How Sociological Factors Affec Essay

This essay has a total of 2509 words and 10 pages.

How Sociological Factors Affec


A French philosopher and writer, Pierre Bourdieu ( Bourdieu et al.1990) claims that
sociological factors such as education, family background, cultural development of an
individual as well as one's belonging to a specific social class, plays a vital part in
interpretation and participation in

the Arts. In order to evaluate this argument and make any logical conclusions, it must
therefore be examined through evidence which in this case will be referring to an
Australian artist, Robert Klippel.

"Every artist's career has a ‘shape' or a development which tends to be greatly affected
by sociological factors which influence the life of that artist".(Hughes 1964: 2). Robert
Klippel's career ‘shape' was also a subject to formation which was promoted by factors
such as education, family upbringing and background as well as the outer and inner
environments which affected the life development of the artist. It is thus essential to
consider these factors as they influenced and formatted Klippel's artistic vocation and
career.

Robert Klippel was born in Sydney, 19 of June 1920, in a middle class family and became the
second in a family of three sons. His father had emigrated from Poland in 1904 and ran a
successful business importing and distributing clothing and textiles. His mother, of
English background, had been brought up in ‘English fashion', educated well and expected
to devote herself to marriage and the family. Klippel's father attended university where
he studied

philosophy and took an Art theory course. During university years, he developed an
interest in the Arts. From time to time he would visit an Art gallery or buy an expensive
classical painting.Robert Klippel's, mother had a passion for classical music and would
often visit the opera.

However, at that time Robert Klippel had little interest in education in the Arts and was
not affected by the artistic family environment around him. Although, Klippel's parents
were

educated well, Robert Klippel and his brothers were not encouraged to learn or participate
in the arts as Klippel's parents thought that their children should go ‘their own ways',
it could even be said that they were brought up by the ‘a light hand'- always given
opportunities to make their own choices and decisions in life. When referring back to
Bourdieu and his argument, it could be argued that even though Klippel's parents were
educated well and may have had a reasonable understanding of the arts, they would not be
one "of refined classification" and certainly would "lack a mastered degree of

artistic competence"(Bourdieu et al.1990:42) as they could not fully value the importance
of education and pass on to their children. However this idea may not apply in this case,
as Robert Klippel himself was not affected by his family's level of education and from the
yearly years led an independent lifestyle. Particularly during his youth, Klippel had
little interest in any sort of education and with little direction from his parents, he
preferred to work on the mill, spent little time doing his school work and became used to
fail many examinations. At one time, Klippel even thought that his life was doomed to be a
‘failure'. Klippel's family was quite financially stable and all the three sons attended
secondary school including Klippel himself, who had a careless approach towards education
and found that it was

not for him. In fact he did not receive any art education or learn much of what he later
became interested in. He describes his school years being: ‘uneventful and a waste of
time'(Gleeson 1983 :4). However it was during his early schoo years that Klipple developed
a passion for sculpture. Robert Klippel's early life was mostly spent around Sydney
Harbour where lived and first became fascinated with ships and boat models. As a young
boy, Klippel began making

miniature model ships that he often saw on the harbour or in books. An obsessive
commitment to model making lasted almost eighteen years which later led to becoming a
sculptor. Klippel entered the navy during WWII, where he obtained a job as a model maker.
Between 1943 and 1945 he produced many military vessels and aircraft models. The skills
developed during this

period were vital for Klippel as a sculptor; "he gained knowledge of volume, mass,
proportion and structural detail"(Scarlett 1980: 9). Above all, he acquired a strong
desire to find out how things worked which further helped him with his creative process.
Klippel obtained some practical skills to be used in his artworks but when referring back
to Bourdieu, he had no knowledge of ‘artistic principles' or understanding of
theoretical Arts and thus had no ‘means of

appropriating works of art'. This also reflected that Klippel had a lack of artistic ideas and
inspirations to produce his works although he had a strong desire to make sculptures.
"At twenty-four Klippel was still largely unconcerned with the difference between art and craft:
he simply did not care about it and had never visited a gallery"(Hughes 1964:12) Klippel was not
exposed to any higher education and he finished high-school with poor grades as he spent most
of the time working with wool. He took a wool classing course in 1937 with the support of his
father who thought that Klippel would be working with wool as he did not see any other
opportunities for his son. However, Klippel himself decided to no longer work with wool and to
devote more time to his sculptures as he discovered his passion for Art. The year of 1943 became
a turning point for Klippel, as he met a friend Pam Broad, who was a poet and an intellectual,
and encouraged Klippel to take up a wood-carving course which taught him how to develop his
own designs and models. Pam Broad was appreciative of Klippel's skill but criticised his lack
of originality and knowledge of art. Klippel realised that in order to become a sculptor he would
need to have certain knowledge of the Arts and Pam Broad introduced him to literature, poetry
and art as abstract, which Klippel became later involved in. Robert Klippel gradually began to
gain artistic appreciation and knowledge of Art and he also found the critical difference between
art and craft. Klippel realised that he could now interpret and produce artworks and meanings in
ways that before were unknown to him and as Bourdieu states: "interpretation... is always
constituted by the learning ability ...in other words discovering meaning using our literary
knowledge" (Bourdieu et al.1990).
Klippel put aside his models and began to read and study art books to gain knowledge about art.
Pam Broad introduced him to the work of Brzeska, and he read books on Henry Moore and
Roger Fly; "The intellectual discovery of art as a creative pursuit awakened a passion he hardly
knew existed"(Watters Gallery 1970:3). By 1945 Klippel has decided that art would be his
vocation and that he would become a sculptor. In 1946 he enrolled full time at the East Sydney
Technical College to study antique drawing, life modelling and sculpture. During this time
Klippel became inspired by nature which became a source of ideas for the sculptor and he noted
in his diary that: "Thinking a lot about nature and its workings, I believe and artist should, when
creating, undergo a similar process which occurs when nature creates"(Gleeson1983:4).
Although not having received ‘complete' education, Robert Klippel was able to use his skills to
produce his models and he found that the knowledge he received himself and with the help of
others was extremely useful for his art creation.
Referring back to Bourdiue, who stressed the importance of learning and defined the idea of
education as "having a complex code", which refers to sophistication and ability to distinguish a
work of art in a more refined way, it could be noted that Klippel has gradually achieved this
ability through self-education and continuos learning throughout his career. However here the
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  • How Sociological Factors Affec
    How Sociological Factors Affec A French philosopher and writer, Pierre Bourdieu ( Bourdieu et al.1990) claims that sociological factors such as education, family background, cultural development of an individual as well as one\'s belonging to a specific social class, plays a vital part in interpretation and participation in the Arts. In order to evaluate this argument and make any logical conclusions, it must therefore be examined through evidence which in this case will be referring to an Austr