Know Art: Primitivism and the Early Modern Avant-Garde

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  12/31/2014

Jason Lamb Explore the art and the artists, including Matisse, Picasso, Gauguin and Van Gogh, of the Early Modern Avant-Garde movement with COCC art instructor Jason Lamb. The programs at the Sisters and Downtown Bend Libraries are part of the Know Art series throughout January. The programs are free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 3, 2015 • 2:00 p.m.
Sisters Library

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 • 6:00 p.m.
Downtown Bend Library

“Primitivism, or the appropriation of artistic motifs from so-called ‘primitive’ cultures, like the tribal cultures of Africa or the South Pacific, was a staple of the most advanced avant-garde art leading up to and immediately following the turn of the 20th Century,” says Lamb. “Many modern artists were drawn to the forms of these cultures precisely because they were seen as ‘pure and untainted’ by traditional Classical academic rules,” he says. At the turn of the century most Europeans saw these cultures as raw, primal, and savage and Lamb says that is what made them appealing to the artists of the avant-garde movement. “Because they were the direct opposite of the ‘civility’ of the West, they were a perfect fit for the radical ideals of the avant-garde.” During his lecture Lamb will explore the origins of this new style in the work of late 19th Century artists, its application by the early 20th Century avant-garde, and its implications in the broader cultural context of European Colonialism.

Jason Lamb is a published artist, video game designer and art historian with a specialization in Early Modern Art. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Art History from the University of Illinois and went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Art History at Northern Illinois University. He has given talks on various topics in early modern art at Northern Illinois University, Illinois Central College and the Art Institute of Chicago. His current studio practice is focused primarily in digital painting and animation, and recently his painting, animation and design work was used in the 2014 video game Quest for Infamy, published by Phoenix Online Studios. Jason currently works as a full time professor of Art History at Central Oregon Community College.

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