Masterpieces of Sculpture

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Art has continued to be redefined throughout the centuries. Its human works, an expression, a craft, collaborated or unconnected sounds, paintings, sculptures all of these and more can be defined as art. Modern art or art as we know it today has been a constant cycle of art movements over thousands of years. Recent movements, over the last fifty years, and the artists that represent these times seem to be determined to add and change perspectives, breaking traditional views and each on breaking more boundaries than the last.

Therefore art’s becoming more real grabbing the spectators demanding them to become a part of the piece. Among these movements installation art formed, in addition different mixtures emerged including the Happenings, Performance Art, and Interactive Art. All of these are combined and blurred together in some aspects, but are slightly diverse in characteristics. Installation art grew from works starting during the sixties, made with any type of media and/or different sculpting materials.

It’s generally a contemporary style created to make an experience in a particular space consisting of ordinary everyday places, which can be public or private. Installation art broke the boundaries of four walls, confined places, particularly in reference to the ones in typical art galleries where art was traditional viewed. (Installation Art, 2007) George Trakas an artist associated with early installation art states, “In my work I wanted to confront the spectators directly and draw them in physically to discover space with their bodies. “(Reiss, 1999)

Some artists merged from minimalism into installation art because of the growing concerned with the viewer’s presences in relation to the art. “Minimalism drew attention to the space in which the work was shown, and gave rise to a direct engagement with this space as a work in itself, often at the expense of any objects. Since then, the distinction between installation art and an installation of works of art has become blurred. Both point to a desire to heighten the viewer’s awareness of how objects are positioned (installed) in a space, and of our response to that arrangement. ” (Reiss, 1999)

Installation art spiraled from the artists’ desire for their art to provide an intense experience to anyone viewing, coming into contact with, or interacting with their piece. The objective seemed to be dissolving the line between art and life, making art a part of reality or something without a label of art. Kaprow noted that “if we bypass ‘art’ and take nature itself as a model or point of departure, we may be able to devise a different kind of art… out of the sensory stuff of ordinary life”(Reiss, 1999) The suggestion is art as ordinary life, pieces that just blend into our usual regular activities.

In Picasso’s Still-Life with Chair Caning he seemed to designed the piece with hopes of making us part of the process, by using everyday items and breaking the picture plane bringing the art into our space. We’re still spectators of the collage, but he’s challenging us to not to be spectators. The collage breaks through the picture plane involving the viewer making them in the space of the picture, with real time the here and now and the opposite is true as well about the picture in the space of the viewer. This is important because the artwork is more real once it invades our space and time.

Picasso’s piece was a step toward interactive art. Interactive art is ment to involve the spectator in someway. It could be walking around the art piece, through it, touching it, moving pieces, etc. Modern interactive art usually involves a computer and it’s graphics. (Interactive Art, 2005) An early invitation of interactive art came from the artisit Marcel Duchamp with his ‘readymade’ piece the Bicycle Wheel. Readymade pieces are from common parts taken from common items and put together, making one piece or several pieces of art. In order to create a new art- one engages the mind instead of the eye, in ways to provoke the observe to participate and think. ” (Stafford,2006) This piece breaks bounaries, involves and is constructed with common items, it invites and challenges the spectator to spin the wheel. If they chose to do so they become interactive with the piece… a step toward art becoming more like life. The Happenings occurred in during the late fifties and early sixties, famous among others is the works created by Allan Kaprow, who fabricated the phrase the happenings. Happening, 2007) Happenings are performances, events or situations that take place anywhere at anytime usually involving the audience, it also entailed “… none of the usual trappings of theatre — plot, dialogue, character, or professional performers — and no resemblance to the traditional visual arts” (Marks, 2006) Most of the key elements, such as the setting was planned, but there wasn’t much narrative and there was plenty of improvising occurring. Allan Kaprow studied under John Cage at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan between 1956 and 1958. He later created the 18 Happenings in 6 parts beginning in 1959.

These were events that had a staged setting, but the actions or better know as the “happenings” that occurred there where free to take whatever form. Many of the happenings broke the normal boundaries of gallery display and museum surroundings. They instead where performed in peculiar places, well places that where considered unconventional art settings, like lofts, stores, gymnasiums, parking lots, tunnels, etc. (Marks, 2006: Happening, 2007) “The happening, as Kaprow developed it, is a non-verbal, theatrical production that abandons stage-audience structure as well as the usual plot or narrative line of traditional theatre.

Although a compartmented organization may be used, the performers are considered as objects — often kinaesthetically involved — within an overall design of environment, timing, sound, colour and light. Found environments are often used and built upon, but the events are not casually arrived at, nor are they entirely accidental and spontaneous. ” (Unknown, 2007) Another movement was performance art, which is said to be develop from the seventies and partly from the sixties happenings.

This art is presented as a group or an individual, where the actions they do are in a particular place at a particular time which comprises the piece of work. There are four basic elements involved in these pieces they are; time, space, the performer’s body and a relationship between performer and audience. (Performance Art, 2007) Following are two art forms that the said to encourage the movement of preformace art; they are Dada and an even earlier one is Renaissance. Dada gave us a convincing show with the unconventional perfomances of poetry an example is the works of Richard Huelsenbeck.

In addition, Renaissance artists put on public performances that resembled modern performace art, so this could potentially be an early ancestor of what we view now as performace art. These preceding art forms broke boundaries and opened up doors, so performance art could be explored and built upon to become the form that we know today. (Performance Art, 2007) Artists in this early era that created works considered performace art are Yves Klein, Vito Acconci, Hermann Nitsch, Chris Burden, Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostell and Allan Kaprow (who is also mentioned above in other art forms).

Performance art crossed boundaries of traditional media like theater, music, and visual art, instead it combines them together into one piece using elements of each, while also looping the perceived periphery between art and life. The artists try to reveal, to the spectators, within their art work that everyday activities can be viewed in an artistic manner. (Performance Art 2007: Byrd 1998) These art forms where created by artist who meant to blur the lines between performer and audience, performance and reality, life and art.

They and their pieces left spectators questioning what is art. Traditional boundaries were broken and modern art is always growing, changings and being re-invented by different artists who continue the quest to disslove the lines between reality and art, searching for a place where the two become one in a flowing yet blanced enviroment. Modern art has truly has blurred the lines between art and life. Where does art stop and life begin, this seems to be the question most recent artists want the spectators to ask themselves.

The artists try to dissolve those lines and show their spectator’s that art is incorporated into everyday lives, it’s everywhere. They emphasize that art is in everyday objects, processes, situations and every day these same things that are consider art are part of life and life in general is art. Future art maybe a cycle back to traditional art or keep dissolving boundaries until it’s simply life. The only things distinguishing between the two would be breath, thought, a heartbeat, and blood pumping through ones veins or maybe that will be art too produced by the master creator.

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