Throughout the course of my degree a primary focus of my practice has been to explore the ways in which the use of line can manipulate and contort space. This avenue of thinking has been encouraged by the work of artists such as Anthony Caro and the welded sculpture of Picasso, their use of industrial or scrap material has also been the basis for much of my thought process when selecting materials.
This year has started slowly, with my hesitation to create new pieces causing several issues when trying to progress. To get around this I decided to cut up past works I no longer had a use for or had considered unsuccessful, they were then remade into something entirely new. This led to a series of sculptures of varying levels of success and a new attitude towards the work I was creating. Collage and assemblage art were considered with artists such as Jasper Johns and Iva Gueorguieva leading to my experimenting with mixed media and abstract form.
Similarly Cubism’s use of image manipulation and deconstruction came into play with several ongoing works, moving from entirely abstract to semi abstract forms based in the figurative. Despite directly referencing cubism late in the year, the influence of the movement has been clear throughout, Picassos Figure (Proposed Monument to Guillaume Apollinaire) having been referenced in early second year.
Deconstruction and reconstruction have become key factors of my work this year, pushing past pieces to see their potential and limitations has changed my mentality when moving onto new projects.
The work of David Smith has been highly influential in my practice. When writing my dissertation, Smiths work was discussed in relation to the Geometry of Fear sculptors and the differing visual and material techniques of the movements they’d been involved in. My dissertation on the Geometry of Fear has had an impact on my work for various reasons, mostly due to its introduction of Clement Greenberg as a critic to base discussion around.
Greenberg’s criticisms of the Geometry of Fear were in the lack of experimentation into opticality, something i wish to achieve. Stating “space is there to be shaped, divided, enclosed, but not to be filled or sealed in”, Greenberg’s analysis of sculpture (as well as his continuous promotion of David Smith) has shaped much of my attitude towards my viewing sculpture and producing work.
“Take an object / Do something to it / Do something else to it. [Repeat.]”
-A note from one of Jasper Johns sketchbooks