How Science Shaped Modern Art Essay

863 WordsApr 7, 20144 Pages
Midterm The revolutionary ideas that arose in science and philosophy during the early 20th century had profound effects on the artists of the time. These artists took these new complex ideas of time, space, and perception and tried to express them in many different mediums. The painters for example did this using many geometrical shapes and fragments, which was representative of our perception according to time. Take for example Georges Braque’s, “Still Life of a Violin.” This painting perfectly summarizes Henri Bergson’s theory of how we observe motionless objects. Looking at the painting, one would have trouble figuring out what it was. The violin is made up of many different fragments, which in turn abstracts the subject. Bergson says that even if we were observing the same object, at the same angle, in the same light, that the vision of the said object will constantly and infinitely change because of time, which makes the last vision older then the next. These fragments represent the consistency of change in our perception, even when looking at something as simple as a motionless object. Another great example of this is Juan Gris,’ “Guitar and Flowers.” This painting is similar in that it is made up of many different fragments that represent our constantly changing perception. However, Bergson says that these different perceptions of reality go on in our subconscious and that we are only aware of the very few perceptions that interest us or stand out more than others. Perhaps these painters abstracted their subjects in such a way to try to capture this idea of unconscious perception. While looking at these paintings I noticed that there are only one or two fragments among the rest that give away what the subject is. For example the neck of the guitar in,”Guitar and Flowers,” and the scroll of the violin in, “Still Life with Harp and Violin.” To me these

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