Monday, May 1, 2017

readings for ch. 27-28 | gardner's art through the ages

-1855 Salon (part of the Exposition Universelle in Paris): jury rejected 3/14 that Courbet submitted
-^said they were too coarse ("socialistic") & large
-in response, he withdrew all his artwork & set up his own exhibition ("Pavilion of Realism") outside of the grounds
-he was the first artist ever known to stage a private exhibition of his own artwork
-Courbet said he was of no school & founded no school but "realism" does describe his art
-Courbet's statement:
"The title of 'realist' has been imposed upon me... Titles have never given a just idea of things; were it otherwise, the work would be superfluous... I have studied the art of the ancients and the moderns, avoiding any preconceived system and without prejudice. I have no more wanted to imitate the former than to copy the latter; nor have I thought of achieving the idle aim of 'art for art's sake.' No! I have simply wanted to draw from a thorough knowledge of tradition the reasoned and free sense of my own individuality... to be able to translate the customs, ideas, and appearances of my time as I see them- in a word, to create a living art- this has been my aim."
-letter to prospective students:
"[An artist must apply] his personal faculties to the ideas and the events of the times in which he lives... [A]rt in painting should consist only of the representation of things that are visible and tangible to the artist. Every age should be represented only by its own artists, that is to say, by the artists who have lived in it. I also maintain that painting is an essentially concrete art form and can consist only of the representation of both real and existing things... An abstract object, not visible, nonexistent, is not within the domain of painting." 
-dismissal of academic painting

-"undraped" construction (buildings that did not conceal their cast-iron structural skeletons) became popular in the conservatories (greenhouses) of English country estates
-Joseph Paxton built them for the duke of Devonshire, his patron
-Paxton submitted a winning glass-and-iron building design in the competition for the hall to house the 1851 Great exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in London
-innovations: use of modern materials in place of stone, adoption of new cost-effective way to erect the Crystal Palace
-prefabricated architecture: use of structural elements manufactured in advance & transported to the construction site ready for assembly
-traditional: masons carved column capitals, moldings, etc. on site
-prefabricated parts allowed workers to build it in 6 months & dismantle it easily
-the building expressed the new industrial age that the Great exhibition celebrated
-his design borrowed from traditional architecture like Roman & Christian basilicas

-in striking contrast to traditional studio artists, monet painted en plein air
-it helped him capture an instantaneous representation of atmosphere & climate
-he didn't think he could do that in a studio
-landscape painters had always drawn & made preliminary color studies outdoors & used those sketches to make formal paintings in their studios
-painting en plein air helped monet focus on light/color & convey a sense of momentary/transitory
-his student, Lilla Cabot Perry, described his approach:
"I remember his once saying to me: 'When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you- a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives your own naive impression of the scene before you.'
-factor that encouraged painting outdoors: introduction of premixed pigments sold in portable tubes
-newly available oil paint gave new colors & heightened sensitivity to multiplicity of colors in nature
-local color: an object's color in white light
-monet & other painters concluded that local color is modified by quality of the light shining on it/reflections from other objects/etc.
-shadows do not appear gray or black but are composed of colors
-complementary colors side by side, over a large area, intensify each other
-mixing of colors directly on canvas w/o preliminary sketch= more intense hue
-^break from traditional painting practice
-monet achieved brilliant effects w characteristically short, choppy brushstrokes which caught the vibrating quality of light
-early criticism of monet: lacked polished surfaces & sharp contours of academic oil paintings
-^the forms take on clarity only when eye fuses the brushstrokes at a certain distance

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