice

Visiting Artist Lecture: Lesley Flanigan

I found this lecture especially interesting because this artist works with sound and voice, but reasons it in her head in an visual way. She described sound, to her, as being something that she could feel and manipulate, much like a sculpture. Her background was in singing, which she has done since she was very young. However, she ended up getting her degree in sculpture, which she said Continue reading

Type A Exhibit at the MCA Denver

Camille Breslin

Type A and Gun Fetishes In America

Artists: Adam Ames and Andrew Bordwin

            The exhibit, Type A, has to do with our nation’s fascination and narcotic mindset. Somehow our nation has this overwhelming glorification for guns and the power it can obtain. Our country is also in a state of panic and anxiety with airline security and questionable carry-on items. This Exhibit mainly was focused around the concept of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the twenty-one most common items that they list as “dangerous”. Those twenty-one items included water bottles, aerosol hairspray, snow globes, fireworks, guns, knives, ski poles, match boxes, baseball bats, bow and arrows, just to name a few.

In the first room of the exhibit, there was a name dressed in traditional TSA uniform with a utility belt with all his security and defense items on hand. He was seated with multiple monitors placed in front of him. They were constantly changing to show images of the twenty-one listed items categorized as dangerous. He proceeded to lecture and talk about where is the line between safety and paranoia. He proceeded to point out the three-lit neon officer with their guns point straight towards the viewer, known as Target (2012). They were in the order of Red, White, and Blue, representing our nation’s colors.

It was interesting to see what the TSA lists as dangerous objects and the “on duty” security guard had to mention as well. On the other side of the exhibit there were eight different images that were abstractly shaped. These images consisted of some unrecognizable grey ashy looking substance with traces of copper. Each smeared mark photographed created an aesthetically pleasing image to the viewer’s eye. On the plaque card on the left hand side of the images gave a list on image names. They stated Shot (Slug 1-8), 2012. It was interesting to put the pieces together to realize that these abstract images really were bullet shells after they have hit their target point and the physical and chemical reaction that they create upon impact. Another plaque shown underneath the names stated,

“These photographs depict spent bullets collected from a firing range. When seen through a camera’s lens, these discarded afterthoughts become aesthetic objects. While the bullets refer directly to the firearm carried by the on-duty security guard in Guarded, they also introduce a broader theme about the fetishizing of gun culture in American life.” (Courtesy the artists MCA plaque card).

It is interesting to see images of bullet shells post firing and the reaction that is cause. With the new laws past in Colorado saying that persons over the age of twenty-one with the correct paper work are allowed to carry concealed weapons on University campuses. This also makes the viewer recall some other instances that have really realize that danger of guns in the wrong hands including Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, and the most recent St. Patrick’s day incident on the hill in the past couple of years. This newly passed law not in favor of my opinion, but now as a citizen, I am more concerned about gun control and strict regulations on obtaining permits and possessions.

As artists, Ames and Bordwin created an installation that covers the severe neurotic tendencies based off of terrorism and the precautions it will take to create a safe country, but also the freely and widely accepted views on America’s natural gun fetish. Ames and Bordwin want their viewers to question their feelings on the fear and sacrifices it will take to create a “safe” American at airport and in public. This exhibit really makes the viewer think about what should be prioritized in our country in regards to our safety and our rights as citizens.

Aki Sasamoto Visiting Artist

Megan Watry

ARTH 3539

4/10/12

Aki Sasamoto Visiting Artist

            Aki Sasamoto calls herself “The Green Giant” and is a comedian, performer, and installation artist. She often finds that these three self defining characteristics co-exist when she is making art. Aki’s performance art deals a lot with relationships between people. Aki is fascinated with how people relate to each other and how they interact together. She is constantly putting herself in the shoes of another person or animal to look at relationships between people and their environments. Continue reading

Nao Bustamante Visiting Artist

Megan Watry

ARTH 3539

4/5/12

Nao Bustamante Visiting Artist

            Nao Bustamante is entranced with the subject of bodies in performance; more specifically performance about the body. Nao doesn’t necessarily see herself as an artist but more as a story teller who uses her voice and her actions to tell stories. Stories can be used to explain, defend, recreate an event, and to create empathy. Stories connect people. Nao tells stories about human bodies through performance. Continue reading

Visiting Artist Lecture

Danielle Tomasetti

Aki Sasamoto

artist lecture1

Interesting Timeline of 20th Century Art and New Media

Brakhage Symposium this weekend

If you are interested in experimental film, you should attend.

Here is the program: Brakhage Symposium

Janine Antoni Guest Lecture

Janine Antoni at the Visual Arts Center, University of Colorado at Boulder

 

I was struck by Janine Antoni’s presentation, not only in the artworks she presented therein, which were all very powerful, but also by her articulation of the stories and ideas that led to the creation of these works.  Antoni is an artist who is as much interested in the discourse surrounding her body of work as she is with her body of work itself.  This was apparent in the way she described her pieces, and also in the theories that she indicated as working within them.  As she stated in her lecture, “I am an artist obsessed with communication.”  As a poet, and a student of creative writing at CU, I appreciate this connection with language above everything else.  In the way that Antoni “surrenders [herself] to the object,” those of us interested in language surrender ourselves to the various connotations and denotations of words and letters in their incalculable ways of meaning.  Continue reading

Visiting artist paper 1

Lucy Eyears

3/12/12

Arth 3539

Visiting Artist Lecture Paper  Continue reading

Madison Dye Extra Credit Post on Tobias Rehberger

There was recently an exhibit at the Denver Art Museum titled Embrace! in which many artists were invited to contribute pieces that were fun, inclusive, and included the exercising of many different senses.

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Janine Antoni-Extra Credit

On Tuesday March 6t, I saw the visiting artist lecture given by Janine Antoni.  I personally found her to be one of the most intriguing and inspiring contemporary artist of this time that has come to visit CU Boulder especially.  Not only her attitude towards her work, but the themes and ideas behind them were fascinating.  She spoke a lot about the separation anxiety she had towards her mother.  One work that I liked in particular that went alone with this theme, was the one of the cow which appeared to be drinking from her nipple while lying in a bathtub.  I thought her idea was a beautiful way of depicting such a bond.  Janine Antoni also had a lively sense of humor.  In one photograph she took, she made her mother into her father and her father into her mother.  The interesting idea behind this was in a way.. the image resembled that although they could not be turned into each other, they had different qualities of each other.  The fact that during marriage, and living with the significant other for years on end, similarly displays this same notion, which was Janine’s thought behind the piece.  Another idea behind this image that I found to be humerous is how unattractive each of her parents turned out when adding certain qualities to them, and that the children of two parents most of the time doesn’t come out that bad.  My favorite work of Janine Antoni’s, even though not that epic, was “Butterfly Kisses” which was a work done simply with Cover Girl Mascara and Janine Antoni blinking her eyelashes.  I know its a super simple work, but that song has personal meaning to me, so the fact that I can relate to another artists work in my own way, makes it that much more special.

Cindy Sherman Extra Credit – Dasha Silva

Wow! I’ve always loved Cindy Sherman’s older work, but I had no idea that she is still so relevant today. I’m really drawn to works that involve unique make up, different hair styles, and lots of colors, so I’m glad that I got to see these photos. I still can’t get over how different she looks in all her pieces. Thanks for posting this!
Dasha

Extra Credit- Misc Sony Music Building Beverly Hills

A few weeks ago we talked about the design of the Sony Music building in New York City when were were talking about the shift from postmodern to modern art. I just thought I’d share some pictures of the Sony office that I work at in Beverly Hills, California which was designed by the brilliant Chinese American architect I.M. Pei. Also, inside the building is mural by Roy Lichtenstein in its 57-foot-high atrium. It is absolutely magnificant. I think that it is pretty incredible how this building represents a complete mix of different kinds of art. The building itself is art, as well as the paintings inside and the photographs of the musicians hanging on the walls. Along with all of this is the music that is made through this building. When I was working at the building I did not appreciate any of this. However, after being in this class and talking about everything we have so far I realized how beautiful the space is that I work in and that art is everywhere.

Gerhard Richter- Extra Credit

 

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Dick Cheney… careless shot or performance artist?

Times Article on ‘Happenings’

The Pace Gallery in Chelsea will have a show revolving around the ‘happenings’ of the 1960s, which are mentioned in the Dezuze article.  A recent article in the New York Times gave a brief introduction to the show, and there are some interesting quotes from people who actually experienced these happenings.  These photos added a lot to my understanding of what these ‘happenings’ might have looked like, so I thought I would share.

It also got me thinking, how does the medium of film contribute to the concept of a ‘happening’ itself?  Documenting these happenings would detract from their ephemeral nature, and seeing a picture is barely comparable to actually experiencing these happenings.  While I am glad to get a glimpse into these works, I feel guilty, as though I’m not supposed to see it since I wasn’t originally there.

"Sports" by Claes Oldenburg, 1962

Walter De Maria, Bed of Spikes 1968

I noticed today in class that Walter de Maria’s Bed of Spikes shows another shift away from an established standard of minimal art by creating a work that contains 5 pieces, which is an odd number.  I could not find a side view of this installation, but it definitely adds a halfway point in the measured distances.  This shows how de Maria was adding his own spin on minimalist art, and is possibly a reflection of his move towards land art.

Clyfford Still paper by Bryce Johnson

Bryce Johnson

Clyfford Still Paper

After walking walk out of the Clyfford Still Museum, you realize that what you have experienced is like nothing you have seen or felt before. A museum that is dedicated to the work of one artist, allows the opportunity to create a space that has no distractions, no works are competing against each other for the viewers’ attention. This is how the Still Museum is set up. The opportunity to have my first exposure to Clyfford Still’s work in the manner that I did, allowed me to experience the work as he and other abstract expressionist wanted the work to be felt.

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Sarah Tye Clyfford Still Paper

SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/sarah/Documents/Clyfford%20Still.doc

 

Sarah Tye

ARTH 3539

Clyfford Still Paper

 

            Clyfford Still is known as one of the iconic members of the abstract expressionist artistic movement. His most notorious works are impressive representations of the color-field painting style. However, the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver highlights not just the highs of his career but rather the process of development in Clyfford Still’s work. Beginning in the 1920’s and ending in the early 80’s, the sixty-year path of his artistic development from traditional compositions to highly stylized abstract art is illuminated over the vast collection of works.

            Clyfford Still began his artistic career in the 1920’s surrounded by agricultural landscape and a culture centralized on farming. It was in this environment that he taught himself to paint. His earliest works reflect more of formal study than stylistic developments. The earliest of his works on display at the museum is his still life entitled Field Rocks. Created in 1925, the piece is reflective of traditional compositions utilized in this period of skill development.

It wasn’t until the early 1930’s that Still began to show an increased depth to his work. He began to utilize the agricultural setting that surrounded him as a subject for his art. As a result, he began to develop an expressionistic style of his own. His works were reflective of the pains of manual labor found and the love-hate relationship between man and machine in the farming community. Generally these pieces are grim scenes depicting angst and frustration of laborers and the exhaustion of their world. Figures wear dreary, worn expressions and are slightly abstracted as Still makes his first major developments in stylistic advancement.

The scene depicted in his work PH-77 made in 1936 demonstrates the concept of strain present in many of his works created at this time. The scene is two figures working in a field, bent over arms stretched to the ground, collecting the crops that lay atop of the soil. Their arms have been elongated, abstracted so much vertically that the viewer can feel the strain felt by the workers as they reach towards the ground. Vertical lines and brushstrokes encompass most of the page and enhance the workers’ downward movement, as well as contrast the horizontal lines created by their bent over backs. Still uses bright blocks of color to illuminate the intensity of the sun beating down on their bent over backs, increasing the sense of strain affiliated with their movement. In a similar way, the figures faces are composed of darker blurred shapes of color. No prominent facial features are present, yet the viewer is able to easily decipher their expressions to be dismal, miserable even and an empathy for the figures at work is easily established. This piece is monumental for the artist because of the way he successfully emotes the strain of exhaustion of laborers through stylized figures. This was the beginning of Clyfford Still’s use of abstraction as a form of expression.

In the later 1930’s, Still began to further develop his elongated, dreary figures. Utilizing the same sorts of subjects, he increasingly developed as an abstract artist, entering a transition period aimed toward complete abstraction. His figures lost all obvious traits, and became more implied by inside features, or shapes and lines conveying a human energy. His main interest during this time was the relationship between man and machine, represented by contrasting shapes that posses a certain tension, yet are diligently working together. The best example of this stage is PH-343 created in 1937 in which Still divides the canvas in half, a side for man and a side for machine. The shapes and lines that inhabit either side of the canvas contrast one another representing the tension in the relationship. The viewer is aware of the presence of both man and machine, although they are merely implied by methodically shaped blocks of color. Still’s ability to convey the approximation of a human form through the use of abstracted shapes and color proved successful. He was then able to move passed this period of transition and into complete abstraction, entering the art world as an abstract expressionist.

In the 1940’s, Still finally integrated the techniques he had been developing throughout the years and entered the realm of complete abstraction. The shapes and lines that had once been utilized as representations for figures or landscapes were liberated from their symbolic meanings. Still had reached a point in his artistic career in which expression was best emoted through utter abstraction. He entered the world of abstract expressionism, a movement of which he would be one of the most significant members. In accordance to the movement, Stills work at this time was less about suggestion, and more about feeling. His massive artwork from this period was increasingly elusive, large fields of color with big blobs and small fiery shapes of color scattered across the canvas. The change in scale is significant in that it demanded the viewer to step back, away from the painting in order to view it as a whole. However, the most influential factor to his painting is his use of color. During this time, he used many contrasting colors in exploding shapes that pop from the single tone, flat space of the background. The painting as a whole is meant to be the subject, with color as the defining feature.

At the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, walking into the room dedicated to the period of his painting in the 1940’s is a bit of a shock. The viewer leaves a rather dark room crowded with many relatively small-scale paintings of intricately abstracted figures. It is almost startling to enter the large, bright open room with only four or five massive canvases. The contrast between his previous work and the work of this era is truly jaw dropping. On the wall opposite to the entrance hangs a startlingly incredible, massive painting, Still’s No. 1 created in 1944. The viewer immediately takes it in, as it is the first thing that can be completely absorbed upon entering the room. The entire canvas is essentially black. Four outbursts of color decorate the background. The eye is initially drawn to the bright yellow lightening bolt-shaped explosion that strikes from the top edge of the page. Adjacent to the strike of yellow is a smaller splash of white, the most contrasting features to the black background. The white is bisected by a jagged red line beginning on the left edge of the page and curving up and black down to fall off the bottom edge of the page. Where the jagged red has ended, a splurge of darker green is barely noticeable, as it is dark enough against the black background to be missed.

The shapes that cut across the field of color are what Still refers to as “lifelines” and are representative of the verticality of living. If one is standing upright, then he is alive. This ties into his previous work where the presence of figures was more obvious, and their elongated forms seemed to also emphasize verticality. The shapes and fields of color would continue to be significant factors in later creations as well.

In the later 1940’s and early 1950’s, Still persisted to develop his style of abstract expressionism. The movement in and of itself had gained momentum, and became increasingly popular in the art world, as well as the world of pop culture. It was during this period of time that Still further developed his jagged, explosions of color, utilizing thick application of paint by a palette knife. He further embraced the idea of “allover” painting in which the painting possesses no one subject but is to be viewed in its entirety. It was also during this time period that Still welcomed the bare canvas as an expressive tool, leaving large unpainted areas as seen in PH-118 from 1947. The idea of including unpainted, bare areas into his composition would be a technique used frequently in later work.

In the decade lying between 1950 and 1960 Still decided to increase the already immense scale of his work even more. He wanted his pieces to be viewed more as environments that almost overwhelm the viewer, as opposed to a large painting laid before them. The color fields that are characteristic of this period of work are larger, closed in solid shapes of color, with less of the random spurts of energy present in previous work. The influence of other abstract expressionists seems to be present as well. PH-247 from 1951 in particular consists of solid blue, flat background with one thick black and one thin orange line slicing vertically from the top edge to the bottom edge of the canvas. It is very similar to the color-field painting of Mark Rothko, another significant figure in the abstract expressionist movement.

The final period of works displayed at the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver take place in the latest part of his life between 1961 and 1980. It is in this period that Still worked in seclusion, cutting him self off from the art world almost entirely, revealing only select works to select institutions. The pieces of this time period are composted of a lighter touch, with smaller spurts of color as opposed to large intense color fields. This is where he also masters the use of blank canvas. Leaving the entire background unpainted as opposed to the thickly applied fields of background of previous work. Colors are less bold and are not forced into the viewers face. Still’s final pieces seem to reflect, more than anything, peace of mind.

At the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, the viewer is invited to travel through the development of one of the most influential American contemporary artists. A man who claimed, “the figure stands behind all of my work,” Still’s advancements from traditional studies of still life, to early abstractions of the human form, to the shocking beauty of abstract expressionism are all on display, illuminating the many achievements of a truly great artist. 

 

Clyfford Still-Melissa Nunes

Melissa Nunes

1/30/12

Clyfford Still: Abstract Expressionist

 

Clyfford Still impacted the Abstract Expressionist movement immensely during most of the 20th century.  He was one of the first of many abstract expressionist painters to show the world this new form of art that had not been seen before.  He started out painting figures that the viewer could make out as a shape or a specific object then slowly moved to paintings that were more abstract.  They had color and emotion but did not show the audience a specific figure that could be made out by the human eye.  His first paintings were depictions of the hardship of farm life that he portrayed using people and machinery.

The first of these paintings that caught my eye was PH-77, 1936.  The two farmers are centered in the middle of the painting and are the main focus.  The background of the painting is made up of 75% sky and the rest of the 25% is the hay and fields that the farmers are planting.  The sky is made up of what looks to be a mixture of colors that fade out around the farmers.  The top of the sky is a dark navy blue color that eventually turns into a mix of blues, greens, yellows and some pink.  It fades around the farmers into a faded yellow color mixed with white.  The fields are a dark yellow color that seems to run very far behind the two men.  Closer to there feet and towards the very bottom of the painting there is dirt that is a dark brown almost black color where they have already gathered the hay.

The first farmer to the left of the painting has a red shirt and dark pants that are rolled up so you see his ankles.  He has dark hair and is more slender than the other farmer.  His face is facing downwards looking at the pile of hay he is about the pick up.  He has black shoes and a barrel of hay in his left arm.  He is bent over at the waist with both of his knees slightly bent.  His right arm is reaching towards the ground grabbing hay.  His arm has lines flowing down them depicting his muscles that seem to be strained from doing this backbreaking labor.

The second man has a yellow shirt and is also bent over at the waist.  This farmer seems lest tall and slender than the other.  He has overalls on that are rolled up at the ankles and black shoes.  The left sleeve of his shirt is rolled up.  The right sleeve seems to come unraveled and is falling down his arm.  Both his arms are reaching down ready to pick up a stack of hay.  His arms also have lines depicting his strained muscles.  He is bald and his head is slightly turned towards us.  Both of the men’s faces are blurry and there are no distinct features on them.

The painting portrays the hardship and strain of being a farmer.  It depicts the reality of what the farmers feel like as they are gathering the hay from the fields.  The bent over bodies show the backbreaking work that these farmers had to endure.  The muscles and elongated look of the arms over exaggerate the pain of this work that these farmers had to go through.  Not being able to make out their faces shows the audience that they are not specific people that Still was painting but the large group as a whole.  These farmers could be anyone that lived and worked during these times.

This next painting that I noticed I had never seen before entering this museum, PH-343, 1937.  At first glance all I saw was a human like figure and some sort of machine that this human figure was pulling.  This painting is cut down the center, one half being the human figure and the other half being the machine.  The human is a yellow brown color and, like most of Clyfford Still’s paintings, does not have a face.  Black and white lines outline the human.  There are lines that run down the human as if to show the inside of this figure.  The figure is human shaped but is not proportional to a normal living human.  The hands are very large and the fingers very slender and long.  The shoulders are very high up giving the figure no neck and a very small head.  The legs seem to end at the middle of the thighs as if the figure had been amputated from the knee down.  The background behind the figure is a maroon color outlined in black and white just like the figure.

To the left is a machine that is all black up against a white background.  To the far left there is a black bar that seems to be holding the machine up against the wall.  It is attached to another bar that has a black circle shape coming off of it in the center and another black object coming off towards the bottom.  This large pole bends at the top and is attached to another black pole that the human figure is holding on too.  This pole too has many black shapes coming off of it making it look like a large tool that this person is using.

Stills liked to show both humans and machines in his early work.  The left side of this painting was made with warmer colors to depict this human while the right side is made with contrasting black and white colors.  The machinery shows the industry that was used for the farm life at that time.

Still’s later work portrayed more of an abstract look.  He used certain brush strokes and colors to portray his emotions. One of the paintings I saw with these characteristics was the PH-335, 1949.  The canvas background is covered in mostly red with some black and white splotches.  The upper half of the painting is mostly a bright red color but as you move towards to bottom you start to see large portions of black that are surrounded by a darker red.  Inside the black and the darker red are smaller portions of white specks.

When looking at this painting I saw a lot of emotion; especially because he used the colors of black and red.  Those two colors by themselves usually represent things that are dark and painful which I believe was part of what Still wanted to get across in his work.  The sections of the painting that show the black and dark red, seem to be somewhat chaotic and may demonstrate what Still was going through during that time.  I took it as him still trying to figure out what kind of artist he was and the hardship that he endured trying to accomplish this.  It shows his frustration and eagerness to be the artist that he wanted to be.  Also at this time he was trying to balance his artistic career and having a family, which was difficult for both Still and his wife.  This stress and chaos in his life was shown through his work and eventually when he reached an old age he became more comfortable and knew exactly what he wanted to paint.  His brush strokes and colors became more spread out and demonstrated a clear view of the artist that Clyfford Still had become.