Cheung had many influences, one of which was J G Ballard. I was interested in exploring this as I can remember reading his short stories as a teenager. Ballard presented many different views of the future, generally as dystopia, or as in 'The Concentration City', Hell itself. Again, 1500 words was not enough.
Ballard, J. G. (2006) The Complete Short Stories: Volume 1. London: Harper Perennial.
Ballard, J. G. (2001) The Atrocity Exhibition. London:
I have cited this book as one of my key texts on my poster. I had originally planned to begin by analysing Cheung's work and then progress to a discussion about the apocalypse in modern art, but 1,500 words was not enough. This is an interesting area - after the actual apocalypse of the holocaust and Hiroshima/Nagasaki, does art have anything to contribute? Or is its role to confront these events and reconcile them with continuing human existence? Or to point out that evil is still rife in the world? I also wanted to link this to Hannah Arendt's idea of the 'banality' of evil' and how this could be/is reflected in art.
Rosenthal, N., ed. (2000) Apocalypse: Beauty and Horror in Contemporary Art. London: Royal Academy of Arts
Canovan, M., (1974) The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt. London: J M Dent & Sons Ltd
These are some notes that I made when I was looking at 'Supercell' in the Edel Assanti Gallery on 27th October:
The painting is very large (150x200cm) and occupies the whole of the end wall of the gallery. The painting's background is stock market listings overprinted with digital images, but these are collaged in small rectangles from 3x4cm to 15x15cm in size. Some rectangles match with the surrounding ones but sometimes there is a discontinuity.
The colour is then built up with lumps and strings of multicoloured paint, in some places standing up to 6cm away from the surface. The streamers from the cowboy's saddle actually become separate from the canvas as if the paint strips had been created separately and then stuck on. There are many different textures in the paint, from broad smears to small spiky dabs that mimic the bull's hair. Other pieces of paint look like coil ribbons. The paint is sculptural.
The sky is separately collaged and then spray painted. The round suns look like separate disks that have been added. There is a horizon with what could be a sun setting over a lake but the mountains appearing above the layer of cloud turn it into something more tangible like the mushroom cloud of a nuclear explosion with fire beneath it. The bull is walking on water, making ripples but not sinking.
Stepping back, the painting as a whole has a nightmarish, hallucinogenic quality - lost in an acid world. Ruins on the right and left of the image give the impression of a post apocalyptic world. The cloud layer definitely takes the form of a nuclear explosion. The cowboy's hand reaches out towards the viewer - in a plea?
The book by Jackson Barry finally arrived and it is very interesting. The reason it took so long is that it is the american edition of the book - this means that the reference I have been using is incorrect - the publisher should be 'New York: St. Martin's Press'.
The website http://www.artisancam.org.uk/pages/artists.php?artist=gordon has a number of videos showing how he constructs his work.
He begins by selecting images from a vast range that he has collected from the internet and combining them to create an new and original image. He prints this onto a base layer of collaged stock listing pages from the Financial Times. He then uses paint, oil pastels and ink to create the finished piece of work.
I am still waiting for the book that I am going to use as one of my key texts to arrive:Barry, J. (1999) Art, Culture and the Semiotics of Meaning: Culture's Changing Signs of Life in Poetry, Drama, Painting and Sculpture. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
It was dispatched on 21 November but still hasn't turned up.
I have read Daniel Chandler's book:
Chandler, D. (2007) Semiotics: the Basics. 2nd ed. Abingdon: Routledge.
It is an excellent book and has given me lots of ideas, but I would still like to read an account of semiotics that is more specifically related to painting.