Thursday, November 22, 2012

Episode 2: Sacred Geometry

How artists have dealt with the ideas behind the philosophy of math and the golden rectangle.
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The golden ratio is imagined to be found in nature as well as a number of art objects. This episode of Post-Modern Times looks at the actual correlation between aesthetic preferences and the formula. There have been a number of physiological studies that have tried to understand the why and even if people are attracted to certain ratios.
Though many artist and architects have based their compositions on the the golden ratio, or phi, particularly the golden rectangle, its use seems to have been exaggerated. The same can be said for the relationship between natural objects, such as the Nautilus Shell and the ratio.
Here is an example of the golden ratio being applied to the facade of the Parthenon. Do you think this is a bit of a stretch?
Here it is rather randomly superimposed on the Mona Lisa:
There is no doubt Jay Hambidge used the golden ratio in his work:
Hambidge's book, The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry is a classic work dealing with the subject of mathematical composition.

Other artists that undoubtedly used the ratio include  Le Corbussier, Mondrian, Dali, and many Renaissance painters and architects.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Episode 1: Marcel Duchamp and the End of Beauty

How Duchamp reinvented what we now call art.
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Marcel Duchamp can be given much of the credit or blame for how the current art situation came to be. His contributions were critical in the development of almost all later are movements

Duchamp painted Landscape at Blainville when he was only 15.

Here is an early magazine illustration by Duchamp.

 Unlike so many of his followers, Duchamp could actually draw. This early sketch of his brother, Jacques Villon, shows tremendous skill and manages to display motion that will be fundamental in the artist's later masterpieces. 

Duchamp's Portrait of Chauvel from 1910 show a clear influence of Fauvism.

 Sad Young Man in a Train from 1911 represents a tremendous breakthrough for Duchamp. 

Nude Descending a Staircase #1 from 1911

It was Nude Descending a Staircase #2 from 1912 that really established Duchamp's career. When it was displayed in the Armory show in New York in 1913 the artist became internationally known.

Fountain, 1917.

L.H.O.O.Q., 1919.

The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even was officially declare unfinished by Duchamp in 1923.

The artist was associated with the Dada movement. Many of the groups publications can be found here.