Modern Art Essay

1963 words - 8 pages

What is the first thing you think of when modern art is mentioned? Random paints splotched on a blank canvas? While this is a perfect example of modern art, there is more to it than just random paintings: the artist has a goal. Unfortunately, a stereotype has been linked to modern art that there really is no art involved. I was a skeptic myself until we began learning about it during class, and when I experienced by first piece of modern art that really moved me: "Bucolic Landscaping," created by Heinrich Campendonk. "Bucolic Landscaping" is very similar to the ideas in Samuel Beckett's novel Waiting for Godot. When looking at the painting, I saw immediate connections to the novel. The man in painting is a perfect example of the two vagabonds, Estragon and Vladimir, and the animals are perfect representations of Lucky and Pozzo, other stragglers who Estragon and Vladimir, otherwise known as Didi and Gogo, come across. "Bucolic Landscaping" was also an outline of the ideas put forth in William Barrett's The Testimony of Modern Art, which is a guideline to the history of modern art and its connections in the world today. While it might not be as clear as the other two, "Bucolic Landscaping" is actually a very close comparison to John Cage's 4'33 which is a piece that is just silence. All three of these pieces are extremely existential, because there isn’t one answer to any of the conflicts or theme. For instance, people might have ideas with what John Cage was thinking or what he envisioned, but nobody knows the exact point of it, which makes it existential and a piece of modern art. Also, in Waiting for Godot, we are led to believe that Godot is God, but we don’t actually know; also, the whole play is full of metaphors and similes, and seems to be a hidden message to a higher meaning. These existential ideas put forth make “Bucolic Landscaping” a perfect fit. Campendonk's "Bucolic Landscaping" is a perfect example of a modern art piece because it is almost impossible to interpret, but it is also easy to compare the existential ideas to Waiting for Godot, The Testimony of Modern Art, and John Cage's 4'33.
When looking at "Bucolic Landscaping," it is almost impossible not to compare the man searching for meaning to the characters Didi and Gogo in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. One of the main parts of the painting that sticks out to the human eye is the man in the top left corner with his arms up. While it is up for interpretation why his arms are up, it seems that he is lost or needs help: he is throwing up his arms in an SOS. The depiction of the man is extremely similar to the cover of Waiting for Godot; the cover features a man, who we could probably assume is Vladimir or Estragon, who is searching or waiting for something. Towards the end of the novel, Estragon questions what will happen if this mysterious man, idea, or creature named Godot shows up; Vladimir responds by saying "we will be saved" (Beckett 109). This is...

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