The article "Letter to Eva Hesse" by Sol LeWitt was addressed to Eva Hesse who was a renowned sculptor in Germany during the 1960s. Eva was struggling with the loneliness that being an artist brought to her life (Lippard & Swenson, 2014). She spent so much time alone to focus on her art and create perfect sculptures for her followers. She juxtaposed the effect of art on her life and her followers. Art ought to cause happiness to the artist and amaze his or her followers, but it brought her loneliness at that time. She reached out to Sol LeWitt who was renowned for his murals that were deeply conceptual. LeWitt replied a series of letters all aimed at raising Hesse's spirit and encouraging her to overcome loneliness and appreciate the things that were present in her life.
The specific letter in the article was written about a month after Hesse reached out to LeWitt. It shows that Hesse was worried and discounted with the amount of time she dedicated to art yet receiving little happiness. LeWitt acknowledged that art can be disappointing and the world does not always value artists. He said that artists have every right to hate the world, but they should always find an upside and focus on positivity (Lippard & Swenson, 2014). The letter identifies the following principal reasons for loneliness to artists; Worrying about an audience, aiming for perfection, finding an easy way out, overthinking about the audience, blame games, evil-eyeing among other factors. The letter regarded all the causes as within the artist's span of control and concluded that Hesse should stop worrying and do art to her best ability.
The article, "The Creative Act" by Marcel Duchamp explores the roles of artists and spectators in the art industry. He refers to the two as "the two poles of creation" that hold the ingenious process of making art (Duchamp, 1999). The article focuses on the cognitive processes involved in art. The artist first receives inspiration from an external or internal factor to create art of a specific kind. However, when a work of art is created, in most cases the result is different from the conceptualized idea. The cause of the difference is the difference between imaginative and real world. The article further states that the viewers of an artwork interpret it different from what the artist intended. Artists who fail to strike a balance between their expectations and reality often fall victim to disappointment and discontent with society.
The article states that art is a way of expressing things that cannot be accurately put to words. Unlike literary forms, art represents both emotions and the environment in a single artistic coefficient (Duchamp, 1999). Art represents refined ideas that the artist intends to present to his or her audience. Interpretation of art is a transmutation process where the audience changes their perception from viewing it as inert matter to appreciating it as an artwork. The artist has no control over the viewers of his or her art. The control ends when a final piece is refined and presented to the external world.
In most cases, artists leave their audiences to interpret art on their own. The act invokes critical thinking while deciphering themes and emotions and relating them to the real world. Art thus gains diverse meanings depending on the level of thought and other factors of its viewers. The creative act is therefore dictated by the artist, the intended viewers, and the posterity who may find value and history in a preserved work of art.
The article, "Some Rules and Hints for Students and Teachers. Or Anybody Else" by John Cage explores guidelines for effective learning. The list was formulated by a renowned educator, Sister Corita Kent, who was also an artist. However, John Cage popularized the rules. Kent taught a class in 1967-68 at the LA's Immaculate Heart Convent and made officialized the rules for application in the art department (Cage, 2011). Cage championed for the rules and introduced a tenth rule that directly cites his name.
The first rule asserts that one should find a place that they can trust. A student should maximize their learning by engaging as much as possible with the teachers and fellow students. Teachers should, in turn, engage their students to gauge their level of learning and thus understand the effectiveness of their teaching methods (Cage, 2011). Every experience should be considered as an experiment which provides the opportunity to learn from its consequences. Good students follow better ways, learn from their mistakes and work hard. The article further explores the concept of happiness and urges students to be happy at any time they can afford to since it helps in thinking. The final rule which is a converse of all the other rules since it states that rules ought to be broken. The world is uncertain and rules at times hinder one from achieving total freedom. However, critical thinking is needed to assess situations and learn from them. The rules summed up the learning environment for a student of art. The article explores the means to achieve success in art and still lead a happy life despite the loneliness tendencies of artists' lifestyles.
Cage, J. (2011). Silence: lectures and writings. Wesleyan University Press.
Duchamp, M. (1999). The creative act. Sub Rosa.
Lippard, L. R., & Swenson, K. (2014). Converging Lines: Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt. Blanton Museum of Art.
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