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Chapter 5 experiments in color and form

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Chapter 5
THE NEW CENTTURY:
EXPERIMENTS IN
COLOR AND FORM
Forty years prior to World War I, which started in1914, much of Europe
enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity fuelled by rapid developments in
science and technology, and by a relative political stability.
La Belle Époque, "the beautiful era“, was a golden age with prosperity that
also contributed to a remarkable renaissance in the visual arts.
By the 1890s, Postimpressionist masters such as Cézanne, Matisse, and
Gauguin, who were at the at the forefront of modernism in painting,
inspired similar experimentation in all of the arts.
Paul Gauguin travelled to Tahiti searching for an artistic redemption, a
comeback to the primitive and the exotic that could help him to find a way
in which his Art could be purified. When Gauguin embarked from
Marseilles, he predicted that color would play a more important role in
modern painting.
Gauguin would be the right man to
lead such a movement, since he
had already proved his capacity to
respond to tropical light and color.
Gauguin's escape to Tahiti was an
escape to artistic freedom.
He simplified his forms by
eliminating shadow, like the makers
of Japanese prints that he so much
admired, and divided up his canvas
into a series of bold areas and
treated those areas as an excuse
for the most daring juxtapositions
of color.
Paul Gauguin. The day of the
Gods, 1894. Oil on canvas. The
Art Institute of Chicago.
Paul Gauguin. D'où venonsnous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-
nous? (Where Do We come from? What Are We? Where Are We
Going?) 1897. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, boston.
This is the work that explains the entire philosophical and pictorial doctrine
of the artist. At the left corner there is a figure of an ancient mummy in fetal
position; while at the right corner, there is a baby, symbol of the life and the
innocence; the baby is surrounded by three Tahitian young women.
At the center of the picture, there is a figure of a man who takes a fruit which
symbolizes the temptation of the man. Gauguin seems to point the primitive,
the innocent, as the only one way for the artist.
The first of the major avant-garde movements in European 20th
century art, Fauvism was characterized by paintings that used
intensely vivid, non-naturalistic and exuberant colors. The style was
essentially expressionist, and generally featured landscapes in which
forms were distorted.
The Fauves first exhibited together in 1905 in Paris. The movement
was subjected to more mockery and abuse as it developed, but began
to gain respect when major art collectors, took an interest, and
acquired their art.
The leading artists of the movement were Matisse, Rouault, Derain,
Vlaminck, Braque and Dufy. Although short-lived (1905-8), Fauvism
was extremely influential in the evolution of 20th century art.
Fauvism
“Purity of Means” in Practice:
Henry Matisse’s Early Career
HENRY MATISSE's artistic career was long and varied, covering
many different styles of painting from Impressionism to near
Abstraction.
Early on in his career Matisse was viewed as a Fauvist, and his
celebration of bright colors reached its peak in 1917.
Paul Signac's paintings of Saint-Tropez bay were an important
influence on Matisse's work.
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Chapter 5 experiments in color and form

  • 1. Chapter 5 THE NEW CENTTURY: EXPERIMENTS IN COLOR AND FORM
  • 2. Forty years prior to World War I, which started in1914, much of Europe enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity fuelled by rapid developments in science and technology, and by a relative political stability. La Belle Époque, "the beautiful era“, was a golden age with prosperity that also contributed to a remarkable renaissance in the visual arts. By the 1890s, Postimpressionist masters such as Cézanne, Matisse, and Gauguin, who were at the at the forefront of modernism in painting, inspired similar experimentation in all of the arts. Paul Gauguin travelled to Tahiti searching for an artistic redemption, a comeback to the primitive and the exotic that could help him to find a way in which his Art could be purified. When Gauguin embarked from Marseilles, he predicted that color would play a more important role in modern painting.
  • 3. Gauguin would be the right man to lead such a movement, since he had already proved his capacity to respond to tropical light and color. Gauguin's escape to Tahiti was an escape to artistic freedom. He simplified his forms by eliminating shadow, like the makers of Japanese prints that he so much admired, and divided up his canvas into a series of bold areas and treated those areas as an excuse for the most daring juxtapositions of color. Paul Gauguin. The day of the Gods, 1894. Oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago.
  • 4. Paul Gauguin. D'où venonsnous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons- nous? (Where Do We come from? What Are We? Where Are We Going?) 1897. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, boston. This is the work that explains the entire philosophical and pictorial doctrine of the artist. At the left corner there is a figure of an ancient mummy in fetal position; while at the right corner, there is a baby, symbol of the life and the innocence; the baby is surrounded by three Tahitian young women. At the center of the picture, there is a figure of a man who takes a fruit which symbolizes the temptation of the man. Gauguin seems to point the primitive, the innocent, as the only one way for the artist.
  • 5. The first of the major avant-garde movements in European 20th century art, Fauvism was characterized by paintings that used intensely vivid, non-naturalistic and exuberant colors. The style was essentially expressionist, and generally featured landscapes in which forms were distorted. The Fauves first exhibited together in 1905 in Paris. The movement was subjected to more mockery and abuse as it developed, but began to gain respect when major art collectors, took an interest, and acquired their art. The leading artists of the movement were Matisse, Rouault, Derain, Vlaminck, Braque and Dufy. Although short-lived (1905-8), Fauvism was extremely influential in the evolution of 20th century art. Fauvism
  • 6. “Purity of Means” in Practice: Henry Matisse’s Early Career HENRY MATISSE's artistic career was long and varied, covering many different styles of painting from Impressionism to near Abstraction. Early on in his career Matisse was viewed as a Fauvist, and his celebration of bright colors reached its peak in 1917. Paul Signac's paintings of Saint-Tropez bay were an important influence on Matisse's work.
  • 7. Earliest Works This painting is considered Matisse’s first truly modern work despite a seemingly traditional composition. The dramatically tilted table in this painting anticipates the directions his work would take. Still life and the nude were Matisse’s favorite subjects throughout his career. Henri Matisse. The Dinner Table. 1896 – 1897. oil on canvas. 100 x 131 cm. Private Collection
  • 8. Matisse used pure colors and the white of exposed canvas to create luminosity in his Fauve paintings. Rather than using shading, Matisse used contrasting areas of pure colors. He employed these ideas throughout his career. The title of this painting is taken from the refrain of Charles Baudelaire's poem, Invitation to a Voyage (1857). The technique and subject matter of this painting was inspired by the Pointillism of Paul Signac and Georges Seurat. Henri Matisse. Luxe, Calme et Volupté. 1904-1905. Oil on canvas. 37” x 46”. Musée d'Orsay Matisse’s Fuave Period
  • 9. In this painting, Matisse combined conventional portraiture with brilliant color applied across her face, dress, and background. The strength of the composition comes from its geometric structure and the color combination. The lack of light and shadow, which would have added depth to the image, have been translated into planes of color which resulted in flattening of the picture plane.. Henri Matisse. Portrait of Madame Matisse/The Green Line, 1905. Oil and tempera on canvas. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen
  • 10. During the summers of his Fauve period, Matisse often painted landscapes in the south of France. He later used the ideas developed there to create larger compositions upon his return to Paris. In Joy of Life, the second of his important imaginary compositions, he used a landscape he had painted in Collioure. He also used ideas drawn from Watteau, Poussin, and Japanese woodcuts. The painting received mixed reviews at the Salon des Indépendants. Henri Matisse. The Joy of Life. 1905 – 1906. Oil on canvas. Barnes Foundation, Lower Merion, Pensylvania.
  • 11. The Influence of African Art Matisse painted the nude against a contrasting dark background. Hard and angular lines, are a tribute to Cézanne and to the sculpture Matisse saw in Algeria. This was the last Matisse painting bought by Leo and Gertrude Stein, major collectors of early 20th century art. Henri Matisse, The Blue Nude: Memory of Biskra, 1907. Oil on canvas. Baltimore Museum of Art
  • 12. Henri Matisse is primarily identified with Fauvism. With this painting, the artist signaled a move away from his Fuave period. In this new approach, Matisse had less interest in anatomical correctness and sought to convey the essential qualities of his figures. Henri Matisse, Le Luxe II, 1907–08. Casein on canvas. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.
  • 13. “The Wild Beasts” Tamed: Derain, Vlaminck, and Dufy André Derain contributed to the development of two of the most significant artistic movements of the early-20th century. Together with Henri Matisse, and Maurice de Vlaminck, Derain was responsible for contributing to what would become Fauvism. His work created later, during his association with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, shows his contribution to Cubism.. André Derain, London Bridge 1906. Oil on canvas, 26 x 39" The Museum of Modern Art, NY.
  • 14. André Derain’s masterpiece The Turning Road, L’Estaque, represents the French village, where Paul Cézanne had painted earlier. The painting's title comes from the road that curves through the scene. Derain travelled to southern France in 1905, where he joinined Henri Matisse. The Turning Road, L’Estaque is ta statement that the strength of a picture has more to do with form than with serving as a window on the world. André Derain, The Turning Road, L'Estaque. 1906. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Huston.
  • 15. Maurice de Vlaminck painted the portrait of Derain in a close-up, and with vivid colors. The space is flattened, by Vlaminck’s outlining in black the contours of the head, hair, shoulders, and collar. Vlaminck painted the face red, with facial features highlighted with strokes of yellow and green on the nose. Both eyes have blue lids. The moustache is also painted in blue. Maurice de Vlaminck. André Derain. Oil on cardboard. 1906. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
  • 16. Robert Dufy discovered Fauvism in 1905 and never abandoned it. Dufy combined the Fauvism’s avant-garde formal principles with a decorative aesthetic in his work as a textile designer. Raoul Dufy. Street Decked with Flags 1906. Oil on canvas. Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris.
  • 17. Religious art for Modern Age: Georges Rouault Georges Rouault drew inspiration from French medieval masters, and united religious and secular traditions. His work, influenced by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Paul Cézanne, was included in the 1905 Paris Salon d’Automne, alongside the Fauves. Rouault’s artistic and religious evolution were intertwined. The Old King was painted over a period of twenty years. Georges Rouault. The Old King. Oil on Canvas, 1936. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
  • 18. The Belle Époque on Film: Lumiére Brothers and Larrtigue The end of the 19th Century in European history is known as the Belle Epoque. During this period, Auguste and Louis Lumière started their careers, working together in their father’s photographic factory. The two brothers designed the machines necessary to automate the factory production and invented a new photo plate, ‘etiquettes bleue’. In 1895, the Lumière brothers invented the first movie camera and projector and became the world’s first filmmakers. During the same year they produced 10 short films which they showed around Europe. Auguste and Louis Lumière:
  • 19. Henri Matisse. Harmony in Red (The Dessert), 1908. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg. Modernism on a Grand Scale: Matisse’s Art after Fauvism This painting by French artist He nri Matisse, lacks a central focal point. The painting was commissioned as "Harmony in Blue," but Matisse was dissatisfied with the result, and he painted it over with his favored red. The same pattern on the wallpaper and tablecloth flatten the space considerably.
  • 20. In 1909 Matisse received a commission from wealthy Russian industrialist, Sergei Shchukin who asked him for three large scale canvases to decorate the spiral staircase of his mansion, the Trubetskoy Palace, in Moscow. In Dance II, the figures are drawn loosely, with almost no interior definition. Their formless and unrestricted movements don’t show how hard Matisse worked to make this painting seem effortless. If these figures would have been painted with the frozen density of Jacques Louis David’s style, the sense of pure joy, the sense of play would have been completely lost.. Henri Matisse. Dance (II), 1909-10. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg.
  • 21. The colors of these five figures, related to the Dance (II), attest once again to Matisse's insistent simplification. The themes of Music and Dance are connected at a slightly earlier stage in Matisse's career. The pipe player, second from left in the 1910 Music, evokes a recumbent figure from Joy of Life. Henri Matisse. Music, 1909-10. Oil on canvas. The Hermitage Museum. St. Petersburg.
  • 22. The Red Studio depicts some of Matisse's paintings, sculptures, and ceramics, displayed in his studio. The artworks appear in color and in detail, while the room's architecture and furnishings are indicated only by line drawings mostly in yellow. This painting was an attempt to find a color that would resist the illusion of deep space. Despite Matisse’s effort to ignore the perspective of the room, the viewer still sees the room as an inhabitable space. Illusion still triumphs. Henri Matisse. The Red Studio, 1911. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • 23. Forms of the Essential: Constantin Brancusi Brancusi entered the Craiova School of Arts and Crafts at the age of 18. After graduation he enrolled in the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, where he received academic training in sculpture. In 1903, Brâncuși traveled to Munich, and from there to Paris. He worked for two years in the workshop of Antonin Mercié of the École des Beaux-Arts, and was invited to enter the workshop of Auguste Rodin where he stayed only for two months. Constantin Brancusi (Romanian). 1876 – 1957
  • 24. After leaving Rodin's workshop, Brâncuși began developing the style for which he is known. Around this time Brâncuși began crafting the bases for his sculptures with much care and originality because he considered them important to the works themselves. One of his major groups of sculptures involved the Bird in Space — simple abstract shapes representing a bird in flight. TConstantin Brancusi ‘s studio. 1920. photograph by Edward Steichen
  • 25. Bird in Space shows the bird theme in Constantin Brancusi’s work which can be traced to the Maiastra sculptures (1910–18) through the Golden Bird (1919) group and, finally, to the Bird in Space series. Sixteen examples of the Bird in Space sequence, dating from 1923 to 1940, have been identified. The streamlined form of the Bird in Space (1932–1940), represents the essence of the flight itself rather than describing the appearance of a particular bird. Constantin Brancusi. Bird in Space. 1932–40. Polished brass. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
  • 26. Brancusi's work was inspired by myths, folklore, and "primitive" cultures. These traditional sources of inspiration are in stark contrast to the highly polished appearance of his works resulting in a distinctive blend of modernity and timelessness. Brancusi use of marble, stone, bronze, wood, and metal was dictated by the specific forms of his sculptures.. Constantin Brancusi. The Kiss. 1916. Limestone. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
  • 27. This is the first of Brâncuși's several variations of Endless Column. The artwork refelcts Brancusi’s focus and affinity for the sacred and cosmic Endless Column also focuses on the theme of Brâncuși's work, the idea of infinity. The Endless Columns in this image was the version that served as the centerpiece of the ensemble of sculptural memorial to fallen soldiers in World War I erected in Tirgu-Jiu, Romania in 1935. Constantin Brancusi. The Endless Column. 1937–38. Cast iron. 98ft high. Tirgu-Jiu, Romania.