ACE Class Report – Art History 3
Title: Art History 3
Instructor: Professor Sharon Latchaw Hirsh
Why I chose to take this Class:
This class teaches us how to look at and understand Great Art. Art has always intrigue and pique my interest. In this class they will discuss the different art forms and styles.
What I learned from this class:
Mannerism and Baroque Distortion and Drama: The mannerism and Baroque movements followed the high Renaissance with a response to the classical, Illusionistic perfection achieved by its masters. Mannerism rebelled against Illusionism with distorted forms, chaotic compositions and tertiary colors. The greatest master of mannerism was Michelangelo, whose stylistic shift the changes in his world and his body as he aged. Baroque art, on the other hand, was about enlarging and expanding on Illusionism to maximize drama. Michelangelo’s mannerist work his ” Last Judgement” painted behind the chapel’s altar is a chaotic composition, rejecting neo-platonic form. God is no longer a loving father but a vengeful warrior. He even included his face in the body of the tortured Saint Bartholomew.
How to recognize Mannerist art:
- It breaks the rules of Renaissance neoclassic.
- The Palette consists of tertiary or off colors.
- Objects show distorted proportion, size and perspective, space is truncated.
- Human figures are elongated.
- The overall impression is artificial, rather than natural.
How to Recognize Baroque Art:
- The rules of the Renaissance are bent to produce drama.
- The Palette returned tp basic colors, figural proportions, and classical scale.
- Line and color are expressional.
- Scenes are highly dramatic, intense and exuberant.
- Strong contrast of light and dark.
- Painters use impasto to build up texture.
- The scene has no background and the foreground pushes into viewer’s space.
- Composition uses strong diagonals and less symmetry.
- The subject are “BIG”- Royalty, exploration, great architecture and so forth.
Going Baroque – North Versus South: the 17th century in Europe was diverse geographically, religiously and politically. So was the artistic movement called Baroque. In Italy, Spain and Flanders, work celebrated the Roman Catholic church and the primacy of the pope. French Baroque flourished under royal patronage, retained the strongest ties to Classicism, and was more controlled. Dutch Baroque adopted secular subjects such as genre and still lives to appeal to the taste of the wealthy merchant buyers. The Palace of Versailles is a treasure trove of French Baroque art, from the Palace architecture to the sculpture in the gardens.
18th Century reality and decorative Rococo: The Rococo sometimes refer to as ” little Baroque”. Rococo retained Baroque’s attention to detailed, but the intense colors lightened to pastel, strong diagonals softened to meandering curves, references to Apollo were supplanted by references to cupid.
How to recognize Rococo art:
- Baroque’s sweeping diagonals become light Rococo curves.
- Point of view is often looking slightly down on the scene.
- Light is Graceful, delicate, and decorative, small areas of highlights replace the strong light/dark contract of Baroque.
- The subject matter is upper class pleasures: love, angels, gardens and dances.
- The application of paint is very tactile and even sensual, with a wide variation of thick and thin and subtle use of glazes.
Revolutions – Neoclassicism and Romanticism: Neoclassicism and Romanticism were the first two movements of the 19th century. Neoclassicism drew on classical forms and was staid, simple and controlled. Romanticism was an extension of the Baroque that used drama, intensity, and even chaos in an attempt to capture the sublime.
From Realism to Impressionism: Realism responded to Neoclassical and Romantic painting with a focus on everyday lives of the working class during the difficult years of industrialization. Realism, in that artists were trying to capture a slice of life, but their preferred subjects were nature and the new leisure class. They are best known for their handling of light. The name Impressionism came from Claude Monet’s Impression: Sunrise.
How to recognize Realism:
- Scenes are from contemporary life. teach a lesson about ills of contemporary society.
- East to understand, honesty and sincerity.
- Color palette is often drab and earth tone, application of paint flat.
How to recognize Impressionism:
- Contemporary life of middle class in cities and suburbs, usually at leisure.
- Experimented with vary elements such as light and viewpoint.
- Fascination with effects of light and color.
- Observed nature in natural light, there are no blacks and no chiaroscuro shaping.
- Figures and objects have no outlines, contrast of color and value great shapes instead.
- Paint is applied in short dabs of color.
Postimpressionism – Form and Content review: Impressionism was primarily a French movement, Postimpressionism was pan European and led to diversity of forms. Common features included: flat, rapid application of paint, a lack of interest in Illusionism, and the use of line and color to create psychological effects.
How to recognize Postimpressionism:
- We can no longer identify a work’s period by its style, welcome to modern art.
- It is a reaction to the two losses of Impressionism 1) Illusion of form in space, and 2) significant content.
- Use complementary and analogous colors to produce psychological effects, rather than descriptive color.
Expressionism – Empathy and Emotions: Expressionism was the first full artistic movement of the 20th century. Expressionism prized personal expression through deliberate stylistic distortion, color, line, composition, and space are determined by what the artist want to express, rather than by what they observe in nature. The purpose of Expressionism is not to be decorative or even necessary pleasurable but to produce empathy in the viewer.
How to recognize Expressionist art:
- Artist use distortion, simplification, and abstraction of space, figures and objects.
- Color, line, composition, and space are use expressively not descriptively.
- The goal is to produce psychological empathy, not pleasure in the viewer.
- Open or closed composition might be used for emotional expression.
- The point of view is often confrontational.
- It often address animal-like peace with nature versus soul deadening life in the city.
- The application of paint may be very heavy, almost sculptural.
Cubism – An experiment in form: No single early 20th century style had as much influence on later art as Cubism. Remarkably, Cubism was the work of only two main artists: Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Its main concern was how viewers read three-dimensional form on a two-dimensional surface, namely the intellectualized conclusion we reach based on perception of from.
How to recognize Cubist art:
- The focus is the relation of three-dimensional form to a two-dimensional surface.
- The artist takes a playful, experimental approach to his work.
- Forms are simple and geometrical.
- Lines are sharp and geometrical, often distorted.
- The viewer is presented with multiple points of view in a single two-dimensional work. Forms are broken up to present more sides at once.
- Artist sometimes employ collage techniques.
- Color is distorted, often monochromatic or neutral.
Abstract/Modernism – New visual language: Art was completely redefined in the early 20th century; Abstraction has been a major vehicle of expression and information ever since. Abstraction was not a movement, but it was developed out of the ideas of Postimpressionism, Symbolism, Expressionism and Cubism. While Abstract art may seem entirely random to a naive viewer, the artist usually composes the work. The difference is that imitation of nature was no longer central, or even necessary to the artist message.
How to recognize Modern Abstract art:
- Most of the tools of earlier art forms can still be applied to the work.
- May contain abstract and nonrepresentational shapes.
- The feeling and empathy experience by the viewer are crucial to understanding the work.
- The artist uses nontraditional application of paint, such as dripping gesture painting and so forth.
- Imitation of nature is no longer the standard.
Dada found objects/Surreal Doodles and Dreams: Marcel Duchamp’s ready-made were the first works of the Dada movements, a nihilistic yet playful response to the whole of western art history. Simply put, Dada was anti-art. The problem many artist discovered, was that Dada had a lot to say about what art was not, yet it could not say what art was. Surrealism was a post Dada attempt to define art by looking inward to the artist subconscious.
How to recognize Dada art:
- It contain found objects, taken out of their functional context, including ready made.
- Collage and assemblage are common techniques.
- It critiques civilization, sophistication, artistic training and high culture.
- It is anti-nihilistic but playful.
- May seem unfinished or deliberately messy.
How to recognize Surrealist art:
- It is concerned with internal, not external reality.
- It strongly references the subconscious mind and Freudian psychology.
- It may depict dream imagery; an juxtaposition of objects portrayed in realistic or illusionistic style.
- It may be rooted in doodling or automatic drawing.
- It often involves nonnaturalistic scale and proportion or distortion of forms.
Postmodernism – Focus on the viewer: The diversity of the 20th century art was too great to fit into any single category, but three major categories prevailed: pop art and op art in painting and minimalism in sculpture. Pop art was in response to consumer culture’s machine-made, infinitely repeatable objects. Op art was a scientific genre that mastered the nonrepresentational optical illusion. Minimalism was a distillation of pure nonrepresentational form in relation to the surrounding space. These postmodern movements belief that a work’s meaning was derived not from the artist but from the viewer.
How to recognize Postmodern art in general:
- The focus is on the viewer rather than the artist as genius.
- Multiple interpretations of on work are possible.
- The artist deliberately mixes and confuses images, styles and media.
How to recognize Pop art and Neo-Dada:
- Collages and found objects are common.
- The focus is on the external world, not the inner life of the artist.
- Subject come from popular media and marketing and from contemporary life.
- Techniques, colors, and visual effects come from advertising.
- It uses repetition to reference modern technology/consumer appetites and create sensory overload.
- The silkscreen process is particular uses because it is fast, cheap and not too finished.
How to recognize Op Art:
- Composition are optical illusion based on retinal reactions.
- There is a playful of reality and illusion.
How to recognize Minimalism:
- Shapes are basic, geometric and nonrepresentational.
- There is a deliberate lack of artists manipulation or intervention.
- Pieces are shop-fabricated based on artist’s design specifications.
- It is a purely formal investigation with no spiritual intent.
How will this class contribute to my success upon release:
Knowledge about art will enrich my life. This information will be taught to communities where I will volunteer my services, hopefully it will enrich their lives too.