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Book: Art through the Ages 3rd Edition - Essay Example

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Chapter 14 of the book “Art through the Ages” presents the developments and evolution of art in Europe and America in the period between 1900 and 1945. One of the paintings that challenged me in this chapter was Improvisation 28. The piece was created by the German…
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Art through the Ages: Europe and America, 1900-1945 Inserts His/Her Inserts Inserts Europe and America, 1900-1945
Chapter 14 of the book “Art through the Ages” presents the developments and evolution of art in Europe and America in the period between 1900 and 1945. One of the paintings that challenged me in this chapter was Improvisation 28. The piece was created by the German Expressionist Vassily Kandinsky and was completed in 1912. The oil on canvas piece measuring 3’” X 5’ was created by a true intellectual and a believer of spiritual art and who consequently named it Improvisation 28 (Kleiner, 387).
The main difficulty I have with this painting is on its interpretation. The shapes in the painting are disjointed and confusing. The use of colour in this paper also leads to the painting being more complicated. While some elements in the painting can be easily described, the manner with which Kandinsky presented them makes the painting confusing as a whole.
Improvisation 28 was one of the first abstract paintings ever created and further deviated from post-impressionist artists who experimented on new uses of light and colour. This alone makes it worthy of being studied in art history. Apart from this, Kandinsky use of colour in this painting is such that it evokes a visceral reaction from the viewers. He is able to relay emotional content through this painting. The content of the painting is a turbulent sea and Kandinsky was able to embody the danger ships in the water were facing through the use of colour.
After revisiting the chapter, I was better able to appreciate the painting. Kandinsky believed that an artist could express his inner feelings in his painting. Through the use of colour, he was able to present a picture of a turbulent sea in a manner that also conveys feelings of danger, confusion and anxiety through the use of form, colour, line and space. The disjointed images and colour juxtaposition further reinforce the image of a turbulent sea and the ships trapped in it. The only unbroken element, in the picture, both in form and colour, is the lighthouse which represents safety from the dangers of the sea.
Works Cited
Kleiner, Fred. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: A Concise Western History. 3rd ed. Boston, MA:
Wadsworth Read More
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