Presentation on theme: "The History of Abstract Concepts in Art"— Presentation transcript:
1The History of Abstract Concepts in Art How abstract ideas arepersonified and made visual by art(Renaissance to present)
2“There is only one great thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.” –Georges Braque“If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”–Edward Hopper“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.” -Georgia O'Keeffe“Great art picks up where nature ends.”– Marc Chagall (Artquotes.net)
3There has always existed a gap between the idea and the image There has always existed a gap between the idea and the image. A concept can be conceived, presented, and perceived.A concept that exists in nature and can be physically located in time and space is a concrete concept. Because they are things that can be seen, touched, and physically experienced, they can easily be expressed and recognized in words or an image (Schumann).Art tries to represent the world and provides some sort of historical record (Haskell 1). However, “images were first made to conjure up the appearances of something that was absent” (Berger 10). Abstract concepts are ideas not physically found in nature. They are intangible realities that art attempts to represent as often as it does the physical world itself (Sayre 43).
4Throughout the history of art, artists have tried to visualize these abstract ideas and express them with a concrete medium—paint, marble, clay, or something else. They attempt subjectively to make intangible realities tangible through artwork. The concepts, however, are still abstract, and different viewers see and understand the images in different ways (Berger 11).Presented here are various masterpieces from the Renaissance to present that express abstract ideas. They are organized by concept, and are subject to the subjective scrutiny of the individual viewer.What are some examples of concrete concepts?How about abstract concepts?
5LoveHuman emotion is probably the most commonly recognized and universal abstract idea. Love cannot be seen, heard, or physically touched, making it harder to express in concrete terms (Brown 44).Artists have created art about different types of love throughout history.Some significant pieces about love between the sexes are Rodin’s The Kiss, Brancusi’s The Kiss, Klimt’s The Kiss, Titian’s Venus and Adonis, and Munch’s Separation. The love between a mother and child is also apparent throughout art history, in works such as Bouts’ Virgin and Child, and Cassatt’s Mother and Child.
6Auguste Rodin, The Kiss, 1886, Marble, Musee Rodin, Paris
7Constantin Brancusi, The Kiss, 1907-8, Limestone, Muzeul de Arta, Craiova, Romania
8Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, 1907-1908, oil on canvas, Austrian Gallery, Vienna
9Titian, Venus and Adonis, c Titian, Venus and Adonis, c. 1560, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Widener Collection
10Edvard Munch, Separation, 1896, oil on canvas, Munch-museet, Oslo, Norway
11Dieric Bouts, Virgin and Child, c Dieric Bouts, Virgin and Child, c. 1475, Oil on panel, The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Roscoe and Margaret Oaks Collection
12Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, c Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child, c. 1890, oil on canvas, Wichita Art Museum, Kansas, The Roland P. Murdock Collection
13Anguish, HorrorWar and death can be experienced; however, the horror and anguish described by them are abstract emotional situations.Artists have depicted throughout the ages visual images that attempt to explain anguish or horror.A relief sculpture by Preault, Munch’s The Scream, a narrative scene by Gentileschi, Fuseli’s The Nightmare, The Death of Sardanapalus by Delacroix, a café scene by Van Gogh, The Raft of Medusa by Gericault, Goya’s Saturn Devouring One of His Sons, and Picasso’s Guernica each present an artist’s visual representation of an abstract idea.
14Augustin Preault, Slaughter, c Augustin Preault, Slaughter, c. 1834, bronze, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Chartres, France
15Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893, Tempera and casein on cardboard, Munch-musee, Oslo, Norway
16Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes, oil on canvas, Museo e Gallerie Nazionali di Capodimonte, Naples
17Henri Fuseli, The Nightmare, 1781 Henri Fuseli, The Nightmare, oil on canvas, The Detroit Institute of the Arts
18Eugene Delacroix, The Death of Sardanapalus, 1828, oil on canvas, Musee du Louvre, Paris
19Vincent van Gogh, The Night Café, 1888, oil on canvas, Yale University Art Collection, New Haven, Conneticut
20Theodore Gericault, The Raft of the Medusa, 1820, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris
21Francisco Goya, Saturn Devouring One of His Sons, , fresco, transferred to canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid
22Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, oil on canvas, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
23AweThere are sublime occurrences that inspire awe. Awe is a human reaction that is does not exist physically in nature, but ironically is often evoked by nature.There is much artwork spanning history that both describes awe and is awe-inspiring. Artists, along with movements such as Romanticism, describe sublime experiences in artwork—many employ the sublimity of nature.This includes Martin’s The Great Day of His Wrath, Ruisdael’s The Jewish Cemetery, Aivazovsky’s The Wave, Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels, and Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea.
24John Martin, The Great Day of His Wrath, , oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London, purchased 1945
25Jacob van Ruisdael, The Jewish Cemetery, 1655-60, oil on canvas, The Detroit Institute of Arts
26Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky, The Wave, 1889, oil on canvas, The State Russian Museum, St Petersburg
27Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels, Great Basin Desert, Utah, 1973-1976
28Caspar David Friedrich, Monk by the Sea, 1809-1810, oil on canvas, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
29Socioeconomic Status, Class Another abstract concept is a social one—that of status, how we relate to one another by wealth and lifestyle. Artists present this using indicators of someone’s class, such as clothes, possessions, or the environment they exist in. As with other abstract ideas, we can perceive them, but they cannot be physically located in nature.Considered here are images created throughout the past several centuries dealing with status.They include Ingres’ Napoleon Enthroned, Titian’s Isabella d’Este, Rigaud’s Louis XIV, the Limbourg Brothers’ October, Courbet’s The Stonebreakers, Daumier’s The Third Class Carriage, Degas’ The Glass of Absinthe, and Caillebotte’s Paris.
30Jean-Auguste-Dominique-Ingres, Napoleon Enthroned, 1806, Musee de l’Armee, Paris
31Titian, Isabella d’Este, 1534-1536, oil on canvas, unsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
32Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV, 1701, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris
33Limbourg Brothers, October, from Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, , ink on vellum, Musee Conde, Chantilly
34Gustave Courbet, The Stone Breakers, 1849, oil on canvas, formerly at Gemalde-galerie, Dresden (destroyed in 1945)
35Honore Daumier, The Third-Class Carriage, ca Honore Daumier, The Third-Class Carriage, ca. 1862, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
36Edgar Degas, The Glass of Absinthe, 1876, oil on canvas, Musee d’Orsay, Paris
37Gustave Caillebotte, Paris: A Rainy Day, 1877, oil on canvas, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
38Classical Antiquity, Ideal Civilization Classical Greece (along with Rome) has served as the model civilization for most of western history. Our ideals of civility, reason, and logic stem from the Greeks. They were arguably the first champions of democracy, proportion, and the arts. Because of this, western artists across time have referenced the Classical Age (Aghion 5). Art has referenced the “ideal civilization” by reusing its narratives, mythological figures, and ideas of perfection, rationalism, and proportion. The concept of the “ideal civilization” is conceptual and intangible.These references are dominant forces in the Renaissance, and Neoclassicism.Some significant works with a classical influence or subject include Canova’s Pauline Borghese as Venus, Ingres’ Jupiter and Thetis, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Michelangelo’s David, Kauffmann’s Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures, and David’s Oath of the Horatii.
39Antonio Canova, Pauline Borghese as Venus,1808, Marble, Galleria Borghese, Rome
40Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Apotheosis of Homer, 1827, oil on canvas, Louvre, Paris
41Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, c Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, c. 1482, tempera on canvas, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
43Angelica Kauffmann, Cornelia Pointing to Her Children as Her Treasures, ca. 1785, oil on canvas, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, Virginia
44Jacques-Louis David, The Oath of the Horatii, 1784, oil on canvas, Musee du Louvre, Paris
45Religion, Spirituality, God Humans have long experienced spirituality and religion. This is a very universal abstract idea. Its various types and forms appear in historically significant artwork.Many artists have dealt with the spiritual visually. There is a wide variety of ways this has been done. The frescoes of Roman Catholic Italy illustrate religious concepts in a way very different from that of the inner–spiritual wanderings of Wassily Kandinsky, for example.Here are some noteworthy works of art with religious subjects or overtones. Correggio’s Assumption of the Virgin illustrates a biblical theme, Blake’s Ancient of Days gives a view of God, and Gauguin deals with the separation between the spiritual and physical realm in Vision After the Sermon. Jan van Eyck gives his view of God in an altarpiece, Titian presents the assumption, Bernini shows The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, and Giotto and his pupils painted human passion for the spiritual in St. Francis Renouncing His Earthly Possessions. Wassily Kandinsky was influenced by the subconscious and the inner spirit in work such as Black Lines.
46Antonio Allegri da Correggio, Assumption of the Virgin, , dome fresco of Parma Cathedral, Parma, Italy
47William Blake, Ancient of Days, frontispiece of Europe: A Prophecy, 1794, metal relief etching, hand colored, The Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester
48Paul Gauguin, The Vision After the Sermon, 1888, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh
49Jan van Eyck, God, panel from the Ghent Altarpiece, c 1432, St Jan van Eyck, God, panel from the Ghent Altarpiece, c 1432, St. Bavo’s, Ghent
50Titian, Assumption and Consecration of the Virgin, c Titian, Assumption and Consecration of the Virgin, c , oil on wood, Santa Maria Gloriosa del Frari, Venice
51Gianlorenzo Bernini, The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, , marble, Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
52Giotto and his pupils, St Francis Renouncing His Earthly Possessions, c. 1295-1330, fresco
53Wassily Kandinsky, Black Lines, December 1913, oil on canvas, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
54Velocity, SpeedAnother abstract concept presented in art may seem physical, but cannot be physically located in time and space: speed. Artists have touched on this idea in a great deal of art.
55Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2, 1912, oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art
56Eadweard Muybridge, Annie G Eadweard Muybridge, Annie G. Cantered, Saddled, 1887, collotype print, Philadelphia Museum of Art
57J.M.W. Turner, Rain, Steam, and Speed, 1844, oil on canvas, Tate Gallery, London
58Jackson Pollock, No. 29, 1950, oil, expanded steel, glass and pebbles on glass, private collection
59Giacomo Balla, Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, 1912, oil on canvas, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
60Giacomo Balla, Street Lamp, 1909, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York
61Abstract concepts are abundant in art Abstract concepts are abundant in art. They are conceptualized, presented, and perceived subjectively by human eyes in artwork. Abstract ideas exist in art—this is true for artwork dating from the Renaissance to present.
62BibliographyArtquotes.net: Art Quotes and Famous Artists. <http://www.artquotes.net> AprilBerger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corporation, 1972.Brown, J. Carter. Rings: Five Passions in World Art. Edited by Michael E. Shapiro. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1996.Haskell, Francis. History and Its Images. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993.Aghion, Irene, Claire Barbillon, and Francois Lissarrague. God and Heroes of Classical Antiquity. Paris: Flammarion, 1996.Sayre, Henry M. A World of Art. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2000.Schuman, Bruce. “Universal Hierarchy of Abstraction”. Origin Research. March
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