Craig Oates

Series Breakdown: Noteworthy Artists and Artworks


Art Practice

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When discussing a piece of work, in relation to others, there is a risk of causing – or adding in some cases – confusion. Particular associations can emphasise aspects which diminish a viewing experience whilst others enhance a bland one. Thus, the following series of posts is one I tread over with care.

I have called this series Noteworthy Artists and Artworks; And, it consists of six sections (posts). The names of the six posts are as follows:

  1. Series Breakdown of Noteworthy Artists and Artworks (this one)
  2. Sol Lewitt and Wall Drawing 164
  3. Piero Della Francessca with The Flagellation of Christ and Pablo Picasso with Woman at the Toilet
  4. Anish Kapoor with As if to Celebrate I Discovered a Mountain Blooming with Red Flowers and Barbara Hepworth with Oval Sculpture (No. 2)
  5. Lawrence Weiner with Taken From the Wind & Bolted to the Ground
  6. Joel Meyerowitz with Fallen Man

When I say "Artist", I do so in the general sense. The reason why is because artists tend to produce large and varied bodies of work, and it is fair to say not everything they do will resonate or be useful (to me). And, identifying the appropriate works is crucial and sometimes difficult to do. On top of that, by knowing that, and taking it in to account, I have found it becomes even harder when trying to separate the wheat from the chaff with regards to experiencing the work as a viewer and a practitioner. That is because there are artworks I like to view but have no immediate relevance to my practice and the artwork I tend to produce and vice versa.

The task of separating the artist from their work can fall one of two ways, which are:

  1. The underlying pinning of an artist's practice can be more useful than any/all artwork produced from it. And;
  2. (usually a single) work produced by an artist contains elements which are more interesting/relevant but are by-products of the artist's practice than the result of the practice.

To reduce the chances of this series becoming a reading-list endurance test, I have created a total of six posts (including this one). Hopefully, this is small enough for people to work through in a reasonable time and long enough for it to give a well-rounded approximation of my practice. I say this because the artists and artworks included here are not my entire range of reference points. If I ever did include every one and thing, even I would not want to read it. With that said, I hope you find the balance to be just right.

As I start to bring this post to a close, I would like to clarify a previous point. This series is not an exhaustive list nor I have crystallised in any way. The intent here is to provide a foundation or approximation of where I think my work grows out from. They (my works) are not islands unto themselves and, hopefully after reading this, you will agree – perhaps even enjoy them (more).

Last of all, for the largest gain to be had from this series, I recommend reading my previous posts. This should give you a solid grounding in my work and the building blocks upon which I have built this series on top of.