During my visit to the art museum, I came across many different types of art that opened my eyes to many variations of the art world that I was not familiar with before. I saw versions of art from academic all the way to the free-spirited rebelliousness art work. They all had their sort of uniqueness about them, academic or not. When I had my visit, I came across four specific art works that I enjoyed not only looking at, but interpreting and thinking about. I believe that these four pieces represent the pre-20th century forms of art and the 20th century forms. The designs of all four pieces are of completely different varieties and compare and contrast very well.
First off, I’ll compare the sculpture and the painting from the pre-20th century. In both these pieces of art, the human form is the main focus. A sense of realism is present, with no sense of abstraction present in each one. The painting Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus displays a variety of vibrant colors and harmony in the faces of the people that are present. While the sculpture Apollo is a single color, they both set the tone very well for their purposes.
The sculpture Apollo shows the progression of Greece with him holding the torch high and moving forward at the same time. The idea of the artwork is in plain view and seemingly not open for interpretation. The torch shows the ferocity of the Greeks and the lyre shows their intellectual capabilities as well. With the god Apollo holding both, it shows Greece as a smart, strong country.
In the painting Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus, the mood is very mellow. The painting depicts a widowed wife returning to her dead husband’s homeland. It shows that the people of his land respected and loved Germanicus very much and are sad to learn about his death. The artist uses colors to show another theme.
The colors represent something different. The white is uniform among Germanicus’ family, showing the good that had done throughout his lifetime. While the variety of other colors worn by the citizens of his homeland represent the types of people he helped in his life. Once again, another piece of art that is seemingly not open to interpretation.
Next, I will compare the 20th century artworks in order to get a good sense of both eras before I compare them. Both pieces are abstract and ,you must think to understand them fully. In the painting Abstraction, the background is proportional and exact, while in front the swirl is asymmetrical and compliments the background. The artist uses dull colors throughout the painting except at the radial where there is a vibrant light blue emanating from what seems to be an opening. It has a three dimensional view, giving the onlooker two perceptions.
I think this painting is very open to interpretation. The colors can mean whatever the viewer wants them to mean, along with the black swirl, the radial and the three dimensional view. I am not a big fan of that swirl in the middle though. I think it disrupts the flow of the painting and would make it more of an effective piece if it was not present.
The sculpture Nancy Cunard (Sophisticated Young Lady), is also an abstract piece. The bottom part of the sculpture seems to be one half of a symmetrical piece while the swirl on top seems to give the sculpture a sense of character. Both parts are essential in interpreting the meaning of the sculpture.
To me the only thing I do not like about this artwork is the name. I think a better name would be anything having to do with a heart, but this is my opinion. That is another reason I like abstract art, it can mean whatever you want it to mean. A title like, The Broken Heart or something along those lines would make this piece more effective to me. I do not see a lady in this sculpture, but maybe the artist does not want me to.
The artist uses a single color, walnut, to bring this piece of artwork to life. The asymmetry of it as well, contributes to its meaning. It is a very easy piece to look at and very stimulating on the mind searching for the sophisticated lady within the artwork.
I chose these four pieces of art because I feel they fully represent each era well. They all have certain qualities that make them unique and certain qualities that make them all related. The style of art is very different in looking at both eras.
To me as I walked through the museum the more realistic views of art came from the pre-20th century and as I moved forward in time, the artworks became more abstract. Nothing is more evident then in these four pieces. In the pre-20th century pieces, the main theme is laid out for the viewer to see, making it easy to interpret what the main focus of the art was about. I really like how you can interpret the way you want about the 20th century pieces because it makes you feel like you actually learned something about the piece of work instead of just looking at it and knowing.
To compare them effectively though, the best argument would have to be with the color scheme of the paintings and the sculptures. In both paintings a variety of colors were used to represent different things. In the sculptures though, there is a uniform color throughout each one. This shows that it might be easier to use one color on a sculpture and still get a point across, but by using more colors in a painting it is more effective in getting the idea to the viewer.
The next thing I would like to contrast would be the complexity of the two different ages. In both pre-20th century works, it seems to be that there was more complexity and specificity used. While in the 20th century works both are plain and seemingly less complex. I think the more complexity used in an artwork, the more presence it has in a persons mind and the more they think about that piece.
The last thing I’ll compare on what makes both centuries somewhat the same is how all four pieces asymmetrical. The closest artwork to being asymmetrical is Abstraction, but the black swirl in the middle of the piece defeats that idea. In showing that all four pieces are asymmetrical, it represents how all of the artists are unique and have their own sense of style.
In conclusion, I feel strongly that as time went on throughout history that art has become less intricate and more abstract. The artists seem to evolve in to the point of view that the simpler the piece of art, the more that can be interpreted by looking at it. I believe in this theory one hundred percent. I think as time has gone on and the human race has become more intelligent, the harder it has become to interpret art but the more fun it has become.