Art Review – Post Impressionists

Andy Santana, Staff Writer

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In the 1860s Impressionism began to take form, moving away from traditional Classicalism. Classical art mainly focused on perfecting the human figure and realism; however, Impressionism wanted to explore art and break the rules of classicalism. Initially, Impressionism was criticized and not taken seriously. Eventually, people opened up and accepted it as true art. Impressionism didn’t just break away from traditional art, but it opened a door for many other forms of art, which is known as Post Impressionism. Some of the styles include Cubism (Pablo Picasso) pointillism (Georges Seurat) , and Expressionism (Vincent Van Gogh).

Without understanding the techniques of Cubism, it can be hard to comprehend. It attempts to depict an image from every side as a 2D image, which makes many pieces look abstract and confusing. One of the most famous and influential artists of Cubism was Pablo Picasso. Pablo Picasso had many great works, but his 1937 piece, Guernica, was arguably one of his greatest masterpieces. Guernica was an oil painting with many bleak shades of black, white and grey. It was a response to Picasso’s home town being destroyed by Nazi Germany via bomb testing. The time this painting was made was extremely relevant, which made the audience of that time really resonate with the piece.

Contrary to Cubism, Pointillism is much easier to understand. It’s basically composed of paintings made entirely of dots; Sounds easy — but there’s a lot more to it. A Sunday Afternoon
on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat is a perfect example of the advanced techniques used in Pointillism. A Sunday Afternoon was painted on a large 6′ 10′′ x 10′ 1 which Seurat had to fill with dots. What’s even more impressive is that the painting seems that it is made out of solid colors, but in reality it is really a bunch of multicolored dots that give the impression of solid color. I appreciate Pointillism for its simplicity, but also its unique complexities.

Expressionism is another style of art that used patterns, symbols and even abstract imagery — but most importantly, it showed how the artist felt. It has been speculated that Vincent Van Gogh had severe mental health issues. Distress from insomnia, anxiety and depression plagued his daily life. All of these problems became the catalyst for his most famous masterpiece, The Starry Night. This piece expressed a lot of thoughts that Van Gogh must have had while composing his piece; it portrays how anxiety and depression could have kept him up at night and when he would look up a calm night sky it would be warped and distorted –literally or figuratively — as a result of his mental complications. Expression is a beautiful way to make the intangible things in life tangible.
In conclusion, Post-impression allowed the artist to become innovators, and have the ability to break through the mold they found themselves cast in by Classicalism. Cubism, Pointillism and Expressionism did the job of expanding the horizon for art as a whole. Additionally, it gave the world many amazing and influential painters such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Seurat, and Vincent Van Gogh. Post-impressionism was crucial to the evolution of art