Friday, October 7, 2016

Lecture Seven

Last week, we had two goals:
  • To present Dutch art of the 18000s and early 1900s.
  • To survey the international art of the 20th century in Dutch museums.
We did pretty well with Dutch art:
You can summarize the history of Dutch art on one hand: Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer—then a long gap before—van Gogh and Mondrian.

My presentation on the international collection in Holland got a little scrambled. Tonight I want to clarify the picture.

We started our exploration of 20th C. art at the Pompidou in Paris. We looked at art in terms of movements. Let's review that art with the purpose of learning the names of artists we'll be seeing at museums in The Hague and Madrid. Here are some names to know:
  • Matisse
  • Picasso
  • Braque
  • Leger
  • Sonia Delaunay
  • Robert Delaunay
  • Leger
  • Kandinsky
  • Paul Klee
  • Mondrian
  • Kirchner
  • Chagall
  • Magritte
  • Ellsworth Kelly
  • Yves Klein
  • Frank Stella
Go over Pompidou slides of these artists in chronological order.

Holland's largest collection of 20th century art is at the Gementemuseum.
  • Symbolism: Ferdinand Hodler is one of the few Swiss painters to become well-known. In this example, the figure symbolizes "Day." 
  • German expressionism: Jawlensky, Modersohn-Becker, Kirchner, Beckman, Meidner.
  • Minimalism: Agnes Martin
  • Conceptualism: Sol LeWitt.
  • Op Art: Special exhibit by Bridget Riley.
Amsterdam's museum of modern art is the Stedelijk. We covered most of the art there.
  • German Expressionism: Kirchner; also at Gementemuseum and Pompidou.
  • Minimalism: Agnes Martin.
  • Conceptualism: Sol Lewitt; Donald Judd.
  • Note the shaped canvas by Frank Stella, like the one at the Pompidou.
  • De Kooning is a Dutch American who painted abstract expressionism.
  • Abstract expressionist paintings are reflections of the artist's individual psyches. The artist hopes that he also taps into universal inner sources. These artists valued spontaneity and improvisation, and they accorded the highest importance to process.
Now we're ready to get on with today's lesson. Today we have two goals, similar to last week.
  • To continue our survey of European painting in the 20th C.; we're going to Madrid, but the first art we are going to look at there is an exhibit that continues our theme of 20th C art in Europe and the U.S.
  • Then we'll go on to look at Spanish art in the 20th C.
The Reina Sofia Museum
  • Spain's largest museum of 20th C. art.
  • They were hosting a special exhibit from the Kunstmuseum in Basel called "White Fire".
White Fire

Post Impressionism
  • Ferdinand Hodler: A Swiss post-Impressionist; we saw a naked dancer at the Gementemusum. The Mountain is a perfect mountain with a halo of clouds.
  • Ernst Kirchner: German Expressionist; we saw conversation at Gementemuseum and woman at a dressing table at the Pompidou; Mountain Village uses color to express joy and magic.
  • Edvard Munch: Norwegian Expressionist; Coastal Landscape is typical of Norwegian landscape; interesting perspective; interesting brushstroke.
Analytical Cubism
  • Georges Braque: Point out architecture and jug
  • Fernand Léger: Importance of the pattern of blues and whites
Synthetic Cubism
  • Braque
  • Picasso
  • Leger
  • Paul Klee borrowed from Cubism, Expressionism and even Surrealism, but always in his unique style. He was initially associated with Expressionism.
  • Several nice examples by Kandinsky 
  • Geometric abstraction by Mondrian
  • Theo van Doesberg joined Mondrian in The Style movement.
  • Vantongerloo was a Belgian who also allied himself with The Style.
  • Josef Albers is classed as a geometric abstractionist, but his theme is color, not geometry.
  • Two examples by Barnett Newman show significant textures. Considered abstract expressionism.
  • Agnes Martin: Drawing a large grid would induce a meditative state.
Pop Art
  • Andy Warhol used a newspaper photo, in a grid pattern, with clashing colors.
  • Gerhard Richter created the illusion of a faded snapshot.
Two Swiss Collectors

  • Pissarro
  • Monet
  • Early Gauguin
  • Later Gauguin: When will you marry? Dan will add comment
  • van Gogh
  • Ferdinand Hodler is sometimes called a symbolist or a art nouveau painter
  • Suzanne Valadon paints unidealized and self-possessed bodies that are not overtly sexualized; she takes male themes and makes them more realistic from a woman's point of view.
  • Picasso: 2 very different portraits from 1901; also a classicist portrait of harlequin.
  • Jawlensky: 3 examples show increasing abstraction.
  • Chagall: Self-portrait.

Reina Sofia Permanent Collection

International Collection in chronological order
  • Kandinsky: 3 abstractions.
  • Gleize: cubism
  • Orphism: Sonia and Robert Delaunay
  • Matta: His mature work blended abstraction, figuration, and multi-dimensional spaces into complex, cosmic landscapes.
Spanish Art in the 20th Century: major artists 
  • Picasso: 2 portraits from 1901; most of their collection is in galleries around Guernica, and the whole area is closed to photography, and heavily guarded.
  • Guernica: use internet grab for talk; great example of how to use cubism expressively.
  • Juan Gris: 3 cubist works.
  • Joan Miro: 3 examples show his development.
  • Dali: Big trove of his work in chronological order.
Spanish Art in the 20th Century: minor artists
  • Francisco Iturrino, 1864-1924, is a Spanish post-Impressionist.
  • Daniel Diaz, 1882-1969: late cubism
  • Balbuena and de Togores are known very little, even in Spain.
  • Benjamin Palencia: one cubism and one realism.
  • Ángeles Cantos, 1911-2013, is not referenced on the internet at all. But her works are described on the museum's website.
  • Un mundo is halfway between the proposals of Surrealism and the poetics of Magic Realism. The female characters in the scene surround a globe that has changed from its original form into a cube. In a silent procession, large-headed women are lighting the stars with fire taken from the sun, while in a corner of the painting, another group of women play musical instruments.
  • The Gathering is New Objectivity.
  • Rosario de Velasco, 1910-1991, achieved little recognition or sales. Most of her work is held by her family.
Sorolla Museum Slide Show


Tonight we followed the major trends in 20th century art that we learned about in Paris into the museums of the Netherlands. We saw some of the same painters and the same movements that we had seen in Paris, and we learned about new movements such as Op Art and Conceptualism. 

From the Netherlands we went to Madrid where we picked up some of the same trends and the same artists that we had seen in Paris and The Hague and Amsterdam at a special exhibit from a major museum in Switzerland. Next week we'll follow some of those same trends and artists to New York, where we'll visit the Museum of Modern Art.

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