Tuesday, January 21, 2014

'Meditations on the Frame'

At the suggestion of Georgia Chrischilles I am reading 'Meditations on the Frame' Jose Ortego y Gasset and have left two paintings from the fugitive image series in her gallery at 58 Rue des Minimes. 

Several statements have a particular resonance and I find I want to read and re-read them to savour their meaning and to contemplate them in relation to what I am trying to do by painting the frame inside the frame, or painting self-conscious or self-aware images that 'de-pict' the conventions of pictorial space including the frame/s.  

The texts below are translated from the Spanish by Andrea L. Bell. 

Pictures live housed within their frames. That association of picture and frame is not an accidental one. Each has need of the other. A picture without a frame has the air about it of a naked, despoiled man. Its contents seem to spill out over the four sides of the canvas and dissolve into the atmosphere. By the same token, the frame constantly demands a picture with which to fill its interior, and does so to such an extent that, in the absence of one, the frame will tend to convert whatever happens to be visible within it into a picture 

The painting, like poetry or music, like all works of art, is an aperture of unreality that opens magically unto us in our real world.

When I look at the painting, I enter an imaginary space and adopt an attitude of pure contemplation. Wall and painting, then, are two antagonistic and uncommunicative worlds

The work of art is an imaginary island that floats surrounded by reality on all sides. 

The indecisive nature of the boundaries between the artistic and the living disturbs our sense of aesthetic pleasure. hence the picture without a frame, confusedly blending the boundaries with the pragmatic, extra artistic objects that surround it, loses all elegance and suggestion. What is needed is for the real wall to terminate quickly and abruptly, so that we may find ourselves suddenly and without hesitation in the unreal territory of the picture. An isolator is needed and that isolator is the frame. 

As the frontier for both regions, the frame serves to neutralise a brief strip of wall. 

The painted canvases are portholes of ideality which perforate in the mute reality of the walls. They are openings of illusion into which we can peer, thanks to the beneficent " window", the frame.  

Have started drawing as an 'artist in residence' in the classroom and plan to work on a series of these drawings over lunch and/or after school both as a practical demonstration and teaching tool and as a way to continue to exercise observation drawings skills as a basis for exploring and developing printmaking processes with layers of drawn and other marks both in school and in the printmaking studio at Uclan over Easter. The small sculptures on the table were carved in breeze block and coated with plaster an then sanded smooth. They are derived from bone and pebble forms. 


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