The intent of this essay is to compare and contrast the work of two really different creative persons, Andy Warhol and Willem Claes Heda. Heda ‘s beginnings are vague. An lettering “ aetate 84 ” on a 1678 Jan de Braij portrayal of Heda ( c. 1626/27-1697 ) gives us a utile indicant. Heda spent his whole life in Haarlem, where he joined the Guild of St. Luke. Heda ‘s boy, was mentioned as his learner in a papers dated 7 July 1642. He died in Haarlem, in 1680.
Andy Warhol ‘s was born to Czechoslovakian immigrant parents in Forest City, Pennsylvania. He left high school to travel to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. He passed his unmarried man of all right humanistic disciplines grade in 1949, and went to New York. In New York, Warhol found design occupations in advertisement. Before long he began specialising in illustrations of places. His work appeared in Glamour, Vogue, and Harper ‘s Bazaar. Warhol had achieved great celebrity by now. Warhol became a movie manager and manufacturer every bit good which brought him into contact with the universe of media. In 1968, in choler at Warhol ‘s indifference, a adult female called Solanas shooting and about killed Warhol. During Warhol ‘s drawn-out recuperation he began to work on a new manner of art. Considered his “ Post-Pop ” period, the images were chiefly portrayals of life aces. Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Warhol produced 100s of portrayals, largely in silk screen. His images of Liza Minnelli, Jimmy Carter, Albert Einstein, Elizabeth Taylor, and Philip Johnson show a more elusive and expressionistic side of his work. On February 22, 1987, Warhol died of bosom failure at his place in New York.
At first sight, there would look to be nil in common between a Twentieth Century American Pop Artist and a Seventeenth Century Dutch still-life painter. Possibly there is none. The understanding of difference is the beginning of discourse. Yet this essay sets out to demo non merely that there are similarities, but that these similarities are of import for art history and aesthetics. The similarities lie in what these creative persons ‘ images represent and the interplay of genre and tradition that allows them to make so..
In his reappraisal of Charles Sterling ‘s Still Life Painting Ernst Gombrich ( 1959 ) committed himself to the position that the psychological emotions communicated by the inanimate universe of still life could ne’er hold done so without the pre-existence of the genre. He did this in an statement against Croce ‘s position that aesthetic traditions are irrelevant to the intuitions of creative persons. Gombrich does non give a mention, but the followers is relevant. “ Intuition is the uniform integrity of the perceptual experience of the existent and the simple image of the possible. ” ( Croce, Aesthetics ( 1964 P 4. ) Such intuition-expression can non be subdivided. Under this position Warhol would be related through hungriness and the word picture of nutrient ; Hedda in his still lifes and Warhol in his tins of Campbell ‘s soup.
Yet the interplay of genre and tradition is more elusive than this. Even graffiti is a genre, referred to as one by Jamie James in his book on Pop Art ( 1999 ) and Warhol ‘s portrayals, self-portraits and catastrophes are excessively. One could add any position that subordinates genre to forces outside of the control of tradition would come under the same unfavorable judgment. Many Postmodern and Structuralist theories follow Croce ; to be at all emotion must predate genre. For illustration, Lacan ‘s position that constructions of the unconscious manifest themselves symbolically in linguistic communication. Like a groundswell, signifier and signified displacement in an unstable relationship to each other.
In Norman Bryson ‘s position, taken from Lacan ( 1978. ) , the ‘gaze ‘ bids an objectified universe external to itself. It seeks so actively to comprehend that it dissociates the ocular from the societal and lingual and from intending in general. For illustration, the Baroque still life tradition could merely asseverate the world of what it sought to stand for by doing it appear distant. The glimpse of informality has become petrified into a regard. The genre can be subordinated to the societal concern to intercede Dutch wealth to its consumers as a petrified informality. This sounds a convincing manner frontward, but genre is being characterised as a conceptual constituent. In which instance the percipient still associates society with what he sees. The regard depends on the genre: non genre on the regard. The Pop art of Warhol excessively could be seen as effort to intercede American consumers ‘ weakness and philistinism through a blankness of regard that that gives rise to the photographic coldness of his acrylics. Yet at the same clip his fastidiousness follows in the Realist line of Sloan and Wyeth. A specific genre of portrayal, landscape, still life and societal remark is being presented.
The same inability to make without genre could besides be found in Simon Schama ‘s position of the Baroque still life creative persons interceding Dutch anxiousness over their prosperity. To give Calvinist scrupless a sense of being graced through the beauty of their nutrient might be a motivation for some still life painters. Dutch anxiousness over prosperity: the warning to moderation, could hold been a concern of the hardworking Heda, but this position depends upon being of a tradition to be expanded. Schama of class is a historian and he assumes the representational nature of the tradition to look into Dutch history and trade. A historiographer of the USA could utilize Warhol in the same manner, but it would non associate the two creative persons as it would foremost hold to associate their times together. Art History and Art unfavorable judgment have to continue by specifying what the work of art is. The psyche of its definition lies in its power to stand for. In sing the picture as representation, I have been influenced by the thought of Paul Ziff. ( 1966 )
I look at Heda ‘s pictures foremost. In Figure 1 Still-life with Gilt Goblet, 1635 ( Oil on wood, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam )
First what do we see?
We see a tabular array with two table fabrics one dark, about black and spread. The other is white and has been partly pulled away. On the tabular array are three ornately painted and glazed China home bases. On the home bases are little pieces of oysters, other shellfish and staff of life. At the dorsum is a big pewter goblet with its palpebra still unfastened. Following to it, organizing the vertex of a pyramidic diagonal axis with the other objects on the tabular array stands a aureate one with its lid shut. A salt-cellar and a crewet, perchance of acetum stand following to a glass that takes up the Centre of the composing. It contains a standard step of vino. Another empty glass stands farther over on the left. Oysters still in their shells are scattered on the tabular array. A bare-assed lemon is on the right by another upset glass goblet. In the Centre left a aureate goblet with a shallow rim ( called a tazza ) has been cast on its side. Its place focuses on the brocaded metalwork on its side, a form that is caught up in the chased guild cup on the tabular array. A knife lies in the 3rd home base wrapped in the white table-cloth. Its big grip seems poised to fall every bit do two of the home bases.
Second, what is associated with what we see?
The colorss are monochromatic and yet sparkle with a glow that carries from the dented, or reflecting pewter jug to the intricate item of the lemon with its swinging squashy Peel. These colorss are besides associations to what we see. Everyday objects made enrapturing in elusive counter places of visible radiation and shadiness. Cherished glass and pewter rendered sombre in monochromatic manner. We are cognizant all the clip that what we see has facets go throughing into an unseeable yesteryear. The souvenir mori of a skull. The hour-glass, the clock, a taper, lit or snuffed, could all convey clip passing. Other painters show us a Crown, a scepter etc. , or a bag, or coins. The iconologists tell us they could symbolize power and ownerships. Merely as a knife or a blade could sum up ineffectual heroism and aggression. Powerless flowers decay.
An occasional symbol excessively may be slipped in the still-life. Here the bare-assed lemon symbolizes Deceptive Appearance: beautiful to look at, a lemon yet tastes rancid. Other associations could be symbolic excessively. For case, the bowl conveys a sense of emptiness or the transiency of human animal desire. The vino near to the staff of life could hold a Christian significance. Yet what this image represents besides is a repast merely eaten. Heda ‘s pragmatism even puts a coil of paper incorporating Piper nigrum into the image. Lemon was advised to be eaten with oyster to avoid the less healthy belongingss of the seafood.
Third what is the Specific Visual Aspect?
If we follow Gombrich and non Sterling so we need to asseverate the primacy of a genre, but as Paul Ziff says genres go on. We call this tradition. It is here that we need to research, but merely within a fury of alternate significances stemming from the tradition of vanitas.
The critics present many options for recognizing and what the image specifically represents. Panovsky referred to the Dutch Still Life tradition as ‘disguised symbolism. ‘ He traced it back to Dutch spiritual picture of the old century. Gombrich preferred to believe of it as originating out of Renaissance pragmatism in Northern Europe. Sam Segal emphasised the subjects of transiency and moderation related once more to earlier spiritual subjects. De Jongh would prefer to go forth symbolism to outlook. Vroom refers to the still life painters as “ authors of the Annalss of day-to-day life ” .
Fourthly what set of ocular properties is associated with vanitas?
The banketje genre conveyed a feast with Chinese porcelain, Damask fabrics, Venetian glass and green, glass roemers, with their studded holder, a bekerschroef. Sometimes the images take on the subject of tabakje, a smoke still life, with their sufurated nettle stems as pipe cleaners or zwavelstockje that tell us life is smoke. In contrast there can be the pronkstilleve a manner to demo off with nautilus marrying goblets and rich nutrients.
Is there Christian imagination in the knife? Does it associate to Isaac? Yet how can we be certain? If we want to prosecute the issue of what this picture represents so we need to remind ourselves of the inquiries we are asking..
We are challenged to make up one’s mind what image we want to see. Make we desire to see a warning about impending mortality and the passing of clip? Do we see a warning about the assorted sugariness and resentment of life. It is here that Ziff can assist us. There is a first set of ocular properties ; the tipped glass, the bent fabric, the imperilled dishware and the half finished glass, these depict a specific ocular facet of vanitas. Yet another set of ocular facets, the bare-assed lemon, the subdued colorss, the contrasting surfaces of crustaceans, broken staff of life and acetum and Piper nigrum. Can we associate the two sets of properties. I think non because the specific ocular facet is non in common. What about taking another set of ocular properties?
Do we see a rich jubilation non merely of a banquet or a light repast but a exuberant court to human joy that happened merely a 2nd ago? Despite the toppled spectacless and bowls, the specific ocular facet is most likely to be that of a alleged deluxe, or epicurean still-life. Heda was a maestro at rendering different contemplations of visible radiation. Heda ‘s early vanitas still lifes and breakfast pieces evolved from linear composings to monumental, monochrome breakfast and feast pieces, executed with delicate brushwork that captures a broad scope of stuffs and textures. This image is Hedda at his most typical.
However can we claim the image is both a warning and a jubilation? One set of properties prevarications in its compositional form. Heda did non get down to paint diagonal composings until the mid-1630s: the composings start with level home bases, continue with pieces of jambon and goblets, and culminate in a zenith-like manner with a H2O jug or goblet. The objects are put on a tabular array, but the tabular array is placed against a field background which is queerly crystalline with dull visible radiation. Heda so went back either to his triangular or his pyramid-shaped composings. After 1640 his composings went on to go even larger, richer, and more cosmetic.
We can reason so that there are adequate properties in common for this picture to be most likely a warning because of the day of reckoning impending zenith, the empty, cast-off vass and the China poised to fall. At the same clip it is a jubilation in the diagonal characteristics and the luxuriant vass. Less likely is the acrimonious sweet combination of gustatory sensations as there is no specific ocular facet that enables us to separate a bare-assed lemon, or acetum stand foring its gustatory sensation, or in this instance Christian imagination.
“ I ‘d prefer to stay a enigma. I ne’er like to give my background and, anyhow, I make it all up different every clip I ‘m asked. ” This remark from an interview sums up the funny independency and deficiency of theory in the work of Warhol.
During the clip he gave this interview, Warhol had besides been working on a series of images separate from his commercial advertizements and illustrations. It was this work that he considered his serious artistic enterprise. Though the pictures retained much of the manner of popular advertisement, their genre was merely the antonym. The most celebrated of the pictures of this clip are the 32 pictures of Campbell soup tins. With these pictures, and other work that reproduced Coca-Cola bottles, Superman cartoon strips, and other instantly recognizable popular images, was Warhol mirroring society ‘s compulsions? Where the chief concern of advertisement was to steal into the unconscious and unrecognisable evoke a feeling of desire, was Warhol ‘s work meant to do the spectator really stop and expression at the images that had become unseeable in their acquaintance? These thoughts were being dealt with by creative persons such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Robert Rauschenberg — and came to be known as Pop Art.
If we apply the same set of inquiries to Andy Warhol, 200 Campbell ‘s Soup Can, 1962. First what do we see?
We see a blunt array of soup tins. Each is non indistinguishable to the following. The different soups are presented in a opportunity array of assortments with attendant fluctuations in coloring material and names. The words “ soup ” , “ Campbell ‘s ” and the unvarying ruddy and white visual aspect with gold circles is attractively presented. The 20 X ten matrix nowadayss a formidable and striking wall of nutrient.
Second, what can be associated with what we can see?
Associations include geometrically regular forms ( a cylinder with a partial Ag lunette ) , flag-like chevrons of ruddy and white. This is a traditional Barber ‘s image, with overtones of commercial art, advertisement and packaging. It besides has really basic associations with nutrient. These Sns are full, supplying approximately 10 hebdomad ‘s day-to-day soup for two people. In this sense the genre of soup tins can be straight compared with the still life genre of 17th century Holland. It excessively shows comestible nutrient, but alternatively of the geometrised confusion of headlong and rich ingestion, there is the concealed and humdrum regularity of Twentieth Century Consumerism.
Third, what is the Specific Visual Aspect? The soupcan prints, pictures, acrylics and silk screens constitute a genre in themselves and are portion of the Pop Art tradition. The specific ocular facet in this instance is uniformity. In other illustrations, such as his Big Campbell ‘s Soup Can ( 1962 ) ( oil and acrylic ) , the can is empty. In others the label is torn. This in its ain manner relates to emptiness and the transition of clip. Though clip ‘s transition can besides be attributed the unvarying images. There is besides a causal difference. The still life painters were craftsmen pluming themselves on bring forthing alone if realistic plants. The usage of a pan-opticon, which is possible is to foster the elaborate word picture of alone world.
Fourthly what set of ocular properties is associated with the Specific Visual Aspect?
The Pop creative persons sought to make plants that seemed to be more like the anonymously produced images found in commercial advertizements. The depthless quality of such pictures seems calculated to propose that there is no underlying subject behind the plants, or more exactly, that the implicit in subject is merely that there is no implicit in subject. All that remains is a surface of highly-finished, visually collaring signifiers. Yet line, coloring material, and texture can efficaciously raise the subtlest dimensions of artistic look in a picture. Where subject-matter and symbolism are the rivetters of significance, line, coloring material, and texture are the finely graduated instruments that efficaciously “ finish ” the significance of any given work of art. Warhol ‘s art is the art of the “ finish ” . Warhol has achieved through line and determine a similar fastidiousness and array to the still life painters. Yet in decision, does the specific ocular image let us to find whether or non Warhol besides makes a statement about being self-conscious in an age of indifference? I think the reply is yes, as Warhol ‘s really usage of uniform, but all right textures is doing controlled uniformity out of opportunity uniformity. This could besides sum up an facet of the stillife painters such as Heda.