May 3, 2004

Gregory Theobal
Term paper
Modernist world views
Christine Southmayd
The period of 1914 to 1945 so called “modern period” was an era of
rich diversity in art styles, whatever the discipline was. Artists had
loads of new ideas and were expressing themselves more than ever witch
bought their art to higher levels. People were astonished to hear these
musical arrangements and to see these lines, shapes and colours they were
overwhelm and were still asking for more. It was a time of good prosperity
for artists since the demand for their art was extremely strong. Artists
like Duke Edward Kennedy Ellington and Pablo Picasso are good examples of
artists who had a strong demand for their wonderful work.


Jazz composer, arranger and pianist, Duke Ellington wore those three
titles but consider himself being a composer and an arranger more than a
pianist. Although he was a gifted piano player his orchestra was his
principal instrument. Ellington the leading jazz composer the United States
has ever produce, brought to jazz its elegance and its sophistication. He
brought contrasting elements into a whole by mastering the balance between
tradition and innovation, composition andimprovisationalongwith
individual and group. Duke Ellington wrote several thousand compositions
for example “in a sentimental mood” original version recorded on April 30
1935. It is 4 min and 14 sec piece with Duke Ellington on the piano, John
Coltrane on the saxophone and two members of Duke’s orchestra playing the
bass and the drum. This piece is a perfect example of the sophisticated
elegance Duke brought to jazz. The simplicity and the mood this composition
emits is both comforting and romantic. “In a sentimental mood” is the kind
of piece that’s best appreciated either in couple or in solo, when the sun
sets down in the horizon letting emotions flow. This masterpiece contains
modernist techniques and approaches. Indeed the recording of this piece was
partly from composition and partly from improvisation. The piano and the
saxophone fallowed the composition while the other instrumentswere
improvising. Duke did the arrangements and created this sentimental mood.

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The great painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso is probably the most
important artist of the modern period. Whit a style that was constantly
changing and with the desire to paint models and objects the way he wanted
to paint them, Picasso gave a whole new meaning to the word control. Woman
was his favourite subject, he equally loved and hated them perhaps that’s
why he had so many of them throughout his life and did portraits on all of
them. Picasso had a very interesting way of doing portraits, he painted the
front and the profile on the same visage. The colours use for his portraits
were always colours that had connection to real skin human colour. He
wasn’t trying to do exact representations of his models face or body, he
was painting the feeling the energy they send out. A good example of such
painting is the portrait of Dora Maar a 46 cm x 55 cm painting created in
1937. It consist a portrait of a female called Dora Maar, her face is
painted in two tones of green, her hair are shades of bleu and green and
the background is red, yellow and bleu. The whole scene is framed with a
green line on the edges of the canvas. There’s a few features that make
this painting modern; the brush stroke are very apparent, the facial
features are not realistic same for use of colour. This painting is modern
becauseindoesn’trespectthetraditionalpictorialmodeof
representation.


These two art masterpiece even though are of different genre seem to
complement each other. They both have the same strong energy and mood witch
is a very emotional sentimental mood. When looking at Picasso’s portrait
listening to Ellington’s music piece we can almost imagine that when
Picasso did this painting “in a sentimental mood” was playing in the back.

We could also imagine that it was a very romantic moment between Picasso
and Dora. We see it in her eyes.


In their own artistic discipline these two artists made proof of
innovation and creativity. They are looked at as the best, even masters of
their art and have influence a great deal of other artist. Trough their
works Duke Ellington and Pablo Picasso are both immortalize and will
continuetobelookatasmastersforcenturiestocome.