Chapter 14

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Chapter 14:

Chapter 14 Expressionism Abstract Art Fantasy Art and Surrealism Photography


EXPRESSIONISM Refers to an attitude of art rather than a specific style. Expressionist artists in Western Europe and Mexico concentrated on communicating emotional states rather than naturalistic renderings of their scenes. Artists to remember: Rivera, Matisse, Orozco, Kahlo

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Rivera was inspired by the love for country and the dynamics of the Mexican Revolution, Diego Rivera The Flower Seller With bold colors and monumental forms , he captured the strength of the Mexican common man. In Mexico…

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This fresco by Rivera is called Liberation of the Peon meaning that only death liberates the agricultural work hand.

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Madame Matisse or The Green Line 1905 Fauvism - “The Wild Beasts” Their colors were meant to assault the eye. The leader was Henri Matisse. These artists made color the principle feature of their canvases . Although inspired by the arbitrary color of Van Gogh and Gauguin , color’s visual behavior on a flat pictorial surface was the main concern. HENRI MATISSE

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Matisse Dance II , 1909 Unlike Gauguin, Matisse’s figures are without inhibitions – they have a “joy-of-life” feel. Contains little modeling , or degrees of light and dark that give a 3-D look.

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Matisse laid down colors musically, creating visual harmonies. He wrote… “ I cannot copy nature, I must interpret it…when I have found the relationship of all tones, the result must be a living harmony of tones , a harmony not unlike a musical composition. By alternately using warm and cool colors , Matisse kept the viewer’s eye moving around the canvas .

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In his later years, Matisse experimented with paper “cut-outs” Overall theme: Life does not need to be complicated. It can be reduced to a peaceful simplicity.

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Matisse Harmony in Red Warm colors appear to come forward in art. Therefore , Matisse used a strong red for the background in order to visually pull the back to the front . As a result, he kept to the flat picture surface.

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The Last of the Weavers carrying the dead , 1897 Self-Portrait KATHE KOLLWITZ A powerfully emotional artist, her drawings express her feelings about old age, Hard work, war, motherhood and death.

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Woman with Dead Child Kollwitz 1903 etching After WWII this print was placed permanently in the Berlin War Memorial to symbolize the universal victimization of war and tyranny .

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Two Women on the Street KIRCHNER c . 1913 Expressionism/Die Brucke ( The Bridge) The work of Munch foreshadowed German Expressionism These artists favored the macabre and other intimate subjects and works later works by Van Gogh. Works were rendered in distorted forms, harsh colors, and a haunting use of black.

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Kandinsky Composition No. IV 1912 KANDINSKY - Fond of the compositions by Wagner, he related color theory to music theory, producing a language of color that expressed itself freely , without being restricted to objects.

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Kandinsky Composition No. VII & VIII Kandinsky assembled line, shape, and color without regard to recognizable objects . He called his nonrepresentational paintings “improvisations” or “abstract compositions.” “Organized chaos, discord and harmony…colors carefully chosen as the notes in a Mozart symphony.”

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Kandinsky Composition No. XI

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OROZCO – concerned with the effects of the Mexican Revolution Violation of the rights of the common man.


FRIDA KAHLO Diego Rivera was her husband and mentor. Many of her works are self portraits and, in essence, all of her work is autobiographical, revealing the tragic events of her life.

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Kahlo The Two Fridas 1939

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Cubism and Futurism “No single viewpoint has a monopoly on truth .” Cubists depicted objects simultaneously from all angles. The Futurists added speed. Cubists dissected the surfaces of their canvases into little “cubes” and reassembled the parts, melding backgrounds and foregrounds into one. “We are one, yet, at the same time, we are a part of the whole.” Einstein proved that matter and energy were the same, so the Futurists capitalized on this idea by merging motion and matter or by transforming matter into motion.

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Self Portrait 1899 PABLO PICASSO He dominated European painting in the first half of the last century, and remains perhaps the century's most important, prolifically inventive and versatile artist. Alongside Georges Braque he pioneered Cubism. He also made significant contributions to Surrealist painting, and media such as collage, welded sculpture, and ceramics.

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During the years from 1900 to 1904 Picasso travelled frequently, spending time in Madrid,Paris , and Barcelona. This time is called his Blue Period, after the blue/grey palette that dominated his paintings. The mood of the work was also insistently melancholic. One might see the beginnings of this in the artist's sadness over the suicide of a friend, though the subjects of much of the Blue Period work were drawn from the beggars and prostitutes he encountered in city streets. The Old Guitarist (1903) is a typical example of both the subject matter and the style of this phase.

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Les Demoiselles d’Avignon Picasso 1907 This painting is thought to be the precursor of Cubism . The harsh angles are meant to show inner nature as well as outer.

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Portrait of Vollard Picasso 1910 …presented objects in a prismatic fashion so that the viewer could view all angles at once . However the parts are connected by a technique known as Passa’ge , values of color pass through broken line to connect the individual parts

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Portrait of Daniel Kahnweiler Picasso 1910 The reduction of color places more emphasis on the dissected form.

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Background information about Guernica by Picasso: April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War in which Republican forces fought against the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, the German air force, in league with Franco, conducted the world’s first aerial bombardment of a civilian target….the town of Guernica. Picasso was not known for political statements in his art. However, this invasion of his homeland horrified him. As a result, he painted a huge mural for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair using this event for inspiration. In Spain…

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Pablo Picasso Guernica 1937 CUBISM This painting has become the universal symbol of protest and illustrates Picasso’s insistent argument for art as a “ weapon against the enemy”.

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Still Life with Chair Caning Picasso 1911 Assemblages – Artworks that were built up from commonplace materials, giving the work a sculptural sense. SYNTHETIC CUBISM - piecing things together to make a semi-representational whole .

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Georges Braque, Still Life on a Table , 1914. Collage on paper

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Nude Descending a Staircase Marcel Duchamp 1912 With the interaction of background and foreground , geography becomes part of the subject’s identity. It is one with the scene, not added to it.

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The Futurists were about two things: Compression of movement More interpenetration of subject and background. The Futurist Manifesto shouted… “We want to demolish museums and libraries…Museums, cemeteries!…To make a visit once a year…one must visit the dead.” “All things are rapidly changing. A profile is never motionless before our eyes, but it constantly appears and disappears. on account of the persistency of an image upon the retina, moving objects constantly multiply themselves . . .Thus a running horse has not four legs, but twenty.”

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Unique Forms of Continuity in Space Umberto Boccioni Bronze 1913 Futurism - Italian movement that linked contemporary art expression to industry, technology, and urban life. “Let us tear the body open and enclose the environment in it .”

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De Stijl (The Style) – Name Mondrian gave to his art form. It not only referred to his style but the styles of architecture and furniture that it influenced. It broke objects down as a scientist would break down matter into molecular form. MONDRIAN

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Mondrian Broadway Boogie Woogie 1942-43 Mondrian believed he had recreated the mutual relationship and connectedness of all things through his paintings.

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Mondrian Grey Tree 1911 See any Cubist influence?


SCULPTURE Sculptors of the early 20 th century abandoned realistic representation. Instead, they reduced objects to their most elemental forms. They innovatively explored mass and space.

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Bird in Space Constantin Brancusi, 1928 bronze 4 ’ high The artist must evoke the essential and intrinsic qualities of the subject rather than describe its physical properties. Brancusi created an art of radically simple, organic forms . Here, Brancusi reduced the image of a bird to the essence of flight. Modernist Abstraction in Sculpture …

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The Kiss Constantin Brancusi 1908 This sculpture was influenced by Brancusi’s admiration of African art. He carved as little as possible in the stone, choosing simplicity to make his point.


FANTASY ART & SURREALISM Fantasy artists used the depths of the human psyche as their subject matter. They incorporated chance elements, deliberately weird associations, and obscure personal symbolism into their work. Surrealist artists present recognizable subject matter in illogical situations.

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The Nostalgia of the Infinite Giorgio de Chirico 1914 METAPHYSICAL/FANTASY ART The search for the world that lay beyond sensory experience De Chirico brought the world of the unconscious into the realm of art through the use of sharp-edged images , contradictory perspectives, unnatural colors, and illogically cast shadows , producing a disturbing, dream-like effect.

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Disturbing Muses De Chirico 1925 METAPHYSICAl /FANTASY ART De Chirico anticipated a mode of representation called magic realism , in which common objects and events are exaggerated or juxtaposed in unexpected ways in order to evoke a mood of mystery.

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I and My Village Marc Chagall 1911 Disjunctive sizes and positions of the figures, arbitrary color, superimposed images or images floating in space…all devices that defy the laws of reality. His early subjects were about the customs and folk tales of his homeland, Russia. METAPHYSICAL & FANTASY ART

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During World War I, a group of artists protested the degradation of European society and the destruction caused by the war. War and the Arts Two Ambiguous Figures Max Ernst 1919 paraphernalia of modern warfare DADA – nonsensical French word meaning “hobbyhorse”. This movement aggressively challenged traditional art, more so than the other movements. It created chaos in the art world.

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Silence Max Ernst Surrealism

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Hitler in Hell Max Ernst Surrealism

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Salvador Dali The Persistence of Memory 1931 SURREALISM A painter of enigmas…Dali’s images came from his own dreams and imagination.

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Dali, Apparition of a Face and Fruit Dish on a Beach 1938 SURREALISM

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Fish Magic Paul Klee 1925 SURREALISM Artworks that resembled hieroglyphics, mysterious symbols of the mind.

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Joan Miro Carnival of the Harlequin 1924-5

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Magritte, The False Mirror , 1928 Combines realistic subjects in irrational ways that question the reality of our perceptions.

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Magritte, Treason of Images , 1929 SURREALISM This painting addresses the distinction between a real pipe and the illusion of the painted pipe.

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Meret Oppenheim, Fur-Lined Teacup and Saucer 1936 DADA/ SURREALISM


PHOTOGRAPHY Photography became very popular at this time because the public did not really understand abstract art. Traveling had become easier than ever, and allowed photographers to report what was happening across the world.

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Dorothea Lange Migrant Mother Nipomo, CA 1936 American photographers documented the Great Wars, the Great Depression beginning in 1929, and the lives of migrant workers… In the United States…

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Steerage Alfred Stieglitz Photography 1907

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Untitled Robert Capa Miller, Capa and other photojournalists immortalized the plights of war-torn Europe in social realists photographs. Documentary Photography

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Ansel Adams was one the world’s greatest landscape photographers. He is famous for his black & white images of Yosemite National Park.

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Ansel Adams The Snake River

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Dunes Edward Weston Photography When an object is reduced to its simplest elements, it is free to become a symbol for another identity , thus making it universal. Untitled Weston Some photographers played with the abstraction that was popular in art at the time.

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