Modern Art

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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...

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...serves as an example of the guidelines/outline of the ideas presented by William Barrett in The Testimony of Modern Art. There were also parallels to John Cage's 4'33 and the painting. Both were existential pieces that had a lot more meaning than what you see, or hear, on the first look. "Bucolic Landscaping" is a perfect example of a modern art piece because it is up for interpretation, and there isn't one way to really define it; this has become the identity that modern art has grown to have.

Works Cited

"Heinrich Campendonk." Heinrich Campendonk Biography. Web. 01 Oct. 2010.

Barrett, William. "The Testimony of Modern Art." Irrational Man: a Study in Existential Philosophy. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1962. 42-65. Print.

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot: A Tragicomedy In Two Acts. New York: Grove, 1982. Print.
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