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
Picasso 1932- Love, Fame, Tragedy
The Tate Modern’s exhibition on Picasso is a display of his many works created during the year 1932.
Picasso’s welded sculpture has influenced many of my figurative pieces. Woman in the Garden, 1929–30, (pictured above) is a white, painted iron piece welded into the form of a female figure.
This exhibition was a rare opportunity to see several of Picasso’s sculptural works in person, often they are ignored in favour of his paintings and drawings so the visit was an unusual event. The welded works Picasso created were experimental and sporadic but have become influential for their use of scrap material and animated appearance.
Antony Gormley’s: The Model Room is a collection and display of his sculptural development process. Full of individual pieces, each lead from one into another showing the continual process of his analysis of the human form.
Exhibiting the models as works in their own right was an interesting concept, allowing the audience to follow the process and piece together the final result created intrigue and clearly presented a sense of experimentation. This is similar to what my exhibited work had sought to achieve by showing hints of the development, giving the viewer an extra insight into the work.
Photographed here is my final piece for the Degree show exhibition titled Square Bar, painted. The layout has worked successfully, the surrounding works interact well with the optical nature of each sculpture and the overall effect is that of what I had hoped to achieve. When placing the work I tried to consider the audience and their movements when the show takes place and the large number of visitors to the exhibition meant safety had to be considered.
My decision to include the smaller experiment was a recent one. As my main focus has been the show of development throughout this piece, the inclusion of the starting point seemed necessary as a display of the continual process Square bar, painted has gone through.
When choosing the positions and angles of the set up, it seemed important to avoid anything too structured. The layout instead avoids falling into a square or being overly predictable.
One point that I hadn’t expected was the correlation between kitty’s work on the wall and my own, the boldness and priority of form in her paintings worked well as a companion piece to the sharpness of my sculptures.