Tag: American Masters
The legendary American painter of pop art and the artist, Andy Warhol defined a generation of conceptual painting. Considered a cultural icon, in addition to a prominent painter, Warhol’s transition from artist to jointly define a functional middle generations.
Most of the works of Warhol since 1960 where he painted illustrations of different interpretations of cultural symbols. Accordingly, it is the strongest identified with pop cultural art, which includes representatives from advertising and cartoons. He used the painting techniques dropwise close to the abstract expression art, and came to define a style of American culture through his works.
By painting symbols of American culture in a new light, a new brand of American culture has emerged through the expression. If work has not been widely accepted at first, they came to represent American classics over time.
The most famous work is the icon Warhol Campbell’s Soup can, and he titled his work simply on the basis of the images they represent. Warhol also known pop icons of his era, paintings and works on interpretation of 1960 celebrities then. Many consider his light heart works, but during a period in 1962, he drew what would come to represent his death and whites disaster, including Red Car Crash and Disaster Orange showing human frailty behind the images.
An eclectic character, works by Warhol and interpretations reflect a sense of exploration in the 1960s, and his own personal research. A complete artist, Warhol also produced music, printed books and films, helping to shape an emerging genre Avante garde.
Photorealism is the genre of painting bassd on making a painting from the use of a photograph. The term is primarily applied to paintings from the United States art movement that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
As a full-fledged art movement, Photorealism evolved from Pop Art and as a counter to Abstract Expressionism as well as Minimalist art movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the United States. Photorealists use a photograph or several photographs to create their work of art and it can be argued that the use of a camera and photographs is an acceptance of Modernism. However, the blatant admittance to the use of photographs in Photorealism was met with intense criticism when the movement began to gain momentum in the late 1960s, despite the fact that visual devices had been used since the fifteenth century to aid artists with their work.
The invention of photography in the nineteenth century had three effects on art: portrait and scenic artists were deemed inadequate to the photograph and many turned to photography as careers; within nineteenth and twentieth century art movements it is well documented that artists used the photograph as source material and as an aid—however, they went to great lengths to deny the fact fearing that their work would be misunderstood as imitations; and through the photograph’s invention artists were open to a great deal of new experimentation. Thus, the culmination of the invention of the photograph was a break in art’s history towards the challenge facing the artist – since the earliest known cave drawings – trying to replicate the scenes they viewed.
By the time the Photorealists began producing their bodies of work the photograph had become the leading means of reproducing reality and abstraction was the focus of the art world Realism continued as an on-going art movement, even experiencing a reemergence in the 1930s, but by the 1950s modernist critics and Abstract Expressionism had all but minimalized realism as a serious art undertaking. Though Photorealists share some aspects of American realists, such as Edward Hopper, they tried to set themselves as much apart from traditional realists as they did Abstract Expressionists. Photorealists were much more influenced by the work of Pop artists and were reacting against Abstract Expressionism.
Those who have followed the course of abstract art over the past 70 or 80 years will have been struck by its persistence. When the Cercle et Carré exhibition was held in April 1930, the Parisian press informed us that such painting was “the mere ghost of an experiment which we thought had died long ago,” and that “all this has nothing new to offer.” In 1955 the same outbursts of weariness and boredom, if not anger, can be heard at any exhibition of abstract art: “about time the joke was buried… same old bag of tricks… poor old public.”
Maybe. But things become entirely different if we are patient enough to take a closer look. Then we see that abstract art has never stopped adding to its range and means of expression, never faltered in its search for greater depth. If the ABC of this language was firmly established in the ‘heroic’ phase by Kandinsky, Mondrian, Delaunay and Malevitch, this does not mean that everything has been said in the same language.
The critics’ ignorance and the public’s sophisticated grumbling were unable to prevent it from branching out into the remotest corners of the western world, where it has won over intelligent collectors and gained a hold, even a considerable hold, in civic museums and galleries. Kandinsky and Mondrian, both of whom lived to a good age, thanks to their long working life were able to show their successors what a range of values can be drawn out of such simple elements; Kandinsky stressing inventiveness and Mondrian the importance of increasing depth.
The other movements or schools which sprang up in such great numbers all over the world in the past hundred years all enjoyed a much shorter span of life. At the moment of writing (1955), abstract painting has flourished for forty years and shows no signs of slackening vitality.
Those critics who began by encouraging it but who now pull a long face at some geometrical composition by Vasarely or some colour-composition by Riopelle, remind me of Zola when, throwing over his former Impressionist friends in 1896, he voiced his disillusionment in a notorious article in the Figaro which does not stand to his credit: “Not a single artist in this group,” wrote the author of L’Œuvre, “has succeeded in translating into paint, with the slightest power of finality, the new formula which is to be observed in snippets on their various canvases… They are all forerunners. The genius is yet to be born… They are all unequal to the task they have set themselves, they can’t talk, they stutter.” At the Jeu de Paume Museum (for example) we can now go and see exactly what stuttering meant. No oracle is needed to predict that fifty years hence some other Jeu de Paume will be showing an astonished public those masterpieces of abstract art that are being painted at the present time and which we are treating with contempt.
Written by: Ilyas Hizli
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1953, Ken Bailey has painted most of his life andattendewd the University of Utah. In addition to being an artist, he has owned Bailey Nelson Gallery of Seattle, WA since 1987.
Cats and dogs are fantastic subjects. While they appeal to people who appreciate the graphic form and historical connotation, they also attract animal lovers who share an emotional connection. Ken Bailey uses cats and dogs as subject matter in his work for several reasons. He enjoys the variety of breeds from a technical standpoint, and finds them versatile subjects. However, his goal is not to paint a representational portrait, but to portray a deeper emotional connection that makes people laugh- reminding them of a loved friend.
In general, Bailey creates his work in three structures. The first is reminiscent of a vintage poster where the dog is the primary character. These pieces evoke the feeling of vintage advertising, and involve wit and humor. The second form contains the elements of dog dreams and fantasies. Usuallly two-part works, one section is representational of the animal while the other shows it doing something fantastic or unusual. Connected by thought bubbles, it is clear that the animal is dreaming of the extraordinary fantasy. The third structure is free form-depicting the dog by showing it in an act that summarizes his personality.
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.
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.”
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Modern aesthetics, which has taken the decisive step from aesthetic objectivism to aesthetic subjectivism, i.e. which no longer takes the aesthetic as the starting-point of its investigations, but proceeds from the behaviour of the contemplating subject, culminates in a doctrine that may be characterised by the broad general name of the theory of empathy. This theory has been clearly and comprehensively formulated in the writings of Theodor Lipps. For this reason his aesthetic system will serve, as pars pro toto, as the foil to the following treatise.
For the basic purpose of my essay is to show that this modern aesthetics, which proceeds from the concept of empathy, is inapplicable to wide tracts of art history. Its Archimedian point is situated at onepole of human artistic feeling alone. It will only assume the shape of a comprehensive aesthetic system when it has united with the lines that lead from the opposite pole.
We regard as this counter-pole an aesthetics which proceeds not from man’s urge to empathy, but from his urge to abstraction. Just as the urge to empathy as a pre-assumption of aesthetic experience finds its gratification in the beauty of the organic, so the urge to abstraction finds its beauty in the life-denying inorganic, in the crystalline or, in general terms, in all abstract law and necessity.
We shall endeavour to cast light upon the antithetic relation of empathy and abstraction, by first characterising the concept of empathy in a few broad strokes.
The simplest formula that expresses this kind of aesthetic experience runs: Aesthetic enjoyment is objectified self-enjoyment. To enjoy aesthetically means to enjoy myself in a sensuous object diverse from myself, to empathise myself into it. ‘What I empathise into it is quite generally life. And life is energy, inner working, striving and accomplishing. In a word, life is activity. But activity is that in which I experience an expenditure of energy. By its nature, this activity is an activity of the will. It is endeavour or volition in motion.’
Whereas the earlier aesthetics operated with pleasure and unpleasure, Lipps gives to both these sensations the value of tones of sensation only, in the sense that the lighter or darker tone of a colour is not the colour itself, but precisely a tone of the colour. The crucial factor is, therefore, rather the sensation itself, i.e. the inner motion, the inner life, the inner self-activation.
The presupposition of the act of empathy is the general apperceptive activity. ‘Every sensuous object, in so far as it exists for me, is always the product of two components, of that which is sensuously given and of my apperceptive activity.’ Each simple line demands apperceptive activity from me, in order that I shall apprehend it as what it is. I have to expand my inner vision till it embraces the whole line; I have inwardly to delimit what I have thus apprehended and extract it, as an entity, from its surroundings. Thus every line already demands of me that inner motion which includes the two impulses: expansion and delimitation. In addition, however, every line, by virtue of its direction and shape, makes all sorts of special demands on me.
‘The question now arises: how do I behave toward these demands. There are two possibilities, namely that I say yes or that I say no to any such demand, that I freely exercise the activity demanded of me, or that I resist the demand; that the natural tendencies, inclinations and needs for self-activation within me are in unison with the demand, or that they are not. We always have a need for self-activation. In fact this is the fundamental need of our being. But the selfactivation demanded of me by a sensuous object may be so constituted that, precisely by virtue of its constitution, it cannot be performed by me without friction, without inner opposition.
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