Completed by November 13th
Choose ONE of the following:
Group Identities, Boundaries and Borders in Art
How and why do groups of people (nationalities, religions, armies, tribes, gangs, football clubs, companies etc) display their group identities through art and visual imagery? How might groups of people be identified by ‘outsiders’? (think of how you chose to represent countries by food – what other symbols or clichés might work in the same way)
Look at propaganda paintings (American ‘Uncle Sam’, British ‘Your Country Needs You’, German, Russian, Italian & Japanese posters from the 2nd world war for example) Soviet Socialist Realism etc
Masks, Uniforms and Costumes from various tribes, groups and societies (from the Masaai and the Spanish navy to the Iroquois and the Ku Klux Klan)
Badges, Logos and Icons – from paintings of crucifixions in an Italian Church to the ‘Lupetto’ of AS. Roma
Modern Graffiti on trains, walls etc.
History paintings – battles, conquests and maps. Look at Albrecht Altdorfer, Paolo Uccello , Simone Martini, Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The Bayeux Tapestry etc.
When does Art become garment and garment become Art? How does fashion influence Art and vice versa?
Ritual and performance. For example: masks of the Fang people of West Africa, Japanese Noh theatre masks, North American traditional headdresses, Australian Aboriginal body painting. The costumes and contraptions of modern artist Rebecca Horn. (etc etc etc)
Where does the basic function (covering, protection, warmth etc) become less importance than the aesthetic appearance?
Fashion as a visual statement of politics and ideologies: Flapper girls in the 20s, Punks in the 70s, Hippies in the 60s etc
Influences in both directions – Pop Art, Op Art, Conceptual Art.
How does fashion in post War Britain (for example) reflect social and artistic change?
‘Talking about Art is like dancing about Architecture’ (Frank Zappa)
Can one art form explain another?
How have visual artists tried to depict performance and music in their work?
Japanese prints of theatrical performance (Hiroshige, Hokusai etc)
European painting and sculpture: Degas, Caravaggio, Fiorentino, Watteau, Italian futurist paintings (and music), Breughel, Lautrec, Max Beckmann, Picasso’s Circus performers etc.
Masks and costumes that express the role of the wearer – from various African nations and tribes, theatrical masks from China, Japan, Greece etc.
How has music been influenced by visual artists and vice versa?
Many visual artistic movements/styles had a musical equivalent (Baroque, Impressionist, Modernist, Dadaist)
Schoenberg (painter and composer), Matisse (La Danse, La Musique etc), Mondrian (Broadway Boogie Woogie)
Symbiosis: Humans and Nature in Art.
Investigating art that suggests the strength of the relationship between humankind and the environment around it.
Pre 20th Century European: Metamorphosis – plants and animals into humans - Bosch, Bernini, Arcimboldo etc
Modern European: Andy Goldsworthy (abstract forms from natural materials), Anthony Gormley, Sophie Ryder (animal human creatures), Land Art – Robert Smithson. Picasso’s Centaurs etc.
Non European: Ritualistic animal masks, fetishes and totems from a variety of cultures: North and South American, African etc. Hindu animal human hybrid gods etc.
What do these metamorphic or hybrid beings suggest about human origins, relationships with nature and each other?
Romantic Art – the idea of humans at the mercy of the immense power of nature Caspar David Freidrich, JWM Turner, Albert Bierstadt etc
Artistic reference to stage, performance and theatre in a number of cultures. How does the social and cultural context of the performance influence its visual representation in another art form? Degas, Lautrec, Schiele, Hogarth, Japanese artists such as Hiroshige, Hokusai and Kunisada, Traditional African /art itself interwoven with the performance). Japan
How has the image of women (as a subject) in painting changed through the 20th century? Liberation? Emancipation? Political change including the vast increase in the number of women artists. Feminism. Look at Picasso, Klimt, Modigliani, Giacometti, Warhol, Gwen John, Frida Khalo, Dali, Freud, Jenny Saville, Paula Modersohn-Becker (amongst others!) Read Germaine Greer on the subject for a feminist perspective "The Obstacle Race: The fortunes of women painters and their work", (book in the library)
The changing roles of the human figure in Art in the 19th & 20th centuries – from portraiture to symbolic presence. Cezanne (figure as motif rather than specific portrait) through Expressionism/Cubism’s distortions and simplifications, then body art and performance of 60s & 70s. Move on into the recent work of artists like Gormley in which the body is represented as a volume in space, a symbol or a vessel.
The changing impact of Art when removed from its intended location. Comparing the potentially diminished impact of religious art when transplanted from church/temple to gallery/museum and graffiti when taken from walls, trains, subways to the ‘safe’ middleclass gallery environment. Giotto, Michelangelo, Haring, Basquiat, Kenny Scharf etc.
The continuing presence of the painted portrait in the age of photography. What can painted portraiture offer to the artist/viewer that photography can not? How has photography freed the painter from the need to reproduce only the ‘straight forward’ likeness of the sitter? How has photography fed the painters’ imaginations and furthered the development of painting? Bacon, Nash, Hockney, Degas, Sickert, Jenny Saville, Richard Billingham etc. Read some Susan Sontag on this subject Review of her book ‘On Photography’ with a few quotes: http://www.photo.net/books/on-photography or this Sontag