Archive for December, 2014

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A Comparison Between Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell

Kline and Motherwell

Franz Kline – Nijinsky
Robert Motherwell – Elegy to the Spanish Republic

Abstract Expressionism, largely an American artistic movement, boasts many artists of varying aesthetics who, ultimately, champion the use of non-representational forms in their artwork, along with other unique and trend-setting artistic practices. Franz Kline’s Nijinsky (1950) and Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic (1950) may differ in their application of color, shape, artistic process, and subject matter, but both works of art exemplify the category of Abstract Expressionism, as they champion non-representation and formalist themes.

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Saturday, December 13th, 2014

Goya’s Corral de Locos – A Tiny Painting with Tons of Meaning

A paper written for my Art History Research Methods course, and my accompanying presentation
On both assignments, paper and presentation, I received an A+

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes is one of the most renowned Spanish painters in art history alongside masters such as El Greco, Velazquez, Dalí, and Picasso. With a long career as a court painter and part of the Spanish Academy, this great artist displays a wide variety of styles and subjects ranging from Tapestry Cartoons and Court Portraits to graphic images of the Spanish War for Independence and his series of Black Paintings. His most notable works, often grandiose in scale and heavily commissioned or part of an extensive print series, fall into strict epoch and stylistic categorizations such as these. Those works that don’t fit snuggly under a proper heading are often left unacknowledged, or at most marginalized as unimportant, unspectacular, or occasional.[1][2] Corral de Locos, translated in English as Yard of the Lunatics, is one such painting that is not part of a larger heading, but the difficulty in labeling or classifying this image as belonging to a specific style or genre in Goya’s overall repertoire does not limit the amount of analysis that is to be had.

Goya’s Corral de Locos contains a lot of information in its modest 43.8 by 32.7 centimeter[3] borders. Painted between 1793 and 1794, it belongs to a group of paintings, all painted around the same size on tinplate, which is now referred to as the Cabinet Pictures.[4] The artist depicts a scene of violence occurring in an open courtyard of an insane asylum. Various characters grace the painted stage: aggressive brawlers, quiet onlookers, and isolated individuals. But what appears to be at first just a depiction of unruly members of society, Corral de Locos reveals even more. Social history and autobiographical methods can both be used to glean meaning from the painting’s surface. The differing and perhaps contradictory interpretations imposed on Corral de Locos make one thing clear: Goya’s portrayal of the underbelly of society is most importantly seen as a timely snapshot of when it was painted.

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