Jenny Saville is a contemporary British painter born 7 May, 1970. She is most well known for her large- scale painted depictions of nude women.
Saville’s is very controversial and shows the body for what it is. Saville doesn’t paint the body to look beautiful, it looks very ugly. The painting is true. My favourite type of artist movement is realism, and this is like a modern realism painting style of the human body. I also love life drawing which is the subject for most of the paintings by the artist.
An example of Jenny Saville’s work is this painting called Branded, 1992. The subject of this painting is a naked woman, who is painted very true as the model is not painted to be made skinnier or to look desirable. The pose is also very unattractive as the model grabs her stomach and looks at the viewer. The colours are realistic and the shadowing really enhances the curves of the females body. There are words faintly wrote over the models body, for example, ‘support’ and ‘delicate’. This is her way of showing the difference between her own body and what the social expectations of what people think a woman’s body should look like today. Saville is showing the viewer a body that is the complete opposite of a body you would find in a fashion magazine.
Plan, created 1993 by Jenny Saville. The angle is not very attractive of the woman. The composition is centred, the exploit image also grabs the attention I think. There are lines drawn all over the body that curves around with the natural shape of the female body, the lines imply a plan, the title of the work further suggests this. The colours of the painting are quite dull and gloomy but very realistic.
I love Saville’s work because it makes the viewer question their own expectations about the body as she confronts them with the reality of an imperfect body. The work is important to me as it features the human body, something I am thinking of using in my outside inside project.
I recently visited the Artes Mundi 7 exhibition at Cardiff National Museum. The exhibition is really interesting to see and inspiring as there were many different mediums of work and different messages conducted. The work explores global issues, such as migration, technology and political problems. Karen McKinnon, Artes Mundi’s director and curator, explains, ‘These artists question what it means to be human in our world and in our time’.
The artists’ work I was especially excited by was Bedwyr Williams’ work, Tyrrau Mawr (Big Towers) 2016. Big Towers is a fictional city around Idris’ Chair near Dolgellau in North Wales. Williams’ created the city from inspiration from mega cities that are built all around the world for the expanding populations and to satisfy the increase in times of economic boom. The film of the futuristic city shows a large scale diptych of day and night.
Below are photographs of the day and night city (photographs are not my own as I was told photography was not allowed). The link to the article and photographs: http://www.chapter.org/artes-mundi-7-bedwyr-williams
The city shows a newly adapted world designed to cope with bigger populations and futuristic technology. I think the city looks like something from a space movie. I was inspired by this idea for the Outside Inside to look at different environments and how we adapt to new environments. For example, looking at how cities and humans have adapted over the years.
This post reflects on my favourite artists I looked at during my material projects.
I looked at Georgia O’Keeffe for inspiration during the shaped painting project. O’Keeffe is known for her paintings of distinct flowers, cityscapes, landscapes and bones against stark deserts. She also painted flowers so enlarged on the canvas they became abstract, often thought to show a female’s private area.
‘Rams Head with Hollyhock’, 1935, is the painting I came across that inspired me to create the ram shaped painting. The light highlights and shadows are captured in O’Keeffe’s paintings, this was something I aimed to achieve in my painting.
Ram skulls feature in more of O’Keeffe’s paintings, for example, ‘rams head, blue morning glory’, 1938, and ‘rams skull with brown leaves’.
Tracey Emin was my favourite artist I looked at during the Me and You material project. I learnt in this project that a self portrait does not have to feature your face and that it could be of anything that defines you. Tracey Emin was a perfect example, this is shown in the artwork, My Bed, 1998. ‘My bed’ shows how Emin spent her life after a nervous breakdown. The bed is not made and un- tidy with cigarettes, empty bottles and dirty underwear thrown around the carpet. Emin allows the viewer to share an intimacy with her as they look at this emotional time during her life.
Noelle Griffiths creates paintings and one off artists books inspired by places she works and travels. I really liked her artists books as they were designed with flowers, plants and trees. They also feature a lot of text which is something I liked and wanted to add to my journal/ artists book. The books contain a lot of hand drawn images. The artists books by Griffiths have unusual ways of opening and closing, not like a normal book. Griffiths was an important artist for me to look at for the third material project. For example, Box Books, made in 2001.
What is the difference between a house and a home?
We looked at different art works and decided wether they looked homely or not.
For example, Johannes Vermeer, The Little Street, c 1657-61.
The shutters on window suggest a private space, like a family would live there. There are four figures in the painting, two adults who are separate, and two children who seem to be a pair. The realistic brickwork suggests the house really existed in Delft, however, the proportions are very odd as the house looks flat, the wall next the window looks to thin to hold the wall together in this way. The shutter on the left bottom looks like it would open out into the doorway. I think the house did exist, however, Vermeer changed the proportions. I think the building looks very run down, it looks old, scratched and grotty. For a household who has servants (the adults in the painting), I wouldn’t imagine the house to be so run down.
Jan Steen, The Mayor of Delft and his Daughter, 1655, is another painting explored in the lecture.
The mayor and daughter look down on the begger and her son. The begger comes to the mayor asking for money. The mayors daughter looks very independent and stares out at the viewer, she stands on the paving slabs which shows she’s still on the mayors property. Houses’ had paving slabs outside to show that was still your property, the road starts where the cobles start. The begger and her son are respectful. This could suggest that even though the mayor and begger are completely different classes, the begger brought her son up to be as respectful as the mayors daughter.
Both Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen paint scenes from Delft. The two paintings contrast in meaning, Vermeer paints Delft for what it is, old and run down in areas. Steen paint Delft to be a nice place where it is kept in good condition and the poor people can go up and be friendly with the mayor. It’s almost like two different places are being shown. G
The last artist we looked at was Pieter de Hooch. ‘A Courtyard in Delft’, 1658, shows a woman stood looking out. As a viewer, it is difficult to understand if she is looking out onto the street or if she is standing guard. There is also a woman and child on the right of the painting.
Pieter de Hooch work shows the depth of the house, interiors and outside. For example, The Bedroom, 1658- 60, and Boy Bringing Bread, 1663.
The last painting I looked at was, Mother Lacing Her Bodice Beside a Cradle, 1661- 63, Pieter de Hooch.
There is a little girl in the background, as a viewer, I get the feeling she is about to walk out of the house. She’s innocent and the outside is enticing, but dangerous. The mother is not fully dressed, she is not ready for danger to happen. It’s almost like she is neglecting her daughter. Hooch shows the interiors of this house but leaves the outside a mystery, further implying the little girl is mysterious about the outside.
As part of the Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday, September project I learnt how to screen print and how to make cyanotypes.
Screen printing is a form of stencilling which was recognised in China, dating back to 960-1279 AD. Screen printing is most well known from the 1960s to present, with credit given to Andy Warhol for popularising the printing technique. Other well known artists who use the technique include Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg.
The cyanotype process was first invented by astronomer, John Herschel between 1792- 1871 and introduced in 1842. It was also known as the blueprint process. Herschel wanted to find a new way to copy his notes.
Today, Tomorrow, Yesterday, September is my third material project. I will looking at making a journal, artists book using silk screen print, cyanotype and spray paint. The idea behind this project is to gather anything which shows where I have been, what we have been doing, where I come from. I have decided to base my project on plants and flowers. I like this idea as it could also tie in with my Outside Inside project, taking plants from outside and bringing them inside to create artwork.
The first artist I looked at was Dieter Roth. He is best known for his books, sculptures and installations. Below is an example of an artists’ book by Dieter Roth.
Little Tentative Recipe is one of Dieter Roth’s artist books. It was created in 1968 and measures in at 11.3 x 10.3 x 10.3 cm. It is an edition of 100 signed, dated and numbered copies and is made from approximately 800 multicoloured Rotaprint-prints. The book is stored in a wooden case, stamped with the name of the artist and the name of the book. Roth released this statement about the book, “Little tentative recipe: PRINT until you cant stand it anymore or [until] you dont want anymore, take away, for binding for instance, the sheets which the machine cannot take anymore (torn, wrinkled, or beautiful according to someone’s taste), dont throw anything away”. Roth’s way of displaying the book is interesting and inspiring to my own work. The wooden box is one of many ways I could present my work at the end of this project.
Another artist I looked at was Noelle Griffiths. She is inspired by the place she lives and travelling. Here is an example of Griffiths’ artist book.
It is called Book of Balance volumes I & II and was made in 2007. The book is made from pen and ink lettering, watercolour paintings and words on BFK Rives paper, it measures 22.5 x 16.5 cm when it is closed and has 24 pages. I really like this book as it has hand drawn images of leaves with words, something I want to create in my final outcome of this project.
This is another artists’ book by Griffiths’.
Again, it features hand drawn flowers, leaves and plants with hand written text explaining what the drawing is. It is called Box Books and was created in 2001. The materials used are acrylic, pen and ink on 300gsm saunders watercolour paper. The book measures 14.5 x 14cm each when closed.
I think Noelle Griffiths’ work is really inspiring to my project and it has definitely given me ideas of what I want to make my artists book.