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The Artwork Soft Calendar for the Month of August, 1962. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City - Assignment Example

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My visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (also known as “The Met”) helped augment my understanding of fine arts in general. In this piece, a work of art and corollary ideas about it will be examined, a work which was quite attention-grabbing in itself. …
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The Artwork Soft Calendar for the Month of August, 1962. Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
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Download file to see previous pages One must wonder why the artist uses the particular medium that he does—especially since it is quite strange. “Soft Calendar for the Month of August, 1962” is basically canvas filled with shredded foam rubber; it’s painted with Liquitex and enamel. Now, Liquitex, as one understands it, is primarily a plastic paint—which we now know as acrylic gesso. Gesso is what artists usually put on their canvases in order to prime the piece of artwork with paint. So, it seems rational that Claes used Liquitex, perhaps for a first coat. Then, he most likely next applied enamel, which leaves a decorative and glassy coating. It’s a type of paint used for modeling (such as miniature toy plane replicas, etc.). One must ask why the artist uses this particular medium besides why he actually uses the types of paints—and rather, why does he feel this is the best way to represent his art? Perhaps this was the easiest way to paint shredded foam rubber. It must have taken some masterful skill to form the rubber just the way he wanted it, because the rubber numbers on the calendar look like dough. The advantages of working with acrylic gesso would be that the first coat would dry easily. The limitations of working with enamel include the fact that enamel takes a longer time to dry. III. Style Elements of the composition work to constitute the artist’s style, much in the way that putting a bunch of puzzle pieces together creates a whole picture. As for what movement within which Oldenburg was working, he was clearly in the realm of various possible categorizations: Modernist, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. It’s possible it might have even been more than one style blended together. At any rate, “Claes Oldenburg's highly individual figurations make him one of the leading protagonists of Pop Art” (Osterwold 193). Pop art, short for popular art, was at its heyday in the ‘60s, along with the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and others. Unmistakably, as one can see below, the calendar for the month of August of 1962 starts with the number “29,” as that was the day of the week from the previous month of July in that particular year. One also may note that the August calendar of 1962 ends with the number “1,” because the last day in the calendar was September 1st of 1962—according to the painting. The numbers and letters almost look like baked bread dough rising. More is forthcoming about why this painting looks like it does, in the next section regarding the context of the painting. IV. Context One should examine also, the context of the work. This was painted in the 60s by Claes Oldenburg. He was born in Sweden in 1929, but is an American citizen. It’s uncertain exactly where he painted it, nor with what other works it would be in conversation with unless one talks about this painting being a type of conversation piece in the context of Pop Art. All of the first days of the week on the calendar are painted red, while the other days are white. One is unsure whether the colors or this particular month held any kind of cultural or historical events or issues which the piece is addressing. To be sure, Soft Calendar for the Month of August, 1962 is definitely riveting. It makes you ask why a thousand times. Why are the first days of the week painted red, and the rest white? Why do these numbers look like rising bread dough? And so forth and so on. It is a discussion that must be had. V. Conclusion ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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