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Neo-Expressionism Essay, Research Paper


term neo-expressionism describes the art movement that dominated the art market

in the early and mid 1980?s. The word ?neo? refers to a revival of

previous ideas or trends. Expressionism was a style from around the time of

World War 1 that was highly personal, and was often executed with violent

fervor. Neo-expressionism is similar, and also generally uses bright colors,

recognizable objects (such as the human body) with distorted representation,

great expression of emotion, and often commentary on social issues. It usually

is not realistic. The common subject matter often deals with the negative

aspects of life: vulgarities, violence, cynicism, and brutality. It is full of

symbolism, and is considered figurative and gestural. A varied assemblage of

young artists portrayed the human body in reaction and in contrast to the

remote, introverted, and highly intellectualized abstract art production in the

1970?s. The original goal of these artists was to depict emotional and

psychological concerns of themselves and their times. This is often achieved by

using heavy black outlines to express anger and hostility in addition to strong

contrasts of the bold colors. Other artists explored color and abstraction to

express spiritual and/or mystical ideas. Other common traits presented in

paintings of this style included: a rejection of traditional standards of

composition and design, the use of vivid but jarringly banal color harmonies,

and a simultaneously tense and playful presentation of objects in a primitivist

manner that communicates a sense of inner disturbance, tension, alienation, and

ambiguity. This movement was also linked to and in part generated by new and

aggressive methods of salesmanship, media promotion, and marketing on the part

of dealers and galleries. It was controversial both in the quality of its art

products and in the highly commercialized aspects of its presentation to the

art-buying public. There are several artists that dominated and accurately

represented neo-expressionism. Some of these artists are Sandro Chia, Georg

Baselitz, Immendorff, Francoise Arthus, David Salle, and Terry Marks. The 5

elements of art are easy to recognize in this style of art. Line is used to

create the shape that represents the objects of recognizable nature in the

painting. The use of Color is quite obvious. Because most colors are bold and

contrasting, a lot of times there aren?t a lot of variations in value. The

colors used often add to the non-realistic elements of the painting. Texture

isn?t a big issue in neo-expressionist paintings, though. Personally, I really

like this style. It?s easy for me to relate to it, and to create my own

paintings representative of it. I like the colors used, and the freedom to

express emotion and feeling. There really are no limits to what you can do with

this style.

The 20th Century Art Book. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1996. brommer,

Gerald F. Discovering Art History. 3rd Ed. Worchester, MA: Davis Publications,

Inc., 1997. Neo-expressionism. [Online] Available http://www.optonline.com/comptons/ceo/26699_Q.html,

April 4, 2000. Encyclopaedia Britannica | article page. [Online] Available

http://www.britannica.com/bcom/eb/article/idxref/7/0,5716,583318,00.html, April

4, 2ooo. ArtsNet Minnesota: inner Worlds Vocabulary. [Online] Available http://www.artsnetmn.org/inner/iwvocab.html,

April 4, 2000 Avignon et Provence ? Francoise Arthus. [Online] Available

http://www.avignon-et-provence.com/avi/gb/expo/artiste/arthus/loacoon.htm, April

4, 2000. Terry Marks. [Online] Available http://www.artincontext.org/LISTINGS/IMAGES/FULL/3/P5BV6O3T.htm,

April 4, 2000.

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