Journal of History of Modern Art 2021 KCI Impact Factor : 0.88

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2008, Vol., No.23

  • 1.

    A Study on Gordon Matta-Clark's 'Building-Cuts': Psychological and Sociological Significance of the Physical Holes

    장다은 | 2008, (23) | pp.7~38 | number of Cited : 1
    Gordon Matta Clark(1943-1978) a leading artist in the Activism and Anti-architectural movement during the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. From 1971 to 1978 he made 'Building-Cuts', intentionally creating holes in architectures inYork and Europe. This study focuses on why and how he treats obsolete buildings to compelpeople to see cut and split houses. To answer these questions, I primarily analyze visual qualities of Building-cuts in retrospect to the art and architecture in Matta-Clark's time period. By looking at his work in this context, I could find that divisions and holes in ruined houses of that timeconstitute main characteristics of Building-cuts, and I intended to interpret them in the psychological and sociological field. The progressively extended structure, "the physical form includes psychological intention, effects and is finally understood sociologically according to artist's intention", provides us with the system to synthesize elements of Building-cuts partially mentioned by most critics and art historians. In Chapter I, in comparison to Minimalism, Earth Art, Installation Art in alternative spaces, I make clear that Matta-Clark's Building-cuts directly reconstruct the whole building differently from others' works only focusing on architectural scale and materials or just adding minor renovations to the building. This characteristicasks us to examine his works in terms of architecture field. He studied architecture in Cornell University for 5 years, and the architectural conventions he had learned at that time are inscribed in his Building-cuts. However, he un-builds rather than builds, resisting and destroying established architectures. This aspect is connected with the architectural ideas of his father, Roberto Matta who is a surrealism painter and architect. Matta-Clark always wanted people to walk inside and experience the cut buildings. The theme of bodily perception, which is to appreciate artworks while walking in the space where works are installed,originated from minimalism in the late 60's. In chapter II, comparing Matta-Clark's Building-cuts to minimalism in the subject of perception, I analyze the unique effects of perception and psychological elements which Matta-Clark intended. In contrast with unitary form in minimalism, Building-cuts makes divisions between the inside and outside of a building, pointing out that people get dispersed perceptions once inside the building. In the course of this appreciation, houses which feel cozy and familiar are experienced in an unfamiliar and fearful way. These kinds of feelings toward houses are linked to the Sigmund Freud's concept, 'Uncanny'. Several existing studies mention this perspective in Matta-Clark's works, but briefly. In this study, I tried to make a close inquiry into this perspective with Freud's original reference and Matta-Clark's personal history. Matta-Clark transforms ruined houses into uncanny views and says that we should see them. This strategy is connected to his criticism of society. He thought that there were more buildings in New York than were necessary, and old buildings were being removed for the construction of new buildings in pursuit of stimulating capitalism. In chapter III, I research Matta-Clark's attack on metropolitan capitalism with his Building-cuts and how psychological elements are developed into sociological connotations. To accomplish this, I first prepare a theological base through Walter Benjamin's theory and then verify the development carefully examining Matta-Clark's works. Matta-Clark wanted to raise the alternative idea or plan for architecture by comparing new and old buildings in the work of group, 'Anarchitecture' which he named and led. Making a psychical shock through juxtaposing old and new buildings and using that energy for social revolution was based on Benjamin's ideas. He hoped that people would awaken from the illusion of capitalism by being shocked from seeing the image composed of the montage of illusions of progression and ruin of the past. Matta-Clark was fascinated with Benjamin's revolutionary nihilism and juxtaposed the past and present through cutting buildings which made people notice ruins. Also he used psychical energy from this strategy for criticizing metropolitan capitalism. One of his late works in Paris, Conical Intersect (1976) demonstrates this process and the resulting effects well. With the closing interpretation of his Paris work in the end of this thesis, this study reveals the interpretation of Matta-Clark's Building-cuts with the progressive process that 'physical holes are developed out for the psycho-sociological meaning'. Namely, physical holes in Building-cuts are dispersively perceived making people feel uncanny, and finally reveal critical interpretation of circulating consumption of capitalism. The interpretation of this process helps synthesize elements which many critics have vaguely or sporadically indicated, making it a significant point of this thesis.
  • 2.

    The Alchemy of painting: Sigmar Polke's heterogenic painting

    김향숙 | 2008, (23) | pp.39~72 | number of Cited : 0
    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the connection between the materials and production of Heterogenic-Painting from Sigmar Polke (1941- ). After 1960, Sigmar Polke and Gehard Richter tried to use paper or plastic fabrics to produce dot-painting due to accepting the American pop art and along with that, they tried to use glittering laca to invent mirror-painting which had the characteristic of a mirror. After 1980, metal-powder and pigment was used instead for paintings to show the possibility of Pigment-painting which was the esthetics of material art. However, as time passed by, finished art works’ generic characters changed and became metamorphic art works. The metal-powder and pigment that Polke used for producing his art works showed chemical reactions which made blowhole and toxicity to occur and made it difficult to include the art work in Heterogenic Painting. The connection between condensation and collapse of the materials and duplication and permeation became an important role of one of his techniques of Heterogenic Painting and his techniques became a key point to analyze Heterogenic paintings. Sigmar Polke also produced a type of painting called Chameleon-Painting which indicated the change in color due to the temperature, humidity and thermo sensors. Furthermore, Polke applied the theory of an object having two sides to produce transparence screens where one can see through the front and the back side of the screen. This technique of transparence double canvas made the paintings more genuine and through the transparency of the screens, it provided the spectators to have various perspectives by looking at the art work. Such changing in Polke’s paintings showed not the false and truth but the right and truth of his art and he challenged himself by searching for the truth. To find the truth, he started to look through from the beginning of art, perhaps from multi-media or from nature science or from hermetic, and used a rare repertory that nobody tried before. To show the truth of the paintings, Polke’s first indication was to color laca in many layers on the plastic fabric synthesis-canvas and after the coloring of laca he used metal-powder and cosmetics which made blowholes and permeation to occur and made the process of the painting more vividly visible through the connection of metal-powder, cosmetics, blowholes and permeation. This painting removed the surface of the painting and made it as a chameleon. It also showed metamorphose of the paintings which was Polke’s special feature. Secondly, through the transparency of the double canvas he only showed the truth itself. In the double canvas, everything was moved and it emphasized the change in screens. Those kinds of methods made one experience the different levels of the paintings time to time as if there were many layers and structures of a skirt in a picture. Additionally, one can appreciate the painting 360 degrees and it avoids having one perspective of a painting but provides various perspectives. Thirdly, the art that Polke titled “objekt trouve” , because many different kinds of fabrics were used, also showed the usage of real materials of an object not manufactured ones. The truth of a painting means the nature of the material not a reproduction. In this way, Polke desired to show the truth of the surface of the painting as well as the truth of the perspectives and materials of paintings.
  • 3.

    Georges Rouault - 「Human Condition」

    Kim Hyun-wha | 2008, (23) | pp.73~110 | number of Cited : 1
    Goerges Rouault(1871-1958) was born to a poor working class parents. Although economically indigent, his family members were artistically talented and loved arts. His maternal grandfather liked paintings and collected the lithographs of Honnore Daumier and the reproduction paintings of Rembrandt, Gustave Courbet, and Eduard Manet, and such a hobby of his maternal grandfather stimulated Rouault's artistic aspiration. Also, his family members were Christians, and this influenced Rouault's deep piousness. He was apprenticed the stained glass in his childhood, and entered in 1891 Ecole Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts à Paris where he painted in the symbolist and mystic styles while being taught by Gustave Moreau(1826-1898). Around 1903 he participated in modern artistic movements and changed dramatically in his painting style while sharing a studio with his friends from Montmartre such as albert Marquet(1875-1947). Rouault is called a Fauvist, but he was not constrained by the formulae of Fauvism. The Fauvist expression of shapes and structures through colors can certainly be found in the works of Rouault, but Rouault's originality is manifested by his use of the technique that reminds one of stained glass and the metaphorical images that resemble the icons of the Byzantine period. Rouault was fascinated by and sought after the radiance of mysterious light through a technique of stained glass. The art of Rouault is divided into three different periods starting from 1903 when a conspicuous stylistic change occurred: the early period from 1903 to 1918 when World War 1 was ended; the middle period from 1919 to 1945; and the late period after 1945. In the early period Rouault mainly painted prostitues with watercolors, in the middle period turned to oil paintings and started to make paintings whose subject matter was puppeteers, which continued to his late years, and concentrated his concern on religious subjects in the late period. The coherent interest of Rouault lies in human being, especially human beings in pain. Even Christ was portrayed as a human being who suffered in his paintings. From 1905 to 1907 Rouault asked street prositutes to pose for him and frequently painted them. Repulsively contorted and distorted appearances of those prostutes seem to expose the despair felt by Rouault in front of human beings' fall, and the violent black lines, which flexibly overlap each other, suggest the misfortune, corruption, and moral degradation of prostitutes. From 1910, Rouault abandons little by little his light technique mixing watercolor, ink, and pastel in favor of oil painting. His works become firmer and gain in plasticity. According to a letter to his friend André Suares, a religious wtriter, it is precesely in 1915 that he begins the search for a less lyrical approach than previously. During his childhood years Rouault visited many low-priced circuses in the suburbs and envied the liberal life of the circus performers. Rouault's attachment to acrobats was started around 1902 and continued to his late years. To Rouault, acrobats seemed not to be bound by anything and to be freed from daily constraints. Acrobats are, for him, human being with freedom and dreams but at the same time wounded ones who are groaning at the lowest level of society. And in his paintings, the faces of acrobats start to resemble the face of Christ who died on a crucifix. Regardless of his subject, whether a king, an acrobat, or a prostitute, the world delivered by Rouault the most eminent religion painter in the twentieth century. How influential has been Rouault's art in the Korean art scene? With the introduction of Fauvism to Korea, Rouault was naturally received by the Korean public. The visual language of Fauvism was the symbolic style of those artists who had nothing to do with the government and did not participated in Joseon Art Exhibition, which was organized by the government. As the unrestrained expressive mode of Fauvism was employed by outside artists to reveal their liberal artistic consciousness, Fauvism was not developed to establish a coherent artistic group or movement, but was integrated into the methods of individual artists. They did not logically comprehend Fauvism, and they did not hold fast to the theories and concepts of Fauvism. It might be natural that those artists who wanted to be free in their art-making did not analyze Fauvism theoretically or did not investigate the art of each Fauvist of the West. In the case of Rouault, it is equally difficult to discover artists or artworks influences by him. Among the artists of this period, Ku Pong-ung and Lee Jung-sup were most influenced by Rouault. In Ku's <Woman>, the black outtlines, coarse texture, and the color scheme demonstrate something of Rouault's work. With the exception of several works, most paintings by Lee demonstrate the influence of Fauvism: his crude and liberal brushwork, though somewhat different from that of Fauvism, creates an expressive flow of lines. Not all of Lee's works remind one of Rouault's art, but it is certain that Rouault's artistic style can be found in Lee's some paintings whose expressive vocabulary manifest Lee's liberalness and passionate and rebellious life. Several pieces of his Bull Series made in the 1950s show many artistic traits similar to Rouault's. A certain connection to Rouault can be discerned through the violent and rapid brushwork and the black lines that unite forms and background rather than separating the former from the latter. Yet, Lee's Bull Series also render the rural atmosphere peculiar to Korea and the joys and sorrows of Korean people, and in this respect the art of Lee differentiates from that of Rouault. The artistic manners of Fauvism were received in general, and the styles of many different fauvist artists are combined in the work of a Korean artist. As examined so far, it is difficult to observe the direct influence of Rouault upon the Korean art scene. Indeed, there were many Korean artists who liked Rouault's art, but they did not attempt to grasp its depths in a systematic and logical way. They excerpted from it what they need in accordance with their own artistic tastes. It can be concluded, therefore, that a direct reception of the art of Rouault did not occur in the Korean art scene. Korean painters interpreted the artistic modes of the West such as Impressionism and Fauvism in their own way so as to formulate the originality of Korean art.
  • 4.

    Feminist Art' of 1980s in Korea: 《Wuri botmureul teuja》exhibition

    Kim Hyeonjoo | 2008, (23) | pp.111~140 | number of Cited : 6
    The history of feminist arts in Korea has now exceeded twenty years. Writing the history of feminism implies cultural discussions as well as activist movements for women's rights. So is the case of writing the history of feminist art. Most Korean art historians wrote that the feminist art of 1980s was led by the female activist artists engaged with Minjung art, and from the early 1990s, it was substituted by cultural inclinations. Considering that art practices in feminism had begun around the mid eighties, 1980s was a relatively short period in the history of feminist art in Korea. It is the 1980s, however, where we could notice strong resistance and dynamism in the process of adopting the completely new art practices and discourses. Those were the years in which not only old and new terms such as 'yeoryu misul(여류미술)', 'women's art', and 'feminist art' were vaguely used, but also activist and cultural movements in feminism were confronting and compromising. Most of the studies on art in the 1980s concentrate on 'Women's Art' which were prominent at the time. Refusing to be called as yeoryu(여류) or feminists, the term was designated by the female artists who took part in the activist movement in liberating working class women. As a result, alternative art practice in feminism, whose agendas cover gender differences, femininities, and female sensibilities in mind, was hardly visible. This paper explores alternative feminist art practices in the 1980s which are different from Women's Art. By bringing an unrevealed exhibition in 1988《Wuri botmureul teuja: yeosung heibang si wa grim eu mannam (우리 봇물을 트자: 여성 해방시와 그림의 만남)》to light, this paper proposes it was not unfolded in unilateral dominance of Women Art, as it was discussed in most previous studies. On the contrary, this study discloses that more than one voice was conflicting during the period. The exhibition was organized by "Alternative Culture", also known as "Tomoon", a feminist group which was founded in 1984. It was realized through one year of collaborations among four female artists, Suknam Yun, Tjinsuk Kim, Youngsook Park, and Jungyop Chung and female poets of Tomoon. Main subjects of this exhibition entail the reality of women's subjugation, the awareness of self and feminist consciousness, and the practice of women's liberation through experienced maternity and the bond of sisterhood. These were all 'women problems' proposed in the feminist cultural movement during the 1980s, and the four women artists tried to interpret poems, exploring to find unique ways to visualize them. The positions that the four artists took were different from those of male artists who did not accept the differences of women and men, and from the ones of female artists who ignored the differences among women as well. Even though it failed to attract attention, the exhibition has a profound significance because it is both the earliest fruition of cultural collaborations among feminists in other fields and a proof of alternative feminist art practices. Nevertheless, this exhibition has been neglected for twenty years. This paper discusses the exhibition in scrutiny, suggesting another mapping of 1980s' feminisms in art. In conclusion, it makes clear that the different levels of feminisms in art coexisted in the 1980s - one is the Women's Art engaged into the women's liberation movement in particular circumstances in Korea, and another is the feminist art intervened to cultural transformation with the awareness of gender differences
  • 5.

    Gaze of Surveillance: The Film and Video Installation of Ann-Sofi Siden

    Hyesook Jeon | 2008, (23) | pp.141~168 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Ann-Sofi Sidén(1962-)is Swedish artist who have combined performance and video/film under the influence of Conceptual Art since 1980s. Her works and her portrayals of human mind resemble research projects into the history of mentality, where the recurring subjects are vulnerability, exposure, surveillance and control. She seeks out the hidden conflicts and frictional twilight zone of our contemporary power structures. Her works treat with concepts such as normality, abnormality and grasp on reality. This essay threats with the surveillance and control in Sidén's works. Several of her works calls into question our concept of control and observation and its antitheses. They are video installations such as "Who Told the Chambermaid?"(1999), "It's by Confining One's Neighbor That One is Convinced of One's Own Sanity I, II"(1994-5), "Would a Course of Deprol Have Saved van Gogh's Ear?"(1996), and a film "QM, I Think I Call her QM"(1997). These are based on the discourse about the power and knowledge of Michel Foucault. The video installation "Who Told the Chambermaid?"manages to transform one's experience of the entire museum apparatus at first glance, both in the case of the viewer's visual apparatus and in tue museum's organizational exhibitive structure. The thematization of hidden infrastructures and power relationships inside an apparently 'neutral' exhibition space has been one of art's greatest ambitions in the last few years. In it we can see a contribution to the unmasking of power mechanism. The installation "It's by Confining One's Neighbor That One is Convinced of One's Own Sanity I, II" tells the story of real-life of Alice E. Fabian, a psychiatrist of New York who lived and worked alone in the townhouse, where she gradually developed a paranoia that seems sprung from the security-paranoia of McCarthy era. And the fictional figure of QM(the Queen of Mud) has been with Sidén since the late eights. She is something of a symbolic figure that contains both a creation story and a science fiction who shows all signs of being of the female gender, has both mammal features and reptilian mud-covered skin. In the film "QM, I Think I Call her QM", QM meets with the story of Dr. Fabian. The film in which fact and fiction are merged, records how she treats her as prisoner, pet, patient, and even estranged daughter, and how she use the surveillance media. The mechanism of media that the artist uses for accusing surveillance and control, would exercise the very surveillance and control again on the viewers. It is the core of this essay that is grasping the psychological meaning of action of media(camera, video, film).
  • 6.

    A Criticism of Beaument Newhall's The History of Photography

    최봉림 | 2008, (23) | pp.169~196 | number of Cited : 0
    Beaumont Newhall's The History of Photography owes its origin to the catalogue of the exhibition Photography 1839-1937 at The Museum of Modern Art in 1937. In 1949, this catalogue underwent a change into 'world history of photography', revised and enlarged later in 1964 and 1982, through which the importance of U.S.A. in world history of photography has always been overestimated. Either unwittingly or consciously, such a nationalistic intention is apparent: Newhall, who became the founding curator of Department of Photography at Museum of Modern Art, N. Y. in 1940, and also from 1949 served as the first director of International Museum of Photography of the Kodak Company, imperialistic/multinational manufacturer of photographic materials and equipments, intended an implicit but evident declaration that the history of American photography correspond to that of world photography. Furthermore, Newhall's book reveals no little problems in classification. Ignoring the conventional classification of photographic genres, he juxtaposes actualities, portraits, and fashion photographs simply because they have been appeared in the press; then again, photographs of almost the same context both in production and consumption are sometimes divided into different categories: although chosen from among the photo essays published in Life magazine alike, one belongs to 'Documentary Photography', and the other to 'Photojournalism'. These are not all the examples of the inappropriate classification he applied. Sometimes he attempts a detailed categories, sometimes a extensive. He subdivides the 19th century's art photography, which regarded the main trends of painting as an exemplar in order to elevate photography to the status of fine art, into 'Narrative photography' and 'Art Photography', whereas 'The Quest for Form' covers all European photographic avant-garde movements and experiments by 1920s: New Vision, Russian Constructivism, John Heartfield's photo-montages, and photo-collages of Dadaism and Surrealism are mingled multifariously in no more than 17 pages. Newhall's The History of Photography is one of the most influential comprehensive texts in English on general history of photography. Even so, it is a 'world history of photography' vitiated by the nationalistic prejudices and the inappropriate classifications.