IDEA 22 Student

Max Ernst | Cubism, Dadaism, & Surrealism

Max Ernst | 1891 – 1976

Other than art, Max Ernst was very interested with psychology and psychiatry and actually studied both in University. He was inspired by Sigmund Freud and this fascination with the mind made its way into his work. Ernst often shows images of birds in his work.

This comes from his weird link as a young child when his pet bird died and moments later his father informed him his sister was born. I guess this might be part of why he has this peculiar personal link between birds and humans. In his art you see his alter ego known as “Loplop” which is shown as a bird.

Ernst was a solider during the first World War and came out of it deeply disturbed and traumatized along with a large criticism of western culture.

His work was viewed as quite controversial (such as “the  Virgin spanking Christ”) and was quite prolific and influential in art at the time.

I didn’t think I really loved any of his work, but after researching him and looking through about 300 pieces, I found tons I connected with. Definitely an artist I’m glad I got the chance to appreciate.




Otto Dix | Expressionism, Fauvism & Early 20th Century

Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix | 1891 – 1969

Wilhelm was a German Painter and printmaker. His works focused on the brutality of war and German society. Dix was profoundly affected by the first world war, where he fought for the German Army. Otto Dix had a recurring nightmare where he is crawling among destroyed homes.

Otto Dix had been surrounded by art since an early age. His ambition to become an artist was nurtured in his cousin’s (Fritz Amann) studio. I thought this was quite interesting since I grew up surrounded by art (my father is an artist). I always felt very lucky having someone encourage and nurture a love of art and expression. He also took an apprenticeship with the painter Carl Senff and began painting landscapes, and was then later accepted into an art driven school.

Post war, Otto became influenced by expressionism along with Dadaism and started incorporating collage elements into some of his works. In 1924 he had developed a very realistic style of painting where he used thin layers of oil paint over a tempura underpainting.

One of the best things when researching Otto Dix was learning how controversial two particular paintings were. One titled “the Trench” showed dismembered soldiers after battle.

The museum it was displayed in hid the painting behind a curtain. The mayor of Cologne cancelled the purchase of the Trench and then forced the director of the museum to resign. Another painting titled “the War Cripples” was burned.

I couldn’t find why it was burned. I’m assuming it was very upsetting. Plus the Nazi regime did not like Otto and actually forced him to leave his position as a teacher at the Dresden Academy.




Odilon Redon | Impressionism & Post Impressionism

Odilon Redon | 1891-1916 was actually named Bertrand-Jean Redon. Odilon was  a nickname given to him stemming from his mother’s name which was Odile.

Redon had always been an excellent drawer, even as a very young boy, but later dabbled in quite a few different mediums.

He took up sculpture, etching and lithography, later in life he took up pastels and oils which would dominate his work.

His father wanted him to be an architect but unfortunately Odilon failed the entrance test to the school his father wanted him to attend.  His art career took a break when he went to serve in the army during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.

Odilon Redon’s works were meant to be explorations of his inner feelings and psyche. His work was to represent the ghosts of his own mind. So lots of his works (the ones I like best) show strange creatures with a healthy dash of nightmare fuel.

“The logic of visible at the service of the invisible” – Odilon Redon speaking about his art.



Survey 8 | Rise of Black American Culture and the Suppression of Native Culture


Charlestons and Communists | 1915 – 1925

One of the cooler things we learned this week was Russian Constructivism. Personally this style is right up my alley. The colour used is simple and bold with meaning. It’s direct and interesting. There’s so much movement and power. It’s very direct and I love that, though the images are quite conceptual.  There’s something about it that feels like history and something that feels so new.

Research: Culture

With the prohibition in full swing and the rise of jazz, culture and black and white integration were actually being nurtured. Through the love of alcohol and music and how it all had to be kept underground forced people to all be together. Because both sides were engaging in illegal activity it actually brought them together.

This underground culture started blossoming seeing social, intellectual and artistic changes. Speakeasies and Jazz music helped form bars where black and white people weren’t separate. Obviously racial inequality was very prevalent at this time but this was a place where these racial barriers were breaking down. Black American culture was rising in North America.

At the same time residential schools were taking children from their native communities and their parents and forcing christianity upon them.

They were doing their best to erase and suppress their native culture. The children weren’t allowed to speak their language and were not treated kindly. They went through tremendous abuse. The amount of cruelty that happened in residential schools is one of the darker times in the not so far history. Often the children had their names stripped as well.


It was an assault on their identity as individuals and as members of their community.


Survey 7 | Shots Fired…Quietly.


Cubism and Corporate Identity | 1905-1915

We started off the lecture learning about Frank Lloyd Wright being an influential architect in the U.S.A. Wright’s mentor Louis Sullivan coined the term “Form follows function” which was a phrase many designers lived by. Wright was influenced by Japanese interiors and started to implement the simplicity and harmony into his interiors. We also learned quite a bit about Peter Behrens. An important architect from Germany. He designed one of the first corporate identities for AEG. We also introduced cubism and the leading artists of cubism.


The Gun Silencer was patented on March 30th 1909 by Hiram Percy Maxim. Hiram was the son of Hiram Stevens Maxim, the inventor of of the first portable fully automatic machine gun : The Maxim Gun.

The Silencer is interchangeable terminology with both the suppressor or the sound suppressor. The Silencer was patented as the Maxim Silencer and was typically advertised in sporting goods catalogs. It was a tubular device attached to the barrel of a firearms which reduces noise and muzzle flash when fired.

The idea behind the invention of the silencer was for hunting use, to prevent hearing loss of the shooter and minimize recoil. Theodore Roosevelt bought silencers for early morning hunting expeditions on his property so that he would not wake his neighbours…

Though the Maxim Silencer was meant for hunting firearms, Maxim also manufactured them for all sorts of guns. I personally don’t associate them with hunting guns, due to movies I will always think of a 1920’s spy getting away with shooting someone quietly.


Survey 6 | Structured Skeleton


In class today we spoke about important movements such as the women’s suffrage movement, cinematic films, psychiatry, Exposition Universelle, and the first transatlantic radio message. All of these are such important movements for things that we take for granted today.  This was also the beginning of Art Nouveau. An interesting shift for the design and art world. Elements that were very organic in shape such as the “whiplash curves” common in use with hair. This was also a very dramatic time for architecture such as that incredible building that looks like skulls and bones. This was designed by architect Antoni Gaudi called Casa Batllo.


This week Thea and myself are in the category for architecture. We each picked an architect to research and I chose Antoni Gaudi, because of seeing that insane skeleton building during class.

Gaudi’s style is one of a kind and totally unique. This is obvious by looking at his work. He chooses very natural and organic forms for his structures. Most of his work is located in Barcelona. His work includes aspects of typical Catalan patriotic sources and also from scientific and technical progresses of the time. Gaudi’s distinctive and unique style are shown through freedom of form, colour, texture and organic unity.

Gaudi’s artistic style went through a few phases during his life. Originally starting off with a victorian style, moving into clashing geometric masses that had highly texturized surfaces. he included a style called Mudejar – which is a mix of Muslim and Christian design. Gaudi then moved on to historic styles such as Gothic and Baroque.


Survey 5 | Caricatures and Cartoons


In today’s lecture we learned about the Great exhibition, which sounds like a plethora of cultural exhibitions from all over the world. 6million people showed to this exhibition and gave way to more expos all over the world. We spoke about how Japanese culture was all the rage in the western world, leading to Japonism in western Europe. Plus we touched on the perfectionist Charles Darwin and his Origin of Species, and how he almost didn’t publish it before another man.

A larger subject we learned about was the Arts and Crafts movement and William Morris. During all this mass production came a desire and nostalgia for true craftsmanship. For quality products and a genuine art and pride reignited for good craftsmen.


This was a interesting time for caricature. Specifically in France because of its various political changes and revolutions.

This political unrest led to a lot of interesting political cartoons being developed. These caricatures of dignitaries and royalties were banned various times and multiple artists were jailed. These caricatures that displeased the government in any way were forbidden. These caricatures were so important since even illiterate people could understand what was happening in a caricature. So judgements and criticisms of government policies reached all people. Caricature censorship was abolished in 1881.

Some notable caricaturists during this time (not only in France) were:

  • Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)
  • George Cruikshank (1792-1878)
  • Honore Daumier (1808-1879)
  • Thomas Nast (1840-1902)

About Me – Taylor Hamm

So a small bit about me is that I’m currently attending CapilanoU as an IDEA program student.

I love various arts, sculpture is probably my most admired. I personally can’t do it but I love and appreciate the medium still. I previously attended Capilano for the legal assistant program about 3 years ago, then went and worked at a law firm downtown for about 2 years. It was a wonderful experience, but just wasn’t meant for me.

I have an obsession with animals. Definitely one of those people who gets too excited when they see a dog. Though I hate the idea of dog breeds, I know almost all of them by heart.

I can’t pick a favourite animal but currently really want a goat. I wish that apartment goats were a thing you were allowed to have. Going to assume that no one has ever allowed a goat in the apartment. Unsure if it’s possible to litter train a goat, but I’m confident I could. I believe in myself.

I have two younger siblings. They’re both taller than I am. This vertical difference definitely has an effect on the respect they have for me.

I’ve always had a love for photography and enjoy it immensely. My family hates vacations with me because I have to take a photo of everything.Another pass time I enjoy is writing poetry. I find it very therapeutic for when I’m feeling overwhelmed. It’s a fast and simple way of vomiting your emotions into something creative.

Honore Victorin Daumier | Realism, Pre-Impressionism, & Pre-Raphaelites

Honore Victorin Daumier (1808-1879) was a frenchman, painter, caricaturist, and sculptor.

He was incredibly productive making over 500 paintings, 4000 lithographs, 1000 wood engravings, 1000 drawings and over 100 sculptures.

Past, Present, Future

He is best known for his successful caricatures of political figures, and the wealthy. Daumier was witty and talented and a multidisciplinary artist. During his life in Paris, France went through two revolutions and frequent regime changes. His caricatures gave him a loud voice and platform to express the social and political unrest. Honore Daumier actually got arrested and spent six months in jail due to his image of the King as Gargantua. Which is the ultimate success for a political cartoon. If you aren’t jailed, was it successful?

I find his work so exciting and clever. I personally love political cartoons because they find a simple way to illustrate a clever, typically humorous, social or political commentary. So happy to have learned about this artist as each of his works is bursting with emotion.


Survey 4 | Birth of Mass Production

Lecture:  Steam and the Speed of Light (1750-1850)

In today’s class we learned all about the industrial revolution, steam engine, and the speed of light regarding photography. Various technologies were invented or improved during this time. Things like:

  • The steam engine,
  • Lithographic press
  • Cast Iron Press
  • Jobbing Printer/Increase in advertising
  • Wooden Type
  • Braille

This time period was the birth of mass production and thereby mass consumption. The quantity of items and valuables were being produced on a max scale for cheaper giving a wide variety of people more accessibility to these products, including books or magazines.


Research: Science and Technology

The Steam Engine

In 1698 Thomas Savery patented a pump with a hand operated valve that raised water from mines by suction produced by condensed steam. It had only an up and down movement for the pump.

In 1712 Thomas Newcomen developed a new and much more efficient steam engine by including a piston by separating the condensing steam from the water.

Then in 1765 James Watt improved Thomas Newcomen engine by adding a separate condenser to avoid heating and cooling the cylinder with each stroke. He then continued to invent and improve various additions to the steam engine making it continuously more efficient. These improvements made the steam engine much more practical.

The Steam engine was introduced successfully to locomotives on the railways thanks to a train called “Rocket” made by engineer George Stephenson in 1829 that won the Rainhill Trials. The Rainhill Trials was meant to test George Stephenson’s argument that the locomotives would provide the best power for Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Then the first steam boat was a tug boat built by William Symington in 1802 Scotland. It was then applied in the USA to a passenger boat by Robert Fulton in 1807.

The steam engine powered the industrial revolution and facilitated the birth of mass production and wide accessibility regarding location as well as class.