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Transcript of BCT
While some people thought that this new movement in art was an insult to art, some others took it in their stride and started to follow the movement themselves. Inspired by Toulouse Lautrec and Gauguin; Pablo Picasso made his first cubist painting, based on Cézanne's idea that all depiction of nature can be reduced to three solids: cube, sphere and cone.
'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907)'
...This was the beginning of what we know as cubism... Over the period of 20 years (1950-1970) we saw a lot of drastic change in art; we saw the emergence of Abstract Expressionism, Color field painting, Pop art, Op art, Hard-edge painting, Minimal art, Lyrical Abstraction, FLUXUS, Postminimalism, Photorealism and various other movements. I think that this time period was one of the most signifgicant and impressionist movements in art, allowing art to transform and break away from traditional views. For me i feel that this was the moment when people really started to ask themselves
'What is art?'
A question that we can no longer answer. A lot of people would say that all artist are expressive, especially at times of social upheaval, for example in the 15th century when the Protestant Reformation, German Peasants' War, Eight Years' War, and Spanish Occupation of the Netherlands took place. However the intentions of these paintings weren't to express emotion but to simple create a scene, but because these scenes showed intense drama and horror, it often brought out emotion in people. Expressionism has been likened to Baroque by critics, Baroque was an artistic style around the 17th and 18th centuary. Baroque used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in a number of different arts, it was most popular in Rome and Italy and spread to most of Europe. However, it is said the difference between the two is that "Expressionism doesn't shun the violently unpleasant effect, while baroque does. Expressionism throws some terrific 'fuck you's'... Baroque doesn't. Baroque is well-mannered" Some of the artists that were involved in the expressionism trend are Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munch, Francis Bacon and Vincent Van Gogh Francis Bacon was born on the 28 October 1909 and died on the 28 April 1992. He was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, graphic and emotionally raw imagery. Bacon has a distinctive style, his abstract figures are typically isolated against a dark, flat, plain background, which make his images even more intense. His paintings all relate to a similar theme; he brings a kind of demented, gruesome horror to his paintings which is almost disturbing. His real success came in 1944 when he created the 'Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion' painting, it was this painting and a number of his 'heads and figures' paintings that followed during the late 1940's and 1950's that brought him his breakthrough and sealed his reputation. Later on in the mid-1960s, Bacon mainly produced portrait heads of friends. He often said in interviews that he saw images "in series", and his artistic output often saw him focus on single themes for sustained periods — including his crucifixion, Papal heads and later single and triptych heads series. Following the 1971 suicide of his lover George Dyer, Bacon's art became more personal, inward looking and preoccupied with themes and motifs of death. I think this is the point were His work became more personal and expressed his inner demons which are expressed in his paintings. Letting others feel his emotion, i think that sometimes artists express their emotion in their work to almost release their feelings, in Francis Bacon's case it feels like he was trying to get rid of the anguish that he felt.
In the later period of Francis Bacon's career he focused more of creating self portraits and in 1985 created a masterpiece portrait 'Study for a Self Portrait -Triptych'. I felt his self portraits displayed a more relaxed and emotionally stable theme, to me i think this showed a change in how Francis felt in himself and reflected his mood and his feelings. In 1985 Bacon was interviewed by Melvyn Bragg for the South Bank Show for London Weekend Television, in the interview Bacon explained how when he was living in Monte Carlo, he was short of money and couldn't afford any more canvases, this meant that the used canvases that he did have, he simply turned them over the the 'Wrong side' he found this worked very well for him and from then on decided to carry on using the canvases the 'wrong way' he said to Melvyn 'So it was just by chance that I had no money to buy canvases with'. And facts... The painter Francis Bacon was largely self-taught as an artist. His work wasn't influenced by any other artists, he found his own unique style and carried it through his career, his work is very personal and i think that is what builds his paintings and inspires him to paint. However one artist that Francis Bacon found inspiring is Vincent Van Gogh, he in fact painted several versions of Van Gogh's paintings but again i think its important to understand that Bacon didn't copy the style, he simply interpreted the image changing the emotion of it and the effect we feel when we observe the painting. For example the two paintings that Bacon done related to Van Gogh's work portray the same gloomy, dark, almost delirious, like they are images of someones nightmare, like his other paintings. Where as Van Goghs versions are a lot more crisp, fresh, vibrant and the mood is cheerful, both version seem to be complete opposites to each other, i liked the comparison between the two because you can see how two artists can paint the same image, however both paintings are different in every other aspect. Fun fact... During the second world war a lot of people found it hard to believe in a caring god and they felt angry about all the suffering and pain. Even though in the title of this painting is talks about a crucifixion, the reality of it is that there isn't a crucifixion, this might be a message from Bacon, saying that the suffering and the pain that people are going through is like a crucifixion. The faces in this painting by Bacon represents the torment of the creatures, this is quite moving because you can feel the pain in their faces and it looks like they're being tortured which brings a feeling of helplessness and guilt. The emotion that this painting makes you feel is exactly the point the Bacon was trying to get across, he wanted everyone to feel his annoyance at god and feel almost disgusted in him themselves.
The distorted bodies in this painting portray extreme emotion, which makes me feel uncomfortable, like watching someone being hurt. The red background represents fire, i think for Bacon this was the link to the war, expression a kind of hell like atmosphere of that time. Francis was a expressionist and i feel like this piece of art is a good example of just that.
For me when i see a painting or a piece of art i want it to bring some kind of emotion out in me, i like it to relate to something personal and for me this painting by Francis Bacon did exactly that My own analysis of this painting Some say that Francis Bacon's painting made him seen as a distinguished artists in the post-war era. The painting was exhibited in April 1945 at the Lefevre Gallery in London. When Bacon's painting was first put on show to the public many people were taken back by the rawness of Francis Bacon's painting. Critic John Russell wrote ' 'Visitors ... were brought up short by images so unrelievedly awful that the mind shut up with a snap at the sight of them ... They caused total consternation.'
I think during this time period after the war people expected artists to create pieces that would make people feel better about life and create deep, beautiful, moving paintings about the period of time that they had manage to survive. However Francis Bacon did the opposite and produced a painting that wasn't beautiful, which some might say was quite horrific, showing the true ugly side to what everyone had been living for so long. I think this intimidated people and reminded them of the horrors of the world when they had finally come to a point where they could move on. By Francis making this huge risk, i think it gave other artists the go ahead to create art that impacted peoples emotions and not necessarily in a delightful way, John Russell also wrote "there was painting in England before the Three Studies, and painting after them, and no one ... can confuse the two" i think think statement confirms that this was a massive change in the way artists approached their work.
Looking at recent reviews of the 'Three Studies' painting - some people say that the painting was quite simple, that it didn't show enough torture and suffering, this made me think about society today and whether we are now so used to hearing about all the violence and suffering around the world that paintings like the three studies no longer shocks us. I think the opinions of Francis Bacon's work shows more about the change in humanity and society than it does taste in art. However it is still acknowledged as a scene of suffering and the emotion of pain that Bacon was trying to get across is still understood and heard, i feel it is just felt and heard in a different way.