Avant-Garde: 1910-2010 - Roy LeBlanc

A depiction of some of the most challenging artwork over the last hundred years.  Each piece is meant to challenge the viewers preconceived notion of art.

Kazimir Malevich was an activist in support of the Russian Revolution. His works where bold, clean, and minimal representing efficiency and optimism. In "Suprematism" we clearly see the defined black and white colors. Malevich uses a vanishing point to draw our eyes inward created a sense of depth in a very two-dimensional piece.
Lajos Kassak was best known for his creative advertising and book cover designs. Here is one of his most important works. Using very minimal color and line, he is able to carefully guide our eyes across the cover. Unfortunately for Kassak, this book was never published. Notice his very careful use of the color red.
"A Bud" created by Hana Wichterlova came from a prominent family of business men and scientist. "A Bud" in the literal sense can represent a flower before bloom. But based on the bold smooth feel of the sculpture, we may assume that this piece is in support of feminism. Wichterlova may have been arguing for her self in response to the many accomplishments of her male family members.
In celebration of the traditional Indian folk art, Jamini Roy created pieces of bold expression mixing theavant-garde feeling of European artists of the time with Japanese painting techniques to created fun and child like images. During this time, India was seeking independence and Roy strived to represent the Indian culture in a positive influence.
"Shi De" is representative of a Tang Dynasty ruler. This piece was created using ceramics. It is meant to be inviting. The front of the body presents us with many "Windows" which invoke space. The man is also holding a broom. We see an efficient man who represents the common people. Shinzo Tsuji created this using very simple cubist shapes and lines.
Roger Hilton believe the artist should let the art speak for itself. He believed you had to let art do the work. As we see in the piece "Space" very crude and simple use of color create a bold tension. Since there are not any straight lines to speak of, there is also a smoothness presented here. We can look at this piece and allow our minds to wander.
Enrique Careaga's art was influenced by the pop art movement and he often expressed this fascination using geometric shapes. "Sphere" is a sphere broken into three parts. It almost seems as if the piece is staring at the viewer. There, in the lower right corner, is a diagonal line, which pushes the sphere slightly off center to the upper left. This creates a sense of depth otherwise devoid in most two-dimensional paintings.
"The End of the Avant-garde" is a piece which displays exactly what the title says. It represents a year and an image which defines the art that time. Each card is separated by blue lines to guide the viewers eye smoothly between each image. By claiming Avant-garde art is dead, Martin Kippenberger effectively creates an event-garde piece of work.
Oleg Tselkov was expelled from several art schools because of his extreme style. He often create pieces which are meant to disgust. Using odd shapes and conturing the human body. "Suckling" features what appears to be a large male head sucking his index finger. The entire image is painted in shades of blue. It gives a feeling of vulnerability, while also created a confusing tension. Here is what appears to be a grown man sucking his finger. Should we feel sad or disappointed?
"Learning to Love You More" is a collaboration piece created before the height of social media. The piece suggest people do such things as take a picture of strangers holding hands or take a picture of a protest sign and then protest. This was a project which lasted for over 8 years and now is kept online as a archive. Is this art? Maybe not in the traditional sense. But it depends on the definition of art. If we think of art as a medium to create awareness and not so much as set of guidelines, then this is absolutely art! However, if we judge off of the simple ideas of design and use of color, we may find we are stuck to come up with a sufficient argument in support of art. Just remember, art is in the eyes of the beholder.
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