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Art evolves over time, adapting influences from past artists, from society and from current events. Recently it seems artwork has taken on a subjectivity that allows artist and viewer alike more of an ability to interpret the artwork. John Richardson’s essay within A Life of Picasso entitled “Plundering the Past,” discusses the approach that viewers of artwork should look at a piece of artwork and try to see the influences the artist had while creating it. These influences could be from past artists or past periods of art history, or it could be influences from events in society. Although he uses artist Pablo Picasso as his main subject, this could apply to all artists. Johann Joachim Winckelmann, in his article, “Reflections on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture,” discussed the approach of looking for ancient Greek and Roman art influences in modern art of the last couple of centuries. Specifically, Winckelmann noted that many artists use the ancient Greek sculptures of the human body in order to get the musculature and bone structure correct. Allan Kaprow, in his book, “Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life,” he advocates the approach of viewing art as a subjective expression. He believes that recent artists have let go of previously held rigid standards of art and allowed art to be whatever the artist wants it to be. Inspired by Richardson’s discussion of the artist Pablo Picasso, I have chosen to discuss Picasso’s The Pipes of Pan, which was completed in 1923 (figure 1). I have also chosen to discuss Salvador Dali’s Paranoiac Face” which was completed in 1935 (figure 2). Although both paintings were from the 20th century, I have chosen them because the artists’ respective influences were very di…

…ence or was he suffering from delusions? At this time, strides were being made in abnormal psychology and delusions were being accepted as a real mental disorder. I would also like to know whether the artist was trying to create an optical illusion or if this was mere accident. Questions about the artist’s state of mind will remain unanswerable. Whether the artist was trying to appeal to the subjectivity of the times and of the viewers or whether he was suffering from delusions of the mind will probably never be known for sure.

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Works Cited

Kaprow, Allan. Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life. University of California Press,2003. Print.

Richardson, John. A Life of Picasso. Vol. 1. New York: Random House, 1991. Print.

Winckelmann, Johann Joachim. Reflections on the Imitation of Greek Works in Paintingand Sculpture. Open Court Publishing Co., 1986, Print.

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