Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slide Show presentaion

Freshman year in colour theory class, we visited the book, Interaction of Colour by Josef Albers at The Library--all of us having to wear white cotton gloves and crowd around to see. Actually being able to see this book has a tremendous impact, though mainly subconscious. I believe that through subconscious memories, ideas form and eventually take hold and result in artistic rewards.
This year I have been working on a series of paintings that involve abstracting textiles and focusing on colour relations. This comes from two subconscious memories or ideas-- my memories of Interaction of Colour and of historic family quilts that still decorate and keep my family warm. The array of textiles really interests me both as a visual language, and because they were generally a female art form.

The beginning of last semester started out with me not really having an over-all intent or focus for my series. I was just working putting down colours and layers.

Through this I started looking at pattern and colour, using line, thin layers of colour and subtractive techniques such as sanding.

As these first few pieces grew and started talking to each other, I started to see some correlations to textiles.

I started looking directly at the source at this point: looking at Navajo blankets. My interest in them comes from their symbolic language. Particular patterns could only be used by people of certain positions, like the chief. Other blankets have symbols of important things, places, and myths.

Using linear elements and some symbols from the blankets, I started working on my next piece. This was one of the first successful pieces of this series, and the colours really vibrated within it.

Then I started looking at the quilts made by the women of Gee’s Bend. There is something really exciting about the asymmetry of them. It’s something I find really aestheticly pleasing and have been trying to incorporate into my pieces. I also loved the imperfections, and the women’s obvious use and love of these objects. The torn, worn, and faded quality was a real aesthetic interest.

Thinking about asymmetry and sun-bleached fabrics, I started working on my next piece. I was interested in using blocks of colour of varying sizes and lengths over a darker background colour. After that I drilled into the surface with a dremmel to give a “quilted” feel. I used desaturated colours to give the faded quality I found so pleasing in the Gee’s Bend quilts.

As I started on my next piece using a similar vocabulary in blocks of colours, I also started looking at Carrie Gundersdorf’s work. Though, of course, the science component to her work is interesting, to me the most important was looking at a similar vocabulary. I was intrigued that she also used a dark background , and was working with some similar colours that were also desaturated. I was also interested in her linear blocks of colour and the movement that was created through them.

In my next piece, Movement, I was digesting this information and working on creating a piece that continued working with the vocabulary I had started in, but also brought in some new ideas. I used the dremmel this time to work on adding a floral element since so many textiles are related back to florals in one way or another.

Around this time I also started looking at Anni Albers’ work, based on her interest both in colour and in fabrics. I was very excited over winter break when I got to see her work at the Bauhaus exhibit at MOMA. This really made me start thinking about what made her work successful and how I could bring that into my own work.

The next piece I started on, I started without real intent. I allowed myself to become intimidated by the canvas size of about 5 feet by 6 feet. Finally, I just really felt the need to jump into it feet first. It was a struggle trying to find a way to use the vocabulary I had been working with but now to blow it up by at least 2 feet. This piece was really my Goliath. It took weeks of changing nuances of colour and pattern to get it to where it is. Though I think it is successful, I am still trying to figure out that last thing to do to really give this piece some “oomph.”

In the next piece, Love Desert, I was wanted to go back both to a more direct source, and also to the reductive technique of sanding. I was also hoping to use this piece as a way to look more closely at colour mixing and relationships. I started looking at Rwandan fabric as well as at Navajo blankets. Overall I think this is a very successful piece because I met the goals I had created for myself, and this one is especially visually interesting to me.

I immediately started my next piece, Fly Away, continuing with my ideas of reduction through sanding and colour relationships. I was looking at quilts, specifically the flying geese pattern, because of the large murder of crows we currently have living in Alfred. I also spent time looking at a collection of Anni Albers’ paintings and prints exploring triangle relationships. I wanted to bring back the idea of sun-bleached fabric, as well as the contrast between desaturated colours and saturated colours.
I plan to continue this series. There are a great number of variations on it I hope to explore in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Jane! Your work is stunning! Congratulations on your show-linda burke