Wolfgang Laib and Vija Clemens
I've just reread Wolfgang Laib's comments on art and nature... and because I chose to explore this in my first freestanding sculpture, and couldn't quite fine the voculary to express my thoughts on not trying to represent 'environment' or 'nature' I found this quite interesting.
Ottmann: When you spread out the pollen, it doesn't took natural anymore. It seems very artificial and unnatural.
Laib: Of course. It’s not about naturalism. Many people think that my work has a lot to do with nature. Yes, it has a lot do with the natural world, but not only that, it’s much more complex. I would never agree to be part of a “nature show.”
Ottmann: Doesn’t art always reflect and carry with it the thinking of its time?
Laib: Yes, but I think the better the art is — you see this in history — the more it really makes a change to something else. When I think of Giotto’s painting of St. Francis of Assisi, even though he is not an artist he is an important man — more so than Giotto who made a painting about his life. St. Francis really changed his life and his work. For me, he is interesting. Giotto is an incredibly good painter, but St. Francis is for me the more important man. He really made changes and had an incredible vision.
The Five Mountains Not to Climb On, 1984
I then went back to Vija Clemyns work, which I thought initially was just about reproduction of an image - which she does admit to being a part of the work... but I thought of her representation of nature, and thought that perhaps she too was, in a complex manner, trying to represent nature in some of her works... I know she says she took images and environments of interest and recreated those, I just wonder whether on some level she's not doing something similar in trying to present you with the importance of surroundings. Although her pieces are about creating a man-made object which represents a real one... hmm... not sure. Any ideas?
I really enjoyed Clemins' work I think because of the craftsmanship more than anything... not the accuracy so much. Her prints and attention to detail are incredible.
“Untitled (Web 2)”
Mezzotint on Hahnemühle Copperplate paper, 18 x 14 3/4 inches