Exercise 4: Looking at Context

This exercise asks us to look at Damien Hirst’s 1991 piece title The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. The work is essentially a steel and glass tank filled with blue formaldehyde and a suspended shark. The piece is also referred to as ‘the shark in formaldehyde’.

We are asked to answer to following questions:

• Write down a few words giving your first reaction to the piece.
Weird. Scary. Ugly.

• Do you have an emotional response to it?
The thought of the formaldehyde makes me feel a bit queasy. The work in general … Read the rest

Exercise 3: Reading About Art

This exercise asks us to read an excerpt from Art History: The Basics by Grant Pooke and Diana Newall (2008, Abingdon: Routledge) and make notes of anything interesting, as well as writing down any new terms or words we come across.

The first thing that struck me was the amount of words that I normally know the meaning of, but had to actually look up to see how they were being used in this context. Here’s a list, along with some other definitions that were new to me:

Arbitrary: Founded on or subject to personal whims, prejudices, etc.

AestheticRead the rest

Project 1: Exercises 1 & 2

Marcel Duchamp, 1917, Fountain, photograph by Alfred Stieglitz
Marcel Duchamp, 1917, Fountain, photograph by Alfred Stieglitz [Public Domain]

Exercise 1 asks us to write down a few words about our first response to Marcel Duchamp’s piece Fountain, shown in the photograph.

Looking at the original work, right, I would say it does not surprise me that this is presented as a piece of art, but, at the same time, it does not appeal to me and I don’t understand how anybody could see this is art. My first impression, without looking up any further information about the piece, would be that it is representative of something important … Read the rest

Exercise 4 – Izabella Godlewska de Aranda’s Space, Time, Motion, Green

This exercise in the introductory section of the course asks us to try to find an image in the Bridgeman Education Library by searching ‘time contemporary’.

There were many results, but the work came up on the first page and can be seen here.

The full title of the piece is ‘Space, Time, Motion, Green, 2010’ and it’s a mixed media work by spanish artist Izabella Godlewska de Aranda. The description notes that it is an homage to Mark Rothko, who was a Russion-American abstract artist whose signature style could be described as ‘fields of colour’ and some of … Read the rest