By Jean-Francois Lyotard, Ian McLeod
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Additional resources for Duchamp's Transformers
Indeed, at a pinch, any object or view will do, anything can be enthralling to look at and depict: a foot and a slipper, for example. Of course, Hockney has his characteristic preoccupations as an artist: spacious landscapes, water, wilderness, people he knows, human bodies, plants, dogs, interiors. But in his case, prior to focusing on a specific sight is the fascination he finds in translating just about anything he sees into lines, dots, splodges of colour, brushstrokes – in a word, marks. He believes that is an aspect of being human.
There was something wrong with what I was doing – I’ve called it ‘obsessive naturalism’ – but then I didn’t know what it was. Photography was causing it; I’d started to take photographs at that point. I wanted to get out. I found that was a trap, and said so. I wanted to stop it. MG You’ve been preoccupied with a sort of struggle with photography since the mid-70s, haven’t you? You use it in a judo-like way against itself. DH I suppose I’m interested in images, and photography is how most people see the world – even its colours (although photography can’t do colours very well).
The only exception is the view that can be seen through a window. From the seventeenth century, if not before, painters have been working outdoors, in the middle of their subject: nature. Certainly this was common practice in the later eighteenth century, and for early nineteenth-century landscape painters such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. But it was a method for producing sketches or small pictures. The large works that were normally shown in exhibitions at the Paris Salon and at London’s Royal Academy were too big to transport outside.