Guerrilla Girls are fab…
Tools and cogs…
Beginnings of a new plate…
Triangles and objects…
Ulyces Gif’s – words stitched together…
Christmas print – hand printed from a found 1950s wood block – image must have been used for a children’s illustration book?
Burnished metal plate print
Retrieved photo of two generations…grandmother and great-grandmother.
Geometric shapes in a print
Spit bite proof
Recycled plates turned into a new print
An attempt to knit with steel…
Jim Dine – Alan Christea Gallery
Movement in prints
Duo rust prints…
Chine colle insert
Etching to photo etch to deconstruct…
White and yellow print overlays
Studio rooftop view on a cold afternoon…
After what would seem as a day of major tropical storms directly over our heads we managed to pull through and sell some bargain prints to raise money for our end of year show. Below is a fine example of a fully functional and water proofed pitch! We managed to raise £700!
One of the main attractions for visiting Liverpool was to go to Tate Liverpool and see the Rene Margritte show. However there is currently another show at the Tate that caught my attention. Carol Anne Duffy the Poet Laureat has curated a show exploring the different ways artist’s have engaged with language through their own art. I thought this was a really good show. Her own background as a poet gave a slightly different angle on already very well known art works. The link with language and the object provided an even more interesting insight into my own research, whereas I have mainly focused on finding visual equivalents to verbal language in a more painterly or 2 dimensional understanding.
Ewa Partum, a polish artist and one of the early figures of conceptual art and feminist art caught my attention with her film ‘Active Poetry’ 1971. In the film she cut letters from a page of fragments from James Joyce’s novel Ulysse’s. The public were encouraged to collect random letters from the pages to form words and phrases in an act of ‘linguistic liberation’. Ewa Partum re enacted this in the Tate Turbine Hall in 2006. I find this really interesting as I have been looking into the possibility of using parts of Ulysse’s to form a word piece, partly in response to Joyce’s tables of codes and colours that represent and aided him to construct the novel. Below are three stills taken from the show:
|A Trompe l’Oeil of Newspapers, Letters and Writing Implements on a Wooden Board (1699), 58.8 × 46.2 cm|
|White Shirt (for Mallarmé) Spring 1993 1992
object: 80 x 535x 410
Printing a plate in silver etching ink has proved to be just a little problematic! The ready made ink dries out quickly, the paper must be printed damper than usual and any extra oil to resolve the drying out of ink reduces the metallic impact. I have attempted to make my own ink using silver pigment as well but that seems to have an even more reduced effect. Below is the best print yet in silver:
In a slightly different direction I am also still looking at how various theorists have considered colour.
Derrida has something quite interesting to say, here are the key areas:
– The very course of his career show that the search for a primary foundation of material themselves – of speech (vowel sounds), writing (paper and ink) and painting (pigments and dyes).
– Differential pairs, including colour and line, are the main instruments of his theory. Two signature tones, the white of paper or canvas and brilliant gold of Van Gogh, coins and picture frames. White and gold share the qualities of elemental purity and marginality, belonging to the borders of texts and works of arts.
– Both of his books ‘Dissemination’ and ‘The Truth in Painting’ draw a thematic link between writing and painting.
– The essay titled ‘White Mythology’ is adopted from a dialogue by Anatole France ‘in which the retreat of metaphysics into abstraction is lamented in terms of all philosophy becoming white mythology. The essay is an attempt to build a “general taxonomy of metaphors” on the premise that the very concept of metaphor is deeply ingrained in the practice of ancient fables”to “produce “white mythology”. This blank, so lovingly prepared for Derrida by Mallarme and other proponents of the Modern “aesthetic of purity” is the primed canvas on which the design his theory can be traced.’ p.64 (Riley C A 1995)
A book by Charles A Riley, Colour Codes, Modern Theories of Color in Philosophy, Painting and Architecture, Literature, Music and Psychology, 1995 New England Press.
Goethe’s theory of colours:
‘If there is phenomenological core to Goethe’s text, it is the faith in a permanent physical basis of colour that, by contrast with Newton’s emphasis on white light, arises out of a grey shadow. Goethe’s theory is dominated by the sense of dark tonalities and shadows…”Shadow is the proper element of colour, and in this case a subdued colour approaches it, lighting up, tingeing, and enlivening it” (p.236) Instead of working with colours at their full strength in bright illumination, he preferred experiences that caught colour at the very threshold of its manifestation, liminal or edge phenomena…’ p.22
The Poet of Black, Adorno:
‘For Adorno, the blackness of contemporary art and philosophy is not just a symbol of mourning. It is also aesthetic, accentuating the awareness of an edge between sense and emptiness, the being of an artwork and nonbeing itself. Like many of the philosophical approaches to colour, it links ontology and creativity. Adorno’s articulation of this theme relates it directly to the function and significance of the colour black: “Along with the impoverishment of means brought on by the ideal of the black, if not by functionalist matter-of-factness, we also notice an impoverishment of the creations of poetry, painting and music themselves. On the verge of silence, the most advanced forms of art have sensed the force of this tendency” p. 56
I have discovered through reading about how colour has been used in literature that James Joyce worked with tables and codes to almost construct his novels. The table below is from Ulysses and seems from the outset completely odd. To accompany Ulysses I think he had equivalent versions in the form of a book of smells and a book of colour.
One artist that I have been researching quite closely has been Kasimir Malevich, with particular reference to his painting Black Square,1915. My initial interest had been related to his abstract work coming under Suprematism. What interested me at first were his use of titles, often referring to pictorial imagery – Red Square: painterly realism of a peasant woman in two dimensions. With further research I had found that his involvement with the Trans-rationalist Poets from 1910, working with illogical word combination had led him to arrive at a visual abstract equivalent to these word games, involving sliced colour planes and titles often referring to representational images. A friend forwarded me an article by Stephen Lueckig, in the Journal of Mathematics and Art (2010), A Man and his Square: Kasimir Malevich and the Visualisation of the Fourth Dimension.
In this article there is a suggestion that there may have been an alternative reason for Malevich’s use of titles. Firstly during 1915 Malevich, exhibited as part of a show of 14 young constructivist artists in St Petersberg 0,10: The Last Futurist Exhibition. Kasimir Malevich filled a room with 39 paintings in his new conceived style of Suprematism. What is interesting is Malevich’s use of titles and subtitles. As all the 39 paintings inhabit the same pictorial space. His chosen titles however, indicate something different. For example 5 of the paintings bore the subtitle Colour Masses in the Fourth Dimension. Then there are two paintings – Red Square: painterly realism of a peasant woman in two dimensions and Self Portrait in Two Dimensions. These two paintings also inhabit the same pictorial space as all the other paintings. Therefore through titles and subtitles Malevich entertained the notion that although his paintings visually occupy the same space as each other he is referencing some in 2D, 3D and even 4D.
|0,10: The Last Futurist Exhibition. Kasimir Malevich filled a room|
There has always been a question why Malevich has titled and subtitlted his paintings. This particular articles stresses Malevich’s knowledge and historical knowledge of geometry. At the time there was a renewed prominence of a nineteenth century geometrician called Nikolai Lobachevsky and his ideas of meta-geometry or what has been dubbed as ‘imaginary geometry’ and later ‘Pangeometry’. Lobachevsky asserted that any number of geometries were possible and would prove as useful as Euclidean geometry (a mathematical system attributed to the Alexandrian Greek mathematician Euclid, whose elements is the earliest known systematic discussion of geometry) with the possibility of then creating new geometric rules unknown to Euclidean geometry.
Malevich jumped onto this idea of alternate geometries and if it could bypass Euclidean geometry then lines of thought could re-route around conventional logic. Malevich attempted to translate this through painting becoming what we know now as suprematism.
To an extent the term used as part of a subtitle by Malevich – ‘Colour Masses in the Fourth Dimension’ references this idea of an alternate geometric space. This is a very brief summary of the article as it becomes gradually more involved in mathematics and geometry but I thought this diagram below proved interesting in understanding Malevich’s idea of a possible alternate geometry.