Here are the 3 finished Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled sculptures. I used the same flat black paint to finish them as I did for the A Theory of Forms and Ideas sculpture series. I left the back sides unpainted because I only needed the fronts to be finished to create the illusion of a finished sculpture in the final photos. I did the same thing when I created The Problem of a Compounded Abstraction (The Field) by only finishing the front two sides and the tops of the back 2 pieces to create the illusion that the whole sculpture was finished when in fact the sides that can’t be seen in the photo are unfinished. By doing this though I have created a dilemma since I now feel obligated to show the photos of the unfinished backs as part of the final product. In a way I have to decide if this is a dialogue that I want to be having or if it only complicates the narrative of my sculptures. I’ll probably edit out the photos of the backs but I like the idea that it further enhances the inherent illusion of photographing three dimensional objects.
Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled is a book written by Marcel Duchamp and the German chess master Vital Halberstadt which aims to reconcile the alleged differences between positions of opposition and the concept of sister squares in chess.
“Duchamp and his coauthor set about to prove that theories of opposition and theories of ‘sister squares’ are actually one and the same, and that they represent only variant methods by which to solve essentially the same endgame situation.”
Here is a third sculpture for the series Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled.
I saw an exhibition of Dieter Rams’ work at the San Francisco Museum of Art in 2012. He was an industrial designer who worked for Braun from the 1950’s on and designed many products from record players and radios to furniture and shelves. I really enjoyed this show, probably because I like the aesthetic of industrial design as a concept. I generally don’t like design and distrust it as a principal of art but I don’t mind it if it exists in its purest form. I recently came across his 10 principals for good design:
• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.
Here is a new pixel painting that I started working on. It’s part of the A History of Progress, Violence and the Modern Spectacle series. This one shows an incident from the civil rights movement in which the police used dogs to attack protestors. I was hoping to finish it and submit it for a show about Rosa Parks. This particular image is a mock up that I made by manipulating the photo to make it look pixelated and super-imposing it over another painting so that it has a shadow and looks like it’s hanging on a wall.
Here are some linoleum cuts that I made. I was originally going to cut them so that the lines were black but figured that this way would be a lot easier. I’m not sure about the results yet; they’re a little cartoony. I had to make the straight lines by hand because the metal ruler wouldn’t work with the cutting tool. I made a third one but I’m not happy with the way it looks so I might cut it again.
Here are some new sculptures that I’ve been working on called Opposition and Sister Squares are Reconciled. The series is based on the isometric drawing series that I made for A Theory of Forms and Ideas; I isolated sections of the original drawings and imagined them as if their perspective was reversed so instead of representing positive space they would be representing negative space. I was originally thinking about making them out of black construction paper but decided to use 1/8″ bass wood instead. They will eventually be spray painted black like the A Theory of Forms and Ideas Sculptures. It’s a bit too cold out right now to be spray painting so I may not get around to doing it for a while. The impetus for working on this series was so that I could apply for the NYFA grant again this year in February but I need a variety of sculptures that are the same yet different. You’re supposed to send in 8 slides so I figured I could show 2 slides from each series; I still need to come up with a fourth series that is similar yet different.
The grid that these are sitting on is a new pixel painting that I’m going to start working on.
So I finished sanding the A Theory of Progress Table about a month ago and have been painting it sporadically ever since. The process is tedious and requires each of the side slats to be painted twice and the top slats to be painted between 4 and 8 times in order to get them solid. The top slats also have a lot of imperfections in them and I found it necessary to paint the sides where they meet which added a lot of extra time. If I was to do it all over again I would have made the top slats removable so that I could take them off and paint them separately. I’m trying to decide if I only want to paint the long parts of the slats or if I want to paint everything. I think it would look better with everything painted but it’ll take a lot more time to finish.
I’m going to stop working on it for a while because I want to work on some other projects and I’m not in a hurry to finish it anyway. Here’s a photo of it part way finished.