& & & FOUNTAIN. 1 1 1 ART ZINE.
1 1 1
Welcome to the very first issue of FOUNTAIN ART ZINE full of nutritional modern and contemporary art goodness! FOUNTAIN ART ZINE is written and designed by Emily Goddenif you wish to get in contact please do at:
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FROM READYMADE TO UNMADEDUCHAMP TO EMIN
& & & CONTENTS. SOL LEWITTTHE ARCHITECT OF CONCEPTUALISM
DAMIEN HIRSTSPOT THE DIFFERENCE
IS SPATIALISM REALLY ART?
ARTE POVERA WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH
SOL LEWITTTHE ARCHITECT OF CONCEPTUALISM
LeWitts series of cubes enables the viewer to make judgemental and objective inter-pretations to in some form fill the cubes with their own work. The notion that art is an exploration is rendered redundant as LeWitt challenges preconceptions of what art is by desiring the cubes to be viewed as objects. The material worth of the piece in theory is low, to ensure that the value of the idea is viewed as high. It is as if LeWitt manipulates the visual language of art to create a conceptual grammar that continually hints at ambiguity amid LeWitts creation of blank space. The static alu-minium beams act almost as frames in which to house the viewers creations and high-light the typical nature of conceptualism, in that the form plays a secondary role to the idea. From a structuralist point of view the materials and form of the artwork are para-mount, however LeWitt uses no set language in fact he created his own syntax pro-ducing instructions for anyone to create their own cubes, and almost continue his work. Which could be viewed as a reaction to the over-commercialisation of art, as LeWitt has in effect made his work accessible to all- in an almost democratic fashion. Here LeWitt has disrupted a process whereby social status is defined by ownership of an artwork as it freely available for spectators to recreate.
Two Open Modular cubes,1972, by Sol LeWitt
SOL LEWITTTHE ARCHITECT OF CONCEPTUALISM
WORKS OF ART ARE ALWAYS REDUCTIONS OF
WHAT THEY REPRESENT CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS
In my opinion LeWitt uses conceptualist minimal art in order to transport deep confound ideas that are accessible because the idea is an illusion. It is possible that the theory from Claude-Levi Strauss, that; works of art are always reductions of what they represent is applicable to the physical form of the work of Sol LeWitt but not to the process and purpose of his work. It could be viewed that LeWitts work has a dialogue exchanged with spectators to highlight how art for conceptualists is a vehicle to transport ideas. The balance and rigidity of LeWitts use of line creates a sense of contrast and balance between the form and the idea behind the work. Furthermore the simulacra of the messages behind the work of LeWitt dont make statements they asks ques-tions that are driven often by an innocuous visual narrative to be decoded by the spectator. The process of de-coding then offers the spectator the chance to encode their own input to the piece, to add to the uniqueness of LeWitts work. The spectators response is considered to be of high importance in conceptualist work, but if the spectator is nave to the conceptual form there is always the chance that there will be a definitive lack of a sentiment displayed towards the work. LeWitt expressed his ideas through a visual language formed through a series of lines and geometrical shapes. The raw almost industrial feel of the work could be representative of LeWitt ex-pressing bluntly that art is industrial, fuelled by materialism and driven economically. LeWitts apparent obsession with the cube form is perhaps an ex-pression for a desire for rigidity and universality, that perhaps mon-ey should be less of a determining factor in the value of art. The cu-bes therefore almost act as a metaphor for consumption, and act as a reminder that architectural forms are artistic. However it is widely believed that there are necessary and sufficient conditions for a piece to count as art, meaning that technically LeWitt could be sug-gesting that through conceptualism art can be just an idea. LeWitts work could be viewed as a paradoxical illusion in which the spectator is asked not just to look, but to think, observe, and ul-timately judge. LeWitts calculative form is so conceptual that he was inspired by the work of architects to allow his assistants to re-alise his ideas into physical entities, this form of working practice has since been adopted by notable artists such as Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
For over two decades Hirsts spot paintings have invaded popular culture. The flat spots in household gloss are painted by hand yet there is a machinist quality to each painting. The quantity created is unremitting; it is as though the spots have become an advert for Hirst, releasing a few new variations every so often as if to remind us of his continued dominance.
Each spot painting has equal pictorial content, equal depth, equal well - everything. Yet each painting is different. Each painting exudes colour, perhaps this is Hirsts break-through, a dart away from macabre cow corpses and death into muted pastel painted spots. The paintings are part of what appears to be an endless series, is Hirst hinting at immortality?
Isolated pigments of colour the spots are suspended in white space (or off-white in some cases) each equidistant apart from the next, each supposedly in a different colour. Per-haps the spots are just a series of isolated victims, pills perhaps. Each spot has the appeal of a new drug to pop along with a glass of water to wash away everyday aches and pains.
Capric Acid Amide, 2003 Image: Photographed by Gareth Winters
Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012
If stared at for long enough the paintings become conducive, triggering the mind to form patterns, to widen and shrink the gaps between the spots. It suddenly seems believable that perhaps the spots are drugs, something for the viewer to get high off. Theres no doubt that Hirsts spot paintings are a visual feast of colour, a substance exuding allure. So should Hirsts spot paintings be legal? They certainly seem to fill some of the criteria of an illegal substance, and the spots do seem remi-niscent of ecstasy pills.
Illegal substances are;
Usually controversial (Hirst is that for sure)
Normally expensive (Certainly, the most a spot painting has sold
for to date is 1.4 million)
Difficult to obtain (Although available to anyone with deep enough pockets to foot the bill)
Made secretly (Hirst has a team of assistants who work under the cover of one of Hirsts multiple studios)
Hirst created around 25 spot paintings himself before employing assis-tants, to aid with the process of communicating his conceptual messages. The first breakthrough came in 1986 when whilst studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, Hirst painted spots onto a board.
The spots are like a language, interacting with viewers there seems to be no need for symbolism or hidden messages. But as more spot paint-ings roll off the Hirst production line to feed the cravings of an audience awaiting its next fix there is a bold emptiness and sterile essence to the paintings. The production by now must have become so routine that should Hirst stop production, there will be widespread withdrawal symptoms felt by consumers around the world.
Perhaps there is a more simple answer to why Hirsts spot paintings are so popular. There seems to be no narrative nor any overarching meta-phor, the paintings are just an endless series of circles. Produced to ex-periment and to enjoy, but most of all to produce over and over again to fit into a world filled by advertisements and driven by the media. Hirst is not a name, its a brand.
The spot paintings look as though a bag of skittles has been thrown on a canvas and then meticulously arranged in some random yet or-dered fashion. With each painting titled after a drug or chemical it could be deduced that the spots are representative of something greater. Perhaps the dots are a door to deeper thought and deep-er meaning. Or put simply, are they drugs in disguise?
Spot painting, 1986 Image: Photographed by Prudence
IS SPATIALISM REALLY ART?
Firstly what is Spatialism?
It was a movement established by Italian artist Lucio Fontana who criticised convention-al Western painting of the time by leaving the canvas blank and exposed. Established in the years following the Second World War, Fontana abandoned a reliance upon a medi-um to construct a piece, and instead sought about de-constructing the canvas. There is no illusion in Spatialism the depth created is real, tangible and physical.
There is a sense that the processes involved in the creation of work/ideas are just as im-portant if not more so than the final product. Here parallels can be drawn to later move-ments in art such as Conceptualism which has been labelled the ideas movement. Paral-lels can be also drawn to Expressionism (abstract) as there is a strong emphasis on the physicality of the construction of the piece, as for example a burst of emotion is con-densed and released by Fontana in a single pre-meditated swipe of the knife through the canvas in pieces such a