|CREATING MOTION ON CANVAS
J. M. W. Turner -- Rain, Steam, and Speed (1844)
Giacomo Balla -- Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912)
How can an artist give the dimension of movement to the flat, still surface of his canvas? This question has
perplexed and intrigued painters for generations -- and the solutions they have offered have been many and varied.
Some artists have painted images that we quite naturally associate with movement -- Degas' ballerinas and
Delacroix's rearing horses, for example, "frozen" in mid-motion for eternity. Other artists such as Victor Vasarely
and Bridget Riley have used the theories of optics to trick our eyes with illusions that make the colors and lines of
their paintings seem to quiver and pulsate on their own. Still others like Jackson Pollock and his fellow Action
Painters attempted, as the name implies, to incorporate their own movements and gestures into their paintings.
English artist J. M. W. Turner and Italian Giacomo Balla offered solutions of their own, as well. Turner, who lived
and worked in the first half of the 19th Century, was one of the foremost landscape painters of his or any time. In
dramatic scenes of swirling smoke and mist, wind, rain and snow, Turner created powerful portrayals of the moods
and energy of nature. Even to modern eyes his works seem visionary, bordering on the abstract. Several
generations later, Balla with his band of self-proclaimed Futurists attempted to create an art of motion itself,
responding to the new technological society of the early 20th Century. In this session of GalleryTime, we explore
paintings by each of these innovative artists -- and put motion into works of our own.
Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash
Rain, Steam and Speed