Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An Art Problem

I’m asking you have a little fun and give me a bit of a crit. Here’s the background:
A few weeks ago I went to the retrospective deKooning exhibit at MOMA. As a very young man in my twenties I took in deKooning’s work and made an art philosophy of my own from it, something you might call “absolute abstract.” Nothing should depict anything. I’ve done a lot of art since then, and seeing the show was poignant for me because at least one of the commentator/curators articulated what had become my own art concept. So this leads me to the question: How much should art tell a story?
As my clay work unfolds I have just the lingering feeling that maybe I’m not telling enough of a “story” with my art. It’s so abstract that it reminds people of anything they want to see in it. But would it be “stronger” if it were slightly more tilted toward the figurative?
So here is a short series of pieces. Each pair is made of the same material, the same pieces, arranged in different ways. Which member of each pair works best? Why? Does it matter? I’d love to hear your opinion.
Mean Mask
Prairie Mask Deconstructed

Teacher and Students
Discussing the Chair

Night Window Treatment
Neolithic Ceramics Obhects

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sam,
    it seems to me that much of your work is concerned with giving the clay its own unique voice in some way. And I guess it's up to individual artists how much of a story they wish to express through their pieces..for me, there should be no rules imposed in that respect.
    Maybe one other aspect to consider is the influence of context on the might the surrounding environment (rural versus gallery setting, indoors versus outdoors, for example) affect interpretation.

    Of the last pair, I think I prefer the first arrangement, where the pieces are suspended from wires. I'm not entirely sure why..perhaps because it accentuates their physical lightness and fragility? Also, seeing them in a vertical position makes me think of ancient menhirs and forms which could be viewed as bordering on "anthropomorphic"..something I am personally very interested in.