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Abstract Expressionist painter Wassily Kandinsky's masterpiece "Farbstudie Quadrate" Poster - Abstract Squares & Circles on Canvas - Contemporary German Modern Abstract Expressionism in early 20th Century
"Life", "the experience of life -- or of imagination", "the innermost essence of life", these are the slogans which accompany the birth of Expressionism, the art movement breaking new ground. When speaking of German Painting "in our time", we realise that the term, as applied to the forces present and active in contemporary art encompasses far more than the creative work of painters. Baumeister, Feininger, Hofer, Nolde, Pechstein and, of the younger generation, Werner Heldt, passed away. But is the influence of the contemporaries of the "older" generation who died earlier -- Beckmann, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Kirchner, Klee, Schlemmer -- less present?
Motivated by a common desire to find their creative inspiration in life itself and to submit to the experience of life, three young students of architecture -- Kirchner, Heckel and Schmidt- Rottluff -- form the group "Die Bruecke" in Dresden in 1905. They are joined in 1906 by Pechstein and, for one year, by Emil Nolde, and later, in 1910, by the Silesian painter Otto Mueller. The three artists work together in Kirchner's studio, a former cobbler's store which they decorated with their own mural paintings, with batik designs and carvings. They work from life-models, "in free naturalness", comparing one another's styles. They would go out together to the Moritzburger Lakes, to Alsen, Fehmarn, the Dangaster Moore, to the Curish Haff, and paint the lakes, the moores, the bathing people. Blue waters, verdant bushes animated by vermilion and orange coloured nudes: a youthful sense of closeness to nature, a passionate abandon to the intoxicating shades of luminous complementary colours, vitality and the explorer's delight radiate from their paintings.
The emotive character of the Expressionist artist's reaction to the world is traceable in many ways to unsatisfactory emotional relationships with father, teacher, or minister. These difficulties arose from the strictures of family and social life, the rigid hierarchical relationships at home and in public -- in short, the respect demanded for authority as such. In a world unduly dominated by the ideals of Respect, Duty, and Order, the sensitive man's reaction often is explosive and rebellious. The stronger the strictures, the stronger is bound to be the reaction against them.
Yet it is an outstanding characteristic of the Expressionist that he wishes to lose himself in some force or power greater than or outside of himself. As he moves away from the authoritarian pattern of family, school, or art academy, he finds a substitute in self-identification with the forces of nature, the infinite, the otherworldly, symbolized in various ways by the art of Die Bröcke and Der Blaue Reiter. Just as modern man in general, with his sense of isolation, tends to give up his unbearable individuality to a social, economic, or governmental force greater and more reassuring than himself, so the Expressionist writer or artist, fleeing from what to many Germans was a comforting and supporting social pattern, turned to something else to take its place.
The revolutionary element operative at the beginning of our century which has been made the starting point of our discussion, was confined to the "Bruecke" and the "Blaue Reiter" movements. But it was not intended to write a history of the art of that period. If this had been so, Lovis Corinth, for instance, who achieved an Expressionist style beyond Impressionism, or Paula Modersohn-Becker who, though going her own way, never lost touch with her time, would have had to be extensively discussed. The works of the Impressionists projected themselves decisively into the contemporaries' sphere of existence. Whatever "historical" events are referred to, are mentioned only for general guidance.
Art is never merely an illustration of contemporary philosophical and scientific findings; it is analogous to them and often anticipates them. The brief and striking quotaotins from Kant to Heisenberg cited in the opening pages take the place of an historical introduction and are intended to promote a better understanding of our century's changed spiritual situation and to deepen the reader's awareness of the fact that artistic creation is not an esoteric occurrance but the expression of universal spiritual transformations.
JACKSON POLLOCK'S NEW YORK SCHOOL OF PAINTING - American Style Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's - Freedom of Expression in Modern Art
American Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock has long been recognized as a leading figure of this so-called "New York" school of painting. His fame skyrocketed after his death at age forty-four in a car crash on eastern Long Island. That gruesome death gave the Abstract Expressionist movement unprecedented public recognition, and conclusively transformed Pollock the man into Pollock the myth. But in doing so, it also obscured his specific achievements (and limitations) as a painter and thinker. What link remains between the achievements of the early 20th century masters and the solutions proposed by those painters who have come of age (artistically speaking) and produced their maturest work since 1945? What is the relationship, for example, between Cubism and Action Painting? Or between Fauvism and French Abstract Impressionism? The words of Matisse quoted above point to the nature of this relationship, while the common denominator of all the investigations and experiments of 20th century art may be defined in the words of Mondrian.
"All modern art is distinguished by a relatively greater freedom from the oppression of the subject. Impressionism emphasized the impression of reality more than its representation. After the impressionists, all art shows a relative negation of nature's aspects; the cubists delivered a further blow; the surrealists transformed it; the abstract artists excluded it."
Freedom of expression, then, with respect to the subject, this is the commondenominator of art in our time, in our century. But this does not mean that the artist has ceased to express the shifting yet permanent sum of features and factors that go to make up the human situation in all its complexity. The fallacy of superficial detractors of non-figurative art is to suppose that it signifies a more or less complete abandonment of reality; on the contrary, it probes into reality more deeply than ever before. This is as it should be. The artist cannot divorce himself from a state of society which, on the one hand, is profoundly disturbed by doubts and anxieties, but which, on the other, has achieved a great deal in the way of technical advances and social betterment. Why should painting reject new conceptions of time, space, matter and energy (and the new sensibility perforce bound up with those conceptions) when the other forms of artistic expression accept them? Already in Proust we read of the painter Elstir, that his "effort to exhibit things, not as he knew them to be, but in accordance with those optical illusions of which our first glimpse of a thing is compounded, had led him to emphasize certain laws of perspective, thus rendered peculiarly striking, for his art was the first to disclose them." And what is "le temps retrouvé" of the final volume of Proust's masterwork, but a new dimension of the mind, a new sensibility, transcending the measurable, chronological lapse of years, days and hours? It is not for nothing that we find Proust writing in 1919 of "the great, the admirable Picasso."
American Expressionist - American Expressionism Abstract Art Masterpieces - Jackson Pollock Action Painting Poster Print - Spontaneously dropping, dribbled, splashed or smeared onto the very large format canvas painting - 1950's American Gestural Abstraction Art Print
Modern Oriental Abstract Art Poster Print - Gold Splash on Canvas - Asian Abstract Style Print
A characteristic emblem of Kyoto would be the picture of a maiko standing on one of the Kamo's classic bridges, against the blue-black mountains of Hiei or Higashiyama. Her manners and speech reflect the old Kyoto, and her dress--her obi, her hairpins and her very fan--display the arts and crafts of the ancient capital. Around her, the scenery is the same as in olden days. The same green mountains stand as veritable multifold screens, and the gentleflowing Kamo and Katsura are replete at every ten paces with episodes famous in history or tradition.
Of cities once great, but now decrepit, or important only as relics of ancient grandeur, there are many in Asia or Europe. Kyoto is not one of them. She is old with landmarks everywhere telling tales a thousand years old, and she is ever young and charming. A thousand years ago Kyoto was the Emperor's capital, or the loveliest city in the world, which is what "Miyako" doubtless meant.
Here then is a city where one would like to pass many years of this earthly life -- to live, amid its twentieth-century conveniences, the life of one born in the romantic era of Heian when the Emperors reigned in inviolable seclusion, and the Shōguns held their proud court in all the glory of temporal power, and when the great Buddhist monks and Shinto priests, in many of whose veins flowed the Imperial blood, performed their sacred rites in edifices no less impressive than those of the Emperors themselves.
It is one of the world's wonders that, despite the many calamities of war and of natural agency which have overwhelmed this beautiful city, it has kept all the relies of its ancient glory. Nor are they kept in a nutshell as in a dusky museum; they are preserved in a fresh environment of scenery, as if the contents of pictorial scrolls of the Heian period had stepped out into a modern setting.
If a visitor to Kyoto were a complete stranger, with no idea of her history or Oriental art, he could not fail to be impressed by her old-world charm all the same. Even a clumsy attempt at explanation made by a casual shopkeeper would give him a glimpse into the inexhaustible treasure-house, as it were, of its old arts and culture. Were he an art lover or a student of history or archæology, nothing but a prolonged stay could allay his craving for the beauty that Kyoto inspires.
Volumes could not describe all these objects of natural beauty and artistic elegance. For convenience sake therefore I shall treat them under the following categories. First, Kyoto as a historical museum; secondly, as the headquarters of the Buddhist religion; thirdly, as a center of arts, crafts and various refined tastes; fourthly, as a Mecca of sightseeing and beautiful scenery.
Those features of Osaka which may be recommended for sightseeing can be mentioned, if not described, in a paragraph, for Osaka never pretends to be a point of tourist interest. Among others, the Castle of Osaka, recently rebuilt after the original pattern of three centuries ago; the Imperial Mint, with its court-yard gay with cherry blossoms in spring; the modern-style park of Tennōji, with the historic temple of the same name, its Zoo, museum and botanical gardens, etc., are most frequently mentioned. Add to them the narrow, but bustling and attractive shopping streets of Shinsaibashi; the night gaiety of Sennichimae, Dōtonbori and Shinsekai with their theaters, shows, restaurants, etc., presenting a brilliant nightless aspect of abandon and jollification. After these there is the famous puppet theater of Bunraku.
If you are told that Osaka is a fine city to get away from, do not be too ready to believe it. Osaka has its attractions. They are not apparent to one rushing over its busy streets and canals. They grow on a longer stay there. You may not like to live in Osaka, but once settled there you will dislike leaving it. Osaka is a city of commerce, manufacture and money-making. It is a business city, and those interested in business -- what man is not? -- cannot afford to ignore it.
The latest report that some of the world's greatest news agencies are posting full-time correspondents in Osaka is but another proof of its attractions as a business center of the world. It is here that money is literally manufactured--Osaka has the only government mint there is in Japan--and the largest volume of foreign trade is annually transacted. It is here also that the two greatest daily newspapers in Japan are published. These two, by the way, with their sister organs in Tokyo, divide between them the ninth part of the entire newspaper readers of Japan, it is said.
The latest census puts the population of Osaka at 2,636,256, Japan's third largest city after Tokyo. The Yodo is to Osaka what the Sumida is to Tokyo, but the city, growing apace on both sides, has fairly buried it. You will scarce notice this great river, full of historic and romantic associations, though you may cross and re-cross it in your auto trips through its densely-populated, hurryscurry streets.
Osaka is a regular checker-board of criss-crossing streets, rivers and canals. Its waterways are 40 miles long and are crossed by 1,320 bridges. It is sometimes called the "Venice of Japan." This closeknitted cobweb of streets and waterways, together with its splendid harbor--which will give an idea of Osaka's glory as an industrial city -- and its location in the center of serpentine Japan, have helped Osaka to rise to its commanding position in the nation's commerce. It is much more than the "Manchester of Japan," especially in allusion to its great cotton manufacture. It is, without exaggeration, the "Chicago of the Far East," if only in respect of its forest of chimneys seen everywhere. Osaka is said to be the richest city in Japan.
If Osaka is, above all else, a city of moneymakers, it is also a city of spenders, not of misers. Its spending, however, is guided by principles of business, or it is only part of the general scheme of money-making. That is why money circulates more in Osaka than anywhere else in the Empire. If there is not much in the way of sightseeing in the city proper, there are innumerable devices and organs for money-spending. Some of these are fashionable theaters, luxurious restaurants and expensive tea-houses, as well as cheap popular ones. Again, Osaka's gay districts have more houses of the red light, cafés, etc., per square block, than similar districts in any other city of Japan.
Go Empress to the Orient. Honolulu, Japan, China, Manila. Canadian Pacific Empress Route Vintage Travel Ad.
This advertisement poster by Canadian Pacific advertises its fast and opulent passenger service to the Orient. "The best route to the Orient is by Canadian Pacific all the way", boasts the ad, with across-Canada trains directly loading onto the fast and opulent Empress ships. EMPRESS OF JAPAN and EMPRESS OF CANADA, both large, fast, and luxurious, sailed via Honolulu, reaching Yokohama in 13 days, Kobe in 11 days and Nagasaki in 12 days. EMPRESS OF ASIA and EMPRESS OF RUSSIA sailed directly, reaching Yokohama in 10 days.
Lord Buddha, is considered as the Greatest among the Wise. He is worshiped worldwide, and removes evils from the mind and also thought the way of Meditation. Bodh Gaya is the most sacred Buddhist place where Lord Buddha got nirvana enlightenment.