Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Art Stuff

Romantic vs. Realist art, compare to academic painting

Romantic Art:
Goya – 3rd of May, 1808 (1814)
Delacroix – Death of Sardanopolis (1830)
Gerricault – Raft of the Medusa (1818)
Turner – Slave Ship (1840)
Bierstadt – Rocky Mountains (1863)

Realist Art:
Daumier – Rue Transonian (1835)
Millet – The Gleaners (1860)
Manet – Olympia (1863)

Academy Art:
Ingres – Le Grande Odalisque (1814)

Subject Matter and Style:

exotic and extravagant drama; round, soft figures, more painterly (think Death of Sardanopolis)
focus on the sublime landscape (think Rocky Mountains)

Less exotic and romantic, more down-to-earth and immediate, real life people (think Gleaners)
More harsh technique – use of earth tones and assertive (Think Olympia)
nature was no longer the focal point; people were (also Gleaners)

What did they Share?
A Trend towards Modernism:
political propaganda for modern events (Raft of the Medusa, Third of May, Slave Ship, Rue Transonian)
Both also appreciated the relationship between people and the landscape (think Gleaners and Rocky Mountains)
Both also created competition for the Art Academy in Paris:
Romantic Relationship to Academy: More accepted, but weakened the Academy by drawing in less “ideal” approaches to painting.
Realist Relationship to Academy: Deeply criticized, socialist and politically based
Academy: Focused on ideals in nature and the human form. Fine brushstrokes that did not provide for any use of painterly techniques or abstraction. (Le Grande Odalisque) Little progression, more of the same status quo. No trend towards modernism. Also attempted to maintain a hierarchy in painting: History paintings, portraits, upperclasses came first. Then landscapes and lower classes.

How did they do it?
New Public Exhibitions!
Salons hosted by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in France; very limited in its selection and style choices
After being rejected from the 1855 Salon, Courbet created his own exhibit called the Pavillion of Realism. This introduced a completely new style that had not been yet accepted by the academy in years past.
Salon des Refuses: established in 1863, “Salon of the Rejected.” Included works by Manet, who later created his own independent exhibition. Impressionists followed suit. As time passed and more opportunities for independent artists to show their work became available, these new styles would become accepted and legitimate in high-class galleries.
These new public exhibitions created competition for the original Academy Salons

Expressionism: Compare/contrast each artist:

Post impressionist Artist: Van Gogh
Paintings: The Starry night (1889)
The Night Cafe (1888)
Symbolist Artist: Munch
Paintings: The Scream (1895)
An Evening on Karl Johann's Gate (1895)
Fauvist Artist: Matisse
Paintings: Joie de Vivre (1905)
The Red Room (Harmony in Red) (1908)
Blue Rider/Bridge Artist: Kandisnky
Paintings: Improvisation 28 (1912)
Blue Mountain (1908)

Style, context, meanings, ideology

Post-Impressionism: Basically a mature form of impressionism. More focus on what makes a painting: line, pattern, form, and color. Many, including Van Gogh, explored expressive capabilities of art. Use of color to convey emotions.
Van Gogh
Starry Night: Chaotic lines and turbulent brush strokes = uncertainty, confusion, and wonder of nature and death.
Night Cafe: supercharged unrest due to bold contrasting colors and humidity created by thick brush strokes

Symbolism: Art no longer represented the real world, but what was in the artist's head. Often, meanings are illusive and mysterious. Very psycholocially based, often dwelling on negative emotions.
The Scream: Humans are powerless to the forces of death and human emotion. Very negative – depicts lonliness, hopelessnes, and despair. Deviance from visual reality to convey these negative emotions. Curvilinear lines create movement and energy.
Evening on Karl Johann's Gate: shells, not people. Again, loneliness and disillusionment towards society. Difference between what people actually are and what they seem to be.

Fauvism: Emphasis on the happy parts of life, and expression of this happiness through bright, arbitrary color schemes. Lighter subject matter and painting style. Awaken emotion through simple means. Loose style.
Joie De Vivre: Little emphasis is placed on perspective or natural color schemes. Instead of cerebral, “deep” works, he paints pictures that are comfortable, sensual, and alive
Harmony in Red: Re-evaluates the definition of what a painting is. Unique use of color, flatness of forms, rich contrasts. “harmony” created through color.

Blue Riders/Bridge:
Originated in Germany. Artists united in a hope of a more perfect future. Often religious or spiritual goals as they paint.
Improvisation 28: An experiment in complete abstraction. Less about the tangible, more about the spiritual. Embraced new scientific discoveries.
Blue Mountain: Simplicity of forms, use of Bavarian Folk ideals, love of horses and spirituality found in color blue.


Darby and Pritchard – Coalbrookdale Bridge (1777)
Barry and Pugin – House of Parliament, London (1835)
Eiffel – Eiffel Tower (1889)
Sullivan – Guarantey Building (1894)
Gaudi – Casa Milla (1907)
Van Der Rohe – Seagram Building (1956)
Wright – Fallingwater (1936)
Johnson – AT &T Building (1980)

Coalbrookdale Bridge:
Darby and Pritchard
Redefined City Life: Iron bridge, inexpensive and strong. Showed anvances in engineering and development of industry. Industrial revolution created new materials that called for mass production and thus a new form of human urban life. Precurser to iron framework underneath urban buildings.

House of Parliament
Barry and Pugin
A revival of Gothic style to fit modern purposes. Celebrated medieval heritage of Britain. Purity and authenticity of religious buildings echoed in a political palace. Wanted to combat the cheap urban developments being created at that time. Older gothic styles had honesty and authentic quality. The layout of the rooms keeps it modern, however.

Eiffel Tower
Build for the Great Exhibition in Paris, it was meant to create a unifying, utopian atmosphere with Paris as the cultural center. Iron framework shows the forward-thinking of France, and at the top of the tower, there are inscriptions that say how far other cities are away from paris – the cultural captial of the world.

Guaranty Building
Truly modern architecture, meant for the urban landscape. Steel interior with terra cotta curtain-wall exterior – cheap and simple. Regularity of windows – all very urban, commercial, and industrial in style. Severe. Form follows function. Thus simplifying architecture in urban areas and redefining city life for many.

Casa Milla
Art nouveau – an attempt to create a utopian society through a oneness with nature in a very sterile, urban world. Architecture became more like sculpture than building. Rooms within the building are almost cell-like, thus alluding to a united and organic synergy of people in an ideal world. A look of erosion and ancient-ness about the work also shows the timelessness of humanity and life.

Seagram Building
Van Der Rohe
Also an attempt to redefine city life. Seagram building is in Iternational style – build for its geometrical stability, glass exterior under a steel skeleton, and its high-rise skyscraper style. Also left a pedestrian plaza, to add some beauty and social atmosphere to the otherwise very sterile urban world.

An attempt to create a utopian society by finding a oneness with nature through organic architecture. Building made specific to its site – waterfall going under a cantalievered floorplan, the rocks quarried on site. The idea of the hearth = another utopian claim. It is what unites people, according to Wright, so he included it in a lot of his designs, including this one.

AT&T Building
Postmodern Architecture == revives past ideals in a more modern setting. In this case, the use of the pediment looking like a seventeenth-century bedpost or drawer handle adds a blast-from-the-past flavor to the building. Form no longer follows function. Form adds to appeal of the building. Use of negative space to create beauty.

Da Vinci: Last Supper (1495)
Van Eyck: Arnolfini Wedding (1435)
Durer: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1500)
Daumier: Rue Transonian (1834)
Warhol: Maralyn Diptych (1960)
Monet: Rouen Cathedral (1895)
Duchamp: Bicycle Wheel (1913)
Pollock: Number 1, 1950 (1950)

Da Vinci: Last Supper
Fresco: Use of great skill and mastery to complete. Long, arduous process. Thus, it didn't last forever. Instead was replaced by oil paints, which were a lot more user-friendly. The medium contributed to the work's meaning because it showed the timelessness of religious belief. The work was engrained into the wall.

Van Eyck: Arnolfini Wedding
Oil Paint: Good to use for rich color and detail, both of which were really embraced by Van Eyck. Northern Renaissance's realism of particulars and deep Christian Symbolism demanded a medium that allowed for minute detail. Oil paint also gave artists a chance to change their work after it was already on the canvas.

Durer: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
Print Medium: Wood Cut. Reqired a great deal of mastery and was replaced by etching and later silkscreen and lithographs. The wood cut allowed for the work to be reproduced in print material, thus allowing for the media to read and understand the work. Durer was a master at shading and detail within the woodcut, so the work is rich in meaning and depth.

Daumier: Rue Transonian
Print Medium: Lithographs. Much easier than other print mediums because it allowed for the artist to draw with a wax crayon in the same manner as a pencil. Rather than cutting out parts you don't need, trying to etch thins into difficult metal, or working with acids, all that was needed was oil, water, ands.

Warhol: Maralyn Diptych
Print Medium: Silkscreen. Excellent choice for Warhol because his intention was to show the timelessness of pop culture. Maralyn's face is reproduced endlessly; mass production reigns rampant in today's society and Warhol is playing off of this concept. Shows the dominance of pop culture in people's lives, and how easy access is for the buying public to get involved in the fame and commonality.

Duchamp: Bicycle Wheel
Readymades: Dada was a short-lived artistic movement that embraced nihilism and anti-art movements. Bicycle wheel demands its medium because it is a found object made into an artistic piece simply through its name. It also was a precursor to mobile art, because of its movable quality. But above all else, it represented Dada beliefs in freedom from society's definition of art and finding aesthetics in common subjects. This movement was short- lived because it became difficult to completely embrace the idea of anti-art in such an artistic world.

Pollock: Number 1, 1950
Gestural Painting: Pollock was unique in his medium because his medium involved the actual gestures involved with painting his works. He combined performance art with visual art. The splashes and dribbles of paint are mere echoes of where Pollock once was painting; a visual record, of sorts, of an artistic endeavor. This adds to the meaning of abstract expressionism because it is not just the art, but the purpose of the art and how it is made that makes it art.

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