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This paper aims to explore various forms of art such as fauvism, sculpture art, architecture and German expressionism. Art is an expression of life. It tells the way an artist perceives the objects, scenery, politics, society and affairs that revolve around their daily lives.
Fauvism was the pioneer of the avant-garde movements that prospered in France in the initial years of the twentieth century. The Fauve painters broke away from Impressionism as well as other outdated techniques of perception. Their impulsive, often idiosyncratic reaction to nature was articulated in bold, unconcealed brushstrokes and high-keyed, lively colors straight from the tube. The strategy of fauvism was to reduce the amount of detail in the painting in order to maintain the attention of the viewer. The Fauves were a sloppily shaped assembly of artists sharing a related attitude to nature, but they did not have a definitive program. The pioneer of the fauves was Matisse, who had created the Fauve style after earlier testing with the numerous Post-Impressionist styles of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin, and the Neo-Impressionism of Seurat, Signac and Cross. These inspirations led them to discard the old-fashioned three-dimensional space and seek for a new picture space demarcated by the movement of color planes. Fauvism involves the use bright, expressive colors, and clear brushstrokes. The rampant use of color is believed to be an expression of the artist’s emotions. One of the pioneers of fauvism, Gauguin, believed that color had a magical quality that could express ones emotions about a subject instead of simply describing a scene. Some popular fauvism artists include; Maurice de Vlaminck (French, 1876–1958), whose exaggerated use of color and exuberance corresponded to his bubby nature, André Derain (French, 1880–1954), Charles Camoin, Kees van Dongen, Othon Friesz, Henri-Charles Manguin, Georges Rouault, Jean Puy and Louis Valtat. Fauvism and German expressionism have been compared in many cases as a result of their rampant use of vivid colors and the spontaneous brushwork. Furthermore, both art forms were developed in the early twentieth century and they borrow heavily from Vincent van Gough’s style.
German expressionism, developed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Expressionism involves a style of art, literature and music that is charged with a spiritual and emotional vision of the world. The Expressionist spirit has always existed in the German essence. Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch were the inventors of expressionist art. While the Impressionists were ogling at the color and exquisiteness of the natural scenery, Van Gogh and Munch took a drastically different viewpoint. They chose to look inwards to discern a form of self-expression that gave them a personal voice in a world that they observed as both hostile and insecure. It was this more idiosyncratic hunt for a personal, emotional truth that forced up the expressionists artists of the 20th century to background of the soul.
In Germany, expressionism was a radical spirit. The German Expressionists viewed themselves as revolutionary tremor troops with art as their defense. They wanted to unshackle themselves from the oppressive right-wing social and political institution in pre WW1 Germany, but they were also anxious to liberate their art from the manacles of French painting, which had dominated, modern art since Impressionism. Ironically, the pioneers of expressionism in Germany drew on fauvism (a French art form) as the chief stimulation for their painting style. Furthermore, German expressionism has been said to be caused by denunciation of the bourgeois culture that took shape in Germany during the Wilhelminian era.
The German artists respected the primitive hostility of the Fauvist’s method but found the Fauvist's ideas mismatched with the Expressionist mind-set. Fauvist art was a hopeful style that distinguished the joy of life, whereas expressionist art opposed the world head first. German expressionism was fundamentally pessimistic about the prospect of Germany and scornful of its modern conservative attitudes. As a result, the Expressionists looked to the past for their motivation. They drew upon the inspirations of medieval folk art, German Gothic art, and primitive art, predominantly African art, as the unprocessed and natural qualities of these styles, would incite outrage from the artistic institutions. German expressionism was divided into two; artists who were socially and politically conscious, Die Brücke and artists who were spiritually guided, Der Blaue Reiter.
Die Brücke was formed in 1905 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938). The followers of Die Brucke adopted a carefree attitude towards life. They lived as a creative community in a working class district of Dresden, intentionally detached from the comfortably established. They assumed that artists should have absolute freedom of expression, unobstructed by social or artistic resolutions. Gothic art, which had both a German ancestry and a suitably dark personality, was Die Brucke's normal inspiration. Its rough forms were effortlessly merged with the original visual vocabulary of Oceanic and African art that they had revealed in the Ethnographic Gallery in Dresden.
Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) was more an assembly of assorted talents rather than an expressionist crew. Der Blaue Reiter artists were fascinated by the divine aspects of the style, especially its association with the spiritual and supernatural. Popular Der Blaue Reiter artists include; Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Paul Klee (1879-1940), Max Beckmann (1884-1950), Francis Bacon (1909-1992) and Auguste Macke.
Sculptures may be one of the oldest art forms known to man. This form of art is believed to have developed in ancient Egypt from as early as 1200 B.C. From mid seventh B.C, monumental sculptures began to emerge in Asia. For more than two thousand, five hundred years, the Egyptians and Assyrians have modeled sculptures that demonstrated superb artistic ability and mechanical skill. Ancient sculptures were made from diorites and syenites. The main factors considered when building a sculpture were; size, simplicity, impression of durability and clarity in its outlines. A fantastic example of the ancient sculptures is the dedication of Nikandre at the sanctuary of Apollo and Artemis.
In contemporary times, there has been significant debate on the line between architecture and sculptures. Some bold artists have gone ahead to combine both art forms, and the result has always been magical. Since a clear definition of both architecture and sculptures cannot be collectively agreed upon, there have been cases where certain structures qualify to be both architectural masterpieces and sculptures.
However, many artists and architects claim that the distinction between architecture and sculptures is the presence of interior space. However, some critics such as Bruno Zevi disagree with this perception. While talking about the Parthenon, Zevi says, “People who go to see the Parthenon as a piece of architecture would be disappointed. However, if one considers the Parthenon as a humongous sculpture, he will be amazed”. This means that interior space could not be the only distinguishing factor between architecture and sculptures. The Parthenon was not made to be mathematically accurate; rather, the temple was built to appeal to the eye. The architectural mastery of the Parthenon was heightened by the use of expressive sculptures. The importance of sculptures is that they can tell the emotions and thoughts of the artist from a single glance. The figures contain a rich history that can be relieved by modern day visitors of Greece.