Monday, March 8, 2010

Artist Research Paper Week One

Week 1

Tuesday & Wednesday, March 9th & 10th, 2010:

Overview: You will be choosing one artist, either from the following list or a contemporary artist of equal historic merit--(he or she must have adequate primary and secondary source material from which to research). The research you gather will help you prove your thesis about specific pieces of art (1-5). Choose an artist whose work you like, and even more importantly, who you think makes an interesting statement through his or her artwork that you think you can explain for about 10 pages.

Here are two model papers from previous years:

Vik Muniz
Wangechi Mutu

You should read these papers to understand where this process is going.

Step 1: I have set up hyperlinks for more than 60 artists. Spend the next hour or so choosing an artist that you would like to focus for the next few weeks. (You will want to have a back-up choice or two for various reasons.) I know a bit about each of these artists and have an idea of what you will face if you choose to research any of them. I’ll be around to answer questions. Enjoy.

Noriko Ambe
Francis Bacon
Jean Michel Basquiat
Romare Bearden
Wallace Berman
Norbert Bisky
Joe Brainard
Chuck Close
Jess (Collins) (Just as easy to do an image search.)

Joseph Cornell
Jay DeFeo
Willem De Kooning (Image search has more variety of his work.)
Jorge de la Vega
Jim Dine
Aaron Douglas
Marcel Duchamp (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Max Ernst (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Shepard Fairey
Tony Fitzpatrick

Lucien Freud
Arshile Gorky (Image search has more variety of his work.)
Tim Hawkinson
David Hockney
Hans Hofmann
Damien Hurst (Image search has more variety of his work.)
Jasper Johns (Image search has more variety of his work.)
Wolfgang Kals
Alex Katz
Anselm Kiefer

Edward Kienholz
Franz Kline (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Lee Krasner (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Sol Lewitt
Roy Lichtenstien (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Julie Mehretu
Joan Mitchell (Easier to do an image search.)
Robert Motherwell (Easier to do an image search.)
Vik Muniz
Wangechi Mutu

Takashi Murakami
Alice Neel
Caleb Neelon
Damian Ortega
Erik Parker
Yana Payusova
Raymond Pettibon
Tom Phillips
Robert Rauschenberg (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Gerhard Richter

Larry Rivers
James Siena
Amy Sillman
Shinique Smith
Frank Stella (Just as easy to do an image search.) He was born in Malden!
Yves Tanguy (Just as easy to do an image search.)
Mickalene Thomas
Cy Twombly (Easier to do an image search.)
Raissa Venables
Kara Walker

Phoebe Washburn
Lee Waisler
Trevor Winkfield

White Cube also has a good list of contemporary artists.
So does
this PBS site.

I chose these artists because they should be easy enough to find research on but have not been written on endlessly. If you have an artist in mind, I’d be happy to add him or her to the list.

Step 2: Due Thursday, March 11th 2010: Choose an artist. First come, first serve.
Step 3: Due Monday, March 15th, 2010: email me 1,000 word description of a piece of art.

  • You will be graded on your ability to write 1,000 words. Late posts will lose a letter grade a day.
  • Choose 1 – 2 paintings and try to describe them to the best of your ability. “Paint a replica of the image with your own words.” Can you make your reader “see” what you are seeing.
  • This is an important step in the process of writing this research paper for a few reasons:
  1. First, you will need this descriptive writing in your essay to aid your analysis.
  2. Second, you will learn things about the piece of art by forcing yourself to stare at it with the attention needed to describe it.
  3. Last, what you see may be different from what others do, not just the abstract work, but what are your eyes drawn to first? You will never be able to get this moment back--what your eyes noticed when you were first drawn to the painting / or piece of art. You will need this writing when you start to compile your formal research paper.