Category Archives: Sophomore Seminar 2010

The End.

I’m done college…for now. So, this marks the conclusion of my academic blog.

Moving on!

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See you later 🙂


Uta Barth

Uta Barth, Ground, 1995

Mona Kuhn


I’ve been looking for this woman all semester, maybe longer. I came across her in the intro class last summer, fell in love with her work, and then lost her name. But I found my binder, or a part of it, from that class.


Mona Kuhn, France 2002-2008 Portfolio

BFA Artist Talks

The BFA talks were great. Having to eventually write an artist statement, today was a great learning experience.

Julie Hamel’s talk was very informative and answered a lot of questions about her work without people having to ask. I have talked to Julie several times about her work, and even still I learned things about her work and the way she works. As a photographer, this was obviously what I came to hear. I feel for Julie in her having to speak more technically about her work than the three painters who spoke about their work this afternoon as well. I understand this necessity, because the general public is not photoshop savvy. My favorite photograph of Julie’s was Untitled 5 (I think). It’s the one with the female figure behind the sheer fabric. I like this piece because it makes you question your position as the viewer.

I enjoyed Grace Cuniff’s talk the most because she was very honest, something I am going to try to do in my artist statement. I liked Grace’s sense of humor and her personal approach to both her work and her speech about it. My favorite painting before and after the speech was Bright Lights, Pink Tights. First, I liked it for the showy pose and strange attire. After, I liked it because of it’s associations with her appearance and how her appearance has affected her life and personality.

I did not know that Cara Cabral’s work was so psychological, and knowing that now I look at her work differently. I was not familiar with her work before the opening of the show, as is the case for most of the BFA students, so I did not have much of an opinion only having viewed it once. But at first I assumed her work was fun and free spirited, like Cara’s personality. Now I know that her work represents her way of dealing with her anxiety.

Michael Mackail’s work looks very accomplished, and after listening to his talk, I think that is because of his confidence as an artist. I especially enjoyed his consideration and reconsideration of the orientation of the canvas, especially in the case of Diving Board. I think this one stands out to me because of his relation of this painting to the uncertainty of his future.

Ways of Seeing Ch 5&7

I appreciate this authors acknowledgement of art history being overwhelming. The author states that he feels as if there is no distinction between the average painters and the outstanding- especially in museums. There is no explanation as to how they are fundamentally different.

Painting, oil in particular, is (in this book) considered to be greater than sculpture because it can portray color, temperature, space, and world. I can understand this in a way, having taken some painting and sculpture classes I know what goes into creating both. But the author also considers how paintings are done of things of worth (sometimes with actual gold paint). Paintings of live stock, property, and objects all represent the commissioner’s wealth.

Connecting chapters 5 and 7 is the idea of paintings as being permanent works of art, something to be kept and passed down or sold to a museum. Chapter 7 is about publicity images, which are not permanent like paintings, but last for only a second and then they are to be replaced by a new image.

These publicity images offer choices, and are only effective because they feed off of the illusion of something real. Envy fuels these images, because the images are really about the social relationships between people, not the objects they represent. The viewer is meant to envy “herself” (as quoted in the book, written by a man…hmm) as “she” will become if “she” buys the product. And thus other people will then envy her for having it, and so on.

Also connecting chapters 5 and 7 is the idea that these public images use the same language as paintings. Some are even direct mimics of paintings. But the idea of wealth and “you are what you own” from paintings correlates with the publicity images, with the exception that paintings depict what you already have. “The power to spend money is the power to live,” is a good excerpt from ch. 7 but speaks for both chapters.

But is it Art Ch 7

Digitizing and Disseminating

The human experiences of art has changed with technology, for the better and for the worse. I’m not really sure why the author wasted time saying that music videos on MTV aren’t art, because I think that’s pretty obvious. But I can appreciate the books citation of the Mona Lisa, because I hear that it is impossible to see it in person due to constant crowds of tourists, therefore it is better to see it from a computer (I also hear it’s quite cloudy and brown from age as well).

But speaking from experience of having the opportunities to see many great works in person, no slide can reproduce the way a single brushstroke creates a small highlight on a pearl earring. I saw the painting below last spring when the MFA was hosting the traveling show “Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese; Rivals in Renaissance Venice.”

Tintoretto, Susanna and the Elders, 1555

But is it Art Ch 6

Cognition, Creation, Comprehension

“Art energizes us.” (Included simply because I liked this quote from this chapter)

This chapter discusses what art expresses and how. There is the Expression Theory which talks about the feelings that art communicates, both conscious and unconscious (Tolstoy and Freud). Then there is the Expressing Ideas Theory, which says that expressing emotions is limiting, and that art also expresses ideas.

I guess it depends. Obviously art can express anything the artist wants it to; whether it be one emotion, one idea, or a million of both. Maybe some art is meant to express nothing in particular. One other thing discussed in this chapter is that all art should be open to interpretation, and that the more perspectives on a piece, the better understanding we should have as a whole.

Van Gogh, Wheatfield with Crows, 1890

Van Gogh is a painter I associate with expressing emotions in his works. This painting is supposedly the last painting he made before committing suicide, and I think it expresses both his feelings of loneliness and the idea of death as symbolized with the flock of crows and lack of human presence.