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Chapter 19 Modern Art: Europe and North American in the Early 20th Century

Class notes for Chapter 19

Lora Davis

on 20 April 2012

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Transcript of Chapter 19 Modern Art: Europe and North American in the Early 20th Century

Art Appreciation Chapter 19 Modern Art: Europe and North American in the Early 20th Century
Timeline from 1900-1950 in 10 year increments
1900- No information about a national debt or unemployment

Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams.
in economics: Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.02
1905, Einstein's Theory of Reality

1910- Federal spending: $0.69 billion
Unemployment: 5.9%

Union of South Africa established, with its parliamentary capital in Cape Town

1920- Federal spending: $6.36 billion
Unemployment: 5.2%

Rising popular interest in African-American literature sparks the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance.

1930- Federal spending: $3.32 billion
Unemployment: 8.9%

Grant Wood paints American Gothic.

1940- Federal debt: $50.7 billion
Unemployment: 14.6%

Winston Churchill becomes Britain's Prime Minister
Hitler invades Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg.
The first Social Security benefit checks are paid out (Jan 30).
The first McDonald's hamburger stand opens in Pasadena, Calif.
CBS demonstrates color television in New York.
WNBT, the first regularly operating television station, debuts in New York with an estimated 10,000 viewers.
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman! The radio show debuts.
The first Bugs Bunny cartoon.

1950- Federal debt: $256.9 billion
Unemployment: 5.9%

Era of McCarthyism begins.
Truman orders development of hydrogen bomb (Jan. 31).
Saturday morning children's programming begins.
Charles Schulz introduces the Peanuts comic strip.
Early Modern Art in Europe
After 1900, artistic innovation increasing ...according to your text...
"producing a dizzying succession of movements, or "isms," including Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, and Surrealism." With each movement came a charismatic leader or group who promoted a philosophy, often through written declarations of principles called manifestoes.
Although modernism has many diverse characteristics, there are several common characteristics these include:
a tendency toward abstraction, even going as far as being non-representational
the tendency to emphasize the physical process...emphasizing brush strokes or
chisel marks
continual exploration of the nature of art itself through the adoption of new techniques and materials...including ordinary "nonartistic" materials which break down the distinctions between art and everyday life ...What is Art?
Characteristics of 20th century art are the characteristics of the century itself:
Rapid change
in nonrepresentational art ...communication often has to come through formal means such as line, shape, color and texture
European and American Modernism fueled by Exhibitions
In 1905 the Salon d'Automne (Autumn Exhibition) in Paris
1911 Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) Exhibition in Munich
1913 New York Armory Show (International Exhibition of Modern Art) in America (1st large scale American exhibition)
1929 The Museum of Modern Art opens and
state-supported museums open in major European capitals such as Paris, Rome
and Brussels
News reports and reviews were filled with accusations of quackery, insanity, immorality, and anarchy, as well as parodies, caricatures, and mock exhibitions. About the modern works, President Theodore Roosevelt declared, "That's not art!" The civil authorities did not, however, close down, or otherwise interfere with, the show. But the Armory show challenged and changed both the academic and public definition and attitude toward art, and by doing so altered the course of history for American artists. Marking the end of one era and the beginning of another, The Armory Show shattered the provincial calm of American art.

Among the scandalously radical works of art, was Marcel Duchamp's Cubist/Futurist style "Nude Descending a Staircase", painted the year before, in which he expressed motion with successive superimposed images, as in motion pictures. An art critic for the New York Times wrote that the work resembled "an explosion in a shingle factory," and cartoonists satirized the piece.
Marcel Duchamp. Nude Descending A Staircase
Cubism- Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music and literature. In Cubism objects were broken up, and reassembled in abstract form. 3d objects were seen from all sides at once. Shapes were mainly geometric.
Georges Braque. Musical Instruments
Fauvism- A style of painting that developed in France in the late 1890s, characterized by the use of nonrealistic and vibrant colours. In 1905, an art critic called its practitioners—“wild beasts”... among them Henri Matisse.
Henri Matisse. The Joy of Life. 1905-06
Futurism- An artistic movement in Italy around 1910 that tried to express the energy and values of the machine age. Umberto Boccioni was concerned with movement in the figure in which he emphasized form, force and speed.
Umberto Boccioni. Unique Forms of Continuity in Space. 1913
Dadaism- a movement begun by Marcel Duchamp who, in 1915, had moved to New York City and in the same year coined the term "ready-made," was the chief leader of Dada. For his ready-made art, Duchamp took mundane objects such as snow shovels, urinals, and bottle racks, gave them titles, and signed them, thus turning their context from utility to aesthetics. Readymades are objects from popular or material culture presented without further manipulation as an artwork by the artist and art because they were chosen by the artist.
"Readymades" were found objects which Duchamp chose and presented as art. The first such object was Bicycle Wheel, an inverted bicycle wheel mounted on a stool, which Duchamp assembled in 1913. However, he did not coin the term "readymade" until 1915.
Marcel Duchamp Bottle Dryer
1st ready made
Surrealism- A twentieth century avant-garde art movement that originated in the nihilistic (a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake) ideas of the Dadaist and French literary figures, especially those of its founder, French writer André Breton. At first a Dadaist, he wrote three manifestos about Surrealism — in 1924, 1930, and 1934, and opened a studio for "surrealist research." Surrealist sought to free human behavior from the constrictions of reason and middle class morality
Influenced by the theories of the pioneer of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, the images found in surrealist works are as confusing and startling as those of dreams. Surrealist works can have a realistic, though irrational style, precisely describing dreamlike fantasies, as in the works of René Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967), Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1988), Surrealism could be symbolistic or abstract
Joseph Stella. Battle of Lights
Marc Chagall. The Birthday
Salvador Dali (1904-89): was a Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and designer. After passing through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting, he joined the Surrealists in 1929 and his talent for self-publicity rapidly made him the most famous representative of the movement. Throughout his life he cultivated eccentricity and exhibitionism (one of his most famous acts was appearing in a diving suit at the opening of the London Surrealist exhibition in 1936), claiming that this was the source of his creative energy. His paintings employed a meticulous academic technique that was contradicted by the unreal `dream' space he depicted and by the strangely hallucinatory characters of his imagery. He described his pictures as `hand-painted dream photographs' and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half-open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax (The Persistence of Memory, MOMA, New York; 1931). He moved to the USA in 1940 and remained there until 1955. During this time he devoted himself largely to self-publicity; his paintings were often on religious themes. In 1955 he returned to Spain and in old age became a recluse.

Apart from painting, Dalí's output included sculpture, book illustration, jewellery design, and work for the theatre. Although he is undoubtedly one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, his status is controversial; many critics consider that he did little if anything of consequence after his classic Surrealist works of the 1930s. There are museums devoted to Dalí's work in Figueras, his home town in Spain, and in St Petersburg in Florida.
Dali. The Persistence of Memory
Rene Magritte. Time Transfixed
Rene Margritte. This is not a pipe
Der Blaue Reiter or The Blue Riders- In 1911, Vasily Kandinsky s a Russian painter...moved to Munich and stated The Blue Riders, a group of 9 artists who shared the same interest in the power of color
Vasily Kandinsky. Improv. 31, Battle at Sea
Rene Margritte. The Son of Man
Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 1907
Suprematism (supremeatism) becomes nonrepresentational work- In response to Futurism and in the backdrop of the Russian Revolution, Kazimir Malevich produced the first truly nonrepresentational work in 1915.
Kazimir Malevich. Black Square
From 1935 to 1943, photographers working for the federal government produced the most enduring images of the Great Depression. Beginning under the auspices of the Resettlement Administration in 1935 and then the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937, a group that over time included about twenty men and women worked under the supervision of Roy E. Stryker to create a pictorial record of the impact of hard times on the nation, primarily on rural Americans. This project, as photography history "was perhaps the greatest collective effort . . . in the history of photography to mobilize resources to create a cumulative picture of a place and time." Many of the eighty thousand photographs taken by the so-called FSA photographers were distributed by the agency to newspapers and magazines to build support for the New Deal's rural programs. As FSA photographer Arthur Rothstein later recalled, "It was our job to document the problems of the Depression so that we could justify the New Deal legislation that was designed to alleviate them."
These publicly displayed FSA images had a profound impact on contemporary viewers. "These pictures impress one as real life of a vast section of the American people," commented one viewer of FSA photos exhibited in an April 1938 show called "How American People Live." It was a remark that summarized the overwhelming public reaction. Three generations after their creation, the FSA photographs remain the basis for Americans' visual understanding of the Great Depression and have also set a standard for subsequent documentary photography. Photographs such as Dorothea Lange's 1936 portrait "Migrant Mother" and Walker Evans's 1936 series depicting the faces and homes of Alabama sharecroppers have become icons of the era, pictures that in their directness and simplicity record the conditions of poverty while also celebrating the persistent human spirit of survival in even the most difficult of circumstances.
Unlike similar symbols rendered in paint or prose, however, photographs seem to convey reality without the mediation of an artist or interpreter. In photographs, we seem to see "the world itself," people, rocks, fences, clouds. No teller tells (or writes) these stories; they happen by themselves."
New Deal Photographers
Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz is known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S. He was married to painter Georgia O'Keeffe.
Frank Lloyd Wright- Fallingwater
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 projects, which resulted in more than 500 completed works.[1] Wright promoted organic architecture (exemplified by Fallingwater), was a leader of the Prairie School movement of architecture (exemplified by the Robie House and the Westcott House), and developed the concept of the Usonian home (exemplified by the Rosenbaum House). His work includes original and innovative examples of many different building types, including offices, churches, schools, sky scrapers, hotels, and museums. Wright also often designed many of the interior elements of his buildings, such as the furniture and stained glass.
Georgia O'Keefe
The Blue Rider (or in German Der Blaue Reiter) was a German Expressionist movement that was established in 1911 by Kandinsky, Marc and Gabriele Münter.
The Blue Riders believed that colors, shapes and forms had equivalence with sounds and music, and sought to create color harmonies which would be purifying to the soul.
The Blue Riders
The paintings of this period are composed of large and very expressive coloured masses which serve no longer to delimit them but are superimposed and overlap in a very free way to form paintings of an extraordinary force.

The influence of music has been very important on the birth of abstract art, as it is abstract by nature—it does not try to represent the exterior world but rather to express in an immediate way the inner feelings of the human soul. Kandinsky sometimes used musical terms to designate his works; he called many of his most spontaneous paintings "improvisations".
Wassily Kandinsky
The Bauhaus
The Bauhaus was a German school that combined arts and
The Bauhaus had a profound effect in the modern design
of art, architecutre, graphic design, interior and industrial design.
This effect has given way to what is known today as
universial design. Universial design incorporates accessiblity, adaptivity as well as aesthetics.
Eye on Design: A Tour of Fallingwater
Frank Lloyd Wright
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