surrealism, which means “beyond realism,” was invented by picasso. true false
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Thea 101 Quiz 4.pdf
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Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern
Historically speaking, painting has had an ever evolving role in the life of humans. Since time immemorial, it was a way to record important events and activities. Scribbling shapes on cave walls formed the foundational method of passing knowledge down to future generations, indeed the first records of human history. Analogous to how genes carry forward biological information to the next generation, art relays our collective cultural information to the next generation. Unarguably, it was a very important role to occupy. But with the invention of language, that role got occupied by stone tablets and manuscripts. If that were the only role for art to play, it should have died away in our cultural evolutionary histories. But, it did not. Because although words could capture a lot, they couldn’t capture highly detailed and intricately complete snapshots of scenes, personalities and activities. Art had a new role to occupy, to provide a realistic rendering of the observable universe. This was the era of romanticism and realism, of accurately sketching out the form, color and texture of human bodies. Artists were commissioned to paint mythological figures, kings, warriors and the common folk permanently onto canvases. However, with the invention of film and camera, that role too got occupied, this time by photography. While the canvas was an indirect imprint of the world, photographs were the literal imprints of light of all that could be seen with the eye. They were the ultimate records of the observable universe. Did we need painting then, anymore?
Viewing a painting is, for me, quite unlike other forms of art. Literature is very high-volume, in that it can use the power of language, and the capacity of an entire book spanning six hours of your life, to put its message across. Film and theater can command even more power by capturing your visual attention, telling a story over two hours by making you vicariously live through their characters. Photography and painting, on the other hand, occupy a highly limited slice of your life. Spanning barely a few seconds of your precious attention, they’re a bit like the speed-dating versions of art. Especially if you’re going through an entire gallery of them, that contains thousands of specimen competing for your focus. This limited attention span, and the lack of specificity which semantics in language enjoys, can be very constraining. But it can also be very powerful, because the sense of ambiguity allows room for the viewer to participate more closely in the artistic process. By assessing their emotional response to the painting, and by forming an interpreted rationale behind the story being told. That is when a painting stands out. However, this room for interpretation can expand by very much, very fast. Which begs us to ask a deeper question, what functional role then does such art have in our lives, if any at all?
for mice that gather seed-scraps
Mother Nature, Art Porters Gallery from 24th April to 30th June, 2019.
You are too kind, thank you! I pour my heart and soul into what I write and seeing what you’ve shared means a lot to me. This is why I write and if only one person is reached, that’s reward enough.
Beneath that though, I really think it does joust with the human condition, our notions of aesthetics, visual judgement overriding empathy.