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Lesson Plans

Re: New Artsednet Member

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Eric Utech (
Wed, 20 Nov 1996 07:54:21 -0600 (CST)

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Dear Janice,
Do you live near Chicago? If you do, you can see The Rock in
person, and find out plenty of information about the painting from The Art
Institute. I, for one, have an art history degree, but I don't know much
at all about Peter Blume.
The things you can compare are pretty abstract. I suppose you
could compare how each of the paintings make you Feel. You could also talk
about how each of them was a part of an important art movement (although
The Rock is Realistic-Surrealism, whereas Guernica is Cubist-Surrealism).
You could compare the social message of one, like the brutality of war
against innocent people in Guernica, to the social message of the other,
like how people cope in a frightening world like in The Rock. You could
discuss how the time sequence is different in each, where one is full of
destructive action, and the other appears to take place long after some
destructive event. You could also discuss the symbolism in each, but I
can't help you much with Blume's symbolism.
I think that another interesting Compare/Contrast would be Guernica
to Paolo Uccello's Battle of San Romano. Although Uccello's painting is
500 years old, it is a good comparison because:
Both are giant paintings of a war scene.
While Uccello was trying to learn how to make things look more
realistic by using perspective, Picasso was trying to make things look less
realistic by using cubism.
One of the paintings glorifies a battle, while the other one shows
how terrible the battle is.
You can tell that one of the paintings was made to make the leaders
look positive, the other was made to make the leaders look negative.
Uccello made a more real-looking, though improbable picture, with
strong visual elements like patterns, colors, and especially lines to show
what was going on in the space. Picasso used no colors or patterns, but he
also used lines to describe the space.
Each painting makes you feel a certain way, like I mentioned with
the other comparison. Although Picasso's work is less realistic, I think
it communicates to me the real horror of war. It gave me shivers when I
saw it in person. Uccello's work, by comparison, is more real looking, but
not realistic in its message, because war is not the glorious picture that
he painted.
If you want a little more info about Peter Blume, I found a
paragraph in The Britannica Encyclopedia of Art. It basically says that he
wasa born in Russia in 1906, immigrated to the USA at age 5, and became
famous for painstakingly realistic surrealistic work, mostly about
industrialization. I'm sure there's a big socialist edge to all this but I
couldn't say....
Let me know if I can help, and good luck.
Eric Utech

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