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Chase McKesson Painting I 4 May 2012 Art Experience II For this first art experience paper, I chose to focus

on The Art of the Negro Murals at Clark Atlanta University. Hale Woodruff painted the murals between 1950 and 1951. The Art of the Negro is made up of six individual painted murals. The six murals are full of images of Black Americans cultural past. One mural, Native Forms, shows African cave paintings, masks and sculpture and the African relationship with nature. Another mural, Interchange, shows the interaction between Africans and Europeans. Another work, Dissipation, conveys the colonization of African countries by Europeans. The piece, Parallels shows the similarities between art forms of non-European cultures. The piece Influences shows how African art influenced 20th Century Western art. The piece Muses symbolizes the integration of African and European cultures and the evolution of the black artist in western society. One element of the pieces I admire is that there are many lines in the pieces are very distinct, and have not been blended at all. Another element that intrigues me about the works is how I can see hard-edged geometric forms in figures and objects that would normally be more smooth. For example, each fold in the pants of one of the figures in the paintings will be a geometric shape with a hard edge. I also like how the colors also have definite stopping points. As opposed to a photo realistic work of a human, in which an artist would try to blend the shadows and highlights to realistically convey parts of the body; woodruff however, gives the shadows, and the different muscles in the body, hard edges. The fact that the colors have hard edges as opposed to being blended intrigues me because it gives the works a more expressive, imaginative and creative look; whereas a well-blended photo realistic work would more so convey technical mastery. The hard edges and distinct lines in the pieces also give them a cartoony feel. I also like how you can see hard geometric forms in the faces of the human figures. For me, it creates the illusion that these human figures' faces look as though they are made out of small blocks; it is a very intriguing creative touch. One last element I admire is how the color brown also seems to be the underlying main color of all the murals; which is perfect considering the subject of the murals are African Americans. Although mostly warm colors were used, and warm colors can tend to be loud and active, the works have mellow or calm feel to me; because, although brown is a warm color, it is still a very mellow color. The color brown also gives me a warm desert

feel, which is appropriate considering that African Americans come from the deserts of Africa. Overall I feel like the works are very geometric, warm, calming, and culturally celebratory. The pieces are creative, unique, interesting and worthy of praise as great African American art. Works Cited