Getting Started 2

Posted by Lloyd on March 16, 2011

“Post Impressionism” is a convenient label used to refer to a group of diverse artists who admired the Impressionists, yet believed the style was limited by its concentration on surface appearances. They sought to reintroduce a concern with emotional and symbolic values. It is not a moniker the artists ever used to refer to themselves, nor did they exhibit together. They did, however, all separately pursue new directions. Artists included in this group include Vincent van Gogh , Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, and perhaps the most complex and influential of the Post-Impressionists, Paul Cezanne. Expert recommendations Post-Impressionism
Related article Emotional Landscapes: van Gogh and Gaugin

In 1905, a group of young German artists formed a collective called Die Bruecke (The Bridge), hoping to create a revolutionary new artistic vision. They believed art should be freed from slavishly imitating nature, and that painting should express the artist’s inner feelings through the use of simplified forms and brilliant, often dissonant color. They wanted their works to elicit an emotional response from the viewer. In 1911, several artists in Munich founded a second Expressionist group called Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), named after a painting by Wassily Kandinsky. Although their styles were quite different, they shared a common belief in the expressive power of color to suggest emotional as well as spiritual truths. Other famous Expressionists include Max Beckmann and Edvard Munch (“The Scream”), whose dark works often depicted fear, misery, and death. Expert recommendations Expressionism

Abstract Art
At about the same time as German Expressionism, a number of artists began to explore the idea of creating art that relied only on color, shape, and line for its expression, rather than on the traditional use of recognizable images drawn from the real world. Their art would be described as abstract, or sometimes nonrepresentational or nonobjective. Abstract art would have a profound and lasting influence on the art of the 20th century. Some abstract artists included Wassily Kandinsky (who was also considered an Expressionist) and Piet Mondrian. The French painter Henri Matisse helped create the Fauvist movement, but his style changed many times over the years and he’s harder to situate into one group; he often focused on pure colors used in an aggressive and direct manner. Expert recommendations Abstract Art

The other single most influential artistic style of the early 20th century was Cubism, jointly invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque between 1908 and 1914. When Henri Matisse saw an early Cubist painting, Braque’s Violin and Palette, he described its jumble of geometric shapes as “fragmented little cubes.”

A critic later called this “cubism,” and the label stuck. “Analytical Cubism” took apart an object and then rearranged the fragments, integrating them into the surrounding space, while “synthetic Cubism” was a process of building up flat shapes to construct a completely new, whimsical, and decorative image.

Picasso and Braque even used bits and pieces of real two-dimensional materials in this method, such as scraps of newspaper, wallpaper, or sheet music, which was called collage (French for “gluing”). It is important to note that for Picasso, certainly one of the most prolific and inventive artists of this century, Cubism represented only a six-year period in his long and varied career.

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