Artist research: Peter Doig

Updated on 19 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

21 October 2016. I have seen the magical figurative paintings by Peter Doig (*1959, UK) many times before. Most of Doig’s works are weirdly out-of-place landscapes and inhabitants at various degrees of abstraction, with outstanding technical originality and investigativeness. One subject appears to return, that of quiet waters, as e.g. in “Echo Lake” (Doig, 1998), “White Canoe” (Doig, 1990/1991) or as in a number of examples from his exhibition on the Tate Gallery’s website (Tate, 2008).
Peter Doig was Turner Prize nominee in 1994, 10 years into the prize. His associated work “Ski Jacket” (Doig, 1994) I found very pleasing to look at, somewhat Japanese in style but in a strange way both realistic, depicting a great number of beginner skiers in a winter mountain environment, and abstract in its texture and composition. It almost feels like a textile collage.
2 November 2016.¬† Since Doig produces some incredibly intricate and detailed patterns with a large variety even within the same painting, I found that the available resolutions make viewing his work on the computer inadequate and a bit frustrating. Nevertheless, the important lesson to learn here is something I increasingly feel with my own paintings: If the subject is allowed to guide the brushstroke, the results are absolutely authentical (if you know what to do, that is) and it is essential to never stop feeling this connection while working. I will keep returning to Doig’s world to remind myself whenever the tentacles of Everyday creep in again.

References:

Doig. P. (1990/1991) White Canoe [oil on canvas] [online]. Saatchi Gallery, London. Available at: http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/artpages/peter_doig_4.htm [Accessed 21 October 2016]

Doig, P. (1994) Ski Jacket [oil on two canvases] [online]. Tate, London. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/doig-ski-jacket-t06962 [Accessed 21 October 2016]

Doig, P. (1998) Echo Lake [oil on canvas] [online]. Tate, London. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/doig-echo-lake-t07467 [Accessed 21 October 2016]

Tate (2008) Tate Britain Exhibition: Peter Doig. 5 February – 11 May 2008 [image collection] [online]. Tate, London. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/peter-doig [Accessed 21 October 2016]

Artist research: Susan Philipsz

Updated on 17 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

20 October 2016. And another Turner prize relation, this time Susan Philipsz (*1965, UK), winner in 2010, when Angela de la Cruz and Dexter Dalwood were both listed as nominees (Searle (2010), Tate (2010)). Philpsz used to be a sculptor and has been working with sound installations for decades now. In a Tate video interview (Tate, 2010) Philipsz explains how she is interested in the ways distant sound defines space and this effect is explored in the award-winning, hair-raising experiment using the undersides of the bridges of Glasgow and a quiet medieval Scottish song about a drowned sailer coming back to say farewell to his love. What a brilliant, deceivingly simple, moving idea! Another sound installation, “War Damaged Instruments” on show in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna this year (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, 2015), is comparable in approach. In Munich Philipsz discovered a century old horns, broken during use in war, and arranged for them to be played again after a felt eternity in the empty rooms of the museum. Via the breath of a horn player, for example, she invokes the broken impression of a last post, taking the listeners into the collective memory of the battlefield. The distorted sounds coming from these damaged instruments remind us with great intensity of the sufferings inflicted by war.
As in my previous two posts on Dexter Dalwood (Lacher-Bryk, 2016a) and Angela de la Cruz (Lacher-Bryk, 2016b) I was greatly impressed at how these three artists, but especially Susan Philipsz, reduce the “noise” in their work to finally come up with something so pure that it goes straight to the heart. This reduction allows the visitor a large degree of freedom to fill the “empty space or time” with their personal response to the experience and thus complete the work of art in their unique ways. This is of course an intriguing way to connect with people and makes me think about the involved mechanisms. The work of reducing the amount of information is not a matter of leaving a hole to fill, but to provide just enough detail to allow people to get in touch.

I have just realized that in her research suggestions my tutor is taking me on a journey into the third and fourth dimensions defining our world and thus art. It makes my head spin with possibilities to discover my own way to put into reality the crowd of visions I have on my mind. “Looking out”, the subject of Part 4 of this course, has got an alltogether different meaning for me now.

References:

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (2015) Susan Philipsz – War Damaged Musical Instruments (Pair) [online]. Kunsthistorisxches Museum, Wien. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kf2YzuTDVCA [Accessed 20 October 2016]

Lacher-Bryk, A. (2016a) Artist Research: Dexter Dalwood [blog] [online]. Andrea Lacher-Bryk, Hallein, 19 October. Available at: https://andreabrykocapainting1.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/artist-research-dexter-dalwood/ [Accessed 20 October 2016]

Lacher-Bryk, A. (2016b) Artist Researc: Angela de la Cruz and an Excursion to the Turner Prize [blog] [online]. Andrea Lacher-Bryk, Hallein, 19 October. Available at: https://andreabrykocapainting1.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/artist-research-angela-de-la-cruz-and-an-excursion-to-the-turner-prize/ [Accessed 20 October 2016]

Searle, A. (2010) Turner Prize Winner Susan Philipsz [online]. The Guardian, London, 6 December. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/dec/06/turner-prize-susan-philipz [Accessed 20 October 2016]

Tate (2010) Turner Prize 2010 artists: Susan Philipsz [online]. Tate, London. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/turner-prize-2010/turner-prize-2010-artists-susan-philipsz [Accessed 20 October 2016]

Artist research: Angela de la Cruz and an excursion to the Turner Prize

Updated on 17 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

19 October 2016. Another Turner Prize nominee in the list of artists my tutor has chosen for me to look at. So I suppose it is time to have a quick look at the Turner Prize, to see who they choose and how they reason their choice.

The Turner Prize has been organised at the Tate gallery since 1984 (Tate, n.d.) and publicised as problematic for a number of incidents and public outrage at the work of some of the award winners, e.g. “My Bed” by Tracey Emin (Saatchi Gallery, n.d.). Named after 19th century innovative and controversial painter J.M.W. Turner it was initiated however to do just that – raise the awareness for novel art work and fuel debate about art. It is awarded to an artist born in or working in Britain for “the greatest contribution to art”. So, if I understand this correctly, the prize is a recognition not for an outstanding achievement in an existing field, but for pioneering work along the twisted route of art development and appears to have been extremely successful in keeping the debate alive.

Superficially, the work of philopsopher and sculptor Angela de la Cruz (*1965, Spain and UK) looks mainly like three-dimensional investigations of the properties of cloth (enter her name in your browser for a first impression). I have to admit that I was at a loss when looking at her installations for the first time, but after having read an article published in The Guardian (Searle, 2010) I began to realize that they are caricatures of the art world itself and started to immensely enjoy the brutally subtle messages. De la Cruz has an admirable ability to literally wrap an art issue in canvas, handing over the parcel itself as the gift.
Having taken in her message, however, I wonder at how easy it is to have one’s ideas challenged when vulnerable.

References:

Saatchi Gallery (n.d.) Tracy Emin. My Bed [online]. Saatchi Gallery, London. Available at: http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/artpages/tracey_emin_my_bed.htm [Accessed 19 October 2016]

Searle, A. (2010) Angela de la Cruz’s Brush With Death [online]. The Guardian, London, 10 April. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/apr/05/angela-de-la-cruz [Accessed 19 October 2016]

Tate (n.d.) What is the Turner Prize? [online]. Tate, London. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/turner-prize/about [Accessed 19 October 2016]

Artist research: Grayson Perry

Updated on 12 March 2017 (Harvard referencing).

17 October 2016. Born in the UK in 1960 ceramic, quilt and cross-dressing artist and 2003 Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry derives his subjects from a world of sad experience far off my own tracks. What on the Saatchi Gallery’s website is described as “cosmopolitan folk art” (Saatchi Gallery, n.d.), appears to me to contain multiple intricately interwoven layers of storytelling. This is where a connection is made, because this complex storytelling is what I want to achieve in my own work. To me Perry’s unusual supports for his stories show strong commitment in going through the stages required to arrive at such results, see e.g. his tapestry titled “The Digmoor Tapestry” (Perry, 2016). Although his style has no particular emotional appeal to me, looking at his results gives me a great headache, because it is exactly this laborious process of developing a project which I am struggling with. I can only hope that I may not run into problems with OCA requirements at some point, because of the inalterable time constraints I am and will be facing for years to come.

References:

Perry, G. (2016) The Digmoor Tapestry [textile] [online]. Paragon Press, London. Available at: http://www.artnet.com/artists/grayson-perry/the-digmoor-tapestry-a-4rZD1AfpgvCJJXvf-G8Z4Q2 Accessed 17 October 2016]

Saatchi Gallery (n.d.) Grayson Perry [online]. Saatchi Gallery, London. Available at: http://www.saatchigallery.com/artists/grayson_perry.htm [Accessed 17 October 2016]