To have an understanding of the real world, - to have the 'grip' of what is going on about us, and to be able to translate that as a contemporary artists is vital in order for us to be understood, by our viewers, our critics and if we deem to engage, the general public, (not that their opinion is necessarily always sought!).
When we are researching art, we need to pull out 'keynotes' and themes in order to demonstrate knowledge of contemporary art and the artists who create it, - and equally understand how it fits in to our current society.
This lecture is entitled "From sketch to image… And back" ...
We started with the question what is a sketch?
- It is a test, a practice run or section.
- It is a note, an aide memoir.
- It is a method of quickly capturing a vision. (It is important to differentiate a vision from an image too)...
- it is a method of observing and interpreting.
- It is a method to 'work something out' from the mind to the paper.
- It is an action in order to prepare to create a more detailed image later.
- Historically, there is a sense that the sketch is a pre-trial. The role of the sketch as provisional starting point. This is sometimes known as "Provisionality".
- The Great Masters often used multiple lines in a sketch in order to gain understanding of correct perspective, portionality and proportion.
For a literary explanation of this;
Michael Newman (2003) Marks, Traces and Gestures of Drawing. - He states;
Of all the arts drawing has the potential to reduce to its smallest gap between meaning and non-meaning… Drawing because of its status as becoming (a lot becoming Mark, Mark becoming line, line becoming contour, contour becoming image, image becoming sign. The direction of this movement always being reversible).This posits a continuum of sense, from one sense of sense to another… [Whereas sense is talked in terms of both the senses, such as touch, taste, sight, sound and smell and compared with the clarity of mind that "makes" sense]. This is part of the semiotic theory of drawing too.
Artistic examples include;
|Frank Aurbach, 1960 - Portrait of Julia|
Marlene Dumas; in her work. Everything is fluid and bleeds together. (See http://www.marlenedumas.nl/)
William Kentridge; His method is by redrawing the image, again and again, and again. He created wonderful cartoon-like animations where the residue of drawing, by leaving traces, created a kind of animation in itself. See the example Felix in Exile.
|E.L.T.Mesens, Masque servant à injurier les esthètes|
(Mask to Injure Aesthetes), 1929. Courtesy: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Image used from Freeze Magazine, Published on 14 th October 2013
by Kate Christina Mayne
The nature of drawing is thus contested as a "provisional" for art studies, and no longer holds the importance that which it once had. Much more emphasis is spent to understand the initial sketches as works in their own right, and not as "provisionalities" for later works.
The book the Vitamin D is an extremely useful reference for drawing practice. Within it, there are a series of artistic reviews of approximately 500 words about each chosen current contemporary artist.
- We will use these reviews as examples, in order for us to create our own critique and review of our own chosen current contemporary artist, - as our next exercise which will count towards our dissertation for this term. The keys to these reviews, are about providing an initial overview of where the artist has perhaps come from both physically, (where born / schooled, living / situated) and in terms of his own influences on his works.
(NOTE; From these reviews, it can be deduced that you should include lots of adjectives and metaphors of explanation, and try to focus upon the context that the artist found himself within, - at the time of his own practice. The reviews should contain some sentences of biographical evidence and it should state why the artists images or works, cause one (the viewer) to be drawn into them. In other words, how is the work 'engaging'; is there a recurring motif or regular pattern; is there a regular narrative or a particular narrative that the artist has chosen from history etc.