Still Life Analasys Of Van Beyeren Gorky

Still Life Analasys Of Van Beyeren, Gorky, And Wesslemann Essay, Research Paper Still Life Paper Assignment In A Roemer with Grapes, a Pewter Plate and a Roll, van Beyeren

Still Life Analasys Of Van Beyeren, Gorky, And Wesslemann Essay, Research Paper

Still Life Paper Assignment

In A Roemer with Grapes, a Pewter Plate and a Roll, van Beyeren

depicts a pewter with some grapes on it on a table with a glass of what I see as

wine, and off to the side there is a roll with some sort of topping. My first

thought was that this was a snack/meal for someone of the upper or upper-

middle class. The caption said, however, that this was a painting of an

everyday scene. I can only derive two things: 1) van Beyeren was upper or

upper-middle class 2) people lived in the Netherlands and every body drank

wine and ate “rich” food.

The arrangement of the items is somewhat casual as if the consumer

had to answer the door or some other relatively urgent occurrance. I’m not the

best art anyalist, but it seems that van Beyeren doesn’t do much for spacing.

It looks as if all the items are about to fall off the table. The table has “big”

features (i.e.: large legs, thick wood panels, etc.), however, the table has a

rather shallow appearence. This gives the whole painting shallow space.

It seems as if van Beyeren painted A Roemer with Grapes… quickly. He

used good lighting, shading, etc., but the evident brushsrokes adds a “quick”

effect. It looks like he painted it as fast as the person eating placed his food

down to attend to something else.

Van Beyeren uses dark, earth-tone-style colors (which I believe adds

more to the upper-class feel). There are really no bright or highly contrasting


Van Beyeren uses thick paint and heavy brushtrokes to characterize this

painting. Even though this painting has heavy brushtrokes, it still has an

evident, “finished” quality. The work looks complete, and seems to have

realistic look to it.

Composition with Vegetables by Gorky is a simple painting of a variety of

vegetables on a table with possibly a cutting board. I suppose Gorky painted

these objects because the people to whom she gave this painting to liked

vegetables. Also, I don’t know what the economic implications of the artist or

those of the recievers of the gift, but it could be a picture of the hope of a better

future to come (being able to afford better food). It could also be the opposite.

Gorky could be expressing the fact that they are relatively well-off and she is

showing that she, and/or the recievers, are able to afford the good-life. I feel it

could be the first since the inpending Great Depression was about to start in a

year. In that case the picture could also be a rememberance of better times.

Or, it just could have been an easily accessable subject no matter what

econmic implications or if the recievers liked vegetables or not.

The arrangement of the vegetables is completeley random. Due to the

synthetic cubist style of the picture, any determinable space would be oblivious

to me. Maybe it’s just the style, but it seems that there are several tables,

however, tht smaller rectangular shape on what seems to be the “main” table

looks as if it is a cutting board.

Gorky, possibly due to the synthetic cubist style, makes the vegetables

very distinct. She chooses to use bright colors, the one that the vegetable is

(i.e. purple for the eggplant, red for the tomato, etc.), to make each item distinct

from the others. For instance, you can’t mistake the tomato for an apple. This,

however, is very unlike the rest of the picture (i.e. the table(s)?).

Like I stated, she uses bright colors. There is no evidence of color

variation to create the effect of shading or any other space-creating tactics. The

color is used to distinguish the different vegetables from each other.

Gorky chooses to use thick paints. The surface of the painting seems

rough like she finger-painted it. I figure this because it seems she wouldn’t be

able to get that much paint in each stroke if she tried to use a brush.

Tom Wesselmann’s Drawing 1964 for Still Life Number 42, 1964 was a

very interesting piece to view. It is an almost cartoon-like construction of two

bottles of beer, an orange (?), a radio, and a clock. This piece could be an

example of common objects found in the average American home at that time.

It could also be an example of what could be found in the artist’s house, too. He

might be trying to convey common items which seems to be a theme in all

three works. This could be related to a couple of people listening to a sporting

event while drinking beer, which relates to what I want to discuss next, which

was a popular past-time then as it is now, except with a television instead.

The objects are placed on a shelf just like they would if they were in any

other house. This is sort of odd, however, because most people put their beer

in the refidgerator. This goes for the orange as well. Even though this may be

just a space constraint, but the clock seems a little close to the objects. This

could also be the fact that the shelf just may be placed high. Another thought

about the clock: is it just me or does it look like the clock is mounted on a

window? Space for this piece comes natural. The fact that this piece was

created in three dimensions gives the work a sense of space. Also, kind of

unnecessarily, Wesselmann uses shading to aid this effect.

Wesselmann’s technique for rendering the objects differs greatly from the

other two. The work almost looks cartoon-like. It has a somewhat realistic

appearence, but the objects look sort of “parodied” (for lack of a better term) like

a cartoon.

The colors are representavtive of a grey-scale. This sort of gives the work

a 1960’s T.V. feel. He possibly uses this to show the “home-iness” of the work,

which was a prevalent topic of all genres (sit-coms, drama, etc.) of T.V. shows

during that era.

In this piece, Wesselmann uses a combination of glass, metal, wood,

and clock parts create this work. It is a three-dimensional construction, unlike

the paintings done by the other two artists. The finish is flat due to the use of

flat paint and charcoal. The techniqe is unique to the other two works mainly

due to the fact it’s not a painting.

All of the works display some sort of food. More specifically, all the works

contain fruit (van Beyeren: grapes, Gorky: lemons, limes, and more,

Wesselamann: an orange). The Wesselmann and Gorky pieces seem to be

similar due to the fact that they seem to display the food in a more middle class

setting (that’s just how I viewed Gorky’s piece, I couldn’t tell from the picture

otherwise), while van Beyeren seemed to display his work as a more upper-

middle to upper class setting. The Wesselmann and van Beyeren pieces,

however, both display some kind of beverage, more specifically, an alcoholic

beverage, while the Gorky piece displayed only food.

All of the works are similar in their arrangement of the forms. Each of the

still-lifes present a casual layout. None of the works show any type of obvious

structure of the arrangement of the items. The Wesselmann and van Beyeren

pieces share a common thread in the effect of the space. Both works display

some sort of depth, even though the van Beyeren piece is a little shallow. I’m

not an expert on synthetic cubist art, but it appears as if Gorky doesn’t even

consider adding space in her work. It’s pretty much an over-head view.

Each work has its objects rendered in its own unique way due to the

different styles of each of the individual artists. The only two that are anywhere

close to similar are the works by van Beyeren and Gorky, because van Beyeren

and Gorky both used relatively large, evident brushstrokes; traits that wouldn’t

apply to the Wesslemann piece, obviously.

Each work displays a different array of colors. The van Beyeren piece

uses dark, earth-tones. This is quite different than Gorky’s use of vibrant, stark

(as in no color variation to distinguish shading, etc.) colors. Wesselmann’s

complete lack of all color alienates this piece from the other two. The purposes

of the artists differed because of the changes in society that have occured since

the 1600’s until the twentieth century.

The materials differed over time. The Gorky and van Beyeren pieces only

differed in the surface they painted on. The Wesselman piece, well, is pretty

much self-explanitory. The finish of the paintings is relatively shiney while

Wesslemann, possisbly by default (altough he could have used a gloss paint),

chooses a flat finish. Each of the techniques differ a lot. While van Beyeren

uses a naturalistic technique, while Gorky’s synthetic-cubist style is far from

naturalistic. Wesselemann’s technique, however, is reminiscent of a cartoonist.

In the paintings, I’m going to exclude Wesslemann in this one, the surfaces

differ. The van Beyeren piece sports a smooth surface despite the evident

brushtrokes. Gorky’s piece has a rough surface probably due to the possible

finger painting of the piece.

Still life subjects, at least in examples, have not changed much. The

different times brought different styles to the subjects, however. This is due to

the changes in people’s perceptions of fine art.