As we look closely at modern art we see a crossing over into total abstration in painting. The traditional function of painting up until now has been to illustrate and represent stories either biblical or military as well as to observe and record waht is infront of an artists eyes and or impressions through the effects of light. Painting up until now has really been the recordings and abstractings of our own world. Ann Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater are two theosophists who wrote a book called Thoughtforms which is a study on the nature and power of thought. in turn effected painting. The authors state that thoughts have two effects "a radiating vibration and a floating form" THOUGHT FORMS ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE CLASSES: 1.) THAT WHICH TAKES THE IMAGE OF THE THINKER 2.) THAT WHICH TAKES THE IMAGE OF SOME MATERIAL OBJECT 3.)THAT WHICH TAKES A FORM ENTIRELY ON ITS OWN, EXPRESSING ITS INHERENT QUALITIES IN THE MATTER WHICH IT DRAWS ROUND ITIn addition the effects of music emotion and color on thought forms is also studied in their book. It was this book and these theosophists that influenced a new style of art where now painting could be of something not visible in the modern world. Kandinsky is one of the first true artists to create art that contains no reference to the modern world. He is a member of the Blue Reiter group of german expressionism. The other group in Germany was De Brucke. Kandinskys work like COMPOSITION number VII is a prime example of the new style of modern art which makes the invisible...visible but nevertheless real i.e. emotion feeling and imagination exhibited through design and formal composition. Now modern painting exhibited FORM AND COMPOSITION OF FEELING AND EMOTION and turned away from traditional styles mentioned above. Not only was this new form of thought exhibitied in painting but also in music. STRAVINSKI REJECTED REFERENCES TO THE REAL WORLD AS WELL. In program music you actually hear passages in music that refer to the real world. I.E. tinkle bells make references to cow bells. In both painting and music...the imagination and emotion was exhibited through formal composition. This in turn GAVE A NEW FREEDOM that gave graphic design a new path. Text now had a new freedom in shape and form. THE SHAPE OF TEXT ITSELF COULD ALSO REPRESENT THE IMAGINATION, SOUND, ETC. I.E. THE COVER OF THE FUTURIST MANIFESTO. Graphic design was now given a whole new freedom of FORM THROUGH THOUGHT!!!
I find Futurism completely fascinating. Even when one could not share all their precepts and proposals, like the extreme militarism and patriotism or the “scorn of woman” the essence behind the whole movement is certainly admirable. And perhaps it was totally necessary at the time. It is particularly remarkable the way they manipulate the types to make them an active part of the image, showing sometimes isolated or fragmented words to indicate movement, speed and sounds. The Russian Futurism, although primary a literary movement produced great examples of committed design and visual innovation. A great piece is the poster designed by El Lissitzky for the opera “Victory over the Sun” (1923). It shows a great level of experimentation with forms and types over a plain white background. It even introduces a text written in several languages: "Alles ist bien was good начинается et hat no finita" (All is well that begins well and has no end). All these elements make the interaction with the viewer not only direct but inevitable, ensuring the effective communication of the message. (the poster can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pobedanassolntsem.jpg)The development of Futurism in Russia into Cubo-Futurism reflects effectively the spirit of the convulsed Russia of beginnings of 20th century of total rejection of previous ideas and styles. They even denied the influence of Marinetti’s manifesto professing a total stylistic independence.
Cubism helped break the barrier on what was the proper way of viewing things. Many were stuck on the traditional view of things based on proportion and even how realistic a painting would look compared to the real thing. The influence of cubism helped form movements such as futurism, constructivism, De Stijl, surrealism and many other movements that followed cubism. Such movements used cubism as a means of inspiration when it came to expressing oneself in a different form from traditional views. It allowed artists to use collage as a medium, as well as use the geometric fragments in cubism to a level of total abstraction similar to that of Léger.One painting that I found interesting was “Man with Violin” (1911 – 1912) by Pablo Picasso, it was done during the analytical cubism phase. Picasso studied the different planes of a subject from different vantage points, fractured them, and pulled them towards the canvas surface. Picasso was able to play with the positive and negative relationship of planes in creating this piece. What is interesting is how even though the painting is abstract, one can still decipher elements of a man as well as small elements that represent a violin towards the bottom of the painting. However he never actually had to form the man or the violin to do this, he abstracted all of these elements with the use of geometrical fragments. It is very intriguing to explore how Picasso did their work during the Analytical era of Cubism, which I believe was a peak in Picasso’s work.
Cubism has been one of the most influential art movements in the last several hundred years. Not only was it capable of influencing art on canvas, it was capable of influencing literature and music to change during this time period as well. Cubism was created by Picasso and Braque. The style of painting depicts three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional plane. This style gave rise to development of new trends like: futurism, constructivism, and expressionism. Its artists overturned the rules of perspective that had governed painting for at least four centuries, and established new formal and conceptual ways of working, that no artist of the future would be able to disregard. This important and wide-ranging revolution did not come entirely unannounced, as certain experiments had already prepared the ground and provided encouragement. I think cubism is amazing because it finally gives us something modern and objective to look at and observe for ourselves.
I completely agree Amy, there is a crossing over into total abstraction in painting as we get into modern art. What impresses me the most is Dadaism. It’s a complete cultural movement and its “anti-art” style to me is more of a reaction to the chaos taking place in the world at the time rather than a reaction to the need to revitalize art at that time. I believe that this falls in line with what Professor Triff was saying about propaganda—doing whatever it takes to get the message across. Many of these works are political in nature, and are loud statements against what was going on in the world. Art is actually being used to call for change in society! This can also be seen elsewhere, for example in the American political cartoons during this time, but those cartoons tend to be satirical and to be lack the passion (and to a certain extent the anarchy) Dada had. You can almost feel the disgust these artists had in the pieces they created; there is a definite sense of apathy to make something beautiful because there was nowhere to derive inspiration from.
I find the Dadaist movement really interesting. The things that they hoped to accomplish through their anti-art were very clearly defined. They rejected bourgeois reason and logic, which they believed led to World War I. They rebelled against and hoped to destroy traditional aesthetics and values. And they intended to offend and shock with their art, literature, and performance. It seems to me that they very successfully accomplished their goals with their art and performances. The appearance of Duchamp’s Fountain in an art gallery and the performances such as the Sound Poems outraged and shocked 1917 audiences. In fact, when Duchamp initially attempted to exhibit Fountain at the Society of Independent Artists exhibition in NY, it was hidden from public view. The exhibition had publicized that they would exhibit any and all work that was submitted. He was a board member of the Society of Independent Artists and consequently submitted the piece under the name R. Mutt to disguise his responsibility for it. Duchamp and other artists resigned from the board after the exhibition. The piece’s exclusion from the show generated publicity including the appearance of the famous photo of it by Alfred Stieglitz in the Dada journal The Blind Man. The unexpected press gave Duchamp a forum to express his intention with the piece to shift the focus of art from technical and formal issues to conceptual ones.The graphic design that developed out of Dada didn’t support the movement’s goals quite so well. It is easy to see the break with tradition but, admittedly to my post-modern sensibilities, Dada graphic design is really compelling and often quite beautiful. The incredible innovation in design backfired and actually contributed to the demise of Dada by helping it becoming acceptable.
Did you know Marianetti, Futurist, Lover of fast cars and motorcycles, believer in the superhuman beauty of machines and the mastery of humans over the natural world, was drafted into the Italian cavalry during the Great War and died when a horse he was riding fell on him. Is that ironic? Is it karmic?.. I am always looking at the world here and now, not at textbooks, for things to write about in this blog (I apologise to those constant posters for my two-week absence). I think that somehow this information, this discussion has to move beyond didactic statements and become something we are feeling about our world and the way we have integrated the discoveries of past designers into our lives and worldviews.. especially the stuff we just Know To be True (or Always Existing) without question.I was downtown yesterday to see an installation at MAM, how many buildings down there, or in any city, are all glass?As I approached the parking garage I noticed that the bones of the building were indiscernable, there was no buttress, no stone or brick foundation wall or pillars, there was only Peter Behrens's and Walter Gropius's Curtain Wall of glass panels fitted together to form a huge glass grid.It seems hardly worth mentioning today that such a thing is extraordinary. So many buildings now, like the Twin Towers, are built with spinal cords of steel and concrete and then shrouded in lighter materials, beautiful, and gravity-defying. When the Faguswerk building by Gropius went up, with light and space attributes remeniscent of Paxton's Crystal Palace, but the humanist and utilitarian purpose of a shoe factory, something started that we cannot fully quantify. Now most of our world has known the feeling of being encased in glass, an old material with a science fiction future. We have grown up with transparent walls in our schools instead of solid stone blocks. Does that affect the way we see?do we see beyond surface at all?I wonder what is more influential and more valued. Is it the structure or the surface?
Cubism is one of the most influential art movements of the twentieth century. Cubism itself follows Paul Cezanne statement that "Everything in nature takes its form from the sphere, the cone, and the cylinder." in which these 3 shapes are used to depict the object of the painting. Another way that the cubist expressed their painting was by showing different views of an object put together in a way that you can not actually see in real life. While Picasso and Braque are credited with creating this new visual language, it was adopted and further developed by many painters, including Fernand Léger, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Juan Gris, Roger de La Fresnaye, Albert Gleizes and even Diego Rivera . During the years from 1913 to 1918, Rivera devoted himself almost entirely to cubism and found himself getting caught up in his search for new truths He created one of his famous painting in cubism style Table on a Café Terrace (1915) This painting was an excellent example of Diego Rivera's fully developed Cubist idiom, which he began to practice in Paris early in 1914 and continued to explore until 1917. Initially he created paintings that were stylistically close to those of the "minor" Cubists: Albert Gleizes, Henri Le Fauconnier, and Jean Metzinger. Beginning in 1914, however, the dominant influences became those of the Spaniards Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso. Rivera's interest in contrasting textures and his use of pointillist technique is clearly manifest throughout the composition. Yet his Synthetic Cubist forms are more ornamental, the color is brighter and livelier, and the contrast fuller. Additionally, he has introduced elements of Mexican iconography, such as the cigar box with a tiny label, highlighting the partial letters BENITO JUA with a miniature Mexican landscape inscribed into it. Rivera was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. He was a legend in his own time. The effect of his art can be compared to that of Michelangelo. We can learn about history and ourselves through the murals created by Diego Rivera whose dream was to be the artist of the Americas.
Peter Behrens an influential German Architect and designer during 20th Century. Although he initiated his career as a painter and designer, with the influence of the Art Nouveau, he began also to practice the architecture. Behrens evolved a moment towards a geometric and austere style that gives the foundation of modern industrial architecture and industrial design. In 1907 he began to work as a director of AEG (Allgemaine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft), company from which he designed a great amount of products, some factories and even the houses for its workers. Behrens was a pioneer in the architectonic implantation of new materials and constructing techniques. One of his most fundamental works is The Turbine Factory in Berlin-Moabit for the AEG (1909). During the development of the AEG The Turbine Factory, he had students and assistants, who later became the teachers of the modern movement. They are: Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe and Him Corbusier. Behers’s originality made a transformation not only to industrial architecture, but also to industrial design. Along with the help of his students his ideas were spread throughout the world.
Looking at the last post and some works on Wikipediea, Max Ernst, reminds me a lot of Salvador Dali. Both of them are part of the Surrealism movement and both use most of the same techniques. His body of work was one that I wish we had reviewed in class. One of my favorite pieces was one of his masterpieces, “The Hallucinogenic Toreador”http://www.scottzagar.com/arthistory/timelines.php?page=popup_fullsize&res_id=2093&pic_id=747you can click on the link so you can see it. I love how he incorporates so much detail in each piece, there is so much to digest and take in. the obvious to look into would be the toreador that his hidden within the repeating Venus de Milo’s, the coliseum resembling his hat and the red skirt of the Venus de Milo in the foreground represents his drape used to taunt the toreador, the fallen bull in his shoulder again gives way to the identity of the character, capturing the culture through out this piece you can still find small details and fixations that are found in all of his work, from his fascination with the fruit fly, to imposing himself as a child in the bottom of the corner, you can see how he takes advantage of the canvas. Without a doubt he is my favorite artist.
The turbulence of militaristic angst, nationalism, and technological innovation shook the European landscape of design during the early to mid twentieth century. “The Medium is the Message”: the emergence of Cubism, Dadaism and Futurism, all relatively abstract arts, were not necessarily limited to the practice of paint onto surface. The collage, the photomontage, among them, artistic practices during this era were dangerously progressive and consequently not shy of breaking away from the traditional. The functionality of the art form, notably in Futurism and Russian Constructivism, held deep political undertones and was not a product meant to please the eye (even though the work is inherently masterful) but to deceive the eye and stir emotion. It is no surprise that the left-wing politics of the day, embraced and promoted these art forms. Fascism and Bolshevik socialism, promoted the mobilization of the masses, national pride, and unity and the poster work and design of these artists paved the way to initiating propagandistic media worldwide.
Amy’s parallel between painting and music made me want to bring up a lesser-known movement that stemmed from Cubism around 1912 called Orphism, as well as the impact that Orphic Cubist, Frantisek Kupka left on Graphic Design. Orphism (sometimes referred to as Orphic Cubism) provided a key transition between Cubism and Abstraction. Robert Delaunay and Czech painter, Frantisek Kupka led the popular movement based on the idea that “color affects the senses like music”. Orphists strove for lyrical abstraction, and the strength of color and form over representation to communicate to viewers. While paying homage to the Futurist themes of mechanics and movement, Orphism utilizes free-flowing curves instead of the sharp and fragmented angles of the Cubists. Specifically Kupka led the creative exploration around Orphism by re-examining color theory. Creating multi-disc color wheels, previously explored by Sir. Isaac Newton, he was interested in freeing colors from their previous connotations. This was the first time that color was featured as a new language, as Kupka chose a color for its rhythmic effect on the painting instead of its symbolic connotation. His exercises in curvilinear design and color theory are still being used as a basis for graphic design students today.
The turn of the 20th Century brought with it a whirlwind of new ideas, movements, and philosophical perspectives, which opened up the flood gates of host of new ways to express them through art. I think one could easily argue that much like the way Computer Age has opened a vast and whole new world of ways to express art through technology in the turn of the 21st Century, these movements opened up a whole new world to artists.Imagine the restrictions imposed by previous movements to limit artistic expression to worldly visions and the new found freedom to explore, now opened up and realized through by Cubism, Futurism, and to top it off Dadaism. Talk about breaking down barriers and letting go. This was a real and very necessary revolution. For without these bold breakthroughs the importance of art would have most certainly been limited to mostly beautiful historical recordings and renditions of humanity and nature for the most part.Now we are at the doorsteps of a new revolution. One made available to us by Science, Mathematics, inventors, and technology in general. A new culture is here of free, high-speed, and universal information sharing which again breaks all boundaries created by communication and cultural differences, distance, and frontiers are abolished. So ready or not, we’re headed for another whirlwind.
I love Dada. And I think that we are still very much in a Dadaist movement.If you think of Dada as anti-art, and the wanton destruction of the proceeding art culture, then try picturing instead as the constant negation in culture in Hegelian terms. This negation of culture would obviously have to be present throughout the history of man in Hegel's view, but it really is the first time that it was dileberately constructed as the negation.The synthesis of dada and the art would can be seen in the pop art and surrealism, but it's real impact is in the lasting and ever present sarcasm and mockery of culture. Counter-culture, gen X, the Daily Show, these were movements created with the same giest of Dada. The hipster some define as the height of culture and fashion, but it's based on irony and rejection of principals, the shirking of consumerism and materialism. The Colbert Report is a marvelous piece of Dada performance art.Yes, it's not called Dada but the spirit of negation embodied by Dada lives on, and just about everything from the 1910 on stinks of sneering irony.
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