P.5.Research point; Expressionist.

Look at a range of painting, with particular the Expressionist and how they applied paint. Look at some 20th century pastel paintings and make notes about the effects you find.

‘Expressionism is a term used in the history and criticism of the Arts to explain the use of distortion and exaggeration for emotional effect’. Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artist by Ian Chilvers. 2009.p.210.

Subjective versa objective is noticeable within this context, the subjective feeling is expressed by the Artist depending upon the response to the composition which is the objective observation. Think about Monet’s love for his garden and light. Van Gogh with his frustrating dilemmas fighting within him.  Joan Eardley and her self exploration , depression and isolation, She was a feeling artist and a thinking artist. Edvard Munch was expressing his inner demons, ill health and feeling regretful and responsible for the death of his mother and sister all manifest within his work of woeful melancholy. They express them selfs though the action of painting, the colour they use , the brush work, the size of the work and the subjects they paint.

The range of effects-

Van Gogh effects are his suggesting movement with the many brushstroke style and the colours he uses such as complementary colours layered or within the same composition. Hi technique is Impasto and worked mostly outside. He did not work from photographs so the ever changing landscape or light would have had implications to the outcome of his work.

Monet love and romance towards people and natural things such as his gardens and the effect of the light upon nature are depicted in his gentlemanly style. He plays with the paint on large scale canvases and he bounces colours off one another. His Brushwork is very fluid and he worked up close to the paintings so would have lost himself in these massive panels. I think he was trying to lose himself in his work (he did have many children), like all of the above artist did, they were lucky enough to become absorbed with there creative practices.

Joan Eardley paintings of shabby houses in Glasgow and the poverty of the tenanted children to fishing village of Catterline in Aberdeen can look like a hard landscape versus soft but they don’t express these qualities.

She painted on location, often during wild storms, using oil and boat paint mixed with newspaper, sand and grasses on hardboard. She captures a response to what she sees and the viewer gains a sense of the place. Her paintings are wild, rich in character, just like the subjects she paints.

Edvard Munch pastels are beautifully smooth, delicate and I think he works many layers to achieve a dark moody depth of tone. He is emotionally  part of the work, it’s like his hands were sculpturing the composition with the pastels, charcoal or paint. All the mentioned artists have intrinsically attached themselves to there work and you really see this as an expression of themselves and what they have seen and how that situation has driven them to create very powerful emotionally charged paintings and drawings.  They are not erratic , hectic mess, which is what you would expect from them with all these swollen emotions stirring up inside them. What you see is dedication and a source of exasperating the built up emotions though the medium of paint. It’s a controlled deflation process.

In recent philosophy of mind, the term “phenomenology” is often restricted to the characterization of sensory qualities of seeing, hearing, etc.: what it is like to have sensations of various kinds. However, our experience is normally much richer in content than mere sensation. Accordingly, in the phenomenological tradition, phenomenology is given a much wider range, addressing the meaning things have in our experience, notably, the significance of objects, events, tools, the flow of time, the self, and others, as these things arise and are experienced in our “life-world”. From the article – https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/


Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artist by Ian Chilvers. Oxford publishing press 4th edition 2009


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