Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Post War Modernism Nov 16, 2010

Slide 1:
Center of the Art world moves from Paris to New York 
Lenin is hidden in – 2 icons of the 20th Centruy is blended together
Cult of leader with iconic style of Pollock
Struggle between style and image 
Intensity of communis sympathies is important in USA – Pollock himself was a Communist
The works of these artists would become Capitalist from Socialist
This work stages the polarisation of American Abstract Style and Communism in the Soviet Union 

Slide 2: 
As in Europe through the 1930s there were leftist sympathies - Depression 
During the Depression, numerous welfare programs and unions were instituted to get the country back on its feet and to make individuals feel important 
Roosevelt - New Deal  - W.P.A (Works Progress Admin) Govt funded program that got people o work on public projects 
Motto of all working togteher and getting paid as equitably as possible - also had an arts program
Artists would be hired to do public art projects - to make communities feel united - composed of varied styles 
Projects for art that was beyond the visual - even extending to writing grants 
Governt funded arts as a way to cohesively rebuild society 
Over 5000 artists in USA 

Slide 3:
Application process to WPA - evaluated by panel of peers 
Needed to demonstrate financial need for entry 
Recieved assignments based on skills ($25 - 35 a week) 
Would wait in a line-up o get paychecks - converstaions between artists happened here 
Pollock, Rothco - socialist government supported art program of public works 
MAde murals that were large scale and propagandastic in nature 
Diego Rivera is one of the influential figures to these artists - came from a communist mexican muralist background 
This is the kind of work they were interested in 
Frescos inside Detroit Museum of Art 
Called "Detroit Industry" - Home of Chrysler 
important to economy, equality and freedom, to the American pride 
Idea that workers were paid well 
Alongside that are images of mythic figures 

Slide 4:
Other side of the room 
Sense of the monumentality of seasons - kind of timelessness (mythic figures)
Celebration of work and building and workers
The art museum was founded by capital from the car industry
Though they work for Capitalists - workers feel a communist blend 
The idea that people can work together - blend abstraction and realism - blend capitalis mand socialism is thinkable 
Context of USSR: Stalin has a socialist realism decree (1934) to idealize and empower workers and is legible 
is contrast to moments in mdoern art where artists want to make work that is difficult to decipher 
The USA does not have this decree - but WPA does want to make public work that is legible that adheres to the national program 
Through the 1930s there was the creation of the Popular Front
USA, EU and some USSR worked together against Fascism - let to unify Left and critical individuals from these countries 
Increased USA sympathies with Communists 
Intended to overlook differences in order to confront a common enemy
Regionalism and Nationalistic Art was prominent 
Some Isolationist work existed - celebrated N. American values 
Tried to build up images around the American Dream - to a combination of freedom and individualism as a basis for liberal democracy 
Unique american way of life - give people a sense of place and pride - for ordinary people 

Slide 5:
Farm Security Administration (Hired people to document life in the dust bowl) 
Published and circulated in Life 
Created an archive to let city people to understand life in the ocuntry
Parallels to strategy in the USSR
Gritty pohtograph - feel the humanity of these people 
Not in a sypathetic - but empathic way
Sense of pride - under duress - but captured the resolve of the faces 

Slide 6:
most famous photographs of the 20th Century 
Migrant Mother - pulls on heart strings 
sophisticated image 
crop - furrowed brow 
look in her eye - looking for dignity in duress 

Slide 7:
Looking for Dignity in Duress

Slide 8:
Already by the late 1930s Regionalism and Popukar Front were critically attacked 
People started to say this regionalism is artistically regressive - too Socialist Realist - close to Fascist aesthetic 
Popular Front : Disillusionment with Socialism - intensity of Stalin's tenets (purging of intellectuals, socialist realism) 
USA finds Stalin close to Fascism 
Lynchpin of the socialist disillusionment is the Nazi-Soviet pact in 1939 despite initiating the Popular Front 
kind of a peace treaty - though neither party meant it - strategic plan 
Against what USA and EU wanted to believe about the progress that can be ,made by communism 
1939 - SU invades Finland - demonstrates that Stalin is extremely imperialist, expansionist and authoritarianism 
Backlash against the Soviets, moment in which there is a change of seasons (so to speak)
Autumn Rhythm by Pollock - becomes the American style of painting over all else - illustrates ideas bound up with freedom and liberation 
Greenberg 1939 - writes Avant Garde Kitsch - was formerly a supporter of PF - rejects partisam politics altogether - rejects realism  
Calls it "simple and banal" and "for the masses" 
Equates kitsch with mass culture. What does kitsch mean? mass-produced popular culture, decoration, not engaged in the discourse of high art - Art should be difficult - as far away as can be from commercial culture 
Lot of paradoxes in his argument - Artists have socialist leanings, become disillusioned and grapple with this struggle. Question the kind of art people mean - sounds like an anti-socialist position. However, Greenberg also saw it as being anti-capitalist because of its rejection of kitsch. Mass culture is responsible for the deterioration of 'real' art.  Kitsch could be a way of suppressing individual freedom - against american way of life 
Art should not have an agenda other than its own intrinsic values - carve out a space for itself on its own terms - back to autonomy 
His writing was important to the work being bought and shown and circulated in international exhibitions 
Calls for the development of a new American Avant-Garde that is elite - specialized and preserve the best of culture amidst the ideological confusion
Considered it a critical strategy by which ambitious work can escape the political 
Mark his socialist beleifs - protect art until socialsim "arrives" 
Development of the Neo-Avant-Garde : it is a see-saw that goes back and forth between autonomy and engagement 
His concerns found resonance in post-war conditions - Fascism collapses, Communist rises
Shaped by ideological tensions 
1945 - Treaty of Yalka - Soviets give quite a bit of territory to the USA - have a crucial role in the defeat of Axial powers 
USSR is much more depleted as a coutry - 
Being separate, USA develops their coutnry  unlike Europe 
USA has developed the Atomic Bomb - gives a clear ascendancy to the USA 
USA rejects Soviet Alliance - msitrust between 2 countries 
USA gives arms back to sectors in Germany - considered ultimate betrayal by Stalin 
Beginning of Cold War - USA felt powerful and resentful - saw Soviets as imperialist 
Communism and Soviet Union become the enemy and the example of the enemy that will infiltrate and destroy democracy and freedom - polarization 
1947 onwards - Truman elected - every single POTUS has become a champion of freedom and democracy 
Communist Revolution in China increases paranoia of the USA 
1950 Anti-Communism is the offical policy of the USA
CIA is formed and are the gate-keepers of anti-communism and to oversee members of NATO
Marshall plan (1947) - aid program where devastated countries are given American money to rebuild as long as the overseers are American  - moment where the USA is able to establish themselves poltiically under the guise of aid-giving 
1950 Joe McCarthy makes an important address to Congress - Anti-Communism. Beginning of See Something, Say Something. 
Reporting of neighbours - seem like they must be spies - intesne times 
Belief in a dominant theory of communism 
There are a whole series of hearings of Un-American activities 
This is the context in which Abstract Experessionism develops 

Slide 9: 
Borrow from older styles of European art - similar to these movements 
Expressive paitn application, gestural use of paint 
Movement of lines - connection to surrealism
Pollock is interested in Surrealist automotism 
title is important 

Slide 10: 
Movement towards abstraction 
playing with picture plane - foreground and background is indistinguisnhable 
Acceptance of this is shaped by Greenberg and Rosenberg 
sCarve out the 2 dominant modes of looking at this work
Greenberg focuses on formal and technical innovations of the work *(movement towards flatness, all-over composition that may go on forever, painterliness ) 
Rosenberg: Emphasized existential drama of the work 
Both agreed that America was the new center of culture 
This kind of work was seen as an escape from not having to confront beliefs head on because it is a time of anti-Leftist thought 
At the Same time they were appalled by many American thing - how capitalism and mass culture were taking over everyday life - but Un-American to Admit this 
Horror and fear of nuclear war - profound and wide-spread 
Pollocks attempt to think about - in a hidden way - the hidden gulit, fear of Hiroshima and Nagasaki 
Knowledge of horrific things that the USA had done 
Wanting to make innovative work - technologically and formally creative - getting rid of representation altogether 
Greenberg insists that Abstract expressionism is mroe an individualistic expression of anxiety 

Slide 11:
Many works grappled with the crisis of the being a free individual
Being a free individual is anxious - freedom itself is an ethical quarrel as only you are responsible 
Weight of accountability is heavy when you have total freedom
Feelings of alienation is prevalent at the time 
Reminds you of Surrealism - expressed his anixiety
Created a personal myth - tied to his own biography and his own life 
Saw himself as an individual outside everyday society - could not escape a sense of melancholy
Many personal tragedy

Slide 12:
Titles - reflect conflict 
Biographical account of his artwork is not his entire thought 

Slide 13: 
Resenberg would argue that biography is the crux of understanding art 
Completely abstract - not jsut in content - but also in title -
Allusion to 'The Tempest' - about the tragedy of loss in that play
Think of the piece as the ocean - complex, distress, profound
One of the first drip-painting 
1947 marks a change in his career 
Takes canvas - throws it on the ground - loose canvas (action paining)
Uses sticks dipped in commercial, industrial paint and drips it on canvas 
Expression of Pollocks existential angst 

Slide 14:
Scale of Canvas is important - large pieces 
Work that was done on a large scale (murals) was usually meant to indoctrinate people 
His interest in surrealist automatism is apparent - lines 
Interested in dreams and thinking about the experience of life 
Seeks Jungian psycho-analysis 
Jung emphasized indivudalsim and self-knowledge by wrestling with introverted and extroverted layers 
See expression of that in way the work is done 
First people to develop art-therapy 
Freud says "there is no such thing as an accident" 
Everything we do just needs to be deciphered to understand our actions 
Pollock "I deny the accident" different to Duchamp's "indifference" 
States he is in complete control - total mastery of the art - argues that his art is purposeful 
Spontaneity, Expression - see art as a kind of heroic, existential struggle with the creative act

Slide 15: 
de Kooning - Reference ambiguous and mythological way
Never gave up traditional methods of painting 

Slide 16:
Never as abstract as Pollock - continues gesturing in early '50s 
Described by Rosenberg as "action painting" 
Last one sold for $137.5 million (2nd most expensive painting ever sold) 

Slide 17:
JP's wife - turbulent relationship
Was influential on him - interested in similar things as him 
Her canvases get smaller as his get bigger 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Anti-Family Man

Robert Frank

Family of Man was seen by 9 million people. Frank says something else with photography. Sets out on a road trip across America.

Moments of unease, alienation. Only in the USA, only named by place and site. Some families have mroe than others. In opposition to "togetherness" show the imbalances and rascism that underpins social life in the USA. Challenges that people encounter.

Crowd scences are not filled with joy. Looking for the particularity. Not entirely composed in an artful way. Immediate, not reworked in any way. Pictures viewed as a publication. Darker tone to Frank.

Considered a controversial book in USA. Frist printed in France.

Interrogated for being a communist spy. Time filled with suspicion and not togetherness. Realistic view of divisions on society. Not intended to be viewed as single photograph. Meant to be a series. Not perfect - doesnt have a beginning and an end. Frustrating, stunning, confusing.Represent the people who would not be included. Emgree americans write.

American version of 1959 is removed for being "un-American"

The Family of Man 1950s

Becomes the director of photography at MoMa.

The Family of Man Cover - mass accumulation of photograpger. Title says a lot about the humanistic project that Steichen saw himself part of. Cold War and Nuclear Age is going on. Era of McCarthyism. Political and Social tension. Democratic premise that we are all the same.

Family of Man p. 182
"We 2 form a multitude" Different economic social backgrounds, many famous photographers. Not about authorship - mroe about Steichen and his ideological theme.

Act of voting all around the world. Pictures of mothers and children. Things like "we are all born."

Vehicle of cold-war politics under capitalism. This is the way we live. Use a photograph as a means of levelling people. We aree the same through the photograph. People reduced to a photograph are interchangable.

Ripped from youre contexts.

Installation photograph - make us feel warm. touchstones of photography. Social mission of photography. Democracy of the photograph should be questioned. Ethics of photographs - how they can promote a kind of universal. Careful of not losing the particular.

Picture of Atomic Explosion at the end of the exhibition - edited out of exhibition

France Photography

Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Decisive moment is a kind of pre-visualisation different from Steiglitz "proper moment." Considers it his special artistic intuition. Looking for significant moments in ordinary life that surprise us. Instant in which formal spacial relationship of the subject are composed to reveal a special meaning. Acutely aesthetic. Dont compose the scene - you find it.

Place de l'Europe: Man jumping, caught mid-air. Formally composed well.

Gestapo Informer Accused - Shot of a victim of the Nazi's. Woman is pointing out an informant. Capturing of the expression and historical document becomes important. Excitement of winning and exposing perpetrators.

Different subjects with different ideas of meaning. All about a single shot. Not about a manipulation. tHe real photographer has the patience to make these pictures. Described as a detective laying in wait with his camera

France PhotographyN

Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Decisive moment is a kind of pre-visualisation different from Steiglitz "proper moment." Considers it his special artistic intuition. Looking for significant moments in ordinary life that surprise us. Instant in which formal spacial relationship of the subject are composed to reveal a special meaning. Acutely aesthetic. Dont compose the scene - you find it.

Place de l'Europe: Man jumping, caught mid-air. Formally composed well.

Gestapo Informer Accused - Shot of a victim of the Nazi's. Woman is pointing out an informant. Capturing of the expression and historical document becomes important. Excitement of winning and exposing perpetrators.

Different subjects with different ideas of meaning. All about a single shot. Not about a manipulation. tHe real photographer has the patience to make these pictures. Described as a detective laying in wait with his camera

Later photographers

Man Ray

Noir et Blanche - first exhibited in 291, and was inspired by African Art. Experiments with the picture - bulding off something like the pictorialists to the point of taking it apart. Shows us the blowout negative. Considered strange. Associated with surrealists. Taking things that were ordinary and showing us the strangeness of these things. Challenging the ordinariness of the photogrpah

Anatomies - Transformed into something else. Shows the womans head leaning back to show repressed urges. Tilted head looks like a penis head. Experiment with technique and subject matter. Morphing is important. Not so different from Dali's Metamorphosis

Minotaur - Female body turns into monster, interest in myth, title of another surrealist image. Like pictorialism it shares an interest in light

Chance Encounter,.... - 

Portrait of Meret Opperheim - Experiments with sunjects in strange places. Paint across arm that is not shadow. But in contrast to real shadows. Illusions to rela things. Deliberately suggestive - looking for poetic metaphor. Interest in solarization.(light onto -ve)  

Belle Haleine - Fashion photographer. Dopcuments other surrealists - Duchamp's work. Challenge to authorship. 

Rayograph - Experiments of actual objects onto the printing paper as it is developing. Claims that it is "by chance". Surrealist enigma at play 

Rayograph 1925 - What is it? "Throw your camera away if you want to make photographs" It is not the machine and even if you use the machine - it is not the art. Before and after shot is where the art lies. Way of making claims for photography as art

Paul Strand: 

Drawn to Steiglitz ideas and his ideas. Steiglitz becomes mroe experimental - begins to move away from pictorialsim. Tries ot be more modernist. Advises Strand to try and find a way to do photography that connects to cubism or surrealism 

Wall Street : People look like little bugs put against a monumental structure. Not entirely decipherable (connections to cubism and surrealism) Shapes that dominate the composition - emphasis on straight planes and overlapping planes in an effort to reveal a modern tension between man and industry. Alienation

Steiglitz - Equivalen( 1929, 1930)t: Pushes abstraction through close-ups, magnifiying or a crop. Took photograph of the cloud from the ground. Become unrecognizable. Other art is also more abstract. But there is a connection - where is there up or down. Confusion of up and down in abstract art is addressed here. Similar to monochromes. 

Edward Weston 

Worked in Cali as a portrait photographer - was successful - reads about Steiglitz and goes to New York.On his drive across the country he stops in numerous towns and takes pictures that are not pictorial. Uses sharp-focus. 1922, meets Steiglitz and shows his pcitures. 

Combination of sharp photography and pictorialists ideas become his own look. Isolates a subject to its simplified, semi-abstract form. Marks the distinctive break in Abstract. 

Pepper # 30 - Compare to Weston's Nude. Maginified to the point of abstraction. 

Nude: What lies beyond subject and form. Looks for "a kind of life-force". Idea from Bergson. Searching for some pure essence of existence. Heavy task 

Cabbage Leaf - Close to a surrealist image. See parts/fragments as universal symbols that (for him) were interchangable. Symbols of life-force. Reduced subject to their fundamental structure. 

Excusado - Toilet - concept of pre-visualisation. The important moment is before you take the photograph when you visualise what will be on the glass. What qualities and values are you looking for? Tight compositions, exclusion of non-essentials. "Subject matter is not important. Instead what the photographer brings to it" 
By magnifying things finds something elemental in it. "Elegant accessory of human heygine" Toilet echoes lines of body. Even the greeks did not reach this level fo sensuality as we did in modernity. 


Organised by Steiglitz.

 Include Frank Eugene. Printed in Camera Work (until 1917) that is the nest journal he begins. Takes a needle and scratches on the negative. Scratches on Adam's body in Adam and Eve. 

Gertrude Kasebier. 
Atmospheric effect lends mystery to a traditional Mother and Child picture. Simplified subject with a main focal point. 

Going through portraiture and giving it an artistic touch that was not there before. Commercial portraits tried to stay as true to life as possible. Makes it out of focus

Clarence White
Nude - Romantic subject - art that is romantic

Edward Steichen

August Rodin - portrait of the sculpture with his sculpture. Resembles painting but done in a pictoral way in a pictorial space. Reflect 19th Century prepensity for moodiness, meditative fantasies. Fascinated by light. Light was particularly special to light becasue it is the direct translation of the writing of light. 

Moonlight: The Pond: Dark, enigmatic, brooding. Looking for transitions between light and dark. Sums up photo-seccessionists aesthetic. Evoke a mood in order to be suggestive of something beyond visual experience. Something metaphoric.

The Flatiron Building - 1905

Steiglitz creates 291 in NY to promote photography. 

November 4 Lecture

Modern Photography
- used previously in Futurism, Cubism, Constructivism
- Allowed art to follow different goals than mimesis
The invention of photography in 1839 is one of the most pivotal inventions that will change the way visual culture is organised, presented and circulated. It engaged with modern life in a way no other media had. 
Used for portraiture, documentation. Humans are attached to photographs 
Shifting understanding of photography in Modernism and in relation to the concept of art.

Idea of photography as art is a modern art - upon invention was seen as "not art" 
Art used to be restricted to Painting and Sculpture

Resistance to Photography of Art 
- It is a machine - person who snaps a photograph does nothing 
           but some artists thought that this made it art 
- Photography was increasingly democratic 
            more convenient, quicker, more accessible 
            Kodak Eastman - Started in Rochester, signifies the moment when photography is totally democratic 
            Slogan "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest"
           sounds "too easy" to be art 

Walter Benjamin:
- Acknowledgement in 1936 that mass reproduction of imagery that could be circulated would forever change the traditional notion of what art is 
-Works of art had traditionally been precious, unique - this was shattered 
-Democratic impulse of photography - high art is accessible to the masses 
-Thinking about art could be available to everyone 
-Shattering of aura that original works of art had - religious aura 
-Removed from the original context and put into another in the mass media through photographs 
-Challenges notions of uniqueness, originality, authorship, authenticity 
- A political potential to photography through and by virtue of its reproductivity 
-photographs can spread messages 
- Can be used to subvert dominant ideology - Hartman 
-Place for political discourse activated through photographs 

  1. Portrait of Stieglitz: Its mechanical nature made photography and "underdog." Some practitioners tried to make it art. Photographers tried to imitate art to make claims for it as art. American born son of Jewish immigrants. Most adamant advocate for art. Editor of the American Photographer. Promotes the hand-held camera. Stresses importance of development as opposed to taking the picture. Manipulation of negative leads to the artistic result. 
  2. Fountain - Stieglitz
  3. Winter on 5th Ave: Cropped out sides of the negative. Choice is the determinant of art. Uses less than 1/2 of his plate to make photograph. Looking for "proper moment" in his photo. Tried to show weather was not a deterrent. You can make excellent photographs in any weather
  4. Reflections, Night, NY : Also interested in Rain. His reputation regarding photography was built on the fact that he was using an hand-held camera observing moments in real time 
  5. Sunlight and Shadow: Photographed in difficult moments. Called them "snapshots." Quick, in the moment. Its what happens afterward that make it artistic. Trying to break away from idea of photography as nothing but a painted image. Believed that quickness makes the media intrinsic. Looked for the intrinsic qualities of the painting. Although he was a proponent of the hand-held camera. He was opposed to the idea of art as democratic. Only inspired artists can make fine images. In 1869, he changes his journal as Camera Notes (1897 - 1903). These practitioners are writing and sharing their images across channels. Camera Notes was international in scope. Tried to build a discourse on photography on art. Looked for photographers that emphasized his take on photography. It has a certain aesthetic that other media dont. This journal leads to American Pictorial Movement. This was a circle of american photographers who steer clear of topical issues. It is about how a subject is handled. Almost anything can be photographed, but how it was handled. Chief tool was soft focus to evoke a kind of mystery in the picture. Lend something to the subject that it does not inherently possess. Photography's connection to relaity is what made it "not art". Showed simplified compositions - wanted to remove image from its dependence on the real world and tried to constitute it as a separate image. Challenged artistis to not imitate art and construct visual models specific to the camera. Wanted to create an exhibition specific to photgraphy to show post-camera, tonal values, play between light and shadow. Showed that photography was as legitimate as painting but did not have to imitate it. He realised that camera clubs are not the way to go. Becasue they popularise it. He solicits other photographers and organise themselves as the Photo-Sessecvitionists.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Matisse, Blue Nude

1907, Matisse, Blue Nude, Expressionist
Colonial primitive art inspires artists as a new kind of purity. The color has a kind of wildness to it.

Matisse, La Bonheur de Vivre

Matisse, La Bonheur de Vivre , 1906 , Expressionism or Fauvism

This painting reflected a crisis of modernity at the turn of the century. The expressionists were more concerned with internal reception of the world in response to the alienation experienced by modern life.

There was both hope and despair as artists looked to primitive cultures to criticize civilization. They looked for a new kind of purity and thought of art as an escape. The composition is comparable to Large Bathers but the violent, wild colors earned Matisse the name Fauves or Wild Beasts.

Expressionist Theory:
The artist is the originary center in art. The role of art is to express subjective feelings and it must be independent from life.

Gaugin, Where do we come from. What are we. Where are we going.

1897, Gaugin, Expressionist or Symbolist, Oil on Canvas

The painting poses an existential question faced by Gaugin in his quest for decadence. He was searching for a spiritual place where he could obtain a primordial way of living. It expresses an inner dream world and some spiritual longing within the artist. The intense color may be influenced by Cèzanne.

Artists saw themselves as having a privileged understanding of the world.

Signac, Portrait of Felix Fenèon

Paul Signac, 1890, Portrait of Felix Fenèon, Oil on Canvas, Expressionist, Neo-Impressionism

Signic uses the same pointilist technique of Seurat . However, as a symbolist he is interested in expressive abstractions. He is attached to aestheticism. The stylized decorations echo the art noveau movement. There is an emphasis on originality and enhanced subjectivity and figuration is combined with abstraction.

There is an emphasis on the inner dream world and on interpreting artistic symbols. The depiction of an art critic reveals the development of a specialized inner circle around art.

Sunday Afternoon on la Grande Jatte

Georges Seurat
Sunday Afternoon on la Grande Jatte

Neo-impressionists fused science and art to create a methodical style of painting. Seurat used Pointillism and tashes of paint to compose the entire image. The Neo-Impressionists took an interest in science and color theory and focused on time and permanence. The painted frame demonstrates his acknowledgement and proclamation that the painting is a representation, not reality. This anti-mimesis is a reaction to photography and a statement about the autonomy and specialization of art as an institution outside public discourse. 

Cèzanne, Large Bathers

Large Bathers,
Paul Cèzanne,

Another one of his favorite subjects. It is an important traditional subject matter with jarring details.

The clothed figures in the background raise questions about the politics of the gaze. This is similar to investigations by Manet in LèDejeneur and Olympia and by Degas in his dancer paintings.

Cèzanne, Mount Saint-Victoirè

 Mount Saint-Victoire,
 Oil on Canvas,

Cèzanne used to paint outside the city center in an attempt to escape the chaotic modernism of urban life

Cèzanne, Still Life with Compotièr

Date: 1879
Medium: Oil
Artist: Paul Cèzanne
Period: Post-Impressionism

Cèzanne was a post-impressionist artist. This particular work emphasizes his aesthetic innovation with traditional subject matter. It was seen as radically modern at the time it was published. It showed a self-consciousness of paint as paint rather than a medium of mimesis. A feature of the work is the flatness and compression of space. There are open, unfinished lines portraying moments of imminence and invisibility.

Cèzanne is concerned with vision and visuality. His painting is not static and not focused on a single point. He pays equal attention to the whole painting. The detailed tablecloth is a reflection about the canvas as a medium.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gaudenzio Ferrari, Crucifixion, 1515-20

Gaudenzio Ferrari (c. 1471 – January 11, 1546) was a Northern Italian painter and sculptor of the Renaissance.



[edit] Biography

Gaudenzio was born at Valduggia in the Valsesia in the Duchy of Milan.Valduggia is now in the Province of Vercelli in Piedmont. He is said to have first learned the art of painting at Vercelli from Gerolamo Giovenone. He subsequently studied in Milan, in the school of the Cathedral artisan Stefano Scotto, and perhaps also in that of Bernardino Luini; towards 1504 he proceeded to Florence. It was once thought that he later moved to Rome. He died in Milan.

Gaudenzio was not related to Defendente Ferrari (c1490-1535) a painter from Chivasso, nor to Eusebio Ferrari (1508-33) the painter from Vercelli.

[edit] Mature Work

His initial pictorial style may be considered as derived mainly from the old Milanese school, which had imbibed the classic influence of Leonardo and pupils such as Bramantino. However, the provincial impetus was also strong, as is demonstrated in his emotive work at the Sacro Monte of Varallo.

Gaudenzio Ferrari, Crucifixion, 1513, fresco, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Varallo Sesia

By 1513, Gaudenzio had depicted the Life of Christ in a fresco at Santa Maria della Grazie in Varallo Sesia. He returned to work in the chapels of the Sacro Monte di Varallo by 1524. The chapels are dispersed over a hilltop sanctuary, connected by a winding path, and containing a combination of diorama and wax museum[1] with life-size terracotta figures[2]. He executed his most memorable work, a fresco of the Crucifixion (pictured right), with a multitude of figures, no less than twenty-six of them being modelled in actual relief, and colored; on the vaulted ceiling are lamenting angels. The figures include goitrous bestial assailants [3].

There are other works which show flashes of innovation such as the crowded chorus decorating duomo of Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Saronno or his fresco of St Anne[4]. This painting shows the overlap of Milanese realism and Venetian colorism.

He was a very prolific painter, distinguished by strong animation. In general character, his work suggests more the 15th than the 16th century. His subjects were always religious. Andrea Solario, Giovanni Battista Cerva, Gian Paolo Lomazzo, and Fermo Stella were his principal students

De Donati Brothers, Last Supper, (sculptures, late 15th c) with later additions

Veronese, Feast in the House of Levi, from the refectory or the Dominican Monastery of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, 1573.

The Feast in the House of Levi is a 1573 painting by Italian painter Paolo Veronese and one of the largest canvases of the 16th century measuring 555 x 1280 cm. It is currently on display at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, in Venice.

It was painted by Veronese for the Dominican order of SS. Giovanni Paolo to replace an earlier work by Titian destroyed in the fire of 1571.

However the painting led to an investigation by the Roman Catholic Inquisition. Paolo Veronese was called to answer for irreverence, and was accused of the serious indictment of heresy. He had originally named the painting the Lord's Last Supper, meaning the last meal that Christ had shared with Saint Matthew which was seen as derogatory towards The Last Supper story of the Bible. Veronese however was not charged but was forced to rename the painting as The Feast in the House of Levi.[1]

The painting depicts a banquet scene in which the tall figure of Christ is depicted in the centre in a shimmering pale green robe and the surrounding people interact in a turbulence of polychromatic splendour at a whole diversity of different positions and poses.

The great meal is framed by the great pillars and archways of a portico and a staircase to the right.

Il Gesù, Rome: Giacomo Barozzi (Vignola), project begun in 1550, building began 1568; Giacomo della Porta, façade, completed 1584

Gesu" redirects here. For other uses, see Gesu (disambiguation).

The Church of the Gesù (Italian: Chiesa del Gesù ; Italian pronunciation: [dʒeˈzu]) is the mother church of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic religious order also known as the Jesuits. Officially named Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all'Argentina[1][2] (English: Church of the Most Holy Name of Jesus), its facade is "the first truly baroque façade"[3]. The church served as model for innumerable Jesuit churches all over the world, especially in the Americas. The Church of the Gesù is located in the Piazza del Gesù in Rome.

First conceived in 1551 by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits Society of Jesus, and active during the Protestant Reformation and the subsequent Catholic Reformation, the Gesù was also the home of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus until the suppression of the order in 1773.[4]

Although Michelangelo, at the request of the Spanish cardinal Bartolomeo de la Cueva, offered, out of devotion, to design the church for free, the endeavor was funded by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, grandson of Pope Paul III, who had authorized the founding of the Society of Jesus. Ultimately, the main architects involved in the construction were Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, architect of the Farnese family, and Giacomo della Porta. Construction of the church began on 26 June 1568 to Vignola's design. Vignola was assisted by the Jesuit Giovanni Tristano, who took over from Vignola in 1571. When he died in 1575 he was succeeded by the Jesuit architect Giovanni de Rosis.. Giacoma della Porta was involved in the construction of the cross-vault, dome, and the apse.

The revision of Vignola's façade design by della Porta has offered architectural historians opportunities for a close comparison between Vignola's balanced composition in three superimposed planes and Della Porta's dynamically fused tension bound by its strong vertical elements, contrasts that have sharpened architectural historians' perceptions for the last century (Whitman 1970:108). Vignola's rejected design remained readily available to architects and prospective patrons in an engraving of 1573.

The design of this church has set a pattern for Jesuit churches that lasted into the twentieth century, its innovations require enumerating. The Jesuit Mother Church was built according to the new requirements formulated during the Council of Trent. There is no narthex in which to linger: the visitor is projected immediately into the body of the church, a single nave without aisles, so that the congregation is assembled and attention is focused on the high altar. In place of aisles there are a series of identical interconnecting chapels behind arched openings,[5] to which entrance is controlled by decorative balustrades with gates. Transepts are reduced to stubs that emphasize the altars of their end walls.

The plan synthesizes the central planning of the High Renaissance,[6] expressed by the grand scale of the dome and the prominent piers of the crossing, with the extended nave that had been characteristic of the preaching churches, a type of church established by Franciscans and Dominicans since the thirteenth century. Everywhere inlaid polychrome marble revetments are relieved by gilding, frescoed barrel vaults enrich the ceiling and rhetorical white stucco and marble sculptures break out of their tectonic framing. The example of the Gesù did not completely eliminate the traditional basilica church with aisles, but after its example was set, experiments in Baroque church floor plans, oval or Greek cross, were largely confined to smaller churches and chapels.

The Church of the Gesù is home to the venerated 15th-century Madonna Della Strada shown here prior to its 2006 restoration.

The church was consecrated by Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santori, the delegate of pope Gregory XIII on 25 November 1584.

[edit] Interior decoration


The present high altar, designed by Antonio Sarti (1797-1880), was constructed towards the middle of the 19th century. It is dominated by four columns under a neo-classical pediment. Sarti also covered the apse with marble and made the drawings of the tabernacle. The angels surrounding the IHS aureole were sculpted by Rinaldo Rinaldi (1793-1873). The two angels kneeling at each side of the aureole are the work of Francesco Benaglia and Filippo Gnaccarini (1804-1875). The altarpiece, representing the "Circumcision", was painted by Alessandro Capalti (1810-1868). The ceiling of the apse is adorned by the painting "Glory of the Mystical Lamb" by Baciccia (Giovanni Battista Gaulli).

The most striking feature of the interior decoration is the ceiling fresco is the grandiose Triumph of the Name of Jesus by Giovanni Battista Gaulli. Gaulli also frescoed the cupola, including lantern and pendentives, central vault, window recesses, and transepts' ceilings.

The first chapel to the right of the nave is the Cappella di Sant'Andrea, so named because the church previously on the site, which had to be demolished to make way for the Jesuit church, was dedicated to St. Andrew. All the painted works were completed by the Florentine Agostino Ciampelli. The frescoes on the arches depict the male martyrs saints Pancrazio, Celso, Vito, and Agapito, while the pilasters depict the female martyred saints Cristina, Margherita, Anastasia, Cecilia, Lucy, and Agatha. The ceiling is frescoed with the Glory of the Virgin surrounded by martyred saints Clemente, Ignazio di Antiochia, Cipriano, and Policarpo The lunettes are frescoed with Saints Agnes & Lucy face the storm and St. Stephen and the Deacon St. Lawrence. The altarpiece depicts the Martyrdom of St Andrew.

The second chapel to the right is the Cappella della Passione, with lunette frescoes depicting scenes of the Passion: Jesus in Gethsemane, Kiss of Judas, and six canvases on the pilasters: Christ at the column Christ before the guards, Christ before Herod, Ecce Homo, Exit to Calvary, and Crucifixion. The altarpiece of the Madonna with child and beatified Jesuits, replaces the original altarpiece by Scipione Pulzone.[7] The program of paintings is indepted to Giuseppe Valeriani and painted by Gaspare Celio. The altar has a bronze urn with the remains of 18th century Jesuit St. Giuseppe Pignatelli, canonized by Pius XII in 1954. Medals on the wall commemorate P. Jan Roothaan (1785-1853) and P. Pedro Arrupe (1907-1991), the 21st and 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

The third chapel to the right is the Cappella degli Angeli has a ceiling fresco of the Coronation of Virgin and altarpiece of Angels worshiping Trinity by Federico Zuccari. He also painted the canvases on the walls, Defeat of rebel angels on right, and Angels liberate souls from Purgatory on the left. Other frescoes represent Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. The angles in the niches of the pilasters were completed by both Silla Longhi and Flaminio Vacca.

The larger Saint Francis Xavier Chapel in the right transept, was designed by Pietro da Cortona, originally commissioned by cardinal Giovanni Francesco Negroni. The polychromatic marbles enclose a stucco relief representing Francis Xavier welcomed to heaven by angels. The altarpiece shows the Death of Francis Xavier in Shangchuan Island by Carlo Maratta. The arches are decorated with scenes from the life of the saint, including Apotheosis of the saint in the center, Crucifixion, Saint lost at sea, and at left, Baptism of an Indian princess, by Giovanni Andrea Carlone. The silver reliquary conserves part of the saint's right arm (by which he baptized 300,000 people), his other remains are interred in the Jesuit church in Goa.

The last chapel on the far end of the nave, to the right of the high altar, is the chapel of the Sacro Cuore (holy heart of Jesus).

The sacristy is on the right. In the presbytery is a bust of Cardinal Robert Bellarmine by Bernini.

The abbreviated transepts function as grand chapels: Chapel of St, Ignatius

The first chapel to the left, originally dedicated to the apostles, is now the Cappella di San Francesco Borgia, the former Spanish Duke of Gandia, who renounced his title to enter the Jesuit order, and become its third "Preposito generale". The altarpiece, Saint Francesco Borgia in Prayer by Pozzo, is surrounded by works by Gagliardi. Ceiling frescoes of (Pentecost) and lunettes (left Martyrdom of St. Peter, to sides Faith and Hope and right, Martyrdom of St. Paul with allegorical Religion and Charity are works Nicolò Circignani (Il Pomarancio). Pier Francesco Mola painted the walls, on left with St. Peter in jail baptizes saints Processo & Martiniano, to right is the Conversion of St. Paul. There are four monuments by Marchesi Ferrari.

The second chapel on the left is dedicated to the Nativity, and called Cappella della Sacra Famiglia, commissioned by patron Cardinal Cerri, who worked for the Barberini family. The altarpiece of the nativity by Circignani. In the roof, the Celestial celebration on the nativity of Christ, on the pinnacles are David, Isaiah, Zechariah and Baruch, on the right lunette, an Annunciation to the Shepherds, and on the left, a Massacre of the Innocents. Also are frescoes on Presentation of Jesus to the Temple and Adoration by Magi. Four allegorical statues represent Temperance, Prudence on right; and Fortitude and Justice.

The third chapel to the left is the Cappella della Santissima Trinità, commissioned initially by the clerical patron Pirro Taro, is named due to the main altarpiece by Francesco Bassano the Younger. The frescoes completed mainly by three painters and assistants during 1588-1589; the exact attributions are uncertain, but it is said the Creation, the angels on the pilasters, and the designs of some of the frescoes by the Florentine Jesuit painter, Giovanni Battista Fiammeri. Painted with assistants was the Baptism of Christ on the right wall. The Transfiguration on the left wall and the Abraham with three angels on the right oval were by Durante Alberti. God the Father behind a chorus of angels in the left oval and in the pinnacles, angels with God’s attributes, were completed by Ventura Salimbeni. The reliquary on the altar holds the right arm of the polish Jesuit St. Andrew Bobola, martyred in 1657 and canonized by Pius XI in 1938.

The imposing and luxurious St. Ignatius Chapel, located on the left side of the transept, is the church's masterpiece, designed by Andrea Pozzo between 1696 and 1700. It houses the saint's tomb. The altar by Pozzo shows the Trinity on top of a globe. The lapis lazuli, representing the Earth, is thought to be the largest piece in the world. The four lapis lazuli-veneered columns enclose the colossal statue of the saint by Pierre Legros. The latter is a copy, probably by Adamo Tadolini working in the studio of Antonio Canova Pope Pius VI had the original silver statue melted down, ostensibly to pay the war reparations to Napoleon, as established by the Treaty of Tolentino, 1797. Originally the project was designed by Giacomo della Porta , then by Cortona ; but ultimately Pozzo won a public contest to design the altar. A canvas of the Saint receives the monogram with the name of Jesus from the celestial resurrected Christ attributed to Pozzo. The urn of St. Ignatius is a bronze urn by Algardi that holds the body of the saint, below are two groups of statues where Religion defeats heresy by Legros, and Faith defeats idolatry by Jean-Baptiste Théodon.

The St. Ignatius Chapel also hosts the restored macchina barocca or conversion machine of Andrea Pozzo. During daytime the statue of St. Ignatius is hidden behind a large painting, but every day at 17.30 loud religious music is played and the painting slides away in the floor, revealing the statue, with large spotlights switched on to show the piece[8].

The last chapel on the far end of the nave, to the left of the high altar, is the Chapel of the Madonna della Strada. The name derives from a medieval icon, once found in a now-lost Church in the piazza Altieri, venerated by sant'Ignazio. The interior is designed and decorated by Giuseppe Valeriani, who painted scenes from the life of the Virgin. The cupola frescoes were painted by G.P. Pozzi.

[edit] Legacy

The Church of the Gesù was the model of various churches of the Society of Jesus throughout the world, starting from the Church of St.Michael in Munich (1583-1597) and the Corpus Christi Church in Niasviž (1587-1593). Various parishes also share the name of the Church of the Gesù in Rome.

Lavinia Fontana, Noli me tangere, 1581, 80 x 65.6 cm (Uffizi)

oli me tangere, meaning "don't touch me", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognizes him after his resurrection.

The original phrase, Μή μου ἅπτου, in the Gospel of John, which was written in Greek, is better represented in translation as "cease holding on to me" or "stop clinging to me".[1] The biblical scene of Mary Magdalene's recognizing Jesus Christ after his resurrection became the subject of a long, widespread and continuous iconographic tradition in Christian art from late antiquity to the present.[2] This phrase is also said in Whoso list to hunt by Sir Thomas Wyatt.

[edit] Liturgical use

The words were a popular trope in Gregorian chant. The supposed moment in which they were spoken was a popular subject for paintings in cycles of the Life of Christ and as single subjects, for which the phrase is the usual title.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church the Gospel lesson on Noli me tangere is one of the Twelve Matins Gospels read during the All Night Vigil on Sunday mornings.

Noli Me Tangere (commonly referred to by its shortened name Noli) is a novel written in Spanish by Filipino writer and national hero José Rizal, first published in 1887 in Berlin, Germany. The English translation was originally titled The Social Cancer, although more recent translations have been published using the original Latin title.

Noli Me Tangere was Rizal's first novel. He was 26 at the time of its publication. This book was historically significant and was instrumental in the establishing of the Filipino sense of national identity. The book indirectly influenced a revolution although the author actually advocated direct representation to the Spanish government and larger role of the Philippines inside Spain's political affairs. The novel was written in Spanish, the language of the educated classes at a time when natives were markedly separated into diverse ethnolinguistic groups.

The novel created so much controversy that only a few days after his arrival, Governor-General Emilio Terrero summoned Rizal to the Malacañang Palace and told him of the charges saying that Noli Me Tangere was full of subversive ideas. After a discussion, the liberal Governor General was appeased; but he mentioned that he was unable to offer resistance against the pressure of the Church to take action against the book. The persecution can be discerned from Rizal's letter to Leitmeritz: "My book made a lot of noise; everywhere, I am asked about it. They wanted to anathematize me ['to excommunicate me'] because of it ... I am considered a German spy, an agent of Bismarck, they say I am a Protestant, a freemason, a sorcerer, a damned soul and evil. It is whispered that I want to draw plans, that I have a foreign passport and that I wander through the streets by night ..."

Rizal depiction of nationality by emphasizing the qualities of Filipinos: devotion of a Filipina and her influence to a man's life, the deep sense of gratitude, and the solid common sense of the Filipinos under the Spanish regime.

This novel and its sequel, El Filibusterismo (nicknamed El Fili), were banned in some parts of the Philippines because of their portrayal of corruption and abuse by the country's Spanish government and clergy. A character which has become a classic in the Philippines is "Maria Clara" who has become a personification of the ideal Filipino woman, loving and unwavering in her loyalty to her spouse. Another classic character is the priest "Father Dámaso" which reflects the covert fathering of illegitimate children by members of the Spanish clergy. In the story, Father Dámaso impregnates a woman. Copies were smuggled in nevertheless, and when Rizal returned to the Philippines after completing medical studies, he quickly ran afoul of the local government. First exiled to Dapitan, he was later arrested for "inciting rebellion" based largely on his writings. Rizal was executed in Manila on December 30, 1896 at the age of thirty-five.

The book was instrumental in creating a unified Filipino national identity and consciousness, as many Filipinos previously identified with their respective regions to the advantage of the Spanish authorities. It lampooned, caricatured and exposed various elements in colonial society.

Nowadays, Noli me Tangere and its sequel, El Filibusterismo, is studied by Third Year and Fourth Year secondary school students in the Philippines as part of the curriculum, usually as part of their Filipino subject. The novel is also often among the topics of the required course on the study of Rizal's life in tertiary education in the country. Textbooks designed for students were made by various publishers, and the text itself is oftent condensed or abridged to facilitate learning for students.