Monday, July 02, 2018

Artists and Their Lives

This series on art has taught me on many things on the beauty and wonder of art. Every time you look at the diversity of the works of art, you vividly witness fully proportion, creativity, colorful images, rhythm, and scale. I have learned so much about the exquisite history, the inspiring culture, and the diversity as it relates to art too. One of the great functions about art is that it focuses heavily on uniqueness plus fluidity. In other words, art can be simplistic or complex in its basic formulations. For thousands of years, art has motivated our interests, developed our officiousness (or our investigative spirit), and expanded our originality. It has been on the forefront of human expression and the wide array of social movements. For example, the paintings of ancient Egypt, the megaliths of Stonehenge, the bronze statues of ancient Nigeria, the glorious paintings of the Harlem Renaissance, and the Impressionist works outline the best of human artistic displays. Museums worldwide give the public an in-depth outpouring of the greatness of human imagery. From graffiti to architecture, no one can deny the cultural significance of art. Genius existed among artists spanning numerous millennia. Leonardo da Vinci used exquisite minutia to outline his drawings, and paintings. Augusta Savage was a great black woman who formulated sculptures with magnificent expertise and stunning detail. So, we acknowledge not only the famous legends of art. We also honor unsung artists who work without fanfare. They have exhibited genius and exceptional talent as well. On many occasions, tons of unsung artists haven’t received their due credit, but artists (who aren’t well known) ought to be respected for their talents, sacrifice, and other inspirational qualities as well. Now, this work will greatly expound on some of the greatest artists in human history along with delving into the quest of finding the meaning of art in general.

She was a genius and a trailblazer in art. She was Sister Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller and she lived from June 9, 1877 to March 18, 1968. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was the place of her birth and she could not only paint. She could sculpt and write poetry magnificently as well. Of her generation, her imagination was incredible and she was a protégé of Augusta Rodin. A celebration of Afrocentric themes consisted of her displays too. She worked hard every day of her life. She was an excellent sculptor in Paris too. She is famous for creating the sculpture of Mary Turner. She was the young, married, and pregnant black woman who was lynched in 1918. This was a day after Mary Turner protested the lynching of her husband. Warrick made classics before the Harlem Renaissance too. Her parents were leading people of the African American community. Warrick was trained in art, music, dance, and horseback riding. She won a scholarship to the School of Industrial Art (PMSIA or the University of the Arts College of Art and Design today) back in 1894. She lived in Paris, France by 1899 to study art. She experienced racial discrimination at the American Women’s Club, but she continued to make excellent works. She made sculptors and revolutionary imagines. She was a friend and confidant of the late African American sociologist W.E.B. DuBois. DuBois encouraged her including French sculptor Auguste Rodin. She the first African-American woman to receive a U.S. government commission: she created a series of tableaux depicting African-American historical events for the Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition, held in Norfolk, Virginia in 1907. The display included fourteen dioramas and 130 painted plaster figures depicting scenes such as slaves arriving in Virginia in 1617 and the home lives of black peoples. She married Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller back in 1907. She lived to be 90 by passing away in March 18, 1968. Now, people know about her and respect the essence of her journey.

Pablo Picasso made dynamic imagery. He was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, stage designer, poet, and playwright. He was born in Spain and lived much of his adult life in France. He lived to the year of 1973 being 91 years old. He co-founded the Cubist movement and he was one of the most influential artists in history. He was also a co-inventor of the collage for many styles. He is famous for the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907), and Guernica (1937), a dramatic portrayal of the bombing of Guernica by the German and Italian air forces. The bombing happened during the Spanish Civil War, which was about the Republican forces battling against the fascist forces in Spain. His life has gone through many phases and he has universal respect for his contributions to the essence of art in general. Not to mention that he was influenced by African art. He saw African artifacts and was inspired to develop his African influenced works from 1907 to 1909.

Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath who studied paintings, invention, science, architecture, music, mathematics, engineering, literature, anatomy, geology, astronomy, botany, writing, history, and cartography. He is considered an innovator of paleontology and architecture. He was one of the greatest painters of all time. From the Mona Lisa, the Last Supper, etc., he influenced the scale of art in a wide scale. He represented the Renaissance humanist ideal. He drew plans for a tank, a parachute, and a helicopter. Throughout his life, he had a powerful sense of curiosity and imagination. He made 13,000 pages of notes and drawings. He made observations of the world that he saw. Most of Leonardo's writings are in mirror-image cursive. While secrecy is often suggested as the reason for this style of writing, it may have been more of a practical expediency. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it was probably easier for him to write from right to left. These notebooks—originally loose papers of different types and sizes, distributed by friends after his death—have found their way into major collections such as the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, the Louvre, the Biblioteca Nacional de España, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, which holds the twelve-volume Codex Atlanticus, and British Library in London, which has put a selection from the Codex Arundel (BL Arundel MS 263) online. The Codex Leicester is the only major scientific work of Leonardo in private hands; it is owned by Bill Gates and is displayed once a year in different cities around the world.

A genius in portraying African American life, the painter Jacob Lawrence was a story teller involving art. He called his style, “dynamic cubism.” He was influenced by the surroundings of Harlem to honesty describe his works. He was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He used vivid colors and taught for 15 years as professor at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was one of the greatest artists of history. He was prominent as a legend of the 20th century. He depicted the Great Migration in great detail.  Lawrence's works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Reynolda House Museum of American Art. He is widely known for his modernist illustrations of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures. Augusta Savage helped Lawrence to get a scholarship to the American Artists School. He married the painter Gwendolyn Knight, who was also a student of Augusta Savage. He lived to be 82 and passed away in 2000. He made paintings of the journey of the African American pioneer George Washington Bush.

Faith Ringgold is 82 years old and she was born in Harlem, NYC. She is known for painting and creating textile arts too. Known for making great quilts, she is also known for creating sculptures, paintings, and children’s books. Her mother was a storyteller and a fashion designer. Her creative spirit grew. Ringgold lived next to Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes during her childhood. She traveled into Paris, Florence, and Rome to study art. She also visited the Louvre and other museums. She is known for making a diverse amount of artwork. She traveled into West Africa in 1976 and 1977 that influenced her to develop mask making, doll painting, and sculptures. She taught in the New York City Public school system and at the college level. By 1973, she developed art full time. Ringgold began her painting career in the 1950's after receiving her degree. She took inspiration from the writings of Baldwin and Amiri Baraka, African art, Impressionism, and Cubism to create the works she made in the 1960's. Her early work is composed with flat figures and shapes. Though she received a great deal of attention with these images, galleries and collectors were uncomfortable with them and she sold very little work.This is because many of her early paintings focused on the underlying racism in everyday activities.  These works were also politically based and reflected her experiences growing up during the Harlem Renaissance. These themes grew into maturity during the Civil Rights Movement and Women’s movement. She made political work in her American People Series of 1963. It portrays the American lifestyle in relation to the Civil Rights Movement and illustrates these racial interactions from a woman’s point of view. This collection asks the question “why?” about some basic racial issues in American society. Oil paintings like For Members Only, Neighbors, Watching and Waiting, and The Civil Rights Triangle also embody these themes. She wants people to know more about artists of color. She always has promoted black feminism and justice for people. She continues to fight the good fight.

By Timothy

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