Major Artists & Acrylic Painting ~ Art History ~ Jenkins Gilliam Warhol Louis
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This is a powerpoint presentation about major vanguard artists who innovated and advanced the art of acrylic. To best assess this presentation, download the preview, which contains 20 actual slides. This listing contains text excerpts, below. In all, there are 186 slides.
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In America, Liquitex was the first company to sell water-soluble artists' acrylic paints in the 1950s. By the early 1960s, modern, high-viscosity acrylic paints were sold in America.
Acrylic paint was used heavily for abstract art when it first came out because that was the dominant art style in America at that time.
Acrylic paint is versatile enough, however, to be used for any painting style.
Artists were known for mixing their own paints prior to acrylic paints. They routinely mixed their own oil and watercolor paints.
But acrylic is a modern day chemically based product.
Although one could mix the paint with media and raw pigments, hand mixing one’s own acrylic paint is difficult. It has too fast a drying time plus other technical issues.
The reality is that artists buy their acrylic paints and its additives.
For an artist to switch to acrylic paint, it is often time which is the critical factor. Artists who are very fast and spontaneous painters, who can quickly fix mistakes, will be more attracted to it than artists who are not.
EXCERPT: SAM GILLIAM’S USAGE OF ACRYLIC PAINTS
Red April refers to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968). Gilliam resided in Washington, D.C. and riots occurred there afterwards.
Gilliam’s techniques in painting Red April were ideal for acrylic paint. Oil, watercolor, gouache, tempera and so forth would not hold up to this versatile, wet or rough a usage.
Gilliam poured and splattered acrylic onto a raw canvas he placed on the floor. This can’t be done with oil paint as the canvas will eventually rot. One can only work on unprimed canvas with acrylic paint.
Gilliam then folded the canvas into accordion like pleats. He let the paint partially dry. He wanted some of it to stay wet so that when he unfolded the canvas, some paint would transfer to other parts of the canvas. Oil paint would have still been completely wet when he pulled it apart.
Gilliam was a major contributor to contemporary art by his work with raw, shaped and/or manipulated canvas with the artist-quality acrylic paints.
EXCERPT: FRANKENTHALER’S USAGE OF ACRYLIC PAINTS
Frankenthaler did use her soaking and staining technique with oil on raw canvas first. The problem was that as the years went on, the oil was corrosive with the canvas. It ate through the canvas so the art work had serious archival problems.
What oil paint requires is a primer of Gesso be painted onto the canvas first. But by doing so, the paint will no longer be able to soak and sink into the canvas. The primer makes the canvas impermeable.
Soaking and staining was exactly what Frankenthaler wanted to do on huge canvases. Acrylic was the answer for her.
The canvas became much more of the painting with her technique. It was how the linen itself looked after the staining and soaking which mattered to her.
Thus the quality of the canvas was all important. With the acrylics, the painting also had a textile aspect to it.
By contrast, with oil painting, the canvas’s chief importance is as a support for the paint.
EXCERPT: HOCKNEY’S USAGE OF ACRYLIC PAINTS
Hockney was one of the first to use the acrylic paints with figurative subjects. The prior slide showed a man in a shower. We could see the acrylics did fine on the body but how would they do with rendering the face?
That answer is on the next slide. Hockney painted a young man and a middle aged man in a room. The faces, the bodies, the drapery in the room, the man’s suit— they are all rendered perfectly and in substantial detail. So acrylic was up to the job of doing figurative and realistic painting too.
The artists then debated the final looks to the paint. Many thought that the oils still looked richer and glossier. But a lot with the acrylics depended on the artist’s mixing. There are additives to use and they vary the final look of the paint considerably.
Thus, the initial question is whether to mix the acrylic paint with water, matte medium, gloss medium, gel medium or any of the other products which are available. There are also a variety of varnishes to put on the finished acrylic painting.
All acrylic paintings are NOT equal.