We visited the Rosengart collection which mainly focuses on modernism painting. Pablo Picasso is one of the known artists in this collection. He is well known for his use of color and lines. Picasso is known as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. He is known for being a part of finding the Cubist movement, for the invention of collage, as well as for other styles that he helped create. In fact, over time his style changed as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. He created about 1,885 paintings. In these paintings, he used color as a thoughtful element but he also used drawing instead of using color to make form and space. He even added sand to his paint to create various textures.
The Louvre museum in Paris is larger than one expects. There are about 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century on display in this museum. It is the world’s second most seen museum, having about 7.4 million visitors in 2016. The museum formerly was the Louvre Palace. It was originally a fortress in the late 12th century. You can definitely see what used to be the fortress and the palace portions of the structure when in the basement of the museum. The building was extended many times to create the current Louvre Palace. The Louvre was primarily going to be a palace only showing the royal collection which including collections of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture. The museum was originally opened on August 10, 1793, displaying 537 paintings, most of which were royal and taken church property. Besides the palace itself, the museum is well known for the pyramid entrance and the smaller pyramids on the side. These pyramids were modeled after the pyramids of Giza.
The Eiffel tower is the star of Paris. It was built beginning in 1887 and completed in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair. At the start is was criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design. Soon enough it became an international icon of France. It is one of the most known structures in the world and is the most visited paid monument in the world. The tower is 324 meters, equivalent to 1,063 feet tall, about the same height as an 81 story building. In the beginning, this tower was a big controversy. People criticized it either because they didn’t think it was possible or they objected to it on artistic grounds. Though these criticisms came from an ongoing long debate about the connection between architecture and engineering. It was almost torn down and scrapped in 1909. City officials decided to save it after a decision to make it into a radio/telegraph station. The tower has been used for radio transmissions since that time.
Yesterday we went to the British Museum. It was a museum about the evolution of the human race with the different kingdoms. It went chronologically. A quick thing I picked up was the difference between the nations of the world and their art symbolizing them. Mostly statues. The Egyptian statues were regal and spiritual. Assyrian were more war-like. While the Greek statues were more naturalistic. Ancient Egypt happened around 3300 to 1200 BC. Assyrian happened around Egypt 2600 BC to its decline in 1393 BC. On the declining of the Assyrian empire Ancient Greece was next happening in between 1200 to 500 BC. Each of these kingdoms show the diverse culture of the human nation.You could also see how the humans evolved from overly spiritual and dignified from the Egyptian culture, from more human-like from the Greek culture, and then to more warlike and violent looking.
The visit we had today to the Van Gogh museum was magnificent. It was said that Van Gogh was an assured artist. You could see the evolution of the start of his work to the end, where he took his own life. It was a somber usage of lots of color evolution. His art evolved from his own life experiences. Instead of copying other artists’ techniques, he used his own. You could also see within his work the evolution of his mental state. His art contained more flourishes as he grew closer to death. Van Gogh himself saw art as a possible cure for his mental illness which explains why he produced more and more art. As he became more mentally ill his artwork began to have more abstract qualities or symbolic content. He used vivid colors, thick amounts of paint, and real life as part of his subject matter. All of these are signs and themes from French Post-Impressionism. He also had influence from some Dutch themes in his art. For example, the use of more neutral colors and somber colors comes from the Dutch influences. His paintings had many levels of symbolism. For instance, he would depict a painting within a painting.,This technique characterized Dutch art. Some of my favorite artwork by him shows his usage of color and the themes he used throughout his life such as The Old Church Tower at Nuenen, Flying Fox, and Landscape at Twilight. Impressionism is one of my favorite art movements and Van Gogh is definitely one of my favorite artists.
Something I found intriguing in our lecture, as well as the site visit this day, was how artists used expression and non-expression in their work. Albrecht Durer is an artist whose work is an example of this technique. Durer studied the work of Mantegna in Northern Italy. He wanted the beauty of nature to be prominent in his work. He worked mostly in non-expression. Durer often showed classical concepts in Northern art. He secured his reputation as one of the most important artists of the Northern Renaissance because of his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists. Matthias Grunewald, another artist we learned about today, liked to show powerful emotional expression in his work. He was not concerned with formal concepts of beauty. Grunewald did not acknowledge Renaissance classicism to continue the style of late medieval Central European art into the 16th century. In his little collection of art that is left religious themes run freely.
Something that intrigued me at Tate Modern was an artist who portrayed individuals without showing their faces. The subject was inaccessible, and it was not available for scrutiny and categorisation. They were de-individualised. The art pieces were all by Lorna Simpson a multimedia artist. Her work often portrays black women combined with text to express contemporary society’s relationship with race, ethnicity, and sex. In many of her works, the subjects have obscured faces, causing a denial of gaze and the interaction associated with the visual exchange. Through repetitive use of the same portrait, combined with graphic text, her “anti-portraits” have a sense of scientific classification. This classification addresses the cultural associations of black bodies. These art pieces have an obvious political theme to me. Mostly because I think this artist is saying that beauty is defined by society and thus shouldn’t have real value. Her work furthers suggests that we should not judge others. That is why her medium for her portraits are in black and white. Her artwork is also political because most of her subjects are black women and it addresses the deep-seated racism that we did have and still have within our country.
The sculptures by Louise Bourgeois also intrigued me. He was a French-American artist, best known for his large-scale sculpture and installation art. “The Cells” cause the viewer to examine psychological and intellectual states, primarily feelings of fear and pain. Bourgeois said that the Cells represent “different types of pain; physical, emotional and psychological, mental and intellectual… Each Cell deals with a fear. Fear is pain… Each Cell deals with the pleasure of the voyeur, the thrill of looking and being looked at.”