research point – Is art capable of expressing emotion

I began this project by looking first at the suggested example supplied in the course materials

the link is to a Julie Brixley-Williams drawing locationotion. In the drawing Brixley-Williams uses her drawing medium to suggest a sense of lively movement – the tone in the picture is heavy and the composition includes bold curves. I got the sense that the marks on the paper were made quickly.  After this I then did some research on emotive art. The main web sources I used were Tate online and moma

I looked at examples of expressionism

an 20th century art movement that was active in a century that saw a lot of conflicts, wars and changes . Both websites had a lot of really useful resources. I looked at a range of artists including – Edvard Munch, Max Beckman, Vincent Van Gogt . I was particularly moved by the work of Kath Kollwitz 1867- 1945 who was a painter, printmaker and sculptist . During her lifetime she produced many self portraits. Kollwitz uses tone, composition and her marks to suggest not just a likeness but something emotive  – she seems to explore the  inner character. Many of the self portrait examples on the Moma learning resource include details of the hands which also tell a story.  in my opinion much as a novelist uses words to evoke emotions and feelings an artist also uses their work to convey emotions, when I look at art it is often able to move me and tell me something. It seems artists use a range of different  skills to stir an emotional response – composition, line and tone, and colour. I found when doing the drawing exercises using just lines and marks to convey an emotion I handled my chosen medium in a different way for example my ‘anger ‘ drawings are angular with fierce strong straigh lines , in contrast my calm drawings are much lighter and freer, I felt more relaxed and my lines and marks are rounder and softer with curves.

After looking at whether an artist is capable of expressing emotions I visited the Whitechapel gallery and found that I looked at the paintings in a different way!


Detail of Kath kollwitz self portrait image from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s