Tate Modern Slow Art Day 2019: ‘Fantastic’

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According to the visitor experience team at Tate Modern, Slow Art Day 2019 was “fantastic.”

Participants slowly looking at The Snail by Henri Matisse

They organized two one-hour slow looking sessions split between two artworks and, then, after the sessions, the team invited the visitors to come together for tea, coffee, biscuits, and a discussion about the whole experience.

Here’s what some of the participants said:

“A really interesting session. I’m more mindful of how to observe art in the future.”

“What a wonderful idea!

“I understand now how you can spend so much time in a gallery looking at art!”

“The combination of looking at art slowly and with other people is a real eye opener.”

“Really like the concept. As someone who can feel a bit intimidated by the art world this felt like a really nice way in and gives me more confidence to engage with art in the future.”

“A brilliant concept, lovely to think that this is going on all around the world.”

“I will definitely bring friends next time. Do it again!”

“I felt like a part of a group/community and was an hour well spent.”

“We can’t wait for next year to do it again,” said Adriana Oliveira, Visitor Experience Manager there at Tate Modern.

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Sunday Artist Submissions

Like what you see? Join in on the artistic action by submitting your own work for consideration.

– Karen

Do You Tweet?

Slow looking enthusiasts and social media butterflies rejoice!

Our twitter feed, @SlowArtDay, brings the best mix of recent art news and thoughtful art ruminations this side of the tweetosphere.

Sound too good to be true? Investigate yourself.

And don’t forget to tune in for our weekly #TwitterTopicTuesday conversation; we’ll “see” you there…

– Karen

Submission Sundays

Our latest crop of submitted works are featured across our social media platforms including facebook, twitter, and tumblr. Interested in having your work broadcast to the art-loving Slow Art Day community? Find out more here.

– Karen

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Today’s Twitter Topic

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Join the conversation happening all day today on our twitter – get involved by tweeting @SlowArtDay or using the hashtag #TwitterTopicTuesday!

Our focus this week is the news that several Andy Warhol prints, previously declared fake, are now considered authentic. Do you think this is a good move? Read more about this on The Art Newspaper and respond to us on twitter!

– Karen

Introducing…Twitter Topic Tuesdays!

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Want to let your voice be heard? Join us now on twitter to discuss a New York Times article garnering some serious buzz: “Art Makes You Smart.”

We’re inclined to agree with their findings but what do you think? Share your thoughts with us on twitter.

– Karen

Looking Slowly, Again

Slow Art Day has asked its 2013 college interns to write short summaries of their own experiences looking slowly at artworks of their choosing. Sylvia Faichney, Slow Art Day intern from the Art Institute of Chicago, writes here about her experience seeing the unexpected.

I’ve learned that through my practices of looking slowly that even after looking at a piece one, two, or even three times slowly I still may not have seen all that it has to show me.

Despite believing that looking slowly over several visits can yield ever more insights, I had the surprising recent experience of going to my favorite museum and looking at one of my favorite pieces of art and finding that there were significant elements that I had previously completely missed.

(Images Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago)

Let me explain.

Living in the city of Chicago I have access to multiple galleries and museums. The Art Institute of Chicago, however, is one of my favorites. I’ve visited multiple times and I have it almost memorized. I know it so well that I know what’s around every corner. Or so I thought before I did this slow looking exercise for Slow Art Day.

I chose to look slowly again at Gerhard Richter’s Ice 1, 2, 3, 4. I have seen it slowly multiple times – including for this recent exercise. I am entranced every time by its fluidity, by its color and by what I call only describe as its “togetherness.”

On my visits prior to the one for this exercise, I have sat and tried to understand why these four separate canvases are somehow cohesive. I previously have noted that although each composition is different there is a unity created by the colors.

Today, when I sit for my third time in front of this wonderful set of four paintings, I discover that not only the composition but the colors play a key role in creating the cohesion. When I look at it one way, I see chaos and separation. The paintings can appear to be disconnected. But, Richter in his genius somehow uses the chaos in a way to connect. Further, the emotional feeling I experience from this chaotic connected work is calm. I don’t know how he does that. He uses a wide variety of colors. The pieces are complex. The texture is rich and constantly yielding new insights.

A few minutes go by and I notice something I hadn’t before. What is that big streak of grey? The movement had always seemed so consistent to me and there in front of me was a break in the pattern created by this rather large diagonal grey streak. My eyes move along to the other canvases to where I find that there is another break in the pattern I had missed. There it was, a curved orange, green, and blue brush stroke that I had missed on my previous visits.

“How had I not noticed this on my previous visits?!”

I ask myself this question as I continue to look and follow the movement of these new-found curves. I become astonished – not only am I seeing these new patterns but I’m also seeing colors I had missed or misunderstood previously. For example, the color I had always assumed was grey in the compositions, appears in fact to be purple. This was a huge shock to me. An entire color in all of the compositions that had looked one way to me begins to appear as a different color. And this true color that I had just now noticed changes the tone of each piece. It’s quite dramatic. After realizing this I also discover undertones of other colors I had previously not noticed – a dark green, a yellow, different shades of blue all begin to reveal themselves. As I look closely, I see that they had been cleverly tucked away behind layers of more prominent colors. I can’t believe that after all of the time I have spent in the past with these paintings that I am seeing so much more – and so much that I had misunderstood.

Despite my surprise and shock, at the end of my slow looking exercise I feel that calm from Richter – so calm that I’m rejuvenated. I’m not tired. I’m not burnt out. I’m excited and my senses are heightened. I get up to leave but before I go I take a quick look at the description written by the curators. “…Impulses and contradiction of representation urging skeptics in the evaluation of the purpose and effect of all constructed visual phenomena.” I’m not sure what they mean but I think I agree.
When I’m back home and reflecting on my experience, I realize that I really thought that I wouldn’t experience anything new from looking slowly at these Richter paintings for a third time. Now I see that I may never be done learning, and that maybe there are certain art works that take many visits to fully experience. Even in my favorite corner of my favorite museum that I have been to many times, I now know that I can sit down and ask myself if I really have seen it all.

– Sylvia Faichney, Art Institute of Chicago

Gerhard Richter’s Ice 1, 2, 3, 4 among other great works are available to view at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The Art Institute of Chicago is not currently a 2014 Slow Art Day venue.  Sign up to host here!

Slow Art Day and the Art of Social Media

As the very first intern to join the Slow Art Day team back in August of 2012, I’ve seen the social media strategy for our organization evolve from the ground up. From completely revamping our Tumblr page, to becoming active again on Facebook and Twitter, we’ve grown our online presence exponentially in just over a year, thanks to our hard-working social media team of just under 10 interns and volunteers.

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One our strongest beliefs at Slow Art Day is that art is truly for everyone, and our social media channels reflect that. Our Facebook page provides a daily dose of interesting artwork into your newsfeed, while our Tumblr blog showcases not only art by well-established names, but also features young and emerging artists who submit their work for our weekly “Tumblr Thursdays.

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We’re planning some exciting contests and giveaways in the future, so make sure to stay up to date on all our social media channels, whether we’re welcoming and announcing new venues on Twitter, sharing host reports and interviews on our blog, or posting thought-provoking and inspiring pieces of art on our Facebook and Tumblr.

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If you like what you see, feel free to drop us a line – we always love feedback!

Alie Cline
Social Media Manager

Twitter, tumblr, and Slow Art: oh my!

If you follow Slow Art Day on our various social media channels, you might have noticed an interesting conversation unfolding this week over whether programming like Slow Art Day can succeed in today’s fast-paced, digital environment. It all started when Sarah Bailey Hogarty from the de Young & Legion of Honor Museums looped us into a conversation happening at the 2013 Museums and the Web Conference:

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Of course, we had to respond!

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Which opened the floodgates for more dialogue and opinions from both sides:

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While twitter is fantastic for short, 140 character thoughts, we wanted to address our thoughts on the power of slow looking in a longer format, so our Social Media Manager Alie Cline took to the Slow Art Day tumblr to respond to Koven Smith’s initial concerns about Slow Art. Focusing on the ideas of slow looking and engagement, the post details how Slow Art Day can work within digital culture, “…so people can share their insights, observations, and engage with the artwork in a way that reaches beyond just the initial reaction of “I like this” or “I don’t like this.” Make sure to check out the entire post on our tumblr!

We love the thoughtful and respectful dialogue that took place on our social media channels – make sure to follow Slow Art Day on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr for more conversations like this one!

Slow Art Day reaches over 200 venues!

We’re excited to announce that Slow Art Day has reached a new milestone: over 200 venues have registered to host Slow Art Day 2013! As of this week, there are over 200 participating venues in 22 countries, 160 cities, and 5 continents. What started out as a grassroots movement has grown into a truly global initiative, and we want to take a moment to thank all of our dedicated volunteers, hosts, and participants for their help and support of Slow Art Day.

To help celebrate this accomplishment, we’ve planned some fun posts across our social media channels emphasizing the theme of growth. On our Tumblr, our weekly “Themed Thursday” series is focusing on growth with artworks like Gregory Euclide‘s Otherworldly: optical delusions and small realities, 2011.

Gregory Euclide, Otherworldly: optical delusions and small realities, 2011.

Gregory Euclide, Otherworldly: optical delusions and small realities, 2011.

On our Facebook, check out another growth-themed artwork by Rogan Brown, and keep your eyes peeled on our twitter for a special tweet congratulating our 200th venue!

Slow Art Day 2013 is just over a month away; how many venues do you think will register to host by April 27th? Let us know in the comments! There’s still plenty of time to sign up to host; click on the Be A Host tab at the top of the page to register.

Once again, thank you to everyone who has played a roll, small or large, in helping make Slow Art Day such a success!

Alie Cline
Social Media Manager