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Art History and Visual Culture Final Project

By
Hristu-Robert CODREA

Dr. Donna Roberts


Arts History and Visual Culture 624
April 15th, 2015
ARTS HISTORY AND VISUAL CULTURE FINAL PROJECT

During the two weeks of Arts History class we studied a lot of different
artists and types of art through human history and I found it extremely
interesting. During the first week we visited the Museum of the Gruyre
Region which gave us some a great image about the area we live in and
where everything started from. There you can find a lot of different types of
art (paintings, tools, clothing, maps, weapons, miniature houses, etc.). In the
second week we went to an exhibition of the Swiss-German painter Paul Klee
in the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. It is a huge exhibition with lots of his works.
You can see how his style of painting changed through time, how the events
that happened in the world and happened to him as well changed his nature
of art. You can say he evolved, he progressed with time and he was
influenced by different movements lie expressionism, surrealism and cubism.
He experimented and explored the color theory.
One of the paintings that I chose is named Pastor Kohl (see appendix
1). It was done in 1932 on canvas on oil. The particular reason that made me
choose it was the manner it was painted, pointillism. On the whole painting
there are rectangular points which make the picture unique. Through these
figures the artist reveals the pastor and the surroundings. The outside part of
the painting is represented by green. For me green means life, nature and it
represents calmness. It gives me an interior peacefulness. On the inner part,
the pastor is surrounded by yellow. In this painting, I think this color
represents the dead nature, the dark part of the year, autumn and winter. In
the center, there is the pastor who has a sad expression on his face, maybe a
disappointed one because he is looking down. Also, his hat represents that
he is protecting himself from something. Maybe he is depressed of the dead
nature that surrounds him. I really like the painting because it sends the
message that always after a dark period, there is hope because good times
will come, the good always prevails. This painting gives me a feeling of being
safe. Even though you go through a bad period, you do not need to lose hope

and must move on because the good always defeats the evil. Also, you can
see that in the upper part of the painting, above the Pastor there is a bit
darker area which may also signify clouds. The Pastor wears a big hat which
can be seen as a shield that protects him. It offers him shelter from the hard
times until the good will prevail. I think that the painting tries communicate
to us that we always need to keep moving on and find shelter until
everything is solved. I think that I see this piece of art in this way and I get
this message from it because I believe in it. I believe that I have the soul of a
warrior and I never give up on something I want. I have tattooed on my body
the quote Fall down seven times, stand up eight. I strongly believe that
even when you are at your lowest, and you go through hell you just have to
keep going with your head up and face what is ahead of you until you go
over it. As you probably noticed I am really fond of tattoos. This pictures
reminds me of the process that you need to take part of in order the cover
yourself with this type of art. You need to go through a pretty big amount of
pain in order to finish it, but in the end, all that you have been through was
worth it. The painter finished this work of art in 1932 while he was teaching
at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dsseldorf. It was a very short period of his
life where he taught at this university from 1931 until 1933. He was forced to
move out of Germany because the Nazis categorized him as a Galician Jew,
so he and his whole family were forced to move back to Switzerland. He was
categorized as a degenerated artist by the Nazis, alongside other artists.
Paul Klee used oil on muslin over particle board. I think it gives the piece of
art a more 3D touch giving the fact it is a medium sized paint (50 x 65cm).
The artist is known to have done over 9000 pieces of art and transcended
and his style was in a continuous change and evolution. I believe this
painting is one part of the enormous and complex gift he created and offered
us. In the exhibition there were hundreds of paintings from his whole timeline
and this is part of his evolution. I believe this piece of art is very important
because it is one of his few that uses pointillism and shows us a brief part of
his imagination and beliefs. I think the best place to show this painting is

exactly where it is now because it is part of Paul Klees life and it is part of
his message to us. I believe that through all his paintings he tried to send us
a message that the world is in a continuous change and no one can oppose
it.
One of the other paintings that I found a particular interest in is named
Ad Parnassum (see appendix 2). It was also done in 1932, oil on canvas,
during his period when he was teaching in Dsseldorf. Giving the fact that
both pieces of art were made during the same period, you can see a lot of
similarities in his style. It is considered to be a masterpiece in terms of
pointillism. Paul Klee inspired himself from the late nineteen century
movement and named his style in another way: divisionism. I particularly like
this type piece of art because it inspires me that you can do so much with so
little. It is also special because it is one of his largest paintings (100 x 126
cm) and we can say that we see how he evolved. With dots and few lines he
can send us so many messages and emotions. This painting gives me a
feeling of warm welcoming. In the upper part you can see a round orange
circle which symbolizes the sun. In the whole upper part there is a big
triangle which can symbolize a roof, or maybe a pyramid. On the lower part
there is a shape in form of an open door. It gives me the feeling that we are
invited in his home, in his world, in his imagination. Maybe it gives me this
feeling because I am a heartwarming person and I am always available to
help someone in need. I cannot say no to a friend and some people can take
advantage of that. Giving the fact that the picture is named Parnassus, it can
also remind me of some details of Greek mythology. Mount Parnassus was
home of the Greek god Apollo, the god of music and poetry. It reminds me of
his master art in different plans, not only drawing. Even though this painting
was made in Dsseldorf, it was after his trip in Egypt from 1928 to 1929
which influenced him a lot in his work. This expressionist piece of work is
done with oil on canvas on a 100 x 126 cm area. He used the two
complementary colors blue and orange, where you can see that he was

influenced by the impressionism movement, which give us a sense of


calmness. I think that one of the reasons Paul Klee created this piece of art is
to share with his experience from the trip to Egypt and what he felt there. I
think this is a unique piece of art, and maybe one of his best, in my opinion.
It can be said that it was during his peak in his Dsseldorf period. It is very
important because it is considered as a pointillism masterpiece and can be
seen as a milestone. The ideal place to be displayed is in a bright room with
a lot of sun, on a big white wall in order for the viewer to capture all the
details the painting has to offer.
Paul Klee is a very controversial artist. His style has radically changed,
since he started drawing and painting until he died. He went through a lot of
phases physically, emotionally and mentally and you can obviously see that
through his work. He left the Swiss people, and the entire world a huge
heritage from which we have to learn a lot and get inspiration.
Appendix 1:
Pastor Kohl, 1932, oil on muslin over particle board

Appendix 2:
Ad Parnassum, 1932, oil on canvas

Appendix 3: Exercises from the museum visit Paul Klee


1)

"A line is a dot that went for a walk"- study of the seated boy with twigs ", 1894
In the drawing we can see the artist depicting a boy that is enjoying nature. He is playing with two broken
branches. Even though he is somehow killing the nature, he still enjoys it. I can associate the quote with
the picture because it looks like the artist did not take the pencil from the paper from the moment he started
it until the moment he finished it. It has a long, continuous touch in which he gives us the most details he
can with the least material. He tells us that the human and nature have to combine themselves in order to
create a whole.
"The nature is man, nature himself and a piece of nature" - Pastor Kohl, 1932
The artist had a very unique way to express his feeling in this painting. It depicts a sad pastor that is
surrounded by dying nature, but the living one is just around the corner and is about to come. Maybe he
tries to tell us that hard times happend until now( like autumn and winter which explain the yellow faded
nature around the pastor) and the good times are around ( spring and summer that surround the faded
parts with bright green and are ready to take over) which will maybe make the pastor more happy in the
future.
2) Pastor Kohl - 1932 - Patterns
The pattern that makes the art unique is that the artist drew small even standing rectangles all over the
painting. Every centimeter is depicted like this and it gives meaning to the whole picture. He gives shapes
through colors and few continuous lines in order to shape the face from the foreground. He details it as
much as possible even the sad expression of his eyes. Even without the lines that make up his face the
pattern of the painting would make sense through its details.
The Last Still Life - 1940 - Color theory
The last still life is considered to be the last painting of the artist. It was found in the attic of the house he
was living in by his son. It didn't have a name so the son named it. We can see that through his life his
style changed a lot, from simple sketches, to bright and colorful paintings, and in the last part of his life
most of them were dark. In this painting the background is completely black and the other objects and
persons that are depicted are also made with dark details which may signify a more depressed part of his
life.

Appendix 4: Henry Moore

Maternity - "Seated Woman: Thin Neck"


In this sculpture we can see how the artist depicts a woman with thin face looking up, maybe searching for
Hope or power. Her hands are tangled in the front of her body maybe because she is pregnant and her
maternity instincts kick in. No matter if human or not, all mothers have the instincts to protect their children with
their lives. She is trying to find power to bring her baby into the earth and give him/her the best life she can
offer.
Prehistoric Warrior with shield
Here we have an incomplete man with 3 partially missing limbs trying to protect himself from something or
someone. It can be said that he looks more or less surprised because the artist sculpted an X covering his
mouth maybe meaning that he is speechless. Giving the fact he is bare naked and only with a shield maybe a
creature attacked him during the night and he is fighting to stay alive until the last drop of power.