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Artist: Diego Rivera
Genre: Mexican muralist
His views were not in line with the popular abstraction style in the early 20th century.
Characteristics of the genre: Rivera handled major themes appropriate to the scale of his chosen art form social inequality, the relationship of nature, industry, technology, and the history and fate of Mexico
Interpretation: This painting depicted the three eras of Mexican history: conquest and colonization of Mexican by the Spanish, Porfirio Diaz dictatorship, and Revolution of 1910. In the center there appears to be an ideal celebratory scene, while of the sides of the mural there are men being shot, being referenced to the Mexican Revolution
On the first panel Rivera depicted:
Hernan Cortez, Spanish conqueror of the Mexican territory. Fray Juan de Zumarraga, first Catholic archbishop of Mexico, who established the Catholic inquisition in Mexico. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, general and politician, President of Mexico eleven times between 1833 and 1855. Mexico lost 51% of its territory after American invasion. Winfield Scott, American general and head of the troops that occupied Mexico City, camping at the Alameda from 1846 to 1848.
On the middle panel River depicted:a symbol of the urban bourgeoisie at the turn of the nineteenth century must be taken here as an allusion to the Aztec Earth Mother Coatlicue, who is frequently represented with a skull. There is a crowd gathered together at Alameda Park which includes allusions to four hundred years of Mexican history.Jose Marti, father of Cuba's independence. An outstanding modernistic poet, Marti was part of the mainstream cultural and literary life of Mexico. He returned to Mexico in 1894 seeking support for Cuba's struggle against Spain and died in battle in Cuba in May 1895. Diego Rivera as a child. He is hand in hand with a typical Mexican image of a skull the "Calavera Catrina."Frida Kahlo, Rivera's third wife, an outstanding painter influenced by surrealism and Mexican folk art.La Calavera Catrina, a Mexican representation of death created by Jose Guadalupe Posada. Her feather boa symbolizes Quetzalcoatl, God of Prehispanic cultures. Jose Guadalupe Posada, Mexico's foremost pre-revolutionary engraver. Rivera used both his style and his choice of folk subjects (festivities, everyday events) as inspiration and model.Porfirio Diaz, dictator of Mexico, who ruled for more than thirty years until overthrown by the Revolution in 1911.
On the last panel he depicts: Poor family being expelled by brute force. They dream of themselves as fighters and revolutionaries and their son dreams himself shooting at the oppressor. Juan Sanchez Azcona, revolutionary writer and journalist under Madero to whom Azcona was private secretary. He created the newspapers Mexico Nuevo and Nueva Era. Revolutionary worker, who is speaking to the people about the Revolution advocated by Flores Magon.
President of the Republic, a symbol of corrupt presidents, handling an enormous amount of money and fondling a blonde woman with consent of an archbishop.
Contribution to Art History: Rivera was among the leading members and founders of the Mexican Muralist movement. Rivera made the painting of murals his primary method, appreciating the large scale and public accessibility
Diego Rivera's Life: He studied in Europe and had success as Cubist painter but after the Mexican Revolution from 1914-1915 (and Russian Revolution) Rivera completely changed the style and subject of his art. He wanted to make art the reflect the lives of the working class and native people of Mexico. He developed an interest in making murals during a trip to Italy, finding an inspiration to make murals by looking at Renaissance frescoes.
Artist: Marcel Duchamp
Year: 1917
Movement: Dada (the focus of the artists was not on crafting aesthetically pleasing objects but on making works that often upended bourgeois sensibilities and that generated difficult questions about society, the role of the artist, and the purpose of at.)....Readymade (things already made)
Dada's goal: Be illogical
Connection to movement: It is cynical, playful, and hilarious. It forces the viewer to accept that a urinal can also be a fountain. It also forces the viewer to allow the definition of art to be redefined
Contribution to Art history: He redefined the definition of art and forges the way for other artists to redefine our understanding of the ordinary. It opens art to a question: Is art an idea or is art created by an artist?
Interpretation of the work: Paris in the early 1900s was the ideal place for Duchamp to become acquainted with modern trends in painting. Duchamp studied fauvism, cubism, and impressionism, was captivated by new approaches to color and structure. He related above all to the Cubist notion of recording reality, rather than simply representing it. His early paintings, such as Nude Descending a Staircase (1912), illustrates Duchamp's interest in machinery and its connection to the body's movement through space implicit in early Modernism. However, Duchamp was most attracted to avant-garde notions of the artist as an anti-academic, and felt an affinity in this respect with one of his early heroes, the Symbolist painter and graphic artist, Odilon Redon. Early in his career, Duchamp developed a taste for the mysterious allure of symbolist subject matter, such as the woman as elusive female fatale. This deep-seated interest in the themes and exploration of sexual identity and desire would lead Duchamp toward Dadism and Surrealism
Artist: Willem de Kooning
Movement: Expressionism
Kooning developed a unique abstract style that fused cubism, surrealism, and expressionism
Genre: Portrait
Connection to movement: "Art should not have to look a certain way ". Kooning opposed restrictions imposed by movements although he never fully abandoned the depiction of the human figure (considered an abstract expressionist). New Abstract Style: Explored new techniques and forms of expressionism, his regular reinvention of style was characterized by boldness and innovation, unique blend of gestural abstraction and figuration, and heavily influenced by Picasso's cubism
Significance: Kooning developed a new style which combined many techniques from previous art movements. His depiction of women broke with the traditional, classical representation of women. Kooning explored the relationship between figure and ground "non-enviorment". Introduced new art techniques.
Artist's Life: He was one of the most prominent figures of the abstract expressionist painters. Developed a radically abstract style that combined cubism, surrealism, and expressionism. His depiction of women are considered misogynistic. Kooning embodied the popular image of the mach, hard-drinking artist. He painted with angry vigor. He was known for continually reworking his canvases, finished them, with a sense of dynamic incompletion. Member of the New York school.
Interpretation: Hulking, wild-eyed figure of a women. Threatening gaze and ferocious grin. Heightened by Knooning's intensive brushwork and intensively colored palette. Highly aggressive, erotic and threatening. Childish, primitive. Form of a paleolithic fertility goddess to a 1950s pin up girl. His misogynistic depiction is represented in his rough brushwork in the breast area. His country depiction of a stereotypical woman (submissive) is a response to the idealized woman in art history. Reverses traditional female representations: massive beats, massive eyes, and toothy grin. Popular media was one of his source of inspiration- pre cursor to pop art