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FAH246 Oct 3, Kandinsky, Mondrian .docx

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Mark Cheetham

FAH246 –Oct 4th CUBISM/ ABSTRACTION Cubism: Mondrian, Malevich Malevich With the titling of these works he makes allusion to topics of war and aviation incidents, not common within cubism.   Extremely tumultuous time, before 1917 rev.  Journey through cubism, start to put in elements that we would consider monochromatic, which perform cubist functions that flatten different planes in image  Flat surface announces the reality of 2d,  An abstract element, not an abstract painting (still quite legible), but is looking back. He was experimenting with these monochromatic forms in different contexts and very early. Abstraction Not just a formal exercise or refining the means of painting to take the central example down to its elements  Get down to surface of 2d, distribution of color, certainly not at the advent of abstract art, not just about itself and the internal relationships. For Malevich, spiritual.  Abstraction was not just about itself and internal relationships. It was about much more  For Malevich it was extraordinarily spiritual and transcendental Black square –zeun, nothingness in the fullest sense. Not just absence, but an impossible juxtaposition of absence and fullness. Single monochromatic trademark, not always squares, slightly different forms. Pure feeling  Juxtaposition and dynamism of parts in suprematism  Makes cubism look old fashioned  No figure but relationships  Abstraction isn’t figurative, but you have relationships. Both formal within painting surface but social within the new society they are part of.  It was a social movement, idealistic role  Exemplified socialist relationships within abstract space.  Broad socially involved movement –abstraction happened in a number of European cities. Russian was one of the beginning points. Suprematism  Became famous because it was a social movement  Abstraction tried to exemplified social relationships within this abstract space  Impoverishment of modern art KANDINSKY  Mostly for political reasons spent increasing amount of time outside Russia. He was a teacher too. One of the reasons they wrote so much its because they were pedagogues and taught their believes. Concerning the Spiritual in Art – a quest, an inner necessity. Discover the absolute. One of the ways of doing this would be explicitly Christian. Sources for abstraction Tertium Organum: book about the fourth dimension Theosophy: Russian migrator- was a kind of collected conglomeration of dif religious views (Western, Eastern, Jewish) into this new spirituality became a powerful cult and had a bigger following. Kandinsky and Mondrian Important event in the advent of abstract art. ‘the anthroposophy’ synesthesia: triggering of response by another media. Powerful analogy because you cant tie it to the visual world. Yellow Sound by Kandinsky  Kandinsky put elements in his earlier pieces that kind of looked like landscapes, and would make you understand what is going on. They are connected to visual world that we understand, but he takes you gradually away into works that are non- figurative.  Malevich the beginning point for abstraction is nature and landscape. KUPKA  Also interested in music as source of inspiration and an analogy.  Innovators of abstraction - doesn’t represent planetary motion, open to question - tries to educate your eye beyond everydays vision - powerful analogy for abstraction because we cant tie it to the visible world directly. Reason why it was used . major source, but not the only way. More important as an analogy than as a source, more for Kandinsky and Kupka than Mondrian D- Stijl MONDRIAN -innovator of abstract art - Started with observation of nature, elements like the ocean, patterning effects - expressionistic tree - He hated green, because he saw it ultimately linked to chance, - neo-plasticism was interested in giving stable image/vision of reality, one that wasn’t susceptible to chance occurring in nature. Evolution -1911  programmatic painting, unlike his work, very didactic.  Period Infected by theosophy.  Spiritual evolution, from being tied to complete spiritual enlightenment.  Moves in tipical triptic fashion. The middle is where she is the most connected  Flower used as symbol of enlightment, ascension into high realm. She androgynous in the center.  The kind of vision that looks through you, beyond everyday reality.  These symbols point to a mental enlightment, very Eastern. Close to theosophy and spiritual traditions  Fundamental for what he is trying to do with abstraction, find delight that goes beyond everyday reality and the randomness of nature. Mondrian’s Cubism  Before him, artists modified cubism and used it for their own reasons  Focused on nature and the sense of diminishing the contact with the visual world.  Constant experimentation with fewer forms. An image with grey which he later rejected, right angle intersection and primary colors. Never used something that would remind you at all.  never allow your eyes to rest  he dist
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