Unforgettable and Extraordinary
"No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist."
A New View Of Things
Champs de Mars. La Tour rouge.
The period known as Modern Art, commenced around 1860 and continued for about a hundred years. The art of this time reflected a period of huge, cultural change and was alive with scientific and technological development.
During this period, tall buildings were increasing built, creating views and ways of seeing never before experienced. Not only could people suddenly get a "birds eye" view of cities like Paris or New York, they could also view the changing skyline created by the soaring buildings from the ground.
Trains and motor cars also allowed another view, with the countryside and cityscape moving past at a faster rate than ever seen before. These were exciting times, times of change and times of experimentation.
A New Way of Seeing
Artist Robert Delaunay, (1885-1941) painted a series of about 30 versions of the Eiffel Tower and according to art historian Robert Hughes, he viewed the structure with "real ecstasy". Gone were the country scenes of the Impressionists, replaced with a vision of Paris "dignified with the tallest building in the world". And yet the tower, with its Fauvist, Cubist influences, also manages to communicate a sense of vertigo, excitement and perhaps something frightening too.
Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash.1912
Giacomo Balla's Futurist work, captures the sense of mechanisation, energy and movement, that was beginning to typify the modern world.
The woman in the painting, has about fifteen feet and the dog around eight blurring, dynamic tails. There is a compelling sense of movement and hurry, with the bold black figures and the diagonal lines emphasising an almost frantic speed.
In this painting, Balla was inspired by cinematic pioneers, Muybridge and Marey, who were creating movement in film, with a series of still photographs. The racing legs of the dachshund and the ladies flurry of feet were derived from these photographs.
For its sheer ability to bewilder and perplex the viewer, Monogram by Robert Rauschenberg is outstanding. It is also a highly memorable work of art, which makes use of various non-traditional materials to create something truly surprising. Rauschenberg, supposedly found the taxidermised goat during the 1950's, in an office supply store and added the tyre.
According to art historian Robert Hughes however, the goat with the tire, is actually a sexual metaphor, which when juxtaposed with the seeming innocence of the long-haired goat, is enigmatic provoking further interest.
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon 1907
This early Cubist painting by Pablo Picasso, as art critic Robert Hughes says, turns the "viewer into the voyeur", as we view the five female, nude prostitutes staring almost insolently at us.
Two of the women possess faces much like African tribal masks and the overall style is somewhat "primitive", using much distortion. Regarded as revolutionary, as a dramatic break away from artistic tradition, this painting also gave birth to the exciting concept, that there were other ways in which to represent and express reality and ideas.
The artist Derain however, was of the opinion that Picasso would one day commit suicide, for the shame he brought to the art world. Quite contrary to this view, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is regarded as a seminal work of modernity.
replica of The Disquieting Muses 1947
The artist of this painting, Giorgio de Chirico, was known to make many replicas of his works, like the The Disquieting Muses. Regarded as a pre-Surrealist, de Chirico, created art pieces of haunting beauty, often in landscapes of emptiness and melancholy.
The classical robes of the muses, bring a sense of nostalgia and antiquity, to the puppet like figures, or are they tailors dummies? This painting which inspired Sylvia Plath's poem The Disquieting Muses, also has a sense of theatre, like a stage set, waiting in readiness.
How Very Interesting!
Luncheon in Fur 1936
Meret Oppenheim was inspired to create this rather suggestive art piece, when at a Paris cafe, Picasso proclaimed that it is possible to do anything with fur. To this challenge Oppenheim replied "Even this cup and saucer." as she picked up a cup and saucer.
This Surrealist art piece is covered with the fur of a Chinese gazelle and at the time of its creation was considered "erotic" and heavy with sexual overtones. However today, as we don't tend to see everything through a Freudian lens, this sensual aspect, may not immediately come to mind. What is more interesting about the work however, is the innovative and audacious use of a domestic item as an unashamed art piece.
Depeche Mode - Photographic
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