Part 2; research point 5 + reading points

Let’s Do It Together – Tate Etc | Tate – “Even the term neo-dada, sometimes applied to his early work, does not do justice to Rauschenberg’s attempts to distance himself from traditional art-making practices and goals. The dadaists had, indeed, used non-art media and approaches, and more recently Jean Dubuffet had employed mundane materials. Maybe it makes sense to look elsewhere for rauschenberg’s signal innovation; in particular, to the artist himself. In the way he presented himself, his hair and clothing styles, his ever-ready smile in photographs, in his eagerness to collaborate, to subsume himself into collective art-making complexes, he reveals himself to be one of his greatest works. He famously stated that his work took place in the gap between art and life – by pushing it into areas considered not applicable to artistic production, he emphasised the social relations that surround art-making.”

Series | Robert Rauschenberg Foundation “Over the course of his career, Rauschenberg tended to work in series. Frequently the series title follows the artwork title.  In this section artworks are grouped by series and each series is described.”

For the Anagram series, Rauschenberg made digital color transfers from his own photographs by using inkjet dyes. As with the smaller-scale Waterworks (1992–95), the images were transferred to paper using water. In the Anagrams, however, the artist’s hand is more apparent as he transferred the images using a handheld burnishing implement instead of an electric press.” 

On Robert Rauschenberg, Artist, and his Work – John Cage | ART THEORY ( the paintings changed the printed material became as much of a subject as the paint (I began using newsprint in my work) causing changes of focus: A third palette. There is no poor subject (Any incentive to paint is as good as any other.). Dante is an incentive, providing multiplicity, as useful as a chicken or an old shirt. The atmosphere is such that everything is seen clearly, even in the dark night or when thumbing through an out-of-date newspaper or poem. This subject is unavoidable (A canvas is never empty.); it fills an empty canvas. And if, to continue history, newspapers are pasted onto the canvas and on one another and black paints are applied, the subject looms up in several different places at once like magic to produce the painting. If you don’t see it, you probably need a pair of glasses. But there is a vast difference between one oculist and another, and when it is a question of losing eyesight the best thing to do is to go to the best oculist (i.e., the best painter: he’ll fix you up). Ideas are not necessary. It is more useful to avoid having one, certainly avoid having several (leads to inactivity). [. . .]”

Kurt Schwitters Kurt Schwitters 1887–1948 | Tate Kurt Schwitters – Wikipedia

Kurt Hermann Eduard Karl Julius Schwitters (20 June 1887 – 8 January 1948) was a German artist who was born in Hanover, Germany. Schwitters worked in several genres and media, including dadaism, constructivism, surrealism, poetry, sound, painting, sculpture, graphic design, typography, and what came to be known as installation art. He is most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures.

John Latham John Latham Estate | Artists | Lisson Gallery John Latham (artist) – Wikipedia

“John Latham (1921–2006) was a pioneer of British conceptual art, who, through painting, sculpture, performances, assemblages, films, installation and extensive writings, fuelled controversy and continues to inspire. A visionary in mapping systems of knowledge, whether scientific or religious, he developed his own philosophy of time, known as ‘Event Structure.’ In this doctrine he proposed that the most basic component of reality is not the particle, as implied by physics, but the ‘least event,’ or the shortest departure from the state of nothing. The entire universe is to be viewed as a system of events in time, rather than objects in space.”

The Dadaists Dada – Art Term | Tate A Brief History of Dada | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian Magazine

“Dada was an art movement formed during the First World War in Zurich in negative reaction to the horrors and folly of the war. The art, poetry and performance produced by dada artists is often satirical and nonsensical in nature.”

In the years before World War I, Europe appeared to be losing its hold on reality. Einstein’s universe seemed like science fiction, Freud’s theories put reason in the grip of the unconscious and Marx’s Communism aimed to turn society upside down, with the proletariat on top. The arts were also coming unglued. Schoenberg’s music was atonal, Mal-larmé’s poems scrambled syntax and scattered words across the page and Picasso’s Cubism made a hash of human anatomy.”

The Surrealists Surrealism – Wikipedia Surrealism – Art Term | Tate

“A twentieth-century literary, philosophical and artistic movement that explored the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and the revolutionary”

“Surrealism aimed to revolutionise human experience, rejecting a rational vision of life in favour of one that asserted the value of the unconscious and dreams. The movement’s poets and artists found magic and strange beauty in the unexpected and the uncanny, the disregarded and the unconventional.”

Richard TuttleRichard Tuttle – Wikipedia Richard Tuttle | Pace Gallery Poetry Reading by Richard Tuttle | Pace Gallery

On the matter of relatability, most of this kind of work falls flat with me, although the incorporation of text in visual art is something I’m actively pursuing and so I’m glad to see something of Tuttle’s work. I was fascinated by Dali in the 1960s but lost interest in surrealism per se as the cultural environment became generally less hallucinatory.

So much of Dadaism and surrealism was of its time, and the combines too seem to me to be from another age. The main issue for me here, though, is that I have no prospect of making anything that requires gripping, hammering, constructing, even stapling although I can do that in a very limited way. This sense of distance from the possibility of ambition is creating distance in appreciation. I find myself rejecting it because I can’t try it out; the child whose parents can’t afford ice cream so he teaches himself to hate it. I’d like to feel more rational about this but instead I feel both bored and angry because these readings underpin ongoing tasks that are impossible to carry out in accordance with instructions. I plan to make the best of it and produce assignments that are approximates but just now I’m in no mood to invest in styles of art I have never liked and with which now I can’t even comply.

I have addressed Michael Fried’s essay elsewhere.

The positive side is the parallel project which is wholly within my control and capabilities, and is very likely to be the sole focus for assessment of this module.

Deep sigh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.