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Study Guide

History of Modern Art

Max Weber,
Restaurant, 1915

Weber has spent time studying

in Paris the concepts of

synthetic and analytical

This is known as the

“Concept of Events”: events

are created with the forces
randomly coming together.

Almost unrecognizable, he

tries to combine all forces of

activity into a painting.
Marsden Hartley.
Portrait of a

Hartley was influenced by

German Artists.

The colors of this work are

influenced by the Fauve Artists.

This was very different from

French cubism, for this was

German Cubism. Basically,
German Cubism brings
different elements together
and still be able to recognize
the form(s) in the painting.
John Martin, Lower

He is known for using water

colors in his works.

He is a graphic artists who

specializes in linear designs

and colors. In this painting, one
can see his use of thick linear
strokes and use of color.

This is an American version of


This and a few other works

were influenced by Kandinsky.

John Marin. The
Fog Lifts.1949

Again, he uses watercolors.

His specialty in lines is shown

in his geometrical shapes.

The painting is abstract.

This was influenced by

Cézannes’ cubism.
Arthur G. Dove.
Fog Horns. 1929

Dove’s subject matter was on


Here, you see colors that he

brings together harmoniously.

This is called Synchronism.
Arthur Dove.
Sunrise I. 1936

Dove’s works have no rational

forms and so a viewer looks at

nothing but abstraction.

He wants his audience to

experience feelings by making

colors that work harmoniously

Synchronism: harmonious

colors, feelings, and sound

are put together.

Arthur G. Dove.
Goin Fishin. 1925

He creating a painting that

reflects his Child Hood.

He uses a lot of linear design


He uses elements from the

scene and creates something

that is different.
Arthur G. Dove.
That Red One.

This work is more abstract

than Kandinsky's works.

In this, you can see many

geometric forms and simple

Abstraction on
Spectrum. 1914

Bring different colors together

and make them melodic.

Synchrony No. 3.

Morgan Russell.
Synchrony in
Orange to form.

It is very cubical, colorful, and


Synchrony: Color abstraction

This painting is not about form

or rationality. It is all about


Georgia O’Keefe.
Cow’s Skull with
Calico Roses. 1913

Skull= death and White Roses


This communicates the circle

of life.

The lines of the work indicate

the feeling of anxiety due to
the subject matter being about
life and death.

She was fascinated by the

American Nature and makes an
icon of it.

Thomas Hart
Benton. City
Building. 1930

It reveals an academic style.

Very Hellenistic because the

forms are large, tall, and


He was influenced by baroque

art and Michelangelo.

Very thematic.

He glorifies the working class.

Grant Wood.
American Gothic.

Show two miserable figures.

The woman is his sister and

the man is his dentist. He is
from Iowa.

It shows that he doesn’t like

European Art.

When he went to Germany, he

saw that he like the primitive

gothic art.

The building in American

Gothic background was
inspired by Gothic Structure.
Grant Wood. Young
Corn. 1931

This was from Wood’s

childhood memories.

He is a realist artist.

Edward Hopper.
Early Sunday
Morning. 1930

He uses light to communicate

Edward Hopper.
The Waste Land.

Edward Hopper.
Edward Hopper.
Morning Sun. 1952

Hopper uses geometry to

connect with rationality.

He is communicating that

rationality brings loneliness.

Ben Shahn. The
Passion of Sacco of
Vanzetti. 1931-32

Show two dead figures. These

are martyrs.

One can see some Christian

symbolism, for example the

white lilies represent purity
and the two figures and judge
refers from Judaism and
Orozco, Maternity,

It is a mural painting. This

form of art has origins tied to

ancient greek people. Mexican
people have revived it to
communicates about their
politics, national identity, and
national epics of Mexico.

Orozco makes such paintings

to communicate what kind of

events are going on.
Orozco, The
Trench, 1926

Here, Orozco uses greys and

limited amount of colors to
emphasize some points.

The subject matter is a war

scene, where you see the two

men creating the cross.

Orozco doesn’t show any faces

because he saying that war

happens to all races, it is a
universal action.

He is talking about the lives

that were lost in wars.

Prometheus, 1939

This was painted in

Pamonacity College.

Here, Orozco combines history

and mythology and changes

them to create a story.

He uses orange and red hues

to create the impression of fire.

Fire has these following traits:
destruction, purification, and

He addresses that education

can be either good or bad.

Jose Clemente Orozco

Murals and their stories

Orozco, Migration

Orozco uses greens and blues

to convey that the people are

The forms of the humans are

primitive because man is an

ancient species. That even
today, we still hold on to some
primitive aspects of our human

Orozco, shows only but one

man that is colored, this means

that the man is enlightened.

Orozco, Ancient

He uses ancient mythology

and history of the Aztecs.

The subject matter is showing

a person being sacrificed.

It describes the concept of

Orozco, the coming
of Quetzalcoatl

In Aztec history, it talks of a

mighty figure known as

Serpent Feather King.

However, it was defeated by

the evil forces of humankind.

The Feather Serpent King was

a very strong entity, for he can

move in the skies, the earth
and around the people of the

He is ranked as high as Christ

and Prometheus, the one who
introduced fire to humankind
Orozco, The
Departure of

It show him leaving the earth

and leaving behind him was


It also shows that he will


The cross and broken column

shows the European world and

symbolizes democracy and
western cultures
Orozco, Cortez and
the Cross

The mural is composed of

destructive elements.

The big cross represents

Christianity had an influence in

this destruction.

One sees the hierarchy scale

between Cortez and cross.

Orozco, The

Show a lump of garbage.

There is chaos, destruction,

and death.

Such elements are caused by

the industrialization and

western civilization.

Orozco, Anglo

He uses blues and greys to

convey that America and its

people are ignorant.

These people are not of

Mexican origin.

It shows that western

civilization has too many rules

and orders.

The people look robotic and


Orozco, Hispano-

Show war and destruction.

David Alfaro
Siqueiros, Scream,

Siqueiros went to war and

would document the events by

sketiching them.

He is considered to be one of

the best muralists.

He had an interest in futurism.

He was influenced by another

muralist artist, Divera (Rita

Kohla’s husband).

The mural conveys about how

Siqueiros Life of
Conaltamec. 1936

In this mural, it shows two

rulers: Cortez and Conaltamec.

They both are battling each

You see a horse that is ready

to strike Conaltamec and the

Aztec king.

The Aztec king is fighting the

myths of the feather serpent.

On the right, you see a mask,

this represents the serpent

Siqueiros, New
Democracy. 1944

He used his wife as model.

The figure is coming out from

a volcano, bursting from her


She represents freedom.

You see a Nazi soldier (grey

and green) who is ignorant.

This new democracy is for

everyone in the world.

Diego Rivera,
Creation, 1923

He is influenced by cubism.

The style is influenced from

Byzantine and European style.

Deals with religion, the circular

object above represents


Shows Eve on the left (Female

spirit that represents music,

singing, faith, and charity)
Shows Adam on the right (that
represents poetry, creative
force, male spirit) the middle
figure that comes out from
Diego Rivera, Exist
from the Mine.

In this mural, you see a

Mexican worker being checked

by the authorities. This is

The laborer was made to have

a posture that looks similar to

crucifixion of Christ.
Diego Rivera, Man
at the Cross-Roads.

The figure in the middle

represents civilization. He is at
the cross roads.

On the left to the right, there

are the fascists, socialists, and

the capitolists.

The painting reveals confusion

of humankind.
Frida Kahlo, the
broken column.

A mural painting that conveys

to the viewer about her injury

from the accident.

Her spine is a broken column.

This represents western

civilization. She is conveying to
her viewers that the system
that westerners have created
doesn’t work and is very
destructive to itself and to
Kahlo. My Nurse
and I, 1936

Show make herself like Christ

in some of the renaissance
paintings. She puts her grown
up face on a baby’s body. This
is to show how she feels with
the condition that she live

This also reveals that she is

mixed blood by “mixing” two

different aged body parts
together. Because of this, she
does not understand her

She feels that she is a martyr.

Kahlo, The Two
Fridas, 1939

Whenever her husband, Diego

Rivera, cheats on her, she

would become a different Rita.

The Rita on the Left is the wife

of Diego Rivera, The Rita on

the right, is the free woman

Kahlo, Wounded
Deer, 1946

When Rita found out that her

husband was cheating on her

with her sister, she was

She painted herself as deer

that is wounded badly by

arrows, this was to say that
she was very hurt by her
husbands actions and with her
Kahlo, My Birth,

After losing her child, Rita

became very depressed.

She feels dead to herself and

so shows herself as her dead

child coming out of her vagina.

She says that she is always in

constant pain due to her

She was known not to have

any children due to her

physical injury.

Terms of Freud
Freud: Ego, Super Ego and It
• When Freud Rose, he had a powerful impact on Surrealism. He was
studying about dreams and what symbolisms conveyed in
those dreams. He say, “We work through our dreams

• Freud talks about 3 important types of symbols that play in our

– “Ego”: This is the pleasant principal, the ego can be destructive because it
cannot be easily stopped.
– “Super Ego”: The super ego keeps the ego in check. It abides to the rules
from cultures, laws, and history
– “IT”: this is the pure drive for survival.
– Then there is the Unconscious, this belongs to the ego and with the ego,
the ego is aware of what it is doing.

Andre Breton
• He wrote the surrealist Manifesto in 1920. He talks that part
of surrealism is language. Breton talks of how rationality
comes from language, which is not absolute, therefore
despises rationality. Surrealism is based Romanticism, for
this does not rely on rationality but relies on feelings and
sensations. So, when one sees the works of surrealist
paintings, the art of the scenes are not rational and not
from this world. This made by going into your primitive
side and to nature.
Rousseau ,
Sleeping gypsy
with a lion. 1923

He was an emotional


He uses Freudian Ideals into

his paintings.

The moon and the musical

instrument represents romance
and sexuality.

The club the gypsy holds and

the lion represents masculinity.

This painting is of the dream

Rene Magrite, The
Menace of the
Assasins. 1927

The figure with a net represents

the female super ego. The

figure with a club represents the
male super ego.

The guy listening to music

represents romance and sexuality.
Listening to music is way of
seeing because it allows the
listener to tap into the inner

The geometrical chair represents

culture and rationality.

The woman has on a red

bed( death, sin, guilt) with a white

towel (purity and virginity) over
her neck . Blood comes out of
mouth because she just had oral
Rene Magritte, The
Oasis. 1925-1927

The geometrical table

represents rationality.

The Clouds and Trees

represent dreams.

There is a hierarchy: Dreams

(Surrealists view) overcome


The trees is rooted into the

table is saying that one cannot

sever them.

Rene Magritte, the
conqueror. 1926

The block of wood in the

tuxedo represents thought and


The decoration on the wood

represents dreams, music,

numbers (absolute-rational).

The root of the tree suspended

in the sky:
Nature and dreams

Green means it is alive

Says to change your mind.

Its in the sky to change the

Make more contact with your

Rene Magritte, The
False Mirror, 1928

The way we see the world if

the false mirror.

What the eyes see is not


It is how we feel about the

world, this is tied to sexuality.

Rene Magritte, the
human Condition.

We only know the world by

copying ti.

One sees a painting within a

painting, in other words a copy
in a copy.
Rene Magritte, the

This is a mystery because we

really don’t know who each are

really are.

The concept of this painting is


The sheets represents

rationality because it talks of

our perceptions of things.
When things are covered, we
are concealing the meaning of
Rene Magritte,
Time Transfixed,

Time represents measurement;

a construct of language. It
doesn’t exist in nature or

The train is frozen in time. The

candle holders represent

religion. The mirror also
represent religion.

Bottom line, when one lives a

world with so many rules of

rationality that the train
became stuck.
Rene Magritte, The
Treachery of
Image, 1928

Ceci n’est pas unepipe: This

is not a pipe.

It communicates that this is a

fabrication, a lie.

This also communicates to the

viewers, knowledge. Saying
that language has lied about
what this is therefore language
is not real or true.

The truth is not absolute or

Rene Magritte,
Theapeute, 1941

The white birds represent love,

emotions, romance which
leads to sexuality and that
leads to the subconscious.

The cloak is parted to reveal

the white birds in the cage of

an opened door. The birds
represent the inner emotions
and nature. The cage
represents rationality.

The painting is saying the

dreams are suppressed by


Rene Magritte, The
Rape, 1934

The principals of Freud are

influenced here.

What the painting is saying is

that men are animals that are

only interested woman as sex

It is said by Freud, that men

who rape were not nourished

by their mothers and so they
have a love and hate
Carrington. Self
Portrait, 1936-

The Room is geometric and

represents rationality.

The tiles on the floor and also

represents order and rationality.

The woman is trapped in a room

(world) and is being controlled.

The room is controlling the “IT”.

The Hyena represents sexuality.

The toy horse on wall represents

that our inner nature has been

Max Ernst,
Surrealism and
Painting. 1942

The painting comes from his


The figure painting is


This communicates that the

dream world is working.

The box under the figure

represents rationality.
Max Ernst.
Elephant celebes.

A zoomorphic figure.

The cylinder-like figure

represents industrialization.

Humankind is not in tune with

nature due to our

overexposure to technology.

It has a unhappy scene.

Rationality is destructive

because it makes the world

Max Ernst, children
afraid of
Nightengale. 1924

The nightingale represents

loneliness or romance.

The door is the opening to the


The box (Rationality) tries to

open the door to another

world, the world of dreams.
Max Ernst, the
horde, 1927

This is about a nightmare.

Subconsciously, mankind is

very violent.
Max Ernst. The
king Playing with
the Queen. 1954

The king in this case is the


In ancient times, bulls have

been associated with power

and fertility.

The bull symbolizes the male


Since bulls are aggressive,

men are an aggressive gender.

This also suggests that women

Max Ernst, This
man shall know
Show baren landscape.

Surrealists say that we don’t

know this world at all.

Geometry forms are a sign of

civilization. It is the sign of


The hand represents order, the

crescent moon represents

along with the moon romance
and sexuality. This is talking
about ego. The painting is
explaining that deep down our
consciousness, we are nothing
more than animals that love
sex. We get to know ourselves
through sex.
Joan Miro, The
Poetess, 1940

There is no true rational

meaning. There is only free

association. Very subjective.
Joan Miro, Still Life
with old shoe. 1937

Joan Miro, Dog
Barking at the
moon, 1926

The moon represents romance,

sex, and music.

The latter represents

language, our culture, and

The dog represents nature.

The latter also represents the

thought of the only way to

reach the truth, one must go
through nature as oppose to

Joan Miro. Blue II,

There is no rational meaning,

very subjective.
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
• He is the most important surrealist. He said, “the difference
between me and a surrealist artist is that I am
surrealism.” He also wrote some books that talks about
his life, specifically about his experienced of being in his
mother’s womb. He said that language is total nonsense.
He was not really a surrealist until 1929. He was thrown
out of the movement because he was commercializing
his works and making money. He also started designing
buildings. His father was atheist and his mother was
catholic. He fears impotence and fears his father due to
bad relationship. Most of his works are associated with
sexuality because Freud’s laws of psychology.
Dali, the Great
Masturbator, 1929
He is preoccupied with sex.

You see a huge head with a

woman attached taking a snuff
to a male’s genitals. The
eyelashes of the big head
represent fury or furies, a god
in greekmythology that was in
charge of punishing sinners.
The hook represents order. The
Grasshopper represents a
fallacy. The genitals of the
male aren’t erected because of
impotence, which represents
the guilt over sex. The white
lily relates to the virgin but in
this painting, represents
something sexual. Curvilinear
lines show us his interest in Art
Nouveau. Looks organic,
making it look like it belongs to
nature. The little man
represents humaninty.
Dali Lugubrious
Beings, 1921

On the left side, there is a

sculpture. It is geometrically
shaped which represents
rationality and mathematics. Dali
communicates using jokes about
the enlightenment. He feels that
humankind is not enlightened but
really stupid. On the right corner,
one sees a figure that represents
sexuality, making man’s nature
on the right. The female figure
covers her face with
foreshortened hand, when we do
this, one feels shame and guilt.
The handkerchief with blood
represents her loss of virginity.
She has sinned. The enlarged
hand represents masturbation.
The man that is defecating has
pooped in his pants. It’s relevance
to children who can’t hold in their
poop and they have joy in letting
it go. The staircase is in dreams
(Freud) represents sexuality. The
worm represents impotence.
Dali, The
persistence of
memory, 1931

Watches associate to time

which associates eith

measurements and associates
with rationality. Time is a
construct. Time and space is a
theory. Time doesn’t mean
anything, for it is not real. The
dead tree represents
civilization and civilization
means death.
Dali, the enigma of
William Tell. 1933

It is about the relationship of

his father. The painting makes
no sense at all. He associates
his father with William Tell. The
head is of Lenon. This was
attacking the Marxist thoughts
of World War II and the Russian
RevThe figure is holding a child
and meat. This represents
sacrifice and this is a reference
biblical story of Abraham and

Look at your notes :/

Dali, Soft
Construction with
Boiled Beans. 1936

Dali, Sleep, 1937
Dali, Christ of St.
John of the Cross.
William de
Kooning. Woman I.
William de
Kooning. Painting,
Arshile Gorky, The
Artist and His
Mother. 1926
Arshile Gorky, Liver
is the Cock’s Comb.
Franz Kline,
Mahoning, 1956
Jackson Pollock,
Number 1 Lavender
Mist, 1950
Jackson Pollock,
Guardians of the
Secret, 1943
Jackson Pollock,
Portrait and a
Dream, 1953
Mark Rothko, No.
18. 1948
Rothko, Untitled,
Barnett Newman,
Genesis, the break.
Barnett Newman,
vir Heroicus
Sublimis, 1950-51
Adolph Gottlieb,
orb, 1964
Hans Hofman, The
Gates, 1959-1960
Hans Hofman,
Joseph Beuys, How
to Explain Pictures
to Dead Hare, 1965
Joseph Beuys,
Talking to Coyote,
Andy Warhol, 210
coca Cola Bottles,
Allan Kaprow, Tires
Happening, 1961
Allan Kaprow,
John, Painted
Bronzes, 1960
Fullmoon, 1963
Lichtenstein, I
know how you
must feel, 1960
Mel Ramos,
Chaquita, 1964
Kieholtz, The
Hospital, 1966
Marilyn, 1962
Hamilton, What is it
that makes Today’s
heroes so different.
So Appealing, 1956
Joseph Beuys, fat
chair, 1984
Joseph Beuys,
Piano Covered with
Felt, 1966
Christo, Florida,
Chirsto and Jean-
Claude, Running
Robert Smithson,
Spiral Jetty, 1970
Richard Smithson,
Nonsite, 1968
Jeff Koons, Michael
Jackson and
Bubbles. 1988
Barbara Kruger, I
shop therefore I
am, 1987