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Discovery and Curiousity

By Peta Tranquille.

The one element of studying art that I find most satisfying is being introduced to and discovering fantastic art from around the world. In this blog, I will share some of the artworks that I have found the most exciting and wonderful and explain what I like about them and why. I will not go into the profile of the artists but have given the links to each image so that you can research more about the ones you like.

Figure 1. Suzanne Song, Blank, 2009. Acrylic on wall and floor, Dimensions variable. Reproduced from: Suzanne Song Website.

Suzanne Song used acrylic paint to transform the walls and concrete floor in a somewhat meditative way representing volume and space. The lines' softness contrasts the cold, hard surface of the walls and concrete floor. The optical illusion this creates invites the viewer to consider the space and how to interpret it.

I, personally, find it very difficult to turn away from this as it captivates me. The fact that it is not captured on a canvas to be preserved long-term is disappointing, but I do feel that this is another element of what makes it so attractive. It leads to more questions and more curiosity.

Figure 2. Michal Krasnopolski, Superman. n.d. Reproduced from: Michal Krasnopolski Website.

The fascinating part of this series is that every design is created using a circle and grid square. I have included a link to the video explaining this concept.

Before reading the name "Superman", I had thought about the character. It is simply amazing how such a simplistic line and choice of only two colours can completely define everything we know and recognize about the superhero.

Minimal, simplistic and beautiful. A clever concept with stunning results proves simplicity can portray a strong message.

Figure 3. Cecily Brown, Tricky. 2001. Oil on linen, 48 x 50 ¼ in. Reproduced from: Cecily Brown website.

Ordinarily, I would have overlooked this type of painting rather quickly; however, I am finding that researching varying styles is changing my perspective on art and how I perceive it. In this painting, I feel like I am forced to see it as a landscape, but simultaneously, I am fighting that suggestion. I am unsure why I am trying not to see it, but by focusing more on the marks and less on the overall composition, I appreciate the use of layers.

I can't be sure if the marks are random, but I do feel that they have some sense of purpose. I am primarily drawn to the darker areas in the foreground and how they have created a great contrast and definition of depth.

Figure 4. George Condo, 2003. The Insane Cardinal. Oil on canvas, 177.8 x 152.4 cm. Reproduced from: Ocula Website.

George Condo's painting, The Insane Cardinal, would significantly contribute to our upcoming SURreal exhibition, and I love it. It is bonkers!

My response to this painting is simply – WOW! I have no idea what it is about, what message it is trying to tell me, if it is, and what possessed Condo to compile such an unusual group of elements. I can't help but feel confused, curious and overwhelmed by how absurd it is. And that leads me to wonder if that is what the artist wants the viewer to feel; uncomfortable and yet wanting to explore further. I love to view surreal art but it can leave me with unanswered questions and that is what I love the most. It leaves me wanting more.

Figure 5. Janusz Grunspek, IMac Powerbook. 2009. Wood, 30 x 25 x 35 cm. Reproduced from: De Groen Website.

This artist uses the idea of a 2D line to create 3D sculptures of everyday objects. Not only does the object look amazing, but it also casts a shadow on the wall, which can be altered with the position of the lighting. I would have loved to share lots of Grunspek's works, but it would have taken up the entire blog.

Being naturally curious, I wonder what wood is used, how it is joined and its diameter. While this piece mostly consists of straight lines, the curved ones make you wonder how it is made of wood. I expect to be able to do this with wood meant lots of exploratioin and testing to determine the most suitable type of wood.

Figure 6. Amok Island, A. 2016. Concrete and deposits of various marine organisms. Reproduced from: Amok Island Website. .

While familiar with Amok Island, I had never seen the works with concrete letters. The letters were left in the ocean to slowly attract marine organisms, which altered their appearance over time. This technique highlights how wonderful nature is and how it can remove the harshness of concrete to give it an organic, natural appearance. If you didn't know this was concrete, it would be difficult to determine the outcome.

Would placing concrete shapes in different parts of the world create slightly different results?

Figure 7. Amok Island, A. 2016. Concrete and deposits of various marine organisms. Reproduced from: Amok Island Website. .

I hope you have enjoyed reading about some of the amazing artists and artworks that I have discovered the last few months. I'd love to know which artists you find fascinating and for you to share them in the comments below.


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