Comparison of Art

After World War 1, the Arts’ world took a striking change in style, bearing, taking itself through some groundbreaking movements. Before the First World War, art styles depicted the physical and rational certainties of the clockwork universe. Art forms illustrated the three-dimensional reality of landscape and the corporeality of the human body. This was changed after World War 1. The post World War 1 art depicts infinite possibilities and the hunt for new standards, each being brought down in series by the next. Thus, art movements such Dadaism, Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, and Surrealism among others cannot be maintained as important and culturally relevant after the time of their birth.      

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Prior to World War 1, art traditions had a foundation in one of the six great antique civilizations: Egypt, Greece, Persia, Rome, Mesopotamia, India, or China. Each of these societies had a unique and typical style in their art. Ancient Roman art for example depicted gods as idealized humans with characteristic distinctive features. On the contrary, after World War 1, others influenced each civilization due to rising global interaction. The separations of cultures become fuzzy and arts portrayed a global culture. In the Middle Ages, the domination of the church maintained only the depiction of biblical truths at the expense of the reality of the material world. Use of gold in paintings presented figures in idealized forms. Conversely, the post World War 1 period saw the realization of the futility of the idealistic hunt for truth, and progress. Relativity was agreed upon as an inevitable truth. This led to period where history and world cultures are viewed as shifting forms.

2. The sculptural form referred to as Installations

Installations are site-specific (designed to exist only in spaces for which they were made for), three-dimensional sculptural forms deliberated to bring about the perception of a space. Installation arts are either transitional or permanent. This is a departure from conventional sculpture, which is focused on form. Installation arts take into consideration the entire viewer sensory experience, instead of suspending framed points of focus on a neutral wall or displaying isolated objects on a platform.

3. Comparison of the sculpture of George Segal with the sculpture of Michelangelo

Born in Italy (1475 - 1564), Michelangelo Simoni was a sculptor, poet, engineer, architect, and painter. His mural work in The Sistine Chapel notwithstanding, he thought himself a sculptor; not a painter. American George Segal (1924 - 2000) was a painter and sculptor allied to the Pop Art movement. Segal débuted his art career as a painter but his most popular works are cast in life size sculptures. A similarity in the sculptures of Segal and Michelangelo is that they were mostly life size figures of human beings.

Michelangelo art, influenced by the Renaissance periods, had an enthusiastic appreciation for nudity, chiefly male. Segal art defers in that it did not show an appreciation for nudity. Another difference in their sculptures is in the materials they used. While Michelangelo used the conventional casting technique, Segal initiated the use of plaster bandages as a sculptural medium. Segal wrapped a model with bandages in sections, then detached the hardened forms and joined them back using more plaster forming an empty shell. The shell became the ultimate sculpture, together with the coarse feel of the bandages. Their sculptures also differed in that while Michelangelo used to paint his sculptures with more color, Segal initially kept his sculptures white though later he began painting them albeit in bright monochrome colors and eventually started having the finished forms cast in bronze. Segal's sculptures had a ghostly, melancholic appearance since he used minimal color and detail. In Michelangelo's art there is clearly a sensual response to the aesthetic. Though debatable, recent scholars have profiled his works as Neo-platonic and explicitly homoerotic. In the contrary in Segal works, the aesthetics elicits no sensual responses.

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