MODULE 3: Biographical/Psychological review & proposal
THE DEBATE OVER REPRESSION, CONFESSION AND EXPRESSION.
Listen to the in-class lecture and participate in the class discussion.
Students have to turn in their art review or show proposal each week.
You should be ready to present your finished review or show proposal in class every week.
[ ] Write a review of an biographical artwork in town (see below for details).
[ ] Make a show proposal poster for your exhibition about a retrospective look back at a single artists life work or a single period of an artist's work and it's relation to their life circumstances. Think in terms of your favorite artist or an artist you'd love to see a retrospective show of and how their life is reflected in their work.
WRITING A PSYCHOANALYTICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL ART REVIEW
Goal: Try to relate an artwork or artworks to what was happening in an artist’s life, the artist’s interests or a crucial period in an artist’s development.
Preparing to Write:
- Select a work of art or works of art with some narrative or personal content.
- Do some internet research on the artist and the key events in his or her life.
- Investigate what is actually in the picture and how it may relate to the artist’s background, dreams, desires and motives.
- Ask yourself, if these images emerged from in the artist’s conscious or unconscious intentions? What could they possibly mean or imply about what the artist is trying to communicate?
- Try to focus as much on why an artist makes what they make as why it was made the way it is, or looks the way it looks.
- Remember, all art is part of a life story, so incorporate some of the artist’s life story and struggles into your art review.
- Almost all news reporting, especially tabloid report is a kind of sensational version of psycho-biography. Try not to write like a bad tabloid. Try to write like a well-informed news source.
- Make your writing interesting, full of observation and insights, but don’t assert your observations as facts unless they are indeed facts. Instead, explore the many possible motivations that exist for making any one work and don’t settle on just one single interpretation.
- Make sure to connect your insights to imagery. Don’t just tell the story of the life of the artist, instead, try to tell us how their work shows us something about their life. Be descriptive and engaging!
- Write the way you would want someone else to write about your life and art, with sincerity, thoughtfulness, and genuine considerations in discerning both your implicit and explicit motivations.
Hint: You should try to discover personal meanings behind the work or works of art that may not always be obvious at first, but which might form an important part of how we think about an artists’ work.
Art Review: 3-5 paragraphs, 1.5 type, 3-5 pictures when possible.
SHOW PROPOSAL POSTER EXAMPLES
Optional Reading (Art 560)
[ ] A Short Guide to Writing About Art. By Sylvan Barnet. Psychoanalytic Studies (pgs. 165-166)
[ ] Beginning Theory: An introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory. By Peter Barry. Chapter 5: Psychoanalytic Criticism
[ ] The Methodologies of Art: An Introduction. By Laurie Schneider Adams. Chapter 9: Psychoanalysis I: Freud & Chapter 10: Psychoanalysis II: Winnicott and Lacan
Online Resources: Biography
Writing About Art: The Biography
A list of great artist biographies on Amazon
Notable Artist Biographies
Bio. Famous Artists
What we learned from writing 7,000 Artist Bios
Online Resources: Psychology
How Artists See: Bringing Psychology to the Surface
Psychology of Art, Wiki
Alan de Botton on the 7 Psychological Functions of Art
Online resources: Psychology
The psychology of Creativity
The Psychology of Aesthetics
Art and Identity | Modern Art & Ideas
Artist Biographies and Documentaries
Artist Biographies for Kids
Artist Biographers / Psychological Interpreters
Biography / Psychology as Method
This method of writing often describes how an artist’s life and personal struggles are reflected in their works and their different periods of artistic production.
Example of a Biographical Art review: http://www.theartsbeacon.com/mala-breuer
Example of a Psychological Art review: http://www.theartsbeacon.com/artistic-alchemy/artistic-alchemy-and-the-transcendent-figuration-in-the-works-of-rachel-bess
CLASS DISCUSSION - How do you think an artist's life effects their work?
100 Best Galleries
Claude Monet, Champs-Elysees, 1840-1926, 780,000 visitors in 4 months
Yayoi Kunama: Infinite Obsession, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 754, 565
Picasso, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (2010), 703,256
Jeff Koons: The Retrospective, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 650, 045.
Anish Kapoor, Guggenheim, Bilbao, 601, 064
500, 000 +
David Grober: The Heart is Not a Metaphor, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 564, 917.
Yoko Ono: One Women Show 1960-71, Museum of Modern Art, 535, 270.
Salvador Dali, Instituto Tomie Ohatke, Sao Paulo, 537, 756.
Jean-Michel Basquiat: Nows the Time, Guggenheim Bilbao, 538, 475.
Van Gogh: The Adventure of Becoming an Artist, National Art Center Tokyo, 595,346.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Smithsonian American Museum, Smithsonian American Museum, Washington D.C., 586,000
The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Smithsonian American Art (SAAM), Washington D.C., 580, 400.
Carlos Amorales, NGV International, Melbourne, 512, 583.
Pierre Bonnard, Musee, d'Orsay, Paris, 510,412
Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts, 2010, Guggenheim, Bilbao
Cezanna, Philadelphia Musuem of Art, 1996, 548,000 visitors
J.W. Turner, Grand Palais, 1983-84 Paris, Half of a million Visitors (50th Anniversary of the British Council)
Yayoi Kunama: Infinite Obsession, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, Sao, Paulo, 522,136.
Ryan Trecartin: Re'Search Wait'S, NGV International, Melbourne, 493, 824.
Kandinsky, Everything Starts from a Dot, Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil, 441,865
Jeff Koons: A Retrospective, Guggenheim Bilbao, 493, 730.
Head: Milton Machado, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro. 447,799.
Ron Mueck, Pinacoteca do Estado, Sao Paulo, 402,117
Damien Hirst, Tate, 2012, 463,087
Rene Magritte, National Center Tokyo, 338,478.
Ai Weiwei, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, 372, 813.
Masters of Impressionism, Claude Monet, 2014, K11 Art Mall, Shanghai, 340,000 visitors
Rembrandt: The Late Works, National Gallery, 264,488
Late Turner: Painting Set Free, Tate, Britain, 267,704.
Ron Mueck, Museu, de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janerio, 298,848
Sonia Delaunay, Tate Modern, 141,637
Sam Taylor-Johnson, Saatchi Gallery, London, 116,426