Abstract Arts & Abstract Paintings - A Panoramic Vista Cultivated With Mystery, Thrived on Veracity
As far as our general understanding of it is concerned it is a highly nebulous field, subjected to tremendous degree of misinterpretation, particularly in the field of abstract art. In the field of arts, with no exact fundamentals accurately developed, the techniques and approaches are wide open for the artists to imagine, explore and create their art.
The artist is also subjected to the "laws" of commerce, where various schools of divergent opinions begin to "teach" the artist "how" to be an artist and paint a certain way, citing the field's critics galore as she listens with an open jaw in lieu of reason. The "authorities," in the field of visual arts, most of whom have never painted any paintings themselves but are very "fluid" and "cultured" by having memorized a few standard opinions and artistic works and projects of humanitarian nature, analyze the paintings for the artist every step of the way, each time the artist presents a piece of her art for a critique, mainly to discover what's wrong with her art and how she should fix it according to these "professors's" brand of "expertise."
Artists are often "accused" of having their heads up in the clouds, and living within an unreal world of imagination. THE ART OF THINKING AND REASONING
Thinking and reasoning is a social activity for most people. ART IS COMMUNICATION
As a result, we can conclude, that a pleasant and engaging conversation, requires the participation of two imaginative minds, with similar endowment of creative impulses, to mutually create the art of communication.
The field of visual arts, follows the same principles, as art is a form of visual communication. The artist originates his communication as s visual message, through the presentation of his art, to his audience. An artist with low imagination, who does not originate verbally, does not communicate visually either. He originates no visual messages in his art, or when he does, it is so scarcely done, that it stirs up no interaction with his audience. This absence of expression, is mainly due to the artist heavy reliance upon the origination of the audience - as an external force - to brings about a communication, in the direction of his art, which is "silent." Thus, no emotional interaction takes place between the audience and the painting.
An artist, high on imagination, is more likely to enjoy the virtuosity necessary in the technical execution of his art. The technical expertise, by which the art is executed, is also very important, and at times, successful all by itself; although, the quality of the visual communication, always remains senior to the technical execution of the art. The carrier wave, which communicates the artist's intention, to his viewers, is a phenomenon occurring between the artist and the viewer and resides within the realms of spirit.
IMAGINATION VS. COMMUNICATION
Imagination is the faculty or action of forming ideas in the mind and the ability to be creative and resourceful. The ability to originate communication, is in direct proportion with good imagination. Imagination is the driving force behind the artist's dexterity by which he executes his art and the deftness by which he communicates his impulses as visual messages. The more refined the artist's creative impulses, the clearer are his visual messages in sharing his thoughts, feelings, perceptions and other creative faculties with his audience. In the case of abstract expressionism, the art is the conduit for the dialogue, between the imagination and the audience, via the expression as a painting. The more the artist becomes intimately acquainted with the inherent truth, and virtues by which he was created himself, the more freer become his imaginative impulses, and the more spirited he can express his art.
Imagination is the only form of wealth, that gives us art as its dividend. Imagination is where the art is conceived and germinated. The magic of art, does not exist in its execution, or presentation of feelings and mental imagery independently exterior to the mind. Execution, or presentation of the art, is the technical expertise; the externalization by which the art is expressed. The magic of art, particularly modern art, resides within the intellectual awareness of the mind, in conceiving and forming of ideas. When the artist, completes the formation of a conceptual idea, and it then arrives in the external world in the form of an abstract or modern painting, the artist has given birth to expression, and the creation process is complete.
An imaginative idea, is far greater in scope, than what the artist portrays on canvas. A work of art is understood and appreciated by direct observation. Between the artist who creates the art, and the viewer who contemplates it, lies the magic: Expressive imagination. It is our own creative impulses, perceptions and recognition of the aesthetic expressions within the art, that allows us to experience what is being resonating to us from the artist; and thus, becoming engaged in a two way communication with the artist through his art; the art is an spiritual connection to the artist. KNOWING IS SENIOR TO UNDERSTANDING
Knowing and understanding are two of the basic fundamentals in creating art. Knowing is a part of imagination within the mind, in which aesthetic impulses are conceived and transformed into artistic expressions; a process which is best understood by defining both: knowing and understanding; and why knowing is above understanding.
The imaginative impulses of an artist that spontaneously conceives an abstract art is knowing. Knowing is the work of the imagination in conceiving an abstract painting, or making instantaneous conclusions, as to the completion of an art composition. Studying about prehistoric art, or modern art for instance, creates an understanding about these two styles of art. The ability to paint a piece of modern art is an understanding of the art itself. Understanding is the universal solvent. Understanding brings about peace and harmony. In the field of arts, exterior sources of reference, used as mimicry or imitation, compromises the integrity of imagination, ideas, thoughts and concepts; and so becomes impure the art, when it is created through understanding, and reliance upon external forces. Knowledge, purely expressed from within, through the mind and the spirit, is how the artist gives birth to new abstract forms. Abstract art is an example of origination of communication to the viewers as a pure presentation of self-expression.
VIRTUOSITY IN MODERN ART
Pure creation of fine art, such as abstract paintings, is an emotional activity that surmounts any rational thoughts or reasons, as it fulfills itself through an spiritual journey into time, motion and space, with light, color and form. It is an state of awareness, that summons the most innate essence of the artist's imaginative and analytical forces. Johannes Itten (1888-1967), was one of the principal teachers of modern art at The Bauhaus School in Germany, whose teaching philosophy, has produced several great artists of the 20th century. Itten's principles bring to light, a greater and more in-depth understanding and appreciation of the values in acquiring additional skills in the field, outside of the arts. In Itten's view, understanding life, it's structure, forms and textures, plays a significant hand in developing one's creative impulses. He believed, broadly acquired dexterity, was essential in the competent execution of art through memory and inspiration. - Hans Hofmann
The artist conceives his aesthetic ideas in his imagination, and transforms them into paintings. His paintings carry a visual message, and communicate it to his audience. People's emotional responses are the sole decision makers, as to whether the art is successful or not, based on the quality by which a the art communicates to them.
The point here in terms of visual arts, is that a successful work of art, whether representational art or abstract art, has to impinge emotionally, upon people who view it, and bring about a sentient response that causes them to engage and understand the painting. When they understand it, they talk about it, participate in it, and put a part of themselves in it, to complete it for themselves as their own work of art.
The Chinese "flower lady" is the acid test for every good piece of art, which nullifies all the esoteric classified fallacies, put together by the "experts" who pontificate that a certain type of convoluted "knowledge" or "expertise" is a prerequisite for the public to understand and appreciate art, specially abstract art. ARTS: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
"Art is greater than science because the latter proceeds by laborious accumulation and cautious reasoning, while the former reaches its goal at once by intuition and presentation; science can get along with talent, but art requires genius." The more purity, vitality and awareness the aesthetic mind of the artist attains, the more intelligently forceful and sentient will be his artistic expressions. Abstract art, in its purest form is expressed through the soul.
The interaction of the artist with his canvas, when he paints, is an awe-inspiring time of feeling totally free, from the concerns of the material universe; as he enters the sublime world of spiritual awareness. Art inject serenity and calm into our space. Art transcends us from the agonies of the transitory, and the material world, by placing infinity into our view. The best arts appeal both, to our intellects and our emotions. The magnificent field of art elevates the culture, and gives Man a splendor of peace and joy to rise to.
The market for Chinese contemporary art has developed at a feverish pace, becoming the single fastest-growing segment of the international art market. Since 2004, prices for works by Chinese contemporary artists have increased by 2,000 percent or more, with paintings that once sold for under $50,000 now bringing sums above $1 million. Nowhere has this boom been felt more appreciably than in China, where it has spawned massive gallery districts, 1,600 auction houses, and the first generation of Chinese contemporary-art collectors.
This craze for Chinese contemporary art has also given rise to a wave of criticism. There are charges that Chinese collectors are using mainland auction houses to boost prices and engage in widespread speculation, just as if they were trading in stocks or real estate. Western collectors are also being accused of speculation, by artists who say they buy works cheap and then sell them for ten times the original prices-and sometimes more.
Those who entered this market in the past three years found Chinese contemporary art to be a surefire bet as prices doubled with each sale. Sotheby's first New York sale of Asian contemporary art, dominated by Chinese artists, brought a total of $13 million in March 2006; the same sale this past March garnered $23 million, and Sotheby's Hong Kong sale of Chinese contemporary art in April totaled nearly $34 million. Christie's Hong Kong has had sales of Asian contemporary art since 2004. The leader this year was Zeng Fanzhi, whose Mask Series No. 6 (1996) sold for $9.6 million, a record for Chinese contemporary art, at Christie's Hong Kong in May.
According to the Art Price Index, Chinese artists took 35 of the top 100 prices for living contemporary artists at auction last year, rivaling Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, and a host of Western artists.
"Everybody is looking to the East and to China, and the art market isn't any different," says Kevin Ching, CEO of Sotheby's Asia. There are indications, however, that the international market for Chinese art is beginning to slow. At Sotheby's Asian contemporary-art sale in March, 20 percent of the lots offered found no buyers, and even works by top record-setters such as Zhang Xiaogang barely made their low estimates. "The market is getting mature, so we can't sell everything anymore," says Xiaoming Zhang, Chinese contemporary-art specialist at Sotheby's New York. "The collectors have become really smart and only concentrate on certain artists, certain periods, certain material."
For their part, Western galleries are eagerly pursuing Chinese artists, many of whom were unknown just a few years ago. "The market hasn't behaved as I anticipated," says New York dealer Max Protetch, who has been representing artists from China since 1996. "We all anticipated that the Chinese artists would go through the same critical process that happens with art anywhere else in the world. Five years ago his works sold for under $50,000. Movies, television, and news organizations are strictly censored, but on the whole, the visual arts are not. Despite sporadic incidents of exhibitions being closed or customs officials seizing artworks, by and large the government has supported the growth of an art market and has not interfered with private activity. In the 798 gallery district in Beijing, a Bauhaus-style former munitions complex that has been transformed into the capital's hottest art center, with more than 150 galleries, one finds works addressing poverty and other social problems, official corruption, and new sexual mores. Local governments throughout the country are establishing SoHo-style gallery districts to boost tourism.
"We are committed to the art, and we wanted to open a gallery where our artists are," says Glimcher. James Cohan Gallery Shanghai is located on the ground floor of a 1936 Art Deco structure in the French Concession, a particularly picturesque section of the city. Chinese collectors-or the hope that there will be Chinese collectors-are the key draw luring these galleries to Beijing. As recently as two years ago, few could name even a single Chinese collector of contemporary art. Most visible is Guan Yi, the suave, well-dressed heir to a chemical-engineering fortune, who has assembled a museum-quality collection of more than 500 works. Two collectors who are cheerleaders for the Beijing art scene are Yang Bin, an automobile-franchise mogul, and Zhang Rui, a telecommunications executive who is also the backer of Beijing Art Now Gallery, which took part in Art Basel in June, one of the first Beijing galleries to appear at the fair. These two do more than collect art. They have hosted dinners for potential collectors, organized tours to Art Basel Miami Beach, and brought friends with them to sales in London and New York. Zhang Rui, who owns more than 500 works, has lent art to international exhibitions, most notably the installation Tomorrow, which features four "dead Beatles" mannequins floating facedown, created by artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu for the 2006 Liverpool Biennial, which rejected it.
Zhang is now building an art hotel, featuring specially commissioned works and artist-designed rooms, outside the Workers' Stadium in the center of Beijing. Zhang Rui represents the handful of Chinese collectors who are public about their activities and are building noteworthy collections. Far more typical of buying activity in China is the rampant speculation taking place in the mainland auction houses. It is, for example, fairly common for a house to get consignments directly from artists, who then use the sales to establish prices for their works on the primary market. More often, now that China has hundreds of galleries, dealers come to a sale with buyers in tow, publicly bidding up works to establish "record prices" and advertise their artists. As the domestic market for contemporary art matures, however, many of these practices are coming into question. "Two years ago it was more necessary for me to bring my artists to auction," says Fang Fang, owner of Star Gallery in Beijing, which specializes in young emerging artists such as Chen Ke and Gao Yu. "Now that the gallery market has increased, I find it is better to keep my artists out of the auction rooms, and there is much less reason to sell there."
Two mainland firms, Beijing Poly International Auction Company, and China Guardian Auctions Company, dominate the field of contemporary Chinese art. In a similar range of sales last spring, Poly sold $130 million worth of works, including $27 million in a single evening contemporary-art sale. Poly and Guardian reflect two vastly different perspectives on the domestic market in Chinese contemporary art. For example, when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, decided to sell 20 pieces of Qing dynasty porcelain in mainland China, it consigned the collection to Guardian.
The repatriated objects are showcased in the Poly Art Museum in the sparkling New Beijing Poly Plaza, a glass-enclosed tower designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
The event reaped $18 million for 108 works. (An additional 80 works will be up for sale this month at Sotheby's New York.) Last year the collection of approximately 200 works was sold to William Acquavella, who consigned it to Sotheby's. Auction house officials will not discuss financial details, but Sotheby's had a stake in the collection. After the sale it was widely reported that many of the artists were angered by the auction because, they said, they had sold their works to Goedhuis at discount prices in exchange for promises that the collection would remain together for public display.
The collection was published in a book, China Onward, with an essay by leading China expert Britta Erickson, and it was exhibited at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem shortly before the sale. "We bought a group of paintings, and we sold a group of paintings, and that's the whole story."
According to Maarten ten Holder, Sotheby's managing director for North and South America, the firm received inquiries before the sale from several artists in the collection, wondering why the works were to be auctioned. There is disagreement about whether Goedhuis made firm promises to keep the collection together or merely made a sales pitch to artists that inclusion in the collection would enhance their reputations. Yue Minjun, who had two works in the sale, says no promises were made. Farber assembled 100 choice works by assiduously visiting artists' studios in Beijing in the late 1980s, accompanied by the Beijing-based critic Karen Smith, a leading author and curator in this field. The buyer was Farber's son-in-law, Larry Warsh, who bid on several works at the sale, according to newspaper accounts. "Howard has his collection, and it's not my collection, and there were many pieces I wanted from that collection that I would have wanted to buy but couldn't afford."
Many Beijing artists had agreements with Warsh to produce work for his collection and his art advisory business, which began in 2004, inspired by Farber's example in the field. "I was enamored by China, and then I was enamored by the art of China as I learned about important artists," says Warsh. The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently acquired 23 photographs from AW Asia.
New York dealer Jack Tilton, who has worked with Chinese artists since 1999, says, "All of these artists are hoping that their work finds good homes rather than getting churned in the commercial market. A number of major collectors of Chinese contemporary art who have been in the field for some time are holding on to their collections. Uli Sigg, Swiss ambassador to China, Mongolia, and North Korea from 1995 to 1998, has built a collection of key works that he has toured in the exhibition "Mahjong" to museums throughout Europe and, most recently, the University of California's Berkeley Art Museum (September 10-January 4). Belgian collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens have used their resources to establish the first nonprofit contemporary-art center in Beijing, where they are currently exhibiting their historic collection. So far, collector Charles Saatchi has been hanging on to his purchases in preparation for opening his new gallery in London on the 9th of next month with a show of Chinese contemporary art; he has also launched a Chinese-language Web site on which mainland artists can post their works.
In comparison with Western buying, mainland Chinese participation pales. "Hong Kong right now covers the global buyers, especially those from across Asia," says Eric Chang, Christie's international director of Asian contemporary art. Dealers in China also have seen few mainland collectors among their regular clients. "I don't know yet about collectors," says New York dealer Christophe Mao of Chambers Fine Art, which recently opened a branch in Beijing.
Despite the current shortage of mainland art collectors, China is emerging as a major art center, having become a hub for buyers from South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia, and for overseas Chinese from all over the world. Reflecting this diversity is the wide range of foreign dealers among the 300 galleries in Beijing, including Continua from Italy, Urs Meile from Switzerland, Arario and PKM from South Korea, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects from Japan, and Tang from Indonesia.
"In Beijing it's getting increasingly difficult to talk about the Chinese market as a separate entity from the broader Asian art market or the international art market," says Meg Maggio, an American who came to China in 1988 and ran one of the first galleries in the country, CourtYard, in Beijing, from 1998 to 2006. Now she has her own gallery, Pékin Fine Arts, where she represents an international stable of artists. "How do you describe the market for a Korean artist showing in China or a Chinese artist living in New York?" she asks, noting that her business can come from South Korean collectors visiting Beijing or European companies doing business in China.
One factor in China's development as a center for contemporary art is the proliferation of art fairs. Beijing has two, the China International Gallery Exposition and Art Beijing; Shanghai has the newly created ShContemporary, now in its second year; and Hong Kong just launched ART HK. CIGE director Wang Yihan says her fair attracted 40,000 visitors this year, while the more high-toned ShContemporary brought in 25,000 and ART HK 08 had 19,000. These numbers may seem small in comparison with the 60,000 who crowd Art Basel, but dealers believe that the fairs in Asia are worthwhile because they attract new buyers and make Asian collectors feel more comfortable about acquiring art from galleries.
"Anywhere else, a fair is just a fair," says Lorenz Helbling of ShanghART, one of the oldest galleries in China and a participant in Art Basel. Just a few years ago it would have been impossible to try to sell contemporary art to Asian buyers, let alone mainland Chinese collectors, in the public forum of an art fair. Now, with the astounding success of Chinese contemporary art, collectors from across the region-and more than a few from the United States and Europe-are targeting China as a destination. According to Nick Simunovic, who has opened an office and showroom for Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong, it is only a matter of time before these regional buyers turn their attention to Western contemporary art.
"First, people collect their cultural patrimony, and then they collect their own contemporary art. I think the final stage is when they gain a more globalized contemporary-art approach."
The most formidable of these is a 34 percent luxury tax on art, which foreign galleries that participated in ShContemporary found difficult to avoid. (At press time it had not yet been sold.)
"Sure, China is hot, but that's just the peak of the iceberg," says Lorenzo Rudolf, former director of Art Basel and cofounder of ShContemporary. With the sheer abundance of galleries, auction houses, and art fairs in China, the larger art world is recognizing the power of the Asian market. Standing in an auction house in New York or London watching paintings by Chinese artists sell for millions, one can grouse about this boom and hint that it will turn out to be a bubble. Some of the earliest of all known art (pre-historic cave and rock art) features wildlife. However, it might be more properly regarded as art about food, rather than art about wildlife as such.
Then for a lot of the rest of the history of art in the western world, art depicting wildlife was mostly absent, due to the fact that art during this period was mostly dominated by narrow perspectives on reality, such as religions. It is only more recently, as society, and the art it produces, frees itself from such narrow world-views, that wildlife art flourishes.
Wildlife art is thus now far easier to accomplish both accurately and aesthetically.
In art from outside the western world, wild animals and birds have been portrayed much more frequently throughout history.
Art about wild animals began as a depiction of vital food-sources, in pre-history. At the beginnings of history the western world seems to have shut itself off from the natural world for long periods, and this is reflected in the lack of wildlife art throughout most of art history. More recently, societies, and the art it produces, have become much more broad-minded. The History and development of Wildlife Art . . .
Wildlife art in Pre-history.
Animal and bird art appears in some of the earliest known examples of artistic creation, such as cave paintings and rock art
Wildlife was a significant part of the daily life of humans at this time, particularly in terms of hunting for food, and this is reflected in their art. Religious interpretation of the natural world is also assumed to be a significant factor in the depiction of animals and birds at this time.
Probably the most famous of all cave painting, in Lascaux (France), includes the image of a wild horse, which is one of the earliest known examples of wildlife art. Another example of wildlife cave painting is that of reindeer in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas, probably painted at around the time of the last ice-age. Wildlife painting is one of the commonest forms of cave art. Subjects are often of large wild animals, including bison, horses, aurochs, lions, bears and deer. Cave paintings found in Africa often include animals. Rock paintings made by Australian Aborigines include so-called "X-ray" paintings which show the bones and organs of the animals they depict. Paintings on caves/rocks in Australia include local species of animals, fish and turtles.
In Africa, bushman rock paintings, at around 8000 BC, clearly depict antelope and other animals.
Celtic influences affected the art and architecture of local Roman colonies, and outlasted them, surviving into the historic period.
Wildlife Art in the Ancient world (Classical art).
The earliest examples of ancient art originate from Egypt and Mesopotamia.
The great art traditions have their origins in the art of one of the six great ancient "classical" civilizations: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, India, or China. Each of these great civilizations developed their own unique style of art.
Animals were commonly depicted in Chinese art, including some examples from the 4th Century which depict stylized mythological creatures and thus are rather a departure from pure wildlife art. Ming dynasty Chinese art features pure wildlife art, including ducks, swans, sparrows, tigers, and other animals and birds, with increasing realism and detail.
Ancient Egyptian art includes many animals, used within the symbolic and highly religious nature of Egyptian art at the time, yet showing considerable anatomical knowledge and attention to detail. Early South American art often depicts representations of a divine jaguar.
By the late Minoan period, wildlife was still the most characteristic subject of their art, with increasing variety of species.
The art of the nomadic people of the Mongolian steppes is primarily animal art, such as gold stags, and is typically small in size as befits their traveling lifestyle.
This period includes early Christian and Byzantine art, as well as Romanesque and Gothic art (1200 to 1430). Most of the art which survives from this period is religious, rather than realistic, in nature. Animals in art at this time were used as symbols rather than representations of anything in the real world. So very little wildlife art as such could be said to exist at all during this period.
Renaissance wildlife art, 1300 to 1602.
This arts movement began from ideas which initially emerged in Florence. After centuries of religious domination of the arts, Renaissance artists began to move more towards ancient mystical themes and depicting the world around them, away from purely Christian subject matter. The two major schools of Renaissance art were the Italian school who were heavily influenced by the art of ancient Greece and Rome, and the northern Europeans . . . Flemish, Dutch and Germans, who were generally more realistic and less idealized in their work. The art of the Renaissance reflects the revolutions in ideas and science which occurred in this Reformation period.
The early Renaissance features artists such as Botticelli, and Donatello. The best-known artist of the high Renaissance is Leonardo-Da-Vinci. Durer is regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern European Renaissance. Albrecht Durer was particularly well-known for his wildlife art, including pictures of hare, rhinoceros, bullfinch, little owl, squirrels, the wing of a blue roller, monkey, and blue crow.
Baroque wildlife art, 1600 to 1730.
This important artistic age, encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church and the aristocracy of the time, features such well-known great artists as Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velazquez, Poussin, and Vermeer. Wildlife art of this period includes a lion, and "goldfinch" by Carel Fabrituis.
Melchior de Hondecoeter was a specialist animal and bird artist in the baroque period with paintings including "revolt in the poultry coup", "cocks fighting" and "palace of Amsterdam with exotic birds".
The Rococo art period was a later (1720 to 1780) decadent sub-genre of the Baroque period, and includes such famous painters as Canaletto, Gainsborough and Goya. Wildlife art of the time includes "Dromedary study" by Jean Antoine Watteau, and "folly of beasts" by Goya.
Jean-Baptiste Oudry was a Rococo wildlife specialist, who often painted commissions for royalty.
Some of the earliest scientific wildlife illustration was also created at around this time, for example from artist William Lewin who published a book illustrating British birds, painted entirely by hand.
Wildlife art in the 18th to 19th C.
This movement focused on the supremacy of natural order over man's will, a concept which culminated in the romantic art depiction of disasters and madness.
Edward Hicks is an example of an American wildlife painter of this period, who's art was dominated by his religious context.
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer was also painting wildlife at this time, in a style strongly influenced by dramatic emotional judgments of the animals involved.
This focus towards nature led the painters of the Romantic era (1790 - 1880) to transform landscape painting, which had previously been a minor art form, into an art-form of major importance. In France, Gaspar-Felix Tournacho, "Nadar" (1820-1910) applied the same aesthetic principles used in painting, to photography, thus beginning the artistic discipline of fine art photography. Fine Art photography Prints were also reproduced in Limited Editions, making them more valuable.
Romantic wildlife art includes "zebra", "cheetah, stag and two Indians", at least two monkey paintings, a leopard and "portrait of a royal tiger" by George Stubbs who also did many paintings of horses.
One of the great wildlife sculptors of the Romantic period was Antoine-Louis Barye. Delacroix painted a tiger attacking a horse, which as is common with Romantic paintings, paints subject matter on the border between human (a domesticated horse) and the natural world (a wild tiger).
Wildlife artist Ivan Ivanovitch Shishkin demonstrates beautiful use of light in his landscape-oriented wildlife art.
Although Romantic painting focused on nature, it rarely portrayed wild animals, tending much more towards the borders between man and nature, such as domesticated animals and people in landscapes rather than the landscapes themselves. Romantic art seems in a way to be about nature, but usually only shows nature from a human perspective.
As well as birds, he also painted the mammals of America, although these works of his are somewhat less well known. At around the same time In Europe, Rosa Bonheur was finding fame as a wildlife artist.
Amongst Realist art, "the raven" by Manet and "stags at rest" by Rosa Bonheur are genuine wildlife art. However in this artistic movement animals are much more usually depicted obviously as part of a human context.
The wildlife art of the impressionist movement includes "angler's prize" by Theodore Clement Steele, and the artist Joseph Crawhall was a specialist wildlife artist strongly influenced by impressionism.
At this time, accurate scientific wildlife illustration was also being created. Fauvism (1904 - 1909, France) often considered the first "modern" art movement, re-thought use of color in art. Other wildlife art in this movement includes a tiger in "Surprised! Wildlife art in this genre includes several untitled prints (owl, bird, eagle) by Ando Hiroshige, and "crane", "cat and butterfly", "wagtail and wisteria" by Hokusai Katsushika.
Wildlife art in the 20th Century, Contemporary art, postmodern art, etc.
The greater degree of contact with the rest of the world had a significant influence on Western arts, such as the influence of African and Japanese art on Pablo Picasso, for example.
American Wildlife artist Carl Runguis spans the end of the 19th and the beginnings of the 20th Century. Fernand Leger also depicts birds in his "Les Oiseaux".
There was also accurate scientific wildlife illustration being done at around this time, such as those done by America illustrator Louis Agassiz Fuertes who painted birds in America as well as other countries.
Expressionism (1905 - 1930, Germany). "Fox", "monkey Frieze, "red deer", and "tiger", etc by Franz Marc qualify as wildlife art, although to contemporary viewers seem more about the style than the wildlife.
Postmodernism as an art genre, which has developed since the 1960's, looks to the whole range of art history for its inspiration, as contrasted with Modernism which focuses on its own limited context. In 1963, Ray Harm is a significant bird artist.
Robert Rauschenberg's "American eagle", a Pop Art (mid 1950's onwards) piece, uses the image of an eagle as a symbol rather than as something in its own right, and thus is not really wildlife art. Other examples of wildlife in Surrealist art are Rene Magritte's "La Promesse" and "L'entre ed Scene".
Op art (1964 onwards) such as M. C. Escher's "Sky and Water" shows ducks and fish, and "mosaic II" shows many animals and birds, but they are used as image design elements rather than the art being about the animals.
Roger Tory Peterson created fine wildlife art, which although being clear illustrations for use in his book which was the first real field guide to birds, are also aesthetically worthy bird paintings.
Young British Artists (1988 onwards). It could be said to be more a use of wildlife in/as art, than a work of wildlife art.
Wildlife art continues to be popular today, with such artists as Robert Bateman being very highly regarded, although in his case somewhat controversial for his release of Limited-Edition prints which certain fine-art critics deplore.
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