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term paper - Caleb Oswald Modern Art Term Paper Primal...

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Caleb Oswald Modern Art Term Paper Primal Patterns of the Unspoiled Eye After the Italian Renaissance the desire for realism in art steadily grew. With the introduction and mastery of oil paints the art world reached a point where the artist was completely overshadowed by the subject. There was little sense of personal touch and the sole purpose of the art seemed to be to recreate what was already seen. At this same time industry was rapidly growing in power. While many socialist movements were fueled by the industrial oppression, industry, combined with the art being produced around them, caused a large number of artists to revolt against the constraints of subject and realism. I have compiled a list of pieces that clearly define one path of the progression from this reactionary group of artists to what is commonly thought of today as modern art. The path that I chose to illustrate is dealing with the artist pushing the boundaries of what art is and what its subjects should be. The pieces I chose show the artist putting his own personal feelings and thoughts into his art and often breaking completely free from the limitations of a subject in a classical sense. But before going to such extremes of abstraction, first we must look at the groundwork that was laid out before. The first piece is James Abbot Whistler’s Green and Blue: “the Dancer” . The painting is of a young female dancer. It is a hazy combination the greens and blues in its title. The way that the colors come together and barely make out the figure in the foreground creates a very ghostly effect. Whistler has almost no clear lines that
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outline the figure. The shape is merely suggested by the surrounding change in color. It is particularly interesting to note that the subject of the painting has no discernable facial features. The face is as mysterious, possibly more so, than the rest of the subject. As is apparent, due to the title, Whistler was playing with and testing what he could do with the simple combination of blues and greens. He did this in many of his works and often titled them as if they were pieces of music, with names such as Symphony in White or Nocturne in Black and Gold . Whistler wished to stress the colors and the purely visual aspects of his art. He did not feel that the experience should be so limited to the subject. He thought that color and its effects are what truly make a person react to visual stimulus and abstraction through color and shape were what true art consisted of. This piece belongs at the beginning of this presentation for multiple reasons. Chronologically Whistler was one of the first artists to push abstraction to the point, where in many of his paintings it takes a moment for the viewer to establish exactly what it was he was painting. Whistler also took away from the importance of the subject in his works. He stressed the importance of color and contrast rather than clearly defined figures. For Whistler there was art and beauty created just by putting paint on canvas. Whistler was
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term paper - Caleb Oswald Modern Art Term Paper Primal...

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