patternsthatconnect

abstract art, a systems view

Posts Tagged ‘Against Nature

For the millions

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When I was touring the art collection at Warwick University, assistant curator Elizabeth Dooley introduced a wonderful painting by Patrick Heron. I heard her call it “For the Millions”..

…and in this collection, dispersed as it is throughout the university and right there where work is being done, as well as open for public viewing, it may well get seen by ‘the millions’. However, I mis-heard her. The title is Four Vermillions. Four reds near enough in value, tone and hue to be called “vermillion” yet different enough for there to be four very distinct colours.

I recently heard David Batchelor (there is a marvelous piece by him in the same building entitled Against Nature, photo below) say that he does not use the names of colours, as you cannot know what kind of the named colour it is without actually seeing it. He said something like that anyway, unless I mis-heard him.

Thanks Liz, for the tours, they were excellent.

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Written by Andy Parkinson

March 16, 2012 at 8:45 am

Against Nature ( A Rebours)

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Previously, I posted about an artwork by Klaus Weber subtitled Against Nature an allusion to the novel A Rebours (Against Nature, or alternatively Against the Grain) by J.K. Huysmans.

I had also seen a photo of another art work entitled Against Nature, this one by David Batchelor and I had wondered if the latter work also referenced the Huysmans novel. Noting that it was on display at the University of Warwick, I hoped to see it soon. Well, soon arrived recently and I got to view the piece. I also recently got to talk with the artist, who confirmed the reference.

against nature 1 against nature 2 against nature 3 against nature 7

Reading his book Chromophobia, the reference might have been obvious. He writes with affection on A Rebours.

The colours in the piece are ‘unnatural’, neon, flourescent, artificial, of the city rather than of ‘nature’. Made from second-hand, discarded lightboxes, neon signs, exit signs etc, with painted plexiglas and light shone through them, they are also repaired, re-used and recycled (so not “against nature” in that respect).

I heard him say recently that there is too much brown, grey and magnolia (non-colours) in British contemporary art, and that you can hardly speak of “bright grey” or “bright brown”. I think he is right (though I did shortly afterwards hear someone use just that term “bright brown”. The sentence went something like: “It’s not a dull brown though, it is a bright brown… copper”).

I love this piece of work. It has some painting in it even though we would hardly call it a painting. It is almost as if the colours have been freed from the constraints of pigment and medium, yet in a totally unnatural way. “Pure” and “impure” at the same time.

Against Nature 2

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Yesterday I posted about an artwork by Klaus Weber subtitled “Against Nature” an allusion to the novel of the same title by J.K. Huysmans, which I feel I have a connection with simply because as an art student I read it as part of my Aesthetics course and enjoyed it. There is nothing unnatural in that! Nor in the connection I then made to my Aesthetics tutor whom I emailed and got a reply from.

By chance today, as I was surfing the net, I came across another art work entitled “Against Nature“. I wonder if it has any connection to the Huysmans novel. It is by David Batchelor, with whom I also have a connection, he was an art student in the year above me at Trent. I remember him, and I liked him, (though I would be surprised if he remembers me).

His piece is on display at the University of Warwick, and I hope to see it in the near future.

Written by Andy Parkinson

December 27, 2011 at 9:45 am