The Act of Decentering: A Way To See The Formless Through Material

Posted on: February 9, 2023
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This thesis examines Allie Wittmann?s artistic practice by navigating the concept of decentering the art object and applying form to the formlessness in spaces. By using immersive installations as a way to push back on having an object at the center of an artwork and through research based in decentering philosophy and theories, Wittmann argues that by decentering an object, projected cast shadows become a replacement for object-based artwork. She also argues that material is a tool to give form to both natural and artificial light, in other words formlessness. With reference to artists in the Light and Space Movement, Rudolph Arnheim, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and the implication of spirituality, Wittmann places her work among the art where light, time, and color are viewed as tools. Space, once paired with time, becomes relevant with or without an object and with or without a viewer. With site-specific work, Wittmann uses the provided architecture to accentuate light within a space. Because each installation is different, she utilizes the contrast of each work to create a playful interaction that is unique to the viewer's experience and the architecture surrounding them. Calculated decision-making becomes prominent when light enters a space, affecting how long the space is illuminated and what design form it takes.

Other Projects by Allie Wittmann

Allie Wittmann

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MFA Student

Major: Printmaking

Graduation Year: 2022

Artist Statement:

Fluid and methodical are connective words used to describe Allies artist practice and the representation on how she moves through her creative process. Her creative process could be described as ritualistic motions on a path with checkpoints, allowing room to retrace and change elements from before or farther down the path. It could also be characterized as a cycle of phases where the completion of the artwork is a goal, but is a conjoining element to the more important phases, exploration and making. Both of these analogies are intertwined and can be used together or separately. What this does for her as an artist and the work she creates, is it provides room for iteration and differentiation among the same product. Providing different iterations allows for her experimentation phase to be more expansive and support the making phase with a more conclusive lens.

She has more recently stepped into the realm of installation, so iteration has become a focal point to creating her art. More importantly, the explorative iterations have moved her practice into a more cohesive unit. The making of her installations consists of both the cycle and the ritualistic path, but on two separate occasions. The creation of the separate materials in her studio follows the path with checkpoints, allowing her to shift her material choices based on the malleability of them. Where the cycle of phases are a part of the installation, providing room for critical thinking and problem solving based on the space. Allie finds her newest work enforces a flow of methods that have become a ritual, supporting her artist practice and exemplifying how she processes the path or cycle of new work.