Unit 4

Unit 4

Modern and Contemporary Art
Week 9 Written Assignment  

This week assignment focuses on two artists Grant Wood and Jackson Pollock, whom works were said to representative the “American Spirit”. Pollock’s style of painting and the similar works of his fellow colleague led to the term of action painting. While Wood’s personal style of painting was inspired by the Renaissance period or Renaissance artists, mainly Durer and van Eyck. But if both artists art works representative the “American Spirit” wouldn’t that mean also means that their techniques are similar as well? In actuality both artists’ styles are very different but express the same “ideas” just in their own ways.
On one hand we have Grant Wood who was a Midwestern American whom studied art in Paris in the early 1920’s. After years of unsuccessful attempts Wood moved back the Midwest and dedicated himself to studying the characteristic of the land and it’s people in their daily life’s thus bring in the “American Spirit” expression which could be seen in his famous work American Gothic. This painting was inspired when Wood saw a farm hose build in a local version of Gothic style. In the American Gothic, Wood painted in the Gothic house that inspired him and the farmer where inspired from his sister and doctor.
Now on the other have we also have Jackson Pollock who was an innovator of Abstract Expressionism. He later studied Navajo sand painting, psychology, and other variety of art for ways to express primal human nature. Pollock painted Autumn Rhythm with a style that would later be referred to as “action painting”. Compared to Grant Wood’s American Gothic that depicts a honest hard working American farmer working for the good old “American Dream” some people might not understand how Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm could also match up to the “American Spirit”.
The American Gothic depicted the “idea” of “American Spirit” mostly from a visually expression point of view. While Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm deals...

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