Contemporary context

I want to return to a point that I made in the Kandinsky post; the contemporary world needs beautiful things that distract us from our technology. Something that is different from the advertisement bombardment or even natural beauty which we have unfortunately become so accustomed to.

I have been focussed a lot on the Kandinsky and other 1900’s artists, but I don’t see that their world is much different from ours. What they lived with as far as politics and economics have parallels; the uncertainty in such a radicalised political environment fro one thing. The contemporary artists that I have found seem to agree with my desire to explore the modernist and other early to mid-1900’s movements. I think we all have a desire to experience what it is to be part of such a pivotal movement, finding new ways of presenting the core of our practice.

For me, this is in the pursuit to understand the language and dynamics of colour, and to use this exploration to chart my own course in the art world.

Click on the names to see more about the individual contemporary artists who have appeared in my research during the project thus far:

Niale Orsmond

Robert Holyhead

Exhibition at Waddington Custot “Colour is”

– A collection of works that bring together contemporary ideas about colour theory and how they can be expressed by current artists, in reference to traditional colour theory ideas. The Anthony Caro “Floor Piece He” is curious as it explores the colour of shadow. While this does not directly relate to my work, it does better represent an idea that I am trying to explore with the white overlayed forms; that light, and absents thereof, can affect the perception of colour. The white is usually used as a tool for illumination, but when overlayed colour it can dull the vibrancy of the colour underneath, creating tonal depth.

Ian Davenport / Morris Louis

Ian Davenport @ Waddington Custot Gallery

Form, Colour and Plan

 – Although work in this exhibition is more early 1900’s than contemporary I would like to suggest that installation method is has a more contemporary feel. I am referencing the exhibit to show how colour can be overwhelming but also infinite in its veriaty. As with a lot of abstract art, there is an argument that it is easy, and can be repeated, but if history can tell us one thing; while artists may seem to imitate one another, the hand of the individual is always present in the artworks!

David Batchelor

Gary Andrew Clarke

– Clarke describes his work as hard-edge painting and geometric abstraction. The work does use colour theory in its composition but it seems to focus mainly on the interaction of the forms. The paintings use the colour to push the forms backwards and forwards, giving depth to the paintings, in addition to the very pure lines that do not mix. While these paintings to not have the textural quality that I prefer they do have a wonderful variety. With his collection reaching into the 100’s it is nice to see what commitment to a project can achieve. I have already mentioned that the possibilities for my colour code studies are infinite and Clarke’s work emphasis’ this for me. The positive thing about my work is that the paintings are done in pairs so that the colours can be mixed, resulting in even greater numbers of possibilities.


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Jessy Plant

A Brighton born artist, now studying a Fine Art Degree at Cardiff Met Uni.

One thought on “Contemporary context”

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