Thursday, October 28, 2010

Art History Thursday - Modernism in America

I'll keep this brief, but one artist that really stuck out to me from yesterday's art history lecture (the beginning of Modernism in America) was Richard Diebenkorn. Influenced heavily by Matisse, Diebenkorn (and many of the other early American modern artists) focused on pushing modern art further by creating tension in his works. I found this really interesting. Probably because in my interiors, I don't like things too pretty or too perfect or too planned (I'm realizing more and more that I'm also like this with music and fashion); if something is a little "ugly" or awkward, I tend to like it more, and I find it a lot more interesting.

Diebenkorn created this tension through a few different avenues. He created an illusion of space, while also emphasizing the flatness of the canvas. His paintings would also show tension between abstraction and representation. The loose, sloppy, and tactile quality of his painting technique also creates a tense or awkward sort of quality. I love it.

In this painting, there is an illusion of space as if you can look off in the distance, beyond the painting, but the perspective is a little awkward and forces the viewer to also recognize the paint as just paint and the flat canvas as a flat canvas.

Girl with Plant. This is a good example of abstraction and representation existing in the same painting. You can see a girl with a plant (hence the title), but she has a very abstract quality about her and the space around her.

Ocean View. The same tension causing elements apply.

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