Art and Politics By Ruthee

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 by group8ball

Well, when I think about politics and the arts the first thing that comes to mind is the funnies. The funnies, or also known as the newspaper’s daily comics, are usually filled with jokes of your political problems. I find them quite entertaining and it is also the main reason why I even bother picking up a newspaper.



Spanish Dancer by Nathalija Gontcharova c.1916

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 by rehirst

Hanging in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago is the painting by Nathalija Gontcharova called Spanish Dancer. This painting, done in 1916 is an example of Russian Modern Art. It is an oil panting done on canvas and hangs at nearly 6.5 feet by 3 feet. The painting shows a woman adorned in white clothing with what seems to be lace detail. She stands in white high heels on a light brown floor with a brown background showing behind her head and shoulders as well. Her head, in profile, is shown to have some sort of adornment on top and is backed by fabric that is flowing from her arms. Her arms and hands seem to encircle her head in a somewhat distorted manner. It is difficult to determine which arm is her right or left and it can be inferred that she is in some dance pose, due to the title of the piece.

The main focus and emphasis is the dancer woman as she is placed in the very center of the painting and she consumes the entire space. Although the woman is painted so large in scale, the artist allows for some understanding of the space she stands in with breaks in the brown background, giving the feeling of a room. The darker value of the upper left corner gives the illusion of a receding room while the lighter left upper corner seems to be closer to the viewer. Also the line in front of the dancers feet is at a slight angle left giving a sense of perspective that opens up the implied room.

Upon first setting eyes on this painting I instantly focused on the detail of the drapery and then followed in a counter-clockwise motion around the dancers head. This sense of movement is due to diagonal lines the drape of the skirt and the diagonal lines created by the fabric that seem to spiral out of the dancers head. The size of the dress and fabric create such a proportion that the dancer seems so tiny while her movements she is doing are immense.

The thing that initially struck me about this painting is the beautiful way that Gontcharova portrays the draping of the fabric. Thinking about the dances native of Spain and the way they utilize costume and fabric, it makes sense that the artist paid such attention to her rendering of it. It holds an influence that clearly comes from Cubism; the way it almost appears that the viewer is seeing the dancer from different sides at once. The rigidity of her arm poses as well as the draping of the fabric in her skirt and around her head seem to be influenced by a simplified style. The draping on her fabric is reduced down to even folds and drapes that fall from the back of the dancers dress and wrap around the front. The hem of her skirt is simplified into even right angles and a symmetrical weight of drapery. Often times, other artists in history have spent so much time focusing on every fold and crease of drapery, being sure to capture the exact way that light hits it. Gontcharova in this case handled drapery with such a simple but definite way. Although there is a simplification of such a soft and detailed drapery, the artist still has indicated that there is great detail on the fabric and has painted the detail of the lace into parts of the drape. Spanish dancing also is so quickly paced, and involves a lot of whipping of fabric around, the dancer subject is captured a brief snap-shot and holds this pose with poise and grace.

After a slight bit of research I discovered that Gontcharova became a designer of ballet costume in her later years. She began designing sets and costumes in 1915 and this painting is dated 1916. Her ability to capture such movement, grace and emotion in her rendering of fabric in this painting might be explained by the close attention she had been paying to dancers in the recent times.

Malachi Neuman:Scenes from the life of John the Baptist

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2010 by group8ball

Malachi Neuman
Art History 2: Monday 12:30 p.m.
Writing Assignment one

I decided to pick an early renaissance painting. Realy truly medeival done in 1490-1495 by italian artist Bartolommeo di Giovani who was born in 1465 and died in 1501. The name of the painting is called Scenes from the life of Saint John the Baptist which is actually a tempora painting done on a panel.The mosts striking thing to me about this painting is the busyness that seems to be going on within the painting, the bright colors accompanied with the many different periods depicted in the painting causes my eyes to just jump around. Kind of like a panaramic point of veiw.I love the fact that the painting is so bright also.I like the pastel colors, but what i dont get is the house or bedrom that is the focul point of the picture. It kind of throws me off, it seems quite unrealstic. I geuss that is somewhat the point of the picture thoug. The open bedroom is the central point inwhich i look out into the rest of the picture , yet the bright pasel colors give the painting a sort of heavenly aura.

The picture itself is quite modest in size,
74 x 150.4 cm (29 3/16 x 59 3/16 in.) to be exact. I like the size of the painting and the overlook . By it being tempora it’s a bit damaged but its not damaged to horribly and is presrved quite well by the institute. Certainly if this painting was to be copied, or repainted , and reprinted it wouold take away from the quality of the painiting. Although it might look a bit better seeing as though it would be done in a better paint or printed on paper, or just better materials period. It still woyuldnt give the awe inspiring look the original poses no one van paint like Giovani , well they probably can but the authenticity would be dismanteled as well as the look that he himself had in mind for this painiting.

The artwork lets me look back into the past, a kind of glimpse into the life of the one and only John the baptist.How he lived and a few things that made him a saint to all.I feel as if im looking into a perfect beings legacy although he wasnt a perfec being he was close enough being the actual prophet of and cousin to Jesus Christ. The Coherence of the painting is asserted through the color and palcement of the figures within the paiting.the different, elementary yet variational uses pf perspective give the painting an extra element as well. Although I love the bright repetitive color scheme of the different robes and cloths in the painting, it is alos the downfall of the painting. its alot of pink and green in this painting it reminds me of the sorority AKA. What puzzles me aboutr the painiting is why he made the color scheme so repetive, i like it but it also does the most in a weird way.

I feel that he used the same colors because of the bright look that it gave saint John, it made him look heavenly and full of life. It also shows us how dead the world was taht he lived in contratss to the spirit of life and of GOD that was within him. By me experiencing and be attracted to the briliant color scheme of this early renassaince painting i could infer that it was purposely painted in that manner to show us, the veiwers that john lit up the room or the world every where he went whether it was in a bad way or a good wya, he made sure that it was known that he was in the mist.

Non Western Cultures Contemporary Influence

Posted in Uncategorized on October 30, 2010 by group8ball

Asia has had a great influence  on contemporary art and contemporary design such as kitchen design.The influence is seen in the kitchens cabinets and decoration and overall layout.The Asian influence contemporary design  idea comes with high quality wood materials that evokes a light, comfortable,cozy and relaxed overall mood.Contemporary Asian influence kitchen design always comes with large, rectangular, natural wood cabinets, and organic back splash color palette, usually colors that also give a sense  of serenity.

This is just one  of many ways that Non Western culture has influenced that of western culture. Asian influence is also seen in much of the worlds music, the influence that they have  on so many peoples music careers is simply phenomenal.For instance if a music group  pop, rock, modern, whatever, from the U.S.A goes to Asia and tour they will blow up, seemingly because Asia and china love american culture. I believe its because of the versatility that exist in Asia. Asia Holds two thirds of the worlds population , also having many different religions, cultures within the culture, people and languages. Asia plays a huge role in the world  of manufacture and trade also throughout history.wit that said without the influence of Asia we probably wouldn’t have culture as we know. For Culture is the exchange of different beliefs and ways of living.

Non-Western Influence In Contemporary Art

Posted in Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 by rehirst

Recently I have found my self interested in African influences in fashion. I guess that counts as contemporary art right? There are a lot of beautiful things about African cultures that translate into garment nicely. For example, the way that Native African people dress and adorn themselves serves both as to symbolize status in a tribe as well as function within the environmental constraints. Native dress consists of layering and wrapping printed fabrics and accessorizing with beautiful handmade jewelry.  I think taking these elements and playing them into contemporary fashion is interesting.

So to take this away from being so personal (MEMEME) and to actually teach myself something I did a little googling on other artists influenced by African art and came across some cool examples. Actually this whole website is awesome. It talks about different Modern artists and shows how their own work was influenced by African art and culture. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve looked at works by Picasso and Klee a million times and never even thought about how they were influenced by African art. But it is made so clear by comparing Picasso’s abstract figures to those of stylized African sculptures, and looking at Klee’s paintings in comparison to symbolic imagery used by Native Africans. Interesting.

Ruthee’s First Paper

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 by rgarcia1989

As I browsed through all the paintings and sculptures in the Art Institute I was memorized by one piece in particular. It was an oil painting on canvas by Cecco del Caravaggio entitled The Resurrection. I was not drawn to it because of its characters nor of the scene that takes place in the painting. I was attracted to this painting because of its aesthetics. It was the use of color and even the size of the artwork appealed to me.

            Yes, white seems to be quite a mundane color but in this painting the artist uses it rather ingeniously. The over all image is dense and every color portrayed in the painting is shaded except for the color white. The color white is extremely vivid and saturated compared to all of the other colors. It helps make the white stand out and dominates the total picture. I assume this was done intentionally because of where the white is found.

            The use of bright white can be found on two characters that are located dead center of the picture plane, Jesus and an angle. When I came into realization of the identification of the characters then it was clear why white was used so intensely. Throughout history, Jesus and angles are considered to be pure and holy. What better way to depict innocence and godliness than with the color white? However, white is found in other areas as well.

            In the foreground, a man sits on the floor and the color of his pants is also white. Nonetheless, it is a different white. It is not as divine as the white on the angle and Jesus. The white is shaded to almost a light grey. The man’s face is pointed down towards the ground. He is also in a dark area and he seems dirty, maybe even wounded or impaired. The personality that he represents is unlike the angle and Christ. This helps the viewer understand each persona, who is the mighty and who is the insignificant. When the onlooker finally comprehends this aspect then that is when the painting begins to make some sense.

            Some of the characters in the painting have a facial expression fright or anger. Others have a posture that makes them appear unconscious and the rest seem to be fleeing the scene. Christ and the angel, on the other, look tranquil, their posture is graceful, and their complexity is clear. They take up most of the frame and they actually seem quite victorious as if winning a war. Even their hand gesture screams out, “We’re number one.” Which is also the same gesture in Michelangelo’s painting The Creation of Adam making the central subjects even more holy.

            What do I think of the over painting now? His use of an intense shade of white versus a dull white was clever. It draws in the viewer. However, the meaning of the painting is something I have seen multiple times before. It is not new to me or anyone else. I do understand that religion was the central theme back when this painting was created. Even when it’s not about religion it is somehow about religion.

            The painting overall was intriguing and trying to understand the meaning of it was challenging but yet impressive—on my part. I do not think interpretation would be possible years ago before taking art or art history courses.

Ruthee’s Non Western Influence

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 by rgarcia1989

I have been influenced by many artists throughout my life—from Aqua to Kate Chopin to Sally Mann and everything in between. One artist that I have recently been influenced by is Caravaggio.

I was flipping through the pages of a book that I was required to buy for my foundations of two dimensional design class and I stumbled across a painting. It was the crucifixion of St. Andrew by Caravaggio. I didn’t think much of it at the time. I didn’t see anything special about it and I believe my exact words were, “Whatever! Whatever! Whatever! Okay, I’m done reading.” Little did I know that painting would help me pass the class.

According to my 2D teacher my drawings were flat and, yes, I do agree that they were flat. I thought it was what made my art unique similar to Japanese art. However, it didn’t appeal to him and I found his comments quite insulting. So, I swore for my final project I would work on a piece that is completely far from flat.

I bombarded myself with research for days and looked at many artists and their artworks. And again, I came across Caravaggio’s painting. That’s when it hit me—for my final project I decided to recreate that painting. That painting that is so far from flat.

I saw this painting differently now. The way he uses light and dark in gradation creating depth appealed to me. It was different from atmospheric perspective and mathematical perspective. That was the inspiration I needed to execute my project.

I don’t have very much experience with painting so I used color pencils, pastels, and charcoal on a quarter inch masonite board. 

Long story short, he gave me a B for my project. I don’t think he liked me very much because everyone was amazed by my results except him but I passed the class so I’ll live.