Art History Paper

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 100

Words: 464

Pages: 2

Category: World History

Date Submitted: 10/13/2014 03:53 PM

Report This Essay

The Visual Blues Comparison Essay

The dramatic black and white linocuts of Hale Woodruff reveals the hardships that the African Americans faced before gaining equal rights. One of Woodruff’s works, By Parties Unknown, woefully portrays a black man after being lynched. The man that was just hung is lying on the steps of a church. This linocut piece is very intense because of the harsh black and white contrast and also the imagery of the artwork. This appalling, cruel side of the African American treatment is being put on display as they fight for equal rights. The piece is very busy and does not have any large blocks of either black or white. This chaotic nature draws the viewer in closer and makes them see the tragic outcome of the male figure.

In Jacob Lawrence’s The Brown Angel painting, a bar scene is visited and the hope of better times grasped. This leisure scene has blocks of flat darker colors that make the piece feel almost gloomy, even though it is seemingly lighthearted. The piece is tempera on gesso panel, and Lawrence comes in with a very painterly and figurative approach. All of the sharp-edged figures seem to stick to themselves and an air of uneasiness in sensed in this piece. The perspective is off, but it corresponds with the jagged characters and blocky color. The majority of the art piece has very shady colors, but there is a pale purple color that accents the pervasive darkness and brings a sense of light into the piece. The individuals in the bar are all African American, which indicates that segregation was still in place at this time. Even though the country was not yet equal for all, this artwork shows a more promising future than the lynched man in the linocut by Hale Woodruff.

The two artworks from the Harlem Renaissance reveal the adversities of African Americans living in this time in America through two different styles of work. They are tied together in the cultural and historical aspect, but the two pieces are very...