How does art reflect society? • Attempts to criticize • Attempts to magnify an issue or individual • Attempts to distract from other issues of the day • Attempts to define what culture is or what an era is • Attempts to provide a narrative for viewing / looking at something.
Today… • We will highlight how different mediums reflected the times that they existed in. • The mediums we will explore will be… • Theater • Painting / Drawing • Music • Photography / Film • (We are not exploring literature because that is the basis of all literature courses and it would take too long)
Theater • Theater is broken down into the following eras in Modern Western Civilization… • Elizabethan Theater (1580’s-1642) • French Movements (1642-1660) • Restoration Theater – (1661-1730’s) • Neoclassicism – (1700’s) • Romantic Melodramas – (Early 1800’s) • Realism (1850’s-1880’s) (Modern Era Of Theater) • Naturalism (1880’s-1910’s) • Realism (1900’s-1930’s) • Epic Theater (1920’s-1930’s) • Post War Theater • Absurdist Theater • Post-Modernism
Painting / Drawing (Beginning in 1700’s) • Baroque (1600’s - 1750’s) • Rococo (Early 1700 – 1760’s – France) • Revolutionary Art (Late 1700’s – early 1800’s) AKA Academy Art • Romanticism (Early 1815-1848 ish) • Realism (1850-1880) • Modernism (Late 1800’s) • Impressionism (1860’s-1890’s) • Post Impressionism (1880’s-Early 1900’s) • Symbolism – Late 1800’s
Painting / Drawing (Cont.) • Expressionism (1880’s-1900’s) • Art Nouveau - 1880’s-1914 • Abstractionism (1910-Mid Century) • Art Deco (1910-1939) • Dadaism – 1916-1924 • Surrealism (1924 -1940’s) • Abstract Expressionism (Post WWII) • Pop Art (1960’s) • Op Art (1960’s)
Musical History Movements • Renaissance Era (1500’s-1600’s) • Baroque Era (1600’s-1750’s) • Classical Music Era (1750’s-early 1800’s) • Romantic Music Era (1800’s-1900) • 20th Century Music (1900-1975) • Contemporary Music (1975-2000)
Film Movements • The Silent Era (1895-1926) • Hollywood’s Golden Era (1930’s-1945) • Post WWII Era • 1950’s and 1960’s • Post Classical Cinema (1970’s) • Blockbuster Era (Late 1970’s – Early 1990’s) • Millennium Era (Late 1990’s-Current Day)
We are now going to… • Pick certain eras in history and demonstrate how the times lead to cultural movements and epochs. • Age of Absolutism – Mid 1600’s • Romanticism • Fin De Ciclie • Post WWI • Post WWII • 1970’s
Age of Absolutism – Circa 1650 • History: • Era of Louis XIV in France – high fashion is important as is focus in French culture. • in England – Stuart Dynasty has just been deposed and English Civil War winding down. Lack of English culture leads to void where French Culture fills in. • Spain is post Philip II – recently won/lost the War of Spanish Succession - still in Golden Age • 30 Years War recently ended – no more religious wars in Europe…ever.
History Cont. • Scientific Revolution is overflowing in most countries – just post Galileo and pre-Newtonian. • Music and Theater become a way for the absolutist rulers to dazzle the court and refocus their attention.
Absolutism – Circa 1650 • How Does The Art Reflect This… • Theater: Because England is in such turmoil – war / Protestantism (Oliver Cromwell) the English turn to French Theater to fill the void. Period of transition in French Theater – move to tragicomedies • Painting / Drawing: Spanish kings spend oodles of money on art and patronizing it. Therefore you get the height of Baroque style in Spain. Louis is likewise spending a ton of money on arts and it shows. English and Germans, still dealing with the consequences of wars, don’t have much to say on this issue.
Absolutism Circa 1650 • Music: Music becomes a method of wowing guests at formal parties. Baroque style music was utilitarian in that the pieces would be written for specific occasions and then discarded. 1650 is still early – best work being done in Austria / France. Harpsichord, Trumpet, and especially strings used heavily to create a distinct sound. Influential were Jakob Froberger and Louis Couperin.
Key Examples of Art • Theater – Time driven by the fight over the direction of the main character / story arc. Previously influenced by commedia de’ll arte, now only noble characters on stage. • Tragedies about affairs of state, comedies about love and marriage. Can not show evil winning or nobility put down. • Pierre Cornielle – El Cid – controversial in that it broke the three conventions of its time – Unity of Time, Space, and Action.
Paintings and Drawings • Spanish and Dutch have huge influence in Baroque art. • Diego Velazquez (SP) – portrait painter and scene setter. • Nicolas Poussin (FR) – Painter to the king – more classical than Baroque. • Rembrant (DU) – exemplary portrait maker and bible scenes
Romanticism was a reaction to the devastation that had occurred in Europe from 1789-1815. Emphasis across the board was on nature, beauty, and “the moment” All forms of art attempted to elicit an emotional response – although that response was generally anti-logic. Creation of art as the “exalted one” Romanticizing of Greek, Roman, and “Primitive” arts Romanticism – Circa 1830’s
History • Anti Reason – reason was the driving motivator for the French Revolution and Liberalism • Beginning of Industrialization spreading through Europe – although effects still really only seen in England. • Natural focus is a revolt against the urbanization and industrialization of Europe. • England becomes the most dominant economy in Europe so other nations respond to that in kind.
Artistic Reaction • Theater – the age of the Actor. Writers were considered secondary. The material was focused on realistic sets, lights, costumes and yet material that was based in comedy / fantasy. Very little serious drama – people went to the theater to be entertained and distracted. Use of large proscenium sets, advanced lamps, traps and effects. Focus was on pleasing the masses.
Music – dramatic period which includes application of the German concept of “Sturm and Drang” or storm and stress. This led to a lot of writing in the minor key with themes that focus on the struggle of individual for freedom from despotism. Key individuals - Included Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert.
Painting / Drawing – Development of the anti-academies movement which emphasized the free movement of hands with brush strokes. It emphasized the expression of mood with color – realism is important, but less so than previous endeavors. Nature a frequent subject of material. Key individuals – JWW Turner (USA), Francisco Goya (Sp), William Blake (EN)
Term means “End of the Century” Was used mostly in France and spread to the rest of Europe. Defined the era of cultural revelry around the turn of the century. Victorian Era ideals dominated England, most of Europe. As a society very pleased with self Looking forward – not looking back. Optimism throughout society – no wars, advancement in science, development of psychology. Imperialism spreading through world – Europe’s moral superiority. Fin de Siècle – 1890’s
Artistic Reactions… • Theater – Began reacting to itself rather than society (nothing to really critique). Reacted to the development of Naturalism with Realism and Russian Symbolism. Realism attempts to portray events that would happen in real life in a truly stripped down manner. This is the beginning of modern drama. Key individuals: Ibsen, Chekhov. • Stanislovski also develops a “method” of acting which is still extremely influential today.
Ibsen – A Doll’s House – Main character Nora leaves husband at the end of the play – considered first feminist play. • Chekhov – The Cherry Orchard – The orchard becomes a symbol for the decline of the old Russian aristocracy and a symbol for inability to deal with materialism.
Music - Originally still focused on Romanticism and Impressionism (DeBussy), but early 1900’s became a focus on “atonality”. Schoenberg’s Expressionism will lead to the “12 Tone Technique” – which avoids the development of music in a particular key. This was a reaction to classic major/minor tone music of the past. • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schoenberg
Film – Earliest film works. Not a lot of intent but begins to develop the framework of the genre. All silent films – only notable is Birth of a Nationby DW Griffith.
Painting / Drawing – This is a HUGE era for this. Development of Modern Art. Impressionism and Post Impressionism take root here. All as a reaction to previous art..again. • Impressionism – Small think visible brush strokes, ordinary subject matter, movement becomes a crucial part of the movement. Reaction to the development of photography – shows what pictures can not – emotion. Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Manet, Degas. • Post-Impressionism – Vague concept – similar ideals to Impressionism – Cezanne, van Gogh, Seurat.
That sense of hopefulness is gone and replaced by pessimism, especially with industry and the established leadership. People are less likely to feel hopeful about life and therefore more likely to feel disjointed Expressionism develops out of this – a reaction to positivism and impressionism where distress and Nietzsche's ideals of Dionysian chaos exist. Bold, lacking true form, and without perspective. This concept could also be applied to how people lived in Germany during the Weimar years - Horror Also see the development of “anti-art”, Dadaism. Post WWI – 1920’s
Artistic Response • Theater – • Epic Theater = Bertolt Brecht. Brecht’s Epic Theater attempted to make the audience aware that it was in fact watching a performance. Reaction to melodrama and Stanislvovski – elimination of escapism. Key Pieces – Mother Courgae and her Children, The Threepenny Opera • Surrealism = Arteo’s Theater of Cruelty – sought to also eliminate the false perceptions that “lies like a shroud over our perception” Wanted to create a text that was halfway between gesture and word. - More theory than practice… • http://www.iwantonly.com/watch/7219/
Music – Classical music still going through 12 tone revolution. • Pop music begins revolting through flapper style music – Jazz becomes the anti-establishment music – at least in part due to the perception that it was “black” music in US. • It became escapism in that Jazz’s free form and lack of structure fit right in with Existentialism and Surrealism.
Film – The 1920’s establishes a revolution in film. Film begins to cut into theater as a progressive art form because of “talkies” in 1927 – Jazz Singer. • Beginning of the Hollywood “Golden Age” • Became escapism after 1929. Movie stars become the focus of society in many ways. • King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula, Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind
Painting / Drawing – A series of movements that sought to express the disjointed nature of modern man in this era – caught between inhumane war, Nietzsche's death of God, Freud’s expansion of the subconscious – they sought to express this in bold, emotional art. • This becomes Expressionism, Synthetic Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, and Bauhaus. • Surrealism was basically the apex of Dada and Synthetic Cubism where Freud’s dream analysis lead to a belief that one could almost be part of the work. They sought to free imagination and free people from false rationality.
What is expressionism? • The term was also coined by Czech art historian Antonín Matějček in 1910 as the opposite of impressionism: "An Expressionist wishes, above all, to express himself... (an Expressionist rejects) immediate perception and builds on more complex psychic structures... Impressions and mental images that pass through mental peoples soul as through a filter which rids them of all substantial accretions to produce their clear essence [...and] are assimilated and condense into more general forms, into types, which he transcribes through simple short-hand formulae and symbols."
Obviously in this era – Cold War, Nuclear Destruction and Vietnam are the predominant issues in mainstream culture. As a response to this a counter-culture movement develops which both fed into and was developed by art. The uniformity of the 1950’s and the development of a hippie culture led to many different reflections in the arts. By the middle of the 1970’s, the global oil crisis, stagflation, and the malaise of Vietnam had soured most Western nations, especially the US. 1960’s and 1970’s – Post Structuralism
Artistic Reaction • Theater – Absurdism and Post-Modern Theater • Absurdism - The Absurd in these plays takes the form of man’s reaction to a world apparently without meaning or man as a puppet controlled or menaced by an invisible outside force. Things happen for no reason and the outlandish is taken as normal. Often times they take pieces of previous styles (commedia dell arte) and repackage it. • Examples: Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolff
Post Modern Theater – is a reaction to Modern Theater and an attempt to shatter the idea that theater provides a “truth”. Post Modern theater does not attempt to answer questions, but rather to pose them. Narrative, story, linear nature, character development are all potentially shifted from the norm. High and low art are rejected. • Examples: Muller’s Hamletmachine, Wilson and Glass’ Einstein on the Beach, Wooster Groups A Wing and a Prayer
Film • 1960’s – a lot of criticism of the wars currently being fought via film industry, but mostly outside of the studio system. The studios were still afraid after the Red Scare to get too involved early. However by the late 60’s the counter culture movement was in full swing and the movies reflected that. • Examples: Dr. Strangelove by Stanley Kubrick, The Graduate by Mike Nicols, Bonnie and Clyde by Arthur Penn
1970’s Film – This was the post-structuralism view of film. Most of these productions became director centric and reflected the malaise and dark underside of humanity. • Examples: The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola, Jaws by Steven Spielberg, Chinatown by Roman Polanski, Taxi Driver by Martin Scorsese
Music – • Classical • Development of minimalism to simplify music to basic repetitive phrases. Stripped music to its most bare essentials like Western Culture felt. • Examples: Philip Glass, Terry Reilly. • Pop – • Rock and Roll music became the break out rebellion to traditional pop music. Eventually rock gave way to acid rock and folk rock – both a result of the counter-culture movement. Beatles as an example of the change. Folk music makes a comeback. • Also the development of electronic music led to many shifts in style and substance.
Painting / Drawing – • Pop Art - Reactions to the massive amount of consumerism led to the Pop Art revolutions of the 1960’s. • Examples: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein • Minimalism – Strips art to its most basic features again like music in response to a perceived lack of direction for the self. • Examples: Robert Morris, Dan Flavin