Culture Now: C-G Hagström on Tove Jansson

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Followers milestone, my absence on WordPress, my practice.

Well this blog originally began as a course requirement for University, however it morphed into something else. It became another place for me to share my thoughts on art and my own art practice at length. Although I have not yet posted anything of academic substance I feel that I have been able to make my voice be heard, however soft it may be at this time.

 

I recently achieved the 20 followers milestone on my blog, kinda feels like unlocking an achievement in a video game to be quite honest. 20 followers is definitely a solid milestone, considering that at the beginning I did not intend to use this blog anymore than I felt that I needed to, and here we are, just over a year later and I am still posting content as regularly as I can. I know that I have been quite absent, I have given up on the artist of the week feature, it felt as though it was a bit of a waste, I was merely copying and pasting biographical text from the source site (with proper references and acknowledgements) as well as images. It didn’t feel as though I was contributing anything besides a digital regurgitation of an artists brief bio and some examples of their work. I want to create pieces of writing in my own words about the artists that interest me rather than just cutting and pasting some info on them. I am aiming on creating more critical pieces of writing, however, as many writers; art writers in particular, will know it isn’t an easy job to just pop out any old bit of critical writing. Much like my paintings and other work it takes time to construct, edit and refine. So bare with me.

 

I am also wanting to produce reviews on shows that I have seen, although history will prove that art critics aren’t always the most popular people when they write negatively about an artist or their work. Well whatever I may write will be my opinion, it doesn’t need to be taken as “God’s word”, and I encourage feedback and correspondence from my subscribers (constructive and thought through).

 

As for my practice, I have had a rather fruitful year. Producing somewhere in the range of 50-60 works in total (should really do a count). I have been involved in a solid number of group shows and I finally had my own solo show as well as being involved in a group show in a Sydney gallery. I accomplished more than I thought I would in a year. I have grown my Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram and I am actively trying to further my blog/website; raising the bar on how well my social media outlets perform and how well they’re going at helping me get my work out their and grow the audience for it. As I will be seeking paid employment in the new year, I imagine my production of paintings and works on paper may slow down somewhat. Though it may slow down, this does not mean that it will cease completely, now way!!! I am aiming to be involved in more group shows this coming year; 2014. And I also am aiming to have another solo show; I will be trying to make it a regular event every year; of course some years I may not be able to produce a substantial amount of work, but group shows will always be a staple in my exhibiting schedule.

 

Many thanks to everyone who has supported me for the last seven years. Who would have thought that I would have become what I am today; even if that isn’t much. I am doing what I love, people are responding to it positively and constructively for the most part. For those who only know how to respond negatively, I am reminded of some people’s inadequacies and I keep my head up and my feet moving past your ignorance.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

Regards,

 

Nik.

 

 

 

Port Kembla. A progressive photographic project.

Some photography from the Inner Harbour of Port Kembla, some of the images may be repetitive but it is my first investigation and venture into the realm of photography for quite some time and I am also learning the ins and outs of my camera. Enjoy.

 

Artist of the week: David Hockney

David Hockney (British, b.1937) is a painter, photographer, and set designer, first associated with the Pop Art movement, and later renowned for his intimate portraits and naturalistic scenes of both the everyday and the artificial of California life. Hockney was born in Bradford, England, and studied at the Bradford School of Art, exhibiting an extraordinary aptitude for draftsmanship. He later attended the London Royal College of Art, where he met fellow student R.B. Kitaj (1932–2007), who strongly influenced him and inspired Hockney to infuse the personally expressive into his works.

Hockney’s first works included common and commercial images, such as boxes of tea, which caused his early inclusion with the Pop Art movement. Hockney also favored a mix of literature and scandalous subject matter in his early work, including pieces on homosexuality inspired by Walt Whitman poems created in the Art Brut style of Jean Dubuffet. His mature work often draws on photographs, particularly after visiting California regularly in the 1960s, where he created naturalistic paintings with a flat, serene appearance, including his famous Swimming Pools series. He works in many mediums, including set design and photography. Hockney has held major retrospectives at the Royal College of Art in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He currently lives and works in California.

 

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Celia Observing (not in Scottish Arts Coucil or Tokyo), 1976, etching (ed. of 60), 90.2 x 74.9 cm.

 

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Table Flowable, 1991, colour lithograph (ed.44/500), 111.8 x 144.8 cm.

 

Text and images: http://www.artnet.com/artists/david-hockney/

Artist of the week: Ellsworth Kelly

Ellsworth Kelly (American, b.1923) is a painter and sculptor who established his own style amidst the pervasive influence of the Abstract Expressionist and Pop Art movements. Born in New York City, Kelly admired the works of Naturalist John James Audubon (American, 1785–1851) as a child and loved to draw, even though his parents only reluctantly permitted him to study at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. After serving during World War II for two years as a camouflage artist, Kelly was able to study on the GI Bill at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston, MA, and then at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France.

Separated from the American art world while in Europe, Kelly developed his distinctive method of painting, which features canvases painted in a single color, at times in isolation and other times grouped with differently colored canvases. These works echo Kelly’s desire to separate himself from the traditional roles of composition and the artist’s hand. Kelly only returned to the US when he believed that the enthusiasm for Abstract Expressionism had died down enough to allow his work to get some visibility. By the end of the 1950s, he was internationally recognized for his monochromatic canvases, which began to take the shape of non-rectangular forms such as ovals and curves. Kelly also began to create sculptures similar to his paintings, featuring simple two-dimensional forms. In 1970, the artist moved to upstate New York, where he shifted his focus to create large outdoor sculptures concerned more with color than form. Many of his public works are now on display around the world. Kelly now lives and works in Spencertown, NY.

 

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Sunflower II, 2004, lithograph, 37 x 29 inches.

 

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Black Curve, 1973, lithograph, 26 x w: 26 in.

 

Images and text: http://www.artnet.com/artists/ellsworth-kelly/

 

 

Artist of the week: Candida Höfer

Candida Höfer (German, b.1944) is a photographer known for her large-format images of architectural interiors, which address the psychological environment of social and cultural institutions by acknowledging how public spaces are designed to accommodate and inform the public. After completing studies at the Cologne Werkschule, she enrolled in the Düsseldorf School of Art, where she was taught by Bernd and Hilla Becher (German, 1931–2007; b.1934), heavily influenced by the formal qualities of the austere documentary photography they endorsed.

Along with fellow German artists Thomas Struth (b.1954), Andreas Gursky (b.1955), and Thomas Ruff (b.1958), Höfer’s work became internationally recognized in the 1980s, and her subject matter expanded to include a myriad of places rooted in cultural formation and preservation, including museums, libraries, universities, theaters, civic centers, and historic sites. She has held numerous solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, and her work has been included in several group shows at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Documenta XI in Kassel, and the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 2003, Höfer represented Germany in the Venice Biennale with fellow compatriot, Martin Kippenberger (German, 1953–1997). She lives and works in Cologne, Germany

 

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Trinity college, Dublin I, 2004, C-print, 180 x 215 cm. 

 

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Teatro Scientifico Bibiena Mantova I, 2010, LightJet print,180 x 225 cm.

 

Images and text:  http://www.artnet.com/artists/candida-h%C3%B6fer/