The early 20th Century: The Establishment of Modernist Art • First trans-Atlantic radio signal,1901 • Wright Brothers’ first flight, 1903 • Albert Einstine,(1905-1915 Theory of Relativity) • RMS Titanic sinks, 1912 • World War I, 1914-1918 • Russian Revolution, 1917-1921 • Mexican Revolution Ends, 1924 • The Great Depression,1930s • Rise of Nazism in Germany,1930s • World War II, 1939-1945
Pre WWI: Symbolism and Art Nouveau • Art Nouveau - French for "The New Art." An art movement and style of decoration and architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, characterized particularly by the depiction of leaves and flowers in undulating lines, often flowing vines. Gustav Klimt (Austrian, 1862-1918), Alphonse Mucha (Czechoslovakian, 1860-1939), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1861-1901), Aubrey Beardsley (English, 1872-1898), Antonio Gaudí (Spanish, 1852-1926), and Hector Guimard (French, 1867-1942) were among the most prominent Artists associated with this style. The roots of Art Nouveau go back to Romantism , Symbolism, the English Arts and Crafts Movement and William Morris (English, 1834-1896). Art Nouveau is also known as Jugenstil and Yellow Book Style, epitomizing what is sometimes called “fin de siécle” style. • Pronounced: Art noo-voh'
Gustav Klimt, (1862-1918) Death and Life, painted before 1911 and revised 1915, oil on canvas, Collection of Frau Marietta Preleuthner, Vienna. • Gustav Klimt, founder of the school of painting known as the Vienna Sezession, embodies the high-keyed erotic, psychological, and aesthetic preoccupations of turn-of-the-century Vienna's dazzling intellectual world. • Klimt's style drew upon an enormous range of sources: classical Greek, Byzantine, Egyptian, and Minoan art; late-medieval painting and the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer; photography and the symbolist art of Max Klinger; and the work of both Franz von Stuck and Fernand Khnopff. In synthesizing these diverse sources, Klimt's art achieved both individuality and extreme elegance. Judith I1901, Osterreichische Galerie, Vienna
Expressionism • A movement in fine arts that emphasized the expression of inner experience rather than solely realistic portrayal, seeking to depict not objective reality but the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist. Max Beckman (1884-1950). The Night, Oil on canvas 4 ft 4 3/4 in x 5 ft 1/2 in. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany.
André Derain (1880-1954) • Derain believed that an artist's goal should be to make the strongest possible presentation of his emotional reaction to a subject by using bold color and strong linear patterns. • Derain was in an unofficial organization of artists called Fauve. Fauve artistssaw unexpected shapes and colors that suggested new ways of communicating emotion. After about five years Derain and other artist had stopped using faive. They started modifing there own violent colors and found there ownmore personal styles. London Bridge, 1906. 26” x 39” Museum of Modern Art,
Henri Matisse(1869-1954) • Instinct must be thwarted just as one prunes the branches of a tree so that it will grow better. -- Henri Matisse Madame Matisse, "The Green Line" ( La Raie verte). 1905. Oil on canvas. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark. Harmony in Red. 1908. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Georges Rouault 1871-1958. • George Rouault, one of the original group of Fauves, is widely considered the most important Christian religious artist of the twentieth century. Rouault, born during the German bombardment of Paris in 1871, regarded World War I as an indication of what people could do to each other if left on their own: the title of one of the prints in the Miserére, his great series of mixed-media intaglio prints, is taken from Lucan's Pharsalia concerning the Roman Civil Wars, "Man is a Wolf to Man." In his paintings as well as in his prints, Rouault shows us that though "We think ourselves Kings," we are more accurately seen as circus clowns, each wearing our own mask to disguise our true nature ("Are we not all convicts?" asks the title of one of The Miserere) from ourselves. For Rouault, what saves us from ourselves, if anything can, is Christ and the Virgin Mary, both depicted throughout many of Rouault's works. The Old King, 1916-1938. 21” x 30”. Museum of Art Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh
Oskar Kokoschka, (1886-1980) • Austrian Expressionist Painter. • Expressionism - An Art movement dominant in Germany from 1905-1925, especially Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, which are usually referred to as German Expressionism, anticipated by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 1746-1828), Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1890), Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) and others. • Expressionists sought to visually portray a quality of inner experience, the emotions of the artist (expressive qualities) communicated through emphasis and distortion, which technically can be found in artworks of any period. The Tempest (The Bride of the Wind)1914, Oil on canvas. 5’ 11 ¼ “ x 7’ 3”. Kunstmuseum, Basle
Max Beckmann (1884-1950) • Departure, Beckmann's first painting in triptych form, was begun in May 1932. Departure, 1932-33. Oil on canvas. triptych, center panel 84 3/4 X 45 3/8"; side panels each 84 3/4 X 39 1/4“ The Museum of Modern Art, New York
George Grosz(1893-1959) • Founder of the ‘Dada’ art movement in Berlin, 1917 • Grosz's works of the 1920s were influenced by a complicated political and economical situation in the post-war Germany and Europe and in one sentence can be characterized as political and social satire. • His last works in America were collages, which partly recall his Dada period and partly were influenced by Pop Art. The Pit.1946. Oil on canvas. 153 x 94.6 cm. Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS, USA.
Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) • Ranked among the artists whose work changed the history of art in the early years of the 20th century, the Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky is generally regarded as one of the originators of abstract painting, or abstract expressionism. In both his painting and his theoretical writings he influenced modern styles. Spending many years of his life in Germany, Kandinsky became an instrumental force in the development of German expressionism. Composition VI,1913, oil on canvas, Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968Bicycle Wheel Ready-made1913, France Dada • Dada: A western Europe artistic and literary movement (1916-23) that sought the discovery of authentic reality through the abolition of traditional culture and aesthetic forms. • Between the two World Wars, painting lost some of the raw, modern energy it began the century with and became dominated by two rather philosophical movements, Dada and Surrealism, which arose partly as a reaction to the senseless atrocities of World War I. But artists were also becoming introspective, concerned with their own subconscious dreams: Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical theories were well known by this time, and painters explored their own irrationalities and fantasies in search of a new artistic freedom. Man Ray (Emanuel Rabinovitch) 1890-1976 The Gift (Le Cadeau)1921,France Jean Arp 1887-1966, Automatic Drawing 1918 10 5/8 x 8 1/8 in, France
Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) • Using cubist techniques Duchamp tried to show movement on canvas, which makes him close to Futurists. Doubling, overlaying images fix different phases of the movement of a figure on canvas. The Nude Descending a Staircase, shown at the Salon des Indépendants, aroused sharp criticism even among the Cubists, (One called it “Explosion in a shingle factory”) to say nothing about the general public. In 1913, the picture was the hit of the New York Armory Show; it scandalized the American public to such a degree that it made the artist popular overnight. While most of the viewers were outraged with the exhibited pictures, especially with the Nude, the others were sincerely delighted by the European break with academic and traditional art. Nude Descending a Staircase 1912. Oil on canvas 147.5 x 89 cm. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Pablo Picasso(1881-1973) • This picture was painted when Pablo was 16 years old. He proves that his talents of depicting realistic images, Use of light and shadow as well as color, were refined at such an early age. First Communion, 1895-96, oil on canvas, Museo Picasso, Barcelona.
Pablo Picasso(1881-1973) Science and Charity. 1897. Oil on canvas. Museo Picasso, Barcelona, Spain. • “Everyone wants to understand art. Why don’t we try to understand the song of a bird? Why do we love the night, the flowers, everything around us, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting, people think they have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only an insignificant part of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world, though we can’t explain them people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.”Picasso Portrait of Gertrude Stein. 1906. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA. The Old Guitarist. 1903. Oil on panel. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Pablo Picasso • “In the Demoiselles d’Avignon I painted a profile nose into a frontal view of a face. I just had to depict in sideways so that I could give it a name, so that I could call it ‘nose’. And so they started talking about Negro art. Have you ever seen a single African sculpture – just one- where a face mask has a profile nose in it?” Picasso. • “Cubism is no different from any other school of painting. The same principles and the same elements are common to all. The fact that for a long time cubism has not been understood and that even today there are people who cannot see anything in it, means nothing. I do not read English, and an English book is a blank to me. This does not mean that the English language does not exist, and why should I blame anyone but myself if I cannot understand what I know nothing about?”Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 1907. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Arts, New York, NY, USA.
Pablo Picasso • Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was a Spanish painter and sculptor, generally considered by some to be the greatest artist of the 20th century. He was unique as an inventor of forms, as an innovator of styles and techniques, as a master of various media, and as one of the most prolific artists in history. He created more than 20,000 works. Three Musicians. 1921. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Arts, New York, NY, USA. Guernica, detail, 1937, oil on canvas, Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Madrid
Georges Braque (1882-1963) • GEORGES BRAQUE(1882-1963) The French painter, graphic artist and designer was initially influenced by Fauvism, but his style completely changed when he saw the work of Cézanne and Picasso. Braque's style is fragmented, dislocated. He introduced the method of sticking bits and bobs onto the canvas, a style known as papier colle. After the First World War (winning bravery awards for his service), his style became totally divergent from his friend Picasso's; Braque worked in the same style he had before the war, though his angles softened and his colours became muted and soft, and his subjects of choice were still-life and interiors. He also designed sets and costumes, and illustrated books. In 1961, he had the honour of being the first living artist to exhibit at the Louvre in Paris, and was given a state funeral two years later. Still-Life: Le Jour, 1929, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) • (1872-1944) Founder of the DeStijl movement in 1917, Mondrian was one of the most original thinkers of early twentieth century art, as he pushed for a simplification in art, restricting his palette to the ‘plastic’ essentials of the primary colors. Mondrian lived a fastidious lifestyle, was obsessively tidy, and elements of these personality traits can be seen in his pursuit of the abstract, through works such as Composition in Black, Red, Grey, Yellow and Blue of 1921. Mondrian’s influence is clear in much advertisement art of the 1930s and thereafter, and furniture design, decorative and industrial design owes much to this Dutch artist. Composition with Black, Red, Gray, Yellow, and Blue, 1921, oil on canvas, Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
Black Iris III, 1926, oil on canvas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Gerogia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) • Georgia O'Keeffe is best known for her large paintings of desert flowers and scenery, in which single blossoms or objects such as a cow's skull are presented in close-up views. Although O'Keeffe handles her subject matter representationally, the starkly linear quality, the thin, clear coloring, and the boldly patterned compositions produce abstract designs. A number of her works have an abstracted effect, the flower paintings in particular—such as Black Iris (1926, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City)—in which the details of the flower are so enlarged that they become unfamiliar and surprising. Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, 1932, oil on canvas, Art Institute of Chicago.
Surrealism • A 20th-century literary and artistic movement that attempts to express the workings of the subconscious by fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtaposition of subject matter. Surrealism grew principally out of the earlier Dada movement. Rousseau, Henri:The Dream1910. Oil on canvas, 6' 8 1/2" x 9' 9 1/2"; The Museum of Modern Art, NY
Georgio De Chirico (1888-1978) • Italian Painter who moved to Germany and France. • De Chirico's Metaphysical paintings were hugely influential on Surrealist artists, who recognized in them the eloquent expression of the unconscious and nonsensical to which they themselves aspired. "In words and by example, Ernst, Tanguy, Magritte, and Dali, among others, showed a rare unity in acknowledging de Chirico as a forerunner master." Mystery and Melancholy of a Street. 1914. Oil on canvas. 88 x 72 cm. Private collection.
Joan Miró (1893-1983) • Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism; Miró was influenced by and part of all the movements of Modern Art, making him an important figure in European art during an investigational age. The Spanish painter spent his winters in Paris and the summer at the family farm near Barcelona, and after the German invasion of France lived mainly in Majorca. The energy Miró conveyed through his work was an extension of his personality: fun, frivolous and experimental. He produced widely accessible works, exhibiting in Spain and America. In a criticism of Picasso, he expressed concern for the mania for publicity that was gripping the art scene, while Miró maintained modesty and devotion to his work despite world-wide fame. Personages in the Night Guided by the Phosphorescent Tracks of Snails, 1940, gouache & turpentine paint on paper, private collection, U.S.A.
Max Ernst (1891-1976) • In 1924 André Breton published the First Surrealist Manifesto. Max Ernst was among those who shared the views and aims of the Surrealists and took an active part in founding the new movement. Ernst's invention of the frottage (pencil rubbings on paper or canvas) technique dates to the early 1920s. In this technique Ernst fulfilled a series of works, resulting in the publication of his famous "Histoire Naturelle". Frottage, which realizes the surrealistic principle of 'psychological automatism', Ernst applied in painting as well, inventing the so-called grattage (scrapings), . Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale. 1924. Oil on wood with wooden elements. 69.8 x 57.1 x 11.4 cm. The Museum of Modern Arts, New York, NY
Salvador Dali (1904-1989) • (1904-89) A finger in every artistic pie, the Spaniard was a painter, sculptor, graphic artist and designer. He found his niche in cubism, via Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting. Dali was also a brilliant self-publicist, and quickly became the most famous representative of Surrealism after moving to Paris in 1929. The eccentric, dream-like works reflected the character of the artist perfectly. The anagram of his name 'Avida Dollars' seemed fitting, as in the late 1930s Dali was completely preoccupied with publicity and making money. There are two museums in the USA (Cleveland and Florida) and one in Spain (Figueras - his birthplace) completely devoted to Dali's work, though critics meet his output with mixed feelings. Daddy Longlegs of the Evening-Hope! (1940)
Marc Chagall (1887-1985) • The romantic and the allegorical interested Chagall. The colors he favored were blues and greens, with a magical silvery glisten adding to the sparkle of the subjects. Chagall also designed costumes and sets for theatre, beautiful stained glass designs, and book illustration. Chagall's work is difficult to place into a category; he claimed his work was inspired by his early years, disagreeing with critics who wanted to place him as a Cubist or Surrealist. The Birthday, 1915, oil on canvas.
Paul Klee (1879-1940) • (1879-1940) Friends with Kandinsky, Macke, Marc, Delaunay and others, the Russian-Swiss painter (and writer) moved from creating black and white paintings to some of the most colourful and playful paintings of the early quarter of the last century. Klee did revert to a more sombre palette later in life, affected by mental stress, and produced paintings that have been subjected to psychoanalytical criticism. His output of about 8,000 works makes Paul Klee a fascinating artist, as his works move confidently between styles, from acutely abstract to figurative. Death and Fire, 1940, 18” x 17”. Paul Klee-Stiftung, Bern
Edward Hopper (1882-1967) • (1882-1967) Hopper spent almost his entire career in New York, but he travelled his native country extensively, making long journeys by car. Until 1923, Hopper was employed as a commercial illustrator, but turned to painting full-time and enjoyed a rapid rise to recognition as the outstanding exponent of American Scene Painting. His lonely figures sit in spare interior or exterior spaces, timeless and serene in their own worlds. Hopper himself disliked talking about his work and lived quietly with his artist wife. A favorite subject was the female nude in a city interior. Nighthawks, 1942, oil on canvas, The Art Institute of Chicago.
Sculpture: • Sculpture in the early 20th century strove to keep up with it’s two dimensional counterparts in that the artist was striving to stretch the viewing experience to see beyond the forms and shapes into the meanings and emotions of the artist during creation.
Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) • In Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Boccioni puts speed and force into sculptural form. The figure strides forward. Surpassing the limits of the body, its lines ripple outward in curving and streamlined flags, as if molded by the wind of its passing. Boccioni had developed these shapes over two years in paintings, drawings, and sculptures, exacting studies of human musculature. The result is a three-dimensional portrait of a powerful body in action. • In the early twentieth century, the new speed and force of machinery seemed to pour its power into radical social energy. The new technologies and the ideas attached to them would later reveal threatening aspects, but for Futurist artists like Boccioni, they were tremendously exhilarating. Innovative as Boccioni was, he fell short of his own ambition. In 1912, he had attacked the domination of sculpture by "the blind and foolish imitation of formulas inherited from the past," and particularly by "the burdensome weight of Greece." Yet Unique Forms of Continuity in Space bears an underlying resemblance to a classical work over 2,000 years old, the Nike of Samothrace. There, however, speed is encoded in the flowing stone draperies that wash around, and in the wake of, the figure. Here the body itself is reshaped, as if the new conditions of modernity were producing a new man. Unique Forms of Continuity in Space. 1913. Bronze (cast 1931), 43 7/8 x 34 7/8 x 15 3/4" (111.2 x 88.5 x 40 cm).
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) • Lachaise, above all other sculptors since the Renaissance, is the interpreter of maturity. He is concerned with forms which have completed their growth, which have achieved their prime; forms, as he would say, in the glory of their fulfillment....It is no wonder that to a nation predominantly adolescent Lachaise’s insistence upon the mature is frightening. —Lincoln Kirstein • American sculptor of French birth. Standing Woman (Elevation), 1927Gaston Lachaise (American, born France, 1882–1935)Bronze; H. 73-7/8, W. 32, D. 17-3/4 in.
Constantin Brancusi • Brancusi, Constantin (b Hobitza, Gorj, 19 Feb 1876; d Paris, 16 March 1957). French sculptor, draughtsman, painter and photographer of Romanian birth. He was one of the most influential 20th-century sculptors, but he left a relatively small body of work centred on 215 sculptures, of which about 50 are thought to have been lost or destroyed. Bird In Space, 1927, Bronze, Uniquecast approx 54” high. Museum of Modern Art, New York
Vladimir Tatlin (1885- 1953) • Tatlin, Vladimir (Yevgrafovich) (b Kharkiv, 12 Dec 1885; d Novodevichy, Moscow, 31 May 1953). Ukrainian painter, designer, sculptor and teacher, active mainly in Russia. Monument to the Third International, 1919-1920, Wood, Iron, and Glass.
Women combing their hair? • Compare and contrast these two sculptures of the same theme and you find that they have radically different methods and outcomes to emotion, but strikingly similar characteristics with respect to abstraction and. Alexander Archipenko (American, born Russia, 1887-1964), Woman Combing her Hair, 1915, Bronze, 35.6 x 8.6 x 8.3 cm, Tate Modern, London. Julio Gonzalez (1876-1942) Spanish Artist, Woman Combing Her Hair. c.1931-33, Iron Ht. 59", Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Found Object sculpture • Compare These sculptures made from everyday manufactured objects. • What is the purpose? Pablo Picasso. Bull's Head, 1943. 16 1/8" high.Handlebars and seat of a bicycle. Marcel Duchamp,Bicycle Wheel, 1951 Man Ray, The Gift, 1921
Henry Moore[English Abstract Sculptor, 1898-1986] • If a work of sculpture has its own life and form, it will be alive and expansive, seeming larger than the stone or wood from which it is carved. It should always give the impression, whether carved or modeled, of having grown organically, created by pressure from within. - Henry Moore, 1958, quoted by Edouard Roditi Reclining Figure 1935-36 Elmwood. (48.3; 89; 38 cm)Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) • By the time of his death, Frank Lloyd Wright had become internationally recognized for his innovative building style and contemporary designs. He had created 1,141 designs, of which 532 were completed. His name had become synonymous with great design, not only because of the form of his designs, but also because of the function. In the end, he showed not just what to live in, but more importantly he influenced the very nature of how we lived. Fallingwater; Edgar Kaufmann House, Bear Run, PA, 1934-37
Charles Edouard Jeannret-Gris (1887-1965) • One of the most famous houses of the modern movement in architecture, the Villa Savoye is a masterpiece of LeCorbusier's purist design. It is perhaps the best example of LeCorbusier's goal to create a house which would be a "machine a habiter," a machine for living (in). Located in a suburb near Paris, the house is as beautiful and functional as a machine. • The Villa Savoye was the culmination of many years of design, and the basis for much of LeCorbusier's later architure. Although it looks severe in photographs, it is a complex and visually stimulating structure. As with his church of Notre Dame du Haute, Ronchamp, the building looks different from every angle. After falling into disrepair after the war, the house has been restored and is open to the public. The design features of the Villa Savoye include: AKA: Le Corbusier Villa Savoye, Poissy-sur-Seine, 1929-30
Le Corbusier Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, 1950-54
Gerrit Rietveld (1888-1964) • The Schröder-Schräder house was built in Utrecht in 1923-24 by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. It is a pioneering work of modernism, with no historical ornament and a design which parallels the art of Cubism and De Stijl (Piet Mondrian). Schröder-Schräder House, Utrecht