Saturday, January 28, 2006

Abstract thinking?

I was reading an article in the local newspaper about the installation of an art piece and the artist statement went like this: "How does one leap off the cliff of geologic reality into an ephemeral world where articulated paper only indexes geologic forces?" Let me just say at the beginning of this post that I am not a "deep" thinker. That's not to say I don't think about things, but when it comes to art I've realized over the years I'm a "visual" person. So when I read artist statements like this, I just don't get it. Part of it is I'm too impatient to actually analyze it, and part of it is the automatic frustration that washes over me because I DON"T get it. I've been thinking about this because I've been looking at the beautiful quilts in the new book ART QUILTS A CELEBRATION, and the artist statements in themselves are always thoughtful and provoking but sometimes (and not so much with these beautiful quilts) when I try to link them with what I'm looking at I go "HUH?" I guess that's the mystery and curiousity of art. I will just have to keep looking and try to be less literal.

And may I just say that the artist statement is harder for me to do than the piece I may have just finished working on for the last 4 months!


Sheril Drummond said...

Welcome to artful quilters. I just wanted to say that I agree about artist's statements. For myself I want to feel some extreme emotion when I look at the quilt- not when I read what the artist is thinking about the quilt.

Joanne S said...

A friend has offered to write "artist statements" for me. She says just tell her what show I'm trying to get in and the title or theme.

Left to my own devices-- I'd say "I made this and I used what I had around and when I got tired-it was finished."

jenclair said...

Language that deliberately (or not) obscures meaning annoys me. I also find the convention of writing artist's statements in third person annoying...and pretentious, rather like the royal "We."

You are right, who has time to analyze something so trivial? On the other hand, artist statements that I understand and find informative may really stick with me.