Henri Matisse Oil Painting Analysis

Beginning in the late 18th century, a new direction was taken in the art world. Straying away from religious purposes, art became more about modernism. Modernism, defined by Clement Greenberg, focused in art is more about the medium itself rather than the illusion of scenes of reality. An example of how modernism in the visual art world contrasts from the traditional chiaroscuro and realistic scenes, can be found in the 8 ½ by 13 ft oil painting by Henri Matisse, The Dance, 1909-10.
Looking closely at Matisse’ oil painting, a few important components make this work stand out against the traditional ways of painting. As explained by Greenberg, the use of color and line are just two factors of many that create this effect. Matisse’ color choices
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Looking specifically at Jackson Polluck, his innovative technique of throwing paint onto a canvas evokes a certain freedom to the artist and the work itself. That same technique of freedom inspired my work, looking closely at the natural relationships between different mediums of paint and the material of the canvas, paper or wood platform. Throwing ink onto a drenched canvas is different as to doing the same technique on a drenched piece of paper. Those differences are what intrigue me to look more closely at the material itself and how I can influence the paint to move in the direction of my idea. The intricate lines created when allowing bodies of paint to pour and splatter in any and all directions become important when pushing and pulling layers back and forth. It’s a relationship meant to keep you asking questions. An artist’s goal is to have the viewer’s eyes glued to the work. To keep looking and to keep seeing something different the longer they look. Polluck allows the natural behavior of the paint to influence the direction of his composition. Being an art student in this time period, what is taught to me is closer related to the modern art world more so than the traditional ways of painting like Bouguereau’s Nymphs and Satyr. Because of this, my art is more influenced to change what we have been taught. The goal to aspire past what has been studied and evolve it into more. Because of this, the expectations of me as an artist today relies on breathing new life into modern art. This isn’t moving back to traditional painting techniques but to elevate what I’ve learned of the 20th century art works along with the traditional techniques. Today’s audiences are looking for just that. Whereas, the audience of the 20th century painters weren’t expecting their abstract and contemporary techniques in the beginning of the era. It came as a defiance, a revolution in the art world. Audiences of today expect

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