Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ruined paper Propylaea and the art of memory

Started work on one of the collages from an earlier triptych by drawing the outlines on the gessoed wood panel and painting in an acrylic undercoat of ground colours to build on top of with oil paint. This helps me establish the balance between compositional elements like scale, proportion, positive and negative shapes and spaces, and to calibrate the tonal and colour resonance. 

This painting includes collage with photographic fragments of Greek classical architecture from old art history books, (in this case looking outwards through the door of the Propylaea which forms the monumental gateway to the Athenian Acropolis, and here frames a view of the city beyond and below which surrounds the sacred hill) and human figures in various poses from 19th century academic life studies for artists. 

The western wing of the Propylaea was used to house paintings of important battles in antiquity - a kind of monumental 'theatre of memory' for the ancient Greeks 

The Propylaea, the photographs and the paper collage are all in a state of ruin as they are slowly and inevitably composted by time....

Is this a reflection on how art and memory collude in the present moment with the construction of an imaginary future's past........ ? 

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