Office Art Memo
The following essay will identify three examples of each, 19th century Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and seeks to explain how these works fall into the two distinct styles. I we will explain to my boss, who has assigned me the task of managing the art budget and selecting six works to be displayed at the new corporate office, the historical significance of each piece, a description of each piece; with images were possible, and it’s probable placement in a corporate office setting. I will also offer my thoughts as to how each piece is likely to be consistent with our corporate image.
I will analyze some possible symbolisms and characteristics of each painting we deem to be appropriate with our company image and business model within the Travel Retail Industry. TO: Mr. Joseph G. Shill Chief Financial Officer Global Travel Group, LLC FROM: R. J. Nodal Corp. Office Art Budget & Art Selections – 2013 Dear Mr. Shill, Thank you for entrusting me with the selection and management of the artwork for our new corporate office. I have narrowed my focus to the late 19th century French Masters of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist era.
Office Art Memo Essay Example
These works are arguably some of the most recognizable in the world and the Impressionist art movement is considered to be the father of most modern art. The works chosen are In line with our corporate image and company culture of challenging tradition and forging innovation in the market place. Impressionism Impressionism was generally viewed as the art movement that pioneered modern art, and considered by many to be a radical departure from the traditionally accepted tenets of the Academie des Beaux-Arts or the classic French Art Academy by which artistic standards were set.
The artist of the era gave us a different style of painting, new techniques and the conviction to innovate and break with the traditional conventions of art at the times (Snider, 2001). These modern French masters would arguably become among the most recognized names in the art world, and their works amongst the most valuable. The following three works can be classified in the impressionist style, and by the characteristic associated with that style, primarily the changing effects of natural light and atmospheric conditions as experienced while painting en plein air or outdoors (Sayre, 2011).
The Loose, and broken brush-strokes depicting movement is a primary technique of the style. The use of color, specifically the mixing of primary and complimentary pigments against each other, and the portrayal of everyday casual, and leisure scenes are all attributes of the impressionist’s approach. Ultimately at the core of Impressionism, is the capturing of a fleeting moment in time as it is affected by natural light and nature itself (Bernier, 1989). Claude Monet; (1840-1926)
Historically significant, this piece is widely regarded as the piece that inspired the critic Louis Leroy to coin the phrase Impressionist. In April 1872. the newspaper Le Charivari’s Louis Leroy wrote a disparaging critique on the L’Exposition des Revoltes, in which a series of independent artist’s displayed their works outside of the official Salon de Arts for the first time, and their works were deemed Impressions or unfinished pieces. Mr. Leroy was specifically commenting on Claude Monet’s “Impression Sunrise “( Yurasits, 2011).
The painting is of a hazy morning harbor scene at the port of Le Havre evoking a sense of calm and serenity. Yet the silhouettes of the smokestacks and ships masts in the background lend themselves to sense of mystery to what may unfold across the harbor as the sun rises. The use of dull primary hues (blues) and warm secondary colors (oranges) contrast each other perfectly and serve to draw the viewer’s eye toward a central focus, the Sun, just right of center.
The Sun’s rays and reflection on the water is illustrated by a series of horizontal brush stokes that depict movement in the water and the play of the suns light upon it. This piece would be well suited and displayed in the executive conference room as it symbolizes the conviction of innovation in a clam controlled manner in line with targets as stated in our corporate mission statement. Impression, soleillevant 1872 Pierre-Auguste Renoir; (1841-1919) This piece viewed as one of Renoir’s most popular and cheerful canvases.
It is known to have sold in 1923 for USD $125,000. to American collector, Duncan Phillips and recorded as the highest price paid for a painting at the time (Russell, 2008). Blending various genres, landscape, still life, and portraiture, Renoir depicts a social gathering of friends and colleagues at a favorite restaurant, the Maison Fournaise in Chatou, France. The use of light and color is nothing short of spectacular in this piece and adds to the cheerful and leisurely ambiance of the work.
The composition is grounded and balance by the vertical and horizontal elements of the awning and the disbursement of the cast of members. The work is also symbolic of the changing times as a result of industrialization and the progressive rise of the Bourgeois and the charm of their social structures. This piece would show well in any office setting but is best suited for display in the main reception area for all to enjoy as it invokes one of the main target groups of the Travel Retail industry, that of leisure time. Le dejeuner des canotiers 1881
Claude Monet; (1840-1926) In the series of paintings depicting the railway station Saint-Lazare, Monet’s primary focus is on the effects of light and the changing conditions throughout the times of the day. Monet was more concerned with the movement of steam clouds and their interplay with the suns light as it filtered through the overhead glass canopy than with the actual movement of people or trains (Lewandowski, 2006). The imposing metal structure serves to balance the composition as the cold blue/grey hue’s give a sense of strength and modernity.
The series of eleven paintings, of which seven were displayed in the 3rd exhibition of the Impressionists in 1877, were significant as there were few if any, precedents (Dowson, 2010). The painting gives the viewer a sense of industrial progress, and a feeling of innovation through technology and machinery. The symbolism is strong, and at once a bold statement of progress, and should be enjoyed by all while displayed at the executive boardroom. Gare Saint-Lazare 1877 Post-Impressionism An evolution from the bases of Impressionist ideas, post-impressionist painter’s sought to move their work into modernity and the future.
Incorporating a variety of techniques such as the use of vivid colors and the application of thick layers of paint known as impasto, and the use of geometric shapes in their compositions, the artists took a more personal approach to their work. Post-Impressionist artists were known to have influenced and given rise to other sub-movements such as; Symbolism, Fauvism, Expressionism and Cubism (Sayre, 2011). The following three works were chosen not only because they are representative of the genre, but because they also fit the theme of our focus and of our company’s image of leisure, sociable activities and travel.
Vincent van Gogh; (1853-1890) Arguably one of the most recognized works in the world, by any artist, and certainly within the art world. Starry night marks a period in the artist life of tranquility and of imaginative freedom following a history of turmoil and psychological instability. The landscape is the view as depicted from the artist room from a mental hospital or asylum (as they were referred to in that era) where van Gogh had been committed too for approximately one year. The painting is a very personal and subjective view out his window.
The church steeple in the center of the small village grounds the composition. Balance, it seems is achieved by the horizontal elements of the background mountains and the vertical elements of the cypress in the foreground. The visible, flowing brushstrokes lend themselves too the movement of the piece, you can almost feel the seemingly strong current of winds blowing, and the glow of the halo’s surrounding the moon and the stars. While this piece, and all art for that matter is interpreted differently by each viewer, this piece in particular says to me; Tranquility among worldly awe.
This piece was chosen primarily for it’s instant recognize-ability. It is symbolic of our global footprint and reach. Yet it’s elusive and mysterious qualities seems to say; what do you see in me? This piece will be displayed in the main executive conference room for all attendees to take in and reflect upon. The Starry Night 1889 Again one of Van Gogh’s most famous and prolific works, the painting captures the effects of light as depicted in the yellow lighting of the awning and spilling on to the cobble stone street.
The off-centered cafe terrace on the left and the tree on the right foreground balance the composition. The viewer’s eye is drawn toward the middle by the angle of the scene and the horizontal elements of the buildings. The night sky and the foreground shadows play nice off each other and serve to ground the painting. The artist has incorporated his own personal interpretation of what is before him in true Post-Impressionist style, all the wile maintaining aspect of the impressionist approach, the use of lighting and color. Notice that it is a night scene, yet there is no black used in the sky.
In keeping with our theme of social interaction and leisurely activities this piece is to be displayed in the main hallway leading to the executive suites. The Cafe Terrace On The Place Du Forum Arles At Night 1888 Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec; (1864-1901) A truly gifted artist, Lautrec was known to capture the real day-to-day scenes of Paris’s red light district of Montmartre. The seedy and bohemian ambiance attracted artist, writers and philosophers alike (Sayre, 2011). Lautrec’s work was significant in that his style influenced the work of such notable painters as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.
The below piece portrays what could be a typical evening at the Moulin Rouge. Toulouse-Lautrec preferred to portray in his work a sense of personal interpretation and form while not straying to far from the immediacy of the Impressionists. The use of vivid colors and effects of light are evident in this canvas. Staying with the theme of leisure time and social activities, this painting is a perfect example of that motif and as such is an ideal candidate for display in the main reception lobby of our corporate headquarters.
Dance At The Moulin Rouge 1890 It is worth noting that all of the paintings listed here are by famous and world-renowned artist and of very high value. Most, if not all are in the hands of private collectors or museums and available to be enjoyed by the public at large. None of these painting have been seen at auction or have been reported as privately sold in the last decades. Christies of London has reported the last Claude Monet painting to be sold at auction in 2008 “Le Bassin Aux Nympheas” (not Listed in this essay) sold for just over $86 million USD.
Van Gogh’s and Renoir’s have sold for upwards of $100 million dollars. Because of the unfeasible expense we have opted for high quality reproductions averaging between $300. to $500. per piece, and the cost of professionally mounting displaying and lighting each piece of approximately $1200. each, plus any additional costs for unforeseen incidentals. Thus the total budget for the corporate art project should not exceed $15,000. USD.
We feel that all the works chosen are inline with our desired corporate image and hope that the all patrons and visitors to our new corporate offices will enjoy them as much as we have enjoyed researching and selecting them. Additionally, I am compelled and quite pleased to advise you that in light of our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, we have coordinated our efforts with the University of Basel School of the Arts and I am pleased to report that the chair of the art department will initiate a contest among their students for a synopsis of each piece to be included within the displays of the respective pieces.
Our company will award the winner of the competition the funds for two semesters of art or art history related classes and books and is completely underwritten and paid for by our public relations and policy division and therefore not affecting our budget.