Visual Art Prowess of China

On this planet art is not held by one culture over another. Outside of America and Europe other’s have developed some amazing art styles such as Asia where China has been working on developing their art for over 3,000 years. The art pieces that I have chosen are Two Hawks in a Thicket, Dragon Pine and Shaded Dwellings Among Streams and Mountains to represent the prowess of the Chinese art work.

Two Hawks in a Thicket by: Lin Liang

Two Hawks in a Thicket by: Lin Liang

The Two Hawks in a Thicket by Lin Liang was created in the 15th century located in China. The artist Lin Liang excelled in bold, expressive, monochrome depictions of birds in the wild. In this painting he shows the birds in a thicket which presents the emotion of reclusive and withdrawn where they can not be reached. This is much different from his usual work of them being heroic and divine creatures soaring far over head looking down upon all others. Looking over the different art pieces of the Chinese, it is hard to sort through but the showing of the two hawks is done in such a natural sense that it can’t be helped but feel wisdom and the energy that the artist is trying to present.  Not only is the image radiating the ancient style of Chinese artists but the silk the ink is applied to adds to the form of this art piece as well to make this style of painting different from anything I have ever heard of that is not stone or paper.

Dragon Pine by: Wu Boli

Dragon Pine by: Wu Boli

The Dragon Pine by Wu Boli was created in ca. 1400 located in China. Wu painted it for Zhang Yuchu who was the forty-third Celestial Master of the Zhenggi order. The pine tree is known to remain green through the winter and therefore has the metaphors for survival, longevity and the moral character of the virtuous man. Also the way the tree is shown as a dragon which is the embodiment of natural forces that are desired to be channeled. The historical depth of this piece was to important to pass up with it being given to the forty-third Celestial Master. The tree has so much symbolism to it, it is easy to see why it was appreciated by Zhang Yuchu, with the resemblance of a dragon and the symbolism of the tree a person of power would want those qualities in their life.

Shaded Dwellings Among Streams and Mountains by: Dong Qichang

Shaded Dwellings Among Streams and Mountains by: Dong Qichang

Shaded Dwellings Among Streams and Mountains by Dong Qichang was created around ca. 1622-25 located in China. Dong desired artistic reform as he was a great landscape painter and theorist during the seventeenth century. His goal was to make creative reconstructions of the past from the study of the ancient styles. He used a spiritual direction with the help of the art done by the old masters of his time instead of using literal imitations and brought special notice to self-expression. Combining art and spiritual belief in order to fulfill a new style that was in Dongs eye’s not a betrayal of the Chinese art was his goal and accomplishment that I felt needed to be shown. The way he painted his picture of the mountains, trees and buildings to show a unified image with his movements is spectacular especially how you can see so much with just different shades of black.

Work Citations:

1.) http://amtf200.community.uaf.edu/2009/04/24/china-ming-dynasty/

2.) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1993.385

3.) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1984.475.3

4.) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1979.75.2

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Post-Modern the Time of Globalization and Technology

Around the 1990’s globalization and technology started to rise at an increasing rate, deeply rooted together to make things easier to accomplish. Mass marketing and a cheaper labor markets connected the West and the East together and has continued to develop to this day. This rapid change to our society has been reflected in the Post-Modern artists especially the Post-minimalist artists such as Richard Serra and Keith Sonnier.

Richard Serra was born November 2, 1939, an American minimalist sculptor and involved in the Process Art Movement. He was born in San Francisco second of three sons and went to Santa Barbara where he studied art. While at the West Coast he supported himself by working in the steel mills which has continued to influence his art work. Such examples of his influenced art work by his work at the steel mill include Inside Out, Intervals and Junction.

Inside Out by Richard Serra

Inside Out by: Richard Serra

Inside Out was created 2013 at an unknown location by Richard Serra. The manipulation of the weatherproof steel is a great reflection of his influence by his work at the steel mills and further by the growing trade market that was demanding so much material to build the new civilizations of today. His ability to make the steel look like it is almost fluid with drematic curvs and at such a large scale is amazing. In the photo above you can see how large it is with the person standing next to it and can see how the title Inside Out is a fitting name because of his manipulation of the steel pulls you into it, as the man appears to be, when it really is just the outside of the sculpture.

Intervals by: Richard Serra

Intervals by: Richard Serra

Intervals was created in 2013 at an unknown location by Richard Serra. The positioning of the weatherproof steel further shows his influence by his work at the steel mills and the growing trade market that was demanding so much material though this time it appears he was going for less of a flowing look and more for the intimidation and vastness of the architectural world. The different rust patterns combined with the different sized slabs of steel present to me an air of a foundation that is meant to be permanent but as all cities corrode away so do these pieces of steel that could represent a compacted city that was once shiny but now is starting to show wear. It is a very dramatic piece of modern ingenuity to draw such deep ideas out of the mind and cause one to reflect on their own society.

Junction by: Richard Serra

Junction by: Richard Serra

Junction by: Richard Serra (color image)

Junction by: Richard Serra (color image)

Junction was created in 2011 at an unknown location by Richard Serra. Looking at the colored picture of this giant piece of steel art you can see the developing beauty in it. As it rusts the steel becomes different shades of orange that changes the imagery of the steel from something that is dull grey to an imagery that when seen in the right light gives the appearance of a sun rise or a fire in solid form. This giant piece of art work could not be done without the growing technology advances, cost of production being reasonable enough and transport that has been going on for the last 20 years.

Keith Sonnier was born July 31, 1941 in Mamou, Louisiana and is a Post-minimalist who does performance, video and light art work. He was educated at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette and Douglas College, Rutgers University. Known for being one of the first artists to use lights in his sculptors in the 1960s and being greatly successful with it. Examples of his work includes New Orleans Dyad I-B, Charioteer and Longhorn Study all perfect showings of his incredible use of lighting.

New Orleans Dyad I-B by: Keith Sonnier

New Orleans Dyad I-B by: Keith Sonnier

New Orleans Dyad I-B was created in 1989 at an unknown location by Keith Sonnier. This work is a great intro to my first showing of his work the use of the different light colors is spectacular along with the mirrors, glass and aluminum to create the lighting  effects. This unique piece is possible to put together with today’s technology and the trade market being so accessible to get all of the pieces needed for it. I like to think that this piece shows a roadway going into the sun setting or rising possibly in New Orleans based off of the title and off of how his style leans towards depicting a simplified version of something as the next two pieces shows.

Charioteer by: Keith Sonnier

Charioteer by: Keith Sonnier

Charioteer was created in 1988 at an unknown location by Keith Sonnier. The appearance of this piece of art definitely has a resemblance of a chariot with the wheels and the front of chariot being the tallest point. The lighting choice is definitely unique and combined with the reflective surface of the aluminum paints the chariot the colors that he desired which is really captivating. To assemble and cut out the aluminum wouldn’t be possible in such a clean looking and cost effective way without technology like a plasma cutter or the growing market of artistic material that included the neon lights and the aluminum.

Longhorn Study by: Keith Sonnier

Longhorn Study by: Keith Sonnier

Longhorn Study was created in 2006 at an unknown location by Keith Sonnier. The use of technology to put the piece together along with an easy access through cheap trade made it possible for Keith to make this art piece with such defining qualities. The use of neon lights in this art piece is genius especially how it is so simple but I can still see the image of the Longhorn bull head that it represents. His ability to make a unique form with just some lighting from contained gases to give the appearance of an object that it represents is simplistic but I think it represents the refinedness of today’s technology style such as smart phones being so thin and rounded edges.

Work Citations:

1.) http://amtf200.community.uaf.edu/2009/04/24/02-influences-6/

2.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Serra

3.) http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/richard-serra—september-04-2011

4.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Sonnier

5.) http://sonnierstudio.com/fla/keith_sonnier_website.html

Early Modern Visual Art After WWI

World War One influenced the arts dramatically with the shear magnitude of destruction each country experienced and emotional whiplash of the people within them felt. After the war artists were extremely mixed on how everything went wrong to cause it and decided the fault lied with tradition and now was the time to change tradition in new ways with the industrialized life style of the future. The challenge of showing reality was not the goal anymore after the war but adventuring the creativity of the human mind became an exciting way to reconstruct traditions. The inspiration of the war was a mixed push for the art world but none the less it produced some interesting and revolutionizing styles as shown below (1).

L.H.O.O.Q By: Marcel Duchamp

L.H.O.O.Q By: Marcel Duchamp

The Dada movement was one of the first group of artists to be recognized for pushing to reconstruct tradition after WWI in the art world. The art movement went for a chance approach or an irrational and joking use of different art forms to push against tradition. The art piece L.H.O.O.Q by Marcel Duchamp created in 1919 at an unknown location is a perfect example of this movement. The use of the Mona Lisa in a joking way to me is priceless, by using an art work that is known for its serious appearance and adding a humerus flair with morals being twisted by people knowing that it is suppose to be a women but she has the facial hair of a man is exactly the artistic weapon that the Dada artists were using at the time to fight tradition. The simplicity of taking something like a pencil and changing a picture at this time to capture an artistic movement and the emotion of the artist themselves is poetic for using the history behind one thing to prove the point of another and call it their own (2).

Carte Blanche By: Magritte Golconde

Carte Blanche By: Magritte Golconde

Cle de Champs By: Rene Magritte

Cle de Champs By: Rene Magritte

The Surrealism movement branched off of the Dada movement and also went against tradition after WWI. The movement focused on using irrational and unconscious mind processes for artists to make their work. The two pieces that I chose to represent this movement are the Carte Blanche by Rene Magritte created in 1965 at Belgium and Cle de Champs by Rene Magritte created in 1931 at an unknown location. They both show that dream world theme that Surrealism is going for with the switching of visual appearance for where the horse and rider are located among the trees and the shattered window with the broken pieces maintaining the image as though its not glass but a picture of the image behind it.  These mind bending images really put the emphasis on taking the traditions of the past with real life and twisting it in new ways that make the mind want to reverse what has been done which for me is very true with the Carte Blanche piece of how the layers of distance have been reversed. I can’t get over the fact that the combination of realism of familiar things being combined with abstraction can make such an exposure in the art world with even symbolism. This can be represented in the Cle de Champs with the window being shattered, taking away the imitated layer to reveal another layer to the world rather than what can be seen just through the window, which can be connected to Rene Magritte wanting to show the end of tradition and taking on new ways (5).

Work Citations:

1.) http://amtf200.community.uaf.edu/2009/04/24/03-visual-art-2/

2.) http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/d/dada.html

3.) http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/rene-magritte/the-blank-signature-1965

4.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.H.O.O.Q.

5.) http://robinurton.com/history/surrealism.htm

Impressionism in the Romantic Era

In general I find Post-Impressionism appealing. The use of artistic emotion by the artist in their paintings is highly evident in their paintings and is what I enjoy most. Color being used to not be just a way to identify the appearance of something but a way to identify the appearance of something but a way to take the form and more importantly show the emotion the artist is trying to convey. Such uses of combining colors not on the pallet but on the canvas along with using the painting style of application such as dots and quick dash strokes are used rather than just trying to recreate the image in a realistic manner. Artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Georges Seurat are great examples of the Post-Impressionism style.

Vincent van Gogh was an artist who I greatly enjoy for his ability to blend colors on the canvas to show on flowing pattern of brush strokes that create an image with short strokes. The painting I would like to use as an example of his skill is Starry Night Over the Rhone created in 1888 at the Rhone River in France. This piece shows what I mentioned with the lighting on the water from the buildings being so pronounce and the brush strokes creating the feeling of motion and form all at the the same time (1). Another artist I would like to mention is Georges Seurat who made the painting The Seine and la Grande Jatte-Springtime in 1888 at an unknown location from what I could find but it’s current location is the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The dot patterns he uses to create forms of images that can be easily seen from a distance because your eye’s mix the colors but up close the dots become more pronounced and the image is harder to see (2). It is fascinating to look at how these artists developed Post-Impressionism into such a unique style compared to all others.

Starry Night Over the Rhone by: Vincent van Gogh

Starry Night Over the Rhone by: Vincent van Gogh

The Seine and la Grande Jatte-Springtime

The Seine and la Grande Jatte-Springtime by: Georges Seurat

The Fox Hunt by: Winslow Homer

The Fox Hunt by: Winslow Homer

Comparing Post-Impressionism to the Realism style, the focus of art form is very noticeable. Artist of the Realism style such as Winslow Homer and his painting of The Fox Hunt, done in 1893 at Prouts Neck, Maine shows how the style is absent of any theatrical presence and is focusing on merely showing the image for what it is. Also the way the painting is done with color and lines not expressing anything as far as emotion except for what is in the nature image itself unlike Post-Impressionism style that has many colors mixed together to show the emotion. Not to mention the strokes of the brush being used as a texture of what the image is suppose to look like and not to add to the emotion (3). This style though well defined as a well replicated scene does not hold the level of emotion that Post-Impressionism shows with such vibrant colors and radical patterns that I get such an enjoyment out of.

Work Citations:

1.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starry_Night_Over_the_Rhone

2.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Seurat

3.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fox_Hunt

4.) http://amtf200.community.uaf.edu/2009/04/24/03-visual-arts-3/

Classical Era Music

With the growing economic power of the middle class in the 1700’s their influence started to impede the influence of the aristocratic class. The middle class started to move in a revolutionary direction against the political powers such as the Church and kings rule. Going through this age of enlightenment they became more educated, developed more trust in reason, understanding science and more open society which pushed their developing civilization (1).

Middle class influence started to be financially successful enough that they could start influencing the arts for their interest such as wanting music that was more accessible, recognizable and serious. This financial support gave composers the option to expand their artistic interests by not working just for aristocratic patrons. The music turned to a homophony texture, music is melody based and accompaniments are distinguishable, straying away from the polyphonic texture, music with multiple simultaneous lines of independent melody (2).

The 40th Symphony by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart created in an unknown location during the year of 1788 is connected with the developing middle class. Mozart’s 40th Symphony shows clarity and balance but also simplistic showings of the potency of emotion he wished to target. The middle class wanted to be able to have access to music that they could enjoy so Mozart was influenced by this desire financially as one of the first musicians in history to move away from the church as a source of profit and go to the middle class instead (4).

The 5th Symphony by Ludwig Van Beethoven first performed in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien in1808. This symphony is connected with the developing middle class by the seriousness that the middle class audience desired. The demonic energy, tense harmonies and powerful dramatic climates provided by this symphony launched Beethoven into the favor of the middle class audience and become as favored as Mozart by his work (5).

The 9th Symphony by Beethoven created in an unknown location during the year of 1824 is a great example of being connected to the middle class over time from the change between his 5th and 9th Symphony. The 9th Symphony involved the largest orchestra ever assembled by Beethoven. The production of the symphony was originally commissioned by the Philharmonic Society of London who targeted the developing middle class because of the high demand more music that reflected their interest (6).

Work Citations:

  1. http://www.guitarpress.com/hsp23.html
  2. http://musiced.about.com/od/medievalto20thcentury/a/The-Role-Of-Music-And- Composers.htm
  3. http://amtf200.community.uaf.edu
  4. http://www.ipl.org/div/mushist/clas/mozart.html
  5.  http://www.musicallyspeaking.com/id60.html
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._9_(Beethoven)

The Chair of St. Peter by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Chair of Saint Peter by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Chair of Saint Peter by Gian Lorenzo Bernini

Going through the long list of art work done by Gian Lorenzo Bernini has proven to be a challenge due to all the different art styles he has used such as sculpting, painting and architecture. After looking through though the Chair of St. Peter stuck out the most. Completed between 1657 and 1666 in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City the Chair of St. Peter is a gilt bronze sculpture. The care in details each part of the chair and canopy has in it along with a balance to all sides is greatly pleasing to the eyes. Depth in the craftsmanship along with the lighting from the alabaster window makes the art even more radiant of a theatrical scene in a biblical emotional stance. Also the religious symbolism such as the different saints like St. Athanasius and St. John Chrysostom can be easily distinguished with such fine details and adds to the dramatic support to the church. 

The Council of Trent influenced Bernini’s work greatly. The Catholic Church desired dramatic and emotional works of art that showed the greatness of it. The use of action scenes of biblical references in a realistic, clarity and emotional forms was the desired direction of the visual arts. Berninii was able to supply this desire with many of his art pieces but the Chair of St. Peter was one of the most religiously symbolic and historically rich. All of this pressure of religious reinforcement for the Catholic Church came from trying to counter the Protestant movement such as the Jesuits and Oratorians (1). 

Bernini was commissioned by Pope Alexander VII to build the monument that would place St. Peter’s Chair in a setting that reflected it’s importance. In order to help enforce the religious radiance symbols were used such as above the chair two angels have the tiara and keys representing the Roman pontiff’s authority. He also came up with another wonderful idea of positioning his work in one of the more well defined parts in the Basilica while not affecting the styles set in by Bramante and Michelangelo (1). Bernini’s use of light to help add to a sculptures presentation is said to be the first sculptor to realize the potential (2). His work has left an ever present stamp not only in the religious world of monuments but in the artistic world of creativity that helped revolutionize the artistic world for all future generations especially in sculpting.  

Work Citations:

1.) http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Altars/Cathedra/Cathedra.htm

2.) http://history-world.org/bernini.htm

 

The Great Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I by Albrecht Dürer

The Great Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I by Albrecht Dürer

The Great Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I by Albrecht Dürer (Just the chariot)

 

One of the six images of the horses leading the chariot

One of the six images of the horses leading the chariot.

The choice of Albreht Durer’s work was difficult due to the impressive details he put into each one especially his woodcut prints. In the end The Great Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I, finished in Nuremberg Germany in 1522, separated itself from the rest of his visual art. The details he put into each part of this print is spectacular, with each person and horses shown to a perfect detail with even the whiskers of the hoarse being visible. Also the craftsmanship depicted in the chariot flows with Roman symbols and wording expressing the greatness of the Empire which radiates itself to me with a potency of importance at a historical level and visual level of passion. Examples of this symbolic showing is the eagles, dragons, griffins and lions covering the chariot all express the might of the Emperor also words covering the chariot such as honor, glory and magnificence.
The Emperor Maximilian wanted to make an imperial propaganda statement that would inspire confidence in his family’s rule of the Holy Roman Empire. He wanted to show the connection of his Empire to the ancient Roman Empire which he did with the help of Albreht Durer. All of this desire and influence went to Durer with his woodcut print artistic abilities. Maximilian commissioned Durer to make The Great Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I as one of his greatest visionary piece’s. Unfortunately Maximilian died when only the Triumphal Arch was finished but Durer finished the rest in 1522 and sold the prints. It is debated if he sold the prints to make up for the costs of the work he put into it or if it was to show his support for the Emperors since they helped his work flourish so much (2).
During the Hapsburgs time of influential power Durer was constantly influenced by them. The Great Triumphal Chariot of Maximilian I was just one of the influenced pieces while Durer was commissioned by the Hapsburgs. Through them he became the official court artist to the Holy Roman Emperors Maximilian I and his successor Charles V as well as meeting some of Europe’s outstanding theologians and scholars. All of these influences mixed and helped further influence other artists long after Durer’s death and to this day he is credited to be an incredibly strong influence for his time as an artist (1).

Work Citations:

1.) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/durr/hd_durr.htm

2.) http://cool.conservation-us.org/coolaic/sg/bpg/annual/v14/bp14-07.html