Monthly Archives: March 2008

As long as I was revisiting work from the summer, I couldn’t forget the Centaur Chicken! This is CentauE, holding her egg on her shoulder- now in a nice Bronze color. Now I really need to create a better base for her- without snapping a leg off.

These lads also found themselves with new color. 

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I created this figure last year, and thought it would be nice to check back in with her. I gave her a patina this week, and now am considering doing the same for my Centaur Chickens. The raw plaster flattens the form quite a bit more than I had realized- the form’s dynamics are much easier to engage with now. I gave it a bronze like patina, in part to see what she would look like in bronze. 






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I finally remembered to take the camera out to the new Nerman museum. In fact, my gal and I went out just to take picts, and I thought I’d focus on this piece first. This is the only piece that I forgot to take a reference shot of the artist’s info, so until my gal has lunch in the museum cafe and can sleuth the name, we’ll just call the artist Dropstitch Weft. This work is in the new Nerman Museum of Comterporary Art at the Johnson County
Community College in Overland Park (Cupcake Land), Kansas. This is the only
contemporary museum in Kansas, although just a White
Flight away are the great museums of Kansas City, MO.
Who would have guessed, another modern art museum with examples of Modular Repetition: MR-Repeating like forms with resultant grouping effect wherein individual forms are perceived as structure of larger mass. Forms can be uniquely created  for this purpose, or common objects recontextualized. (for more MR see two posts back…)



An aspect of the aesthetic experience of Modular Repetition is explained by the Principle of Perception of Gestalt Psychology as Closure– a tendency to perceive a set of individual elements as a single, recognizable pattern,  rather than multiple, individual elements.

This aesthetic is derived from the strict formal character of Minimalism’s conceptual bias. The altered context of the modular item strips it of its common use. The item is given a new context as media. Pop Art also utilizes the industrial everyday object, and since these are Pop-Bottle tops one might lean toward pidgeonholing it with the Pop movement; however this work has none of the socio-political references of the Pop Movement, focusing instead on the specific media without it’s cultural significance.
Weft brings an interesting shift to MR, fusing it with a Textile aesthetic. This rich tapestry is created with round bottle caps and rectangular bottle neck-bands (I think) The heavy dose of Obsessive Compulsive tying of the caps, in this instance meets with the general OCD of Textiles and so, blends into the logic of the process.





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This week I present a public art concept to committee, afterward I’ll catch you up with what that amounts to: in the meantime let’s think about some Museum ART.

Is this a bright idea? Maybe 49 bright ideas?. It is a solid example of a DangerIsm I call Modular Repetition. (DangerIsm’s are derived from my ongoing Syllabus of unlikely college-level classes, wherein I show students how to make Contemporary work that will immediately be received within the Post-Post-Modern paradigm.) 

Modular Repetition: Repeating like forms with resultant grouping effect wherein individual forms are perceived as  the structure of a larger mass. Forms can be uniquely created  for this purpose, or common objects recontextualized. Forms may be used to clinical/pristine/machined effect, or “ruined” and obscured to further formal unity. In either case, the work must show no process of creation that would be ascribed to a traditional mastery- ie there must be no “artist’s hand” present.

A trip to the hardware store by Jim Hodges (born 1957) resulted in this nice little example of Modular Repetition titled Dot (1999).

This work is entirely devoid of the artist’s hand, and shows no process of its creation. This machine aesthetic is a polar end of Mod.Rep. At the other end, we have Petah Coyne’s Untitled #827 (Three Tier Chandelier-1996). This example of Modular Repetition utilizes industrially created birds and ribbon, then drenches them in tar-like wax, unifying the form.

Both Dot and #827 have mastered the media/concept of Modular
Repetition, and the curator of the Kemper has cleverly hung them side
by side, as they both explore the “light fixture” theme, and derive their aesthetic from the same
art-historical paradigm, but in widely divergent ways.

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