Artist Research Contextual StudiesDocument Transcript
1. Name of artist Rachel Whiteread
Born 20th April, 1963, in London but was raised in Essex countryside
until the age of 7, when her family moved back to London. She was born
A brief history into a family of 5. She had 2 older sisters who were identical twins, and a
(nationality, mother, Pat Whiteread – also an artist – and father – a geography
teacher who died when Whiteread was studying at an art school in 1989.
time period, life/ For a time she worked in Highgate Cemetery fixing lids back onto time-
historical/social damaged coffins. She began to exhibit in 1987, with her first solo
exhibition coming in 1988. She lives and works in a former synagogue in
East London with long-term partner and fellow sculptor Marcus Taylor.
They have two sons.
Rachel trained in painting at The Faculty of Arts and Architecture,
Brighton Polytechnic, was briefly at the Cyprus College of Art, and later
studied sculpture at London's Slade School of Art. She is well-known for
art many of her sculptures such as the “Ghost” -1990. However, she also
Summary of Many of Whiteread's works are of ordinary domestic objects and, in
artist’s work some cases, the space the objects do not fill the whole space.
(media/materials Instead, it produces a solid cast of where the space within a
container would be. For example, particular parts of rooms, the area
, subject matter, underneath furniture etc. Whiteread said the casts carry "the residue
ideas/concept, of years and years of use". Whiteread mainly focuses on the line and
approach to art the form for her pieces. In the sculptures, she uses a mix of media.
However, in her photographs, she uses a screenprint on paper.
What I am going How this artist's work relates to my work is that her focus/aspect was
to/might use buildings and architecture. By focusing on that she made sculptures
of things which has been designed by designers/architects e.g.
from this artist rooms, stairs (as shown above). These are the aspects I have
as an influence chosen to focus on as well so her technique of showing her views
in my work might be of use to me.
2. Name of
Born September 25th, 1903 in Dvinsk, Russia/Latvia (was in the
Russian Empire), to a Jewish family of 5. His father, Jacob was a
pharmacist who brought up his children with a secular and political,
rather than religious, upbringing. During this time, Jews were often
A brief history
blamed for many evils in Russia/Latvia and so Rothko's childhood was
(nationality, often surrounded by violence. Rothko and his siblings were highly
time period, educated because of his father and so was able to speak Russian,
Yiddish and Hebrew. Rothko's father feared that his sons would be
forced into the Czarist army and so emigrated them to the US,
ocial links) however, Mark, his mother and elder sister Sonia, stayed in
Russia/Latvia but joined them in 1913. Jacob Rothko died a few
months later and so the family had to work to maintain their economic
Marcus started school in the United States in 1913, quickly
accelerating from third to fifth grade, and completed the secondary
level with honours at Lincoln High School in Portland, in June 1921 at
the age of seventeen; that is where he learned his fourth language,
English. In 1923, Rothko was visiting a friend at the Art Students
League of New York that he witnessed students sketching a model.
According to Rothko, this was the beginning of his life as an artist. He
School/type of was twenty years old and had taken some art classes in high school,
art but his initial experience was far from an immediate calling. Rothko
enrolled in the New School of Design, where one of his instructors was
the artist Arshile Gorky. In the spring of 1968, Rothko suffered an
aneurysm of the aorta, a result of his chronic high blood pressure.
Ignoring doctor’s orders, Rothko continued to drink and smoke heavily,
avoided exercise, and maintained an unhealthy diet. However, he did
follow the advice not to paint pictures larger than a yard in height, and
turned his attention to smaller format, including acrylics on paper.
When he entered a course at the Art Students League of New York, he
(media/material was taught by still-life artist Max Weber, who was also a Russian Jew.
, subject It was due to Weber that Rothko began to see art as a tool of
matter, emotional and religious expression, and Rothko’s paintings from this
era portray a Weberian influence. He mainly did colour field paintings
ideas/concept, using oil paintings and focused on abstract expressionism.
approach to art
What I am
use from this How I relate to this artist is that he focuses on lines and separates
artist as an them with contrasting colours. This is the same aspect as what I'm
influence in my doing and he uses his own technique to display it.
3. Name of
Maurits Cornelis Escher (known as M.C. Escher)
Born 17th June, 1898 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. He was the
youngest son of civil engineer George Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sara
Gleichman. He was a sickly child, and was placed in a special school at the age
of seven and failed the second grade. In 1903, the family moved to Arnhem
where he took carpentry and piano lessons until he was thirteen years old.
A brief From 1903 until 1918 he attended primary school and secondary school.
history Though he excelled at drawing, his grades were generally poor. Escher
travelled to Italy in 1922. In Italy he met Jetta Umiker, whom he married in
1924. The young couple settled down in Rome and stayed there until 1935,
time period, when the political climate under Mussolini became unbearable. Their son,
life/historical/ Giorgio Arnaldo Escher, named after his grandfather, was born in Rome. The
social links) family next moved to Château-d'Œx, Switzerland where they remained for
two years. in 1937, the family moved again, to Ukkel, a small town near
Brussels, Belgium. World War II forced them to move in January 1941, this time
to Baarn, the Netherlands, where Escher lived until 1970. Escher moved to the
Rosa Spier house in Laren in 1970, a retirement home for artists where he had
his own studio. He died at the home on 27 March 1972, at age 73.
In 1919, Escher attended the Haarlem School of Architecture and
Decorative Arts. He briefly studied architecture, but he failed a number
of subjects (partly due to a persistent skin infection) and switched to
decorative arts. Here he studied under Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita,
of art with whom he would remain friends for years. In 1922 Escher left the
school, having gained experience in drawing and making woodcuts.
Most of work is in the field of drawing and printmaking.
Escher's first print of an impossible reality was Still Life and Street, 1937.
His artistic expression was created from images in his mind, rather than
directly from observations and travels to other countries. His well known
artist’s work work including 'Drawing Hands', 'Sky and Water' and Ascending and
(media/mater- Descending' work on a construction which is impossible to build and
possible to draw only by taking advantage of 'quirks' of perception and
perspective. He worked primarily in the media of lithographs and
matter, ideas/ woodcuts, though the few mezzotints he made are considered to be
concept, masterpieces of the technique. In his graphic art, he portrayed
mathematical relationships among shapes, figures and space.
Additionally, he explored interlocking figures using black and white to
art making) enhance different dimensions. Integrated into his prints were mirror
images of cones, spheres, cubes, rings and spirals.
What I am
going How this artist's work relate to my work is that in these three artworks,
to/might use Escher focuses on buildings and architecture from a certain perspective
and displays them as abstracts (as shown in the third piece). This
from this relates to mine as one of my aspects is buildings/architecture. From this
artist as an I can see what types of compositions I can display the artwork; from one
influence in perspective to another.
4. Name of artist Franz Ackermann
Born in Neumarkt, Germany in 1963. Inspired by the phenomena of
urban generation, globalism and cultural connection, Franz Ackermann
A brief history is a contemporary explorer, scavenging the world in search of exotica.
(nationality, time German artist Franz Ackermann is a perpetual tourist, but not of the
ordinary kind. He is on a quest for exotica in the 21st century:
actively seeking cultural differences, he travels the corners of the
life/historical/so globe, searching for the 'unknown'. Asia, the Middle East, and South
cial links) America are perceived as destinations of adventure where a
disquieting shift towards sameness engenders feelings of discomfort
He attended the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Munich from
School/type of 1984-1988 and the 'Hochschule fur bildende Kunst' in Hamburg from
art 1989-1991. He is mainly a painter and installation artist. He focuses
on abstracts and make them look surreal and cartoon-like.
Franz Ackermann describes his paintings as 'mental maps'. Each
kaleidoscopic canvas readily depicts his experience of place. The
geometric compositions offer both a topographical geography and
artist’s work an emotive record of his thoughts and feelings on each location. His
(media/materials abstract paintings act as travelogues, recording his often tragicomic
, subject matter, impressions of the locations he visits. Franz Ackermann's paintings
take on an all-too-familiar surrealism. Rendered with clumsy
cartography, geography itself becomes unsettled. Masses twist
approach to art awkwardly in time and space, unable to keep up with the concept of
making) technological speed; the miniaturisation of the globe through
supersonic flight and mass-media buzz.
What I am going
to/might use How this artist's work relates to mine is that he did abstracts of
from this artist buildings using bold colours and other images, making a collage. I
also would like to do something like this.
as an influence
in my work
5. Name of
Born 25th April, 1928 in America. He went to many art school around the
US. The Kootz Gallery in New York organized Twombly's first solo
exhibition in 1951. At this time his work was influenced by Kline's black-
and-white gestural expressionism, as well as Paul Klee's imagery. In
A brief 1952, Twombly received a grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,
which enabled him to travel to North Africa, Spain, Italy, and France. In
history 1953, after his return, Twombly served in the army as a cryptologist, an
(nationality, activity that left a distinct mark on his artistic style. From 1955 to 1959, he
time period, worked in New York, where he became a prominent figure among a group
life/historical/ of artists including Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. In 1959,
Twombly went to Italy, settling permanently in Rome. It was during this
period that he began to create his first abstract sculptures, which, although
varied in shape and material, were always coated with white paint, which
he later called his 'marble'. In Italy, he began to work on a larger scale and
distanced himself from his former expressionist imagery.
Twombly studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and
at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. From 1950 to
1951, he studied at the Art Students League of New York, where he met
School/type Robert Rauschenberg, who encouraged him to attend Black Mountain
of art College near Asheville, North Carolina. At Black Mountain in 1951 and
1952 he studied with Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Ben Shahn,
and met John Cage. He mainly works in the field of painting and
Twombly is well-known for his large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic-
style graffiti paintings, on solid fields of mostly grey, tan, or off-white
Summary of colors. He exhibits his paintings worldwide. Twombly paintings blur the
artist’s work line between drawing and painting. Many of his best-known paintings of
the late 1960s are reminiscent of a school blackboard on which
(media/mater- someone has practiced cursive "e"s. His paintings of the late 1950s,
ials, subject early 1960s might be reminiscent of long term accumulation of bathroom
matter, ideas/ graffiti. Twombly had at this point discarded painting figurative,
representational subject-matter, citing the line or smudge — each mark
concept, with its own history — as its proper subject. Later, many of his paintings
approach to and works on paper moved into "romantic symbolism", and their titles
art making) can be interpreted visually through shapes and forms and words.
Twombly related this to the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, as well as classical
myths e.g. Greek myths with the god Apollo.
What I am
to/might use How Twombly's work relates to my work is that he made abstracts using
from this lines as shown above. This is most likely what I would like to do-make
an abstract piece.
artist as an