Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844 - 1900), the German philosopher and Alfred Jarry (1873 - 1907) the French writer, were contemporaries of Max Klinger (1857-1920). They shared an interest in the relationships between the real, the surreal and the absurd. They tried to develop a symbolic language which could embrace the cultural past and an uncertain present. Like Plato they tried to create a world view which in this case was the secessionist idea of the gesamtkunstwerk. Klinger had 15 years to think about and create this sculpture. Beethoven is deep in thought, seated naked amongst angels with an eagle at his feet. The statue attempts to reconcile a proud European past with the reality of the present. The throne on which Beethoven sits is decorated with biblical imagery of Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and the crucifixion of Jesus. Has Beethoven be elevated to divine status? Is Beethoven’s music like religion and like Richard Wagner’s recounting of ancient myths appealing to the same primitive needs and emotions?Klinger places a classic renaissance seated figure in a geometric circle. He places the rational and orderly Beethoven (Appolonian of Nietzche) within a throne of chaotic absurd images (Dionysian of Nietzche).
William Henry Bradley’s style is very creative. I truly enjoy The Twins. Both are the same design but the differing in size makes the intricate flow of the dresses appear even more delicate. He seems to follow the flow to that of a peacock’s feathers because when comparing this poster to the other two peacock designs that he created, the same techniques seem to be used. Notice how in the peacocks the feathers get larger and larger as they seem to approach you and you take more notice on the larger feathers. On the other hand, in The Twins, the smaller “feather” is in the front, but somehow the larger figure captures my attention the most. I even saw similar styles from other artists this week. For instance, take a look at Jan Toorop’s designs such as the flow of the hair of the woman he drew and even in Behren’s The Kiss. All have this repetitive flow that makes the design seem more personal, real, and quite motivating.
Where to begin with Marcello Dudovich? The second I first saw his lithograph in class for Bitter Campari, I knew I was in for a treat. Dudovich’s poster art, especially during the early 1900’s, has to be some of my new favorite works. The degree of detail in the Campari ad is spectacular, definitely a sign of his masterful skill (saying as how none of my own lithos could compare). The raw emotion behind the sultry kiss exchanged between the two figures is openly erotic, the viewer almost wants to look away and leave the lovers to their private moment. However, the design work is so innocently beautiful, the viewer cannot help but stare at every delicate fold of the woman’s dress, the beauty mark on her cheek, the gentle caress of her fingertips across his face - every inch begs for your attention, and trust me, you’ll be happy to give it.*His other poster, “Madama Butterfly”, is also worth looking up to see another facet of his work, following in a more classic Art Nouveau style. Absolutely beautiful."madama butterfly"
The works of Privat Livemont seem to jump right towards me the moment I see them. The style, the color, the attention to the smallest of detail and the gestalt of each peace is breathtaking. I can't imagine the creative process behind his, and the other "nouveauists" works. Where did they come from? How were they made? It is so far past anything I've could create and yet it was made such a long time ago with no aid of the computer or any modern convenience.The beauty and richness of the forms covered in lavish flowing clothing are so dramatically contrasted to his harsh contours surrounding the figures, coupled together with flat, one color backgrounds. Its airy, fragile and delicate while being dramatic, graphic and bold at the same time. True masterpieces indeed.
Josef Hoffman, a German architect, who created the Vienese Sanitorium was part of the Vienese Secession which was a major turning point in design. The Vienese Secession was when they moved away from ornamentation. His work definately showed the loss of ornamentation and the turning towards clean lines in architecture. The photos of the Stoclet House is amazing in its modern design, simplicity, beauty and size. The Sanitorium was his first great work, a flat roofed building with repetition of geometric shapes, void of any ornament or for that matter...any color. It is gray and white "very clean looking" and as Prof. Triff mentioned in class, used as a spa for the upper class. A great inspiration for current architects and a genius for his time.
Jan Toorop had one of the broadest, most free flowing styles I have ever seen. Looking at how his technique has changed from year to year is just a remarkable sight. The stylistic brushstrokes, colors, paint application and subjects are segmented throughout his artistic career. What I really thought was wonderful, that Professor Triff explained is that his later symbolist works are congruent with what is being done now. “The Three Brides” done in 1893 has an urban graffiti look today with the elongated arms, large eyes, and organic shapes look particularly similar to work being done over 100 years later. Though the colors are not extreme, the blend of subtle tones creates a harmonious flow of shapes and arrangements. The figure in the center acts as the fold of symmetry between left and right. Her glowing mysterious figure draws the eye in and then circumscribes throughout the rest of the piece. Each figure captures imagination, spirituality, and dreams and depicts reality in its pure existence, which is the essence of Symbolism.
Privat Livemont's works are true masterpieces. His mastery of the double contour is simply gorgeous. The way he uses the steam to draw attention to the text is fabulous. It I ingenious way to subconsciously draw the onlookers eyes to the text. His choice of colors that complement each other is brilliant, and as Rhett stated “It’s airy, fragile and delicate while being dramatic, graphic and bold at the same time”. I couldn’t agree more. The intricate detail that is so masterfully executed by Livemont is aw inspiring. I wish I had Livemonts skills to not only create the work itself but have the physiological understanding to create a subconscious link from the work to the meaning or idea being conveyed.
One thing a student from graphic design can take away from the work of William Henry Bradley is that repetition is visually arresting. ‘The Modern Poster’ holds your eye on the pattern created by the repeated peacock feather. This highly patternized form is balanced by the negative space created by the background. ‘The Modern Poster’ and ‘the chap book’ are automatically more striking because of this contrast created between repetition of elements and the negative space, which lets your eye rest. ‘His Book’ uses repetitive elements, in the tale of the peacock and along the border, but they are not as pronounced as in the other works. Bradley also uses the same single color background, popular in Art Nouveau, but most it is obscured by greenery. This work feels more like a stained glass window than Art Nouveau. If ‘The Twins’ are the first Art Nouveau poster, why isn’t there more written about Bradley. His Wikipedia article is just a few lines of text, and if you Google him, you will find more information about a basketball player with the same name.-Raymond Mathews
Jean Delville (1867- 1953) was a very spiritual painter. He was committed to spiritual and esoteric subjects during his early twenties. He was a writer as well, and while he wrote down many of his ideas or ideal, he never gave much interpretation to his paintings. He wanted the viewers to make up their own mind and present their own interpretations. He gives this impression through his misty and blurred style giving the images a mysterious look. His pictures give off light symbolizing light and mysticism in the world. He who believed in these types of ideas wanted to portray it through his paintings so the rest of the world may believe in them too.
Marcello Dudovich’s poster for Campari is a magnificent image; he masterly utilizes the ideal of sex to sell this alcohol. Not only does he use the image of a couple kissing (a prelude to the act of sex itself) but also extreme darks and drastic shadows to give the aura of a darkened bedroom or a risqué bordello. The couple is literally drinking each other up caught in the most intimate of embraces. The monochromatic color palette of red and black further emphasizes the rich beauty of the image but also serves to give the image a “red light district” feel. Campari is red in color and Dudovich’s uses the liquid as his inspiration for his palette and the sexual mood of the imagery. When looking at this particular image I am reminded of Aubrey Beardsley and his erotic imagery. They share that arousing quality and beauty of a simplified color palette.
Livemont was a Belgian artist who helped to pioneer the Art-Nouveau movement in the early 1890s. He was an established painter who stumbled into posters; when he exhibited a poster design for an art exhibit he won first prize. Privat Livemont's artworks reminds me a lot of a set of Tarot Card illustrations that's I've seen recently by Rosalind Simmons. Even the 3 illustrations in the post look like they could be printed on Tarot Cards even though they were meant to be posters. The figures Livemont's drawings look very similar to Simmon's. The flow of the lines and color are also very much alike. I would say she definitely was influenced by Privat. His use of shapes and type and how they mesh together are very inspirational for later artists.
William Henry Bradley’s work fits perfectly into the Art Nouveau style. His designs incorporate the highly-stylized, flowing, curvilinear designs that were typical of other work during this time. There is a strong presence of repetition in each of his designs and stringing together various pieces of his work. In two of the three examples on this blog, the shape and design of peacock feathers is used and repeated many times within each work. The feathers are used as a stylistic, design element rather than as subject matter. The clean, hard edges and color schemes of his designs help to unify his work. These two aspects of his work also make it simple for the viewer to identify his medium. The hard lines signify that his work was mainly prints rather than drawings or paintings, which usually lines have smoother, softer edges. Also, the colors used are unmixed, not blended together at all, which is another strong indication that these are block prints rather than paintings. The colors are layered rather than mixed therefore the blues remain true blues, yellows, true yellows, etc. It is not surprising that Bradley’s work consisted of prints because of his beginnings in art making. He began working in a printer’s shop when he was 12. The printer’s shop is where Bradley began to learn the techniques he would later use in his work. For being almost entirely self-taught, Bradley managed to create many important pieces to the Art Nouveau period.
Peter Behrens was one of the most important and influential German designers from the beginnings of the 20th century. He was certainly an all round designer working on several creative fields like painting, graphic design, architecture and industrial design. Apparently he embraced the jugendstil movement creating images like Der Kuss but then moved to a more sober style reacting against nineteenth century design into what was called Neue Schlichkeit or the New Objectivity. I found this poster very interesting, advertising electric lights. Even though I don't understand what it reads, I get the message or the main idea, which is, fight the darkness (dark background) with modern light bulbs (in white, light). I find it very effective and simple, and that in my opinion is good design.He also had architects like Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and LeCorbusier working under his supervision.
When I first saw the Marcello Dudovich poster in class, I was completely enthralled. I remember not being able to focus my attention on anything else. I think it is a combination of the passionate moment he shows and the soft reds that bring light to the poster. The color was chosen perfectly for the mood of this piece. I love how the brighter reds highlight the woman’s cheekbone and arm and warm up the entire piece to match the heat of the passionate scene. For an alcohol advertisement it is completely doing its job of selling the product. Through the color and elegant technique in which Dudovich has drawn and portrayed the lovers, he gives the product sophistication and makes it seem as if the product will be as bold and sensuous as them as well. I also think the font choice is working really well because of the curved shape of the letters and I think the white works well against the all red poster.
I absolutely adore the work of Jan Toorop. I seriously enjoy his work so much that I would now (having just been introduced to him) consider him one of my favorite artists. The loose sketch of the woman on the yellow background is beautiful; the fluidity makes the piece serene and inviting. As a Symbolistic painter, reacting against Realism and Naturalism, his themes often embodied spiritualism, imagination and dreams. His lines are soft and sensual.I took a closer look at Toorop’s typical Dutch painting posted, the dark one featuring the women with long hair. The curvilinear lines created by the flowing hair are mesmerizing. I noticed the reference to a crucifixion on each side in the uppermost corners. There are several bells around the painting; I wonder what is their significance?
Art Nouveau is characterized by highly stylized, undulating, flowing curvilinear lines that seem to have a certain inherent movement to them. Having been partially inspired by Japanese woodblock prints, the artists of the movement often incorporated floral designs and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as continuing other defining design components such as the flat visual plain and void areas that constrast the high concentration of detail in other areas of the composition. It is easy to see this influence in all three Livemont pieces and the first Toorop drawing. They all share the linear composition, as well as the tendency to idealize and even simplify the female subjects. They are so ornate and rich that they do not even need color, but the color in Livemont’s posters add to them, giving them an almost romantic and whimsical feel.
Marcello Dudovich’s Capari poster looks like a still from a Jean-Luc Godart film. I can see how Dudovich was interested in cinematography. The different reds set a very sexy tone that entices the viewer to want a cocktail. The way the couple hold each other is so intimate that I feel actually feel jealous. The scene epitomizes the reason to order a drink at the bar and approach a woman.
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