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Primativism Oct. 26th

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Art History
ARTH 205
Samantha Burton

Oct. 26th Primativism - time when it became important for artists self identifying as modern artistes - 1890's to 1900's - three artists (gauguin, matise, picasso) - influential on the style of other artists - major ramifications for what we think of as modern art, and what a modern artist should show and do - ideas of modern artist were bound up in colonial ideas of race, sexuality and colonialsm - Before Gauguin - 1880s -1870s/1880's Avant Guard is dominated by the Impressionists - in terms of style is it extension of realism, showing own individual experience of outside world - new subjects, new places (external city) - by 1880's impressionism is not so scandalous - post impressionism (period) - not a very useful term, because it encompases so many artists and style - for major leaders, cezaan, van Gogh, Seurat, and Gauguin - different but for simplicity sake we can divide them in two directions - Cezanne and Seurate are going in direction of realism - Van Gogh and Gauguin are representing internalistic world (their inner world) - Cezanne (briefly) - long, fairly unsuccessful career - when continues on withought the Impressionists, exploring sensory perception and how the eye sees, (whats going on around) it - all about simplicity, form at its most basic shapes, "essences" - illuminates the emphasis on effemorality, capturing the moment (Impressionists break) - rejected from Salon over and over again, other avant guard artists didn't like either - became pop only later when cubism rose - George Seurat - unlike Sezanne, he became the head of the avant gaurd - not well received by mainstream - exhibited with Impressionists, and other avant guard exhibitions - shift away from Impressionists ideas of quick impression of modern life - pushes further in terms of its scientific (rational, objective studies of art and light) - observation a science, looking at proportion and colour - use of pointillism, or divisionism to lay down colours - Sunday Afternoon on the Island - blending of very clear colours in your eyes - playing with contemporary ideas about vision, colour and light and how these things work - careful long process - Circus - same subjects as impressionists (modern life) - Chahut - the opera - other artists were turning away from the modern urban subjects - stemming from a modern moment, representing a fear and anxiety of loss of the old ways - nostaligic - huge interest in primitive societies, and peoples (located both inside and outside of Europe) - no one particular style - what is problematic in terms of looking at societies as primitive - creates the other, differentiation - creates a hierarchy - primitive taken as less civilized - places london and paris at the height of civilization - defines the way others are seen - defines the whole world by western standards - primitive societies seen as backwards, barbaric - but also more simple, pure ( double edge culture) - same goes for primitive art - VanGogh and Gougain picking up that primitive culture and people have some more pure form of expression - primitive cultures can inspire you to get in touch with intuitive, inner world, self expression - shift of value of artists from being able to capture something outside, to being able to capture something within yourself! - this outlasts the importance of primitive subjects - not new - see the comparisons on the slides - Bouveret (Breton Women at a Pardon and the Pardon in Brittany) - makes peasant life, where peasants are happy with their life, very traditional, pious, set in their own gender roles - often "backwards" societies are placed in relation to modern artists societies, but backwardness is good - anthropological look into societies, constructing as other - similar to orientalism - very popular topic of depiction - artists would move out to the fringes (Cornwall, Normandy etc) to paint - cultures had own distinctness - people talked about them as having own distinct different race - emphasis on Religions Piety - distinct costumes were a major focus as well - way to make societies seem other, (easily identifiable as other) - conservative nostalgic values - seen as old - but really these costumes were new (regional costumes came after French Revolution) - laws - ignore signs of modernity in order to create narrative of past - want to see cultures as timeless - willfully blind to the signs of modernity around them - Gauguin The Vision After the Sermon - trying to place himself as antagonist to Seraunt and other artists of the time - practical to live in brittany - he had lost money in british stock market crash - The Vision - also depicting the pardon - religions regonfla festival and combining it with biblical story - one of the attractions at festival is wrestling - combines Jacob wrestling with - seems timeless because of the bible references - different from previous - bright colours - not realistic ( can see brush strokes) - using new techniques to engage us with the image - space is not represented (can not tell how far the angle is from the women - NO DEPTH, compressed! - Scale is all off, no three dimensionality - taking away the naturalism of style we wonder, is this real at all or is this an inner state of consciousness? - are we seeing the visions of these woman as they are partaking the ritual. - Gaugain is interesting because he uses subject and style differently - subject and
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