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ART332A Art Of The Modern World

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  • Course Code: ART332A
  • University: Salem State University
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  • Country: United States


Lesson 4 : Discussion of Analytic Cubism vs. Synthetic Cubism

The following section is going to make a fruitful comparison between Analytic Cubism and Synthetic cubism. Prior to establish the comparison between the above-mentioned art styles, it is significant to mention that “cubism” is known to be one of the most recognizable forms of art in the world. More precisely, it is an artistic movement developed in the early twentieth century – 1907 to 1914 by the combine effort of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In this context, it is required to mention that the chief aim of making artistic style is to challenge the dominance of the representational art (Arnason, 2010). Most significantly, the primary concept of the particular artistic style has been drawing awareness about the flatness of the canvas through the process of breaking it from the ubiquitous linear panorama as well as representing objects from various viewpoints in a simultaneous way (Clark, 2013).  

However, cubism is classified into two categories – Analytic cubism and Synthetic cubism. The Analytic cubism is considered the initial phase of cubism, while the synthetic cubism is known to be a more refined form of the analytic cubism. More elaborately, in analytic cubism, the palettes of the paintings used to be monochromic like brown, gray and black and used to be less expressive (Sgourev, 2013). On the contrary, in the synthetic cubism, the pallets used to be filled with bright and relatively more expressive colours. In other words, in analytic cubism concentrates more on the overlapping planes, which are flat and draw attention of the flatness of the entire canvas. On the other hand, the later form of cubism – synthetic cubism focuses chiefly on simpler shapes as well as on linear lines.

In this respect, it is to mention that main artists of the earlier form of cubism, which is the analytic cubism, are Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris. The concepts associated with their style in the preliminary form of cubism have been primarily fragmentary appearance of the overlapping planes as well as of varied viewpoints (Ginosar et al., 2014). More precisely, the main concept or characteristic related to the analytic cubism is the fragmenting the form of objectives into a relatively large extent of small and intricately hinged non-transparent plates, which should be set in slight angle to the picture planes those have dissolving edges. On the other hand, it has been identified that the main contributor of the Synthetic cubism has been Juan Gris. Most significantly, Juan Gris is even called as the “poet of synthetic cubism” (Sparshott, 2014). Nevertheless, as per the fact that synthetic cubism is known to be an evolutionary form of the earliest formation – analytic cubism, both Picasso and Georges Braque started to work in this specific style.

However, most significantly, the chief concept related with the works of the synthetic cubism artists is identified as a tendency to flatter out the images and further sweeping them away the last traces of allusion to the extent of three-dimensional spaces. It has been identified that the main perspective of the particular style has been to utilize the collage as well as papier colles in order to bridge the gap between human life and art (Raizman, 2003). Most significantly, the process of bridging the gap has been through depicting realistic aspect into the canvas.  

Lesson 5 : Analyzing the “Emerging form”

The aim of the following brief is to make a fruitful analysis of a particular work of art following the theoretical viewpoints of aesthesis. It is to mention in this respect that for the considered purpose, the “Emergent form” created by Alice Trumbull Mason has been selected. Prior to analyze the chosen work of art following the aesthetic theory, it is significant to mention that the term “Aesthetic” is indicative of an object or work that appeals to the human senses. In other words, Aesthetic is considered to be a branch of philosophy that mainly deals with the fundamental nature or essence of beauty or art. On the other hand, the chosen piece of art – “Emerging form” by Alice Trumbull Mason is known to be a combination of work that assimilates and depicts the biometric and geometric phases through which the creator has gone through. The chosen work of art primarily shows no fixed orientation and is considered to be an indifferent piece (Kort & Sonneborn, 2014). It is to denote in this respect that the key characteristics of the painting, which are biometric and Mason mainly draws geometric abstractions after getting highly influenced by the works of Piet Mondrian.

Nevertheless, if the considered work of art can be judged from the theoretical standpoint of Aesthesis, then it can be said that though the painting initially means abstract and without any orientation, it has a particular essence of art. According to the aesthetic theory, essence of art can be pursued by portraying reality (Sparshott, 2014). The chosen work of art chiefly falls under the genre of geometric abstraction or non-objective painting, which have been popular for functioning as a solution regarding, the issues faced by modernist painting in rejecting the illusionistic practice. Most significantly, the “Emerging Form” that understandably belongs to the genre of abstract art conveys the emotional feelings and ideas of its maker. As per the Aesthetic theoretical view, the essence of art relies upon representation, expressionism, formalism, communication of moral and religious ideas, symbolism, instrumentalism and institutionalism (Gal, 2015). The chosen art piece can be called aesthetic considering the grounds of symbolism, expressionism and formalism.

More precisely, the ground of formalism says that a proper art utilizes all the formal elements like line, shapes and colour for triggering aesthetic emotion. The “Emerging Form” is made by using distinct colours and lines though consists absurd shapes (Gal, 2015). However, most significantly the art fulfils the aesthetic ground of expressionism as per the fact that the painting depicts the geometric as well as biometric phases Mason had been going through after getting inspired by Piet Mondrian. Further, the art piece is justifiably aesthetic instead of being apparently absurd, as per the reason that it symbolically denotes the mental condition of its maker. It is true that unlike other work of arts, which vividly represents any real aspect of nature or emotion, the selected art does not possess such. However, it should be considered in this respect that Abstract to which the “Emerging Form” belongs, is celebrated for conveying a particular idea or feeling without relying upon any recognizable aspect or form. Therefore, considering the main percept of “expressionism “of the Aesthetic philosophy, the chosen work of art can be called aesthetic.   

Lesson 6 : Explanation of “form follows action” and the Concept of Functionalism

Under this following section, the discourse is going to make an in-depth explanation of the perspective of “form follows function” and thereafter will evaluate the distinct concept of functionalism, which is applied in the early modern architecture. However, prior to explain the aspect of “form follows function”, it is required to mention that the phrase is indicative of principle that is chiefly associated with the “modernist architecture” and the industrial design of the twentieth century era (Caramiaux et al., 2015). The principle says that shape of a project or any architecture should be formulated based on the intended primary objective or function of it. The American architect Louis Sullivan is known to be the originator of the particular phrase, who coined the phrase in his book “The Tall Office Building Artistically” and indicates that the phrase suggest that form should follow the function. Therefore, it has been understood that the phrase is indicative of the fact that shape of any object of art is determined by its chief functionalities (Pereira & Saptawijaya, 2016). In this respect, it is significant to mention that the key principle of “forms follows function” is considered to be the driving concept of the modern architecture and more often used in the product design procedure.

However, it is essential to denote that the fundamental principle of the phrase, which says that any kind of ornamentation is futile to design, is highly criticized as lifeless, plain and excessively boring. On the other hand, the principle coined by the phrase is found to be associated with repetitive as well as unimaginative utilization of rectangular forms. Most significantly, the principle of “form follows function” does not consider the necessity of the non-functional requirements like aesthetics, human aspects and sustainability.

Prior to elaborate the concept of functionalism, it is essential to mention that the aspect of functionalism has been sharpened by the fundamental concept coined by Louis Sullivan for “form follows function”. It is because; the principle of “functionalism” says that a building’s design should be determined by its purpose. Nevertheless, the concept of functionalism says that form of a building is determined by some practical considerations, such as utilization, materials and structure (Pereira & Saptawijaya, 2016). However, similar to the negative views regarding the concept of “form follows function”, the principle of functionalism is found to be less self-evident and a matter of high confusion for the premise of modern architecture. Furthermore, the fundamental doctrine of “functionalism” has less meaning for the modern conception of architecture. In this context, it is to mention that “functionalism” in terms of modern aesthetic architecture is mainly characterized by relatively low levels of ornamentation and irrelevant decorations (Caramiaux et al., 2015). It has been identified that an irony is related with the concept of “functionalism” that applies to the modern architecture, which says that the predominant percept of functionalism is defined by harsh aesthetic. However, Louis Sullivan properly applies the application of the core concept of functionalism by the slogan of “form follows functionalism”. More precisely in the modern architecture the importance of the concept functionalism seem necessary when new industrial technologies escalated the demand to build larger building made out of steel and plate glass.       

Lesson 7

Q.1 Prior to make comparison between Dadaism and Surrealism, it is important to denote that both the considered acts are two distinct movements in the premise of art and culture in the era of early twentieth century. However, in terms of comparison, it can be elaborated that the theoretical premise of the artistic movement of Dadaism mocks the cultural values as well as the conventional aesthetic style by producing incongruous and nonsensical works. On the other hand, the artistic movement of Surrealism desires to express the work of sub consciousness and more often characterized by fantastic imageries (Sinfield, 2014). It is interesting to denote that the similarity between Dadaism and Surrealism is that both of the movements are characterized by the incongruous juxtapositions of the subject matters. However, the main difference between identified between these two artistic movements is that while Surrealism is influenced by the theoretical approaches of the sub consciousness coined by Freud, the principle concept of Dadaism entirely ignores the Freudian theories (Elder, 2015). Theoretically, it can be said that the concept of Dadaism is to mock aesthetic piece of art out of unacceptable resource allocation between the working and elite class. On the other side, the theory of Surrealism says that powerful imagination of the human mind is locked by the unconscious and is repressed by rational mid. Therefore, while the style of Dadaism is to mock aesthetic architecture, the style of Surrealism is to feature elements of surprise and imagination.   

The group that follow the theoretical view of Dadaism desires to achieve an anti-establishment manifesto, while the group of artists following the surrealism aims to channel the unconsciousness in order to unlock the imaginary power. For example, the painting of a moustache on the mouth of Mona Lisa in the painting is an apt example of Dadaism by Marcel Duchamp, which clearly points out the Dadaist style of showing disdain, despair and struggle of the working class people (Antle & Conley, 2015). On the other hand, “The accommodation of Desire” made by Salvador Dali is an accurate example of Surrealism that displays the vivid yet bizarre imaginary dreams of the artist.  

Q.2 The Bauhas is known to be one of the most influential and modernist art school of 20th century era whose teaching approaches as well as understanding of the relationship between society, technology and art has a major influence on the artistic culture of Europe and the United States of America. The “Arts and crafts movement” in the early twentieth century has mainly shaped the approach of the school (Dearstyne, 2014). Most significantly, the core concept of the teaching approach of the school has been reimagining the world of materialism in order to reflect the integrity of all the art. With the particular fundamental purpose, the founder – Walter Gropius attempted to develop a curriculum that would be craft-based, which would be capable in turning artists and designers to create beautiful as well as useful objects.

Its major contribution to the world of art of 20th century is the above mentioned curriculum through which students of art used to become capable of entering into the specialized workshops of metalworking, weaving, pottery, wall painting, cabinet making and typography. Later the school offered various unique workshops of craft, which influenced the students and modern architecture in the dangerous years of World War II (Arnason, 2010).       

Lesson 9

Q.1 Both Abstract Expressionism and Pop art are celebrated as American statement instead of being invented in the outside of the United States of America. Instead of the fact that the “Abstract Expressionism” was first applied in Germany regarding the “German Expressionism” in the magazine of “Der Sturm”, America’s achievement as the new hub of western world of art (Perl, 2014). Therefore, it can be said that the art movement of Abstract Expressionism is chiefly an American approach as per the fact that with this movement American became able to establish itself as a hierarchy in the world of art. The art movement mainly followed the legacy of Surrealism and through the hands of the New York painters; the movement has translated the post world war impacts on America (Weyl, 2015). For example, the work of Willem de Kooning – Door to the River is a well known evident of Abstract Expressionism that represents the inner feelings of the artist through a surrealistic approach.

Similarly, instead of emerging in the premise of Britain, Pop art is mainly called an American movement as through the simplistic approach and use of simple objects lured the minds of the American artists who desired to show challenge to the traditional trend of Abstract expressionism. Most significantly, it is to denote that with the help of Pop art, America became able to revolutionize the premise of art, which has been dominated by abstract expressions (Foster, 2014). The national message, which the painters able to highlight through the identifiable imagery have been the American percept, of free spirit. For example, the work of Andy Warhol’s Golden Marilyn Monroe is one of the most celebrated pieces of pop art that depicts the legendary American artist Marilyn Monroe’s tragic and horrible death.     

Q.2 Among several works of art by Andy Warhol, the “Gold Marilyn Monroe” has been chosen. The considered work of art by the Pop artist depicts the legendary status of the world famous artist Marilyn Monroe. The picture has a gold coloured background indicating a communal psyche, which is considered as one of the highest material value. It has been understood that the chief desire behind depicting such background is to symbolize the reminiscent of the religious icons of Byzantine (Warhol & Hackett, 2015). In this respect, it is essential to mention that Byzantine religious icons have been the central concentration in the orthodox faiths. However, through the considered art the artist shows that instead of God the picture depicts a woman who rose to worldwide fame, become a national symbol of sensuousness, and ended up by a horrible and tragic death. The art successfully represents the pop culture of using simple yet realistic objects to highlight a realistic event. Further, through the symbolic tone of the picture, the artist significantly comments and criticizes upon the glorification of the well-known celebrities (Foster, 2014).

Lesson 10

Among several the works of art, “Francis Bailey” belonging to the genre of “U.S History” by Charles Wilson Peale has been chosen. The chosen work of art is situated in the Cincinnati Art museum and depicts the images of both Mr. Bailey and Mrs. Bailey who are noteworthy in the US history for their honesty and directness. Through the painting, the painter is showing that Francis Bailey is proudly holding a printing book, which is supposed to be an emblem of the pre-eminence of Bailey in the profession of printing for getting viewer’s admiration. Therefore, through the considered work of art, the artist is desiring to show the honesty and dedication of Francis Bailey in his profession that are noteworthy in the American history.

Written Assignment

For the assigned task, “The Dinner Party” by Judy Chicago and “Semiotics of the Kitchen” by Martha Rosler has been chosen. The first chosen work of art – The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago is known to be one of the most well known installations of Feminist Art that portrays a large banquet table that has place setting for 39 notable women from both history and mythology. The chief political strategy behind portraying the picture has been to re-discover the lost role models of woman as well as to re write the past, which has never prioritized “women’s work” (Kort & Sonneborn, 2014). However, it is significant to denote in this context that through the work of art, the artist has attempted to portray the ongoing dialogue of art history and postmodernism that has concentrated on to expose the earlier construction of history (Lykke, 2014). It is because; the art depicts a table for 39 notable women who have noteworthy contribution to society though have not even been acknowledged due male dominance. Therefore, the object of art is framed has a significant contribution on postmodern aspects through its fundamental approach to feminist movement.

On the other hand, the second art – Semiotics of the Kitchen by Martha Rosler depicts the relationship between women and home. The artwork essentially addresses the feminist movement by symbolical usage of various objects. The political strategy is therefore to interrupt as well as change all of the preconceived concepts regarding the role of women in home and the representation of women in mass media (Disch, 2016). Therefore, similarly like the previous object, the Semiotics by the Kitchen also possesses a significant contribution in the ongoing dialogue by using props to indicate that it has been the social norm and construction that kept women from emerging into the field of art successfully. Therefore, it can be said that the art successfully prioritizes the fundamental postmodern aspects.   


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