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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Art Department

Art of Folly

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/artdept/folly.html

Francisco Goya, General Folly, 1824

The Art of Folly was conceived, planned, juried, and installed by an advanced group of Studio Art and Art History graduate and undergraduate students at Minnesota State University, Mankato.  Francisco Goya’s exploration of the follies of man and reality versus fantasy in his Disparates series c. 1824 was the inspiration for a national call for artworks. We are pleased to be exhibiting works by artists from several states alongside our point of departure, MSU Art Department’s Goya print, General Folly (c.1824). Responses to this theme are varied in subject matter and medium, and demonstrate a vast array of what “folly” can indicate in today’s society.  Despite this broad range of interpretation—from artistic processes to mainstream consumerism, the artwork in this exhibition also mirrors many of Goya’s own investigations into subjects of confusion, anguish, and war, illustrating the ongoing relevancy of his work 182 years since his death.

Disparates Series and “General Folly” Print

In conjunction with The Art of Folly exhibition, a research group has compiled additional materials that provide background information on Francisco Goya and the period in which he lived, the Romantic era.  A brief synopsis of this research has been incorporated here.  For a more expansive account see (http://www.mnsu.edu/artdept/folly.html).
   
Throughout his artistic career, Francisco Goya created many paintings, etchings, lithographs, and print series.  Born in 18th-century Spain, he was exposed to many different styles of art through teachers such as Luzan, and experiences such as his cartoon production and paintings of court life.  He sustained a successful professional life through his royal connections and would eventually become the official court painter.  Although his style was unique in that he painted non-idealized forms of people that conveyed personal attributes, his bold color and expressive use of line made his work a favorite over others.  After a serious illness that left him almost completely deaf, Goya became disillusioned with political interests and withdrew from society and what he saw as the folly of man.  During this time, he also became increasingly pessimistic and consumed with his own dark fantasies, which were reflected in his art. The print displayed in The Art of Folly exhibition is part of the Disparates series, which was created at this stage of his career.   Following the Disparates series, Goya, frustrated with the Spanish political environment, entered into a self-imposed exile in France where he would create his most famous works, the “Black Paintings.”
   
Goya’s life’s work exemplifies the emphasis on emotion and folly in human nature, which was a preoccupation of the Romantic period. Romanticism was a reaction to the mechanical laws of nature and the modern science of the Enlightenment. It rejected the logical reasoning of the previous period and substituted it with imaginative, expressive qualities of humanity seen in Goya’s dark, reflective subjects and the expressive ambiguity of his style.
   
The influence of Goya’s work extends throughout the span of art history.  His bold lines, colors, and emphasis on emotion can be seen in Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.  Although his style was not copied directly, his themes continue to have relevance today, as seen in the works of the Art of Folly participants.

 

Patrick Vincent, AZ, Crusader Rabbit, intaglio on paper, 2007

Patrick Vincent, AZ, Crusader Rabbit, intaglio on paper, 2007, First Place

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Florence Alfano McEwin, WY, “Tug of War”, intaglio solar etch, chine colle, 2009

Florence Alfano McEwin, WY, “Tug of War”, intaglio solar etch, chine colle, 2009, Second Place

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Lou Krueger, OH, Topsy’s Turvy: Death by Cigarette, pinhole photography; c-print, 2010

Lou Krueger, OH, Topsy’s Turvy: Death by Cigarette, pinhole photography; c-print, 2010, Third Place

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Gina Hunt, MN, Post-Surgical Weight Gain,ink and gouache on mylar

Gina Hunt, MN, Post-Surgical Weight Gain,ink and gouache on mylar, Honorable Mention

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Colin Klimesh, MN, 24 Hour Distraction, slip cast porcelain, 2010

Colin Klimesh, MN, 24 Hour Distraction, slip cast porcelain, 2010

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Andy Mattern, MN, Blocks Arrangement No. 1, archival ink jet print, 2010

Andy Mattern, MN, Blocks Arrangement No. 1, archival ink jet print, 2010

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Andy Mattern, MN, Blocks Arrangement No. 3, archival ink jet print, 2010

Andy Mattern, MN, Blocks Arrangement No. 3, archival ink jet print, 2010

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Valerie Frank, MN, Lil’ Ducky’s Big Day (after St. Sebastion), oil on wood panel with gold left, 1994-2009

Valerie Frank, MN, Lil’ Ducky’s Big Day (after St. Sebastion), oil on wood panel with gold left, 1994-2009

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Valerie Frank, MN, Ol’ Log Witnesses Lil’ Ducky’s (Transformation), oil on canvas, 2009

Valerie Frank, MN, Ol’ Log Witnesses Lil’ Ducky’s (Transformation), oil on canvas, 2009

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Jon Knecht, MN, Thanks George…The kids,mixed/digital photo

Jon Knecht, MN, Thanks George…The kids,mixed/digital photo

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Jon Knecht, MN, News Con, mixed/digital photo

Jon Knecht, MN, News Con, mixed/digital photo

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Jon Knecht, MN, Puppet of the Pigs, mixed/digital Photo

Jon Knecht, MN, Puppet of the Pigs, mixed/digital Photo

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Brian Krolak, MN, CHUD LIFE (better out than in), work on paper, 2010

Brian Krolak, MN, CHUD LIFE (better out than in), work on paper, 2010

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Brian Krolak, MN, Orgone Accumulator, work on paper, 2010

Brian Krolak, MN, Orgone Accumulator, work on paper, 2010

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Alex Miller, MN, Reach, watercolor, permanent maker, neocolors

Alex Miller, MN, Reach, watercolor, permanent maker, neocolors

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Thomas Lane, WI, Marlboro Man Vase, porcelain

Thomas Lane, WI, Marlboro Man Vase, porcelain

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Michael Weichmann, MN, Where it all began, oils

Michael Weichmann, MN, Where it all began, oils

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Lani Shapton, IL, commemoration: Southern Illinois #1, found ceramic dinnerware w/ inkjet decal

Lani Shapton, IL, commemoration: Southern Illinois #1, found ceramic dinnerware w/ inkjet decal

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Lani Shapton, IL, Happiness with 2 P’s, Found ceramic dinnerware w/ inkjet decal

Lani Shapton, IL, Happiness with 2 P’s, Found ceramic dinnerware w/ inkjet decal

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Lani Shapton, IL, American Dream, Found ceramic dinnerware w/ inkjet decal

Lani Shapton, IL, American Dream, Found ceramic dinnerware w/ inkjet decal

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Patrick Vincent, AZ, Kali Cobra, lithograph, 2009

Patrick Vincent, AZ, Kali Cobra, lithograph, 2009

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Patrick Vincent, AZ, Destroyer of Worlds, lithograph, 2010

Patrick Vincent, AZ, Destroyer of Worlds, lithograph, 2010

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Cristina de Almeida, WA, containing the navigation, artist book

Cristina de Almeida, WA, containing the navigation, artist book

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Holly Theobald, MN, Responsibilities, ink on paper

Holly Theobald, MN, Responsibilities, ink on paper

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Acknowledgements

People:

Becky Carmody
Connie Derner
Alisa Eimen
Rosemary Fromm
Curt Germundson
James Johnson
Erik Waterkotte
Matthew Willemsen

Students:

Mackenzy Albright
Micheal Atwater
Samantha Beck
Lisa Friedrich
Lydia Hard
Kristin Harsma
Yoko Hattori
Ajay Kapadia
Christopher Kelly
Carl Mulder
Thomas Myers
Karen Obermeyer-Kolb
Angie Olson
Amber Phillips
Lauren Prine
Margaret Steck
Amanda Williams

Places:

Carnegie Art Center
Minnesota State University, Mankato Art Department

Artists:

Cristina de Almeida
Valerie Frank
Francisco Goya
Gina Hunt
Colin Klimesh
Jon Knecht
Brian Krolak
Lou Krueger
Thomas Lane
Andy Mattern
Florence Alfano McEwin
Alex Miller
Lani Shapton
Holly Theobald
Patrick Vincent
Michael Weichmann
Everyone who submitted work

 

Time Line: Francisco Goya

goya timeline

  1. Adoration of the Name of God   Saragossa, Nuestra Senora del Pilar c.1772
  2. The Straw Manikin c.1791
  3. Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zunica. c. 1792
  4. Self-Portrait c.1795-1797
  5. The sleep of reason produces monsters c.1797
  6. The Miracle of St Anthony  San Antonio de la Florida, Madrid c.1798
  7. The Nude Maja (La Maja Desnuda). c.1799-1800
  8. The Clothed Maja (La Maja Vestida) c.1800-03
  9. Charles IV and his Family c. 1800
  10. A Prison Scene c.1810-14
  11. The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid c.1814
  12. Saturn Devouring One of his Children c.1819-23
  13. Self-Portrait with Doctor Arrieta c. 1820
  14. Witches Sabbath (The Great He-Goat) c.1820-23
  15. Two Monks c.1821-23
  16. Universal Folly c. 1824
1746

Francisco Goya was born in a small town named Fuendetodos, near Zaragoza, Spain on March 30.

1760

He began a four-year apprenticeship with a local master, Jose Luzan. Following his apprenticeship, Goya headed for Madrid with the intention of winning a prize from the San Fernando Academy. Goya’s first commissioned work was a fresco in the Church of the Virgin in El Pilar in Zaragoza.

 1773

Goya spent several years working on frescoes throughout Spain. The most famous of these was created for the charter house, Aula Dei, near Zaragoza.

 1786

 Officially named a painter in the Royal Court of Spain under King Charles III. During this time, he created roughly 65 cartoons for various rooms in several palaces, which were genre scenes in the Rococco style. The tapestry cartoons that Goya executed during this time became highly praised for their depictions of candid moments of Spanish lives.  This time was very influential in Goya’s life as he spent much time watching people, their actions, emotions, and behaviors in order to create his genre scenes.  These observations would allow him to demonstrate emotion and reality boldly in later works.

1792

Goya was struck with an illness that left him completely deaf.  As this left him cut off from the world, he was consumed with his own fantasies and grew to have a much more satirical world view.  This was echoed in his work, which subsequently had a much more pessimistic air.

1798

He began his greatest fresco project for the Church of San Antonio de la Florida in Madrid.

1799

Goya published the Caprichos, which was a series of etchings satirizing human weakness and folly and mocking the social mores and superstitions of the time. Later series, such as Désastres de la Guerra (Disasters of War, 1810) and Disparates (Absurdities, 1820-1823), present more caustic commentaries on the ills and follies of humanity.

1814

The artist completed Second of May, 1808 and Third of May, 1808 (both in the Prado Museum, Madrid).  These paintings depict horrifying and dramatically brutal massacres of groups of unarmed Spanish street fighters by French soldiers. Both are painted, like so many later pictures by Goya, in thick, bold strokes of dark color punctuated by brilliant yellow and red highlights.

1820

Goya began executing his most famous works, the “Black Paintings,” which contained dark and often grotesque imagery.  Originally painted as frescoes on the walls of his country home, they have since been transferred to canvas and are now displayed in the Prado. The “Black Paintings” attest to his progressively darkening mood, possibly aggravated by an oppressive political situation in Spain that forced him to leave for France in 1824. While living in Bordeaux, Goya took up the art of lithography, producing a series of bullfights, which some consider the finest lithographs ever created.

1828

On April 16th, Goya died in Bordeaux  during a self imposed exile. He left no immediate followers, but his influence—characterized by bold line, colors and brushstrokes—was strongly felt in later expressionist movements.  Surrealists have identified with his darker works, and Goya has also left a strong impression on 20th-century printmakers.