The depiction of power in art history

Plutarch's celebrated Lives. The other, more relaxed fingers on Napoleon's hand also make it seem as if he is not only pointing but trying to grasp something found only in the realm of the invisible.

Well, take, for example, the sculptor Richard Serra. As it happens, for the purposes of critical analysis, some of the most interesting works of art can actually be those that elicit responses quite different from, or even opposed to, those intended by the artist or assumed by a work's original audience.

Despite the dominance of Lessing's theory, its critics have rightly objected that, even if a work of art is perceptible in a single instant, the response to that work can include a strongly temporal element, as the eye passes over various details, combining and recombining them in multiple ways.

Even though the halo and arrow were removed during a cleaning and restoration inyou can still see the shadow of the two objects if you look closely. The notion that power lies within each of these stars is particularly embedded here.

The use of beautiful half-truths to distort reality, especially the reality of Napoleon as a leader, points all the more forcefully to the value of examining leadership's representation — and misrepresentation — in art.

And when the inequalities that caused this overrepresentation are still very much with us, change can be illusive.

theme of power in art

Even when an art work deals with multiple characters or differing reactions to a character or event, that work cannot show characters or reactions changing — unlike the fluid alterations rendered within the temporal unfolding of a literary text or film.

Of course, no artist or author creates a work in order to demonstrate some component in a theory of leadership.

Power and authority in art history

But in truth, the injunction to study Plutarch was made not by a general, statesman, ruler, or business magnate. Numerous images of leaders rely on a strikingly similar pose to indicate dynamism and to identify the leader as someone who, while moving forward, turns sideways or back to pull his or her followers along. Torres met Ahearn when he was 17 years old, and convinced him to move to the Bronx in To take a very different example, Hogarth's crowded scenes from London life allow us to observe, often with delight in the artist's clever juxtapositions of events and characters, his ironic commentary on the paradoxes, inconsistencies, and injustices of society. Nothing seems to be quite in alignment with the present, which courses through the streets like a reckless toxic current. The horse's manic quality only heightens the presentation of Napoleon as a leader who is powerful enough not just to curb but also to direct — and potentially to unleash — so wild a force. At the same time, this evocation would also satisfy Napoleon's own sense of the usefulness of visual images to his purposes of fostering the loyalty, support, and devotion of his followers. Nevertheless, that art objects can engender deep experience and affect, and are perhaps even effective in the world must have something to do with how they tap into the complexity of power relations of all sorts. As in so many works by David, the open or gesturing hand plays an important role in Bonaparte Crossing the Alps. Our health, personal, economic and political, depends on maintaining room for the expression of dissension and eccentricity. Moreover, for reasons both of space and the limits of my own knowledge, I focus on works from the western tradition — works that are themselves but a tiny fraction of that tradition's voluminous treatment of leaders, followers, and all the ancillary themes that these terms encompass. Wallid Raad stirs this particular pot. Though this line of thinking is compelling, and strikes to the core of something essential to art making, it was also a shadow that I grew up under. In my own work I provide circumstances for powerful private experience and for spectacle. Yet by including the horse, Rivera manages simultaneously to pay tribute to Zapata's own horsemanship, and to signify the union of nature itself — in the form of the horse — with the peasant class that Zapata supported, fought for, and led.
Rated 5/10 based on 30 review
Picturing power: the depiction of leadership in art : Leadership and the Humanities