Space is used in referring to distance or regions surrounding, amidor within features of an artwork. Artists use space differentlydepending on the work they are creating. Hence, artworks fromdifferent artists depict a disparity in the use of space. However, itis also possible for different artworks to use space in the same way.
The “Weeping Woman” by Pablo Picasso is an illustration of modernart work. It is a painting that represents a woman as she holds ahandkerchief to her face. It is obvious that the woman is weeping.The painting is modern owing to the expressive use of color, which isa feature associated with modern artwork. “The Pergamon Altar WestFrieze” is an illustration of ancient art. It is a sculpturelocated on the west of the famous Pergamon altar.
In the modern art work, the woman is confined to the central positionof the entire painting. The artist positions the woman within a darkas well as confined space. There is a balance in the spacesurrounding the woman that is weeping hence, she is centrallylocated in the work. More space has been utilized in portraying thewoman, since the surrounding space appears insignificant. As aresult, the viewer is able to concentrate on the character, which isthe artist’s objective. Similarly, the figures in the Pergamon areclosely positioned. There are no spaces between the figures as theyhave been interwoven tightly. The artist does not space thecharacters in order to give much focus to their emotions. Also, theartist does not use much space in the surrounding areas of thesculpture.
Although the artists in both works do not use too much space in thesurrounding, there are notable differences. In the modern work, theartist does not use space at the bottom of the figure. Instead spaceis used at the top and sides. On the contrary, in the sculptures,there is a bit of space at the bottom of the figures. The same amountof space is left at the top, while no space has been left on thesides. By observing the sculpture, it is apparent that the artist hasendeavored to use as much space as possible by closely distributingthe figures all over the space. Contrary, the painting obviouslypositions the figure in a central position.
The “Weeping Woman” uses a detailed interior design. This meansthat there is an order in how the figure is created and the amount ofspace that applies to either side of the painting. This differs fromthe sculpture where the spatial strategy is not detailed. This ispossibly because the sculptor comprises of more than one figure.Also, the figures are positioned in different angles, making itimpossible to achieve a detailed design. It is easier to have adetailed design when the figure is one as compared to using manyfigures.
In conclusion, space is a significant element in art work. Differentfactors influence the use of space by artists. As depicted in themodern and ancient works, there are similarities and differences inthe use of space by the artists. Some factors such as the figuresused in an art work influences the spatial strategy employed. Forinstance, with a single figure it is possible to have a detailedinterior design as opposed to incorporating more than one figure.
Topic Choice 3: Color Facts
Color is not just associated with aesthetic value. The meaning ofcolor may differ from one culture to another, from one individual toanother. This is because how people react to a specific color isassociated with how their culture has programmed them, in addition topersonal experiences.
Different cultures interpret colors differently. The way individualsrespond to colors is seen as a continuation of cultural procedures,meaning that the culture one grows up in affects their interpretationof color. The cultural influence of color is most evident duringspecial occasions. This is best demonstrated using illustrations ofthe different colors and their connotation to different cultures.Most common is the color red. In the western culture, the color isinterpreted to mean danger, while at the same time it also signifieslove. The association of color red with love is best illustrated withthe much celebrated Valentine’s Day in western culture (Dilloway19). In the Chinese culture, red is used when performing sacrificialrites. This is because the Chinese believe that the color scaresaware bad spirits (Dilloway 20). In African culture, red isinterpreted as a sign of bad luck. This is because the color hastraditionally been used during mourning ceremonies in most Africannations.
It is true that color affects behavior. Scientists have conductedresearch on color and its effects of human behavior, which hasresulted in the conclusion that different colors have differentimpacts on behavior. Color has a direct effect on the brain part,which is accountable for emotional stimulus. As a result, uponlooking at a color, several hormones are released, which in turnaffect the emotional and physical reactions of humans (Daily Sabah1). In a research conducted in prison and psychiatric institutions,the use of pink has led to a calming effect. Pink is viewed as a calmcolor. Hence, color pink is associated with evoking a soothingbehavior in humans (Daily Sabah 1). In a different study,color blue has been observed to suppress appetite. This is becausethe color reduces the urge to eat. Bright colors like light yellow orlight blue are lively color, which explains their connection tocausing lively behavior (Daily Sabah 1).
Color has some scientific aspects. It is a result of the interactionbetween the eyes with spectral sensitivities from receptors of light.The components as well as physical measurements of color are linkedto sources of light, objects and materials, which are founded onphysical properties like light absorption, discharge spectra andreflection. In the definition of a color space, it is possible toidentify colors through their coordinates. Since light is viewed asan electromagnetic wave, it is the frequency of the wave that makesit possible to determine the color.
In conclusion, it is true that color affects behavior and isinterpreted depending on one’s culture. An individual will chooseto dress in a specific color when attending an occasion like afuneral, based on the association of the color with their culture.For instance, when attending a funeral, I am most likely to dress inblack. This is because in my culture the color is associated withsadness and more people are likely to wear black when attending afuneral. In turn, it affects my behavior in that I will feel sad allthrough the funeral.
Topic Choice 5: Just what is Postmodernism?
Postmodernism is the phrase employed when referring to changeswitnessed in western society in the 1960s onwards. As a result, mostof the art groups of the 1960s onwards might be referred aspostmodernist (Postmodernism). It is specifically a movementin objection of modernism. Postmodernism embraces numerous diverseapproaches to creating art, which makes it is simpler to definepostmodernism through its main features.
The art movement is anti-authoritarian. This means that it does notconsider the influence of any technique or description of what art issupposed to be. Postmodernism eliminates any boundaries that mayarise amid daily life and art. The art movement self-consciouslyemploys former styles, as well as an eclectic merging of diverseartistic and famous techniques and media (Postmodernism). Thebeginning of postmodernism may be attributed to pop art, which thenfollowed the embracing of subsequent art form like feminist art orconceptual art.
Postmodernism emerged as an opposition of modernism. Modernism wasmainly founded on utopian visualization of community, human life inaddition to the belief in development. The movement presumed thatspecific definitive general guidelines like those instituted byscience or spirituality may be employed in the comprehension orrepresentation of reality (Postmodernism). Artists inmodernism supposed that through opposing the subject to experimentwith form, style and procedure, it would be possible to reflect themodern world in a simple approach.
It is possible to conclude that since modernism was an outcome ofreasoning as well as idealism, postmodernism is an outcome ofskepticism as well as suspicion towards reason. Postmodernism rejectsthe concept of general guidelines that are to be followed whencreating a work of art. Instead, the movement supports that personalexperience as well as explanation of personal experiences is concreteand not abstract (Postmodernism) Thus, postmodernism acts asthe perfect approach for depicting reality because it embracesintricate levels of meaning in its works.
Since postmodernism deviates from established artistic techniques, itintroduces advent ways of representing art. It borrows from differentstyles, mixed together to create a single piece of work(Postmodernism). The advantage of postmodernism art is that itis instantly understood. When compared to ancient artwork that had tobe critically analyzed to deduce meaning, postmodernism art isstraightforward. This means that one can simply look at a paintingand understand what the author is communicating.
An illustration of postmodernism art is “Body Worlds” by Dr.Gunther von Hagens. The artist presents the human body in a uniqueway. He uses actual human bodies that have been preserved and placedon display. The bodies are then placed in different poses. Adifferent illustration is “Nimbus Sankt Peter” by BerndnautSmilde where the artist crafts clouds inside a building, which arethen photographed. It is unexpected that a cloud would be seen withina building, which illustrates the lack of adherence to any guidelineswhen creating the work.
In conclusion, it is clear that postmodernism differs from former artmovements. It deviates from established art styles, like modernism.More artists are embracing the art movement. This is evident inartwork that represents a level of uniqueness not evident in ancientworks. Postmodernism creates limitless opportunities for artists asthey do not have to follow set guidelines when creating art. Insteadartists freely use their imagination to communicate their ideas.
Topic Choice 6: Mesopotamian Civilizations
Early Mesopotamia regards to the region where humans initiallycreated civilizations. It was at Mesopotamia that people started tolive in towns, write and formed governments. As a result, the regionis frequently referred as the “cradle of civilization”.Mesopotamia civilizations developed following the gathering of earlysettlers in villages. The earliest civilizations resulted in majorcontributions, specifically artistically.
Sumerians – the first individuals to settle in Mesopotamia. Upontheir settlement, they constructed cities along the region’srivers. Sumerians pioneered major contributions for subsequentsocieties, and some continue to be significant to date. They inventedcuneiform writing. They invented irrigation and methods ofcontrolling floods. At the time rainfall was scarce in the region,and snow melting led to immense flooding in the rivers in the processdestroying plants and houses (Kuipar 130). The Sumerians constructedwater structure that would make it possible to irrigate when therewas no rainfall, and regulate flooding in the spring. Sumerianscontributed to architecture by using bricks made of dried mud inbuilding monuments that acted religious centers. Sumerians madeartistic contributions. Craftsmen created decorated clay pots thatwere discovered at Ur. Also, they invented ornaments that hadattractive designs and remains of large metallic animals were foundin the cities.
Babylonians – Babylon was an important city-state in Mesopotamiabecause it acted as the capital. Famous among Babylonians was KingHammurabi who created the most powerful empire of the ancient world(Kuipar 72). Babylonians are associated with the establishment ofschools, which demonstrated their interest in education. Theircontributions are notable in literature as they wrote many books onthemes like mathematics, religion, astrology and science. A majorcontribution was in art. The Kings were well-known builders whoconstructed huge palaces. Most notable is the construction of theBabylonian Kingdom, which includes the Hanging Gardens, whichprogresses to be a world wonder.
Assyrians refer to a Semitic population that occupied northernMesopotamia. The population was under Babylonia’s rule prior togaining freedom to become a major supremacy in Mesopotamia. They werean intellectual and inventive civilization. Assyrians were famousowing to their cruelty during war. The Assyrians are recognized fortheir contributions in warfare, science as well as astronomy. Theyare the first individuals to create weapons made of iron, which theyused during war. Under the rule of King Ashurbanipal, the Assyriansconstructed the first historic library (Kuipar 106). Their artisticcontributions derive from their creation of sculptures representinganimals, especially horses and lions, and images of human heads fusedto animals.
Persians – Persians were among ancient Mesopotamia civilizations.However, it was the first civilization that comprised of individualsfrom different cultures. The Persians permitted those they conqueredto progress with their cultures provided they obeyed Persian rulers(Kuipar 91). Persians contributions in science and technology areevident to date. The ancient scientists are attributed to the presentcomprehension of philosophy, medicine, mathematics and nature. Thewind-power machine was invented by Persians. Muhammad IbnMusa-al-Khwarazmi a Persian ruler invented the mathematic logarithmtable. Artistic contributions include painting, architecture andsculpture. Illustrations are the Susa and Persepolis ceramics.
It is evident that Mesopotamian civilizations resulted insignificant world contributions. The ancient civilizations inventedimportant aspects of life like writing, government and education.More significant is the artistic contributions, which continue toinfluence contemporary artists.
Topic Choice 8: African Art
African art refers to art from sub-Saharan Africa (The BritishMuseum 3). Although the art is restricted to the sub-Saharan partof Africa, it is important to bear in mind that the continent islarge. There are different individuals, communities as well ascivilizations, all having their exclusive visual culture. There arelarge collections of African art possessed by museums and individualsoutside Africa.
Reasons for the existence of art outside Africa can be attributed toimperialism in Africa. During the nineteenth century, various powersbecame desperate to get more land as well as power. From 1870s to1900, Africa experienced imperialist aggression from Europeans(Ehiedu 1). The European invasion in Africa was as a result ofsocial, economic and political interests. After the collapse of slavetrade, the demand for raw material and markets for goods led to thescramble for Africa. Europeans felt that Africa would act both as amarket and source of raw materials following increased economicactivity in European nations (Ehiedu 1).
Europe also needed to demonstrate its political power, which led tothe need to acquire more territories. Europe was experiencing socialchallenges due to industrialization. Not all individuals could beaccommodated in European nations. Hence, Europe resolved to createsettler-colonies in Africa (Ehiedu 1). In order for Europe to meetits political, social and economic needs, it had to deal withopposition from Africans. Although Africans put up a strong fight,they were eventually defeated by European powers, leading to Africanimperialism. As a result, African nations no longer had control overtrade. It became easier for Europeans to access goods from Africa(Ehiedu 1).
Hence, with the ease of access to products from Africa, it becamepossible for nations outside Africa to possess African art. Aftertaking over African nations, European voyages brought back to theirnations products from the continent. Some of these goods include whatis currently referred as African art. Initially, artifacts fromAfrican nations were viewed as artificial curiosities. However, inthe late nineteenth era, Europeans specifically anthropologistsstarted to view some of the artifacts as African art (The BritishMuseum 5).
As the colonial takeover in Africa advanced, so did the presence ofAfrican artifacts in museums European museums as well as art markets.The concept of African art became widespread specifically during the1980s following the open market sale of hundreds of “fine brasssculptures looted during the British conquest of Benin City inNigeria” (The British Museum 5). Most of the artifacts alsotraced their way to the British Museum. Subsequent colonialexplorations progressed to increase the collection of artifacts fromAfrica back in Europe.
Many African nations are fighting to have their artwork returned intheir countries. For instance, Mali and Nigerian administrations haveestablished repatriation programs. Kenya as well has appointed aheritage officer responsible for tracking Kenyan artifacts overseasand engaging in negotiations for them to be brought back to Kenya(Lovgren 1).
African art is very important and acts as a source of culturalheritage for most nations. Regrettably, many African artifacts arepossessed by museums or individuals outside Africa. Some of theseartifacts were stolen from African, or Africans were coerced intogiving out their works during African imperialism. It is importantfor African nations to reclaim their works as a form of preservationfor their culture.
Daily Sabah. Scientists demonstrate colors’ effects on humanbehavior, 8 Sep. 2014. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.http://www.dailysabah.com/health/2014/09/07/scientists-demonstrate-colors- effects-on-human-behavior
Dilloway, Laura. An exploration into color symbolism as used bydifferent cultures and religions. NCCA (2006): 1-55.
Ehiedu, Iweriebor. The Colonization of Africa. Africana Age,2011. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
Kuiper, Kathleen. Mesopotamia:The World`s Earliest Civilization.New York, NY: Britannica EducationalPublicationin association with Rosen Educational Services, 2011. Print.
Lovgren, Stefan. Africa Fights to Reclaim Lost Art, Artifacts.National Geographic News, 12 Jun. 2003. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.
Postmodernism, 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://www.tate.org.uk/learn/online- resources/glossary/p/postmodernism>
The British Museum. What is African Art? (n.d): 2-21.