The scale of her work is a conversation with the space it is inhabiting, its finding a way to be seen, making sure that she is dominating the space, rather than the space dominating her. Something that I’ve found within sculpture is that when you abandon the wall, you need to acknowledge the space, and I think it’s easy to find a corner for comfort, but Barlows work inhales the space and embraces the world around it, something that I find attractive. The compositing of her work activates the space buzzes with excitement. Barlow’s scale of work would make me feel drowned beneath them. The size creates a sense of awe when one looks up at these static monumentally large pieces.
There is sense of stillness about her work makes me feel uneasy, as they have a feel of being an imposter of the real. They look like they’re about to give into gravity and collapse. Her show in 2014 at the Devine Gallery in the Tate Britain represents a state of balance, both physically with composition of pieces, and with the materials she is using. Showing monumentally sized assemblages of wood, cardboard, tape and paint. With dense and heavy looking objects being suspended from temporary makeshift scaffolding, with collapse seemly moments away.
This sense of unease is what I want to radiate from my sculptures. The sense that something shouldn’t be.
Deacon’s control over his chosen materials is almost cocky. Using gravity as a material itself, he controls every element of each piece with meticulous planning. Showing the joints and nuts and bolts, he is revealing the process of creation, showing the materials as it is, real. Instead of hiding beneath tricks. He makes these practical materials impractical. When first working with the language of sculpture, my first obstacle was the issue of gravity, and whether I work with it, or against it.. This was
The compositions of his pieces are organic, turning them from raw material into an object with form. This creates a visual conversation and poetry, the way he twists chaos into shape .
“The tendency for things to fall apart, for flux to overwhelm us”, quoted from Deacon in an interview with the Telegraph, and this resinates within my practice in the way that I want my work to look unsafe, that its about to fall and become more useless than it already is. Yet there is an interesting conversation about the longevity of a piece after its "punchline" has been understood.
For me, Jessica Stockholder is blurring the lines between 2D and 3D. She is reconsidering the use and materials of the stretched canvas. The state of each material and objects questioned. Stockholder explores the boundaries of materials, and the picture frame, she brings in the gallery and the world around her into her work, making her artwork as an amalgamation of questions and materials.
The surfaces of walls and objects are full of pictorial potential within her work, she adds paint to sometimes alien and domestic objects and materials, like she’s trying to understand the possibility of the pieces. She’s trying to find the boundaries to between the materials she uses, and she’s seeing how far she can inject the physical world within her work.
I really admire how her exploration of how paint meets, sticks to, or appears to jump off of, many different kinds of material, something that I want to explore within my own work. There seems to be a lack of boundaries within her work, I feel like painting and sculpture are in bubbles next to each other, and Stockholder has popped both bubbles and is enjoying seeing how they blend and bleed together.
A recurring theme through Rachel Harrisons work is the free standing wooden or colourful structures, that are cheeky and playful and clumsy. She builds tension between figuration and abstraction. To her work, there is no front, or back, there is only the mass that invades the viewers space, and understands its own object-hood.
Her piece “The Death of Ironing” within the show “The Help” in New York in 2012, shows a large, almost square plonked on the ground with rough material, brightly painted in the middle of the space. She’s accepting the painting as an object and continuing to work into the piece, to paint. I love how the piece has all right-angles, I can sense a wooden skeleton underneath, exactly like a stretched painting.
One of the things I find so brilliant about Harrisons work is how cheekily easy it seems to be, how she can accept exactly what her work is, how self-aware her structures are. They are aware of their mutation and their forms through their materials. Each piece has such a surge of colour and paint, giving a skin to her forms, giving an anthropomorphic feeling. I enjoy the slap bang in the middle of the room feeling, as there is nothing to hide, as she has thrown a painting up in the air and has just let it slam to the floor, and presenting it as spectacularly as a pristine painting, as it once existed. I really enjoy the narrative within this work, understanding the journey of the art piece.
“Where is my Eight?” is an exhibition showing Franz West’s witty sculptures that depict physical, weighted clumps of material with paint, held off the floor with quirky stands. West’s sculptures, to me, feel like he’s lashing out against the traditional function of a painting, he’s scrupled the canvas up and thrown it in a corner, given them a lick of paint and then given them a stand as to imply a sense of being finished. This is the kind of rebellious behavior that I want within my work.
West’s understanding of object-hood within a painting transcends the traditional canvas to wall, they almost need something to give it this elitist feeling, by holding it off the floor, as a wall would do. I always have the same question when I’m taking about perceived “expanded painters”, and that is; why do they always use such bright, stark colours. In a way, I can see how this work’s distant origin within minimalism, but this seems more than a coincidence. His work seems to be fighting against the traditional idea of a painting, instead of trying to accept it, he's trying to expand it, something that I try to achieve.