Research into ‘Frames’ for my sculpture (Anslem Kiefer & Francis Bacon); 02/03/16


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(Images taken from;

After further rumination upon what I want my final piece to be for the Degree show, I have been exploring a new form of sculpture that utilises a rather interesting motif; A physical ‘Frame’. This frame can be seen within the work of many contemporary artist’s bodies of work, and most notably, through the use of Vitrines. Although Damien Hirst made the vitrine his ‘signature’, and Beuys was one of the first to utilise it (both major influences on me as an artist) I believe that Anselm Kiefer is who utilised the vitrine in a new and exciting way. his vitrines are often a dark grey coloured frame, and reflect his own personal artistic mythos; they are not clean, or shine like those in a museum; but are dark, ashen environments with their frames rusty and tarnished. This is the aesthetic that I hope to utilise in my own work, as the piece that I am trying to create is inspired by the tarnished fallibility of the human quest for transcendence. Relating to Frankenstein, and the titular characters fall from grace when attempting to achieve the power of God through the harnessing of Nature’s unfathomable power. Kiefer’s own work relates to this notion of ‘transcendence’, and also to the notion of tragedy, as his work is often ashen, and decaying; his understanding of time and tragedy reflecting the nihilist society that he grew u in in the aftermath of the war. This ‘aesthetic’ is something that I too want to involve within y work, and the work with the crystals growing on the dead object relate to the un-importance of man, and yet his importance; The world will continue without us, and through my manifestation of the forces that work independent of our involvement, I highlight the inherent fallibility of man’s purpose in the world. However, It is I who create these crystals on the form; and through this, I highlight the intangible force of entropy. Without me, these objects would not exist. this is interesting; am I providing myself with a purpose through the creation of this artwork?

Seated Figure 1961 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Presented by J. Sainsbury Ltd 1961
Seated Figure 1961 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Presented by J. Sainsbury Ltd 1961
Study for Portrait on Folding Bed 1963 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Purchased 1963
Study for Portrait on Folding Bed 1963 Francis Bacon 1909-1992 Purchased 1963

We see this symbol of the ‘frame’ within another famous artist who explores the tragedy of man after witnessing the horrors of the Second World war. Francis Bacon utilises the imagery of ‘the frame’ within his paintings grounds his abstracted, torn apart figures in a sort of ‘melancholy prison’. the forms, which I will now call ‘cages’, provided an ethereal, invisible space around the mess of flesh and limbs; almost constraining and controlling it’s volatile, instinctive form. As I work around creating a process which is found in nature, and making a fake effigy of a trinity of ‘miracles’; decomposition, crystallisation and the strike of lightning, I find that through the act of ‘framing’ the object, I can better symbolise this attempt at ‘control’ that I am exerting over it through a relatable, established image. In order to control these processes, and failing, I am demonstrating the infallibility and tragedy of human’s desire to mimic the creator; and failing.


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