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History of Modern Art Exam 1
Art History
Undergraduate 2

Additional Art History Flashcards





Manet Olympia 1863

            Based on Renaissance reclining nudes (Venus)

            Olympia is straight, looking out, very direct

            Cat with arched back, opposite of fidelity, dog in Venus

            Often fake name given to a whore

            Maid bringing her flowers from a client

            Slippers still on, hyper sexuality

            Form: pale body against dark background, shadow of body hair under arm, hand                        clamped down on body, she is the one in control

            Example of Early Moderism

                                    Influenced by social developments

                                    Art criticism emerges, art becomes focus for social debate


Cezanne The Large Bathers 1906

            Not exact representations

            How color and shape affect the scene

            Trees used a framing device

            Not completely sure what is going on, open to interpretation

            Brown uniting everything

            Pleasure of nature, not female form

            Belief that you can’t reproduce color, use of color to create space and depth

            Use of basic shapes

            Trying to communicate his response to the land and how he perceives it

            Example of Post-Impressionism

                        A period rather than a style

                        Emphasized subjective experience of the world

                        Artists left urban centers, looked towards other “primative” cultures


Van Gogh The Night Café 1888

            Where one could go mad/ruin oneself/commit a crime

            Wanted to depict life

            Influence of Japanese prints

            Everyone is slumped over

            Strong diagonals, defined borders, bold and flat colors



Matisse Blue Nude 1907

            No direct gaze

            Getting farther away from human ideal

            High tension, not relaxed in pose

            Blunt lines

            Outside, not European setting

            Subject does not look European, exotic

            Savage, out in nature uninhibited

            Strange hip, large hip

            Compare to Olympia

            Example of Fauvism

                        “Wild beast”

                        Interested in sensual use of color used for education

                        Inspired by Van Gogh (use of paint)/Impressionists (landscapes)

                        Painting got away from use of medium, wanted to get back to that

                        Wanted subjects to be treated honestly

                        Influenced by light


Kandinsky Composition VII 1913

            Moving towards abstraction

            Cosmic conflict

            Used titles of music pieces to achieve the same effect with color and line as music            does: contact and form

            Used images to enter spiritual realm

            Interested in the apocalypse and the recent discovery of the atom

            Believed reality at atomic level is not something we can perceive which is why he            used abstraction

            Huge canvas

Spent time planning out colors and lines not just slapped together

Motif of boat with oars

Eye lead around canvass

Moved towards nonrepresentation

            Part of Blue Rider Group:

                        German expression group

Looked at art made by children an uninhibited outlook on the world

Into mysticism

Art is one way to get to a higher place of power and existence


Picasso Les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907

            Barcelona’s Red Light district, Picasso knew area well

            Founding work of cubism

Liberated use of line

Brothel scene

Male figure in early sketches

Interested in Cézannes use of color to create shadow and shifting planes

African Art also influenced it

Elongated nose, sharp oval of face and eyes

Also looked at Ingres “The Source”

And Greek and roman Venus

Extension of arm and coverage

Strong Use of line

Shocking subject matter: all naked figures looking at you

Not represented in true color, background just planes of color, nothing else to look at but women

Very cluttered, shallow space, lacks depth, anxiety for viewers as we enter space

Not sensual or a pleasurable experience, almost fierce and threatening

            Compare to Olympia


Braque Violin and Palette 1909

            Shifting of 3rd object being represented as a 2D object

            Nod to representational art with nail coming out of palette at top

            Objects inhabit a shallow, highly ambiguous space

            Example of Analytical Cubism

                        Analyzing shape and form and break it down, devoid of color


Tatlin Model for Monument to the Third International 1919-1920

            House government structures

            Iron skeleton, glass enclosure

            Symbolic of solar system in that it would spin

            Had three parts, spin once a year, once a month, once a day (top)

            Taller than Eiffel Tower

            Tilted at angel, supposed to be glass cylinder, cube and cone

            Studied Picasso and cubism, his works among the first of Constructivism

            Ahead of its time and all other works of the era, embodies what we now consider            to be Constructivism (space, environment, motion)


Hoch Cut With the Kitchen Knife 1919-1920

            Almost excluded from First International Dada Fair

            Collage is easier to relate to because its something everyone can do

Questioning art, not totally random specific places for each subject discussed,            images flow around frame depending on what they are in reference to

Example of Dada:

            Saw the world as one that went insane

            Adopted leftist politics


Grosz Dedication to Oskar Panizza 1917-1918

            Mass chaos, coffin with priest, in city street, faces distorted

            Colors: very dark; red suggesting blood, anger, fire, violence

            Funeral that has turned into riot, apocalyptic scene

            Reduction of city to something fueled by alcohol and syphilis

Inspired by Panizza, writer censored at the end of the 19th century

            Example of Dada



Ernst Two Children Threatened by a Nightingale 1924

            Combo of realistic imagery with irrational subject matter

            A child abducted, possibly reaching for cabinet door

            Woman running away from house in terror

            Bird flying in back, afterthought even though it is in title

            Gets you to question reality: Is it a door, is this a scene of terror?

            Confusion of multiple levels of reality

            How we decipher these things as we go through everyday life

            Example of Surrealism:

Creation of painting without any preconceived structure or subject

                        Formed when Dada was broken up

                        Dreams were very important, wanted to give up control to get to reality

                        Very political, developing techniques to get to something new



Dali Soft Construction with Boiled Beans 1936

            Comment on Spanish Civil War, reaction to Spain soon to be dissolved

            Body ripping itself into pieces, just like Spain was tearing itself apart

            Agony of war, pain of it all

            Distortion of body into pieces

            Beans equal defecation and flatulence

            Example of Surrealism


Mariette The Human Condition 1933

            Two fictions, doubly problematic as to where reality is

            Where does art begin and end, division between inside and outside

            Example of Surrealism

            Problem of real space versus spatial illusion

            World is seen as being outside ourselves, even though it actually just appears that            way after our mind interprets our internal thought



Picasso Guernica 1937

            Did not consider himself a Surrealist but many similar themes found in this work

            Disillusion of Spain into Civil War

            Guernica bombed experimentally during the day to see how effective carpet            bombing was, Picasso’s response to this

            Bull symbolizes fascist General Franco

            Destruction of human beings in agony, mother screaming over child

            Flames and smoke in background

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