Chapter 19 The Twentieth Century: The Early Years The Fauves In 1905, the first signs of this specifically twentieth-century movement in painting appeared in Paris. In that year, a group of young painters under the leadership of Henri Matisse exhibited canvases so simplified in design and so shockingly bright in color that a startled critic described the artists as fauves (wild beasts). The Fauves were heavily inspired by non-Western art. In African fetishes, in Polynesian decorative wood carvings, and in the sculptures and textiles of the ancient cultures of Central and South America, Fauve artists saw unexpected shapes and colors that suggested new ways of communicating emotion. These discoveries led them individually into paths of free invention. They produced pieces of great spontaneity and verve, with rich surface textures, lively linear patterns, and boldly clashing primary colors. In this work, Derain rejects the harmonies of Impressionism, so expressive of atmospheric and light conditions, in favor of a distorted perspective emphasized by the contrast of the non-naturalistic colors against the dark accents of the arches. Here, color no longer describes the local tones of an object; instead, it creates the expressive content of the picture, foreshadowing later nonobjective works whose entire content is the interaction of color and form. Andre Derain London Bridge 1906 Henri Matisse The Green Stripe (Madame Matisse) 1905 German Expressionism • The Bridge Expressionist Ernst Kirchner was the bedrock of this organization. He described the lofty goals of Die Brucke in this statement: “With a profound belief in growth, a belief in a new generation of creators and appreciators, we summon the entire younger generation-and as the youth which carries within it the future, we wish to provide ourselves with a sphere of activity opposed to the entrenched and established tendencies. Everyone belongs to us who portrays his creative impulses honestly and directly.” • The Blue Rider This organization was known for its representation of the human race as degenerate and society as corrupt, fronted by Franz Marc, who goes so far in his distaste of humanity as to replace it with animals in his pictures, finding the animal superior in beauty, strength, innocence and naturalness. This transformation soon led to total abstraction. The Bridge Die Brucke artists created scenes in which harsh colors, aggressively brushed paint, and distorted form expressed their feelings about the injustices of society. Here, steep perspective, jaggedly angular forms, acrid colors, and haunted people suggest the brittleness and fragility of life in Berlin as Europe moved closer to war. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Street, Berlin 1913 Emil Nolde (1827-1956) The Blue Rider Franz Marc The Great Blue Horses 1911 Kandinsky was Marc’s friend and co-founder of Der Blaue Reiter group. The progression of his work from expressive representation into total abstraction and nonobjectification is an art history landmark. Kandinsky carried his research into the emotional and psychological properties of color, line, and shape to the point that subject matter and representational elements are entirely eliminated Wassily Kandinsky Blue Mountain 1908-1909 Kandinsky carried his research into the emotional and psychological properties of color, line, and shape to the point that subject matter and representational elements are entirely eliminated. Now that abstract art has become such a part of our experience, we tend to forget the courage such a step required and the creative imagination needed to undertake such a completely new direction in the art of painting. Wassily Kandinsky Sketch I for Composition VII 1913 Amedeo Modigliani (1884 1920) “What I want to show in my work is the idea which hides itself behind so-called reality. I am seeking for the bridge which leads from the visible to the invisible, like the famous cabalist who once said, ‘if you wish to get hold of the invisible you must penetrate as deeply as possible into the visible’… What helps me most in this task is the penetration of space. Height, width and depth are the three phenomena which I must transfer into one plane to form the abstract surface of the picture, and thus to protect myself from the infinity of space… When spiritual, metaphysical, material, or immaterial events come into my life, I can only fix them by way of painting. It is not the subject that matters but the translation of the subject into the abstraction of the surface by means of painting.” ~Max Beckmann The New Objectivity Max Beckmann Departure 1932-33 José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949) Diego Rivera (1886-1957) Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) Cubism Abstract art in its first official manifestation, Cubism, represents a radical turning point in the history of Western art. Optical pictorialism is rejected for compositions of forms abstracted from the world we conventionally perceive and reproduce within a picture frame. The continuous optical spread is shattered into its many constituent features, which are then recomposed with a new logic of design, without reference to the original optical unit. •Pablo Picasso •Georges Braque •Analytic Cubism •Synthetic Cubism Picasso in his Studio Pablo Picasso Family of Saltimbanques 1905 Pablo Picasso Self-portrait with Palette 1906 Pablo Picasso Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon) 1907 Georges Braque Houses at L’estaque 1908 Analytic Cubism Developed jointly by Picasso and Braque, these artists analyzed the forms of their subjects from every possible vantage point and to combine the various views into one pictorial whole. Paul Cezanne Gardanne 1885-1886 Can you see the influence Cezanne had on Braque and Cubism in general? Georges Braque The Portuguese 1911 Pablo Picasso Glass and Bottle of Suze 1912 Synthetic Cubism In this new phase, cubism no longer relied on a decipherable relation to the visible world. Paintings and drawings were constructed from objects and shapes cut from paper or other materials to represent parts of a subject. Pablo Picasso Guernica 1937 Pablo Picasso Mandolin and Clarinet 1913 Assemblage A three-dimensional composition made from various materials such as found objects, paper, wood, or cloth--a sculptural collage. Pablo Picasso Bull’s Head 1943 Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending a Staircase 1912 Futurism This painter and influential theorist attempted to reconcile Analytical Cubism with the representation of motion. In Nude Descending a Staircase, which caused an uproar of negative criticism, Duchamp sets the dislocated panes of a single figure into a time continuum, suggesting the effect of a primitive motion-picture technique. More implied motion… Umberto Boccioni States of Mind: The Farewells 1911 Implied motion in sculpture… Umberto Boccioni Unique Forms of Continuity in Space 1913 Implied motion in light… Giacomo Balla Street Light 1909 And even in the unseen wind. Giacomo Balla Abstract Speed The Car Has Passed 1913 Joseph Stella (1880-1946) Abstraction in Europe • Nonobjective Art The creators of such works strive--not always successfully--to eliminate even the slightest reference to the world of perceived objects; they want to have nothing to do with images, even fragments or traces of them as in the residues of Cubist analysis. Rather than abstracting forms from an image, they prefer an entirely fresh start, inventing and constructing forms of the most elemental kind: geometrical--angular, rectilinear, circular; mechanical; organic--rounded, soft-contoured, cellular-like living organisms. According to those artists who think this way, art must be pure form, free from any representation. Naum Gabo Column c. 1923 Constructivism Gabo called himself a Constructivist partly because he built up his sculptures piece by piece in space instead of carving or modeling them in the traditional way. Piet Mondrian Composition 1930 The beginnings of supersimplification to achieve a universal expression of perfect equilibrium. Gerrit Rietveldt Schroeder House 1924 The architectural counterpart to Mondrian… Schroder House Interior Constantin Brancusi Bird in Space c. 1928 Brancusi sought in nature “what is real… not the outward form, but the idea, the essence of things.” Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) Dada World War I stimulated this movement which protested against all art, modern or traditional, as well as the civilization that produced it. Dada was born of the war itself, and of the social, economic, and political calamities that followed it. Humanity had never before witnessed such wholesale slaughter on so grand a scale over such an extended period of time. It was against the madness of war that the banner of Dada was raised in disgust and protest. Dada is a nonsense word picked at random from a French dictionary actually meaning a child’s hobbyhorse, but the word was sufficiently insignificant for the Dadaists’ contempt for significance. It was more of a mindset that a single, identifiable style; wherever it arose, its artists were committed to questioning everything about artistic expression. Hugo Ball reciting the sound poem “Karawane” 1916 Hannah Hoch Cut with the Kitchen Knife Dada through the Last Wiermar Beer Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany 1919-20 John Heartfield Have No Fear – He’s a Vegetarian May 7, 1936 Marcel Duchamp Fountain 1917 Readymade Found objects that are exhibited as works of art, frequently after being placed in a new context with a new title. Man Ray Cadeau (Gift) 1921 Surrealism The Surrealist movement was marked by its determined exploration of ways to express in art the world of dreams and the unconscious. The Surrealists borrowed many of the improvisational techniques of the Dadaists, believing these to be important methods for engaging the elements of fantasy and activating the unconscious forces that lie deep within every human being. Salvador Dali (1904-1989) Marc Chagall (1887-1985) Giorgio de Chirico Melancholy and Mystery of a street 1914 Pittura Metafisica Literally, metaphysical painting. A style which evokes eerie feelings of the subconscious. Max Ernst The Horde 1927 Automatism In painting, the process of yielding oneself to instinctive motions of the hands after establishing a set of conditions, such as medium or size of the surface, within which a work is to be carried out. Joan Miro Dutch Interior I 1928 More Automatism… This Belgian painter also expresses the Surrealist idea and method: the dreamlike dislocation of image and meaning, and the putting together of images and meanings that are totally unalike. Rene Magritte The Treachery of Images 1928-1929 Rene Magritte Euclidean Walks 1955 Rene Magritte Time Transfixed 1938 Surrealist sculpture--more dislocation of image and meaning, or in this case, function. Meret Oppenheim Object 1936 Power Point by Krysten Koehn References: Fichner-Rathus, L. (2004). Understanding Art (Ed. 7). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Tansey, R. et al. (1996). Gardener’s Art Through the Ages (Ed.10). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace.