An interview with director Jared McNeill.
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- Roy Lichtenstein's 'The Conductor'.
Examining the grandeur of previous artistic movements, he created compositions based on the avant-garde movements of the 20th century. In his seminal canvases responding to Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism and German Expressionism, the pristine lines and precise dots underline his self-consciously cultivated aura of industrial production, intrinsic to the Pop Art narrative and his response to the painterly nature of Abstract Expressionist painting.
In the present work, however, the carefully traced lines and vivid arrangement of color are far from automated; the preparatory drawing reveals how carefully the composition took form, the hand-painted surface animated with vigor despite its rigid delineation. In this perspective, he bridged the realms of originality, homage and imitation, moving beyond the pixelated ideals of his earlier comic book paintings, whilst raising similar questions of legitimacy, parody, pastiche and transformation within artistic creation.
Each canvas progresses through the modernity of its own space and time.
While Seurat employs his strict pointillist system of minute dots of paint, Severini applies larger divisionist brushstrokes, defined by the futuristic curvature of line. Committed to the action of the present, Futurism paved the way for the avant-garde at the dawn of the 20th century. Like Pop, Futurism rejected tradition and sought inspiration from new technology.
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- Splendid boards 'The Conductor'.
- Elim Chan - Be the conductor of your own life.
Within this light, it seems distinctly fitting that Lichtenstein should select Futurism as a concern for a limited number of his art historical paintings, asking questions on concept, form and technique. In the catalogue for the Museum of Modern Art Futurist exhibition, which Lichtenstein most likely visited, Joshua Taylor observed the importance of Futurism, anticipating the impact that the movement would have on Lichtenstein.
They translated the kinetic rhythms and the confused, intense sensations of modern life into potent visual form.