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History of Art Notes

by: kathy pearson

History of Art Notes 2110-100

kathy pearson
Clayton State
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Expressionism file for History of Art 3310 (19th & 20th Century)
History of art 1
Class Notes




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by kathy pearson on Tuesday February 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 2110-100 at Clayton State University taught by in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see History of art 1 in Art History at Clayton State University.

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Date Created: 02/16/16
Expressionism 1).For some, only religion could provide a genuine moral framework in life. A resurgence of religion characterized the new century, with some turning to occult practices like Buddhism, Theosophy, or animism (pg. 111). Theosophy, Spiritism, and the occult gained in the perspective of many intellectuals and artist in the early 1900s. It was this metaphysical formulation that combined Eastern religions with mysticism and an esoteric belief of spiritual knowledge (pg. 111). Like an inner force, it was a spiritual vision in the art rather than an external vision or a manual skill. It was this spirituality that helped artist like Kandinsky break through the barriers, carrying painting into total abstraction (pg.122). Kandinsky said, “I learned not to look at a picture from the outside, but to move within the picture, to live in the picture.” (pg. 122). This abstract concept prevailed throughout the Expressionist era and helped in the shift of the “worldview” of modern art. 2). In Fauvism they turned to portraiture, still life and landscape as their subject matters. Fauves emphasis was on achieving personal authenticity (“the courage to return to the purity of means”). They embraced nature and combined it with Post- Impressionism’s heightened color contrast. Fauvism referred to an artist’s brilliant, arbitrary colors. Colors were more intense then colors of the Neo-Impressionist. Fauve’s were using pure color squeezed directly from the tube. These colors, not only described objects in nature and accentuated a romantic or mystical subject, but built new pictorial value realized through the use of these pure colors (pg.93). Picture “Luxe, calme et volupte” by Henri Matisse for example. Expressionism was abstract. It freed us of form, color, and space along with interest in conveying intense moods (pg.121). It was created from an emotional content, with a loose brushwork that supported the violence or chaos of the subject (pg.111).The German Expressionist weren’t influenced academically like The Fauve. In fact, most never received long academic training like Matisse or Cezonne, for example (pg. 91). However, Expressionist engaged in social issues, whereas Fauves weren’t known to partake (pg.111). They also used their art to form highly abstract forms creating cosmic conflict and renewal (Ex. Kandinsky, “Composition VII”, pg. 123). Both the Fauve and the Expressionist painted in high-keyed colors, and both drew inspiration from other cultures like Africa and South Pacific (Oceania) pg.112, and pg.97). 3). In Paula Modersohn-Becker’s self-portrait, “Her Sixth Wedding Anniversary” she expresses her identity as a women through her portrait by embracing motherhood. Even though she developed a primitive style, she kept in touch with new developments in art and literature through her friend, poet Rainer Maria Rilke (Rodin’s secretary pg.113). Becker felt personal feelings were the main importance in expressing oneself. She invoked her desire for art of a direct emotion, that of poetic expression, and that of simplicity and sensitivity to nature in her extensive letters and diaries. Thereby, claiming authorship by asserting her body for artistic creation. With this gesture, she reclaimed the female nude as a fully human subject, not just a still life. In her self-portrait, the floral wall paper even shows her domestic side (pg.114). 4).My favorite modern art movement is Expressionism. Although, I favor influences of Impressionist like Berthe Morisot, “Woman at Her Toilette”, pg.35, and John Singer Sargent, “Madame X”, pg. 37, and Aestheticism (Art for Art’s Sake), Frederick Leighton, “The Bath of Psyche”, expressionism seems more liberating. Even if a sense of chaos may seem to exist, you’re at liberty to interpret the piece past the chaos to the calm and vice-versa. Like in (Vasily Kandisky), “Composition VII”, or (Lyonel Feininger), “Harbor Mole.” There’s also a mixture of cubism and angular styles that relate to certain aspects of Art Nouveau. 5).Kandinsky, in his book of different wood cut techniques and more abstract images of art, wanted you to visualize with your unconscious mind and interpret his art. However, Kandinsky was best known as a painter, he even experimented with color in 3D. In my view, Kandinsky was an expressionist. In “Improvisation 28 (2 nd version), he expressed (himself) art through a title reminiscent to a musical composition. Here, he’s composing, associating painting (art) to music. In fact, he felt you could almost hear color like you hear music. Kandinsky did indeed work with emotion, he was an expressionist in every since of the word. One would have to tap into their inner emotions, to use their mind to imagine how a painting would sound. nd In his painting “Improvisation 28 (2 version), Kandinsky expressed his emotions of the turmoil of this period of history. He painted it two years before the war in 1912 (Kandinsky expressionism video). His works had a definite emotional content and a mixture of chaos. These things were prevalent through -out the expressionist movement (pg.111). 6).Sculptures in the 1900’s were huge, stone or wood based like the 4 Great Backs (Matisse) rendered on a monumental scale (Brancusi, “The Kiss” pg. 108 and “Endless Column” pg. 110). These sculptures reflected an interest in Cubism but had African and Cezannesque elements (pg. 105). While sculptures of the 1800’s were made of mainly bronze (Rodin, “The Gates of Hell”) and sometimes marble (“Thought”), they normally consisted of religious themes and images made of the nude, human body (pgs. 55-56). On re-examination of the art of the Middle-Ages and the Renaissance, these sculptures were directed towards Realism and Symbolism (pgs. 54-55). 7).The inspiration behind the name Die Brucke (The Bridge) was like a call to arms, uniting young people together to carry the future (Expressionism essay). A linking of “all the revolutionary and fermenting elements” (pg.114). The artist of Die Brucke were spurred by their confidence and their belief that they lived in an age of great change. They created an entirely new way to visualize art. They considered themselves the inheritors of this connection between the barbarism of the past and the modernity of the future. They created art that looked at the past, and to the future at the same time (the bridge) (essay). An important element of influence was the symmetry between symbolic subjects, graphic techniques, and art form from African and the South Pacific. Also, there was interest in the “folk art” of Europe (Expressionism essay). The revival of print making as a major form of art showcased the importance of independent art form (pg.116). This traditional art form (especially woodcut, created by Kirchner) contributed to the character of paintings and sculptures. The artist of Die Brucke were responsible for bringing this medium back (pg.116).


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