About Art

Impressionism VS Post-Impressionism

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Impressionism and Post-Impressionism depict artistic movements that influenced the period of modern art, arising in the late 19th century in France. The movement ushered in a new era in which paintings transcended the system of state-controlled galleries for independent exhibitions. It also involved a shift in the painting techniques. Traditionally, the artist drew inspiration from history, past earth and mythological narrative but the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painted contemporary landscapes and scenes from modern life. While the two artistic movements share common ground in the conceptual background, they differ significantly in purpose and technique. This article is about two leading artists of the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism movements, Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne.

Impressionism describes a group of artists in France who out of dissatisfaction of the classical, clean and precise paintings with dull subjects, used color and light in their painting techniques. Claude Monet is considered as one of the central figures in the Impressionism movement. His technique involved capturing atmosphere and light at a particular time of the day and their effects on the landscape. Monet enjoyed painting outdoors. His painting Impression, Sunrise employed a hazy technique that strayed from the traditional landscape painting that had precision and clarity. The composition that demonstrated the emergence of the Impressionism movement used loose brush strokes with a mixture of light and color. Similarly, Monet’s painting Banks of the Seine, Vetheuil features effects of light and shadows through his deliberate division of different subject and use of color to represent the various matter in his composition.

Post-Impressionism is a term used to refer to the reaction against Impressionism that originated in 1880 led by Paul Cézanne and other French artists. The Post-Impressionism movement rejected the Impressionism obsessive concern with color and atmospheric light and instead favored an approach of having symbolic content, structure, and order in their paintings. Cézanne is said to have imposed order to nature while maintaining life and growth in nature. In his work, The Basket of Apples, Paul Cézanne defies the Impressionism real life and natural light obsession. The painting is geometrical as it shows a basket seemingly balanced by a bottle on a tilted table, with impossible angles. Cézanne uses solid brushstrokes and distinct glowing colors to provide dynamism to his still life art.

While Impressionism employed small and thin brush strokes that depicted natural scenes, Post-Impressionism used thick and distinct brushstrokes with vivid colors. The Impressionists painted about ordinary subject matter, while the Post-Impressionists derived their style from Impressionism and painted ordinary subject matter with unnatural elements and geometric angles. Impressionism’s emphasis on natural light and atmosphere featured artists who painted outdoors. Post-Impressionism artists painted in a studio since they lacked concern for the appearance of their subjects, focusing on their emotions.

Impressionism and Post-Impressionism represent a period in art history where artists used innovative and revolutionary ideas to capture their subject matter. These movements paved the way for modern and abstract art. Claude Monet, one of the most revolutionary painters of the Impressionism movement portrayed a wonderful interplay of light and color when painting landscapes. Post-Impressionists like Paul Cézanne broke away from Impressionism emphasis on effects of light on color and recognized the immediacy of art. Theirs was a movement towards abstract art, drawing symbolic meaning from every stroke.


Paul Cézanne: Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibémus Quarry

A Bridge Between Two Epochs. Paul Cezanne

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Paul Cezanne was a painter who understood and cherished art, a notion that made him comfortable with his brush that he was with people. Moreover, he is known as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth-century paintings. As post impressionist artist, Paul (1839-1906) has inspired generations of modern artists. Through his distinct method of using a building form and color and analytics approach to the nature-inflected artist and art of Fauvists, Cubists, and a number of successful generations of avant-garde artist. Paul began painting at his birthplace in France during the 1860s, he used dramatic tonal contrast and incorporated them with thick layers of pigment. One of Paul’s significant works is the Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from the Bibemus Quarry, which is an oil painting at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

On its first appearance, the picture of the Monte Sainte-Victoire the mountain is considerably seen vaguely at a distance, but the broad viewing panorama gives a better view and responses to the beautiful artwork. Coming closer the Cezanne comes out even closer appearing to the peak appearing even more accessible. Moreover, instead of suspending the painting observation just about the valley the painter places him between the main object which is an abyss and the quarry across where its void one views the distinctive opposite rocks and the mounting peaks. In this case, the landscape depicted has become gigantic pedestal or rock which is enclosed by trees. For instance, on one particular it rises in sheer and unbroken slope while the other is strangely animated line; however it changes its course in some abrupt breaks. Distinctively, one notices the peak as a particular object with a different profile. Moreover, the painting has depicted an old and classic symmetric and natural pyramid, with a deep and vertical cleft at the base, which splits the quarry wall into two unstable and tilted trunks which the add a twitchy effect in this scenery of pressure and heat.

Notably, there is the taste and use of vertical place, as seen in the painting and have a typical style of the late age; this is realized in this scenery with a grandiose force, however; appearing with another expressive sense. Moreover, the mountain is distinct as the object near it, it is even more distinctive with the kind of aspect used in its drawing, and this is the drawing of the outline with the vaguer and disappearing silhouettes of the tall trees beneath it. Apparently, as one moves from the foreground to the distance the objects themselves become large, in an exclusive and emotional aspect. Moreover, the massive tree at the upper right seemingly belongs to the same space of the region as the mountain, but only when one follows the wavy line of its continuous trunk at the edge of the canvas when you realize its particular place at the forefront. However, a similar green shade is seen in the forefront and the distance, while uniting the separate panes in the similar scheme of accents. Apparently, the strong and contrasting chord is the orange rocks and blue skies, which also binds the most distance and nearest spaces together. Besides, a distinct scale of lavender rose, and some purple tones extend across the same depth.

Personally, the concept implied by the artist presents a beautiful art of the depiction of nature; looking at it in a different perspective the painting presents various types of themes, exceptionally and distinctively in every one of them. Firstly, it depicts beauty; the vividness of the mountains from any standpoint from the painting presents an artistic depiction of the natural beauty of the landscape. Moreover, the green trees show the life exemplified by nature and it continues manifestation of natural life. On the other hand, the mountain as seen in a far angle also depicts the intrinsic beauty of physical features and their power against us. In essence, the trees portray the continuous existent and rigidity despite the condition human beings put the environment against, this is an illustration of this rigidity. Evidently, through this depiction, the artist is able to capture one’s attention and appreciate natural landscapes’ beauty. Although this form of art has been used by many artists, Paul is able to resent it in a distinct way by combining several aspects, of life nature and those that do not have a life. For example, the mountain does not have a life but continue to exist while the trees have life thus the deep green depiction they illustrate.

Particularly, the painting use of a paintbrush and the use of oil presents the painter’s creativity in the application of artistic tools, through the use of this, he is able to bring out several colors and exhibit them to landscape painting with each color distinctively providing a specific part of the painting. However, despite the painting being several decades old, he is able to recognize the importance of colors such as violet lining and the blues skies. Moreover, the painter’s artistic depiction of these colors in an oil painting provides an illusion of creativity and professionalism. For instance, the blue skies present various shades; this distance notion is evidence of the painters talent and the utilization of the color informally to illustrate his artistic impression. Moreover, the aspect of shade also applied to other parts of the painting provides a distinction of each aspect, for instance, the shades of green in the trees have helped it to be specifically recognizable from other parts of the painting.

Through the painters portraying different aspects of the environment in the use of oil and brush depicts his vivid understanding and actualization of nature, for instance; personally, I think the quarry represents the human involvement in the environment, the trees the continuity of life and the mountain the natural resources of the earth itself. Through a distinct color illustration, the painter has illustrated his understanding of nature in a possible perspective, moreover, through the use of different possibilities of colors the painter presents how vivid nature is eyes to the eyes of human beings. For instance, one clearly differentiates the sky and the mountains, an aspect that most painters do not realize, but the artistic expression of Paul is clearly visible in this piece of art.

Evidently, the artist is able to create an imperceptible transition of light in the blue skies the quarry and the trees; he is able to blend between colors with brush strokes so subtle that the naked eye cannot detect. Moreover, the same stroke provides shades in a manner that various aspects are realized, for instance, all the aspects, trees, quarry, mountain and skies have been placed without the use of the border. Evidently, the artist has realized this conceptual skill with an oil painting, depicting compositeness and talent, a theme that should be incorporated in contemporary art. Moreover, the actualizing of this brush strokes are evident in other paintings but have a distinct feeling when presented in landscape painting like the one in the museum.

In conclusion, the painting at BMA presents a visually satisfying art of the late period on the landscape, a period that oil painting dominated the art world with each artist presenting different forms of its worth. However, Paul has visually transformed a landscape with various forms of nature to painting that has remained relevant to date.

Moreover, the painting provides one with a visual concept of the environment striking a feeling of relief through the rigidity it exemplifies in the various colors it has. The painting use of nature as a subject is appropriate in the notion that nature is a natural aspect and its indulgence in humans will always remain, in addition, the landscape art’s beauty promotes a positive conception of the art society. Lastly, such paiting presents a distinct lesson on how to approach and provide a visual concept that is appealing, moreover, Paul’s work continue to provide consciousness on the landscaping art works to various visitors of the BMA art gallery.

Jirō Yoshihara

American-style Painting and Gutai Group

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The Greenberg’s “American-style painting” compares the 1950s painting from New York, America, and Paris, France.  The view of Greenberg was characterized by a matter of visual response rather infusing theories and knowledge. Greenberg characterizes “American-style painting” in a contextual perspective represented in art discourses to remain plentiful and synthetic painting even though dry and pointless in the formalist analysis. The writing relates to the European modernists painting on its clarity, but the school of Paris gave Greenberg an unmatched creditability since the modern art has some aesthetic value. Greenberg tried to evaluate his ancient writings with the aesthetic modern art. The two skills cannot compare because modern writing requires an aesthetic value that Greenberg did not include in his writings.

Gutai art manifesto (Jirō Yoshihara)

Jirō Yoshihara

Jirō Yoshihara

In the consciousness of today, the art of the past seems fraudulent as the whole art presents an alluring appearance. The Gutai artists rejected the piled hoaxes in the drawing rooms, the antique shops, on the altars and in the palaces that were made of matter to assume appearance other than their own fraudulently. Gutai artists proposed the introduction of Art Informel that they found to be, a quite interesting alternative artistic approach. This manifesto and Gutai’s priorities relate to other movements in various ways. In the past, some monsters made matter such as paint of cloth, earth, marble, and metals. The arts assumed their appearance by signifying humans through the magic of materials. The primitive arts convey a feeling of life since the art movement use paint without distorting it or killing it. Gutai’s art does also not distort or alter matter but imparts life to matter. The manifesto advocates for the creation of new autonomous space that deserves the name art, by opening an opportunity departing from illusionistic and naturalistic art.


African Impact in Modern Culture and Art

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Archaeologists points out the fact that Africa is the cradle land of human kind, and so it follows with the origin of culture, music, and other forms of art. African culture that immensely influences its artistic composition has over the decades been exported to other continents due to the slave trade during the dark ages. Historically Africa is accredited as the mother of arithmetic, and the art of writing, the Early Development of Agriculture in Egypt and Ancient Sumeria saw the development of Arithmetic and the art of writing known as Hieroglyphics that was used by farmers to keep records and determine the season for farming. Lincoln and Vogel, further point out that the art of writing and Arithmetic that was first developed in Africa widely influence the modern art of writing and Arithmetic.

African music is diverse due cultural diversity and ethnicity of the African people. The African music comprises of literally thousands of different styles and rhythms. African music is categorized into The North African music and the Sub- Saharan music. North African music is monophonic and with a simple melodic in its structural composition, while the Sub-Saharan music is multiphonic and often has a complex melodic structure. African Music widely influenced the development of the modern Musical art. It is not precise to pinpoint the inventor of neither the first musical instrument nor the first person to have sung the first music. However, African Culture has widely taken center stage towards the development of the Artistic culture in the modern world, it is therefore without doubt that Africa music has largely influenced the development of the contemporary music.

Africa seems to be relatively large, imposing and a continent whose people are found everywhere. Pop Music and Jazz are believed to have been revived from the black continent of Africa. Right now the world seems to be in the midst of a musical revival. Western musicians are all turning to Africa, either for reaffirmation of the lost or remembering Ethnic Heritage or for a more abstract aspiration from the culturally rich continent. Africa gives does not offer a single, consistent musical style, as a multi-cultural continent with diversity and multi-dialect, Africa has thousands of Music instruments, dances, theater, and vocals.

In the United States, it has always been the black who have naturally pioneered the renewal interest in Africa. Black jazz erupted in the United States as a result of the Black Americans interest to the African jazz music. Stringed instruments of North Africa and Sahrawi instruments such as Xalam are believed to be the ancient ancestors of the modern Banjo and the guitar. Other instruments such as Wazzah, which is a variety of horn, the Riq, which is similar to the modern Tambourine, are believed to be the ancestors of the modern horned instruments. The African ancient musical instruments and music arts has widely influenced the development of modern musical art.

African sculptures first arrived in Europe by the year the 1870s in the aftermath of the scramble and partitioning of Africa, and the massive African expeditions. After a long study of the African sculptures, the western aesthetics of traditional African sculptures become a significant influence on the European artist whose work over a period became pivotal for the development of the modern arts. Some of the notable western artists on whose works African sculptures and artistic paintings greatly influenced are Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a German expressionist painter, and several artists who went through School of Paris Arts and had since influenced the modern art greatly.

African artwork has over time acquired a great importance on the developmental patterns of the contemporary techniques. In Africa, art is a representation of daily life and the African people are deep rooted in their rich culture and are always conspicuous and appreciated widely as one of the richest and the oldest culture in the world.