‘Where Painting meets other Media’ was the theme for the second MFA Painting seminar held on 15 November. Students and staff contributed images of artists’ work, so it’s a selection, not a complete survey, and we had a lively discussion. We saw some new work, and revisited some more familiar works.
Wade Guyton and Dan Hays, whose paintings refer to print technology in differing ways. Hays work such as ‘Snow Effect,’ a large scale painting, where close-up, the surface of the image is broken down into dots, recalling pixels and inkjet printing. Wade Guyton, who scans fragments of images, works on them in simple programs such as Word, and then prints them onto canvas fed through an Epson Printer. The printing processes produces snags, blurs and streaks. Large works are made up of vertical panels, the width dictated by the maximum width produced by the printer.
We looked at ‘expanded painting’ including, Jessica Stockholder, Rachel Harrison and Isa Genzken. Harrison’s modes of display tend to be more chaotic- looking than Stockholder’s. When Stockholder uses objects they tend to retain less of a trace of their original function and to play a greater role in overall colour, shape and composition. In some of her work, the wall plays an important part in the work, as materials and objects are placed against it.
In Isa Genzken’s piece, Untitled, 2006, sofa (leather), goatskin, foam, plastic foil, mirror foil, plastic, fabric, lacquer, two knives, the object itself, the sofa, becomes a ‘canvas’, which is painted, whilst also having the other materials and objects attached to it. And Angela de la Cruz, whose works are viewed against the wall and as free-standing (also slouched, piled, and recumbant) objects, utilising the elements of a painted canvas itself- fabric, paint, timber stretcher bars, wedges and brackets.
Katharina Grosse and Michel Majerus both locate ‘painting’ within the gallery space. Majerus inserted paintings into white display structures, which connect them to the gallery space. The buttress- like structures connect floor plane to wall, frame windows, and also compel the viewer to step over them.
And using architecture as a subject matter, as in Lucy Williams’ meticulous bas relief collages from materials such as balsa wood, card, fabric and paper, which depict modernist architecture and interiors. They are painstakingly intricate, as each building element, stair handrail, leaf etc is separately cut out.
Painting’s relationship to performance (the subject of a current show ‘A Bigger Splash:Painting After Performance’ at Tate) was discussed in relation to Irene Rucquoi, Nicki de Saint Phalle, Aaron Young.
Nicki de Saint Phalle, Shooting Picture, 1961. She filled polythene bags with paint and enclosed them within layers of plaster against a blockboard backing. Spectators were invited to shoot at these constructions, releasing the paint. This one was shot at by Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns.
Aaron Young’s performance, Arc Light, uses teams of motorbike riders, whose marks are recorded on vast canvases. The canvases are cut up and displayed on the wall as artefacts. The performances are also recorded as videos, drawings, sculptures and photographs. It refers to Rauschenberg’s Automobile Tyre Print, 1951 and to Pollock’s action paintings.
Michel Majerus, Dan Hays, Damien Meade, Wade Guyton, Alistair Duncan, David Hockney, Paul Doran, Lucy Williams, Michael Craig Martin, Michael Raedecker, Franz Ackerman, Jim Isermann, Nicki de Saint Phalle, Aaron Young, Marlene Dumas, Irene Rucquoi, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Katharina Grosse, Angela De la Cruz, John Chamberlain, Ian Kiaer, Richard Tuttle, Sarah Braman, Jessica Stockholder, Isa Genzken, Matthew Richie, Pipilotti Rist, Wolf Vostell.
Posted by Madeleine Moore