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Art Tendencies: A Rejection Of The Dehumanizing Experience (Essay Sample)


During the past ten weeks we’ve identified two broad tendencies in the history of modern art. In the first tendency (epitomized by the works of the PreRaphaelites, Monet, Gauguin, Kandinsky, and the Abstract Expressionists) the artist turns away from any direct engagement with, or reference to, the forces and influences of modern life. In the second tendency (represented by Courbet, Daumier, and the Dada and Constructivist movements) the artist chooses to interact directly with those forces and influences. Describe the ways in which each tendency constitutes a protest against the dehumanizing experience of modernization, using two artists from each group. Using specific examples, describe the way in which works of art produced within each tendency sought to transform or otherwise affect the consciousness of the viewer. [Note: depending on how you frame your answer this question may require you to reference material from the first half of the term]


Art Tendencies
The two tendencies that explore the history of art have tried as much to portray a rejection of the dehumanizing experience that was common in the modern arts. In the first tendency, Paul Gauguins 1897 piece of art “Where did we come from? Where are we going?” implies his strong fight against the dehumanizing forces of modernism. First, he uses a title for the art to communicate to the viewer and challenge the thinking of the viewer on how the human race came to be what it is in the modern world. In the art, men, women and children are seated in one house with majority of them covering only their private parts. The elderly and the young are seated half naked and nobody is bothered about the way they appear. This was a common dressing code in the old days when people used to wear skin from animals to hide their private parts only. The other work of Gauguin is the 1898 “The White” in which Gauguin has drawn horses carrying people along the river banks. The horses were the most common mode of transport used in the old days and this emphasizes further his strong believe in history and his opposition to modernism. Any modern person who views his piece of artwork is likely to connect with the old days when there was no much advancement compared to the modern world.
The other artist in the first tendency who has shown protest to modernism is Kandinsky who is regarded as the pioneer of abstract expressionism. He is among the most outstanding in his ability to combine color and form to convey deeper themes that connect with the audience. His common paintings “Composition IV” of 1911 stands out with its bright swaths of color and clear black lines with boats and a castle of a hilltop (The Art History Org, n.d). His drawing of boats not only emphasizes the rejection of modernism but also indicates the time of the artwork. Through this paining he successfully

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