My interpretation of expressionism is using feeling rather than a subject to tell how you or the viewer feels. Expressionism is a rejection of cubism in the way of that painting or drawing is not about what you see but how you feel at that moment in time in that location or subject. This is why expressionism is a lot more abstract form than cubism. The key periods are 1905-1925, starting with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner his style of painting was very vibrant and had a very thick pallet on the canvas. The thickness would be interpreted as more depth in the painting also this meant you could see the stroke marks of the brush which would show us the feeling. By looking at this painting you can see the different between cubism and expressionism, the lady’s walking toward the viewer looks like they don’t really have any bones in their body, there almost slithering toward us, they have a lot of movement. But with the painting of the Demoiselles d’Avignon painted by Picasso the figures look very straight and angulated like an object not a person. Expressionism was a way to store feeling rather than trying to get the viewer feel like he’s in the painting. To build on my argument another painter Matisse uses the same techniques and ways to convey feeling. His painting is about the joys of life. The people in the painting are pail that have a lot of curves and rounded faces. The women are dancing in fluid movement. In the title of the painting and from looking at the painting it says what it is. If you didn’t have the title you would still know the feeling in the painting.
At this period in France when the monarch was overruled by normal working class people artist started to paint events and social interaction that were popular at this time. A painting by Edouard Manet music in the Tuileries, shows us what France was like in 1862. By looking at this painting and comparing it to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting there are few little changes. Staring off the painting by Manet is a detailed painting with not as much colours or vibrancy from Kirchner’s painting. Yes the two painting visually are different but they both give a feeling of busy life in France. Manet’s painting looks like everyone has been squeezed in the park and the other painting looks like a queue of people in a continues line outside of the painting. In my opinion I don’t really like expressionism but I do believe it is very important in painting. I believe in art the only thing we have is a way to express. We express thing in many ways to talk to the viewer or to answer a few questions that have been in our heads. Art is very much like writing. It’s all about using the right language and phrases to truly show how you feel. To an extension of this, the great thing about art it that you can invent a new language and people will always understand or know what you are saying through visuals.
Looking at recent works of Willem de Kooning year of 1945 we can see a comparison between his paintings and other painting in 1556. With the painting of Surprised by Actaeon by Titian Diana Willem has tried to convey the feeling of the women. He does this through colours and lines. By examining closely you can see lines from all directions some straight and some have curves. These lines are there to piece everything together. The yellow in the painting is very striking and powerful colour, it gives a shocking factor for your eyes. The title of the painting as seen is Surprised by Actaeon which in a sense telling us to be shocked or surprised. As seen in 1862 and now the curves especially the bum there is a sharp curve that enforces a jolt. From looking at the distance the colours make the canvas look very flat. I believe that Willem isn’t trying to get us to believe were in the painting or to create vanishing point. I think he has done it flat to simplify what we are looking at. By not telling us a lot in the painting we can start to question about the paint, what is it, why, what does it mean. These are the questions that I face a lot with abstract art. From trying to answer the questions you have made a connection with the painting and now feel like the painting is part of you. This is what I feel Willem de Kooning is trying to do. Actually I believe this iswhat everyone is doing in abstract art.
Abstract Expressionism (David Anfam)