ART 234 Lecture 12: Abstract Expressionism #12

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14 Nov 2016
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Abstract Expressionism #12
Wednesday, Nov 3rd
Abstract Expressionism
The Triumph of American Painting
Introduction
-once the Nazi’s take Paris, and Western Europe falls, the intellectuals and artists flea
Hitler and come to NYC
-by 1941 American and particularly New York becomes the home of modern art
-huge growth in galleries (Peggy Guggenheim)
-artist began to come together and get large studio spaces near each other
Arshile Gorky (1904-1948)
-predecessor to abstract expressionism
-mother was a priestess and took him to see the Armenian medieval art
-father moved to american when he was 8
-1915 after WWI the Armenian genocide began and Gorky and his family fled during
which his mother died of starvation, the children made their way to western Europe
and were finally reunited with their father in Providence
-1934 he moved to New York
-innate ability to draw
-began looking like old masters then went through a Cezane period and then Picasso
and then discovered his own work
Enigmatic Combat (1936)
-biomorphism
-suggests organic things (animals or
internal organs)
-objects aren't identifiable giving it a
sense of drama
-picks up freedom of imagination
including his childhood in Armenia from
surrealism
!1
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Abstract Expressionism #12
Garden Sochi I (1940)
-based on imagination near his home/ child hood in
Armenia
-during the genocide
-tree with banners, rock porcupine
-suggests poetic analogies
Garden Sochi II (1941)
-lighter
-bright like Miro
Garden Sochi III (1942)
-looks like Kandinsky
-delicate, acts like nature — procreative,
organic vitality
The Waterfall (1943)
-washing paint interlocking like a stream
-he recreates forces of nature
!2
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Abstract Expressionism #12
Agony (1947)
-darker
-spiky, fragile, sark and passionate colors
-thin black lines
-relates to his life
Adolph Gottlieb (1903-1974)
-caught up with surrealist art, tribal art, psychology,
anthropology, botany (like the museum of natural
history)
-archetypal images
-culture to culture
-universal mode of commcunicationduring dark times
^^^^ all of this is abstract expressionism
-interested in native american work
Eves Of Oedipus (1943)
-Eyes: grid — boxes = separate part of mind
-dark colors — the mind
-Oedipus stabs eyes after finding
lover = wife
-tribal art, ball — boxes (?)
Blast I (1957)
-big = important
-colors vs black and white
-contained vs aggressive
-comic age — technological and
apocalyptic fear of new age
!3
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