Monday, October 26, 2015

your turn #7

Natalia Goncharova. In A Game in Hell: A Poem (Igra v adu: Poema), 1912

We've covered an amazing chunk of history: Cubism, Expressionism, Constructivism, Neue Typographie, Futurism and Dadaism. At each step of the way I've tried to connect these developments and techniques to graphic design, only now, graphic = a mark and design = the possibility of a mark in a space

Yesterday, I reiterated this idea of typeface as the smallest graphic experimentation unit. So,
Typeface  =  line (drawing) =  floor plan (architecture) = chair (furniture) = string quartet (music) = monologue (theater) = pirouette (dance).      

What's on your mind?
pS: I said that Johannes Itten was a director @ the Bauhaus. Not exactly. He was director at the Kunstgewerbeschule, and one of the masters at the BAUHAUS faculty. Gropius, Meyer and Mies (in this order) were directors are BAUHAUS.  My lapse and my apologies. :)


Becca Magrino said...

What interested me the most this past Monday was Cubism. I think cubism in paintings is the most natural looking due to the shading and delicate nature of brush strokes. Looking at the paintings you showed us in class inspired me, a photographer, to want to see what I could make out of my photos using a Cubist style. I loved how soft Picasso's “Still Life with Chair-caning” looks in its Synthetic Cubism style while still possessing harsh division in shapes. While looking at examples online, I found that you have to be very selective in what you create in this style. Not everything will look good, and you have to pay close attention to detail and not just randomly place your “cubes” for it to work. I think the hardest part of creating a photo would be to make the cubes blend nicely together and not look to sharp and artificial. Photoshop does not have an automated tool to make Cubist photos, it is a more complicated process, therefore I have not gotten a chance to try it out myself yet but these are a few I found online that I think work well.

Becca Magrino

Anonymous said...

For this week I decided to talk about Dada because even though it’s not my particular favorite art “style”, I do respect and agree with its approach to the representation of ideas or better put, perspectives. In this movement, aesthetics are secondary; it’s all about the message being communicated. Dada poet Hugo Ball wrote “For us, art is not an end in itself, but it is an opportunity for the true perception and criticism of the times we live in”. I love how there were no rules to this movement, and so as an artist one could have the freedom to experiment with mixed media and just be spontaneous with no need for academic formality. I find it interesting that artists participating in this movement described Dada as “anti-art” when in fact it redefined it, regardless of its intention. Dada challenged the concepts of art and beauty and changed what is considered “a work of art” or a “skilled artist” for the better in my opinion. Something as radical as Dada was needed for art to transcend.

Alejandra Jimenez.

Katie Luddy said...

In our lecture on Monday, I was inspired by everything we discussed regarding Cubism, Expressionism, Constructivism, Neue Typographie, Futurism, and Dadaism. I was mostly intrigued with our discussion about interior design. I have a passion for all things interior design and architecture. I have studied Bauhaus by Walter Gropius in the past. The Dessau Bauhaus Building was influenced by constructivism and mostly modernism. The Bauhaus style became known as the International Style due to its absence of ornamentation and by the harmony between the function of an object or a building and its design. The Bauhaus was a school that brought together many of the world's great architects, artists, and designers including Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who designed the Barcelona chair and Marcel Breuer who designed the Wassily Chair. Both pieces of furniture are timeless modern pieces that are still famous today.
On a side note, I was intrigued by the analogy of Interior Design relating to typeface. Typeface is defined as a character and a space. In interior design and typeface, the character would be the chair/furniture/design and the space would depict the room in which encompasses the design.

- Katie Luddy

Anonymous said...

A Game in Hell by Natalia Goncharova really captured my interest. I researched more information on the design. A Game in Hell is suppose to be a card game between sinners and devils. The main devil design is suppose to be an offensive/blasphemous depiction of Christ. I just the love the rawness and realness in this piece. Just by looking at the design, you can see that it was made to catch attention. It was made to offend, but also to take a stance. "Their makers believed that art and language needed to become immediate and real—part of everyday life." That's what art is, that is its purpose. It's really interesting to see works of art like this. In today's world, there is a blurred line of what is offensive and what is not.

Alicia Veasy

Sabrina Tomlinson said...

For me, the most striking thing we talked about on Monday was definitely the two different aspects of Dadaism. In almost every previous art class I've studied the typical dada---the metaphysical. What I was surprised to learn about was that dada wasn't just this crazy movement of things that made no sense on purpose. The fact that not only did dada take on the political world, but it made a huge statement during a time of extreme oppression. Artists like Heartfield took a stand against the Nazis and used art as political expression. He and others risked their lives and took a fun and seemingly frivolous art style and made it seriously kick ass. Not only were some of the posters these artists created absolutely nuts, but they were revolutionary in the way that they weren't hiding behind anything. It was clear how they felt, and they weren't afraid. Art became a medium that was absolutely fearless, it had always been, but now if there was ever a time to confirm this, it was during the period of political dadaism.

-Sabrina Tomlinson

lucy hynes said...

I wanted to talk about surrealism and women. Although this viewpoint is being contested in modern criticism, surrealism has always been subject to accusations of misogyny. If you look at the art, and pay attention to the amount of female surrealists that suffered mental breakdowns or committed suicide, the evidence of misogyny is undeniable. But to what extent is this characteristic of the movement as a whole and has this been intention of the artist? Is this simply the nature of surrealism itself? When I wrote a paper on Dorothea Tanning specifically addressing her piece Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. When reading her personal comments on the piece I expected to have ample personal testimony backing up my feminist reading of her piece. This was not the case. Of the piece she essentially says, think of it what you will, it is a dream. She was well aware of feminist interpretations of her work so her lack of engagement in those interpretations at the time I believe is an attempt to distance herself from them. However even a Freudian reading of her piece would most likely point to some deep seated issues with internalized misogyny. Anyway… The dialogue on women and surrealism is oversimplified by both feminists and non-feminists alike, in addition to being considered petty by and large. Basically, I am excited that we are now covering art movements where a finer analysis and debate can happen in regards to the material we are covering.
-Lucy Hynes

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting to get to this part of graphic design history since the beginning of the semester! It is by far my favorite time of art specifically cubism. To begin with Cezanne who is one of my favorite artists of all time, he created a whole new way of seeing the world. He realized (and as I studied his work, made me realize) that beautiful doesn't mean it has to look real. Everyone has a different perception of reality and he was brave enough to show his. His work is like a puzzle that is already put together but you must look deep enough to understand it. He was the father of cubism because he began this style of work before cubism really begun. Not to mention how Picasso took it a big step forward and added that quick we now know as cubism. I have always admired this style of work but I never really understood its beauty until I was asked to create a cubist peace when I was in art school. I realized how insane this style was, it is like looking at the subject of the art piece in all dimensions and then flattening it on a 2D surface. Some people say they think it looks like a child could make it because its just shapes, but its so much more than that. Its the color choice and the lines, its the way the shapes connect and the shading you give it. It really is like figuring out a puzzle but it already has all the pieces put together. The more you look at a piece of this style the more detail you can find, what you may see is almost endless.
-Zina Dornbusch

Anonymous said...

The topic that interested me most from this past lecture was cubism. I've always been fascinated with cubism and specifically Picasso. I find it interesting how although to many it may seem abstract, it actual isn't. You're statement about how cubism is actually quite realistic and surreal really stuck out to me because I never thought of it in that way. I was always one to look at some of the more minimalistic pieces and think they are abstract. In the case of Picasso, after looking at some of his cubist works more closely, i realized that indeed it is quite realistic and not as abstract as I thought. It simply just takes time to put on the "cubism glasses" as you would say and analyze the works for what they are really meant to represent. Also, what stuck out to me in lecture as well was how you discussed the monochromatic nature of many cubist works and how it works well with that form of art. i personally find that I am most attracted to Picasso's colorful cubist works. I feel that the colors he uses adds to what he is trying to represent in his distorted, cubist image. Overall, I have enjoyed our lectures on more modern art as we continue to advance in the course.
-Alejandra Madrid

Isaiah said...

It's gotten to the point where recently I'm beginning to question whether or not some of these designers works are art or design. We talk cubism and expressionism but I was taught that those concepts were related to art. I understand those techniques can be used similarly In design but where do you draw the line between art and design? To me art starts with a blank canvas. A work of art stems from a view or opinion or feeling that the artist holds within him or herself. In contrast design has a purpose. There is a starting point. Designers are typically supposed to motivate a person to do something. I have trouble separating the two based off of what has been taught to me, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

What I found to be the most interesting this week was the fact that so many aspects of art and graphic design in the early to mid 1900’s can be categorized under the umbrella of Dadaism. In a way it makes sense, Dada means “anything goes” so that should mean that anything goes. Why, then, is everything prior to and post this period not also considered Dada? Prior to Dada, Marcel Duchamp introduced the idea of anti-art by producing “readymades,” everyday objects that were signed and shown as art. However, Dada was first introduced as a movement in response to WWI and and thought to dissipated at the arrival of Surrealism. It is not only an art movement, but a political, literary, and musical one as well, unlike Impressionism, for example, which describes a movement only in painting. As with most art movements, it is a reflection of the society at the time. Dada is known for its anti-war and and anti-bourgeois aesthetic in addition to its mockery of materialism and nationalism. This is what makes it distinct among other movements, the fact that it is so undistinguishable and covers such a wide variety of cultural activity.
-Jamie Port

Anonymous said...

When you initially said that Cubism was not more design than painting I nearly jumped out of my seat. To say that some known and studied painters of the 20th century were not actually painting seemed like art historical heresy, but for the cubists you had me convinced otherwise. The whole idea behind analytic cubism was to analyze and deconstruct a picture plane and redesign it according to the artists will. The result is a pretty consistent style that does not really break convention until the introduction of synthetic cubism. So looking at Braque and Picasso as designers was an interesting addition. I wonder if there is a method that these artists used (or one that someone could come up with today) to replicate the design process to create paintings like the ones we looked at last class.

spencer schladant

Anonymous said...

Unsurprisingly, these past couple of days spent on cubism were not some of my favorite lessons. I also haven't been a huge fan of constructivism in the past, however I've learned to appreciate it more in the past few weeks. I always have known that my negative opinion towards it stems from its unappealing lack of colors and rather strange designs. Even when working in black and white (which I don't mind) or adding in a third color for depth I'm usually perfectly fine. I think the use of purely black and white and just red is where I began to dislike the style. I understand it's purpose as the chosen color, the aggressiveness, the demand to be seen, and the passion given the circumstances surrounding the movement. It all tied together in one style, one message, and one voice fighting against a powerful political enemy. But viewing a multitude of posters at the same time from this period I found myself becoming desensitized to them and bored and they become harder to distinguish amongst themselves. Obviously when in use, I don't imagine they were examined in this way, so I assume their intended effect was still accomplished. But when you see piece after piece using the same color scheme, even though its message appears connected and coherent, it tends to soften the loud and emotional ideals behind the piece. It becomes harder to grasp how truly inspiring these pieces were and the bravery it took for artists to not only create them but distribute them at the risk of death. The extremism isn't well conveyed sitting inside of a classroom in the US in 2015 and up until recently, I wasn't aware of the extent to which these pieces made such a powerful and lasting effect.

Sam Richard

atRifF said...

I have loved creating photo and magazine collages since middle school. Honestly, back then I would incorporate collage into any slightly artistic school project I was assigned, and I still enjoy cutting out and assembling clippings to this day. I think that is why I was drawn to cubomania so much during this week’s discussion. I had no idea that what I consider a simple, basic art form (collage) was actually the product of the Surrealist art period. I love the example of Dada collage shown during class, as well as the photo collage work of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Just the process of taking pre-existing art or photography, and manipulating and rearranging it to give a totally different (and oftentimes more deep and poignant) message is incredible to me. And it’s true about how timeless these collage styles are, because even though Jealousy and Love Your Neighbor were created in the 1920s, they are still just as relevant, relatable, and powerful. I’m so glad we discussed this in class. Now I want to go and experiment with collage art some more!

-Rachel Watkins