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ARH 252 University of Manitoba The Impact Of Abstract Expressionism Essay

ARH 252 University of Manitoba The Impact Of Abstract Expressionism Essay

Question Description

Please answer both questions in essay form. Your answer for each question should be around 2-3 double-spaced pages, for a total of 4-6 double-spaced pages.

  1. Using 3-4 examples, including at least one artwork from the second half of the nineteenth century, describe the gradual progression toward abstraction in European and American art. What motivated artists to move away from representational art? Why did illusionism become less important to artists after the invention of photography in the mid nineteenth century? What formal stages can you identify that led artists to paint in increasingly abstract styles? To answer these large questions, you are encouraged to structure your essay around a single theme, such as the changing approach to the human figure, shifting attitudes to landscape, or the evolving use of color, etc.
  1. Using 3-4 examples from the first half of the 20th century, compare and contrast at least three related movements of art. In terms of form, there are a lot of similarities among the various “isms” of the early 20th century, from the unnatural use of color in Fauvism and German Expressionism, to the interest in geometric form in Cubism, Constructivism, and De Stijl, to the reliance on chance and the unconscious in Dada and Surrealism, etc. Yet the aspirations behind these movements (political, social, spiritual, etc.) were often very different. In your essay, use your chosen artworks to discuss those differences. Consider what might have led artists with diverse viewpoints to arrive at similar formal innovations. Why do you think artists suddenly felt the need to define their practice in radical opposition to preceding artistic traditions and even their own contemporaries?

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