Research point. Interiors and unusual viewpoints

I found it hard to find contemporary artists engaged with interiors. I wanted to focus on drawings rather than paintings as I feel my research has tended towards looking at paintings so far.

This Research point asks us to look at contemporary artists and ‘analyse their choice of content, medium, format, etc. Consider how their work reflects its context in terms of era, fashion, mood, current issues, and so on.’ OCA Drawing 1, p 51.

Toba Khedoori

 

toba-khedoori
Fig. 1 Untitled (Doors) 1999
khedoori
Fig. 2 Untitled (Table and Chair) 1998

Content: In Untitled (Doors) 1999 (Fig 1), Khedoori uses a very dry drawing style to draw two doors. The doors emerge from the paper but they are not photorealistic. They are in the style of architectural drawings. There is no context for these doors. They remain a blank slate. In Untitled (Table and Chair) 1998 (Fig 2) the two objects are isolated in space but also from each other.

In both drawings, the paper is on a massive scale – each is 350.5 x 486.4 cm – but the drawing is stranded in the middle. Khedoori staples panels together to make the final piece.

Medium: Khedoori uses oil and wax on paper to create her images. A description of her work by Jane Harris reveals that the work is less sterile than might first be thought: ‘Trapped in the wax surfaces like living organisms preserved in amber, hand prints, dust, stray hair, and smudges of graphite and paint mar the technical precision of her drawn, and scraped, images.’ (Harris, 2005: p164)

Format: The drawing is on a large scale and uses two sheets of paper. Again there is a roughness which belies the precision of the drawing.

How does the artist’s work reflect its context in terms of era, fashion, mood, current issues, and so on?  Khedoori was born in 1964 and brought up in Australia but has worked in Los Angeles since 1990. She seems apart from the prevailing artistic trends of the late 20th and early 21st century focusing on traditional materials and quiet, contemplative work.

I found that when I stopped to look at the artist’s work I became really engaged in her process. From something quite alienating, the work became engaging as I reflected on the size of the image, the laborious work which went into making it and the reasons for the isolation and contemplative nature of the images.

Urs Fischer is a very different artist from Toba Khedoori. He works in sculpture and installation but also drawing. His cartoonish drawings are energetic and fill the page with line and colour.

urs-fischer-1
Fig 3. Scenes from the Lost Internal Backdrops 2000
urs-fischer-2
Fig. 4 Scenes from the Lost Internal Backdrops 2000

Content: Fischer’s drawings take a few objects and place them oddly in the picture plane. There is a feeling of movement caused by the angle and juxtaposition of the objects

Medium: Fischer uses marker pens, acrylic paint, and collage in his drawings taking inspiration from comic book drawing

Format: Fischer favours portrait over landscape and draws to the edge of the A3 paper. Objects are cut off at the edge of the paper.

How does the artist’s work reflect its context in terms of era, fashion, mood, current issues, and so on? While the drawings may be seen to reflect the Pop Art movement Fischer has said the movement isn’t a major influence ‘Cartoons just work for me; they provide a language that is very simple and efficient.’ Gingeras, (2005) p 106. In her overview of Fischer’s drawings, Gingeras states ‘He seems to turn to drawing because it is an ideal vehicle to push the limits of his imagination.’ Gingeras, (2005) p 106

I like the dynamism of these drawings and the slightly mysterious quality. They are cartoon-like but don’t make their meaning clear in the way that cartoons do.

Fig 1. Khedoori, Toba (1999) Untitled (Doors) oil and wax on paper In Hoptman, Laura Drawing Now eight propositions. New York: Moma p54-55.

Fig 2. Khedoori, Toba (1998) Untitled (Table and Chair) oil and wax on paper In Dexter, E. (ed.) Vitamin D New Perspectives in Drawing. London: Phaidon p.164

Fig 3. Fisher, Urs (2000) Scenes from the Lost Internal Backdrops, one in a series of 5 drawings. mixed media on paper. In Dexter, E. (ed.) Vitamin D New Perspectives in Drawing. London: Phaidon. p 106-107

Fig 4. Fisher, Urs (2000) Scenes from the Lost Internal Backdrops, one in a series of 5 drawings. mixed media on paper. In Dexter, E. (ed.) Vitamin D New Perspectives in Drawing. London: Phaidon. p 106-107

Harris, J. (2005) ‘Toba Khedoori’ In Dexter, E. (ed.) Vitamin D New Perspectives in Drawing. London: Phaidon p.164

Gingeras, Alison M. (2005) ‘Urs Fischer’ In Dexter, E. (ed.) Vitamin D New Perspectives in Drawing. London: Phaidon p 106

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