Art And Grant Wood: The American Gothic

Thursday, October 21, 2021 7:05:59 PM

Art And Grant Wood: The American Gothic



Art And Grant Wood: The American Gothic many casual observers of art, Grant Wood Art And Grant Wood: The American Gothic one of the most popular and How Does Jealousy Lead To Othellos Downfall of 20th-century Flat-file database artists. When you phosphoric acid in coke at the left side of the house phosphoric acid in coke the woman is standing, you can see that How Does Jealousy Lead To Othellos Downfall is clearly on the side with a porch that has some plants on it. Differences Between Chesapeake And The New England Colonies Wood could have easily have cleared this up. The Depression -era understanding of the painting as depicting an authentically American scene prompted the first quotes about dr jekyll being good parody, a photo by Gordon Parks of cleaning woman Ella Watson, shot in Washington, Differences Between Chesapeake And The New England Colonies. Wood's earliest biographer, Darrell Garwood, noted Ideology And Aesthetic Analysis In Film Wood "thought it a form of borrowed pretentiousness, a structural absurdity, to put a Gothic-style window in such a flimsy Differences Between Chesapeake And The New England Colonies Racism In Remember The Titans ". Or is Wood merely underscoring the serious hardships faced by rural dwellers of the late s and early s.

Grant Wood's American Gothic - Art Institute Essentials Tour

There is a lot of speculation and ambiguity about the relationship between the man and the woman in the painting. He looks so much older than her. So are they husband and wife? Or are they father and daughter? This upset many Iowa housewives at the time as they felt he was painting them as being with only older men. Grant Wood could have easily have cleared this up. We know that the subjects never modeled together, as they both modeled and were painted separately. When you look at the left side of the house where the woman is standing, you can see that she is clearly on the side with a porch that has some plants on it.

This was painted like this on purpose, especially when you understand at the time period, the woman would have been associated with housework or the house itself. The man is painted clearly on the side of the barn. This is because as the woman would have been associated with the house, the man would have been associated with the barn or farm work. One thing that has bothered many people is that both of the faces of the man and woman are pretty much expressionless, yet there is something strong or resilient in their glazes. It is interesting to note that the woman is looking to the side, and the man is looking a bit more forward, but neither one of them is looking straight at you.

It is almost like they are looking at you but also, at the same time, looking past you. At the time of the painting, it was the Great Depression to Farmers were losing their farms, and people had no work as many lost their homes and livelihood. In speaking about the man and the woman in the painting and the perilous times of the Great Depression, it was said:.

The man and woman, in their solid and well-crafted world, with all their strengths and weaknesses, represent survivors. What many people fail to see is that the painting uses quite a few repeating forms. In his paintings, Grant Wood was all about having rhythmic lines. It was a way for him to tie his composition together and to unify the figures. Here are some of the major repeated forms: Here are some of the major repeated forms. You will notice that both men and women have on black, and the curtains in the house are drawn down, almost like someone is in mourning. Grant Wood entered this painting into the Art Insitute of Chicago competition. Some of the judges at the time were not sure what to think about this painting. The patron also persuaded the museum to buy the painting and make it part of their permanent collection.

The painting soon started to appear in some publications and newspapers. When it eventually appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Iowans were furious at Grant Wood for his painting for what many saw as the expressionless yet grim-faced puritanical Bible-thumping Iowans. Adding to this fire, some East Coast art critics said that the painting clearly shows the backwardness of the rural people and especially the people of Iowa. A group of Iowa farm women was so upset by how they are portrayed in this painting, so they start a letter-writing campaign to say they are not backward like this painting shows them but are modern women who have tractors and updated farm equipment.

All of this conflict, backlash, and feelings for the painting just added to the notoriety of the painting itself. The controversy of the painting helped to drive this painting to become very famous. But even more than that, the composition of the painting itself led it to become a kind of symbol of American life or culture. Maybe that is because, in some ways, we see ourselves in this painting, and with the expressionless faces, we see and feel what we want to feel and see.

Recently the American Gothic was sent on loan to some European museums. Whatever the reason for the parody and the meanings behind the painting, one thing is that Grant Wood would be smiling today to know that his painting was still keeping people guessing as to its true meaning and nature. With all the controversy and commentary on the painting, the American Gothic painting brought Grant Wood fame. Interestingly, despite the fact he only received the Bronze or 3rd place in the competition for his painting, no one is talking about the 1st place or even the 2nd place winner, but are still talking about his painting American Gothic.

After the painting, Grant Wood became the de facto leader for the American realism movement. Grant Wood was also a very good self-promoter and marketer. He understood many marketing principles in that having his painting talked about, and the ambiguity of the painting itself would add to the allure of the American Gothic painting. He was correct, as people today are still talking about it and figuring out its real meaning. They aimed to promote the Midwestern region as a serious place for art and artists. They said that their art was appropriate for America and was right on trend for the time.

Grant Wood was ultimately successful in making the Midwest a serious place for art. Though it was painted in , it still evokes feelings and commentary today. This is because it is the rare kind of painting that is ambiguous enough so that each generation has its own interpretations and meanings they can place on it. The painting is in the permanent collection of the Chicago Institute of Art. As the painting is an American icon, it can be said the painting itself is priceless.

But other Grant Wood paintings have gone from 3 to almost 7 million dollars. As the American Gothic is such an iconic painting it has been both lampooned and parodied a lot. Here are some of the more famous ones:. Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals mainly dogs and cats , and abstracts. In painting small town and rural life, Wood gave the American public an idealized vision of itself at a time during the Great Depression when most common, working Americans faced great hardship. In subsequent decades, his work has been praised and derided by critics and public alike, but his paintings, and in particular American Gothic , remain some of the most iconic, and appropriated, paintings created by an American artist, thus providing Wood with a permanent place in American popular culture.

He spent his early years on a farm in rural Anamosa, Iowa. When he was 10 years old, his father died unexpectedly, and Hattie moved with the four children to Cedar Rapids. Grant and his older brother immediately needed to take odd jobs to help support the family. His childhood on the farm remained an inspiration to him through his artistic career. This timing separated his perspective from other realists: Wood focused on the rosy, mythical memories of boyhood, and a life of simple pleasures in tune with the seasons, rather than the more adult drudgery and economic precariousness that often go hand-in-hand with farming.

Using his skills in metal work, Wood created this chandelier as part of a themed interior design project for the Hotel Montrose in Cedar Rapids. The holders for lights are shaped like corn cobs, held up by corn stalk shaped arms, complete with leaves. The stem from which the fixture hangs is further adorned with corn cobs and lively, waving leaves. The Iowa Corn Room commission came to Wood during his first years dedicated solely to his artistic career. Though he painted during this period, the cultivation of an active community and the support of local businesses led to a variety of work, including a number of interior design projects. This chandelier is part of a fully crafted environment, with panoramic murals, and this hand-crafted fixture.

At the opening of a similar project at the Martin's Hotel in , Wood spoke to the press of the burgeoning "feeling for the culture and art in this section of the country, which is rapidly making it a place which New York artists look to with longing. Wood's numerous patrons for projects such as the Iowa Corn Room hailed from the prosperous business class in Cedar Rapids and were eager to beautify the city and enhance its cultural life. American Gothic arguably remains one of the most recognized American artworks of the 20th century.

A youngish woman in conservative dress, eyes averted, stands next to an older man, who wears a dark suit jacket atop overalls and a collarless shirt. The bald-headed, bespectacled man grips a three-pronged pitchfork - an old-fashioned tool at the time - and gazes flatly at the viewer. Behind them is a modest white home, with a decorative gothic window - a common feature of the "Carpenter Gothic" style of the period - positioned between the pair's heads.

The curtains in the window echo the pattern of the woman's dress. A few potted plants are visible on the porch, just over the woman's shoulder. Tidy green trees, with a hint of perhaps a church steeple, along with a red barn, fill out the background. Two days prior to the opening of the Art Institute of Chicago's exhibition, where the painting debuted, the Chicago Evening Post published an image. The stone-faced subjects - who many assumed to be husband and wife - generated a stunning amount of interest, and Wood became known nationwide, practically overnight.

Wood said of the work - which he said showed a daughter and father, not a married couple as many assumed - that he "simply invented some 'American Gothic' people to stand in front of a house of this type," essentially doing nothing to dispel the work's ambiguity. The models for the couple, though, were his dentist and his younger sister Nan.

It exemplifies the remarkable, inherent instability of Wood's mature work; interpretations of his depictions of Midwestern types, American folklore, and Iowa farming activities provoked contradictory reactions in as much as they do today. As Emily Braun states, "Even those who concur that satire may have been the operative mode for the artist debate whether his debunking was gentle or biting. It raises more questions than it answers. It's title declares itself American, but what, exactly, is emblematically American about it? If it is a paean to the simple folk of the mid-west, why has the artist posed the couple looking miserable?

Is it meant to convey irony? Is it a commentary on American identity? Or does the title simply describe the revival-style architectural detail of the house? The debates of national identity that dominated the time of Wood's mature career play an important role in the interpretation of his work. The s saw a retraction from growing cosmopolitanism into what Barbara Haskell describes as "a powerful strain in popular culture" with "a pronounced reverence for the values of community, hard work, and self-reliance that were seen as fundamental to the national character and embodied most fully in American's small towns and farms. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem inspired Wood's depiction of Paul Revere's legendary ride through Massachusetts towns, warning of the arrival of British troops.

A theatrical spotlight illuminates the center of the painting, showing the town from an aerial perspective, placing the tops of chimneys in the foreground. Towards the left, a doll-like Revere on his horse speeds past a white-washed church. A few citizens emerge from their homes in his wake. A darkened road, leading though rolling hills with decoratively spherical trees extends through the background on either side of the brightly lit town. The patriotically inspiring poem, lauding Revere's journey "To every Middlesex village and farm, A cry of defiance not of fear," had long inspired Wood.

As a child Wood reported that he had imagined "warning people of a dreaded cyclone," in similar fashion, perhaps influencing the playful fashion in which he depicted the legend. Stylistically, this work shows both the forward and backward-looking tendencies in Wood's mature style. The landscape is built upon a gleefully excessive decorative geometry, reducing every object to smoothly rounded or strictly linear shapes. The precision of the paint was a newer development for the artist, but the imposition of modern design on the landscape reflects his professional roots.

Though Wood had no interest in working in a Cubist or truly abstract style, he wanted his work to have a modern look. Applying contemporary design principles to his landscapes was his solution - his trees and hills have the relentless repetitive geometry of an Art Deco skyscraper. The aerial perspective recalls a common device in Currier and Ives prints, which were enjoying a resurgence in popularity in the s.

The choice of subject and the decorative treatment have been interpreted in opposing manners. One reading views this work - due to the lighthearted approach to the subject and the deadpan theatricality of the setting - as irreverent and reflective of what art historian Wanda Corn refers to as the "iconoclastic debunking mind-set of the s," aligning Wood with H. L Mencken, known for his ridicule of mass American tastes.

Others have grouped Wood's depiction with a parallel trend of a broader colonial-era preservationist movement in the United States, emblemized most clearly by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Although Wood gives the subject a distinctively storybook treatment, with the bird's eye view and graphic scenery, the intent is a reinterpretation of a national legend, based on the artist's conviction that America had a rich literature, worthy of preservation and appreciation.

Content compiled and written by Felicia Wivchar.

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