A5 – Contextual Notes

My last assignment 4 on materiality and skin and my critical review on medical imaging and ambiguity were the two most crucial sources that informed my assignment work. How medical imaging and skin are related. The transparent body, the disembodied medical gaze, visual images derived from transformed and machine code. The body as vulnerable object of the gaze being fragmented, distorted and displaced.

During the making, I felt reminded how earlier works done during this course had – subconsciously – informed my practice:


I found metal hangers as a good choice to work with. Hangers are used for clothes. Metal hangers are thin enough to provide enough support for stretching but also being not too dominant. I felt inspired to use them by Richard Tuttle‘s work in series Wire Pieces, 1972, although he explored a different subject through it (line, shadow, drawn line – questioning objectivity and subjectivity (Horn ed al, 2015:54-55) – see blog post.

I felt inspired by some of the layered works of Christian Bonnefoi. His works do show a semi-transparent appearance of layered shapes. The work are contained in a frame, something I wanted to overcome by using transparent Rhenalon plate as support, to play with the edges of the plate, the Parafilm material and the paint on it. This triple transparent-opaque dimension allowed me to be not to contained with the rectangle. However, my ‘sculptural skin’ series enabled me to cross even that boundary.

Another informing work that I looked at during writing my critical review, was the notion of Vesalius’s ‘Muscle Man’ studying anatomy (earlier medical gaze) and the skin as fashion accessoire that could be put on a hanger like a coat (see Juan Valverde de Amusco ‘Vivae Imagines’, 1566). The skin as dislocated and displaced material reminded me when I worked on paint materials as such, free from a canvas stretcher. The use of the metal hangers was flexible and thin enough to be even considered more of a material to draw with in space than a rigid frame.

The idea of fabric reminded me on the one hand of Tabita Moses‘s embroidered patient gown (2014) as her visual response to her IVF treatment. On the other and it reminded me of Sam Gilliam’s painted fabric and gown of coats as seen during my visit in Basel.Exhibition: Sam Gilliam ‘The Music of Color’, Basel. This shaping of the canvas and my earlier exploration of the patient gown made from mylar as the ‘object that stands for the body’ resulted eventually in appropriating a real patient gown (thanks to Alan Fletcher for shipping it over to my place from UK) with the transferred paint skin. 

Moreover, there are other artist that inspired with their approaches and body of works: 

  • Jaqueline Humphries and her embedded ‘visual text’ into her abstract paintings
  • Mona Hatoum and the sensibility of the body and its distortion that influenced my work on a back-burner. 
  • Helen Chadwick, especially her approach to interactive and interdependent aspect of embodiment, inside and outside alongside a drive for aesthetics in the resulting works. I explored these works deeply  in my critical review.



  • Campoli Presti Gallery (2019) Christian Bonnefoi, At: https://www.campolipresti.com/artists/christian-bonnefoi/bio (Accessed 03 Aug 2019).
  • Horn, R., Tuttle, R. J., Butler, C. H., Kläs, E., Tuerlinckx, J., Voigt, J., Gross, J. R., Chaffee, C., Roberts, V., Sullivan, L. L., Yale University, P. and DeCordova Sculpture Park and, M. (2015) Drawing redefined. Lincoln; New Haven; London: DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum ; distributed by Yale University Press.
  • Moses, T. (2014) Tabitha Moses, At: http://www.tabithamoses.co.uk/page10.htm (Accessed 28 Oct 2018).
  • SFOMA – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (s.D.) It’s alive! Richard Tuttle creates a wire piece at SFMOMA,[At: https://www.sfmoma.org/watch/its-alive-richard-tuttle-creates-a-wire-piece-at-sfmoma/(Accessed on 20 Aug 2019).
  • Schaffeld, S.J. (2018) ‘Exhibition: Sam Gillam ‘The Music of Color’, Basel’ [blog post] At: https://ocasp.stefanvisualart.com/?p=2175 (Accessed 27 Aug 2019).
  • Tuttle, R., Petersens, M. and Borchardt-Hume, A. (2014) Richard Tuttle – I don’t know : The Weave of Textile Language. London: Whitechapel, Tate.
  • The University of Cambridge (1566) ‘Juan Valverde de Amusco (ca. 1525–ca. 1588), ‘Vivae imagines partium corporis humani aereis formis expressae. Book 2, plate 1’, in Juan Valverde de Amusco (ca. 1525–ca. 1588), V. i. p. c. h. a. f. e. B., plate 1, ed., Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, print.
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