Exploring the Urban Landscape

A glimpse of movement, walking as a form of art & digital driving into reality

This week in the JakBox studio we’ve been working on the Points of View project, with many exciting things underway. As well as wandering around Camden in search of more ‘points’ that give an unexpected perspective on our environment, we’ve been doing some research into other artists that have used the urban landscape as inspiration for their work.

Here are some of our favourite pieces:

Edward Hopper 1882-1967

Hopper paints urban settings pervaded by a sense of silence and estrangement. His works provoke an atmosphere of mystery and anxiety, with Hopper’s viewpoint creating a spying glance into life in the mid 1900’s. The disconnection between both viewer and subject, and between subjects echoes the anxieties felt by the nation as a whole.

Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

Edward Hopper - Nighthawks

 

George Shaw 1966- 

Shaw makes eerie paintings of a Coventry council estate where he grew up. His semi photo-realist works of this urban landscape highlight an environment that is normally overlooked. A sense of memory saturates the paintings, evoking the psycho-geography of Shaw’s youth that clearly still has a very strong hold over him.

George Shaw - No Returns

 

Lewis Baltz 1945-2014

Baltz, one of the founders of the New Topographics movement (Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape), creates photographs that showcase abstraction within the urban landscape. He was the first to show America in pictures which were not a heroic vision of the county.

Lewis Baltz - Santa Cruz

 

Richard Long 1945-

Long was closely associated with a new art form, Land Art, in the late 1960’s having already made works such as A Line Made by Walking (1967). This was a photograph of the path left by his feet in the grass, and it established a precedent that art could be a journey.

Richard Long - A Line Made by Walking

 

RUN THE EMPIRE project 2015 runanempire.com

In this game, which has not yet been launched, players compete against each other to capture territory in their local environment by running (or walking) around it. It uses GPS to record the players’ paths and to control a territory a player simply has to journey around it. This is so exciting as it is a digital game played through real world actions. 

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