British Art Studies, March 2023

Posted in journal articles, today in light of the 18th century by Editor on April 3, 2023

West Wall of the Print Room at Woodhall Park, Hertfordshire, created in 1782 by R. Parker.
Photographed in 2023 Matthew Hollow.

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The long eighteenth century in the latest issue of British Art Studies (lots of fascinating material; I’m especially taken by the videos that accompany Kate Retford’s article: they’re fabulous, particularly the one on ‘Making the Print Room’. CH)

British Art Studies 24 (March 2023)

“Monuments Must Fall,” a ‘Conversation Piece’ convened by Edwin Coomasaru, with responses by Jodie Dowd and Nathan mudyi Sentance, Sasanka Perera, Wendy Bellion, Chrislyn Laurie Laurore, Stacy Boldrick, Joan Coutu, Emma Mahony, Nomusa Makhubu, Nickolas Lambrianou, and Raqs Media Collective.

‘Conversation Piece’ is a British Art Studies series that draws together a group of contributors to respond to an idea, provocation, or question.

Monumentality is an aesthetic form of social antagonism. . . . Many monuments are erected to do controversial work, and while they may proclaim a matter resolved or a problem consolidated, the reactions to them (sometimes long after they have been placed on pedestals) actually demonstrate the opposite is often the case. Monuments are not solely statues. Monumentality is the discursive space that surrounds certain public sculptures, including demands they be pulled down or protected, which can erupt into spontaneous or managed removal. Such a discursive space is inherently unstable, which is why most monuments ultimately must fall, physically or conceptually: either by being toppled or by having their original intentions obliterated and reimagined. . . .

Monuments are not simply physical structures, nor empty symbols, but are shaped by either social support systems that erect and conserve them, or by forms of social conflict which contest and topple them. The discursive space around a public statue, from protest to press coverage, and its translation into material conditions, is the making of its monumentality. . . .

Edwin Coomasaru’s essay and the ten responses are available here»

Kate Retford, “Cutting and Pasting: The Print Room at Woodhall Park.”

This article explores the exemplary surviving print room at Woodhall Park in Hertfordshire, created in 1782 for Sir Thomas Rumbold. A professional named “R. Parker” pasted more than 350 prints around the walls of this interior; the results were then carefully recorded in a catalogue and set of elevation diagrams. The first section, ‘Space’, analyses the print room within the broader context of the house, in order to connect exterior and interior, explore the relative qualities of ‘public’ and ‘private’ space, and consider neoclassical style as worked out in various media. The second, ‘Display’, unpacks the pasted scheme, looking at the relationship between ‘background’ images and ‘starring’ works, and that between iconography and pattern-making. The final part explores ‘Making’, analysing the processes by which prints were selected, trimmed, given paper borders, and arranged around the walls. This discussion considers both the degree to which the intermedial object of the reproductive print was translated into a trompe l’œil painting or sculpture in such schemes, and the creative work of collaging at play. The analysis in this article weaves together textual discussion with still and moving images, film, and animation. Combining these techniques, it aims to provide full documentation and analysis of the scheme, and to engage with embodied, mobile, and temporally determined viewing experience in both the house and the print room.

Article available here»

Melissa L. Gustin, “Do Sleeping Shepherds Dream of 3D-Printed Sheep: John Gibson, Oliver Laric, and Digital Neoclassicism.”

This article considers the relationship between John Gibson’s neoclassical sculpture The Sleeping Shepherd Boy [designed 1818] and Oliver Laric’s installations for the 2016 Liverpool Biennial using 3D models and prints of the Shepherd. These bodies of work allow us to think about their similarities in attitude towards imitation, the significance of the ‘neoclassical’ across different historic moments, and the cultures of copying or reproduction. It looks at the reproductive technologies of 3D scanning, printing, CNC milling, and digital remixing alongside historical reproductions such as casts and copies. These offer new potentially disruptive—but not destructive—opportunities within the legacy of neoclassical practices. The intellectual and artistic inheritance of neoclassical sculpture as an imitative practice after Greek and Roman antiquity informs Laric’s sculptural work. I draw on Alexander Nagel and Christopher Wood’s Anachronic Renaissance (2010) and George Kubler’s The Shape of Time (1968) to discuss Laric’s modular, large-scale 3D prints, which point towards issues of replacement, imitation, and wholeness. The open-source 3D models he produces as part of his practice are then used by other artists, including Zachary Eastwood-Bloom in his Divine Principles series, and the author, for making research objects.

Article available here»

2 Responses

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  1. Sarah Turner said, on April 11, 2023 at 9:40 pm

    Thanks so much for supporting British Art Studies and promoting the latest issue. Greatly appreciated! Really pleased to hear you are enjoying Kate Retford’s article.

    Very best,

    Dr Sarah Victoria Turner FRSA
    Acting Director
    Editor-in-Chief, British Art Studies
    Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

  2. Editor said, on April 12, 2023 at 1:13 am

    You’re welcome, Sarah! Such a good issue! Thanks for the comment. -Craig Hanson

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