Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Developing a Thesis


ink and acrylic on canvas

At some point during your research, preferably sooner than later (but after you feel comfortable with your subject), you want to develop a thesis so that you can focus your research. Otherwise, you are wasting valuable time.

It may help to start with a group of paintings that share a common thread—the dates they were crafted, titles, subject matter, they may be a part of a series, or you may find a interesting thread on your own.

Your thesis must tie the work together (what is in common) as well as argue a theory about the significance of the work. Your research should help prove your thesis.

When developing a thesis, think of big questions: How do these paintings explain a perception of the universe? How is the artist’s own life or philosophy portrayed in the paintings? How does the artist ask her audience to view the paintings (or the universe)?

7 comments:

Jackie said...

Jorge de la Vega is an artist who truly does not fit just one style and category. Creating a style of his own Otra Figuracion, he brings another more human dimension to art. Paintings like "El espejo inevitable", "Juego Peligroso" and "El mechanismo de la soledad" show through clashing,vivid and sometimes violent color as well as backgrounds that add a second dimension to the piece. De la Vegas pieces each tell something different about the human race. They showcase the violence that runs rampant throughout society, while also shedding light on the loneliness and solitude felt even when surrounded by the rest of the world. Through his artwork he gives a mirror image of the many emotions man feels and sees in his reflection everyday.

Stephany J. said...

Wangechi Mutu explores the contradictions of female and cultural identity while making references to colonial history, contemporary African politics, and the fashion industry. Her various pieces "highlight an awareness of how African woman are represented" (Lo). Mutu's artwork presents the audience with examples of frail beauty plagued by stereotypical perceptions of the past. Her work to date is centered around the mysterious vulnerability and transformative power of the female anatomy. As an artist, she strives to break down the barriers that are meant to stifle to progress of women in society.

Jen said...

During the early1940s Max Ernst concentrated his arts on subjects of liberation. Through his paintings he is able to attain a sort of freedom that was taken away from him while living in a concentration camp. He used women as part of his focus while in other paintings he seems to create other worlds for escape. He explores women and their sexuality, and worlds that can be created with the human mind.

oliviak said...

Norbert Bisky is a headstrong German contemporary artist. Having grown up in Germnay, Bisky experienced the before and after effects of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Using this, as well as other political isuues, Bisky creates paintings coated in many layers that always depict a message he is unable to send with words. Bisky's paintings reflect his sense of self, combined with his personal reactions to current controversies.

Kellie said...

Erik Parker keeps the mentality that “we are adapting” (Grimberg) and morphing into something greater and more positive than ourselves. His pieces highlight psychedelic images, showing the chaotic and hectic lifestyle of “peddling drugs” and “public brawling” (Kino). There is a continuous theme of disfigured faces made up of other smaller pieces in most of Parker’s work. Parker explores an outlook in the art of cartoonists as well as taking the audience “into a mirror through the eyes of a furiously hallucinating drug fiend” (Johnson). His incorporation of words contributes to the broader message of adaptation within his pieces. Parker takes his experiences and applies it to his artwork. The idea of chaos and adaptation is an overlapping theme throughout all of his works. Parker makes it known in his art, that a certain level of adaptation must be met in order for his works to come together as a full piece.

hillary said...

Raissa Venables is known as a photographic artist. By combining modern technology with art techniques resembling neo-cubism, she presents a warped and psychological point of view of a rather dull place. Venables’ artistic style reflects a great influence from many noteworthy contributors to the history of art. One of the more important ones is Jan van Eyck from the Early Renaissance age who deals with vividly bright and precise details. Without any physical human presences in her photographs, Venables aims to implicitly tell a story through raw human intuition. She challenges our human creativeness to bring out our natural connection to fine art.

Stephanie A. said...

Judy Pfaff, a “pioneer of installation art” has (Smith), is an artist who displays what controlled chaos is in sculpture form. Starting out Pfaff had only thought on the “exterior” side of her imagination, only scratching the surface of her artwork as she focused on trivial matters as the way light hit a surface. As she continued to create she noticed there was more to her work then she had even realized. With her subconscious sense of “modernism” and her clear focus on “Marxists” ideal, Judy Pfaff’s focus was less about space and color and more about displaying emotions that she harbored within herself (Whittaker). The installations of Judy Pfaff are more then chaotic clashes, but an emotional ride of what she feels inside.