Prisms of the abstract

Material relations in Icelandic art

Elizabeth A Hodson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article seeks to re-imagine the concept of abstraction as a material mechanism for artmaking. Abstraction is traditionally divorced from the discipline of anthropology, which is rooted in social context and descriptive particulars. Within this debate, abstraction, as a mental capacity, is contrasted with contextual understanding and entails a removal from the life of the people studied. But, for the artist, this conclusion may be premature and abstraction is more accurately regarded as a constitutive function of art-making. The author draws explicitly on this proposition and proposes that abstraction affords artists a material means of transforming how they relate and re-imagine the world, offering them a means of separating the properties of things from the things themselves. Integral to these affordances is abstraction as an art historical construct. Thus abstraction is not the erasure of context, whether conceptual or material, but its imbrication. To illuminate this proposition, this article focuses on the working practice of one Icelandic artist, through which the author suggests that abstraction can be envisaged as a prism of open connections that lead from the artist into the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-92
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Material Culture
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date30 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Fingerprint

abstraction
art
artist
Icelandic Art
anthropology
Artist

Keywords

  • abstraction
  • art
  • drawing
  • ethnography
  • representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Prisms of the abstract : Material relations in Icelandic art. / Hodson, Elizabeth A.

In: Journal of Material Culture, Vol. 22, No. 1, 01.03.2017, p. 72-92.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hodson, Elizabeth A. / Prisms of the abstract : Material relations in Icelandic art. In: Journal of Material Culture. 2017 ; Vol. 22, No. 1. pp. 72-92.
@article{7011c179c5d04d2b9cc50866e6849b66,
title = "Prisms of the abstract: Material relations in Icelandic art",
abstract = "This article seeks to re-imagine the concept of abstraction as a material mechanism for artmaking. Abstraction is traditionally divorced from the discipline of anthropology, which is rooted in social context and descriptive particulars. Within this debate, abstraction, as a mental capacity, is contrasted with contextual understanding and entails a removal from the life of the people studied. But, for the artist, this conclusion may be premature and abstraction is more accurately regarded as a constitutive function of art-making. The author draws explicitly on this proposition and proposes that abstraction affords artists a material means of transforming how they relate and re-imagine the world, offering them a means of separating the properties of things from the things themselves. Integral to these affordances is abstraction as an art historical construct. Thus abstraction is not the erasure of context, whether conceptual or material, but its imbrication. To illuminate this proposition, this article focuses on the working practice of one Icelandic artist, through which the author suggests that abstraction can be envisaged as a prism of open connections that lead from the artist into the world.",
keywords = "abstraction , art, drawing, ethnography, representation",
author = "Hodson, {Elizabeth A}",
note = "The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Early research on this topic was funded by an AHRC studentship award. The writing of this article was supported by the European Research Council, as part of the project ‘Knowing from the Inside’ at the University of Aberdeen (2013–2018).",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/1359183516679185",
language = "English",
volume = "22",
pages = "72--92",
journal = "Journal of Material Culture",
issn = "1359-1835",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Ltd",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prisms of the abstract

T2 - Material relations in Icelandic art

AU - Hodson, Elizabeth A

N1 - The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Early research on this topic was funded by an AHRC studentship award. The writing of this article was supported by the European Research Council, as part of the project ‘Knowing from the Inside’ at the University of Aberdeen (2013–2018).

PY - 2017/3/1

Y1 - 2017/3/1

N2 - This article seeks to re-imagine the concept of abstraction as a material mechanism for artmaking. Abstraction is traditionally divorced from the discipline of anthropology, which is rooted in social context and descriptive particulars. Within this debate, abstraction, as a mental capacity, is contrasted with contextual understanding and entails a removal from the life of the people studied. But, for the artist, this conclusion may be premature and abstraction is more accurately regarded as a constitutive function of art-making. The author draws explicitly on this proposition and proposes that abstraction affords artists a material means of transforming how they relate and re-imagine the world, offering them a means of separating the properties of things from the things themselves. Integral to these affordances is abstraction as an art historical construct. Thus abstraction is not the erasure of context, whether conceptual or material, but its imbrication. To illuminate this proposition, this article focuses on the working practice of one Icelandic artist, through which the author suggests that abstraction can be envisaged as a prism of open connections that lead from the artist into the world.

AB - This article seeks to re-imagine the concept of abstraction as a material mechanism for artmaking. Abstraction is traditionally divorced from the discipline of anthropology, which is rooted in social context and descriptive particulars. Within this debate, abstraction, as a mental capacity, is contrasted with contextual understanding and entails a removal from the life of the people studied. But, for the artist, this conclusion may be premature and abstraction is more accurately regarded as a constitutive function of art-making. The author draws explicitly on this proposition and proposes that abstraction affords artists a material means of transforming how they relate and re-imagine the world, offering them a means of separating the properties of things from the things themselves. Integral to these affordances is abstraction as an art historical construct. Thus abstraction is not the erasure of context, whether conceptual or material, but its imbrication. To illuminate this proposition, this article focuses on the working practice of one Icelandic artist, through which the author suggests that abstraction can be envisaged as a prism of open connections that lead from the artist into the world.

KW - abstraction

KW - art

KW - drawing

KW - ethnography

KW - representation

U2 - 10.1177/1359183516679185

DO - 10.1177/1359183516679185

M3 - Article

VL - 22

SP - 72

EP - 92

JO - Journal of Material Culture

JF - Journal of Material Culture

SN - 1359-1835

IS - 1

ER -