Monday, April 27, 2009

sculpture source:life

The history of the sculpture is varied and is illustrative of how sculpture has changed extensively over the ages. The art of sculpture continues as a vital artform worldwide. From pre-historic and ancient civilizations to the contemporary, from the utilitarian and religious to Modernist abstraction, and conceptual manifestations of both form and content, a continuous stream of creativity & an extremely modest show of compassion.

Sculpture has been central in religious devotion in many cultures, and until recent centuries large sculptures, too expensive for private individuals to create, were usually an expression of religion or politics. Those cultures whose sculptures have survived in quantities include the cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean, India and China, as well as many in South America and Africa. Moses's rejection of the Golden Calf was perhaps a decisive event in the history of sculpture. Aniconism remained restricted to the Jewish, Zoroastrian and some other religions, before expanding to Early Buddhism and Early Christianity, neither of which initially accepted at least large sculptures. In both Christianity and Buddhism these early views were later reversed, and sculpture became very significant, especially in Buddhism. Christian Eastern Orthodoxy has never accepted monumental sculpture, and Islam has consistently rejected all figurative sculpture. Many forms of Protestantism also do not approve of religious sculpture. There has been much iconoclasm of sculpture from religious motives, from the Early Christians, the Beeldenstorm of the Protestant Reformation to the recent destruction of the Buddhas of BamyanTaliban. by the

Sculpture in ancient times

Sculpture as an art form goes back to Prehistoric times. Most Stone Age statuettes were made of ivory or soft stone, however some clay human and animal figures have been found. Small female statues known as Venus figurines have been found mainly in central Europe. The Venus of Willendorf (24,000-22,000 BC), from the area of Willendorf, Austria, is a well-known example.

Later, in the Near East, (the area between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers), the Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian kingdoms flourished. Materials used for sculpture during this time included basalt, diorite (a type of dark, coarse-grained stone), sandstone, and alabaster. Copper, gold, silver, shells, and a variety of precious stones were used for high quality sculpture and inlays. Clay was used for pottery and terra cotta sculpture. Stone was generally rare and had to be imported from other locations.

Sculptures from the Sumerian and Akkadian period generally had large, staring eyes, and long beards on the men. Votive stone sculptures of this type from 2700 BC were discovered at Tell Asmar. Many masterpieces have also been found at the Royal Cemetery at Ur (2650 BC). Among them are a wooden harp with gold and mosaic inlay with a black-bearded golden bull's head.

Social status

Nuremberg sculptor Adam Kraft, self-portrait from St Lorenz Church, 1490s.

Worldwide, sculptors have usually been tradesmen whose work is unsigned. But in the Classical world, many Ancient Greek sculptors like Phidias began to receive individual recognition in Periclean Athens, and became famous and presumably wealthy. In the Middle Ages, artists like the 12th century Gislebertus sometimes signed their work, and were sought after by different cities, especially from the Trecento onwards in Italy, with figures like Arnolfo di Cambio, Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni. Many sculptors also practised in other arts, sometimes painting, like Andrea del Verrocchio, or architecture, like Giovanni Pisano, Michelangelo, or Jacopo Sansovino, and maintained large workshops.

From the High Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Leone Leoni and Giambologna could become wealthy, and ennobled, and enter the circle of princes. Much decorative sculpture on buildings remained a trade, but sculptors producing individual pieces were recognised on a level with painters. From at least the 18th century, sculpture also attracted middle-class students, although it was slower to do so than painting. Equally women sculptors took longer to appear than women painters, and have generally been less prominent until the 20th century at least.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The White Shaman

The white shaman within the complex panel is in his ascendancy, leaving behind his black counterpart, his mortal body. He is headless, but his clawed feet and hands betray his feline affinities. Feathers fringe his outspread arms, enabling him to fly, and hanging from his arm is a medicine bundle that combines human, bird, and animal attributes. Surrounding the white shaman and his shadow are a number of inverted figures, their hair hanging down, signifying the symbolic death of the shaman in his ecstatic trance. Near at hand float schematic spear throwers, ready for the confrontation that lies ahead. Above him is the millipedic monster that he must pass to enter the land of the spirits, the barrier between the two worlds that separates the living from the dead. Above this serpentine obstacle, flying figures illustrate the trance state and death as experienced in this nether world. One of these figures has been reduced to the skeletal condition, his exposed backbone being an artistic convention intended to convey the rebirth from the bones, the most durable element of the body. Minor accessory figures include the delicate line drawing of a deer shaman, and a number of fantastic figures that people the supernatural world. The shaman is expected to encounter unearthly beings on his ethereal transits. These drawings may inform his audience about some of the fantastic apparitions that helped or hindered his voyage.
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Jean Jullien London, UK

Jean Jullien London, UK “There's a great deal of primitivism in the large pieces of paper torn, ripped, cut and assembled, covering the bodies, writing with big brushes and bold black ink. The process itself is full of movement.”

A French design who now lives and works in London, having recently graduated from Central Saint Martins. Jullien continues to pursue his master’s at the Royal College of Art.
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Grégoire Alexandre Paris, France

Grégoire Alexandre Paris, France “Craft” integrates the possibilities and the limits of the medium, without using the computer to create impossible situations. I like my installations to be abstract but still possible.

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Normandy-born Grégoire Alexandre, now stationed in Paris. Cinema was his first interest, but he became more comfortable with photography since it gave him a greater sense of control and allowed him to take something out of reality without having to set it up first.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Collection of Architecture

The term architecture (from Greek αρχιτεκτονική, architektonike) can refer to a process, a profession or documentation.

As a process, architecture is the activity of designing and constructing buildings and other physical structures by a person or a computer, primarily to provide shelter. A wider definition often includes the design of the total built environment, from the macro level of how a building integrates with its surrounding landscape (see town planning, urban design, and landscape architecture) to the micro level of architectural or construction details and, sometimes, furniture. Wider still, architecture is the activity of designing any kind of system.

As a profession, architecture is the role of those persons or machines providing architectural services.

As documentation, usually based on drawings, architecture defines the structure and/or behavior of a building or any other kind of system that is to be or has been constructed.

Architects have as their primary object providing for the spatial and shelter needs of people in groups of some kind (families, schools, churches, businesses, etc.) by the creative organisation of materials and components in a land- or city-scape, dealing with mass, space, form, volume, texture, structure, light, shadow, materials, program, and pragmatic elements such as cost, construction limitations and technology, to achieve an end which is functional, economical, practical and often with artistic and aesthetic aspects. This distinguishes architecture from engineering design, which has as its primary object the creative manipulation of materials and forms using mathematical and scientific principles.

Separate from the design process, architecture is also experienced[1] through the senses, which therefore gives rise to aural,[2] visual, olfactory,[3] and tactile[4] architecture. As people move through a space, architecture is experienced as a time sequence.[5] Even though our culture considers architecture to be a visual experience, the other senses play a role in how we experience both natural and built environments. Attitudes towards the senses depend on culture.[6] The design process and the sensory experience of a space are distinctly separate views, each with its own language and assumptions.

Architectural works are perceived as cultural and political symbols and works of art. Historical civilizations are often known primarily through their architectural achievements. Such buildings as the pyramids of Egypt and the Roman Colosseum are cultural symbols, and are an important link in public consciousness, even when scholars have discovered much about a past civilization through other means. Cities, regions and cultures continue to identify themselves with (and are known by) their architectural monuments.[7]

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