The Physicality of an Artwork Is a Product of Its Time and Place.

2219 Words9 Pages
“The physicality of an artwork is a product of its time and place.”

Discuss this statement in relation to one example from this assessment task, 2 artworks from modernism and two contemporary examples you have studied.

Throughout time, the representation of a particular subject matter in art has changed to encompass the values of the time and place or challenge them through art. An artist is influenced by society’s ideologies’ and thus either represent these ideologies’ or challenge them within their artwork as well as being influenced by the events of that time. Through the works ‘Mosaic of Emperor Justinian and his Court’, ‘Olympia’ by Edouard Manet, ‘Le Demoiselles d’Avignon’ by Pablo Picasso, performance artist Orlan and
…show more content…
Manet was rejecting all classical ideals and used quotations from Renaissance sources (similar to appropriation during his time) to create what was a conscious affront to the traditions of the past. Realism was seen as a true flout of the classical ideals as artists began to choose ‘real’ subject matters instead of idealized or mythological forms. In Manet’s ‘Olympia’ he has used Titian's ‘Venus of Urbino’ (1538) and modernized it by changing the woman of focus and subtle background symbols. Through this he challenged (instead of embracing) the ideals of the time and thus created a new movement representing the values of a changing society.

Titian’s ‘Venus of Urbino’ - as suggested by the title - uses a universal ‘Venus’ nude female figure lying across a bed who, in Manet’s ‘Olympia’ is substituted by a real prostitute whom posed for the painting. Manet was using what he considered ‘real’ beauty instead of an idealized fantasy created inside someone’s head. Manet was rebelling against the classical traditions of art, and so used this artwork to shock his intended audience. “Olympia was a slap in the face to all the complacent academic painters who regularly presented their exercises in scarcely disguised eroticism as virtuous homage to the gods and goddesses of classical antiquity”. The appropriation of this artwork was specifically used as the audience of the time would have recognized the reference to a Renaissance painting, as well as being shocked by the

More about The Physicality of an Artwork Is a Product of Its Time and Place.

Get Access