HOMAGE #1: SASHA STILES
The first homage of Kunstmuseum Bern INFINITE is dedicated to the artist Johannes Itten. The poet and artist Sasha Stiles has created a series of multimedia works based on her engagement with Itten's oil painting "Horizontal-Vertical" (1915).
The 12-piece series called "A EYE," explores Itten's theory of color and its significance for human emotions. Stiles also incorporates algorithmically generated verses, composed by a GPT-3 text generator and based on Itten's book "The Art of Color." The color combinations from Itten's painting "Horizontal-Vertical" serve as a reference for the color scheme in Stiles' works, which are composed of continuously densifying text. The electronically compressed voice of the artist reciting the poem forms the third layer of the work.
The title "A EYE" is inspired by a neural network called A-EYE, which can recognize millions of colors through artificial intelligence. The 12-part structure of the series is based on Itten's 12-part color circle.
The public sale of these works will begin on June 20, 2023, 7 pm CEST.
Sasha Stiles is an American poet and artist. She is a pioneer in generative
literature and blockchain poetry and has exhibited and given lectures in
numerous countries. Her first book, "Technelegy," is considered an important
contribution to technology and literature and has received multiple awards. Stiles studied at Harvard and Oxford and currently lives outside of New York City.
A EYE, After Johannes Itten, Part 2-4 - rich media poems
Johannes Itten 1923
Christoph Wagner, Johannes Itten. Catalog raisonné, vol. I. Paintings, watercolors, drawings.
1907-1938, Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2018, p. 60
Johannes Itten, Horizontal-Vertikal, 1915
Oil on canvas, 73.7 x 55 cm
Kunstmuseum Bern, Anne-Marie und Victor Loeb-Stiftung
The artist and Bauhaus teacher Johannes Itten (1888-1967) pursued a holistic approach. "The primitive essence of color is a dreamy sound, a musical embodiment of light," Itten stated. The color theory he developed during his tenure from 1919 to 1923 at the Bauhaus Weimar is still discussed today. His book "The Art of Color," published in 1961, was the go-to theoretical text in artist education for a long time. In his work as a teacher, he was particularly concerned with awakening the creative spirit. "Every person is artistically gifted," was his credo. For him, human education was the first step towards artistic development, followed by education.
Starting in 1915, Itten intensively explored the possibilities of a geometric-abstract formal language. Itten translated this shift to an abstract visual language into a series of purely geometrically abstract key works such as "Horizontal-Vertical" (1915), "Depth Steps" (1915), or "Encounter" (1916). They combine rectangular and circular or spiral structures with model-like color constellations. Itten experimented here with fundamental principles of form and color organization.