Flat Space: Reflections on the Senior Induvidualized Project
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Since before I was aware of the fascination it held for me, the idea of confusing perceptions of space in rendered images has influenced my art. I realize in retrospect that most of the drawings, paintings, and sculptures that I have made in the past four years have related to this idea in some way. Working through these ideas in class, drawing inspiration from art revealed to me through the New York Arts Program, and drawing on the knowledge of theoretical concepts of modernism and postmodernism that I gained during my senior year has led me to the body of work that I created for my Senior Individualized Project. In this paper I will discuss the relevance of those many sources of inspiration and the significance of the trompe l'oeil style in my work, as well as explain the concept of my project in the context of modernism. The paintings of my SIP began as an attempt to disprove the modernist tenet of purity of the medium, and more specifically, to challenge Clement Greenberg's notion that painting and sculpture are mutually exclusive, and are inherently two-dimensional and three-dimension, respectively. My initial goal was to create a collection of paintings that could be viewed as both two-and three-dimensional simultaneously, and which might be categorized as painting but could potentially create the experience of physical interaction between the viewer and the art object in the way that sculpture does. Ultimately, the subject matter of the collection addresses both the goal of creating dimensional indefiniteness and at the same time introduces a critique of modernism by calling attention to the context of modern art, the white cube, and to its definitive limits. Each piece is a tautology that calls to question the nature of the space surrounding it, the effect that the space has on the art, and the way that both art and viewing space affect the viewer.