Beginnings and (Odds and) Ends

Painting Homework Due 3/8/17

For next week, please complete the following tasks.

Buy four (4) 24″ stretcher bars (strips)

I would recommend shopping in person so you can examine the bars and ensure they are straight. Sight down the length in the manner we discussed in class. FYI, brand doesn’t matter, but get standard duty, which are approximately 1 1/2″ wide and 3/4″ thick.

If you just can’t conceive of setting foot in an actual store in this mad, mad digital world, here is a link to one of the many online stretcher bar purchase options, in this case at the world’s most nefarious art supply empire (aka Dick Blick). Make sure you put in your order right away so it comes in time. We do not have backup materials available, so if you aren’t ready to go next class, you will have to stretch canvas on your own time. Just a guess, but that will probably end up being the kind of fun that’s not.


why_research.jpgResearch the abstract/non-objective artist you were given in class. You can start by looking at Wikipedia. However, you must also look at least one other reputable source such as a book (you know those weird papery things in the library) or a museum/academic website. The sources listed at the bottom of Wikipedia articles are a good place to find possibilities.

Once you have learned about your artist, find an image you think is representative of his or her main body of work. Post it as a comment on this blog post with the following information:

  • Artist’s name
  • Title of the chosen painting
  • Years of artist’s primary activity (can be a general range like “1950s” or a specific span)
  • Artistic Movement with which the artist is associated (if applicable). In other words, do they go with an “ism”?
  • A paragraph describing the kind of paintings the artist does AND why he or she is considered important. I am NOT looking for biographic details but rather a historical/critical discussion of artwork.
  • Sources you consulted listed in MLA format (the usual standard for art history). If you want easy-mode way to create citations, check out this MLA generator.



Time to let your inner hoarder off the leash, Party People!

In your creativity journal, collect at least 50 examples of formal elements you find visually interesting or which, for whatever reason, generate an emotional or intellectual response for you. These can be colors, color combinations, textures, shapes, lines or compositional arrangements.

Although you can actually sit down and research on yon intewebs, I encourage you  to look for everyday things that catch your eye. Perhaps you see interesting cracks in the parking lot pavement and you snap a photo or you find a candy bar wrapper with an satisfying embossed texture. Page through magazines, look thorough cupboards, snag random detritus and just generally keep your critical eye honed on the myriad of stuff you encounter day by day. The possibilities are endless but hopefully not overwhelming since this is the type of thing you have already been doing in your creativity journal for a month and a half. Right?



Pack what you need for next class:

  1. Your absolutely, positively, totally completed Project 1 painting with any improvements you wanted to make after critique. I will be collecting these for grading (see the “Optional” heading below).
  2.  If you borrowed a light from me to complete Project 1, please bring it back next week. Do NOT put it in the communal bin in the art storage room, since many of units belong to me.
  3. If you haven’t paid for your panel, please bring money next week. Let’s put the wrap on Project 1!
  4. Your painting supplies. We will be working in class.


You have the option of building onto your Project 1 painting to improve it before it’s submitted for final grading next week. Take into account the feedback you received in critique as well as your own evolving feelings about the work.


Hopefully you don’t feel this way!



16 thoughts on “Beginnings and (Odds and) Ends

    • Robert Motherwell is abstract expressionist movement artist. Robert was influenced by many great artist like Robert Matta, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. The three artist were Surrealism, Cubism, and Symbolism. Roberts work Pancho Villa Dead or Alive was during revolutionary of Mexico of the death of Pancho Villa. After this set Robert would be know as abstract expressionist. Moreover, he has done many works of art of the European movement which has inspired his work. One of his famous works in a series was “Elegy to the Spanish Republic No 110”. The series was a memorial of paintings of Spanish Civil War which he symbolized during the movement. Another set of his work was “The Blue painting lesson: a study in painterly logic”. This series was know as the open series which was a densely monochromatic background with boxes highlighted by two or three. These boxes were influenced also by the Europeans. The box is abstract reference to the European masters. Robert Motherwell was impressed by the notion Automatism which means Idea of art might become manifested subconsciously. Roberts second most famous set was Je t’aime No.2 (1955).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Works Cited

      Lucie-Smith, Edward. Movements in art since 1945. N.p.: Thames and Hudson, 1984. Print.

      Modern American Painting. Amsterdam: Time-Life International, 1979. Print.

      Pohribný, Arsén. Abstract painting. Oxford: Phaidon, 1979. Print.

      “Robert Motherwell Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.


  1. Artist- Grace Hartigan
    Title of the painting- Summer Street
    Years of primary work- 40s were complete abstract 50s on is when she began adding recognizable items
    Art movement- Second generation Abstract Expressionism
    Grace was a self taught painter with strong belief in painting having content and emotion with her bold gestures and experimental brushwork. She was greatly inspired by Jackson Pollock and after seeing an exhibit Hartigan began to form her own, inimitable Abstract Expressionist sensibility. She was important because she stepped out of the normal abstract, even if she lost some popularity after she had added recognizable imagery into her paintings.

    “Grace Hartigan Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017.
    “Grace Hartigan.” Guggenheim. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2017


  2. Helen Frankenthaler
    Canal 1963

    Helen Frankenthaler
    She was an American abstract expressionist painter. She also was a major contributor to the history of postwar American painting. Frankenthaler exhibited her large-scale abstract expressionist paintings in contemporary museums and galleries in the early 1950s. Her first solo exhibition was presented in 1951, at New York’s Tibor de Nagy Gallery, and she was also included that year in the landmark exhibition 9th St. Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture. She is one of the foremost colorists of our time, she produced a body of work whose impact on contemporary art has been profound.

    “Biography – Helen Frankenthaler – Helen Frankenthaler Foundation”

    “Helen Frankenthaler – Wikipedia”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The artist name is Joan Miró. The painting I choosed is known as The Tilled Field made in 1923 (Joan Miró Biography, 7). Joan Miró was born on april 20, 1893 in Barcelona, Spain. Then died on december 25, 1983, Palma De Mallorca, Spain (Joan Miró Biography, 1). It is said that “he came of age with the Catalan independence movement, and shared its deep-rooted sense of the possibilities of liberty. To begin with, he identified this freedom with internationalism” (Adams, 3).
    Early in his career, Miró primarily painted still lifes, landscapes, and genre scenes (Joan Miró Biography, 1). He was an important person. That is because he did works in sculpture, painting, and worked as a ceramist(Joan Miro, and his, 1). Joan Miró never limits himself. He explored certain themes such as that of Mother and Child repeatedly throughout his long career, Miró did so in a variety of media from painting and printmaking to sculpture and ceramics, often achieving surprising and disparate results(Joan Miró Biography, 6).

    Work Cited
    Adams, Tim. “Joan Miró: A life in paintings.” The Observer. Guardian News and Media, 19 Mar. 2011. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
    “Joan Miro, and his paintings.” Joan Miro – paintings, biography, and quotes of Joan Miro. N.p.,n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.
    “Joan Miró Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar.2017.
    picture link :


    • Tittle of artwork in order:

      1. The Ten Largest, No. 1 Childhood, Group IV, 1907
      2. The Ten Largest, No. 3 Youth, Group IV, 1907
      3. The Ten Largest, No. 6 Adulthood, Group IV, 1907

      Courtesy of Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk

      Hilma af Klint is regarded as a pioneer of abstract art. She lived a secret life where she met with four other female artists (they called themselves “The Five”) where they would communicate with what they believed to be spirits and create drawings and stories that would communicate through them. She understood colors being very partite, yellow she understood as representing masculinity, blue was femininity, and green is sort of the unity between two. Her paintings feel like they are alive with all the lines and shapes that she painted, like a spiritual life… corny, I know.

      “Af Klint received a ‘commission’ from an entity, which The Five named Amaliel, to create her most important body of work, The Paintings for the Temple. Consisting of 193 predominately abstract paintings in various series and subgroups, the artist painted a path towards a harmony between the spiritual and material worlds; good and evil; man, and woman; religion and science. This major work charted the influence of science and religion on af Klint’s works, from the discovery of electromagnetic waves to the spiritual teachings of anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner. Steiner was af Klint’s mentor and his presence in her life resulted in the cycle becoming more orderly with depictions of symbols and motifs, such as shells, snakes, lilies and crosses, from his spiritual movement.

      Hilma af Klint painted in near isolation from the European avant-garde. Fearing that she would not be understood, she stipulated that her abstract work should be kept out of the public eye for 20 years after her death. While the works were not exhibited for a further 20 years, it subsequently came to be understood alongside the broader context of modernism at the turn of the 20th century.”

      Skidmore, TextMaisie. “Decoding the Spiritual Symbolism of Artist Hilma Af Klint.” AnOther. AnOther Publishing Ltd, 2009. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.

      “Hilma Af Klint: Painting the Unseen.” Serpentine Galleries. Arts Council England, 03 Mar. 2016. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.


  4. Artist name- Wassily Kandinsky
    Title of painting- Composition VII (1913)

    Artistic movement- Expressionism
    Primary activity of artist- 1900 to about 1940

    Kandinsky familiarized himself with the growing Expressionist movement and developed his own style based on things he witnessed in his travels. In his early years he revealed interest in disjointed figure-ground relationships and the use of color to express emotions rather than appearances. He was a founding member of New Artists Association of Munich. His work became more abstracted from the surrounding world. He tilted his work and tried different compositions to stress their distances. He co-founded the Blue Rider it was a group on nine expressionist artists that believed in the promotion of modern art. Kandinsky’s work played a large role in the foundation for later modern movements. “Kandinsky set the stage for much of the expressive modern art produced in the twentieth century.”

    (Works cited)
    “Wassily Kandinsky Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. .
    “Wassily Kandinsky.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 03 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. .
    “Wassily Kandinsky.” German Expressionism. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. .


  5. Franz Kline, an American Painter most known for his role Abstract Expressionism, was active in his work from 1930 until he died in 1962 (Savvine1). His energetic black and white paintings are important to the
    history of art because his unique gestural abstraction influenced the beginning of Minimalism (Savvine,1). Franz Klines artwork is usually described by viewers as being that of machinery or buildings, however, the artist stated he paints “not what I see but the feelings aroused in me by that looking,” (MoMa 2). My
    example of Kline’s work, Four Square, shows how he achieved the a three-dimensional abstract composition by painting diagonally overlapping horizontal and vertical lines, which separates his work from the norm of Abstract Expressionists that uses a two-dimensional visual approach (Savvine7).

    “MoMA Learning.” MoMA | Franz Kline. Chief. 1950. N.p., 1999. Web. 07 Mar. 2017. . p. 205

    Savvine, Ivan . “Franz Kline Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. The Art Story Contributors, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.


  6. Kazimir Malevich was an important part of a variety of movements in Russia. He was also the founder of Suprematist movement. The art was based on geometric shapes and lines with basic colors. Between 1905-1934 created various works based in cubism, geometric abstraction, avant garde, and hard edge painting. He believed that art should transcend subject matter, and in 1915 he painted the square which was iconic in itself. This is the type of painting that seems simple, but the form itself carries weights. Focusing on feelings, represented by the black square, against the white nothing, the painting heralds a godlike quality to the artist. The painting is cracked and bears layers of other colors. There is hair and fingerprints within the paint, leaving he imprint of the artist. The edges are profoundly tight and creates tension between the black and white. For a time his work was banned in the soviet union, to be rediscovered in the 1950’s, and influenced many other artists and movements.


    • “Kazimir Malevich – The complete works – Page 1.” Kazimir Malevich – The complete works – Page 1. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.

      “Kazimir Malevich | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.

      “Kazimir Malevich Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2017.


  7. -Jackson Pollack
    -This was around the time of the Great Depression
    -This kinds of paintings that his does are really abstract. He’s considered important because of his abstract work. He called his work “drip paintings”, which are very colorful. He represented the most original bodies of art work in his time. He also created style “drip and splash”, which is very interesting. He’d often trim or cut his canvas to make sure he fit all of the paint in.
    “Jackson Pollock and His Paintings.” Jackson Pollock – Biography, Paintings of Jackson Pollock. N.p., 2011. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.


  8. Artist: Gerhard Richter

    Ohne Titel (grün)
    Untitled (Green)
    1971 150 cm x 120 cm
    Oil on canvas
    Artist Movement: “Informal Age” (Richter)
    Active: 1964 – Present

    Not like the soft blurring of his photo paintings, the in paintings have more of a painterly impasto, the sweeping, swirling path of the brush marks very visible. Most of Richter’s work fed into the evolution of the in paintings, including the town scapes and streak paintings of 1968-69, the Constellation paintings of 1969, and a significant number of works that specifically set out to explore mark making or the borders of figuration and abstraction. A series of works, Untitled (Green) from 1971 perhaps most clearly demonstrate Richter’s logic as he moved from a figurative work, Park Piece, 1971, into abstraction, and were a steppingstone to the brown, grey, and red-blue-yellow series of Inpaintings of 1972.



  9. -Mark Rothko
    -Rust and Blue
    -Abstract Expressionism
    – Mark Rothko is an abstract expressionist and paints what he feels. His paintings were not of anything in particular. His signature wasn’t to paint pictures of people or anything like that, it was rectangles of colors softly put on canvas. In my opinion, Rothko just put paint on his paintbrush and did the damn thing. He painted with great feeling and made sure it showed in his work. Rothko is an important artist because he properly explored the compositional potential of color and form. He didn’t listen to what negative people had to say. He did his work the way he wanted to and showed his true colors.

    -Wikipedia. “Mark Rothko.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 06 Mar. 2017. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
    -The Art Story Foundation. “Mark Rothko.” The Art Story. Article Continues Below, 2007. Web. 8 Mar. 2017.


  10. Artist: Frank Stella
    Chosen painting: Harran II
    Years active: late 1950s to present
    Artistic movement: Abstract Expressionism, Hard-edge Painting, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Minimalism

    Frank Stella’s work is highly geometric, and he uses a lot of line. He sometimes uses vibrant colors, but he also uses black and white. He started with abstract expressionism but later would become known as the artist that launched Minimalism (Hughes). According to The Art Story, Frank Stella’s most important work is Harran II, where Stella worked to remind the viewer that a painting is only a canvas covered with paint. According to the same source, Stella was trying to deny “the painting’s status as illusionistic window and enhances its “object-like” quality.” Active since the late fifties, Stella still produces work that has been shown in exhibitions in recent years.

    Works Cited
    “Frank Stella | MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
    “Frank Stella Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. The Art Story Foundation, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2017.
    Robert Hughes, American Visions, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997. “Frank Stella: A Retrospective” will be at the Whitney Museum of American Art, through February 7, 2016./


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