As this project draws to an end, so also will this blogsite. I am pleased that I have this comprehensive documentary of my journey over the past 10-months. But fear not, I have started another blog to document what happens from here at: www.nataliedowseart.blogspot.com
Sunday, October 7, 2007
The Painting of Modern Life
The Painting of Modern Life at the Hayward Gallery
After finding out that this show opened on Thursday I made a quick decision to whiz down to London and see it. I wouldn't normally document every show I see on this blog - but in this case I feel compelled to mention it due to the close parallels to my own practice and the relationship to this residency "Sense of Place". The exhibition brings together 22 artists whose work draws upon photographic sources. This is a quote from the flysheet of the catalogue:
"The Painting of Modern Life: 1960s to Now re-examines what has been arguably the most influential development in the history of contemporary painting - the use and translation of photographic imagery ... The Painting of Modern Life explores how the significance and content of an image changes dramatically when it is translated into a different medium."
I always love the word arguably in text like this!
I also love to be impressed by painting (and that doesn't happen very often) and some paintings in this show for me were knockout! It is so important to see paintings in the flesh - and shows like this make it easy to do so. This show addresses the relationship between photography and painting head on - it seems to me that I am questioned about this frequently, so personally it couldn't be shown at a more relevant time.
Now what remains to say is, "How do I fit into this equation?".
Afterwards in contrast I went to the Turner Prize Retrospective at Tate Britain. Documenting the work of the past winners from the beginning of the prize (1984) to now. Love or hate the work, love or hate the media circus, love or hate the prize - it was evident after seeing this work en masse how much quality it contained. I wish that more people could be proud of our artists instead of being suspicious. I know that there will always be mixed opinion and you can't please everyone (and rightly so) - but this is part of our culture, so we should experience artworks to know why we DO NOT like them as well as like them. I fear most people make their decisions via the popular media rather than from their own experiences. For example, Damien Hirst's Mother and Child Divided has been ridiculed and is used as a popular example of British contemporary art, embedded in the consciousness of the pubic at large (you know that artist who cuts up animals and puts them in tanks). On reflection, I can say that this is not a 'nice' piece of art, and you can easily get carried away with the hype and common myths. However, it is not supposed to be 'nice' and personally this piece remains extremely emotional when I stand next to it - so therefore doesn't that make it a powerful work of art?