Event Title

Reproducible Icons: Incorporating Icon Painting into Contemporary Print

Presenter Information

Maggie Middleton, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center K209

Start Date

10-28-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

10-28-2016 4:50 PM

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to critically explore ways of incorporating the symbolic process of Eastern Orthodox icon painting into a contemporary Western printmaking practice as a way to question the role of art. Eastern Orthodox icon painting is a style of egg tempera panel painting of religious figures (ie saints, Christ, the Virgin Mary, angels etc.) used as a tool for prayer. For an icon to be considered authentic it has to strictly adhere to the traditional archetype of the subject depicted. There are no original icons because they all follow a set model, however they are no less authentic. Likewise, printmaking is created through a matrix that transfers the image onto a designated surface but does not produce a singular original print, but instead an edition. The absence of the original replaced with numerous authentic iterations leads to the dissemination of these works thus making these two artistic traditions accessible to a wider audience. The icon tradition challenges originality, emphasizes tradition, and promotes artistic discipline. While Western art, since the Renaissance, has promoted art for art’s sake that has made art less accessible to the majority of people and devoid of meaning. Through the application of the symbolic materials and layering sequences of Eastern Orthodox iconography into contemporary printmaking creates approachable pieces with symbolism and counteracts the cult of personality and priority given to novelty that dominates the contemporary western art world.

Notes

Session II, Panel 9 - Art & Connections

Major

Studio Art; Comparative Literature

Award

Oberlin College Research Fellowship (OCRF)

Project Mentor(s)

Sarah Schuster, Studio Art

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Oct 28th, 3:30 PM Oct 28th, 4:50 PM

Reproducible Icons: Incorporating Icon Painting into Contemporary Print

Science Center K209

The purpose of this research is to critically explore ways of incorporating the symbolic process of Eastern Orthodox icon painting into a contemporary Western printmaking practice as a way to question the role of art. Eastern Orthodox icon painting is a style of egg tempera panel painting of religious figures (ie saints, Christ, the Virgin Mary, angels etc.) used as a tool for prayer. For an icon to be considered authentic it has to strictly adhere to the traditional archetype of the subject depicted. There are no original icons because they all follow a set model, however they are no less authentic. Likewise, printmaking is created through a matrix that transfers the image onto a designated surface but does not produce a singular original print, but instead an edition. The absence of the original replaced with numerous authentic iterations leads to the dissemination of these works thus making these two artistic traditions accessible to a wider audience. The icon tradition challenges originality, emphasizes tradition, and promotes artistic discipline. While Western art, since the Renaissance, has promoted art for art’s sake that has made art less accessible to the majority of people and devoid of meaning. Through the application of the symbolic materials and layering sequences of Eastern Orthodox iconography into contemporary printmaking creates approachable pieces with symbolism and counteracts the cult of personality and priority given to novelty that dominates the contemporary western art world.