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The Modern World: The artistic works of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso 

The Modern World: The artistic works of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso 

1. Compare the work of two artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso
Describe, then compare, the contexts, concerns and main aspects of each movement and how those appear in the artworks you’ve selected.

2.Consider the new media for art that has arisen in the past century, such as digital photography, video,
computer animation and design, virtual art, 3d printing, interactive art, installation, and others. Do these new forms of media follow the same “rules” as more traditional forms of art like drawing, painting and sculpture (Do they use the art elements and design principles)?
Support your position with examples, and finally, discuss what you see as the important roles of art in the 21st century.

Present day artwork came into this world unsightly. “It was Matisse who took the first step into the undiscovered land of the ugly,” an American critic wrote, describing the 1910 Salon des Indépendents in Paris. “The drawing was crude past all belief, the color was as atrocious as the subject. Had a new era of art begun? ” Even Henri Matisse himself was sometimes shocked by his creations. According to his biographer Hilary Spurling, “His own paintings filled him with perturbation. At some point in 1901 or 1902 he slashed one of them with a palette knife.”

If Henri Matisse was thought to be the father of contemporary art in the dawn of your twentieth century, Pablo Picasso was sleeping with the same muse. When Picasso finished his form shattering masterpiece Les Demoiselles d’Avignon in 1907, portraying five prostitutes with primal masklike faces, their nudity more geometric than erotic, even his early dealer Ambroise Vollard blurted out, “It’s the work of a madman.” Matisse and Picasso didn’t like each other’s paintings at first, but they seemed to sense at once the power each had to challenge and stimulate the other. For the rest of their lives each would keep a keen eye on the other’s new work, provoking each other to paint the same subjects, sometimes even with the same title. There are many ways to describe their relationship. It could be called a rivalry, a dialogue, a chess game – Matisse himself once compared it to a boxing match. But it also became the abiding friendship of two titans who, daring to paint the ugly, transformed our sense of beauty in art.

Picasso once explained, “Should I were actually not producing the works of art I make, I would painting like Matisse,” and Matisse said significantly exactly the same about Picasso. One begins to see, when their paintings are set side by side, that their choices depended as much on their personalities, their temperaments and emotions, as on their skills and styles as painters. They were both figurative, and both abstract.

Matisse, who often coloured goldfish, was later explained by a other student in Paris art sessions of 1900 as experiencing such as a goldfish “who takes strong enjoy the spectrum colours and types apparent throughout the distorting entire world of his cup pan, and who, if he could color, would illustrate them without stressing about what they actually represent.” Picasso, on the other hand, insisted that he was painting directly from nature. “I always aim at the resemblance,” he told his friend the photographer Brassaï. In each case, the quotes are misleading yet true, because both artists were full of inconsistencies, and always ready to change what they – or other artists – had done before.

The 2 painters were actually amply trained in the ability of the last, and both were searching for ways to get away from its influence once they satisfied circa 1906. The meeting was arranged by the American avant-garde writer and expatriate Gertrude Stein, who, with her brother Leo, had daringly begun collecting Matisse’s new paintings when almost everyone else in Paris was laughing at them. As a writer, Stein was rearranging English syntax into new forms that seemed an outrage to all good sense. No wonder she loved Matisse’s defiantly crude figures and wild colors, affronting the canons of beauty and sensibility.

If the Steins first been to Picasso’s studio room, they bought 800 francs’ (roughly $3,000 these days) amount of paintings – a massive amount of money for a painter who possessed burned up his very own drawings to hold hot in 1902 and had not been significantly better off once the Steins demonstrated up in 1905. Although Matisse’s and Picasso’s works were exhibited together in a small gallery in 1902, they had apparently not met. The Steins took Matisse to Picasso’s studio and invited both painters to their weekly salons. There the two artists could see each other’s paintings on the walls, among the Cézannes.

At the time Matisse and Picasso achieved, they seemed to have tiny in common. They were as different, said Matisse, as the North and South Poles. Matisse was born in a northern district of French Flanders in 1869, into a family and region steeped in the weaving of brightly colored textiles. He had gone to Paris to study law, later taking up painting on the sly, attending art classes before and after a day’s work as a law clerk. He was 22 years old when he determined to become an artist, ready to copy the old masters in the Louvre and keener still to capture Parisian life on paper and canvas.

Picasso came into this world 12 years later, in 1881, from the Spanish city of Málaga. His father was a painter, and the baby’s first word was said to be “pencil.” A child prodigy, he soaked up his father’s lessons. As biographer Patrick O’Brian writes, when Picasso’s father could teach him no more, he “handed his brushes over to the boy.” In 1900 Picasso was nearly 19 and ready for Paris. By then he could draw like Francisco Goya and El Greco, but there were furies in him that demanded something else. “Academic training in beauty is a sham,” he once said. “We have been deceived, but so well deceived that we can scarcely get back even a shadow of the truth.”

Matisse had nearly decade of radical painting under his belt in 1906, although Picasso was just growing from his light blue and rose reveries, contributing to to explode into Cubism. Matisse was the leader of the “fauves,” or “wild beasts,” as they were known, for their use of “brutal” colors. “All they give us in the way of sunlight,” a critic carped of Matisse’s paintings in 1906, “is trouble with the retina.” Matisse’s companion in creating fauve landscapes, André Derain, later recalled their sense of artistic violence. “Colors became sticks of dynamite,” he said. “They were primed to discharge light.” Matisse, more gently, said that he was finding out “how to make my colors sing.”

One of many artwork Picasso discovered in 1906 was Matisse’s amazing synthesis of his fauve tests – Le Bonheur de vivre, or even the Pleasure of Lifestyle. It is an idyllic scene of reclining nudes, embracing lovers and carefree dancers. The colors are flat, the figures sketched in, some drawn as sensuously as Ingres’ nudes, others as boldly as Cézanne’s bathers. Nothing like it had ever been painted, even by Matisse. Picasso understood this at once and took it as a challenge.