Saturday, April 13, 2013

One and Three Chairs

"The point is this: aesthetics, as we have pointed out, are conceptually irrelevant to art."
Joseph Kosuth is an American conceptual artist. In his works, Kosuth strives to explore the nature of the definition of art, rather than producing "art" in a traditional sense. Many of his works reference Sigmund Freud's psycho-analysis and Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of language. Thinkers such as Wittgenstein concerned themselves with the idea of what makes knowing knowing; an idea Kosuth extended to what makes art art. In 1965 Kosuth began making his first conceptual works (right) consisting of an object, a photograph of said object [where it sits in the exhibition] and a dictionary definition of the words denoting it. These works later evolved into a series of 'investigations' comprising propositions on/about/ relating to 'art' entitled Art as Idea as Idea. Also in '65, Kosuth produced One and Three Chairs (below), following his blueprint for conceptual works. One and Three Chairs asks the viewer the question: If both the photograph and the words describe the chair, then how is their function any different than that of the real chair? In this work, Kosuth brings the fact that there are three different ways to be a chair [a wood chair, a photo of a chair or the definition of a chair] to the viewers attention. The pleasure of this artwork doesn't stem from the aesthetics of the piece – there is nothing artistic or precious in either the construction or the photograph of the chair – but instead the viewer derives pleasure from their own thinking. Slyvia Wolf has said that
"The ambiguity that the work suggests is a provocation and therein lies the art as far as I’m concerned."
Kosuth's One and Three Chairs on display
In his book, Art After Philosophy, Kosuth has cited Marcel Duchamp as the inventor of conceptual – and therefore modern – art :
"The event that made conceivable the realization that it was possible to “speak another language” and still make sense in art was Marcel Duchamp’s first unassisted Ready-made. With the unassisted Ready-made, art changed its focus from the form of the language to what was being said... it changed the nature of art... This change – one from “appearance” to “conception” – was the beginning of “modern” art and the beginning of conceptual art. All art (after Duchamp) is conceptual (in nature) because art only exists conceptually."
 Writer Terry Smith has deemed One and Three Chairs 'Pop-like,' explaining that "its statement about what constitutes a sign is all there, all at once, and obvious, as in your face as Richard Hamilton’s 1956 collage [Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?], but without the fascinated irony that informs the British artist’s perspective." Art critic Boris Groys has commented that One and Three Chairs "reduces spectatorship to supermarketlike art consumption, and artmaking to the provision of competitive goods" due to the fact that it seemingly gives the viewer a choice as to which item seems the most attractive constituent of "chairness." It is unclear if these were a part of Kosuth's original intentions for the artwork or not; but perhaps that does not matter – after all Kosuth once said that "Actual works of art are little more than historical curiosities."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Duane Hanson was an artist who took part in the art movement called Photorealism and Superrealsim. He made many sculptures like the one above, which is entitled Tourists. These life-like sculptures are life-size and look amazingly realistic. Artists who took part in this movement were trying to paint, sculpt, or draw an image how it would have looked in a photograph or give the art some sort of super power that made it defy gravity or defy the laws of physics.
The ideas of photorealism and superrealism made me think of the way some artists now have the ability to made life-like drawings out of chalk on sidewalk.
This artist's name is Edgar Mueller. He began making pieces of art like this one called Mysterious Cave when he was around the age of twenty-five and has made a living off of it since.
Julian Beever is the artist who created this work entitled Self Portrait. This reminded me most of the work that Duane Hanson did because Beever has made a person look very much life-like and very much alive.
This oil painting was done by Ralph Goings around 1981-1982. It is another example of photorealism and how talented these artists are in that they are able to paint a scene exactly how it appears in a photo and in real life.
Ruben Belloso Adorna is a photorealistic artist from Spain who works with pastels.
This is one of Adorna's paintings and the man that was the inspiration for this work of art.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Backs by Magdalena Abakanowicz (1976-1980)

This work is by far the most advanced and hard dedicated work I have seen in a very long time.
Our artist here managed to create an image of fragmented human bodies, where the skin is as a weaving of linen and resin, which symbolizes loneliness and decay as a basic human condition.

Many different articles tries to describe her work, how it is made, why she made it, and how did she know if she was done, but the artist has expressed it that:


"The face can lie. The back cannot," artist Magdalena Abakanowicz says of her longtime fascination with the human back. But if her sculptural backs tell the truth--or at least talk straight about an aspect of the human condition--she isn't inclined to translate the body language. "Nothing is literal in my art; it is fully metaphoric," she says. "To try to explain it would be to explain it away.


Nevertheless, these 80 different human backs or human trunk if you will expresses something special to me, and I cannot simply let it go without an explanation. I think that this piece speaks to me in the sense of war. Due to the artist's historical content, I believe that these backs resemble humbleness, patience, deprived freedom, and solitude.

It is if the back has been wiped and wiped till there was no more reason to stand up again. Oppressed by "the man" they still remain on the same earth living the same way, so it is like a way to express the questions that depicts why we are living in such a gruesome world, and do you see what we are doing to each other?

Looking into her other artwork (SOURCE 1), one can get a very good depiction of what the artist had in mind, and how she gradually develop her works to different part of the body, and different movements. I strongly encourage a tentative exploration of this artist nor for any specific reason, but I can say that she quickly became one of my favorite sculptors, because she can really spark many different feelings up.


Midday by Anthony Caro (1960)

Welded steel as abstract modernism expresses an idiom in where surfaces of different structures make sculptures. This work of art is horizontally oriented, without plinths and plain painted surfaces that conceals the steel and creates structures that assembles a sculpture.

This piece is centrally located Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop garden, and it is of special interest that this piece can be incorporated his other sculptures. The piece shows constructive pieces of engineering. This sculpture is mentioned online between many of Mr. Caro’s followers as music.

At first, I didn't understand why music was a subject matter, but looking into some YouTube videos of what the viewer’s opinion, I found the connection. I imagine the opening of a music box that gives rise to the metal plates that is resembled as if they were leaving the sturdy ground connected part of the sculpture.

The laws of gravity are nullified and the components are leaving the sculpture to rise. It is know that this sculpture has no other meaning than solely metal plates leaving the sculpture, but I would still argue for a different context. 

Yellow Swing (1965)

The metal pieces leaving the foundation of the sculpture could represent notes that goes one in one with the atmosphere, and the yellow paint tone and the midday title, so in conclusion you can chop and cut in stone, wood and ivory, you can model in clay an wax, you can cast in various metals and alloys, but a curtain image isn't projected it would be hard to understand.

The time of the creation of this sculpture astonishes me, because it is a work of art that seems to be ahead of its time. The choice of material is crucial for the sculpture’s  artistic expression, and it has been throughout history with many different preferences, but especially this sculptor has influenced many British sculptors today like: Philip King and Richard Deacon.

Here are some of the other artist’s work…

Philip King, Quill, 1971

Richard Deacon, Like a Bird, 1984


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Christo and Jeanne-Claude—Surrounded Islands 1983

Christo and Jeanne-Claude—Surrounded Islands 1983

This blows my mind! This artist had all of this fabric sewn together to put around 11 different islands on top of the water. This kind of thing is what should stand out the most, something that has never been done before. Something that is mind blowing and catches people’s eyes, something that makes you look twice. This definitely made me look more than once and I just love this. I want to know how the artist came up with his idea. This kind of thing makes me think, how in the world did he thing to cover islands with pink fabric for his art. He didn’t use a small canvas, he used the natural world and made it his own. So fascinating!
Michael Jackson was a big hit and icon in the 80s and although that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with his art piece, I think music always correlates with art in some way. He was a new fresh thing! He was like no one before him, just like this art piece. They both went at art in a new and different way and that is what made them great.
This blows my mind! This artist had all of this fabric sewn together to put around 11 different islands on top of the water. This kind of thing is what should stand out the most, something that has never been done before. Something that is mind blowing and catches people’s eyes, something that makes you look twice. This definitely made me look more than once and I just love this. I want to know how the artist came up with his idea. This kind of thing makes me think, how in the world did he thing to cover islands with pink fabric for his art. He didn’t use a small canvas, he used the natural world and made it his own. So fascinating!
Michael Jackson was a big hit and icon in the 80s and although that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with his art piece, I think music always correlates with art in some way. He was a new fresh thing! He was like no one before him, just like this art piece. They both went at art in a new and different way and that is what made them great.

Nancy Holt

Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels in which the movement of the sun over the concrete tunnels creates the art. Without the sunshine shining through the holes Holt created, there would be no purpose to this piece of art. The way the sun shines through said holes creates a lookalike of constellations in the night sky.

Here is a look inside one of these tunnels as the sun is shining through it.
This picture shows the massive size and the placement of the concrete tunnels. This reminded me of Stonehenge and the fact that the sun plays a crucial role in the success of the piece of art.
Here, we see Stonehenge in all of its glory with the sun playing its own part in the creation of this masterpiece.
This is another of Nancy Holt's peces of art entitled Views Through a Sand Dune that she created in 1972 in Rhode Island. At this time, artists like Nancy Holt were trying to aim art away from industrialized society and from traditional views of art. Art doesn't have to be on canvas in a gallery or a studio. These artists brought their art to nature and involved nature in the process f making the art come alive.
This scultpure was made by Alice Aycock in 1973 entitled Low Building with Dirt Roof (For Mary).  Alice Aycock is another female artist who was working with and in nature and the enviroment.
This work by Audrey Hemenway, made around 1977-1978 is entitled Garden Web. It resembles a spider web in nature that is built around trees or in a bush. But this sculpture was produced by human hands and in a garden that was also produced by human hands. The bottom of the picture shows the sculpture as the plants in the garden have grown and covered the majority of the sculpture. This is yet another example of enabling nature to take part in the creation of our art.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Georges Mathieu and the Question of Education in Art

The traditionalists in art have always been inclined to works made based upon skill, labor, and time. Creativity was the next step in the creation of modern art, however a certain level of detail and consideration to firm was still expected, even if it was unconventional. During the Postwar European Art movement, even the small standard of precision had started to be questioned. For example, take Georges Mathieu's art. He seems to have a point of view and want to convey something through his art, but he doesn't take weeks or years to do so, his art is rushed and done in one sitting only. It is interesting also that before studying art, his studies were focused on Philosophy and Literature. So despite his hurried manner with his art, he does perform it in some context thanks to his education. That itself is one view on the nature of art that can act as a rule- or an anti rule- for many: that education fuels art. Many artists in the past have been uneducated and had extreme success. But now, as more and more schools of art emerge, there is a certain level of respect that is implied when people hear that an artists has gone to Tisch or RISD. Georges Mathieu could have been on the cusp of this, with his simplistic art, the presence of an education could have given him the assumed legitimacy to be taken seriously and as a result, experience success.

Niki de Saint Phalle

I'm attracted to Niki de Saint Phalle's art because of their almost childlike qualities. Her sculptures are not serious and anatomically correct as one may think of as a traditional sculpture, but they are playful in their nature and utilize different materials and bright colors, in a easy as if each sculpture has arisen out of a children's storybook or folktale.  Die Waldaff (1962), which we looked at in class is a great example of this. The woman's exaggerated features and bright clothes could be analyzed on an in depth level by art critics, but it has appeal to a young child as well. One thing I fell upon by Niki de Saint Phalle, is The Golem, a slide in Jerusalem where the slides are tongues of a monster. It is located in a historic park and played on daily by young children. It is not very often that an artist can connect to viewers both young and old. I believe that the element of play that Saint Phalle incorporates into her work is an essential aspect to this and likely a large reason for her success.

Helen Frankenthaler

I encountered Frankenthaler during watching Painter's Painting documentary posted on Mediamatrix. What attracted me to her painting, was not only that she used different forms of material and context for her paintings including oils and charcoals which would not typically be used together, but also that she had her own distinct style within abstract expressionism. She was able to gather inspiration from the likes of Jackson Pollock, whose paintings were borderline erratic, and make the abstract a bit softer and thus more approachable to a wider audience. Additionally, I though that it was interesting that she preferred to do her work alone and rarely used assistants. Whenever I do any art, I want to perform it in some kind of context, whether with the window open, outside, or with music or TV in the background. However, I also prefer to do things alone. I believe that art has the potential to be great when combined efforts and creative abilities are in place, but sometimes that creative energy can be hard to develop when there is another person involved in virtually every part of the creative process.

Sarah Stimson's presentation

When I first arrived at A&M, I left after one semester because after being in art programs my entire life, I felt deprived of an art community in the BCS area. Sarah Stimson's presentation was interesting to me because it made me realize that there are creative minds here, they just may be hard to find. Stimson's work was comprised of 500 drawings that she did and put together they create a story outlining her thoughts and at times reflect the struggle that she faced for inspiration. I can relate to this collection on a number of levels. Firstly, throughout my life I have been a "doodler", in every class, every day I draw different pictures whether the pictures are related to the coursework, dwindling thoughts I am fiddling with, or bold headlines for the lecture, I consistently draw in class. Even my professors have taken note. (Most have no problem with it, and in fact find it interesting) After seeing Stimson's collection and idea for her art, it made me realize the potential value of what I put down every day. Maybe my works when looked at through an artistic lens could be of a greater creative value than I have given them credit for. Furthermore, I can also relate to the struggle and existential questioning in the process of creating art. Without inspiration, art can be very difficult to create without being forced. Luckily, Stimson had drawing as her central premise for her art so some form of inspiration was inherent. 

I was reminded further within her art of  Klari Reis's The Daily Dish  project, where she creates a new design in a petri dish every day, forming a collection of different creations that like Stimson's work as a collective whole form a piece much greater than any alone. 

Also, after looking more into the community of art here, I have found a few sources to look into within the area. The Brazos Valley Art League has a center near Wolf Pen Creek which has many sculptures and paintings on display. More information is on their website, 

Additionally there is a Brazos Valley Arts Council, which organizes fairs, dinners, and the like in an attempt to bring together the creative community in the area. They also have a website at

Jackson Pollock and Frederich Schelling

Jackson Pollock is an essential figure in modern art, because he is the catalyst for the real question of who an artist is, and also changed the canvas-both literally and figuratively- for the display of art. Pollack's creations were made in an interactive format. Pollock would get in a sort of trance connecting soley with his art. Although many artists are said to experience a trance when in the creative process, by implementing his entire body and movements into the art, Pollock took it to the next extreme. 

Pollock was active in the 1930's through 1950's, but around a hundred years before his time, the German Idealist philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling was theorizing about this trance that Pollock took to such extremes. Schelling's philosophy centered around the view that artistic creation was the highest goal of human life. He further theorized that this trance that Pollock participated in was in some ways the communication between the finite and the absolute realities of the world. Schelling still existed in the world prior to extreme modern art, but it would have been very likely that seeing the creative process that Pollock went through, he would have admired Pollock greatly. 

Now whether or not Pollock would have agreed with Schelling is a greater question. Although as an artist he almost indefinitely would have been inspired by the view that what he was doing was part of the greatest activity of humanity, he may not have agreed with Schelling's assertion that he was in some capacity a communicative device used to connect the infinite and finite realities (the infinite often interpreted as a God figure) Pollock was quoted saying “The modern artist is working with space and time, and expressing his feelings rather than illustrating.” Schelling would thus agree with the connection between space and time, but he would most likely connect the trance and process that Pollock used with an illustration, even if it is subconscious with a sort of illustration of the absolute. 

The only other philosopher who put so much emphasis on the creation of art was Dostoevsky, whose views on the subject are contrasted with Schelling's in the book Dostoevsky's Aesthetics and Schelling's Philosophy of Art

-Schelling's view on the artistic process, in greater detail:

-Pollock Quotes on the Subject:

-Dostoevsky's Aesthetics and Schelling's Philosophy of Art

Roy Lichtenstein &Picasso & Their View of Women

I have always admired Roy Lichtenstein's art. He uses a great amount fewer lines and detail instead of the many strokes and gritty lines used in drawing and painting traditionally. There is no shading really, instead he uses dots like an enlarged comic book sketch. I tried to find more information on Lichtenstein himself, which there was plenty of. What was most interesting, however was that like many other modern artists, he was not an overnight sensation, he was instead nearly hated in the art world until after his death. 

This article in the Guardian: 
( how his art portrayed a certain sarcasm and irony which the public was unable to really grasp at the time, but later took a great interest in and admired on the level which it was meant to be taken with. 

Interestingly, who I immediately thought about when I saw what the public had to say about Lichtensteins art and his late rise to success was Pablo Picasso. Although one man was a pioneer in cubism and the other was one in popart, they both were individuals in times and industries where being an individual was only accepted to a certain point. Picasso possibly had greater success while still living, but the similarities cannot be ignored.

The similarities between the two artists include most, that they both had interesting relationships with women. Women were the subjects of both artist's works more often than not, however their relationships with the women in their life seem to differ, although both being filled with passion. According to the Daily Mail in the UK, Picasso was unfaithful to his wife, and had many lovers whom he was keeping at a time, and tempted by giving them bizarre gold statues to signify his interest in the. The article quotes his biographer, Patrick O’Brian, saying "Picasso’s feeling for women oscillated between extreme tenderness on the one hand and violent hatred on the other, the mid-point being dislike — if not contempt." This is an interesting way to look at the man whose paintings so often seemed to convey women as fascinating and subjects of interest rather than contempt. 

Lichtenstein, in contrast, seems to be quite the opposite in his view of women. He was married to his second wife, Dorothy Lichtenstein, for almost 30 years, from 1968 to his death in 1997. She spoke on his behalf at a retrospective for him in 2012. She said, "Feminism definitely figured in his life philosophy because he was always a humanist, even before feminism." This in contrast to Picasso's almost misogynist practices paints Lichtenstein in a much friendlier light than the latter. It would be interesting upon further inspection to observe further their succes in art contrasted with their relationship to women. It could be a very interesting reflection on the world that we do, and have lived in.

Picasso's view of Women Article:

Lichtenstein Women Article:

Lichtenstein Biography:

Louise Bourgeois

In class, we took a look at Cumul I (1969),by Louise Bourgeois. It is simple and has refined lines, not making itself anything out of the ordinary for a normal viewer, except for the fact that what exactly the sculpture is cannot be defined easily. Each person is left up to their own devices to see what they can in the work. 

Additionally in class, the "organic physicality of personal torment" in the work was discussed. This concept of expressing emotional or private affairs physically and the tension that wavers between physical and emotional pain makes sense to me in relation to Bourgeois's works. In Cumul 1, despite the subject being difficult to define, there is an obvious tension that is held within the sculpture.

After reading A short biography on Bourgeois, however, ( the work made even more sense. In the PBS biography, it says that Bourgeois was quoted as saying,  “My childhood has never lost its magic, it has never lost its mystery, and it has never lost its drama.” and as a result, many of bourgeois works involve elements of both inspirations and traumas from back in her childhood. Further, this reminded me of Sigmund Freud's theories on te Psychosexual Development of childhood. He theorized that there are different stages of sexuality that effect their childhood, and everything that they experience within these stages effects their life afterwards as well. The sexual nature of Bourgeois's art could most definitely have a relationship to Freud's theory. (See the theory in more detail here : )

Further supporting this theory is this article ( on the Cumul 1 specifically. It examines how Bourgeois said that she was inspired by clouds and the depth she could convey by sculpting. However it goes further as to bring up the element of sex which Bourgeois somewhat discreetly incorporates into her works. Back to the original question if interpretation, the sexual nature of Bourgeois's works would be interesting to look further into. It is something that many may see, but deny or not know what to do with, which creates an interesting juxtapositon; again between the physical and the mind. 

Donald Judd

Donald Judd was a minimalist artist who affects our everday lives still now. His minimalist art has made its way into our homes in many ways.
This is his work "Untitled", which is just ten boxes made out of metal not supposed to resemble anything or to be associated with anything. This speaks to the mind in the way that we, in America have been socially constructed to think about things in ways of associations. That's how we've been tauht to learn things. But this is just the opposite of what Judd wanted to get out of this work of art. One of Donald Judd's characteristics of his art is his reproductions of his works with changes only in color or material.
This reproduction from Donald Judd that resembles this crate design from Ikea just goes to show one way that Donald Judd has influenced our homes today.
This crate design was made by Francis Cayouette to be sold in Ikea stores. It much resembles the above sculpture by Donald Judd in its minimalistic design.
This is another work of Donald Judd's minimalisic art. He created more than one of these horizontal progressions.
Donald Judd, Untitled, 1966. Stainless steel and yellow Plexiglas. Six 34 inch cubes.
This is another work by Donald Judd that is untitled, but is described as stainless steel and plexiglass. It resembles the piece of work above it in the horizontal orientation and in his minimalistic style. 

Salvador Dali: Surrealism: Intro

File:Salvador Dalí 1939.jpg

The art movement, Surrealism, developed during the late 1920s- 30s. Surrealism was inspired by DaDa movement, its main objective was to free people from the imprisonment of societal norm. Indeed, surrealism is defined as the pure psychic automatism by which it intended to express, wither verbally or in writing, the true function of thought; thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.There are two key themes of surrealist paintings: 1) the original function of an object is denied 2) the viewer is forced to re evaluate the work, and to question any pre-disposed expectations. In addition, there are two different types of surrealist art: 1) Biomorphic Surrealism - more natural forms, they are a dictation of thought without control of the mind 2) Oneric surrealism - recognizable scenes metamorphosed into dream images and in some cases nightmares.
Along with Rene Magritte and Andre Breton, the Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dali remains one of the most celebrated surrealist painter in art history. My post will focus on his painting The Persistence of Memory. Salvador Dali was greatly influenced by the Freudian Philosophy concerning dreams and throughout his career Dali described his paintings as "hand painted dream photographs". Dali's art focused on the relationship between art and the subconscious mind. Dali would through himself into fits of subconscious thoughts, would try to replicate what he saw in his dreams, and would even experiment with hallucinogens (drugs) in order to see their effects on his art.
File:The Persistence of Memory.jpg
In the painting The Persistence of Memory, Dali depicts several melting clocks (one is being devoured by ants) against a seascape, juxtaposing dream-world and reality. Alongside the melting clocks, Dali painted a monstrous image of human like flesh. Dali's painting holds true to Surrealist doctrine in several different ways. First, Dali has taken a common object, the clock, and denied it its original function. Rather than merely depicting time, the melting clocks symbolize how objects that once seem strong eventually fade away. The melting clocks also represents times ability to decay. Second, Dali has forced his audience to question their original expectations and observations. The "dead carcass" in the center of the painting is actually a distorted self portrait of Salvador Dali. Some critics say Dali's self image may symbolize his perception of life: peaceful and without control of time.
The Persistence of Memory focuses on several themes: time, and imagination vs. reality. When I look at this painting, I feel tired. It make me want to hide under the covers. It also reminds me that time is really  just a figment of our imagination, it is not a physical object.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dorothea Lange; Photography

Dorothea Lange was an American born photographer that made her career by photographing migrant workers after the great depression. Her photographs capture the destruction and depression of America in the 1930s. For instance, her photograph Migrant Mother captures the image of a woman and her two children. Both herself and her children are covered with dirt. The children's heads turn away from the camera as they bury their head in their mothers arms. The woman, their mother, stares into the distance and her hand is touching her face as if she is contemplating where her family's next meal will come from. Lange's images have become the icon of America's Great Depression.

Magritte: Surrealism Concluded

Rene Magritte was born in Lessines and is considered the most influential Belgian artist of the 20th century. Although Magritte's childhood remains somewhat a mystery, art historians do know he was the oldest son of his family and that his mother experienced terrible depression. Indeed, when Magritte was 13 his mother left their home in the middle of the night and committed suicide by drowning herself in the river by their house. Magritte was present when her body was discovered days later in the river; the image of his dead mother would haunt him for the remainder of his life and would be the subject of some of his paintings. Although Magritte's childhood was tragic, his future was bright. He married his childhood sweetheart and muse Georgette Berger. Magritte studied at the Academia Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussel but became bored with the material.


In 1926 Magritte produced the first of many surrealist paintings. Magritte, like Dali, specialized in oneric surrealism - recognizable scenes metamorphosed into dream images, and in some cases nightmares; however, unlike Dali's paintings that illustrated the consistency of objects, Magritte juxtaposed ordinary objects in extraordinary ways. Magritte also played with the logic and placement of objects in his paintings. For instance, most recognizable painting The Treachery (or Perfidy) of Imagaes features a large pipe as the object of the composition, under the pipe are the words "This is not a pipe". Magritte's purpose for this painting was two fold: first, he had a since of humour (another similarity between him and Dali); second, he wanted to illustrate the difference between expectations and reality. The focus of the painting is a pipe, but the painting was created with canvas, paint, and additional painting tools. the painting is a piece of art, the painting is not a pipe.

Abstractionism, Postwar European Art, Nouveau Realisme, & Pop Art

  1. All About Abstraction: No. 1
  2. All About Abstraction: No. 2
  3. All About Abstraction: No. 3
  4. Postwar European Art
  5. Nouveau Réalisme
  6. Pop Art: No. 1 
  7. Pop Art: No. 2 

Morris Louis, Delta Gamma (1960)

Morris Louis, Delta Gamma (1960)

Once again, the dripping painting caught my eye. It was a technique of mine in my senior year portfolio and I love it. This picture is so intriguing to me. It is so simple looking but yet so complex at the same time. I love it. I can just read into it a ton of meanings. It makes me feel free, simple things like this make it seem like life can be simple, yet colorful.
The Beatles were a big hit this time and I think it would be great to feature this painting

John Minton, Lucian Freud

John Minton, Lucian Freud

I really like seeing portraits of faces that artists do. I love to see how each artist draws and paints faces, because they are always so different but so detailed. The human face catches my eye like no other in painting. I love this one, it is drawn in such a way that makes the face look oddly shaped but it keeps you staring. There is something in his eyes that he is looking at or thinking about but it is a mystery. I love when art goes so deep it is mysterious. That is mind blowing.

 Soviet-Era Art, M.J.V. Stalin By Johannes Saal, 1952, Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn, Estonia Photographic Print 

This style of painting was expressionism, and I like that type f art. It was finished in 1952 and I think it would do great if dispayled with the painting M.J.V. Stalin By Johannes Saal, because it is another portrait painting and I think it would do good to contrast 2 artists style of painting, especially from the same year. This will give the looker something else to compare this piece with, seeing what other artists were painting in the same way around this time.

Aspects of Negro Life, the Negro in an African Setting

 This painting, "Aspects of Negro Life, the Negro in an African Setting" by Aaron Douglas, portrays African people dancing a war dance in a reference to the African-American's original ancestors. In the background stand people with Egyptian headdresses, and the floating statue in the middle represents the importance of the African spirituality. The concentric circles and angular lines represent the movement of the music in the piece. It is the visual representation of African music. Also, the forms seem to connect to each other in the same way that the African-American people may be connected to the soil and old folk lore of Africa.

This piece was created during the Harlem Renaissance as a part of a panel of pieces called "Aspects of Negro Life". There are four panels altogether, and they tell the story of the African-Americans as their ancestors progressed from free Africa, to slavery in the United States, to freedom again after the civil war, and finally to their assimilation into Modern city life. It was commissioned by the New York Public Library in Harlem.

aaron douglas aspects of negro life; negro in an african setting

Queen Elizabeth II

 Lucian Freud was the grandson of the famous Sigmund Freud. He painted "Queen Elizabeth II", and it created a lot of stir, as anything regarding royalty tends to do. Freud got the commission via the queen's private secretary, of whom Freud had painted a portrait. He viewed painting the inner life of such an iconic face as a ultimate challenge. He choose a smaller canvas, and used broad, almost structural strokes to create the piece.
People were outraged when they saw this portrait, comparing it to the look of a rugby player, a bearded man, and a stroke-inflicted dog. Some hypothesize that the common viewers did not like the portrait of the queen because they had a different perspective of her than the artist. Freud was able to see the queen face-to-face multiple times in different and more intimate situations than the common subject. Because of this he formed in his head a unique impression of her.
Others compare this portrait to a portrait of the artist themselves. Often when painting royalty, the artist projects his or her own image onto the sitter as a sort of alter-ego of themselves. The queen's hair color and shape of the eyes, lips, and chin all resemble that of the artist. In the artist's self-portrait, his hair has a form similar to the queen's crown.
(this last link has the information about the painting in the second slide, under "more information")

Le Déjeuner en fourrure

Le Dejeuner en fourure was a monumental step by the means of introducing surrealism into the sculpture realm. The sculpture portrays classic surrealism as it puts two unrelated materials together to form a depiction in which we as a viewer would not haver otherwise imagined. Le Dejeuner en fourure was constructed by Meret Oppenheim in 1936 as the result of a conversation in a cafe. 
The conversation she had was actually with Pablo Picasso in which they discussed the versatility of the use of fur. It is interpreted as an artistic pun that includes the domesticity of the tea cup and saucer as well as the "eroticism" of the fur.It also plays on the psychological battle of the pleasures of tea time and the repulses of having hair in one's mouth. However I like to think that the fur represents a contradictory of the tame life of "tea sipping" to the wilderness and ruggedness the fur references. My interpretation may be flawed due to the fine Chinese gazelle fur used, but my contradiction theory is what lead me to use this piece. This in a way exemplifies her and the surrealist's purpose, to challenge the viewer to interpret work that has no apparent set interpretation.


Bridget Riley's "Current" presents a sea of movement and contrast. She wanted to create a piece which involved the space between the painting and the viewer, and she achieves this through optical illusion. The wavy lines seem to move up and down, undulating like an ocean current and acting very much like elusive waves that one can not seem to quite locate. Curved forms seem to come out towards the viewer and makes him or her sometimes dizzy or nauseous. At times the intense movement even creates a sense of color and tires out the eyes. All of this accoplishes Riley's goal of making "the space between the picture plane and the", but it does it in a strong and almost violent way. The viewers felt shock and sometimes anger.
This is an example of Op art, in which artists used knowledge about visual perception, science, and technology to create their art.

Klein's Blues

Yves Klein was a French artist considered to be an important figure in post-war European art. Klein was a pioneer in the development of Performance Art, in his later career, as well as an inspiration to and a forerunner of  both Minimal Art and Pop Art. He was also the leading member of the 1960's French art movement, Nouveau realisme. Klein is said to have been influenced by his readings of Max Heindel's The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception or Mystic Christianity, which taught that 'space equals spirit and life, that matter is inert form, [and] that sponges and water symbolize the saturation of matter with spirit.' At the age of nineteen, Klein and his friends lay on a beach in the south of France, and divided the world between themselves; Yves chose the ethereal space surrounding the planet, which he then proceeded to sign, critic Hannah Weitemeier comments:
"With this famous symbolic gesture of signing the sky, Klein had foreseen, as in a reverie, the thrust of his art from that time onwards—a quest to reach the far side of the infinite." 
Klein's first public showing as an artist was when he published Yves: Peintures in November of 1954. The book has been called an early example of Post-modernism.  Parodying a traditional catalogue, it was composed of a series of intenses monochromes that were linked to various cities Klein had lived in. Art critic Sidra Stitch has called it "a homogenous continuum with no real beginning, middle, or end, and no content" going on to say that instead of being an art booklet "[Yves:Peintures] is made into a work of art that shares the same spirit of nothingness exemplified by the monochrome paintings that it features." Following the publication of his booklet, Klein had his first two public shows in 1955 and 1956. The public reception of these shows, which displayed a series of monochromes in varying colors, was deeply disappointing to Klein. To Klein each monochrome and each color had a powerful meaning behind them:

“I thus seek to individualize color for I have reached the conclusion that each color expresses a living world, and I express these worlds in my paintings. […] There are nuances that are gentle, mad, violent, majestic, vulgar, calm, etc. In short, each color nuance is clearly a “presence,” a living being, an active force that is born and that dies after living a sort of drama in the world of colors.”

Following this poor misunderstanding of his first shows Klein began working exclusively in blue monochromes. He crafted his own hue of blue, International Klein Blue (IKB), a color he considered had a quality close to pure space and he associated it with immaterial values beyond what can be seen or touched. Klein's next exhibition, Epoca Blu, consisted of 11 identical blue monochromes painted with IKB-- effectively making his color an artwork, rather than just a component of it. The exhibition was a critical and commercial success and soon began touring. It's Parisian showing was advertised by postcards painted and sealed with IKB and the opening was marked by the release of 1001 blue balloons. Fellow artist Piero Manzoni's  work was deeply affected by Epoca Blu, to which his Achrome series (right) was a direct response to. Although Manzoni's Achromes were influenced by other artists as well as Klein, it could be argued that Klein inadvertently started and thus should be credited with the creation of Manzoni's career; making any and all of Manzoni's commercial success a work of art that Klein could sign off as his own work. Neither artist was new to the concept; Manzoli would sign 'living sculptures' and once claimed the world as his work, and as aforementioned Klein signed the sky. The two artists died a year apart and both of their deaths were signed by French artist Ben Vautier as his work.