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25 MARCH 2011

Photorealism: a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art

"Chuck Close is associated with the style of painting called Photorealism or Superrealism. In this style, artists in the early 1970s created a link between representational systems of painting and photography. Photorealism developed as a reaction to the detachment of Minimalism and conceptual art, which did not depict representational images. Photorealists frequently used a grid technique to enlarge a photograph and reduce each square to formal elements of design. Each grid was its own little work of art. Many of the Photorealists used the airbrush technique.

Big Self–Portrait, in black and white, was the first of Close's mural–sized works painted from photographs. This painting took four months to complete. To make this work, Close took several photographs of himself in which his head and neck filled the frame. From these he selected one of the images and made two 11 x 14–inch enlargements. On one of the photographs he drew a grid, then lettered and numbered each square. Using both the gridded and ungridded photographs, he carefully transferred the photographic image square by square onto a large canvas measuring 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 inches. He used acrylic paint and an airbrush to include every detail.

When Close was making his painting he was concerned with the visual elements––shapes, textures, volume, shadows, and highlights––of the photograph itself. He also was interested in how a photograph shows some parts of the image in focus, or sharp, and some out–of–focus, or blurry. In this portrait the tip of the cigarette and the hair on the back of his head were both out–of–focus in the photograph so he painted them that way in Big Self–Portrait."

(ArtsNet Minnesota)

Fig.1 Chuck Close 'Big Self–Portrait', 1968 acrylic on canvas 107 1/2 x 83 1/2 in. Walker Art Center

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TAGS

1970s • acrylic • Big Self-Portrait • black and whiteblurry • Chuck Close • conceptual artcraftdesign formalism • enlargement • focus • grid technique • grisaille • hyperrealismminimalismout-of-focusphotographphotographic imagephotographyphotorealismportraitrepresentationrepresentational systemsscale • sharp focus • superrealism • techniquevisual elementsWalker Art Center

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 MAY 2009

The Photomontages of Hannah Höch

"The 'bob–haired muse', the 'holy shears' and 'Dada's good girl' are a few of the epitaphs that prevail in the comfortable little niche art history has carved out for Hannah Höch. These sound bites are seriously challenged by this travelling retrospective organised by the Walker Art Center. 'The Photomontages of Hannah Höch' momentously reconstructs her marginalised role in early 20th–century art and perhaps even ordains her as the single most influential female artist of the century. The exhibition surveying Höch's 55 years of photomontage not only rescues her from the anti–art antics of the legendary Berlin Dada circle but inclusively chronicles her private and aesthetic journey through the social and cultural constructs that have emerged in the 20th century. While she may have been remembered by her bombastic Dada colleagues for her 'sandwiches, beer and coffee', her lifetime of artistic practice reveals a vital and critical woman who could magically collide disparate reproductions of needlepoint patterns, political figures, film stars, animal life and non–Western artefacts into explorations of androgyny, Aryan activity, gender roles, imperialism, race and lesbianism."

(Michelle Grabner, Issue 33 March–April 1997, Frieze Magazine)

Fig.1 Hannah Höch "Entwurf für das Denkmal eines bedeutenden Spitzenhemdes", 1922, Entwurf, Tafelmalerei, Collage, 27,4 x 17 cm, Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Ikonographie (Iconclass)

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1920s • abstract collage • aesthetic journey • androgyny • anti-art posture • anti-composition • artartistartistic practiceBauhaus School • Berlin Dada • collagecoloured papercultural constructs • cut-and-sew lines • cut-outDadadecorationdecorative arts • decorative beauty • decorative sewingdesign formalismearly 20th centuryembroideryembroidery design • erotic photomontage • female activity • female artist • female features • female leisure • feminist artist • film starformal elementsFrieze (magazine)gender rolesgenetic engineering • good girl • handicraftHannah Hoch • hausfrau • homosexualityillustrative styleimperialism • kitchen knife • manipulative propaganda • marginalisation • mens work • modern womanmodernist tradition • needlepoint patterns • New Weimer Woman • non-Western artefacts • photomontage • pictorially ordered • political satirequeernessretrospective exhibitionRussian constructivismsewing and craftsocial construction • social constructs • traditional crafts • tulle netting • tulle patterns • typography • vital and critical • Walker Art CenterWeimar Republicwomanwomen artistswomen in art and design • womens activities

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 JULY 2006

Telematics Timeline

Walker Art Center
The Internet––specifically the World Wide Web––has become such a successful "meme" in our society, that there is almost a cultural amnesia about telecommunications–based art that pre–dates the Web. As powerful as early projects such as Muntadas's "File Room" (1994) or Ken Goldberg's "Telegarden" (1995) were (and are), many artists were working in the embrace of telecommunications for almost twenty years prior. Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz's 1977 "Satellite Arts Project" first introduced the notion of a virtual space––a video space in–between physical spaces––and their 1980 "Hole–in–Space" was a kind of magic of open–systems, bi–coastal communications that may have since become commonplace but which directly inspired several of the artists in the exhibition. Many others, from Bob Adrian to Roy Ascott to Carl Loeffler to Heidi Grundmann, proseletyzed the aesthetics and politics of a global connectivity over the ensuing years, using the available means, from fax to Slowscan TV to early computing networks. Their work and thoughtfulness about it is inspirational. The telematics timeline attempts to capture some of these highlights as well as a longer history of enabling technological innovation. Most importantly, it is open source. Anyone can upload new information or interpretations into the timeline via the Internet.

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