Contemporary Art Review

I focus on analyzing the column of Art in The New York Times in this essay. As we all know, New York Times is a well-known American newspaper headquartered in New York, and has a great influence and a large number of readers in the world. It contains live news, surveys, opinions, photos and videos from journalists from more than 150 countries around the world. The content involves the politics, business, technology, science, health, sports, art, food, travel, and so on. In terms of the column of Arts of New York Times, it consists of the news and information about art and design, books, dance, movies, music, television, theater, and pop culture around the world.

“Inspired by Miniature Paintings, Shahzia Sikander Goes Big” is a news report written by Hilarie M. Sheets published on The New York Times Art on 23 October, 2020. This report mainly introduces a contemporary artist, Shahzia Sikander, and her art works inspired by miniature paintings, meanwhile, it conveys the significance of art in people’s life and spreads the feminist perspective in the art around the world. All the title, introduction, theme, language, typesetting, structure, and the content combine by this report perfectly reflect the characteristics of authenticity and interest of the news and effectively attract the audience’s reading pleasure, at the same time, they commonly highlight and spread the artist and her art works.

The title summarizing the character and event in the news simply and directly tells the art lovers that the main content of this news report is about Shahzia Sikander and her miniature paintings. Next, the description of the introduction concisely introduces the subject of the report that art has strong power for people even living in dark world. Then, the author refers to the artist’s name, background, and the theme of her art works. Meanwhile, she leads to the following content relying on Shahzia Sikander’s upcoming exhibition. All of the beginning information has successfully allowed the reader to obtain a general understanding of the content and main idea of the article.

In terms of the language in this report, it is obvious that the author applies a wide variety of direct and indirect speeches of Shahzia Sikander, which makes a series of contributions to the effects of this report. First, all of the direct and indirect speeches from Shahzia Sikander create a strong appeal to the readers who are able to feel the real feelings of the speaker during reading news, thus it determines the broadcast effect of this news report to a certain extent. Second, direct and indirect speeches enhance the authenticity of the news to a great extent. Because the quotation of the original words of the news figure can help the audience create a sense of being on the scene, which is beneficial to make the audience feel the news is true. Third, directly quoting Shahzia Sikander’s words make her live and full of personality, this vivid personality is more easy to be accepted by the audience during the reading. In addition, these direct and indirect speeches play an important role in highlighting the news theme. From the words of Shahzia Sikander in this news, the audiences are able to understand that her exploration of colonialism, immigration, gender and connected identity, and her contributions to the contemporary art. Last but not least, the abundant direct and indirect speeches in this news contribute to optimize the text structure and relieve the visual pressure of readers. Besides, the typesetting of this news makes the original dull news page colorful through combination of text and pictures. The whole article is more lively and the connotation becomes greatly enriched. It is helpful for the audience to clearly understand the story and artistic theme of the news.

This selected news report from the Art of The New York Times is an outstanding art news report highlighting the news characteristics fairness, authenticity and accuracy. The author insists on the objectivity of news report and applies a variety of direct and indirect speeches of the news figure to state the facts. The language style and typesetting are vivid to attract the art loving readers’ interest and conveys the theme of the news. It effectively allows more contemporary art lovers to understand the content of news and the creation of artists, so as to achieve the best effect of news broadcast.

Reference link: 

Discussion with Sarah Crowner

As Professor Katie walk us through Sarah’s studio, I noticed the pieces of cutouts on the floor in the middle of Sarah’s studio, and the smaller canvas covered with pieces of painted panels. It is quite helpful for the viewers to see the ‘behind the scene’ process of the making of an artwork. Sarah revealed many of the unfinished works which were mainly cutout canvas in abstract shapes. There were a few unfinished square canvases covered with loose stripes, Sarah explained that to her works, the most important thing is not really about painting, it is more about the shapes, cutting and tailoring, she also showed us the industrial Juki sewing machine, it was a rather small machine in comparison to her large scale of works, which she explains that the machine was merely an auxiliary tool to her works, the key is always the composition of each shapes.

Sarah sews her panels extremely neat, in order to achieve the 60s hard-edge style painting look, all the edge in her works were very smoothly joined as well. It was interesting to know that some of the final works are actually a few times stretched size than the original size, so it kind of appears that even Sarah herself, could only grasp a close idea to what the final work may be, rather than having the work reaching to her expectation. And to artists, this kind of ‘unreliability’ of our materials, tools sometimes can create surprisingly good results, it should be something we learn and embrace.

Discuusion with Merrill Wagner

The first thing many audience notice when viewing Merrill Wagner’s works would be the massive color blocks and the materials they are made of. I thought the colors and the texture on each metal piece were added on by Merrill, as they all look somehow too embellished, it was interesting to learn that there were atually not as much intentional touch to the surface as I thought there were, as Lily explained, when Merrill is working in the studio, she and Joe would observe both of the natural and artificial patterns or damages that are already existing on the pieces before leaving paint on the surfaces. It it also fascinating to know that when people are moving these massive pieces of steels, as they are magnetic, sometimes they could create rather intense tension while being moved around, Lily describes them as ‘almost like a performance.’, I believe it would be inspiring to many of the viewers and peer artists if they actually film the process of moving and showcase the invisible tension between each piece.

Later during our class, Merrill mention that shehad manipulated the shape of those metals, and according to Lily and Merrill herself, in most cases they just went along with the original shape they came with, there were not many cuttings of shaping involves. It would be good for many of young artists today to adapt such sustainable approach like Merrill, and discover more approach from the natural form of our materials rather than solely consume and produce.

Discussion with Amna Asghar, Print Making Artist

Before talking to Amna Ashgar, I didn’t know anything about how to print making. She gave me a new understanding. What she do is first working in the photoshop to make a draft and sketch. To print out the image off the computer, you need to have a light senstive board and put the image below the board and then finally exposed them. I think the process are quite the same as printing the photo from camera, the difference is the process that working in the photoshop.

Amna also show us her artwork which paints the sky. Those images are really beautiful and dreamlike. She mentioned that painting the sky can be quiet and healing. For making the paiting, she also took a lot of beautiful picture Into her paintings and seeking different color and composition online such as oriental Indian cinema and Disney movie. I think that’s the same as most artists do which is learning other’s artwork and combing them with self idea. And finally, it becomes a brand new and own style.