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A.Continued evolution of oil painting as a medium
We have discuss Baroque Period in previous part. In the mid-19th century, as painters explored new approaches and developed new movements, oil as a medium followed. In the 1872 painting “Impression, Sunrise,” for which the Impressionist movement was named, Monet used oil to provide an evocative view of the harbor, silhouettes, and sun as reflections danced on the water. Into Modernism and beyond, oil has been used by artists, such as Kandinsky, Picasso, and Matisse, to further their experimental approaches in the early 20th century.
Easily removed from the canvas, oil allows the artist to revise work. With its flexible nature, long history, and large body of theories, oil painting has created the most significant impact on visual art. New developments in oil paints continued into the 20th century, with the advent of oil paint sticks, which were used by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Anselm Kiefer. Since the Renaissance, the masters used oil to create works that continue to inspire, intrigue, and delight, and today, artists continue to use this significant medium to express their visions, goals, and emotions.
B. Impact of new technologies and techniques
Some of the most influential modern and contemporary art movements and developments of the 20th century include Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Photorealism, and Neo-Expressionism.
Fauvism is a style of painting that flourished in France around the turn of the 20th century. Fauve artists used pure, brilliant colors aggressively applied straight from the paint tubes to create a sense of an explosion on the canvas.
The Fauves painted directly from nature, as the Impressionists had before them, but Fauvist works were invested with a strong expressive reaction to the subjects portrayed. First formally exhibited in Paris in 1905, Fauvist paintings shocked visitors to the annual Salon d’Automne; one of these visitors was the critic Louis Vauxcelles, who, because of the violence of their works, dubbed the painters Fauves (“wild beasts”).
Cubism, a highly influential visual arts style of the 20th century was created principally by the artists Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, rejecting the traditional techniques of perspective, foreshortening, modeling, and chiaroscuro and refuting time-honored theories that art should imitate nature. Cubist painters were not bound to copy form, texture, color, and space. Instead, they presented a new reality in paintings that depicted radically fragmented objects.
Surrealism, a movement in visual art and literature, flourished in Europe between World Wars I and II. Surrealism grew principally out of the earlier Dada movement, which before World War I produced works of anti-art that deliberately defied reason; but Surrealism’s emphasis was not on negation but on positive expression. The movement represented a reaction against what its members saw as the destruction wrought by the “rationalism” that had guided European culture and politics in the past and that had culminated in the horrors of World War I. According to the major spokesman of the movement, the poet and critic André Breton, who published The Surrealist Manifesto in 1924, Surrealism was a means of reuniting conscious and unconscious realms of experience so completely that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in “an absolute reality, a surreality.” Drawing heavily on theories adapted from Sigmund Freud, Breton saw the unconscious as the wellspring of the imagination. He defined genius in terms of accessibility to this normally untapped realm, which, he believed, could be attained by poets and painters alike.
C. Current status and popularity of oil painting in the art world
Oil painting is one of the most valuable and popular kinds of art.
People from all over the world want to beautify their houses with oil artwork. The reason is that oil paintings are considered to develop high status to the owner of such art. They show your fashionable modern taste.
Oil paintings are valued more than other paintings. Even after a hundred years, the picture painted with oils will not lose its value and attractiveness.
Oil paint can be applied to the base of your choice with almost any implement including a brush, a palette knife, or a cloth. The variety of brushes is impressive also: red sable, weasel hair, ox-hair, as well as a range of synthetic brushes. The support is usually canvas, board, panel, or prepared paper.
Traditional oil painters generally started with charcoal or chalk drawings over which they built up the paint in layers, that way they ensure that each layer applied contained a little more oil than the last in order to facilitate drying and prevent flaking.
Read More: Check my blog on The History of Printmaking
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