Thursday, January 8, 2009

i can haz art?

Since people seem to want to talk about art (myself included), this seemed like a decent idea.

Which do you prefer, the Neoclassic or the Romantic? Thoughts, questions, extended commentary? Any particular paintings of interest? Is David just a big ol' whore?

(And other more interesting questions.)

15 comments:

puddlewonderful said...

What I'm actually really curious about is The Great Western Railway. I wonder about the intellectual atmosphere surrounding Turner-- what sort of ideas influenced him to create this quasi-abstract image so very unlike really anything before him? It's so fascinating to me, when so many ideas seem to be recycled, reinterpreted versions of much older precedents, that this wholly new form of art just burst forth. I'm so curious about Turner as a person, and his other pieces, and when this abstractish trend caught on. It seems to be that all we are and all we do is a subject of our very specific paradigm (our minds simply being unique tools of interpretation)-- what was his specific paradigm that held such fresh and novel concepts?

In some ways The Great Western Railway seems an extension of the painterly; the strokes remind me of Rembrandt's. They are soft and blurred. And like the unrealistic (unnaturalistic/stylistic? but this is really not a painting to which one seems right to apply that term) medieval before him, whose imperfect forms bore more symbolism, containing more of ideas than of the world, his colors, shapes, and brush strokes all elicit (at least in me) an emotional response, not quite tied to the image of a specific scene, but to the raw emotions somehow captured in his strokes, shapes and colors. Great, dark lines split the painting very definitely, very actively, very dramatically. They are all speed and power, all machine, unnatural in this very calm world. They engulf the pale blues and yellows around them in steam, in their energy. The boats on the water, peacefully floating, juxtapose them. They are perhaps the most definite forms, along with the aqueduct, and they are of the past. This new, undefined force is ripping through the horizon, through the painting. I am caught up in the energy and the excitement-- I can almost feel the train whizzing by, the smoke and steam brushing past my face.

I am a big fan of this Turner fellow.

Dean Elazab said...

well, a book to start my sunday morning.... so i think the move to abstract through the great american railway is amazing. with everything being so defined in previous art, the mvement turns to the more vague.

Ehren said...

I prefer the Romantic period. I thought it was interesting how artists started trying to portray things that were "exotic." I seems like this was the first time there was a conscious movement to do this. In previous time periods it might've been scandalous to depict a brothel, but in the romantic period it was exotic and intriguing.

Mr. Plainview said...

I appreciate Executions of the Third of May, 1808. I guess that's partly because I have a fair amount of context from European History. What really catches my attention is the basic contrast between the opposing forces. On the left we see chaos and remorse. The figures are dripping with both emotion and light. On the right we see order and darkness. The soldiers are arranged in a rigid linear formation. Their guns are parallel and poised for action.

puddlewonderful said...

What Brandon brings up is a really good point. It's almost like the painting not only represents a physical opposition of the poor, the victims-- whatever they were victims of or for-- and the might, the central power, government, but also between the Romantic (as embodied by those emotional people in light) and the logical, sort of faceless Enlightenment. Also, it is a movement away from realism, which has been, for the most part, the rule for the last few centuries. It is a piece illustrating a lot of dramatic shifts in popular thinking.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I have always been facinated with the Abstract Inpressionists like Jackson Pollock because of his complete destruction of artistic barriers and chaotic scenes. I find the Romantic Movement more facinating because we can observe the progression towards complete abstraction. The realism of the Neoclassical and preceeding periods became taxing.--How many religious scenes can be painted?
I have always found making the viewer a componet of the art more interesting because the artist and viewer engage and interact to create something intended or unintended.

Caroline said...

I agree with Aaron. I really like the creativity brought by the Romantic period. There are only so many ways to go back to classical art.

joel derby said...

I agree with Michelle's analysis of The Great Western Railway, I find it hard to believe that it is as old as it is. It appears so modern with the painterly and almost abstract way that it is painted. The painter seems very far ahead of his time.

puddlewonderful said...

Thanks for reading it, Joel!

Mr. Plainview said...

Just a casual observation...In Friedrich's Wanderer Above the Mist, the man's hair is blowing in the opposite direction from the fog. This seems to add another layer in the contrast between man and nature.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

Maybe it's a wirlwind.
I think that I have said this about 3 or 4 times now, but anyway: is anyone seeing cycles of realism and abstraction?

tmichals said...

I definitely have to agree with Ehren in that I prefer the Romantic art due to the exotic settings and sensual, emotional subjects. While I do not necessarily find all of the paintings attractive (Saturn Devouring One of his Children, for example), I still find the majority of them very interesting and complex. I also like the fact that not every painting anymore is revolved around Christianity.

Dean Elazab said...

the saturn painting is one of my favorites, such a drastic change from what we have seen so far. I think it is incredibly artistic in its pure imagination. he didnt stick to a rigid figure that is real, he branched off into his own ideas

Mr. Plainview said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Plainview said...

In Liberty Leading the People, Liberty has the most horrific look of contempt on her face. Not only is she marching along with the soldiers, but she has a bayonet in her hand. She is obviously strong as she holds a flag in the other hand. Liberty creates a powerful image of ferocious determination.