2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Rhythm and Color in Art as Influenced by Jazz
Kelsey A. Kline
Prof. Shirley McKamie, Faculty Mentor

As jazz music rose to popularity in the early twentieth century, people of all backgrounds were drawn to it. Visual artists recognized the distinctive rhythms and defining colors in jazz as inherently unique, and sought to recreate them visually. From Piet Mondrian's colored, pulsating blocks in Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-1943) and Victory Boogie Woogie, created in the following year, to current graphic designer Paula Scher's syncopated typography in her company identities, rhythm is an important element in the depiction of jazz music. In regard to color, Stuart Davis's orchestrated colors in his murals and Henri Matisse's chromatic improvisations in his famous cut-out work, Jazz (1947), show the importance of color to the inimitable nature of jazz music. Finally, Arthur Dove's abstracted illustrations show the all-important emotive impact of jazz. These artists show the inspiration that can be drawn visually from the rhythms and colors of Americas music: Jazz.

Keywords: jazz, modern art, Mondrian, Matisse, Be-bop, rhythm, color


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 5-3
Location: MG 1090
Time: 8:30

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