Tag Archives: eva hesse

Part 1 – research on artists mentioned in course materials

I have spent some time looking at art work and reading about artists mentioned in Part One of the course materials. These are my notes and reactions.

Jean Dubuffet – source: theartstory.org

He developed ‘harloupe’ from a doodle and believed the style evoked the manner in which objects appear in the mind. I can see this plainly when looking at his work. I wonder how this would translate to me as my ideas tend to come when I’m walking to and from work and go into a dream like state. My ideas appear as words and concepts first but I would not want to be tied to reflecting those words in all of my art work.

I spent time with a number of his works (L’Arnaque, Rue des Petits Champs, Portrait de Jean Paulhan, Lever De Lune aux Fantomes, Textural Transcription, Soil ornamented with vegetation, dead leaves, pebbles, diverse debris). I was pleased to see him using gouache which, like drawing, often feels like the poor relation to oils. Like many artists influenced by the surrealists Dubuffet had a disdain for high art and used childlike images and muted colours which I confess I don’t enjoy. They don’t lift my spirits like the colour of Odilon Redon‘s work or that of Dali.

Franklin McMahon (1921-2012) source: illustationart.blogspot.co.uk

McMahon was an artist / reporter who produced some 8-9.000 drawings mainly with charcoal pencil which he coloured using acrylic watercolour after. I was impressed with the speed with which he seemed able to work.

I looked at several of his drawings of (or featuring) buildings such as Pope John xxii, The Vatican and The Duomo Milan. I love Italian architecture so may have been biased by these but I really liked the effect of line and wash with such ornate buildings and this is something I would like to try. I have some very interesting buildings near my office which I can try this on.

Rachel Evans source: rachelevansart.blogspot.co.uk

Rachel was the first artist I researched from the course materials before I had begun reading Contemporary Drawing. I was surprised to see drawing taking central stage and becoming part of performance work. After reading the first few chapters of that book I now see how much drawing is now being accepted and respected as a medium in its own right and not simply as part of the learning and  process of preparing for a painting. This is confirmed by wider reading on the internet which has challenged what I thought in my first post on this log. I also read today the rumour that Tracey Emin has privately been taking drawing lessons. All of this, coupled with the fact the OCA are offering an entire degree pathway for drawing is an exciting sign of times.

David Shrigley – davidshrigley.com

I went to the drawings section of David’s website. My initial reaction was that I did not like his flat style of drawing although I enjoyed his wit (he seems to enjoy taking the p out of Damien Hirst e.g. with ‘Nutless’ and ‘I’m dead’. I was surprised to read he was a Turner Nominee – not because his work isn’t good but because I didn’t realise a broader spectrum of work receives that level of recognition. His work has grown on me as I have gone back to look at more of it and I will consider what I can take from his willingness to ignore correcting lines in his work which gives it character and realism.

Liz Harding, Michele Whiting and Ruby Stoyle – unable to find web sources

Paul Cesar Helleu – see this post

Connor Ragus – see this post

Eva Hesse (1936-1970) source: theartstory.org and notationsaboutdrawing.org

Hesse isn’t mentioned in Part One but I came across her in my wider reading and saw the connection between her repetitious grid  based work and guess that is where the first exercises in the course with circles comes from. On paper as it were, we should ‘get on’ artistically – she produces feminist art and apparently has a self proclaimed fascination with absurdity.

However in practice she seems to be a minimalist (which I’m not a fan of) who subverts the grid “to reassert the hand of the artist”. I spent time looking at Hang Up (1966), Ringaround Arosie (1965), and Untitled (1963-64 and 1967) but her drawings leave me cold.

Claude Heath – source: claudeheath.com

He produces 4D drawings and drawings made blindfolded. His is conceptual and process based drawing which “show the human mind” and “ask us to question our perceptions while viewing the results of his process of working”.

I have mixed feelings. I didn’t like Drawing 188 or Eucalyptus 2001 but Thorax, a print, showing a metallic style rib cage I found breathtaking. I love the monotone and unusual background colour as it lets the beauty and detail of the piece speak. The industrial almost metallic quality of the piece really jumps out at me and I can envisage this as a sculpture.


Tom Marioni – source: tommarioni.com

Marioni is a concept artist who uses various media including both drawing and sculpture. I looked at a variety of his drawings (Line Drawings, 1997, Out of Body, 2004, Drawing a line as far as I can reach, 1972, Drum brush drawings, 1972-2015 and A Rose 2008). I’m not a fan of concept art so struggled to find anything I liked enough to want to study in detail and consider what I could take from it. However I really liked the drum brush drawings and have some ideas for objects I can use that I can douse in charcoal dust and see what happens when I attack the paper with them.