Over the years I’ve built up a pile of pieces that just didn’t work even though I had finished them. When I cleaned out my drawers recently I applied the FAT (file, act, toss) guide to decide their fate. Some I pitched (i.e., put in the to be cut up drawer, ) some I just put back, and some I reworked.
Here’s the before and after for some of the revisions.
I toned down the red/orange/golds in the upper left with two layers of green tulle and did more quilting. I added more lines to the right side, and carried through a line in the upper middle. I think it’s improved, but not perfect.
Z Is For Zoom Before:
Z Is For Zoom After:
The colors on Z never photograph the way they are, though the first photo is truer. I decided to break up the long horizontal lines with rolled on fabric ink. I’m thinking of adding more hand stitching to emphasize the new lines, but can’t work out colors.
7 Years of Bad Luck Before:
7 Years of Bad Luck After:
I really went to town on changing this one as I found it unwieldy. First a dye bath, then stamping with fabric ink. Now I’m thinking of cutting off the top bit, or maybe cutting out an irregular circle and facing it.
Stupendous Stitching Before (and after):
I created this practice piece in the Craftsy course Stupendous Stitching back in 2012. It sat in the drawer since then, even though I bound it. I decided the shape bothered me so I shortened it by cutting off the top bit, and adding new binding on the cut edge. I like it better now.
I find it educational to figure out what’s wrong with a piece and try to improve it. Some pieces can’t be improved without redoing them; but many can be dyed, painted, printed on, and cut up. If the amendments don’t work, all I’m out is some time.
I’ve linked up to Off The Wall Friday.
Update 11/29/18: I just read a post by Paula Kovarik about revisting old work.
Artistic Endeavors – Conceptual Art
To me, conceptual art has always evoked a wha?? response. Sol LeWitt’s wall drawing instructions will give you a flavor of this slippery beast. Mind you, the art is the instructions.
The first drafter has a black marker and makes an irregular horizontal line near the top of the wall. Then the second drafter tries to copy it (without touching it) using a red marker. The third drafter does the same, using a yellow marker. The fourth drafter does the same using a blue marker. Then the second drafter followed by the third and fourth copies the last line drawn until the bottom of the wall is reached.
Yep, Mr LeWitt wrote instructions for others to follow, like his Wall Drawing #51, “All architectural points connected by straight lines.” This means that each time his instructions are followed at a different location, the results will be different. Clever, but is it art?
According to LeWitt,
“What the work of art looks like isn’t too important. It has to look like something if it has a physical form. No matter what form it may finally have it must begin with an idea. It is the process of conception and realization with which the artist is concerned.”
PBS’s ‘The Case for Conceptual Art” tries to explain it all.
I can see some of the points made, but what puzzles me is how one gets from concept to fancy museum exhibits and deep pocket sponsors. Maybe it all boils down to the contextualization of art, but that’s a topic for another day.
Update on 8/29/18
Just came across this article on a Sotheby’s auction for an art concept. Here’s a quote from the article:
A humorous yet subversive work, Xuzhen Supermarket replicates a Chinese convenience store, housing a functioning cash register and an assortment of familiar merchandise available for visitors to purchase at normal retail prices. From tubes of Colgate toothpaste to bottles of local Kweichow Moutai liquor, each item lacks content, consisting only of its packaging. For visitors, each act of purchasing – or not purchasing – and corresponding thought-process, contributes to a playful yet penetrating critique on consumerism, advertising and global capitalism. The fact that the work is – for the first time – offered for sale at auction adds to the irony.
Filed under Commentary
Tagged as conceptual art, Sol LeWitt