Be sure to read the reading assignment in your text first!

Read the following chapters from the textbook, Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume II:

  • Modernism in Europe and America, 1900 to 1945
  • Modernism and Postmodernism in Europe and America, 1945 to 1980
  • Contemporary Art Worldwide

By the due date assigned, respond to the assigned discussion questions and submit your responses to the appropriate Discussion Area. Start reviewing and responding to your classmates as early in the week as possible.

Question 1: The Painting of Modern Life

The late nineteenth century is often cited as a critical point in the development of a “modern” art. Impressionists and Post-Impressionists turned to the contemporary world as primary subject matter, and depicted elements of that world using an innovative style.

Carefully examine the following paintings:

  • Monet, Rouen Cathedral: The Portal (In Sun), 1894, (Fig. 28-4, page 853, or Khan Academy) (Impressionist)
  • Manet, Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1881-82 (Fig. 28-8, page 857, or Khan Academy) (Pre-Impressionist/Realist)
  • Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, c. 1884-86 (Fig. 28-18, page 863, or Khan Academy) (Post-Impressionist)

In 3 well-developed paragraphs, address the following questions:

  1. How is the subject of each painting representative of Impressionism or Post-Impressionism?  Which style is your artwork?  (See above).  Define that style.  What are the characteristics of that style?  What do the Impressionists paint?  
  2. How are the style and visual characteristics of each painting representative of Impressionism or Post-Impressionism? Be sure to discuss specific elements such as brushwork/application of paint, use of color and light, and composition, in your response.
  3. Describe the specific ways that each painting shows tension between its inherent two-dimensionality and any illusion of three-dimensionality created by the artist.  Do the Impressionists and Post-Impressionist care about the illusion of space in their paintings?  What elements are they foregoing that artists use to depict realistic space--what about linear perspective?  Light?  etc.  How does each artist handle the illusion of dimension in their painting?

Question 2:  Modern And Contemporary Art

Modern and Contemporary Art may seem alien to many people— seemingly without content, message, or purpose. But it can be argued that Modern and Contemporary (Contemporary = OUR time period) Art visually reflect the complex and abstract ideas that we experience every day. Although not for everyone, art of the 20th and 21st centuries is often a key part of the collection in many art museums. As you consider the wide range of modern and contemporary art types that we studied this week, think of yourself actually visiting a modern art museum. In 2 well-developed paragraphs discuss:

  1. While you are visiting, what type of Modern or Contemporary art will you most want to see and why? Be sure to name the specific style (e.g., Analytic Cubism, Pop Art, Abstract Expressionism)  (Any works from Chapter 29, 30 or 31.  Or check out Khan Academy.)
  2. What type will you put last on your list of “things to look for?”  What style of art do you NOT like?  Name a specific style.
  3. Why do you feel that way?  This is where you demonstrate your knowledge of that style's characteristics.  Mention which ones you don't like.  Though this is a mostly opinion-based answer, be sure to defend your choice.  Don't forget the "WHY" part!  Remember, we are still talking about MODERN art--the styles we read about this week!

Be sure to explain your ideas clearly and support them by discussing specific works of art that you have read about this week, talking about how they illustrate and support your ideas. Include the images of these specific works of art in your response.

Respond to both questions as thoroughly as possible, making sure to use information from the readings and the lectures. All responses should be in complete sentence form, using proper spelling and grammar.

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