Archive for March, 2010


Corporate Structure

40 x 50 cm Oil on canvas. Monet's Woman in a Garden painted by Kamila Figler! For sale! Interested? It's better get the painting before I graduate, because you might not afford it when I will become a famous artist;)

Is there any conglomerate structure in Visual Arts industry in the United Kingdom?

1. Map of the ownership structure of content producers.

There are a few groups that play more important role in the Art Industry.
For instance, the British Council Arts group develops innovative events and collaborations that link thousands of artists and cultural institutions around the world, drawing them into a closer relationship with the UK.
The Royal Photographic Society Visual Arts Group links all fans of photography and art,
The Scottish Visual Arts group focuses on museums, galleries and other organisations as well as individuals associated with archives, records or collections related to the visual arts.
The Art Group is a market leader in contemporary art publishing.
For over 20 years we’ve been working with thousands of artists to
supply quality wall art, cards and frames to a global market.
The London Group is an artists’ exhibiting society based in London, England, founded in 1913.
There is also Voluntary Arts Network which aims to increase participation in the arts, and its local part,Voluntary Arts England.

You can also take a look at the map I posted here.

2. Which are the conglomerates behind the content producers?

Well, It is quite hard to find any conglomerate in the Visual Arts Industry in United Kingdom, mostly because most of the content producers are the artists or photographers who work as freelancers. Many of them have their websites, some of them have their agencies or companies, like for example Electronic Arts which specializes rather in production of the computer games.

Leading Light Conceptual Design Ltd, based in Surrey, is a UK company specializing in Concept Art and Production design for the Entertainment industry. They produce Art content for, among others, the conglomerates such as EA Games, Microsoft Games Studios, Sony, Fujitsu and BBC Two.

After some research I found an useful website! ArtsAccessUK.org is an access guide for the UK Arts.
You can find artforms like: Architecture, crafts, Combined Arts, Dance, Design, Digital content, Drama, Education/training, Festival, Film/Video, Heritage, Installation/Live Art/Performance Art,Public Art or Street arts/carnival. In the areas: all of UK, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, East Midlands, Greater London…

3. How big is the share not owned by UK companies?
Well, the Art Industry is enormous! According to ARTFACTS.NET There are (attention!) 240,192 Visual Artists and 19905 Art institutions worldwide!
As Louise Nevelson once said:

Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind.

4. What are the effects of these conglomerates on cultural production and society?
I think that in case of Art industry, conglomerates are not as influencial as single independent artists, whose names became famous. Generally I noticed the trend that the higher status of a social class, the greater is the need for original, famous paintings. Modern society looks for the meaning in art. Shocking images can became famous sooner that other ones. To influence a cultural production an artist must come with a new idea or present something in a different way in order to make his art unique and popular.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.– Edgar Degas

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There are so many influencial British artists… Selecting one was not an easy task.
I chose Henry Moore, known for his abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art. In this article I analyze his career in terms of factors that contributed to his fame.

Henry Moore was one of the most influencial English artists of the 20th century.
He was born on the 30th of July 1898 in Castleford, Yorkshire, England.
His interest in sculpture appeared in early childchood. Moore attended infant and elementary schools in Castleford, where he began modelling in clay and carving in wood. He decided to become a sculptor when he was eleven inspired by the achievements of Michelangelo.

Moore’s talent to medieval sculpture was noticed by a teacher and he got a scholarship at Castleford Secondary School. With the determination to make art his career, Moore got grants to study sculpture at the Leeds School of Art in 1919.
Two years later he won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London. Possibility to study in this city allowed him to make his knowledge of primitive art and sculpture even broader, studying the ethnographic collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.

Moore presented a modern approach in his modern Victorian style early works which were not appreciated by his tutors. 1924 was a year of experiencing the European art of great artists. Moore won a six-month scholarship which allowed him to travel to Italy and also to France. In Northern Italy he studied the great works of Michelangelo, Giotto di Bondone and Giovanni Pisano, artists who definitely influenced his style. During the visit in Paris Moore appraised the sculptural works in Louvre and took timed-sketching classes at Academie Colarossi.

On returning to London, Moore undertook a seven-year teaching post at the Royal College of Art. He was required to work two days a week, which allowed him time to spend on his own work. His first public commission, West Wind (1928–29), was one of the eight ‘winds’ reliefs high on the walls of London Underground’s headquarters at 55 Broadway.
In 1932, Moore took up a post as the Head of the Department of Sculpture at the Chelsea School of Art.
At this time, after becoming a member of abstract passionates – Seven and Five Society, he was also frequently travelling to Paris.

During the war, Moore was commissioned as a war artist, notably producing powerful drawings of Londoners sleeping in the London Underground. He got married to Irina, who started posing for him when they moved to a studio in Hampstead on Parkhill Road. 1940, he and Irina moved out of London to live in a farmhouse called Hoglands.

In 1946 Moore made his first visit to America when a retrospective exhibition of his work opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Kenneth Clark became an unlikely but influential champion of Moore’s work, and through his position as member of the Arts Council of Great Britain he secured exhibitions and commissions for the artist. In 1948, Moore won the International Sculpture Prize at the Venice Biennale and was one of the featured artists of the Festival of Britain in 1951.

In the 1950s, Moore began to receive increasingly significant commissions, including a reclining figure for the UNESCO building in Paris in 1957. With many more public works of art, the scale of Moore’s sculptures grew significantly.
Exhibition in Florence and successes in London made his wealth grow so he established Henry Moore Foundation to promote the public appreciation of art and to preserve his sculptures.

Henry Moore, OM, CH, Reclining Figure, 1951, plaster and string, 105.4 x 227.3 x 89.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

Factors that contributed to the success of Henry Moore are:
1. Good Education
2. Contacts with influencial figures
2. Passion, determiation, productivity
3. Travelling to experience different cultures
4. Study the works of great artists to get inspired
5. Presenting his works in famous places

If you are interested in works of Henry Moore, go to Tate Britain! Exhibition of his sculptures is open until 8 of August 2010.
References:
1.Tate Britain Website
2.Henry Moore : an illustrated biography Packer, William. London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985.
3. The art of Henry Moore, Will Grohmann. Imprint London : Readers Union, 1966.
4. Henry Moore: Space, Sculpture, Politics. Beckett, Jane; Russell, Fiona. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate, 2003

Regulatory Practice

Who has got the power? What are the objectives of the regulatory bodies?
How do they operate?

Before 1994 There were two the most powerful regulatory bodies in the UK:
Arts Council of Great Britain and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
But in 1994 Arts Council of Great Britain break up creating the following three:
Arts Council England
Scottish Arts Council
Arts Council of Wales

The Hertfordshire Visual Arts Forum is a voluntary, non-profit-distributing organisation established in 1990.The HVAF is the only countywide visual arts organisation for Hertfordshire.Hertfordshire Visual Arts Forum is for everyone who is interested in visual arts, full or part-time. Run by an enthusiastic voluntary Organising Group, with members from all areas of involvement in the visual arts who live or work in the county.