Incandescent molecules: An analytical investigation into materiality in contemporary abstract painting

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Authors
Cook, Linda
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Degree
Master of Fine Arts
Grantor
Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
Date
2022-12
Supervisors
Hanfling, Ed
Greaves, Michael
Fletcher, Graham
Type
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
abstract art
painting
new materialism
neo-casualism
philosophy of art
painting practices
New Zealand
Citation
Cook, L. (2022). Incandescent molecules: An analytical investigation into materiality in contemporary abstract painting (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts). Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.6007
Abstract
This project began by considering abstract painting across the twentieth century, from Malevich to Nozkowski, and subsequently looked at contemporary New Zealand practice. This analysis secured my work within the genres of neo-casualism and new materiality. New materiality accepts that all matter, whether substance or object, has agency and presence. Materials are full of surprises; I celebrate the messy vitality of uncontrollable materials and rejoice at the random slippage of an edge. Quirky, off kilter, seemingly unrefined forms, are characteristic of neo-casualism. Humour is combined with an anti-heroic style. All these elements have been central to my practice. A curious and unexpected body of work has emerged from blending new materiality and neo-casualism, and synchronising discordant elements with waste materials. In working with raw, unpredictable materials and embracing the random ooze or slip, each painting has developed its own personality. The surface and the edge rise to the fore in this body of work. I use the value and vitality of the edge to enliven the centre of the picture plane. The expansive picture plane begins as a sheet of cardboard. By combining textural surface with carefully chosen colours, the cardboard sheds its humble beginning to become an art object. This is no mean feat. The surface eventuates from layers of sealants, gesso, and paint to which texture is added –straw, hair, paper, whatever is at hand. Onto this, layers of colour and clayare pasted and secured as the paintings are built up. These constructions begin to register as objects which have moved beyond representation and into the realm of real form. This praxis has opened broader discussions for my practice, opening avenues for continued rumination on materiality, rhythms and making.
Publisher
Link to ePress publication
DOI
https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.6007
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Author
Copyright notice
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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