Tag: Abstract Art
For the past hundred years, abstract art has been a dominant mode of expression in America. But in its character, most of our abstract painting and sculpture pays small fealty to the concepts of those pure abstractionists, who hold that the work of art should be a completely meaningful object in itself, of solely esthetic significance, hermetically sealed against all other associations.
In Europe, as George Hamilton pointed out in the catalogue of his “Object and Image” exhibition at Yale, this atlitude is historically associated with the early modern movemen in its heroic break with tradition and is diametrically opposed to a more recent trend toward an abstract but evocative imagery which reflects man’s consciousness and inner being. In America,
ew even of our pioneer abstractionists could be called purists. The latter began to appear here only in the 1930’s (many from abroad), and while they still form an active and vital group, they have always been a minority. Our tendency, more marked than ever today, has been toward kinds of abstraction which draw on observed reality to create, variously, a conscious imagery, an unconscious imagery or, at the least, a kind of organic and “natural” teleology of form.
It is our purpose here to determine exactly what the relation is between American abstract, art and one traditionally important aspect of observed reality — nature. The inquiry is not in any sense a reactionary back-to-nature thesis. It is, rather, an effort to understand the character of the abstract vision and especially the personal attitudes and methods of various abstract artists in dealing with nature.
These terms are used in their widest and commonest meanings: “abstraction” to describe any art not clearly based on recognizable visual reality, “nature” as the all-embracing universe about us, the tangible world of land and water, the intangible world of light, sky and air, the eternal forces of germination, growth and death which make up the cycles of life and season — with man and man-made things alone excluded.
It is apparent that this is but part of a larger question, the relation of’ abstract art to all experience. Still, it is a significant part, for the multitudinous aspects of nature are inescapable, a part of every man’s environment. Since the Renaissance they have been the timeless themes of art, and there is ample evidence that they continue to move, and sometimes perplex, many abstract artists just as powerfully.
By focusing on this single but universal area of experience and avoiding the moral and social problems inherent in man and his works, we can perhaps dig deeper and hope to reveal certain truths about the abstract artist’s approach to reality, which will be valid in other areas as well.
Such a restriction does not imply dehumanization, for the artist has always found in nature compelling symbols of man’s own “nature,” especially of his relation to the organic world. And even when symbolism is absent, nature inevitably assumes human meaning as it passes through the artist’s eye, mind and emotions to his canvas. In Balcomb Greene’s words, “One humanizes nature even as he sees it.”
Joan Miró i Ferrà (April 20,1893 – December 25,1983) was a world renowned Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramist who was born in the sea port city of Barcelona.
Miro was the son of a watchmaking father and a goldsmith mother, he was exposed to the arts from a very young age. There have been some drwaings recovered by Miro dating to 1901, when he was only 8 years old. Miro enrolled at the School of Industrial and Fine Arts in Barcelona until 1910; during his attendance he was taught by Modest Urgell and Josep Pascó.
After overcoming a serious bout of typhoid fever in 1911, Miro decided to devote his life entirely to painting by attending the school of art taught by Francesc Galí. He studied at La Lonja School of Fine Arts in Barcelona, and in 1918 set up his first individual exhibition in the Dalmau Galleries, in the same city. His works before 1920 (the date of his first trip to Paris) reflect the influence of different trends, like the pure and brilliant colors used in Fauvism, shapes taken from cubism, influences from folkloric Catalan art and Roman frescos from the churches.
His trip to Paris introduced him to and developed his trend of surrealist painting. In 1921, he showed his first individual exhibition in Paris, at La Licorne Gallery. In 1928, he exhibited with a group of surrealists in the Pierre Gallery, also in Paris, although Miró was always to maintain his independent qualities with respect to groups and ideologies.
From 1929-1930, Miró began to take interest in the object as such, in the form of collages. This was a practice which was to lead to his making of surrealist sculptures. His tormented monsters appeared during this decade, which gave way to the consolidation of his plastic vocabulary. He also experimented with many other artistic forms, such as engraving, lithography, water colors, pastels, and painting over copper. What is particularly highlighted from this period, are the two ceramic murals which he made for the UNESCO building in Paris (The Wall of the Moon and the Wall of the Sun, 1957-59).
It was at the end of the 60´s when his final period was marked and which lasted until his death. During this time, he concentrated more and more on monumental and public works. He was characterized by the body language and freshness with which he carried out his canvasses, as well as the special attention he paid to material and the stamp he received from informalism. He concentrated his interest on the symbol, not giving too much importance to the representing theme, but to the way the symbol emerged as the piece of work.
In 1976 the Joan Miró Foundation Centre of Contemporary Art Study was officially opened in the city of Barcelona and in 1979, four years before his death, he was named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Barcelona.
Cubism began as an intellectual revolt against the artistic expression of previous eras. Among the specific elements abandoned by the cubists were the sensual appeal of paint texture and color, subject matter with emotional charge or mood, the play of light on form, movement, atmosphere, and the illusionism that proceeded from scientifically based perspective. To replace these they employed an analytic system in which the three-dimensional subject (usually still life) was fragmented and redefined within a shallow plane or within several interlocking and often transparent planes.
Analytic and Synthetic Cubism
In the analytic phase (1907–12) the cubist palette was severely limited, largely to black, browns, grays, and off-whites. In addition, forms were rigidly geometric and compositions subtle and intricate. Cubist abstraction as represented by the analytic works of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris intended an appeal to the intellect. The cubists sought to show everyday objects as the mind, not the eye, perceives them—from all sides at once. The trompe l’oeil element of collage was also sometimes used.
During the later, synthetic phase of cubism (1913 through the 1920s), paintings were composed of fewer and simpler forms based to a lesser extent on natural objects. Brighter colors were employed to a generally more decorative effect, and many artists continued to use collage in their compositions. The works of Picasso, Braque, and Gris are also representative of this phase.
Modern Art – art created from the 19th century. mid-20th cent. by artists who veered away from traditional concepts and techniques of painting, sculpture and other fine arts that has been practiced since the Renaissance (see Renaissance art and architecture). Almost all phases of modern art was initially received by the public ridicule, but as the shock wore off, the various movements settled into history, influencing and inspiring new generations of artists.
Gabriella Benevolenza, a young woman of Italian-Finnish descent was born in Helsinki, Finland in July, 1968. She was raised in various countries finally settling in Alsace (France), where she lives and paints. She studied “Arts plastique” from 1992 – 1995. She is now a valued member of AIDA (Artistes Independent d’Alsace).
Always very “constructed”, her semi-abstract work is a search for transparancy and colour balance: light and the variations of adding different types of material. She uses plaster of paris, metal pigmented paints, various types of cloth, emery paper or printed collage material.
Gabriella Benevolenza always uses collages and sometimes a square stencil. She gives rythme to her paintings by using horinzontal and/or vertical lines. On a symbolised landscape, a horizontal division may suggest houses, a small harbor, bottles or a simple forms and colors harmony, that no title helps the viewer with orientation.
The artist, herself, often remarks that: “ I may not see anything”
The most important is not the title, but the harmony of the complete color palette : from warm colours to bright orange, smooth and delicate greys, astonishing beiges that illuminate a wide space. A red point may bring , in true freedom, the final touch.
Spontaneity. With no pretense, or explanation, Ruth Palmer paints contemporary abstracts by feeling her way through the process and connecting to the soul of the subject, without concern for distinctions between representation and abstraction.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, Palmer now resides in Calgary, Canada. While her primary influence is spiritual, based in Christianity; her art is also influenced by the richness of Manet’s impressionist works and what she deems the “colorful play and balance” of Kandinsky’s. Like Kandinsky, for whom spiritual influences counted heavily, there’s a certain intentional separation with Palmer’s art that allows viewers to participate in creating the artwork. The disunion is repaired when the painted form connects to the viewer’s soul.
Ruth’s works are extremely popular in print, particularly in the design market and hospitality industry. Her paintings and digital renderings can be enjoyed in many hotels and corporate offices worldwide. Recently Ruth was asked to create a collection for installation on one of Pullmantur’s new cruise ships and one of her best-selling pieces “Luscious Red” can be found in the new release of “The Spirituality Of Sex” by Wood Lake Publishing – a Canadian Christian Publisher.
Original paintings are currently in private collections throughout Canada, the United States, Australia, England and Scandinavia.
Alfred Alexander Gockel was born in the North Rhine city of Ludinhausen, Germany in 1952. From his earliest days, he was fascinated by the magic of colors on paper. This talent and enthusiasm resulted in the release of his first work of art by a German publisher at the age of 8.
In 1973 he began his studies in the field of design, with an emphasis on typography, graphic design and advertising. After graduating with honors at the Polytechnic Institute in Munster, Germany in 1977, Alex Gockel went on to lecture at the Institute about typography and graphic design.
After making a firm decision in 1980 to dedicate all of his time to painting, Gockel honed in on his skills and developed his identifiable, signature style known today. His work ranges from unique types of etching to serigraphy. In 1983 he established the art publishing firm of Avant Art, and since that time has taken part in important international art exhibitions.
Since 1987 the porcelain, carpet and sportswear industries have made use of his design work. The conversion of a mill purchased in 1988 and used as a centre of graphic printing (screen print etching) has expanded his artistic scope. As a result of international recognition, distribution points and studios were established in London and Connecticut in 1990.
With expressive use of rich, primary colors, Gockel has created and exceptional style that is undeniably unique. His fluid strokes on large white canvas backgrounds, done in the manner of “action painting” have a tremendous universal appeal. It is no wonder that over the last decade, well over 2 million examples of his imagery in various media have been sold in the U.S. art market alone. This incredible exposure has created a demand for this artist’s original works, spawning high profile collectors such as Michael Jordon, who now owns several Gockel paintings.
He currently resides in his native Germany, and in his spare time enjoys playing tennis, and riding his Harley-Davidson through the German countryside.
German artist Alfred Gockel has a unique abstract style featuring rich, bold colors, long, fluid brushstrokes, and intense movement. Gockel sold his first artwork to a German publisher when he was 8 years old, later studying typography, graphic design and advertising.
He became a full-time painter 22 years ago, creating daring, energetic works in his trademark style. His creative range spans etching to serigraphy, and his images have been used by the porcelain, carpet and sportswear industries.
This high-quality art print is expertly produced to capture the vivid color and exceptional detail of the original.
American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock has long been recognized as a leading figure of this so-called “New York” school of painting. His fame skyrocketed after his death at age forty-four in a car crash on eastern Long Island. That gruesome death gave the Abstract Expressionist movement unprecedented public recognition, and conclusively transformed Pollock the man into Pollock the myth. But in doing so, it also obscured his specific achievements (and limitations) as a painter and thinker.
What link remains between the achievements of the early 20th century masters and the solutions proposed by those painters who have come of age (artistically speaking) and produced their maturest work since 1945? What is the relationship, for example, between Cubism and Action Painting? Or between Fauvism and French Abstract Impressionism? The words of Matisse quoted above point to the nature of this relationship, while the common denominator of all the investigations and experiments of 20th century art may be defined in the words of Mondrian.
“All modern art is distinguished by a relatively greater freedom from the oppression of the subject. Impressionism emphasized the impression of reality more than its representation. After the impressionists, all art shows a relative negation of nature’s aspects; the cubists delivered a further blow; the surrealists transformed it; the abstract artists excluded it.”
Freedom of expression, then, with respect to the subject, this is the commondenominator of art in our time, in our century. But this does not mean that the artist has ceased to express the shifting yet permanent sum of features and factors that go to make up the human situation in all its complexity. The fallacy of superficial detractors of non-figurative art is to suppose that it signifies a more or less complete abandonment of reality; on the contrary, it probes into reality more deeply than ever before.
This is as it should be. The artist cannot divorce himself from a state of society which, on the one hand, is profoundly disturbed by doubts and anxieties, but which, on the other, has achieved a great deal in the way of technical advances and social betterment. Why should painting reject new conceptions of time, space, matter and energy (and the new sensibility perforce bound up with those conceptions) when the other forms of artistic expression accept them?
Already in Proust we read of the painter Elstir, that his “effort to exhibit things, not as he knew them to be, but in accordance with those optical illusions of which our first glimpse of a thing is compounded, had led him to emphasize certain laws of perspective, thus rendered peculiarly striking, for his art was the first to disclose them.” And what is “le temps retrouvé” of the final volume of Proust’s masterwork, but a new dimension of the mind, a new sensibility, transcending the measurable, chronological lapse of years, days and hours? It is not for nothing that we find Proust writing in 1919 of “the great, the admirable Picasso.”
Mary Whiton Calkins, whom is best known for two things: becoming the first woman president of the American Psychological Association and being denied her doctorate from Harvard. However, these two aspects only make up a small portion of what she accomplished in her life. Her entire life was dedicated to her work, especially the development of her “psychology of selves.”
She founded an early psychology laboratory and invented the paired-associate technique. She passionately delved into the new field of Psychology but also was highly active in the field of Philosophy. She was not deterred by being a woman and used her struggles to gain a voice to speak out against women’s oppression.