Tag Archives: art

Constructivism

“Constructivism: The creation of three-dimensional abstractions from materials used in modern technics, e.g., wire, iron, plastic, glass, wood. The first constructivist exhibition took place in Moscow in 1920. With its emphasis on rationality and modern technology, constructivist sculpture focused on space rather than mass. Begun as a Russian abstract style, it is sometimes called Tatlinism, after one of the earliest constructivists. Leader constructivists are Antoine Pevsner, Naum Gabo, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy; Alexander Rodchenko and Vladimir Tatlin both applied constructivist principles to architecture and design.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Susanna Kaysen on Developmental Interruptions

“This time I read the title of the painting: Girl Interrupted at Her Music. Interrupted at her music: as my life had been, interrupted in the music of being seventeen, as her life had been, snatched and fixed on canvas: one moment, made to stand still and to stand for all the other moments, whatever they could be or might have been. What life can recover from that?”

Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted (1993)

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Cultural Literacy: Charlotte and Emily Bronte

Here is a Cultural Literacy worksheet on Charlotte and Emily Bronte. Are the Brontes taught in high school?

If nothing else, this is an interesting artistic family: lesser-known sister Anne also a writer, perhaps because she originally published her novels under the name Acton Bell which may account for her public status among her more famous sister; she also died young, at 29, of tuberculosis. She was also the youngest of six children–in addition to the four siblings mentioned here, two elder sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, rounded out the family. Branwell Bronte, also a writer and an accomplished translator, was also a painter, for which he is primarily known. He too died young, the result of unhappiness and, apparently, drug addiction.

The patriarch of the family, Patrick Bronte (Branwell Bronte carried the full name Patrick Branwell Bronte, after his father and his mother’s–Maria Branwell–maiden name), was a clergyman of humble Irish origins.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Mina Loy

“Mina Loy: (Born Mina Gertrude Lowy; 1882-1966) English poet and painter. Daughter of a Hungarian Jewish father and English Protestant mother, her first avocation was art. During her years in Florence (1906-1916) she was immersed in Italian Futurism. Loy gradually disassociated herself from the movement as it became increasingly fascist; a number of early satires take aim at the ‘Futurist genius’ as an example of male suprematism. Her first published work appeared in Alfred Stieglitz’s magazine Camera Work and Carl Van Vechten’s Trend (1914). Her controversial work ‘Love Songs for Johannes’ were considered shocking for their frank expression of female sexuality. In New York, she met Arthur Cravan, an infamous Dadaist “poet-boxer.” Divorcing her first husband, she married Cravan in Mexico City, with whom she had one child. Cravan later disappeared in Mexico and was never found. Her first collection of poems, Lunar Baedeker, appeared in 1923, and she did not publish another one until 1958 (Lunar Baedeker and Time Tables). Her work is distinguished by a satiric and feminist sensibility, an unusual polysyllabic and abstract diction, alliteration, internal and slant rhymes, and a combination of the image with the with the epigram. Some of her poems convey rage at the injustices done to women, the poor, and the homeless. Late in life she became more and more reclusive. Her collected poems, The Last Lunar Baedeker, appeared in 1982.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Illumination

“Illumination: Ornamental initial, pattern, or illustration painted on the vellum or parchment leaves of a manuscript as an adornment of the text. The paint is water soluble, with an egg base. See MINIATURE PAINTING.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

High Renaissance Art

“High Renaissance Art: Climax of Renaissance art, ca. 1495-1520. In the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Michelangelo, Italian art attained the High Renaissance ideal of harmony and balance within the framework of classical realism.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Fin de Siecle

“Fin de Siecle: (Fr., end of century) Art of the end of the nineteenth century, also known as decadent art, which was created under the influence of the Aesthetic Movement in the style of Art Nouveau. Particularly associated with the highly stylized, black-and-white illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Winer Werkstatten

Winer Werkstatten: (Ger., Vienna workshops) An organization of designers and craftsmen established in Vienna in 1903 which espoused the aesthetic principles of the Arts and Crafts movement, but expressed them in a distinct style akin to Art Nouveau.

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Hieratic

“Hieratic: An expression used to designate the severe, stylized forms of Byzantine art (and its derivatives) in which the presentation of the sacredness of a person or thing takes precedence over any naturalistic qualities.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.

Vorticism

“Vorticism: An English movement, founded by Wyndham Lewis in 1912 and named by Ezra Pound, which reacted against Cubism and Futurism (while owing much of its outlook and style to them). The compositions were abstract geometric forms organized in arcs around a focal point (vortex). The chief aim seems to have been to make the British aware of advanced movements in modern art on the continent and elsewhere.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.