Hi, Triff!This isn't my blog response, but I had emailed you + not gotten a response, so I wasn't sure if my note had gone through. In the email, I had apologized for missing class on Thursday and was wondering if what you had covered had an equivalent in the textbook so that I could try to catch up. Please let me know!Thank you very much + I look forward to hearing from you,Annika
Sure, got your message, Annika.
I've decided to comment on an old favorite, Henri Toulouse Lautrec. I learned about his work in previous art history classes but think it fits best in the graphic design realm. Lautrec's pieces are inspired by japanese wood cuts and have a "stamped" look to them with the thick dark outlined figures. His figures are linear for the most part and emphasize contour. Lautrec did not limit himself solely to painting recognizable characters but often included silhouettes alone. Lautrec uses contrast colors such as many blacks and rich reds to draw in the eye.
Lautrec was great at painting people he caught in their natural environments, whether it be at bars, caring for their children, or being intimate, However, even-though they were amongst a crowd, Lautrec was skilled at making an individual seem as though they were alone through their emotions and use of intense colors which seemed showy and ornate in pieces such as The clown Cha-U-Kao at the Moulin Rouge (1895) and Moulin Rouge poster.
I was most fascinated with the early posters we learned about in class. Beardsley and Lautrec's stuck in my mind the most. Beardsley's black and white poster was absolutely beautiful, with impeccable linework and variation and repetition. Lautrec has always held a soft spot in my heart. When I was eight, I went to Paris during the coldest winter the city had seen in a century. In that time, I visited the Louvre, and remember the guide telling me that Lautrec was deformed due to the fact that his parents were brother and sister, or first cousins, or whatever. Due to incest. I have never again heard this theory repeated, but everytime someone tells me about Lautrec, I think "but wait a minute, isn't he deformed because his parents were related?" Gets me everytime. I wonder if the guide was just having a laugh at the ignorant tourists, or is that really one of the plausible theories for Lautrec's appearance?Regardless, Lautrec's talent is enviable. His use of color assaults the eye in a very pleasing way, making it want to see even more, rove around the page for every last detail included in his posters. I love that he was drawn to the bizarre. Perhaps he felt he could fit in in the underworld full of misfits. Perhaps he wanted to feel part of something bigger than his diminutive self. I find it amazing that a man facing such hardship could overcome his handicaps and find such raw talent hidden inside himself. It makes me wonder if it was all part of a plan, that those who are less fortunate on the outside are gifted with something remarkable on the inside. Or maybe Lautrec just got lucky. My favorite Lautrec is one about the Moulin Rouge, where the shadows of a woman's face are painted a startling greenish-purple, a color that would hardly ever be seen on a real person's face. I admire his style and deliberate deviation from the norm. Without experimentation, how could we ever find what we are truly capable of?
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood group of artists is very interesting to me. It seems odd that during an industrial, progressive time, we have this group of artists that strove to intentionally differ from artists such as Monet or Eakins. This movement, founded by Millais, Dante, Hunt and others, was about not being limited to contemporary industrial scenes. This idea rested upon however, their mutual distaste for emerging materialism. Instead of moving forward and accepting change, they took their artistic skill and applied it to not contemporary themes, but the spirituality and idealism of past times. Influences from the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance when religion was prominent are clearly seen. First, John Everett Millais’ Christ in the House of His Parents depicts the young Jesus helping Saint Joseph in his carpentry workshop. There is close attention to detail and a lot of realism along with religious symbols. Jesus’ cut may symbol the crucifixion; the water in the bowl to heal the wound may symbolize baptism and the dove in the background, which commonly represents the Holy Spirit. Dante Rossetti’s Annunciation clearly represents a religious theme as well. However, the pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood does not just represent religious themes, Millais is also well known for his Ophelia and Dante for his Beata Beatrix, which are both paintings of literary figures. I found Hunt’s The Scapegoat to be a very interesting piece as well. Here, he paints the goat, referred to as the scapegoat in the Book of Leviticus, which must be sacrificed as a prototype to the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus. His aim here was to convert Jews by showing that their views of the scapegoat were in line with the Christian view of the Messiah as a suffering figure.
Of the recent posts, the images that most caught my eye were those of Jean Delville. They are ones of soft beauty yet are almost terrifying in their intensity. Deville’s relationship with Joséphin Péladan, “whose mission was to send light, spirituality and mysticism into the world,” was one that clearly altered the course of his artwork. Prior to even reading about them, when I just looked at the aesthetic quality of each painting, I could see the obvious mysticism and wondered what the symbols meant, prompting greater interest and more research. I wouldn’t necessarily say that Madame Stuart Merrill has any classically beautiful qualities, but through Delville’s techniques, her features are haunting and attract the eye. On the other side of the spectrum, Eugène Grasset creates equally appealing designs with entirely different qualities and tone. His exhibition poster for “Salon des Cent,” in which a woman holds a stalk of flowers, has a much more illustration-based style than Delville’s. These two redheads could not be more different; Grasset’s lacks the ethereal quality of Delville’s, yet seems no less impressive. I like how these two men demonstrate that somewhat similar content can remain beautiful despite the impossibly contrasting design styles used to create them.
Jules Chéret & Toulouse-Lautrec depict the same place, yet have striking contrasts.Both of these artists portray the risqué dance that took place at the Moulin Rouge. Jules captures a joyous nature of the evening dancers. He lightens his posters using washes of color, echoing that spotlights or electricity of the venue. Chéret captured the can-can movement (e.g. mid-air, on their toes) and illustrates the youthfulness and flexibility the dancers had. The work I’m more familiar with of the Moulin Rouge is by Toulouse-Lautrec. T.L.’s tells of the cabaret girls who are seasoned seductresses. The cup isn’t half full in his paintings. In his works, almost always, the glass is half-filled… of absinthe. There is despair, weariness, and a socio-political message to his work. He showed how much a labor is was to live the life of a chahuteuses. When viewing both artists’ extremes on the Moulin Rouge, the viewer is left to imagine what the spectacle was really like.My fave T.L. is Alone.
Like a few others, the post I enjoy is the one on Henri de Toulouse Lautrec. I admire his poster art, and like how his style really represents that of many other painters during his time. Although his are poster prints, Lautrec’s work seems to incorporate many characteristics similar to other Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters like Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne. His posters seem to be a combination of Degas’ figurative compositions and the color palate of Cézanne’s work. While Degas spent much time studying the ballerinas behind stage, Lautrec had an interest in capturing the performers at the Moulin Rouge. I feel it is a combination of many different techniques that gave Lautrec such a unique personal style. He uses simplified, sometimes silhouetted, figures in front of simple backgrounds. One thing I notice is that Lautrec seems to emphasize contour and shape. This, combined with the blacks, reds and yellows or the color palate, draws the viewer all around the page and through the text. There is no single part that really stands out more than the rest, and this allows the viewer to take in the whole poster as one united composition. This is a useful technique when considering advertising.
I find Jan Toorop works very appealing. His style although it changed throughout his life always had a mythological quality to it. His picture of psyche and couperus is unique in that the figures standout although they are a mist tons of drawn lines and curves. This is a similar quality in all his work it seems. His later works (art nouveau) are simply amazing. I am quite fond of art nuoveau and had only seen a few of Toorop’s pieces until now. While searching I came across Toorop’s Delftsche Slaolie, which has incredibly detailed lines with so few colors (black/yellow/white). The colors along with the negative space make the picture. The funny thing about this art nuoveau poster is that it is for olive oil but it is so beautiful. This picture also has mythological qualities.Delftsche Slaoliehttp://www.jan-toorop.com/browse/year/1894/?&limit=1&page=1Triff Did you see my e-mail?
I have been an admirer of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) for quite some time now. Back home, there was a deli/buffet type of restaurant that was semi-upscale, and they had all sorts of old posters decorating the walls. Some of my favorites were those of Toulouse-Lautrec. I find his life to be as interesting as his work, and that his life experiences had great influence on his work. He was a French painter who depicted detached scenes of Paris nightlife. His typical scenery was the insides of brothels and nightclubs, and his lead players were the patrons and performers. His affinity for silhouettes shows the influence of Japanese woodblock prints. Toulouse-Lautrec came from an aristocratic family. He had an accident as a young child and was left with a normal sized torso and short legs. As an adult, he spent most of his life in the seedy underbelly of Paris in effort to feel less abnormal. He got along well with the "demi-monde" and even lived in a brothel for some years. He didn’t need money, but he still worked. His work is penetrating in finding human character in a class of people ignored by his upper class roots. His most famous paintings are the commercial posters he made for the Moulin Rouge in Paris. His commercial posters were plastered everywhere and his innovative quality was immediately recognized and appreciated. The public stole his posters off the walls because they liked them so much. Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages, 1990.
Out of the many artists we discussed one of my favorite designers is Alphonse Mucha. As one of the first major graphic designer to channel his work in advertising (especially for Sarah Bernhardt) he really set the bar high. His French Art Nouveau style posters were really exquisite in his compositional complexity and attention to detail. By repeating techniques in his works, like featuring single woman, surrounded by a floral border, with intricate fonts, his pieces are very recognizably a "Mucha". Even though he used a maximization approach (which is a very popular aesthetic used today) his posters were very legible due to his careful layouts. Each poster he did introduced new calligraphic lettering which, after finding it difficult to make only one new typeface myself, I really find his inventiveness amazing.After visiting the Alphonse Mucha museum in Prague this summer I was able to see his posters and illustrations close up, which really gave me a greater appreciation for his work. Even though it's hard to pick, his 'Moon and Star' series consisting of 4 posters are my favorites of his work. I also find it interesting that his posters are still used as inspiration for many new age advertising featuring musicians today, which really shows his everlasting influence on the graphic word.
Frederic W. Goudy's name caught my eye because of his infamous "Goudy Old Style" typeface that I've used countless times in my design projects. As one of the earliest type designers, his fonts seem equally as recognized as his name. The fonts he had produced demanded credit; type wasn't just words and letters on a page, but instead a form of art that required a respectable level of skill and technique. His ability to invent new typefaces by hand (in a time where technology didn't lend such luxuries) is equally as respectable. Moreover, he proved that the style of a font is equally as important as the word itself in conveying meaning, emotion and visual appeal.
I really enjoy the pieces of Aubrey Beardsley. Before the lecture. I had never even heard of this artist, but he will certainly be someone's work that I look forward to exploring in the future. The fact that he was able to create all of these striking works of art by his death at age twenty-six is remarkable.I especially like how he uses black, white, and negative space such as in the ones shown. I also like how he combines eroticism with mythology, along with other elements. I read that Beardsley also did illustrations for Oscar Wilde, whom I'm also very fond of. As for the eroticism factor, obviously, it is not up to the level we experience today, but for it's time, I'm sure it was fairly provocative. I enjoy how he was able to make it still classy. The focus isn't so much on the women as objects, but on their beauty and detail, something that makes them stand apart from much of the "erotic art" of today.
From the resent posts I liked the posters made by the two French artists, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec and Jules Chéret. These men have made an impression on advertising. The designs of Lautrec are simple but effective. From his most famous piece for the Moulin rouge used repetition to get the message and name spread throughout France. It’s funny how today in advertising we are told to use the rule of three, which is to repeat the name at least three times in order for the normal human to remember. I also think that it’s impressive that with such a limited education Chéret was able to become the artist that he did. Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran was mentor and helped hone his talents. His style for posters used more vibrant colors and elaborate whimsical figures to help catch the eye of the viewer.
I was intrigued by the Marcello Dudovich piece. An advertisement for a liqueur, with a guy who gets the girl. Not exactly a stretch from some advertisements made today. The composition and the message of “what can happen if you purchase this drink” definitely come across. The artist's choice of red can be associated with both romance and also possibly the “red light district” (a term associated with brothels and such). Within the piece we observe a man kissing a “lady”, not with a traditional peck but in a passionate and lustful manner. We are purposely being shown this precise moment (not before and not after). Although we don’t know where his left wandering hand is going, when we follow the line of her skirt down, our attention focuses on a table and we see two glasses of “Bitter Campari”. One is full and the other is half-empty (or half-full). I’m betting that the emptier glass is his. The reason I’d lean this way is because the full glass is positioned on top of a scarf. That being said, some people believe that they require “liquid courage” to do things they normally wouldn’t, so it feels as though this gent said bottoms up and went for it, or the lady he’s kissing decided to purchase the liqueur in hope that he would become more “affectionate”. Either way, Marcello Dudovich’s poster sells the product well because it makes it seem that anything’s is possible when you drink “Bitter Campari”. Instead of linking all of the Dudovich posters that I enjoyed I decided to point out Marcello’s attention to detail. All of his advertising posters, not only this one, targets an audience, and sells the product through his choice of subject matter and as previously stated, his affinity for detail. Its no wonder he was awarded the gold medal at the Universal Exhibition, and participated twice in the Biennale of Venice.
It’s my belief that Endell’s ‘Atelier Elvira’, through its use of floral and organic design (the two more important characteristics of the Art Nouveau movement), personifies and represents the core of such an important, pivotal, and revolutionary art movement.Art Nouveau (simply ‘New Art’ in French) was a movement that lasted approximately 15 years from 1890-1905. The movement was a result of an artistic response to Academic Art (consisting of such movements as Neoclassicism and Romanticism), which was the predominant art form of the time. I believe that the ‘Atelier Elvira’ by architect August Endell wonderfully exemplifies this movement. August Endell, a self-taught artist who studied philosophy and psychology in Munich, became fascinated by the idea of perception; the role it played and the possible incorporations of it into art (and later architecture) ultimately became his primary focus. The ‘Atelier Elvira’, Endell’s first commission, was an assignment in which he was to create a facade for a studio. After its completion, Endell became well known amongst the other ranking artists of the Art Nouveau movement.
I personally found the Beardsley works to be extremely fascinating. His use of negative space and balance in his works is profound. The contrast of his strict black&white palatte truly enhances his style and sets it aside from most other artists. His vision is penetrating (literally, sometimes) through the piece and toward the audience. It engages the viewer mentally. His provacitive nature is also very reminiscent of Japanese 'shunga' which is a term that means erotic image, which usually contains some sort of hidden, enormous genitalia. The details of Aubrey Beardsley's sexuality was in question throughout his entire life, some even calling him asexual due to his 'chronic illness and devotion to his work'. (Wiki)Perhaps this sexual struggle influenced and inspired his erotic works of art that have inspired so many other artists after his time. His line quality and usage of ink as a material is effective and really enhances his work. For me, he stands out from the other artists of his time since he was not only a front-runner of the Art Nouveau movement, but the most controversial of them all.
I love the work done by Toulouse-Lautrec. I think his poster art is fascinating because he can express so much with so few details. His color scheme makes his works stand out from others and I love his use of silhouettes. I think they are very powerful. I was reading his history from the wikipedia link Triff provided and found fascinating that he was forced to turn to art because he could not participate in other conventional activities with men his age. It clearly fostered creativity and gave the public a glimpse of the underside of parisian society. Because of his disability, he was not associated with high parisian society. He befriended people he met in brothels and nightclubs, and often depicted these characters in his art. The reds and yellows make his works playful yet eye-catching.
Hey Triff.. This also isnt my blog comment. I was wondering if you got my email that I sent about the trip I was taking with the Comm School for the Special Olympics. I will read the blog o assure I catch up and be sure to post my comments to each blog before next class... Also I went to class this evening and no one was there so I was wondering if you cancelled class or simply moved it to a different location. Please let me know. Thank you. Tia Hendricks
Tia, Professor Triff is currently abroad in Europe (specifically Spain). Class was therefore cancelled today but will resume next thursday as usual. The slides and artists posted on the site are for our midterm exam (which i believe is next thursday). The Blog is normally locked by Professor Triff on Wednesdays around 10pm or 12am, i'm not entirely sure. (If you attempt blogging on previous "turns" you'll see that they are closed off from blogging, so make sure to contact Triff). Good luck.
Thank you very much. I appreciate it. :)
Does anyone know the actual date of our test? I was there last class and didn't recall him saying it was this coming Thursday (we'd have no time to go over anything with him). But now I'm a little nervous, so if anyone knows if the test is this week or not please let me know, thanks!
The midterm is next class (Feb 26). From what he said on the first day, the exam will be slide id, multiple choice and one short answer. He posted a list of topics to study in the blog right before the "your turn" entry.
Kids: I'm back, Thanks Kara. The test will be in class at the same time we have class. As Kara mentioned. Two components, image and concepts. What you need to say or know is attached to each image in the review topic section.
I have a question about tomorrows exam, will the slide identification be open answer or will it be multiple choice?
Lauren:The slide identification is straight forward. I show you an image you tell me what it is. The second part of the test is the conceptual part. That's where the multiple choice comes in. Say, concerning "Incunabula" the test presents several possible choices for you to identify the right one.
We just need to know the name? or do we also need to know creator and date?
Regarding 'Work' by Ford Maddox Brown.I've not seen it pointed out before, but the central figure in the picture is shovelling gravel against an inclined sieve (a frame fitted with wires). In the picture it's possible to see the sand thus produced falling out of the back of the sieve.Sieves are very powerful things, they apply simple go, no-go rules that sort things into classes (sand and shingle in the picture).The significance of the sieve wouldn't have been lost on FMB, I think.Regards, N.
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