Panel 12 Perspectives in Visual Culture

Event Title

Drawing With Light: Meditations on Botanical Illustrations

Start Date

15-2-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

15-2-2015 3:50 PM

Panel

Perspectives in Visual Culture

Abstract

Drawing With Light: Meditations on Botanical Illustrations

This project considers an area where science and art overlap effortlessly: botanical illustrations. While plant representations are a commonly explored and returned-to motif in Western art, this project considers the unique approaches of Henri Matisse, Ellsworth Kelly, and Anna Atkins, and the interesting implications that occur when their artistic works are considered in relation to each other. Henri Matisse and Ellsworth Kelly works were first exhibited together at the Centre national de’art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, in Paris, France; for the first time, the two major figures of modern art were shown side by side with the specific intention of exploring their plant drawings. The plant drawings were presented as integral to a movement towards abstraction, and proposed that viewers examine the works in relation to each other to both question and refresh the works, and the motives behind their botanical drawings. Similar simple lines and elegant forms can be in another artist’s works, and in a different medium: the cyanotypes of Anna Atkins. In the mid-nineteenth century, Atkins blended the fields of science and art to create vivid cyanotypes that captured the outlines of seaweed and plants over a stunning blue background. Her cyanotypes, or “sun pictures” utilized sunlight to essentially “draw themselves” on a page of light-sensitive iron salts. In 1843, Atkins self-published her work, titled Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotopye Impressions. To this day, Atkins is considered the first female photographer, and British Algae is the first photographically illustrated book. This project considers Anna Atkins’ cyanotypes, and views them in relation to botanical drawings, like the works of Matisse and Kelly, to consider how they might inform an understanding of the fluidity of these artistic mediums. This project aims to spark questions, rather than provide answers; to pair Atkins’ cyanotypes with the plant drawings is to provide a new perspective and spark conversation on the exchange between drawing and photography, and the permeable layer between art and science.

Comments

Projector necessary. I will provide images for consideration via a PowerPoint presentation.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Feb 15th, 2:00 PM Feb 15th, 3:50 PM

Drawing With Light: Meditations on Botanical Illustrations

Drawing With Light: Meditations on Botanical Illustrations

This project considers an area where science and art overlap effortlessly: botanical illustrations. While plant representations are a commonly explored and returned-to motif in Western art, this project considers the unique approaches of Henri Matisse, Ellsworth Kelly, and Anna Atkins, and the interesting implications that occur when their artistic works are considered in relation to each other. Henri Matisse and Ellsworth Kelly works were first exhibited together at the Centre national de’art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, in Paris, France; for the first time, the two major figures of modern art were shown side by side with the specific intention of exploring their plant drawings. The plant drawings were presented as integral to a movement towards abstraction, and proposed that viewers examine the works in relation to each other to both question and refresh the works, and the motives behind their botanical drawings. Similar simple lines and elegant forms can be in another artist’s works, and in a different medium: the cyanotypes of Anna Atkins. In the mid-nineteenth century, Atkins blended the fields of science and art to create vivid cyanotypes that captured the outlines of seaweed and plants over a stunning blue background. Her cyanotypes, or “sun pictures” utilized sunlight to essentially “draw themselves” on a page of light-sensitive iron salts. In 1843, Atkins self-published her work, titled Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotopye Impressions. To this day, Atkins is considered the first female photographer, and British Algae is the first photographically illustrated book. This project considers Anna Atkins’ cyanotypes, and views them in relation to botanical drawings, like the works of Matisse and Kelly, to consider how they might inform an understanding of the fluidity of these artistic mediums. This project aims to spark questions, rather than provide answers; to pair Atkins’ cyanotypes with the plant drawings is to provide a new perspective and spark conversation on the exchange between drawing and photography, and the permeable layer between art and science.