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Themes In Art

Trip to San Antonio Museum

Wendy Rios

on 9 November 2012

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Transcript of Themes In Art

By: Brittany Stamey
Wendy Rios Themes In Art Nature Religion Tigers and Magpies Politics Storytelling Tornadoes and Nests, 2009 Illustrating an old Korean legend through a series of panels on an eight-fold screen, a tiger and magpie chastise each other without so much as leaving their spot amongst the pine trees. This work uses simple black ink on paper, approaching this tale with a minimalist effect. The Human Form Symbols Mythological Daily Life Jesse Treviño (American, born Mexico, 1946) Portraiture Still Life Landscape Ernest Lawson (1873 - 1939) Perspective Crossover Lift, 1977 Paul Manes (American, born 1948) 120-MM, 1987 Choson Dynasty
Late 19th - early 20th century The tank depicted in this piece is threatening and confrontational, metaphorical for the destructive and violent aspects of human nature. The frontal positioning serves to intimidate its onlookers, the tank itself a spawn of dangerous human interactions. The earthy palette and gritty style stress the feeling of extreme aggression often associated with war, and the dripping paint serves to add an emotional tone to grim situations where such a weapon is needed. Janice Freeman (American, born 1960) High Bridge, Harlem River , 1912 A grand scenery is expressed in this piece through its use of soft contrast, perspective, and choice of texture. It uses a riverbank to showcase an impressive view of New York City, inducing a calming atmosphere upon its viewer. How Do You Spell America #6, 1993 Willie Cole (American, born 1955) Statue of a Woman Roman, 1st Century A.D., Marble This statue of a woman portrays the beauty of the female form by draping it in thin, very detailed, flowing fabric. The statue is headless to allow different portraits to be attached to depict the woman as Hera or a goddess in similar dress. Statue of a Man wearing a toga Roman, 1st Century A.D., Marble In the last fifty years, racial discrimination was the norm in the United States. Laws mandated strict segregation of the races, where even "separate but equal" facilities were legalized. The use of white chalk against the blackboard metaphorically draws upon the nation's history of racial inequality between whites and blacks, the artist wanting to use the word AMERICA as an acronym to identify African American experiences with. This statue portrays the general form of a man wearing a toga. During the 1st century only men were allowed to wear togas. They were worn as formal wear for conducting business and religious ceremonies. This statue may have been discarded when it broke along the bottom. Passion Flowers with Three Hummingbirds, ca. 1875 Martin Johnson Heade (1819 - 1904) Untitled, 2002 Lloyd Walsh, American, born 1963 Inspired by Flemish Old Master still lifes, Walsh uses this composition to depict a scene of historical allusion through symbolism. The wedding cake symbolizes the Tower of Babel by replicating the multi-tiered ziggurat architecture with the extinguished candles symbolizing its destruction. The butterflies are a metaphor for lost souls and the toads are used as a symbol of vanity This oil painting uses bold shades of red to emphasize the flowers' beautiful oddity amongst the vast evergreen of the forest. With attention to detail and use of dramatic lighting, this piece adds a fantasy quality to an otherwise quiet, natural setting. Fac ut Siam (Make me Aware), 2004 James Smolleck, American, born 1970 In this piece, Smolleck uses symbolism in a much broader and surreal way. The painting overall represents the human mind struggling to transcend to a higher state of consciousness. The difficulty of such a feat is represented through the figure, balancing precariously on the unicycle with a heavy hat and tree branch arms. The birds symbolize messengers that will guide his way to "the divine realm", which is symbolized by the view through the window. Wenshu, or Bodhisattva of Wisdom on Kirin China, Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 This piece represents an enlightened being (a bodhisattva) mounting the mythological creature, the kirin. The kirin is depicted to be a hooved creature with a dragon like head. In legend, it is said to punish only the wicked and seek out worthy leaders as its master, granting them unimaginable power LEDA Henri Fantin-Latour, French, born 1836- 1904 The Virgin of Guadalupe, 18th century La Virgin de Guadalupe This piece refers to the ancient Greek myth of Leda and the Swan. Zeus admired Leda, the queen of Sparta, and disguised himself as a swan. He then ran into her arms while being chased by an eagle and won her affections. A light, almost wispy figure of a swan represents Zeus in the moments before Leda discovers him. "La Virgin de Guadalupe" is the spiritual mother of Mexico and a celebrated Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary. Although based on a European counterpart, certain characteristics are distinctly Mexican. An example of Marian art, the principal image in this piece follows previous renderings of her - the iconic cloak, downcast eyes and mandorla of golden rays. Four apparition scenes in the image are credited to a different artist, stylistically different from the rest of the image. Milk, 2009 Ed Saavedra, American, born 1979 This portrait is of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected into public office in California. Through slight pops of color and interesting texture, Saavedra tries to portray Milk's humanity, inner glow and gentle charisma. Portrait of George Washington, ca. 1800 William Dunlap, 1766-1839 This portrait of George Washington is a prime example of American Realism. Although very deep in contrast, the blending in the values is extremely soft, creating an almost skin-like quality to Washington's delicate features. The sternness of his features capture his qualities as a strong and serious leader. Bordegon Con Pan de Fiesta, 19th Century Unknown Artist, Pueblo, Mexico Big Dream, 1983 Jim Morphesis (American, born 1948) Inspired by memories of stained glass windows and architectural designs found in churches, Morphesis depicted a repeating figure of Christ, expressing a dramatic impact with a visual equivalent of an "echo." Although he had no specific religious affiliation, this piece was used as a means of exploration in trying to find a medium in which he could personify life's daily struggles. This still life portrays various Mexican sweet breads and festive drinks decorated with delicate lace flags. Although the realistic qualities of the painting are a bit weak, the tone of festivity comes through in the bright colors and relaxed quality in the painting of the many different items Sportsman's Trophy, 1898-99 Alexander Pope, 1849-1924 This still life portrays, in vivid realism, various antlers, furs, rifles and old hunting provisions. The deer antlers, shining brightly upon the dark green paneling, give an air of majesty to the collection of "trophies, The deep contrast adds an intense dramatic feel to the painting, correlating to the sense of pride this piece radiates Ronald Davis, American, born 1937 Davis demonstrates perspective in this piece by combining two dimensionality and three dimensionality by using both flatness and illusionism. Although the figure itself is very simple, the various lines that trace its contours through the space give an illusion of a complexly used space, even though the painting is purely in two point perspective. Loud Acreage, 1995 Mark Hogensen, American, born 1952 Hogensen uses a variety of interlocking, dramatic forms to create an overwhelming application of perspective in this piece. The abstract shape of the entire piece helps contribute to the chaotic nature of the shapes as they jar out of the square in the background. He also uses sleek and seamless values to further make the forms appear truly three-dimensional. Inspired by the lively everyday life of Mexico, Freeman uses a variety of colorful mediums to capture her thoughts, memories and dreams about the country, where she resides part time. The energetic composition uses sketches, cloth, marbled paper, sand and glue (to name a few mediums) to convey her perspective about this relatively joyous nation. Señora Dolores Treviño, 1982 In memory of his hardworking mother, Treviño expresses his gratitude through this dignified portrait of her. With a proud expression and noble stance, it is known Treviño's mother took great care into maintaining her household and family. The dramatic sweep of the windblown laundry also resembles swirling drapery commonly found in ancient sculptures and paintings of mythological gods and goddesses. To a child, a parent can very well be a god - someone worth admiring. Nativity Set Backdrop, late 19th century
Fondo Para un Nacimiento Nativity scenes were used to teach the story of the birth of Christ throughout Latin America. This piece in particular was used for a Mexican nativity showing images of scenes from real life, such as the mule-skinner, the buildings, and landscape. River Landscape Dao Yan (1335 - 1419) Dao's landscapes are rarely known, preferring paintings of bamboo. This piece is drawn with ink and colors on paper, pasted on a hand scroll, and holds thirty-eight imprints of his name, including several in French and English. Albert Alvarez (American, born 1983) I am Albert's Hard Times, 2007 In this seemingly-chaotic self portrait, Alvarez walks through memory lane, confronting and overcoming a variety of emotions, exploring events that impacted him in someway through the Mexican-American community he grew up in. Using a style of an artist that greatly influenced him, the expressive, saturated colors provoke a feeling of disgust, of which many of the narratives surrounding the larger self-image symbolize or address the widespread prevalence of hatred and violence in the larger Hispanic culture.
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