Year 10 Art Assessment Term 2, Week 2, 2008

Naomi Verrell

"I make my work out of my everyday experiences, which I find as perplexing and extraordinary as can be." -Claes Oldenburg, 1960." Claes Oldenburg was born in Stockholm, Sweden on January 28, 1929. Oldenburg is a Pop Art sculptor who is well known for taken familiar objects from urban environments and everyday objects and turning them into sculptures that inspire our imagination through noticeable contrasts with the real world. Oldenburg was the son of a Swedish diplomat. The family moved to the United States in 1936 when he was only seven years of age. They lived in New York then later moved to Chicago. This is where he graduated from the Latin School of Chicago. He studied at Yale University (1946-50), and then returned to Chicago to study under Paul Wieghardt at the art institute of Chicago for four years. In 1953, he opened his own studio and became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1956, he moved back to New York and met an array of artists, including Red Grooms, Jim Dine and Allan Kaprow. Meeting these artists presented Claes with different aspects of art including theatrical which was different to abstract expressionism that had begun to dominate the art scene. Oldenburg’s first wife (1960-70), Pat Muschinski sewed many of his early soft sculptures. In 1977, Claes got re-married to a Dutch/American Pop sculptor named Coosje Van Bruggen.

La Bicyclette Ensevelie (The buried bicycle), 1990, is one of Four parts of a gigantic bike placed around Parc De La Villette, in Paris. The whole thing was made up of steel, aluminium, fibre-reinforced plastic and was painted with polyurethane enamel. It takes up an area of 150 ft. 11 in. x 71 ft. 2 in. The structural frame is used through these artworks because it portrays some of the elements and principles of design. Such as: - Line for the bicycle spokes. - Shape for the rim of the wheel (circle), seat (organic triangle), and the bell (semi-sphere). - Tone, when the sun hits the sculptures there will be shadows. - Texture, the enamel over the metal and plastic would give the sculpture a smooth feel to it. - Colour, Oldenburg has chosen to paint his sculpture will different colours, some colours include: white, black, orange, blue, and silver. The post-Modern frame is also used due to the fact that it is questioning art. People might think, why place a big bike in the ground? Is this considered art?? I believe it is, as I find it eye-catching and makes a bare park interesting. Audience - Wants the audience to feel small. - You would be amazed by its size. - Make you have an urge to go bike riding. Be left wondering what was his purpose in burying a big bike, what was the point he was trying to portray? World (France) - Peaceful. - Cultural. - Cycling was very popular. It was the 77th year of La Tour De France.

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Artist - He was making fun of art. He made the bicycle big to relate to the big cycling event that was taking place in Paris at the time.

La Bicyclette Ensevelie (The buried bicycle), 1990 Steel, aluminium, fibre-reinforced plastic and polyurethane enamel 150 ft. 11 in. x 71 ft. 2 in. Parc De La Villette, Paris.

Ken Unsworth Ken Unsworth was born in Bendigo in 1931 and originally started as a painter then began to do sculptures while he was working at Bathurst Teachers College in 1966. Unsworth works within the movement called ‘Earth Art’. He has held many solo exhibitions in Australia and also overseas. This includes a major survey exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1998. Unsworth’s work mixes light and darkness in ways that keep us off-balance. Some of his works have been displayed in the Mildura Sculpture Triennial, 1973 and 1978; The Australian Sculpture Triennial, Melbourne, 1981, 1984 and 1993; and the Biennale of Sydney, 1976, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990 and 2000. He has also taken part in some major international exhibitions including the Paris Biennale, 1985; Magiciens de la Terre (wizards of the Earth), Paris, 1989; and the Biennale of Istanbul, Turkey, 1995. Unsworth has received various awards around the world but his most outstanding is when he was awarded an Australian Creative Fellowship, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to sculpture. He now lives in Sydney.

Suspended Stone circle II, 1974-1977 103 river stones, wire 400.00cm diameter (overall) Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Suspended Stone Circle II is one of Unsworth’s levitation works. The sculpture is made up of 103 river stones, each weighing around 15 kg. They are held in place by three sets of wires tied to three rings anchored to the ceiling’s structure. The stones take the shape of a suspended circle/disc. The stones are hung so that they are perfectly balanced and are equally spaced so that their centre of gravity is exactly placed over its axis. This sculpture was conceived in the mid-seventies, and was constructed in 1985. It is considered to be the most popular contemporary work in the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Ken Unsworth has also used the structural frame through his artwork. This particular work shows the elements and principles of design in amazing ways. For example: - Line, He’s used the wire to make really sharp-straight lines. They’re so close together that it almost looks like there are nets holding the rocks up off the ground. - Shape, The river stones are uneven spheres and together, they all make a disc/circle. - Tone, Unsworth has used light in different directions around the room to give the sculpture tone in multiple areas, for e.g. underneath the stones. - Texture, The surface of the stones would have a flat yet rough feel to it and the wires would feel really tight and stressed from the weight its carrying. - Colour, This sculpture hasn’t been painted, so the colours come from the materials they’ve been made with. The stones are naturally a creamybrownish-orange colour and the wires are silvery-grey. Ken Unsworth has also worked within the post-modern frame by questioning art. Should stones held up by wire really be famous?? I think anything could be famous, depends on what type of artworks different people enjoy looking at because the audience are ones who make it famous. Audience - Would feel centred when they look at it. Would ponder on how it is positioned in such an interesting yet chancy way. - Would be tempted to touch it. - Would really look at it in detail. World (Australia) - Peaceful. - Cultural. Was taking on new influences.

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Artist Was trying to make the audience feel centred. − Wanted balance and showed it through this sculpture. He might have been referring to the universe and how we’re all afloat above everything.

The differences and similarities between: La Bicyclette Ensevelie By Claes Oldenburg - Was made in 1990 Was made with various materials such as; Steel, aluminium, fibrereinforced plastic, painted it with polyurethane enamel. - Claes used both the structural frame and post-modern. - The sculpture is displayed in Paris, France. - Oldenburg’s sculpture is very large. - He was born in Stockholm, Sweden. - Claes Oldenburg is a Pop Art artist.

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Suspended Stone circle II By Ken Unsworth - Was made in the mid-1970’s Ken Unsworth only used two materials; Wire and river stones and didn’t paint. - Unsworth used the structural frame and post-modern also. - The sculpture is displayed in Australia. - Unsworth’s work is also very large. - Ken was born in Bendigo, Australia. - Ken Unsworth is an Earth Art artist.

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