Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sol Lewitt Research

In looking for artists to study I found that sculpture was the way to go rather than 2D paintings as the subject matter I'm photographing is more three dimensional. I want to start taking photographs that are more minimal but still have interesting lines, I'm going to start focusing on photographing stairs as my main subject matter as they are an everyday structure and always contain different interpretations of the same fundamental shapes. I tried to find a contemporary artist that creates geometric work and I came across the work of Sol Lewitt. Many artists in the 1960's we using none traditional materials so create art and re invent art moving away from European tradition and making new 'American' art. Lewitt has influenced by the sequential photographs by Eadweard Muybridge presented in a grid formation. 

While researching Lewitt I came across his sculptures 'Incomplete Open Cubes'. Lewitt wanted to create something that initially looks chaotic however when you see the sculptures in different lines of sight they become orderly and you 'untangle the puzzle'. Individually the incomplete cubes are brilliant pieces of minimalist sculpture and although each sculpture is based on a cube they are all different. 122 individual cube variations make up the complete piece, individually the sculptures work well but they work better when placed in context with the other 121 as they create an overall idea. For my gallery piece I think I will present 8 or 10 photographs as a set because the photographs will work much better in narrative form along side other images than if they were presented individually, the photographs will all most likely contain steps but it is how different architectures have interpreted that shape that will come out in my photographs and how something as simple as a staircase that you see everyday can contain these beautiful shapes and lines. From Lewitt's work I have learned that you can present different versions of the same thing and make it interesting when presented as a narrative like the individual cube sculptures when presented as a set express a larger interesting idea.


Turner and the Sea Exhibition (06/04/14)

Turner and the Sea was an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, this was an exhibition I really wanted to visit because his painting 'The Fighting Tameraire' was in the exhibition and this is a painting I really wanted to see. The painting was great to see in the flesh and being able to see the texture of the canvas was brilliant however I wasn't as amazed as I thought I would be, probably because I have seen the painting so many time on books and on the internet so when I got to see the painting in real life it didn't seem that new. On the other hand his painting 'The Battle of Trafalgar' was a truly amazing painting to see, when you see the painting in a book you just cant see all the small details in the painting. 'The Battle of Traffalgar' is the size of a wall so when you look at it you can make out every little detail of the painting such as the small ships in the background and the figures on the ships, you could stand and stare at the painting for ages. Another painting I was glad to see was his painting 'Fishermen at Sea' this was the first oil painting Turner ever exhibited, Turner was just 21 when he painted it but the painting has very ambitious lighting and detail. The work of Turner has been a key influence on my colour photography in terms of his late afternoon light, which is my favorite time to shoot and also his compositions and how he uses the whole canvas keeping your eye moving around the composition. He also uses the golden ratio of 1-1.618.  From the National Maritime Museum I had to make my way back to The British Museum (Bare in mind I'd only been using the tube for a day this was quite a challenge). I had to make 2 train changes and the central line was closed so I had to get off at Oxford Circus and walk 20 minutes to get there. I don't think I've ever walked as fast as I did to get there as I had to get there before it closed.    

J M W Turner 'The Fighting Tameraire'

J M W Turner 'The Battle of Trafalgar' 

J M W Turner 'Fishermen at Sea'