The chosen reference for our experimental drawing workshops is the work of Anselm Kiefer.
His work is carried out on a large scale, constructed thickly with paint, clay, ash, straw, metal, glass and the written word. The images constitute a dialogue, perhaps more an argument with recent history, art and culture.
Responding to his art challenged me. Paint combines with solid materials stuck to the surface. Is this collage or mosaic or painting or a display of found objects? Are the components iconic or, like individual pigment granules, devoid of individual symbolism? Other than scale, what distinguishes this art from a child’s picture of glued autumn leaves?
In my first layer, I blocked in a silhouette of my home town in acrylic rose and phthalo green.
Weeks then elapsed. I returned with toolbox, a hammer, glue, white porcelain plates, bark, feathers from a predated corpse and tarmac gathered from a surface disrupted by a root.
I suspended the shards and granules in a sea of glue and swept into shapes using a plastic blade. In my mind, there was a direct link back to this earlier work in charcoal (https://kestrelart.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/swarm/).
Two more weeks have passed since. Paint and glue has dried. This week, I spent some time drinking coffee, just looking and thinking. Then I tried to recreate and expand the obscured cityscape, painting into and over this surface. I will post that next layer sometime soon.
I have only seen Anselm Kiefer’s paintings as photographs. I cannot find an example displayed in the UK although the Tate and the National Gallery of Scotland seem to have archived a number of pieces. I did not know of him earlier in the year when work was exhibited at the White Cube. My knowledge of him to date is largely gleaned from the internet, including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anselm_Kiefer
Fine artist Chris Wood comments below and introduced me to the work of Julian Schnabel. I post the link here so anyone else interested in this theme can follow it. http://www.julianschnabel.com/category/paintings/plate-paintings