On Tuesday the 10th of April I visited Tate Modern to visit the Picasso exhibition titled ‘THE EY EXHIBITION – PICASSO 1932 – LOVE, FAME, TRAGEDY’. An exhibition focused mainly on the ‘most creative year in Picasso’s life’ 1932. Throughout the exhibition, you could almost see Picasso’s thought process when it came to his abstraction of images. This is a process I had never really considered since I assumed he could automatically abstract imagery but it has become clear that is is very much a progression into abstraction.
I find the work with a strong sense of light space in the imagery that most interesting since the use of negative space has been considered by an artist who is not typically associated with empty imagery. The use of incredibly saturated colours, when placed next to the strong black like and vast white space, is something I would like to explore further in my own work through printmaking. Much of the work centred around a singular subject of his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, it was amazing to see how differently a person could be portrayed by Picasso due to his fluidity of visual languages and contexts in which to place someone. His fearlessness of painting in colours which weren’t true to the subject is something I find very interesting because it causes you to think differently of the subject since it is not how you would normally expect it, e.g painting skin a light lilac colour rather than the expected colours.
This is a selection of the other work I looked at during my visit, I was very interested in the series of prints by Andy Warhol as an example of different colour palettes I could explore in my screen-printing process at the university. After seeing the row of images lined up next to each other it really shows how much having large elements of colour helps an interest to an image whilst it is in sequence. The other piece that really peeked my interest was ‘Babel’ by Clido Meireles, a social commentary on the advancement of technology into the heavens and how older technology is more achievable and humane.
Because of the initial symbolism of the glass menagerie – the unicorn, in particular, many of the posters for the glass menagerie heavily focus around this as a good representation of the play. Although it would be easy to represent the play through this form of imagery I would want my poster to stand out from the others if it were to be put into context with other Tennessee Williams posters.
For my initial screen-printed posters I decided to create imagery around the symbolism of ‘Blue Roses’, a nickname given to the main protagonist of the play.
This is the first batch of screen prints I have experimented with using not only papercutting but also using a china-marker pencil and also a fine line for details within smaller elements, I think the use of different medias within the singular print has allowed me to create a more energetic and tactile imagery in comparison to the effects that the purely paper-cut screen print produced.
“Kaidan”, Japan 1964. Directed by Masaki Kobayashi. – 1966
“Deadlier Than the Male”, UK 1966. Directed by Ralph Thomas.-1969
“Three Men in the Snow”, Austria 1955. Directed by Kurt Hoffmann.- 1958
“Rancho Texas”, Poland 1959. Directed by Wadim Berestowski. The first Polish western! -1959 “Roman Holiday”, US 1953. Directed by William Wyler. -1959
“The Hitman”, Italy 1960. Directed by Damiano Damiani. – 1962
This is a collection of polish posters that feature block colours and hand rendered elements heavily. Many polish posters have centralised focuses with the main elements of the visual hierarchy in the centre of the image with the text being also central or either side of them. The contrast between the hand-rendered elements and more traditional fonts is something I have been experimenting with in my own work, however I have been struggling with achieving the right balance between these two different aesthetics in order to create a more cohesive effect overall.
After looking at this variation of posters I have realised that in order to create a good and focused contrast between words and images they should potentially be created through different mediums to that there is a clear differentiation between the two within the visual hierarchy.
Klimowski’s work is very college and multi-media based, this tactility of them is something I find really visually appealing since it creates a very hand-rendered image aesthetic, his compositions often contain a figure being manipulated with other elements of the image. Klimowski is not afraid to be bold with his experimental use of negative space and ‘misplaced’ elements. This attitude is something I want to be able to apply to my own poster making
Pablo Amargo’s use of colour is what first interested me about his work since his colour palettes are often fairly limited in colour variation. This ability to create interesting and thought-provoking images with very limited different tones. Although much of his work is created digitally his aesthetic creates the effect of traditionally printing because of these limited colour choices yet his work still remains very clean and eye-catching due to the bold block colours within interesting shapes and elements.
Tadeusz Gronowski’s work is part of the original Polish graphic poster movement. His pieces often contain very experimental elements of composition with white often being a v
Marion Deuchars is a British illustrator who specializes in advertising and publishing illustration. Her work is incredibly well recognised due to her use of hand-rendered type and use of typography. Much of her work seems to be ink based with a huge sense of tactility within her work.
I think the reason her work is so engaging is due to the fact that because of it’s hand-rendered aesthetic people can relate to and appreciate it more because they understand the labour that has been put into it, rather than just being presented with imagery that has been created digitality because often an audience doesn’t appreciate the process that has taken place. Often her work is combined with photography and different mediums, the use of hand-rendered typography over these technical images and her use of negative space means that your eyes aren’t completely over-saturated with words and images within small spaces.
From her work, I think her use of often a limited colour pallete or black,white, red and another colour means that the images over-all look incredibly minimal despite often being incredibly mark-making based and expressive marks.
Basquiat was an American based artist of the late twentieth century , his work is incredibly expressive and raw due to his rough brush markings and natural medium effects. Although his works are incredibly figurative the nature of the work makes viewers look past what is simply on the canvas. The re-working nature of the art creates a sense of re-visiting the work multiple times implying that there has been multiple considerations of it all. This element of re-working and obvious reconsiderations is something I want to be able to apply to my own work to give it greater impact to the audience without being too ominous and intense.
Cy Twombly is one of the most easily recognisable abstract artists of the twentieth century. His work is incredibly influenced by the natural world around him and his rough markings and use of media reflect this. He attended the Black Mountain College, an institution renowned for experimental creators. Much like a lot of his contemporaries his work remained incredibly negative space dominated with the raw paper or canvas showing through.This is a property I think really makes his work stand out from others. Although his work is obviously landscape, because of its huge scale the brushwork starts forming natural frameworks. This has encouraged me to start even doing rough work on larger scales in order to allow my self to become more expressive throughout processes.