• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Some writers have argued that each discipline has 'essential characteristics'. To what extent do you agree with this type of argument? Critically discuss, making use of one or more of the set texts on this course.

Extracts from this document...


Some writers have argued that each discipline has 'essential characteristics'. To what extent do you agree with this type of argument? Critically discuss, making use of one or more of the set texts on this course. 'Will no-one stand up to assert the consciousness of having an aesthetic conscience of his own and bring some spontaneous echo of his inner being, some genuinely individual contributory to the furnishing of his own home.'1 This essay aims to unravel the possible 'essential characteristics' of each discipline in order to determine the credibility of such a universal statement. I will seek to identify the essential characteristic of disciplines in an attempt to support this statement. I will be focusing upon modernism in art, and more specifically, Cubism and Futurism. The last two movements will be shown to offer identifiabble essential characteristics. These will be discussed in relation to their place within modernism, and alongside the essential characteristic of Modernism. It will then be possible too determine if each discipline is characterised by essential traits or if in fact modern art, and subsequently art as a subject, possesses generic essential characteristics. I will discuss whether or not each discipline merely adopts these generic traits in the creation of new movements or whether each discipline is in fact entitled to claim an identity from individual essential characteristics. When art was deemed independent from the service or religion of the state artists were given more scope to express themselves in their work. Expressionism was a movement dominated by Germany in 1905-1925. It included everything expressive and unlike trying to be an exact replica of the subject being portrayed it had abstract qualities. Expressionism was intended to represent the feelings and emotions pf the artist, 'the artist expresses only what he has within himself, not what he sees with his eyes.'2 Colour, abstraction, line, noise, movement, rotation and shape are all expressive and therefore form the essential characteristics of Expressionism, 'the entire arrangement of my pictures is expressive: the place ...read more.


Futurism not only influenced Italy but had profound effects in Russia, Germany and Britain. Futurism also has close links to Vorticism in that Vorticism was connected with Nazism and the power to rebel, however it is more Illusionist than Futurist. The essential characteristics of the Futurist movement where; colour, movement, dynamism, and reflecting the machine age. The subject and content were very important and where similar to Cubism in that the shapes of some of the artworks where angular in form and the use of collage was also used in Futurism, which was a revolutionary concept of Cubism. It also had similarities to Expressionism in that through the use of text and the strong messages of war, the Futurist's conveyed a form of their expression. What separates it from the other disciplines is that it is of the machine age, and it looks towards the future and not to the past. This was the essential characteristic to Futurism. Without it, it would not have that distinct feature that would separate it from Cubism, and Expressionism. Art works, such as 'Patriotic Celebration', where almost statements of the Twentieth Century living and expresses new technology within the pieces themselves. For example, the introduction of the motor car and the noise associated with industry. The use of cars and speed in the art pieces allows a certain amount of movement. Carra's 'The Red Horseman' (1913) shows movement in that the horse is seen to be running with the use of more than 4 legs being shown on the piece, a kind of mapping of the horses movement. The primary goal of the Futurist was to 'transport the spectator to the centre of the canvas, to involve him in the action of the painting and thus to awaken in him a response with the painters vision, a vision of the "inner core being".'9 The spectator would be drawn to the centre of the array of technical forms, but would then become a participant in the action taking place. ...read more.


Instead of painting the gardens and scenery that the scene could include, whistler concentrates on the sparks and fireworks and the abstract effect that they create. It could be said, therefore that whistler's pieces did have the essential characteristics of traditional representational art, but with the introduction of the scene being painted in darkness the forms change so it represents something quite different. How do you define a work of art without specific characteristics to look for? It is difficult to define modern art in a way that includes all of 20th century western art Using the idea of Picasso's in that art is not evolutionary and that it changes within itself, leaves the suggestion that all art work has essential characteristics but each discipline holds within it a core set of essential characteristics that do not differ from one another, but share certain aspects, in some form or another. This would include the illusion of space, use of colour, whether it be dull greys or fushia pinks, structure and form, identity and towards the twentieth century a degree of flatness within the art works themselves. With this in mind, in answer to whether or not I believe that each discipline has essential characteristics I would say yes, but they are not nessicarily different to each other. Art is a collective term for many disciplines and throughout it's history it has gone through changes but has kept certain recognisable traits that would make it into a work of art. 1 Henry Van de Velde, 'Memours: 1891 - 1901' 2 Alexej von Jawlensky (1864 - 1941) Russian painter of Der Blaue Reiter, das kunstwerk 11, 1948. 3 Henri Matisse 'Notes of a Painter' 4 Herschel B Chipp, Theories of Modern Art, p271 5 6 Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973) 'Picasso Speaks' Art in Theory 7 Futurism - The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p9 8 Futurism - The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p9 9 Futurism: Politics, Painting and Performance, p22 10 11 12 Pablo Picasso, Conversation, 1935 - Theories of Modern Art, Herschel B Chipp 13 14 15 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Art section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Art essays

  1. discuss the use of imagery of light and dark in Of Mice and Men

    The barn is growing soft implies that Curley's wife fades away. Her life is end just like the light in the barn. Also the change of light shows the change of time which can help readers better understand the timeline of what happened.

  2. Part II: Shih as a concept applied in Chinese Art, Calligraphy,

    Ch'i is defined as the maneuverable energy flow or perceived vitality in a person or message, which interacts with shih, strategic configuration of a potential and power of a circumstance (Issacson and Chung p. 5). Ch'i may create or enhance shih, and vice versa.

  1. Marcel Duchamp is considered as one of the most influential artists of the 20th ...

    Duchamp believed that art should be left up to the mind rather than the eyes, just as in chess. His first production of the Cubist origin is titled The Sonata. It is said that many of the characteristics of this painting reveal influence from a group of Cubist artists, which included his two brothers, called the Puteaux Cubists.

  2. The Relation between Language and Content in Poetry

    This description is just like drug addict wanting to quit drugs. Individuals using drugs want to quit, but the bondage of a feel good high keeps them coming back. Langston Hughes expresses a great deal of anger toward repression and racism.

  1. communication theories

    Each area contains information based on your feelings. The Open Pane is known to the person and others, while the Blind Pane is known to self but unknown to others. The Hidden Pane holds information that is personal to you that you wish not to disclose. The fourth pane called the Unknown Pane holds information you do not know about yourself or others.

  2. The art of cubism and its role

    With his artwork, Picasso was also a free thinker. He had a unique style and due to this unique style, he became the first artist to have fame during his lifetime. Picasso was a great innovative artist who used to search new ways to express space and forms in painting.

  1. Active reading notes

    through the use of visual imagery the reader sees the consequences of women who protested against an antifeminist society. The reader sees the cruelty that Gilead puts them through if they tried to ban pornography and marched for abortion rights.

  2. Gender Issues in Art

    'Patience on a Monument' (1988) also comments on gender issues. Patience, a black women is depicted in the centre of the painting, peeling a lemon. This comments not only on her gender, but also on her place is society. She has the futile and unimportant job of preparing food, while in the background men are concerned with the colonialisation of Africa.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work