This module asked us to consider why? Why we made the work? Why we chose the materials or processes that we did? Why we were interested in a particular topic or theme?
My work shows an interest in European Baroque artwork, The lighting techniques and compositional features have been explores through a range of media. I have explored sculpture, photography and painting. to make work I have been initially making a small scale sculpture, taking photographs of this baroque inspired sculpture using chiaroscuro technique. I have then been taking this to the easel and have been painting these images to create a full circle in the process. The concept of taking an art period from the 17th century and making it into my contemporary practice gave me the motivation for this module and so did sculpture as I had just completed my casting and plaster workshop.
The traditional features of baroque painting can be seen in my work, the strong lighting, geometric compositions, shadow, honesty and engaging imagery. The baroque was different to the renaissance in that it was more real, less ‘perfect’ than the previous renaissance work. The work showed a snapshot and left our imagination to paint the rest of the scene. The work usually told a story and immersed the viewer in it.
We were asked to create synthesis between work and theory. To answer these questions I had to interpret my own ideas with much more engagement and attempt to explain my affinities.We were then asked to relate this to one of eleven texts. I chose ‘Modernist Painting” by Clement Greenberg. This was then concluded in a rationale that gave an overview of the work that I had made and stated my intentions. We were given ‘starting points’ throughout our taught sessions such as form, sign and idea and we learnt about different debates that art has addressed such as marxism and feminism. These helped me to inform our own work as artists and give my work more context and understanding.
Whilst I read Greenberg’s text, I understood that my work could be applied to his theory of modernist painting as my work has been largely concerned with material. Greenberg states that ‘The essence of modernism lies, as i se it, in the use of characteristic methods of a discipline.’
In addition to the rationale, we had to produce a presentation on our chosen text and this had to be related to our own work. I summarised the text and highlight key points within it. I then made comparisons to both historical and contemporary practices and then made links between the text and my own work, I suggested that my work supported Greenberg’s theories on modernism and subverted them. Analysing my work and others’ work in this way made me look at artwork differently, I became more educated on modernism and understand its concerns much more than before. I’d say that this module gave me a wider knowledge of modern art.
The accompanying rationale can be found here – The Individual and The Social Final Rationale.