Monday, July 4, 2011

CEMENT & CONCRETE IN ART

Art Fossils created by Marlies Hoevers. Found materials set in concrete. See website here, and etsy shop here.

Have you noticed how many artists are using cement in their art lately? Anselm Kiefer has been a favourite of mine for a long time but since joining Tumblr I've become aware that many of the artists I'm drawn to, incorporate cement or concrete in their work.

Latin Quarter by Andrew Crane. Cement, plaster, paint, varnish and graphite on canvas. See Andrew's website here.

Andrew Crane uses thin layers of cement as a ground to his compositions. He admits 'that his lack of plastering skill is a help rather than a hindrance in the birth of a painting – the resulting surface, with its imperfections and anomalies, providing pointers and structure to the composition of his paintings.'

I love this one by Andrew Crane. See more here.

William Hall discovered the versatility of cement while working on the construction of his home in Texas.

"There were many masonry task that need to be done, pouring slabs, laying tile, finishing sidewalks and driveways. As I worked, I noticed how good cement felt, how versatile it was. It began to speak me. It revealed to me textures, colors and surfaces that I had never seen before! My brain began to whirl with all the many applications this new medium could foster in my work." - William Hall

Warrior by William Hall. See an interesting video about William's process here and website here.
Stefano Nanni. See Stefano's Flickr photostream here.

Erik Sommer. Website here and more beautiful photos here.

More from Sophie Cauvin, here.

Sophie Cauvin. More to see here.

Doris Salcedo. Found on Mansuetude's Tumblr blog here.


Cement Sculpture by Ruth Hardinger. See her website here.

Just a box of cement? ........ but I like it!

*Click here to see Juliana Santacruz Herrera's pothole and yarn art in Paris.

46 comments:

  1. Hi Robyn, You´ve found again some very inspiring artists. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. As someone who finds herself staring at cracks in the wall way too often, this post is just the best thing!! Lots to return to. Thanks. I especially love the bag.

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  3. I can't say I find these very inspiring but I suspect they would be much more inspiring in the flesh than in photographs. I love the wood ones that you do though.

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  4. the great thing about knowing what you like


    is also

    knowing what does not blow your skirt up.

    For me, it is still cement, though it was cool to hear how that medium spoke to one artist.. he heard the call and answered it.

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  5. I like Sophie Cauvin - old worn fence posts and pickets always "speak" to me!! Who'd have thought there could be art in a cement tile? TFS>

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  6. Hi Eric, glad you enjoyed the post.

    Annie, yes i do that too :-)

    Thanks Weaver, a few years ago i probably wouldn't have given some of these a second glance but now I am very intrigued by them all.

    Grrl, it is always interesting to hear how an artist begins whatever medium he is using. I love the personal stories.

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  7. Oogleboops, I LOVE Sophie's work but I think before I began drooling over Anselm Kiefer's work I probably wouldn't have thought anything of it. It took a while for me to be hooked by Kiefers work too.

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  8. R- once again great to have you doing the hard work and find people who create well and inspire. Loved the work by Stefano Nanni - like cuneiform in concrete. And the box of cement - simple but quirky. Thanks. B

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  9. Had'nt given concrete a thought as an art material! from now on I'll look at it differently! sometimes a cracked concrete paver can have some interesting faces or figures in it depending on how you see it, but "painting" with it?????It is however fun to see what other people do with it! thank you

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  10. Sophie Cauvin and Erik Sommer are my faves. Good to have you back, Robyn :)

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  11. Anselm Kiefer is one of my favorite artists and could look at his work all day long. You have shown us some amazing artists here..thank youx I love cement too! Hope all is well with you. lyndax

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  12. I've always loved cement floors; grey or colored--they are like seas of strange and subtle patternings, our own modern day fossil creations. Its fun to note how the artists you've chose use cement to refer back to stone, stone walls and stone carving or, as a more plastic paint-like medium. Wonderful!

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  13. Great collection of art and artists. I can't get enough texture!!! Glad to see that you are back (at least for now).

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  14. Ah Robyn....another fantastic and inspiring post. Such possibilities with cement....each artist's work is just wonderful...thank you!!! Hope your work is going splendidly!

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  15. As always a super post introducing us to this amazing group of artists!
    Thank you a million!!!

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  16. i am always thrilled to see the amazing styles and artists you find...thank you for providing a breath of inspiration in my mega crazy summer schedule! good to see you back and posting again!! hope all is well!!

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  17. i love the sculptures...very exciting stuff

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  18. Wow, stunning work. I especially love those by Sophie.

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  19. Wow. Hadn't been to Ruth Hardinger's webpage before. Thank you.

    Concrete is such an important "element" of modern life, i think its important for art, just as stone or bronze or ceramic or oil --in other times was essential. And how rich it is with connotations too; Just surface thought-- "Tomorrow we will Cement the deal" and writing teachers always telling students..."Be more concrete." A clever student might now get a piece of cardboard layer it with concrete and write a poem or some words on it! Punning against an "idea" system. I would give this leap of mind an A+. ")

    Well, i can think of more associations but ... these links need investigating. Some images lately are hard to tell from ceramic sometimes; a pot you posted weeks back looked pourous like pocked concrete, almost volcanic, but it was ceramic. I like this, just as that British artist Lowe's video from yesterday shows him using hard resins with metal dust which people try to discern if/as metal or wood, as they enter the work; allusions and illusions at play.

    I love this post Robyn.

    (can imagine grrl doing a knit-up over some concrete in the future! )

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  20. Robyn, you are always so on the ball with this stuff! Incredible how our most dependable building material becomes the most beautiful and wonderous art mediim. I don't know why it's not more commonly used!

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  21. It's the textures of the cement ones that calls to me...

    I have been known to take a painting outside, lay it down on a concrete block and rub graphite over it to pick of the lovely crack lines in old cement...yummy stuff.

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  22. Good stuff cement... something about it is so elemental, humble... everyday... and primal. Love seeing it employed in some way that works... it can be brutal as its known for... so many exciting applications or responses to it now... and what brilliant finds here Robyn. Its a total treat to have you put this together for us to reconsider this material...
    thank you!

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  23. Barry, follow Stefano's link. There are some beautiful pieces on his Flickr photostream.

    Lyle, have you seen the photos doing the rounds, of cracks in the pavement filled with braided strips of bright fabric? Google Juliana Santacruz Herrera.

    Hi Wild C :-)

    Lynda, have you seen Kiefer's work face to face? It makes quite an impact in photos so it must be quite an experience to see it up close.

    Hannah, I would love to have buffed cement floors in my kitchen.

    Thanks Kim, I'm glad to be back blogging.

    Patti, my work is going well thank you. It's always a relief to get over the initial "blank canvas syndrome".

    Anna, so glad you enjoyed the post.

    Lisa, it's great to be posting again!

    Paula, I thought you might find the sculpture interesting :-)

    Dyche Designs, I featured Sophie's work in my last post too.

    Mansuetude, I imagine there are so many different ways to create art with cement that we havn't even thought of yet (though I think you have made great inroads already).... and yes it's time Grrl worked her magic with bright wool and concrete.

    Debrina, the more I look, the more I see. We just havn't been paying attention until now.

    Leslie, yummy stuff indeed :-)

    Sophie, it can be quite cold too but there are amazing artists creating amazing art with it.

    Beth, agreed!

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  24. Thank you for this find! Excellent! Loving concrete- I went to college, a small art college way back in the day-The walls were concrete having been made with planks of heavily grained wood as a mold. The halls smelled good and earthy, it was easily maintained and calming- grey. Not cold at all in this very cold climate.Also the acoustics on the stairs - superb for singing or making BoopBoop noises.

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  25. Lovely choices...I am especially taken with the works of Stefano Nanni!

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  26. Amazing! with a capital A... I had noticed a lot of plaster, joint compound really but I love concrete and I have noticed that it is being used a lot for counter tops in kitchen... these pieces are very cool...

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  27. I have once again had an enjoyable time looking at your curatorial discoveries. I had seen Andrew Crane's work before, but the other were all new. Also enjoyed the previous post immensely, about struggle.

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  28. Thanks Robin. I, too, love cement. That it can be hard and cold, the nuts and bolts kind of necessary. And then, it can be molded and trained into decorative and art.

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  29. Linda Sue, I can almost hear the hubub on the stairs :-)

    Hi Mary Ann!

    Cat, I love Lynne Hoppe's plaster and muslin pages.

    Karine, glad you enjoy my curatorial discoveries :-)

    Renee, I'm particularly enjoying the painting with cement.

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  30. Great post! Some of these artists are my favorites. I love your enthusiasm for other artists' works. It's an excitement I share and so nice to see others' responses with their enthusiasm.

    Cement . . would love to try that some day.

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  31. I love the simplicity of Ruth Hardinger's box of cement...another wonderful collection of artists...cement is such an intriguing substance in all its uses...

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  32. Fascinating post. Clearly every material out there represents possibility and no material should be overlooked in terms of art. Thanks for putting another great post together!

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  33. Luv this post, on several levels. Not sure why, but the very word "cement" brings up the memory of the *smell* of cement for me. Isn't that odd. Perhaps it has something to do with where I played as a child. I have strong memories of me and my friends making forts on the concrete floors of newly constructed houses in our neighborhood...

    Tumblr has been an inspiring resource!

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  34. Stephano Nanni's has to be my favourite....but aren't they all so wonderful!

    Mmmm still havent checked out tumblr (I'm scared I'll get addicted!).

    Jacky xox

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  35. my friend used to run a cement pipe factory, and was instrumental in opening my eyes to the beauty of cement. thanks for more "opening".

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  36. Fabulous post!
    I was familiar with William Hall, but not the others. I will be busy now catching up with these links,,,,,thank you!

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  37. thank you so very much for sharing all of this wonder... i felt my imagination expanding as i scrolled through and followed links... gorgeous and intriguing work...

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  38. Well, you grabbed me again with all the wonderful artists.. I love the cement surfaces-- so minimal and so earth-like. I have been reading a book today on Living Zen and the connection to earth, nature and wabi sabi is strong in all these artists' works.

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  39. And once again a debt of gratitude for introducing me to a whole new raft of fabulous artists! :)xx

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  40. Welcome back. I did enjoy this posting. I specially love the found wood and cement. Strong yet neutral. Thanks for sharing

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  41. Jann, let me know if you try it. If you approach it the same way as you have approached encaustics you will have much to share. I really admire the way you have taught yourself the art of encaustics.

    Cynthia, very intriguing!

    Seth, glad you enjoyed it.

    Sweetpea, not odd at all. I have many memories of playing on building sites as a kid and that smell of cement is still fresh in my mind.

    Jacky, where have you been? .... Or is it just me lying low. Tumblr can take a while to get used to but it's very easy to become addicted to it.

    Velma, once you start looking there are so many artists using cement in their work.

    Hi Babs, enjoy the links.

    Maire, expanding one's imagination and discovering new artforms is rather exciting isn't it?!

    Donna, it sounds like a good book for my wish list!

    Mimi, enjoy! :-)

    Thanks Di, yes I am drawn to the wood and cement too. Glad you enjoyed the post.enjoyed

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  42. Leave it to you, Robyn, to find people who make cement look beautiful! It does seem like a good sculptural material, though, when you think about it... Does this mean my masonry work is art? Thanks as always for opening my eyes to something new.

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  43. le minimalisme.. le contraire de moi.. mais j'aime beaucoup..

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  44. The ultimate texture! Thanks so much for sharing these - I love them!

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  45. Hi
    That is so cute, I would of never thought of that. I am definitely making me one or maybe a few! Lol

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