Anselm Kiefer: The Use of Nature in his Work

After seeing Kiefer’s work in Person in an exhibition in the Royal Academy I was highly inspired. There are so many different textures and surfaces within his work and seeing it in person has really inspired me to be more experimental with mixed media and to maybe play with mixing unconventional materials into my work. I am highly inspired by the confidence of his work and I am hopeful that one day people could view my work and think it was bold and confident. Also, I am looking at nature and a connection to place and landscape surroundings and nature is a recurring theme in Kiefer’s work. He mixes natural materials into paint and includes them on the surface of the work, something I would like to consider. I will definitely be revisiting Kiefer’s work in relation to my own.

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Anselm Kiefer’s mixed media work is highly inspiring and In terms of my project work, I can see a strong connection. He incorporates both natural imagery into his pieces as well as nature itself in the form of soil or rock or tree branches etc. This is highly relevant as I have been experimenting with adding natural forms to paint myself, admittedly inspired by the exhibition of his that I went to see.

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As well as adding unconventional material into paint, he also applies it to the surface of whatever he is working on. He really inspires me to want to experiment and play around with untypical ways of working and mediums. I have been experimenting with twigs in my work, but on a much smaller scale, Anselm inspires me to work on a larger scale (not quite as large as his work though).

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Combining the work of Anselm Kiefer, his use of nature and John Pipers work I think will make for a highly successful outcome. I intend to capture a connection to nature that John Piper talks about so much through actually including nature in the work. I also intend to include abstract shapes and mark making and influences from the colour palette of his work. For me, art is about experimentation and I am looking forward to playing with these ideas.

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ARTISTS RESEARCH: Artist’s that have created art in response to existing artworks

FOUNTAIN (AFTER DUCHAMP) BY SHERRIE LEVINE INSPIRED BY MARCEL DUCHAMPS FOUNTAIN

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Here is “appropriation artist” Sherrie Levine Fountain. A description by the Walker arts centre explains; “Levine’s sculpture is a contemporary urinal cast in the sculptors traditional precious metal, bronze. Polished to a brilliant shine, this piece is no longer a common, store bought item; it has been transformed by the artist into a unique object.” I do not particularly like this piece, but I think that is down to the fact that I am not a huge fan of the original. I feel that signing a urinal is quite pretentious and i don’t like the fact that an everyday object has been claimed as art without it really being significantly changed. However, in terms of appropriation and work being made in response to other work, I think that this is successful. This work clearly shows the influence of the original outcome and you can see the changes that have been made and the artist has put their own stamp on it in the form of adding polished metal.

ANDY WARHOL’S THE LAST SUPPER, INSPIRED BY LEONARDO DA VINCI’S ORIGINAL

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Da vinci’s most famous paintings, like his mural “The Last Supper” have been an endless source of inspiration for artists and pop-culture parodists. But it is Andy Warhol who elevated his depiction of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples to pop art iconography. I think in terms of pop art, this is successful in bringing old masters up to date but it is incredibly similar. In my work, I don’t want to produce something that incorporates the whole artwork copied and slightly adapted. I want to create a body of work inspired by my chosen artwork but the final outcome may not have an obvious direct link. It definitely will not be a copy of the original. I need to use the knowledge I gain from exploring my chosen object to create something professional and interesting.

ROY LICHTENSTEIN’S BEDROOM AT ARLES INFLUENCED BY THE VINCENT VAN GOGH ORIGINAL

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Another Pop art appropriation, Lichenstein’s 1992 work is an odd take on the original. Done in the style of a woodcut, it possesses Lichtensteins graphic aesthetic and saturated colours on van Goghs pale painting, replicating the latters anxious lines with the former’s cold, bold, straight ones. Equal Parts parody and tribute between the pieces. It underlines how different two takes on the same subject matter can be. i like this interpretation of the old classic and I think it has been appropriated well. I am intrigued by the fact that he has decided to keep some things the same, with a similar colour palette and bed shape. But then he has selected objects to change or add like the shirts which I feel is a very good example of appropriation and making the work your own under the influence of an existing piece of art. I will be selecting parts of Piper’s work to use as influence and parts that I wont.

GAVIN TURKS PIECE APPROPRIATED FROM THE PAINTING OF MARAT BY JACQUES LOUIS DAVID

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In terms of appropriation, Gavin Turk’s work is incredibly interesting. The work is in a sense quite similar to the original piece by Jacques Louis David. He has chosen to include the sheets and the figure’s pose but in wax. I find it intriguing that he has used the image of a four poster bed when there is no connection to that in the original and has chosen not to include things like the sheets of paper. There seems to be more life in the original piece and it is still too much of a copy for me in terms of inspiration for the process in my project.

GAVIN TURKS RESPONSE TO ANDY WARHOL’S ELVIS PRESLEY

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This work of Sid Vicious appropriates the stance from Andy Warhol’s Presley Screen Print. This for me is a great example of making work in response to something that you have seen. It is all original work, however the piece has been inspired by the stance of the figure and that is as far as it links in. This is a good example of a successful appropriation where the outcome is loosely based on the original piece.

THE ROSY WEALTH OF JUNE BY HENRY FANTIN LATOUR AND THE WORK OF ORI GERSHT

For me, this is an interesting appropriation, The final outcome does have some initial reference to the original painting, but the medium and idea behind the piece is completely different. There is a conflict between the two pieces, once shows a still life of some flowers and the other portrays a still moment of an explosion/action shot. I think this is a highly successful appropriation. You can see the original connection but it also is a stand alone piece.

EDWARD HOPPER’S HOUSE BY THE RAILROAD AND ALFRED HITCHCOCKS PSYCHO FILM SCENE

It was quite interesting to me to come across this and learn that film scenes can often be inspired by paintings.  It encouraged me to research film scene appropriations. This house perfectly fits in with the overall mood of the film but it has been changed from the original in shape to make it more angular and it being filmed in black and white adds to the eeryness.

FRANCISCO GOYA’S SATURN DEVOURING HIS SON AND GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S PAN’S LABYRINTH (FILM)

The painting SATURN by the Spanish artist GOYA.

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Toro discussed the art historical influences behind his dark fairy tale: Pan’s Labyrinth in a 2006 interview: “Goya was an obvious influence and reference, specifically with regards to the character, the pale man. There is a scene in which the pale man bites the head off the fairies. That comes from Goya’s painting, Saturn devouring his son. Appropriation is a highly interesting concept and my eyes are being opened to recognising artistic links within artwork or films or sculpture etc. I have watched this film quite a few times but have never thought about the Goya connection. This is a successful appropriation as the original influence does not directly jump out at you.

GLENN BROWNS THEATRE AND THE WORK IT WAS APPROPRIATED FROM: VINCENT VAN GOGH’S  A SKELETON WITH A BURNING CIGARETTE

Glenn Brown’s appropriation here reminds me of the veins and arteries and the make up of the human body. You can distinctly tell that this is the work of Glenn Brown but there is an obvious connection with the Van Gogh original. I think I want my work to be influenced by my chosen artwork and then progress to a tangent further away from the original and convey my own personal touch and expression within it.

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