This week’s theme in my online class “Introduction to Art: Concepts & Techniques” is “The Fantastic and You”, with focus on dadaists, surrealists, and independent fantasists of the early 20th century. Aside from the artists discussed in the class, I have a few favourites who inspire me:
I’m partial to Austrian artist Gustav Klimt because I love the expressive lines and rich textures he used. This is “Hygeiea”, a detail of a series of paintings he made for the ceiling of the University of Vienna’s Great Hall between the years of 1900-1907. (According to the Wikipedia entry, in 1894 Klimt was commissioned to paint the ceiling. Upon presenting his paintings, Philosophy, Medicine and Jurisprudence, Klimt came under attack for ‘pornography’ and ‘perverted excess’ in the paintings. None of the paintings would go on display in the university. In May 1945 all three paintings were destroyed by retreating SS forces.)
M.C. Escher remains so popular, I know I’m not the only one to be endlessly fascinated by his use of perspective, illusion, transforming shapes, and contrast.