Decription Paper

WORLD OF ART

CHAPTER

EIGHTH EDITION

World of Art, Eighth Edition Henry M. Sayre

Copyright © 2016, 2013, 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Discovering a World of Art

1

Learning Objectives

Differentiate between passive and active seeing.

Define the creative process and describe the roles that artists most often assume when they engage in that process.

Discuss the different ways in which people value, or do not value, works of art.

Introduction
1 of 3

  • Cai Guo-Ziang utilized gunpowder as an artistic medium in his Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters…, which created an explosion that formed an ephemeral red line.
  • Gunpowder was an essential Chinese medium; instead of using it for destruction, the artist wished to bring people together through the beauty of the pyrotechnic display.

Cai Guo-Qiang, Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10.
Realized in the Gobi desert, February 27, 1993, 7:35 pm.
Photo by Masanobu Moriyama, courtesy of Cai Studio. [Fig. 1-1]

Introduction
2 of 3

  • For the Olympic Games in 2008, Cai was chosen to direct the visual and special effects for both opening and closing ceremonies.
  • A trail of 29 “footprints of history” made in fireworks was fired across the sky between Tianenmen Square and the Olympic Stadium, the Bird’s Nest.

Cai Guo-Qiang, Footprints of History: Fireworks Project for the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
2008.
Photo by Hiro Ihara, courtesy of Cai Studio. [Fig. 1-2]

Herzog & de Meuron, The Bird’s Nest—Beijing National Stadium.
2004–08.
© Xiaoyang Liu/Corbis. [Fig. 1-3]

Introduction
3 of 3

  • For the Olympic Games in 2008, Cai was chosen to direct the visual and special effects for both opening and closing ceremonies.
  • However, the work was aired as a video rather than live due to the conditions of smog in Beijing.
  • Cai believed the video was necessary, and considered it a second work of art.

The World as We Perceive It

  • Objections to Cai’s Footprints of History mainly centered around the violation of trust regarding a digital film being broadcast instead of the “real thing.”
  • Many of us assume that we can trust our eyes to give us accurate information and an understanding of the world.

The Process of Seeing
1 of 2

  • Visual processing can be divided into reception, extraction, and inference.
  • The human retina “edits” information perceived from external sources.
  • Seeing is inherently creative, as you decide what details are important.

The Process of Seeing
2 of 2

  • Trompe-l’oeil is a technique literally meaning “trick the eye.”
  • Richard Haas is a painter known for such architectural murals, such as the one on the west facade of the Oregon Historical Society.
  • Stored visual information can also trick a viewer, even for images seen on a regular basis, such as the American Flag.

Richard Haas, Oregon Historical Society. Portland, OR.
1989.
Keim silicate paint, 14,000 sq. ft. Architect: Zimmer Gunsel Frasca Partnership. Executed by American Illusion, New York.
Photo courtesy of Richard Haas. © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York. [Fig. 1-4]

Active Seeing

  • Jasper Johns’s Flag takes a familiar image and examines it more closely.
  • It was painted during the Cold War era, a time when America obsessed over patriotism through McCarthyism and the Space Race.
  • Audiences were disturbed by newspaper scraps visible beneath the surface.

Jasper Johns, Flag.
1954–55. Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood (three panels),
42-1/2″ × 5′-5/8″. Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Gift of Ms. David M. Levy, 28.1942.30. © 2015. Digital image, Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence. © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York. [Fig. 1-5]

Active Seeing

  • Faith Ringgold’s God Bless America was created during the Civil Rights movement.
  • Here, the stripes have been turned into prison bars and the star becomes a sheriff’s badge.
  • The white woman is portrayed as both patriotic and racist, a prisoner of bigotry.

Faith Ringgold, God Bless America, No. 13 from the series American People.
1964. Oil on canvas, 31 × 19″. ACA galleries.
© Faith Ringgold, Inc. 1964. [Fig. 1-6]

The World as Artists See It
1 of 2

  • Cai did not choose to go to Dunhuang simply to extend the end of the Great Wall of China; the area was the place where East and West first intersected.
  • A terra-cotta figure from the Tang dynasty shows a Bactrian camel that would have transported goods.
  • The region also has the greatest collection of early Chinese art.

Caravaneer on a camel, China.
Tang dynasty, (618–907). Polychrome terra-cotta figure. 17-1⁄8″ × 14-1⁄8″.
Musée des Arts Asiatiques-Guimet, Paris.
Inv. MA6721.Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée Guimet, Paris)/Thierry Ollivier. [Fig. 1-7]

The World as Artists See It
2 of 2

  • Legend has it that a cave-temple was dug by a Buddhist monk named LeSun, over the years becoming more decorated until it was recognized in the fourteenth century as the Mogao Caves.
  • 492 of these caves are decorated with murals, together about 40 times longer than the walls in the Sistine Chapel.

Mogao Caves (Caves of a Thousand Buddhas) Dunhuang, China.
© Joan Swinnerton/Alamy. [Fig. 1-8]

Reclining Buddha, Mogao Caves, Cave 148, Dunhuang, China.
Middle Tang dynasty, (781–847). Length: 51′.
Photo: Tony Law. © Dunhuang Research Academy. [Fig. 1-9]

The Creative Process

  • Artists engage in critical thinking.
  • They respond to the unexpected, chance occurrences and are open to new ways of thinking.
  • The artist manages the process from seeing to imagining to making, becoming self-critical and exploring the possibilities of their work.

Art and the Idea of Beauty
1 of 2

  • Aesthetics refer to our sense of what is beautiful and vary across cultures over time.
  • Western culture values order, regularity, proportion, and design, which are hallmarks seen through Classical art and architecture.
  • Mountain ranges were dismissed until the nineteenth century in the U.S.

Art and the Idea of Beauty
2 of 2

  • The human body is also a widely contested source of beauty.
  • Imagine tall, slender fashion models compared to Peter Paul Rubens’s fleshy nudes.
  • Pablo Picasso’s representations of women are almost demonic, segmented and abstracted in a battle between attraction and repulsion.

Pablo Picasso, Seated Bather (La Baigneuse).
1930. Oil on canvas, 5′ 4-1/4″ × 4′ 3″. Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. (82.1950). © 2015. Digital image, Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-10]

Roles of the Artist
1 of 12

Artists make a visual record of the people, places, and events of their time and place.

  • The art of portraiture reflects a desire to record what the artist sees visually.
  • Mickalene Thomas paints portraits of contemporary African-American women in poses evoking odalisques, similar to Manet’s Olympia.

Mickalene Thomas, Portrait of Mnonja.
2010. Rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood panel, 8 × 10′. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2011.16. © 2015. Digital image, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C./Scala, Florence. Courtesy of Mickalene Thomas and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. © 2015 Mickalene Thomas/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-14]

Édouard Manet, Olympia.
1863. Oil on canvas, 4′ 3″ × 6′ 2-3/4″. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Inv. RF644. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay)/Hervé Lewandowski. [Fig. 1-15]

Roles of the Artist
2 of 12

Artists make a visual record of the people, places, and events of their time and place.

  • Portrait of Mnonja was sold to the Akron Art Museum and featured hundreds of rhinestones.
  • The anamorphic cat directly references the black cat opposite Olympia’s feet in Manet’s work.

Roles of the Artist
3 of 12

Artists make a visual record of the people, places, and events of their time and place.

  • Olympia was also reflective of its time, though Manet’s audience did not wish to acknowledge it as anything but appalling.

The Creative Process
1 of 2

  • From Sketch to Final Vision:
    Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
  • An early sketch conceived five prostitutes and two men in the work.
  • By removing the male figures, he more fully engages the audience in the scene.
  • Picasso rejects any traditional notion of beauty in the women’s forms.

Pablo Picasso, Medical Student, Sailor, and Five Nudes in a Bordello (Compositional study for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon), Paris.
Early 1907. Black chalk and pastel over pencil on Ingres paper, 18-1/2 × 25″. Kupferstichkabinett, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland.
Deposited at the Kupferstichkabinett of the Kunstmuseum Basel by the residents of the City of Basel, 1967.106. Photo: Kunstmuseum Basel/Martin Bühler. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-11]

The Creative Process
2 of 2

  • From Sketch to Final Vision:
    Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
  • Originally, all figures looked like the middle two.
  • African masks inspired the new look of the emotionally-charged figures.
  • The impossible multiple points of view present the painting as an ambiguity of experience.

Pablo Picasso, Study for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon: Head of the Squatting Demoiselle. 1907. Gouache and Indian ink on paper, 24-3/4 × 18-7/8″. Musée Picasso, Paris.
Inv. MP 539. Photo © RMN-Grand Palais/Thierry Le Mage. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-12]

Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
1907. Oil on canvas. 8′ × 7′. Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, 333.1939. © 2015 Digital image, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York/Scala, Florence. © 2015 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-13]

Roles of the Artist
4 of 12

Artists help us see the world in new or innovative ways.

  • Cai Guo-Qiang’s work was designed to transform viewers’ experience of the world.
  • Prior to his work, Ken Gonzalez-Day researched the history of lynching in California, finding Native Americans, Chinese immigrants, and Latinos were lynched more than other groups.

Ken Gonzales-Day, “At daylight the miserable man was carried to an oak…,” from the series Searching for California Hang Trees.
2007. Chromogenic print, 35 × 45″. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2012.12.1. © 2015. Digital image, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C./Scala, Florence. © 2015 Ken Gonzales-Day. [Fig. 1-16]

Roles of the Artist
5 of 12

Artists help us see the world in new or innovative ways.

  • The photograph “At daylight…” transforms our view of an oak tree that is at once mossy, tangled, and majestic and the site of violent deaths.

Roles of the Artist
6 of 12

Artists make functional objects and structures (buildings) more pleasurable and elevate them or imbue them with meaning.

  • The sculpture of a film projector by Kane Kwei and his workshop functions as a coffin.
  • In Ghana, coffins celebrate a successful life with ritual significance.

Workshop of Kane Kwei, Coffin in the shape of a film projector, Teshi area, Ghana, Africa.
2013.
© LUC GNAGO/Reuters/Corbis. [Fig. 1-17]

Roles of the Artist
7 of 12

Artists make functional objects and structures (buildings) more pleasurable and elevate them or imbue them with meaning.

  • Public space features standards of aesthetic beauty.
  • Self-sufficiency, sustainable building materials, and suitability to climate and culture exemplify “green architecture.”

Roles of the Artist
8 of 12

Artists make functional objects and structures (buildings) more pleasurable and elevate them or imbue them with meaning.

  • The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, named for a leader of the Kanak people, features buildings of wood and bamboo.
  • Architect Renzo Piano utilized the nearby ocean breeze in a design that cooled the inner rooms of the pavilions.

Renzo Piano, Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Center, Nouméa, New Caledonia.
1991–98.
© Giraud-Langevin/Sygma/Corbis. [Fig. 1-18]

Roles of the Artist
9 of 12

Artists give form to the immaterial—hidden or universal truths, spiritual forces, personal feelings.

  • Western approach to works from African, Oceanic, Asian, or Native American cultures often relegates everyday objects to “works of art.”
  • These objects may serve a utilitarian or sacred function, a context far removed from the Western lens.

Roles of the Artist
10 of 12

Artists give form to the immaterial—hidden or universal truths, spiritual forces, personal feelings.

  • The Nkisi nkonde from Kongo was used to pursue witches, thieves, and wrongdoers and activated by a communicator driving pieces of iron into the body of the figure.
  • These figures represented animism, but Europeans saw them as a threat.

Nkisi nkonde, Kongo (Muserongo), Zaire.
Late 19th century. Wood, iron nails, glass, resin, 20-1/4 × 11 × 8″. The University of Iowa Museum of Art.
Stanley Collection, X1986.573. Image courtesy of the University of Iowa Museum of Art [Fig. 1-19]

Roles of the Artist
11 of 12

Artists give form to the immaterial—hidden or universal truths, spiritual forces, personal feelings.

  • Figures of minkonde are still made today.
  • Tania Brugeuera dressed as an nkonde in a performance enacted in Havana and the Neuberger Museum of Art in NY.

Tania Bruguera, Displacement.
1998–99. Cuban earth, glue, wood, nails, textile, dimensions variable. Still from film of the original performance in Havana, Cuba, 1988, exhibited at the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York, January–April 2010.
Courtesy of Tania Bruguera studio. [Fig. 1-20]

Roles of the Artist
12 of 12

Artists give form to the immaterial—hidden or universal truths, spiritual forces, personal feelings.

  • Images of God were protested through Western history.
  • Jan van Eyck depicted a frail, young, merciful, and richly adorned God in his Ghent Altarpiece.

Jan van Eyck, The Ghent Altarpiece.
ca. 1432. Oil on panel, 11′ 5″ × 15′ 1″. Church of St. Bavo, Ghent, Belgium.
© 2015 Photo Scala, Florence. [Fig. 1-21]

Jan van Eyck, God, panel from The Ghent Altarpiece.
ca. 1432.
© 2015 Photo Scala, Florence. [Fig. 1-22]

Seeing the Value in Art
1 of 2

  • Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud was the most expensive artwork ever sold in 2013.
  • This triptych was analogous to shooting the same scene from three different angles.
  • While interesting as a study, many people find it hard to like and are incredulous at its market value.

Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud.
1969. Oil on canvas, each canvas 6′ 6″. × 4′ 10″. Private collection.
Photo © Christie’s Images/Bridgeman Images. © 2015 Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved./DACS, London/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-23]

Seeing the Value in Art
2 of 2

  • The art market depends on the participation of wealthy clients.
  • Major financial centers support the most prestigious art galleries, auction houses, and museums.
  • Collectors are motivated mostly by the pleasure of owning prestigious art.

Artistic Value and the “Culture Wars”
1 of 4

  • The value of art is not solely about money, but intrinsic value.
  • Robert Mapplethorpe
  • Mapplethorpe died a few months before the slated exhibition of his work in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. in 1989.
  • His homoerotic, sadomasochistic, and underage subjects evoked ire.

Artistic Value and the “Culture Wars”
2 of 4

  • Robert Mapplethorpe
  • Because of its subject matter, the show was moved to a smaller gallery.
  • Later shows ran without incident until police seized photographs at a Cincinnati gallery, claiming criminal obscenity.
  • Testimony in the following trial focused on formal qualities of each work.

Artistic Value and the “Culture Wars”
3 of 4

  • Robert Mapplethorpe
  • Ajitto, for example, shows the human body with the geometry of a pentagon.
  • The jury eventually ruled that Mapplethorpe’s work possessed “serious artistic value” in the context of the tradition of arts confronting parts of our lives that give us pain as well as pleasure.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Ajitto.
1981. Gelatin silver print, 30 × 40″.
Used by permission of Art + Commerce. © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. [Fig. 1-24]

Artistic Value and the “Culture Wars”
4 of 4

  • Chris Ofili
  • The Holy Virgin Mary became a target for outrage especially for its inclusion of elephant dung in the depiction of a religious figure.
  • The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights encouraged people to picket the museum and mayor Rudolph Giuliani threatened to cut off the museum’s city subsidy.

The press surround Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary at the Brooklyn Museum.
© Ruby Washington/New York Times/Redux/eyevine. [Fig. 1-25a]

Demonstration Against the ‘Sensation’ Art Exhibition outside the Brooklyn Museum, New York, America – 1999.
Sipa Press/REX. [Fig. 1-25b]

The Avant-Garde and Public Opinion
1 of 3

  • The public tends to receive innovative artwork with reservation because it has little context to be appreciated.
  • Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase succeeded in scandalizing, and received parody and ridicule following its exhibition at the Armory Show in 1913.

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2.
1912. Oil on canvas, 4′ 10″ × 35″. Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950. © 2015. Photo: Graydon Wood, 1994, Philadelphia Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence. © 2015 Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-26]

The Avant-Garde and Public Opinion
2 of 3

  • Duchamp studied and represented Marey’s Movement as well as studies of animals and humans in motion by Eadweard Muybridge.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) endeavored to teach the public how to see and appreciate “advanced art.”

The Avant-Garde and Public Opinion
3 of 3

  • Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc was installed with minimal negative reaction in 1981, but faced removal in March 1985.
  • In March of 1989, it was stolen in the middle of the night, dismantled and subsequently destroyed.
  • The site-specific work lost its meaning when it was removed

Richard Serra, Tilted Arc.
Cor-Ten steel, 12′ × 120′ × 2-1/2″. Installed, Federal Plaza, New York City. Destroyed by the U.S. government March 15, 1989.
© 2015 Richard Serra/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-27]

Political Visions

  • If art appears to promote a specific political or social agenda, it is bound to face public disagreement.
  • Michelangelo’s David was designed to be displayed atop the Piazza della Signoria, signifying Florence’s freedom from foreign, papal, and Medici domination.
  • Citizens also objected to its nudity.

Michelangelo, David.
1501–04. Copy of the original as it stands in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence. Original in the Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence. Marble, Height 13′ 5″.
© Bill Ross/CORBIS. [Fig. 1-28]

The Critical Process
Thinking about Making and Seeing
Works of Art

  • Andy Warhol’s Race Riot depicts events of May 1963 when Bull Connor employed attack dogs and fire hoses to disperse civil rights demonstrators led by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Which of the artist’s roles was the most important for creating this work?

Andy Warhol, Race Riot.
1963. Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas. Four panels, each 20 × 33″.
© 2015 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 1-29]

Thinking Back

Differentiate between passive and active seeing.

Define the creative process and describe the roles that artists most often assume when they engage in that process.

Discuss the different ways in which people value, or do not value, works of art.

 

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