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"1960s" Tag

Hidden treasures

Monday, February 27, 2017


Mondrian secrets by Miguel-Ángel Cárdenas

I felt a sudden burst of nostalgia when this work first caught my eye. It is pretty clear why; this assemblage piece is mainly made out of toys, which are easily connected to the idea of childhood. The work is very colourful, but all the colours are slightly faded. I do not know if this is because of the age of the work, or if he used these slightly faded colours on purpose. Maybe it was the light. We will never know, because I cannot find any information about this work.

The work consists of tiny plastic objects, which are partly covered by an orange layer of more plastic material. Two donut-shaped objects are attached to the orange layer. The orange layer reminds me a lot of a life vest. This life vest association gives this layer another layer of (probably unintentional) meaning. The whole assemblage is attached to a piece of wood, which makes it look more like a painting then like an installation. The Stedelijk museum apparently thinks the same, because the work is classified as a painting.

The toys are put in order by their colour, which makes the work almost satisfying to look at. I start to wonder what kind of objects are hidden underneath the parts that are covered. Where did the artist get these objects from and why did he choose these specific objects? The work reminds me a lot of a dream I used to have as a child; a swimming pool completely filled with toys. I realize that this is the main reason why the work is interesting for me, and why it made me feel nostalgic.

After making up all these associations I looked at the name of the piece. The piece is called Mondrian Secret. And suddenly, the whole work changed. The orange layer is the painting, and the toys are the secret insides of a Mondrian painting. A work that we associate with mathematical precision hides a layer of playful, colourful plastic toys.  The surface of the painting is supposed to represent something that hides the “true nature” of the painting.  A layer of plastic, colourful toys organized in order of the rainbow colours. Put together with the same precision as Mondrian painted.×300.png

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

'Schotter' by Georg Nees

Computer art is any art related to computers – in the display or in the production of the work. It is such a broad term that I did not really know where or how to start. In the 1960s, computers were very exclusive things and the artists who started experimenting with these machines were really doing something that was never done before with tools and techniques that were never used before. But nowadays, digital technologies are integrated in traditional disciplines and therefore it is a bit harder to define where the term ‘computer art’ is applicable.

For what I have see until now in my short life, I don’t have too much affection with digital arts. But that might also have to do with ignorance, and the fact that even my mom can handle computers better than me – sometimes I even edit my photos in Word, something that people would like to kill me for. But when I found an article about algorithmic art, I could not ignore the fact that computers can actually do stuff that goes beyond human capability, and create things that would not be possible without automation, which is interesting, especially when you think of it as something that started about fifty years ago. They now seem a bit ‘flat’, but these works were the first steps into making art that involves science (and maybe also, science that involves art?), which makes me find them truly fascinating.  Because these artists really explored the borders of what was possible with new techniques, using them in favor of their creativity, I find the link between art and science in these works much more interesting than in the works in the Beauty in Science exposition.

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