A biography of painting - part 7

The paintings I exhibited at this time were essentially a summation of that which I had done previously. I was once again appropriating Picasso.

I was influenced by the work of the Australian painter Rover Thomas (c.1926- 1998), an artist who had incorporated the aesthetic of abstraction with references to the traditional myth. It was work that I was trying to replicate; replacing contemporary art mythology for his traditional Aboriginal references.

Although the decisions made on what and how to paint, were based on a theoretical approach, this is not directly necessary to the appreciation of the work. For me to take a theory or a sociopolitical position and give it a primacy in understanding a work of art is far too tendentious, which makes the work illustrative.

An art work in a gallery is an object on the wall before which people stand. It is art simply by the fact it is there and also why it is there in the case of the curated show that may have an overarching idea.

The Tate gallery [Click here]

In this set of images I look at people viewing art and consider how they are integral to it.

The production of the work of art precedes this. The artist brings to the viewer the work and presents the viewer with a take it or leave it dialogue. But in this relationship the artist is not present other than by implication (mostly by name and reputation). The artist inevitably needs to accept this in their creation of the work. Unless they are performance artists, in which case they can be present. This remains true even when the art is in someone's house, but not to the same extent. In that context the art must be decorative in that it forms a function in that environment and has a personal meaning for the resident.

[ Click here for art exhibited in 2009 ]

 


Rover Thomas


Pablo Picasso 1908

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