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Exemplars from 2008

Page history last edited by R Melles 11 years ago

Level Three Exemplar Essays


The following are taken from the the examinations of 2008.

The General rules for an Art History essay are that you should write a short introductory paragraph, making sure you mention the subject at least once.


90495 Examine the context of an art movement


Overall Level of Performance (all criteria within a column are met): Achieved



Question Number: Eleven


Duane Hanson          Tourists

George Segal            Times Square at Night

                                    Bus ride

Ashcan School          Folk Art

Edward Hopper         Nighthawks


i)The two artworks that I have chosen are Bus ride c1982 by George Segal and Nighthawk c1976 by Edward Hopper.


Busride by Segal is a sculpture work of  plaster castings of people – 4 sitting down on bus seats and 1 standing.  They have been left the white colour of the plaster, and have been left roughly textured.  Segal was concerned with the American society at the time.  He wanted to show the isolation and loneliness of people, even though they may be with others.


Nighthawks by Hopper is a painting of some people at a diner late at night.  They are sitting next to each other however none of them look concerned for the other.  They all look lonely as with George Segals sculpture.  This is also what Hopper is trying to express through the painting.  The loneliness of peoples lives in America.


America, during the 1970s – 1980s was a consumerist society and very rich.  This was because of the agreement that they had with England during WWII.  This was that if America helped to supply them with warfare, England would pay them back after the war.  Therefore, people were caught up in the Communist society and spending their money on material things.


ii)The ideas of loneliness and isolation in the sculpture of Segal and the painting of Hopper relate to the social concerns that both of these artists had during that time.  They thought that America was getting caught up in consumerism and not looking behind the scenes at the depressing lives of others.  Hopper uses urban environments to express this social concern in Nighthawks he used a diner-what would usually be a busy thriving place, but in his painting he shows it as lonely – although there are people there.  Segal does the same – his figures are placed as though on a bus, which is usually busy and crowded, but all the figures are ghostly white, to show their detachment from what we think the world to be like.  Another artwork that it’s concerned with the social aspect of America is Tourists by Duane Hanson.  This Super – Realist sculpture of two American Tourists deals with Consumerism and also stereotypes.  This couple are shown in what is stereo typical of what American tourists to be like.




90490 Analyse style in art



Overall Level of Performance (all criteria within a column are met): Achieved



Question Number: Seven



i)Different us of Cubist features


Scissors Grinder

Speed of an Automobile and Lights

  • Image  broken up and parts repeated
  • Russian constructivist
  • Different light sources
  • Multi coloured
  • Archs to represent the speed
  • Mono chromatic
  • Futurist
  • Image unidentifiable




In Scissors Grinder by Malerich, the image of a person working at a scissors grinder is easily identified.  The image, like most other cubist works is broken up to show multiple viewpoints.  There also seems to be many different light sources which is also used in cubist paintings.  This image is also faceted – looks like stained glass window.


With Balla’s Speed of Automobile and Lights there are a lot more curved lines used.  The image of an automobile is barely recognizable and there are many different viewpoints/light sources.


ii)The reasons for the stylistic differences by these two paintings is because of the two different art movements that these two belonged to.  Balla belonged to the Futurist movement and Malevich the Russian Constructivists.


The Futurist movement was brought about by Marionette’s manifestos (who was an Italian).  The Futurists were concerned with modern life, movement and dynamism through time.  This painting is a good example of what they were concerned with.  The archs represent the movement of a car speeding over a period of time.  The Futurists also were concerned with light and its movement through space (eg. The Street Lamp, 1909).  In the Futurist painting of The Street Lamp also by Balla, it shows a lamp with small dart-like shapes moving away from it pld in primary colours.  The moon behind the street lamp is small and doesn’t have any light “darts” moving away from it, implying that manmade things are far superior to nature – which is what Futurists based their works on.


Scissors Grinder by Malevich is not a Futurist painting – therefore is not concerned with movement and dynamism.  Malevich however, is influenced by the Russian Constructivists who were concerned with the breaking up of images to make them look machine – like.  This is seen in Scissors Grinder.  The man sitting grinding the scissors looks like he is made up of many different metal pieces and looks very mechanical.



Question Number: Eleven

Overall Level of Performance (all criteria within a column are met): Achieved

i)Marilyn by Andy Warhol is a depiction of Marilyn Monroe, the American film star of the 1960s.  Andy has used garish colours eg. Bright yellow for her peroxide hair, bright red for her lipstick and aqua blue for her eyeshadow.  He has used a picture from the film Niagra that she acted in and presented her in a way that she looks like a commodity.


Cindy Sherman however, has taken a photograph of herself dressed up, with the New York high rise buildings behind her.  This photograph is taken from a low angle, making her look dominating.  This image looks as if it comes from a film (she has also called it Untitled Film Still #21 – implying that), and that is what she wants the viewer to see it as.


ii)Untitled Film Still #21 by Sherman is a post – modernist artwork.  Sherman takes pictures of herself and dresses up as various different people (men and women) to make a point about identity.  She usually did “Film Stills” which are not considered as a high art form.  Therefore she was using media that would not usually be used as artwork and making it into an artwork, which was a post – modernist idea.  The reasons behind taking these photographs were because she wanted to question who someone really was.  No one knew what she really looked like behind the scenes.  She was challenging the idea of beauty and being someone that you’re not.  She did this by looking ugly in one picture and then beautiful in the next, so no one knew what she really looked like.


Warhol’s Marilyn however, was made after Marilyn Monroe committed suicide.  Warhol, a pop artist used the movie star’s face and produced her as a commodity.  He was making the point that Marilyn could be reproduced so easily and also making a point about the consumerist society.  For example Black and White Marilyn’s, also by Warhol, was a reproduction of Marilyn Monroe dozens of times over, screen printed in black and white.  He used the picture of her like one would reproduce labels etc.  he was taking the idea of high and low art forms and making what was considered as “low” art and hanging it in a gallery and selling it for the same price as something considered as “high” art.









90491 Describe the meaning of iconographic motifs


Overall Level of Performance (all criteria within a column are met)   Excellence


Question Number: Seven



b) i)The two geometric abstract paintings that I have chosen to do are Disk (c1916) by S.Delauney and Composition of Blue, Red and Yellow (1926) by Mondrian.


Two iconographic elements in Disk are the use of the disk shape and also the use of clashing colours.


In Composition of B, R and Y two iconographic elements are the square and rectangular grid-like pattern and also the colours used.


ii)The disk used in Sonia Delauney’s painting Disk is representative of the fast-paced modern life.  S.Delaunay and her husband Robert Delaunay were fascinated with everything that was modern.  The disk was a motif that she and her husband used throughout all their paintings.  It related to the propellers of airplanes and movement.  This is also seen in R.Delauneys painting Homage to Bleriot, 1916 which contains propellers and disks and the Eiffel Tower.  Frenchman Bleriot had just crossed the channel between England and France and R.Delauney painted this painting as a celebration.


The other iconographic element used in the painting Disk was the colors that she used.  Disk is made up of rings of colours inside a circle painting.  These colours have been carefully placed beside each other so they cashing each other.  The idea that she was trying to convey by doing this was movement and also light.  By placing clashing colours side by side it creates movement in the painting.  This is done by the optical nerve in the viewers eye being ‘disturbed’ by the clash of colours.  It also makes the viewer see something that is not there ie. The complimentary colour of one colour reflected in the clashing colour.


Mondrian also used colours to convey an idea in his paintings, however a different idea to that of S.Delauney’s.  In Composition of Blue, Red and Yellow, Mondrian has only used blue, red and yellow – the primary colours – and black and white.  This is because Mondrian did not believe in using “mixed” colours as he did not think that they were pure enough.  Green was never used because it represented nature which he felt was “unorganized”. 


The other iconographic element that Mondrian used was the straight lines and rectangular and square grid.  In his later paintings he only used straight lines.  Curves were never used because they could easily represent the form of something from nature.  This is why he only used the very simplest forms of things by condensing everything down into squares and rectangles.


iii) I think that iconography was a very effective means of conveying the ideas of abstract painters in this period.  With S.Delauney’s Disk, the disk shape was an effective motif that was used through out the Orphist paintings, like Homage to Blen’ot (even though this is not an abstract painting).  As there were a lot of inventions and feats happening around the Delaunay’s time, life in Paris was fast-paced.  Paris was the centre of the art world and also one of the main centers of the world.  The Delaunay’s wanted to show this through their paintings and were successful, I think, in doing so the movement created through the colour of their paintings was only movement that the eye itself could decipher.  The other abstract painting that R.Delauney painted was Simultaneity of Light on Window.  This painting does not show the disk motif but is made up of differently shaped segments of different dashing colours.  Although this painting is abstract, R.Delauney could not resist hinting at the form of the Eiffel Tower in it.  The Eiffel Tower was another motif that was used inmost of the Delauney’s paintings.  To them it was like the modern day “Tower of Bable” (Rottughes).  They worshipped it because it was a feat for mankind and to them represented communication.  On the top of it was a radio mast and signified the communication between countries and cities.  This was another symbol of modern-life as they knew it and the fast-moving pace that people were living at.


Mondrian was concerned with “universal myths”.  This was an idea that he got from Theo van Doesburg, the Theosophist.  Mondrians painting of Composition of Blue, Red and Yellow shows to what extent he went in conveying this idea to only using what he believed were forms that everybody could understand, and that were “pure”.  Another painting that he painted was Broadway Boogle Woogie (c1925).  This was another abstract painting and shows small squares of red, blue and yellow on a white background.  Once again he only used primary colours and straight lines (squares and rectangles).  *Mondrians work also relates to that of Malevick’s for example his White on White.  This was a white canvas with a White square painted on it.  Mollevich also believed in “universal truths” and believed that things should be conveyed in their purest forms eg. Only the essence.


During this period of time, iconography in abstract paintings like Disk, Composition of Blue, Red and Yellow and White on White were an effective means of conveying the ideas that each painter wanted to.


*Mondrian wanted to show the rhythms of jazz music in a painting – as he believed that jazz was pure and was organized.


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