Ten quotes to explain American Art History by Isabel del Rio

Ten quotes to explain American Art History by Isabel del Rio
Isabel del Rio

American Art History. Ten quotes by Isabel del Rio on Yareah magazine. From Thomas Cole to Jasper Johns or Graffiti art.

Enjoy your day, Yareah friends. Art is everywhere and up to you! Nice Thursday!


Jasper Johns flag. Photo attribution misspixles on Flickr

Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848) was an English-born American artist. He is regarded as the founder of the Hudson River School, an American art movement that flourished in the 1850’s with important followers as Asher B. Durand (1796-1886) and Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900).

After the premature death of Thomas Cole in 1848, a second generation emerged. They depicted the American landscape as a pastoral setting, where people and nature could coexist peacefully because, in fact and in spite of their different religious convictions, they believed that nature was an ineffable manifestation of God and we should share a reverence for America natural beauty.

“Realism” was a very important movement in the United States in the early 20th century. At that moment, American society had a better way of life (even immigrants) than that of the European industrialization and the topics reflected by artists were not so hard. They reflected the busy life of the great cities (especially New York: Ashcan School) and the loneliness of people in those anonymous concentrations of skyscrapers and offices, but never famine or misery, because when it arrived Wall Street Crash of 1929, “Realism” was almost finished and it was Expressionism and Abstract art the triumphant movements.

From the beginning of the 20th century, a wave of rebellion started in art. Impressionists, Post-impressionists, Fauvists, Cubists… everybody wanted to break the rules taht Classical art had followed from the Renaissance.

Jackson Pollock is a major figure in the Abstract Expressionist movement. He was well known for his uniquely defined style of drip painting. Pollock moved away from the use of only the hand and wrist, since he used his whole body to paint abstract works which show all the emotions of his volatile personality.

Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock gave each other reassurance and support during a period when neither’s work was well-appreciated and the first years of common coexistence in their retired little house in East Hampton (today, “Pollock-Krasner House and Studio”) were fruiting. But he was not a good husband and didn’t appreciate frequently her support. In the end, they fought a battle for legitimacy, impulsiveness and individual expression and split up… Definitely, Lee Krasner was a fantastic Abstract Cubist artist, also master of collage but she was prejudiced by being a woman.

Accused from the beginning of being to commercial and attacked by having capitulate to consumerism, Andy Warhol is maybe the best artist who understood the new way of life of that society of the 60’s and 70’s, a welfare society that reached a peak in the in the days of the Kennedy presidency.

Jean Michel Basquiat… in spite of his short and tragic life, he is a genial artist and has influenced a next generation: Mark Gonzales, Kelly D. Williams, and Raymond Morris.

Graffiti artists are not only rebels or vandals who dirty our cities. Now, most of them paint on request and decorate walls or main doors with the agreement of their owners.

Jasper Johns, one of the most influential living artists, was born in 1930. He spent his earlier life between Georgia and South Carolina with different relatives. No art in those places, no artists working near him, no questions about abstract thoughts. He painted at home, alone, only a hobby to mark some difference, because he wanted to be different, to change his fate.

Enjoy this Yareah video about Hudson School.

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Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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