Assignment 1: The Critic’s ChoiceDue Week 3 and worth 120 pointsImagine you are an art critic who has just seen a specific artwork for the first time at an art gallery opening. Select a specific piece of art from Chapters 1 or 2, and research the background of the artists and the movement that it represents. Write a critique for the city newspaper. Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:Describe the artwork in terms of subject, medium, composition, and use of color.Classify the work of art, highlighting the style, movement, and any innovation the artist displayed. Analyze the relationship between the work of art and the influences on the artist that shape the interpretation of the art.Explain your personal view of the work and make a recommendation for or against the public viewing the work.Include three (3) references to support your claims. (The text may be used as one (1) reference.) Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:
Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA or school-specific format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length. Include the name of the artist and title of the art piece being discussed under the title of the paper.The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Analyze the essential relationship between any work of art and the various kinds of influences on the artist and audience that shape the interpretation of the art.Explain the formal elements of various styles of modern art both in general and in specific works.Classify key artists and styles in the visual arts from the Impressionist period to the present.Use technology and information resources to research issues in modern artWrite clearly and concisely about modern art using proper writing mechanics.Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic/organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric.Click here to view the grading rubric.
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Assignment 1: The Critic’q s Choice
Points: 120
Meets
Minimum
Expectations
Criteria
Unacceptable
Below 60% F
60-69% D
70-79% C
80-89% B
90-100% A
1. Describe the
artwork in terms of
subject, medium,
composition, and
use of color.
Did not submit or
incompletely
described the
artwork in terms
of subject,
medium,
composition, and
use of color.
Did not submit or
incompletely
classified the
work of art,
highlighting the
style, movement,
and any
innovation the
artist displayed.
Insufficiently
described the
artwork in terms
of subject,
medium,
composition,
and use of color.
Partially
described the
artwork in terms
of subject,
medium,
composition,
and use of color.
Satisfactorily
described the
artwork in terms
of subject,
medium,
composition,
and use of color.
Thoroughly
described the
artwork in terms
of subject,
medium,
composition,
and use of color.
Insufficiently
classified the
work of art,
highlighting the
style,
movement, and
any innovation
the artist
displayed.
Partially
classified the
work of art,
highlighting the
style,
movement, and
any innovation
the artist
displayed.
Satisfactorily
classified the
work of art,
highlighting the
style,
movement, and
any innovation
the artist
displayed.
Thoroughly
classified the
work of art,
highlighting the
style,
movement, and
any innovation
the artist
displayed.
Did not submit or
incompletely
analyzed the
relationship
between the
work of art and
the influences on
the artist that
shape the
interpretation of
the art.
Did not submit or
incompletely
explained your
personal view of
the work and
made a
recommendation
for or against the
public viewing
the work.
No references
provided
Insufficiently
analyzed the
relationship
between the
work of art and
the influences
on the artist that
shape the
interpretation of
the art.
Partially
analyzed the
relationship
between the
work of art and
the influences
on the artist that
shape the
interpretation of
the art.
Satisfactorily
analyzed the
relationship
between the
work of art and
the influences
on the artist that
shape the
interpretation of
the art.
Thoroughly
analyzed the
relationship
between the
work of art and
the influences
on the artist that
shape the
interpretation of
the art.
Insufficiently
explained your
personal view of
the work and
made a
recommendation
for or against
the public
viewing the
work.
Does not meet
the required
number of
references; all
references poor
quality choices.
Partially
explained your
personal view of
the work and
made a
recommendation
for or against
the public
viewing the
work.
Does not meet
the required
number of
references;
some references
poor quality
choices.
Satisfactorily
explained your
personal view of
the work and
made a
recommendation
for or against
the public
viewing the
work.
Meets number
of required
references; all
references high
quality choices.
Thoroughly
explained your
personal view of
the work and
made a
recommendation
for or against
the public
viewing the
work.
Exceeds
number of
required
references; all
references high
quality choices.
More than 8
errors present
7-8 errors
present
5-6 errors
present
3-4 errors
present
0-2 errors
present
Weight: 30%
2. Classify the
work of art,
highlighting the
style, movement,
and any innovation
the artist
displayed.
Weight: 20%
3. Analyze the
relationship
between the work
of art and the
influences on the
artist that shape
the interpretation
of the art.
Weight: 20%
4. Explain your
personal view of
the work and make
a recommendation
for or against the
public viewing the
work.
Weight: 15%
6. Include 3
references to
support your
claims. (The text
may be used as
one reference.)
Weight: 5%
7. Clarity, writing
mechanics, and
formatting
requirements
Weight: 10%
Fair
Proficient
Exemplary
Chapter 2
Seurat, Cezanne, and the Language of Structure
Introduction

In his text Wilenski describes the reaction against Impressionism in French
painting during the 1880s as a general classical revival.

According to this recipe, Renoir, Seurat, and Cezanne expressed their
dissatisfaction with naturalistic accuracy, which was basic to the
Impressionists program, by reverting to classical French tradition and
stressing the more enduring architectonic elements of pictorial structure.

For some of the Post-Impressionists styles also represented and effort to
preserve Naturalism while re-establishing the fundamentals of traditional
pictorial design and structure.

Renoir did so by monumentalizing his figures and enlarging his manner;
Seurat would pay homage to the spirit of Naturalism under the aegis of
“science”; Cezanne would build his most arbitrary formal inventions around
the prismatic colors of Impressionism and invest them with the vivacity of
his own fresh, sensory perceptions of nature.
Introduction

Although these artists rejected
the spontaneity and
“formlessness” of the conventional
Impressionists painting, they
nonetheless absorbed and
extended the movement’s basic
values and especially its
pragmatic, scientific spirit.

The artist’s sensations before
observed nature were considered
indispensable.

They made themselves felt within
a more carefully articulated
pictorial structure.

Within this structure they focused
on conceptual program and
analytical thought.

The vital, new traditions of
observation and direct painting
methods were respected, but more
universal application of the old
principles was sought.

We even see Monet stretching his
art to the every edge of
abstraction.
Introduction


Opposed to the magnificent later
work of the reconstituted
Impressionists, who had admittedly
altered and enhanced their styles
but retained elements of their
earlier attachment to Naturalism,
was a profoundly anti-naturalistic
reaction.
The common denominator among
French painters in the PostImpressionists period was the
search for new types of subjects and
new forms of representation.

There was an evident effort to
deepen the meaning of art by a
conceptual, rather than perceptual
approach.

The final 15 years of the 19 th
century became fertile ground for
active generation of revolutionary
and creative individuals.

They surged up in every field of
human concern; and many gave an
expressive voice to the peculiar
schizoid nature of modern life,
polarized by its attraction to the
extremes of the romantic and the
real.
Introduction

Henri Bergson characterized the world as dualistic: the life fore and
the resistance of the material world to that force.
 On the one hand, humans know and measure matter through their
intellect, which they use to formulate the doctrines of science and to
apprehend things as entities set out as separate units within a stream of
becoming.
 On the other, humans are endowed with intuition, which gives them an
intimation of the life force that pervades all becoming.

While all great Post-Impressionists would bring new tension and
excitement to art by acknowledging and counterbalancing the
dualities of mind and spirit, the commensurate and the
incommensurate, the real and the romantic, Seurat and Cezanne
found their resolution mainly through intellect.
Georges Seurat
Georges Seurat

Both Seurat and Cezanne transcended their “sensations” of nature
by creating more abstract and impersonal styles in a radical new
structural language of color form.

In their paintings they treated the sensuous, palpable things of
nature but reorganized them according to the dictates of a lofty
intellectual ideal.

Seurat’s resolute “scientific” objectivity and Cezanne’s structuralism
were opposed.

It is a measure of the universality of the search for new expressive
content that even so circumspect a formalists as Seurat, for all his
devotion to science, tried to imbue his painting with a new emotional
resonance.
Georges Seurat

Whether drawn to scientific
explanations of artistic methods,
like Seurat was, or to symbols of
human suffering and spirituality,
the Post-Impressionists shared a
common impulse in establishing an
art that went beyond realism.

Bathers was Seurats first public

His dislodging his forms from their
surrounding atmosphere,
established them in space, and
created a tension between them and
the space they inhabited.
evidence of defection from
Impressionism.
Georges Seurat

Unlike Impressionists, whose preference ran to scenes of
preindustrial freshness and innocence, Seurat, a passionate
Socialists, tended to take his subjects from the urban and suburban
world of working-class Paris.

In the Bathers, he dignified each figure with a sculptural roundness,
while softening contours so that they merge hazily with a living, sundrenched atmosphere.

We see a carefully thought-out architectural organization, and also a
sense of virtually inexhaustible variety within the otherwise strictly
planned formal scheme.
Georges Seurat

Seurat carefully controlled the space and volume of his paintings and
he has also calculated the character of the scene it depicts.

Each figure is sharply typed as a personality by some expressive
detail of dress or gesture.

Seurat’s remarkable powers of generalization extended the
Impressionists’ swift glimpse of a “moment in time” and made an
episode stand for something customary and permanent in human
activity.

He also found a form that could withstand patient and studied
contemplation.

As a method of working, Impressionists attempted to seize the
immediate fragment of vision before nature and set it down with a
minimum of ratiocination.
Georges Seurat

Impressionists wished precisely to
give the impression of something
entirely nature and unarranged.

Seurat composed with unashamed
deliberation and scrupulous care
for characteristic details, working
up the picture from countless
drawings, etc.


His forms take their place in a
preordained, conceptual scheme of
things that obeys certain
immutable pictorial conventions.
His methods initiated a new
expression of artistic will.

While rebelling against his
academic training, he still
adhered to the masterful
drawings.

Note pages 25-26 provides
Seurat’s academic history as well
as his traveling artistic history
and the development of his
technique.

His subjects were commonly of
peasants or laboring-class origin.

His subjects are of rare character
in the 19th century.
Georges Seurat

Through the Independents Salon of 1884 where he met Paul Signac
they developed Neo-Impressionism (which began to emerge with
Bathers): which seeming to imply that this fresh approach had
eclipsed the old Impressionist manner.

Seurat and his friends rationalized discoveries that the
Impressionists already know intuitively and applied to their painting
without conscious research or pedagogy.

Seurat’s intense devotion to color theory may be understood as part
of the scientific awareness of his historical period, which was
sustained by the belief that everything could be formulated and
explained in terms of natural law.

In the mid-1880s Seurat became convinced that the elementary rules
of harmony could be established in painting.
Georges Seurat

Seurat also claimed that the
manifold elements of painting
could be simplified and codified, in
“tone, tint, and line.”

1184: Seurat began the methodical
application of his theories in a
painting project.

Review discussion of Figure 25
and 26 on page 27-28.
Paul Cezanne
Paul Cezanne

The new interest in the solid presence of objects and a deeper
concern with the more permanent and formal aspects of nature are
even more dramatically illustrated by the revolutionary and
profoundly influential paintings of Cezanne.

Because of the impact of his experiments on the 20 th century,
Cezanne has been called “the father of modern art.”

In the course of his life he succeeded in producing art of clarity and
calm by bringing into equilibrium a whole array of warring
objectives: the orderliness of classical form and accidentality of
nature, the synthetic on the one hand and the imitative on the other,
the immutable and the momentary.
Paul Cezanne


While observing an actual bit of
nature, he sought within his
“sensations” of the motif the
alterations that would enable him
to “realize” a reconstruction of this
subject, a reconstruction offering
both the timeless, “unnatural”
perfection of a Poussin and the
naturalness and instantaneity so
esteemed by the Impressionists.

He was able to find a solution to
the age-old problem of resolving
the conflict between the threedimensional space of external
reality and the two-dimensional
limits of the painting surface.

This solution brought with it a
new synthesis of line and color,
elements long viewed as rivals.
While deriving order out of nature
and his sensations of it, he also
hoped to preserve in his art
something of nature’s organic
quality.

Page 29 starts Cezanne’s
educational history.
Chapter One
Modernism and Its Origins in the 19th Century
Modernism and Its Origins in the 19th
Century
 One of the defining characteristics of modern art is the amount of vigorous
debate every aspect of it has forever stirred, not least the issue of when
such art began (or when it ended).
 Some argue that the origins of 20th century art go back as far as 1750s,
when the 18th Century Enlightenment sparked an aesthetic rehabilitation.
 Some focus on the year 1839 with the invention of photography.
 More frequently 1855 is cited as the beginning of modern which was the
year of the Paris Exposition, where Gustave Courbet laid a solid foundation
for the new patronage by building his own pavilion and there displaying
such grandly iconoclastic works as The Painter’s Studio (Fg. 12).
 1863 is often cited when Emperor Napoleon III allowed a Salon des Refuses
to take place.
Modernism and Its Origins in the 19th
Century
 In 1874 the modernists movement
made its next decisive inroad into
Western conscious when the
conflict between the values of
French art establishment and
those of younger artists ignited a
rebellion.
 Progressive painters of Paris
pooled their resources and
mounted their own exhibition,
where many of the earmarks of
modernism would become
increasingly familiar.
 For the purposes of the course
and the text, we are starting the
conversation in 1886, after the last
of eight Impressionist exhibitions in
Paris and with the birth of the
Independents Salon.
 The term most often used is “PostImpressionism.”
 It should be noted that from the
15th century Renaissance
onward, Westerners have
consistently thought of
themselves as modern.
Modernism and Its Origins in the 19th
Century
 The Industrial Revolution and advances in science and technology drove
this identification with the “modern” label.
 Artists found innovation itself to be highly emblematic.
 The old pyramidal hierarchies collapsed.
 If the world since the mid-19th century has succeeded in co-opting the
term “modern” for its very own period designation, it was, in substantial part,
because those who seemed most tellingly to represent the age in cultural
forms discovered a model, in the evermore insistent, urbanized present,
especially as experienced in the city of Paris and its environs.
 The creators of modern art were themselves the products of history.
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
 While modernism might seem a venerable tradition, having endured well
over a century, Monet and the Impressionists, in order to come into their
their own as “painters of modern life,” had to prevail against a Renaissance
aesthetic still dominate in European art after more than 400 years.
 We see the perfection of Renaissance art in Raphael’s School of Athens
(Fig. 2)
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
 In contrast to Italian painters’ linear
perspective, Flemish painters had
achieved a comparable illusion by
a system known as aerial
perspective.
 From time to time over the years,
Renaissance mastery degenerated
into mannerism, only to inspire new
talents capable of reforming an
reviving it.
 For early 16th century, this was
thrillingly modern art, an art,
moreover, whose seamless union of
the real and the ideal proved so
ripe with potential, for variations in
both form and meaning, that it
became the lingua fanca of
European civilization for many
generations thereafter.
 Note that the same system devised
for representing the world in a
rational, objective manner could
also be made to project quite the
opposite, that is irrational flights of
fantasy, heavenly apotheosis, or
even willful perversity.
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
 David’s Oath of the Horatii
exemplify the aspect (note the
detailed explanation and
exploration on page 11).
 David commenced the modernist
process of abandoning the
representational “tricks” invented
by the Renaissance, which
absolutists rulers had transformed
into an instrument of authoritarian
power, and of acknowledging the
three-dimensional world in some
manner that would not also evade
the reality of the painting surface.
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
 If David’s painting and technique shattered the grand unity so brilliantly
articulated by Raphael, it nonetheless offered the merit of reflecting the
ever-greater contradiction and instability of modern life.
 Ingres injected Romantic erotica into his works; indulging his gift for color
and line.
 Ingres’s approach helped to serve to sanction modernism’s search for
inspiration outside the classical world of high Western art.
 Eventually, modernists would draw sustenance not only from Asia but also
from African and Oceania, as well as from such readily available “low” or
“marginal” sources as folk and popular art, children’s art, graffiti, and other
aspects of art brut, including the work of the insane.
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
 More important for Manet and
the Impressionists was the
enrichment that the painters had
long been finding in the so-called
minor categories of artistic
production-landscape, still life,
and genre.
 Nicolas Poussin is credited with
making landscape a proper
subject for artists.
 His paintings were the first to be
called “heroic.”
The Renaissance and Its Heirs
 Insofar as modern art originated in an urgent desire to escape academic
formula, its ultimate roots may be uncovered deep in the 18th century, after
nascent industrialization struck many, especially Rousseau, as the lethal foe
of “natural man,” the creative person whose essential instinct or vital fore
could scarcely be expected to flourish in a world dominated by
standardized products and routinized labor.
 The factory system is seen as repressive; within the academy a hierarchy
developed (pg. 13) of devices.
 Liberation from the academic system was sought after by many modern
artists.
 The route to modernism, therefore, lay not through history painting, but
instead, through landscape rendered with scintillating color and
chiaroscuro and began with Lorraine.
Landscape Painting in the
Romantic Period
Landscape Painting in the Romantic
Period
 In the 19th century, modernism all
but arrived once a trio of nonFrench Northerners conflated
Poussin’s heroic simplicity,
Claude’s luminism, and Dutch
realism to revisualize the natural
realm as a place of sublime
revelation.
 Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea
renders the Baltic shore to three
basic elements-land, sea, and
sky.
Landscape Painting in the Romantic
Period
 Rosenblum wrote “Monk by the Sea seems to pinpoint for the first time not
only the modern experience of what Soren Kierkegaard would soon identify
as alienation and what would later be called by 20th-century Existentialists
the gulf between “Being and Nothingness …
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