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“Untitled” by Smith and Marden’s “3 Hydra Rocks”

painting Untitled
Smith, Kiki; Untitled

The painting Untitled by Smith is incomparable for its use of space all over the canvas and the application of dimension in form of space is unique. Smith’s Untitled is Color screenprint, 57 x 76.8 cm (22 7/16 x 30 1/4 in). She made space speak a language and narration that was beyond imagination. With her penetrating look and absorbing concern, she explores the innate charm of an object of art. According to the celebrated Latin poet Ovid, art lies in concealing art. If art is the magic of holding back time then artists are the magicians who captivate time in colors and canvases. As time passes by several take birth and perish, but some people with their achievements and contributions leave their footprints on the sands of time. These people remain immortal forever in the pages of history and along with them last the movements created by them. One such artist is Smith and she manifested the mode of artistic expression in the late 20th century.

The usage of space, particularly on the right hand side of the canvas is the balance of the shapes and lines present on the left central part of the painting. Here the space is colored in brown and black. This is a less vibrant color than that is used on the white space. In a way, the artist presents an image that is surrounded by space. However, the balanced is in the right manner. The space itself is not becoming the subject but the lines and figures are catching the viewer’s concentration. Similarly, as on the entire part, there is a cold color image on the hot color space. This is in direct opposition of the base where there was cold color space containing a white hot colored image.

Thus, the aspect of space is manifested in its own right and it appears that patterns, colors, shapes and lines are suspended over the void of space on a brown background representing space. Here space becomes the cognitive materialization of a philosophy that tends to incorporate the materialistic void of urban existence and material thinking patterns. The different forms of lines also act as a formulation of complexities of the modern era. These lines, be it diagonal, vertical, horizontal, thin, thick, wavy, zig- zag or straight, all are representation of the complex features and it indicates that all these structures are the summation of the void or space itself.

The painting, Untitled, is a truly breathtaking work that is incorporated by laborious craftsmanship, perspective studies that are wonderfully plotted and has been executed with an amalgamation of structured procedure and imagination. To Smith, it conveys this work as an amusing confrontation between the left panel space cold color “Female” and the hot color “Male” in the right pane. However, it is a combination of mathematics and dimensions where space denotes the unification and the differential context at the same time. This piece of artwork is a beautiful depiction of gender difference and their mutual attraction juxtaposed together and is regarded as a total completion. This artwork is also referred to as a manifestation of a love machine. However, this piece also represents the sufferings induced out of lust. This is because the space indicated on the both side of the canvas is an act of illusion on the context of the main painting.

3 Hydra Rocks
Marden, Brice; 3 Hydra Rocks

On the other hand, Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks, too represents space or void with modern complexities and sexuality but in a different mode of operation. Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks is oil on canvas 209.9 x 340.4 x 6.4 cm (82 5/8 x 134 x 2 1/2 in). The main aspect of this picture, from a viewer’s perspective is to look for the philosophic approach that the painter has taken to enumerate the stability and inconsistency of life. This work of art is exquisite because it places the viewer’s perspective that can be termed as bilateral. It is down to earth and materialistic in one way and at the same time, it renders the spiritual aspects of existence. Not many art forms are capable of evoking such aura and thus it could be termed as a work right out of the grade one hall of fame. All in all, to summarize, it can be specified that Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks presents the most powerful analysis of space and the complexity related to existence and the eternality prevailing with all the differences and barriers imposed.

Thus, more widely the term ‘space’ can be used to depict a specific type of creative fabrication as engender by human beings, and the term more often than not implies some extent of aesthetic value, which depicts the sensory or sensory-emotional values of the artist, and sometimes even portrays sentiments and tastes of that person. Thus, space in Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks can be well defined as a component of literature. Literature, no doubt, records in it the life and society from which it emerges, in doing so it can never distort the truth or magnify it. Thus like literature art is also a mirror of society.

In the modern day world of prevailing dynamism, that is moving from progress to greater progress, or better said beauty to higher beauty in an endless motion, underneath all ostensible pandemonium and bewilderment. The trend, which dominates the globe, is its demonstration of orderliness and maintenance, which display their external mark and at the same time symbolize the inflexible geometry of the cities of the world. In its smoke trails, in its analogous car tracks, and its streets, its factories and the bridges and its gas tanks, by making use of the underscoring mechanical configuration, the artist could generate a new appearance of optimism thought the simple shapes like the use of quadrilateral, spirals and triangles in Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks.

Simultaneously, the artist uses the concept and imagery of space in a different notion too. Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks presents the energy of the universe through abstract line formulation that may be termed as galactic in nature. The basic form of this painting could be ascertained as abstract impressionism and there is no denial to this classification because this painting satisfies the sub altar manifestation of de centralized imaginative functions. Therefore, in accordance to the grammatical representation of art this painting by Marden is certainly a work of art as opposed by many and his concept and use of space is unparalleled by any other artist of his generation.

The most important point to be noted in this respect is the amount of energy of space that is reflected within the parameter of this canvas. To ascertain a piece of canvas to be judged as a work of art it is necessary to evoke a certain feeling within the viewers. There is no grammar involved in this part; no mathematics is needed; only the artistic sense is operational in this context from the part of the viewer. The interpretation may vary but the theme that evoked the interpretation of the viewer is all that is important to certify a painting as Art. In this context, too, Marden’s 3 Hydra Rocks comes out with excellence. He made space a meaningful narration and this makes this painting a brilliant work of art.

Works Cited

Marden, Brice. “3 Hydra Rocks”. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 2004. Web.

Smith, Kiki. “Untitled”; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 1985. Whitney Museum. Web.


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