jeudi 27 juin 2013

Summer Teen Workshop Day 3 : Modern and Contemporary Art

Abstract Art, Expressionism and Pop Art....

What is Art ?

Makes people think/react
Skill (natural ability vs. training)
Beautiful (always ?)

Types of Art ?

Street art (graffiti)

Elements of Art ?

medium (paper, metal, wood, clay, stone, pencil, paint)

Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881- April 8, 1973)

Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 - August 12, 1956)

Andy Warhol (August 6, 1928 - February 22, 1987)

Read about the artists. Which artist do you prefer ?

As a leading artist of abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock is best known for his works of splattered paint on huge canvases. His work was so recognizable and unique that he was nicknamed “Jack the Dripper” by Time magazine in 1956. From his teenage years to his death, Pollock earnestly searched himself and his environment for inspiration to help develop his uncanny style. Although it was quite a while before Pollock reached his current level of fame, his popularity remains strong to this day.
On January 28th, 1912, Jackson Pollock was born to Scotch-Irish parents in Wyoming.  Growing up, he lived in Arizona and California and helped his father on many surveying jobs in the Grand Canyon. Historians speculate that his experiences exploring Indian reservations caused the Indian and Spanish influences that can be seen in many of his works.
In 1929, Pollock moved with his brother to study at the Art Students League in New York. Pollock went there with hopes of working with famous Depression-era artist, Thomas Hart Benton.  He was fortunate enough to work with this artist for two years.
Pollock’s first show was held in 1943 at the Art of This Century Gallery in New York. Owned by collector Peggy Guggenheim, the gallery became famous for hosting both little-known and already established American artists of talent.
In 1944, Pollock married Lee Krasner, who was an abstract painter of some popularity. It was around this time that Pollock began to gain status in the art world. By the mid 1940s, he was painting in a completely abstract manner. Pollock coined the “drip and splash” style and inspired the term “action painting” for his unconventional techniques where he removed a canvas from its easel to be painted directly on the floor. In contrast to the norm, he would work from all sides of a picture, frequently walking across and even through his painting.
Pollock didn’t only create paintings by pouring paint from a can. He often used sticks, trowels, knives, sand, even broken glass or other foreign matter to perfect his art. By 1960, he became recognized a principal figure in the abstract movement of American painting.
Unfortunately, as Pollock’s reputation grew, so did his doubt and anxiety. Such emotions were reflected in his later works, which became increasingly dark and lacked his former “lyrical harmony.” An unhappy personal life combined with heavy alcoholism plagued him until his death on August 11, 1956, when he died in a car accident.
Pollock was honored that year in a memorial exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. He remains a force to be reckoned with, as no artist has come close to creating anything like his thought-provoking and abstract works. Although Pollock will never paint again, echoes from his paintings and style can be seen in the work of many modern artists.

Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1928. His parents had only recently moved to the United States from what is now Slovakia. As a child Warhol, was often sick, or thought he was sick, so he spent a lot of time in bed. During this time, Warhol drew many pictures. He also listened to the radio and collected pictures of celebrities.

After studying fine art in college, Warhol moved to New York City and began illustrating for magazines and creating advertisements. He became very popular, especially for his drawings of shoes.

During the 1960s, Warhol began creating the paintings he is best known for today. Warhol loved pop culture and he decided to paint what he loved. You may have guessed that he was a Pop Artist like 
Roy Lichtenstein. Warhol painted large pictures of Coca-Cola bottles, Campbell’s soup cans, and dollar bills. He also painted pictures of celebrities.

Because he was creating pictures of mass-produced items, Warhol thought it would be fitting to mass produce the artwork. He did this by creating screen prints rather than painting each picture separately. This allowed him to make many copies of each painting, but each copy was an original Warhol painting. 

Warhol founded “The Factory” which was his studio. At the Factory, he was always surrounded by people. Some of these people were in films that he made, some were writers or artists, some were celebrities. Warhol wanted to create an image for himself and he chose carefully the people in his circle.

Andy Warhol was criticized for turning art into a business. Many people didn’t like the idea that he was just making copies of the same picture to sell and make money. Warhol believed in what he was creating, though. He continued to make screen printed paintings of celebrities.

Warhol died in 1987.

Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain. He was the first child of Don Jose Ruiz y Blasco, an art teacher, and Maria Picasso y Lopez. At an early age Pablo showed an interest in drawing. His first words were "piz, piz", which is short for "lapiz", the Spanish word for pencil.
At the age of 7, Pablo began receiving art instruction from his father. His father believed that an artist's training should include copying the masters and drawing the human body from plaster casts and live models. The precision of Pablo's painting technique grew until it soon surpassed that of his father.
In 1895, Pablo's father accepted a position at Barcelona's School of Fine Arts. He asked officials to allow his son to take the entrance exam. The officials were impressed with Pablo's abilities and admitted him to the academy. As a student he lacked discipline but made friends and continued to grow as an artist.
At the age of 16, Pablo's father enrolled him in Spain's most distinguished art school, Madrid's Royal Academy of San Fernando. However, his instruction at the Royal Academy lasted only a short time as he struggled to accept formal instruction. In spite of these difficulties, his time in Madrid was not wasted. Pablo visited Madrid's museums and saw the paintings of Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya, though it was the works of El Greco that he admired most.
In 1900, Picasso made his first trip to Paris. At that time Paris was considered to be the art capitol of Europe. While in Paris, Picasso's work began to attract the attention of art collectors. By 1905, he had become a favorite of American art collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein. It was through them that Picasso met French artist Henri Matisse. The two became lifelong friends.
In 1907, Picasso painted one of his most important works - Les Demoiselles d'Avignon,- creating with painter and sculptor Georges Braque the brand new art movement known as "Cubism". Cubism allowed the artist to show his/her model from many different viewpoints. In the paintings of earlier times, the artist showed his subject from one particular viewpoint. In cubist paintings the artist may show the front and the side of a person's face at the same time.
Pablo Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France. He is best remembered as the co-founder of Cubism, and for Cubist works Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Three Musicians and Guernica. As a young boy, Pablo Picasso was a prodigy whose skills became an expressive power that profoundly affected the art of the twentieth century.

Detective work : "Whose line is it anyway ?"
Can you figure out which artist said what ?

"But when you're painting out of your unconscious, figures are bound to emerge."

"There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn’t have any beginning or any end. He didn’t mean it as a compliment, but it was."

"I'd prefer to remain a mystery. I never give my background, and, anyway, I make it all up different every time I'm asked."

"Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes."

"Art is what you can get away with"

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.

Drip painting on T-shirts while listening to Steve Reich

Art Cooking

Picasso in action :

Picasso Pizzas

We watched "Exit Through The Gift Shop", a film about the street artist Banksy.

Here's some extra reading on street art from the magazine  "Today in English"...

Some souvenir shots from our trip to the Centre Pompidou ...

Parisian street art


Pollock's "The Deep"(1953)

Joe and Léger

We all tried our hand at copying Bridget Riley's work...

Joe's hig-tech version....

Performance Art ... (diving off a high platform on to a gigantic air mattress)

A great day was had by all ...

Further reading and art activities :

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