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Questioning Traditions

Many artists experiment with materials and techniques to create new forms of art.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo created imaginative “portraits” with the eye of a scientist in the 16th century. Johannes Vermeer studied light effects in timeless scenes set in 17th-century Holland, and Joseph Mallord William Turner pushed the painting of light and atmosphere to the edge of abstraction. A constant innovator, Pablo Picasso explored the expressive powers of color early in his career. The 20th century was filled with artists questioning and expanding the definition of art, from the surrealist vision of Joan Miró to the cubist still lifes of Diego Rivera, collage techniques of Romare Bearden, drip-and-splatter process of Jackson Pollock, and comic-book images of Roy Lichtenstein.

As you look at the different works in this chapter, think about the many ways an artist might be an innovator.

card-four-seasons

Giuseppe Arcimboldo
1526–1593
Italian
Download PDF (12MB)

card-woman-holding-balance

Johannes Vermeer
1632–1675
Dutch
Download PDF (8MB)

card-keelmen-heaving-coals

Joseph Mallord William Turner
1775–1851
British
Download PDF (7MB)

card-saltimbanques

Pablo Picasso
1881–1973
Spanish
Download PDF (11MB)

card-the-farm

Joan Miró
1893–1983
Spanish
Download PDF (14MB)

card-nature-morta-espagnole

Diego Rivera
1886–1957
Mexican
Download PDF (11MB)

card-tomorrow-i-may-be

Romare Bearden
1911–1988
American
Download PDF (9MB)

card-lavender-mist

Jackson Pollock
1912–1956
American
Download PDF (19MB)

card-look-mickey

Roy Lichtenstein
1923–1997
American
Download PDF (8MB)

Paperback editions of An Eye for Art are available for purchase.

Overview

Download PDFs:

Edgar Degas (8MB)

Alexander Calder (6MB)

Dan Flavin (3MB)

Martin Puryear (6MB)