MODERNISM 4. Some definitions CEZANNE Romanticism’s not dead: just ask the Symbolists. Edvard Munch, The Scream , 1893. What is the avant-garde?.
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MODERNISM 4 Some definitions CEZANNE Romanticism’s not dead: just ask the Symbolists Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893
What is the avant-garde? • Basically, “the front-runners”…the first ones to take up a new idea or approach. Used especially with regard to Modernist Art, which is characterised by a series of movements, (or ‘isms’.)
Impressionism…a review • Described everyday life, esp. of bourgeoisie (middle class); • Rejection of Academy’s stranglehold on ‘what is art’. • Move away from Neoclassical approach (emphasis on drawing, especially from antique artworks; emphasis on history subjects; careful modelling of the form; idealisationof the form.) • Interest in capturing effects of light; pleinaire work. A realistic, or naturalistic approach rather than the drama of Romantic ideas. Pissarro, Barges at Pontoise, 1876
Impressionists were (generally) keen to throw out the idea of pre-planning an artwork and crafting it finely towards an end. Rather, they were keen to respond in an authentic manner to what they saw. • (Remember the idea of truth; authenticity; originality are all ideas of Modernity.) • The Academy style consisted of working in layers of transparent colour over an opaque base which provided tonal variation. The Impressionists painted directly with opaque colouronto the canvas.
Post-impressionism – Paul Cezanne More a description of a location in time (after the Impressionists) more than a group of likeminded artists. Four key players, all different: Cezanne; Van Gogh; Seurat; Gauguin. • 1880s-1890s Cezanne, Still life with Ginger Jars and Eggplants, 1893.
CEZANNE (French, 1839-1906) Started with Impressionists & exhibited with them. However he wanted more ‘structure’ in his work. He felt the Impressionists had lost something. He used colour to create structure, rather than emphasizing darks and lights. It was a different way of looking at the world. His work often has a generalised light, rather than light coming from one direction. His figures don’t have the same appearance of careful modelling as Neoclassical works. Cezanne, still life with apples and pot of primroses, 1890
Modernism changed the conceptual framework Modernism was a time of change in the relationship between artist and the world, with the Impressionists challenging the power of the Academy. It was also a time of change between artist and artwork itself. What artists were actually describing in their art was changing. Cezanne, Self portrait with rose background, 1875
Cezanne was not really interested in creating the ‘window on the world’ that linear perspective provided for the viewer. “…Cezanne did not aim at creating an illusion. He wanted rather to convey the feeling of solidity and depth…” (Gombrich,1972:433) Cezanne, The card players, 1890-92 Rather then the careful, progressive modelling of light to dark of Academy painting, his shadows tend to have their own shape and place in the picture. They formed part of the design of the painting.
That fruit bowl is distorted…the apples aren’t apple shaped…oh dear. We’ve hit Modernism.Cezanne was interested in being true to nature, but he made a priority of creating an interesting artwork. Cezanne, fruitbowl, glass and apples 1889-92 Note the patches of colourhe creates in his work. These are important precursors to Cubism, and influenced Picasso and Braque greatly.
Where did Romanticism go? Enter the Symbolists… Review of Romantic ideas…. • Emphasis on emotion; drama; imagination. • Power of nature; • Subjectivity and individuality of the artist; • Importance of feeling over objective truth and fact. FernandKhnopff, The sphinx, 1896
SYMBOLISM WHEN:1890s WHO: Broader than Impressionism. Europe + USA, including Paul Gauguin; Odilon Redon; FernandKhnopff; Max Klinger; Edvard Munch; albert Pinkham Ryder; Jan Toorop. Toorop, O Grave where is thy victory, Chalk and pencil on paper 1894
Many Modernist movements inherited or developed the ideas of Romanticism in some way. Symbolism was interested in dreams and fantasies; it got right away from reality although could be said to be exploring ‘inner realities’. It had an emphasis on our personal, inner worlds. Gauguin, Where are we going? What are we? Where are we going? 1897
Reference List Gombrich, E.H. The Story of Art. 12th ed. London: 1972, Phaidon Press Ltd. Other resources: Gardner, Helen: Gardner’s art through the ages. 6th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc, 1975. Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline Essay Cezanne: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/61.101.4