Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hands On

"Helping hand," "lend a hand," "all hands on deck"; hands are a powerful image conveying friendship and connectedness through outwardly symbolizing welcoming, sharing, and helping.  We wave, shake, hold and pray with our hands.  "Hands on" expresses the idea putting physical work into something to help make that thing better or to engage with new information in an active way to help us to internalize what we learn.  I'd like to celebrate our ability to use our hands for good.

When we think of works of art, we often think of making something by hand.  Many creative pursuits utilize the hands as a shaping tool to make beautiful and communicative objects.  Below are images I find to be very powerful and emotive; a (very) brief survey of (mostly) 20th century artworks exploring not only things made by hand but also hand imagery.

Woman's Wearing Blanket
early 20th century
wool and silk trade cloth, glass beads
(image via  The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Georgia O'Keeffe-Hands
Alfred Stieglitz
Platinum print
(image via The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Welcoming Hands
Louise Bourgeois
Bronze coated with silvernitrate patina, polished
(image via Art Net)

Leslie Dill
White bronze, steel wire and horse hair
(image via Barbara Krakow Gallery)

Untitled (Hands Waving)
Kiki Smith
Lithograph and ink on paper collage with two mirrored discs on Nepal paper
(image via Phillips Art Auctions)
What do you enjoy making, by hand?

No comments:

Post a Comment