Saturday, October 11, 2014

conceptual expressionism

I have decided to do something about the fact that I am drawn to expressionist art (meaning that emotional affect is often the first response one has to the artwork) by finding a way for me to try to use it in my work. This is a quality that I not only admire, but would like to include in my work. This seems pertinent because I have been stating, for some time now, that my work is about the fear and anxiety (emotions) caused by climate change and the hype around it. If this emotion is important for me, then why are my pieces often foregrounded in cool/conceptual remove? This might be a question that leads to a dead end, it may be just another thing I incorporate into my work, or it may be a new direction.
Either way, I am using this post to begin to describe what I mean by "conceptual expressionism" by including artworks that I feel like are parents to how I would like to find my "expression." Broadly, I define contemporary expressionist art as artwork that initially presents viewers with emotional affect first, while longer reads lead to conceptual depth and emotional complexity. It should also be said that (given my interest in fear, anxiety, and death) that most of these works have some relation to the concept of the abject.

Josh Tonsfeldt - Perpetual Summer (tire and fruit) 2011

Bill Conger - the night sweats (wall paper, foil, plastic latex paint) 2009

Michael E. Smith - Dave (helmet shell, pigeon) 2013

Richard Hawkins - Scalp 3 (Remember the wonderful days when "the abject" had the ability to "corrode" hegemony?) (rubber mask, painted paper, pencil and paperclips) 2011

Richard Hawkins - Scalp 13 (Remember the wonderful days when "the abject" had the ability to "corrode" hegemony?) (rubber mask, painted paper, paper clips, shoebox) 2012

Oscar Tuazon - I gave my name to it (steel plate and fluorescent lamps) 2010

Isa Genzken - Hospital (Ground Zero) (artificial flowers, plastic, metal, glass, acrylic, spray-paint, mirror foil, MDF and casters) 2008

Tracy Thomason - Untitled (spray tanner, and presence on paper) 2008

Li Gang - The Big Dipper (tbc) (stones and glue) 2013

Kelly Jazvac - Plastiglomerate and Plastic Samples (detail) (conglomerate rocks gathered on Kamilo Beach with geologist Patricia Corcoran, Hawaii, and ceramic stands) 2013

Jay Heikes - Creeply (dyed porcupine quills and driftwood) 2011

Sterling Ruby - Ashtray 72 (ceramic) 2010

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