Monday, August 29, 2011

Entry #10

Tour the Dicke Wing of American Art at the D.A.I. Select on work of modern art to analyze closely. Based on your studies this quarter, write a through essay in which you address the following:
  • Identify your chosen work's title, artist, date, medium approximate dimensions, and acquisition date.
  • Identify the style or art historical movement that the work is associated with (EX: early 20th etc.) century realism, minimalism, conceptual art, found art, geometric abstraction,
  • Describe in detail how the compositional elements "fit in" with the movement or style you have used to "label" this work. Use correct terminology that you have learned this quarter.

I had not been to the Dayton Art Institute for several years. This assignment reminded me what an awesome asset DAI is to the Miami Valley. I was pleasantly reminded as to why I should visit DAI more often as the art is beautiful and informative at the same time. As a relatively small institution DAI provides a wide variety of art to explore and learn about.

I chose a work by Joan Mitchell. The work is called Untitled c. 1961.Located in the first gallery of the Dicke Wing of American Art, Untitled is oil on canvas. Mitchell, was a well-known abstract impressionist. She was was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1925 and died in Paris, France, in 1992 and used nature and other landscapes as inspiration for her work.

Untitled is a reflection of abstract expressionist art. The colors that Mitchell used are natural colors that we see within nature. She blended several different greens together and used similar technique with browns, blues and grays.

This piece reminded me of Jackson Pollock, in the strokes and then how the paint was distributed in his natural pattern. The artist used heavy brush strokes then allowed for a thinner, water based stroke to occur, and fall naturally.

Entry #9

  • After reading Chapter 22, consider carefully the idea of Feminist Art.
  • In your educated/informed opinion, is any art created by a woman feminist art?
  • Some female artists have sought out the label of feminist artist and worn it proudly, while other have been surprised or offended to have it thrust upon them. What might be the advantages and disadvantages of such a label?

Feminist art expresses the unique experience of being female in a society where women have traditionally been viewed as less valuable than men. But not any art created by a female can be called feminist art. I think, for art by women to be considered feminist art, it has to address and / or express feelings, thought and emotions that are exclusive to women. A man could create art that can embrace the concept of feminist art but because of his maleness he cannot fully create the true representation of its meaning.

I think one advantage to labeling oneself a feminist artist is that it would allow the artist to ground herself in the strength of being female. It connects her to the powerful lineage of all the women who have come before her - their unique lives and stories whether those stories have been expressed through art or not. I believe this can be very empowering and that empowerment will be translated through the art to all how view it. And - other women may be empowered to create their own art.

The disadvantage of having one's art labeled as feminist art is that labels tend to limit and confine. Being labeled in any way - but especially as a feminist artist - can create barriers to the different ways the art can be seen, literally and figuratively. This could have the unfortunate effect of narrowing opportunities for the artist and her art which is dis-empowering in itself.

Entry #8

  • Study Andy Warhol's 210 Coca Cola Bottles and Marilyn Monroe. Why are these works considered to be an example of Pop Art?
  • How does Warhol incorporate the ideas of mechanization and industrialization into each work?
  • If Warhol were alive today, what kinds of subjects do you think he would depict in his art? Explain.

Warhol’s 210 Coca Cola and Marilyn Monroe are considered pop art because they are a reflection of the modern culture of that time. Warhol recreates how a product is manufactured and that we are lined up like are part of the masses. In the reading, it is stated that Warhol is showing representation of the coke product on a supermarket shelf - all in a line...mass produced. Warhol is commenting on popular culture which is turning human beings into mass produced enties, much like Coca Cola bottles, who look alike and have each have a glassy exterior to keeps our sticky, messy human-ness safely bottled up inside.

mechanizes and industrializes Marilyn Monroe by taking manipulating her likeness in a way that removes her humanness. He turns her into a comic book character which is a statement on what media and popular culture does to celebrities.

If Warhol were alive today I think politicians might be a focus of his work because they make laws and act ways that seem to be devoid of originality and humanness.

Entry #7

Alain Locke, critic, philosopher, and intellectual leader of the Harlem Renaissance, called on black artists to seek their artistic roots in the traditional arts of Africa rather than in the art of white America or Europe. American painter, Romare Bearden, urged his fellow African-American artists to create works that were based upon their own cultural experiences.
  • Choose one of the paintings created by Harlem Renaissance artists featured on the page 383 of the textbook (Romare Bearden's Folk Musicians or Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series Panel #1).
  • In what ways does the artist of your chosen work answer Locke's call? (You may find necessary / helpful to view some traditional African art via the web in order to better address this question.)
  • How (specifically) does the artist reflect his own unique cultural experience?

Both of the works on page 383 are representation of a personal cultural experience. My favorite is the Folk Musicians, because I am partial to the "folk" style and the simplicity that particular style conveys.

At the time of Bearden did this painting (1941-42) the blues, whose roots ran deep in African- American culture, were popular.The blues originated on Southern plantations in the 19th Century and evolved from African spirituals, chants, work songs, field hollers, revivalist hymns, and country dance music. The blues reflected the struggle, sadness and injustice treatment of African Americans of this era. Bearden - a black man born in 1911 - would have been acutely aware of this part of his culture and paints from that perspective.
Likewise, it makes sense that Bearden painted musicians because he was a musician. He co-wrote the hit song Sea Breeze, which was recorded by Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie and is still considered a jazz classic.

Bearden protrays the men in suits which seems to indicate that they are preparing for or have just finished a performance. He placed the musicians outdoors in front of a brick wall which I think represents the many brick walls African Americans face in American culture. Our texts says " the juxtapostion of the rural background and the brick wall suggest the interchange between urban and rual in the lives and culture of African -Americans, many of whom left their small southern hometowns to seek opportunities in northern cities." I think Breaden also did this to remind viewer of the racial segregation of the era and the fact that, while white audiences liked to be entertained by African American performers, these performers often were not allowed to enter the building through the front door.