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American Art in the Early 20th Century - Assignment Example

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The painting that I have chosen is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937), an artwork which represents the German bombing of Guernica in the Basque country during the Spanish Civil War (see Appendix 1). The painting depicts a mixture of figures with saturated colors of gray, black…
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American Art in the Early 20th Century
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The painting that I have chosen is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937), an artwork which represents the German bombing of Guernica in the Basque country during the Spanish Civil War (see Appendix 1). The painting depicts a mixture of figures with saturated colors of gray, black and white in oil on canvass. The illustration includes several severed human heads and limbs, arms stretched out that seem to cry for help, bestial distortions and other unique elements that suggest war and suffering.
Guernica is a perfect example of cubism, a style that Pablo Picasso was a pioneer in, combined with such genres as classicism and surrealism. As a prototype of cubism, each of the objects in the painting are broken, analyzed individually and brought together in an abstract form. This avant-garde style then shows a story through subjects from a variety of viewpoints instead of simply one viewpoint- a concept that fits perfectly into the philosophy of culture and the world.
Because viewpoints about this world also intersect at some point, many of the surfaces of the objects depicted in Guernica intersect as well. An example of this is the impression of a horse in the right of the painting, in which a human skull intersects the horse’s body while a bull seems to protrude beneath it, the horse’s knee cap contouring the bull’s nose on the ground.
Because Guernica has a classic and surreal style to it, the use of a bull or a Minotaur as a classical figure of terror and as an influence of the surrealists on Pablo Picasso also appears in Guernica. Finally, even though the spatial elements of the painting form a sense of discontinuity, one can feel through other formal elements of fine arts that Guernica is all about the cruelty, viciousness and despair in times of war.
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Works Cited
Picasso, Pablo. Guernica. 1937. Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Web. 8 November 2009. Read More
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