In her show Earth Potential, Katja Novitskova pairs together the micros and macros of science. They aren’t quite photographs. The images she used were taken from scientific articles, since she wouldn’t be able to get a good picture of Earth from orbit. These images are between six to eight feet in diameter, blowing up the micro-organisms and shrinking the celestial bodies. By doing this, Novitskova brought these images to a level where we can understand them more, since we can’t see many of these with our naked eyes.
These images work together to show how life can be viewed. Seeing a hydra, a regenerative creature thought to be the key of immortality, placed on top of Venus, the fiery planet lacking life, shows how the idea of life has changed and how we could one day be living on different planets. Earth Potential goes beyond what we know as life here on Earth, taking it to different planets and different ways of creating life, like genetic engineering as mentioned in the article.
“The process is a performance, a back and forth between creation and destruction”
As an artist, I have never considered paper, the medium on which I usually paint on, as the ‘art’. However Hong Hong’s process of intricately layering fibers, of various textures and colours and hand weaving the material into paper, is a stunning representation of art. Her work explores more than just a fixed landscape but instead, an understanding of change in colours and light as well as of the feelings and mood behind a certain setting. She also takes inspiration from “things that might shape a person’s experiences of the land” Hong combines Tibetan and Japanese traditional forms of paper making, however she does so in a contemporary style, in terms of process and scale. Her ‘mobile paper studio’ gives her the freedom to travel and create, taking inspiration from different places, landscapes and cultures. I find her creation vs. destruction process fascinating because I mainly think of art as something created, rarely something that has been destructed. Hong also strays from the traditional use of paper in paper making and incorporates organic materials like leaves and branches (Void, 2016) and even plastic in her next project of yearlong site specific installations, Everlasting Ephemera.
In an article taken from theartnewspaper.com, the author, Gareth Harris, discusses a new exhibition which will bring contemporary works from the Modern Museum of Modern Art in New York City to Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris, France. With this, Suzanne Pagé, the artistic director of the Foundation Louis Vuitton plans on taking charge of this exhibition and states that she is attempting to use New York City’s influence to add to contemporary Paris and build a bridge between the two cultures. In work with MOMA, the museum is lending the exhibition 200 different works from their current collections and taken from six different key departments of the MOMA. The exhibition is going to include works earliest from the 1930’s and end with works from today’s art world. It is going to include some of the most prominent artists such as Cézanne, Duchamp and Warhol.
This idea of bringing art to Paris that has already been exposed to the New York City area is extremely fascinating to me. I think it is great to share art across countries and to expose different regions to different cultures and movements. At the end of Harris’ article, he explains how France has yet to be exposed to the well-renowned Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans. This is therefore going to bring immediate attention to the exhibition because Pagé is bringing famous works to an area that has never seen them before.
This week Maya Lin, renowned contemporary installation artist, opened a new exhibit at the Pace Gallery titled Ebb and Flow. This exhibit explores the beauty and power of water, an element Maya Lin has shown a fascination with throughout her career. I thought this article was appropriate based on our readings regarding Earth art and contemporary works and, as noted in the interview, because of the current state of record rainfall and hurricane devastation.
The exhibit is an 11 piece project, including both installations and sculptures. Lin uses recycled silver, glass, marbles, steel pins, and marble. The exhibit explores the different elemental phases of water and natural properties. She transforms scientific data findings into visual art.
In the interview, Maya Lin touches on a few main points. Firstly, that this exhibit demonstrates that nature, that water, will continue to change and move with or without human interference. Simultaneously, the focus on the natural, ‘slow time’ magnifies the drastic effect humans have had on the environment. Lin is attracted to ambivalence, the possibility of showing both the stability of natural movement and the instability of climate change. Additionally, Lin strives to remove the drama and fanfare to focus on the bare scientific facts, which to her speak the greatest volumes.
I think this exhibit is interesting because of Lin’s understated way of expressing concrete facts, the scientific findings about terrain or environmental changes, in a relatively small space. I agree that her almost mellow, subtle renditions of water and ice have an intriguing, melancholic property that tosses aside the grandeur and drama of floods and glacial melt, and focuses on bare change itself.
Link to the exhibit:
Link to the interview:
In his Paragraph’s on Conceptual Art Sol Lewitt explains, in his own view, the definition of conceptual art; he outlines the guidelines in form, purpose, and artistic language that he sees as necessary to the product. Lewis explains conceptual art as art where the idea of concept is the most important aspect in the product. The artist must formulate their conceptual idea before creating the physical art. All planning and decisions regarding communication of the idea are made before hand as to free the work from capricious subjectivity or divergence from intention. Ideally, Lewitt describes, conceptual art is not an exploration in psychology or philosophy or emotion, but rather a singular communication of a concept.
I found it interesting that Lewitt said, “it doesn’t really matter if the viewer understands the concepts of the artist by seeing the art” because it seems to contract the entire point of conceptual art. If the point of conceptual art is to convey one point, wouldn’t it be important for the viewers to be able to understand that? This slight contradiction was interesting especially because he emphasized that successful conceptual art should be extremely simple, which made it seem like it would make conceptual art geared towards direction communication of attention and accessibility to viewers.
I think it is important to note that Sol Lewitt did say at the end of the paragraphs that “these ideas are the result of my work as an artist and are subject to change as my experience changes.” This acknowledges the subjectivity and fluidity of art and also shows Lewitt’s awareness of the limitations on his views.
After reading Fineberg’s article about Minimal art and the various artists that contributed to this movement, I found a few aspects of Frank Stella’s work and description of his work extremely intriguing. Something that especially stood out to me was when Stella asked Carl Andre to write his artist’s statement. As stated, “Art excludes the unnecessary. Frank Stella has found it necessary to paint stripes.” With this said, I find Andre’s comment interesting because I have never thought of art in this way. Obviously, one only includes the things they want and even though Stella produces very simple and geometic/linear shapes in his works, it is only what he wanted to include and therefore the viewer should view it that way as well. This concept I feel is more meaningful than concepts in for example Andy Warhol’s art which was discussed in class. In addition to this, Andre states “…Stella’s painting is not symbolic,” meaning that even though the stripes were placed on the flag for a purpose, they are extremely neutral and that in itself tells the viewer a lot about Stella as an artist. Compared to the various other artists mentioned in the article, I specifically liked Stella because of the idea of that “only what can be seen there is there” and thus, forced me to view the flag only as a flag due to this lack of expression but still displaying a meaningful purpose.
What stood out to me the most in the Fineberg reading was how these minimalist artists pushed the definition of what art was by making art more than just a pretty painting on a canvas. They explored space and light as art, incorporated everyday objects or household goods and even played with illusions. Sol Le Witt was interesting because he used systemic logic in his art work which, in the ‘traditional’ art world, would not typically be accepted because it is not considered a romantic or expressionistic approach.
In contrast to the pop art that we studied last class, I think that minimalist art holds more depth and meaning to the work because instead of focusing on the aesthetics of the art and its literal presence, it focuses on the more abstract concepts surrounding the work like for example, the experience, the inspiration or even the thought process behind the effect the work would have on the viewer.
In the beginning of the reading, minimalist art was described as blank, neutral, mechanical impersonality in comparison to abstract expressionism. However, although minimalist art is less romantic in its appearance, I think that it holds more meaning and message than perhaps that of abstract expressionism as well as redefining what art was and is today.