Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Lecture Six: Modern Art in the Netherlands

About Styles:
  • You don't need to know the style of a painting to appreciate and understand it.
  • But if you do know the style, it gives you a way into the painting.
  • Painters tend to be experimental and self-conscious about style early in their careers; then they use what they learn to develop their own style.
  • Fauvism as such lasted only a few years. The key component of Fauvism was manipulation of color for expressive reasons. It morphed into Expressionism.
  • Matisse did 3 times as many Expressionist canvases as Fauvist.
  • Analytic and synthetic cubism were experimental phases that lasted only a few years. The key component of cubism was manipulation of shapes for expressive reasons. They became a more generalized form of cubism.
  • Picasso continued to paint in a generalized Cubist style sometimes; he also did Surrealism and Expressionism.
About biography:
  • You don't need to know the biography of a painter to appreciate a painting.
  • Biography is a distraction; the artist is not writing a diary.
  • He is trying to create an image that generalizes his experience.
  • He is trying to transcend his personal struggles to create something more general, more symbolic.
  • Example: Picasso's Woman in Armchair
Returning to the City of Paris Museum:
  • Story of Matisse's La Danse
  • Most important artists are Delaunay and de Chirico
  • Going to see another Jenny Holzer later.
Transition to Modern Art in the Netherlands:
Show map of the Netherlands

Dutch art in the 19th Century:
  • Introduce Gementemuseum
  • After the Golden Age, Dutch painting went into a slump.
  • There was a tepid revival starting in the 1830s.
  • The Hague school flourished in the 1870s, the time of Impressionism in France.
  • Follow art up to van Gogh
  • First major painter of modern era was van Gogh.

 Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam:
  • Has the largest collection of van Gogh.
  • Does not allow photography.
  • When we were there last, many of their best pieces were on tour and the museum was being renovated, so their galleries were disrupted.
Kroller-Muller Museum:
  • Second largest collection.
  • This museum was established by a woman named Helene Kröller-Müller.
  • She recognized his value early and picked up a great quantity cheap.
  • She was heir to a German industrial fortune and married Kroller, a Dutch industrial magnate.
  • She had plenty of money to spend.She and her husband donated the museum and the surrounding park land to the nation.
  • The building we visited was built fairly recently on the site of the original.
  • Second big attraction is her big collection of pointillism.
  • They also have a few other classics from earlier in the 19th century.
  • Review slides.
  • Mention Dan's blog on sculpture garden.
Return to Gementemuseum:
  • Finish Dutch art.
  • Review their collection of International Art.
  • Last week we worked hard to learn the styles and big names of 20th C. art.
  • Tonight, we reaped the benefit of our investment.
  • We visited three museums: The Gementemuseum, the Kroller-Muller, and the Stedelijk.
  • We saw works by artists we already knew.
  • We saw works in styles we already understood.
  • We also built on that by adding new styles and new artists.

  • Kirchner was a German expressionist.
  • Sol Lewitt is not Dutch. Born here. Parents from Ukraine.
  • Théo van Rysselberghe, 1862-1926 is a Belgian.
  • James Ensor is Belgian, associated with expressionism and symbolism.
  • Jawlensky was a Russian expressionist painter who lived in Germany.
  • Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas. Expressionist artists sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality.
  • Paula Modersohn-Becker was an important German expressionist, but she died age 31.
  • She painted with tempera, with a limited choice of pigments. She scratched into the paint.
  • Sol LeWitt: "In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art."

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