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Introduction to Humanities The Humanities through the Arts By F. David Martin and Lee A. Jacobus.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Humanities The Humanities through the Arts By F. David Martin and Lee A. Jacobus."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Humanities The Humanities through the Arts By F. David Martin and Lee A. Jacobus

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3  Sculpture along with painting and architecture is classified as one of the visual arts.  This classification suggest that the eye is the chief sense organ involved in our participation with sculpture.  Yet...some kinds of sculpture invite us to explore and caress them with our hands, even to pick them up if not too large or heavy.  Tactile sense pulls us to touch a sculpture.

4  Sculpture engages our senses differently than painting does.  This is because sculpture occupies space as a three-dimensional mass, whereas painting is essentially a two-dimensional surface that can only “represent” three - dimensionality.  Painting can suggest density but sculpture is dense.

5  Generally no clear separation is made in experience between the faculties of sight and touch.  The sensa of touch, are normally joined with other sensa – visual, aural, oral, and olfactory.  Even if only one kind of sensum initiates a perception, a chain reaction triggers off other sensations, either by sensory and motor connections or by memory associations.

6  Rothko’s Earth Green (figure 4-1) and Arp’s Growth (figure 5-1) both works are abstract, for neither has as its primary subject matter specific objects or events.  Arp’s sculpture has something to do with growth as confirmed by the title. But is it human, animal or vegetable growth?  Rothko has abstracted sensa, especially colors, from objects or things..

7  Abstract painters generally emphasize the surfaces of sensa, as in Earth Greens.  The interest is in the vast ranges of color qualities and the play of light to bring ut the textural nuances.  Where as abstract painters are shepherds of surface sensa, abstract sculptors are shepherds of depth sensa.

8  We usually think of sculpture as dense and projecting out into space.  Yet in the Egyptian work there is no projection whatsoever.  Carving grooves of various depths into the surface plane of the stone to outline each object, is called sunken relief.

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11  There are clearly noticeable projections out into space  There are no background starting points that function as the bases for the planar organizations.  The surface planes of the panels function as the basic organizing planes: hence the expression “surface relief.”

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13  Relief sculpture projects from a background plane such as a wall or column.  Low-relief sculpture projects relatively slightly from its background plane,  and so its depth dimension is very limited.  Medium and high –relief sculpture project further from their backgrounds,

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15  And so their depth dimensions are expanded.  Relief sculpture allows its materials to stand out from a background plane.  Thus relief sculpture in at least one way reveals its materials simply by showing us directly-their surface and something of their depth.

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17  High relief stands out from the wall.

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20  Michelangelo’s Pieta  Intended it to be placed in a niche so it would be seen from the front.  It is a transition piece between high-relief sculpture, such as the Dancing Asparas  and unqualified sculpture in the round, such as growth.

21  Architecture is the art of separating inner from outer space in such a way that the inner space can be used for practical purposes.  With Sculpture there is no inner space.  Fig 5-9 is clearly sculpture because there is no inner space.

22  The space around a sculpture is sensory rather than empty.  Despite its invisibility, sensory space - like the wind - is felt.  Sculptures such as Growth are like magnets from which radiating vectors flow.  As we focus on such sculptures we find ourselves being drawn in and around by these invisible but perceptible radiating forces.

23  Sculptures generally are more or less a center – the place of most importance which organizes the places around it – of actual three-dimensional space: “more in the case of sculpture in the round, “less” in the case of low relief.

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25  No object is more important to us than our body, and it is always “with” us.  Sculpture in the round often evokes our inward sensations…  When we participate with sculpture such as Aphrodite, we find some thing of our bodily selves confronting us.  Art is always a transformation of reality, never a duplication.

26  Thus the absence of head and arms in the Aphrodite does not shock us as it would if we were confronting a real woman.  Nor does their absence ruin our perception of the beauty of this statue.  Even before the damage, the work was only a partial image of a female.  The Aphrodite is substantial because the female shape, texture, grace, sensuality, sexuality, and beauty are interpreted by form.

27  Sculpture in relief and in the round generally is made either by modeling or carving.  Space sculpture, such as Calder’s Gates of Spoleto fig 5-16 generally is made by assembling preformed pieces of material.  The modeler starts with some plastic or malleable material such as clay, wax, or plaster and “builds” the sculpture.

28  If the design is complex or involves long or thin extensions, the modeler probably will have to use and internal wooden or metal support (armature) that functions something like a skeleton.  The sculptor in bronze begins with clay or some similar material and builds up a model to a more or less high degree of finish.

29  Space sculpture never completely loses its ties to the materiality of its materials.  The materials of Antennae with Red and Blue Dots and The Gates of Spoleto (fig & 5-16) despite their thinness, appear heavy.  The Spiral Theme fig 5-17 planes of plastic divide space with multidirectional movement, no visual barriers develop.

30  Developments in sculpture are emerging and changing so quickly that no attempt can be made here even to begin to classify them.  These developments fall into the species of low, medium, and high relief, sculpture in the round, space sculpture, earth sculpture, and some hybrids of these.

31  There is fairly pervasive respect for the material used in sculpture.  In contemporary sculpture respect for materials has come back and is called “truth to materials.”  The Maternity Group fig 5-21 is notable in its respect for materials.

32  Explicit social protest is part of the subject matter of all these works by Trova, Segal, and Giacometti, Wheel Man fig 5-22 protest directed at technology.  The Bus Driver fig 5-23 is “environmental sculpture.”  There is no center in this city square fig or any exit, nor can we imagine any communication among these citizens.

33  Sculpture today far more than painting can take advantage of some of the most sophisticated advances of technology.  Many sculptors today interpret the positive rather than the negative aspects of technology.  This respect for technology is expressed by; 1) truth to its materials or 2) care for its products or 3) showing forth it methodology.

34  Some avant-garde sculptors are interested not so much in the materials and products of technology but rather in the machine and its powers: their works are known as “machine sculpture”  Tinguely is dedicated to humanizing the machine (Homage to New York) fig 5-30.

35  Another avant-garde sculpture “earth sculpture” – goes so far as to make the earth itself the medium, site, and the subject matter. Fig 5-33  The proper spatial selection becomes absolutely essential, for the earth usually must be taken where it is found.  Traced in plains, meadows, sand, snow, ect., called “form site”

36  Sculpture in open spaces is by no means a new idea, but the modern practice of placing monumental steel constructions in open natural settings is owning to David Smith’s (Cubi X) fig 5-25  City on the High Mountain fig 5-34 permits the viewer to walk completely around the work, observing the play of light and shadow.

37  Sculpture has traditionally shared its location with major buildings, sometimes acting as decoration on the building, as in many churches, or acting as a center point of interest.  Many public sculptures commemorate war or other important events.  One of the most successful (fig. 5-38) public sculptures by Maya Ying Lin (Vietnam Veteran Memorial) in Washington, D.C..


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