Friday, August 19, 2016

Artistic Movements You've Never Known

Copyright © Edward Riojas

Picasso had his Blue Period, his Rose Period and even his African-inspired period, and was a member of the Cubist Movement. The Baroque Style had its adherents, such as Diego Velázquez and Nicolas Poussin, as did the Gothic Period, including Claus Sluter and Fra Angelico. There have been Mannerists and Surrealists, and members of the Blue Rider group, the Ashcan School, and the Hudson River School, but what about the Bozo School?
“Blue Horse I” Franz Marc. 1911
(Lenbachhaus, Munich)
Marc was a member of
Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).

Lest we inundate ourselves with too many artistic superstars and art movements carrying the Artsy-Fartsy Housekeeping seal of approval, it is only appropriate that we consider some of the unheralded periods of art throughout history and in our own time. What follows is a scant listing of not-so-important artistic epochs, periods, and movements. I’ve included a brief description of each that will certainly come in handy during your next social function.

The Bozo School: This is perhaps the only art movement fed by a phobia. And if one clown painting isn’t enough, the digression went first to two, then three, until a whole Big Top of grease-painted monstrosities entered our every nightmare.

The Chartreuse Period: I would say that Picasso enjoyed this period, but he didn’t. Too many jalapenos, too much Cheese-Wiz, and not enough Pepto-Bismol after a night of drinking. “Guernica,” however, was probably the result of the same.
“Both Members of this Club”
George Bellows. 1909.
(National Gallery of Art, D.C.)
Bellows was a member of
The Ashcan School.

The Reddish-yellow, But-not-quite-Brown Era: Most everyone likes this era. Not. It centered around artist wanna-bees who turned their palettes into visual mud pits while mixing together all their favorite colors. Including chartreuse.

The Yarn Style: An art style with fashion leanings, this took the Granny Square to new depths, traversing philosophical questions from “Who seriously thought Granny Square swim trunks would hold their shape in water?” to “When did my swim trunks become a tourniquet for my waist?,” and other things. Mostly, we now look at the hideous constructions produced by the style and shudder.

Confusionist School: Framed within the context of unrealized talent and laziness, this became a fungicidal group for those who aspire to little and produce less, but somehow manage to create a following. Their rhetoric and applications for art grants produces laughter in most corners, excepting art critics and mindless TV talk show hosts.
“Composition VII”
Wassily Kandinsky.1913.
(The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow)
Kandinsky was a member of
Der Blaue Reiter, but also created
non-objective pieces.

Discombobulists: A co-movement of the Confusionists, these artistic cousins will never hit the talk show circuit, and are proud of it. Members of the movement spend untold years undoing old art, only to recreate the same crap in cyclical fashion. Most of their time is spent re-naming the same pieces, and arguing that chartreuse is not really a color.

The Bile Movement: Not to be confused with Non-objectivism... okay, go ahead and confuse the two... this movement came at either end of a long journey pitting radically bad taste against urges to forego all modicum of decency, within the confines of deeply-seated thinking and porcelain ceramics.

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