Elements of realism
25 May – 24 June 017
Show me an angel and I will paint one. The words of Gustave Courbet aptly describes the realist movement. Coming to life around the 1850’s, this art form rests on the idea that everyday life and the world around us be suitable subjects for art.Realism was the first statement against the institution of the state and started a non-conformist movement among artists at the time. Post-revolution France saw newspaper printing and mass media gaining unprecedented popularity in the wake of the industrial revolution.
Artists like Gustave Courbet and Edouard Manet exploited this new found media frenzy to enhance their public status. The unblemished nature and rejection of idealim.
A Modern Journey: 21 April – 20 May 2017
Modern art was a response to the subjective, factual nature of the industrial age. Artists sought to express themselves through their art. An expression of their perspective, emotions and soul.
A trademark of the industrial revolution was urbanisation. As more people made their way into the city in search of jobs, life as they knew it would also change. New forms of leisure and enjoyment became a major influence in modern art. Art was no longer academic or reserved only for the rich and famous. People started making art about things that interested them – people, places and abstract ideas.
Many artists who we hold dear today come from that era. Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne and the like. Early impressionists ruffled the feathers with their new ways. Pictures were constructed from freely brushed colours as opposed to the more rigid, structured academic painting. On top of that, much of their work was done in the open air.
One could definitely describe this part of history as one where new ways and ideas were the order of the day. The impressionist movement was well represented by Monet, Cezanne, Renoir and company. A short while later artists like van Gogh and Munch were seeking ways to portray art with an element of exaggeration and abstraction. This move saw little pockets of change pop up all over Germany and was often done to evoke moods and ideas.
These movements continued for a number of years and its influence was not only limited to art. Other parts of society, such as music, theatre and even architecture, were also to explore new measures of expression.