Saturday, August 3, 2019

An Analysis of Representing Representation Essay -- Fried, Michael

The Studio of the Painter portrays the social and cultural position of the artist. The center group consists of a nude female model, a young peasant boy, and Courbet himself working on a landscape. To the left is a group of people who represent a cross spectrum of society and the various social classes; while to the right are some of the artist’s friends—including the well-known essayist Baudelaire. This painting, along with several others, was hung in Courbet’s Pavilion of Realism; the exhibit was created after Courbet refused to paint to the rules of the French Academy in order to be shown at the Exposition Universelles des Beaux-Arts. Rather than portraying a woman as the traditional allegory, Courbet uses her as the inspiration behind the landscape painting thus creating a connection between the standard female nude and nature. The painting has connections to the theory of absorption by Courbet portraying all of the figures being absorbed in their own thoug hts so that the viewer is being ignored and is rendered unnecessary. Like a play at a theatre, the scene portrayed can be seen as a theatre production being performed for the viewer and essentially makes the viewer believe that they are uninvolved. Overall, the painting is a statement of Courbet’s desire to go beyond traditional painting and viewer roles and create a new way of separating art from the collective eye. Michael Fried’s article Representing Representation focuses on the central group of Courbet’s Studio of the Painter as a â€Å"desire to reduce to an absolute minimum all sense of distance between [the] painting and beholder.† As his introduction, he states that he will compare the painter in the Studio to one of Courbet’s well-known self portraits—The Man with t... ...s from what he is actually trying to say and could frustrate a reader who just wants to learn about Courbet’s Studio. If Fried had covered only one of the topics that he writes about the essay could have been much stronger and more focused than what he has produced rather than a conglomeration of several ideas that the reader has to process in order to get the main idea of what the author originally set out to do. Fried’s analysis is well-written and well-supported and in the beginning he clearly sets out what he is going to cover, but overall it is a lot of information being covered in a portentous style that disconnects the reader from the writing—much like Courbet set to disconnect the viewer from the painting. Works Cited Fried, Michael. "Representing Representation: On the Central Group in Courbet's "Studio"." Art in America, September 1981, 127-133, 168-173.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.