I’m finding it hard to understand Winter’s concepts as an artist and there isn’t much information online about his practice. I will be looking for further information using other sources. However I would quite like to analyse some of his images of which I could explore at face value rather than trying to understand too deep into his conceptual meanings behind the image. Winter merges non-narrative organic abstraction and mathematics to form compositions that relate to space, architecture, life and identity. He juxtaposes geometric painting with more organic shapes. Although he has not completely abandoned the real world of objects he has turned his interest to spaces that are investigated by the likes of mathematicians, physicians and technical processes from digital technology. His interest in exploring space has led to installations with his painting and prints. He also explores colour and shape.
He composes his paintings with layers of images on top of each other. It is interesting to read that he uses grids and/or graphs (I suppose which link to mathematicians and physicians). This also links with other artist research that I have completed such as, Julie Mehretu. I have already been experimenting with drawing on graph paper from inspiration from Mehretu, so this could be something I explore further. It would add to more marks being made. It would also play with the idea of whether space is really space?! Something that I focused on for assignment 2, negative and positive space which works well with my varying scale. I would like to keep space and scale in the forefront of my thoughts and ideas whilst drawing and researching. With Winters range of marks, linking to the fact he has mathematics and physicist inspired marks which are then compared to more organic lines. I would like to explore the variety of marks to make in my drawings, exploring the comparisons between the architecture of the city and organic marks from plants.
He explains in his interview the area in which his studio is can be quite influential in his making process. He explains that moving to his new studio in a rural area has developed his ideas for his new work, where he can hear insects and watches the change in weather compared to the noise of the city.
The interviewer asks about a development from organic space to conceptual space, ‘or organic science to inorganic science as sources of metaphor’. (Artnet, 2017) Although Winter explains that this isn’t really the approach he has taken. His interest, he says, is in architecture, how form reflects ideas about life. This can be organic or not. He mentions about tension between a recognisable organic image and organising principle.
He also mentions about there being a development of ‘sciences of new spatial landscapes that are open to an investigation through painting’. (Princenthal, N. 2009)
He mentions the idea of the knot theory in his work. The google definition for the knot theory is ‘In topology, knot theory is the study of mathematical knots. While inspired by knots which appear in daily life in shoelaces and rope, a mathematician’s knot differs in that the ends are joined together so that it cannot be undone’.
He ultimately wants to create an image, a painting, a drawing that doesn’t focus on one idea and makes it difficult for the viewer to locate one meaning to the image.
How the paintings are made is important to him rather than the final image. He wanted to connect process and picture-making. This is something that I feel I can really relate to in my own practice and would like to understand further. I am still not fully understanding of his methods and processes. I think it would help to annotate some drawings and paintings of his work.
go and see Winters work at the Tate Britain – by appointment only
Fiona Rae’s work is full of restless energy, humour and complexity, which challenges and expands the modern conventions of painting. During the 1990’s Rae moved through the conventions of abstraction and modernism through the lens of movie and televisual culture. She quickly grasped changes in contemporary visual culture and pushed her painting practice into the present.
In 2000 Rae’s paintings began to associate a world linked to the computer screen – post-photoshop. Fonts, symbols, signs, typography appeared with graphic shapes acknowledging a new amalgamation of painterly languages.
In 2004 her glossary of work broadened which included small figures or cartoons whose status was left ‘intriguingly ambiguous’.
Abstract painting serves a metaphysical dimension which provides an empathetic point of identification for the viewer to evoke a more personal response.
She doesn’t mind how people look at her paintings and what they get from it. She says that she is happy if people even look at her paintings and if they have a response from it then thats great. I quite like this idea and the freedom for the viewer to connect with the painting of how they see fit. She loves painting and exploring the media continuously.
Video interview with artist Fiona Rae and Dan Perfect who share a studio building.
The thing that keeps Fiona Rae returning to the medium of painting is not creating a finished product but the act of painting itself. She enjoys the unpredictability of the exercise but also feels that it is a safe medium that nothing can go drastically wrong. By Rae painting, she is creating her response the world and the need to make a mark. She wants to challenge the tradition of painting. although she loves painting she believes her role is to extend, expand and challenge the notion of painting. She explains that in the mix of expressive mark making she might place something humorous or ludicrous to see what happens. It seems to me that she takes a light hearted approach to painting and she doesn’t get too protective over experimentation that might ‘breakdown’ the painting. She takes things from the outside world and finds a place for them in her painting. Her aims are to make something poetic but include stuff we see in our everyday world.
Dan explains ‘my sense of what it is to be a person in the world connects to the mark I am making.’ He mentions that all his drawings are improvised. He never knows where he is going with a drawing and he just ‘follows the line’. However his paintings are ‘extremely planned’ and can take up to months to complete whereas a drawing can take a less than a day. He likes that he is able to be 2 types of artists.
For both Rae and Perfect the scale of their paintings are important. They are as tall as a human figure and this is easily linked to the idea that you feel you can walk into the paintings, be part of their nature.
Fiona Rae statement from her Facebook page: ’Fiona Rae has developed a complex, powerful and highly individual body of work. Employing a battery of painterly marks, graphic signs and symbols, her paintings explore the profusion of our visual and material culture and take us on an exhilarating ride through the possibilities of paint. In recent work the mood is ambiguous – flowers, hearts and cartoon characters might imply a sweet, almost cloying world, yet Rae’s dark and brooding palette, combined with virtuoso washes and veils of paint, evoke dissolution and decay. The paintings seem to suggest the seductions, contradictions and disappointments of contemporary life and culture.’
The above extract has not been edited as it is the artist statement of her work.
David Salle works with collage and figurative picture making to create his large pieces of work. He works to overlap his imagery from various sources such as magazines, interior décor, and art history. The artist explains that he tries to get the fluidity and surprise of image connection in painting. He is an American painter, printmaker and photographer and combines all of these skills to create pieces of work.
He was invested in photography and objects. He would create collages, experiment with charcoal and use images of nudes and erotic poses to create drawings on canvas. He was also greatly influenced by film and would take stills to use in his drawings and paintings.
After looking at these artists and being inspired by others I have come across I would quite like to explore with collage and drawing. I completed some drawings from assignment 2 working with collage and layering media.
Artnet. (2017) Terry Winters. At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/terry-winters/ (Accessed on 9 January 2017)
Princenthal, N. (2009) Interview: Terry Winters. At: http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-features/magazine/interview-terry-winters/ (Accessed on 9 January 2017)
Royal Academy. (2017) Fiona Rae. At: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/artist/fiona-rae-ra (Accessed 10 January 2017)
In the studio: Fiona Rae (2008) [Video clip, online] Tate. At: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/studio-fiona-rae (Accessed on 10 January 2017)
Painter, Painter: Dan Perfect, Fiona Rae (2014) [Video interview clip, online] Vimeo. At: https://vimeo.com/92024167 (Accessed on 9 January)
Rae, F. (2011) Fiona Rae – Artist. At: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Fiona.Rae.artist/about/ (Accessed on 11 January 2017)
Guggenheim. (2017) David Salle. At: https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/david-salle (Accessed on 10 January 2017)
Artnet. (2017) David Salle. At: http://www.artnet.com/artists/david-salle/ (Accessed on 10 January 2017)