Saturday, October 2, 2010

Contemporary Art History

Contemporary Art period started in the second half of the 19th Century. Usually the beginning of it considered to be the year of 1863, when Salon des Refusés was opened in Paris where all pictures that has been rejected by the official salon were placed. One of the famous artists of that period who exhibited his works in Salon des Refusés  was Edouard Manet. Contemporary art history is divided into several periods. 

Beginning of Contemporary Art, the Second Part of the19th Century

It starts with movements of Romanticism, Realism and Impressionism. 
Romantics brought sensibility and expressiveness into visual art that was rejected and confronted by Classicism that was dominating before. The  most famous romantic artists are Thomas Cole, Francisco Goya, J.M.W Turner, Eugène Delacroix, Samuel Palmer.

A Dream in the Appenine. Samuel Palmer. 1864.

The main idea of Realism was depicting life as it is without idealization. Realists were presenting ordinary people in their usual surroundings. Among important realists in visual art were Rosa Bonheur, Karl Briullov, Ilya Repin, Gustav Courbet.

Horse Fair. Rosa Bonheur. 1835.

Impressionists were the first who started to paint outdoors. They were trying to capture real atmosphere, light effects and colors of nature. They made a revolution in painting techniques by using short brush strokes of pure colors. For example they blue and pink strokes in order to reach to violet color without mixing colors on a palette. Impressionists emphasized colors and visual effects not detailing geometric forms.Among famous impressionists were Claud Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Berthe Morisot.

Water Lilies. Claud Monet. 1916.

At the end of the 19th Century Post-impressionism and Symbolism appear. Post-impressionists continued using vivid colors, sometimes much more bright that in reality, but paid more attention to forms than impressionists.
Subjects of Symbolists' paintings were closely related to imaginary world like dreams and fairy-tales. Nicholas Roerich, Mikhail Vrubel, Gustav Moreau, Elena Gorokhova were among outstanding representatives of this movement in visual art.

Mikhail Vrubel. Swang Princess. 1900.

Contemporary Art in the Beginning of the 20th Century

Beginning of the 20th Century was marked by such movements as Cubism, Fauvism, Expressionism and Futurism. In 1914, the first surrealistic work was presented by Giorgio de Chirico.

Love Song. Giorgio de Chirico. 1914.

However the beginning of Surrealism is considered the year of 1924 when Surrealist Manifesto was published by Andre Breton. The main idea of Surrealists was irrational combination of imaginary and real world in their works. Other famous artists working in surrealistic style are Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy and Salvador Dali.

The Persistence of Memory. Salvador Dali. 1931.

To be continued... 

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