Painting 3 Journal

Week 1

Things to think about

  • What project do I want to complete?

  • What are my interests in painting?

  • Artistic influences?

Julie also asked us all, why do we paint? what is our purpose in regards to painting? what is our central subject of painting?


  • Julie said the figures in my works compete with the background. The chaos and texture extends to the edges and that I should think about creating areas that interrupt the chaos/figure

  • Jenny said I should look at artist

    • Michael Andrew: She said he was like a contemporary version of Francis Bacon

    • Lucio Fontana: I might be interested in his ceramics.


Artist: Michael Andrew

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 5.22.38 pm.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 5.26.25 pm.png
Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 5.26.34 pm.png
Michael Sketch, for A Man Who Suddenly Fell Over , ca. 1952

Michael Sketch, for A Man Who Suddenly Fell Over , ca. 1952

Artist: Lucio Fontana

Fontana2 39193web.jpg
Fontana2 39194web.jpg

Week 2

Reading Overview:

Review: Painting as a Model
Reviewed Works(s):
Fenetre jaune cadmium, ou, Les dessous de la peinture by Hubert Damisch
Reviewed by: Yve-Alain Bois and John Shepley
Source: October, Vol. 37 (Summer, 1986), pp. 125-137

  • The work talks about 4 models

    • Perceptive, Technical, Symbolic, Strategic.

  • Paintings are not just pictures! He argues that paintings are not just images of things.

  • Paintings can be thought of as a curation of time, thought and materiality

  • The issue of just seeings paintings as pictures is that you miss out on the textures and marks of the painting.

    Damisch teaches us to above all to rid ourselves of the stifling concept of image upon which the relation of this kind of text to art is founded - arrogant, ignorant, predatory texts that consider painting a collection of images to be tracked down, illustrations to be captioned.

The Perceptive Model

  • argues abstraction into images, need to look at specificity

  • we miss out on a lot if we just look at the image

  • Damisch is interested in the detail and texture

    Mondrian’s paintings are made to counter such impulses and to hinder the movement whereby an unreal object is constituted from the tangible reality of the painting, the eye being ceaselessly led back to the painting’s constituent elements, line, colour, design.

  • Mondrians paintings resist volume, you feel the desire to try form an image, however this is something you can’t!

    Painting, for the one who produces it as for the one who consumes it, is always a matter of perception.

  • The perceptive model allows Damisch to compare Pollock and Mondrian and establish the ambiguity of the figure/ground relationship

The Technical Model

  • lines curving inwards produce space and volume while straight lines give the perception of flatness

  • we take interest in the specificity

  • Thickness can refer to time, there is something temporal about thickness!

    Damisch discovers this threshold in Pollock, first in connection with Shimmering Substance (1946), where “each touch seems destined to destroy the effect born of the relation between the preceding touch and the background”

  • Pollock’s work categorised of thickness in the order of technique, the equivalent of the figure/ground confusion in the order of perception.

The Symbolic Model

  • relationship between painting and writing. interprets the world as its own theory

  • painting itself is a symbol

  • everything is vertical in paintings!

  • paintings have its own symbols, space and perspectives

    • essentially paintings are always on a wall, they are painted in a frontal perspective.

The Strategic Model

  • What is a painting?


Discussion this week was with Julie and Lachlan.

  • Julie said to move away from Ben Quilty and his style. The further I move away from his style and influence the better I will be

  • Think about why I paint? What is the underlying theme of my work so far?

  • Project Ideas

    • I need to think about something that my paintings focus on…..,. a series of work (are they about flesh?).

    • I don’t always have to have a big explanation about my work but I should be able to talk about what I paint and why I paint

  • Artist to think about/look into.

    • Dana Schutz

    • Philip Guston

  • Julie said if I go down the path of flesh as my project to look into

    • Lucian Freud

    • Jenny Saville

    • Lucio Fontana

Reflection on my work so far.

Why do I paint and what do I paint?

I seem to always focus on painting a blend between Abstract Expressionism and figurative. Why do I paint? I need to look at what I have done so far and reflect on what each piece is about.

Abstracted Figures: Self Portraits

  • looking at the figure

  • abstracting the body

  • a focus on flesh

Works that are a combination of abstract expressionism and figurative

  • a concentration on abstracting the body

  • concentrating on form and composition also looking at fast vs slow painting, and thick vs thin application of paint

  • eyes are a reoccurring theme in my work

  • looking at flat vs depth in a painting…..creating volume within the work


Work about the 12 Detainees

inspired by Goya’s palette and also the looseness of Philip Guston.

focus on deconstructing the figure.

eyes are reoccurring

about a current issue in the world

about life

IMG_2553-2 copy.jpg

Giant Abstract Self Portrait

  • very thick paint

  • chaotic

  • inspired by Quilty, Allen and Picasso

  • figure with multiple limbs

  • Figure is competing with the background

  • looking at texture and the surface of a painting

  • painting is about life and the chaos of it, how we all try chase our dreams

  • eyes always looking back at the figure

  • cube over the head


Self Portrait - I head wearing white undies will make you a great painter

  • thick vs thin application of paint

  • fast vs slow painting

  • painting is about trying to make it as an artist. The external struggle!

  • eye looking back at the figure

  • abstracted the flesh colour

  • inspired by Guston, Allen, Picasso, Quilty, Auerbach

Looking at different artists

Artist: Dana Schutz

  • Known for her painterly translations of intangible concepts into dynamic compositions.

  • paintings pose pictorial questions with humour and imagination while nodding towards art historical precedents of Max Bechmann and Maria Lassnig

Interested in painting as an affective space. The place where the hierarchies of the world can be rearranged within the space of painting

? I need to think about what I’m interested in.

I like how Schutz has simplified the features of this portrait .

I like how Schutz has simplified the features of this portrait .

Dana Schutz - Face Eater.jpg
Dana Schutz - Set up.jpg
I love the colours of this painting. Also love how you can see the brush strokes.

I love the colours of this painting. Also love how you can see the brush strokes.

Dana Schutz - Beat out the sun.jpeg
Dana Schutz - Strangers.jpeg

What do I like about Dana Schutz’s work?

  • The colour palette. I especially like when she puts complimentary colours next to primary colours, this is something I try to do in my own practice

  • Simplified figures. I like how she is able to simplify her figures yet create complexity with the use of light and shaddow.

  • Blockiness. She appears to break the canvas up into different blocks. They’re chaotic yet you can recognise the different elements due to the blockiness

Artist: Philip Guston

the painting is not on a surface, but on a plane which is imagined

It moves in a mind. It is not there physically at all. It is an illusion, a piece of magic, so what you see is not what you see.

  • reoccurring imagery

    • Klansmen, Nixon, smouldering cigarettes, huge eyeballs.

  • favoured more representational, simplified renderings of personal symbols and objects

web hires jpg 72dpi-GUSTO82039 Crp GH.jpg
download (1).jpeg
download (2).jpeg
download (3).jpeg
download (4).jpeg

What do I like about Philip Guston’s work?

  • The colour palette. The use of pink and red tones throughout his works really makes his work seem cohesive. He also has random blocks of green on some of his paintings which is the complimentary colour of red.

  • The representational, simplified renderings of personal symbols and objects

  • His reoccurring imagery - Klansmen, eyes etc.

  • the looseness of his strokes.

Artist: Nicole Eiseman

  • utilising bright colours and wry subject matter

  • paintings tackle tropes of Western art history

Reflection: thinking about my work and other artists

  • What do I want to paint / What should my project be about?

    • life and the figure?

    • eyes perceiving the world?

    • perception

    • I always return back to the figure and limbs

    • narrative in my work is about life (autobiographical?)

    • the everyday?

    • focus on modern day version of the history painting? but focus on something that is mundane and everyday

Mundane: lacking interest or excitement…….dull

  • Look at creating work based on daily life/routine.

  • everyday, mundane, routine, natural, habitual

my work has always been figuring out life and my way of trying to understand life.

painting is my way of trying to understand life

  • painting the everyday…….everyday life, the mundane

    • aesthetics of the mundane

    • reveal an instance of raw unmediated human experience

  • I’m a big fan of Carl Sagan and always like reflecting on on his wise words about life.

  • When you think about how old the universe is (13.8 billion years old) you realise that human existence is only a blink in the grand scheme of things.

what constitutes the everyday and how can we recognise aesthetics experiences in the daily?

I want my paintings to encapsulate experiences of the daily to reveal instances of raw human experiences.

I paint to try understand life and appreciate the everyday.

Painting Ideas - the daily

  • looking at social media on your phone

  • watching tv on the couch

  • lost in thought

  • chilling out during lunch breaks

  • thinking during toilet breaks

  • having dinner with a mate: The other night I was having dinner with a mate. It occurred to me that he’s of Persian descent and I’m of Asian descent and we were eating in an Ethiopian restaurant. I think you have to really appreciate how lucky we are to live in a country like Australia. People of different religious and ethnic backgrounds can chill out together.

  • brushing your teeth while looking at your phone

  • brushing your teeth in the shower to save a minutes of your life.

  • playing chess while drinking coffee

Painting Title Ideas

  • Whenever I get a bad haircut I thank them.

  • Whenever I get a bad haircut I say good job

  • Whenever I get a bad haircut I say looks good

  • The Persian and the Asian eating in an Ethiopian restaurant

Reference photos for The Persian and the Asian eating Ethiopian painting What do I like about Dana Schutz’s work?

  • The colour palette. I especially like when she puts complimentary colours next to primary colours, this is something I try to do in my own practice

  • Simplified figures. I like how she is able to simplify her figures yet create complexity with the use of light and shaddow.

  • Blockiness. She appears to break the canvas up into different blocks. They’re chaotic yet you can recognise the different elements due to the blockiness

2017-08-19 (1).jpg

Reading overview

Reading: Painting beyond itself: The Medium in the Post-medium Conditions

  • What remains specific or residually specific about painting?

Subjectivity - paintings have its “own discourse” and its “own narrative”

Painting has a life of its own and therefore can think or speak

In painting indexical signs predominates.

The indexical sign in painting forcefully point to the absent author who seems to be somewhat physically present in them.

  • In painting the physical form of its signs seems to get constantly emphasised, our attention drawn to the physicality of these signs.

  • Iconic and symbolic signs evoke a ghostlike presence of their absent author.

  • The indexicality of painting brings its author into play and can therefore be perceived as a manifestation of the artist.

  • Liveliness from painting = life and work time the artists has spent on it.

  • Paintings are enriched by the artist or through living labour

  • Paintings can’t be reduced to living labour as it withholds it as well

  • Labour and the lifetime of the painter are stored in the painting!

  • Indexical effect can be observed in mechanical or anti-subjectivity painterly procedures as well

  • Painting is able to produce the sensation that it has captured living labour

An expanded notion of painting that captures its specificity

  • Each attempt to question painting’s boundaries in the past has contributed to its revitalisation.

  • Picabia breathed new life into his paintings by incorporating the readymade into this work.

    • The painting becomes charged with social living labour once it absorbs the readymade.  Its fusion with the readymade represents a way of revitalising painting.

  • The boundaries of painting also dissolved when it was fused together with the artist’s body and performative elements.

  • Adding the body charges the painting with life

  • Performative works allowed for paintings revitalisation.

  • Works gain further power due to its proximity to the artist’s body. Like a relic it has been in touch with its maker and their life - it’s charged with it.

  • Painting can no longer be regarded as synonymous with a flat picture plane hung on a wall.

  • Not all painters restrict their activities to paintings along: Kippenberger used posters as a vehicle self-promotion

  • Painting acknowledges painting’s manifold historical expansions, while on the other hand grasps its residual specificity.

The Narrow Bond between Product and Person

  • Paintings can’t be reduced to the person as specific materiality prevents this.

  • Painting is a product that is saturated with one imagines to be the person of the artist but can’t be reduced to this person.

Painting’s Specific Indexicality

  • The index is physically connected with its object

  • Painting suggests a physical connection to the one who made it as it brings its author into effect

  • Painting is a highly differentiated language that consists of a number of techniques, methods and artifices which allow for the fabrication of the impression of the authors quasi-presence as an effect.

The Subject-like Power of Painting

  • Even if the artist hasn’t physically touched the work, it consists of indexical signs that capture our attention because they are affected by the power of their object, which is in this case is a subject.

  • Subjectivity not in the sense of the subject of the artists but in the sense of a general capacity - leads to a problematic anthropomorphic projection.

When the Critique of the Subject Turns Painting into a Subject

  • The more negation there is of handwriting, the more this negation will be considered to be the handwriting of the artist

  • Richter inscribes his own body movement into the painting, which makes it resemble an imprint

  • The more artists have tried to erase themselves from their work, the more subject-like their work is going to appear.

Painting’s Specific Value-Form

  • For an artwork to be considered valuable it must first be attributed to an author.

  • By experiencing or purchasing a work of art, it is possible to get a more immediate access to what is assumed to be the singularity of the artist and his or her life.

  • The uniqueness associated with paintings is even more able to implement this impression that the artist has been in touch with it - a quality missing in the copy.

  • Labour is not hidden or obscured as it is emphasised and cultivated forcing and heightening its aliveness or rather the impression that is it alive.

Liveliness as Valuable Resource

Painting seems to be one of the last places where the desire for a concrete foundation of value seemingly gets fulfilled.  Brushstrokes alone can be read as tracing labour and life activities. Paintings, therefore, generates the illusionary impressions that it is possible to grasp a fibre of the living labour that was mobilized for it - either by experiencing it aesthetically or by purchasing it.

  • The knowledge of a whole life of labour is meant to have flown into this painting, justifying its price that is evidently unlimited.

  • The picture on canvas condenses and stores up labour time in a way that is different from time based media like film and photography.

  • Experienced by the viewer at once rather than unfolding over time.

  • Painting presents liveliness in the form of a material object, which is not reducible to this aspect, and that non-reducibility might be its special attraction.