Chapter 19 Art from 1900 to 1919

  • early 20th century was full of revolt against all forms of naturalism
  • new ideas and methods not only in painting, sculpture and architecture but in literature, music, philosophy and science
  • there was an end of artistic traditions that went back to Giotto and the early 14th century
  • this period is characterized by a search for new ways of looking at the world
  • artists looked to African art for the first time, which was at odds with Western traditions and was seen as primitive by some but spontaneous and energetic by others
  • in 1915 African sculpture was claimed as some of the greatest ever made
  • Picasso although not the only artist to discover African masks he later acknowledged that they were a “creative revelation and source of liberating energy”
  • the Fauves didn’t become a movement and lasted only a short time
  • perspective isn’t used – space reduced to a minimum, light is a simple function of flat colour, no reflections
  • yellow clashed with purples, blues, greens and reds in Fauvism – colours were freed from their traditional descriptive role and used as an expression
  • German Expressionism was concerned with the contemporary psychological situation in the Pre World War I years
  • artists showed their moods of anxiety, frustration and resentment towards the modern world
  • ‘Cubism’ became the label for the movement in 1911 when a group of artists which did not include Picasso or Braque who started this style exhibited in Paris4
  • Cubism was never seen by Picasso or Braque as ‘non-representational’
  • Collage was the natural next step of Cubism
  • cubist sculpture dates from 1912 and Picass0s’ ‘The Guitar’ changed Western Sculpture – until then it had been carved in stone or wood or modelled in clay then cast in bronze but Picasso used wood, tin, cardboard, paper or string in his sculptures
  • Synthetic Cubism was a mirror image of Analytical Cubism – artists worked back from abstraction to representation
  • Orphic Cubism – subsidiary of Cubism created by Picasso & Braque – ‘pure painting’ were the subject didn’t count at all
  • Furturism was an ideology not a style
  • launched in 1908 by Italian poet Marinetti who was exhilarated by the speed and mechanics of the modern ere, he wanted to get rid of everything from the past especially the culture of Italy – he believed in a new society, new poetry and new art but this was also short lived
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