Art assignment TOK
TOK Summer 2010 Art Assigment
Art as a way of Knowing HZT4UE
1. As you approach the art gallery, you will see a large, spindly sculpture outside the main doors. It is of a spider with a sac of eggs under its abdomen.
- What is your initial reaction upon seeing this piece?
What the Heck? What is gods name is this doing here? That’s interesting…
- Do you think initial reaction is a very important quality in art?
Yes I think initial reaction is very important, because if a person viewing the piece or art is not moved or interested in any way, that person will have no desire to continue watching it and therefore will never really understand the piece. Every good piece of art has original or impacting aspects that standout and make a person try to find its inner meaning.
Be sure to walk around the work, under the work and to touch the work.
(c) Has your reaction to this work changed?
By getting closer I actually got goose bumps and found it a little repulsive as I stood under it, but when I saw the eggs I noticed the sculpture was a female spider and had a whole different meaning, it was not to scare the viewer but to attract it and want to find out more about it, which is what I was determined to do.
Louise Bourgeoise is the artist of this piece. Look beside one of the main doors to find out what it is called.
(e) Do you believe the piece is appropriately titled? Why or why not?
I believe that “Maman” is a great title for it because it represents Bourgeoise view of her mother and not only that but the intense love of motherhood towards its babies (in this case the eggs). Also im not sure of this but I found out that Bourgeoise mother actually love knitting stuff, such as a spider knits its own web, might be a metaphor to express this love of knitting.
(f) Do you believe that having possible varied responses to this work is a weakness or a strength?
I think that having varied responses to this work in specific is a weakness because it shows that the meaning put into the work wasn’t communicated in a good way a human creates art to express emotion or a meaning and if you don’t interpret it like they meant it means they didn’t do it correctly, it might be a strength for other works of art but for this one it’s a weakness.
(g) What if the work inspires an emotional response completely different from the intentions of the artist? Does this make the artwork more or less successful? Explain your answer.
Generally I think that the artwork would be more successful if the emotional response from the person is different from the intended message. This is because as long as it inpiries an emotion the artist has done their job, have it been the original message or a completely different one this is interesting for an artist if people see the artwork in ways he/she never even imagined.
Go into the museum, pay your admission. After paying, walk up the ramp to the atrium. Go into gallery A101- FIRST FLOOR- Canadian Art.
Art through the Years
This is a preview of the whole essay
3. What broad trends do you see happening to art through the years?
The artists used darker colours from the 1830s to the 1860s, and the main subject of the paintings were simple portraits of significant people or self portraits of the artists themselves. As you move further through the sections, there are more scenic and historical paintings, as well as paintings showing everyday situations of the time. I found interesting the amount of landscape/nature paintings, as well as paintings depicting life in Canada in their respective time periods. By the end, we get the more expressionits and abstract paintings that get larger in size as time progressed.
Finding Meaning in Art
4. Art asks us to find our own meaning at times. Find the large work Pavane by Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle in gallery A111.
(a) How is the artist trying to convey meaning?
I think Riopelle is trying to convey meaning in the work by using three very large canvases and a wide variety of colours to attract the viewer’s attention. When you walk into the room the enormous size of the painting get your attention immediately. The three sections are divided for a reason finding in the middle the widest spectrum of colours and other less stand out colour in the surroundings. A very abstract painting, you can tell alot of effort and time has been put into Pavane.
(B)What is your interpretation of Pavane?
It took me a long while to try to understand Pavane, I couldn’t really see past the simple strips of coloured paper, and the huge size of the painting, then after a couple of minutes of studying and walking around it I began to notice how the main colours are in the center and aren’t just thrown into the painting randomly, it is very different to the other paintings in the room so I thought perhaps Riopelle was trying to make this piece more modern than the other pieces of work of the time. Trying to be different and to stand out as an artist, just like the colours in Pavane, to be the center of the art world.
When I researched Pavane online, I found that it was partially true, because after making this painting he became very successful in the cultural scene.
Nature, Mathematics and Art
After you are through gallery A114, go into the garden. There is a metal piece of art which looks like DNA. You are allowed to play with this if you choose. Look at the plants more closely.
5. (a) Is nature itself art? If so, does that mean everything is art?
Nature is not art, but is the basis of it, its there so we can turn it into our own personal interpretation of it. Its when a human takes nature and creatively does something with it so that it influences and affects the , , and/or that it actually becomes art. Human intervention is what makes Art, Art.
(b) Do you think computers can create REAL art on their own, or are people required to create art?
Computers cannot create art because they are incapable of having emotions and to convey meaning to a work of art. Besides, computers are made my man, so if a computer creates art, it is because a human has programmed the computer to able to create it.
Next to the fern garden is the now reconstructed Rideau Street Convent Chapel. Sit in it for a moment to rest.
6. (a) Do you think this chapel has a rightful place in an art gallery? Why or why not?
I think the chapel doesn’t have a rightful place in the art gallery because even though its very pretty and decorative I found it to be too modern for my liking, and also didn’t have much to do with what the subjects in the previous rooms were. There was religion influence in the some paintings but in the majority. It would be conveniently placed in a section that includes more religious sculptures and works of art.
(b) What qualities do you think buildings need to be called good architecture?
Good architecture is a building intentionally done to communicate a certain message and that took a lot of hard work and thought into making. If it is creating solely to serve a purpose it is not art, but if it also has an idea or a message built into it, it’s when it becomes art.
(c) Excluding Parliament Hill, Chateau Laurier, Supreme Court of Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, museums, or any other government building - Name one building in Ottawa you consider art and one building you think is not art. Explain.
I found the Notre Dame Cathedral very impactful when I first got here, I think its art because it was built not just as a church but to evoke a religious response from people, the originality of the silver material its made from make it an attractive and artistic structure.
A building that is not art would be just a regular ScotiaBank office building, this is because of many reasons, there was no emotion or idea put into it, its is not attractive of artistic in any way and there are many of these in almost every Canadian city, which takes out its originality.
Art and Society
7. Visit the Indigenous Art Collection – GROUND FLOOR.
(a) Why do you think this collection is separate from the “Canadian Art” collection?
I think its separate because they are not really “Canadians” they settled in the land long before “Canadians” did.
(b) Art often gives us information about society. Using any five different pieces of indigenous art, what social commentary do you think the artists may be trying to suggest? Make sure you name the works of art in your answers.
- Jackaposie Oopakak Caribou Head- Nunali-Tries to echo the thoughts of the caribou with an entire world view by ecompassing the living inhabitants of the ecozones.
- Song of my dreamed dance Joane Cardinal- Draws upon cultural knowledge as well as personal imagery.
- Fish Figure- Jessie Oonark- Explores the symbolisism of a warshift to evoke the defence of both the physicall and the spiritual body
- Whaler’s Den- Ron Hamilton-Tries to communicate the level of knowledge need for the challenge of capturing a whale
- Umiaktuqtu- Annie Kilabuk- Tries to represent the role of transformation in the Inuit spiritual life through the form of a fish.
(c) All art – whether it be visual, music, literature, film, etc. – is affected by the specific cultural climate in which it is produced (time, place, social conventions, etc.) and is often created in reaction to “movements” or styles that came before it. How important is it to know these sorts of historical details to appreciate a work of art?
To know the historical details of a work of art is essential because without it you would never be able to aprreciate the work the same way. To be able to understand it better one has to know at what point in time was it made so when you see a painting of a steamboat knowing that the painting was made just after it was invented would give you a much different understanding than if it was made yestaerday. To whole different emotional responsed would be made. This is the same for the place (culture) social conventions, etc.
What is ‘Good’ Art?
8. As you wander through the contemporary galleries on the first or second floor, select a work of art that leaves you puzzled at best. Write down the title and the artist. Research the piece at the library or on the internet, or speak to an art expert to understand the artist and the intended message.
(a) Does this new information change your appreciation for the piece? Explain by referring specifically to the artist’s intention and the specific work.
I chose “The Bremen town musicians” by Gim Hong-Sok South Korea. After searching in the internet I found out that the sculpture of the Donkey, Dog, Cat and a Rooster, is actually based on a story by the Brothers Grimm with the same title, I had no idea what the sculpture meant at that time because there is no description except a “fictional one” which states that the furry animal costumes are a family of Mexican illegal aliens and that they are paid 8 dolars a day for posing as said sculpture. I think that Gim just wanted to add some humor to art and to the viewer, as many works of art are deeply sentimental and emotional, which I found very satisfiying.
In your contemporary gallery wanderings, choose two pieces of work you consider to be ‘good’ and two you consider bad art.
(b) Identify the pieces and state the criteria you consider to be important in making ‘good’ contemporary art.
(c) If the artworks you were looking at weren’t part of a national collection and within a purpose-built gallery designed by an internationally recognized architect would you still view them the same way? Who do you think makes the decisions of what appears in National Gallery exhibits? Does their expertise and background matter in your experience of the works?
If the pieces I saw were not a part of the national collection, I wouldn’t view the same way because they wouldn’t have the same artisitic value. If a piece of art is recognized by the world and known artists and collections, it gives the works of art much more significance. This doesn’t mean everything that they consider art is something I will also consider art just because its in the gallery.
(d) Do you have the same reactions to the works online as you did viewing them in person? What’s missing? Is this important in viewing art? Can we have the same understanding of something filtered through a “virtual experience” as exposed to actually experience it in person?
Interestingly, one exhibit in the galleries is two computers linking to the website
No I don’t have the same reaction because the quality and the size you can appreciate the works of art is totally different in real life, art is not just viewing but also EXPERIENCING and if you just view it online you are missing the experience of actually being there.
9. A work of art to experience is the ‘infamous’ Voice of Fire by Barnett Newman in C214. Stare at either blue edge of the painting (where they meet the wall) until a bright white line starts to come into view. This can take a minute or two. Then look at the red stripe in the middle…
(a) Did you see the ‘voice of fire’?
Im pretty sure I did, I saw what first was just a plain color of red in the middle suddenly became divided in two, an intense orange up top and the fiery red at the bottom.
(b) If you did not, does that make the work of art less great?
I think I did see it.
(c) Do you think commercial value of a work of art affects how we view it? Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire was bought by the Gallery in 1989 for $1.8 million and created a lot of controversy as the National Gallery is publicly funded by tax dollars. Does your knowledge of its purchase price affect how you view it? If it had been bought for only $1000 from an unknown artist would you have the same feelings about it?
I think 1.8 million is an outrageous amount for any type of painting, and since I viewed it before I knew that and then admired it after, I noticed it didn’t really change my feelings about it, only jealous feelings for the rich artist. I think its more the fame of the painting than the value of it that changes my feelings towards it. Not as much the artists but the actual fame of the work.
10. Browse through the works of art from some of the galleries near ‘Voice of Fire’.
(a) Write down the name of the most famous artist (to you).
Vincent Van Gogh
(b) Do you think the famous artist’s work is superior to the less famous artists in the same room? If not, whose work is better?
Personally when Ifirst see a piece of art, I don’t see the artist’s name, so I judge based solely on your initial impression of it and then after viewing it is when I read about the artist, the artwork is neutral before I take it in. Every painting is different, some are better than others like a Monet painting can be better than a Van gogh one but a Matisse painting can be better than a Monet one, so it’s a never ending cycle.
(c) Why are some artists more famous than others?
I think they become famous for different reasons, there are the ones that create a work of ark so unique or barrier breaking that they become very famous for one piece of work in specific, others become famous because they are constantly creating good art and influence a lot of new artist to come out and paint. Then of course there are the ones that get lucky and know people high up in the art business and take advantage of this to become popular.
d) Do you think an artist’s fame and reputation is important in how people judge art?
I think it doesn’t matter at all, its not his fame or reputation that makes the art good or bad it’s the uniqueness and impacting force of the painting that makes it good, the artists outside life isn’t relevant unless it has something to do with the painting.
(e) Do you think it matters if an artist is recognized in her or his lifetime? Do you think commercial success affects the pieces that an artist would make? Does this affect the art as “art” or does it become a “product”?
Yes I think it does matter because if an artist’s artwork is not recognized at sometime in his/her life, he/she will begin to lose motivation because the effort put into the art he/she creates is not being acknowledged. Commercial success does affect the pieces an artist would make because with success comes higher expectations, so an artist must make original pieces to keep his/her artistic reputation.
11. If your portrait were to be displayed in this Art Gallery, what would be your preferred time period and media? Why? Describe how it would look and any specific details you would include.
If my portrait was to be displayed in the Art gallery I would prefer the modern contemporary art found on the second floor because its very original and attractive to me, it would have to be fairly abstract but still easy to notice that its me. It would just be a frontal painting of me smiling in one half and serious in the other half, to show the two sides of life, the good happy, enjoyable part and the suffering, dramatic boring part of life. Colorful light happy colors in the good side and dark, bloody intense colours in the bad side. I would simply name it LIFE.