Modern Isms
Socratic Circle Final Exam
Wednesday, May 15
1:30 to 4 PM

Photo 321 Special Topics
TTh 7 to 10 PM
with Alejandro Sanchez!

Please submit your course evaluation!











Claude Monet, Impression: Sunrise, 1872.
James Abott McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Old Battersea Bridge, c. 1872 - 1877.











James Abott McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold (The Falling Rocket), 1875.










Woman at the Toilette

Berthe Morisot, Woman at Her Toilette, 1875.











Berthe Morisot, Summer's Day, 1879.


"sketch aesthetics"










Moulin de la Galette
The Impressionists radically departed from Academic art by rejecting:
  • Linear perspective
  • Balanced composition
  • Idealized figures
  • Chiaroscuro
  • Painting in the controlled environment of the studio
Moulin de la Galette = the Pancake Mill, an old-fashioned Sunday afternoon dance hall
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Moulin de la Galette, 1876.











The Impressionists were interested in:
  • Representing immediate visual sensations through color and light
  • Depicting the fleeting qualities of color
  • Experimenting with short, choppy brushstrokes
Claude Monet, Madame Monet with Her Son, 1875.









Mary Cassat, Mother About to Wash Her Sleepy Child, 1880.
Mary Cassatt, The Boating Party, 1893 - 1894.











Edgar Degas, The Rehearsal on Stage, c. 1874.











"I had wrung Impressionism dry, and I finally came to the conclusion that I knew neither how to paint nor how to draw. In a word, Impressionism was a blind alley, as far as I was concerned." - Renoir
Pierre- Auguste Renoir, The Bathers, 1918.











Post-impressionism = general term applied to various personal styles of painting that developed as a reaction against the formless and aloof quality of Impressionism.
  • Post-Impressionists developed very personal styles
  • Artists begin to focus on individual expression
  • General move towards complete abstraction
Vincent Van Gogh, Bedroom, 1889.










"Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen, we take death to reach a star." - Vincent van Gogh


Starry Night

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889.










Van Gogh's new way of seeing:

  • Exploited new colors
  • Used color symbolically, for personal expression
  • Distorted forms
  • Worked very rapidly
  • Often worked straight from the tube
  • Impasto = thick applications of pigment that give a painting a palpable surface texture
Vincent Van Gogh, Irises, 1889.









Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear
Vincent van Gogh, Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, 1889.
1887 melanotype showing Vincent van Gogh (third from the left) and Paul Gauguin (far right)






















Day of the God

Paul Gauguin, Mahana no atua (Day of the God), 1894.











Spirit of the Dead Watching

Paul Gauguin, Spirit of the Dead Watching, 1892.











Paul Cezanne, Mont Sainte-Victoire, c. 1885 - 1887.











Paul Cezanne, Still Life with Basket of Apples, 1890 – 1894.











Sunday on La Grande Jatte

Georges Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on La Grande Jatte, 1884 - 1886.











Detail of Sunday on La Grande Jatte

divisionism (pointilism) = style of painting in which non-primary colors are generated, not by the mixing of pigments in the palette nor by using pigments directly, but by the visual mixing of points of primary colors, placed in close proximity to each other
"I painted like that because I wanted to get through to something new - a kind of painting that was my own."
- Georges Seurat
Detail of Sunday on La Grande Jatte











The Twentieth Century - the age of "isms"


Historical Context

Rapid change characterizes turn of 20th century

Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams

Cities install electric street lamps while indoor plumbing and electricity installed in homes

Kodak introduces $1 Brownie cameras
Max Planck formulates Quantum Theory
Wright Brothers’ first flight
Einstein proposes Theory of Relativity
Freud publishes Theory of Sexuality
Henry Ford introduces the Model T
Titanic sinks
1914 - 1918
World War I











Characteristics of 20th century art are the characteristics of the century itself:
Rapid change
The Newborn
Constantin Brancusi, Sleep, 1908.
Constantin Brancusi, Sleeping Muse, 1909 - 1911.
Constantin Brancusi, The Newborn, 1915.











Several broad tendencies mark modern works:
Tendency towards abstraction
Tendency to emphasize physical process involved in creation of the work
Continual questioning of the nature of art
Mary Cassatt,
Woman in Black Hat, 1900.
Henri Matisse,
Woman with a Hat, 1905.
Gabrielle Munter, Portrait of Marianne von Werefkin, 1909.











Three main currents in art:
Paula Moderson-Becker,
Self-Portrait, 1906.
Pablo Picasso,
La Rêve
, 1932.
Gustav Klimt,
The Kiss
, 1907 - 1908.












Characteristics of Expressionist Styles:
  • Desire to express attitudes and emotions
  • Vivid imagery
  • Often angular, simplified depictions
  • Dramatic use of color
  • Bold, sometimes crude brushwork
  • Sense of liberation and experimentation
Henri Matisse, The Joy of Life, 1905 - 1906.












les fauves = the wild beasts



Henri Matisse, Woman with the Hat, 1905.











Die Brucke (The Bridge
"Named for a passage in Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra that spoke of contemporary humanity's potential to be the evolutionary bridge to a more perfect superman of the future." - Marilyn Stokstad



Street, Berlin

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Street, Berlin, 1913.











Bue Rider Group


Improvisation No. 30

Vassily Kandinsky, Improvisation No. 30 (Cannons), 1913.











Synesthesia = sensation felt in one part of the body when another part is stimulated


"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings.
The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul." - Vassily Kandinsky


Vassily Kandinsky, Composition No. 8, 1923.










Bird in Space
Essence = that which makes something what it is; intrinsic, fundamental nature or most important quality
"Simplicity is not a means to an end in art, but one arrives at simplicity in spite of oneself, in approaching the real sense of things." - Brancusi
Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, c. 1928.











Les Demoiselles D'Avignon

Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, 1907.











Les Demoiselles D'Avignon
N'gil Fang Mask, Gabon
Ancient Iberian sculpture
Type of Women
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, 1907.
Edmond Fortier, Type of Women, West Africa, 1906.











Cubism sought to portray the experience of a form -
how the mind understands an object rather than how the eye sees it.
Robert Delaunay, Eiffel Tower, 1911.
Juan Gris, Still Life with Flowers, 1912.











Dora Maar
Man Ray, Picasso and Maar, n.d.
Man Ray, Dora Maar, n.d.
Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar au Chat, 1941.











Rule Breaking Characteristizes Cubism:
  • Bodies broken into small planes, tilted and askew
  • Background and foreground blended to compress space
  • Linear perspective and realism ignored
  • Space and time flow through figure because they are not fixed
Georges Braque, The Portuguese, 1911.











Two phases of Cubism
Analytic Cubism
1909 - 1911
Subject broken down into pieces that are spread out
Key Phrase -> simultaneity of vision
Synthetic Cubism
1912 - 1914
Unrelated pieces built up to create a unified form
Key Phrase -> metamorphosis











Analytic Cubism
Synthetic Cubism
Georges Braque, Violin and Candlestick, 1910.
Pablo Picasso, The Violin, 1913.











Still Life with Chair Caning

Pablo Picass, Still Life with Chair Caning, 1911 - 1912.












Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937.


"Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war for attack and defense against the enemy." - Picasso











Thank you!