Expanded Field

The four artists whose work and methodology I analysed in my last Forum presentation helped me not only see the commonality between their work, but mostly figure out why those were the artists I wanted to write about and thus, shape my own methodology better:   

Katharina Grosse, Bob Nugent, Allen Ball and Matias Duville were the artists whose work I looked into for the presentation. It is relevant to my thesis research in various ways.  

Katharina Grosse’s paintings and installations relate to the scale and constructed environments of my paintscapes. The “drifting” vantage point is perceived by me in both its literal and metaphorical way: drifting in time and space as well as moving through a painting which I am considering incorporating in my work. Her use of brilliant colour to convey a message on an emotional level is something I have been studying as well. 


Bob Nugent’s “unlikely realism” and “romantic abstraction” rooted in nature and natural environment is, as I feel it, exactly the field I am feeling my path through. Combining impressions with improvisations is my modus operandi in painting. His subtle reminder of loss or possibility of it is present in my painted geographies. I also admire his fantastic touch in preserving the watermark in his work. “Distilling art into energy” – is something I have been trying through the use of dramatic colors. 


Allen Ball’s transposition of desert spaces heated by Middle-Eastern reality onto a Vancouver gallery is geographically impossibly close to my own transcontinental search; his moving through image is something I am researching right now. 

Matias Duville’s projected hope in “Future Memories” symbolizes my own search into the unknown territory and resonates with my passion of creating coded environments and unseen landscapes. 


These four artists’s methodologies I believe, share several trends or have several features in common: 

- creating environments, different from the reality in order to convey artistic message and this will be different for each one of them  

- using large scale as means of allowing viewer virtually ‘enter’ the created world  

- preserving natural mark of water, of soil, or of light   

- using color or intentionally avoiding it for a stronger emotional effect  

- re-placing or transposing environments (worlds) e.g. bringing soil inside the gallery, leaving watermark in the seemingly desert surrondings, intentionally ‘forcing’ one world upon another.

As I came to believe, and was suggested in several replies of the Low Res MAA students to my post, these are features of my work as well. The work on presentation helped me sharpen my view and verbalize some points of my own methodology. Some are still “projected”, reflect my intention – like Katharina Grosse’s forcing the acquirement of the “drifting point of view“, or both Grosse’s and Allen Ball’s technique of making viewers literally (and physically) “move through the image“. These are fascinating features and the goals I am investigating at the moment. 

The latest theoretical reading I have been doing is the article of Gitte Orskou “The Longing for Order: Painting as the Gatekeeper of Harmony”, 2009. While I agreed with the statements of Gitte Orskou (she is the director of Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark) to some point, I also noted that several of her statements have been overthrown by Katarina Grosse’s work I have illustrated earlier: 

At the beginning of her article she asks if we can maintain that painting today “is part of a wider field – …due to the fact that painting has accepted and adopted the more recent art forms, including photography, video and installation art”. Then she proceeds to saying that the visual sense of the viewer has been sharpened and opened to a “spatial and interactive virtual world that is far beyond the quite limited means of traditional painting defined as a ‘square, flat surface covered with paint and which is either figurative or abstract in content’”. 

Another point that I feel has been simultaleously proved and disproved by Grosse’s work is that “Viewers have started to behave differently towards art as a result of their encounter with the new artistic genres that demand a physical, visual and cognitional approach of quite different kind” – ‘proved’ – if you agree that painting of Katharina Grosse’s is a new artistic genre, and ‘disproved’ if we try to see Katharina Grosse’s creations as pieces of traditional painting (“figurative or abstract in content”).

Another statement of Orskou that Grosse challenges is that “Whereas painting is an autonomous unity, installation is based on interaction”, as well as this last one:”Seen in relation to installation art, painting is both boring and authentic, both static and intimate, both anti-spectacular and present. But, on the other hand, to be boring, static and anti-spectacular is also what defines art as the opposite of commercials and entertainment.” One of the examples of Katharina Grosse’s work that could put these statements to test is Lobby 2, 2007:

which, in my opinion, is spectacular (not ‘anti-spectacular’), moving and defying traditional perception of both painting and space, and highly interactive (as opposed to ‘static’). Though I agree with the author that painting today is or is “part of an expanded field”, I am thrilled to discover new and probably overlooked by Gitte Orskou paths painters like Katharina Grosse welcome us to follow.








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