Art- History

Always be as specific in your language as possible when making your argument. Refer to specific visual details. You should discuss the images in terms of formal elements and concepts addressed in class (e.g. artistic movements, historical events, representations of race or gender, etc.). You may mention other images for comparative purposes. While I do not expect polished essays, you should write in complete sentences and try to present clear arguments.

Section One: Single Image Analysis 5 points each

1) The work of Degas was influenced by the experiments of Impressionists, japonisme, and modernity. Discuss the presence of these influences in the painting.

2) Jackson Pollock?s Autumn Rhythm (Number 30) (1950), is an Abstract Expressionist painting. What are some of the characteristics of Abstract Expressionists art and how is it manifested in this painting?

3) Whistler took the art critic Ruskin to court over the review of Nocturne in Black and Gold. This moment is often viewed as a turning point in the history of art. What was at stake and what did it mean for the future of art that Whistler won?

4) We can often have multiple and contradictory responses to major events in life. Art can be a powerful means of visualizing these responses. Explain why this painting by Homer can be put forth as an example of this function of art.

Section Two: Comparisons 10 points each
1) Both van Gogh and Malevich were searching for new ways of expressing the spiritual in art. Explain how these two paintings can be understood as modern religious painting.

2) Compare how these two artists portray women and reinforce or challenge the (male) ?gaze.?

3) The architects of these two buildings were both responding to technological innovations. Compare and contrast their approach.

4) This painting by Kandinsky and sculpture by Boccioni were made one year apart. Both are responses to modern developments in art and society, both incorporate aspects of subjective experience, and both involvement experiments with motion. That said, the two artists are doing producing very different art. Discuss how these artists are a product of their time, and what the are doing that is similar and/or different.

Reading-based essay questions: 20 points each

Answer TWO of the questions listed below and make specific reference (with page numbers and quotes as needed) to the relevant articles in your answers for full credit.

1) Thomas Eakins and George Bellows each portray men performing accomplishments in public. While each view their subjects with admiration, their depiction of the men, and American masculinity, differs sharply. Making specific reference to the article by Robert Haywood, compare and contrast the depictions of masculinity in present in these images.

2) The work of Paul Gauguin (as discussed by Abigail Solomon-Godeau) can be described as ?primitivist? and as the product of ?mythic speech.? What does this mean? How is primitivism present in these two images?

3) Sargent?s portrait of Madame X provides art historians with the opportunity to explore issues around the politics of gender and sexuality. Using the arguments presented by Susan Sidlauskas, explore how the women are represented in these two paintings by Sargent, and discuss why he had so much trouble painting Madame X.

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