Key concepts in fine art; OBJECT

What is an object

An object is not me.

Therefore, an object is something that resists and won’t allow itself to be made in our terms. Something beyond my control. An object offers relief from the turmoil of desire. (Salvador Dali, Soft construction with haricot beans 1939.)

An object is unknowable.

chalicePerception is always partial, we never perceive the whole object. Everything in Paulo Uccello’s
(1430) Chalice is geometrically perfect.
It shows a mathematically correct design , we never perceive the whole object,every artist sees things differently.

Monet & Renoir paintings of ‘Paris La Grenville’ 1868. There are trivial differences but also the river banks are at different levels.

Renoir & Monet

 This shows us how differently people see the same things, parts of the image are represented differently. Vija Celmins – to fix the image in memory. You can’t tell the difference in each rock. What would count as complete knowledge of an object? Is it breaking it up to know the materials or to study it everyday? They are incompatible so we may never know what it is. A source of mystery, what is the history? It is all left unknown. The thing itself is aways beyond us, Charles Avery created the Noumeno, which is a creature who’s head can never be seen and is always walking away from you.

I am an object. (In a world of object.)

What is the difference between a subject and an object. Caspar David Frederich, the trees are much larger than the figure in the painting. We turn into the objects and the worlds forms turn into the things that watch us. I only came to a knowledge of myself, through a knowledge of objects. Richard Sirra, the sculpture comes to you as you walk, beside it you understand the valley in which it is embedded and how as we are by it we get the real size of it. Creating a new experience for the human body. Become unconsciously aware of space and our own bodies moving through the sculpture. A sense of unified subject experiencing the object.



AI WEI WEI dropping a Han Dynasty urn, the action of smashing is the object


AUGUSTE RODIN, the hand holding torso the critique of the object d’art as bougeois, as a separation of art and life.

PIET MONDRIAN easle paintings have been changed and if you look at the edges it shows how he has carefully decided on how they should look.

DAMIEN HIRST skull, the object is optional in contemporary art. The object is essential in contemporary art. The use of objects in contemporary are deliberate/accidental. All obects within a show are optional and/or essential.

I felt this key concept lecture was relevant to my studies as I am using objects throughout my subject work like pomegranates and burgers, I am giving my objects a symbolic attribute therefore my objects mean more than their material value. The lecture had led me to think about how much information one object can hold, and as artists we can give an object more information depending on what we are trying to portray within our work. By using objects that have specific symbolism and using it in that way, I have been able to use pomegranates and rustlers burgers which are very cheap to get hold of and give it a more deeper meaning. Using hidden connotations and conceptual symbolism, I have given my objects a worth and a meaning.




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18 years old, first year fine art student in Cardiff :)

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