Sunday, April 7, 2013

Having identified a photographic process that appeals to me, I now hope to proceed with an investigation into the evolution of representation.  The primary focus of this piece of work will examine the works of David Hockney, Michael Wesely and Andreas Gefeller, with historic reference also to the works of JMW Turner, John Ruskin and John Cage.  I wish to explore what initially motivated these artists to develop their individual techniques of perceptual mapping, a way of commonly perceiving the world around us not by manipulation of an object but of its representation.

A historical background with particular reference to the English artist JMW Turner will form a foundation for my study.  An overview of his rejection of the Neo-Classical style in favour of a Romantic representation of the world and the implications this had on art will serve as a suitable forerunner to the artistic developments of representation of the twentieth century.  Subsidiary studies shall also be investigated with reference to the commentaries and contributions of John Ruskin and the aleatoric compositions of John Cage respectively.

John Cage - 4'33" (2010 Performance)

JMW Turner - Snow Storm and Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth (1842)

Development of the proposed study will then begin with an investigation of the work of David Hockney with particular reference to his exploration of photography through his self-discovered “joiners” technique of the 1980s using Polaroid prints at first before moving on to 35mm commercial processed colour prints.  

David Hockney - Untitled

David Hockney - Pearblossom Highway (April 1986)

 A comparative investigation will also be drawn of the work of German photographer Andreas Gefeller who acknowledges Hockney’s innovative collages as important in the development of his own technique of photo montage in an attempt to create a three dimensional world in a two dimensional image.  Finally, the work of German photographer Michael Wesely will be studied as a method of representing the un-representable/unseen through his dramatic long exposure images.

Andreas Gefeller - Academy of Arts, Dusseldorf (2009)

Andreas Gefeller - Untitled; Panel Building 1, Berlin (2004)

Michael Wesely - Potsdamer Platz (1997 - 1999)

Finding Vivian Maier

In my research I came across Vivian Maier - a street photographer working in Chicago and New York in the 1950s and 1960s, but whose work was unknown until 2007. Her work is very accomplished and she has some amazing images which I thought might interest everyone here.

John Maloof, a collector and historian discovered her photographs when at that time he purchased a box of prints, film rolls and negatives from an auction. He has written of her: 
She was a Socialist, a Feminist, a movie critic, and a tell-it-like-it-is type of person. She learned English by going to theaters, which she loved. She wore a men's jacket, men's shoes and a large hat most of the time. She was constantly taking pictures, which she didn't show anyone. (1)

Fall, 1953, New York

Untitled, 1953, New York

April 18, 1954, New York, NY

May 27, 1970, Chicago, IL 

Untitled, October 14, 1968, Chicago, IL

Undated, Chicago, IL

1955, New York, NY

There is a film, Finding Vivian Maier, now being made about her life and the discovery of her work.

More information here:

(1) John Maloof