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FAH246H1 Lecture Notes - Wassily Kandinsky, Number 11, 1952 (Painting), Asger Jorn

Course Code
Mark Cheetham

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European art during/after World War 2
20th century art gets divided by pre and post world war
because the time is so much going on, and new york takes the idea of
modern art
influx of European artists to new york
Pollack, Drawing, 1938
- early drawing
- immediacy built in, everything, similar to surrealism images
- forms that are free hand and associative
- issue with Pollack: degree to which he comes back to figuration/
legible, but somewhat distorted elements
- Pollack did not have one style set (from abstraction to figurative
Matisse, Still Life with a Shell, 1940
- epic territorial struggle (generational and geographical)
- “old masters of modern art” (Picasso, Breton etc) – are all developing
and are aging everyone looks to them, and they are still very
grouped under the “school of paris
Was in the south of france, didn’t leave during nazi occupation
Was very ill and went back to many of his earlier motifs
Failing health led him to develop a technique and cutted coloured
paper because he was unable to paint
Icarus , plate 8, 1947, collage
From his book Jazz
Theme: interaction of music with art (kandinsky, mattise)
Free and bold
Mimosa 1949-51
Used same technique
Suggestion of natural world, and still life
New technique for mattisse
Picasso, Bull’s head, 1943 and Death’s head, 1944
Also stayed in paris
Black and white skulls, lots of dark pieces
Picasso is lways experimenting
Bulls head is actually two pieces from a bike “Assemblages”
Reaction/reference to the war
Picasso, Painter nd model, 1928
theme of western art: artist in his/her studio
frequency and notable subtly and brilliance

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relationship about art: what is it that we are actually painting?
Reference to other pieces of art
Outside of the image to make reference to his own status
Las Meninas, after Velazquez, 1957
Painted versions of this over and over again
And it is about the status of the artist
Original Las Meninas, 1656, Veazquez
Mystery painting, all figures are looking at all of us, it is a mirror and
there is not idea what the subject of his painting are
Painting the picture that you know see
He is looking back into the tradition of western art and challenges
Crisis all arts felt at that time; what is art supposed to do? Can it ever
be the same? Can it have the same status as it once did?
DUBUFFET, Olympia, 1950
younger generation of artists wanted to wipe the slate clean
also called :l’art brut; Also called: Art informel; art autre”
raw, brutal, anti (high) cultural
Dubuffet adds a degree of humour and lightness. Not basic disrespect,
a little more “playful”
DUBUFFET, La metafisyx, 1950
Thick, used mud, scored and incised
Not violent, but a lot of working with the surface not a “painterly
working” (meaning not lovely, beautiful) more of a fundamental
working to the materials
Thought it wasn’t beautiful by critics
Playfully ugly, and extremely influential as a new way to go giving
up old conventions but still paiting and staying within the aesthetic
CoBrA (1948-1951):
Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam
Important in parallel ways to dubuffet. People more inkeeping with
horrible realities of Europe after world war ii.
Goulish, nightmarish, somewhat on the darkest side of surrealism but
are not dreamscapes, not a higher metaphysical truth search
Important because they offer an alternative for the next generation
Sense of vigor” – vigorously pouring fourth
Sense of vitality had in common with abstract expressionist (working
in parallel, with a common purpose)
Constant, After Us, Liberty, 1949
Asger Jorn: St. John’s Eve II, 1952
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