Symbolic Composition of the Spiritual World by Augustin Lesage

This painting absolutely blew my mind when I first saw it. Not only is it a large scale painting but it is also extremely detailed AND symmetrical. Lesage painted this intricate abstraction with oil on canvas. The painting was a representation of his fascination with natural forms and Egyptian influence. The overall shape and color scheme of the painting is similar to the architectural shapes and warm colors found in the Middle East. The intricate composition seems to be representational of the many aspects of the spiritual world. Although there are many different religions and rituals they all are unified under the term of "religion" and "spiritual world". The symmetry and consistent color scheme of this painting is what creates that unity.

Mother Nature (1999) by Maria Lassnig

This particular oil painting on canvas stood out to me because of its vibrant colors that seemed highly saturated in contrast with the stark white background of the canvas. The variety of line width and brush strokes creates a sense of movement that lead my eye around the composition. In exploring the content of this peice, I realized, not only from the title, that it was representational of a subject related to nature. The small trees and animals in contrast with the large human subject create a juxtaposition to the way we normally see nature as being much larger than an individual person.

"unknown" photograph by Viviane Sassen

All of the photographs Sassen presented at the biennale seemed to evoke a feeling of discomfort when I looked at them. She uses such bold colors and such a high contrast of shadows and highlights to create an absolutely striking photograph. This photograph in particular evokes a feeling of pain, fear or death, but when I separate the subjects of the photograph, it all seems very pure and innocent. There is a young girl, leaves, and white sheets, which all seems very harmless. However, it is the placement of the blood red leaves on the eyelids and mouth of the young girl that evokes such an overwhelming feeling of pain and discomfort for the viewer.

9-11-01 (2006) by Jack Whitten

Whitten gives a whole new meaning to the technique of acrylic on canvas. This peice of art was created on response to the September 11 tragedy of 2001. This 10x20 foot size canvas is covered edge to edge with geometric peices of molded acrylic paint that serve as mosaic tiles in this enormous collage. This abstract "painting" represents the emotional heartache and disaster of that day in history. For me, there is a connection between the process in creating this art peice and the process of rebuilding our country after September 11th. Whitten used what could be "old", dried up acrylic paint to form a unified mosaic collage painting, while we, as a country, picked up the peices after the September 11th tragedy and formed a more unified nation. In essence, both the artist and his subject(s) seemed to put the peices back together.

Mer Montee (2011) by Thierry De Cordier

This painting along with the others in this series just blew my mind. The attention to detail, with every tiny crest of a wave or shadow of the water ripples, is just astounding. The painting was created with oil paint, enamel and Chinese ink and was used to create an extremely photorealistic painting. I was initially captivated by the dark and shadowy color scheme which made me want to look closer at the painting, where I found the realistic details of the foamy waters. The troubling shadows of the water evoked a sense of fear and mystery for me.

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