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A critique of Gustav Klimts Death and Life Painting - Personal Statement Example

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Art has always been about more than just an artist, tools and a canvas.It is an expression of emotion, imagination and factors pulled from life as well as the unreal.Art not only affects the artist, but the audience too who interpret the expression in his or her own way…
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A critique of Gustav Klimts Death and Life Painting
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Download file to see previous pages Art has always been about more than just an artist, tools and a canvas.It is an expression of emotion, imagination and factors pulled from life as well as the unreal.Art not only affects the artist, but the audience too who interpret the expression in his or her own way. A single message, or multiple messages for that matter strikes a statement in the mind of receiver, thus creating a fundamentally vital connection. Without it, the art would fail to be appreciated and digested in the manner it is intended. Gustav Klimt’s “Death and Life” contains many specific elements and principles that the audience is anticipated to understand in order to relate to the piece. Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) began his education in art in 1976 under Ferdinand Laufberger at the Vienna school for Applied Arts (Gustav, par. 1). He won awards for his ceiling paintings for venues such as Sturny’s palace, the city theatre and a spa and hotel (Gustav, par. 1). He becomes president of the Vienna Secession group until 1905, and is well known for his “sensualist artificial religion” (Gustav, par. 2). When he dies in 1918, Gustav is revered as an important representation of Wiener Jucendstil (Gustav, par. 2). Art appreciation is defined as the ability to view art, or look at works and form your own opinion (Art Appreciation). This definition stands as a reminder that not all art should or will be liked by everyone. Viewing artwork can be a sensuous experience, which entails affecting all five senses, but that does not always happen because a person may not enjoy a piece they encounter. What is important is that the person viewing the work acknowledges their ability to like or dislike it, but appreciates the message that is presented. Klimt’s “Death and Life” painting is visually split down the center by a mixture of green, blue and black color. The left side displays a skull with expression. It faces the figures on the opposing side, clutching a brown club, or bat in its hands. The appearance of its face is sinister; teeth bared, eyes narrowed. Beneath its head and hands is a shapeless expanse filled with symbols of the cross, and peace signs. The absent space around the crosses are colored in an array of purple, green, blue, pink, white, and grey while the crosses themselves are solid black. The right half of the painting is an illustration of multiple different people immersed in a colorfully patterned blanket, or quilt. There are several women of various ages. A young girl and young woman embrace a baby boy behind an elderly woman who has her head bowed. She hovers over a large man doubled over a woman, and both of their visages are hidden from view. To the left of them, partly exposed from beneath the quilt, is a toddler. Above him a woman lies with her eyes open. She is the only one out of the group who is actively looking out as if she can see the person viewing the painting. The two parts represent life and death with a distinctive, wide voice separating the components. The elements of design come in a range of options that can be applied to artwork. This includes, but is not limited to: line, shape, direction, size, texture, color, and value (Art Elements). In relation to Klimt’s painting, every element can be validated to its structure and content. The linear marks, created by a brush, are shared by two figures. For instance, the bodies of the figures on the “life” side are married to the same line that portrays the side of the quilt. In one aspect, it’s the edge of the quilt; in another it is the curve of a woman’s hip. The separation can be seen by the distinctly different colors, which is another design element. Color plays a discrete role in setting boundaries, moods and texture in a piece of artwork. Even the value of art, i.e. lightness and darkness, help express meaning (Art Elements). The value of color on Death’s cloak, or figure, is significantly darker than that on the side of life to display ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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