Art final finalized

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Art final finalized

  1. 1. Color has been an important medium for artists since the creation of the first cave paintings in Spain over 40,000 years ago. Artists frequently use pigment to give life to their subject matter, and throughout the course of history, the colors of various pigments have represented the geography and cultural norms of the artists utilizing them. Considering that psychology, or the science of the mind, was a nineteenth century innovation, the term ‘psychology of color’ can be considered to be a fairly recent moniker used to describe how color affects the human psyche. However, for centuries artists have intuitively realized that various colors evoke certain reactions from viewers. This exhibit will showcase paintings by artists from the Renaissance to the present, and discuss the symbolism and psychology of the colors chosen by the artists for their works.
  2. 2. Green has been considered a symbol of fertility and motherhood for hundred of years, and was often used as a color for wedding dressing in the 15th century, when this portrait was painted. Some art historians believe that this painting represents an arranged marriage. The blue underdress of the female subject is symbolic of her availability as a bride. The blue and purple colors on the male subject indicate his high social status. The red fabric on the furniture reinforces his place in high society and wealth. Van Eyck used a technique of applying multiple layers of thin translucent glazes to create paintings with an intensity of tone and color. The colors help to highlight the realism. The richness of the color reflect the wealth of the Arnolfini family, since one had to be wealthy to commission a portrait at this period in time. C Jan Van Eyck Arnolfini Portrait oil on oak 82.2 (panel 84.5) cm × 60 (panel 62.5) cm 1434
  3. 3. Jean-Michel Basquiat addressed issues of race, capitalism and social injustice in many of his works. He incorporated many styles into his art, including graffiti. The extensive use of red and orange draws viewers into the painting to see the subjects as non-threatening and friendly upon first glance yet as you delve deeper, the symbolism of the colors take on different meanings. The subject on the right has a body that is entirely red, which can symbolize danger, and indeed the subject on the left appears to be apprehensive of the subject on the right. The subject on the left’s body is composed of thin white lines. Psychologically speaking, the white body is a blank canvas, ready for a new beginning. The two subjects hands, one red and one white, are about to touch, yet they are divided by a thick orange line that is covered in white. The warmth between them is hindered by the sterility and cautiousness of the subject on the left. Perhaps he has something valid to fear, perhaps he does not. He is unsure about letting his guard down. These two figures could represent the duality of Basquiat’s life as an African- American artist is a predominately White art world, and his apprehension at the true intentions of those around him. Jean-Michel Basquiat Dustheads acrylic, oilstick, spray enamel and metallic paint on canvas 182.8 x 213.3 cm 1982
  4. 4. Wassily Kandinsky, one of the first abstract painters, was deeply interested in color in art and developed multiple theories on the properties of color in art and how they are best used. He wrote a treatise in 1910 where he stated his belief that abstract colors and forms can be used to express the “inner life” of the artist. Blue was his favorite color, and he uses it liberally in this painting. He felt that he hear the color blue, as well as see it. Kandinsky said, “As a picture painted in yellow always radiates spiritual warmth…” Kandinsky has created a painting with spiritual warmth represented by his yellows, and spiritual realization, indicated by his indigo blues. His lighter blues are cool and calming, to lighten the spiritual weight of the painting. Peter Paul Rubens was a very successful Flemish painter who did commissions for the Church and or non-religious patrons. His painting represents the Baroque ideology that an artist should study nature directly. His landscape below is filled with textures and colors recognizable and symbolic of their natural form. The leaves are starting to dry up and die on the trees, and the ground is brown. The greens are minimal and muted in the painting, and the only vibrant colors are on the upper-class woman being driven in a horse-drawn carriage. The worker close to the center of the painting is as drab as the landscape around him. He is a part of the earth around him, and works the earth as surely as the upper-class woman in the carriage is above the earth, and has no true connection with it, or with the lower-class worker. Wassily Kandinsky Winter Landscape I, Kochel, Bavaria oil on cardboard 71 1/2x 97 ½ cm 1909 Peter Paul Rubens An Autumn Landscape with a View of Het Steen in the Early Morning oil on oak 131.2 x 229.2 cm 1636
  5. 5. Francis Bacon said about his painting, Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, that he was not against popes in general, however he needed "an excuse to use these colours, and you can't give ordinary clothes that purple colour without getting into a sort of false fauve manner.“ In other words, although his pope is truly frightening to gaze upon, Bacon wanted to use the color purple in a manner that would be fitting for its symbolical purpose as a representation of power and royalty. He did not want the color to represent something non- naturalistic, as it would in artwork from the Fauve style. El Greco was a sixteenth century painter that was known for his direct interpretation of the Counter-Reformation style that the Roman Catholic Church mandated during his lifetime. The Church wanted art to appeal to emotion rather than reason, and it demanded that art was accurate in its treatment or religious subjects. His portrait of Pope Pius is illuminated from many different sources, suggesting a mystical light, in tune with God. Even the color of the pope’s skin is an unnatural, mystical white. The red of his cape indicates his high political and religious stature, and his white robes symbolize his purity in the name of God. El Greco Portrait of Pope Pius oil on canvas size unknown 1605 Francis Bacon Study After Velaquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocente X oil on canvas 153 X 118 cm 1953
  6. 6. Paul Gaugin considered himself to be part of the Symbolist movement, which emphasized the internal world of the imagination and focus on dreams, which was akin to the concepts of psychoanalysis. The name Symbolism came from the desire of the artists associated with the movement to create art that symbolizes thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Gauguin said he chose the color yellow for his yellow Christ to convey how he felt about the isolated life of the peasants in Brittany. They were a deeply religious group of people that lived according to traditions that their ancestors followed for centuries. The yellow body of Christ ties in to the yellow color in the landscape in the background. The agricultural season is analogous to the life and death of Christ: in fall, which is the setting of this painting, Christ is crucified, and crops are harvested. In winter, there is no growth, just as there was no movement or sign of life when Jesus was in the tomb for three days, and finally, spring arrives and new crops bloom and grow, just as Jesus rose from the grave. Paul Gaugin The Yellow Christ oil on canvas 92.1 x 73.3 cm 1889
  7. 7. Andy Warhol Flowers acrylic, pencil, spray enamel and metallic paint on canvas 24 and 48 inch canvas Silkscreen, pencil, hand-painted acrylic and Day-Glo paint 1964 Pierre-Auguste Renoir Vase of Flowers II Size and date unknown (approx. 1886 – 1888) Andy Warhol’s flowers were based on a photograph in a magazine in the 1960’s. However, Warhol created his own interpretation of the photograph, often belying colors actually found in nature, such as the fluorescent Day- Glo flowers. In using fluorescent paint, Warhol challenged the standard conventions and aesthetics as to what the viewer believes a flower looks like. The colors almost vibrate with energy, the flowers seem as though they are ready to leap off of the canvas and smother the viewer. The colors are analogous to one another in the painting with more than one color, they are a close range of tones which makes a richer look. Analogous colors are often found in nature, which is a tongue-in-cheek jab at the unnatural color of the flowers. Renoir’s generous use of warm, vibrant colors in this painting invites the viewer to immerse themselves into the painting. The colors are saturated, inspiring the viewer to feel happy and energized. His reds draw you in and pulls your focus towards the flowers to the left, center and right side of the painting, which are the three flowers that are seemingly bursting with an air of sensuality. Renoir’s velvety brush strokes help to blend the colors so that the viewer feels as though there are layers of flowers behind the vase, and the flowers are never-ending. Renoir liked to paint outdoors, like many Impressionists, although he was more interested in the psychological and emotional aspects of his work than other artists of his time.
  8. 8. The interpretation of a flower is very different in this painting than the two previous pieces of work. This was painted by Pablo Picasso during his Surrealist period. Surrealists were the first group of artists to embrace the psychoanalytical work of Sigmund Freud, who is considered to father of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysts believe that color can indicate mood. Picasso’s greens and whites in his flower indicate springtime, renewal and purity. Purple is the color of imagination, and the purple face, arms and torso of the woman tell of her emergence in the imagination of Picasso to find her way onto his canvas. She is of nature, indicated by the brown colors surrounding her, and yet she has a level on sensuousness, illustrated by the color red, which makes her a multi-faceted woman. Picasso loved women, he painted them frequently, and he had many wives and many mistresses that he used as muses over the years. Pablo Picasso Femme a la fleur (Woman with flower) 162x130 cm. 1932

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