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Explain how existentialism characterizes human the condition

PART ONE Q&A Please present the question above and prior to answer? Answers should be short, between no less than 100 and no more than 500 words.

Complete the Homework


1. Describe how existentialism characterizes the human condition. How can we relate it to the Abstract Expressionists?

2. What does “action painting” mean? What visual elements of paintings do we associate with action painting?

3. Do you consider Barnett Newman’s work “abstract expressionist”? Why or why not? Make sure to consider whether there need to be perceptible, physical similarities in style when we sketch out categories.

4. Describe how classical civilizations and Christianity shaped the work of Mark Rothko. How did these influences shape his non-representational paintings?

5. How does David Smith’s “Hudson River Landscape” develop the formal language of cubism and biomorphic surrealism?

6. Can you see any stylistic common ground between the sculpture of Alexander Calder and David Smith, the two primary American sculptors of the 1940s and 1950s.



Actions for ‘Week 4 Discussion: The Meaning of Freedom’ 1500 – 2000 words


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One of the major themes of existentialism is freedom. For the existentialists that influenced the Ab-Ex painters, the basic problem of life was to find meaning in a situation of total personal freedom. If we can do anything (assuming we’re tough enough to accept the consequences), how do we choose? How do we determine what to do with our freedom?

How do you think about freedom in your life? What art forms (music, visual art, the arts broadly) do you think convey freedom in your personal sense?

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