Showing posts with label Abstraction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Abstraction. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Birch Gallery

Gallery Birch is the oldest Danish gallery for contemporary art founded in 1946 by Børge Birch, the father of Anette Birch who owns the gallery today.
Børge Birch became a leading European art dealer and was in particular recognized for his work with the COBRA movement with artists such as Asger Jorn, Pierre Alechinsky, Karel Appel and Corneille.
In the 1950’s the gallery also had several one man exhibitions by major French and international artists such as Georges Braque, Poliakoff, Pablo Picasso, Leger, Laurens, Nolde and Pierre Soulages already in 1951.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Denise René Gallery

Art is first of all a question of choice. At the end of the Second World War, when five years of German occupation had reduced cultural life to its strictest minimum, everything seemed possible for a young gallery. The first exhibitions organized by Denise René, as early as June 1945, bore witness to the fierce need for liberty and the desire to experiment, even when later channeled into geometric abstraction and then Kinetic Art, that are without doubt her most constant traits of character. From Max Ernst or Picabia to Atlan or Lapicque, during her first five years of activity, the pleasure of showing forgotten masters (and therefore unknown) from before the War, as well as new artists gave a new image to the already renowned Ecole de Paris. One common trait that was essential in the virulent debates shaking the world of all these "abstract" artists (even if today this title may be quite logically questioned by many of them), was that to create a new aesthetic they first of all refused any academism that could be tied to a figurative tradition.

Denise René took as her guiding principle the idea that art must invent new paths in order to exist; this was to be the basic intuition of her analyses. In this still confused grouping, that went under the term ‘abstract art’, where the non-figuration of a Manessier an Estève or a Bazaine was next to the informal research of Fautrier or Dubuffet, in order to keep the image subjacent she emphasized formal abstraction; that which in developing the fundamental ideas of Cubism transforms the painting into a purely plastic act, where emotion is born not from narration but finds its inspiration in the combination of the forms and colours. Having chosen this path, Denise René gathered together historical artists and young creators in a dialogue that the Gallery has always kept alive. In this way, from the early years, she put together Arp and Magnelli, Sophie Taeuber and Herbin, all first generation abstract pioneers, with young artists that she discovered and introduced, like Vasarely, Jacobsen, Dewasne or Mortensen. In the context of her work to highlight the pioneers of abstract art, she was also the first to manage what no French museum had ever done: in 1957, with the help of Dutch museums, she showed Mondrian, who had lived in Paris from 1919 to 1938 but had never had his own "personal exhibition".

This dialogue between the generations, this feeling of continuity in art history, and the idea that the work of a gallery is to discover and make familiar until museums take over, is the basis of the historical exhibition that Denise René and Vasarely held in 1955: Le Mouvement. In seeking historical antecedents, like Marcel Duchamp or Calder, and in recalling the articulations represented by the works of Vasarely or Jacobsen, the exhibition provided a framework and justified the research of young artists like Tinguely, Soto, Agam, Pol Bury who were unknown at the time, although this is difficult to imagine today, and who were laying the foundations of Kinetic Art.

Denise René developed this task of putting the different generation of abstract art into perspective by introducing to Paris the historical figures of the concrete avant-gardes of Eastern Europe. This tradition was unknown in Paris up until then and was highlighted by the retrospective of the Hungarian Lajos Kassak, Stazewski from Poland and the exhibition "Précurseurs de l’Art Abstrait en Pologne" (Precursors of Abstract Art in Poland) in 1957, with Malevitch, Kobro, Strezminski, Berlewi…(just as today she is showing the young Russian artist Jeltov). At a time when international exchanges were far less frequent than today, the gallery wanted to be open to creators from all over the world.

The Denise René Gallery became a natural gathering point for artists from the Latin American continent who preferred plastic research to narration: people like Cicero Dias from Brazil, Sot and Cruz Diez from Venezuela and the Argentinians Le Parc, Tomasello or Demarco are all witnesses to this. This privileged relationship with Latin America began in 1956 when Denise René published "Vénézuela", a Vasarely album that echoed the painter’s experience with the architect Carlos Raul Villanueva. A Vasarely exhibition organised and presented by the Gallery in 1958 in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Sao Paulo furnished the opportunity for new encounters during its inaugurations, and many exhibitions.

Denise René had not only been one of the first French art dealers to understand that a gallery must review international creation and not limit itself only to those artists who came to live in Paris, she also knew, rapidly, that after the War information had a tendency to be world-wide in character and that it was not sufficient to wait until foreigners took advantage of a trip to Paris to discover new artists. The militant Denise René Gallery sought out and found new structures, a new public and made the most contemporary creation available to them. From April 1948 she organised exhibitions in Denmark, finding partners in the big, local galleries (Birch, Tokanten, and Rasmussen) who could continue her action to make constructed art known. In 1951 the organization of the Klar Form exhibition that toured the museums of Scandinavia and Belgium for a year was the concrete result of this visionary conception of the work of a gallery.

From time to time a dealer who accompanies the art of his or her time becomes a part of it; this was the case with Kahnweiler and Cubism, Herbert Walden and German Expressionism, Castelli and Pop Art. In 1955, when Denise René organized the exhibition "Le Mouvement" she instigated a new artistic concept and created a movement at the same time as she revealed a new generation of artists. Kinetic Art, to use the term coined in 1955 by Vasarely, followed by the development of Op Art, became one of the major tendencies in international contemporary art for fifteen years. The rapid public success of Kinetic Art, and its immediate echo in Europe and the United States should perhaps be seen as the natural and indispensable counterpoint to Pop Art. Where the latter restored the image and its power to bear witness to the social world, the Kinetic artists questioned art again, interrogated vibration, virtual colour, and all that in a fixed image calls upon the optic nerve or, on the contrary, introduced with real movement a dimension of duration that modified the approach to visual arts by bringing them nearer to the developments in time offered by the cinema and music. The immediate echo of these ideas, the influx of new artists who joined them, bore witness to the correctness of the intuition of the initiators of the movement, and also swept away the seeds of academisation. Multiples, a generous social idea that consisted of putting art within the reach of the greatest number of people rather than only that of the rich collectors, in diffusing the artists’ works by the hundred, made these consumer goods little different from those that Pop Art boasted about. The Grand Prix for Painting at the Venice Biennale in 1966 was given to Julio le Parc and showed official recognition of Kinetic Art, as the prize conferred on Rauschenberg two years previously had done for Pop Art, making Optical Art a fashion phenomenon. As is always the case with art, however, public recognition of a movement sounds its death toll. Denise René was not just a witness to the second half of the Twentieth century, but was a leading actor. Without her a part of the art of this century would have taken many more years to be discovered. Certain artists may not even have found the means to continue their creation without her support. In retrospect, one can take an inventory of that which the Gallery did not take into account, ask oneself why Bridget Riley or Takis did not find their place there, be surprised that Minimal Art was not the logical follow-up to the line of thought maintained by Denise René.However, aside from these lacuna, what remains is the admirable fidelity of a dealer with a guideline, the capacity to resist fashion’s sways and the financial or media ebb and flow that goes with them. If everybody agrees today with the severity and the importance of the choices made, what is perhaps most impressive is the moral dimension that Denise René gave to a profession of which few imagine that this is its major quality.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Abstraction in Poland

In neighboring Poland, where we saw waving a current avant-garde, expressionist and "formists" constructivism led to the creation of the group "Blok" (1924-26), inspired by M. Szezuka that evolved from Suprematism Constructivism commitment to communism. The group's magazine Praesens "(which, with its" Unism "resume line malevitchean purified), would, in 1929, the group "RA" ("revolutionary artists"), with H. Stazewski and the sculptor K. Kobro, a new way by profit, while H. Berlewi was engaging in an online "Mecano-making, " the study of optical vibrations. In all this turmoil has resulted, in 1931, creating the first museum of abstract art and avant-garde in Europe, in Lodz, which might last.

Vitatline Vladimir (1885-1953)

In 1919, Vitatline (1885-1953) declared that Suprematism was "the sum of all the mistakes of the past", it expresses its opposition to personal and ideological Malevich. Disciple Larianov, marked by a structured and whose colorful expressionism was not unconnected with the interest in traditional icons. Tatlin had an adventurous youth who took him to Paris in 1913, there admiring the buildings raised by Picasso, based on their own "counter-reliefs" which, with experiences of materials and applications in the corners of rooms, modifying its spatiality, created the constructivist movement in 1927, enriched by a new flying machine invented organic, "Latatlin" - but especially in 1919-20, the project of the monument to the Third International, we already know helical construction of a fleeting expression "Komfuturism. Artistic animator, teacher, victorious defender of the principle of "production art" against the "art lab" (which represented Suprematism) a "productivist" politicized, proclaimed in 1921, with rejection of easel painting, and that led to his craft, poster, the theatrical decor already practiced in youth (and who was prominent field of action of his movement, thanks primarily to the enactments (V. Mayerhold) - none of this prevented the misfortune of Tatlin, compared to the realism in the official 30 years. The his part, Mr Rodechenko (1881-1956), coming more or less of futurism, the author of geometric designs consisting of animated games curves made in step, methodically (1915-16), and a painting "Black on black," presented polemically against Malevich in 1919, he practiced construction surprises, mobile and linear metal with which participated in 1917, with Tatlin and the disciple of G. Yakulov at the famous Coffee Pitoresque decor, lively artistic center of Moscow, in these years fermentation. Reduced, like Tatlin, applied arts and design, "he devoted himself to photomontage and typesetting. In these areas stood out El Lissitzky (1890 - 1941), engineer and architect, for that matter, a disciple of Malevich, who went from Suprematism to constructivism, the "History of two squares" (1922) and their "prouns”, geometric constructions in space, originally painted. In large photomontage, made the decoration of the Soviet pavilion at the International Exhibition of Printing, Cologne, 1930 - and so too, as in 1920-24, the famous “Lenin Tribune”, we have seen, represented the dictator of an imaginary construction of the high iron. In 1926, El Lissitzky wrote the interior architecture of the "abstract case" to the International Exhibition in Dresden, which he considered his major work. Schwittors friend and collaborator and Arp, and V. Doesbourg, related to the "Bauhaus", as we know, it was for you to connect more regularly between the Russian and the current world West over the years 20.

Kazimir Malevitch (1878-1935)

K. Malevich (1878-1935), from Impressionism and Symbolism and Art Nouveau, Cezanne, Matisse and Derain's, national painter of rustic scenes, composed in 1911-12 figures in a geometric cylindrical, cube-futurist ("Grinder” , 1912-13, Yale University, USA), influenced by Léger, to the ends of abstractization of geometric bodies of revolution, painted with careful modeling in 1912-13, the year he adopted a cubist imagery to a syntactic "transnational "(" Zaorum ", as we saw), or" alogic, compositions, not without humor confused with the spirit "given" ("An Englishman in Moscow, 1913-14, Amsterdam," Partial Eclipse with Mona Lisa " 1914, col. part. Leningrad). But in 1915, Malevich said he made the first works "suprematists," based on the elementary forms of square, circle and cross vertical-horizontal rectangles. The famous "square black on white" (Tretyakov Museum, Moscow), shown in 1915, is emblematic of this phase, possibly marked the work of decorating the Futurist opera "Victory Over the Sun" (1913), with music by M. Matinchine, translator of "Du Cubisme" of Gleizer - which would, in 1917, the painter of "realism in space," in large colored bands, interested in psycho-physiological research on the art visible.

The "Suprematism" as a supreme aesthetic state "monumental", "not objective" deduction based on a conceptual level, is rooted in the philosophical thought of the post-Kantian metaphysics P. D. Ouspenki (“Tercium Organum”, 1911) who, referring to a" higher form of existence" and announcing a "language of the future”, regardless of the real world, exercise (perhaps through Matinchine) great influence on the painter, also interested in "the fourth dimension" (Ouspenki, 1908, on "space-time continuum" of mathematics of Minkowski, 1908) - and still fascinated by the symbolist rhetoric inherent in that thought. "All they're ready to lose all hold new findings (Ouspenki, 1913) applies to the diligence of whom Malevich" Black Square "was" a flat-surface alive, now even born "(" From Cubism and Futurism and Suprematism, a new pictorial realism, 1916); test would be resumed in 1920, as we know, in From Cezanne to Suprematism, the first semantic unit building free pair of systems "flat surfaces" in space, unconditional freedom of movement (cf. A. B. Nakov, 1975) - "zero," which since 1915 has defined its pictorial experience, was a full, equal to the infinite and absolute, the "harmony, rhythm and beauty" (Mirror Suprematist, 1923 ), not the end of a speech earlier aesthetic, a kind of nillyism (cf. D. Valle, 1967). It always defended Malevich, a work that has consistently been to the "square white on white" (1918, MAM, New York), after three or four years of multiple compositions that have the volume, as those architectural possible, the "planitis ". Numerous texts by Die Welt Gegentandslose ("The world has no purpose," published by the Bauhaus, 1927), proclaim or defend a polemical aesthetic and philosophical doctrine that the painter was able to teach in Vitebsk, against the wishes of Chagall, and won, the group UNOVIS, which created in 1920-21, and within two years, the Institute of Artistic Culture in Leningrad - but that already attacked in 1919 by the Constructivists was supposed by idealism, contrary to official line aesthetic and hardly tolerated, as in 1927. Since 1930, the year he was arrested by secret police, conducted a Malevich painting figurative landscapes and portraits that are not without bitter irony - and, in 1935, was buried in a coffin suprematist that he had intended, causing painted on a white background a circle and a black square.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964)

The Russian avant-garde, extremely varied and controversial, early Cubism fascinated adapted to a cube-Futurism, as seen, produced the first abstract works in 1910-11, with M. Larionov (1881-1964) and N. Gontacharova (1881-1962), the movement of "Lucism” ("Rayonnism" – "rayonisme" in French), presented in 1913 as a synthesis of Cubism, Futurism and Orphism, controversy and paradoxically organized against Western culture - although Apollinaire to defend his Paris show in the following year. The forms are painted "spatial forms obtained by the crossing of reflected rays of various objects"; located "outside of time and space", want a "fourth dimension" that had met the Cubist more speculative. The career of pictorial Larionov, coming a expressionist painting, popular and anecdotal, for ideological nationalism, and past, as seen by profuse decanted and pioneering activities in the founding of the groups "Jack of Diamonds" (1910), "Donkey Tail" (1912) and "The Target" (1913), ended in 1915, leaving Russia to integrate, set designer and costume designer as brilliant in the company of Diaghilev. Gontacharova, he followed his destiny, though, around 1955, he was reminded in Paris, retracing screens "Rayonnist" of recent cosmic inspiration.

But two other abstract movements, and violently opposed, would occupy more significantly the scene Soviet and then Russia since 1915: the "Suprematism" of Malevich (and Leporskaia A., V. Ernrolaeva, L. Khidekel, N. M. Suetine, G. Kluza, IG Ghaschuik, I. Kliuns, I. Puni, M. Menkov and futuristic O. Rezanov), as manifest in that year published, and "constructivism" of Tatlin and Rodchenko (and Yakulov G., J. Annenkov , W. Ermilov, V. Stepanova and earlier Cubist and Suprematist Vdaltsova and L. N. Popova, as Klium Vernine architects and brothers) and, between two situations (besides A. Exter, coming from the cube-futurism ), the movement "proun" Ed Lisitzky since 1919. Also in this range of options (and parties) realistic Manifest of Prevsner and Galv, in 1920 came forward, constructivist side, a proposal that would have more lasting effect on the sculpture.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)

The simultaneity of the abstract Delaunay discs in 1912 (and the "timing" of his disciples), the compositions of varied root cubist and futurist Picabia in 1912-13, the practice of "force-lines" of the Futurists and their "states soul" in Boccioni, Balla and Severini, provide many other situations aesthetic that integrate abstraction, as historically necessary conclusion. And if, "in the background, the Cubist movement and was wanted on a referral to abstraction" (L. Degand, 1953), this can be thought of experimentalism, from Van Gogh to Kandinsky. W. Kandinsky (1866-1944), lawyer qualified in its native Russia, was soon attracted by the folk art that made him "get into the paint and in 1896 went to Munich where the new art attracted him in the "Phalanx " who founded (1901-04) and in which he created his own school, a practice remembered pictorial color in landscapes of Moscow and "romantic paintings, something Symbolists (" Lancer in the landscape”, 1906; “Scream", 1907). Was through that landscape, improvising, Kandinsky activated your palette by Fauve and expressionist influence, coming from Jawlensky, his companion in Murnane where he settled in 1908, and which soon abandoned, to found "Der Reiter Blane" with F. Mara, in 1911. It was here that the painting Kandinsky developed into the abstract, through an ever greater uncertainty and a formal tone in color ("Landscape with bell tower”, 1909, MAM, Paris; "Improvisation on auburn”, 1910, MAM, Paris).

Kandinsky's influence was decisive in the evolution of German painting in Munich from his essay Uber geistig in der Kunst ("On the Spiritual in Art", written in 1910) defined a new aesthetic that situation anthroposophy R. Steiner scored. The artwork is a "living being" with an "inner life" from an "inner necessity of the soul expressed through the symbolic meaning of shapes and colors and communicating the arrival of the "Kingdom of the Spirit" on "time of great spirituality". For these statements, the author has prepared a new chance in artistic creation that a first abstract watercolor, composition of blemishes and fine calligraphy (MAM, Paris), proposed in 1910 - not without that, this year, and until 1913 in "Improvisations" and "Compositions", reference figuratively landscaping continued alternately present. In "With the black bow" (1912, MAM, Paris) in his great shock of ways, where "chaotic cosmos is born", Kandinsky made a definitive work that in 1914, "Table with a Red Spot" (MAM, Paris), "Escape" (Guggenheim Museum, New York), and the four panels made for a collector of New York ("Compositions" which have been designated by the names of four seasons, 1914, MAM, New York and the Guggenheim Museum, No. 1) complete, in its vigorous and colorful forms of conflict euphoric. That same year, with the war, Kandinsky left Munich to Moscow, leaving there his former student and colleague G. Munter (donation to the Municipal Museum in Munich), whose art influenced, along with Jawlensky. A new period of its production took place there, rather fruitful given the difficulties of war and occupation officials after they had as a teacher, founder of a foiled Institute of Artistic Culture (1919) and an Artistic Academy of Sciences in 1921, the year left Russia for Germany. Kandinsky's participation in the Soviet artistic policy was, however, enthusiastic, by temperament more isolated, that remained on the sidelines of a vanguard of committed groups and, in a revolutionary and Berlin Dada, its activity was also reduced. The "Bauhaus", appeared to him as a solution and there was an invite to assume there teaching, along with Klee that was already there. Since 1921, but the painter made frames where strict geometric shapes were articulated with others, calligraphy and free spots ("White Background", 1920, Leningrad, "Red Spot II", 1921, Basel, "Chess", 1921, Guggenheim Museum, New York), on what it was intended to mark constructivist view, to some extent acceptable, but of which the art of Kandinsky defended by denial of the mechanistic principle (cf. W. Grohmann, 1958). It was, rather, an investigation into the relationship between figures and background, located beyond the romanticism of the Munich period. And in this way the painter had to follow in subsequent years.

The encoding of a "new aesthetic that could only score when the signs become symbols", now under pure geometric shapes, circles, straight lines crossed and serpentine curves and distinct from each other within a determined color, reflected the renewed commitment of Kandinsky observation of structural forms in their relations or their "laws of supply". A new test, Punk und Linie zu Flach, "published in 1926, now notes on 1914, reflecting on these" preliminary problems, a science of art, "notes a number of pleadings that served the school professed in the "Bauhaus" however transferred to Dessau, it is also an "organic continuity" test of 1912. The pictures painted then continue to put the problem of space through various combinations of formal, more stringent or more flexible, from key figures used, circle, triangle and square, in a game serious or gay, between "The black circle" (1923, col. part., Paris) and 'Quiet Tension" (1924, MAM, Paris), "Some circles" (1926, Guggenheim Museum, New York) and "Yellow, Red, Blue" (1925, MAM, Paris).

In 1923, the Nazis closed the “Bauhaus" Kandinsky and forced into exile in Paris-Neville, where he died. ”Development in brown" (1933, MAM, Paris) was the last painting in Germany, sad in his allusion; Relations, 1934, (col. part. New York), with its fairy-like joy, is already a framework in Paris, a new period in which, amid considerable difficulties, because his art, then isolated, was met with reluctance and the painter has innovated a greater sense of "baroque exuberance " (W. Grohmann, 1958) that "Composition IX" (1936, MAM, Paris) is a noted example in its profusion of dancing figures on diagonal bands of colored light, or "dominant Curve" (1936, Museum Guggenheim , New York), or "Medium accompanied" (1937, col. part., Paris) in scenes that played at the end of his work, are subject to flight and the rise in spiritual symbolism. "The last frames are the echo of a transitory and transparent world" (W. Grohmann, 1958), which resemble primitive pre-Columbian so married to the memory of Russian folklore itself. The last frame done, "Enthusiasm tempered" (MAM, Paris), makes sail in a pink background, strange life forms, the life of an embryo again.

The "end of theory" that Kandinsky explained in his essay of 1926 was actually of his painting, "1. Find life, 2. Make visible your pulse, 3. Establish the laws that govern life." This organic phase showed a romantic source of Abstract Expressionism to near 1920, and phase equilibrium in a constant and wisdom never denied that, at its points of contact with the art of Klee, does not give up as a spiritualist convention does not forget folk art of his country, received the first invitation to the adventure of painting.

History of Western Art (1750-2000)

The Abstraction

Developing in parallel to cubism and futurism, expressionism and Dada, and surrealism as well, receiving inflows of them revolutionary, a new aesthetic situation is defined, between 1910 and 1917, in Western art that dominate long, sooner or later : the abstraction.

Mental attitude and sensitivity whose roots lie in the Neolithic as the Romanesque art of the steppes and in the western Irish twists of the illuminations of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance rhythmic concerns, under Pythagorean lesson, she realizes that a spirit of abstraction to figuration spirit offers compensation, but the historical alternation, responding to cultural and indexes at the beginning of the nineteenth century erupted in mutation, in favor of an extreme evolution of contemporary aesthetic discourse - and already we've seen of Impressionism in the divide, but deny themselves fundamentally naturalism figurative earlier.
Reflection on the colors of Goethe (Zur Farbenlehre, 1810) unwelcome at the time, its psychological effect against the physical theories of Newton, the theory of pure visuality K. Fiedler (who died in 1895, with only collected writings in 1914: Shriften uber Kunst) adopted H. Hilderbrand (Problem der Form, 1893), with recovery of the sense "formal" non-free of classic criterion, and the thesis W. Worringer on Abstraktion und Einfühlung, prepared in German cultural circles in Munich especially (but not the French, who ignored such works), an awareness of the problems posed by an artistic creation "tautogoric" (Schlegel) - only to itself, contrary to due diligence "allegorical" of all figurative formulation. Or an awareness of the infinite as opposed to a finite implies that the naturalistic representation. The abstraction would thus be an "antifiguration" (C. P. Brue, 1955) that is sufficient in itself without external boundaries.

The aesthetic and philosophical speculations such must be added, in Germany, too, in the context of theorizing psychologistic call school in Berlin, around 1912, the influence of "Gestaltheorie" (theory of form, structure) with works of M. Wertheimer, K. Koffka and W. Kohler (Gestaltpsychology, published in the United States in 1929) that, opposed to analytical psychology, define the behavior of the set, in correspondence organized and interdependent components, which are just formal expression and formalizing in the field of aesthetics.

If Cézanne, in 1904, reported in the treatment codable geometric models of nature, and M. Denis, already in 1890, remembered that a framework is a priority, "a flat surface covered with colors" on it pointing to the fundamental situation of abstract painting to Worringer, the "abstraction" reflected the desire of separating hostile nature, and not "communion" in an anguished isolation or changed, that intellectual and sensitively, defended himself, as alien to the everyday world, but it also tended to "access to the underlying archetypal forms that random variations introduced the world today (H. Read, 1955 ), imparting a sense of this, through a pedagogical action. The demand thus rendered metaphysics leads, finally, amid a crisis mythology of the Western world, an "ultramitologie" (J.-A. France, 1959) of perfect geometric expression by one of two major ways in which art abstract was stabilized.

The other is located in, exacerbation of feelings - and its root expressionist (or surrealistic) Cubist corresponds to the root (or cube-futurist) of the first.

The names, descriptive or controversy, which received the abstraction, sometimes reflect their own rootedness, now a timing of steps walked or aesthetics than formulated. The "abstract expressionism" or "lyrical abstraction" marking the first situation to the borders of "informality" (M. Tapio, 1951) or "action painting" ("action painting" or "gestural") and "gesturalism "H. Rosenberg, 1952) or "tachisme" (from tache, "spot, C. Estienne, 1954). But theoretical situations or particularistic movements of geometric abstraction rooted in Cubist, are the names of Russian constructivism "and" Suprematism, "or the Dutch" neoplasticism "and" elementarism "- but they joined a new concept of Concrete "(TV Doesbourg, 1951), which sought to oppose the abstraction, considering it" over the period of research and experience speculative.” For G. Mathieu (1951), these situations (also known as "cold abstraction" as opposed to the expressionistic embellishments) fit into the generic term "aformalism. Later, around 1960, an art-based optical effects will take the name of American "op'art" while investigations led to the mechanical "kinetic art", and another in a geometric framework or formalistic.

The classification of "non-figurative" rather vague, sought to oppose the type geometric abstraction, ignoring the "figures" of this geometry and only thinking about the nature of what we thought were not well founded their own experiences. In the immediate postwar period, however, a new school of Paris "has adopted this name, rooting on her accepting an impressionist, retained by the emotion of the original natural subject. "No goal", for its part, label was proposed by H. Rebay, the United States in 40 years, a recovery that had not fortune.

In the two trunks herd of abstraction we thus define themselves both situations, a sentimental expression and expression of mental or other geometric, with that priority, immediately taken up in 1910 and 1920 by Kandinsky, after long experience figurative expressionist, while the second is exemplified in Malevich and Mondrian in 1913-14, in 1917 - both coming from Cubism to Suprematism or the neoplasticism, respectively.

The larger or more charismatic historical importance of Mondrian is the exemplary logic of his diligence as much of their persistence, one possible action that cannot benefit Malevich in the Stalin Soviet Union s. The forwarding logic of both objected to the accident that lies at the base of the abstraction of Kandinsky, unable to read figuratively a "Meda" Monet in 1895, and, surprised by a suddenly seen his own composition instead, leaning against a wall of his studio in 1908.

But beyond the current two or more channels of abstraction, it should be noted, with a focus on time (although other relations of reading should be made in various artists), the interpretation of a musical inspiration in visual terms of a universe of sounds, rhythmic affinity. In 1942 the Czech F. Kupka (1871-1957) exhibited in Paris (where he installed in 1895) a screen titled "Disks of Newton" with, by caption, "Amorphous, escape in two colors" (Prague), probably 1910. Then the painter traveled a long way to Fauvism and symbolism to expressionism, influenced by bright, dynamic, having illustrator acerbic humor ("L'Assiette au Beurre") and also attended the group's "Golden Section". The series of their "vertical planes" in 1912-13 (MAM, Paris, etc...), also represents a planned museum already detectable in "piano keys – the "lake of 1909 (Prague) with its vertical listing “planes of color." In the '30s, Kupka inspire would jazz ("Jazz-hot No. 1, 1935, MAM, Paris), a work illegally in many curiosities that changed the cosmic sciences such as music and led the test Creations dans les arts plastiques (1923), in a situation of isolated pioneer. In a similar musical inspiration can subscribe to the Lithuanian painter and composer M. K. Ciurhouris, who died in 1911, working in S. Petersburg since 1906, abstract compositions that mark since 1904, with arabesques of geometric shapes in the "Sonatas of stars, allegro and andante" (1908, Kaunas, Lithuania) took a diluted symbolic figuration, mentioned above. The Russian S. Charchouse, in turn, come and experience "given", he also drew on Bach or Beethoven, to compositions of fine monocronism, a painting so that the symbolism lurks.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Photos of the exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction"

Exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction"

Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes, after a period of closure for major refurbishment supported by EU funds, opens its doors on November 16, 2010 with the inauguration, by 18 hours of the exhibition "Shared Art Millennium BCP - Abstraction".

In this exhibition will be on display some sculptures of Manuel Pereira da Silva.

This exhibition, sponsored by a prestigious bank institution, which aims to highlight the important national artistic heritage, as well as contribute to the cultural enrichment of the country, brings together a selection of 74 paintings representing the abstraction Portuguese and foreign.

Covered with great interest by the diversity of exhibited works, of which highlights a significant core of copyright Portuguese painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, with twelve paintings. Beyond this, we stress the presence of works by the following artists: Alfred Manessier, Andrew Lanskoy, Angelo de Sousa, António Areal, Antonio Palolo, Arpad Szenes, Bual Artur, Artur Rosa, Augusto Barros, Eduardo Batarda, Eduardo Nery, Fernando Aguiar, Fernando Lemos, Jorge Pinheiro, Júlio Pomar, Júlio Resende, Justin Alves, Luis Demée, Dourdil Luis Manuel Cargaleiro, Manuel D 'Assumpção, Cesariny, Menez, Nadir Afonso, Nikias Skapinakisl, Paula Rego, Peter Casqueiro, Serge Poliakoff Teresa Magalhães, Zao Wou-TOM-Ki.

The Art Shared Exhibition don’t leave out the youngsters. Millennium BCP, Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes and Gaianima, EEM, launched a contest called "Discovering Collection Millennium BCP" which proposes the creation of creative works from the works on display at the exhibition. The top three entries will be awarded individual and team prize will be for the Class of school work to do in presenting creations of "Shared Art".

The show will be open to the public until January 30, 2011 and admission is free, and where the guided tours on Tuesdays, from 14:00 to 17:00, Wednesday to Friday, 10:00 to 17 h00 and Saturday Sunday and holidays from 10:00 to 17:00.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Primitivism, Cubism, Abstraction: The Early Twentieth Century (Modern Art: Practices and Debates)

This book was originally published in 1993 by Yale University Press in association with the Open University.

This is the second in a series of four books about art and its interpretation from the mid-nineteenth century until the late twentieth century. As a series, composes the main texts of an Open University course, modern art: practices and debates. They represent a variety of approaches and methods characteristic of the contemporary debate about the art history.

The chapters in this book consider aspects of visual and artistic culture of Europe from 1900 until the late 1920s. Though organized chronologically, each chapter investigates a period or art movement of the early twentieth century in relation to theoretical issues and broader issues of interpretation. In developing questions are raised about research and historical methodology, as well as on the status of "art."

In chapter three, Charles Harrison considers some problems of interpretation and evaluation made by specific examples of abstract art, exploring some of the relationships and differences between forms of figurative and abstract painting. He discusses the need to give attention to specific historical building on the career of Russian artist Kazimir Malevich, while the work of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian is considered in relation to the analysis of valuation.

Abstraction, figuration and representation
Abstract and abstraction

This essay deals with primarily the emergence of forms of abstract art in Europe during the second decade of the century, and some problems of interpretation and evaluation that they raise. Talk about "emergence" is affirming that these were somehow new forms of art. To understand the significance of some claims made on behalf of abstract art, we must first assess what is involved in a particular moment in history, in meeting the terms "abstract" and "art."
The term "abstract" is now widely used, and since the beginning of the XX century was applied as a label for many different art forms. When writing about art, the related term "abstraction" tends to be used in two related but distinct senses: to refer the case of certain works of art, the property of being abstract or "non-figurative" and to refer to the process by which certain aspects of themes or motifs are emphasized in works of art over others.

156, Vasily Kandinsky, Painting with Red Spot, 1914, Musée National d' Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

The illustrations 156-159 show examples of abstract art in the 1910s to 1920, produced by artists of Russian-speaking Czech, Dutch and Swiss. In describing these works as abstract implying that, whatever its appearance, the thing that they seem not to be explained by reference to a theme represented. Despite some obvious differences, they have that in common.

157, Hans Arp, Collage, 1916, Offentliche Kunstsammlung Basel.

In fact, although in everyday use we refer to works with "abstract" in the absence of any obvious similarity with the world, might happen to be seen as an abstract work not because it does not look like anything, but because its theme or subject is difficult to identify. And this may occur because a process of abstraction led to the suppression of certain easily recognizable characteristics of the original theme. In 1932, the English painter Paul Nash referred to Picasso as "the greatest of all abstract painters." We call this a sense of "weak" of abstraction, since, according to the most stringent criteria to be applied in this test, no one could say that Picasso did not even an abstract painting during his long activity as a painter. Moreover, the processes of abstraction that he practiced on his themes were often those that made it difficult to understand exactly how these issues were represented in his paintings. It is easy to see that a Picasso painting as Fiddler, the summer of 1910, could be understood as an abstract in the weak sense (illustration 159). By comparison, the work shown in the figure 158 could be called the abstract sense of the term that means it is a work that has no apparent desire to be part of a scene or person. She introduces herself simply as a "composition".

158, Piet Mondrian, Composition, 1916, Guggenheim Museum, Nova York.

As we shall see, and like Picasso Fiddler helps to show the weak and strong senses of abstraction are linked both practically and in terms of art history.

159, Pablo Picasso, The guitarist, 1910, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

On the other hand, it is important to bear in mind that while cubism arose in the context of a Parisian avant-garde, most of the first developments in abstract art occurred some distance from the French capital in Germany, Austria, Holland and Russia. Abstract art was not simply a continuation of that form of modern tradition that had its center in Paris during the previous half century. Rather, the idea of painting a "pure" or pointless tended to invest predominantly against the direction of modern French painting, whose strength lies in its sophisticated exploration of the problems of realism and self-consciousness in figurative representation. Certainly, this tradition was an indispensable resource for all artists involved, but it was extended, diversified and changed under different historical conditions and intellectuals of northern and eastern Europe. The resolution of this process, coinciding with the period of I World War marked the beginning of the end of French dominance on the visual forms of modern. While Paris remained an important center until the beginning of II World War in the early 1920s the idea of modern art and design had been associated in many minds with the possibility of a universal aesthetic, and therefore internationally to which forms of abstract painting would provide prototypes and examples.

Abstraction and meaning

The process of abstraction typically emphasizes those aspects of painting that we see as formal. The artist Theo van Doesburg offered a schematic demonstration of the process of abstraction in his book The Principles of New Plastic Art Illustration 160 shows the stages by turning a photographic picture of a cow in a sort of abstract composition - presumably to highlight aspects individually and emphasizing its "essential." There is something patently absurd in the contrast between the first and last image of Van Doesburg. This absurdity was intended or not, the contrast serves to demonstrate an important point about abstract art in general and the possible ways in which it could be interpreted or regarded as significant. In the clash with traditional forms of painting, we are accustomed to being able to compare certain images with the world, to see where they match or not the appearance (or our expectations), and understand types of intention in the resulting similarities and differences. Given the sequence of illustrations of Van Doesburg, we can actually participate in a similar way of comparison. If we are informed of the stages involved, we can quite easily "understand" abstract painting referred to as "cow". This means that we can reconstruct the painting for a casual kind of story that begins, first with a real cow in the world and, secondly, with a set of intentions by the artist. The process of abstraction is, so to speak, the sequence of effects that these intentions have on the image "original" cow is thus implicitly reconstruct a chain of causes, intentions and effects, however strange they might have been.

160, Theo van Doesburg, aesthetically transformed Subject, 1917, Bauhaus-Archive, Berlin.

But if we were confronted only with the last image of the sequence (illustration 161), as could well occur in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where he is now painting? Possibly it could see a pattern like a cow, but in no doubt that his title would take much to persuade us that our perception was accidental How else, then we might find meaning in the painting? The question has obvious relevance for the interpretation of abstract art as a whole. In fact, the sequence of Van Doesburg case presents a deceptively sharp. The illustration 158 can be seen as illustrating a similar process of abstraction, and, guided by the example of Van Doesburg, would therefore seem reasonable to assume that Mondrian's Composition in Line for 1916-1917 is in some sense a painting of the sea. But suppose this would imply a continuous connecting it to earlier paintings. This assumption is not that we can do it safely. In the years 1909-14 Mondrian also drew pictures of trees, windmills and church towers. A different sequence of illustrations would seem to connect the last painting a different reason naturalist.

161, Theo van Doesburg, The Cow, 1917, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

If we have to give up information that a sequence of illustrations appears to provide, we should seek another way to repackage an abstract painting to the world of things, and so understand how it was shaped by the artist's intentions? Or should we instead seek meaning in relationships within the painting itself, given the differences between forms and colors the way we hear the words of an unknown language, not to convert them immediately in terms of our own language, but to achieve that form of understanding that must accompany any act of translation as such, an understanding of grammar relevant? Instead of seeking to establish the meaning of the painting by placing it in a system of causes and effects, we consider the meaning as part of that formal system is that painting?

It is true that all types of human representation can be viewed as ordered according to some system. Indeed, call an object of our experience of a form of representation is to say that we perceive it in a form of a more intentional, i.e., an order form that is meaningful and significant human design in human terms. "Human Terms" are inescapably terms of human language. But it does not follow necessarily that the forms in art are like words or words as they are ordered, or that they are in a correspondence with a given word. They are not subject to the same kind of grammatical rules or the same principles of consistency in use and not come together to form language statements or propositions.

Essence, expression, spirituality

As the example of Van Doesburg suggests the idea of abstract as a process tends to involve a kind of essentialism: up at least half of the XX century, joining the trend in modern art abstract - at least in its more clearly geometric - tended to lead to the belief that a more pure, higher or deeper reality is revealed by eliminating the accidental aspects and "inessential "things. This kind of essentialism derives its justification from the Platonic idea that there are universal or fundamental entities of which the things we encounter are simply examples of imperfect or impure. The work of abstract art was, therefore, associated by many of its early practitioners and advocates a kind of "see through", the idea that the artist is the one that penetrates the veil of material existence to reveal a spiritual reality underlying and essential.

In the early years of this century, Kandinsky and Mondrian were both attracted by the ideas of the Theosophists, who taught that human beings evolve in levels of physical existence to the spiritual, and that certain fundamental laws, hidden from the mass of humanity, are revealed to the initiated as philosophers, founders of religions and - perhaps - the artists. By 1915, Mondrian was also strongly affected by Neo-Platonism theories of mathematician Dr Schoenmaekers published that year. Meanwhile, in Russia, Malevich was interested in pseudo-scientific speculation about the fourth dimension.

It is not difficult to see how the development of Mondrian's work may seem to an essentialist search a gradual that universal reality that is supposedly hidden in the accident. In a footnote to his first published essay on art, Mondrian himself explicitly characterized the artist as a kind of medium for the expression of the universal.

If this view is attributed to the artist a kind of prophetic role, it also gives it a special responsibility. Your practice should be exemplary and in tune with the highest degree. The circulation of such ideas (no matter how eccentric they may seem) in the early years of the century may help explain the powerful sense of mission that is transmitted by the writings of Kandinsky, Mondrian and Malevich. Given the usefulness of the analogy between abstract composition and grammar, and grammar as they rely on the basic condition is to invoke a rational expression, we must not forget that each of the major artists involved in the initial development of abstract art was involved in some period of their training Neo-Platonism and mystical ideas - which means not rational. (We should be warned by the example of choice of Van Doesburg. Why a cow? "What a cow over a set of illusions Neo-Platonism should result in abstract painting is not, after all, a rational idea.)
Style and Meaning

Of course, not all forms of abstract art that presuppose an initial point of view or Neo-Platonism theosophical plausible. Nor is this view that a work of abstract art as necessarily commits itself to essentialism. Is not to exclude all other interests with what the work looks like or how she came to look like it has, nor is it necessarily deny that there may be other categories in which certain abstract works could be located in a more fruitful. Often is more informative look to material differences between the abstract works considered to realize that avoidance of figurative reference that they may have in common. If we want to discriminate between those works that meet the requirements of abstract, we need a range of appropriate subcategories in which to situate them, as well as labels for these categories.

The pictorial space is something we learn to understand, and we do so by reference to other forms of pictorial space. The history of painting in Western culture is largely a history of relevant forms of learning and the ways that learning was made. In his essay "A. And Pangeometry "written in 1925, El Lissisky said" The new optical experience has taught us that two surfaces of different intensity must be conceived as having a variable ratio of distance between them, even though they may be in the same plane ", the" new optical experience "he had in mind had been provided by the work of Malevich and Mondrian.

Another point to note is that the concept of non-figuration as a deliberately assumes that the figurative is what is normally expected. The consequence is that abstract painting depends for its status as art, the expectations created by paintings that are paintings, i.e. paintings by that, because of its resemblance to other things in the world can be seen as representations or illustrations of these things. It follows that the possibility of being seen as abstract paintings (i.e., as potential forms of high art) depends upon our tendency to look at their surfaces as other than purely flat - looking at them, in fact, potentially figurative. As the Greenberg noted, "The first mark made on the surface destroys its virtual plan" ("Modern Painting"), the effect of reading this mark is to split the screen visually and conceptually in "figure" and "bottom", and therefore , so to speak, to create space for any type of content or meaning (even though, again in the words of Greenberg, is not an illusion "in which someone can imagine yourself walking ... (it) is an illusion in which one can only look, just go with the eye. "To this point stating otherwise, it can be said that not only" see "the surface of a painting, we" see inside "surface of this evidence of some kind of intentional activity.

It is the invocation by the abstract paintings of this experience to "see inside", I think, that most strongly distinguished ornament. Abstract art assumes a critical position in front of figurative art, and the actual prevalence in European art and descriptive narratives of those functions that the procedures of figuration help facilitate and develop. But in order to establish this critical position, and to entertain the viewer to experience the real, the abstract work of art must first invoke and implement those same functions that you want to discredit. While we see the plan as Mondrian, we see it as meaningless (or, it may be said, see it as "pure design"). On the other hand, if we see something resembling the world, their identity and purpose as art are compromised. An abstract painting is something that is in place a framework which, however, is not a picture of anything.
Abstraction, design and decoration

Now we are better able to address an issue raised in the opening paragraph. Despite the universal and explicit assumptions of many of the artists themselves, the historically and culturally specific character of abstract art is emphasized when we consider how the two constituents - "abstract" and "art" - depend on each other. It may be useful to consider some counter examples. For example, in Islamic culture in which that less priority to the representative functions of art and more priority to the significance of the pattern or ornament, an art "abstract" does not in itself remarkable. Neither has she deserved any special attention in a culture that had no substantial basis for distinguishing paintings and sculptures from other forms of design and decoration. It is pertinent that theoretical pre-modernists like John Ruskin and William Morris, who wrote in the mid and late in the XIX century, have idealized the medieval period as one in which art and design were indistinguishable with respect to its statutes and aesthetic interests. To these critics, the realization of an abstract art - an "art" that is categorically distinct from "design" - could only have appeared as the realization of his worst predictions. This means that they probably would have seen as an extreme form of that tendency to isolate the "aesthetic" and "utility" which they saw as a negative consequence of industrialization.

In contrast, the modern theory of abstract art by Greenberg assumes that, for better or for worse, the practices of art and design are distinct but not really incompatible. A tension and a growing difficulty in relations between the concepts of art and design, respectively, are revealed in varying critical fortunes of the term "decoration". In the late 1880s, the Symbolists used the concept of decoration to refer to those who saw positive aesthetic values as independent of the requirements description and imitation. For Matisse, writing in 1910, the decorative aspect of painting coincided with its expressive function, in pursuit of which every single component was critically adjusted. In 1910, when presenting his translation of the article about Cézanne from Maurice Denis, Roger Fry wrote of "a new courage to experiment in painting that direct expression of imagined states of consciousness, which has long been relegated to music and poetry." He saw this trend as associated with a "new lease of art, in which decorative elements predominate to the detriment of the representative." Clearly the emphasis was thus placed in a decorative way to affirm the relative autonomy of art forms as vehicles of expression. With the beginnings of practical interest in the development of abstract art, on the other hand, the realization of "mere" decoration became the hallmark of aesthetic failure - or the failure to establish that promise of intellectual and emotional depth that was associated with painting as art form.

The intention to produce abstract art was then an intention to present works not as non-figurative forms of "mere" decoration or ornament, but as forms of modern art - that is, as forms of representation. In reviewing its development in 1913, Kandinsky wrote about the "frightening depth of issues, charged with responsibility," he thought he had before him. "And most importantly, what should replace the lost object?" The danger of ornamentation was clear, the death of alleged stylized could only drive me away. “As we shall see, the intention to produce abstract art was not made suddenly or by an individual who acted alone. She has developed, I think, as a partial consequence of those long-term changes in the relations between "art" and "design", and both with the "figuration," which we can follow along the nineteenth century - changes that are themselves associated, in some theories of modernism, the inception of the modern period in art. That is, the emergence of abstract art was specific to a modern European world in which the mainstream of economic and industrial development was to boost the distinctions between art and design, and between higher and lower forms of art, in which the meaning of high art was usually associated to figuration, and in which the paintings and sculptures were candidates to the status of high art, while examples of design and ornament were not.

A note on abstract art in his time

As noted, the evidence is that the problem of the value of abstract art was a pertinent question in particular the practice of European art at the beginning of the XX century. Why then? Some clues to an answer may extract from the previous discussion, namely, examining the relationship between abstraction and non-figuration. At the end of the century. Century, the practice of critical configuration - the critique of illusion and all that the techniques used to provide the illusionistic art salons and academies in Europe - often tended towards abstraction. The emphasis on "purity" of the potential form was both a means to challenge the traditions in their own merits classicizing Neo-Platonism, as a means to depreciate the superficially descriptive, anecdotal and the imitative. Coincidentally, the idea of a universal reality and the underlying served as a kind of symbolist contrast critical to the burdensome requirement of truth in appearances. Meanwhile, the idea of a spiritual truth served by some as a light which revealed what they saw taking the generally materialistic values of the contemporary world. The initial justification of abstract art not only resorted to criticism well exercised in the traditional way, but also a varied literature of thought "anti-materialist," to which the philosophers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Wagner the composer, the poet Malarmé, mystics and Ouspensky Madame Blavatsky and many others had contributed in various ways, although not equally. In the early years of this century has won a feature utopian anti-materialism. This means that he was associated with a positive ideal of human potential and human society. In a decade that includes World War, a failed revolution in Germany and a successful in Russia, the new art forms were associated with optimistic forms of opposition to the prevailing political and social order, although not usually organized to socialism.

The idea of abstract art - the vision of a universal aesthetic potential and its extension to the "daily life" - was part of the conceptual apparatus by which certain persons, individually and in groups, have tried in the early XX century imagine your way to a better world. That is, the intention to produce abstract art, though an artistic intention, and was formed in a world that was not simply a world of art.