Psychologists who have studied how viewers react to art works, find that the reactions are often manifested physically, with chills running down their spines, the catching of breath, smiles, tears…especially for those people who are open to the experience of exploring a work and who have at least some fundamental knowledge of art.
Each individual’s reaction to an artwork is different, depending on their history, culture, mood, past experiences and familiarity to the art world.
Much of the work we admire makes us feel good, which is why we want to surround ourselves with it. Even works that evoke stronger emotions, provocative work, is thrilling to gaze upon.
Artists who go out into nature and paint pastoral scenes view and paint similar surroundings that can evoke different responses.
Each artist brings their own sensibility to their works. Artists like Anthony Thieme, Wolf Kahn, Jane Peterson and Milton Avery may have literally walked down the same paths with very different results.
Each work not only reflects their sensibility, but also their use of materials, their mood and the art movement of the day.
Most artists work alone, and many can tell you about their daily routine, what inspires them and how and where they do their best work.
Wolf Kahn’s beautiful scenes of the farmland around his home in Brattleboro, Vermont, were inspired by the lushness of the land but, surprisingly, were completed in a very different world.
“You see what you have to do” he said in an interview for the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, “What you have to do is—I found out one thing.When you live in the country, you paint your worst paintings about the country. It’s when you get back to Broadway and you have the roar of the traffic going on and all the Puerto Rican girls rushing back and forth from their sweat shops.
Then I started painting my barns and all these things because they’re seen through the haze of memory. And this thing—what is it—that Ruskin said that the artist’s emotion captured in tranquility or something.”
Jonas Wood shares a studio with his sculptor wife, Shio Kusaka, whose works he incorporates in his paintings and prints. Wood has become one of the most popular contemporary artists of the twenty-first century. He paints his surroundings and it is the feelings of joy and tranquility that come through in his art.
Two of the most unique artists working today are the team of Luis Montoya and Leslie Ortiz. The two artists, who have been working together since 1994, create both sculptures and paintings together.
Their remarkable works, many recently acquired by our gallery, are surprising, fun and beautifully executed.
Food is the pairs’ usual subject, but they have expanded their subject matter to figurative works that are wonderfully evocative.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Anthony Thieme, Wolf Kahn, Jane Peterson, Milton Avery, Jonas Wood, Montoya & Ortiz or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at Surovek Gallery.
Paul J. Silvia and Emily C. Nusbaum. On personality and piloerection: Individual differences in aesthetic chills and other unusual aesthetic experiences. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 2011.
Ismay Barwell. How Does Art Express Emotion? Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Vol. 45. No. 2. Winter, 1986.
Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Interview with Wolf Kahn. September 17, 1968.