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Art - Essay Example

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20th Century Art The 20th century art, I would say could be summarized as the creation of art without the perception of anything mainstream. As opposed to the 18th and 19th century art that focused on principles such as neoclassicism and modernism, 20th century art still has no universal definition because artists of this period was only starting to discover science, welcoming the reality of our subconscious desires and fears which is hugely reflected in art…
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Download file to see previous pages He is a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet who spearheaded the principle of Surrealism which embraces unconventional art. One of his works that demonstrated surrealism would be “Oedipus Rex”, a painting of the hero in the Sophocles’ tragedy. Here one could see a picture of violence, seen through the depiction of the pierced fingers and walnut. The fingers are being speared by a bow-like device used to puncture the feet of birds so as to stop them from flying. However, the fingers do not bleed but the wound looks painful because of the penetration of the sharp object into the hand (Kuspit, D.). With all these said, the meaning of “Oedipus Rex” painting of Max Ernst is ambiguous, as opposed to the art of the 18th and 19th century. Looking at the painting, I would say that the person whose hand is being pierced is somewhat accepting the suffering he is undergoing despite the pain. Also, the fingers being pierced do not have any traces of blood which defies the concept of realism. All these sends contradicting messages that leave its audience wondering what the painter wanted to convey in the piece of art. Deducing Max Ernst’s “Oedipus Rex” painting and considering the transition of the changes from well-established principles of art to surrealism, I would say that this art attempted to veer away from realism, which is a principle which seeks to represent a subject matter truthfully. I would say so because though at first glance one would be able to immediately see suffering as a main subject in “Oedipus Rex”, one would start to see the irony of the scene when one looks closely on the details such as the pierced hand and fingers without any blood gushing out of it which is unrealistic. Aside from that, I strongly believe that Max Ernst tried to veer away from the confines of past artistic views of symbolism because he used strange symbols in his painting such as the walnut, birds in a box, bird with a horn, and a window which does not comprise of unified whole meaning. Also, Ernst’s bizarre painting resisted standards of rationality in such a way as the elements used in the painting could mean so many things because of its complexity. However, basing it in the predicament Oedipus was going through, the Sphinx actually refers to Oedipus himself giving the painting much depth as compared to works of art that embraces realism. On the other hand, the walnut refers to Hamlet’s statement, “O God, I could be bounded in a nut-shell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" (Hamlet, II.2.247). The bird refers to Ernst pet cockatoo when he was a child which happened to die the same night his sister was born (Kuspit, D.). With all the complex symbolism Ernst used, one would only need to dig deeper into the elements of the painting in order to understand what he is trying to say. After studying Max Ernst’s “Oedipus Rex”, I would say that there is a huge change in his art as compared to the art in the 18th and 19th century wherein there are certain forms and styles being followed as opposed to the free flow of ideas and emotions being depicted in in “Oedipus Rex”. Though it is harder to understand, I would simply say that aside from it requiring a different kind of intellectual ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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