How did the Dada Artists Challenge the Contemporary Art?

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Types, History and Famous Artists

Art which is followed by European countries are referred as Western Art, and also those art are accepted by those countries. When we see about the history of western art it takes us to the middle of the ancient middle east and ancient times of Egypt and also the civilization of ancient Aegean. It aates back to the 3rd millennium. On the same time line, when the western art is carried on there are also one or the other form existed among Europe. The influence of the western art lasted for the next two thousand years, that fell into the memory of the medival period. Even western art is divided into many style of periods and those periods are also subdivided.

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These are furthers of subdivided. Western art is art of European country. It developed in the 3rd millennium period. At the beginning art was started like just to fill up. The flat surface. Then it developed into representing optical illusions. On the other hand, western art is influenced by secularism. Since the classical times. Where for the past 200 years the art made was done without any ideology or without any reference with any religion. Whereas western art is often influenced by politics of one or the other of that period. This drive towards pictorial of the realism gone to the peak and they came to the invention of photography. There beginnings of the arts were they like the still lives. Here I am going to compare the contrast between Cubism and Surrealism.
Types of western art

Sumerian art
Persian art
Celtic art
Roman art
Romanesque art
Gothic art
Baroque art
Post impressionism
Decorative arts


Pop art
Islamic art
Egyptian art
Ancient Greek art
Modern art

Cubism is invented by Pablo Picasso in (1881-1973) another artist is Georges Braque in 1882 and consider the revolt movement of the art. He use the cubes style, triangles and the some normal shapes of paint anything because. This is the most famous painting Juan Gris.
Juan Gris Portrait of Picasso (1912)
Cubism is the most fundamental, ground-breaking, and influential ism of twentieth-period art. It is wholerejection of Traditional conception of loveliness.
Cubism was the joint creation of two men, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Their success was made the base of Picasso’s initial work then advanced to a Synthetic Cubism. As the many stages of Cubism occurred from their workshops, it developed strong to the art world that rather of countless meaning was trendy. The essential inventions of the new grace muddled the public, but the avant-garde saying in them the upcoming of art and original test, Sizes, biological truth and endurance of life examples and substantial objects are wild. Painting resembles “a field of broken glass” as one spiteful opponent renowned. This geometrically logical method to form and colour, and crushing of article in effort into geometrical sharp-edged bony smithereens baptized the drive into ‘Cubism’. A near look exposes very logical obliteration or somewhat deconstruction into bony 3-dymensional cool surfaces, some of which are giving others convex. Cubism suspicions “whole” images apparent by the retina, reflects them artificial and conventional, based on the effect of historical art. It discards these images and knows that perspective interplanetary is an illusory, lucid invention or a sign system congenital from everything of art since the Renaissance.
History of Cubism (c.1908-12)
The first work of Picasso is still life with chair caning. There are many types of phases of Cubism. The Cubism paintings will look fantastic, like more broken pieces. But all the edges are connected to other pieces. They were the analysis of form and breaking down the paintings. The right-angled lines and straight lines
Were looking appear as sculptures. In the collage media works he used some painting on the media.
Development of modern art
It has been radical film impressionism and the post impressionism. The idea of the space was found in the new method of cubism. The geometrical shape is filling their complete plane.
Created by Pablo Picasso (1881 to 1973) and Georges Braque (1882 to 1963) and measured to be “the” radical program of modern art, Cubism was a more intelligent stylishness of painting that travelled the two-dimensional picture by present diverse views of the same object, classically agreed in a sequences of overlapping remains somewhat like a photographer might take some photos of an article from altered angles, before cutting them up with cutters and reorganizing them in hit-or-missfashion on a flat surface. This “analytical Cubism” (which created by Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon”) rapidly provided way to “synthetic Cubism: when performers began to include “found” article in their paintings, such as collages made since newspaper cutting. Famous Cubists contain the artists Juan Gris (1887 to 1927), Fernand Leger (1881 to 1927), Robert Delaunay (1885 to 1941), Albert Gleizes (1881 to 1953), Roger de La Fresnaye (1885 to 1925) Jena Metzinger (1883 to 1956), and Francis Picabia (1879 to 1953), Marcel Duchamp (1887 to 1968) he is a avant-garde artist, and the sculptors Jacques Lipchitz (1891 to 1973) and Alexander Archipenko (1887 to 1964) short lived its highly influential, Cubism introduce new styles of collage (1912 onwards) Orphism (1912 to1916, Purism (1920s) Precisionism (1920s, 1930s) Futurism (1909 to 1914) Rayonism (c.1901 to1920) Suprematism (1913 to 1920) Constructivism (c.1917 to 1921) and Vorticism (c.1913 to 1915).
Famous artists

Fernand leger
Albert gleizes
Roger de la fresnaye
Jean metzinger
Francis picabia
Marcel Duchamp
Sculptor Jacques Lipchitz
Alexander archipenko

(Beginning in 1924)
The Elephant Celebes by Max Ernst(1921)
It was acreative movement that transported together artists, philosophers and investigators in search of sense of look of the unconscious. They were penetrating for the meaning of new artistic, new humankind and a new social order. Surrealists had their forerunners in Italian Metaphysical Artists (Giorgio de Chirico) in early 1910’s.
As the artistic movement, Surrealism came into existence after the French writer Andre Breton 1924 published the first Manifested du surrealism. In this book Breton optional that balanced supposed was oppressive to the controls of originality and fancy and thus hostile to artistic look. An admirer of Sigmund Freud and his idea of the subliminal, Breton felt that contact with this hidden part of the mind might produce lyricalfact.
Mostly entrenched in the anti-art civilizations of the Dada movement (1916 to 1924), in addition to the psychoanalytical thoughts of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, Surrealism was the more influential art. Rendering to its chief philosopher, Ander Breton, it sought to syndicate the comatose with the aware, in instruction to make a new “super-reality” – a “surrealism” the movement crossed a huge range of styles, from concept to true-life realism, characteristically interrupted with “unreal” imagery. Significant Surrealists included Salvador Dali (1904 to 1989), Max Ernst (1891 to 1976), Rene Magritte (1898 to 1967), Ander Masson (1896 to 1987), Yves Tanguy (1900 to 1055), Joan Miro (1893 to 1983), Giorgio de Chirico (1888 to 1978), Jean Arp (1886 to 1966), and Man Ray (1890 to 76). The movement has a major impact of European during in (1930) period, it has major forerunner to Conceptualism, and lasts to fine supporters in fine art, works and photography.
The psychoanalytical idea of the sigmud Freud and the cral Jung. Surrealism was the influential of art style of the interwar year.
Famous artists

Max Ernst
Rene Magritte
Andre Masson
Yves Tanguy
Joan miro
Giorgio de Chirico
Jean arp
Man ray


Comparison of Impressionist Artists | Essay

Impressionism began in France in the mid 1800s. The Impressionists were not very popular because they had a different approach to painting. At this time, many artists painted in a very traditional way that involved spending hours in a studio, painstakingly creating detailed paintings. These paintings were sometimes of people, landscapes, or historical events. The Impressionists however often painted out of doors and wanted to show the immediate effect of light and colour at particular times of the day. Their works are sometimes described as ‘captured moments’ and are characterized by short quick brushstrokes of colour which, when viewed up close looks quite messy and unreal. If you step back from an Impressionist painting, however, the colours are blended together by our eyes, and we you able to see the painter’s subject which often showed colourful landscapes, sunlight on water as well as people engaged in outdoor activities and enjoyment. Paintings by Impressionist artists have become some of the most popular artworks of all time. This is probably because their subjects were usually pleasing and uncomplicated. For the purpose of this essay, I shall compare and contrast three artists who have been inspired by and whose works are based on the natural environment.

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The first artist I looked at was George Leslie Hunter (7 August 1877 – 6 December 1931) he was born in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. His family emigrated to California when he was 13. His early work was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and he returned to Scotland shortly afterwards, living in Glasgow. He held his first one-man exhibition at the Reid Gallery in Glasgow in 1916. During the 1920s, he became part of a group of artists who came to be known as the Scottish Colourists. All were influenced, by the purity, bright colour and brushwork technique of the French Impressionists, Hunter is best known for scenes painted in Fife and in the South of France. He died in Glasgow in 1931. He belonged to the Impressionism movement.
In 1930 Hunter painted “Reflections, Balloch”, it was painted in oils. The work is quite bright and representative of the subject, it looks rather like a photo or postcard. The painting is light and colourful, with a lot of detail; the boats are well painted and there is definitely a lot more detail gone into painting the water and that does show in the painting with the reflection seeming far more important. It has a light feel to it. The trees frame the houses and add depth to the painting. He painted the water in a very rich way so it looks shiny and reflective but deep and cold at the same time.
The composition of the painting is very orderly with the background mostly taken up by the houses and trees, the middle ground a strong presence of the boats and the foreground is filled by the water, with the reflections of the boats and trees shimmering on the top of the glistening water. The colours are mostly primary with white being prominent as it is used to describe the light reflecting on the surface of the water. There is a distinct line between the land and water, the riverbank and boats being a strong divide. There is a patchwork feel to the colours, which shows in the texture of the brushstrokes. There is an older style feel to the subjects, as the houses and boats are period, but the painting could have been painted today as it has freshness. The water appears to be thinning towards the edge of the painting as Hunter is trying to show the light reflecting, but the strong presence of the boats and houses make me feel that these were his main aim, yet I feel not as much attention was given to the painting of them, the buildings and boats do not include such fine detail. The trees are very detailed and have a strong presence.
The second artist to look at was Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) he was born in Paris, but raised on the Normandy coast. He began his art career as a caricaturist. In 1858, painter, Eugene Boudin, introduced Monet to landscape. In 1873, Monet set up a floating studio on the Seine and began to paint landscapes in the Impressionist style. Monet’s family lived in LeHavre near the sea in Northern France where he spent a lot of time painting out-of-doors scenes. About 1890, he began to paint pictures in series, showing the same subject under various conditions of light and atmosphere. He bought a house at Giverney and for approx 40 yrs; he worked on pictures of his water garden.
Claude Monet’s work “Sunset on the Seine, winter 1880” which was painted in oils, is a delicate painting that is full of colour, the light seems to be the artists main focus as the main part of the painting seems to be the reflections, It seems to be painted with just a couple of colours that vary in depth. The sky also has a vibrant orange and red glow to it making it look like it is a scene from an Australian bush fire more than a sunset on the river Seine. There is not much of a difference between the sky and the water it can only be distinguished by the ripples and small waves painted on the water top.There are some bushes seen either side of the picture, they lead your eyes into the painting and you can see fishermen on boats in minute detail. The colours are one of the strengths of this painting, heightened by the texture of the paint, which is rough like sandpaper. The two bushes either side of the painting are in the foreground, with the boats in the middle, and a vague outline of the shore in the background. There are hidden in the sunset some more mottled tones that appear to be trees and bushes in the distance. The main subject of the painting is the sunset and its reflection on the water.
My final artist to research was Winslow Homer an American artist, 1836-1910 he was a realist painter, and painted confrontations between humans and nature. Homer was an illustrator for magazines such as Harper’s Weekly. During the Civil War, he visited the front as an illustrator and documented military camp life. After the war he studied painting in New York and Paris. In the 1870s and 1880s, Homer started painting rural scenes and worked in both oil and watercolour. He travelled a lot and painted in Canada, Bermuda, Florida, and the Caribbean.
Winslow Homer painted “Deer Drinking” in 1892, It was in watercolours. It is a painting of a Deer drinking from a stream, the deer is looking at its reflection and is laying across a tree, the reflection is so good that it is hard to see which is real, the deer or the reflection It sort of looks like in this painting the deer is kissing itself through the water or it is like two deer stuck together, one on land one under the water. It has a much darker background with the forest behind, but the light and water is where you want to look mostly. The colours used are very earthy, giving you a great sense of the forest. The body of the deer is captured with the lighter colours giving you a sense of sunshine landing on it. The texture of the water is captured by his heavy brushwork, with a lot of movement seen in the use of white implying light, as it makes you feel the water is moving with the deer’s drinking. The deer in the foreground of the painting takes up most of the canvas, the log he rests on leads your eye towards the forest in the background.
I think the three paintings are very different, each one looking at a different part of the natural environment, Hunters painting Reflections, Balloch is showing a modern picture of houses and boats, man living and doing things in the environment. Claude Monet’s work “Sunset on the Seine, winter 1880” seems more as if he is trying to capture something from the past, memories of life that was, it has an atmosphere that is moody, warm, reflective, of an environment that had gone. Winslow Homer’s painting “Deer Drinking” seemed far more real, a lot more natural for an interpretation of the natural environment it also seemed a lot more creative and far more easier and nicer to look at.
My personal opinion of the first painting by George Leslie Hunter is that it is a really pretty rural scene of a river boat going along a very reflective well painted river. The reflections in the river are very good especially of the trees overall, I like this painting a lot. The painting “Sunset on the Seine” by Claude Monet this is also a water scene but the sky stands out far more then the water for me. In this painting, I really like the warm glow. Its marvellous rich fiery colours are a feast for the eye and great to look at overall. I also really liked this painting. The third painting “Deer Drinking” by Homer Winslow has amazing detail and beautiful range and tone of colours making it look more like a photograph instead of a painting and for this I also really like this painting.
Although I think, the three paintings are very different, all these artists were interested in capturing nature in the moment, and did by bringing painting – traditionally an indoor activity – outdoors where they could observe their subject directly. By using various methods used in impressionists style, loose brushwork and suggestive lines, opposing colours and tonal values, sometimes a suggestion of form as opposed to an illustrated approach, they have all captured a moment, that might have gone unnoticed, for the viewer to enjoy for many years to come.
Sources “″&HYPERLINK “″tabindex=44HYPERLINK “″&HYPERLINK “″artistid=918 “″&HYPERLINK “″resource=480

Impressionist Artists and Artworks

The Impressionism movement in art was followed by the Realism and Romantic periods. In complete contrast to Realism and Romanticism, with its detailed, accurate and photo-like paintings of contemporary life, Impressionism brought about more of a blurred reality to the canvas. Specific techniques Impressionist artists used were unblended colors and quick, short brush strokes with a unique play on light. An Impressionist artists’ goal was to “objectively paint reality in terms of transient effects of light and color.”(1) The Impressionist artist would place vibrantly contrasting colors directly on the canvas; which was a great contrast to the traditional art of blending somber colors. Not understanding, or accepting these new techniques, the Salon of the French Academy consistently rejected most artwork by Impressionist artist. These rejections from the Salon eventually forced a group of Impressionist painters to organize their own exhibitions; Exhibitions of the Independent Artists.

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Claude Monet was the chief pioneer of the Impressionism period. Monet was born in Paris (1840-1926) and moved near Le Havre at a young age. At only the age of 15, Monet created his first successful drawings of caricatures. Monet continued to study drawing until he met Eugene Boudin, who is responsible for intruding Monet to a new style of painting; stepping outside the studio and painting in the open air. This style would give way to more than 60 years of art that used “effective methods to transform perception into pigment.” (1)
During Monet’s later years of life he began to paint series of paintings, each one based on a certain subject. Each series offered different views of the same subject, by painting at different times of day or seasons. One series in particular, which is exhibited at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, is the “Water Lilies” series. This series by Monet are also personally my favorite paintings from all the ones that were covered this semester. The death of his wife and stepdaughter took a great toll on his spirit, fortunately, Monet he was able to find peace in the water of his pond and garden. Monet was captivated daily by the opening and closing of the lily’s blossoms. He meditated while watching the reflections the clouds drift across the pond’s surface. Although he began to lose his eye sight due to cataracts around this time, he did not let that hinder his paintings. Monet painted approximately 250 oil paintings that completed his series of “Water Lilies.”
The “Water Lilies” series was the last series of paintings by Monet. There is a noticeable difference in his portrayal of light and air in most of his “Water Lilies” series. Despite the loss of light, color seems to be more expressive, along with curling movement of his brushstrokes. Monet’s Impressionist style starts to become more subjective with this series- which may be due to the loss of his eyesight. The lilies have large pads and blossoms which look as though they are floating in space. Monet was able to spatially embrace his canvas which allowed us to feel and know the painting went beyond the frame. He encompassed the canvas with flowing clouds, which are only seen as reflections on the lily pond with an open composition. “Imagine a circular room, the dado below the wall molding entirely filled with a plane of water scattered with these plants, transparent screens sometimes green, sometimes mauve. The calm, silent, still waters reflecting the scattered flowers, the colors evanescent, with delicious nuances of a dream-like delicacy.” (3)
Edgar Degas is another Impressionist painter who also was born in Paris (1834-1917.) Degas came from a proud, wealthy, Parisian family who were related to minor aristocrats. He was fortunate enough to attend a prestigious all boys’ school, the Lycee Louis-le-Grand. Music played a huge role during his upbringing. His mother was an opera singer and his father arranged recitals. Degas’s mother passed when he was only 15 years old, leaving behind 5 children. With encouragement from his father he enrolled at the prominent Ecole des Beaux-Arts school in 1855. Only one year later, Degas left Paris and went on a three year study and travel in Italy. During this time, he saturated himself with antiquity paintings and sculptures and the Renaissance. He filled his sketchbook with hundreds of copies of art by Michelangelo, da Vinci and other artist.
After his return home, Degas began to paint portraits of family members with the intentions of submitting them to the Salon. However, Degas was never satisfied with his own work. ” humbled by his exposure to the Italian masters, Degas scraped down and reworked parts of his own canvases, initiating a habit of technical self-criticism that was to last a lifetime.” (4)
Degas painted many history paintings; however, he began to find himself drawn to paintings of the everyday life. His transition to paint modern subject matter was a very gradual one. He was able to apply his knowledge of past artist but steer it towards people of the modern day and subject matter like no other artist. Degas’s variety with his use of mediums and subjects matters seems to be endless. “His drawings include examples in pen, ink, pencil, chalk, pastel, charcoal, and oil on paper, often in combination with each other, while his paintings were carried out in watercolor, gouache, distemper, metallic pigments, and oils, on surfaces including card, silk, ceramic, tile, and wood panel, as well as widely varied textures of canvas.” (4) Combine his talent with his knowledge of traditional art makes him the most accomplished draftsman of the Impressionist. While he is most well known for his works with humans (particularly females) he also painted a great deal on the modern life of Paris and successfully sketched many landscape pieces.
In Degas’s later years can began to combine his love for the female body with his love for landscapes. The pastel “Russian Dancer” (exhibited in the Houston Museum of Fine Arts) is a great example of how Degas united both of his loves to reveal his true abilities as an artist. This pastel also is reflective in his shift toward his series work. Degas executed these pastels by studying the poses of the Russian women and sketched them first in charcoal on tracing paper, then transferred particular poses and gestures from work to work. Degas invented the technique of superimposing layers of pastel, which created a sort of transparency in the art piece. Layering the pastels intensified the hues and contrasts within the landscape. Through his use of vibrant colors, mediums, innovative techniques and explosively drawn movements, make “Russian Dancers” and “Degas’s other late pastels among the most extraordinary in the history of that medium.”(5)
Romantic Period with works from Francisco de Goya’s Still Life with Golden Bream and Joseph Mallord William Turner’s Sheerness as Seen from the Nore
The term Romanticism in art is given to a time period from about the mid 18th century through mid 19th century. Romanticism, like most other art movements, was an art that was trying to push away from the previous (neoclassical) styles of arts. This movement renounced the neoclassical styles of balance, precise lines, clarity, order, unity and symmetry. Romantic artist emphasized on emotion, including terror, awe, joy, and loneliness. These artists wanted nothing to do with the harmony, rationality, and order of the neoclassical painters. They rejected the tiny brushstrokes of previous artist and celebrated their works with active, stimulating brushwork. Nature landscapes were also a major part of the romantic period. Romantics felt a strong connection with nature and had a deep interest in capturing the serenity or exoticism of it. Also, they used nature to convey emotions. During this time period, the works of art derived from the individual, opposed to collective reactions of others. Romanticism can basically be described as irrational, imaginative, personal and mostly emotional. “The Romantic movement first developed in northern Europe with a rejection of technical standards based on the classical ideal that perfection should be attained in art.”(6)
Francisco Jose de Goya was a famous romantic artist born in Spain (1746-1828.) Goya was trained in Naples, Madrid and Italy. It was in Rome that Goya received his first significant commission for frescoes in the cathedral. It took Goya 10 years to finish all the frescoes; however, these first works of art from Goya are considered Rococo style. In 1771, Goya began a career as a court painter. These painting consisted mostly of contemporary life aristocratic and popular pastimes. “In 1785, he was appointed deputy director of painting at the Academy and the following year painter to King Charles III.”(7) During this time, Goya’s painted portraits of figures in full-length, mostly of society women. “The death of Charles III in 1788, a few months before the outbreak of the French Revolution, brought to an end the period of comparative prosperity and enlightenment in which Goya reached maturity.”(7) An illness in 1792 left Goya permanently deaf. At this point, is when Goya begins to take on a new personality with freedom of expression and imagination is his art. His experiences allowed him to have a more critical point of view, which in turn, allowed more maturity in his art work.
Goya’s Still Life with Golden Bream (exhibited at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts) is one still life painting, out of only one dozen still lifes, that Goya painted, all being painted in the last decade of his life. This painting depicts a pile of bream fish. The incredible use of light makes it seems as though the fish are very much alive and staring directly at you. The detail captured in the blank expressions have the audience feeling that at any moment, the fish will stop playing dead and start whaling about on the table. The eyes of the fish are yellow, huge and wide opened and give this painting an unbelievable eeriness. “Although the subject of this work is simple-a pile of dead fish-it expresses a moving pathos reminiscent of Goya’s etching series Disasters of War, one of the artist’s great achievements. Both the print series and Still Life with Golden Bream were completed during the terrible war between Spain and France, and both serve as meditations on death and violence.”(8)
Joseph Turner was an English Romantic landscape painter born in 1775. There are several professional drawings on record from Turner starting at the age of only 12. At the age of 14, Turner enrolled in the Royal Academy and soon began to exhibit his watercolor paintings there. His early works of art were traditional in techniques and in character, painting mostly topographical places. “Welsh landscape painter Richard Wilson helped broaden Turner’s outlook and revealed to him a more poetic and imaginative approach to landscape, which he would pursue to the end of his career with ever-increasing brilliance.”(7) Turner began publishing a series of 100 plates known as the Liber Studiorum in 1807. The goal was for Turner to document a vast variety and range of landscapes.
In 1808, Turner completed a seascape named Sheerness as Seen from the Nore. This painting depicts the smaller boats being thrown about in angry part of the ocean. The white peaks on wave give way to unsettling events that seem to take place more in the future than the present. The fearful emotions from the swirling clouds only add to the anticipation “The composition is dominated by the light of the sun rising at the left, and by the vigor of the foreground swell; as so often in Turner, the distant ships are silhouetted against a strip of light at the horizon, the guard ship at the left forming an area of repose in otherwise turbulent design.” (9) Turner ruled the art world with his range and sublimity of his expressive study of light, color, and atmosphere and is commonly referred to as “the painter of light.”

Land Art Movement and Artists

Land Art was mainly developed during the late 1960s. It is also known as ‘Earthworks’. Land art was the revolutionary side of the artists, which were trying to escape from the traditional painting and sculpture, as well as their ecological concerns. According to Robert Smithson, this revolutionary approach, was also an attempt to escape from galleries and museums; this led to environmental consciousness and objection.
…The ecologist tends to see the landscape in terms of the past, while most industrialists don’t see anything at all. The artist must come out of the isolation of galleries and museums and provide a concrete consciousness for the present as it really exists, and not simply present abstractions or utopias…[1]
This had as a result, for artists to create their art directly into the landscape. The work was made mostly with huge scale ‘sculptures’ directly in nature, using natural materials. Land art is about ‘real life’ and embodies the direct and instinctive relations with the landscape, the nature and the environment. It covers the approach of the location and the experience of the observer attaching special importance to the landscape. Land art works were mainly exhibited with written or photographic documentations. [2]

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Land art also provides the social and cultural conditions of that time. During 1968 there was a fundamental change of revolution in both continents, United States and Europe. In United States there was a pacifist and human rights expression, mainly caused by the Cold War and the American attachment in Vietnam. In Europe, one factor for that revolutionary change was the rebellious activities of the ‘Situationist Internanionale’ (Guy Debord) in France. Also the warning of danger caused by the nuclear war (global extinction), had a result to emphasize the importance of ecological issues. The first images from space, published the same year, changed the way we perceive our world.
Land art reveals the clash positions of that period, in the direction of land and the environment. It desires a radical change and the recovery of the ecological disaster on land caused by the industrialisation. Through Land art we can reconsider our relationship with the landscape and with nature.
The massive unexploited land of America played a major role in the development of Land art in the United States during that period. Many American artists performed their works, using those unexplored deserts of the American landscape. Those deserts embodied a mainly American approach towards landscape. They also proposed the success of American culture and technology over nature. They rejected the historic fine art traditions of Europe and they started to reference towards the significant national American idioms.[3]
One main American artist is Robert Smithson, which he considers being the most important theoretical artist among all land artists. Many of his activities were located in the geological and culturally rich of Western America in desert locations.
Smithson was interested in natural history from an early age. The year 1964 was a crucial year for his career as he began to develop his themes and interests. Blood, decay, geological strata and theories about time and history, were some of the artists’ interests that were developed through the paintings that he made on that period. In the same year he created a series of ‘crystalline’ sculptures, like The Eliminator 1964. He also developed a friendly relationship with a number of artists, which were associated with Minimalism. One of them was Donald Judd. When he exhibited those sculptures, they were perceived as Minimalist. This was mainly because he was known for his connection with those artists and due to the fact that for this work he used industrial materials. But Smithson’s work deals and represents the multipart conceptual ideas. This multipart conceptual ideas include crystalline growth, decompose and the dilemma of perspective. He rejects clarity, unlike Minimalism, in which objects are standing themselves and are symbolising the external. [4]
Smithson, as well as other artists, played their part in transforming the perception of nature. He has seen landscape as a place in continuous transformation, revealing entropy. He is associated with a natural landscape and he emphasizes the relationship between man and natural powers. Smithson also provides a powerful image for the contemporary position. In Smithosn’s writings the concept that emphasizes much on his work is the principle of energy loss-entropy. In 1968 he started to think about the scale and how artworks can be positioned and viewed in the landscape. He explored these ideas in a series of works called Site and Nonsite. Smithson described this work as ‘an indoor earthwork’. In 1969 he started to produce his work directly into landscape, as he was interested in making art outdoors, away from galleries. He produced photographic work using mirrors. [5]
In 1970 he made his major work on the landscape called Spiral Jetty, (‘1) which was made at Rozel Point on Great Salt Lake, in Utah. Spiral Jetty was made from rocks, mud and precipitated salt crystals. Smithson documented the creation of the sculpture. He learned that Great Salt Lake in Utah carried micro bacteria that coloured the water red and he developed an interest in the symbolic possibility of a red saline lake. He created the spiral form, as he was inspired with the location, the natural characteristics and the historical contexts. Smithson linked the red salt water with blood. Through Smithson’s own writings, Spiral Jetty is presented as a particular clear example of his association between artwork and location and he is emphasizing its entropic qualities.[6]
Michael Heizer was an American artist who was considered being very important to the development of land art. He felt that a sculpture needed to express the character and the scale of the great Western American landscape. He believed that artworks were valued as products and he provided the differences between those works of the urban marketplace and the works in the landscape. He stated that: ‘…the position of art as malleable barter-exchange items falters as the cumulative economic structure gluts. The museums and collections are stuffed, the floors are sagging but the real space exists…'[7]
Heizer used the desert spaces as a laboratory. His first landscape work began in 1967, and it was called North and South. Through out this work we can perceive his interest in void and negative spaces. He rejected European traditions, as he wanted to make art that was ‘American’. Heizer most famous and most debatable work is Double Negative (‘2), built in 1969. It is located at the Mormon Mesa, near Overton, Nevada. This work was made at the edge of the sandstone cliff and it is composed of two deep cuts creating a huge channel. Double Negative is composed of space itself. Heizer said that:’ In Double Negative, there is the implication of an object or form that is actually not there…’ [8]
Heizer believes that the work is not about the landscape but it is about the sculpture. He also believes that the importance of his work in not in what ‘it rejected’ but in what ‘it offered’ instead. Heizer through his work kept his primary purposes for his art in the landscape.
In England the Land art started to develop as well in the late 1960s. England presented fewer opportunities for impressive gestures than United States. One main British artist was Richard Long. Long mostly gave emphasis to the simplicity on his work, giving the attention to his common skills and the materials he used. Walking was the principal form of Long. [9]
But beneath this simplicity we can perceive the conceptual and the imaginative aspects that highlight Long’s art. He explored ideas about time, space and experience. From an early age he started also to explore the traditional subject of landscape. In 1969 he aimed to ‘create an open and exploratory environment’ during his studies on the ‘Advanced’ Sculpture Course at St Martins School of Art in London. Other artists shared the same interest with Long about landscape as a subject for contemporary art. During his studies he developed a very different way of reaching the landscape, as through his work, he involved space and scale. His achievement on that period was the work titled with: A Line Made by Walking, 1967. (‘3) He simply walked along a line, across a field, in order to create a visible path in the grass. The path was photographed. We can split the work into two parts. Part one is the making of the work and part two is the documentation. After this work he continued to explore this conceptual aspect by creating two more works, Bicycle Sculpture 1967 and A Ten Mile Walk, England 1968. Because this kind of works couldn’t exhibit into a gallery, Long started to use documentary materials such as texts, maps and photographs.
We can separate Long’s sculptures into two categories. Sculptures that were made by walking in the landscape, and the documentation of it, and sculptures which were made in the gallery as a reaction to space and locality.
This separation on Longs works (the work made in the landscape and the work made for the gallery space), can be compared with Robert Smithsons works Site and Nonesite . We can find many similarities and differences between artists in the two continents. Longs work is considered being practical opposing to the work of Smithson, which is considered being theorised. Both artists used natural materials in order to accomplish their motivations. Long was using in his work, forms such as lines and circles expanding the modernist development. On the other hand, Smithson, had the obsession with ‘ destruction, decay, decomposition and dissolution’. Both artists shared the same interest in order to find the place (landscape) to construct their works. Mapping was also a significant concern for Long, as well as for Smithson, not only for the documentation of their work but also to find a specific location. Equally through their works, they demonstrated cultural and artistic concerns. [10]
Land art emphasizes the importance between nature and culture. Through Land Art, artists provided that the landscape is one of the original places of cultural expression, like social and environmental are clearly marked.
Land Art: A Cultural Ecology handbook, ed. by Max Andrews, London: RSA, 2006.
Beardsley, J. Earthworks and beyond: contemporary art in the landscape, 3rd edn. New York: Abbeville, 1998.
Malpas, W. Land art, earthworks, installations, environments, sculptures, Kidderminster: Crescent Moon, 1998.
Tufnell, B. Land Art, London: Tate Gallery Publications, 2006.
[1] Land Art: A Cultural Ecology handbook, ed. by Max Andrews.p.22
[2] Tufnell, B. Land Art, London: Tate Gallery Publications, 2006, pp.12-19
[3] Tufnell, B. Land Art, pp.12-19
[4] Tufnell, B. Land Art, pp 35-42
[5] Beardsley, J. Earthworks and beyond: contemporary art in the landscape, 3rd edn. New York: Abbeville, 1998, pp. 19-23
[6] Tufnell, B. Land Art, pp 43-45
[7] Beardsley, J. Earthworks and beyond: contemporary art in the landscape, p.13
[8] Tufnell, B. Land Art p.51
[9] Beardsley, J. Earthworks and beyond: contemporary art in the landscape, pp.41-46
[10] Tufnell, B. Land Art, pp 32-35  

Reflective Essay on Art and Famous Artists

The Olive Trees” by Vincent van Gogh caught my eye as soon as I saw it. Van Gogh has always fascinated me with his dramatic use of color and the thick texture he used while painting. After doing some research, I learned that he painted “The Olive Trees” in 1890 after voluntarily entering an asylum at Saint-Remy (MoMA). It has been said that van Gogh’s talent flourished in the last two years of his life while at Saint-Remy. Although he died at the ripe age of thirty-seven, he was a busy man. He created over 200 oil paintings during his life. Some of his most famous pieces are The Starry Night, Portrait of Dr. Gachet, and Irises (Artquotes).

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“The Olive Trees” is an oil on canvas painting that measures 28 5/8 x 36” (MoMA). This piece is in the post-impressionist style. Post-impressionists extended Impressionism while rejecting its lack of emotions. Artists continued to use vivid colors, thick application of paint, distinctive brush strokes, and real-life subject matter (Topofart). The post-impressionist style is seen throughout most of van Gogh’s works and especially in “The Olive Trees”.
Van Gogh used thick oil paint combined with wide rough brushstrokes to create texture in this piece. This technique called “impasto” is evident in many of his other works such as “The Starry Night” (Frank). The subject of the picture is olive trees. These trees could be found all around the asylum he admitted himself to. This painting seems to have a lighter mood than some of the other paintings he completed right before his death. It seems that he, “found happiness” or something that got his mind off of the deep depression and mental sickness he had. The viewer can see it in this piece by looking at the use of color and dancing lines he used to create a happy, but mellow mood in the piece. This technique can also be seen in his other works such as “Starry Night”.
Not only did he use color and line to lighten the mood of the piece, but he also used shape. Van Gogh painted the olive trees, mountains, and clouds all by using organic shape. This creates a flow of line, mass, and space. By using these effects, van Gogh creates a visual rollercoaster for the viewer to follow. At first glance, the viewer’s eyes roll from the grass up to the olive trees, and then across the blue colored mountains. By using this flow of line, the painting has a unique balance to it which allows no space to appear empty. The painting seems lively and the olive trees create a mood of dancing across the landscape.
Van Gogh created a well balanced atmosphere by using the light colored clouds to balance out the blues used in the mountains. The clouds also help to balance the arrangement of greens he used for the foreground and olive trees. This is called symmetrical balance. I believe van Gogh used this in his work not only create a well flowing piece, but also to get the viewers eyes to move across the painting. By doing this, he keeps the viewer’s eyes from staring at one section of the painting. Instead, the viewer receives an emotional grasp from the flow of line, color, and texture that the painting offers.
Overall, I really enjoy this piece of art. Although it is not one of van Gogh’s most-known pieces, it is one of my favorites. I tend to go against the grain and choose things that I find interesting instead of going with the “social norm”. His use of color and texture is what keeps me looking at his work. I think the mood and emotion that he gave off by this painting could not be done with any other color. Obviously van Gogh had a message and an emotion that he wanted to portray in this piece, and I think he conveyed it perfectly. I think van Gogh was conveying a since of hope and happiness from this piece. His use of line and texture creates movement in the painting and a sense of joy. The bright cloud contrasts against the olive trees and seems to brighten the piece not only through color, but emotionally as well. The painting is a joy to look at and will remain that way for a long time to come.
Works Cited
“Famous Vincent Van Gogh Paintings.” Artist Quotes – Art Quotes – Famous Artists – Fine Artists. Web. 17 Apr. 2010. .
Frank, Patrick, and Duane Preble. Prebles’ Artforms: an Introduction to the Visual Arts. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson /Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.
“Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Art Reproductions, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism Paintings.” Art Reproductions – Oil Painting Reproductions. Web. 18 Apr. 2010. .
“MoMA | The Collection | Vincent Van Gogh. The Olive Trees. Saint Rémy, June-July 1889.” MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art. Web. 14 Apr. 2010. .
Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera was born into a wealthy family in Mexico. From the age of ten, Rivera studied art at the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City (Biography). He was sponsored to continue study in Europe by the governor of Veracruz (Biography). After his arrival in Europe in 1907, he began to study art with a number of well known artists. A few years later Picasso and Georges Braque began getting world-wide exposure with their new type of art, Cubism. From 1913-1918, he devoted himself almost entirely to the cubist school of art (Arttrader). In 1920, Rivera left France and spent a short time in Italy. While there, Rivera studied frescoes and the popular works from the Renaissance period (Biography).
In 1921, Rivera returned to Mexico to start on what I personally believe to be some of his best works. He began to paint murals in auditoriums, schools, and other various government buildings. Most of his art carried political influence which he believed in. Rivera was a communist and his work shared that of his political beliefs and how he felt about the Mexican people. He began to develop his own native style based on large, simplified figures and bold colors. Although his paintings were beautiful, his attacks on the church and political beliefs made him a controversial figure. (Biography). Some of his best known works during this time are: En el Arsenal, Creation, and The Flower Carrier. Rivera painted frescoes in this style for many years up until his death in 1957 (Biography).
I chose to do my paper on one of his pieces with a Cubist influence. It was completed in 1912 while he was in France. The artwork is called “Cubist Landscape”. It is an oil on canvas that measures 25 ¾” x 35 ½” (MoMA). I chose this piece of art because it reminds me of my grandmother. She was a quilter, and at first glance, this painting reminds me of a patchwork quilt. Cubism was a huge influence in Rivera’s earlier career, and this was one of his first works in France. The content of this piece is a landscape filled with trees of different colors and a colorful sky with a mountain in the background. To me, it looks like you are looking at four different paintings that have been sat on top of each other at different angles. The use of the cubism style in this painting is very evident due to not only the name, but the way the object of the picture and background are “chopped” up and distorted throughout the piece. Rivera used big chunks of different objects to make this piece so it is not as distorted as the works of Picasso. I believe he did this so the viewer would not lose emphasis on the emotion Rivera was trying to get the viewer to feel.
Rivera balanced the painting by using the Cubist style to section the painting out in to different pieces. The eye is specifically drawn to the lighter-green tree in the front. This tree is standing straight while all the other trees are bent and leaning in different directions. By doing this, Rivera made the tree in the front the subject of the piece, and made your eyes be drawn directly to this object. Line also played a role in the emotion and emphasis on the tree. He emphasized the front tree even more by making it more detailed and by giving the trunk of it texture. It stands straight up compared to the other ones to symbolize strength and power.
The background of the artwork is where the emotion in the painting is created. The background is colored in a patchwork of the color wheel. Greens, reds, oranges, blues, violets, and yellows are all woven into the background to create a happy mood that surrounds the trees. The other trees also fall into the back ground and are red and blue. I think the added color that surrounds the subject gives the piece a lighter feeling and makes the viewer want to smile. I also like the use of impressionism in the piece. Around the border of the painting, Rivera dashed color on the background to create a meadow-like scene to the piece. The use of different color reminds me of wild flowers swaying in the breeze. He created what the eye would actually see in a meadow by using wide, short brush strokes. The way he painted the background reminds me of the brushstrokes used in “Impression Sunrise” by Monet. His short brush strokes also give texture and movement to the piece. Short brush strokes make the piece look soft in texture and give it movement as if there were a breezing blowing through the scene.
Overall I really enjoyed this piece of art. Not only did it remind me of my grandmother, but it also gave me a new grasp on the Cubist style of art. I was not a fan of cubism until researching this piece because I did not “get it”. So many times when viewers see cubism we want to run away because we cannot understand what we are looking at. In this piece Rivera makes it very clear and there is no underlying meaning like some of the other Cubists’ work. It is direct and straight-forward and that is why I chose it. This piece has caused me to grasp new meaning and understanding of the Cubist style and I will definitely embrace what I have learned.
Works Cited
Art Trader. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .
“Diego Rivera Biography.” Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .
“MoMA | The Collection | Diego Rivera. Cubist Landscape. 1912.” MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art. Web. 20 Apr. 2010. .
Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe was born November 15th, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. She grew up most of her life in Wisconsin but moved away to go to the Chatham Protest and Episcopal Institute in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1900. After graduating in 1904, she studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League in New York (Georgia). She is well known for her artwork and has won many awards such as the Gold Medal of Painting, the Medal of Freedom, and was presented the National Medal of Arts in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan (Georgia). It is said that O’Keeffe revolutionized modern art in both her time and to the present. She painted natural scenes which she vividly portrayed with a close-up view. She used art to convey that nature is as powerful as the widespread industrialization of the period of her time.
Georgia O’Keeffe married Alfred Stieglitz in 1924 (Georgia). He was a famous photographer who put his wife’s work in his gallery. In 1916, Georgia’s work was first exhibited and this is when her art began to be seen and appreciated. In 1949, O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico where her art took on a new dimension. She painted bones and desert scenes which captured the calmness and bareness of the desert (Georgia).
During her career as a painter, O’Keeffe has mostly been remembered for her abstract style of art. She painted many things you would see in nature. She painted them as she saw them, not has how most would see them. She created her style of art by zooming in on the object and painting things that the naked eye would not be able to see. This was her representation of the flower or other object she was painting. Her style of art has been viewed all over the world and she is one of the most famous American artists to this day.
I chose “Lake George, Coat and Red” to do my paper on because the piece jumped out at me. The painting is oil on canvas and it was created in 1919 (MoMA). This abstract piece is rich in texture and the mood of it warms your heart and lightens your mood. Georgia not only used line to create happiness in her piece, but she also used the bright reds in the background to accent the dark color of the painting. She used red and blue because they contrast one another, and it is a great way to catch the viewer’s eye. Not only did O’Keeffe use red and blues in the painting, she also used greens, yellows, and orange. I’m not sure if each color was meant to represent different types of emotions, but it gives the piece a center or “wholeness” since she used every color.
Not only is the color balanced in this piece, but the way she used the value in each hue also creates a centralized feel. Since the subject of the piece is a dark blue, I think O’Keeffe used the small white ball in the upper portion of the painting to create a small mass that contrasts the heavy blues she used for the subject. Her use of thick lines and texture also contributes to the balance of the piece and gives the subject a since of flow and gracefulness that draws your eyes from the lower left-hand corner of the piece on towards the upper right-hand corner.
The painting’s size is 27 3/8” x 23 ¼” (MoMA). This is an average size piece for her, and I think she used this size to get the viewer to see the painting up close and visually “feel” the texture and the movement of the piece. Not only did the size of the canvas play a role in how she wanted the viewer to feel, but the medium she used did as well. Georgia O’Keeffe used a lot of oil paints to make her art because of the way she could create texture throughout each piece with this medium. She also used oil paints because she could blend each color easily to create the hue she wanted. Scale also played a huge part of O’Keeffe’s work because most of her abstract art is a zoomed-in version of what the eye can see. By using this blown-up scale, O’Keeffe can make the viewer feel the emotion of the object.
Overall, I think that Georgia O’Keeffe mastered abstract art and I will continue to be a fan. She has forever changed the way art will be viewed and will be an inspiration for many artists to come. I would not change anything about this piece because the size, color, texture, medium, and line all play a part in what O’Keeffe wanted to portray in this piece.
Works Cited
“Georgia O’Keeffe Biography.” Lakewood Public Library (Lakewood, Ohio). N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .
“MoMA | The Collection | Georgia O’Keeffe. Lake George, Coat and Red. 1919.” MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French painter born January 19, 1839. He developed artistic interests at an early age and was sent to Paris to study when he was twenty-three. He has often been called the father of modern art, who “strove to develop an ideal synthesis of naturalistic representation, personal expression, and abstract pictorial order” (Retro). While he was in Paris he studied the works of Monet, Delacroix, and Gustave Courbet (Retro). Cézanne’s early paintings show little resemblance to his later and more important style. The subject matter is dark and depressing and includes fantasies, dreams, religious images, and a general theme concerned with death (Notable). Most of the work from this era of his life was harshly criticized and was never accepted in any art exhibitions.

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In the 1870’s, Cézanne began to change his style. He started using brighter colors and the religious subjects he once used in his paintings began to disappear (Notable). Cézanne’s paintings from the 1870s clearly show the influence of Impressionism. He used short brushstrokes characterized by Monet and other early Impressionist to portray what the “eyes see rather than what the mind knows” (Frank). Some of his most known pieces from this time are “House of the Hanged Man” and “Portrait of Victor Choquet” (Notable).
In the late 1870’s Cézanne moved back to his home in southern France and isolated himself from the art world. He began to create his own style of Impressionism, but he did not exhibit his art for almost twenty years (Notable). Cézanne’s began to come out of his solitude during the 1890s. In 1895, a large number of Cézanne’s paintings were shown, and public interest in his work slowly began to develop. By 1904 he was given an entire room at the Salon d’Automne (Notable). Unfortunately he died October 22, 1906 due to natural causes (Notable). Though he died right when he was getting large recognition for his work, Cézanne will be remembered as a front-runner of modern art (Notable).
The piece of Cézanne’s work I chose was “Still Life with Fruit Dish”. This painting is an oil on canvas that measures 18 1/4 x 21 1/2″ (MoMA). According to MoMA,
[Still life was an important genre to Cézanne, who made approximately two hundred such paintings over the course of four decades. In “Still Life with Fruit Dish” he created a shallow, compressed space that flattens the sculptural volumes of dish, glass, and fruit. This painting was a prized possession of the artist Paul Gauguin, who described the picture as “an exceptional pearl, the apple of my eye.” It was only when he needed money for medical care that Gauguin unhappily parted with it.]
I completely agree with Gauguin. This painting is a fantastic example of how Cézanne created his own style of Impressionism. If the viewer were to put Monet’s work next to it, you could see the resemblance of Impressionism, but he or she could also see both artist’s personal style difference. Monet was the pioneer of Impressionism, but personally, I prefer what Cézanne did with this piece much more than “Impression: Sunrise” or “Water Lily Pond” by Monet.
In “Still Life with Fruit Dish”, Cézanne created most of the lines in the painting with thick, swift brushstrokes in the Impressionist style. Most of the lines in the painting are jagged and not very detailed. The lighting in the piece looks like it is coming from the right and is shining down on the table and the fruit bowl. By using light this way, Cézanne put emphasis on the fruit bowl which is the subject of the piece. Cézanne also positioned the knife to point directly toward the fruit bowl. This guides the viewer’s eyes from the lower-right-hand corner of the painting directly to the subject. Since this piece is in the Impressionist style, Cézanne painted what the eyes actually see. Impressionists painted what they saw, so there is no underlying meaning to this piece like works of the Renaissance had.
The colors Cézanne used give emphasis on the subject. The background is a dark-colored wall. The tablecloth and fruit bowl are both bright white. Though blue is sometimes used to evoke sadness in a viewer, I do not believe Cézanne was trying to create sadness in this piece. The colors he used for the fruits are realistic colors and their greens, yellows, and reds warm the painting dramatically. Cézanne used thick texture in this painting, but it does not create movement or rhythm in the piece like the works of van Gogh’s did. I think here he used subtle texture just so the painting would not look bland and flat. The texture he used gives character to the fruit as well as the blue background.
Overall, I really like this painting and wish I could have a copy in my house. So far it is my favorite painting I have written about. Cézanne’s realistic proportion, contrast, and use of space also drew my eye to this piece. I like being able to view art and “know” what the artist wanted you to see and feel. When looking at this painting, I immediately “got it”. After reading about Cézanne, I have definitely acquired more knowledge about the Impressionist style and gained a new love for his type of art.
Works Cited
Frank, Patrick, and Duane Preble. Prebles’ Artforms: an Introduction to the Visual Arts. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson /Prentice Hall, 2009. Print.
“MoMA | The Collection | Paul Cézanne. Still Life with Fruit Dish. 1879-80.” MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art. Web. 25 Apr. 2010. .
“Paul Cézanne Biography.” Oil Painting Reproductions : Museum Quality Art. Web. 25 Apr. 2010. .
“Paul Cézanne Biography – Life, Story, Death, School, Information, Born, House, Time, Year.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 25 Apr. 2010. .
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso was a famous Spanish painter and sculptor who lived from 1881-1973. He is best known for cofounding Cubism with Georges Braque. His father, Ruiz, was an artist and influenced Picasso’s early works. When Picasso was seven, his father began to give him formal training in drawing and painting (Answers). Ruiz was a traditional artist and instructor who believed that proper training required disciplined copying of famous artwork. Picasso became so preoccupied with art that he put his education second. After only six years of painting, Picasso’s father realized that his son was more talented than him (Answers).
At the age of thirteen, Picasso took an entrance exam to the Barcelona School of Fine Arts. After creating his piece in only a week, he was accepted and began taking classes (Answers). Three years later his father sent him to Madrid’s Royal Academy of San Fernando which was one of the most recognized art schools in Spain (Answers). Shortly after enrolling at the Royal Academy, Picasso dropped out to move to Paris in the early 1900’s. His first masterpiece was “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” which he created in 1907. It was thought of as being controversial because of its reference to the female body and masked faces he used (Answers). From 1909-1912, Picasso continued to work closely with Georges Braque to create what would be known as “Cubism” (Answers).
Though Cubism is a huge part of Picasso’s work, the painting I chose has no cubist influence. My artwork is “Night Fishing at Antibes”. It is a 6’9” x 11’4” oil on canvas that Picasso completed in 1939 (MoMA). I chose this piece because I wanted to learn more about abstract art, and because I enjoy fishing. The subject of this painting was based on “Picasso’s observation of night scenes off the shore of Antibes in the South of France. Men went out and fished by the light of acetylene lamps; the lights attracted the fish to the surface, where they could be netted or speared” (Lenin). Some say that the painting has deeper meaning that relates to the outbreak of World War II, but after researching the topic heavily, I found that the idea is not for certain. The content in the painting is two fishermen in a boat. One has fishing line attached to his toe, and the other man is about to stab a fish with a spear. Two women are standing on a bridge to the right. One woman is holding a bicycle and eating an ice cream cone. Picasso used symbolism in his paintings, and there must be symbolism in this piece, but after my research, I could not find any concrete answers for why he painted “Night Fishing at Antibes” this way. Most art critics believe that Picasso painted this piece as a war protest much like “Guernica”, but he never announced that this was the painting’s meaning (Answers).
The size of the painting also has to do something with the meaning. This painting is almost twelve feet wide and seven feet tall. If the meaning of the piece is to protest WWII, Picasso created this painting to be the size of a billboard. This would help drive the underlying meaning of the painting and convey what Picasso wanted to say about the war with a bold message.
Picasso created a well-lit piece by making the moonlight shine directly down on the water. This contrasts the fish on the right and makes the eyes look directly at it first. The piece is well balanced due to its large, dark background and small space of lightness. The viewer’s eyes go directly toward the fish on the right not only because of the lighting, but also due to the way Picasso used line. The spear has four straight, thick arrows pointing directly at the fish. This spear also looks like a trident. This could have some time of underlying meaning as well. The spear looks strong and bold. After guiding your eyes up the shaft of the spear, your eyes drift left across the arm of the fisherman. He is scaled much larger than the other fisherman in the boat and his eyes seem to be looking directly at the viewer. No other subjects in the painting are looking towards the viewer except for this fisherman. The spear and the fisherman’s arm are by far the strongest lines in the piece. They are at 90 degree angles, unlike any of the other lines in the painting. Though the piece is constructed with purely organic shapes, the painting does not convey a since of movement or rhythm. To me the piece seems like a snapshot in time catching everyone off guard.
The colors Picasso used in the painting give the piece emphasis on what time of day it is. The viewer can tell the painting is a night scene because of the title, but I believe Picasso painted a night scene for an underlying meaning. Almost every color in the painting is dark except for the water on which the moon shines down on. The dark hues give the piece a cold and sad feeling. Just by the color alone, I can tell that I would not want to be in this scene.
I really liked this work when I first saw it, but after doing research I have changed my view of it. Now knowing what was going on in the world at the time, I feel that this painting has a much deeper meaning than what I as young college student can grasp. I will always be a fan of Picasso’s work, but to be honest, I just do not understand a lot of what he wants the viewer to catch on to. I like the painting, but I am actually disappointed after writing this paper. Personally, I would have rather picked a piece that I could have understood than try to chase down the meaning of this painting. I spent more time doing research on the underlying meaning than I spent enjoying the painting. I felt like I was chasing my tail while doing the report on this piece. Nonetheless, I am still a fan of Picasso’s and maybe one day the message of this piece (if any) will hit me.
Works Cited
“MoMA | The Collection | Pablo Picasso. Night Fishing at Antibes. Antibes, August 1939.” MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art. Web. 22 Apr. 2010. .
“Pablo Picasso – Night Fishing at Antibes (1939).” Lenin Imports UK – Latest CDs, Cassettes, Vinyl , Movie, Art Memorabilia In Stock – Art, Rock, Movie & Loads More. Web. 21 Apr. 2010. .
“Pablo Picasso – Night Fishing at Antibes (1939).” Lenin Imports UK – Latest CDs, Cassettes, Vinyl , Movie, Art Memorabilia In Stock – Art, Rock, Movie & Loads More. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. .
“Pablo Picasso: Biography from” Wiki Q&A Combined with Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus, and Encyclopedias. Web. 23 Apr. 2010. .

Are Artists Heroes? Artists that Defy Convention

The Idea of Artist as Hero
They do not fight wars, end famine or rescue small children from burning buildings. Yet, at least according to some Renaissance-era boosters, they are heroes. Though they may not have led battalions, their accomplishments on the canvas were thought to be of such magnitude that, according to many, they deserved heroic praise and treatment. (Barolsky, 1998.) Two artists of their time who may deserve such accolades- emphasizing the qualifier- were Berthe Morisot and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Though their work did not necessarily put their lives and bodies in danger, they, and many contemporary impressionists were heroes for daring to defy convention.

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Berthe Morisot was born into a wealthy French family where she was taught to appreciate art from an early age. However, this appreciation did not mean that she should have sought to make art her life’s work and Morisots’ decision to do so was surely a surprising one. Manet became one of her biggest influences both professionally and personally, so much so that he was eventually her brother in law. (Neary, 2005.)
Morisot was known for her “pictorial technique, with her loose brushstrokes, unfinished backgrounds, and light-infused color” (Author Unknown, 2005) which placed her squarely in the Impressionist camp, a school of thought she remained loyal to in her work long after the Impressionists disbanded and the movement died.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler, a Morisot contemporary, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts and spent his childhood shuttled between America and Russia, which was where his father worked as a railroad engineer. Shortly after his father died, Whistler, then still a child, came back to America, settled in Connecticut and attended West Point. At the age of twenty, Whistler left America and never came back, preferring to work in Europe. However, Europeans themselves did not care for Whistler’s output, considering it to be too abstract. Whistler in turn responded that the art favored by critics is too detailed, almost to the point of the canvas being stuffed with extras. (Author Unknown, 1998.)
What made Morisot and Whistler, whose only commonality seemed to be their artistic styles, deserving of being artistic heroes? Perhaps it was their will to define convention. This willingness cost them dearly. As Brown writes of Morisot, Whistler and their fellow impressionists, they “began to oppose the Academic standards that had dominated artistic production since the time of Louis XIV” and were consequently met with public “mockery and derision.” (Brown, 2005.)
Whether in politics, religion, art or any other aspect of society, it is never an easy thing to defy convention. Indeed, Brown’s article notes that towards the beginning of Hitler’s reign, he organized the “degenerate art show” where the German public was invited to laugh at what was perceived by Nazis to be art that was beneath them. Two decades later, United States Senator Joseph McCarthy targeted visual artists in his hearings and three decades afterwards another United States Senator, Jesse Helms, insisted that the National Endowment for the Arts be disbanded. All three of the subjects mentioned above had plans that reached beyond artists- be it Hitler’s Final Solution on McCarthy’s hearings on supposed Communist sympathizers- or Helms’ frequent attack on minorities and homosexuals. Yet in each of these cases, artists were the canaries in the coal mine- they were the first to wither attacks because they were perceived to be the easiest targets.
Before his death in 1903, Whistler produced over four hundred paintings, many of which are now exhibited in galleries and museums world-wide. (Author Unknown, 1998.) Yet, all this fame was garnered well after Whistler’s demise. Even Leonardo Da Vinci, despite being well-respected even during his years on Earth, was mistrusted by certain British authorities- because he worked with his left hand. This struck many of the powers that be as ungodly and at one point Leonardo was tried as a sodomite. (Brown, 2005). Indeed, history is filled with figures who, despite having done good, often ground-breaking work, faced persecution- particularly in the Old World- [Galileo, Newton, even Einstein].
Lest one think that this is merely an exercise in Christianity-bashing or perhaps in decrying conventional Western civilization as we know it, it is important to note that early Christians themselves faced the wrath of others for being different. Tertullian, a figure of the Roman times, elucidated that “Christians are to blame for every public disaster and every misfortune that befalls the people.” (Wade, 2002.)
Nor does this mean that anything which is new will inevitably shunned, with innovators put on the dock by the majority. A contemporary example involves the British Council, which recently reopened in Libya after a thirty year absence. (Black, 2007) However, people as a whole tend to operate within narrow confines, tend to lead safe lives and tend to dislike sudden changes or challenges to the routine of life. It is this aversion to change that allows the ridicule and persecution of the different.
What, or who is a hero? Certainly those who fight fires, catch criminals, serve on the battlefield, or minister to the infirm in hospital wards count. But so too those men and women who create, inspire and persevere against the odds of their time.
1) Author Unknown. (2005) “Berthe Morisot: An Impressionist and Her Circle,” National Museum of Women in the Arts, 14 January-8 May 2005, accessed via on 25 May 2007.
2) Author Unknown. (1998) “James McNeill Whistler,” Scottish-American, History Club, July 1998, accessed via on 25 May 2007.
3) Barlosky, P. (1998) “Leonardo, Satan and the Mystery of Modern Art,” The Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer 1998, accessed via on 25 May 2007.
4) Black, I. (2007) “Great Grooves and Good Grammar,” The Education Guardian, 10 April 2007, accessed via,,2053576,00.html on 25 May 2007.
5) Brown, B.A. (2005) “The Artist as Crazy, as Fraud, as Psychopath,” ArtScene, April 2005, accessed via on 25 May 2007.
6) Neary L. (2005) “Impressionist Berthe Morisot, Rediscovered,” National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition, 1 February 2005.
7) Wade, R. (2002) “Persecution in the Early Church,” Probe Ministries, July 2002, accessed via on 25 May 2007.

The Role of the Object in Artists’ Moving Image Practices


This research project explores the role of the object in Artists’ Moving Image Practices, from the physical space of the gallery to the screen space. It takes its starting point in the Expanded Cinema in the 1960s to understand elements of hybrid art forms, new technologies, the active audience, liveness, temporality and materiality of the media. This research looks at the hybrid sculptural and moving image practices in visual art and its origins and reference points in Expanded Cinema, Video Art and Moving Image Installation practices.

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The discourses on contemporary art criticism at this time saw the questioning of Clement Greenberg’s high modernist conception of medium specificity to the term ‘post-medium condition’[1] proposed by Rosalind E. Krauss in a series of her writings. Media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s writings such as Understanding Media The Extensions of Man (1964) was influential at this time in questioning media and emergent technology. Lev Manovich in his article ‘Post-media Aesthetics’ (2001) states that since the rapid development of new art forms since the 1960s and the digital revolution of the 1980s-1990s the idea of medium specificity has been dissolved under the growing influence of electronic and digital technologies and introduced the term ‘Post-media condition’[2]

Expanded Cinema

Expanded Cinema, first cited by Stan VanDerBeek around 1965 in his proposal and manifesto Cultural Intercom and Expanded Cinema (1966) calls artists to use moving images to create a new world language, a non-verbal one, and to create theatres called Movie-Domes to screen the work in the mid-1960s. The term Expanded Cinema was subsequently developed by media theorist Gene Youngblood in his seminal text Expanded Cinema (1970). Written during a time of revolutionary underground cinema and art and new age psychedelic influences Youngblood questions the new mode of experiencing art and introduces a new cinematic language. He introduces Expanded Cinema as expanded consciousness and that it is not a movie or a defined discipline but a process. This process he suggests entails ‘man’s ongoing historical drive to manifest his consciousness outside of his mind’[3] Youngblood introduces a new mode of cinematic language ‘synaesthetic mode’[4] which he believes has conscious expanding effects and that an absence of discipline will give the freedom for a new language to be developed. He argues that in the ‘Paleocybernetic Age’ the ‘intermedia network’[5] which is comprised of cinema, television, radio and magazines is our environment and that we are influenced more by cinema and television than nature.

Carolee Schneemann recounted Expanded Cinema in her performance scripts ‘Expanded Cinema: Free Form Recollections of New York’[6] (1970). Schneemann chronicles the New York Expanded Cinema scene. Schneemann’s perceived Expanded Cinema as a form of ‘kinetic theatre performance’[7] in which she combined performance, film and slide projection engaging the body, environment and the audience. During this time Jonas Mekas wrote many critical columns for Village Voice, a collection of these are compiled in Movie Journal 1959-1971 that captures the experimental movement of expanded film in the 1960s in New York. Works by Andy Warhol, Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer among many are discussed and in the article ‘On the Expanding Eye’ 1964, Mekas discusses Expanded Cinema as a new cinema being made and calls on critics and audiences to be willing to come and see and ‘expand their eyes’[8] to see this new vision.

In the essay by Annabel Nicolson’s ‘Art and Artists’ (1972), Nicolson states that the identity of film has been reclaimed from the ‘literal and dramatic content’[9] and that the tactile potential of film has been realized by artists such as Norman McLaren and Carolee Schneeman and saw the beginning of the ‘post-war unshackling’[10] of Abstract Expressionist painting. Nicolson states that the developments of artists’ films were hampered at this time by distribution and restricted by screening times and unsuitable projection facilities. According to Liz Kotz in ‘Disciplining Expanded Cinema’, 2003 the modernist specificity that was attached to the filmic medium overshadowed the ‘diverse cross-disciplinary, multi-media, and performance orientated practices’ at this time.[11] Multiscreen and performative cinema were unable to articulate a ‘set of terms – historical trajectories, defining conditions of artistic principles – that would give multiscreen work some kind of historical or aesthetic grounding’[12] and provide it with some kind of discipline. She finds it difficult to ‘construct critical discourse’[13] around multiscreen and expanded cinema because of the ephemeral nature of these practices, which makes them difficult to document and that because of the multimedia nature of the work, critical accounts have been aligned with film history or media studies. She found that in the 1960s multidisciplinary practice was central to many artists that ignored the ‘defining role of institutional and art historical conventions’[14] although it was undertheorized. Through her desire to historicize or ‘discipline’[15] expanded cinema she has found that much contemporary multi-media sculpture or performance has been extremely arbitrary and over-inclusive and that expanded cinema should be seen as an ‘extension or reception of early twentieth century projects of abstract art and photomontage aesthetics’.[16] She argues that positioning expanded cinema within this context will allow for a ‘broader aesthetic history’[17] and a wider perspective.

In‘Expanded Cinema – And “Cinema of Attractions”’Jackie Hatfield focuses on the video history of expanded cinema and states that unlike film, the material specificities of video are in flux and as such need continual theoretical or philosophical review. In the 1970s in the UK the debate centered on Peter Gidal and Malcolm Le Grice and as the technology was shifting constantly there has been criticism that video practitioners of the early period of video wrote no critical history and gravitated towards the commercial world of television. She suggests that this had more to do with the cultural environment at this time and that the video artists of the eighties were ‘more likely to survive via the commercially driven cultures of broadcast, than the patronage of the white cube’[18] and states that being an artist in Britain during the eighties had ‘limited prospects’.[19] She claims that the ontological differences between film and video were evident in the 1970s and it was video pushing the boundaries of moving image and that many of the artists such as VALIE EXPORT, David Hall, Malcolm Le Grice, Tony Sinden and Pieter Weibel transitioned from film to video and that monitor work rather than projection became more prevalent until the late 1980s. Artists were exploring were ‘exploring video as a sculptural material’[20] activating the space of the gallery beyond the monitor, she references the work of David Hall’s Progressive Recessive (1979) where using nine monitors and nine cameras he used the monitors in a sculptural arrangement within the space to navigate the viewer and in the work of Dan Graham’s Opposing Mirrors and Video Monitors on Time Delay (1974) where the viewer had to navigate the gallery space between two monitors at opposite ends of the space where the viewer’s image would appear after a time delay. She states that this was evident as well in the exhibitions like Video Skulptur Retrospecktiv and Aktuell (1963-1989) at Köln, Berlin and Zurich in 1989 where artists where using time delay and switchers to interrupt and to create a ‘technologically active and semi-immersive cinematic environment’. [21]

Hatfield believed that the role of narrative in Expanded Cinema had been overlooked and had begun the initial research in this area, before her death she compiled a team to finish the research which accumulated in a collection of essays that are published in Expanded Cinema: Art Performance and Film, (2011) edited by A.L Rees, Duncan White, Steven Ball and David Curtis. A.L Rees in the essay ‘Expanded Cinema and Narrative: A troubled history’, claims that the history of Expanded Cinema is an ‘elastic’[22] term that is difficult to define and encompasses many sorts of film and projection events. He suggests that the overall vision described by Mekas and Youngblood had three aspects:

The first was to melt down all art forms, including film, into multimedia live –action events. The second was to explore electronic technologies and the coming of cyberspace, as heralded by Marshall McLuhan. The third was to break down the barrier between artist and audience through new kinds of participation[23]

Each of these aspects challenged the passive consumption of entertainment and commercial cinema. Rees states that Expanded Cinema is not just a question of using multiple screens but that the main concern is whether or not a work is ‘predetermined, is already made, as the record of an event that has previously taken place, and so can be recognized independently of its projected instantiation; or conversely, whether it is made in and through its projection’.[24] The differences he said in the U.S expanded cinema work which focused on the exploration of new forms of subjectivity in art and a ‘reinvigorated expressionism that challenged the formal boundaries of art media’ and that the UK and in Europe took a different direction; in the UK that it was centered around Filmakers Co-Operative and that ‘process and materials’[25] were more significant and that events such as Filmaktion’s multiple screen events were less ‘absorptive and participatory’[26] for spectators than in the American events.

In Between The Black Box and The White Cube (2014) Andrew V.Uroskie claims that the origins of expanded cinema lie in the forgotten work of postwar artists and practices of the Parisian Lettrists. He suggests that Expanded Cinema became displaced as the focus was on the ‘dominant high modernist paradigm’[27] established by Clement Greenberg, which instead placed structural film and video art within the medium-specificity disciplines. That the ‘openness of expanded cinema was correctly seen as a damning liability for film’s legitimation as an autonomous sphere of modernist art’. [28]  He believes it is necessary to fully understand the move from material specificity to situation and site. Examining key artists such as Robert Whitman, Stan VanDerBeek, Nam June Paik, Robert Breer and Ken Dewey, he suggests the expanded cinema of the 1960s was a hybrid practice incorporating film, sculpture, theater, performance, dance and music. The ‘movement of moving image became something to be explicitly staged’[29] examining its exhibitionary situation and the role of the spectator. He says that like artists working at this time we should focus on how the hybrid nature of the moving image was transformed rather than the focus of film as an artistic medium. He states that artists working in expanded cinema sought to challenge cinema and contemporary art and with the rise of television in the 1960s and the demise of the movie theatre, artist were not interested in advancing the medium of cinema as an art form but wanted to utilize the moving image to ‘challenge the institutions and practices of postwar art’.[30]

[1] Krauss Rosalind, A Voyage on the North Sea: Art in the Age of the Post-Medium Condition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2000.

[2] Lev Manovich. Post-media Aesthetics, 2001.

[3] Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema P41

[4] IBID p.83

[5] IBID p.55

[6] Carolee Schneemann, Expanded Cinema: Free From Recollections of New York, International Underground Film Festival, London, 1970.

[7] IBID p.96

[8]  Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal p.120

[9] Annabel Nicolson Art and Artists (1972)

[10] IBID

[11] IBID p.44

[12] Liz Kotz, Disciplining Expanded Cinema, X-Screen, 2003

[13] Liz Kotz, Disciplining Expanded Cinema, X-Screen, 2003

[14] IBID p.45

[15] IBID p.47

[16] IBID p.47

[17] IBID p.47

[18] Jackie Hatfield, Expanded Cinema – And ‘Cinema of Attractions’ p.6 in Art in-sight 14 (Filmwaves 27)

[19] IBID p.6

[20] IBID p.7-8

[21] IBID p.7-8

[22] Expanded Cinema: Art Performance and Film (2011) edited by A.L Rees, Duncan White, Steven Ball and David Curtis p.12

[23] Rees, A.L, Expanded Cinema and Narrative: A troubled history.

[24] Jackie Hatfield, Expanded Cinema – And ‘Cinema of Attractions’ p.12

[25] IBID p.14

[26] IBID

[27] Andrew V Uroskie, , Between the Black Box and the White Cube p.234

[28] IBID

[29] IBID p.14

[30] IBID p.14

Adaption of Renaissance Artistic Representations in Modern Day Artists

Analyse how Renaissance artistic representations have been adapted in the work of modern-day artists operating in the modern art. What implications does this have for ideas of artistic style in the modern age.

The Renaissance is a European ideological and cultural movement, which means liberating the nature of the people and saving the people from the thought of medieval church rule. Therefore, humanism has become the core idea of ​​the Renaissance. Humanism means to pay attention to the role of people. This core idea caused changes in the style of painting at that time, focusing on the lines of the human body and the direction of beautiful shapes. The artistic style of the Renaissance and the concept influence the development and transformation of later generations of art continuously, especially the influence of contemporary art styles and artistic expressions. Contemporary artworks use digital media images to create large immersive installations that reproduce Renaissance works, or It is the integration of the elements of the Renaissance works into contemporary works. This is the simplest and most common way to display that Renaissance influences modern art. Some contemporary artists are influenced by the mind from the Renaissance, thus integrating these ideas into their works. This is a higher form of what the renaissance influence modern art. Whether the influence of the Renaissance on contemporary art is all positive, it is a question worth discussing. But the artistic expression and thought of the Renaissance are indeed widely used in contemporary art.

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The use of digital images directly in the Renaissance works, or the direct application of its elements to contemporary artworks is a common phenomenon in the curation of modern art. “The Renaissance has created a new course of human civilization, and the new art form created and applied by art under the guidance of humanism reflects the ideological concepts of the emerging bourgeoisie. While contributing to the world an invaluable artistic treasure, it also sings human wisdom and strength and praise for the sublimity and perfection of human nature, have a tremendous impact and value to future generations”(popoviciu,2014) Due to the fact that Renaissance works have a high artistic value, therefore, these works are followed and imitated by artists and even the public who love the art. At the same time, and with the development of technology, digital media has become common for contemporary installation art. Wenxia Kong noted that the development of digital media technology has broadened people’s lifestyle and constructed a new visual formal language. Today’s digital media arts are playing an important role in the new country. (Wenxia,2017). Many art galleries and artists use numbers. Imaging digital media to represent Renaissance art such a way is to provide the public with an opportunity to appreciate the paintings of the Renaissance because the time and money spent watching the original are very expensive. On the other hand, it is a way of art and culture marketing. “Some western countries have increased audience participation in the art market so that art organizations to better respond to market forces and develop strategic plans not only need stable and diversified sources of funding but also improve customer satisfaction and attract resources.”(Wiid,2018) , So some art galleries use classic media images to present classic works of art, because this is the simplest model of copying, without the need for additional original costs. And since the works of the Renaissance have a high artistic level, the people Can accept and appreciate, so works of this period are often chosen as the material of the exhibition. Another effect of the Renaissance on contemporary art is that artists will extract the color elements and character elements of the Renaissance painting and integrate them into their works, for example, the works of Hiroshi Mori from Japan. It has a certain artistic value “This is a bold innovation, that is, it will become a new trend”. (Gao,2017). However, fundamentally it is only the fusion of the artistic styles of the two eras. What the artworks need most is the spirit displayed in the interior. The artists use the artworks to communicate their inner feelings instead of copying the elements of the original artwork, however, there is no spiritual transfer. So this will harm modern art, that is, it will slow down Art innovation.

The humanistic artistic style of the Renaissance promoted the change of installation art from ornamental to participatory. The core idea of the Renaissance is humanism, and its artistic style emphasizes the authenticity of characters in the painting and its role. However, the traditional installation art base on sculpture, comprehensive material construction, and other large ornamental art. However, today, the installation art, which is influenced by the Renaissance puts the people in the core. It means that the current installation art pays more attention to the perception of visitors and the participation of visitors. The viewer can participate in the work and become part of the work. Installation artworks are created not only it can process the story of the works but it may combine the participatory and those visitors will engage with these artworks and make a response (Louisemarie et al,2019). What makes installation art different from other art forms (oil painting, sculpture, carve) is the participation of people. the visitors become a part of the artwork. It means that these artworks cannot be displayed completely if without a visitor. Therefore, visitors play an important role in installation art as well as the installation of art respect and affirm the value of human beings. It is the performance of the public identity from the viewer to the participator as well as a high-level way of using the Renaissance art style.

The artistic concept of the Renaissance-inspired the thinking of contemporary installation art on humanistic, which is the highest level of use artistic style of the Renaissance. Humanism is the core idea of the Renaissance, which means respecting human consciousness and being human-centered. This idea leads to the birth of interactive design. Luyten pointed out that the aesthetic core of interactive installation art is the behavior of the recipient. The behavior of the recipient gives a sense of existence and artistic presence of the interactive installation art. (Luyten,2018). Therefore, art is based on human life, and art is also to serve human beings. When art and human life is well combined, the greatest value of art is revealed. In the past, art was only used for viewing, and it was an add-on for people to improve their own artistic culture. Now interaction design integrates into the lives of the people and brings convenience to people’s lives. In the analysis of the interaction design report from 1979 to 2107, Byungjooy observes that increasing enterprises use interactive design to make visual report analysis as well as increasing social organizations use interactive design to provide humanistic care for the public.( al.,2019) Hence the emergence of interactive design has come closer to the distance between the people and art. However, too much emphasis on the practicality of design to display its artistry, therefore this question is still waiting to be solved, how can the perfect combination of artistic sense and practicality.

The Renaissance art style and main idea are widely used in contemporary installation art. However, there are still have some issues such as lacking the innovation of art, pay too much to the practicability of the work and ignore their artistry. We can’t deny that the artistic style and spirit of the Renaissance bring inspiration to contemporary art, for example, art serves humanity. Most importantly, In today’s society, there are still many artists who insist on artistic innovation and create artworks that combine art and life. Art is not an independent individual and is no far from human life. it comes from life and is higher than life.


Gao, Z. (no date) ‘Research on the application of traditional art style in modern art design’, Boletin Tecnico/Technical Bulletin, 55(11), pp. 151–156. Available at: 4 August 2019).

Ji Yoon Jang, Byeongwon Ha and Byungjoo Lee (2019) ‘Survey and Analysis of Interactive Art Documentation, 1979–2017’, (3), p. 284. Available at: (Accessed: 5 August 2019).

Louisemarie Combrink & Nicholas P.L. Allen 2019, ‘Character (and absence) as a narrative key in installation art’, Literator, no. 1, p.el. Available at: .(Accessed: 4 August 2019).

Luyten, T. et al. (2018) ‘How nursing home residents with dementia respond to the interactive art installation “VENSTER”: a pilot study’, Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 13(1), pp. 87–94. doi: 10.1080/17483107.2017.1290701. (Accessed: 4 August 2019).

Popoviciu, L. (2014) ‘Between taste and historiography : writing about early Renaissance works of art in Venice and Florence (1550-1800)’. Available at: (Accessed: 4 August 2019).

Wenxia Kong (2017) ‘Digital media art design based on human-computer interaction technology in the background of big data’, Revista de la Facultad de Ingenieria, 32(14), pp. 485–489. Available at: (Accessed: 4 August 2019).

Wiid, R. and Mora, A. P. (2018) ‘Arts marketing framework: The arts organisation as a hub for participation’, Journal of Public Affairs (14723891), 18(2), p. 1. doi: 10.1002/pa.1657. (Accessed: 4 August 2019).


How have PBR Applications Reshaped an Artist’s Pipeline?

Through technological innovation how have PBR Applications reshaped an Artist’s Pipeline?


This report will look at and discuss how technological advancements have revolutionized texturing methods and how 3D artists have had to adapt their workflow to suit the changing industry. I will explore the programmes, methods and techniques that have had the biggest impact on the industry, these include Quixel Suite, Substance Painter/ Designer, Unreal Engine and Photogrammetry. I will investigate the main features and applications within this field. My argument is supported through extensive research, data collection and studies which go into great depth about what features make PBR such a game changer. Within this report I will also include comparisons between traditional and next gen pineplines and how because of advancements assets can be created for a much lower cost and at a much higher speed.


The video games industry has been growing rapidly since the birth of the interactive media and with huge technological advancements within the industry the way in which they are created is ever changing, because of this, 3D artists must adapt and reshape their workflows to match that of what is required. In this report I will conduct an in-depth analysis on the practical use and application of physically based rendering and highlight key areas to showcase what is on offer and why it is so dominant within the industry.

Key Programme Features

I will be investigating key features from Substance Painter that have been the most influential and effective in changing an artists workflow and Industry standards.

This is a programme that I use myself and through observation during my time at university it is a staple for the majority of artists I have worked alongside. The programme itself is constantly changing and adapting features to not only increase the visual standard of its textures but also dramatically decrease the time it takes to complete each task.

Substance Painter Texture Available at : URL

Smart materials are a well known feature within substance and are a collection of layers similar to that of Photoshop but allow you to have much greater control whilst manipulating layers by being able to see it applied to your 3D asset in real time. Smart materials can be combined in the layering system with additional materials and masks to create much more intricate designs at a fraction of time. There are also deeper levels of modification within the materials themselves where you can edit values attaining to each individual map ( Normal, Spec, Emissive etc) as well as being able to paint materials within specific areas ( Edge wear, Rust, Crevice dirt etc), this gives the artist a huge advantage in being able to make an asset that is more visually powerful. In comparison, texturing with Photoshop would require high amounts of research and preparation including spending a much higher volume of time perfecting UV layouts in order to correctly paint wear, dust and dirt within appropriate areas.There is also a large amount of time consumed in applying your texture from photoshop to your asset for reference that is completely nullified by Substance’s ability to view your textures in either 3D or 2D so you can instantly see progress.

                                                                         Smart Materials Available at : URL

Baking Available at : URL

Another Key feature from Substance painter is an integrated renderer called Iray that renders assets to a very high quality with options to adjust lighting, higher sampling (Quality) and  environmental aspects. This makes it much easier for an artist to create renders for their portfolio or even  work in-progress snapshots to share with your colleagues or team members as they can be exported directly from substance painter.

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Baking in substance is done through its integrated GPU baker where it creates the required maps from the information gathered from the high poly asset. Baking is a process that is extremely effective within substance as dirt masks and weathering use this data to apply themselves accordingly to your asset. Being able to view your asset, textured in real-time you can adjust these sliders to suit your preference. This saves the artist a large amount of time being able to create multiple iterations and texture sets of an asset by simply hiding a layer and re exporting.

Substance painter gives you a huge amount of options in how to export your maps, this is something that is especially helpful when working in Unreal engine which works with combined AO, Roughness and metallic maps. What seem like simple features all aid in speeding up the process, using photoshop it would be much more difficult to obtain these maps, using either filters or separate programmes such as NDO which all consume more time.


Photogrammetry it appears is becoming a staple in the video games industry by using real world scans to create assets. This method is being used more and more by artists within the industry to create big titles, Star Wars : Battlefront , The Division 2 and The Vanishing of Ethan carter are just an example of a few.

There is a specific pipeline you must follow in order to create an asset through photogrammetry but the results are extremely impressive, leaving you with a realistic much more believable scene. An article summarizes that the cost of an individual standard Raspberry PI photogrammetry setup would total over twelve thousand Australian dollars, this would seem like a large amount of money but the article goes on to state that due to how much quicker photogrammetry is compared to older techniques that the amount of money you save from development suite subscriptions and living costs means that the studio actually saves money.

                                            Statue Photogrammetry Available at : URL

 To break that down further, using photogrammetry takes around 50% less time to complete each asset and leads to a much higher visual standard, it is completely cost effective and with additional time now created more effort can be directed towards immersive storylines and other aspects of the game.

Use in Industry 

The industry is at the forefront of using these techniques and programmes and because of this developers have improved their functionality and added new features upon request, this has meant that they are constantly maintaining a high standard and meeting the demands of the industry’s progression. With having a close connection to both industry professionals and the public these companies are highly responsive to feedback and implement new features regularly which you can check by viewing their roadmaps.

 Another benefit from having close ties is that certain companies build up huge libraries of materials with even the public using substance share to compile private libraries of their own. This is something that again lowers production time and costs by having access to thousands of materials from anywhere at any time that could be used on multiple projects within the same company.

 Allegorithmic and Quixel are a necessity to the majority of both AAA and Indie games created today. Quixel have worked closely with epic games for a number of years but more recently collaborated to showcase Megascans Icelandic Library with a short video : Rebirth, this really shows how immersive and realistic an environment can be with the aid of Qixels Photogrammetric library.

                                                                                  Rebirth : Megascans Icelandic Library. Available at : URL

A large portion of the biggest titles released such as Dead By Daylight, Ghost Recon : Wildlands and Shadow Of The Tomb Raider were textured using Substance painter/Designer. The senior technical artist at Eidos, Ken Jiang described how important Allegorithmic programmes are within the industry. “Substance is now one of the essential software tools of our art pipeline. It’s helpful because it cuts down our texturing time estimates dramatically. Its non-destructive nature makes it risk-free to iterate and optimize the final results.” (Jiang, 2018).

Both Allegorithmic and Quixel are constantly increasing the visual benchmark of games and trying to attain new heights in photo-realism. To reach these requirements visually the hardware powering the games has had to also increase to match, these programmes can both work and export in 8K textures but remain experimental features whilst the hardware needed becomes more commonplace.

Substance character texture. Available at : URL

Traditional Workflow Comparison

Traditional workflows require much more time and effort spent in areas that now because of advancements require very little and give much better results. During my own development through University I found my workflow constantly changing to match that of new advancements and looking back I can see how these features have streamlined my own process. Older pipelines required repetitive iterations of every asset that would need to routinely checked to see if colours were matching and suitable, this would get tedious having

to go between programmes and                                                           PBR Validate. Available at : URL

re -import almost constantly. This is something that Substance has

tackled with the PBR validate feature which checks whether RGB values

for certain maps are physically correct with how they act in reality. It does this by testing whether they are suitably within a specific range and mark areas too dark in red on the mesh in the window.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a great example of how a traditional workflow has changed through the use of photogrammetry. Using Photoscan from Agisoft the Art team were able to create large environments that had been scanned from real world locations. By using this method it created highly realistic environments that had many intricate layers and a real sense of depth. This is something that is extremely hard to replicate by using a traditional pipeline, the scanned environments are very high quality and contain erosion, cracks and stains that have taken hundreds of years to develop into what we have in the real world. An artist using an old workflow would couldn’t even attempt to replicate the intricacy involved especially with the small timeframe they are designated during each assignment.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Available at : URL

Being able to scan entire environments with programmes like Photoscan means that large portions of assets and environment locations can now be completed without using a traditional pipeline whatsoever and it has become a new pipeline within itself. 

Historic centerpieces and statues can now be photographed and scanned into a game in great detail and for this type of asset creation a traditional workflow is completely changed, from spending hours in programmes like Maya you now spend hours setting up cameras in unusual and interesting locations around the world. One important thing to note is that regardless of the advancements in scanning real world locations the traditional pipeline is still of much use, for

creating assets that do not exist in the real world and there is a large demand for that in the market.

Photogrammetric building. Available at : URL


To conclude, it is evident that programmes like Substance painter / designer and Quixel suite have had a huge positive impact on artists pipelines and substantially reshaped their workflow. For me the most important reason for this is these programmes allow an artist to create an asset that is visually appealing whilst maintaining real world values pertaining to each material. Having the ability to bake high levels of detail into low poly meshes and then adding further detailing through the use of smart masks with scratches and dirt etc, radically reduces the time I would have had to take adding all these details in individually. Being able to work effortlessly covering multiple aspects of asset production within one programme has revolutionised the ease of creating high quality assets. Having a real time viewport and near endless material sliders changing base colour, Crack intensity, Roughness etc means you can accomplish so much in such a short space of time.

Tileable textures through the use Quixel mean that entire procedurally generated maps can be quickly textured and blended to provide a realistic flooring in incredibly quick time, any small tweaks can be added via decals or vertex painting within engine during set dressing. This is a process that was almost unthinkable during previous gaming eras where flooring was usually low resolution near base colour blocks. Even in the more recent past flooring lacked depth through lack of normal mapping and only recently became a staple of AAA games.

It is becoming near impossible to find developers within the game industry that dont use a form of Allegorithmic or Quixel within their production and it is because of this that consumers are seeing a huge improvement in graphics for the next gen games at levels we’ve never seen before.

The old pipeline of using photoshop to create textures has become outdated due to the sheer versatility and convenience of programmes like substance, being able to combine so many libraries of materials, being able to edit each of their own specific values and on top of that apply whatever variation of smart masks your creativity knows no bounds.

Photogrammetry in 2019 is really starting to make more of an impact on the industry as the workflow has began to tweak where needed and refine problem areas. Many developers are using photogrammetry in combination with more traditional techniques, this is by using photogrammetry on more complex assets that exist in the real world where an artist would spend many days or week modelling it can be completed at a fraction of that. Now we are also seeing the scale of what is possible to 3D scan increase to that of small scale environments and the results are very impressive. At our current stage we can scan replica waterfalls, graveyards and buildings, I can only see the level of what it possible increasing.

The games industry is constantly evolving and the visual benchmark is always getting higher, it is programmes like Substance and Quixel that will have to constantly add new features and expand their functionality to stay at the cutting edge. Even during my 4 years at university I have seen a dramatic change in my workflow as an artist and had to adapt to new ways of producing industry standard assets. It’s going to be interesting to see what advancements these programmes make over the coming years.      


      Rebirth: Introducing photorealism in UE4.  [Online] Available at: [Accessed 10th July 2019]