A New Dictionary of Art is an absurd project, but a serious one and, to paraphrase a final definition from page 131, ‘makes the ordinary seem extraordinary’.
At the recent assessment a large drawing caught the eye of the assessment team and I wanted to single out this piece as an example of what can happen when a student follows the logic of their research. I was lucky enough to be Gwenyth’s tutor for Drawing One and during a Google Hangout session for the third submission it was clear that one subject — a large rock near her home in Sweden — meant a lot to her.
Phyllida Barlow’s work has been seen throughout the UK recently — at the Hepworth as part of the inaugural sculpture prize, and filling Tate Britain’s Duveen Gallery and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket. Her work is on show until late November in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Much of the work on display in Venice speaks of migration, ethnicity, and post-colonialism — I’ll cover this in other posts — but Barlow has produced a work that is concerned with traditional sculptural concerns: space, weight, scale, and so on.
Truman Capote described Venice as ‘like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go’. That counts double when you’re trying to absorb a lot of art as well as admire the place. This is the third time I’ve visited the Biennale and the first time I’ve done so outside of Press Week. Frankly it was a relief to spend time looking at the work and not searching for free food and/or Prosecco.
Painting tutors Emma Drye and Bryan Eccleshall will be leading a Study Visit for Level Two and Three students on Saturday 10 December at Tate Modern. It should be a challenging and enjoyable experience for all of us. OCA will be running a second visit to this for Foundation, Level 1 and any students who cannot make the above on the 21 January 2017.
There’s a statement in the promotional material devoted to the Georgia O’Keeffe show currently on at Tate Modern: ‘with no works by Georgia O’Keeffe in UK public collections, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for audiences outside the US to view the exceptional beauty and skill of her remarkable paintings’. That’s reason enough to make the effort to see the show, don’t you think?