Both of these articles referenced how art is a reflection of the feelings of war, and perhaps one of the truest renderings of such a sentiment. The article, “When Modern Art Met Modern Warfare,” specifically discusses art regarding World War I, which, in my opinion, changed the way people see the world. As mentioned in the other article, “Horror is a Constant, as Artists Depict War,” war was traumatic before and after WWI, and the suffering was still great. However, the technological advances and globalized nature of WWI forced the world to experience war on a much closer level and the collective, international trauma was enhanced. This global experience is reflected in the art of the era. That is why I feel it is appropriate for the first article to focus specifically on the art produced as a result of the Great War.
An interesting topic addressed in both articles is the artists themselves. Both mention that much of the art is created by famous artists such as Kathe Kollwitz, Egon Schiele, Goya, Eugene Delacroix, however, many impactful pieces are made by artists who are lesser known. (When Modern Art Met Modern Warfare, page 4) (Alissa Rubin, page 4). This is significant because it demonstrates the universality of the pain and suffering brought about by wartime. Before the 20th century for the most part, discussing the experience of war was reserved for the state and war did not affect the general populous in the same way. During WWI, it became clear that to win a war, you must kill innocent civilians on the opposing side; this leads to much greater devastation and more widespread trauma. This in turn, leads to more art because more people have to cope with atrocities and pain. Therefore, artists make work that is compelling in reference to war, but their work is not worthy of more critical acclaim.
The article, “Horror is a Constant, as Artists Depict War,” posed a very interesting question that has been somewhat discussed but deserves to be analyzed further. “Yet journalism is not the same as art, and this exhibition also poses the question: How do you distinguish them?” (Alissa Rubin, page 4). The article includes a quote in response from a gallery owner who believes that “a documentary photo or a journalistic photo is art when one is completely taken in by it and, at the same time, one is transported by it. The artist helps us to understand the world. It is of little import whether he does sculpture or painting. The same is true of a press photograph.” (Alissa Rubin, page 4) I agree with this in the sense that art is supposed to capture the experience of pain and suffering of war as well as allow humans to wrestle with the implications of such a tragedy. A central point of “When Modern Art Met Modern Warfare,” is that regarding the centenary of WWI (and thus war in general), “No one wants to celebrate—but we do want to look back on the moment.” (“When Modern Art Met Modern Warfare,” page 5). Documentation of events, experiments, and emotions allows us to do just that and that is a powerful tool in healing.
I am an art student at Maggie Walker and this is the place where I talk about what we're making and what we're learning... Through this I can pour out my heart about my artistic experience.