'The Gallery Dedicated To Lenticular Art And Photography'

Modern artworks and their artists

Continuing our look through some of the artists who produced the greatest Modern artworks of the period…

Anish Kapoor

After growing up in India, Kapoor moved to Israel to study electrical engineering, but soon made the decision to become an artist instead, heading for the UK’s Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea School of Art and Design. He went on to take a teaching role before landing an Artist in Residence position at the Walker Art Gallery, and began to make a name for himself creating beautifully simple, curved sculptural modern artworks, defined with powdered pigments.

As his work developed Kapoor explored the concept of voids in his work, explaining it was all he saw when he looked at himself; there was nothing there, even though there was something. This progressed to mirrored surfaces in the 90s, and his work began to grow in scale and combine with other materials such as PVC membranes and blood-like red wax, filling spaces like the Tate turbine hall, the London Olympic Park, and the Royal Academy of Arts, and continues to work today on a range of high profile projects.

Gerhard Richter

Richter found an interest in art after leaving school, apprenticing as a stage set painter, and eventually studying at Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. He began to work with wall paintings and murals, and furthered his studies at Kunstakademie Dusseldorf, where experiments began in ‘Capitalistic Realism’, which used many of the visual styles of comsumerist Western advertising with elements of the Soviet Union’s Socialist Realism.

He would sometimes work from photos, and regularly created collections of portraits, all of which often reflected on the Nazism he had witnessed during the war, delivered through modern artworks including paintings and art prints of various kinds. The 80s saw a series of still life paintings of candles and skulls, juxtaposed by other, highly colourful, abstract works; and at points the two combined by dragging wet paint over photographs and photo-realist paintings. These abstracts have extended to colour charts, coloured glass sculptures and stained glass windows, and have become the style Richter is perhaps best known for.

Joan Miró

Born to a goldsmith and a watchmaker who sent him to a private school, Joan Miró’s decision to study art somewhat dismayed his family, and the work itself was often met with scorn and derision when he began exhibiting his work. Early inspirations saw him develop Fauvist and Cubist elements to his work, though these soon began to evolve.

Nationalism, Symbolism, and eventually, Surrealism and Automatism all began to soak into his paintings, and during the Spanish Civil War politicisation also began to emerge; at a later point in his life Miró admitted that much of his shifting style and perspective was also affected by depression. His mature style focused carefully on a language of Symbolism within a surrealist, flat-planed, and almost Abstract style, seeking something like a fourth dimension in his art, which he continued to theorise about until he passed away in the 1980s.

Man Ray

The son of a tailor, and a mother who designed clothes and patchwork items, Man Ray talked little about his early life but it made a powerful mark on him, with tailor’s tools often appearing in his art, but it was the work of Old Master painters that really grabbed his attention. He began to work as a commercial artist, and studied at the Ferrer School where he began to experiment with Cubism, and slowly developed a Dadaist style.

Becoming friends with Marcel Duchamp, they collaborated on several projects before Ray moved to Paris and began to work with photography. He gained fame as an iconic portrait photographer and avant-garde filmmaker, with Surrealism often playing an important part in his artworks and photographic prints. He would continue to shift between photography, film, painting and sculpture throughout his life, and pioneered many innovative photographic techniques.

Georges Seurat

Born to a wealthy family, Seurat studied sculpture, and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts developing a theory of contrasts that deeply influenced his work. His first major painting was Bathers at Asniéres, which showed not only elements of Impressionism, but a clear sign of a developing Post-Impressionistic range of ideas.

Those ideas led him to the development of Pointillism and completion of one of his greatest modern artworks; A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. This matured style developed from studies of colour and perception, used to evoke emotions of calm, happiness, or sadness in the viewer. Tragically, he died very young, at 31, leaving work incomplete, and so many of his ideas unexplored.

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