Lecture: Painting Style (Listen and Read)

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Lecture: Painting Style
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Okay, students, today we're going to talk about painting,
which was always one of my personal favorite art activities in elementary school.
So, most of you have painted something at least once in your life,
especially back in primary school,
so we're not going to cover the parts of painting, like the brush and the canvas.
Instead, we'll be looking at the Modernist movement within the history of painting.
Okay, so first, just know that there are a lot of different styles of painting,
and they are characterized by featuring different approaches to capturing an image on the canvas.
Now, really quickly, I want to broaden the scope for you.
The Modernist movement was a wide cultural movement
that involved many changes born out of a shift in society's attitude.
Today, we're just focusing on what painting was like during the Modernism movement,
but just know that there were a lot of other things going on at the time.
So you've probably studied a bit of Modernism movement in some of your art history courses.
So who can just sum these up?
Well, Modernism movement occurred between the late 1800s and the early 1900s.
It was a response to the values of realism, which was the artistic movement before it.
Can you tell us a bit more about realism?
Sure! Umm.
In realism, the goal was to represent subject matter as truthfully as possible
and to make it look as real as possible.
So, because Modern arts, more or less, is the opposite of realism,
it allowed artists to once more use creativity and their imaginations.
It's often referred to as being abstract.
In this way, Modern art is much more of a revolution,
because it drastically changed things for artists,
opening things up, and freeing them from having to attempt to make their art as realistic as possible.
Overall, modern art features a lot of experimentation that resulted in new ways of painting.
Modern art breaks down into a couple of different styles,
which you'll see as we go through the history.
So! Starting at the beginning, the first example of modern art was impressionism.
And, the most famous impressionist painter was easily Vincent Van Gogh.
I imagine many of you have seen his painting “Starry Night.”
Using that as an example, it's pretty easy to understand impressionist painting based on its name.
The idea was to paint the impression of an image, as much as the image itself.
And so, using Van Gogh's example,
you can tell that he's painting based off the image of a tree and the starry night,
but it looks nothing like a realistic night sky.
Now, most of the artists in impressionism were based in Paris.
And, to further describe the impressionist style,
you'd have to know that such paintings are characterized by the use of relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes,
with an emphasis on the quality of light.
So, followed by impressionism were cubism and expressionism.
Pablo Picasso is easily the most famous painter in the cubist style.
Does anyone know about cubism?
Yes! Amy!
Umm... it features a lot of geometric lines drawn throughout the image.
It also pushes the idea of abstraction even further.
But Cubist arts didn't necessarily have to be a painting of something, per se a specific image.
Again, it was still ruled by the idea of backlash from the realist movement that came before modern art.
Now, as for expressionism,
it's more of a blend of all the styles present in the modern art world
than its own separate style with its own defining characteristics.
Thus, expressionism could be considered the ultimate blend.
Okay! Modern art eventually died out when people began questioning the concept of what it really meant to make art that was truly “modern”.
While it was active, the movement did truly flourish and created a lot of new opportunities for artists.
Personally, impressionism is my favorite style of painting,
and so modern art appeals greatly to me.
Obviously, everybody will have different tastes,
and the most important thing to realize is that art builds off itself.
Just like modern art was influenced by the movements before it,
the movements that came after modern art, in this case, postmodern art,
wouldn't have been possible without the movement of Modernism.
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