Friday, January 29, 2010

Frantisek Drtikol (1883-1961)

The Dark Waves, 1926-1927

Nude Composition with Fruit, 1928

Taneční skupina Dalcroz, 1928

Frantisek Drtikol was a Czech photographer, known for using dynamic nudes posed with geometric shapes in his work. He had a successful portraiture business in Prague, but his artistic photographs also contributed to his fame.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986)

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 1965. With honey and gold leaf on his face, Beuys sits in a gallery with a taxidermied hare, explaining to it the artwork hanging on the walls.

I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974. Beuys' only trip to America, in which he never touches American soil and spends eight days and three hours in Rene Block Gallery in New York with a wild coyote.

Joseph Beuys was a prominent German artist of his time period, who is widely known for his "actions" and "social sculpture." In his performance art, he would often incorporate felt and fat into his work, materials personally significant to him after they were used to heal him after a plane crash in WWII. Social sculpture was Beuys' belief that society itself was a form of art, and anyone in it was capable of being an artist.

George Maciunas (1937-1978)

Fluxus Manifesto, 1963

Fluxkit, 1964

George Maciunas was an American artist born in Lithuania, credited for naming and organizing the Fluxus movement of the 1960's and 70's. Fluxus is an international, interdisciplinary movement that sought to question the lines between artists, makers, performers, and viewers. The movement was characterized by various methods of artist instructions to the viewer. Its DIY approach removed the distinction of artist as elite. Maciunas was particularly involved in mail art, sending fluxkits, packages that contained supplies and instructions to create an event that was the art piece, through the mail. However, Maciunas was also deeply involved in almost all aspects of Fluxus during his lifetime.

John Cage (1912-1992)

John Cage
was an American composer, most famous for his experimental composing techniques that incorporated chance and indeterminacy into his pieces. He wrote music that focused less on traditional melodies and more on incorporating sound from life, along with unorthodox notation and unique performances that could never be exactly replicated.

Allan Kaprow (1927-2006)

"The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps as indistinct, as possible." --Kaprow, 1965

Yard: Overhead view, 1961. One of Kaprow's famous Environments, used tires piled in an indoor space for viewers to interact with, crawl through, and climb around.

Fluids, 1967/2008 (reenactment of original). Ice that audience members and performers melted with their hands.

Allan Kaprow was an artist widely known for his involvement in pioneering performance art and his intentions to blur the line between art and life. In the 50's and 60's he began creating "Happenings," where he would write specific instructions for audience members and performers to follow. The experience itself would be the art. Kaprow also was known for "Environments," transformed interior spaces that were site-specific art for viewers to experience.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eva Hesse (1936-1970)

Repetition Nineteen III, 1968

Right After, 1969

Eva Hesse was an American sculptor born in Germany. She started sculpting using the materials from an abandoned factory where she and her husband lived. Hesse is primarily known for her three-dimensional work, which is characterized by its repetition, use of unstable materials that decay through time, and representations of fragility.