Twentieth-century arts: The Kiss and American Gothic.

The beginning of the 19th to the 20th century paintings are modern arts with wild, expressive, and multicolored ideas. Among of these twentieth-century arts include The Kiss (1908) by Gustav Klimt and American Gothic (1930) by Grant Wood.

Gustav Klimt was born on July 14, 1862 and died on February 6, 1918. Klimt was known as the enfant terrible of the Viennese art world and was not interested in pleasing majority of people through his art. thus, his art was never influenced by public or political influence (Schwartz, 29). His political resistance to public and political influences has led him to depict pictures of gender, power, and culture. However, Klimt’s style of painting coxswained with the extravagance of Vienna at this period as his The Kiss employed grandiosity with unsettling undertones. The Kiss depicts a couple in a tight embrace and intense kiss. It somewhat depicts masculinity as the woman is somewhat kneeling on her bare feet and tightly entangled to the man. The Kiss shows linear and geometric shapes of the Modern Art and Medieval Mosaic as evidenced by the used of shimmering floral patterns and geometric patterns with shades of gold, grey, white and black. Klimt used oil paints and employed a flat two-dimensional background that emphasized the sensual erotic ecstasy of the painting. According to the BBC News, Klimt’s painting The Kiss was hung at the Belvedere gallery in Vienna (n.p.).

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Concurrently, America is also showing persistence of portraiture paintings with depicting social messages in the form of American Gothic by Grant Wood. Grant Wood was born February 13, 1891 and died on February 12, 1942. Wood is a lot more different than Klimt. While Klimt seemed to avoid public approval, Wood is the opposite. In all of his paintings, his love for Iowa, their farmland, and American people, have been clearly shown. He was Iowa’s most famous artist who loves to depict images of family, culture, and environmental richness. Grant Wood’s American Gothic was inspired by the Dibble House in Iowa and his imagination of the people living in it – a farmer and his daughter. While The Kiss is rich with flamboyance, American Gothic is filled with simplicity in line sketches. The style is realistic, American Gothic and shapes have odd but equal elements. In addition, patterns are continuous in nature but are still tied to composition (similar to Klimt’s fixed juxtaposition of man and woman). Both Klimt and Wood catered affectionate form of portraits. however, only Klimt has found its way to show extreme passion of love. Wood’s American belief of the importance of home as the symbol of family and hard work did not manifest on the painting due to the stoic expressions of the father and daughter in front of their home. Nonetheless, Wood’s American Gothic is still considered as one of the world’s most widely recognized paintings comparable to Mona Lisa (Seery, 121).

To sum it up, both Klimt’s and Wood’s paintings depict different social environments and the emotions inclined to it. They both want to convey feelings that would reflect their cultures – love for a person and to your country. They also used portraitures in their paintings. Although they vary much in presentations (Wood adopts simplicity while Klimt employs grandeur as seen on the use of colors), both of them are famous painters on their respective countries whom are good in realism, expressionism, and impressionism.

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