My reaction to this is: Are titles therefore important when it comes to art? By titling a work, does the artist help guide the viewer in his or her understanding and appreciation of what the artist is trying to say?
All artists,, sooner or later, find that giving titles to their work, either two or three dimensional, is a complicated and often difficult aspect of creation. I think that is why, especially now, there are so many "Untitled" works of art. "Untitled" is a neutral statement, indicating almost an unwillingness on the artist's part to enter into further dialogue with the viewer, and implying that the art itself has to speak for itself and the viewer has to use imagination and effort to find a personal interpretation and meaning in the work.
|Robert Morris, Untitled, 1965-71, Mirror glass and wood. Image courtesy of Tate Modern, London|
I was reminded of this need for cues the other day during an art history class I have started attending. All the images shown on the screen - well chosen and interesting - are without their titles, their size or any date. I suddenly found myself feeling as if a part of the necessary information I was used to had been eliminated. I found I was missing part of the "scene". Even abstract art, where artwork is often in series and numbered, frequently has an initial title and then the numbers within that series. Even that helps!
As an example of titles, from my own work, does a title make a difference to the viewer in this case? Either:
|Untitled, silverpoint, Jeannine Cook|
|Cedar Remains, silverpoint, Jeannine Cook|