Art History 2400 Final


La Grenouillere

  • Monet
  • 1869
  • Impressionism

. <3 Japanesma/ Hiroshige prints- hanging foliage and cropping for harmonious composition
. approach
. snapshot/ certain perspective
. carries off the snapshot
. asymmetry
. How people spend LEISURE TIME
. not vision, visual PERCEPTION
. What do we really see?
. How do we see? - physically and intellectually
. "I'm not painting nature. I'm painting the experience of being a modern person seeing stuff." - Monet
. how things look from human perception- EMBODIED SPECTATOR
. movement and sensation in vision= nothing is really at rest
. seeing is just one more aspect of knowledge that lets us say "I just don't know."
. flaneur= passionate spectator- can pass unknown in environment- total freedom- one with the city
. artist= observer

The Cradle

  • Marisot
  • 1872
  • Impressionism

. Impressionist men were picked on, but everyone loved Morisot
. rapid, fleeting nature fits female temperament
. "why doesn't she complete it?" "because she cant- she's a woman."
. grace, charm, femininity
. "appropriate feminine style"

Impression: Sunrise

  • Monet
  • 1872
  • Impressionism

. subject matter= modern life/ industrial harbor= used to be a sleepy little town- response to industrialization
. CONTINGENCY - unfixed, dependent on a certain perspective
. use color to make shadow
. speaking on complexities of vision= fleeting and continuous

Boulevard des Capucines

  • Monet
  • 1873
  • Impressionism

. 1853 Nappy III wins coup and wants protection from revolutions
. 1853- 1870 Haussmannization- Paris redesigned with radiating center (NO CORNERS for barricades) and grand boulevards (open streets- easy to keep an eye on people)
. Industrialization leads to rise of the middle class- indistinguishable from upper class- more $= more industry and more leisure time- window shopping and garden strolling (like Friday night= to be seen and socialize)
. people watching

. brushstrokes depict movement= CONTINGENCY and fleeting nature of vision
. people aren't distinguishable= blurring of class boundaries
. atmospheric shifting/ fog
. no perspective
. use colors for shadows
. subject matter= modern life

Villa at the Seaside

  • Morisot
  • 1874
  • Impressionism

Place de la Concorde

  • Degas
  • 1875
  • Impressionism

. everyone is just looking
. implies spectacle- Paris post Haussmannization is the city of spectacles
. snapshot= CONTINGENCY
. flat composition- all focal points are in extreme foreground
. stability in the world around us (Theory of Relativity= originally Theory of the Viewpoint)

In the Loge

  • Cassatt
  • 1878
  • Impressionism

. Cassatt= feminist, so critics hate her like Impressionist men
. "masculine" style- sharper images, bolder lines
. seen as a perverse woman endangering the traditional values of woman
. style and societal roles/interests separate

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

1884 - 1886
  • Seurat
  • 1884-86
  • Post-Impressionism

. style seems to have more ACTIVITY
. less contrast
. vibrating pointillism
. subject matter= modern life/ spectacle
. lack of proportion
. frozen, but UNSUSTAINABLE
. synesthesia: up lines= happy; down lines= sad
. molecular energy/ tension
. modern life and recreation= stilted and distorted- isolation, alienation
. locus= girl in white dress with nanny- holding hands= attempt from child- no reciprocation from nanny
. studies structure- <3 Parthenon frieze composition
. stable figures made up of movement (small, but noticeable agitation)= what it means to exist in modern life
. non- productive energy of modern life
. faces all in shadow and blank
. one couple connecting
. one girl showing joy= adults are sad
. ESCAPISM- escape Haussmannization how Parisians have escaped for centuries- MODERN LIFE STILL AFFECTS US EVEN IN OUR ESCAPING
. perspective like we're encountering them in our walk
. seems static, but marks vibrate with energy
. no one is talking, touching, smiling

Vision After the Sermon: Jacob Wrestling the Angel

  • Gaugin
  • 1888
  • Post-Impressionism

. <3 line
. <3 the "primitive"- lived whole life in big city- quits job and leaves family to pursue art- goes to Breton region (like Amish but Catholic)- reaction against rapid urbanization in Queen Victoria's regime
. symbolists- <3 inner world/reality
. "We must be able to objectify the subjective, that is to make out subjective forms understandable to others... It will react against the materialism of culture and its rationalism... [and] proclaim the validity of a subjective vision- the expression of ideas, dreams, imagination over the realistic vision of the world."
. not just what we see, but how we IMAGINE it BEHIND THE EYES
. vision vs dream/ reality vs inner life
. founder of Nabis group- "prophet", inner (subjective) vs outer (objective) realities
. more clear than Impressionist- no contingency; stasis and clarity; elevated to timeless, static quality; no time in dreams- Freud
. invention of chronometric time- train schedules- we have a time in our mind and body that is not consistent with reality

Starry Night

  • Van Gogh
  • 1889
  • Post-Impressionism

. <3 color
. not realistic- impression, sensations, energy, movement
. not painted as you see it, but as you WANT to see it
. [We can't talk about his work in a scholarly fashion because we all know the man, Van Gogh, so his art doesn't have a chance to explain itself. Even his contemporaries can't separate the man from his work.]

The Bath

  • Cassatt
  • 1892
  • Impressionism

Mont Sainte Victoire

1902 - 1904
  • Cezanne
  • 1902-04
  • Post-Impressionism

. "I want to make something of Impressionism that is SOLID and DURABLE."- Cezanne
. <3 impressions of everyday things, but much more analytical, scientific, paints with more STRUCTURE
. Impressionists= too fluffy- "They seem not to think too much about what they do and to be proud of it."
. PARADOX- 3D Illusionism vs 2D Anti- Illusionism: "In order to subjectify the objective world, I must be true to the 2D surface, but I must insert a sense of a 3rd dimension, solid and firm to concretize the subjectiveness."
. intelligent art- to paint subjective as if it were reality- wants to make it SOLID and DURABLE and LASTING- demands logic, order, clarity
. "If I am painting something real I must give it a volume, weight, depth, while also telling the viewer it is an image."
. this is THE REALITY- reality means nothing until we interact with it
. architectonic structure
. outside "nature is always the same, but of that aspect which appears to us, nothing lasts."= contemporary, fleeting
. sensory PERCEPTIONS- as we understand it
. tensions in warm vs cool colors and 3D architectonic structure (achieved by formal application of paint- instability of vision) vs 2D surface
. BETWEEN= still in the process of being perceived
. no center or perspective
. even if at rest, your eye, as it sees, is moving
. piece is incoherent and unstable= eye is always processing, observing, abstracting
. chasing after the impossible masterpiece

Woman with a Hat

  • Matisse
  • 1905
  • Fauvism

. <3 divisionism and pointillism
. applies color in arbitrary fashion
. expressive
. unfinished, CONTINGENT, temporal= like Impressionism
. "Exactitude is not truth."
. wild kind of beast among civil kind of art
. surface and movement- eye never stops moving
. subject matter is only a part of it- shifting and reconciling understandings
. 1) Dramatic arbitrary use of color often highlighted with black rejects subtleties and nuances of color application
. 2) Spontaneous, textured brushstrokes
. 3) "we rejective imitative colors"
. 4) "expansion"
. hat and clothes distract from face to beyond the frame- looking- eyes don't settle, understanding doesn't settle
. therapeutic art- balance, purity, serenity, soothing and calming influence on the mind- devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter "like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue."- Matisse
. looking as relaxation- people watching
. let your eye just look and find no meaning

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

  • Picasso
  • 1907
  • Proto-Cubism

. <3 primitive art- Iberian and African art
. art is about LOOKING
. portrait= how we understand each other
. masks= spiritual world, gods, rulers, shamans, ALSO hiding and uncertainty
. men removed from brothel
. girl 1= Egyptian statue
. girl 2= Venus turned vertical
. girl 4= like Cezanne
. Byzantine eyes
. still life= oldest in Academy
. TROPES: moving masks= CONTINGENCY, TEMPORALITY, looking for pleasure
. drapery= structural, no depth, addressed the same way as figures
. women look out @ viewer- like low class Olympias
. "lethal" gaze- we are made the clients- targeted- we become the spectacle
. what is our privilege of looking is turned on us to become denial- we look at their faces with no desire to look at their bodies or forms
. we don't see the sensuousness of the body, but just jagged shapes
. attack of tropes of art and privilege of looking at art
. eyes= piercing, emphasized
. we can't enter the space- too compressed
. act of looking at art or the world isn't as enjoyable or informational as before- we cannot know the world through out primacy of sight- "I paint forms as I think them, not as I see them." - Picasso

Ma Jolie

  • Picasso
  • 1909
  • Analytic Cubism

. "My pretty girl"
. primacy of sight displaced by how the mind itself functions, how it understands the world
. objects from multiple perspectives- essentialized features, human form and background simplified to geometric shapes and planes
. time/duration/movement work on everything, making everything in the material world in constant CONTINGENCY, but not the world as much as our perceptions/mind
. limited palette helps blur- fluid- also like the cinema- scenes spliced to look more fluid/seamless so everything runs together
. our mind's process in the material world makes our hours, days, weeks meld together fluidly

Black Square

  • Malevich
  • 1915
  • Suprematism

. WWI starting- Russia in opposition with Germany- deplete natural resources- unbelievable debt- lost 3 milllion people- have to withdraw under Czar Nick II
. general dissatisfaction with life in Russia- Bolshevik Revolution
. art to save Mother Russia!- reconceptualization of reality can help Russia move forward
. in installation, Black Square positioned in corner where icons were hung- immaterial world, look up to, transcends reality
. square= holy and worthy of worship
. sight is meaningless- feeling and intuition concretized
. intuition is a universal language
. pure language= shape and color
. force viewer to see it newly- ostranenie= "making it strange"
. "To image zero is to enter the unknown."- Malevich
. possibilities are unlimited= HOPE
. create a new society from scratch
. we become our own gods- we command our own destinies- factories produce the world around us but the workers have control here
. Black Square now cracked- Utopia= unattainable


  • Duchamp
  • 1917
  • Dada

. turned down by Society of Independent Artists in NYC until they find out it's his
. 1) flipped
. 2) on pedestal=* elevated*
. 3) signed "R. Mutt" = popular cartoon character= uncertain authorship
. authorship= value
. nihilism- critiquing ontology of art- What is art?
. authenticity- connection between artists and work- authorship (genius) and originality (ready-made)


  • Duchamp
  • 1919
  • Dada

. "look"
. French= "She has a hot ass."
. honored art "masterpiece" by a genius
. by the "master"
. small, dissappointing

Birth of the World

  • Joan Miro
  • 1925
  • Surrealism

. "Miro is the most surrealist of us all."- Breton
. automatic thinking
. biomorphic- back to ideas of biology- looks like sperm
. sense of thought muddled/fluid
. ameobic
. morphing/ not fully formed
. "Rather than setting out to paint something, begin to paint and the picture begins to assert itself." - Miro
. naming work (value) building blocks of the world
. origin, birth, beginning
. image 1st and mind follows

The Treachery of Images

  • Magritte
  • 1929
  • Surrealism

. "This is not a pipe."- It's an IMAGE of a pipe
. false sight- your vision is lying to you
. artists don't believe in the visual but need to be led to inner truth with vision

Un Chien Anadlou

  • Bunuel and Dali
  • 1929
  • Surrealist Film

. <3 Dada, but Dada is over
. "above the real"
. "based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of association heretofore neglected, in the omnipotence of the dream, and in the disinterested play of thought.... I believe in the future resolution of the states of dream and reality, in appearance so contradictory in a sort of absolute reality, or surreality."
. "Pure psychic automatism (below subconscious) by which it is intended to express, either verbally or in writing, the true function of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations."
. let go of reason and convention
. social conventions make slaves of us
. uninhibited mind, pure/true thought, fluidity of memory, the dream- disavows space and time and laws of nature
. Utopian idea, social and political change on an individual level
. unconscious world is truth
. cut eye= vision unimportant- don't trust sight- the eye is deceitful- look out from ourselves, we don't look in- "we have literally killed the eye."
. not sure dream, she's thinking, or what's happening
. differentiates biomorphic from naturalistic surrealism

The Persistence of Memory

  • Dali
  • 1931
  • Surrealism

. Paranoiac- critical method- key for what he's doing= "to materialize images of concrete irrationality with most imperialistic fury..."- Dali
. super realistic- makes it like reality or above reality
. to make subjective as objectively evident
. time in mind conflated (past, present, future)
. fantastic scenarios
. forms discombobulated
. malleable face- eye- lashes
. melting clocks
. memory still penetrates daily lives- memory has no time because relived at any moment- fluid landscape, memory, no time= dreams
. setting= beach= point of erosion- water= fluid world; sand= concrete world
. memory intervenes/interrupts- undoing social conventions
. ants and flies on watch- don't respect boundaries
. inner/outer collapsed
. erode distinctions of time

Woman 1

1950 - 1952
  • de Kooning
  • 1950-52
  • Abstract Expressionism

. "action painting"
. maintains figure
. academically trained
. "inimitable"- singular, born of a moment, outpour
. unformed, nebulous
. frozen glimpse
. "The Woman had to do with the female painted throughout the ages, all those idols, a thing in art that had been done over and over, the Venus, the female nude... forms ought to have the emotion of concrete experience... they are an encounter in a flash." - de Kooning
. pin ups, advertisements, venuses= source material
. heroicizes individual artist
. makes human emotions/ experience primary force of work= the most original and authentic art you can make
. tombstone of modernism

Lavender Mist, Number 1

  • Pollock
  • 1950
  • Abstract Expressionism

. "action painting"
. attracts lots of attention, even if negative
. teacher: "Do not paint from nature, you will repeat yourself." Pollock: "Shut up, old man. I AM NATURE."
. Clement Greenberg= critic: painter should radically distill painting and purify it, purge it from extraneous elements; no subject matter or narrative; timeless; only paint and canvas- respect flatness of surface; "all art should be is good."
. automatism
. Pollock: "painting is about inner expression, the emptying of myself."
. 1) paint on unprimed, unstretched canvas on the ground
. 2) industrial paint
. 3) house paint brushes and twigs
. 4) walks around on canvas
. "I paint with no thought."
. rhythm of Pollock defends the idea that "anyone can do this"
. this process IS Pollock
. mythic creator of self expression
. characteristic of originality
. artist on canvas= most direct expression of heroic artist for this kind of expression

Erased De Kooning Drawing

  • Rauschenberg
  • 1953
  • Proto-Pop

. kills the father of the art of the age
. return to zero
. clean slate
. undoing Ab X
. challenges invention, originality, authorship


1954 - 1955
  • Johns
  • 1954-55
  • Proto-Pop

. post WWII
. suburbia
. "cookie cutter"
. baby boomer generation
. invention of PLASTIC
. more visual culture= advertisements, magazines- people invest in culture
. newspaper underneath encaustic
. nature

One Hundred Cans

  • Warhol
  • 1962
  • Pop Art

. cultural portaits
. preciousness in multiplicity
. advertisement

Marylin Dyptich

  • Warhol
  • 1962
  • Pop Art

. cultural portrait
. silkscreen= photocopy of the day= mass production- mediated painting- the artist never really touches it- indirect expression
. not sameness in the repetition- but she's still Marylin
. dyptichs= religious- compelling worship- culture


  • Johns
  • 1964
  • Proto-Pop

. back of canvas on a de Kooning- like canvas
. rear-view mirror= reflects
. flashlight= illuminates
. plate with printed picture of Jasper Johns and stencil of primary colors= readymade
. Ab X= no longer relevant
. interrogates Postmodernism
. Neodadaism
. Ab X kills art with super art- kills all possibilities for the future of art= must start over