Book Review: Shock of the New, Chapter 3 The Landscape of Pleasure

 I continue my journey through the art history book Shock of the New by Robert Hughes. Today, Chapter 3 The Landscape of Pleasure.

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In this chapter, we learn about the impressionist and art displaying the joys of the upper middle class. These artists loved color, plein air painting and subjects included parks, cafes and nature. Activities that most people had access to. I hadn’t thought of it before but the author points out that Impressionism is the longest art movements lasting 40 years and remains the favorite of museum goers.

This chapter featured some awesome artists but my favorite take away this time are the authors quotes. They are short and almost poetic. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Art of this period was about “Eye over Mind” 
  • The visible brushstrokes were like handwriting while the dots of Seurat were impersonal.  Less about the artist and more about the pure color of the moment.
  • In regards to Monet painting the same subject over and over “accumulated evidence of thought” &  ”The more he painted the more he saw” 
  • ”find in nature a time of chromatic intensity” 
  • ”color’s job is to express not describe” 

I missed some of these great statements when I read the book the first time. This is definitely the kind of book to pace out.