This column will begin with a shout out to a few people who answered my question about whether the world changes the art that is produced. I will mention no last names. They will simply be called Frank, Chelsea, and Joe.
Frank shall comment first as he e-mailed me first. Frank’s brief response was very much to the point: “Of course it does!”
Chelsea’s answer was a bit different: “I think it could. Maybe if we were in a major war, it would reflect on the type of art that was being done.”
Joe’s answer was perhaps a bit more insightful: “Art comes from each person’s heart and soul, no matter what their subject. I think that art is more a reflection of the artist than anything else.”
So, there you have it. What would your answer have been?
I wonder as well whether art can change the world, whether it has changed the world?
Mart Rothco was a famous painter of the 1900s and an eager leader in the progression of the transient art movement called abstract surrealism. Rothco pretty much provided a link between the present surrealism of his time and the abstractism of the future. He is also regarded as a progressive minded artist. His paintings are based on unchallenged originality. His works definitely influence abstract art today.
When someone thinks of the modern pop art movement, the name of Andy Warhol will pop into the mind of most people who enjoy art. He is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His art is simplistic compared to much of the art that preceded it. Think of the art that contained Campbell soup cans, and you have Andy Warhol.
Warhol’s pop art portraits of Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy employ the use of multi-images and repetition in order to reinforce the concept of mass production. Andy Warhol wished to reinforce the concept of mass production, to try and eliminate the class differences, and to allow for the distribution of his unique paintings into the hands of so many people who otherwise might not have been able to afford such artwork. He employed the use of the printing press, as well as his right to reproduce as many prints of his art as possible.
If you have never viewed the art of Salvador Dali, look his work up — either on the Internet or at the Danville Public Library (or any other) — and be prepared for some truly delightfully strange and unique pieces of art. “Persistence of Memory,” done in 1931, featured an array of clocks, all melting. It was thought to portray the male psyche. This explanation of the artwork doesn’t lend itself to easy explanation. What do you see when you look at the “melting clocks”?
One very positive thing that can be said about Dali’s work would be how completely he was able to express himself. No one, absolutely no one, can say that he didn’t! Dali was more than able to draw us into a state of unconscious awareness.
All three artists did their part in changing how we see the world, as well as how to view their world. As for art changing the world, I have to give it a nod yes.
There are many artists at the Danville Art League with wonderful talent. I also believe that there are undiscovered artists reading this who might just be a little afraid to take an art class, thinking they are not good enough, or that people would laugh at their attempts. First of all, success will always elude us if we simply never try.
— The children’s art classes begin on Sept. 16. I am personally inviting all previous students as well as any new students. In my after-school classes, we have fun (of course), as well as trying many new and different art projects. We learn about artists, their style, their success, and often try to emulate this style. We do not, however copy their style, but use it and change it enough to make it ours. I want all of my students to know that they are welcome back.
Home-school classes begin Sept. 16. Yes, the very teeny tiny woman, Kem Wiggins, will be teaching again. She always has very cool projects for her older kids that she keeps in a very tiny backpack, which is where she also keeps her little bags of granola. We love her!
Parents are asked to pre-register their children before classes begin.
— September through October — There will be a gallery exhibition by Cynthia Kukla. On Sept. 7, “Four Seasons of Color,” a watercolor workshop, will be taught by Cynthia from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Everyone will be taught to use autumn’s color palette.
— Oct. 5 — Plein Air Painting workshop will be taught by Connie Erickson.
— November through December — There will be a gallery exhibition by Andrew Dudich.
— Roberta Williams will conduct watercolor classes in October on Saturday afternoons.
— Kem (fit in your pocket) will teach a beginning drawing class Monday nights from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 16 to Oct. 22.
— The first general meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 3.
— Sept. 19 — An ice cream social with the clay studio and potters alley owner Marie McCarty will be at 7 p.m.
— The wire wrapping class has been canceled.
— Big news! In the last column there was a lot of emphasis on the new clay studio and the new wheels that had been ordered. No more waiting! The new wheels for the clay studio have “rolled” into town.
As far as art changing the world, if you look at Picasso’s Guernica, you will understand how. The small village knew what awful things had happened, the killings, etc., but I don’t think that anything prepared the world for the way in which Picasso portrayed it. This was one powerful painting.
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” — Thomas Merton
Eileen Dunavan is a member of the Danville Art League. Her column appears once a month.