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Art Appreciation - Essay Example

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Art Appreciation Art is an expansive means of cultural and personal expression that is witnessed in nearly all global societies. While for the artist the creation of art has a variety of implications, including therapeutic purposes, art appreciation is an equally important practice…
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Art Appreciation

Download file to see previous pages... Lichtenstein created a wide array of work and much of it has gained positions of prominence among art theorists. While Lichtenstein produced an array of work, perhaps his work that most appeals to me is ‘Stepping Out’ (currently housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art). There are a number of aesthetic reasons I appreciate this work of art. Perhaps the most prominent are because the work combines both cubism and a comic book style. ‘Stepping Out’ implements Lichtenstein’s traditional comic book imagery. In this way the work is recognized as implementing the traditional pop art style (Livingstone, p. 113). The painting, Fig. 1 in the appendix, features two individuals. Seemingly these individuals are a woman and a man, however Lichtenstein uses cubist like forms to obscure easy and clear distinctions. The male figure seems to be identifiable though traditional social conventions of dress; he is wearing a hat, has short-trimmed hair, as well as a suit and tie. Conversely, the woman does not take on complete form; instead her face is depicted not in the traditional form of the human head, but as a canvas. She only has one eye, which is slanted vertically. She has long blonde-hair, red lips, and a yellow dress that seems to further situate her with feminine identification. The division between the man and woman is blurred such that they seem to dissolve into each other; this perspective on singularity is further witnessed through Lichtenstein’s slight use of pointillism on the right side and left side of the woman and man’s faces, respectively. These aesthetic factors combine comic book styles with cubist expression to create new expressive potentials. This way I greatly enjoy these complex and hybrid forms of expression. Another great factor that contributes to my appreciation of the work is its position as a seminal work of Pop Art. Indeed, while the painting was created in the late 1970s one recognizes that it emerges from the 1960’s Pop art aesthetic (Osterwold, p. iv). The work itself is both linked to pervading trends in Pop art – a consideration of style over substance, cartoon-like form – as well as historical art practices – oil on canvas (Tansay, p. 3). Furthermore, it’s noted that Pop art regularly implements images that are removed from their context of origin. Within this specific work both the man as borrowed from the inter-textual elements of Leger’s work, and the woman as clearly and overtly influenced from Picasso’s cubist style demonstrates past images reconditioned into new forms. The comic book form that Lichtenstein implements is also adopted from mass culture, a characteristic element of Pop art (Hapgood, p 21). Additionally, the post-modern notion that displaces the recognition of ‘high’ art as the most privileged art form is reflected directly in Lichtenstein’s ‘Stepping Out’. In these regards, the work implements this comic book ‘mass culture’ form as a means of legitimate social critique. One recognizes the juxtaposition between Lichtenstein’s aesthetic style with cubist and surrealist perspectives; this juxtaposition of form seems to represent a subsequent inclusion of multiple voices of knowledge and understanding. Ultimately, I appreciate this aesthetic technique in the way that explores complex social concerns with a style that has been traditionally associated with simple entertainment. The theme in this work of art is complex. Aesthetic analysis of Lichtenstein’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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