Key Ideas • Early Modern Art flourished at a time of immense political unrest and social upheaval • Modern artists and architects were quick to embrace new technologies • Avant-garde patrons cultivated cutting-edge artists and allowed them to flourish • The Armory Show introduced modern art to America, and Gallery 291 exhibited photographs beside paintings as works of art • Modern art takes on a more international flavor than ever—great movements take place in locations hitherto thought of as cultural backwaters like Mexico and Russia
Background • World War I, World War II & Great Depression • Also a creative time for the arts (literature, music, dance and visual arts) • Some art was inspired by the cataclysmic events
Patrons and the Artists • Patrons were cultivated and intellectual members of an avant-garde society • Art was seen as a vehicle to embrace the modern spirit in a cultured way • Patrons like Gertrude Stein, promoted artists through sponsorship and connections • Not all art was excepted • The Armory Show 1913 was heavily criticized by American viewers • Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon horrified the public • Duchamp’s Fountain disappointed promotersfor whom permitted any work provided they paidtheir $6 admission fee
Architecture • Embraces technology • Ferroconcrete construction (Europe) allowed new designs with skeleton framework and glass walls • Cantilever would push elements beyond the framePreferred clean sleek lines that stress the underlying structure and emphasizing the impact of the machine and technology
Painting • Early 20th century painting characteristics were being questioned • Color was not used to describe a setting or an artist’s impression, but to evoke a feeling and challenge the viewer • Perspective discarded, or violently tilted for dramatic impact • Composition was forcefully altered in a new and dynamic way • Pure form or abstraction featured in modern art. Abstraction had always been there. Usually marginal like decorative frames or designs. • What is new is the placement of the abstract form directly center pieced in position—whereby the meaning of the abstraction is independent of reality of the representation.
Painting • The artist had moved beyond the traditional oil-on-canvas and was inspired by frottage and collage; these technique formerly left to children's art. • This inspiration led Europeans to draw inspiration from Africa a subject generally ignored or labeled primitive. • Europeans were inspired by the African artists’ ability to create works in geometric, sometimes abstract, terms, unafraid of a lack of conventional reality. This freedom of expression inspired to rethink traditional representations, sometimes by writing their thoughts down in artistic manifestos, which served as calls of arms for their movements.
Sculpture • The spirit that epitomizes modern painting and architecture also characterizes modern sculpture. • Artists used new materials, such as plastic, and new formats, such as collages, to create dynamic compositions. • Artists also dangled metal shapes from a ceiling and called them mobiles. • In the Dada movement, artists saw a found object and turn it into a work of art. • These ready-mades became works of art simply because the artist said they were.
Cubism • Cubism was born in the studio of Pablo Picasso, who in 1907 revealed the first cubist paints, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Perhaps influenced by the simple geometries of African masks, then the rage in Paris, Picasso was inspired to break down the human form into angles and shapes, achieving a way of looking at the human figure from many sides at once. This use of multiple views shows parts of a face, for example, from a number of angles. Cubism was dominated by wedges and facets that are sometimes shaded to simulate depth. • The first phase of Cubism, from 1907-1912, called Analytical, was highly experimental, showing jagged edges and sharp multifaceted lines. The second phase, after 1912, called Synthetic Cubism, was initially inspired by collages and found objects and featured flattened forms. The last phase, Curvilinear Cubism, in the 1930’s, was a more flowing rounded response to the flattened and firm edges of Synthetic.
Guernica • Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, oil on canvas, Reina Sofia, Madrid • Painted for the Spanish pavilion of the 1937 Parisian Wolrd’s Fair • A reaction to the Fascist bombing of the militarily insignificant town of Guernica in northern Spain during the Spanish Civil War • Done in black and white to imitate news photos • Picasso usually not a symbolic painter, but here symbols abound • Pieta on left with stigmata on child’s hands • Bull symbolized brutality and darkness; but could also symbolize Spain herself • Fallen warrior at bottom left holds a broken sword, perhaps meant to evoke a fallen war memorial
Fauvism • Characteristics of Fauve • First seen in 1905, Salon d’Automne in Paris • aka “Wild Beast” art • Inspired by post impressionists Gauguin and Van Gogh • Painterly surface with broad flat areas of violently contrasting color • Figure modeling and color harmonies suppressed so that expressive effects could be maximized • Fauvism died out by 1908
London Bridge • Andre Derain, London Bridge, 1906, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Perspective tilted; foreshortened space • Bright colors push everything to the surface of the picture plane • Bright contrasts of solid unmixed color • Bold forms, powerful color effects • Color used expressively not descriptively • Short Post-Impressionist brushstrokes
Woman with a Hat • Henri Matisse, Woman with a Hat, 1905, oil on canvas, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California • Conventional composition • Violent contrasts of color • Energetic painterly brushwork • Exhibited at the 1905 Salon d’Automne in Paris
Expressionism • Inspired by the Fauve • Violent juxtapositions of color • Purposely roused the ire of critics and the public • The Blue Rider, formed in Germany 1911 (named due to the interests in horses and the color blue) • Highly intellectual, filled with theories of artistic representation • Conceived the natural world in terms that went beyond representation • Kandinsky’s theories were best expressed in his influential essay, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, which out line this theories on color and form for the modern movement.
Improvisation 28 • Vassily Kandinsky, Improvisation 28, 1912, oil on canvas, Guggenheim Museum, New York • Movement toward abstraction; representational objects suggested rather than depicted • Title derived from musical compositions • Strongly articulated use of black lines • Colors seem to shade around line forms
Large Blue Horse • Franz Marc, Large Blue Horses, 1911, oil on canvas, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis • Marc was a cofounder of Der Blaue Reiter • Swirling shapes and dynamic composition; suggests sweeping movement • Emotional impact of blue for horses
Street • Ernst Kirchner, Street, Dresden, 1908, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Uncomfortably close encounter with women on a Dresden Street • Colors are nonrepresentational, but symbolic and chosen to provide a jarring impact • Expressive quality of horrified facial features and grim surroundings • Titled perspective moves things closer to the picture plane
Futurism • Prior to World War I • In celebration of scientific and technological progress of the modern world • Glory of machines and fascination with speed the primary subjects of Futurism • Influenced by Cubism; prismatic effects of representation; almost shattered look • Futurist theories were formal expression of FilippoTommaso Marinetti, who published manifestos that advocated an artistic revolution • 1909-1914
Unique Forms of Continuity in Space • Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913, bronze, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Cf. Nike of Samothrace • Affected by the atmoshpere around it as it strides pridefully forward
Dada • Dada means hobby horse; a completely nonsense word • 1916-1925 • Rejected conventional methods of representation and conventional representation • Oil on canvas abandoned • Instead they would use ready-mades and often used glass • They will challenge relationship between words • and image. Often using words prominently in their • work • Frequently contingent on location or accident • Concept over execution
Fountain • Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, original 1917, china, Philidelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania • Ready-made sculpture, actually a found object that Duchamp deemed to be a work of art • Entered in an injured show, but the work was refused • Signed by the “artist” R. Mutt, a pun on the Mutt and Jeff comic strip and Mott Iron Works • Title Fountain a pun; fountains spout liquid, a urinal is meant to collect it
The Armory Show • Named after the building in New York where it was held • 1913 • Introduced Americans to current European trends • Also showcased prominent American Artists
Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2 • Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No 2, The Succes de Scandale of the Armory Show • A Cubist and/or Futurist painting depicting an assumed nude going down a flight of stairs • Influenced by motion pictures, multiple-exposure photography • Limited color range
Photo-Secession • From 1902 -1917 Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery called Gallery 291 was the most progressive gallery in the United States showcasing photographs as works of art beside avant-garde European paintings and modern American works
The Steerage • Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage, 1907, photograph, Private Collection • Stieglitz photographed the world as he saw it, arranged little and allowed people and events to make their own compositions • Interested in compositional possibilities of diagonals and lines acting as framing elements • Diagonals and framing effects of ladders, sails, steam pipes, and so on • Depicts the poorest passengers on a ship traveling from the United States to Europe in 1907; they were allowed for air for a limited time
Precisionism • Precisionsim was a loosely organized 1920’s movement that stressed the flat precision of synthetic Cubism and interest in the sharp edges of machinery
Light Iris • Georgia O’Keeffe, Light Iris, 1924, oil on canvas, Virginia Museum of Fine-Arts, Richmond • Simplified monumental shapes, organic forms • Minimal details • Broad planes of unmodulated color • Tilted perspective • Seems erotic and expression of female sexuality, natural beautiful flower blossoming
Metaphysical Painting • 1910 - 1920’s • Human figures, shadows or tailor dummies in open plazas with infinite space • Seemingly alien environments with familiar subject matter. A precursor to Surrealism. • Influenced by German philosophers. Probes viewer to interpret meaning from symbols, suggestions and impressions. • Artist Giorgio DeChirico known for this style
Meloncholy and Mystery of a Street • Giorgio DeChirico, Meloncholy and Mystery of a Street, 1914, oil on canvas, Private Collection • Deep pull into space • Shadowy, eerie forms that create mystery and foreboding • Juxtaposition of large dark spaces and open light vistas • Empty van with nothing in it
Surrealism • Inspired by Freud and Jung • Sought to represent dreams, subconscious thoughts and unspoken communication • Movement went into two directions • Abstract tradition of biomorphic and suggestive forms • Veristic tradition of using reality-based subjects put together in unusual ways • Titles often confusing • Surrealism meant to puzzle, challenge and fascinate • Source is mysticism, psychology and symbolic • Not meant to be clearly understood and didactic
Dutch Interior I • Joan Miro, Dutch Interior I, 1928, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Used simple forms • Built compositions first with random washes and then added substance to the shape the forms inspired • Amoeba-like shapes • Spontaneous, mysterious, serene • Color harmonies are softly modeled
Object • Meret Oppenheim, Object, 1936, fur-covered cup, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Said to have been done in response to Picasso’s claim that anything looks good in fur • Combination of unlike objects: fur-covered teacup, saucer, and spoon • Erotic overtones
The Two Fridas • Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas, 1939, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, Mexico City • Juxtaposition of two self-portraits • Left: Kahlo dressed as a Spanish lady in white lace • Right: Kahlo dressed as a Mexican peasant—the stiffness and provincial quality of Mexican folk art serves as a direct inspiration for the artist • Her two hearts are twined together by veins that are cut by scissors at one end and lead to a portrait of her husband, artist Rivera, at the other; painted at the time of their divorce • Barren landscape, two figures sit against a wildly active sky • Kahlo rejected the label of Surrealism to her artwork
The Persistence of Memory • Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Huge empty spaces suggested by vast landscape • Drooping watches all tell different times • Only life is the fly on the watch and the ants on the closed watch fob • Hallucinatory • Barren and uninhabited landscape • Bonelike hand seems to caricature Dali’s face • Visual ironies: tree grows from a firm block, clock hangs from a dead tree branch
Salvador Dali http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjZxOzQiY4A
Suprematism • Russia, before the 1917 Revolution • Malevich began this independent movement • Sought non-objective reality • 1913 – 1920’s • “the supremacy of pure feeling” • Forms float on white background • Thoughtful arrangements • Limited color. Geometric shapes. • Communist Russia would not support abstract art like many totalitarian governments do
Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying • Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: Airplane Flying, 1915, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Simple rectangular forms placed the white background • Pure idealism of forms • Artist said he wanted to “free art from the burden of the object”
Constructivism • Experimented with new architectural materials and assembled them in a way devoid of historical reference. • Beginning 1914, Tatlin and others saw the new Russia as an idealistic center removed from historical reference and decoration. • Influenced by the Cubists and the Futurists, Constructivism designed buildings with no precise facades. • Emphasis was placed on the dramatic use of the materials used to create the project.
Monument to the Third International • Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the Third International, 1919—1920, wood, iron, glass, model now destroyed • Commemorates the 1917 Russian Revolution • Tatlin believed that abstract art represented a new society built free of past associations • To have been made of iron and glass, existed as a model, now lost or destroyed • Axis pointed to star Polaris: symbol of universal humanity • Three chambers were to rotate around a central axis inside a tilted spiral cage; each chamber housed a facility for a different kind of government activity and rotated at a different speed
Monument to the Third International • Bottom: glass structure for lectures and meetings, rotated once a year • Middle: intended for administration, rotated monthly • Top: information center rotated daily • Lacks a main façade; seems to burrow into the earth • Was to have been built in Moscow as the headquarters for propaganda for the Soviet Union • Never build; would have been the world’s tallest building
DeStijl • Initiated by Dutch painter Mondrian • Apex reached between 1917 and 1930’s • Completely abstract, even the titles make no reference to nature • Painted on white background. Uses black lines to shape rectangular spaces. Only three primary colors are used. All painted without modulation. • Lines are only Perpendicular or parallel. No diagonals.
Composition in Black and White and Red • Piet Mondrian, Composition in Black and White and Red, oil on canvas, 1936, Museum of Modern Art, New York • Only primary colors used: red, yellow, blue, and the neutrals white and black • Severe geometry of form, only right angles; gridlike forms • No shading of colors
Schroeder House • GerritRietveld, Schroeder House, 1924, Utrecht, Netherlands • An arrangement that suggests DeStijl paintings; geometric grid—like façade • Private rooms of house on bottom floor; public rooms on top floor • Free-flowing interior has partitions that can open and close at will creating new spaces
Bauhaus • The Bauhaus was a school of architecture and interior design that was open from 1919—1933, first in Weimar and then in Dessau, Germany. The Bauhaus taught that all art forms, from simply crafted objects to large architectural complexes, should be designed as a unit. Technology was embraced. Students were encouraged to understand all aspects of artistic endeavor, and how they could be woven together in a coherent whole. • Influenced be DeStijl and Constructivism, the Bauhaus had simple, but elegant, designs that were based on a harmonious geometry and a brevity of expressive forms. The Bauhaus represented a marriage of art and technology, a free combining of science and fine art in a creative and experimental way.
Bauhaus • Walter Gropius, The Bauhaus, 1925—1926, Dessau, Germany • Building lifted off the ground; seems to float • Framing white horizontal stringcourses embrace building • Glass walls reveal classrooms beyond • Devoid of embellishments or architectural motifs
Poissy-sur-Seine • LeCorbusier, Villa Savoye, 1929, Poissy-sur-Seine, France • Three-bedroom villa with servant’s quarters • Boxlike horizontal quality; and abstraction of a house • Main part of house lifted off the ground by narrow pilotis—thin freestanding posts • Turning circle on bottom floor is a carport, so that family members can enter directly from their car • All space is utilized, including the roof which acts as a patio
Prairie Style • A type of architectural style that describes a group of architects working in Chicago, 1900 – 1917, • Frank Lloyd Wright • Rejected historic styles and emphasized the harmony with the site in which the structure would be built • Wright enjoyed the abstract shapes and forms of contemporary painting • Stylized botanical shapes were particularly prized • Wright would employ cantilever construction to have porches and terraces dangle out from the main section of a structure. This would give the impression of hovering forms over open spaces, held by seemingly weightless anchors. • Organic qualities of material were believed to be most beautiful • Strong horizontals are a characteristic of the Prairie Style • Falling Water is an example of the Prairie Style