I have a fast approaching Art History exam on Early Modernism; the terms to know are enlightening and enriching, so I thought I’d share:
academic art – a style produced under influence of European academies of art; depicts myth, history, religion; illusionistic, hidden brush strokes
Orientalism - Term used by art historians for imitation or depiction of oriental culture by Western artists. Due to more contact with East through trade/globalism, Western culture was heavily influenced by things perceived as being “oriental”.
Realism – middle 19th century movement in art characterized by positivism and direct observation. Subject matter shifts from mythology to common people. Sets itself against academic art in style and subject. Uses style to convey subject matter.
Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet, 1854. Realist painting by Gustave Courbet.
Haussmannization – Napoleon III wants to seem like he supports Realism, commissions Haussmann to rebuild Paris to have wide/straight blvds., raising old neighborhoods and hurting the poor.
bourgeoisie – growing class of property owners, generally conservative, trying to fit in with the aristocracy. Attend things like the Salon de Refusé.
Salon – official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Between 1748-1890, it was the greatest annual art event in the world.
Impressionism - middle/late 19th century art movement, originating in Paris in independent exhibitions, harshly opposed by conventional art community in France at the time. Loosen up details, visible brush strokes loss of defined focal points, less composed; less confrontational subject matter, depict leisure, nature, landscapes; many in series.
Claude Monet; Impression, Sunrise, 1872.
plein air - painting outdoors
impasto – thick paint application
ukiyo-e – Japanese woodblock prints characterized by flat areas of strong color, free compositions, and low/diagonal horizon lines.
Japonisme - the influence of the arts of Japan on Westerners. Specific French style.
Post Impressionism – extended impressionism while rejecting its limitations: continued to use vivid colors, thick application of paint, distinctive brush strokes, and real-life subject matter, but they were more inclined to emphasize geometric forms, to distort form for expressive effect, and use unnatural/arbitrary (rather than local) color. Pluralism in painting, many isms. Objective school (Cezanne) versus Imaginative school (Van Gogh, Gauguin)
Henri Rousseau, Self-portrait of the Artist with a Lamp
shifting perspective – in art, depicting objects from multiple viewpoints rather than one viewpoint.
facture - attention to the application of paint, the way in which an artist applies the paint
passáge – no strict boundaries, forms bleed into eachother
Expressionism – distortion of form to express feeling/emotion, characterized by thick application of paint.
The Scream by Edvard Munch (1893)
Symbolism - not just in art, the idea that things have deeper underlying meanings or essences. Belief in archetypes.
eternal feminine - idea in symbolism that female embodies creativity and destruction. Remember the femme fatale? Again, archetypes.
Primitivism – idea that uncivilized is closer to nature or more essentially spiritual/connected. Conveyed by Gauguin out of modern criticism.
femme fatale – recurring archetype, mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers, leading them into deadly situations. Often seen as enchantress, seductress, vampire, witch, or demon.
Chicago School of Architecture - modern architectural style, aka Commercial Style. Used new tech, like steel-frame construction. Developed a spatial aesthetic parallel with European Modernism.
Chicago Building, Chicago, IL, USA
I-beam – eliminated load bearing walls.
Curtain Wall – does not support weight, it’s just there as a separator for privacy, aesthetics, or function.
Functionalism – “Form follows function.” Louis Sullivan
World’s Fair – Large public exhibition, always in different places.
Arts and Crafts - lead by William Morris in 1859, reaction against modernism that advocates a return to older styles and craftsmanship. Gothic/medieval influence.
William Morris design for “Trellis” wallpaper, 1862
The Firm – William Morris’s group of craftsmen and architects
Aestheticism – things that are beautiful and bring joy are best. Reaction against ugliness of modern buildings.
bohemianism – living outside of mass culture with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic, or literary pursuits.
Panneaux – artistic panels to decorate your house with
Fauvism – French expressionism, emphasizing emotional content that is uplifting and joyous. Uses bright colors, no attention to “local color”. Tension between order/disorder in a tight composition.
Henri Matisse, Portrait of Madame Matisse (The Green Stripe), 1906
Art for Art’s sake – the belief that art should live outside the realm of social, economic, or political influences. Kinda escapist.
German Expressionism - more tense and anxious than the Fauves in France. More critical tone, especially in Kathe Kollwitz.
The Bridge – group of young architecture students who thinks of self as “guild”. React Against Modernity
avante-garde – refers to people or works that are experimental or innovative (forward moving), particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics.
The Blue Rider - art guild that writes manifestos and propaganda to spread their ideas. This one is lead by Kandinsky.
abstraction – a process by which higher concepts are derived from concrete concepts. Think about super-categorical nouns than have many subordinate concepts.
synaesthesia – senses bleed into eachother, stimulating one sense leads to involuntary experiences of another sense.
Analytic Cubism – Braque/Picasso Dialogue, earlier; objects are analyzed, broken up, and reassembled in an abstracted form. Uses shifting perspective, fracture, and passage, as inspired by Cézanne.
Georges Braque, Violin and Candlestick, 1910
Synthetic Cubism – bits combined to create a whole, depends less on original object.
papier collé – pasted paper
constructed sculpture – Bits combined to make a whole.
machine aesthetic – embrace of modernity and look of machines.
Orphism = cubism + color + synaesthesia
Italian Futurism = cubism + motion + less color
Umberto Boccioni, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913)