Module 3 Google Art Project: The Functions of Art

For this week’s gallery, the first piece I selected is “Garden of Delight.” (2010) I selected this photograph (by Steve Weinik) of a mural (by David Guinn) in Philadelphia as an example of Art for Delight. I would identify this piece as a beautiful decoration created in a neighborhood to bring delight to those who pass by. It could also be argued that the mural offers the element of surprise, as those who haven't seen it before would definitely be surprised rounding the corner to see this work. The mural seems to be an extension of the garden below it. Looking at the mural I imagine the wind blowing through the garden as some parts of the mural seem to be swaying in the wind with blurred strips in the painting. The buildings in the mural seem to have a consistent appearance with the “real” buildings on the street.
The second piece I selected for this week’s gallery is “Woman in a Doorway,” (1962) by Fritz Fabian. I have selected this piece for my gallery to represent Art as Commentary. This may be off base from the artist original intention, but reading a little about the artist who choose to create this piece with watercolor and pencil on paper, led me to this category. I see the piece as communication from the artist to the viewer. I think the doorway with bright light shining through represents the possibilities we have in life, if we are not held back or detained in anyway. The artist was born in Berlin but deported to another region. Later in life he regained his German citizenship.
The third piece I selected this week represents Art in Worship and Ritual for me. “Apollo and his Chariot” is on display at the Hudson River Museum. The piece could be used to increase our knowledge of stories about Apollo. This porcelain piece, circa 1870-1890 is from an unknown maker. One of Apollo’s most important daily jobs was to harness his four horses to his chariot to move the sun across the sky. I believe this creator of this piece created it to show Apollo and his majesty as a God. Apollo is depicted in the porcelain seated in the chariot, giving direction or commands to the horses.
The forth piece I selected this week is just stunningly beautiful. Representing to me Art for Commemoration, “Ceremonial Cup” (ca 1697-1722), was created by Johann Melchoir Dinglinger. It is on exhibit at The Walters Art Museum and it was created in Germany. It covers multiple mediums, using agate, gold, silver gilt, enamel and semiprecious stones. The piece was created in honor of Augustus the Strong, elector of Saxony and king of Poland. The piece was first displayed 11 years before his death, and incorporated numerous different symbolic representations above, beside and below the agate bowl. Standing at only 29cm high, the piece includes depictions of a Polish prancing horse, sword of Poland, White Eagle, Crown of Poland, dogs and salamanders. All of these elements contributing to commemorate Augustus.
The fifth piece I selected this week represents the Art of Self Expression to me. The creator is unknown, created between 1650 and 1670. The textile with glass beads is on display at Cincinnati Art Museum, but was originally created in England. I may be off base with including this as Self Expression, but when I look at the piece, I see an artist placing themselves on an equal playing field with the animals and plants depicted in the work. The animals appear near equal size to the people depicted. I believe the piece can be used to connect to the personality of the artist. I imagine the artist depicting an event that was significant in his/her life. The male is handing a small tree branch to the female, which apparently referenced engagement or marriage during this time frame.
The final piece I selected this week is to represent Art for Persuasion. “The Tower of Babel” (1563) was created by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It is displayed at the Kunsthisorisches Museum Wien. It is an oil painting on wood. Our textbook this week refers to “Splendid” government buildings or public monuments when discussing persuasion. This piece definitely depicts what would have been splendid building, had it been completed. Most people during this time depicted a rectangular rather than round temple. Bruegel’s work has been frequently copied in numerous variations. The tower depicted is unfinished, showing scaffolding still in place. The story goes that God confused those building the tower by causing them all to speak different languages. Bruegel uses the story, his imagination and this art work to persuade the viewer that this is what the tower may have looked like.
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This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.