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Modernism Assignment

Franz von Stuck was a German artist who rose to fame during the 19th and 20th century. Growing up, his enthusiasm towards painting and sculpting helped him establish many different pieces of art, statues, sculptures, paintings, and more. Heavily influenced by the work of Arnold Bocklin, his main subject matter was more or so focused on mythology. Nudity, and seduction were also incorporated into his art to create a deeper meaning to his dark and horrific creations. One of the greatest pieces to ever have been produced by Stuck is Inferno. With my time at the Met, I realise this is an great painting to depict modernism in the 20th century.

The Inferno is a reference to Dante Alighieri’s medieval epic of journey through hell. In his painting, he depicts symbols of hell, or the so-called underworld, which is a snake, a demon, and a flaming pit. Heavily inspired by Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell, Stuck helped recreate the dark side by portraying dark colors, and sadistic expressions. Importantly, the correlation of the painting and modernism, is remarkable. A few notable things I’ve noticed in this painting helped to determine that this piece of art stood out to me more than the others.

One of the features in this painting which depicts modernism to me are the poses. Each and every human being shown in the painting are unique due to it’s posing and action taking place. A snake wrapped around a female, whilst a man in fetal position, are heavily portrayed as if they’re both experiencing anguish and pain in the underworld. Their facial expressions, and bodily movements shows that everything they’re experiencing is surreal. Nudity is heavily portrayed in this painting and creates a much more deeper meaning to what is depicted because of the striations, the veins, the muscles, on each human being.

With the beginning of the Modernism era, artists began finding new forms of expression to create remarkable pieces to which they believed was an advancement prior to the 19th century. Stuck’s form of creating a sinister and dark art form was praised heavily by the people and what was needed to create surrealism and expressionism. As new forms of art were coming into play, Stuck took a different route to create his own genre, which is heavily looked upon and praised up until this day. I am gladly able to say, Inferno really hit the ball out of the park with this one in terms of modernism.

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Isabel Allende, “And of Clay are We Created”

–What do you think the significance of Allende’s title is? What does it mean to be made of clay? –

-What happens to Rolf in his encounter with Azucena?

–Why do you think Azucena becomes a symbol of the tragedy that is unfolding in the story?

–What did you make of the President’s visit to the site of the disaster? What kind of commentary is Allende making here?

–How can you connect this story with your own experiences of natural or other disasters? Are there elements of the story that you can relate to? How?

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The Dance


Image result for analysis of henri matisse the danceHenri Emile Benoit Matisse was born on December 31, 1869 in a small area in Le Cateau located on the border of France and Belgian. In a two room house were the floor is dirt and the roof leaks every time it rains, he lived with his two parents named Emile Hippolyte Matisse (father) and Ann Heloise Gerard (mother). When Henri studied law in 1890 but suffered from appendicitis and then two years later started to become more interested in painting and gave up law career. Other French painters influenced like Paul Gauguin, and Paul Cezanne, but studied more in dept of the dutch painter Vincent van Gogh in the beginning of 1899. In 1906 he became an avid print maker. Henri Matisse  was internationally popular during his lifetime and he died in Nice on November 3, 1954 and was 

The work that I selected from Henri Matisse is called The Dance it was inspired by realism but he didn’t want to be too detailed with the painting. Realism is  showing what is actual and not have a wild imagination and not straying from that. Henri painted 5 very low detailed women with long hair holding hands naked but the ladies on the bottom left corner aren’t showing a disconnect dancing on plain green gas in a dark blue sky. But this painting is more than just some low quality detailing but its about life and how these women dancing free in nature and not caring but joying the company of their peers. The way these ladies body move it’s like water going down a stream just flowing without a care in the world. These women don’t show one bit of expression but you can tell they are happy by the body language.  

This painting called out on me I don’t know why but when I first saw it was easy to know what it is because everything in the room was abstract and it had less details than the others as well. This painting drew me because it was the one I can explain the best and Henri Matisse and his collection in the before  1939 and 1890 time period and his worked interested me the most. I asked why have this one painting with 5 women dancing naked? Why 5 women? Why not mixed with men and women or like a family? Why not diverse skin colored women?

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Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907

Pablo Picasso was a spanish artist born in Malaga, Spain on October 25th, 1881. He spent most of his adult life in France and passed away in the country on April 8th, 1973. Aside from his notorious painting career, Pablo Picasso had also delved in other artistic activities. He was interested in sculpting, making ceramic pieces, writing poetry, and printmaking. Pablo Picasso’s main painting style was Cubism. Cubism was an avant-garde art movement that had emerged in the early 20th century. Picasso was one of the key artists to start this movement and art style. Cubist artwork depicted natural figures in a more fragmented and abstract way.

The specific Cubist art piece that struck me at the Museum of Modern Art was Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. The piece was created in 1907. It is an oil painting sizing at 96 inches by 92 inches and is worth 1.2 billion dollars.  The painting is of five female prostitutes in a brothel. Picasso paints these women in a Cubist way, adding sharp angles and distinct lines to their figures. These women look rigid and exposed, they are not made to look like the typical porcelain, dolled up female figures in art of previous times. It is a piece rather raw in nature, causing society to step out of its visual comfort zone and the general visual recognition of women in art and culture as perfect beings of beauty. The uniqueness of this piece caught my eye and the unusual depiction of women. His way of painting these women is strangely beautiful, it is different from the typical paintings of women.

This piece connects to the Modernist element of being brutally honest with the audience, not covering up the gruesome realities of life, and not covering up the natural wonders of humanity. Instead of shaping these women into ideal figures of conditioned beauty, Picasso challenges viewers to find the beauty in what is in front of them. Women do not all look one certain way and every person is uniquely beautiful in their own charms. Whether you view these women as beautiful or not, the point is that Picasso has brought raw reality to light in this piece.

He has painted unique looking women that do not fall under the typical female depiction in classical art. Adding to the rawness of this piece, Picasso illustrates a rather risky topic. Prostitution is not something that has generally made to be seen as artistic and Picasso had decided to use prostitutes as his focus for his painting. Through Cubism, Picasso has brought a different approach to art and depiction of the human body to light. Oftentimes in early art, women were depicted as delicate symbols of beauty or temptation but in this piece Picasso illustrates theses women in a rough and distorted element, typical feminine features are made to be more masculine.

This image requires alt text, but the alt text is currently blank. Either add alt text or mark the image as decorative. Modernist writers had introduced a new and different form of writing to the world where the absurd are welcomed and acceptable. Modernist literature puts societal appropriations to the test in bringing up raw, gore, and otherwise known as shameful themes to a story. The element of absurdity and risk taking in terms of questionable material to the properness of society is a part of both Modernist literature and Picasso’s piece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

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Modernism in Visual Art

Street, Dresden by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1908)

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 – 1938), German Expressionist painter and printmaker. He is a self-taught artist and studied architecture in school. He’s one of the founders of “the Bridge”, a famous expressionist group in Germany. The group started a movement that supports the emotional expressions in the art without the rules and constraints of the traditional academic style of art; a bridge connecting the conventional past and the future. In 1915, Kirchner joined the army but later discharged due to his mental breakdown. He suffered through mental illness and in 1933 he was listed as one of the “degenerate artists”; over 600 pieces of his work were destroyed. Then, in 1938 he eventually committed suicide in Switzerland.

This piece is called Street, Dresden (1908, dated 1907 on the painting). It’s a city street with mostly women and a little girl with a huge hat awkwardly standing in the center of the composition. Everyone has a flashy hat on and they don’t seem to be interacting with one another. The description of the art quotes Kirchner “The more I mixed with people the more I felt my loneliness”, implying his isolation with the society. This painting depicts a sense of detachment from one another even in a crowded street like this. The quote gives me a clear picture of the artist’s implications and I could completely relate to it even a century later. As technology advances, people feel more and more lonely.

The expressionist painting displays Kirchner’s current emotion state; in which it’s not a realistic depiction of what he sees. It’s an accurate and explicit portrayal of how he feels. The looks of the subject’s faces are hard to unfold and their eyes are dark and empty. The distortion of the forms and the color such as the pink color street, green and orange color faces, and the abrupt green and blue lines along the subjects show the absurdity of his thoughts and emotions. This reminds me of another expressionist painting The Scream by Edvard Munch, which also employs exaggerated strokes and vivid colors to express his inner anxiety and emotions. As states, expressionism implies alienations as a byproduct of urbanizations in the modern world. Kirchner expresses his concerns on the urban lifestyle that is distancing the human relationships.

The use of vibrant and bold colors in this painting draws my attention. The bright orange and green color on the women’s faces makes this painting even more unusual. The women’s facial expression makes me feel uneasy but yet intrigued. Maybe this is how Kirchner feels while creating this painting. The orange neon lines on the woman’s hat are the first thing I saw and it makes me wonder what kind of life she leads? Why does Kirchner place that young girl with a huge hat in the middle? What is the crowd looking at?




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Modernism Assignment

Paul Victor Jules Signac was a French painter who had paintings ranging from 1883-1925. His paintings were done in different styles throughout the years based on people he met and things that he discovered. He painted the Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890 to honor his friend who used the term Neo-Impressionism to describe Signac’s art. Signac started using Impressionism as a style in his paintings because of Georges Seurat, who was his friend and used used the Impressionism style in his paintings. The style stood out to Signac and he decided to use this style in his paintings as well. Impressionism is “a style or movement in painting originating in France in the 1860s, characterized by a concern with depicting the visual impression of the moment, especially in terms of the shifting effect of light and color.” This is especially evident in this art piece. This is why this piece is an example of modernism.

The painting is located in the Museum of Modern Art and I was drawn to it because of all the different colors and shapes and contrasting ideas. The pin wheel effect caught my eye and all the different colors and shapes throughout it seemed very interesting to me. From the beginning I noticed that the man in the piece contrasted against the different colors in the pinwheel. This is where the idea of Impressionism in the art piece comes from. M. Félix Fénéo, who is drawn in the piece is holding out a white flower which contrasts to the whirlpool of colors that is behind him. This white flower and the portrait of him seem to be the only constants in the picture amongst a variety of colors and shapes.This is what makes the painting so interesting to look at and almost plays with ones eyes because you don’t know what to look at; your eyes are always drawn to a new area in the piece. The pinwheel of colors is also very abstract looking and contrasts the portrait of M. Félix Fénéo in the piece.

Impressionism, like many other ideas was critiqued in some ways and M. Félix Fénéo defended it. He thought that when painting, technique really doesn’t matter. Your eyes are drawn to what is in front of you and what is painted and not any intricate details that the artist might have used in their piece. M. Félix Fénéo thought that “painting was the creation of a superior and purified reality transfused with the artist’s personality”. This resembles what is shown in the piece because Fénéon and the flower is depicted as the reality and the pinwheel of colors and shapes is depicted by Signac’s colorful personality. The piece makes me question if the shapes that are in the pinwheel are symbolic of any ideas or if they are just random shapes. The pinwheel ranges from just having colors in it, to lines, waves, stars, circles, and flowers. The different inside sections of the pinwheel could be just random or they could be symbolic to Fénéon’s life is some way.

“Impressionism.” Oxford Reference, 3 Nov. 2019,

Signac, Paul. “Paul Signac. Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890. 1890: MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art,


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One painting that caught my attention instantly in the gallery was Henri Rousseau’ oil painting called The Dream. This painting was done by French artist Henri Rousseau in 1910. Rousseau was born in 1844 in Laval, France were he grew up and lived a decent life style of attending school by day and being a boarder at night. Rousseau’ work was not noticed with extreme attention at the beginning, however, when he gained attention it became an inspiration to many people on how his art form came from so little experience and knowledge.  Henri Rousseau is known for being a self-taught artist, whom did not care about the critiques on how imperfect his drawings were. The image above is an example of how at a first glance it is noticeable that his drawing have odd shapes. The reason for this, is the lines and curvature that do not follow a pattern or a single way. Rather, every line such as the woman’s head, or the lion’s head is not perfect at all. Instead, it has an unusual shape which makes this painting very interesting.

Aside from how imperfect this drawing is, the way to interpret it is that anything done with passion will reflect the type of artist you are. I believe Rousseau did an excellent job with this because he did not let anyone critiques offend him, and instead used that and valued it a lot to keep on working on how to be himself through his art pieces. This specific piece is considered surrealist because of how dramatic the images come out to be and the scenery that this is taking place in. The location of this image is in a forest, which depicts a lady laying between leaves surrounded by wildlife. Adding this type of expression category makes it include a platform of imagination, which is what made this artwork very intriguing during this time period. Additionally, several questions that have been rising while analyzing the different paintings in this category of surrealism is how Rousseau was the only one that stood by his technique and did not persuade others to follow free-handedly just as he did. Some people would suppose that because his paintings were getting a lot of recognition, people would want to start developing this skill. However, I believe that Rousseau did his paintings with a purpose and to leave a message that nothing is perfect in this world and its acceptance that matters the most.

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Elizaveta Ignatovich was a Russian photographer and photojournalist of the 1920s and 1940s. She focused on expressing the class struggle within the Soviet family of the early 1900s through photography. Ignatovich modernized her photography to emphasize/introduce the fast-paced changes and the outlook on life in the Soviet Union. Elizaveta’s work is conflicted with posturing and hypocrisy, and she is against the emphasizing of traditional/logical doctrine.

I chose the artwork/photography, The Fight for the Polytechnic School is the Fight for the Five Year Plan, in which it presents the class awareness through Communist education under Stalin’s Five Year Plan. The Five-Year Plan was the period of development of heavy industry and agriculture in the Soviet Union, but at the cost of severely losing consumer goods. The piece by Elizaveta modernizes Stalin’s Five Year Plan by introducing how Soviet children took adult roles, and how the state focused on controlled factory to socialize urban citizens. In the photo, a factory girl wields a machine to create a new society through heavy industrialization. It expresses Communism, as young children are forced/exposed to an industrial education under the economic/political value. Another takeaway from this poster is that it portrays expressionism of the industrialization time period in the Soviet Union. One can evaluate the children’s facial expression, while working in the factory, defined as a demoralizing and dehumanizing experience during the Five-Year Plan. Children were forced to be occupied in factories with poor working conditions and with high physical demands.

One might be drawn by this piece of photography because of his or her interest in history and how history manifested in the early 1900s; but I was drawn by this piece of work by my interest in photographical artwork, and my interest and value in child development. The world and society should present young children with the best opportunities to succeed and prosper with the embodiment of how young children should be able to freely express themselves. In the 1920s under the Soviet Union and the Five-Year Plan, these children were put into factories to work long hours with poor working conditions than rather be given the opportunity to be educated and freely open themselves to expressing their interests. I find myself thankful to be born in a generation of freedom, but I am saddened by the hard labor young children were born into.

In full evaluation of Elizaveta’s photograph The Fight for the Polytechnic School is the Fight for the Five Year Plan, I find that our generation to be spoiled and to be blessed not to be placed under child labor. I wonder how these Soviet children dealt with such harsh working conditions and how madly driven they were during the Five Year Plan…

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Oscar-Claude Monet was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and known for expressing one’s perceptions before nature. Modernism art is really about expression during this time of change and I believe it represents that you can find reasons to see beauty even when you have many reasons to see the ugliness in the world as well. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise. He was a key painter for the modernism art movement. Impressionism is a 19th-century art movement characterized by relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, and an emphasis on accurate depiction of light. These one of a kind brush strokes were even called Monet brush strokes is notorious for painters all around the world. This painting is part of a series named “Water Lillies” and there are approximately 250 paintings that exist in the world.The paintings depict his flower garden at his home in Giverny, and were the main focus of his artistic production during the last thirty years of his life.

This painting is called Agapanthus and was painted during the period 1914- 1926. Just imagine that this painting is almost a century old. This painting uses very thin brush strokes and made the colors flow so nicely. The color blended so fluently as i move closer to the painting.I chose this painting because it caught my eye. I felt like the flowers were popping out of the painting. I also really liked how the outline of the painting was so unique, it was almost like it was unfinished. This made me believe the famous painter wanted to communicate that no art should ever be finished because art will never come to an end. It was almost like a element of negative space, making the art look more three dimensional. These edges also gave this painting such an organic feel. This painting felt so realistic to me that it seemed like the artist drew exactly what he saw and wanted to highlight the beauty in his garden.

I personally took an art class in Baruch so oil paintings also usually draw me more than other painting tools. Paintings that use oil is very ancient and very valuable. Oil paintings are considered to develop high status to the home owners because of its mass popularity and the way it ages.

I would ask the artist:

Why he chose to paint just flowers and what significance flowers have to him?

Why did the artist choose to have the edges unfinished? Was it an intentional effect?

“Biography of Claude Oscar Monet.” Claude Oscar Monet – The Complete Works – Biography,

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Modernism Blog Post


Modernism Blog Post

The painting above is a modernistic oil canvas that was painted by French modernist Emile Bernard. Emile Bernard was born in France during 19th century. This famous French painter studied at the École des Arts Décoratifs, where he mastered his painting skills. In fact, Bernard was so fascinated with painting that he was actually expelled from a post graduate art school. After his expulsion, Bernard was able to meet many other well-known artists and expanded his sphere of influence.

Bernard was best known for his contributions towards the cloisonism form of artwork. Cloisonsim is best described as artwork that favors dark contour. It also consists of many flat and bold objects. The painting above was painted in 1887. However, this painting is known to contribute to Bernard’s modernist art works. This oil canvas may look quite simple. It demonstrates modernism in its simplest form. Rather than a fantasy, this painting resembles reality. This painting captures a couple walking under a railroad where a train is passing. The two beings are painted in dark contours, which also exemplifies Bernard’s tendency to contribute to cloisonism. This painting may be simple, but many ideas can be formulated to describe Bernard’s meaning behind his art. However, one thing is clear. Modernism is clearly expressed, for this painting demonstrates realistic ideas and concepts, while also leaving the story behind this painting up to the spectators.

This painting is located in the Museum of Modern Art. It is located on the fifth floor, neighboring other modernistic paintings and drawings. I was very attracted to this painting the first time I saw it. It dark contour figures contrast the rest of the scenery. It is a simple, modern painting which allowed me the spectator to formulate a story that satisfies my imagination. When I look at this painting, I imagine an old couple during the winter revisiting places from the past. At this particular point, this older couple is going under a railroad where a train is passing. Perhaps, this train represents the passing of time. Bernard could be describing how fast time can pass, using his two dark figures as a couple who has used up much of their time. In all, one can depict a story that satisfies the spectator’s imagination.

Emile Bernard’s famous oil canvas is a beautiful modernistic painting. This painting stood out the most out of all the other modernist’s art. For this, I am glad to say that I was able to educate myself about this French painter.

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