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Barnett Newman

December 24th, 2020
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The History Of Art: Metaphysical Secrets Of Kazimir Malevich And Barnett Newman

This paper will review the research conducted comparing the canvases of two completely different but greatly talented artists. It is referred to Kazimir Malevichs Woman with Pails: Dynamic Arrangement, 1912 and Barnett Newmans Via Heroicus Sublimus, 1950-51. These paintings are full of greatness and intricateness, they represent deep ideas and special covered message. John Milner shows that proportional system of Kazimir Malevich`s style derived from the ancient Russian units of the arshin and the vershok. Malevich was drawing upon both traditional and modern mathematical theory to create some of the most influential, coherent and dynamic non-objective paintings of that century. Speaking about Barnett Newmans Via Heroicus Sublimu, Richard Schiff considers Newman`s concerns to be definitely voiced – a fascination with beginnings, human presence, as well as establishing a sense of a place- are not easily understandable from the reductive austerity of his abstract canvases.

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The aim of this research project is to establish the differences and similarities between these two works, as well as to observe the style, content, artistic intention, and the historical context of these masterpieces. The first section of this paper will examine the general manner of the artists, which may help to gain a clear understanding of styles. Kazimir Malevich is a combination of an artist, philosopher and inventor simultaneously. Realizing all this “m?lo” and not being able to fully reflect the knowledge revealed to him about the existence and understanding of art, the artist has invented a completely new direction in painting – Suprematism, in which the main dominants paintings were recognized with shape and color. Speaking about Barnett Newman, he was called a model of high modernism, minimalist predecessor, existentialist and spiritual artist finds inspiration in Jewish mysticism . Newman himself said in 1947, when he came to the mature style, that any art worthy of the name must refer to the life, man, nature, death and tragedy. Newman had always insisted on the rich emotional content in his work, although his work life caused misunderstanding and accusations of emptiness. Newman once printed and pasted on the wall of the gallery an instruction to encourage visitors to become very close to his canvases. He believed that his close work can induce in people a sense of identity of Barnett Newman. Thus, this study provides an exciting opportunity to advance our knowledge of bleeding edge art. In order to understand the canvases it is necessary to make observation of historical content and author`s personal interpretation of their pictures. What is also important, one should draw a parallel between the chosen canvas and other works of the masters in order to understand the whole philosophy and hidden connection.

While speaking about the special peculiarities of Via Heroicus Sublimus, here Newman uses a vertical bar to the formation of the spatial structure of the picture for the first time. This band, later dubbed the lightning, has become a distinctive feature of the works of Newman, his copyright sign. The artist pasted throughout color box tape, and top with a knife imposed thick, rough coat of paint. Vertical scroll both divides and unites the composition. He knew better than anyone that his art is not easy to understand – as much as eight months, anything else is not filled, it took him just trying to understand what he has achieved in Onement I. John P. O’Neill gives a report on the opening of Newman: On his birthday , January 29, 1948 , he prepared a canvas covered with dark red cadmium ( mineral paint deep tone that looks like earth pigment – like Indian red or sienna ) and fixed in the center of a piece of tape. Then he quickly struck a layer of cadmium red light on top of the braid, as a sample. For a long time he looked at the picture. So he studied it as much as eight months. He completed his quest . As a lot of evidence shows, Newman was looking for the perfect story. However, now a popular interpretation of this picturesque as analog separation of light and darkness in the beginning of the Genesis loses sight of its radical novelty. For at least three years Newman aired his desire to start with doodles , write as if the painting had never existed in the subject ultimate beginning . His first automatic drawings 1944 – 1945 ‘s, with their images of nascent life and mythological names (one of them is called Gea, god of the earth , that appeared from the initial chaos) , and many of his paintings in 1946 – 1947 years (The Beginning, Genesis – The Break, The Word I, The Command, Moment, Genetic Moment), the names of which directly refer to the Old Testament description of the beginning of the world confirm this interest – and in some ways, art has always revolved Newman around this key topic. But if the story Onement I is not new, how about embodying its form? The answer to this question turns out to be unexpectedly complicated. On a formal level, one could say that this modest picture is not as original as in the Moment, written two years earlier, we find the vertical rectangular plane symmetrically divided vertical element. However, conceptually and structurally these two works are separated by an abyss. One could even argue that in the painting Onement I and his following works Newman undermines the philosophical idea that the form submits toits previous contents.

This chapter begins by laying out the theoretical dimensions of the research, and looks at how Malevich has gained his inimitable style and what content of creating Woman with Pails could be extracted thereafter. To begin with, while operating combinations of geometric shapes on a neutral background plane, Malevich took ??the step, which has been never done in the world of painting before. Actually, it was a complete rejection of the depiction, even from its fragmented and shuffled elements that persisted during the extreme time – Cubism and Futurism. The aspiration of the artist to establish homogeneous form elements (in this case, the cone-shaped) as a kind of building material is more consistently expressed on the canvas Woman with Pails. Matthew Drutt found that border irrelevance became even closer – and the subject of the story almost disappeared4. Malevichs mid 1910s right clicking on the system embodied in the Woman with Pails the concept of irrelevance, but that was later, when suprematism has been already open. When Malevich stopped his development at the point beyond, it seemingly could be followed immediately by the transition to the new system. The artist was the first on the road to discovery suprematist irrelevant. He had to take a leap into a new quality. And he has successfully portrayed it from different perspectives. Mathew Drutt claimed that in the contradictory movements the artist refracted acute social antagonisms era, reflected the confusion and despair in the face of public disasters and his desire to find new ways of aesthetic impact on the real life, in most cases led to utopian ideas. As the result, we can understand the art of the avant-garde presided by Malevich as a kind of magical remedy impact on the social fabric of society.

Next section presents the findings of the research, focusing on some key themes that true out the main similarities while comparing the paintings Woman with Pails and Via Heroicus Sublimus. Of course, it is definitely an individual process. It is of great difficulty to judge the art and try to conclude the summary. However, there are some statements which we could admit to be similar while observing mentioned canvases. First of all, both artists had used illogical approach, irrationality as an instrument of destruction stiffened traditional art. These two paintings could be called seditious ones. Using abstraction the artists are reluctant to give a clear understandable reason of creating such a work. Moreover, a logical painting, expressive of abstruse as well as trans-rational reality was built on the shocking installation heterogeneous plastic and shaped elements that have developed in the composition filled with a certain sense. What a sense has been actually hidden? This research has thrown up many questions in need of further investigation. It is likely that his intention was concluded in a radical renewal of artistic practice, a break with its established principles and traditions in order to find brand-new and unusual content, means of expression and forms of work, relationships with artistic life. Undoubtedly, this message seems to be a kind of metaphysical secret. As Charlotte Douglas has mentioned, this metaphysical view differs significantly from many pre-existing and current view of the world and reality around us, both the apparent and hidden from us . To cut a long story short, both Malevich and Newman were born in the spiritual atmosphere of the 20th century with its grand cataclysms illustrating not only the contradictions between different systems and techniques composition, but also fight ideological positions.

The final chapter draws upon the entire thesis, tying up the various theoretical and empirical strand in order to compare the differences and similarities between the works of Malevich and Newman as well as to observe style, content, artistic intention, and historical context of these masterpieces. This section includes also a concluded discussion of the implication of the findings to future research into this area. Thus, these artists are considered to be the representatives of different styles of paintings. Each of them has made his own impact on the existing styles of art, although they belonged almost to one epoch. Undoubtedly, some historical backgrounds is needed in order to analyze the artist`s intention and the content of Woman with Pails and Via Heroicus Sublimus. What is not of less importance, the idea of war has found its place in the hidden content of both canvases because of a seditious message. These examples give us the idea that contemporary art has become really free. By means of its unbridled freedom and audacity it wins, draws and captures, but also indicates the destruction of harmony, integrity, attitude, in a state of disorder with itself and the whole world. The artists used this freedom to provide urgent devastating consequences for the most creative person. All in all, after the observation and conducted research we could make such a conclusion: abstract is surely full of feeling, capable of expressing the most obscure and ambiguous philosophical thoughts.

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