My Personal Observations of the Development of Art and Changes Brought by Various Art Movements
The amount of different art movements that have occurred throughout the world seem to be endless. I feel as though the techniques and goals of artists are not the only aspects of art that have developed over time, but also the intended perceptions and feelings of viewers. This is definitely something that surprised me about art, as it is made up of so many different elements. There isn’t just one meaning of art, as it means something different to everyone. We began the semester learning about ancient art, specifically Egyptian art.
Then moving on to the Baroque and Rococo movements, in 1600 and 1700 consecutively, we explored the use of lighting in art. Lighting can be used strategically to change the entire notion of a scene. After that were the Romanticism and Realism periods, taking place throughout the 1800s. Romanticism challenged the imagination and emotion of viewers, while Realism portrayed a more truthful, contemporary life.
The 1900s contain many overlapping key art movements. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists further explored the use of imagination of the development of modern art. Vibrant and sometimes exaggerated art from the Expressionism period evoked the emotions of viewers. Cubism deviated from all previous art styles by bringing in different views of subjects together in the same picture. A free-flowing, modern aesthetic was brought about during the Art Nouveau period. Artwork during the Art Deco period incorporated modern objects with artistic touches.
Two more prominent movements included Dada and Bauhaus art. Dada art was very questionable and did not focus on being aesthetically pleasing, while Bauhaus art reunited fine art with functional design. Surrealism grew out of the Dada movement and sought to bring out imagination by using the unconscious mind. Abstract Expressionist art added vigorous gestural expressionism onto canvases that already had abstract forms. The most recent art movements that we learned about were the pop art and video art periods that took place around 1950. These incorporated the use of mass cultural objects, media stars, and popular imagery. Video art completely broadened the horizon for what is considered artwork. The increasing use of technology allowed artists to incorporate movements into scenes. Overall, the evolution of art is pretty incredible. Art has always been a prominent part of society. It has developed so much since ancient times and continues to develop and modernize today.
A current art movement that is widespread today is street art. It is easily visible on many buildings, streets, and other publicly visible surfaces in most metropolitan areas. A beautiful example from the side of a building is called Eyes Wide Open by Jo Di Bana. I find this art particularly interesting as it is technically illegal and considered vandalism; however, some artists use it to raise awareness for social and political issues. Street art is different from graffiti. Instead of spray paint, a variety of mediums are used, such as LED art, mosaic tiling, murals, stencil art, sticker art, and much more. I definitely don’t think that street art is what the general public associates with “real art.” In my opinion, I think that this assumed “real art” is similar to that of the Expressionism period. It is a preconceived notion that most art is the artist expressing their emotions on canvas. As we’ve learned, art is really so much more than that.
Art will probably never stop developing. I think that art elements from the past will always be present and relevant in the future; however, I expect many new forms of art to arise, as well. Technology will probably play a role in some of these developments, such as new virtual realities. Although, I’d expect traditional art to remain more prominent than art that incorporates technology. Augmented pieces will be experimented with but also probably the opposite, too. I feel as though the modern world loves things that are small and compact, due to convenience and aesthetics. All in all, art definitely has a future and will continue to change and adapt.
When thinking of my favorite piece of art from any movement or artist in history, I immediately thought of a painting that we learned about during week 12 of this semester. Learning about The Treachery of Images by René Magritte really changed my viewpoint on a lot of things. While it’s not my favorite painting because of visually appealing aspects, I hold it up on a pedestal because of its underlying meaning. One of the most important things I learned this semester is that art doesn’t have to be obvious. It can take time to understand it’s real purpose. Looking at artwork slowly can make it mean something completely and utterly different from how the first glance looked. Art also doesn’t have to be visually appealing.
Most people, when thinking of their favorite painting, would think of one that they would consider hanging up in their room, for example. The Treachery of Images is a highly regarded and famous painting, even though people usually wouldn’t hang this kind of painting up as decoration. This is because it’s known for its message, not appearance. It is considered art because it expresses the fact that representations of something are not the real thing. People are so quick to say “that’s a pipe,” when it is a painting of a pipe, not an actual pipe. This is just how we think as humans. Even though everyone knows that representations only resemble the real thing, as it is common sense, it is highly disregarded. It is much simpler and faster to see an image of something and say it is that thing rather than to say it is a representation of that thing.
I believe that art truly is a necessity to the world. There are so many reasons why art is not only so important, but also so undeniably cool. Not only is art for pure entertainment and joy, but it can also serve as another form of communication that doesn’t involve the use of words or language. The common phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” is so true. This semester, we utilized the slow look method on numerous assignments, if not almost all. This method allowed us to really analyze a piece of artwork. What I noticed this semester is that I would often times look at a painting and think that I knew what it depicted or meant right away. Everytime, however, after longer and careful observation without any distractions, I would completely change my mind on what the art meant to me. I would notice small, important details after a long period of time, shocked that I didn’t notice them earlier.
This aspect of art also has to deal with the fact that art makes you think. This course challenged me in the way that I had to go out of my comfort zone while analyzing certain pieces. There were times when I had no idea what I was looking at. It was an enjoyable experience learning about something that was so new and foreign to me. As a Pharmacy major, I was quite skeptical about this course. I never expected to learn so much and actually really enjoy it.
Creating art allowed me to express myself in a new way and totally escape from the outside world. Artwork is a lot of people’s form of expression. Even though there are a myriad of reasons on why the world needs art, one final reason is that artwork is the source of inspiration for so many.
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