3 Degrees of Cool, Masterworks of Contemporary
Art can be described as artwork for the patient viewer. This patience
must come at multiple levels. People viewing 3 Degrees of Cool must be
patient in viewing the initial sections by searching for the meaning of
the works of art and overcoming the initial shock of all art works in
bland black-and-white. Viewers must also have the patience to work their
way towards the back area of the gallery and discover, hidden from their
initial view, brilliant color and bright works of art, which are full
of imagination and proficient in provoking thoughts and discussion.
When starting my journey through 3 Degrees of Cool, I began as an extremely
skeptical viewer, walking through the lack of color. There were some interesting
sculptures for the public to view; however, they lacked meaning while
stationed at their position. While continuing through the works of art,
I came to a puzzling piece. At first glance, it looked like an unfilled
spreadsheet. After viewing the work closer, I still concluded that it
looked like an unfilled spreadsheet. I truly do not understand how a spreadsheet
can be a work of art. The title of the work, Untitled, must be because
the work was not worthy enough to have a name. I could get a ruler, pencil,
and graph paper, and I feel like I could do the exact same thing that
was on the wall of the gallery.
The only work of art I found to be impressively eye-catching in my “lack
of color” viewing may not have been intended to be part of the display.
Unmarked on the guide to the different works of art was a beautiful, black
piano. This exquisite, polished, black piano was filled with mystery and
wonder. Why was the piano there? Was it left from a previous installment?
Not only is the piano itself a work of great craftsmanship and art, but
a person can also create a work of art while playing this fine instrument.
The piano is definitely the high-point of the “black-and-white”
sections of the gallery. While I tried looking around at the different
works of art, my eyes kept falling back to the piano. Glass cube…black
cube…back to the black piano. Black stripes…black patterns…back
to the black piano.
People working through their frustration of the lack of color in the front
of the gallery can rejoice, as their efforts will be rewarded at the back
area of the works of art. These pieces of art attract the eye with their
colors and texture, and the thought-provoking patterns are waiting for
This back area is where the art creates the most excitement and where
the most stories are waiting to be told. One such work of art, William
Wood’s Untitled, creates a depth beyond what the eye can see. The
painting brings out another dimension with the shading, twists, and turns.
I feel like the artwork is giving a viewer a window to the outer world,
and yet the twists and turns make the artwork look like a curtain that
conceals something extra. If the viewer focuses hard enough, maybe the
curtains will part and will offer an experience beyond what one has ever
Gerard Richter’s 798-2 Abstract Painting is more than just abstract.
Beyond the chaos that a casual viewer might only see, this painting seems
to tell only a part of a story. While this may seem frustrating to some
people, it is intriguing the questions that are brought up when viewing
this artwork. Is it a foggy night? A freeway mess? Could it be a blurred
world, with glasses ready to focus and reveal the true picture? What is
the significance of the title? Could it be the name of intersecting highways?
Many questions are posed, but there are so little answers. This makes
the art a true work to talk about.
One work that really focused my attention was Damien Hirst’s Beautiful
Christmas Morning Constellation Painting. In this case, the title of the
work of art really brings out the point the artist was attempting to get
across. This title describes the art completely. The whirlwind of happiness
and chaos at Christmas morning when opening presents…a brightness
that lights up the whole room…stars shining brightly…and the
texture. The different textures represent the different types of people
coming together to create a happy medium and celebrating one central point
of focus. This work gives even the most casual viewer happy memories of
Christmas morning in the form of a colorful work of art.
Overall, after getting through the initial shock of lack of color, the
gallery creates a sense of questioning and wonder. Viewers may feel that
there is something deeper than what a first glance may offer. This is
what a gallery should offer to the public…question, wonder, and
a search for the truth and meaning behind the work itself.