May Artist Reflections

Tara Diaz Artist reflection: Hannah Hoch

Hannah Hoch stood out to me because her collages looked amazing and jaw dropping. I wanted to look up her work more and stumbled upon this work. It’s called watched and was drawn in `1925. It’s still in MoMA.

Looking at this piece, it reminds me bit of wonderland due to the small person and the oversized flower. the papers looks like fabric and strokes of paintbrush at the same time. Interesting how the red flower stands out. It may have meant that this flower is something special and that the person is eyeing that flower so that it doesn’t go against what it is supposed to be. It could represent a loved one being watched over by guardian or maybe someone innocent who is being followed.

ok that last one was dark.

I really like hannah Hoch’s work. All of them has a great meaning and message behind it and its abstract and well done.

Kurt Schwitters by Chelsea Marks

Schwitters was one of the most interesting artists from his week’s presentation. His most famous work is collage, using found objects, typography, and sound poetry to create unique compositions. He claimed “It is possible to cry out using old bits of rubbish”. He used his art expressively to get through hard times that were happening in Germany. During this pandemic I have also been inspired to use collage as expression and that is why this artist was relatable to me.

       A Typical collage can look like an explosion in a printers workshop. At first sign they can seem like a mess, but when you look closely you can see how delicately they have been assembled. He called his own artwork “Merz” which to him meant artwork that was not just about the proper, polished and beautiful, but about the offcuts, shards, broken bits and common detritus of life.

William Kentridge

Artist Reflection – Caitlin Mouri

I was interested in the way William Kentridge uses time in his work, and I wanted to find more of his films and animations. I found a great interview by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark, which features several clips of his work from the early 2000s:

I was pleasantly surprised by how much humor he incorporates into his work. He draws from Georges Méliès, Buster Keaton and his own training in theater and pantomime to create films that are funny, surreal, self-deprecating and poignant.

Uncertainty is a central concept in his work. On a larger scale, he is interested in “the politics of certainty” and the link between certainty and authoritarianism. In the studio, he embraces uncertainty. He describes his process as one of discovery. He develops his films without a final vision in mind, pursuing ideas and concepts as they emerge. Using charcoal animation, he draws, erases, and cuts together fragments of paper and film. He considers this process a reflection of reality, where our concept of self is a “collage of thoughts and ideas”. Objectivity, on the other hand, is a kind of illusion. The way we perceive something at a particular point in time depends not only on the object itself but also on our memories, beliefs, and prejudices. This aggregation of memory into a coherent self is also relevant to his work with time. In his stage production, ‘Refuse the Hour’ (2014), one of the central questions is whether “everything end[s] irredeemably or does part of what exists remain as pieces of information…[?]”

Macy Dreizler

Hannah Hoch’s collages brilliantly and incisively reveal a capacity of collage to connect seemingly disparate images and objects to expose otherwise insidious social/political dynamics. Hoch was not fully respected in the Dada movement (she was one of few women) because of her gender and this felt ironic and upsetting yet fitting since some parts of her work revolve around feminist critique. In Cut with the Kitchen knife.. Hoch glues a small map in the corner showing the European countries in which women could vote, in a spatially small but socially powerful gesture to feminist viewers. In “Little Sun” of 1967, one of her later works, Hoch uses bright and hazy summery colors, a snip of Marylin Monroe’s mouth and a fish eye to create this piece that feels simultaneously uneasy and silly. This is a common reaction I have to the work I have seen; it feels both playful and creepy, amusing yet critical. Maybe this speaks to Dada as a movement, in its rejection of categorization and an emphasis in the nonsensical, the satirical, the irreverent and the absurd. Hoch’s work embodies these themes boldly, and presents them with eloquence, especially as a queer woman during such a politically and socially tumultuous time.

Russell Maruya- Karel Appel

Karel Appel’s work stood out to me because his work had a mix of different colors and shapes that was open to everyone’s interpretation. Also, the shapes, colors, and images did not represent one specific race, ethnicity, or culture. Appel was a Dutch painter, poet, and sculptor and was one of the avant -garde movement Cobra in 1948 and has had work featured in the Museum of Modern Art and other museum worldwide. The avant-garde movement pushed the boundaries of what is accepted as normal in society and challenges the established social hierarchy of a society. Shown below is an example of one Appel’s paintings that peaked my interests during the research process.

I really like how the choice of colors, shapes, and images are not what people are expecting to see in an artist’s painting and thus challenging their idea of beauty. By changing their idea of what is considered to be aesthetically pleasing, people who view Appel’s work can start to view the world in a different way and see various images in a world of chaos. Also, I really like how Appel’s work challenges the idea of what society considered to be normal, and shows other artists and people that they don’t have to act or talk a certain way, or look a certain way to fit into mainstream society and be accepted for they are as a person.

The Garden

Hannah Kaiser

Looking at AROS’s 2017 Exhibit: The Garden, I wonder, what defines a garden? What makes a garden different than a plaza, different than a park? Do they all fall on the same spectrum that measures space dedicated to plants? Does the green wall by Ackroyd and Harvey fall on that same spectrum? Is the color green important to the feeling of a garden? Can there be a garden without plants, but lots of green? Doug Aitkin’s piece suggests gardens are outside, other, and maybe even dirty. But also somehow full of vitality, rich and lush. But whether we bring the outside in, as in Richard Long’s A Crossing Place, or the inside out, as in Meg Webster’s Concave Room for Bees, there are still clear lines and crisp, traceable edges. So why is the definition hard to pin down?

XU BING Kathleen Blakistone

A Chinese artist with a wide body of work, Bing mixes his graphic printmaking training with a profound ability to question the role of language in our social constructs and how to shed history – forcing the viewer to respond.  He is both brilliant, meticulous and provocative. A child of Mao’s Cultural revolution, he wound up in the propaganda brigade and contributed to the transformation and simplification of the Chinese language. I found his rubbings of the Great Wall of China grand and appreciate his insightful ask: What do we protect in our history books? By displacing his rubbings from their origins, cultural legacy can be transformed. Language is central to much of his work and he believes central to forming culture and meaning.

Other works where he combines landscapes and script inspired me to write some of Lyles regenerative design principles on my last watercolor. In Mustard Seed Garden Landscape scroll, Bing takes an ancient Chinese art form and modernizes it through a printmaking lens and suggests a distinct Chinese way of thinking through symbols and coded groupings of nature. He also set up the Forest Project in 2012 as an experiment to create a self-sustaining system that moves funds from wealthy areas to impoverished areas to plant trees.  He used his art and educational activities  in Hong Kong to fund tree-planting in Kenya.

Deep art is not just about style and aesthetic, the depth of art has much more to do with how art connects to society. Art doesn’t come from life, it comes from living.

In 2013, Bing installed Travelling to Wonderland at the Victoria and Albert Museum inspired by a Chinese fable “The Peach Blossom Spring”. The story tells of a lost fisherman who discovers a utopian community hidden behind a mountain.It is a tale of escape – from the city, social pressures, and a space cleansed of chaos and civil unrest. The piece is made from many different types of stone each representing a style of Chinese landscape scrolls and has little stoneware structures placed throughout the sculpture. However, over the time at the museum – the display unravels, shows its’ less than sophisticated construction methods, and the little figurines of animals and adornments go missing. Bing mirrors back our human nature – it’s fragility, carelessness, as well as our capacity to dream.

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