Modern Art Movement Analysis

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Artists can be affected by the space and events that surround them. Nature is a strong inspiration for many artists, notably in the work of Emily Carr and Lui Shou Kwan. Emily Carr showcases the beautiful forests of British Columbia while Lui Shou Kwan uses the captivating landscapes of Hong Kong. One might instinctively imagine a realistic approach, where the trees and mountains look like how they would in real life. However, both artists derail traditional art expectations into semi-abstraction, incorporating mysticism along the way. That is how they contribute to the Modern Art movement. Paintings such as Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky by Emily Carr and Taiwan Landscape-Ali Shan by Lui Shou Kwan are examples of Modernism. Both of…show more content…
To begin, one of Emily Carr’s artwork is Scorned as Timber, Beloved of the Sky. An oil on canvas painting created in 1935, it is a part of a large collection of similar forest paintings. Held in a beige frame, the work itself is still in good condition. The colours stay relatively true to themselves and speak in cool, earthy tones. Emily Carr was born in British Columbia, and it is obvious that she took inspiration from her environment. The painting depicts a tall, fragile tree reaching towards the cloudy sky. On the other hand, its surroundings are nothing but the ruins of deforestation. The aftermath of a warzone, tree stumps scatter the land. This is one of her paintings that “reveal her interest in the impact of forestry and mining on the coastal landscape” (Grenville). In the every day, the materials one has access to includes toilet paper, cereal boxes, and paper plates, all of them are the results of torn down trees. Even then, the ones still standing are not in the best conditions. The tree in the painting seems to want to escape, reaching for the sky where it is loved, and depart its current state where it is scorned. The viewer will feel…show more content…
Created in 1971, it is displayed in a white, thick bordered frame. The use of ink gives it a neutral colour palette, ranging from warm blacks to light greys, but the painting has a splash of colour in it. This one specifically has some orange in the center breaking through the trees and mountains; the sun rising in the early morning. Although Kwan uses abstraction, he still heavily expresses classical Chinese methods in his work, since he “believed that Abstraction was complimentary within the tradition of Chinese Ink painting in the the twentieth century” (Freundl). A noticeable part of the piece is the Chinese calligraphy written in the corner. It translates to “sunrise breaking through the mist in-between the mountain peaks. Visiting Taiwan in December, 1971. Looking out from the train to Ali-Shan the sunlight shines through the back of the trees making them appear to smoulder” (Freundl). Kwan is observant of his surroundings and gazes upon natures’ spectacles. Despite having very little hues, the painting still feels warm. At first glance, the misty mountains appear to be a waterfall, indicated by the stroke of the brush. These abstract gestures generated by specific brushstrokes is very important to his work. On the other hand, “he would often add a boat or a tiny figure to situate the image in reality and illustrate his belief that nature and abstraction are not in opposition, but

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