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The Art Evolution

Art today is continuously presenting us with new styles and visions but we must look back on our past masters and the great art movements in order to appreciate the very foundations of what we see today. From our ancestors very earliest simple representations life around them to the abstract contemporary art we now see, many great art movements have curved our attitudes and visions.

Try to imagine stone age art and what materials our ancestors must have used. Paintings found in caves were represent al of the lives our ancestors lived. In a way the paintings had an abstract quality to them but perhaps this was simply because of the lack of materials and understanding of how to produce the form and depth needed to recreate life like representations on a 2D surface.

Eventually as man evolved so of course did the art he produced. Jumping well ahead here to the 13th and 14th centuries just to compare the detailed life like art works to that of the stone age art. No real rebellious boundaries were being broke here as paintings were still just images of life at the time but better materials and understanding allowed artists to produce almost photographic reproductions of their world.

Renaissance art although still keeping the life like detail shows us how artists were begriming to escape from simply reproducing images of their world to expressing more of their imagination and visions. There visions included an emphasis on human beings, their environment, science, and philosophy. Artists such as Donattelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael are to mention just a few artists from this period who helped curve the path for art as we see it now.

By the 19th century one of the many great art movements that stands out for breaking the rules and taking art to new levels is the impressionist movement. Artists such as Manet, Degas, Monet and renoir started painting much more freely using dabs of pure colour and bold brush strokes. There work was more about capturing the feel of the moment rather than producing fine detailed representations. Post Impressionism saw artists like Vincent Van Gogh adopt an even bolder style of expression. Van Gogh's style still portrayed recognizable scenes but his paintings were on their way to becoming abstract.

After Cubism, the world never looked the same again: it was one of the most influential and revolutionary movements in art. The Cubist movement in painting was developed by Picasso and Braque around 1907 and became a major influence on Western art. The artists chose to break down the subjects they were painting into a number of facets, showing several different aspects of one object simultaneously. The work up to 1912 is known as Analytical Cubism, concentrating on geometrical forms using subdued colors. The second phase, known as Synthetic Cubism, used more decorative shapes, stenciling, collage, and brighter colors. It was then that artists such as Picasso and Braque started to use pieces of cut-up newspaper in their paintings.

There are so many art movements and great masters of the past that have influenced art as we see it today but what we have seen is the growth of art into so much more than just reproducing a scene. Art is all about freedom of expression and just to mention a few more of the great masters what about the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and the great mathematical genius MC Escher. How about Jackson Pollock and his style of throwing paint at a canvas.

The art term spoken so commonly today is contemporary art. What is contemporary art? The term contemporary art encompasses all art being done now. It tends to include any art made from around the 1960s to the present, or after the end of the modern art period.

Art today takes many different shapes and forms but we cannot forget its routes and the great movements and past artists who influence today's artists. The Listening pond displays works from some of today's freshest artists so take a look around the Listening Pond art galleries and make of it as you will.