Friday, February 1, 2008

Your turn #3


Alfred said...

Art can be documentary as well as prescient. The world is in transition in this Victorian painting. Karl Marx has recently published his Communist Manifesto (1848). Italy is fighting medieval Papal authority and will soon be unified. The United States is engrossed in a brutal Civil War which culminates years of disagreement over the morality of slavery. Photography has challenged the Salon as a way of describing and reproducing world events.

Ford Madox Brown uses a classic composition to describe his Victorian world in social turmoil. He panders to class distinction by showing the clean aristocracy on horseback and the dirty, bawdy laborers surrounded by a fence. Just in case you didn’t get the message, he shows figures in the far right parading with placards.

The Great Exposition of 1851 has shown the world a Crystal Palace and the technology of the new world order which optimists believe will peacefully solve this social and economic inequality.

A.T. said...

Alfred: Good point.

Ruth said...

Brown’s work is remarkable. The colors used are captivating and the focus is right in the center to then slowly progress around the painting and capture the whole story being told. He is definitely emphasizing the society he is living in with the progression from rural to urban. The placement of the characters was noteworthy because instead of showing just one class of society, or separating them, everyone is clustered together to represent society as a whole. I want to make two points about what I read in Wikipedia. The first is that the men digging up the road has been assumed to be for a sewage system. Typhus and cholera are two horrible diseases and the United States and European countries made sewage systems as a preventive measure. This probably shows that he is accepting how the new society is preventing harmful effects to both the rich and poor. This is why the digging is happening in the center of the diverse crowd. Another point was that there were political campaign posters with the name “Bobus” who was a fictional character who is “a populist manipulator who is going into politics”. This could either represent his idea of the political system as a whole, or perhaps a particular individual running for a certain position at that time with whom he disagreed with and wanted everyone to know his opinion about this and everything else that was portrayed about the urban life.

Lisa Kaplowitz said...

Paul Nadar definately used photography in an artistic way. His portraits were formal. I do not think the subject matter had as much importance as did compositional elements in the picture plane. The composition and his subjects were elegant, the people elegantly lit. Nadar is famous for his Sewer Photos, Air Balloon photos of Paris, and his personlity photos. I find that his personality photos paved the way for many artists today, especially photographers. Unlike many paintings during that time, his portait photographs were straight forward, not so theatrical, and not necessarily created to tell a story, more to just capture the person.

During class Professor Triff spoke about Pictorialism, which I personally find to be a major cornerstone in photography. Pictorialism to me was the beginning of art photography. Pictorialists were more concerned with the aesthetics rather than what was actually in front of their camera. The manipulation of focus and the negatives sometimes produced a more artistic image. So many photographers/designers today create work that is not so straight forward or meant to replicate something from "real life" but rather to create an artistic image that may be blurred, manipulated in some way, but very beautiful.

Lisa Kaplowitz said...

I also wanted to comment on the work of Eadwward Muybridge. His studies of motion may have been done for a scientific reason or to prove something, but these works that are done in a series (ex: ascending stairs, horse galloping, etc.) are such beautiful works of art (to me).

Anonymous said...

In Victorian times, illustrators for popular magazines had as much influence on people as movies and television do today. Just as we now look for fashion ideas and moral inspiration from celebrities, actors, or musicians, so the Americans of the 1890's and first two decades of the past century found their hopes and ideals expressed in the pen-and-ink drawings of Charles Dana Gibson. I believe that it was really inspiring to see a man start to speak out through his work in order to portray equality or the progression towards equality. He also shows this woman dominance or woman strength in his The Weaker Sex, where all the women are bigger than the man basically poking at him and The First Quarrel, depicting the fact that woman should be allowed to speak up for themselves, have a quarrel with their husbands instead of being commanded all the time. These prints were not just an important development in his art career but also in the progression of the United States.

A.T. said...

Lisa: From our prespective you may be right, he's an innovator as far a portraiture is concern (though he follows conventions of mid-19Th century painting), but his subjects are definitely important individuals of the moment (the sort of Obamas, Clintons, Angelinas and Cruises of that time).

A.T. said...

By the way, don't forget H. Pyle. How about the Victorian age? What does it mean to you (in the context of our time)?

Anonymous said...

Thomas Nast is considered to be the father of political cartoons. With his savvy and quick witted satires, Nast's cartoons influenced illustrators for years to come. With the relief printing method of wood engraving, he produced hundreds of comedic as well as hard-hitting cartoons for Harper's Weekly and the Illustrated London News. Despite his many notable works, Nast is probably most remembered for his campaign against the most corrupt politician in U.S. history, Mayor Tweed of NYC. Thomas Nast's drawings brought down Tweed corruption, who bribed him $500,000 to stop his cartooning crusade against him. But to no avail, Nast's instrumental works help put Tweed away for good. Wood engraving was a technique becoming more and more popular throughout the 19th century. Accredited to Thomas Bewick, wood engraving is the process of cutting a relief print into the end grain of wood. The result is a fine white line that is produced when using ink. Nowadays wood engraving is not as common to use for illustrations. However, it can't be ignored that wood engraving creates a beautiful, almost photo realistic image.

Gaby! said...

In continuation with the subject of PICTORIALISM...BY GABY BRUNA

Lisa pointed out that currently, artistici/fin art photography is taking it back to the look and feel of pictorialist photography. I have always tried to find a reason for this, and although I amy not have the right one II'd like to point out some of the major problems photograpy in general is having as a whole today:
-Oversaturation: Everything is in color, everything must be in color. Prints are no longer looked at for their composition at firsthand without anything distracting from it. Remember how elegant and "sutil" balck and white is? Remember how powerful the black and white circle of the eyes can be to hold a photograph together?
-Newspaper, without trying to generalize, have let the easiness of color printing to take on every page. and somehow some photographs are lost.
-Everything has to be in focus, everythign has to be sharp and clear. Daily photography is too easy. To easy to see, digest and figure out. That has made the product weaker in the end. Since when are readers not able to figure out a crazy or feathered out image. The human eye is the best analytical tool and we must not make viewers blind without at least asking first.

That is why seeing the roots of Pictorialism in Alfred Stieglitz or Sally Mann become a good reminder of how photography can be beatiful, mysterious, elegant and straight-forward, all at the same time.

Gaby! said...

Class notes...some observations so we can share!

idea nad pciture; get the 2 together
-what do u want to coommunicate?
-what did they want?
-when do u draw it: it becomes true? / like preisthood and catholics...
-technoglogy: pimentation and fingers and rimitve brush
-fire but no alphabet


***priests: run the business of thinking, knowledge and magic
"graphic deisgn starts with magic"

hieroglyphs!!!!: read for the first time in 1821!!!

moveable, make copies, transportable

*the prcatice deterines the style...the habit...monumetal, ample, big, menacing , powerfull..power: come in the power style:
stamp, best paper, lots of color, some colors...etc

-each language gives a style and favor

v's and t's and m's: very angular...?

ASIA: paper, moveable print and bamboo!!!!!

-why deisgn is associated to practice
-why design is not a leaisyre but a necessity
-it comes naturally

Hegel; time: beginning of time begins with modernity
"Lecture to Intro of Aesthetics..."
"time as we know it..beging after the French Revolution" 1793

-The greeks, romans, etc: didn;t knw it was their time...




metaphyscial: blake is driven to epxress / it is at first biblical but more

*blake was a romantic. hated the presnent and future and
did the last remanant on In Curnavula

the Diff between Gttenbmer / meoeable print and intensive labor to the next:
-they accelerated the process, made it an assembly lines
-to do more cheaper
-capitalism at beg of 19th cnetury becomes fetichistic
-eveyrbody can see design, everybody can read
-industrial capitalism democratizes commerce

A.T. said...

Gaby... your pictorialism 8:48pm comment is promising. Your class notes are a riot (in parenthesis, I love your phonetically-driven English). It may all look a bit dicombobulated now. In the end, it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

The work of Howard Pyle is powerful because of its ability to catch you eye. The use of color in his work makes each piece special. The limited palette unifies the work so that it expresses a singular emotion. At the same time, the works seem to tell an entire story, by the use of dramatic poses, which is the entire point of an illustration. Pyle’s work makes an interesting contrast with that of Gustave Dore. The two artists worked in succession of one another, both working on illustrations. Pyle had the opportunity to make prints in color, while most of Dore’s work was done in black and white. I think it would be interesting to know if Dore would have followed Pyle, would have kept the simple elegance of black and white, or would he have been influenced by the power and emotion which Pyle used in his work.

-Raymond Mathews

Maggie McClurken said...

Continuing what Raymond started with Howard Pyle,

Of all the work posted for this “your turn,” Pyle’s caught my eye. I love the brush strokes in “No Haid Pawn.” They are so dramatic and expressive. The line created by the body being dragged draws the eye into the painting and the angle at which it rests increases the intensity of the work. Looking at this piece, I want to know more about it. What’s the story behind it? Who is the woman at the top of the stairs? Is that her husband, brother, friend? Every inch of the canvas had careful thought of line, color and tone that helped piece together a story. Pyle did a wonderful job at dramatizing themes with universal appeal.

I looked up more work by Pyle on the internet and came across “Walking the Plank.” I just love this piece. The low viewpoint makes it interesting. Pyle chose the perfect moment to capture, the climactic moment when the bound and blindfolded prisoner rests at the edge of the plank. I noticed that Pyle did a lot of illustrations of pirates which can be explained by the fact that Howard Pyle wrote and illustrated a book about pirates.

Pyle was born in Wilmington, Delaware and parts of the American Civil War took place not far from his home. He created several civil war paintings that are very accurate historically.

The aspect of Howard’s life that I find most intriguing is that he kindly shared his talents and knowledge with the world by teaching. Some of his students include N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Violet Oakley, Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Frank Schoonover, many of whom are some of the greatest illustrators of our time.

TGaffney said...

(Lst Week) Hypnerotomachia Poliphili seems like a fifteenth century Alice in Wonderland. Strife of Love in a Dream is where a restless Poliphilo gets lost in a forest with dragons and nymphs which is related directly to his own mind and self. These demons are in his head driven by his beloved Polia. The words are printed in a combination of Latinate Italian, based on Latin and Greek roots along with Italian, and illustrations including Arabic and Hebrew words. There is a beautiful collaboration of imagery in the illustration and printed words. The two work harmoniously to tell a story. What the printed word does not explain can be seen in the gruesome drawing of beasts decapitating a helpless body. What the illustration may not reveal can be interpreted through the words. However a collision of languages causes for confusion and misunderstanding. This may not be too far off of the dreamland story that is being told.

Anonymous said...

Through his work Thomas Nast, as well as many other political cartoonists, had vast impact on influence that the media has over the populace. The collision of art with social issues created an explosion of emotion from the people. Having an image conveying an emotion being presented to masses was shone to be highly persuasive effect. And can have a lasting effect on the way people view a place, object, person, or idea.
In Nast’s campaign against Mayor William (Boss) Tweed, political cartoons drawn by Nast and published in Harper's Weekly resulted in the election of numerous opposition candidates and were effective in his eventual arrested and imprisonment. When the campaign began Tweed stated "Stop them damned pictures. I don't care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don't know how to read, but they can't help seeing them damned pictures!" tweed realized that these images were having a devistating effect on the people.Tweed feared Nast's campaign so much that he sent Nast a $500,000 bribe to "drop this Ring business" and take a trip abroad.
The lasing effect of Nasts pollitical cartoons can still be seen in our currient government in the animals that reprosent the political parties. Showing that these piecies of work can be carried on long after there creators.

TGaffney said...

Eadweard Muybridge was a pure genius. His creation of the zoopraxiscope, a device to project photographs to appear in motion to the public was just remarkable of its time. He used multiple cameras and angles to create this flip book style motion picture. Finding out exactly where the body should be for each new shot seems very similar to a modern day director. His 1879 movie projector is a significant groundwork for the entire motion picture industry. I have also seen these motion photographs in drawing books to illustrate the muscles and proportions of the body at different angles. Using these photos, an artist could depict people in an array of positions without the use of a model. This would lay the foundation for all graphic designers and artists. All of this and he is still famous for his “Helios” pictures of the expanding West and was commissioned to photograph the US Army’s expeditions into the land of the Alaska Purchase.

Anonymous said...

My initial post disappeared as I tried to post it so sorry this is so late.

The pictorialist photography caught my attention immediately. As Gaby pointed out, there are aspects of photography today that make it much less artistic than it once was. Because the camera has been simplified for use by an average person, every photo is clear, in focus, and sharp. The camera does everything for the user, which almost completely eliminates the artistic element of photography that was a main aspect of photography for pictorialists.

Another problem created is by the use of photography today. Most people take pictures as documentation of events rather than for aesthetic appeal. Sure, a picture of a party you went to on Saturday night is a great way to save a memory, but unfortunately we see far more of these photos than we do than those of beautiful scenes or photographs using creative techniques. Sadly, majority of the photos we are bombarded with on a daily basis are not the work of an artist. Because we are surrounded by photography on a daily basis, it makes it more difficult to find work like that of the pictorialists that is created solely for aesthetic appeal.

One last thing that may be a reason we do not see as much photography like that of the pictorialists is that art goes through cycles. Just as painting, drawing, and sculpture transitioned through different periods of realism, impressionism, abstract, cubism, pop art, etc. so has photography. The ideals of what is beautiful and impressive to the general public has changed over time, therefore so has the work of artists.


ChoCkada said...

To me Victorian design is one of the most beautiful. From its elaborate ornaments, to its overwhelming use of colors and objects, to the invention of the bonnet hat for ladies’ day dresses, the possibilities never seemed to end during this era (and also NOWHERE, since absolutely every surface had to be covered). Although some may consider it a bit tawdry, truth is, it is always interesting to observe. Clutter has never been more beautiful and fascinating. It seems that in the Victorian times, to the upper classes at least, was about showing off who owned more or who knew more about which culture. The Japanese and Moorish influences, mixed with old furniture and new furniture. This was a time of copying each other, creating a collage of everything, especially since now things could be easily reproduced to the expense of the lower class’ misery. Cluttered as it may have been, our society still seems to have a fascination with this era, or more commonly known in the United States as “American Gothic.”

- Belen Estacio

bruno said...

gaby! thanks for the class notes

From the las class lecture I think that it's really interesting the changes that photography brought to arts and design, probably professor Triff will talk about it later for it is related to modernism, I think ,but anyway. Once again technology changes the way we communicate or the way we represent things around us.

I was reading this article:

It's really interesting, it is believed that because of the invention of photography artists gradually stopped painting striving for realism because a new medium accomplished that more effectively. So, the point is that artists started to explore new grounds, notice how this is the time when impressionists and post-impressionists appear and some time later cubism and abstract-expressionism.. moving further away from photographic reality and expressing perhaps more of the inner complexity of people.

At the same time photographers start seeking ways to capture different moods or ideas on their pictures, parting from the reality, playing with our perception.

I would like to hear what you guys think or what you have read about this subject.

bruno said...

Not sure what happened to the link

Emma said...

While British artist Walter Crane was creating his famed Victorian book illustrations, he also endeavored in design aimed for plaster relief, tiles, stained glass, pottery, wallpaper and textile designs. He is recognized today just as much as in his own lifetime as one of the greatest and most innovative of all children's book illustrators. I admire the style of his static imagery and his use of color complimented by strong, bold lines - especially in his drawings from fairy tales and “toy books”. It’s also intriguing to note the development of the color printing process he made popular at the time.
However, something I found both surprising and interesting about Crane was his heavy involvement with Britain’s Socialist party. According to Wikipedia, Crane sought to introduce art into the daily life of all classes by means of producing weekly cartoons concerning issues the Socialist party. I researched some of these cartoons and discovered yet another facet of Crane’s artistry, a style different from all his others. Check it out:

The Capitalist Vampire, Justice Journal (1885)

-Emma Cason-Pratt

A.T. said...

Emma: To embed a link check here

That is: Capitalist Vampire

A.T. said...

It's said that when Karl Marx traveled to England (fleeing the large hand of the Prussian secret police) he found England's political climate surprisingly amenable. At the time, it was a mix of utilitarianism (proposed by Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, etc) with the bent of socialist ideas taken from Robert Owen's cooperativism and from the likes of Fourier, Proudhon and Saint-Simon in France. Most of the members of the English Arts and Crafts had socialist sympathies. But bear in mind that this early form of socialism is very different from the Marxist-Leninist form of planned economy after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917.

Dakota Hendon said...

I think the development of photography as an art form is of specific interest to the graphic designer. When photography began it was supposed to be a way to accurately describe what was being photographed, in a way that painting could not do before. What was in the photograph was percieved to be real. It wasn't until the end of the nineteenth century that photographers began to alter their photographs to be mimick other art forms. With this break from reality, photography was no more a documentation of an object, but also a way to express the emotion or feeling of a place. With the seperation from reality, it also marked the begining of photography for propaganda and thus its implications for graphic design. Now a photograph could be altered and used to portray an idea thus marking its important contribution to the art of graphic design.

rhett bradbury said...

The first Kodak camera has a nifty story behind it. More interesting is the man behind the creation of Kodak, George Eastman. While creating the first rolled film camera, Eastman realized the potential behind his new invention and set out to give everyone the opportunity to take photos at their leisure. But much to his surprise, most did not embrace the new technology, choosing instead to stick with the method of working with glass plates.
Where most would have faded, Eastman flexed his other talents to get Kodak into the public arena. Coining the slogan “You press the button, we do the rest”, he lead an aggressive advertising campaign with ads designed and written by the founder himself. He also created the term “Kodak” on a whim thinking it would be a catchy name for his company.
Once people saw the possibilities Kodak gave them through their aggressive advertising, the future of the company was set and they have since opened the world to photography, as we know it today.

Grant said...

The artwork of Howard Pyle is very unique. The art offers much in the way of captivating the curiosity of the viewer. Not to mention that there is great skill in the illustration. The overall composition of the illustration and where Pyle decides to place the subjects in the second work can lead into the way Pyle wants this piece of artwork to mystify. The two paintings shown have many characteristics that set them apart one being in their use of color. The first illustration is very bright and crisp. While the second is dark and cold. This use of color allows the artwork of Pyle to ascend to a new emotional level. Where the color dictates the mood along with the subjects depicted. Pyle’s work is awesome in its use of drama to appeal to the curiosity of the viewer. In this skill use of emotion through art Pyle’s work stood out from the rest for me.

H. Grant Roberson

Aubrey Meng said...

The invention of the camera definitely played a huge role in the history of graphic design. It allows designers to capture real objects and landscapes on a 2D surface with a snap, and able to manipulate in almost anyway they like. Photography is the process of recording pictures by means of capturing light on a light-sensitive medium, such as a film or electronic sensor. A photograph isolates the truth, exposing to us the realities of our time: war, terrorism, abuse, poverty. Since its humble beginning in 1827, photography has given mankind a new perspective on life and art. We seldom realize the extent to which photography has influenced our culture, helping spread awareness of other cultures and bring about modern globalization. Perhaps most importantly, a photograph is something anyone can create. A designer doesn't need to be extremely good at drawing and painting, if he has a a sense of design and style he can still succede.

Spencer said...

Walter Crane's children's books embodied many of elements of the Victorian era. I thought the work Triff put up were particularly interesting. The one on the bottom was filled with colors, s-curves, and a floral patterned background. Aside from the aesthetic quality, Crane's work includes political commentary. The figure has a man's body and boar's head; seemingly appropriate and prevalent to its time. I give Crane even more credit for creating these images in children's book designer for preschoolers