The Emergence of Modern Art in the 20th Century

Robert Motherwell, an American abstract expressionist painter who helped develop and define Modernity with his involvement in the New York School following WWII, made the following observation about this special time in Western Civilization:  “The history of modern art…is the history of modern freedom.”  What do you believe Motherwell meant by this statement and what are your thoughts on Modern art?

Photograph of Jackson Pollock painting his composition One


75 comments on “The Emergence of Modern Art in the 20th Century

  1. Heather Galloway says:

    I happen to be a fan of the impressionist paintings. It seems as though Renoir and Degas focused on details to create a realistic picture. Whereas Monet had a wildly different brushstroke, which, in my opinion, made his work seems dream-like or whimsical. His paintings feel so real yet without “looking” realistic. When I look at paintings of his gardens it’s almost as if I can feel a breeze or smell the spring flowers. All three of the artists were wonderful and painted beautifully. I just happen to really love Monet’s. In all honesty I didn’t really connect to the “Weeping Willows” at first. Then as I read that he painted them as an homage to the fallen French soldiers (as his son was a French soldier) it was definitely more endearing.

    I understand that Picasso and Dali were in a competely different time and having to endure such different lives, but I’m just not a big fan of their work (from what I’ve seen). They are both so puzzling and extreme, yet Dali seemed to be a bit more dark and disturbing. I think Guernica was a perfect symbol of the time. With the Entartete Kunst and the Nazi regime coming to power at the time, it’s very symbolic that this painting has so much pain, disjointedness, agony, and pieces of people. The cartoon-like drawings almost insinuate that they are dreaming, or rather in a nightmare. It’s definitely the effects of oppression. This painting invokes sadness and anger for putting all those people through that kind of fear and brutality.

  2. Heather Galloway says:

    Regarding Motherwell’s quote, I simply believe that modern artists were breaking out a little and expressing themselves in whatever way they wanted. They weren’t restrained anymore by societal norms (relatively). If a painter wanted to throw paint on a naked woman and have her roll around on a canvas and call it art – then no one had the right to tell them otherwise. It wasn’t just about beauty anymore. It was every emotion fathomable – including confusion and chaos. I personally like the more realistic artwork, but art seems to surprise me every now and then. (Something I wouldn’t think I would like will strike a nerve in me.)

  3. Brandon Booth says:

    Response to Monet/Renoir Power Point:

    As it has turned out, I have studied a lot of the early modern era this semester, and to be honest, I’m not too fond of this period of time. I don’t really get impressionism – I find it vague and unrealistic. I have had to study several writers, such as Blake, Wordsworth, Descartes and Rousseau, and although I like some of it, overall not really a fan. So when it comes to modernist imagery, it falls in the same area. Monet, his stuff is beautiful, but I don’t really get it. It’s nice, but not exciting to me. I do I like Renoir better, because I think his imagery tends to be more complex and detailed.

    The image in the PowerPoint I am intrigued by the most is Dance at the Moulin de la Galette by Renoir. I just found it a wonderfully complex painting, that captured the spirit of a dance scene at some sort of festival. Very nice.

    As for my choice on which piece didn’t move me, I’m going to pick Weeping Willows by Monet. Now, the sentiment behind this piece is great, and very to me. Paying homage to those who died in war – I can’t think of a more appropriate reason for art. That point aside, I just don’t like it. I don’t see any trees at all. Perhaps that’s the point, but if I didn’t know the background I wouldn’t feel anything at all for this. Quite frankly, it’s looks like garbage. This is why I say I don’t understand impressionism.

  4. Brandon Booth says:

    Response to Twentieth Century Thoughts Power Point:

    Although I am rather fond of Picasso’s brash arrogance (i find it funny), I prefer Dali’s work. It makes more sense to me, and often feels like a 1-up of Picasso.

    The image that has left the most vivid impact on my psyche is the image of a bunch of saluting Nazi’s surrounding a pile of burning books. The thought sense a shiver up my spine, and its further enhanced by Heinrich Heine’s quote ““…where books are burned, people are burned.”

    If I could own a “Picasso” or a Dali”, which artist would I chose? Well, I would say it depends on the piece. However, in genral, as I stated above, I prefer Dali’s work. In regards to which artist understood his time, I have no answer. I don’t understand their time, so I don’t believe I’m able to discern which one understood their situation better. All I know is that when I look at Picasso’s work I don’t get it at all. When I look at Dali’s, I sort of get it.

    • Brianna Maxim says:

      I like the honesty of your post. There are a lot of pieces of work by Picasso that I don’t really understand either. Dali’s does make a little more sense, but I like his work mainly because the images can be viewed in so many different ways and the somewhat clear depictions helps with the imagination. Also, the image that you spoke about with the Nazi’s, I totally agree with you. That sent a shiver down my own spine. Such a sad quote and piece of history.

  5. Brandon Booth says:

    In regards to the Robert Motherwell quote, ”The history of modern art…is the history of modern freedom.” I believe Motherwell is saying that modern art is an expression of individual ideas, which coincides with the push towards the last century’s push towards democracy and freedoms of thought and expression. Cultures that do not value freedom tend to steer clear from modern art – such as was demonstrated in the last power point with the Nazi regime and their behavior towards modern art.

  6. Sela Tuamoheloa says:

    I feel Motherwell meant that artists were conveying freedom with their new artistic styles. Instead of restricting themselves to just painting realistically, there was more experimentation with art. Artists painted what they felt like painting. From Warhol painting his “lunch”, the famous Campbell soup can image, to Pollack splashing his canvases with paint. Instead of only being able to create “beautiful” art with a landscape or portrait, they displayed that beautiful art could be created by the artist’s true emotions (and did not have to be representational).

    Early Twentieth Century Thoughts Module:(I’m reposting this in the correct area)
    Overall, I prefer Picasso’s art to Salvatore Dali’s art and would choose to own his art if I could. When their paintings depicting the war are placed side by side I feel that even though the subject matter in both paintings are gruesome, Picasso’s use of geometric shapes adds an alluring quality to the overall composition. Picasso’s “Guernica” left the most impact on me. I have seen this image before and never forgot the mother holding the dead child and crying. This and the positioning of bodies in the painting make it haunting and hard to forget. Based on the slides, I would say Picasso understood his unique time better by coinciding his painting with the Entartete Kunst.

  7. Lauren Lantrip says:

    Learning Module: Thoughts on Early Twentieth Century:
    Between Dali and Picasso, it is a very hard choice to choose which one I like better, but i think i would have to go with, Dali not because I think his over all work is better, but because I think that one of his paintings is better than all the others. “Persistence of Memory,”I just think that the imagination he must have had in order to create that is incredible. He must have a wild personality that is seen in his paintings. I would choose to collect this piece, because it says so much, with the most random pieces. Using the distorted clocks and manipulating them in order to melt. It’s very interesting. I think Picasso was more aware of his time, because most of his works were political. I’m not saying that Dali’s weren’t but Picasso appealed to the average person to look into his paintings and see an under the surface meaning.
    Learning Module: Impressionism:
    Initially I think of early modernist artists to be very elegant. Their paintings use the presence of color to not only show depth but to show a new side of emotion that artists had not dealt with before. The image that made the biggest impression on me was probably the “Impression Sunrise” because of the interesting use of color. It’s interesting how he uses such a deep red for the sun and the colors of the sky and the ocean are such a strange shade of blue. I think it’s absolutely breathtaking. I didn’t see any images that didn’t move me at all. I think that they all genuinely bring something beautiful to the table. Monet’s work is just completely beautiful and his vision was incredibly original.

    • Kelly Mamo says:

      I really liked Impression Sunrise as well. It’s an interesting arrangement of muted colors with just a pop of brightest representing the sun.

  8. Lauren Lantrip says:

    In reading this statement, I think Motherwell was really onto something. As time goes on, people are more and more free to express themselves. With this new found voice people are able to say things that they would normally not be able to say. In art, I find it’s completely normal for them to push boundaries. As time goes on, new boundaries are pushed. While I do not think that art can actually free a person, I think that art has a way of expression that’s more beneficial than any other form of expression. People able to take your emotions and transfer them onto a canvas must be so gratifying. It’s a way of sharing your feelings and emotions, in which only people who want to understand you, can understand your work. Expressing yourself through art is a way for people who are caged to break away, and express their confinement, be it physical or emotional confinement, they are free to express themselves.

    • Kelly Mamo says:

      I get the whole freedom of expression and sometimes when an artist can really put their emotions into their art– we bystanders are left with huge admiration. Some of the most troubled songwriters left us with great songs. Great post!

    • Brianna Maxim says:

      I like your post. I must say, I really like your sentence about how people were caged and art was a way for them to break away from it. I do agree with you. It really is amazing how a blank canvas can express so much feeling. It really is a portal into a person’s mind. Thanks for your post!

  9. When I think of expressionist art and artist, they have a vision or something they like that they like or want to paint. In the past artist created art that was the social norm of their time to avoid the risk of rejection but today more artist do out-of-the-norm art since more people seem to like uniqueness like me so Motherwell’s statement is not to far from the truth that modern art is modern freedom.

    Early Modernist Modular:
    What early modernist looks like it contains is that it takes concepts of early art and bring modern concepts to them. It seems that they focus on modern subjects like places of commerce and use human subjects like the Romans. “Rouen Cathedral: End of Day 1892” I like the most because the statement Monet says about painting the same subject over and over which means he probably came back multiple times looking at this cathedral just to paint this one picture which shows dedication. I couldn’t get “Weeping Willows” by Monet because it looks like just stripes of colors but it does show signs of modern art’s random designs.

    20th Century Mod:
    I prefer Dali’s work over Picasso because his work is full of randomness involving water floating upwards and deformed clocks but Picasso is more well know for modern artwork. I would like to own Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” because it is full of color and it has the message that time ages all, including inanimated things. Dali seemed to understand his time better because his Persistence of Memory picture seems to suggest that time has changed since the early artist created their masterpieces and new artists are going to come along and change the way art is done and viewed.

    • Brianna Maxim says:

      I love what you said in the 20th Century Mod section. I agree with you that Dali’s work is really interesting with the imagination he used to create the paintings we saw in the learning module. I also like the meaning you got from the painting, that time ages all things. I took it to mean that time ages the mind and memories grow old to leave behind a distortions of the once vivid representations in our minds. I also agree with you about the Weeping Willows. I really liked the message behind it, but the painting itself did look like a splash of lines and colors. It all depends on taste and perception. Love the post and great job!

  10. Rick Blomberg says:

    I believe Robert Motherwell was trying to convey that message that during these times of hardship and war people turned towards art, now I know modernism started well before WWII. At least 30 years prior, so even during those times there were hardships ie the Great Depression, the first World War, and the stock market crash. These people were a bit discriminated against because in America the basis of modernism wasn’t truly understood and over in Europe was the forefront of both of those wars. So for them to be able to practice their arts they had to earn their freedoms to. I believe that’s what he is saying. These is obviously a bit missing from this quote, but I’m sure that this is the gist of what he was meaning to say.

  11. vincent taylor says:

    I think I’m more partial to Dali mainly because he just seemed like a real weird dude and that’s cool. He kind of comes off in some of the interviews I watched as a jerk but he’s just an odd person I guess. Some of his responses were quite amusing. I like his reoccurring themes like the egg, which has a powerful mean to him representing him in the whom. The elephant is also a recurring image in Dali’s works.
    Loved the persistence of memory. Hands down one of my favorite pieces. It’s funny how some people thought the inspiration of the soft watches had something to do with Einstein’s theory of relativity when it was really the surrealist perception of a Camembert cheese melting in the sun. I think I was moved more by this image because of its unquestionable surrealistic views. It has a college essays worth of meaning and symbolism to ponder like what is that figure doing in the center? It’s obviously some kind of being but what is it doing and why is it fading? Why is that clock to the left covered with ants? You could stay busy for hours admiring this work.
    I think that Picasso understood his unique time more because he concentrated more on bring it to the public as art. I feel like Dali was more on a quest for self-fulfillment or to understand his own identity causing him to lack some kind of focus to the art on occasion.

    • Kelly Mamo says:

      Really, cheese melting in the sun? It’s an interesting work of art but I didn’t know about the cheese melting part? It looks like he may have been on some kind of acid instead!

    • Brianna Maxim says:

      Your post was actually really interesting. You said a couple of things that I didn’t even think about. I think you are the only person I have seen so far that saw interviews with Dali and commented on it. Melting cheese? Well it does kind of look that way. It also looked like the clock was was a pool of glass. I do agree with you though, someone could spend hours looking at his art. It would never get old because you would always think of something new to add to it or view something differently or notice something you didn’t before. Thanks for the added information! Your post was informative.

  12. Christina Lopez says:

    I agree that the art had become more liberal in the sense that ” religion” did not have a greater influence in painters. Painters in modern times had found their “freedom of speech” in art and anything could be painted or simply just a drop of paint became art. The foundations of art had changed and sculptures had been replaced with metal or wires. Modern art had become more public rather than for the elite class. also, sexuallity was not being oppressed by the church so there was a whole new art style that could be created with sexuality.

  13. I think Motherwell was trying to imply that the artists within this timeframe had a similar meaning when it came to displaying their work.

    Early modernist imagery to me stands out because of the emphasis on colors within the character and environment. The background within some of the pictures carry different tones, ranging from sunrise to sunset. The artist really focused mainly on how the time of the day affected the outcome of the colors, as seen in “Impression Sunrise 1872”.
    Renoir – “Dance at the Moulin de la Galette” made the strongest impression on me because the emphasis on the shadow is very obvious in contrast to the other colors. The moods of the people portrayed in the piece each has their very own detail and features, such as the expression of their face and their wardrobe. It’s amazing to see how this artist added so many people in the piece but all very unique.
    “The Weeping Willows 1918” left me unmoved because it looks like just a bunch of round strokes of the colors, I personally cannot visualize the piece’s literal concept of a “willow”. The dark tones of the color matches the title but if this piece consisted of more plant like shapes, the picture would not look as abstract.

    I prefer Dali because of the piece that consisted of flying objects, people, and animals. This illusion caught my eye because it is visually stunning to see water flowing at a certain angle in mid air and flying cats. “Persistence of Memory” also caught my eye because the piece displays people’s unique perception of time in an environmental setting. I believe the tree branch represents old age or time span. The many clocks seem to represent everyone’s own “internal clock” that will eventually wear out in time. These pieces impacted my perception and acceptance of time in today’s world because it seems that everyone lives a unique life in their own perception of time. I would choose Dali’s art over Picasso because he sort of has a comedic edge to his work as well as a hint of abstract elements. To me, Picasso’s work has an excessive use of abstract shapes compared to Dali. I feel as if Picasso understood this unique time better because his art set’s different moods in one portrait. For example, “Guernica” seems to capture the moods of turmoil and despair within the social era of innovation and wealth. Picasso set the mood with this picture by using only black and shades of grey.

  14. Brianna Maxim says:

    Learning Module: Early Modernism

    My initial feelings about early modernism would have to be that the art is beautiful. It is abstract and yet you can see a picture so clearly. I like how the paintings hold a mystery to them. Because it isn’t crystal clear, it leaves the mind open to place their own stories there and create something from it. There were quite a few paintings that I liked but the one I think that moved me the most was the painting Main Path Through Giverny Garden. I like it because there are so many colors and I can just imagine walking through the path surrounded by all those flowers. I can almost smell all the different aromas. Then the building in the background is just barely visible. At first when I glanced at it, I thought it was a wedding chapel because the scenery was so beautiful. The one I didn’t really care for was The Weeping Willow. I like the history and reason for it and I think it was a good idea, but I couldn’t really see a image out of it. It just looked like colored lines and shadows.

  15. Brianna Maxim says:

    Learning Module: Picasso and Dali

    I prefer Dali’s painting a little more because it isn’t as boxy. It just seems to flow a little more. I do like them both, and they are interesting in their own right. Picasso’s art in this Learning module looked very choppy ad it was hard to focus on one thing. There was too much to take in. The image that had the most impact on me would probably be Dali’s Persistence of Memory. The colors really were vivid and the drooping time made it feel like the memories were beginning to fade away with the increase of time. The deserted canvas looked like the mind had started to dry up and the images that were left were all that the mind had left. It is kind of sad. I would like to collect both but if I had to pick one, I’d say Picasso. I may not really like the the boxy type of painting, but I do like a lot of his other work. I think both artists had a grasp of their time. I don’t think that we should judge an artist for that. They each had their own view of the time and what they believed should be expressed. That is part of why artwork is so fascinating. perception is what makes the art.

  16. Brianna Maxim says:


    I think Motherwell was trying to say that over time, Art was able to express cultural freedom. Before art could be restricted by cultural norms and artists couldn’t really do everything that they wanted. In recent times, an artist could do whatever they wanted and express themselves and create art that could have been controversial before. It was an evolution of art and the cultural freedom to do so. The artist could be free to paint ‘outside the lines’ and make a person think in the abstract.

  17. Rick Blomberg says:

    Impressionism monet Renoir
    I like how these are the early days of technology really making a turn. Everything was advancing so quickly, and this was a time period when a lot of the most important inventions were created. I like to see through the eyes of these artists and to know that even though times might’ve not been great for a lot of them, but at least they weren’t as bad off as some of the artists from the renaissance or earlier… I like how the art is portrayed and is easy to relate to. I enjoyed a lot of these very much.
    The ones I enjoyed the most were the paintings of the ballet dancers by Edgar Degas. They are just really nice images to look at. The look realistic and full of color and exactly what I think of when I think of early 20th Century artwork. Just the way things are accented and how nonchalant it all is. Like it isn’t an amazing piece but something average, but it is amazing work! These are easily some of my favorite works that we have touched on during the semester.
    In contrast though the one I really didn’t like was also by Edgar Degas, and that one was “The Little Dancer 14”. Just didn’t like the way the little girl looked. Her neck looks strained and her stance is awkward. Dislike the color and just about everything about this. I’m not too keen on sculpture and pieces like this so maybe that is why, but still it just doesn’t strike me as anything too amazing like his other works. Just seems blah.

    Thoughts on The Twentieth Century
    Honestly I prefer Dali over Picasso. Don’t get me wrong here, I enjoy Picasso’s work, but a lot of his stuff is just not my taste. I don’t understand how he does all this random abstract pieces that are really hard to interpret or even know what they are, and then he goes and does a TON of sketchings like the dove shown in the slides. Dali just seems like he’s having more fun and makes me like him more. Like how he did the Mona Lisa interpretation with the moustache and all. That’s brilliant! I love the melting clocks image as well (Persistence of Memory).
    Like I said before I enjoyed Salvador Dali’s “Persistence of Memory”. Someone is always trying to cop his style with this piece and it has been etched into my brain forever. Whenever I see or think of this piece I always think about how there is never enough time, but the time that we do have we let it just slip (or melt) away. A lot of cartoons back in the day would use the melting clocks when the character would go into an alternate reality, so that’s probably why I like it so much. I’ve seen it a lot.
    A lot of Picasso’s are cheap because like I said he did a ton of the sketches, but a lot of them aren’t and they are rare to come by and expensive! So most likely Dali, not only because I believe they would be cheaper but because I think they would be better conversation pieces for people who don’t know much about the artist himself. Obviously Picasso is a more known artist so I will go with the underdog for sure.
    Dali was having more fun with his and I think Picasso is more of an ariste manqué. So most likely Picasso. I’m not sure what of Dali’s background would make me believe he “understood” it better than Picasso, but Picasso’s art feels more to me of a reflection of the times he lived in.

  18. Sean Reilly says:

    Impressionism: Monet & Renoir

    My initial thoughts of early modernist imagery are that of being intrigued by the change that the new style brought to the art world. Earlier this semester I wrote my gallery paper on a Monet painting and have found him to be quite interesting throughout my life. Monet brought impressionism to life and did so with a strong and prominent voice. Many artists strive to create something original, Monet created a whole new facet of art.

    The image that made the largest impact on me in this learning module was Monet’s Beach at Sainte-Adresse. This painting exhibits Monet’s ability to paint on a large scale, however, maintain the amazing detail that made him famous. The Beach at Sainte-Adresse is a large scene containing multiple boats, people, a shore line, and incredibly detailed clouds. Monet was able to create this master piece from arms length, a distance that impressionism paintings look quite abstract, and saw its beauty from across the room.

    The image that left me wanting to change the slide was Degas’ Little Dancer of 14. The image appeared very plain and lacking any true genius. Unlike the other pieces of art depicted in the learning module, this piece lacked any true character or great detail to catch my eye. Although the work Degas did with the lighting on the girl’s face was impressive, the piece as a whole did not grab my attention. I believe Degas was a great artist and I have an appreciation for all he has done for the art world, however I believe this is nowhere near his greatest work.

    Picasso & Dali

    Given the opportunity to chose a favorite between Picasso and Dali, I would instantly choose Picasso. Picasso displayed an unique style in his art that no other artist to this day has been able to duplicate. When viewing a Picasso painting one instantly knows that the painting was created by him. I find Picasso’s art to be much more fulfilling than Dali as there is so much more to me amazed with. Although Dali has a unique style of his own, I simply am not intrigued by his work.

    The image that left the most vivid image on my psyche was Dali’s Persistence of Memory. The painting is quite disturbing in my mind in the way it portrays our memories throughout life. When I first saw the image I only saw melting clocks with no significance. However, after reading the title to the painting, I began to realize that Dali struck something. Every memory that we have is not exactly as it happened, but we still have a ‘persistence’ of the memory held with us throughout our lives. I believe the melting clocks symbolize the change in those memories although they are always with us.

    To chose between a Picasso and a Dali may be a tough decision for many, however, I would without a doubt chose to own a Picasso. I find Picasso to be a much superior artist and view the opportunity to own a piece of his legacy as breathtaking. I believe Picasso also understood his time better than Dali and was able to create a true and deep effect in the people he lived among. Picasso is known by almost all in the art world and I believe provided a much needed change to the abstract that his time period truly needed. Picasso proved a true distraction from the hard times that he and his people were enduring, the time needed a Picasso and he needed his time period.


    In response to Motherwell’s comment above, I believe he viewed modernism as freedom from the constraints that surrounded art for centuries. This came at a time after much was done in the name of freedom and liberty, everyone was itching for self expression. Motherwell simply viewed the ability to paint and create art in a new way as another version of newly founded freedom. I believe modern art is much like any new style of art, it challenges the foundations and provides a new form of expression. Expression is ultimately what art is all about. By founding a new style of art modernists were able to express themselves through their art in a whole new way.

  19. jessica baker says:

    I believe he is expressing that as history changes so does other things such as art. Art broke away from just being about one persons culture; it became freedom to express how you felt in painting or a sculpture, etc. No matter what your culture was. You were able to be your own muse.

    • Brittany Rowland says:

      That’s a great way to put it. The modern artist definitely uses self-expression when painting and they are inspired by their own imagination. Art historically, use to be based on politics and religious views.

  20. Kindra Cadet says:

    On Early Modernism:
    My initial impression on modernist imagery is a little ironic because most of the pieces from this learning module seem very old fashioned to me, and not modern. The train, boat and clothing in some of the paintings seem to tell the story of a long time ago. The Degas Little Dancer of 14 stood out to me most and made the strongest impression for me. The young girl appears to be preparing for an audition or performance. She looks nervous. It appeals to me because anyone can create a story of their own by looking at it. It is expressive in that way and shows fine detail in her stance and appearance. Truthfully, there were many that I was not moved by, but probably the one that was least moving was the Rouen Cathedral. Without the text, it is too difficult to make out what it is. It appears to be a blurr of colors and you can only vaguely see the form of a building. Without prompting, I would have no way of knowing what it is being shown. For me, it is simply unimpressive.
    On Picasso Vs. Dali:
    In comparing Picasso and Dali, I think I prefer Dali only slightly. They both are similar in that they are very colorful and I would even describe them both as chaotic. Both appeal to me, and I would be happy with collecting either of their work, but I do prefer the surprise element that seems to be present in almost all of Dali’s work. I liked the picture of Salvatore Dali with the cat. Both of their eyes are striking in the picture and they each have the same facial expression. The added mustache almost makes the comparison between animal and human a bit humorous. That humor is why I would say that Dali understood his time better. Much of his artworks seems whimsical and playful and pokes fun of artistic form. This in itself is a form of art that expresses Dali’s feelings about that particular era.

  21. Kindra Cadet says:

    In regards to the quote listed above, I think Motherwell meant simply that ‘art is freedom’. The artists of his time where less inhibited and the art was more whimsical and creative than many of the artists from previous times. This lack of inhibition is shown in the art especially by Picasso and Dali from the last module.

  22. Shay Lamm says:

    The monet Renoir

    My thoughts on the early modernist imagery are very soft and delicate. The imagery is more realistic of the early times how people dressed and what was popular. There are many images on the ballet and during those times that was what the people were able to watch, they didn’t have television and things like that. I really enjoy looking at this type of art, its very detailed with the facial expressions, body gestures, and the colors used. I like how some of it is a painting and not a photograph, when comparing a photograph of a ballerina and that of a painting there is more of a feeling there.

    The picture that made the most impact on me was the “Degas Ballet Rehearsal,” I love this image because it reminds me of past events that have occurred in my life and bring back great feelings and emotions. My sister (best friend) was a ballet dancer and she was amazing at it. It reminds me when I would go and just watch her and how beautiful she was at it. It is also just a great painting with great colors and details, from the trees outside to the bows on top of their heads. It brings such a joyous feeling that makes you just inspired.

    The picture that left me bored and un-interested was the “Edgar Degas,” photo, it just blah there is nothing to it. it’s a picture of a man, who he himself has amazing art. The image  just tells me that he is mad and not interested. I know it would be hard to sit there and have a great expression or smile but its just a man, that I have seen before, in all the other portraits of people.

    Early 20th century

    would not able to pick between the two because both of their art seems the same to me. They both are very abstract and they use the same colors for their images. I really enjoyed the, “premonition of civil war,” because of the colors and I have never seen art like that before, the Guernica image just seems like something I have seen before. I would own a Picasso image because he is more widely known the dali, I also enjoyed more of Picassos images then dali. Picasso understood his unique better he new what colors to use of that time and what was attracting people.

    I think he meant by his quote that history is in it’s art and it shows within our art. I like modern art it has changed quite a lot but I also enjoy the other ages of art, art has progressed over the years and it has defiantly changed.

    • Rick Blomberg says:

      I agree that both the art by Picasso and Dali are similar, but you can see where they differ with the types of images they put together. I do, however, disagree with your comment about Picasso utilizing his abilities better during his time period. He may have very well known the circumstances he was in, but Dali took it to the next level with the odd and outlandish things he was able to come up with. Picasso’s abstract and cubist paintings are laughable to me because I don’t feel they convey a message as much as Dali’s do.

  23. Brittany Rowland says:

    I believe that Robert Motherwell was exactly right in his comment. I feel that the modern artists showed more feelings and emotion as well as a better expression of it through their art. I think he wants people to know that art of modern time is much freer in the artist’s expression. I think that modern art has no bias behind it or political stances intertwined into it. It is more art of self-expression and less about religion and political views.

    Module: Monet and Renoir
    I think early modernist imagery is very exceptional. The colors are breath-taking and the reflection images in some of the portraits are unbelievable. The colors during this period were very experimental it seems, but they come together so vibrantly.

    The image that made the biggest impression on me was Monet’s Impression Sunrise. It is a very touching piece of work for me. The colors he uses are very emotional and beautiful to look at. When I saw it I couldn’t stop looking at it. I can feel the deep emotion and meaning that Monet has put into this piece of artwork. The brush strokes are very subtle and all the colors seem to merge into a beautiful scene. It’s very touching to me to see a man on a small boat in what appears to be a lake, going on about his normal day not realizing the beautiful sunset and scenery around him.

    Monet’s Weeping Willows really left me unmoved. When I looked at it, it just felt like he globed a handful of colors onto a canvass and named it. I just think I wasn’t moved because there were too many random colors and it seemed kind of dark and all the other paintings were very vibrant and beautiful and filled with emotion.

  24. Kelly Mamo says:

    The statement by Motherwell, “The history of modern art is the history of modern freedom” to me means in every era it was modern for that time period and that in itself gives you the freedom to do whatever you want in the name of art. It’s modern for the time a piece of art is created.

    My thoughts on modern art is that some of it I can appreciate and some is distasteful. I am all for experimentation with the use of natural materials and for function but some pieces of art could be considered a “stretch of the imagination”.

    I was drawn to Impression Sunrise by Monet. I really liked the way he incorporated the short quick brush stokes, the muted colors of blues and grays except for the orangeness of the rising sun.

    The painting that didn’t appeal to me was Degas’s Prima Ballerina. He uses some of the same techniques however, his painting seemed lacking in details and a bit bland.

    To be brutally honest, I don’t care for Picasso or Dali. Their style is too far out for me. You really have to look at their paintings to figure out exactly what may have been going on in their minds. If I had to own one, it would probably be Persistence of Memory because the melting clocks are a symbol of time moving away from us. Both have a unique way of representing themselves.

  25. Brittany Rowland says:

    Module: Twentieth Century
    I would have to say I enjoy looking at Salvador Dali’s work over Picasso’s. Although Picasso was very unique in his art, Dali just has a crazy mysterious spirit. He has his reappearing clocks in most of his work, which I know there has to be a deeper meaning that traumatized Dali enough to use these clocks so religiously. Dali also had such a unique way of turning his mind into artwork. In all of the pictures I have seen of him, it appears that he is sort of a mad scientist when it comes to art. He just put many random things into his paintings and they seem to come out with great meaning and simple beauty.

    Dali’s Premonition of Civil War really through my mind into a whole new world. It makes me feel like I am in a mental ward when I look at this painting. There’s arms, legs, a creepy head, bones and they all seem to be balancing on box. I look at it and say what the heck is going on in this picture and should I feel crazy looking at it? There is also a half beautiful sky that is starting to turn into a dark evil sky. It just really could mess with someone’s head if they look at it long enough.

    I would love to own a painting from either artist, but I think it would be great to have a Salvador Dali hanging in the entrance into my house. People would probably just stop and stare and try to figure out if I was crazy or if they were crazy because you can lose in another world looking a one of Dali’s paintings.

    I think that both artists have understood their times in much different ways. Dali was just highly imaginative and used a very surreal scene in his artwork. Dali’s work feels more like his own self-expression, whereas Picasso’s was more based on what was going on in the world. I believe Picasso related to the average person than Dali did.

  26. Helen Marie Brandon says:

    For Motherwell’s quote, I believe he meant that artists could only feel comfortable creating modern art when the nation became more liberal. Our modern times gives artists the freedom to create the type of art they want, whereas they were once expected to create works under the popular view if they were going to make any money. There are some types of modern art I like, some not so much. It depends on the style and medium. It’s hard for me to appreciate “art” that has just been thrown together. Personally, I prefer classic pieces by the Greats.

    For the Impressionist PowerPoint:

    I really liked the early modernist imagery I viewed by Monet. I like how the images are soft and easy on the eyes. The lines are defined and easy to make out. I prefer the landscapes over the portraits of individuals. They don’t speak to me at all. Monet did a beautiful job on the landscapes, with the use of color and soft brush strokes.

    I think my favorite piece is Monet’s La Grenouillere. I’m not sure what the subject matter is, but it looks like a Victorian party. I think it made the most impression on me because of the good use of color. I can make out everything in the painting, and the lake (I presume) is my favorite part. It looks so real, the colors making it ripple. I also liked how he included such small details like umbrellas for the ladies. It looks like a fun day, especially for the kids who are swimming in the lake. This speaks to me with an aura of freedom and casual summer fun.

    The portrait I was unmoved by the most was Weeping Willows. Monet painted this as a homage for the fallen French soldiers, which is honorable. However, I can’t make a thing out in the painting. Maybe it’s my unartistic eye, but I can’t see past the multi-colored scribbles. While I try my best to see something in all pieces, I simply could not find anything here.

    For the Twentieth Century PowerPoint:

    I think I prefer Picasso over Dali. However, I don’t think I can make an informed decision because I saw a smaller collection of Dali’s work. Still, if I compare them side by side, I still think I would choose Picasso. They are both interesting artists, but I think Dali’s work is a little over the top. Picasso seems to be a versatile artist, from sculptures to paintings to photographs. I would definitely collect his work over the others in these slides. I would like his Le Reve because it is unique, defined, and colorful. It definitely left the most vivid impression on me. The woman is just so at peace with herself, and Picasso uses well-defined patterns to create her.

    I think Picasso understood his time better because he created pieces that could be appreciated by the public at large, whereas Dali’s work is kind of out-there.

    • Rick Blomberg says:

      I agree with your interpretation of Motherwell’s comment. I also believe he was saying that Modernism came about because of the forcefulness of the governments and populace to say what they wanted artists to create. So without that history Modernist arts would never have been brought about in the first place.

  27. Kristian Garcia says:

    Impressionist Powerpoint:
    I am a fan of the early impressionist artwork because they seem to be more soft and a little more subtle than the works we saw before. I like the techniques they used in impression paintings and how they make it look for fantasy and more of there own creativity.
    The image that i was most interested in it would have to be Monet’s, “La Grenouillere.” I like how the ripples in the water is so realistic as if you actually want to go for a swim and the details in the trees make it so realistic and just makes the scene even more beautiful. the simplist techniques like using different colors and brushstrokes can add to even the littlist of details into the image.
    I wouldn’t say that i wasn’t move by any of the images or didn’t like any of them. i think they are all wonderful art but i was not really interested in, “Impression Sunrise.” I didn’t like how the entire image is blurred or not really noticable and than you just see this orange dot in the painting.

    Early Twenteith Powerpoint:
    If i had to choose from picasso or Dali’s work, i would have to go with Dali. I like his work becuause it seems more creative, complex, and abstract than Picasso’s work.
    I really like the image of Dali jumping with everything else sort of just flying around him. This image is so funny to me and so interesting how they were able to do all of this. I like how the cats are sort of just in the air and the stream of water just tops it off. i must of taken a lot of creativity, fun, and patients to make such a great photo.

  28. Casey Teator says:

    I would have to say I enjoy the impressionist movement. The one image that left an impact on me would be Degas: Dance rehersal. I love the colors he used and how much action is going on at one time. The instructor is doing his job while the dancers are either watching or dancing. He used dark colors around the background area and then the dancers are painted in pink tutus. I love the contrast of colors he used. I also love the painting of ballet rehersal because of the brightness and delicacy of it. It brings back memories of being a kid too.
    Images that did not really catch my attention were the ones of buildings or of just the colors. I like to see an actual image of people because I can get an idea of a story behind the reason of creating it.

    20th Century:
    I would have to say that I prefer Picasso. We just wrote a paper about artists in english and I wrote about Picasso. I love his artwork and the time periods that he created them. Every piece of work he has done, I can get an idea of a story from it. I can tell when he painted it too. I just enjoy his intriguing works of art. Out of the pictures shown, I would have to say I like the picture of the bird by picasso. It is very simple but I enjoy images like that. If I could choose any picture I would choose The Old Guitarist. It is one of my favorite pieces by him. I would choose Picasso’s artwork to collect between the two. I just enjoy what he draws and why he does it. I would say that Picasso understood his time periods better. When looking at his art, you can just tell when he painted and why. Picasso is one of my favorite artists.

  29. Tasha Jenkins says:

    I believe Robert Motherwell meant that as modern societies allow their citizens more freedom, art has also been able to break free from norms and express different feelings and use different techniques. While many artists before expressed what they saw, modern art has had more freedom and artists now express their feelings in art as well. Modern-day artists have fewer limits on what they can create that will still be appreciated by a large number of people. I enjoy modern art. I like that things aren’t always symmetrical and that a painting doesn’t have to “make sense” or look like anything in particular. This allows me to view the art piece and take from it what I want, while allowing everyone else to create their own feelings about the piece and take from it entirely different ideas that what I have imagined.

    • Helen Marie Brandon says:


      I completely agree with your Motherwell interpretation. Artists felt more free to do the art they wanted to do that was away from the norms. I enjoy modern art as well because artists seem to want to illicit some form of emotion from their viewers. I see this less often in classical art. I like being able to interpret what I think I’m seeing, as well as try to interpret what the artist saw when he or she was working on the piece.

  30. Tasha Jenkins says:

    I love early modernist imagery. I like that they play with the colors and brushstrokes to create something beautiful and bright. I also agree with Monet that there is beauty in nature and I would prefer nature over living in a dirty city. I loved just about all of the images in this PowerPoint, but if I had to pick one that moves me the most, I would choose Giverny In Springtime by Monet. I love the nature setting and the bright colors that are included. The scene is also quite simple, there is not too much going on to make the painting overwhelming. I love that the trees seem to be dancing whimsically in a light breeze, with the grass following the lead.

    My least favorite image in this PowerPoint is by far Degas’ Little Dancer of 14. I have discussed this image previously, but I will elaborate a bit more. The girl seems saddened by something and leaves me feeling pity for her, without any real knowledge about her background. I guess I wouldn’t say that I am unmoved, because I do actually feel a great deal of sadness and pity for the girl, but I don’t usually like images that bring negative feelings to me. Instead, I like images that create a happy thought for me to ponder, rather than the alternative. As far as being moved, Degas does an excellent job stirring feelings for me with this piece, just not the kind of feelings I would like to dwell on.

  31. Tasha Jenkins says:

    While neither artist falls into the typical art styles that I prefer, I would choose Dali over Picasso. Many of Picasso’s pieces make me feel uncertain and uncomfortable. While I am able to take away some pleasure in even some of the more extreme pieces from Dali, Picasso’s seem childish and like random doodles all meshed together to create a piece. Dali has more creativity and uniqueness in his pieces that I am able to appreciate, while many of Picasso’s pieces don’t “speak” to me.

    The image that left the most vivid impact on my psyche is the image on slide 8 of the PowerPoint. I find it interesting the colors that Picasso chose to use for the man’s skin color, making it look blue and gray to me, a dusky-skinned individual. I find it interesting that the man is resting his arm on a large human head and face. I think this symbolizes the amount of power the man has, and yet he doesn’t appear to be in good health. The woman does not have much detail, but rather is a silhouette of a statue but still seems to keep the attention of the man, deep in thought. He is pondering something while still situating himself in a way that makes him appear as a self-certain type of person.

    I would choose to collect Dali’s works because of the creativity that he had. I like the way he used colors and usually makes a focal point in his pieces, and I don’t think Picasso did that as much.

    I believe Picasso understood his unique time better. Picasso does feed the times into his pieces more or rather lets the time present itself in his pieces. It is easier for me to pick out what time period a piece by Picasso would have been made, rather than Dali’s. Having said that, I think Dali’s has the potential of being more relevant to many time periods.

  32. Module- Monet Renoir
    My initial thoughts on early modernist imagery is that everything was very inspirational and it seemed to be that everything had a message behind it. I greatly enjoy that every piece is different and it seems to have its own story. The image that made the strongest impression on me was the painting “Woman With A Parasol”. The story of the painting was devastating and it could easily be seen. The colors of the painting demonstrated the feeling and described the story behind the painting. With a glance of the painting I was able to easily feel the sadness of the story. The image that left me unmoved was “JMN Turner, Rain, Steam, Speed: The Great Western Railway, 1844”. I really did not understand nor like this painting. Maybe it was because I am not an art pro but I did not understand the piece. I felt that it was a painting full of colors blended together with no meaning. I did not like it because I did not obtain any type of message.

  33. Module- Twentieth Century Thoughts
    Although the question asked what artist we preferred I must say that I cannot decide on which is my favorite. I greatly enjoyed both artists because I enjoyed both of their styles. I liked how both artists consisted of bright artwork that reflected uniqueness. The image that left the most impact was Dali’s Persistence of Memory. I greatly enjoyed this piece because of not only the bright colors but also the great three dimensional form of the painting. I feel that I am in the drawing with just taking a glance at it. I like that every color ties in with each other and all compliment the painting. If I could choose to collect between Picasso and Dali I would choose Dali. I would prefer Dali because I enjoy his funky style of art. I find his painting unique and very fun as well as professional. I enjoy that Dali’s artworks seem very spiritual and liberal. I think that when people see Dali’s painting they can easily recognize that it is his. I believe that Picasso understood his unique time better because I feel that his artworks can easily be separated into time frames. I feel that every painting consists of different elements that resemble the different time frames.I feel that Dali had great art pieces but they all seem the same.

  34. Marel Gil says:

    With regards to this quote, I would have to say that it has to do with art being free now compared to that from before the 20th century. If we think about it, art back then was sanctioned and one had to be very careful so not to insult someone of high power which would cause to retaliate. From the quote I understand that he is trying to say that as time has passed by, there is more liberty to paint more things too. Back in Greece and ancient Rome, there was a limited amount of resources that could be used and it was very expensive but now a days there are much more resources that can be used to do art and now it doesn’t even consist of only paint, stone or a canvas; anything can be art and it can be made out of anything. I think that some Modern art is very interesting. The only thing is that everyone has its on take on it and what I see may not be what the artist was going for. I feel like I am lacking something when it comes to looking at Modern art since at times I just don’t get it. Of course, there are some things that I just find to be so fascinating and very nice but in all, I think I’ll stick with the classics.

    Impressionism PowerPoint:
    My initials thoughts were of amusement. I absolutely love Monet and his artwork. I think that they are stunning not only by the images but also because of the colors. They seem to be dreamlike and it’s so soothing to look at them and see what it is trying to depict. I just can’t seem to get over the scenes and even more the technique used to make this paintings. It’s something new and different from the rest of the art work up until now. The image that I absolutely love would have to be Main Path Through Giverny Garden. I just want to go there and sit under all those trees and amongst the flowers. The bright colors are what attract me so much to this painting than all the others. Again with this one, it seems like it something that I would dream about since I can tell what it might be but it’s not something very clear or tangible. The one image that left me unmoved would have to be Weeping Willows. I don’t seem to see anything. I know from the title I should see some trees but in truth I can’t seem to be able to spot it out and see the image clearly like I can with Monet’s other work. Also the dark colors don’t seem to be very appealing to me. In this painting it seems like he started to draw something that he would normally draw and then from there changed his mind and then just tried to paint over it and couldn’t make up his mind what it was that he wanted to draw. Maybe I’m just lacking some sort of understanding, or maybe some creativity and imagination to see what it is that I’m supposed to see.

    20th Century PowerPoint:
    If I were to pick between Picasso and Dali I would have to choose Dali. I seem to like Dali much more than Picasso’s because Picasso’s paintings seem to be so abnormal and abstract and it’s hard for me to concentrate on just one thing and take something from it. I feel like it’s so crowded and that there is confusion in his art work. Now on the other hand with Dali, I find his creations to be fascinating. They seem to be out of this world but not in a very strange way. The one image that I absolutely loved would have to be the one of Dali in the background with the cats flying through the window, a chair being thrown and the water in mid-air. I feel like to be able to accomplish such a feat in that time of technology without out super imposing them is just so wonderful. I mean if you look closely you can tell that the painting along with other things are being held in air by strings but to capture the cats, water and even him in that way just seems perfect. If I could own one of the two I would hands down pick Dali’s collect. I feel like I can find it to be much more amusing and I can make a connection with the art work unlike Picasso’s stuff. With his, I can’t really tell what’s going on and I can’t figure out what it is that I should be looking for. Now with Dali, even though his things are so much different, they just seem to fit together and make some sense. I believe that the artist that understood his unique time the best would be Picasso. He took what was going on around him, not only in his mind and his emotions but also what was going on in the country and the government and he amplified it to express what was going on around him.

  35. I must agree with this statement above. I do believe that the history of modern art is the history of modern freedom. I believe that art is history and a storyteller. Many of the stories that we know today is because of the interpretation of past art. I think that this statement means that art is not only present to be enjoyed but also to help others understand an unknown past. I feel that an art piece can easily tell as story and understood by many. Art is available in many languages that everyone can understand.

  36. Christiane Dolores says:

    Powerpoint Questions

    Which artist do you prefer (Picasso or Dali) and why? I very much prefer Picasso over Dali. The reason I prefer him is because of my like for him when I was a child. I took an art class when I was young and had to research and get to know an artist; thus, the artist I chose as a child was Picasso. I like Picasso’s use of color and abstractly presenting his pieces. It takes a while to understand his pieces, which I understand is like Dali’s, but I feel like Picasso still grasps the idea of reality. Dali’s pieces are always too abstract in which it seems very unreal to me.

    Which image left the most vivid impact on your psyche and why? Although I prefer Picasso over Dali, the image that left the most vivid impact on my psyche was Dali’s “Persistence of Memory.” A big reason why it made such a big impact on my mind is because, to me, I think the reasoning behind this artwork is HUGE on time. In our memories, memories of our past begin to dwindle and we forget the exact time of that memory; however, we always remember them vaguely and it’s so far away (which is why I notice that it looks as if the setting is in a far away location, just how it is in our brain). I like this one the most, because it is current with any time – no matter what era we are in, our memory does not change.

    If you could own a “Picasso” or a Dali”, which artist would you chose to collect and why? I would probably like to own Picasso’s pieces for collection with the reason being because of the history behind it. I also like the changes within Picasso’s art through the years; it’s as if he developed a new style with each and every hardship he went through.

    Which artist do you believe understood his unique time better—Picasso or Dali and why? Just like what I answered in the previous answer, I think that Picasso understood his unique times better. With each and every hardship he went through or difficult endurance, his style changed adapting to portraying that part of his life.

  37. Christiane Dolores says:

    In a way, I believe with Motherwell’s statement. Modern art is a lot more expressive than it used to be – what I mean by that is it’s a lot more graphic. Today’s artwork shows more war, more expressionism – thus, I think today’s art has much more freedom than it used to be. In the past, art was more of a way to remember things. As it progressed, it became an expression. That’s how I feel art has progressed through centuries. In Egyptian art, much of the art that was left was to “leave a message.” They left pieces of their Pharaohs, and left pieces that would leave a mark of their people. As time progressed, it became “contraband,” in which it was a form of expression.

  38. jessica baker says:

    I would have to say the modern art seems more free spirit and more in touch with environment around them. I’d have to say all the ballerina pictures really made the strongest impression. Because it brought a smile to my face. It reminded me of my little nieces and how free of no worries they have when they are dancing. Also some of them are really young and just do their own thing on stage and just reminds you how simple things are at that age!There wasn’t really any picture that I didn’t like. I like paintings an pictures of nature it reminds me of serenity. Where people are doing something like dancing; something they enjoy.
    To me Id really never choose any of these artist. The work seems complicated. I would say Dali would better understood his unique time better because Picasso was at the first vs Dali who could learn form him and they both showed chaotic work. Both very extreme and different from other artist.

  39. dana vargas says:

    I believe that Robert Motherwell was trying to say that art reflects freedom in some way throughout all of history. When we look back at art from back then until now, we see freedom in some way. Freedom is expressed sometimes as a hope or a wish in pieces of artwork. Sometimes people are rebelling through their artwork. They may be trying to express a freedom that is not present at that moment in time.
    I think that he also might have meant (referring to modern art) that art is progressive and adapts to what freedom allows it to. What might not have been popular has changed and modern art reflects these changes. Art is about expression and expression is directly linked to freedom. Art is freedom of expression in so many ways.

  40. dana vargas says:

    Thoughts on the 20th Century Power Point

    If I had to choose between Picasso and Dali I would choose Dali’s artwork. A lot of Picasso’s artwork does not make sense to me. Maybe it is too complex for me to understand. Dali’s images are more “free” and fun to look at. They are entertaining to me. The piece that intrigued me the most by Dali was “Persistence of Memory”. I love all the colors used in it and I like how the colors in the sky vary. They are not just simply blue. If I could own a Dali or a Picasso, I would definitely choose a Dali. The piece that I would choose (over all the pieces presented in the power point) is again “Persistence of Memory”. I find it so intriguing and I find it very interesting how the clock is melting off the tree. It seems to say (to me) even as time ticks away, things of importance will always be remembered. This could also be related to art. For example, even after an artist ceased to exist, their artwork will always remain to leave lasting impressions among many to come.

    • dana vargas says:

      i just realized that i skipped a question…. i think that Picasso understood his unique time better. although i do not prefer his artwork i can respect it. it seems to adapt and change over time. he seems to be able to appeal to a greater audience and i think this is something that is mandatory in order to understand your unique time.

  41. Bonnie Sam says:

    “The history of modern art…is the history of modern freedom.” Robert Motherwell makes perfect sense. I agree with his quote because the history of art seem very controversial in the past because the expression of individual ideas weren’t always ‘accepted’ by the public. The transition into freedom seemed to impact the art world. Modern art possesses the care-free style of expression because social pressures don’t impact that content of modern art. It’s interesting to see the developing styles of art throughout time because the society has great influence on the portrayal of art.

    Modernism appears to consist of an emphasized appreciation for nature because Wordsworth, Rousseau, and Descartes all believe in the communion of nature and spirits. When Claude Monet introduced the uses of light effects, the Impressionist era began. The style of brushstrokes were rapid and the color was broken. The piece that moved me the most has to be the Main Path Through Giverny Garden, 1900 by Monet. The painting is flourished with color making the garden beautiful. The uneven shadows scattered upon the path is incredibly realistic with very vivid blossoms of flowers within the bushes along the path. It is surely an amazing piece of work. In contrast, Monet’s Weeping WIllows, 1918, were not very luring. The painting appears unattractive because the painting seems very vague and the content is indistinguishable. The depiction is confusing and the colors simple mush together. I believe it’s not interesting to me because I don’t know how to interpret this painting.

    Between Picasso and Dali, I think I prefer Dali even though I’ve heard about Picasso more. Dali’s paintings “Persistence of Memory” and Premonition of Civil War” are awesome. I love the rich, bold colors. Even though Picasso uses bold, bright colors in his Le Reve paintings, I can’t seem to understand his expression of ideas within his pieces. The compilation of colors and object don’t seem to make much sense to me. I believe i like the “Persistence of Memory” because the ‘melting’ clocks are very unique and painted very well. The realistic portrayal is amazing. I would love to collect Dali’s collection if I could. I partly want to say Picasso understand the time better because he freely expressed his thoughts and ideas on the canvas even if the paintings don’t make any sense to me. Although Dali portrayed much of his ideas through vivid, creative methods, I believe they equally express their ideas well for this time period.

  42. dana vargas says:

    Monet Power Point

    My initial thoughts on early modernist imagery are of happiness. I see the paintings and they are just gorgeous. I am a huge fan of color as I have mentioned before and I absolutely adore how much color Monet uses in his artwork. The image that left the biggest impact on me was “Main Path Through Giverny Garden”. I think this path appeals to me most because I have always wanted to have a garden, but I never have been able to live in a place where I could grow one. I would absolutely love to be surrounded by flowers in my back yard. I feel like Monet paints in a way to make each painting look like a fantasy. It is breathtaking! I don’t quite know why, but the painting “Main Path Through Giverny Garden”, reminds me of my upcoming graduation. I guess graduation has been consuming my thoughts lately because every painting I see that involves some sort of a pathway makes me think of graduation. I guess I am just overly excited! This may be another reason this Monet painting draws my attraction.
    The image that left me the most unmoved was Degas “Little Dancer of 14”. I feel like it is so bland. There is no color to draw me in and I am intrigued by various colors when it comes to artwork. Furthermore, this little dancer does not look very happy. I am not saying that she necessarily looks sad but she doesn’t look happy. If I had to pick an expression for her, I would have to say ambitious. She looks ambitious and I think it’s great that the artist was able to depict that in this image, but I would still say it falls within my least favorite of all the images presented.

  43. Robin McKinney says:

    Motherwell, “The history of modern art…is the history of modern freedom.”
    I believe Motherwell meant that there are no boundaries for modern art. The artist have freedom of expression in modern art. I personally do not care for most modern art. It is just not my idea of moving work. I know artist pour themselves into their artwork, but I generally do not feel moved by it. Paint splatters is only beautiful to me when my kids do it. I just do not usually understand the meaning behind the art and rarely find the beauty of it. I still have respect for the modern art, but it is just not my favorite type of art.

  44. Robin McKinney says:

    My initial thoughts on modernist imagery is depending on the work. I enjoy Monet, Degas, and Renoir. I think Monet’s work is moving. I enjoyed his work on the paintings regarding the Giverny. I found him to be more in tuned with nature and I enjoy nature paintings. I think “Giverny in Springtime” moved me the most of the power point. This painting reminded me of springtime and I really enjoy all the colors in nature in springtime. The image that left me unmoved was Monet’s “Weeping Willows”. I found his sadness in the painting and I just did not find the passion in the painting. I felt his sadness, but saw mainly swirls of dark colors. I just did not enjoy the darkness. I could feel that he just had a lot of emotions he was working through at this point in life and it left me unsatisfied.

  45. Robin McKinney says:

    Early 20th Century Thoughts
    I think I prefer Dali to Picasso. I have never been a fan of Picasso’s distorted images in his art work. I think he was a great artist and had passion for art since he was young. He was well respected and I think he probably understood “his unique time better”, but maybe he was a little egocentric. I feel that he was such a respected artist at his time that he felt he could do no wrong with his work. I am just guessing and realize that by far I am no art critic. I respect his work as a great or legendary artist, but I just do not enjoy his work as much as I do some of the other artist that we have seen. I had trouble finding much images in this power point that I felt moved by or enjoyable, but Dali’s “Persistence of Memory” is one that I liked. I also enjoyed the picture of Dali with everything in motion. Water splashing upward, Dali jumping, cats jumping, etc. I found myself smiling at this picture. I also like the picture of Dali and his cat. I viewed him as a comical character and Picasso as a serious type. I think that played a part in how I viewed their work. I like things that make me smile or that brings me inspiration.

  46. Margaret de la Rosa says:

    Like many of the sentiments expressed on this blog, I believe that Motherwell was trying to emphasize the lack of inhibition shown by the artists during this modern period. They were ready to break from the norms of “proper” art and express themselves however they felt like doing so. I personally find modern art rather intriguing as the personalities and ideas of the artists definitely shine through. Even though they might look a little strange and maybe a bit too bold sometimes, I appreciate what the artists are trying to convey through their unconventional styles. It makes viewing more enjoyable as you are trying to piece together the meaning of the art work.

  47. Eason Dong says:

    I think he is true on that statement. Art equals freedom by some means. In the past, some artist cannot do a lot of work because they have limitations either by government or by the society. The modern art can be anything nowadays. As far as the modern art, I like it because it makes more sense to me. I think when the time changes by, people start to understand the art much better. Modern art is closer to us compare to the others.

  48. Margaret de la Rosa says:

    Module Response- Impressionism

    My initial thoughts on early modernist imagery is that majority of it was set in landscapes and different outdoor sceneries. Water, clouds, grass, and plants were prominent fixtures in the early modernist era. There is a sense of serenity and peacefulness in these paintings. I noticed that the style in which these paintings were created is also distinct from the previously discussed modules. The brush stroke creates a sort of blurred effect, as though you were viewing this in a dream. I actually enjoy this modernist style better because it is more laid-back and easy on the eyes. I also am a big fan of the outdoors as I find these images to be very relaxing. The image that made the strongest impression on me from this module is the painting “Main Path Through Giverny Garden” by Monet. I really liked the colors used in the painting and the setting in which it was in. It’s just very peaceful and would be something I would display in my home. I think it touched me the most because it reminded me of happy childhood days in my home country. The Rouen Cathedral, on the other hand, left me unmoved because it was something that didn’t capture my attention. The image was so vague and the colors were unappealing to me. I like things that are more on the colorful side. Also, the cathedral isn’t something that I’m particularly interested in so I didn’t care much for the image.

  49. Margaret de la Rosa says:

    Module Response- Thoughts on the Twentieth Century

    I prefer Picasso better Dali’s work was a little too much for me. I think his work is too eccentric for me to fully understand. Picasso’s work was more relatable and distinguishable. The image that left the most vivid impact on my psyche was Dali’s “Persistence of Memory.” This is probably because it was so different from anything I’ve seen before. Clocks were melting and warped and in a desert-looking environment. I’m not really sure what all this means as I don’t know much about art, but just the initial shock value of the piece was enough to leave an impression on me. If I could collect one of these artists, I’d probably choose Picasso because his work seems to have some sort of common theme. I liked his Le Reve painting so that would probably be one of the more prized possessions because of how colorful and intriguing it is. I believe that Picasso may have understood his time better as his work seemed to reflect the events occurring during his time.

  50. Stephanie Gonzales says:

    I am not exactly a large fan of either Picasso or of Dali. While I do enjoy both of them to an extent I would not say the leave a large impact on me. I feel as if this is because I am constantly exposed to the same few pieces by each artist and I have somewhat lost an appreciation for them due to overexposure. If I chose to collect one of the artists I would want to collect the pieces from Picasso.

    I enjoyed Motherwell’s statement on freedom and modern art. In a way as time moved on artists had more freedom of expression. The firm structure of previous pieces of art is shifted to incorporate more interpretation as well as blurred lines.

  51. Alexia Betts says:

    What do you believe Motherwell meant by this statement and what are your thoughts on Modern art?
    I think Motherwell’s statement is a way of viewing modern art from a postmodern perspective, in that, the idea behind postmodernism is to defy the high modernism of the time. Thus, I think that the history of modern art being considered the “history of modern freedom” is a way of saying that modern art has historically defied the high modernism or socially acceptable appearance/ creation of art.

  52. Alexia Betts says:

    Motherwell cont’d: I adore modern art because of its defiance. Jackson Pollock, for instance, literally thrust paint onto canvases; this technique is questionable, controversial, and artistic. I like the different forms and how artists such as Picasso and Dali could reign in modern art when more conventional artists such as Raphael and Leonardo were once the standard.

    Though I do not completely grasp some of Picasso’s work, I prefer his work over Dali’s. Dali to me simply represents a sort of random madness, while Picasso seemed to actually strategically pick which features he wanted to accentuate and every line within his works seemed to serve a purpose. Premonition of the Civil War left the most vivid impact on my psyche though, because it is just so grotesque. The sight of the work itself is sickening, but suppose that is the point, in that the thought of a nation at war with itself is a sickening, grotesque thought. If I could own a Picasso I would. Picasso is so recognizable, valuable, and versatile, that it could complement any room, and would make a great talking piece. I think Dali, on the other hand, may have understood his unique time better b/c all of his works seemed to have a bold statement to make, while Picasso seemed more self centered and solely interested in being the most unique and incomprehensible.

  53. Upon reflection of the life and work of the two great artists, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, I would say that I prefer Dali’s works rather than Picasso’s. This comparison is not based on the artistic style or technique, for both men represents an uncanny visual aesthetic that artists today strive to aspire, if not imitate. The choice is based on what the artwork represent with consideration to the personal, social and political context it belonged. While Picasso’s fame had virtually spared him during Hitler’s time, he was left unscathed even after the regime when people publicly criticized those who had the slightest affiliation to Nazism or Fascism (Pablo Picasso Biography). Salvador Dali, on the other hand, was very vocal about what the Nazi had systematically deprived the human race.
    Dali’s The Persistence of Memory had left a strong impression as a new representation of the qualities of time. Time, as we believe, is something that is stoic and unchangeable. However, in the painting, Dali depicted his surrealist impression of the collapse of this cosmic order. He had incorporated time, man and death in what is to become his most famous painting.
    In retrospect however, if I were to choose which painting I would want to for my own aesthetic pleasure, I would choose Dali’s two depictions of The Basket of Bread. It is probably because bread is not only the sustenance of one’s being but because it depicts his impression of Hitler’s irrational hunger.
    In conclusion, Picasso and Dali are both great artists and were able to influence a majority of artists up to now. I believe that being regarded as a sarcastic genius, Picasso was not compelled to look into the society’s evils as much as Salvador Dali. Picasso was imprisoned in his own secluded being that did not allow him to see what occurred outside. Whilst Dali has incorporated his personal convictions during a time of war and unrest into his art describing the reality therein.

  54. Mitch Cain says:

    Blog Response:

    In regards to what Motherwell said about modern art, I will say that his opinion on the matter is not wrong, but I think it only tells part of the story. When considering the work of artists following WWII and how expressionism and other avant-garde forms of art began to emerge we must also remember that even in the 1970’s American culture was still very conservative. Indeed, one could even argue (in the sense of what it publicly tolerated in modern times) that this is still true. I view this development as a rebellion against not only societal norms but artistic norms. In that sense, yes, Motherwell is correct. The decades following WWII were filled with rebellion and social upheaval and it is that which I believe Motherwell meant in this statement.

    I view modern art as both awesome (in the original sense of the word) and the source of the debate over what qualifies as art. Some modern art is obviously the product of talented hands and minds and this reality is visible even the the casual observer. Other pieces of art are a few brush strokes on a white canvas or a machine that signs the artists name over and over again. It is the latter that causes many modern-day critics to proclaim that art isn’t what it used to be, etc. I also think that modern art has become a sort of negative connotation that is often associated with low quality or simplistic looking works.

  55. Asia Polee says:

    I agree with Motherwell’s statement. When art was controlled it was defined by society’s perspective and based on revolutionary constriction. As modern art progressed so did the lessening of bigotry and restrictive forms of political art towards freedom of expression, thought, truth and reality.

    Learning Module: Impression Monet Renoir
    My initial thoughts on early modernist imagery is that some art is seen as creative and unique in variety, while others can be blasé, mundane and a little over exaggerated. The image that I was drawn to was Monet’s “Impression” piece. I like the soft coloring and rapid brushstrokes of light and air. The pastel colors of gray and blue mesh really well together. This piece mad me feel tranquil and at piece. The image that left me unmoved was “The Weeping Willows.” I’m a little confused when looking at this painting from afar. If I didn’t look closely or had read the title I wouldn’t have realized it was a painting of Willow Trees. From a person who had never looked at Monet’s work I would think I was looking at a bunch of scribbles. This painting of Monet’s leaves me a little unsettled and puzzled. I just wish the brush strokes were more vivid to the eye.

    Learning Module: Early Twentieth Century Thoughts
    I prefer Picasso over Dali. Picasso’s work makes you think for yourself like his Cubism pieces. The image that left the most vivid image was the “Premonition of Civil War” because of the obscure deformity of body parts decapitated to make the image appear as if the limbs were sucking the life out of its existence. If I could own a piece of artwork to collect it would be Picasso because he was very gifted in the works of painting, printmaking, sculpturing and ceramics. The artist that understood his time period was Picasso. Art was changing and his outlook on art was way beyond anyone’s imaginative mind.

  56. Jessica Chang says:

    The history of art is the history of modern freedom, as we in the Western civilizations as well as a few other civilizations know it as well. In my opinion, this statement by Motherwell more than accurately describes the modern trial for expression, and genius if one goes as far as to achieve that. What is considered art is moving farther and farther away from containing rules to make it acceptable, or recognized as truly great. No longer is the subject matter or medium a ground for dismissal of what would be an otherwise a unique and finely composed work of art.

    In my opinion, having great artistic periods such as the Renaissance, with such impactful geniuses such as Michelangelo and Da Vinci, has left a time period in attempt of its own greatness in history. The passionate artist does not simply want to make something visually pleasing, but wants to create something provocative, moving, and unforgettable. All this is to be done while maintaining an individuality away from the robot. This is what modern art is encompasses.

  57. Mitch says:

    Learning Module – 20th Century Thoughts

    When having to decide between the two artists, Dali and Picasso, I found it difficult to decide who I preferred. In the end, I have to say Dali. I find his art very compelling and awe inspiring. That is not to say Picasso’s work is unimpressive. No, instead I would say that Dali has a gift for expressing the surreal in a way that Picasso did not. I find Dali’s art as eccentric as the man himself. His mustache practically says all one needs to know about his vibrant personality. I’ve always been drawn to strange art and people and I believe that was a key factor in my attraction to that art of Dali.

    The slide simply titled ‘Dali’ left the most vivid impact on my psyche and it was no contest. There is so much going on in this photograph it’s almost hard to grasp. The shadows, the water, the cats, the apparent zero gravity effect and the black and white rendering combine to make this picture look more like a dream than a real image.

    I would rather own a Dali. As previously stated, I find his perspective unique and his work less cliche than Picasso. I would be honored to own either a Picasso or a Dali, but I would enjoy looking at a Dali more so than I would a Picasso. Art in the home is also decorative, and I think a Dali better fits my tastes in that area as well.

    I don’t know, and can’t know, which artist understood their time period more or better but I can say that I find Dali’s art strikes me as more surreal (if such a term exists) than Picasso’s. I think Dali’s depth of field and loose ties to realism make his work all that more surreal and his perspective on the art is something that I believe identifies his understanding of what he was doing. I am far from an expert in this matter, but Dali’s art is dream like, something I could see my self imagining in my sleep. I believe that this had to be intentional and indactes Dali understood that he was in a special era in the history of art.

  58. Kevin Stratton says:

    I believe that modern art can have any shape or form. While classical art such as painting, drawing, photography and sculpting where all normal ways to create art anything outside of those methods were not considered art. In todays modern society anything can be art because anybody can be an artist. As silly as it may sound I consider Tiger Woods to be an artist. He is not your conventional artist. He uses a small white ball to create a master piece throughout 18 holes. There is no canvas or a photo but the process of him playing golf is art to me. The creativity he uses from shot to shot creates something magical. Modern artists do not make art that is keen to the eye. They make art that shouts “HEY! Look at me. Im different.” I truly believe that modern art has no limitations.

  59. Mitch says:

    Learning Module – Impressionism

    My initial thoughts on early modernist imagery are that it is strikingly beautiful and the notion that we feel therefore we are truly expresses itself in these works of art. These pieces strike me with their realism and their pastel colors. The combination makes a for a pleasurable viewing experience.

    Monet’s ‘Poplar Trees’ left me with the strongest impression. I found the piece to be rather moving and beautiful and it reminded me of a military formation (or something similar). I believe that I was moved by this piece in particular because of the use of purple and it’s relation to royalty throughout history.

    I found ‘Ballet Rehersal’ to be unmoving and leaving me wanting. It felt like something I have seen a thousand time and it came off as rather uninspired. I have been wrong before, but that is how I felt when I viewed this painting.

  60. Eason Dong says:

    Learning module Monet Renoir
    I like the impressionism because I think they explain the art well. Impressionism makes people think more about the art instead of being straight forward to the core. Obviously it will create more controversy, but we all know the more buzz, the better for this industry.

    I pick the La Grenouillere picture. I like it because I think this picture translate the story and scene very well. I can tell the story and imagine other things when I look at the picture. I also like the water and the reflection. I think the technique is great.

    I dont like the Weeping Willows because it is too vague that people may not understand the idea. I would prefer a much straight forward way to pay a tribute to the fallen soldiers.

  61. Michael Leary says:

    I believe Motherwell’s statement has to do with the fact that Modern art came around the time where we as a society were starting to become more lenient and less restrained and restricted in our ability to express individual ideas and thoughts. This modern freedom in society lent itself to more free expression in art by their respective artists. The artists were able to say much more without having to worry too much about the restrictions of society.

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