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Monument to a Wonder City
Lorne Beug, Beug, mixed media, photographs, photographic collage, composed buildings, collage, architecture, construct, re-combination of images, appropriation, buildings, city, irony, 2D art, two-dimensional art,, Photography
description
I see the kiln as a time machine, a vehicle for traversing geological or 'deep' time.-- Lorne Beug

For the last decade or so, however, Lorne Beug has been working with photographic collages, and Monument to the Wonder City is one such work.   CollagePainting and/or gluing a variety of materials on a prepared surface to create a work of art.  as a  techniqueAny method of working with art materials to produce an art object. Often implied is the sense that techniques are carefully studied, exacting, or traditional, but this is not necessarily the case. Examples include basketry, blotting, carving, constructing, découpage, embossing, encaustic, exquisite corpse, firing, folding, hatching, kerning, laminating, marbling, modeling, necking. (artlex.com)   often produces images which are chaotic or broken up, simply because they are built from the parts of other images. While Monument to the Wonder City is no exception, it uses this re-combination of image pieces as part of its message. Beug's Wonder City is composed of buildings, and these buildings are in turn composed of pieces of other buildings and architectural structures. The architecture suggested by Beug and his  techniqueAny method of working with art materials to produce an art object. Often implied is the sense that techniques are carefully studied, exacting, or traditional, but this is not necessarily the case. Examples include basketry, blotting, carving, constructing, découpage, embossing, encaustic, exquisite corpse, firing, folding, hatching, kerning, laminating, marbling, modeling, necking. (artlex.com)   are both types of appropriation; Beug's Wonder City, then, is built on the ashes of previous cities, as parts of their buildings are taken and attached to each other to  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  new buildings.

This work employs irony to talk about accelerated growth.  When old buildings are cannibalized and thrown together to make new buildings, have we passed our peak as a civilization? Beug suggests that we do culturally what he has done visually.  We are constantly appropriating, claiming, or sampling from other cultures and civilizations, and perhaps this indicates that we don't have an identity of our own. Citizens of the Wonder City, therefore, live in a kind of Frankenstein's Monster sort of city, the reanimated body of previous societies.

additional resources Guide Book to a Ghost Town
Duration: 1:44 min
Size: 7397kb
Hawk's House Description
Duration: 1:22 min
Size: 6343kb
How He Got Started as an Artist
Duration: 1:47 min
Size: 8589kb
Interview with Timothy Long - Funk Art and the Regina Clay Movement
Duration: 3:35 min
Size: 15193kb
The Reason He Called it Hawk's House
Duration: 0:55 min
Size: 4231kb
Why the Table Shape
Duration: 1:55 min
Size: 8882kb
Things to Think About
  • Can you think of examples you have seen, where two buildings or structures seemed contradictory? Did they differ because of the materials used, their architectural styles, their shapes, their functions, or for other reasons and in other ways? What might this indicate about how, when, and why they were built, and why they are next to each other?


  • Do you think Beug's view is optimistic or pessimistic in Monument to the Wonder City? What makes you think that he might feel one way or the other?
Studio Activity

Lorne Beug’s Monument to the Wonder City presents a city as a  collagePainting and/or gluing a variety of materials on a prepared surface to create a work of art.  – as a re-combination of images of buildings, and architectural structures.

Compose a Wonder City

Gather images of places you would like to visit, from photographs, magazines, catalogues, etc. They can be images of cities, but do not have to be.

  • Cut these images out and compose your own Wonder City.
  • Does the finished city look like a place you would actually want to visit, or has the combination of many things negated your reasons for wanting to visit them individually?

 

Studio Activity

Self-portrait collage


Using  collagePainting and/or gluing a variety of materials on a prepared surface to create a work of art.  techniques, create a self-portrait by assembling images of other people.

  • They could be people whom you admire, people you look like or people portrayed in random photographs.
  • How does this self-portrait reflect who you are and who you want to be?

 

Studio Activity

Transportation in Wonder City

  • Knowing that the Wonder City is built from other cities, what can we assume about the way people get around in the Wonder City?


  • Design, draw, and describe the transport system of the Wonder City, which could be a combination of other transport systems.
References

Ball, Denise.  ‘Lorne Beug’s work is down-to-earth.’  The Regina Leader Post, November 1, 1980.

Beug, Lorne.  Beugography.  Unpublished document, 2002.

Beug, Lorne.  ‘Artist Statement.’  in Lorne Beug: Artists with Their Work.  Exhibition catalogue.  MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1985.

Hryniuk, Margaret.  ‘A different look at the vast Regina plains.’  Regina Sun, April 3, 1988.

Manning, Leslie.  ‘New Directions in Clay.’  Vanguard, Vol.13 #1, Feb. 1984.

Moppett, George.  Interview with Lorne Beug about his exhibit, Glass Architecture/Cultured Stones. Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, 1987.

Rosenberg, Ann.  ‘Vancouver: Lorne Beug.’  Art Magazine, Vol. 9 No. 38/39, 1978.

Suche, Anne.  ‘Lorne Beug.’  Western Living. August, 1987.

Whyte, Jon.  ‘Ceramic Sculpture: Another Dimension.’  Arts West. Vol. 5 #4, July/August 1980.

Whyte, Jon.  ‘Illusion and Simile in Western Sculpture.’  Art Magazine, June 1979.

Ylitalo, Katherine.  New directions in Clay.  Exhibition catalogue.  Peter Whyte Gallery, Banff, Alberta, 1983.

Zepp, Norm.  Lorne Beug: Artists with Their Work.  Exhibition catalogue.  MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1985.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning