I had a lot of interesting ideas for this week. It is so hard to choose which famous artist to study when there are so many during this movement that are good. This week we are transitioning from Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to Expressionism. Expressionism is exactly what it sounds like. The purpose of Expressionism was to, “express the artist feelings above all else.” (National Galleries Scottland) Artists turned away from the Impressionistic styles to devote their lives work to personal feelings. I found a quote from Edvard Munch (MONK) that sparked the idea for this lesson. He said, “I do not believe in the art which is not the compulsive result of man’s urge to open his heart.” Munch
Why was this piece of artwork so important? This art was created by a man named Edvard Munch. He was born in 1863 near Løten, Hedmark County, Norway. His life was filled with despair and sadness as he suffered the loss of his mother at a young age. He was only five when she died of tuberculosis and less than ten years later his sister Sophie dies of Tuberculosis as well. Edvard was chronically ill as a child, which was troubling to him and his family. His father was also filled with sadness and anxiety.
At the age of 16 he went to school to be an architect, but quickly realized that he wanted to be an artist. He frequently visited the Kristiania Art Association and after quitting architectural school he enrolled in the Royal School of Design. He devoted his life to art and became involved with the Kristiania’s bohemian community, which was a group of people who expressed their feelings through literature and art. This was where Edvard finds his purpose and leads him to develop important friendships, which will sculpt his art career.
The Art Institute of Chicago. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://archive.artic.edu/munch/chronology/
Some of the characteristics of art by Expressionists are LINES that are swaying, waving or swirling. These brush strokes were exaggerated and filled with colors that are bold and dramatic. This was meant to depict the EMOTION that the artist felt. How do you feel when you see The Scream? Can you sense the emotion that came from this piece?
It was said that the artist was walking with his friends, on a bridge, in Oslo, when he was stopped in his tracks and said, “I was walking along the road with two friends—the sun went down—I felt a gust of melancholy—suddenly the sky turned a bloody red. I stopped, leaned against the railing, tired to death—as the flaming skies hung like blood and sword over the blue-black fjord and the city—My friends went on—I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I felt a vast infinite scream [tear] through nature.” Art historians translated the meaning of his art differently. They say that it exemplifies the feelings of modern anxiety and that it was meant to express internal emotions.
It is interesting to watch and learn some of the theories from art analysis on this piece. I feel that this piece is very thought-provoking and bold. Watch a few of these video’s to gain more of an understanding.
Our Lesson this week will walk you through some of the important facts about Munch (It is pronounced MONK) not as I say it in the video. This may not catch the attention of the young kids. If not not worries. Just make your way down the page to the fun lesson. Most importantly, have fun with this lesson. Be Expressionists, be bold with your color and line. Allow yourself to feel the expression of the piece with your paintbrush, marker, crayon or whatever you use to create!