Blog Post Nine: Final Project Self Evaluation and Class Progress

Credit: “The View from the Night: Front Cover” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

My final project is entitled “The View from the Night.” It contains six pieces, created with a multitude of mediums, of views of the night sky. I chose the subject matter of each individual work based off of several quotes which I found detailing different author’s perspectives of the night (see below). Overall, I was very pleased with how the book turned out. It took quite a bit of work, but the end result is worth it. There are three

pages where I would not change anything, which quite an artistic feat for me. These pages are blood moon page (page two), the starry night page (page three), and the galaxy page (page six). I really love how these turned out,

Credit: “The View from the Night: Cover” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

especially the blood moon. I was pleasantly surprised by the extent to which it came out like I visualized it in my mind.

 

The first page, depicting the encompassing darkness most people associate with night, was not inspired or a favorite of mine by any means. However, I would not change anything about it because I felt like it was a good starting point for the series. In the meteor shower (page four), I wish that I had made the meteor trails a little bit thinner. As it is now, they look like simple lines instead. Because of this, I felt that the painting lost a bit

of

Credit: “The View from the Night: Back Cover” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

the liveliness and wonder I was hoping to capture on that page. Finally, page five’s painting of the Northern Lights was not very well done. I felt like I wasn’t able to catch the lights ethereal quality, with the glare in the sky. The end result was an almost abstract watercolor painting of the basic outline of the lights. I wish that I had found a way to create a better depiction of the Northern Lights.

 

One thing that I was a little hesitant about was how messy the book itself looked. I used charcoal for my first three drawings, so the backs of those pages were

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page One (Darkness) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

covered in charcoal dust. For a while, I was having problems with the watercolor, as water began to congregate in different sections and caused water stains. I was pleasantly surprised about the fact I was mostly able to fix that. Once I put the cover on

 

my problems with charcoal dust were fixed. For all that there were some problems, though, I think the book came together quite nicely. I felt like the simplicity of the book was able to help me reflect my own feelings about the night: that is, it is a time when everything slows down and becomes easier.

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Two (Blood Moon) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

This semester really challenged my artistic skills. I was

 

very surprised to find that I really enjoyed the class; usually, I’m not a big fan of art classes. While working with some of the mediums, such as watercolor, were difficult, I think I was able to get a good idea of how best to work with charcoals and materials similar to that. I was also surprised by the amount of detail work I was able to perfect.

I can definitely see an evolution in my artistic skills.

Before this class, defining texture

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Three (A Starry Night) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

in artwork was a foreign concept to me. I was very happy to see how I got a stronger grasp of the techniques I can use to create different types of textures. I also learned to take artistic risks, something that I had not before this class. There are some areas, though, were I still struggle. One of these areas is in defining 3-d space. While I certainly got better at it over the course of the semester, there is still plenty to be done in this area. I certainly need more

 

practice and training in all areas, but I’m pleased with how far I got this semester. All in all, though, while I still am going to focus on

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Four (A Meteor Shower) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

the art history side of art, I was
very happy to find that I am getting better at  art itself.

 

 

 

Quotes for each page:

Cover: “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night”- Sarah Williams (“Night Quotes…).

Page One: “The day is for honest men, the night for

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Five (The Northern Lights) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

thieves”- Euripides (“Night Quotes…).

 

Page Two: “Some nights are made for torture, or reflection, or the savoring of loneliness” – Poppy Z. Bright (“Night Quotes…).

Page Three: “Night hath a thousand eyes” -John Lyly (“Night Quotes…).

Page Four: “Night, when words fade and things come alive” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery (“Night Quotes…).

 

Page Five: “Night is the other half of life, and the better

Credit: “The View from the Night: Page Six (The Galaxy) by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

half” -Goethe (“Night Quotes…).

Page Six: “I love the silent hour of night

For blissful dreams may then arise,

Revealing to my charmed sight

What may not bless my waking eyes!” – Anne Bronte (“Night Quotes…).

Works Cited

“Night Quotes (1029 Quotes).” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/night.

 

 

Final Project: The Old in the New

Exhibitions help shape the way people view and think about art. This exhibition, entitled “The Old in the New” is no different. Through a careful selection of contemporary artists and works, this exhibit is intended to make viewers consider the roots of contemporary art in comparative perspectives, something that is rarely done. In turn, the audience will get a better sense of artistic traditions.

Curation and Theme

“The Old in the New” focuses on the ways older western artistic traditions inform contemporary art. This theme of the persistence and reception of artistic traditions is what characterizes each of the paintings in this collection. Overall, the exhibit is intended to encourage viewers not only to look at western traditions and see how they still inform contemporary art, but also to reconsider how this effects artistic traditions all over the world, as well as how it is adapted for the current era. Each individual artist looks at this persistence of tradition in a different way. Thus, the exhibit covers artistic tradition as the ultimate influencer of art (with Sharon Core’s art), art traditions interpreted to the modern era (with Hendrick Kerstens’ art), and western artistic traditions in a non-western gaze (with Rashid Rana’s art).

Each artist was chosen because of their use of western art as inspiration or their adherence to western artistic tradition. For artists such as Sharon Core and Hendrick Kerstens, western art traditions characterize the formation of their work; however, they use other mediums, often looking at these traditions through the perspective of photography. Core clings the most to older artistic traditions in her various series consisting of reproductions of older still lives. While she bases her paintings on the photographs taken of these still lives in order to create an additional layer of depth to the image (Yancey Richardson Gallery), they very much mirror the artistic traditions of the time the original was painted.

Kerstens evaluates the way that photography can be used in recreating Dutch portraits. His series of his daughter as the subject of photographs based on Dutch portraits often incorporates some modern additions, mostly through the stylized headgear she wears (“Hendrick Kerstens at…”). These portraits reflect the way that artistic traditions have been manipulated to accommodate for current day artistic mediums. Audiences should consider this when looking at contemporary art.

Rashid Rana’s series Scattered in Time uses broken up, pixelated pictures of famous paintings to critique the way that western culture and, by extension, western artistic styles have resulted alterations in Southern Asian identity and culture (“Rashid Rana”). Western art traditions are some of the large influences on artistic tastes, something that has resulted, often, in the degradation of other non-western art and changes in their artistic traditions. It is important for art consumers to be aware of this, especially as they look at contemporary art from non-western countries and compare them to contemporary art from western countries.

Uninformed observers often treat contemporary art as unique and largely uninformed by older artistic traditions. This exhibit aims to challenge that viewpoint, and help the audience see that the development of new art can connect to past art and artistic traditions. In the form of an interesting exhibit, rather than, say, a book, this show will do the important job of allowing visitors to get a sense of the artistic history which can inform contemporary art, and see just how the persistence of traditions shapes what we consider art.

Venue

This show will be shown as a small exhibit in a museum. As it is meant to challenge the viewer’s perspectives on the work of the “old masters” in comparison to contemporary art, this venue will give the exhibit more legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and encourage viewers to think more seriously about this theme.

The Artists

Sharon Core is an American artist, born in 1965 in New Orleans. She was trained at the University of Georgia (for her undergrad) and Yale University School of Art (where she received her MFA). Core focuses on photography and still lives in her professional life, often depicting scenes of nature or other still lives created by past artists. She has shown work all over the world, and has been the recipient of several awards, such as the George Sakier Memorial Prize for Excellence in Photography. Core is most known for challenging the audiences relationship with photography, suggesting alternate meanings of photographs (Yancey Richardson Gallery).

Rashid Rana was born in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1968. He was trained at the National College of the Arts in Lahore, and then at the Massachusetts College of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. While he primarily trained in painting, Rana also commonly uses photography and digital printmaking in his works. His works are often deeply political by nature, critiquing reactions to recent events in Pakistan and the larger world (Lisson Gallery). In his recent series Scattered in Time, Rana critiques colonization and Its impact on Pakistani culture (“Rashid Rana…). Currently based in Lahore, Rana is the head of the Fine Arts department at Beaconhouse National University, and is one of Pakistan’s most famous contemporary artists (Lisson Gallery).

Hendrick Kerstens was born in 1956 in the Hague, the Netherlands. In 1995, with no formal training, he entered the art world by photographing his daughter (artnet). After noticing his daughter’s resemblance to the subjects of portraits by Dutch masters, this self-taught artist eventually began a series of portrait photographs of her, using the same traditions that characterize Dutch and Renaissance painting. This series eventually became renowned worldwide, winning him multiple prizes (“Hendrick Kerstens”). The fashion designer Alexander McQueen even used one of the portraits, Bag, as the inspiration for a line of clothing (“Hendrick Kerstens at…). Kerstens continues to expand the series, and currently works out of Amsterdam, the Netherlands (artnet).

Conclusion

In this way, through the theme of the persistent continuity of artistic traditions, this exhibit will focus on the way older artistic traditions influence contemporary art. The multitude of ways demonstrated by each individual artist will bring into focus the multifaceted way artistic traditions can be interpreted in the modern era. With the exhibit’s placement in a museum, this exhibit will hopefully teach visitors about the way art is interconnected and help develop some interesting conversations about the nature of art itself.

 

Works Cited

artnet. “Hendrik Kerstens.” Artnet, Artnet, www.artnet.com/artists/hendrik-kerstens/.
“Hendrik Kerstens at Danziger Gallery.” Artsy, Artsy, www.artsy.net/artwork/hendrik-kerstens-red-rabbit-ii.
“Hendrick Kerstens.” Danziger Gallery, Danziger Gallery, www.danzigergallery.com/artists/hendrik-kerstens.
Lisson Gallery. “Rashid Rana.” Lisson Gallery, www.lissongallery.com/artists/rashid-rana/.
“Rashid Rana: Scattered in Time at Leila Heller Gallery.” Artsy, Artsy, www.artsy.net/artwork/rashid-rana-re-view.
Yancy Richardson. “Sharon Core.” Yancey Richardson Gallery, www.yanceyrichardson.com/artists/sharon-core.

 

 

 

 

Blog Post Eleven: Off Campus Visit to Whitespace Gallery

Whitespace Gallery’s recent exhibition of the works of Pete Schulte contained a series of interesting and seemingly unassuming paintings. At first glance, they looked like relatively simple works, made with black and white mediums, and displaying easy geometric shapes such as rectangles, circles and arches. However, on closer examination of the works, it was revealed that they actually consisted of little dots placed so closely together that the shapes they made looked concrete. Not only that, but the perspectives Schulte played with when creating his works created unique pictures out of basic shapes. Finally, tonally, these works are quite relaxing, with their muted color palette and simple nature.

The gallery itself reflected this with its atmosphere. Set in the back of the owner’s house in a converted stable, it was mostly set with white walls and black accents, almost matching the Schulte’s works. Compared to the bright day outside, it definitely encouraged me to relax and stay in the gallery and look at the work. What was especially interesting was the garden shed in Whitespace. It was a refurbished shed, complete with a dirt floor. This was perhaps the most unique gallery space that I had ever seen. However, the amount of natural light in it definitely made Schulte’s drawings look good. I do wonder, though, about the effect the direct natural light had on the conservation of each work. In this way, Whitespace Gallery and the work in it was a unique, complex and relaxing experience.

Blog Post Ten: On Campus Exhibition Visit

Dalton Gallery’s exhibition of Showing/Thinking followed the lives and works of five Agnes Scott professors: Dr. Yvonne Newsome, Dr. Julia Knowlton, Professor Jeffery Whittle, Dr. Rachel Hall-Clifford, and Dr. Willie Tolliver. Each professor was given a separate room which was designed to reflect the scholarship and influences of these professors. The exhibition was designed by Professor Maria Korol and the Exhibition Processes class, and contained art and installations from both professionals and the students themselves.

Dr. Newsome’s room, the first that visitors saw when they entered the space, focused on her remembrance of the Civil Rights Movement and study of black feminist theory, intersectionality, and the portrayal of black people in the media. This was reflected in the quilt of civil rights events in the south, the installation of a home scene featuring an I AM A MAN poster, portraits of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and the Obama family, Newsome’s recent presentation on the portrayal of black politicians, and a self-portrait of Dr. Newsome surrounded by the women who have inspired her work.

To the left, Professor Jeffery Whittle’s room reflected the process that he goes through when creating paintings, and featured some of his recently-completed works. His room included a collage of pictures of his studio, two sketch books and a wall of initial sketches, and some items from his studio which he says help inspire his work. Dr. Rachel Hall-Clifford’s room explored the health issues in Guatemala. It included an abstract color collage intended to represent the different colors of feces (which changes as health changes), a documentary about health issues in Guatemala, some pictures taken by Dr. Hall-Clifford during her studies in Guatemala, and some cultural artifacts which were given to her by the people she stayed with.

Dr. Julia Knowlton’s room explored her ties to Paris and love of French poetry and literature. It was by far the most ornate of all the rooms, painted a turquoise color and embellished with gold leaf. It included photographs of Paris, some of Knowlton’s favorite French books and poems, and an installation of a Parisian café. Finally, Dr. Willie Tolliver’s room explored his work analyzing the role of black men in the media; specifically, his studies surrounding the roles of Will Smith. It contained several films of Will Smith and other actors, a bookcase with some of the works he has studied, a wall on the six degrees of separation, and some pieces that reflect his identity as a black man. As one of the curators, it was very cool to see what everyone came up with and to see the show come together. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There are some changes that I would have made to Dr. Newsome’s room specifically (I was one of the curators for that room). For example, that room felt, to me, very blank and formal; I would have liked to add some more color to the exhibit to make it more eye catching and to have dug further into her work on intersectionality. However, overall it was a very good show.

Blog Post Eight: Research for Final Project

I initially began this project with absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. I had originally played with the idea of looking at the different ways light and darkness intersect with each other before deciding that the idea would be a) rather simple in terms of concept, and b) would be difficult to fully pull off. After much contemplation, I decided to look at the different ways people perceive the night, collecting quotes from authors like Lord Byron and Sarah Williams all the way to Eurpides. I had planned to illustrate the quotes collected over a faint outline of said quote, but quickly lost enthusiasm in the idea. After considering what I love most about the nighttime, I ultimately decided that

I would use the quotes to inform one of my favorite things about the night: the sky. The basic concept is to show a six-panel progression of the night sky, from bad to good. I will start with a basic, starless night. The next panel will involve an ominous blood moon. After that, a basic starlit night sky will take up the third panel, before converting into a meteor shower in fourth panel. After that, the Aurea borealis will take up the fifth panel, as the book moves into the good and wondrous of the night sky. Finally, an illustration of the galaxy as seen during the nighttime from earth will be the last scene. I’ve pulled several images from the internet to help inspire each section. As the night sky is one of my favorite parts of the nighttime, I think it will look great!

Atlanta Contemporary Art: Sheida Soleimani

Medium of Exchange by Sheida Soleimani is a small exhibit in the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. Soleimani, the daughter of two Iranian political refugees, specializes in creating works of art that are social and political commentaries. In the case of this exhibit, she focuses on the greed of those involved in the petroleum industry (specifically the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). She mentions the disparity in living conditions between rich profiteers and the everyday citizens in the countries that are part of OPEC, saying that revenue from the oil industry is not used to help the citizens of that country. This exhibit is intended to bring to light the “corruption at the center of the petroleum industry” and encourage people to resist said corruption (Wall Text). It consists of a series of collages and one video created from pictures of political and economic leaders, news reports, and archives relating to the petroleum industry. The exhibit is laid out in an almost nonsensical pattern of free-standing and wall-hanging works. The collages are difficult for people to understand who do not know much about this issue. However, the video that accompanies the exhibit clears up much of this confusion. The exhibit would have benefited if the video was the first thing visitors saw when they entered the exhibit. However, the nature of the space meant that the only place the video could be was in the far right corner of the room. In this way, the exhibit needs some work to truly be effective.

Works Cited

Wall text, Medium of Exchange, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Ga.

Gallery Visits

Credit: “Whitespace Gallery Shed” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

One thing which intrigued me about the galleries that we visited was the different way that they displayed their works. While in many cases institutional galleries attempted to get as many pieces as they could shown in their space, commercial galleries gave each piece space so that they could individually be enjoyed. There was not as much emphasis placed on a full collection. As these galleries were mostly commercial, I suppose that allowing visitors to focus on one piece at a time helps them to not get overwhelmed and decide that they want to buy a work.

I also felt like galleries are much more flexible with the way they use their space. They focus on what will make the art look good instead of what the art needs to stay pristine, like in museums. One example that I saw of this was the shed at Whitespace Gallery. No museum would dream of putting art in a dirt floor shed, yet Whitespace is able to pull it off. Also, artists have more say in the way that they want their art to be displayed in galleries than they do in museums. This results in some very specific designs, like the sculpture that we saw in Hathaway Gallery. In this way, the different purposes of museums and commercial galleries results in some differences between the way art is displayed.

Blog Post Seven: Mixed Media Critique

Credit: “Mixed Media” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

I was not particularly thrilled by the outcome of this project. While there were sections I liked, overall the composition looked disjointed and not at all like how I had imagined the final picture. While I understand that attempting to reconcile the artistic styles of old, professional artists with my own amateur art is probably not the best criteria for critique, I was still left dissatisfied, as a whole.
There are some sections which I particularly enjoy. These include the charcoal section (bottom center), the photography section (second to the bottom right), the pointillism section (top center), and the pop art section (bottom left). Several which I was all right with, but not particularly inspired by, were the stained glass (second to the top, left), Rococo (top, right), Baroque (second to the top, right) and expressionism section (second to the bottom, left). I did not like the way the impressionist (second to the top, center), classical sculpture (bottom right), cave painting (top left) and naturalism (second to the bottom, center) sections looked. The cave painting looked more like someone had spilled wine than blown pigment on it, the brush strokes in the impressionist section were too big, the classical sculpture section had no good definition, and the naturalism section turned more into a contemporary Howard Finster painting than a Renaissance naturalism section. The different sections also posed a problem for me because I wasn’t able to get a cohesive picture. As a result, the composition looks more like a bunch of individual pieces glued together in a collage. That being said, I was able to use a variety of materials to create a very interesting array of images. In this way, while I think that my concept was great, the way that it was carried out was less than stellar.

Blog Post Six: Mixed Media Progress

Credit: “Logan Laughing” by Emma Wheeler is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

For this project, my biggest problem has been to figure out what each of the twelve sections of my portrait will be like. While I know that I
want to change the actual portrait from a contorted version of my face (top left) to a more sedate, contemplative (easier to draw) portrait (bottom left), I had no idea how to split the portrait. Eventually, reflecting on the context of my new portrait (I was visiting the Roman bath in Bath, England, which I had previously studied in a Roman art history course) I decided that I want to do each section inspired by a different art history movement. As an art history major, I felt

Credit: “Logan” by Mark Douglas is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

that this would characterize my approach to art itself very well. I have decided to do sections based on the stylistic tenets which characterize cave paintings, pointillism, Rococo painting, stained glass windows, impressionism, Baroque painting, expressionism, naturalism, photography, pop art, charcoal (the oldest art medium in the world), and classical sculpture. While some of these sections will be easy to finish (such as the charcoal, photography, pointillism and pop art sections), the sections inspired by Rococo and Baroque painting, naturalism and Roman classical sculpture will be very difficult, as I find it difficult to accurately draw faces, and they all rely on an accurate depiction of people. I hope to use different types media that will help me best reflect each individual artistic style. Hopefully the finished product will look very cool!

Showing/Thinking Exhibit Final Reflection

Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (4)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (5)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (6)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (7)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Credit: “Showing/Thinking Exhibition Installation (8)” by Logan Douglas (author) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

The Showing/Thinking Exhibition was one of the most interesting and challenging projects that I have worked on in a long time. I really enjoyed being able to bring my group’s vision of our exhibit to life; while there are some things that I would change (such as add in some more nods to how gender and class played a role in Dr. Newsome’s life and studies), for the most part I am very pleased about how our exhibit turned out. I really love the wardrobe installation and web, as the web unified our space well and the wardrobe installation looked amazing, As exhibition design and curation in museums is what I want to do when I start my career, I value the chance to experience just a taste of what it might be like. Not only that, but I now have a foundation on which to improve the skills necessary for any future explorations.

My group and I worked together pretty well. I felt that I kind of took over the main logistics of the exhibit, something that I am not sure was good for the whole group. Certainly, there were times where we were not necessarily on the same page, but our group was united in its attempt to get the exhibit completed. While the process sometimes felt slow and the creation of everything that went in our exhibit (especially the quilt) took a while, the finished product was worth it.