(Paper Learning Log Pages 31-33)
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Beginning my research at http://www.christojeanneclaude.net, my immediate reaction was how much I like the style of drawing of the works-in-progress. Textural and energetic with a full range of tones from light to dark and splashes of colour, they are exciting to look at.
Moving on to look at the realised projects, I was introduced to some of the most monumental installations imaginable. The following are among my favourites. In Valley Curtain the contrast of the curtain against the rugged landscape of the Colorado mountain valley accentuates the fluidity of 18,600 metres squared of fabric, the movement in the wind and light filtering through the giant curtain is alien and unexpected in such a majestic, rocky setting. The Pont Neuf Wrapped and the Wrapped Reichstag take on different personas when wrapped in voluminous folds of fabric. The Pont Neuf becomes more majestic clothed in gold in the setting sun, the Reichstag softened by the silvery linear shadows of the pleats, unified and grander in stature in its splendid robe.
The most alluring for me are the wrapped trees Wrapped Trees . (Project for Fondation Beyeler & Beraver Park Riehen) Sometimes hidden beneath shrouds of fabric, mysterious shapes with an opaque covering, hinting at its form, becoming more suggestive as a part silhouette is revealed and hauntingly beautiful when the light filters through revealing the network of branches.
Below a quick attempt at wrapping in the early morning sun. A bare branched silhouette wasn’t easily available, but the general idea was achieved with an evergreen pittosporum in a pot. Positioned to best effect against the sun, the light filters through the fairly dense polyester cotton fabric creating beautiful shadows on the cloth. Wrapping would have produced a more interesting form.
A silvery grey voile is used below, lightly wrapped with nylon fishing line. More time and careful consideration and execution of wrapping techniques would improve the effect but the short exercise taught me that the light and shadow effect is appealing to me.
Thinking more about the wrapping of small objects in the context of this assignment, Christo’s earlier work was pertinent. The wrapped paintings of 1969 illustrated in the Pinterest selection above use a neutral fabric and some simple ties leading the eye back and forward over the shape, the hint of the paintings’ edges beneath the wrapping create fairly horizontal curves, restful ripples in the fabric and subtle shadows like a study of tone in charcoal, making the surface the feature. In contrast, the knotted string of the wrapped package creates a mosaic of shapes with the triangles and diagonals taking the eye on a more lively route around and over the bulges of unknown content.
Observing Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s art will help me to have a more considered approach to my samples, influencing my choice of materials when aiming for a particular outcome.
Judith Scott’s work pulled me in to examine the detail, layers and texture created with fibre and found objects. Her use of colour is quite striking and the more I look, the more I see. Fabulous surface texture is created by intricate combinations of wrapping, stitching, knotting, weaving of fine, medium, thick yarns, smooth, fluffy, coarse, used singly, in groups, horizontally, vertically, diagonally, revealing and concealing the layers beneath. I looked in detail at three pieces which are included in the above Pinterest selection and noted that careful stitching left a dome of orange outlined in purple on one piece and half predominantly in greens and half in orange on another. The mysterious shapes of the wrapped items remain secret in some and partially revealed in others.
Close observation of the work enabled me to see the variety of techniques used to produced different textures, colour combinations and layers to increase visual interest.
Mary-Anne Morrison is a member of the 62 Group of artists. Her peelings series demonstrates both joining and wrapping. I think this was the main attraction, as looking closely now, I like the placement of the cords, gentle curves and the patterns created by the zig-zag in black thread of the black, white and yellow piece. The yellow and white is less interesting but lovely placement of lines created by the cords. (Although I find it machine wrapping cords rather laborious and I’m not sure I’d have the patience to work this way).
In response to this artist and Mary-Anne Morrison above, I machine-wrapped some wire and joined the coils, which I found a bit tedious, but enjoyed looking at Karen Margolis’s art. I liked the graduation of colour throughout the sculptures, the contrast of tangled threads to wrapped circles in some and the visual interest provided by the black ties. Looking at several of her similar structures made me realise their size and to think more about the potential stature of bigger three dimensional pieces and the impact such work might create.
http://christojeanneclaude.net/artworks/works-in-progress (accessed 21.3.16)
Morris, C & Higgs, M Judith Scott, Bound & Unbound Brooklyn Museum DelMonico Books
http://www.62group.org.uk/artist/mary-anne-morrison/ (accessed 17.1.16)