Chapter 12 Lecture Notes
Chapter 12 Lecture Notes 2000
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Date Created: 11/02/14
ARTS 2000 Prof McIntosh Chapter 12 Mind and Body The body is personal this is my body this is me The body is social we study each other we use our bodies to communicate attitudes Mind and body are intertwined Through art that deals with the mind and body different cultures show their concept of the individual as well as human nature in general and larger social trends Depicting the body 0 beyond the likeness of an individual some portraits represent I inner mental states I social preferences I political issues Portraits a successful portrait goes beyond simply creating a likeness 0 the bust of Queen Nefertiti has an individualized idealized perfectly symmetrical face 0 Nefertiti displays the new aesthetic canon I eased I owing I naturalistic I elegant I this canon is the Armana style in Fanny Fingerpainting Chuck Close used the portrait not to revel inner personality but to create a detailed record of the structure ridges pores and wrinkles of an elderly woman s head 22 393939 39 enormous scale more than 9 ft high o lizard like watery eyes 0 cracked lips o sagging skin on neck we can stare at a person s face an action considered impolite in US culture traditional Japanese styles depicts faces using outlines and contour lines only The Study for the Portrait of Okakura Tenshin records a face that emphasizes inner character and mirrors the social political and aesthetic controversies in Japan during his time o J apanese style contour lines and at shapes are apparent especially in Olltalltura s left hand and sleeve but the face and hat are rendered with Western chiaroscuro dark and light shading o Okakura believed that only the combination of modernism and tradition meant progress in art The Portrait of Dr Gachet by van Gogh is an example of a portrait that focuses on a person s inner mental and emotional state O O O O the artist revealed as much about himself as he did about his subject I less than two months away from his suicide thick paint animates the surface emphatic dashes and tight swirls model form color saturation all these things indicate van Gogh s own agitation and intensity Full body portraits often reveal more about the sitter s personality than just a face rendering O sitting for long periods of time the subjects unintentionally reveal clues about their most intimate selves primarily through their poses and facial expressions the physical body 0 artists use the body to address ideas about the essence of humanity as well as cultural ideals the idealized body 0 Protagoras said Of all things the measure is man ancient Greeks had a great respect for the human mind and body the Greeks believed that humans were capable of perfection defined as a fit body guided by a keen mind emotions were less important than the intellect nudity was common in art and athletic events and glorified the idealized human form o Doryphoros or spear bearer is a slightly larger than life nide male that re ects the Greeks deep appreciation of the human body I the figure is idealized in the balanced pose the internal proportions the restrained emotions and the roles depicted youth athlete and warrior I this work was executed in the Greek Classical art style o Contrapposto counterbalanced this stance is the way many people stand the sculpture re creates an image of a living exing body Self portraits are representations of the artists created by the artists themselves From youth through old age Rembrandt van Rijn recorded his face as strong vulnerable cloddish sophisticated happy worried sorrowful humorous and resigned Through her self portraits Frida Kahlo expressed her inner and outer being as well as broader social and political forces o in Self Portrait with a Monkey Kahlo s face is central her braided hair shows identification with the peasant culture the lush Mexican foliage appears around her head and the money depicts her animal alter ego Cindy Sherman photographed herself hundreds of times the effect being fragmentation not a unique individual o each image re ects a socially prescribed or media disseminated role o she reenacts roles for women given by the media such as I sweetheart next door I housewife I girl left behind I vulnerable hitchhiker o Sherman suggests that we have no built in sense of identity but rather compose ourselves from pieces of popular culture The body in art and as art o the body is not only depicted in art it is used in making art or it is transformed to become artwork The body as art material o The human body is material for art making it can be painted or sculpted or it can be part of a performance or spectacle o the living body energizes personalizes or adds emotional content to the artwork o modifying the human body has a long history I the Mayan Head from the Tomb of the Temple of Inscriptions shows how the body is a raw material from which art can be made I to the Mayans a at sloping forehead was beautiful so they bound and compressed infants heads to deform the shape I hair as bluntly cut at different levels and woven with jade ornaments cotton threads and owers I the resulting human head was a living artistic creation in many cultures body painting is the same as wearing masks or costumes I among the Ngere people girls pain their torsos white and their faces in brilliant colors after initiation I the patterns of color are similar to the way the face can be abstracted and broken down into parts in sculpture Ana Mendieta created several outdoor performances that dealt with her body directly or the trace of her body on the earth I she made herself into a body sculpture covered with mud and straw She posed against a tree in a manner reminiscent of ancient fertility goddesses I the energy of her living being was joined with the earth which she believed was a force that was omnipresent and female The body as an art tool O O O the most important tools of artists are their bodies fingers hands and arms guided by their minds in making works of art artists continually touch the entire surface of their works Jackson Pollock painted Lucifer with the motion of his entire action painting I his body movements were fixed and recorded in the paint surface a rhythmic mesh of drips congealed blobs and looping swirls the action painter was seen as an isolated genius almost always male the work had no moral message and no narrative just pure paint and pure body action The Psychological Dimension in Art O O much art is related to the mental or emotional state of humans work that functions psychologically I art in which the body is affected by emotional and mental forces I art that is psychologically potent and affects the mental state of those who view or use the art I art that acts as a record of a mental or emotional state o in The Scream the distorted body is the vehicle for expressing inner terror anxieties and pressures Realism has been abandoned o give form to these internal emotions I the figure stands in physical and emotional isolation screaming at a pitch that reverberates in the landscape and in the sky 0 The Double Mask from the Ejagham people of the Cross River area of Cameroon is psychologically active when used worn or displayed I the mask is meant to be psychologically potent by giving the wearer extra power and intimidating the audience watching a performance o compare the Double Mask to the Mask of the Swan and the White Whale o In Inuit beliefs the swan leads the white whale to the hunter I traditionally the Inuit culture has depended on whale hunting to provide many necessities so during rituals the wearer of this mask would receive added powers in whale hunting o Giovanni Battista Piranesi s Prison focuses on the complicated dreary spaces of the dungeon which acts as a metaphor for the darker twisted side of the human mind I these complex dark chambers are the exact opposite of sunny landscapes but each can be seen as a metaphor for a human state of mind Listen to Living is an example of surrealism a movement that emphasized absurd or dream states O Matta Echaurren s paintings are called inscapes he sought to create an image of the workings of the human mind his work is marked by vivid colors luminous patterns bold lines and a vague unspecific background Artwork meant to record a mental state Green Red Blue by Mark Rothko hints at a sublime moment or transcendent state of being 0 0 He created a series of paintings that contained large rectangles sometimes only vaguely defined against a field of other colors he used abstraction to address broad and fundamental feelings ideas because figurative or narrative imagery was too specific or limiting his abstractions were meant to provide a kind of direct physical experience
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