Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AIC: Contemporary Art

Modern Wing of the Art Institute houses the Contemporary Art collection.. Second Floor: Galleries 288, 291-299
Third Floor: Galleries 389-399..

Earlier I've written about Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection on the upper-level of Alsdorf Galleries.. click here..
Now we come to the Contemporary Art.. The Art Institute of Chicago has one of the most comprehensive collection of contemporary art in any general museum in the world, with about 1,000 works. It encompasses almost every significant art movement from 1950 to the present and includes painting, sculpture, installation art, and new-media work. Some of its most notable holdings are works by Eva Hesse, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Bruce Nauman, and Gerhard Richter.

Impressionism was a reaction against the formal-approach of the Academic Art, and Post-Impressionsim was a reaction agaisnt the naturalist-approach of Impressionism. Post-Impressionist paved the was for more experimental art-forms, called Modernism/ Contemporary Art. Modernism was a broad movement encompassing all avant-garde "isms" of the first half of the 20th century. Although different modern-isms were often incompatible; each one rejected the dominance of Academic or naturalism [Impressionism], in favor of experimental art. Modernists explored different facets of art. Like experimenting with..
- the nature of representation – Cubism
- the unconscious - Surrealism
- explore state of mind – Expressionism
- Action painting - Abstract Expressionism
Most of these trends overlapped each-other..

Taking about name association, the name Pablo Picasso is always associated with Cubism.. And although Cubism was pioneered by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, this art form is indebted to Cezanne’s use of “multiple viewpoints” in a single painting. Cubism is often described as a “conceptual approach” to painting. It’s used to describe shifting viewpoints. For example, we can look at a table while standing over it, underneath it, from the side and cubist painters strived at capturing all these viewpoints. Different angles of an object put this way cannot actually be seen in real life. Cubism violently shocked art circles, and its influence spread rapidly after that!!
Surprize [or not], I love Cubism!!

Surrealism is said to have been founded in Paris by the poet and critic Andre Breton, who published "The Surrealist Manifesto" in 1924. Surrealism, was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely, that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in "an absolute reality, a "surreality"!! Breton saw the unconscious as the origin of the imagination; drawing heavily from the theories of Sigmund Freud ...

It emerged in different artistic circles in Europe in 1905-1920’s. It’s characterized by strong use of colors, distorted figures and sometimes abstraction. Most famous example is Edvard Munch’s painting “Scream”. Another is Wassily Kandinsky’s “Improvisation 30”. It looks like just splash of colors, but on closer examination we can see tanks and falling buildings.

Abstract Expessionism..
The first exclusively American movement to gain international recognition, developed in New York, immediately following the WW-II. It is also referred to as “The New York School”. Abstract expressionists adopted a unique style of throwing paint on their canvases; from which the term “Action painting” is derived. Like Jackson Pollock poured commercial paint directly into his canvas with the help of a stick. This revolutionary act dispensed with traditional brush and easel and involved his entire body in the act of painting.

For more on.. [click on the link]..
The Art Institute of Chicago...

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