SHEILA GOLOBOROTKO | ANDREW KOZLOWSKI
Week Four: Sculptural Prints
Homework: Sculptural Prints
Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist science-fiction drama film directed by Fritz Lang. Made in Germany,
Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city master, and
Maria, a saintly figure to the workers, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes in their city and bring the workers
The film's message is encompassed in the final inter-title*: "The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the
*Intertitles are title cards shown in middle of silent films as a narration piece; Intertitles are also used in the opening or
ending of a film.
Week Four: Sculptural Print
Post: Sculptural Print
Make sure to complete the sketchbook exercise before starting your sculptural print.
Process: These are the initial rules you must follow to complete this project:
1. Use what you have: look around for the materials you have available.
2. Use old prints or any printed matter such as magazines, newspapers, cards, etc.
3. Create one or more dimensional elements; watch the videos posted in this module for inspiration.
4. Observe if you developed your own rules while you are creating this project. If you are conscious
about the rules you created, document and share in your post!
• Three photos of your work in progress.
• Two photos (or more) of your ﬁnal Sculptural Print.
Write one paragraph statement for the sculptural piece you created. Were you conscious about
developing rules as you created your piece(s)? What did you learn from the process of setting up rules,
observing the rules, or having no rules that you were aware of? Did you break any rules? Did you
recreate a new set of rules during the process? What did you learn from the process of making a
Whatever rules or parameters you choose to create your sculptural print, remember a golden rule you
should always follow: The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart.
Who makes the rules?….or What is Conceptual Art?
Conceptual art emerged as an art movement in the 1960s, critiquing the previously ruling modernist movement and its focus
on the aesthetic. The term is usually used to refer to art from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. In Conceptualism, the idea or
concept behind the work of art became more important than the actual technical skill or aesthetic. Conceptual artists used
whichever materials and forms were most appropriate to get their ideas across.
Four Colours Four Words (Blue, Red, Yellow, Green)
Sister Corita Kent
This resulted in vastly different types of artworks that could look like almost anything – from performance to writing to
everyday objects. The artists explored the possibilities of art-as-idea and art-as-knowledge, using linguistic, mathematical,
and process-oriented dimensions of thought as well as invisible systems, structures and processes for their art.
Mel Ramsden (Art & Language Group)
Insertions into Ideological Circuits: Coca-Cola Project
Concrete blocks and mortar
180 3/8 x 398 1/2 x 382 1/4 in
First installation 1997, fabricated 1999
Influenced by his time working in an architect’s office, LeWitt would use assistants to produce three-dimensional works
he called "structures." He wrote: "An architect doesn't go off with a shovel and dig his foundation and lay every brick.
He's still an artist." Instead of executing the works of art himself, LeWitt comes up with an idea or plan for his art,
usually a set of simple instructions—sometimes with line drawings. He then hands over the written plan to his
assistants, and they construct the work. LeWitt's instructions are both specific and open-ended so that the resulting
work of art varies according to the interpretation made by the draftsperson producing the work of art.
Ziggurat Pyramid of Kukulkan, c. 987
Floor Structure Black
Painted wood, 18 1/2 x 18 x 82 in
Beginning in 1968, LeWitt created a series of works called the Drawing Series. Each piece consists of a simple set of
instructions or a diagram to be followed and executed directly onto the wall (such as the instructions below for a wall
drawing owned by the Tate). These works are purposefully temporal and can be produced not only by the artist
himself, but also by other draftsmen, such as studio assistants. In this series, the artist places emphasis on the
concept of the work rather than the physical manifestation. LeWitt wrote, “When an artist uses a conceptual form of
art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair.
Photo: Sol LeWitt’s, Wall Drawing #50 A, 1970.
Instead of creating a single wall mural, Sol LeWitt created instructions on how to create what he called “wall drawings”
so that they would be reproducible and could be created by a collaborative team of skilled artists or fabricators. He
fully explored in his works the relationship between the idea and the final product, between outlining the concept and
fully defining the work. In one of his essays he says “The system* is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof
of the system. The visual aspect can't be understood without understanding the system. It isn't what it looks like but
what it is that is of basic importance”.
“The idea becomes the machine that makes the art”
To that, when an organization or individual buys a LeWitt wall drawing, they receive two things, neither of which is the
finished work of art. They get a certificate of authenticity and a detailed set of instructions—that is, they get the idea.
To install the piece, they worked directly with LeWitt and now, since his death in 2007, work with LeWitt’s estate to hire
one of his trained drafts-people to lead the installation.
On September 10, 2012, three members of the installation staff at the Modern joined one of the draftsmen from the
Estate of Sol LeWitt and began to execute Wall Drawing #50 A. The instructions are simple: “A wall divided into four
parts by lines drawn from corner to corner. Each section with three different colors made of parallel lines
superimposed. Color pencil.” This is the first execution of the work since the Museum acquired it in 2010. The
installation process for the 24’ x 16’ wall took five-and–a-half weeks (672 man-hours), and it is estimated that the
drawing is composed of over 14,800 separate lines…to marvelous effect.
Between 1968 and his death in 2007, LeWitt created more than 1,270 wall drawings. Since his death, the works have
continued to be executed, abiding closely to LeWitt’s specifications, though differing slightly each time due to the
draftsmen’s interpretations of his instructions. In a sense, every new installation is a collaboration between a space, a
draftsman, a wall, and LeWitt himself, composing posthumously. There is something wonderful and comforting about the
fact that these works can’t be ruined, they can be created and destroyed a million times over, but they will not be lost.
They exist as ideas.
Wall Drawing #797
Blanton Museum of Art
(Video link here.)
(Video link here.)
The concept that fed Lombardi's conceptualism was that a clandestine economy, bound by no law, shuttled money
between concerns in Texas, the Middle East, the Vatican and the Beltway. That money translated into oil barrels, or
bundles of cocaine, or crates of arms, and inevitably manifested itself as ruthless power of the few over the many.
Lombardi thought the best way to defeat this corrupt global cabal was to show it its own reflection.
Lombardi's "narrative structures," as he called them, were based on information he culled from public documents,
and while there is a sort of mad beauty to the crisscrossing arrows of his drawings, their main currency is not beauty
but information, the feverish connections between the Saudis and the Bushes, between the millions shuttled from
London to Riyadh and a brutally suppressed peasant uprising Latin America. He was like an investigative reporter
whose medium just happened to be the schematic drawing.
World Finance Corporation, ca. 1998
Graphite and collage on paper
20 × 27 1/2 in
BCCI, ICIC, FAB c. 1972-91 (4th version) detail, 1996
Colored pencil and graphite on paper
52 × 138 in
John Cage: Chance Operations
John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American composer, music theorist, writer,
philosopher, and artist. Cage studied Indian philosophy and Zen Buddhism in the late 1940s, and the I Ching became
his source reference for life, using the guide as a random chance generator, as well as philosophical reference.
“Chance Operations” would seem a haphazard process, but these are structures, a series of strict rules that remove
choice from the artist. Choice is what most artists most value. If you let go of choice, what remains in your artworks?
“He numbered the different tools and asked which to use, then how many marks to make with each tool. Next he
asked how many marks should be long, how many medium, how many short. He had with him a sheaf of pages
showing I Ching-derived numbers, computer-printed and ready to use to get answers without the need to throw
Objects and drawings
The basic principle is to remove one’s own intention from the work and hand that over to the oracle. Intention is always
to some extent circumscribed by one’s own tastes and personality, whereas non-intention moves beyond like and
dislike and becomes something more resembling an act of nature.
“I use chance operations instead of operating according to my likes and dislikes. I use my work to change myself and I
accept what the chance operations say. The I Ching says that if you don’t accept the chance operations you have no
right to use them. Which is very clear, so that’s what I do.
“The first thing the I Ching teaches us is acceptance. It essentially advances this lesson: if we want to use chance
operations, then we must accept the results”
Objects and drawings
“Interdeterminacy is the possibility of a unique form.” It results when sturctures within a composition generate
‘If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two.
Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.’ – John Cage
Hans Haacke (b. Cologne, Germany, 1936) took the fight inside the museum. His seminal installation, “MoMA
Poll,” presented visitors with two transparent ballot boxes, a ballot and a sign that posed a question about the
upcoming gubernatorial race: “Would the fact that Governor Rockefeller has not denounced President Nixon’s
Indochina Policy be a reason for you not to vote for him in November?” (By the time the exhibition closed,
roughly twice as many participants had answered “yes” as “no.”) MoMA did not censor the work, but not all
institutions were as tolerant.
A yellow ballot used for Haacke’s “MoMA Poll.”
Jenny Holzer (b. Gallipolis, Ohio, 1950) was 25 years old when she began compiling her “Truisms,” more than 250
cryptic maxims, terse commands and shrewd observations. Culled from world literature and philosophy, some of the one-
liners are judgmental (“Any surplus is immoral”), others bleak (“Ideals are replaced by conventional goals at a certain
age”), and a few echo the half-baked platitudes found in fortune cookies (“You must have one grand passion”). The most
resonant are the political ones, none more so than “Abuse of power comes as no surprise.” After printing them as
posters, which she pasted among real advertisements throughout downtown Manhattan, Holzer reproduced them on
objects, including baseball caps, T-shirts and condoms. She projected them on the enormous Spectacolor LED board in
Times Square in 1982, with smaller scrolling signs to evoke the digital clocks and screens through which we are
continuously fed information (and told what to think) in urban environments. Holzer continues to use the “Truisms” today,
incorporating them into electronic signs, benches, footstools and T-shirts.
One of Jenny Holzer’s “Truisms” featured on a
Spectacolor light board in Times Square as part of
the Public Art Fund’s “Messages to the Public”
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (b. Cuba, 1957; d. 1996)
came to New York City in 1979.
When he created “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in
L.A.) in 1991, he was mourning the loss of his
lover, Ross Laycock, who had died of AIDS-
related illness that year. The installation ideally
comprises 175 pounds of candies, wrapped in
bright cellophane, an approximation of the body
weight of a healthy adult male. Viewers are free to
take pieces from the pile, and over the course of
the exhibition, the work deteriorates, just as
Laycock’s body did. The candies, however, may
or may not be routinely replenished by the staff,
evoking eternity and rebirth at the same time as
they conjure mortality.
Portrait of Ross in L.A.
Santa Monica Museum of Art
Michael Asher (b. Los Angeles, 1943; d. 2012) spent his career responding to each gallery or museum space with site-
specific works that illuminated the architectural or abstract qualities of the venue. When the Santa Monica Museum of Art
(now the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles) approached the conceptualist in 2001 to mount an exhibition, he
tapped into the history of the institution, recreating the wood or metal skeletons of all of the temporary walls that had been
built for the 38 previous exhibitions. The result was a labyrinth of studs that effectively collapsed time and space, bringing
multiple chapters of the museum’s history into the present. That work characterized his unique practice over more than 40
years: In 1970, Asher removed all the doors of an exhibition space at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., to allow light,
air and sound into the galleries, calling viewers’ attention to the ways such places are usually closed off — both literally
and metaphorically — from the outside world; for a 1991 show at Paris’s Centre Pompidou, he searched all the books filed
under “psychoanalysis” in the museum’s library for abandoned paper fragments, including bookmarks; in 1999, he created
a volume listing nearly all of the artworks that the Museum of Modern Art in New York had deaccessioned since its
founding — privileged information rarely made public.
When I hear the word
culture, I take out my
I Shop Therefore I Am
Barbara Kruger (b. Newark, 1945) briefly studied at the Parsons School of Design in 1965, but her real education was in
the world of magazines. She dropped out early on to work at Mademoiselle as an assistant to the art director, rapidly
became head designer, and then switched to freelance, conceiving layouts for House & Garden, Vogue and Aperture,
among other publications. Through these projects, Kruger learned how to command the viewer’s attention and manipulate
desire. A close reader of Roland Barthes and other theorists focused on media, culture and the power of images, Kruger
brought her professional life and philosophical leanings together in the early 1980s with her iconic works: agitprop images
of terse, satirical slogans in white or black Futura Bold Oblique type on close-cropped images primarily from old
magazines. They confront gender roles and sexuality, corporate greed and religion. Several of the most well-known indict
consumerism, including 1985’s “Untitled (When I Hear the Word Culture, I Take Out My Checkbook),” in which the words
slash across the face of a ventriloquist’s dummy, and “Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am),” from 1987.
Catherine Opie (b. Sandusky, Ohio, 1961)
In this photo, the artist faces away from the viewer, confronting
us with her bare back, on which a house — the kind a child
might draw — and two stick figures in skirts have been carved.
The figures hold hands, completing the idyllic domestic dream,
which, at the time was just that — a dream — for lesbian
couples. This work and others responded to the national
firestorm surrounding “obscenity” in art. In 1989, Senators
Alfonse D’Amato and Jesse Helms had denounced “Piss
Christ,” a photograph depicting a crucifix submerged in urine
by Andres Serrano, which was part of a traveling exhibition that
had received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
A few weeks later, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington,
D.C. opted to cancel a show featuring homoerotic and
sadomasochistic photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe, whose
exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University
of Pennsylvania had also received federal funding. In 1990, the
N.E.A. denied funding to four artists because of their explicit
themes of frank sexuality, trauma or subjugation. (In 1998, the
Supreme Court ruled that the N.E.A.’s statute was valid and did
not result in discrimination against the artists, nor did it
suppress their expression.) By creating and exhibiting these
works when she did, Opie openly defied those looking to shame
queer communities and censor their visibility in art. “She is an
insider and an outsider,” wrote the Times art critic Holland
Cotter on the occasion of Opie’s 2008 Guggenheim midcareer
retrospective. “[Opie is] a documentarian and a provocateur; a
classicist and a maverick; a trekker and a stay-at-home; a
lesbian feminist mother who resists the gay mainstream; an
American — birthplace: Sandusky, Ohio — who has serious
arguments with her country and culture.”