The Anti-Minimalist Finish
‘’impeccable slickness’’ (Meyer, 1969)
A descriptive statement conversing about Minimalist sculpture depicts an accurate representation of the industrially made objects during the 1960s. This slick finish became the idealistic end goal of production for the sculptures I was creating. Mesmerised by Judd and Morris sculptures that were the main focal point for discussion and debate during the 60s, became a very restrictive fascination
I began to forget why I decided to undergo the process of hand making my frames. The reading that revolves around the era became very broad and it encapsulated my thought process, distracting my initial intention for my art.
Utilising ready made canvas frames and integrating the form into light environments exposed the reasoning as to why I was not enjoying my finalised creations. It came down to the very simple reason of not physically creating the shape. Almost feeling like I was cheating my creations by using ready made objects. Although it produced effective outcomes, I felt unhappy with displaying my art. This and my last critique that discussed a lot about refinement, began the process of creating my own frames but this realisation was lost during delving into the many readings relating to Donald Judd and other Minimalist artists.
Only recently has it been made apparent as to why I have produced what I have to the extent I have by reflecting a lot on the process of preparing my sculptures for the degree show.
I was sat down undergoing the process of trimming back silicone sealant that encased my acrylic frames when it hit me. ‘’Why the hell am I trimming silicone so perfectly?’’ ‘’Why am I doing this?!’’ This process of trying to create the perfect frame began to feel pointless-I was to never reach the goal of perfection or immaculate slickness. I was to simply create geometric frames that represented the shape, all by hand because I didn’t want to relive feeling like I had cheated myself. If I were to create an impeccably slick sculpture, investment would have been made in to allowing a factory to create my art. Not only is the process incredibly harsh on the pocket but it is ultimately the worst-case scenario for who I am as an artist.
The overall end goal for my installation is to create artwork for the beholder that can be experienced in light and dark scenarios. Not to create an obnoxious-red cube that sits alone within a space. My artwork is not a replica of Donald Judd’s art or of Minimalist sculpture, it is simply inspired by the movement and utilisation of shape.
After the last critique that conversed a considerable amount about refinement, I have realised that it was not just in relation to the way something appears, it was also in relation to the intention of how It appears. If the visible joints of wood, fixings or slight patchiness of paint was an accident or purposeful. And quite simply, it is very purposeful, because it’s handmade.