The World of Symbolism!

11 Oct
Dear Readers,
Before I continue down this art path, I want to back track for a second to tell you a little bit about MOMA’s on-line course that I am involved in. It is the inspiration to yesterday and today’s posting….In some ways not my usual and in other ways spot on!
There are about 65 students (including me, oh how  I love calling myself a student) from all over the world. How do I know this you ask…great question! There is an inter-active cafe that was set up for our use.  In the beginning, we introduce ourselves, and now (week 2) it is an inter-active discussion platform between students and teacher. The teacher serves up a delicious thought provoking question/s for us to ponder, to respond,  to comment. The lessons are taught through a visual and audio lecture! A fabulous inter-active course! When I complete this course, I will definitely enroll in another course given by Larissa Bailiff and/or the MOMA.
WARNING: If anyone majored in art history you can stop reading now, for nothing past this point will interest you, far too simplistic….
But if  not, keep reading, for I am enthralled in the art world of the late 1800′ and would love to share the pleasures!
“Symbolism–it’s some pretty sexy, decadent, anxiety-laden content!”
-Larissa Bailiff,
Symbolism is the period I just finished, a very erotic and bold era!
The leaders of their time was James Ensor (Belgian), Edvard Munch (Norwegian), Henri Rousseau (French), Odilon Redon (French), Gustav Klimt (Austrian). “Paul Gauguin (Post-Impressionist) is also often associated with Symbolism because of the interior quality of his works.” 
Artist of symbolism turned their backs on Naturalism bring art into the spiritual world “based on an interior state rather than an outward or objective relation to the material world.” Dream-like state!
Objects and people – Symbolism expression. 
St John The Baptist 
Naked women (in a state of orgasm) – Danae’ (1907) 
Jewel tones and lurid colors
Blood red paint (femme fatale, horrifying, sexually charged)
The painting “Dangerous Cooks” by James Ensor, is a lovely example of the Symbolism era. Symbolism was not well received by the critics. Ensor’s painting strikes back at his critics….using bold and vibrant colors, painted his critics in the background  vomiting, hungry.  In the forefront of the painting, cooks preparing the martyrs (heads of well known contemporaries) to be served up to the critics to be “devoured”, eaten only for their vulgar pleasures. The center head, Ensor himself (symbolism “the meal”)  beheaded, symbolism for John the Baptist….about to be served up to the critics. He shows himself as a martyr, the critics as vultures..
Another great example of Symbolism …

1893 The Scream by Munch -illusionary state, based on a failed romance (originally titled Despair) human suffering but more of an expression (symbolism) of life’s conditions and emotions.

Artist (Symbolism) pushed the envelope of expression, using their paintings as a mode to express their opinions, feelings, emotions and fears. Music and poetry changed during this period due to the Symbolism influence .
My take away – Symbolism was a period of the bold (erotic), the public display of sensual expression, opinions, views…their “dream-like state”… ecstasy, anxiety, despair (Life as it is)
The World Fair in Paris 1889 was an opportunity for artist to get exposed/influenced to other artists.  A note worthy mention/thought given our world today, being able to be exposed/influenced to everything in the world (on-line art courses) without even leaving our homes, 
Asklotta and staff will MIND YOUR BUSINESS today in a “dream-like state” and looking forward to learning about the next section  “Matisse &Fauvism”! AND giving much thanks and appreciation to my MOMA teacher Larissa  Bailiff for her time, efforts and incredible insights into the world of Modern Art! 
Again, it has been my pleasure to tell you what to do and what NOT to do!
Kindest regards,
President and CEO

2 Responses to “The World of Symbolism!”

  1. Liz T. October 11, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    Hi Lotta —

    Not only are you CLEARLY a great student, but also a wonderful teacher!

    Thank you for a fascinating lesson today…

    xo Liz T.

    • asklotta October 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      xoxo! Always a kind word/thought…which I am ALWAYS so appreciative of!

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