Friday, November 30, 2012

Color Bind
Due Nov/30/2012

1. Ad Reinhardt: Untitled, circa 1965, Silk print on Plexiglas
2. Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Untitled (The End), 1990, offset prints on paper
3. Eva Schlegel: Untitled (detail), 1989/99, Silk screen on lead and graphite on plaster, mounted on wood

As soon as I entered the exhibition space, Ad Reinhardt’s minimal work caught my attention.
The appearance of the work is simple. Black Plexiglas with mat around it and off-white, cream-colored frame. The size of the black Plexiglas is about a letter sized paper which is 9x11” and it is surrounded with an off-white mat. The Plexiglas is centered but slightly close to the top part. Top part of the mat is a little bit shorter than the bottom part, and left and right side of the mat is a same size. At a glance, it looks like a black painting or black paper from afar. However, when you come close to the piece, you get to see the detail of the surface of the subject matter and find out it’s not either painting or paper. The material is something reflective and shiny. It is a silkscreen printed on a Plexiglas. So it has a surface that reflects a light source (in this case, the lights in the exhibition space), which shows lines on the surface of a Plexiglas. That’s the detail one can pass by if you don’t pay attention close enough. However, it is something that changes many things you might be thinking of about the piece before you notice this. A lot of times, meaning means a lot more than its appearance. What you see is not everything and you shouldn’t get confused just by looking at its appearance. You never know what you see truly unless you don’t know the meaning and the inside of the thing you see. Inside is what matters more than outside. Just by looking at an empty black piece (especially when the title is untitled like this piece) without any statement of intention, the interpretation is up to each individual. When I come across any solid black surface of something as an art piece, it is easy to relate them with universe or everything/nothing just because it is only black but this piece makes me think a lot about distance, relationship, changes and time. They are all compressed in a simple form expressing deeper meaning through its ability to attract viewers to come close to the piece itself and surprise them. In this piece, color except the colors in this piece don’t really matter and that’s why the artist used only limited color.

The next piece I chose is the stack of papers in the second room by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. One of my all time favorite artists! I was so excited about his piece because I love the fact that I can take a sheet of his piece (again!) and also that I can collect his piece whenever I see his piece around the world. I like the fact that I can own his piece and participate. Anyways, so I entered the second room and saw the stacks of papers that had white with black frame around the edge. It was white and blank except the frame. It is blank paper with black frame on a paper. So the stack was sitting right on the floor as always and you can take a sheet of it. The gray smooth floor goes along with the piece in terms of color and as a background of the sculpture/prints. Since it is blank and because of its size (which is not too small or too big), I immediately thought I can pin this piece on the wall in my place. The sheet is about 22x28”. I thought maybe I could write something in the white area. But I changed my mind because I don’t want to ruin the piece itself, how it looked like at first. But this is what I am trying to say. Because of its format, composition, limited use of color and the fact that you can take a sheet of it, you can create your own world in the piece. You can put something in the white space and that means you are putting your idea on his piece which means his piece actually inspired you to think of whatever you thought of/planned to put in the white space. Since there’s a frame, you immediately think of something. You might be thinking of some images or ideas. The frame and the blank make you want to fill the space with something. The appearance is same at first to everyone before they see it and take it in their hands. But in the end after all, every sheet of blank paper has different meaning to each individual. It makes me think of people, thoughts, understanding, interaction, and the fact how many people there are in the world and how different each individual is but at the same time, how same all the people are. OH! And the title of this piece is Untitled (The End) which makes sense somehow with the appearance of the stack because people take it and there must be an end in everything and what the sheets contain visually: the blank.

The last piece I chose is a little different visually in terms of subject matter than the two pieces I chose above. This piece actually has an image that you can say- “Oh! It’s a negative picture of a girl!” It is hung on the white wall and it is pretty big. Not too big but somewhere around forty something inches by sixty something inches vertically. It is a silkscreen print (black) on lead and graphite on plaster that’s mounted on wood. From a side view, you can see the different layers. On the lead surface, you see a girl sitting on some structure made of wood bars(?). It has two long woods horizontally and one vertical wood on the left end of the horizontal woods. It seems like a swing at a glance but it actually looks like a swing structure made of woods without chains and seats. A girl is sitting on a wood and holding another wood with her arms stretched to top. The space looks like a garden or backyard of a house. There’s a tree next to the structure. It seems like she is smiling. Beside the photography, the surface of the screen print was interesting because you can actually see black little dots that make the image. It feels like you are looking at a photo on a newspaper even though I’m not sure if images on newspaper are consisting of dots. (Newspapers must be using offset printing…) It has nothing so much showing about the photography but I assume the materials that are used (plaster, lead and wood) are the materials that are in the photograph itself. Wood bar structure, plaster and lead somewhere in that space in the photography. I guess the use and choice of material tell a lot of its negative photo that we actually try to interact with at first on the surface.

I didn’t intend this but after choosing those works, I realized they all are titled Untitled. It was funny and they also all are printed images. Silkscreen, Offset, and then Silkscreen again. The show was interesting to see because it had many different kinds of art works that were all under the same theme of black and white the color itself, they connected to each other somehow at least in a color wise, they were under the same category, and the idea of using only black or white, or just black and white feels the intention of artists’ very particular and specific. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Writing assignment for Color Bind

Please pick three pieces tomorrow at the Color Bind exhibition and post on the class blog 1000 words on the following questions for our next class on Nov 30th after the holiday (you can use microsoft word to check your word count):

As we've discussed, limiting color use (creating conceptual and aesthetic restraints) is one of the major strategies artists use color to propel meaning forward.

1.   Fully describe each piece trying to describe the color and material use for someone who hasn't seen the artwork.  Fully describing an artwork is an essential component of analyzing it.  Please avoid generic adjectives like interesting, powerful, etc.  Be inventive, make your reader feel the aesthetic qualities of the piece.  If an artist is only using white, what kind of white are they using?  What other colors seem to be present in the white?

2.   Color is relative--color changes depending on the colors present adjacent and/or near.  Discuss how the piece is influenced by color relativity not only within the piece, but due to the colors of the instutional walls, floor, and lighting as well.

3.  Color is symbolic.  What associations are brought up by the artist's use of color?  From Naomi's text:
...artists intentionally use specific techniques combined with a black-and-white palette as a method of introducing social and ethical dimensions into art practice. For instance, Raymond Pettibon, Marlene Dumas, and Howardena Pindell appropriate the inky form of newspapers and comic books as a way to comment on conflict and violence. Kara Walker adopts nineteenth-century silhouette forms to present racially exaggerated bodies, and Glenn Ligon, who does the same in his print series, also uses the monochrome canvas in his paintings as both a metaphor and a foil for depictions of race.
Use your own ideas to further unpack the symbolic and associative ramifications of each artists formal strategies...

4.  Assess each piece on a continuum to problematic to successful.  You may decide to pick a piece that for a number of reasons is not compelling.  Use your own ideas to discuss why an artist may have missed an opportunity to create more meaning.  We learn just as much from discussing a piece we don't like as one we love, sometimes we learn the most from the works we despise!

Looking forward to reading these on Nov 30th!

tomorrow at 3pm we tour Color Bind at the MCA!

Producing artworks using a single color has been a major strategy for artists throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, from Kazimir Malevich’s early suprematism to Anish Kapoor’s contemporary forms that attempt to imagine infinitude. Color Bind: The MCA Collection in Black and White investigates the museum’s rich permanent collection through one of art history’s basic formal lenses: the use of the colors black and white.
Color Bind looks broadly at the MCA Collection to survey how color can be used literally, formally, and metaphorically in art and to reveal how apparently formal considerations are often rooted in social issues. Many artists represented in the exhibition, such as Robert Ryman and Ad Reinhardt, significantly limit their palette or produce works of one color in order to explore and emphasize the most basic formal aspects of art making, such as line, color, and technique. Moving beyond such formalist meditations, artists such as Richard Serra and Félix Gonzáles-Torres employ minimal color tones as a critical take on art’s representational role. Other artists intentionally use specific techniques combined with a black-and-white palette as a method of introducing social and ethical dimensions into art practice. For instance, Raymond Pettibon, Marlene Dumas, and Howardena Pindell appropriate the inky form of newspapers and comic books as a way to comment on conflict and violence. Kara Walker adopts nineteenth-century silhouette forms to present racially exaggerated bodies, and Glenn Ligon, who does the same in his print series, also uses the monochrome canvas in his paintings as both a metaphor and a foil for depictions of race. Artists such as Richard Artschwager and Adam Brooks use text to demonstrate how basic language can be co-opted into polemics, or “black-and-white” forms of discourse.
With dozens of works in all media, Color Bind muses on the ways the English words “black” and “white” evoke both simple formal notions and metaphors for race, politics, and historical movements. Set to coincide with the recent US presidential election, this exhibition calls attention to the ways seemingly neutral formal terms assume moral dimensions that, in turn, complicate and politicize the very works assumed to be neutral.
This exhibition is organized by Naomi Beckwith, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

i found this moving image to be interesting because it was a video of a crowd facing towards the stage and getting to their seat. i thought it was it was interesting because we usually don't get to focus on the crowd, especially if we're a part of it, so it was a weird and different perspective for me. obviously the video was quite dark but the colors of people's clothes stood out. even though we couldn't identify them from the far perspective the video was shot from, the colors of their clothes was the only thing that differentiated them from one another. 


this is an image of two ladies wearing what seem to be expensive clothes and jewelry yet at the same time they look kind of trashy. the photo looks like an event photo, yet i don't think the photograph is very flattering of the two figures. i think the photo is a of documentation of a kind of society, which i find interesting. 

MOCP Jan Tichy

i think the colors in this photo are realistic because it doesn't seem that the photographer manipulated them in any way. it seems like a candid snapshot from the beach, the figures don't seem to be too aware of the camera. the red bathing suit stands out, and immediately catches the viewers attention, and the fact that it is in the center reinforces that.  

 I find the colors in this image to be symbolic because of the white dresses that can be interpreted as purity and innocence. that theme goes well with what the figures seem to be doing, which is covering the woman's face, showing a sort of conservativeness. the white dresses stand out by contrasting with the dark background, highlighting the whiteness' significance.

the colors in this photograph seems to be expressive. the photo is quite monochromatic yet the lighting still seems quite dramatic. the lighting also makes the animal look elegant and fragile and the same time. i think the overall feeling the expressive colors in this image are portraying is delicate beauty.

Friday, November 2, 2012

an artist working with BLACK

vincent como works with black pretty exclusively:

date at MCA

class we are getting a curator led tour of the exhibition color bind
at the MCA
fri nov 16 at 3pm put it in your schedules!

mocp assignment

please visit the jan tichy exhibition at the mocp, familiarize yourself with his artistic/curatorial strategies with the mocp collection, and write a blog post (with accompanying cell phone pix you take discreetly during your visit) on the following:

fully describe the image you find most compelling that uses color:
symbolically/culturally coded
write a fourth section on one of the moving images pieces and its use of color and tone
fifth, write about a last piece for reasons of your own choosing and explain why the piece is successful by describing it fully.

enjy the exhibition, post your responses to the blog by the beginning of next week!

stategies for abstracting

Here are some strategies we talked about in class to create abstract color images that start to reveal larger subject ideas involved in the subject of your project:

Interval of time
Averaging or mean
Somehow tracing the physical act of making an image
Zooming in / detail
Long exposure

We will have individual meetings next week of a few minutes to discuss your ideas for the abstract conceptualism assignment due in  two weeks.

next week we will meet at 930AM
at 845 w washington, 3rd floor at Document (a printing lab and exhibition space).
my cell is 312.953.2885
we will spend the morning at document and at kavi gupta gallery (two doors down) where we will see and discuss melanie schiff's new photography exhibition.

see you in the west loop next week at 930am sharp!

dark orange

Dark Orange  (Hyun)
Orange in general had been the least interesting color to me since when I was young. I still can clearly remember that I always didn’t like the color. Orange? It was a big No. I didn’t like to eat orange and I didn’t like the color just because. I always thought it was too acid and got stressed thinking of it. It was a boring color to the end and i got sick of it so easily. However, it changed recently about three years ago. I was like “why do I always hate this color? Why don’t I think about this color more? It’s actually refreshing and very orangey (I liked to eat orange at the time)”. I started to be interested in the color more than before and see more of this color in the world.
Located in the middle of red and yellow in a color wheel, orange is not too overpowering as red and yellow but also it isn’t a neutral muted color. Even though we are talking about the DARK orange, it still based on its fresh popping energetic vibrant orange color. Pantone color number 144 would be the perfect example of this dark orange color and considering the fact that orange is the Panton Color of the Year 2012, the color has energy and characteristic that attract people’s attention. The fashion world had many items featuring the color this year; Michael Kors SPRING, BCBG FALL, Nanette Lepore, Charlotte Ronson, Derek Lam, and so on. Also, since it’s a color that draws attention, there are many brands using this color in their logo, which is the most well known visual representation of the company. For example, fashion brand Tory Burch, Hermès uses the color. Firefox does too and Dunkin Donuts, Home Depot, Harley Davidson, ING, Timberland, Nickelodeon, and amazon use orange as well. Throughout so many different areas of fields, its use is not attached to just one area but it’s everywhere. It’s very earthy color too.
Even though it has its energetic and vibrant characteristics, we can find the color in the nature especially in UTAH area. There are many dark orange-red colored canyons such as Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon, Zion National Park and so on. Just looking at some pictures from those areas, I can feel its heat, depth and somehow loyalty too. It’s quiet and silent. It has time and space compressed in the terrain itself that is grand and magnificent.