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The Influence Of Australian Women On Modernism In Australian Art.

1640 words - 7 pages

Modernism is the movement which developed out of the French impressionism under the influence of Cezanne, Seurat, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse and the artists associated with their respective circles. Artists no longer sought to imitate nature-an ideal the nineteenth century had cherished. Some supporters of the modern movement maintain that the avant-garde artists in the early twentieth century gave up attempting to imitate nature because that was a simple matter having little to do with art. Today we know that such arguments are naïve and indeed untrue. The impressionists did not break with nature because its imitation was easy or irrelevant to good painting. They gave up because they came to realize that it is not possible to separate entirely what we see from what we know and what we feel.All art, even the most naturalistic, is to some extent conceptual. The artists of the modern movement became increasingly aware of this. They also placed a greater emphasis upon the expression of the artist's personality in his work. Paintings were to express the artist's mood and feelings. They also placed great emphasis upon hues,especially the arrangement of line, color and mass in effective artistic structures. Tone, the handmaiden of illusion, fell into disrepute.In Australia the influence of post-impressionism first appears in works of Sydney art students trained by Dattilo Rubbo(1870-1955). He studies at Rome and Naples before returning to Sydney in 1897. A year later, he opened an art school in Blighton and also became instructor in painting at the Royal Art society.Rubbo was a colorful personality greatly loved by his students throught his own school which flourished for forty-three years, brought new interest in color to art teachings in Sydney. His own work devoted largely to portraiture and genre painting, much of it being strong in tone and mood, for he was sensitive to poverty, destitution and loneliness of old age. Yet his paintings could also be, like his own personality, bright in spirit and highly colorful. Not surprisingly, he encouraged an experimental attitude in his pupils. One of them was Norah Simpson, introduced post-impressionism painting into Australia. She began her studies with Rubbo in 1911 at the age of sixteen, and left Sydney on a trip to Europe with her parents in the following year. In the few months they spent in London she attended the Westminister school of art where Harold Gilman, Spencer Gore and Charles Ginner taught. All three were leading member of the Camden townof which had been formed early in 1911 and pioneered post-impressionistic painting in England. Gilman and Ginner had been influenced by Van Gogh, Cezanne and Gauguin. Proceeding to ParisSimpson was able to see a considerable number of impressionist and post-impressionistic paintings, including the work of Cezanne, Gaugain, Matisse, Picasso and other members of the Ecole de paris in the the collections of Paris dealers to whom she had received...

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