Asp_Am_ Art_Seeing


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This is the second lecture of the spring term on "seeing" in contemporary art. It includes viewing methodologies and artists who work with vision.

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Asp_Am_ Art_Seeing

  1. 1. VISION IN ART The Importance of Seeing Well
  2. 2. Schemata (of Cow) Def. Psychology A pattern imposed on complex reality or experience to assist in explaining it, mediate perception, or guide response.
  4. 4. “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. —John Berger
  5. 5. Primary visual sensory area is the occipital lobe
  6. 6. Roland Barthes postmodernism We construct meanings out of images (rather than images with fixed, universal meanings)…these meanings are specific to the individual and informed by cultural context.
  7. 7. Both seeing and understanding are constructions.
  8. 8. Duchamp believed that the viewer completed 50% of any art work.
  9. 9. Interpretation of art and visual culture is a process.
  10. 10. Interpretation is a process. It can be grounded in a method such as psychoanalysis.
  11. 11. Interpretation can also be grounded in how we naturally (or are taught) think and understand.
  12. 12. We can use processes (based on cognitive theories) to view art.
  13. 13. Viewing Model E. B Feldman • first we observe and describe (without judgment) description forms • then we analyze, bring in our own outside knowledge to better understand • Interpretation is a provisional judgment • Evaluation (values) assessment of work
  14. 14. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognitive Domains Knowledge : Recall data or information. Comprehension : Understand the meaning, translation, interpolation, and interpretation of instructions and problems. State a problem in one's own words. Application : Use a concept in a new situation or unprompted use of an abstraction. Applies what was learned in the classroom into novel situations in the work place. Analysis : Separates material or concepts into component parts so that its organizational structure may be understood. Distinguishes between facts and inferences.  Synthesis : Builds a structure or pattern from diverse elements. Put parts together to form a whole, with emphasis on creating a new meaning or structure. Evaluation : Make judgments about the value of ideas or materials.
  15. 15. Seeing takes an investment in time…
  16. 16. Henri Matisse (1908-09) The Red Room
  17. 17. describe (without judgment) by making lists of what you see
  18. 18. analyze by bringing in your own outside knowledge to better understand the painting
  19. 19. Interpret by making a provisional (temporary) judgment
  20. 20. Evaluate (by using your values) to assess of work
  21. 21. Romantic Shit. Jaguar Shit. Deep Shit. Bull Shit. Scary Shit. These are just a few of the works on display in Andres Serrano’s new Shit Show, an exhibition featuring 66 photos of excrement, each piece from a different animal.
  22. 22. Serrano, whose 1989 Piss Christ spurred an outraged Jesse Helms to try to outlaw the National Endowment of the Arts from funding such projects, Serrano recently said that he can actually see faces and tableaux in the gooey brown piles, including the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima in the one called Heroic Shit. “My ego as an artist says I can make anything look good, even shit”
  23. 23. The question is not what you look at, but what you see. -Henry David Thoreau
  24. 24. Digital Art?
  25. 25. ART HISTORY = Methodologies for Seeing
  26. 26. Definition: The academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and look….art history generally is the research of artists and their cultural and social contributions Origins: Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of Painters Big Names: Vasari, Winckelmann, Kant, Wolffin, Panofsky, Shapiro, Krauss
  27. 27. Common Methods: • Formal analysis • Stylistic analysis • Iconographical analysis • Theory-based analysis; i.e. Marxist, Semiotic, Freudian, etc.
  28. 28. Gabriel Cornelius von Max (1889) Monkeys as the judges of art
  29. 29. Methodologies, Theoretical Lenses
  30. 30. Biographical Autobiographical Based largely on the artist’s life using original materials such as autobiographical papers, letters and accounts by the artist’s contemporaries. This approach places the meaning of the artwork as an expression of the artists life.
  31. 31. Kiki Smith
  32. 32. Psychoanalytical Related to the Biographical and Autobiographical, but seeks to derive meaning from a psychological interpretation of the artist’s life. Inspired by the work of Sigmund Freud, this approach puts emphasis on the unconscious factors in a work.
  33. 33. Kiki Smith
  34. 34. Iconographical Seeks to identify and emphasize the symbolic meanings of specific images and details by tracing them back to mythological, religious and social texts as well as conventions of representation
  35. 35. Jean-Michel Basquiat
  36. 36. Formalist This approach assumes that the meaning and significance of an artwork resides not in the cultural context of the work, or the psycho-biographical details of the artists life but rather in the ‘intrinsic’ features of the form itself. Art history is seen as the evolution of formal and stylistic elements…
  37. 37. Jeffrey Mongrain
  38. 38. Marxist An analysis on how an artwork or an artist supports or challenges the prevailing economic and political ideology. Such an approach lays bare the prevailing power structures of wealth and class as they relate to the cultural production of art. This includes a broader social perspective that embraces, patronage, and the intended audience of a work.
  39. 39. The action of jumping 51 fences in different locations around the city, and around the world. The artist will wear a mask like disguise to remain anonymous. Fences protect and isolate. They are a demarcation of an area, a symbol of possession, a 'keep off' sign and a command to stay within an area. They divide and unify, provide security and project fear. Their duality is our history. Fences and borders are reasons for war. They represent differences, our limitation for communication, territorial control, and a psychological fright to people, ideas and cultures. Papo Colo
  40. 40. Feminist Often related to gender studies and gay lesbian studies. This approach maintains that representations of men and women, as well as notions of “masculinity” and “femininity”, are not reflections of a “natural” order but are socially constructed in different societies and eras. This approach examines images from the perspective of representation of women ( and men ) and the intended viewer ( or voyeur ).
  41. 41. Cindy Sherman
  42. 42. Postcolonial Theory The analysis of works in terms of colonial issues of identity, representation and “otherness”. This approach examines the way in which colonizing cultures distort the experience and expressions of a colonized people, and also the ways in which colonized cultures articulate their own sense of identity and history in a modern or post-colonial context.
  43. 43. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith
  44. 44. Semiotics Meaning and interpretation are based on an image’s ability to signify various meanings either through embedded cultural and social patterns (Structuralism) or through the questioning of various implicit assumptions (Post-Structuralism or Deconstruction). In any case, both challenge the idea of a “true” or “real” meaning in a work of art, and promote the notion that meaning is always conditional and changing.
  45. 45. John Currin
  46. 46. TAKE A BREAK
  47. 47. Seeing in a Cultural Context
  48. 48. The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust
  49. 49. Over 600 calories 1190 with fries!
  50. 50. Seeing [ART] in a Cultural Context
  51. 51. An infrared photograph suggests that Leonardo originally painted the Mona Lisa with a gauzy overdress for nursing (visible, at right), and a tiny bonnet (vague outline visible about the sitter's head)
  52. 52. Photoshop contests
  53. 53. Seeing [ART] from Another Culture
  54. 54. Seeing in American Contemporary Art
  55. 55. Considered a major force in the Op Art movement, Anuszkiewicz is concerned with the optical changes that occur when different high-intensity colors are applied to the same geometric configurations. Most of his work comprises visual investigations of formal structural and color effects, many of them nested square forms similar to the work of his mentor Josef Albers. Richard Anuszkiewicz
  56. 56. …known for his light tunnels and light projections that create shapes that seem to have mass and weight, though they are created with only light. James Turrell
  57. 57. Ligon's reputation is for creating large, text-based paintings in which a phrase chosen from literature or other sources is repeated over and over, eventually dissipating into murk. Glenn Ligon
  58. 58. Albers is best remembered for his work as an abstract painter and theorist. He favored a very disciplined approach to composition. Most famous of all are the hundreds of paintings and prints that make up the series Homage to the Square. In this rigorous series, begun in 1949, Albers explored chromatic interactions with flat colored squares arranged concentrically. Joseph Albers
  59. 59. Chuck Close often worked from photographic stills to create paintings that appeared to be photographs. The everyday nature of the subject matter of the paintings likewise worked to secure the painting as a realist object…Although his later paintings differ in method from his earlier canvases, the preliminary process remains the same. To create his grid work copies of photos, Close puts a grid on the photo and on the canvas and copies cell by cell. Typically, each square within the grid is filled with roughly executed regions of color (usually consisting of painted rings on a contrasting background) which give the cell a perceived 'average' hue which makes sense from a distance. Chuck Close
  60. 60. GESTALT
  61. 61. Walk behind a double curtain to experience complete darkness. The instructions were to take a photo….
  62. 62. The soul never thinks without a mental picture. - Aristotle