Art Piece 1: Sloppy Bar Room Kiss (2011, oil on canvas, 39 x 48”)by Nicole Eisenman
Nicole Eisenman’s Sloppy Bar Room Kiss, 2011, derives its entire effect from the utilization of ingeniously dissident details, which are apparent when the audience has gained recovery from encountering the imagery imbued by the painter. Indeed, the painting can be easily seen as an illustration of passionate, embracing androgynes. This is further explicated by the manner in which the bodies are in close proximity with each other under the alcoholic influence of love. Additionally, the use of the crosshatched brushstrokes weaves the unison of the respective figures fluidly. Nonetheless, it is hard to ignore the perplexing approach that Eisenman utilizes once the painting is examined at a closer range. Accordingly, the painter’s treatment of ostensibly commonplace details that are out of the art piece’s focal point is queer. Viewed from the inner features of the painting’s establishment, the tavern’s neon window marker, widely made visible in print, may apparently manifest in reverse. Nevertheless, the paint’s implementation, which is elevated over the whole background area is effectively disorienting. This is because the paint has been put down in order for it to lay flat against the ebbs and canvas in a usual illusionist fashion. The sign ‘BAR’, which is present in the spectator’s world, is compellingly based atop the respective canvas. In addition to this, the sign acts as an indicator for driving the viewer’s attention towards the drunken state of the tavern’s dual patrons who seem to be comfortable in their own affectionate stupor. With the composition, the painter takes the spectator through and past the picture surface in a smudge of demarcations that pays attention towards that of the ambiguously androgynous pair of individuals she illustrates within the painting. Similar to other image fields, the characters within the art piece are arrested between coats of representation within its foyer of mirrors and androgynous outlines.
Art Piece 2: Landscape (With Spring and Autumn) by Sun Xie (1662-1722, colors on silk)
Landscape (With Spring and Autumn) by Sun Xie is an illustration of an art piece that cleverly captures the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Winter, and Autumn. Created in the 17th century, the painting pays homage to the Realism movement, which focused primarily on works of art that accurately represented the aspects of the natural world without invoking surrealistic effects. One of the definitive and visual aspects of the painting involves the use of the scroll. Over time, scrolls were used as the main media for conveying information in terms of the lingo, Hànyŭ as well as standard Chinese. In addition to this, the scrolls were also imperative in the depiction of events and occurrences via pictorial representations. In this respect, the depiction of the four seasons is illustrated by the manner in which the fluidity is represented within the scroll. Foremost, it is hard to forego the rugged nature of the paint smears on the scroll. However, the roughness effect is attributed to the texture of the scroll. Additionally, the smoothness and calm nature of the green landscape within the painting is attributed to the silky aspect of the painted-in medium. With the colors pasted on the scroll’s silk material, the painter found it rather possible to represent the green landscape in a natural and smooth manner. On the other hand, the objects represented in the art piece correspond with the realistic and decorative nature evident in similar Chinese paintings. The representative factor is considerably diminished and the landscape illustrated throughout the painting is revealed. Even though the scroll may seem amateurish during first sight, it maintains consistency with other attributed paintings and their respective style. This is further illustrated by the implementation of less prodigy brushwork illustrated throughout the painting.
Art Piece 3: Ordination of Empress Zhang (1493, hand scroll, 21 ½ by 1080”)
The Ordination of Empress Zhang is a painting that actually chronicles the events characterizing the consecration of one of the Ming Dynasty’s most influential priestess and consort of the Emperor Hongshi at the time. Illustrated on a hand scroll, the painting spreads out with contrasting sections of figure-based painting and calligraphy related particularly to the respective consecration event. The figurines within the illustration comprise illustrations of the Daoist deities as well as a representation of Empress Zhang. Moreover, each god is recognized by a complementary inscription, which establishes the painting as an invaluable resource for the recognition of illustrations representing the Daoist deities observed during the reign of the Ming Dynasty. The illustration of the priests and the empress in close proximity with the deities shows that the human beings have attained spiritual status. The patterned and spinning clouds constructed via pastel techniques follow the Daoist affiliates and their respective guards. Additionally, the middle part of the horizontal hand scroll comprises a lengthy dark ink caption that apparently was inscribed by the master conducting the ceremony. Every deity except for one of them dons on the robes typically seen among Daoist priests as well as a cap placed atop together with the representational flame of divine enlightenment. All of the figures bear ivory-based tablets which are developed after the ones carried by the officials during Emperor meetings. In terms of decoration, the hand scroll is adorned with five dragons, which are positioned against the lower and upper demarcations of the paintings. In this respect, the incorporation of such features symbolizes the presence of emperor, particularly in relation to the consistent utilization of the color yellow and the clawed dragons within the illustration.