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Final Project: Paper Proposal

Topic: Humanism throughout history.

Thesis Statement: Although the humanism movement started during the time of ancient Greece and Rome it is still seen portrayed in artwork today.

Introduction: Humanism is the a movement in art history that shifted the  focus of art works from deities and worshiping the deities to a focus on humans, more specifically the ideal human. Instead of valuing a God or religion during the movement people began to focus more on valuing humanity therefore making themselves gods. equal to gods by putting themselves at the center of all social and moral concerns. Prior to the humanism movement art was typically made to worship the deities. An example of this can be seen in the photograph of the Standing Male Worshiper.
Prior to the humanism movement art was typically made to worship the deities. The Standing Male Worshiper is an example of a piece of artwork that was created before the humanism movement. As it can be seen in the photograph the creator of this sculpture did not put much effort into adding detail to the human represented in the sculpture. The artist of the sculpture created it to serve one purpose which was to be a praying stand in for the person it represented.  

                                                     Artist: N/A
Title: Standing Male Worshiper   
Date: 2900–2600 B.C.                   
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

As time began to progress so the idea of humanism began to form and the shift from making art that focused on deities and worshiping them to making art that worshiped humanity and focused on the ideal human body. An example of an artwork that showed the start of the transition from focus on deities to a focus on humans is the Statue of Kouros. Unlike the Standing Male Worshiper which had almost no detail on the human body, the Statue of Kouros focuses soley on the human body. It is a representation of a young nude male. The artist of this sculpture adds small but noticeable details such as the outlining of the mans abs and chest. Another faint but drastic difference between the two sculptures is the sense of movement that can be seen in the legs of the Statue of Kouros. As seen in the photograph below, the left leg of the statue strides forward giving the sculpture a feeling of movement.
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Artist: N/A
Title: Statue of Kouros
Date: 600 BCE  
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As more time passed the humanism movement became larger and lead to much more drastic changes in the art world. An example of a artwork that shows drastic a drastic change due to the humanism movement is the statue of Polykleitos. Similar to the statue of Kouros, the Doryphoros has a sense of movement but different to the Kouros, the Doryphoros has no symmetry. Instead the statue of Polykleitos has contrapposto. Contrapposto is the use of counter balancing to form "an asymmetrical arrangement of the human figure in which the line of the arms and shoulders contrasts with while balancing those of the hips and leg."(Google definition).By giving the statue contrapposto it the artist was able to show that the statue is suppose to represent a person walking.


Artist: Polykleitos
Title: Doryphoros (Roman copy)
Date: 450-440 BCE
Museum: Museo Archaeologico Nazionale (Naples)

Proposal/Task: The student is to select five modern pieces of artworks and explain how they represent/show that the humanism movement is still a part of art to this day.

Requirements: Assemble a minimum of five works of art that relate to the thesis statement. Images should have the following information: artist, title, date.

Conclusion: After gathering and explaining the 5 artworks you have chosen the reader/ grader of this assignment should be able to easily tell how each individual piece of art relates to the humanism movement and how it is similar or different to the 3 artworks that I have listed above.  

Work Cited:Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, "Standing Male Worshipper (Tell Asmar)," in Smarthistory, December 16, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/standing-male-worshipper-from-the-square-temple-at-eshnunna-tell-asmar/.

“Standing Male Worshiper.” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/40.156/.

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Marble statue of a kouros (New York Kouros)," in Smarthistory, December 20, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/marble-statue-of-a-kouros-new-york-kouros/.

“Marble Statue of a Kouros (Youth).” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/32.11.1/.

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Polykleitos, Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer)," in Smarthistory, August 8, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/polykleitos-doryphoros-spear-bearer/.
“Marble Statue of a Kouros (Youth).” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/32.11.1/.

 

Final Project Outline

TOPIC:

The topic that I have chosen is Humanism throughout history. The reason as to why I have chosen the seven pieces of artwork below for my final project is because they all are related to the idea of Humanism. Each individual artwork represents a time period, before, during, and after humanism and the transition/movement from artwork that focused on religion and deities to artwork that focuses on the ideal human, making humans the center of attention.

Outline:

                                                     Artist: N/A
Title: Standing Male Worshiper   
Date: 2900–2600 B.C.                   
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art                

Artist: N/A
Title: Stele of Naramsin
Date: 2245 BCE  
Museum: Louvre Museum (Paris) 
 
Artist: N/A
Title: Stele of Hammurabi
Date: 1780 BCE   
Museum: Louvre Museum (Paris)            

Artist: N/A
Title: Kouros
Date: 600 BCE  
Museum: The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Artist: Polykleitos
Title: Doryphoros (Roman copy)
Date: 450-440 BCE
Museum: Museo Archaeologico Nazionale (Naples)

Artist: Michelangelo
Title: David
Date: 1504 
Museum: N/A
            
Artist: Raphael 
Title: School of Athens
Date: 1509 
Museum: N/A

Annotated Bibliography:
Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, "Standing Male Worshipper (Tell Asmar)," in Smarthistory, December 16, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/standing-male-worshipper-from-the-square-temple-at-eshnunna-tell-asmar/.

“Standing Male Worshiper.” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/40.156/.

The authors of the two sources listed above both talked about the Sumerian Sculpture called The Standing Male Worshiper. These sources relate to my topic due to the fact that they talk about a sculpture that was made before the idea of humanism. The sculpture is of a man who has his palms locked together and is praying to who the authors believe is the god Abu since it was found in "The Square Temple"at Tell Asmar. 

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Marble statue of a kouros (New York Kouros)," in Smarthistory, December 20, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/marble-statue-of-a-kouros-new-york-kouros/.

“Marble Statue of a Kouros (Youth).” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/32.11.1/.

The authors of the two sources listed above talked about the Greek Marble Sculpture of Kouros. These sources relate to my topic due to the fact that they are about a one of the earliest sculptures that focuses on the human body instead of a deity or a human worshiping a deity. The sculpture is of a young nude man. The sculpture details the muscle on the human body and also shows a sense of motion in the way that its left leg strides forward, one of the firs sculptures to show movement.

Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "Polykleitos, Doryphoros (Spear-Bearer)," in Smarthistory, August 8, 2015, accessed December 17, 2018, https://smarthistory.org/polykleitos-doryphoros-spear-bearer/.
“Marble Statue of a Kouros (Youth).” The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/32.11.1/.

The authors of the source listed about talked about the ancient roman copy of a Greek bronze original Polykleitos, the Doryphoros. This source relates to my topic since it is a sculpture that idealizes the human body. This sculpture was created when Humanism was at it's peak during that time. Similar to the statue of Kouros, the Doryphoros has a sense of movement but different to the Kouros, the Doryphoros has no symmetry, it instead has contrapposto, counter balancing to show that the statue is suppose to represent a person walking. It's one of the first statues that represents a human/person that could be a part of our world.

 

Unit 2 Summary

Throughout the second unit of Art 1010 I learned a lot about ancient civilizations and how art from those civilizations are similar and how they are different. The four main civilizations that we focused on throughout this unit were Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and early Ancient Rome.

Mesopotamia

The first civilization that we focused on in this second unit was Mesopotamia. Mesopotamian art tend to focus more on being symbolic and it was mainly used as a form to worship the Mesopotamian deities. An example of a piece of Mesopotamian art work is the sculpture named The Standing Male Worshiper. The sculpture was used as a stand in for someone was unable to pray to the deity. Due to the fact that it’s only purpose to worship a deity there was no real detail that can really be seen in the physical sculpture. The only detail that can be seen is the stylistic waves of the beard, the abnormally large eyes and nose with its small mouth and the basic detailing at the bottom of its robe.

Image result for the standing male worshipper

Ancient Egypt

Another civilization which we learned about during the second unit of Art 1010 was ancient Egypt. Similar to art work from Mesopotamia, Egyptian art work was also centered around religion and worshiping deities. However, unlike Mesopotamian art which only focused on worshiping deities, Egyptian art also focused on people who were divine or had divine power and how they would interact with the deities or how they were judged/treated by the deities. An example of an Egyptian art work is the Last Judgment of Hu-Nefer, From his Tomb. This painting represents deities judging Hu-Nefer, a royal scribe who lived a good and religious life. In the painting It shows Hu-Nefer being lead by Anubis to a scale in which his heart will be weighed against a feather of Mo’at, since his heart is lighter than the feather Hu-Nefer is granted eternal life and is sparred from being eaten by Ammit, As these events occur he divine scribe, Thoth, is writing them down. After having his heart balanced he is lead by Horus to Osiris. In the top register it can be seen that Hu-Nefer is praising a long line of deities for allowing him to have eternal life.

Image result for last judgement of hunefer

Ancient Greece

Yet another civilization that we learned about during the second unit of art 1010 was ancient Greece. Unlike Mesopotamian and Egyptian art, which focused more on gods and served to honor/respect them, Greek art focused more on humans and more importantly how humans are at the center of moral and social concerns. This shift from a focus of deities to humans is known as Humanism. An example of a piece of art work that shows this shift is the Marble Statue of Kouros. When comparing this Greek sculpture to the Mesopotamian mentioned above we can see major changes. The Marble Statue of Kouros is more detailed then The Standing Male Worshiper, it emphasizes details to the human represented in the artwork by giving them abs and also by adding detail to their face it gives the statue a sense of emotion. There is also a change in the hair style, no facial hair, and a sense of motion thanks to one foot being in front of the other making it so that most of the weight of the figure to be on that leg that is forward, this is known as contrapposto.

Image result for statue of kouros

Ancient Rome

The final civilization that we talked about during the second unit of art 1010 was early ancient Rome. Like ancient Greece, early ancient Rome also tend to focus more on humans and humanism instead of deities on religion. One similarity yet difference that Roman art has with Greek art is that they both focus on putting detail on the humans represented in their art work but Roman art is far more detailed then Greek art. An example of a Roman art work is Polykleitos, Doryphoros. Unlike the Mesopotamian and Egyptian art works, the Roman statue Polykleitos, Doryphoros focuses more on humans it has a lot of more detailing on the human body, similar to the Marble Statue of Kouros. The hair is less stylistic and more natrualistic, the facial features are not only proportional to each other but also to the entire body of the sculpture, these features also seem to express some form of emotion, something that could not be seen in art from Mesopotamia or Egypt. Another major difference is the stance. most Mesopotamian and Egyptian works of art are of people standing completely straight without any sense of motion in their body unlike Greek and Roman art in which there seems to be motion in all their artworks such as in Polykleitos, Doryphoros. The man represented in this art work is leaning on his right leg instead of standing straight up, this once again shows contrapposto like in the Marble Statue of Kouros,most of the weight of the statue is on the right leg which is why this particular art work has a support on its left leg.

Image result for Polykleitos, Doryphoros

Humanism in Greek and Roman Art

Humanism in art is the era in which the main focus of art shifted from deities to humans. Unlike Mesopotamian and Egyptian art, which focused more on gods and served to honor/respect them, Greek and Roman art was focused more on humans and more importantly how humans are at the center of moral and social concerns. Humanism isn’t just about the shift from of focus from deities to humans but it is also about humans trying to understand the world around them, trying to find explanations as to why events such as natural disasters occur. An example of Humanism can be seen when comparing Mesopotamian and Egyptian art to Greek and Roman art such as comparing the Standing Male Worshiper from Mesopotamia to Polykleitos, Doryphoros  from Rome. Although they are both statues that represent humans they are completely different.

The Standing Male Worshiper is a Mesopotamian statue made to honor a deity, its is used as a stand in for someone who when they are unable to pray to the deity. Since it was used only for worshiping deities there was no detail that can really be seen in the physical sculpture, the only detail that can be seen is the stylistic waves of the beard, the abnormally large eyes and nose with its small mouth and the basic detailing at the bottom of its robe. Unlike the Mesopotamian statue, the Roman statue was used to honor and represent the ideal male. Since Polykleitos, Doryphoros focuses more on humans it has a lot of more detailing on the human body. The hair is less stylistic and more natrualistic, the facial features are not only proportional to each other but also to the entire body of the sculpture, these features also seem to express some form of emotion, something that could not be seen in Mesopotamian art. Unlike in Mesopotamian art, Roman art is used to honor humans which is why most Roman art works are of nude men, it allows the artist to add detail to the actually body of the person such as giving them abs and defined muscle mass. Another major difference is the stance or each figure. most Mesopotamian works or art are of people standing completely straight without any sense of motion in their body which is completely different in Roman art in which there seems to be motion in all their artworks such as  Polykleitos, Doryphoros in which the man is leaning on his right leg instead of standing straight up.

Brooklyn Museum Assignment Part 2 of 2 (Soul of a Nation)

Another piece of artwork that caught my attention was Wadsworth A. Jarrell’s Revolutionary painting, which can be found at the Soul of a Nation Exhibition located in the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Gallery. The reason that I choose this particular painting over the other art works such as The First One Hundred Years is due to the beautiful warm colors, and the slight use of cold colors that the artist used in the painting. I found his diverse use of colors clever since black people are always referred to as colored people, but instead of portraying it as something bad and something to be ashamed off Jarrell portrays it as something beautiful and something that black people should embrace and be proud of. From a distance the painting seems to represent a figure of a man or woman but once I walked towards the painting and got a closer look I was able to notice that the figure in the painting was actually made up of words and phrases. Some of the words and phrases that make up the figure of the person in the painting are “Revolution”, “Black”, “Resistor”, “I have given my life to the struggle”, and “If I have to lose my life in the struggle that is the way it will have to be”. After observing these and many other phrases that can be found within the painting I was able to draw the conclusion that Jarrell was trying to represent and convey the idea of Black Power in his art work.

             After doing some research about the painting I was able to learn that the figure that was created by the words and phrases in the painting is Angela Davis. Angela Davis was a professor and an activist of gender, race, and economic justice. The painting itself is a direct reference to a photograph of Davis at a rally during the 1970s. I was also able to learn that all the words and phrases used in the painting are fragments of speeches she had given before. Not only is Jarrell able to convey the idea of lack power in his painting but by making it based of a female activist instead of a male activist he is also able to portray the idea of gender equality. Similar to Fred Wilson’s Grey Area (Brown Version), Jarrell uses a women in his artwork to show that they are equal to men not only in politics, but in other aspects of life as well.

Brooklyn Museum Assignment Part 1 of 2 (Ancient World)

While I was walking through the Egyptian Orientation Gallery I came across many fascinating pieces of ancient art work such as Female Figure and Amunhotep III but the one the really caught my attention was Fred Wilson’s Grey Area (Brown Version). After closely observing each and every one of the heads I was able to see that they were exactly identical, even the wooden bases they were placed on were exactly identical, the only thing that differed from each one was the color. From left to right, each head became darker in color. One thing that instantly came to mind after observing these traits of the art work is that Fred Wilson was trying to convey the idea that regardless of skin color, we are all humans. Wilson emphasizes this idea by placing the heads on identical wooden bases that are all at equal heights; this also shows that someone with light skin isn’t superior to someone with dark skin or vice versa, it instead shows that we are all equal therefore completely eliminating the concept of social class.

Although Fred Wilson’s artwork is not as old as the other artworks in the gallery it still relates to the Ancient World, more specifically Ancient Egypt. After doing a bit of research I was able to learn that all of the five identical portrait heads that Fred Wilson used were based on Queen Nefertiti. Queen Nefertiti was the wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten, who ruled during the 14th century. I was able also to learn that Wilson didn’t make the heads, instead he purchased them and just painted them. Due to the fact that Wilson decided to purchase the heads of Queen Nefertiti instead of her husband, Pharaoh Akhenaten, he is able to tackle the issue of gender and politics using his artwork. Wilson chose to use the head of the Queen instead of the head of the Pharaoh to show that, although the Pharaoh is the one who is seen as the actual ruler of Egypt, the Queen of Egypt just as important as the Pharaoh when dealing with politics. By using a the head of a women instead of the head of a man in his artwork Wilson is also able to show that one gender isn’t superior to the other, he instead portrays that all genders are equal an important, not just in politics but in society as a whole.

 

Unit #1 Summary

The first unit of Art 1010 taught me a lot about the fundamentals of art and how one can interpret a piece of art work. The two main topics that we focus on throughout the unit were Critical Pedagogy and Formal Analysis. Critical Pedagogy was established in 1968 thanks to the publishing of Paolo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”. Critical Pedagogy is the ideal form of teaching in which the students are equal to the teachers instead of being under them. This ideal form of teaching gives the students freedom to question their teachers about what they are being taught instead of them just sitting quietly without actually comprehending what they are taught, this improper way of teaching is known as the Banking Model.

The Banking Model is the complete opposite of Critical Pedagogy. The Banking Model is a form of teaching in which the teacher deposits information into the students who are empty vessels patiently waiting to receive, memorize, and repeat the information they have been given. Paolo Freire, along with others, believed that the Banking Model was an improper way of teaching because the students never actually gain any knowledge from the information they are given. Instead of actually learning and comprehending what they are taught they take the information they are given, memorize it and use it to get good grades on test. Once they are done with the test and no longer need the information they forget about it and instead focus on other information that they’ll need for another test later on, this is a cycle that is repeated constantly in the Banking Model. Although it has been half a century since Critical Pedagogy was established it is still important to me and others in society today since improper forms of teaching, such as the banking model, are still being used today. Schools and society in general still have the mindset that the higher GPA that someone has the smarter they are but in reality this isn’t true since someone’s GPA measures how well they do in school not how intelligent they truly are.

Formal Analysis was another one of our main focuses throughout this unit. Formal Analysis is when someone tries to understand what the artist is wanted to portray in their work. By using features of a piece of art such as color, line, scale, contrast, position, material, illusion, space and mass we can try to understand what an artist tried to convey in their creation. An example of formal analysis is when we observe the colors used in a piece of art. Artist use cold colors, such as blue and grey, to portray a negative/sad mood and them also use warm colors, such as red and orange, to portray a positive/happy mood. A different type of analysis that can be connected to Formal Analysis is Contextual Analysis. Contextual Analysis is when someone uses external resources such as articles, other works of art, journals, and artist writings to try and understand what a certain piece of art is about. These external resources can also be used to gather information about when a piece of art was created and what the artist wanted to convey to others about the era they in which they their artwork off.

Formal Analysis

Formal Analysis is when you describe a piece of art using features such as color, line, scale, contrast, position, material, illusion, space and mass. Formal Analysis is also trying to understand what the artist is trying to convey in his creation. Color is used in formal analysis to describe or portray a certain type of mood in art. Artist use warm colors, such as red and orange, to portray a positive/happy mood and cold colors, such as blue and grey, to portray a negative/sad mood. Other components such as position, scale, space and mass are used to portray an illusion of depth in a work of art and are also used to make artworks look naturalistic and mimesis. These components of an artwork can also create a form of texture such as using lines to portray that something is rigid or smooth.

Another type of analysis that intertwines with Formal Analysis is Contextual Analysis. Contextual Analysis is when you use external resources to try and understand what a certain piece of art is about. Resources such as articles, other works of art, journals, artist writings can be used to gain information as to when an artwork was made and what the artist wanted to portray to the viewer based on the era they lived in. A component of Formal Analysis that may be helpful in Contextual Analysis is the material used for the artwork. By paying attention to the material of a piece of art the viewer can find out the time period in which that material/ type of art was the most popular and if the artwork was made within that era.

Pedagogy and Power

The banking model to Friere is a concept of education. This concept of education defines students as empty vessels that are filled with information by their teachers. The ones who are empowered by this concept are the teachers and educators who deposit information into the empty vessels, the students. On the other hand, the ones that are disempowered by this concept are the students since they essentially know nothing because they are “empty”. The students are the ones who are at loss when it comes to this concept since the students don’t understand what they are taught, instead the take the information they are given, memorize it, and use it to get receive good grades on test but they never truly gain any knowledge.

An experience that I have had with this form of teaching occurred in my honors physics class during my junior year of high school. My teacher would always just have slides full of information and instead of explaining them he would just read what was on the board. However, when he did explain them the majority was still unable to understand the information that we were given. As a result the majority of the class had poor grades, reflecting their lack of knowledge in the subject. Although my experience with the banking model was mostly negative it was also positive in the sense that it taught me and my fellow classmates how to study on our own so that we we would able to understand the information we were given during class.

Blog Post #2: My Art Story

What is art? When people hear the word “Art” they immediately think about paintings, drawings and sometimes even sculptures. Although this is true, those things are just a very little percentage of what art truly is. In reality there is more to art then just paintings and drawings. Photography, Dance, and Writing are also different forms of art. My personal favorite type of art is Music.

Music is the art of using sounds, created vocally or instrumentally, to express emotion. Music is my favorite type of art. My love towards music began back in elementary school, Cesar Rodney, while in music class. At the time I was in second grade and the class was just beginning to learn how to play the recorder; although most of the kids in the class hated and found it annoying I was one of the few who thought it was fun and entertaining. The following school year I decided to join the school band and learned how to play the clarinet. Although learning the clarinet was a lot more difficult than learning how to play the recorder I didn’t quit. A few months later I performed at my first concert and it was then that I realized I loved it and continued my journey as an instrumentalist. Years later I used what I learned and auditioned to the arts program at my middle school, The SEEALL Academy, and years after that also used my skills as a clarinetist and auditioned for my high school, Fort Hamilton High School, in which I was apart of both the Concert and Marching Bands.

Although I may have made it seem that music is what art truly is about it isn’t.  Art, to me, is defined by creativity. Painting, Drawing, Sculpting, Photography, Dancing, Writing and Music are all just some of the many different forms of Art. The truth is that the anything and everything that has even the slightest bit of creativity can be considered art. In the end there is no definite meaning as to what Art is since the idea of something being “creative” varies from person to person.