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appropiation art!

updated wed 21 nov 07


Lili Krakowski on mon 19 nov 07

As no one came out with a definition, I consulted Wikepedia!

And oh, my! oh, my!

As I read it, it is not a question of what it includes, but that it excludes

Apparently it includes what we called "School of..." When experts and
dealers are not sure what a thing is they slap that label on--so it may be
Rubens, but then again it may have been painted entirely by apprentices in
his studio. Or it may be a This but we are not sure, it may be a 17th
century copy of a 16th century work.

Or it may be the Brueghel boys....Not to mention several Japanese artist

It includes borrowed elements (ELEMENTS, my dears, not ELEPHANTS!--though,
where elephants are indigenous, elephants may be included! Not to mention
elephant dung in Brooklyn). Vermeer included floor tiles in his paintings so
you put floor tiles in YOUR painting.

It includes what we used to call an "homage" which is that you take
something identified with an artist you admire and adapt it in your work as
a kinda tribute.

It also includes works of "pop artists" who took popular icons and, by
magnifying them tremendously, turned them into send-ups of the icon. So
that Warhol with his monumental soup can, and Lichtenstein with his
monumental comic strip pictures, laughed at those to whom soup in cans and
comic strips are objects of reverence.

And there is that famous urinal...taking an existing object of great
utility, and by presenting it as a work of art, putting all that into
question. And of course installation art....

How would this apply to clay? Or is it part of what Willa Cather wrote:
"Give the people a new word, and they think they have a new fact"?

As Janette Harris observes, there is a long clay history of traveling
techniques. I doubt that the effects of iron
in reduction were intentional at first--"we" needed pots, "we" made pots,
and they came out as they came out; same for copper reds etc, but then the
techniques were brought under control, curious minds did tests and research
and turned the accidental into the intentional.

There is of course Style. This can be that a product was imported from
abroad, became popular and then was imitated locally.

And there is something more subtle...the fascinating "school of." When one
sees the work of Charles Counts...and I only know it from pictures in his can tell he was a Wildenhain student..though he went "beyond"
that. And in my work one can tell I was a Wildenhain student...Marguerite
in Counts's case, Frans in mine. There not only is a "tradition" in the
work of the Leach family and the Cardew, but there are over-arching cultural
influences. When I look a the books of Casson, Birks, Hopper, I see the
British tradition. When I see Elsbeth Woody's books I see the Northern
European/German tradition.

Now is tradition appropriation? When we all sit down at Thanksgiving
dinners are we appropriating or following a tradition, or what? Or does
appropriation have to be a deliberate transfer of something new into
something traditional? Lettuce return to Thanksgiving dinner. (No, I am an tradition here) In most families the traditional menu is
written in stone. But then what with one thing and another new dishes are
brought in this family adds polenta, and that family replaces the
turkey with Rock Cornish hens, and this family has chutney along with
cranberry sauce....Appropriation? Inclusion of new idea, new materials?

And thank you, Snail for your kind words about the Approximation School of
Art. A compliment from you always is an honor.

And a blessed Thanksgiving to all.

Lili Krakowski
Be of good courage

Rod on mon 19 nov 07

Hi Lili,

I don't post much on good old clay art anymore but found this appropriation
thread interesting. I don't remember where I read this but I thought this
quote was perhaps relevant to the thread.

"Creativity is directly proportional to the obscurity of its sources"

Can't remember as I said where I heard (read) it but I have always loved it.

Take care,

Kathy Forer on mon 19 nov 07

On Nov 19, 2007, at 10:40 AM, Lili Krakowski wrote:

> As I read it, it is not a question of what it includes, but that it
> excludes
> nothing!

It also includes medium. One variety is "transposition" of painting
or graphics to sculpture. Or music to architecture or architecture to
painting, etc.

In the 1980s I did a bunch of appropriations of folk art paintings of

Kathy Forer