Feminist Abstract Art- A Political Viewpoint by Harmony Hammond (footnote)

Harmony Hammond "notes"
Harmony Hammond “notes”

In preparation for Redline’s year long extravaganza, She Crossed the Line, become acquainted with the collective publication, HERESIES; A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics (1977-1992).

Download the first publication here-http://heresiesfilmproject.org/archive/

Please pay special attention to the article, Feminist Abstract Art- A Political Viewpoint, written by Harmony Hammond which you’ll find on page 66-70 here.- http://heresiesfilmproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/heresies1.pdf

Harmony Hammond’s work will be on exhibit at Redline Denver August 2- September 28, 2014 as part of the “She Crossed the Line programming.

Some thoughts on Formalism and Abstraction:

an excerpt from http://www.theartstory.org/definition-formalism.htm

quotations not mine

Plato’s Theory of Forms

Philosopher Plato developed a “Theory of Forms” based on the idea of eidos, roughly translated to mean “stature” or “appearance.” Plato applied the term broadly in his various dialogs to suggest a rudimentary universal language. Every earthly object, he posited, whether tangible (like a chair) or abstract (like human virtue), shared one aspect: they all had a form.

Plato’s theory of Forms can be best understood through his “Allegory of the Cave.” He envisioned a cave which held prisoners who had been held captive their entire lives; all they could see were the shadows of workers cast along the cave’s walls, and all they could hear were the echoes of their voices resonating throughout the cave. Since this was all they knew, the prisoners perceived these shadows and echoes as the actual form of real objects and were therefore completely unaware that those forms were just mimicries of the real things. Plato ultimately stated that the prisoners’ perception of things was not false; by their understanding of the world, the shadows and echoes were the actual forms, just as a painting of a woman is as real, if not more real, than the actual woman who is depicted on the canvas.

Form defined by archaelogical (morphology) terms:

an excerpt from http://www.archaeologywordsmith.com/lookup.php?category=&where=headword&terms=type

SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: formal difference, formal dimension, form attribute, form analysis, form type

CATEGORY: term

DEFINITION: The physical characteristics — size, shape, composition, arrangement — of any archaeological find or any component of a culture. Form is an essential part of attribute analysis; in archaeological research, the first objective is to describe and analyze the physical attributes of data to determine distributions in time and space and leads to form classifications. For example, the shape of a pot or other tool directly reflects its function.

Archaeologists cannot often attribute cultural context, history or artistic motivation. The loss of information and documentation between the artist and viewer is exacerbated.

Joseph-Kosuth "One-and-Three Chairs" See this work in MoMA’s Online Collection
Joseph-Kosuth
One-and-Three Chairs
See this work in MoMA’s Online Collection

and then there’s this– Joseph Kosuth One and Three Chairs

(American, born 1945)1965. Wood folding chair, mounted photograph of a chair, and mounted photographic enlargement of the dictionary definition of “chair”, Chair 32 3/8 x 14 7/8 x 20 7/8″ (82 x 37.8 x 53 cm), photographic panel 36 x 24 1/8″ (91.5 x 61.1 cm), text panel 24 x 24 1/8″ (61 x 61.3 cm) “By assembling these three alternative representations, Kosuth turns a simple wooden chair into an object of debate and even consternation, a platform for exploring new meanings.”

1930-40’s New use of word structure to show new concept of art that a viewers thoughts and social preconceptions are more important than the nature or form of the thing.

1940- Greenberg argues that value of art is located in its form that hold content intrinsically.

Whitney Kimball asks Can Formalism be Political?

Harmony Hammond posits that abstraction can be political and feminist. Read her article page 66- http://heresiesfilmproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/heresies1.pdf

Harmony Hammond "notes 2"
Harmony Hammond “notes 2”

See note in the image above

an excerpt from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts- http://www.artsmia.org/search/index.php?type=artworks&term=Native+American

Artist: Wendy Red Star  
Title: Fall, from “The Four Seasons” series  
Date: 2012  
Medium: Archival pigment print on Museo silver rag  
Dimensions: 23 x 26 in. (58.42 x 66.04 cm) (sheet) 21 x 24 in. (53.34 x 60.96 cm) (image)  
Credit Line: Bequest of Virginia Doneghy, by exchange  
Location: Gallery 261  

After graduating from college at Montana State University-Bozeman, Wendy Red Star moved to Los Angeles, where she was struck by the lack of natural environment. Lonesome for home, she wandered into the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to explore any Native American exhibits. To her surprise, she saw a pair of moccasins that was created by one of her ancestors on display. She was taken with the dioramas in the museum. She explores issues of display, representation of Native American culture, and authenticity, in her The Four Seasons series.

Harmony Hammond "notes 3"
Harmony Hammond “notes 3”

PS- Don’t forget about Howardena Pindell- http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/howardena_pindell.php?i=1302

 

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