Analysis Of Modernist Painting By Clement Greenberg

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Paper 2 - Scholarly Article Art is a medium in which the visual enticing elements entitle a connection between artist and viewer. In the articles, Modernist Painting, by Clement Greenberg, and, The American Action Painters, by Harold Rosenberg, the two major art critics, influentially contributed to the interpretation and understanding of the Abstract Expressionism movement. Through contrasting beliefs based on their assertions on the new expansive painting styles to emerge in the early 1940s, Greenberg focused on the limitations and elements that constitutes the medium of painting, while Rosenberg emphasized the importance of the physical interaction between the artist and painting. The formal criticism of Clement Greenberg, centralizes …show more content…
The limitations that once halted old masters, like the flat surface of a canvas and the undeveloped pigment properties of paint, has transformed into an advantage to modernist. Take for example, Paul Cezanne’s, Still Life with Plaster Cupid, 1895, the painting stresses the cropped flat surfaced boundary that limit the painting. By initiating the integrity in the flatness of the plane, the vivid figures, like the sculpture of cupid, illustrates the success of emphasizing the canvas while incorporating the formal elements to establish the illusion of three-dimensional space. Cezanne’s use of color highlights the depth and form of the still life objects while still being able to associate the intricate influences of formal elements from cubism and gestural components. By doing so, modernists contradict the limitations of what the canvas surface would allow by being self-critical to not avoid or try to revolve the flatness, but work in conjunction with to its advantage with strong details of the formal …show more content…
Without the proper foundation that European artists had available at their convenience, American artists conceptualized their own identity without the core teachings they were unable to receive overseas. Unlike Greenberg who heavily emphasized purity, Rosenberg believed that the action painting was anything but a pure form of art, because it was just for the sake of painting, not aesthetics. He emphasized the importance of between the encounter of the artist and materials, the reflection of the artists is subconsciously incorporated in their art. American Action painters, they were not taken seriously because of the stigma that what was developing in America was claimed to be already done years ago in Paris, but American Action painters used to their advantage the critics knowledge of art and began to define their style with the intent of approaching the canvas with no plan in mind, but an event. The form of action painting served as an approach towards the freedom expression resulting from post-World War 2, American painters liberated themselves from the discipline of traditional painting since action painting reflected their emotional identity which is evident in their gestural brush strokes. Take Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950 painting of what is portrayed as an abstracted distorted woman figure. In history, paintings of women were illustrated as

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