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February 28, 2011 | by  | in Visual Arts |
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The Art They Love

Morgan Ashworth

Caspar David Friedrich: Landscape with the Rosenberg in the Bohemian Mountains, 1835

This small, unfinished painting was on display in Te Papa’s European Masters exhibition, but most people probably walked straight past it. Really, though, this bleak, empty landscape is fantastically grim and perfectly embodies the Romantic artist’s melancholic outlook on life. Friedrich was all about God being in nature, and if you want to have a god anywhere, that’s probably the best place for him. If this painting had a soundtrack it would probably be Sunn O))). Crushing mountainous doom. Nobody got Friedrich when he was alive—being grim and nihilistic wasn’t really the 19th century vibe—but he was definitely well ahead of his time.

Zoe Platt-Young

Seraphine Pick – Love School

I first saw this work on a fifth form school trip. We’d been traipsing around Te Papa, I happened to stray from the herd and the glimpse of richly textured indigo hues and shadowy nude figures intrigued me instantly. Pick has a unique mastery of light that infuses her pieces with an effortless mystery. One can read any number of themes in her work but it’s the way she seems to delve into our own subconscious that is particularly enrapturing. I found myself staring beyond the canvas—the depth of field is such that you feel you’re entering another plane of existence and not merely a painting. A truly ethereal work by a very talented Wellingtonian.

Jenny Ombler

Stephen Willats – The West London Social Resource Project

There are no pictures of my favourite artwork to show you. In 1977 Stephen Willats basically gave the art world the big finger by staging an art piece that didn’t invite regular gallery goers or critics. Instead, residents of housing blocks in West London were invited to take part in The West London Social Resource Project. Photographs of their private living spaces were distributed in a ‘manual’ for other residents to comment on. Willats wanted to create artistic engagement between subjects in the subject’s own context. That meant that critics and curators didn’t even get a foot in the door. You can read more about it in Willat’s magazine Control,

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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