Monday, April 26, 2010
More 'Relational Aesthetics'...
graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour/30x20cm
Rolling along with the ‘roadkill’ diptych series of drawings, the folded planes of the latest found flattened object to be subjected to the process again provide something of an example of ‘Readymade Cubism’ &, with the red, white & blue colouration of its branded livery & particularly the pair of red stripes across its surface, continue the occasionally recurring recent theme of relations (however tenuous) to or suggestions of the American ‘Stars & Stripes’ &, thence, inevitably, Jasper Johns’ 'Flag’.
As often transpires, serendipitous correspondences occur that initiate dialogues with the history of art: note the similarity in font here between the isolated numeral 5 as featured upon the surface of the can in the drawing & that of Johns’ collage & encaustic ‘Figure 5’, the form (or close similarities) of which subsequently recurs in a variety of the artist’s ‘numbers’ paintings & prints, as illustrated...
Jasper Johns 'Figure 5', 1955 & detail from 'Figures in Black and White' 1969
Also, a particular reproduction of Johns’ ‘No’ (& one notices how the physical, three-dimensional nature of much of Johns’ work highlights the differences between the many individual photographic reproductions of) drew my attention to how the painting features two aspects that relate specifically to the ‘roadkill’ diptychs in general, namely the imprint of the base of Marcel Duchamp’s sculpted object ‘Female Fig Leaf’ & the cutout flat metal letters N & O, which, suspended slightly above the surface of the painting, thus cast shadows upon it: presented as an adjacent pair of details of the whole, the former corresponds to the erased outlines that form the linear element representing the shape of the compressed, reformed object in the left half of the drawings, whilst the latter suggests the flattened cans as realistically described in the right half, habitually lit from the left & thus casting their shadows to the right. The overall greyness of ‘No’ also finds a parallel in the predominantly graphite nature of the drawings, both as a series & the individual instances of.
details from Jasper Johns 'No', 1961
Whilst referencing Johns once again, & drawing little parallels & coincidences, note also the outline imprints of the bases of cans upon the familiar crosshatched surface of ‘Between the Clock and the Bed’ (a work which itself references Edvard Munch), which serve to suggest Johns’ iconic Savarin coffee can (packed with paintbrushes) & Ballantine Ale cans sculpted objects, & in turn stand in for the (presence of the) artist himself.
Jasper Johns detail of 'Between the Clock and the Bed', 1981
Rufus Wainwright 'Want Two'
Boards of Canada 'Music Has the Right to Children' & 'Geogaddi'