Monday, 24 January 2011

Contextual Studies Assessment task 3: MAJOR ESSAY.

Essay Question: 1. Choose one work by each of the two differnt modern artist. Describe each work and explain how and why they are modern. Discuss the content of the images and how they are made.
Name: Jasmine Crowder
Word Count: 1289

Das Undbild - Kurt Schwitters

Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper - Pablo Picasso

In this essay I will be comparing two pieces “Das Undbild” by Kurt Schwitters and “Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper” by Pablo Picasso. I will be discussing how they were influenced, and why they are modern art.

The Modern art era includes art movements between the 1860’s – 1970’s. Art at the time wanted to be new and forward thinking and some of the art styles were rejected from the past.

The first piece I will be discussing is “Das Undbild” by Kurt Schwitters, it is a collage piece. Schwitters’s began making his work from scraps, he called his first collage piece the Merz picture, then he called all his work Merz. Schwitter’s was good at putting things together and using subtle colours in his collages, he also used bold colours and shapes in clear geometric forms. His work was influenced by Cubism and Constructivism.

“Das Unbild” has a mixture of objects and texture. Schwitters uses found object/items he may have found on his journeys. They are sometimes personal items that he has used, like tickets, cinema tickets or train tickets. Also he uses typography. Schwitters was a poet and so he often used text in the collages. Through all his work he knew what he was looking for and what he wanted to make. Also In this piece I can see the heel-Rim of a shoe, Schwitter’s work is a mixture of 3D and 2D and a lot of the time the viewer can’t tell whether it’s sculpture or a 2D piece. He uses a great deal of shapes, lines, space and explores the relation between the colours. He uses browns, beige, blues and greens. This piece was created on a board which he worked on top of with different layers and items. “Das Undbild” means “The picture of and”. It is a mixture of Surrealist and Constructivist styles. My thought on the piece, overall I find the collage interesting, I like the comparison, the colours that are used. Also how there is a hint of typography, and the mixture of textures and materials. I like how the items that are used and materials links to a message, such as what’s going off at that times and also what items are around that times.

Kurt Schwitters was inspired by Surrealism which you can see in his use of collage. He referred to the collage pieces as Merz, which is a word he always used to describe his own work. He recalled the bad times of Nazi Germany in his work, which is portrayed by his use of blood red colours and the black backgrounds. Schwitter’s was influenced by the public opposition towards him during the Nazi rule of Germany. From 1919 – 1923 he created a number of Merz pieces which are now known as his greatest contribution to 20th century art. He was also inspired by the London bombings during World War II. The buildings and sights left over after the raids gave him inspiration for his Merz project. His works from this time are about the war and the chaos it causes, however at the same time he tried to make light from it.

Through all his life, Schwitters stood his ground of creation of Merz. Even though people rejected and discarded it. The Nazis found his work subversive and tried to get rid of it and destroy it. Artists that work with different materials other than paint have been inspired by Schwitters or refer to Schwitter’s work in some way. Schwitter’s work is modern as his work is different from what was being produced, also different from the things that was made before hand, also his work was influenced which makes it modern art.

The second piece I’m going to be discussing is “Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper” by Pablo Picasso. It is also a collage piece which was created in 1913. The piece was created using various kinds of media and materials, such as sheet music, newspaper, a wallpaper pattern and a cloth that has a wood-grain pattern on it. Picasso has also made drawings of a glass, using different colours and tones. At times Picasso uses some of these textures in his collage, which he applies onto the canvas. Also he used certain clippings from newspaper, he experiments with stencilled letterings. Picasso started the trend for using any objects or materials, this was new and was important for art in the later 20th-century. This series of collages by Picasso shows that oil painting is not the only way to make art on canvas. Picasso used found objects which he came across by chance; he then put them into a composition in an artistic way, which made it modern. Picasso began the area of Cubism known as “Synthetic Cubism” by making work in this way. This piece was one in a series of works. Picasso made many different musical collages on the same theme, glass, guitar and bottle of wine. Behind this, in the twentieth century were creating/ painting pieces, which normally typical flowers, fields, which weren’t the real thing. The ideas of using found objects are poetry and beauty of modernity, the use of discarded old newspapers and items found in the bin, also dime novels.

This piece, “Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper” was made out of a number different materials and media. He uses newspaper, which has faded and has a form of stencilled lettering, which was placed onto blue paper. He adds lines and lettering which says “Vieux” using pen or ink. I think this may suggest he used things that he could find around him at the time, and objects he may have found. Also it looks like he has used watercolour and charcoal; you can see this in the smudges around some of the pieces of paper and on them as well. There are great deals of shapes and lines which suggest the found items which are in the name of the work. The colours Picasso uses are creamy white, the dark green, with the grey and the faded brown. The white paper represents the guitar and the lines represent the strings. The green paper is suggesting the glass, its most typical colour for the item.

I’m not really fond of the piece, I like the colours and materials that are used, also the use of lines but I find it hard to understand what the paper/materials are trying to represent. The only one I can see is the guitar. However I do like how the paper and colours have some sort relation between them and go well with each other.

Picasso and fellow Cubist artist Braque were friends and worked together and influenced each other. Braque also used musical instruments a lot in his work; he claims that music didn’t have an influence in his work. It had been said that there was some connection with music for Picasso, as he had some musicians in his family and he travelled in the artistic community. I think this is clear in his work even if he said he was not inspired by music around him.

In conclusion, these pieces are modern because they have a great influence from what was going on at the time and the pieces that were created were different and new. They were unlike any artwork that came before them and were created in collage, a new medium, not oil paint. Also how the work reflected on what was going on in the world and the new art movements such as Synthetic Cubism, Cubism and Constructivism. Also the way they were moving away from using the typical oil painting and using found objects instead to show real life.


Author: Elizabeth Pech

Title of website: Cubism Picasso, Braque & Beyond

Date website accessed: 21/01/2011


Author: James An

Title of website: Picasso's Musical Instruments

Date website accessed: 19/01/2011


Author: C. C.

Title of website: Pablo Picasso

Date website accessed: 19/01/2011


Author: Unknown

Title of website: Tate

Date website accessed: 21/01/2011


Author: Unknown

Title of Website: Sparknotes

Date website accessed: 21/01/2011


Author: Gwendolen Freundel

Title of website: The Artchive

Date website accessed: 14/01/2011


Author: Unknown

Title of website: Artrepublic

Date website accessed: 14/01/2011


Monday, 6 December 2010

Contextual Studies - Conceptualising my own work

Assessment Task 2: Conceptualising your own work
Liz Bradshaw
Word count:

This piece is influenced by the social part of life. It aimed at the common way of thinking which many people have, that has to do with the certain way people dress or act. It also has a form of confessing the person’s inner feelings. The viewer may find it shocking because we don’t expect the person to hold such a view by the way he dresses. It’s same when we look at models in magazines but we never compare our emotional troubles with them. The truth which the artist comes to is, everyone has problems, and it’s a matter of accepting them in public, without stereotyping them.

The artist is changing the point of view of the typical stereotypes that have been shown in society. The message shows that a man wearing a business suit may not be doing as well as it may seem. The idea that a rich man is better off or may not have the same problems as a poor person is what is tackled. She manages to convince the viewer that there is a business man confessing his inner feelings. She also plays with the background and the environment, as the picture is set in a ugly looking alley way which is the complete opposite of what you would expect a man in a suit would be in.

If this piece was a painting, it wouldn’t seem to be realistic at all and would have a different feeling towards the overall piece. The fact it’s a picture shows that it’s more realistic than what a person may have imagined through a drawing/sketch or any other sort of media, which doesn’t capture reality. Also the picture itself says enough if the person was not holding a board. The idea of a person of that status being in an alley way makes us think a bit longer , as it’s something different than we are used to. The board used to convey his feelings adds to the picture and the message that she is trying to get across.

I’m really interested in the aspect of it being an emotional piece. The fact that the man is holding a sign that shows what he possibly feels. Also the idea of confessing themselves by using a sign, took my interest. The signs and texts she used through a photography form was also something that was a really interesting way of putting a point across, also to have a picture have the inner thoughts of a person on someone that is normally stereotyped, was unique to me.

This is the piece of artwork I did that influenced my idea. I used the idea giving my view on the emotive statement on life and changing the idea by not being able to see the person who’s holding the sign, which adds a form of mystery to the photograph and questions the viewer on what they can see. The background is clearer and clean, which was taken indoors of that person’s house. The artist influenced my idea by the idea of confession, aiming things towards life and sociality. Also I made my picture landscape whereas the artist’s picture was portrait as I did not want to show the face of the person inside my picture.

Gillian Wearing

My Work

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Photography In The T-shirts.


Before making the proper prints, I cut out A3 size clothes. So I could test out the print before, printing them on the t-shirt. Just so I could see how they turn out.

- Vest T-shirts: Of the Kayne West Design and The John Lennon Design

- Kayne West Design: T-shirt

-Katie Perry Design: T-shirt

- Pharrell Williams Design: t-shirt

I'm planning on cutting the neck part off, so it's more of a females t-shirt.
Which I ended up doing...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Contextual Studies: Visual Analysis

Tutor: Liz Bradshaw
Word count: 532

Contextual Studies
Visual Analysis: Francis Bacon’s 'Self Portrai't and the still taken from Director Eisenstein’s 'Battleship Potemkin

The first piece is a still image from the film “Battleship Potemkin”. The silent film was made in 1925, the still image shows a close up of a woman who is distressed or upset. The photo suggests that she is shouting because her mouth is open and her eyes have widened. The photo is also in black and white and one side of her face is brighter than the other, I think this effect has been done to create an emotional feeling towards the image, as the scene is upsetting because the scene is of her loved one getting stood on by many people. You can see her suffering from helplessness and uselessness that she could not help. I believe this was done on purpose to create tension and dramatic impact. The film is based on a true event but it may not have happened in that way, as it was made 20 years after the event. This was not related to what was going on at the time because the event took place in 1905 and the film was made in 1925, it was made in a documentary style, with imagery to create drama.

This piece is made using two techniques, film and film photography, the film was directed by Sergei Eisenstein and the photography was done by the Ronald Grant Archive. It is called “Hear The Scream in Your Mind's Ear.” The whole film is about 75 minutes long and it is a silent film, the whole thing is in black and white.

I believe that Eisenstein did this sequence as fiction; it was to try to get a sympathetic reaction from the viewers. The film shows that common people have to fight against an oppressive ruthless government, to be able to improve their lives.

My second piece is a self-portrait painting of the artist, Francis Bacon. In the painting you can see deformed/distorted facial features. Bacon uses light but mostly dark colours on the face, on a pitch-black background. The artist was trying to show emotion through the painting, showing how he felt during that time; this is shown by the fact he didn’t paint the typical features, which doesn’t show his identity, it makes you stare and try to figure out what is happening in the painting.

The picture isn’t meant to be disturbing as the artist quoted. It was done around the time where George Dryer his lover committed suicide. Throughout this time Bacon had an unhealthy interest in images of death. The eyes of the portrait are slightly closed, the face is distorted, people may think that this face was once beautiful but distorted by the outside, society, love, hate, and events. One can put them in a person’s position and see they slowly turn into something ugly.

The only elements I can see in both pieces is that they are about loss and the emotional consequences. One image shows fear and horror and the other shows an inward feeling of depression. There is no truth in the film as it was made 20 years after the event and it was only a film, whereas Francis Bacon was showing his innermost feeling of depression and loss.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

UNIT-E Magazine

- UNIT-E Magazine October 2010 Edition
Used one of my photography work in the Magazine.

Online copy: