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Art Time Periods, Essay Example

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Modernism is not a specific group of individuals or concepts; instead, it is based on a similar ideological concept or aesthetic look and feel.  These works were often designed and created just before the end of the 19th Century.  While many individuals can argue that the modernism period has ended, there has been a drastic increase in modernist-type artwork, music and furniture that are similar in nature to modernism that is created still to this day.  This type of work has appropriately earned the name of post-modernism as a time period that is currently manifesting itself.  Nikolaus Pevsner is famous for writing a revised copy of his 1936 novel in 1960 entitled Pioneers of the Modern Movement from William Morris to Walter Gropius.  This novel proposed the idea that the Modernism era, especially the work that was becoming famous in the architecture industry, was a direct response to the “growth of industrialization in the 19th Century” (Julier, 2005, p. 139).  Individuals began to concentrate more on the look and aesthetics of their work more during this time period than ever before.

As previously mentioned, the works of William Morris and other modernist artists focused much of the concentration on aesthetics and the overall look and feel of the work.  The specific colors and presentation of the works of art became a main focus for the artwork during this time period.  This is clearly represented by Claude Monet in his work “Houses of Parliament, London” in which the dark and light colors properly complement one another and provide an interpretive meaning for the viewer. Viewers and artists began to focus on how the work of art was meant to be interpreted and the feelings that the work should convey instead of the specific images that had been created.  Unfortunately, this also led to the end of the modernist movement because individuals began to interpret works of art negatively and this led to a mass outcry against the artists and their work.  An image on the canvas was now left up to the viewer of the work to interpret for them and it began to lose a personal feel and communicate properly with the artwork’s viewership.  Some pundits argued that this period of time was not the right time for the modernist movement because the industrial revolution and cultural changes within the country created a culture that was not interested in such extravagant work as that produced during this period.  In other words, it became clear that individuals were not ready for this type of interpretation of artwork.  However, the success of this movement came from the architecture and furniture that still has a strong place in formal settings to this day.  Nevertheless, this time period still lives on through the post-modernism movement that was founded upon the very works created during the 19th Century Modernism movement.

Andy Warhol is perhaps one of the most recognizable artists and graphic designers of the 20th Century.  His works are world renowned and have added much value and benefit to what is not called pop culture. As a pop artist, Warhol was able to produce a wide array of works including celebrity portraits and package design work for multiple products. Many of his most famous works involved actress and singer Marilyn Monroe as well as the famous Cambell’s Soup logo.  For most of his career, Warhol was able to cement himself as a pop artist using the silkscreen printing method for almost his entire career.  This method and Warhol’s imaginative style of creating new and innovative works has helped to create the definition of pop art as it is known today.

Although Warhol utilized many contemporary figures and concepts with his artwork, many of his works are considered very original. The artist was able to take famous public figures and products and create works of art that provided a new way of looking at them. For instance, one of Warhol’s most famous works involved a reproduction portrait of Marilyn Manson. This portrait used the silkscreen method in order to mix multiple colors during the reproduction of the same portrait so that the works would actually be unique. These works are considered original because Warhol forced people to view already famous people and products in a new light.  The idea may not have been completely original, but the works themselves were created out of inspiration, which ultimately led to originality.  Even though the portraits and works of art were able to be reproduced multiple times, they allow for creativity in the use of colors that helps suggest originality.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of mechanical reproduction that were utilized for the reproduction of art in the pop art time period.  These are important to understand to determine why famous pop artists would utilize this method for their work.  First of all, mechanical reproduction allows for fast reproduction of work without adding more hours of working time for the artist.  Also, the original work of art likely does not become damaged during the reproduction as it creates replicas and allows for the original to remain safe and secure adding value to the original work.  It can also increase the overall profits for the artist as popular replicas can often sell faster and for a higher profit.  However, mechanical reproduction often allows many individuals to believe that the works of art are not original and can often devalue the replicas.  In addition, mechanical reproduction requires individuals that know the reproduction techniques and machinery.  Improper knowledge of the machinery can cause serious problems for the reproduction.

The work of Monet and the Madonna images of Warhol clearly show a difference in time period, but still provide the viewer with an interpretive ability.  For instance, the methods by which each artist created their works were different based on the times.  Monet concentrated on paintings while Warhol created works using the mechanical silkscreen printing method for easy duplication.  Each artist allowed for the coloring and aesthetics of the work to create an interpretation by the viewer on the meaning and purpose of the work.  This is an ability that many artists concentrate on because it allows the viewer to take a part ownership over the work and include it into their lives based on what they interpret from what they see.  These two time periods are very far apart from one another, but it is clear that they both show similarities in the ways that the works communicate to the viewer.

References

Julier, G. (2005). Dictionary of design since 1900. New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, Inc.

WorldCollectorsNet.com (n.d.). Andy warhol. Retrieved from http://www.worldcollectorsnet.com/magazine/issue31/iss31p6.html

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