Ed Telenko decided to be our guest speaker as soon as he realized that April 16th was a regular meeting and he had not booked anyone.

Ed decided to take us on visual tour on the history and evolution of western art. The tour started with a collection of pictures that illustrated to us the richness and diversity, the art a computer can produce. The computer is no longer just a 'number cruncher' but a tool for artist that shows no limit.

 


After World war 1 the U.S. became the focal point of new artistic movements. The 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, and Minimal art.


Among the movements which flowered in the first decade of the 20th century were Cubis and Expressionism. Cubism art emphasized the geometrical depiction of natural forms. Pablo Picasso was one of the leading cubists. The expressionist transforms nature rather than imitates it, to express the artist's inner experiences. 


  Impressionism was a 19th century movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists. The name of the movement is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, Sinrise. Characteristics of Impressionist painting include visible brushstrokes and the play of light expressed in a bright and varied use of colour. Turner was an English Romantic landscape Painter and water colourist, whose style can be said to have laid the foundation for Impressionism.


Realism was a very popular art form around the mid to late 1800's. A new visual source that created a desire for people to produce things that look "objectively real". Realism sought to accurately portray the conditions and hardships of the poor in the hopes of changing society.


Romanticism art focused on the use of color and motion in order to portray emotion, but like classicism used Greek and Roman mythology and tradition as an important source of symbolism. Another important aspect of Romanticism was its emphasis on nature and portraying the power and beauty of the natural world.


A portrait of a power full Napoleon is a prime example of Neo-classicism in France these paintings were often use to extol the French Revolution's virtues.  Neoclassicism appears to be a natural expression of a culture at a certain moment in its career, a culture that is highly self-aware, that is also confidentof its own high mainstream tradition.


The Renaissance Art led to many changes in both the technical aspects of painting. It began in Italt, a country rich in Roman heritage as well as material prosperity to fund artists. During the Renaissance, painters began to enhance the realism of their work by using new techniques in perspective, thus representing three diensions more authentically. Artists also began to use new techniques in the manipulation of light and darkness, such as the tone contrast.  A painting by Renaissance artists Rembrandt can still continue to astonish, amuse, and instruct us today.


Medieval art lack realism but realism was not the primary concern of Medieval Artists. They were simply trying to send a religious message, a task which demands clear iconic images instead of precisely rendered ones. A great deal of knowledge of perspective in art and understanding of the human figure was lost with the fall of Rome.


The ancient world of Egypt, Greece and Rome had many types of art. Many civilizations flourished there, leaving behind a rich legacy of ancient art. The Classical Greece development of naturalistic representation in the painting and sculpture was very influential in the development of Western art.
 
Now Ed has us exploring the caves paintings at Lascaux, France . The powerful Lascaux paintings were produced about 17,000 year ago. The cave Paintings are predominately animal figures horses, bison and cattle, suggesting that the art may have had ritual significance related to hunting. There are few group or hunting scenes, but human figures are extremely rare. Drawn with vitality and the elegance of great simplicity, the animals are the masterworks of prehistoric art and are of an accuracy that provides invaluable knowledge of human lives thousand of years ago.
 
A variety of techniques, including painting with fingers, sticks, and pads of fur or moss; daubing; dotting; sketching with colored materials and charcoal; and spray painting through hollow bone or by mouth. Several pigments were used, shadowing and perspective techniques were skillfully employed.

The Lascaux cave were closed when the paintings began to deteriorate. Cave replicas have been built to preserve mankind's first work's of art. Rid of body heat and contaminating breath. Pitch black, Cool the caves are at rest again, just as it had been for thousands years.

In another cave, we saw painted hand impressions of people with severely damaged hands. The key question that remains is whether these injuries were the result of intentional acts or of a crippling disease.  


In SE France Chauvet caves paintings are the most ancient on record, 30,000 years old, and depict lions, rhinoceroses, bears, horses, penguins and other creatures with bold realism. Even without explanation from language we still decode ideas from these images.

The need to communicate with others through visual matter never changes.