Degas, The Millinery Shop The Millinery Shop by Degas is at the Chicago Art Institute. The Art Institute is both a very famous art school and an equally famous art museum. Follow this link and view

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Degas, The Millinery Shop

The Millinery Shop by Degas is at the Chicago Art Institute.  The Art Institute is both a very famous art school and an equally famous art museum.

  1. Follow this link and view this art piece:

    The Millinery Shop

  2. Analyze the painting, especially in terms of elements of unity, variety, and balance. Use terminologies from your texbook readings and flashcards in this module.  What is repeating? How does this piece achieve harmony?  The flashcard link.
  3. Use the zoom feature and go in closely so you can see the brush work. Take a screenshot and upload it in your discussions. I need to see that you looked at the surface texture and brushwork of the painting.

Degas, The Millinery Shop The Millinery Shop by Degas is at the Chicago Art Institute. The Art Institute is both a very famous art school and an equally famous art museum. Follow this link and view
The Body in Art – Professor’s Point of View Lecture Body in Art 4.9.1 Woman from Willendorf, c. 24,000–22,000 BCE. Oolitic limestone, height 4⅜”. Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria   This lesson focuses on the Body in Art. Reading through the textbook, you will notice how the human figure has provided critical subject matter since ancient times. There has always been an impulse to make images similar to ourselves. Take note of the Woman of Willendorf (above) found near the town of Willendorf in Austria. The figurine dates back 26,000 years. Notice how small it is; only 4 inches. The exaggerated breasts, hips, and belly suggest that it may have been a fertility figure. In the slides below, we will look at two contemporary artists (Yves Klein and Felix Gonzales Torres) who used the body in fascinating ways.   Image Source: Woman from Willendorf (Links to an external site.), image taken by Don Hitchcock, licensed under CC BY-SA .0 (Links to an external site.)   Yves Klein, Anthropométries 4.9.11a (left) Yves Klein, Anthropométries de l’époque bleue, March 9, 1960. Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France 4.9.11b (center)Yves Klein, Anthropométrie sans titre, 1960. Pure pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted on canvas, 50⅞ × 14⅝”. Private collection (right) Portrait of Yves Klein during the shooting of Peter Morley “The Heartbeat of France”, 1961 Let’s look into the works of French artist Yves Klein (b. 1928). (Note on pronunciation: As is frequently the case in French, the final “s” in his name is silent so his name is pronounced like “Eve.”) Klein is commonly referred to as a conceptual artist. Conceptual art is an artform where the idea in an artwork precedes the object quality of an artwork. Conceptual art was especially “a thing” during the sixties and seventies. Read about Yves Klein in your textbook on pp. 670-671. Klein had a background in martial arts and became extremely body conscious in his artwork. His best known piece is Anthropométries. As we see in the textbook, Anthropométries is not an art object, but a performance. The textbook has a very good description about this, so I will not elaborate here. Instead, we will consider the use of the body more  in the discussions. You will note in the textbook that Klein invented and eventually patented a special kind of blue. He even gave it a name, “International Klein Blue.” He used this blue over and over again in many of his pieces.  This is another trend in conceptual art; artists can devise a system of their own and can use it repeatedly.  For a further overview on the artist and his work, refer to the attached exhibition brochure from the Smithsonian retrospective in 2010.   Image Sources: Yves Klein, Anthropométries de l’époque bleue, and Yves Klein, Anthropométrie sans titre, from Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, Debra J. DeWitte, Ralph M. Larmann, M. Kathryn Shields Yves Klein (Links to an external site.), from Charles Wilp’s studio, Düsseldorf, Germany © Photo : Charles Wilp / BPK, Berlin PDF Source: Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, from Smithsonian Institution and Hirshhorn Museum (Links to an external site.). 2010. Educational use (Links to an external site.)   Felix Gonzalez Torres   “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991 Felix Gonzales-Torres (b. 1957 Guáimaro, Cuba; d. 1996 Miami) was a Cuban-American artist. He primarily worked in sculpture and installation art. Because he asks the viewer to participate in the art, his work often transforms the spectator from an inert receiver to an active, reflective observer and motivates social action. The Guggenheim museum (if you are not familiar with Guggenheim, go back to chapter 4.1 in your textbook) explains that by “employing simple, everyday materials (stacks of paper, puzzles, candy, strings of lights, beads) and a reduced aesthetic vocabulary reminiscent of Conceptual art (Links to an external site.) to address themes such as love and loss, sickness and rejuvenation, gender and sexuality, Gonzalez-Torres asked viewers to participate in establishing meaning in his works.” You can read more about Felix Gonzalez at (Links to an external site.) Gonzales-Torres was also a homosexual artist and eventually died of HIV-AIDS. “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) (above) is a “portrait” of his dying partner Ross who also succumbed to the same disease. Image Source: Felix Gonzalez-Torres, “Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.),” 1991. © The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. Fair Use
Degas, The Millinery Shop The Millinery Shop by Degas is at the Chicago Art Institute. The Art Institute is both a very famous art school and an equally famous art museum. Follow this link and view
As you may see, unity often accompanies elements of variety and balance and vice versa.   Image Source: The Great Wave off Shore at Kanagawa, by Katsushika Hokusai, from The Met (Links to an external site.), license CC Public Domain (Links to an external site.)   Katsushika Hokusai The Great Wave off Shore at Kanagawa, with Ralph Larmann   Direct link to Video (Links to an external site.) View Transcript (Links to an external site.)   Unity, Variety, and Balance The Millinery Shop, Date: 1879/86, Artist: Edgar Degas, French, 1834-1917   This time we’ll look at a painting. This is by Degas who was an Impressionism painter (pronunciation: day-gah). Impressionism was a movement in the late nineteenth century in which painters wanted to capture an “impression” of their subject. Soft edges and depictions of the play of light are some hallmarks of impressionist paintings. Degas is especially known for his paintings of ballet dancers and their movements, but here, he painted the beautiful interior of a hat shop. Notice  the soft contours throughout the image. No hard lines, right? Also notice the loose brush strokes. Next, do you notice any repetition? Variety? Balance? We’ll go over these elements in our discussions. Image Source: The Millinery Shop, by Edgar Degas, from Art Institute of Chicago (Links to an external site.), license CC Public Domain (Links to an external site.)   Artwork: Joseph Cornell, Untitled (The Hotel Eden)   1.6.8 Joseph Cornell, Untitled (The Hotel Eden), 1945. Assemblage with music box, 15⅛ × 15⅛ × 4¾”. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa   This piece is neither a print or a painting. It is a box. Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) was an artist who made hundreds and hundreds of these small boxes. We are looking at his work because it suggests conceptual unity as opposed to formal unity (unity of forms). Conceptual unity refers to the cohesive expression of ideas within a work of art, and an artist may link different images that conjure up a single notion. The artist’s ideas and cultural experiences can also contribute to the conceptual unity of a work. For example, In Untitled (The Hotel Eden), although the interior is a protected place, neither the bird nor the ball is free and the artist has fused his memories, dreams, and visualizations. Notice all the little details Cornell adds to this work: a tiny vial, a piece of thread with its spool, a cut out paper bird, a strange little ball…All these elements seem unrelated. BUT they work together as a whole to service the idea of the artist. Here the combination results in a complex visual expression of the artist’s personality and memories. Image Source: Joseph Cornell, Untitle

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