FAH246 - Lecture 2
Art Nouveau characterized by the rapid change in styles. Pairs, Brussels and
Vienna were the main centers of Art Nouveau at the time, where artists
traded ideas. For instance, Klimt was inspired to create murals by artist
Margaret MacDonald/Macintosh.Viennese artists broke away from standards
and built themselves a place to exhibit there work..
The Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artistswho had
resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in theVienna
Künstlerhaus.This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects.The
ﬁrst president of the Secessionwas Gustav Klimt. Its oﬃcial magazinewas called
At this time, there is a displacement of one paradigm by another, and a sense
of competition through the exchange of ideas. Should we see movements like
Jugendstil and Art Nouveau as the end of the 19th C, or is it really the ﬁrst
20th C style?They are displaced so rapidly, it beginsvery quickly to be a style
from the past.
It is typical of Klimt to have the lines/ﬁgures represent more than one thing in
his works. His art isvery moody, and expresses a whole range of emotions.
Jurisprudence, 1903-1907 | Oil study for ceiling painting, which was
commissioned byVienna for 3 diﬀerent faculties after the originals were
destroyed in the war by the Nazis.
The Kiss, 1907-08 | Oil and gold leaf on canvas. Painted in Jugendstil style. 2
Jugendstil: artistic style that arose in Germany about the mid-1890s and continued
through the ﬁrst decade of the 20th century, deriving its name from the Munich
magazine Die Jugend (“Youth”), which featured Art Nouveau designs.There are 2 phases:
Before 1900, that is mainly ﬂoral in character, rooted in English Art Nouveau and
Japanese arts and prints; and a more abstract phase, growing out of theViennesework of
the Belgian-born architect and designer HenryVan deWelde.
The Hermits, 1912 |We now see a transition from the decorative beauty of a
painting likeThe Kiss, to paintings like these that are very dark. On the face of
Schiele is a determinate expression, overturning the style of Jugendstil.
Artists like Matisse and Picasso worked back and forth between painting and
sculpting, often in the same day. Sculpture and painting at this time are
working with one another. AlongsideVan Gogh, Cezanne, Seurat, and Gaugin,
Matisse is considered to be one of the most inﬂuential artists of the 19th C.
The Serf (1900-1903) | Just beforeThe Kiss ,deals with the direct expression of
the 3D. Inspired by Rodin’s forcefulness, (despite their diﬀerences), having
studied and seen his work in Paris. (See Rodin’s Balzac, 1898).
It is rough, bold, and direct.
Self-Portrait in Shirtsleeves (1900) | “Rolling up sleeves” as if getting ready to
work, something quizzical and ﬂeeting about facial expression.Very observant,
and visually engaged with the world, before he would become the radical artist.
The Back Series (1908-1931) | If observed in sequence, you can see the
increasing simpliﬁcation. Her form begins to straighten, and becomes vertical.
There is no more curvature in the body. It is a rejection of the natural depiction
in order to show what is essential of the form.
The Dinner Table (1897) | In a way, very traditional. It is an expansion on still-
life, which leaves room for the painter to exercise his talent.This painting was
not receivedvery well - he wasn’t playing by the rules. Here, he picked up on 3
“Intimism,”, which is a type involving intimate, domesticated subject matter.
Luxe, Calme etVolupté (1904-1905) |Working with Paul Signac about letting
space between the pigments to be greater, with a more intense use of color. He
combined a radical technique with domestic subject matter, which worked well
for him.This painting was also inspired by a poem by Charles Baudelaire of the
same title, repeated as a kind of incantation, evoking a sense of pleasure. It is a
kind of bathing scene, with intimacy and domesticity, demonstrating no
attempt at naturalism.
Portrait de Derain 1905 | Radical portrait, Matisse and Signac were called the
Fauves (wild beasts) by a critic.There is no optical mixing at all; primary colors
are placed beside each other. As with sense of drama and direct presentation.
Divides canvas into distinct colors, an eﬀect borrowed fromVan Gogh. He
repeats this technique in his portrait of his wife in Green Line, of the same year.
Both depict a sense of drama. Funnily enough, this is coming from an artist
who, only a few years later, said art should be a “comfortable armchair.”
The Blue Nude (1907) |This piece succeeded at both attracting and repulsing
people. It was captioned “Souvenir de Briska”. It was understood as exotic,
rather than primitive in the eyes of the French. Matisse went to North Africa
and saw a whole new environment that he would then transpose onto the
female anatomy, twisting it in a way that reminds one of an African Mask.
Though it is titled the blue nude, there is an expressive play of color of green on
her legs.The response was that of shock, not uncommon to Matisse, who
exhibited his artworks in North America as well.This bad reaction was
especially true in North America when exhibited for the ﬁrst time there. 4
Deﬁnition: a belief in thevalue of what is simple and unsophisticated,
expressed as a philosophy of life or through art or literature.
Primitivism is innocent, and sexually free. However, there is in a way, still a
colonialist attitude... or rather, a sense of superiority, in judging these other
races and cultures. Many artists were also looking for the primitivism within
their own societies.The primary version of Primitivism deals with the post-
colonial empire, but this was not always so.
Self Portrait (1889) | Sees himself as a sanctiﬁed visionary of the future (note
Vision after the Sermon (1903) |The space is divided by a tree; ﬁgures wear
peasant head dresses of the time at some sort of religious gathering.There are
two diﬀerentvisions of the same story of Jacob wrestling with the angel. One
woman here has her eyes open as though she is actually seeing the struggle and
the other has her eyes closed, looking for the inner vision. Gauguin sided with
the latter, which happens with art: experiencing the outside world by looking
inward.To compare,Van Gogh just preferred to depict an intensiﬁed reality.
Spirit of the DeadWatching (1892) | Primitivism on the one hand was
innocent in terms of contemporary European society.The primitive beliefs were
not as rational as the European colonists view. Free sexually, Gauguin, who was
a stockbroker, was notorious for this. He had a sense of superiority in judging all
these other races and cultures. Many artists looked for primitivism within their
own societies, for it wasn’t necessarily post-colonial; there is also children’s art,
or even “Insane”-person art. AWestern nude Gauguin could have been looking
at was Manet’s Olympia.
Spirit of the DeadWatching (Manao tupapau) is an 1892 oil on burlap canvas
painting by Paul Gauguin, depicting a nudeTahitian girl lying on her stomach. An
old woman is seated behind her.