The theory that art must be mimetic has long ago been revised. The dictionary definition of a sculpture has lost its relevance long ago, as well. The boundary between traditional art disciplines has been blurred. In the era of technology development, artists use different materials and means of artistic expression; exchanging the basic sculpting material stone, wood, metal for plastic, silicone, fabric, ready-made factory items as fragments of reality.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, the search for pure forms in painting led to a new concreteness, by eliminating items. Kazimir Malevich discovered that "The flat surface of the canvas in itself is form". Marcel Duchamp threw the ready-made in the face of the audience, by no means in order for them to admire its beautiful shape. In a letter to his sister he called it a sculpture. The Fountain and other Duchamp’s ready-made objects freed the perceived object of common associations and created for it a path of limitless possibilities.
The problem of the object in art is extremely complex, the object can be a part of the set or a collection, it can be described, studied, presented, admired like in a former cabinet of curiosities. From the multitude of objects existing in the real world the artist selects the one to which he will grant a special status, the status of a unique work. He finds things that have been forgotten or abandoned and gives them new lives.
With the birth of many movements and trends in art, especially from the 1940s, artists has stopped producing beautiful objects for contemplation; instead, they have adapted analytical, critical attitudes, over the aesthetics of the works favouring an action or reflection, adopting an analytical attitude towards the reality surrounding them.
In the application of objects, ready-mades, the artists take the discourse associated with the reception of art that can not be separated from the context of the presentation of the work and state of mind. An idea, a thought, a concept is more important. In 1960s, there was a period of de-materialisation of art, moving away from objects to concepts and ideas. An object, if there was one, was used by the artist only as a means to express a concept, which could as well be replaced with photographs, drawings, text descriptions or instructions. Artists do not put themselves beyond the world and the means they use are taken from the surrounding reality. Małgorzata Wawrzak
Małgorzata Wawrzak, MA
Graduate of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University Art Conservation and Museology. Works at the Unit of Museology of the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.
– modern art of Toruń
– modern ornament contemporary art
The ideological contents of the representations adorning the organ matroneum in the post-Norbertine church of the Holy Trinity in Strzelno, [in:] Portfolio of the Commission of History of Art, vol. IX, Toruń 2002, pp. 177-198;
Pulpit in the St. Mary’s church against the background of the artistic culture of the early seventeenth century Toruń. An attempt to read the artistic and ideological program, [in:] History and treasures of the St. Mary’s church in Toruń. Conference proceedings of the Society of Historians of Art, ed. Katarzyna Kluczwajd, Toruń 2005, pp. 295-320; "Through the eyes to the soul". The church of St. Ignatius of Loyola in Młyniec. Mission station of the Jesuit college in Toruń, [in:] Album Amicorum. Between Vilnius and Toruń. Memorial book dedicated to Prof. Józef Poklewski, Toruń 2008, pp. 353-374; Humanistic and political content of decoration of the organs in the St Mary’s church in Toruń. Introduction to the topic. [in:] Art in the circle of power. Proceedings of the Symposium of the Association of Art Historians, in memory of Professor Szczęsny Dettloff (1878-1961) on 130th anniversary of his birth, Toruń November 13-15, 2008, ed. Elżbieta Pilecka and Katarzyna Kluczwajd, Warsaw 2009; pp. 205-217; About the Mannerist decoration of the organ casing in the St. James’s church in Toruń. Graphic patterns and content, [in:] History and the treasures of the St. James’s church in Toruń, proceedings of the 4th Symposium of the Association of Art Historians, in the History and the treasures of the Toruń churches, ed. Katarzyna Kluczwajd, Toruń 2010, pp. 259-288; Fides ex visu. Image in the process of transmission of faith. Analysis of the fittings in the parish church in Sompolno. 2011 (in the process of being printed) Hybrids of the present time. Taming the (im)possible. Scientific and Artistic Colloquium, Toruń 2012 When art meets science. Artluk 3/2014