1.7.5 Digital and Installation Art (1970s-1990s )

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La Spirale, Calder
Lightning with Stag in its Glare, Beuys
One and Three Chairs, Kosuth
White and Orange, Tàpies
Carmen, Calder
Fulcrum, Serra
Umbrellas, Christo
South Bank Circle, Long

Everyone I have ever slept with, Emin
My Bed, Emin
Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, Hirst
Turning the World Upside Down, Kapoor
Spire of Dublin/Monument of Light

Digital art is a term used to describe art that is made or presented using digital technology

Installation art is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. Generally, the term is applied to interior spaces, whereas exterior interventions are often called public art, land art or art intervention; however, the boundaries between these terms overlap.

[Source: tate.org.uk]


This mobile sculpture made of black steel consisting of painted steel plates bolted together to the stable part and painted stainless steel and aluminum blades attached to articulated stainless steel rods, bolts for the mobile part.

It was acquired by UNESCO for the artistic decoration of its Headquarters in 1958.
[Source: uneso.org]
Image source: unesco.org
La Spirale1958Sculpture
Calder, Alexander1898-1976, aged 79American artistKinetic Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-11]

UNESCO headquarters, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris, France1000 (h)  

Image source: massmoca.org
Lightning with Stag in its Glare is a large-scale installation that occupies an entire room, created by the German artist Joseph Beuys.

The work comprises five different sets of sculptures based on objects and elements that have been cast in bronze and aluminium. The individual sculptures are: ‘Lightning’, ‘Boothia Felix’, ‘Goat’, ‘Stag’, and ‘Primordial Animals’.

The largest element of the installation is ‘Lightning’, a tall triangular form cast in bronze. The sculpture, which represents a powerful lightning bolt, is suspended from an iron bar that hangs from a metal girder attached across two adjacent walls, situated close to the ceiling of the room.

The sculptures for Lightning with Stag in its Glare are based on objects from the installation Workshop that Beuys created for the exhibition 1982/ Zeitgeist: Berlin Exhibition in the inner courtyard of the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.
[Source: tate.org.uk]
Lightning with Stag in its Glare1958-85Bronze/iron…Sculpture
Beuys, Joseph1921-1986, aged 64German artistInstallation Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-12]

Tate Galleries, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG UK0  
In One and Three Chairs, Joseph Kosuth represents one chair three ways: as a manufactured chair, as a photograph, and as a copy of a dictionary entry for the word ‘chair’. The installation is thus composed of an object, an image, and words.

Kosuth didn’t make the chair, take the photograph, or write the definition; he selected and assembled them together. But is this art? And which representation of the chair is most ‘accurate’?

These open-ended questions are exactly what Kosuth wanted us to think about when he said that art is making meaning. By assembling these three alternative representations, Kosuth turns a simple wooden chair into an object of debate and even consternation, a platform for exploring new meanings.
[Source: moma.org]

Image source: moma.org
One and Three Chairs1965WoodSculpture
Kosuth, Joseph1945American artistConceptual Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-13]

MOMA, Museum of Modern Art, 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019, USA82 x 38 x 53  

Image source: drawingatduke.blogspot.com
Antoni Tapies was the most important Catalan artist of the 20th century. He was a self-taught painter and sculptor, his later works instantly recognisable for their stark contrasts of colour, incorporation of found materials and widespread use of written language and geometric symbols. was known for sprawling, abstract works that sometimes featured discarded everyday materials and graffiti-like scrawls. Other trademarks were crosses, and the letter X and number 4, symbolising the four elements of nature and the four cardinal points.
[Source: washingtonpost.com]
White and Orange1967PlywoodSculpture
Tàpies, Antoni (1st Marquess of Tàpies)1923 – 2012, aged 88Spanish painterMatter painting
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-14]

Private Collection0  
This piece, from 1974, was acquired by the State months before the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía was decreed a National Museum, and was first installed in the patio of the Sabatini Building in 1992.

Carmen is a monumental standing mobile, which follows the typology Alexander Calder began in 1958 with La Spirale, which he built for the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

It consists of a fixed supporting section with a mobile structure on top. Eight riveted blades are moved by air currents, giving the piece the playful, optimistic component so essential to Calder’s art while also producing a spontaneous contrast between the aesthetic industrial solidity of the base and the variability of the upper part.

Like other pieces by the artist, the title of Carmen is a woman’s name, which, while it certainly has literary and musical connotations, does not make the sculpture a simple illustration, but actually functions as an independent work, as pointed out by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1946: Calder does not ‘suggest’ anything: it captures genuine living movements and shapes them. ‘Mobiles’ have no meaning, make you think of nothing but themselves. They are, that is all; they are absolutes.
[Source: museoreinasofia.es]

Image source: museoreinasofia.es
Calder, Alexander1898-1976, aged 78American artistKinetic Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-15]

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, 28012 Madrid, Spain1156 x 762  
Fulcrum: is a large sculpture by American artist Richard Serra installed in 1987 near the western entrance to Liverpool Street station, London, as part of the Broadgate development.

The sculpture consists of five pieces of Cor-Ten steel, and is approximately 17 m tall. Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, has called it one of London’s design icons.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: knowyourlondon.wordpress.com
Fulcrum1987Cor-Ten steelSculpture
Serra, Richard1938-American artistInstallation Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):[1752-16]

Broadgate, Liverpool Street, London17m

Image source: medium.com
The Umbrellas: Ibaraki Japan and California USA, 1984–91, was a 1991 environmental artwork in which artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude erected yellow (California) and cobalt blue (Japan) umbrella structures in California and Japan, respectively.

The 3,100-umbrella project cost US$26 million and attracted three million visitors.

Sadly Christo closed the exhibition early after a woman was crushed by a windswept umbrella in California.
[Source: medium.com / Wikimedia commons]
Christo (and Jeanne-Claude)1935-2020Bulgarian-American artistEnvironmental artwork
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-17]

Ibaraki Japan and California USA
South Bank Circle: was created specifically for Richard Long’s 1991 retrospective at the Hayward Gallery at the South Bank Centre in London.

It is a circle, nearly two metres in diameter, composed of 168 pieces of slate lying close together on the floor. The slate comes from the Delabole quarry in Cornwall.

The pieces may be assembled in a wide variety of configurations within the defining form of the circle. Long has specified that every ‘stone’ should touch the stones adjoining it, so that they all become ‘locked’ together, and stable. The longest stones (and also the thinnest and smallest ones) should be placed within the work and not around the edge. There is an equal density of stone throughout, and overall the work should look balanced and circular.
[Source tate.org.uk]
Image source: tate.org.uk
South Bank Circle1991168 x Delabole slateSculpture
Long, Sir Richard1945-English sculptorInstallation Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-18]

Tate Galleries2m diameter

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Everyone I have ever slept with 1963-1995: consists of a tent appliquéd with the names of everyone the artist had ever shared a bed with. It was first shown at Charles Saatchi’s Sensation exhibition held at the Royal Academy in London.
[Source: Wkimedia commons]
Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–19951997Canvas tentInstallation
Emin, Tracey1963-English artistInstallation Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-19]

My Bed: is a work by the English artist Tracey Emin. First created in 1998, it was exhibited at the Tate Gallery in 1999 as one of the shortlisted works for the Turner Prize. It consisted of her bed with bedroom objects in a dishevelled state, and gained much media attention. Although it did not win the prize, its notoriety has persisted. It was sold at auction by Christie’s in July 2014 for £2,546,500.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
My Bed1998Bed, bedding…Installation
Emin, Tracey1963-English artistInstallation Art
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1752-20]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living has become embedded in popular culture as one of the most iconic images of contemporary art. Conceived by Hirst in 1989 whilst at Goldsmiths, the ‘Natural History’ work consists of a thirteen-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, weighing a total of 23 tons. The shark is contained within a steel and glass vitrine three times longer than high and divided into three cubes. 

According to the artist, the title was, just a statement that I had used to describe the idea of death to myself. Thought of prior to the sculpture, it was taken from Hirst’s student thesis on Hyperreality and the work of Robert Longo and Umberto Eco. Hirst recalls liking the title’s poetic clumsiness because of the way it expressed, something that wasn’t there, or was there.
[Source: damienhirst.com]
Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, The2005Glass/SteelSculpture
Hirst, Damien1965 – English painterPost Modernism
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):   [1752-21]

Tate Galleries, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG UK213 x 213 x 518  

Image source: imj.org.il
Turning the world upside down: is a free-standing 5m x 5m hour-glass sculpture of polished stainless steel, that achieves its title.
[Source: imj.org.il]
Turning the World Upside Down2010Polished stainless steelSculpture
Kapoor, Anish1954- Indian-British artistInstallation Art
Crown Plaza, Israel Museum, Jerusalem5m x 5m

Image source: pinterest.co.uk
The Spire of Dublin, aka the Monument of Light (An Túr Solais), is a large, stainless steel, pin-like monument 120 metres in height, located on the site of the former Nelson’s Pillar and statue of William Blakeney on O’Connell Street in Dublin, Ireland. Some sources claim it as the world’s largest sculpture.

The pattern around the base of the Spire is based on a core sample of rock formation taken from the ground where the spire stands and the DNA double helix. The pattern was applied by bead blasting the steel through rubber stencil masks whose patterns were created by water jet cutting based on core sample drawings supplied by the contractor. At dusk, the base of the monument is lit and the top 10 m is illuminated through 11,884 holes by light-emitting diodes.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Spire of Dublin/Monument of Light2003world’s tallest sculptureSculpture
Ian Ritchie ArchitectsIrelandInstallation Art
Dublin120m high

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