CLEP Humanities : Analyzing the Content of Twentieth-Century 2D Visual Art

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing The Content Of 2 D Visual Art

The photographer Ansel Adams is well known for his work focusing on __________.

Possible Answers:

staged models of historic events

European architectural landmarks

portraits of famous people

National Parks and the American West

everyday urban life in America

Correct answer:

National Parks and the American West

Explanation:

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was a famous photographer and technical innovator who developed a process of developing film known as "the Zone System" and used the newest photographic technology of his time. The ability of Adams and his technology was seen through his many photographs of National Parks, particularly in the American West. Adams' photographs were most well known for their sharp focus and deep shading in black and white.

Example Question #24 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Twentieth And Twenty First Century 2 D Art

Which early twentieth-century artist was known for using bold black lines, rectangular shapes, and fields of primary color on a white canvas?

Possible Answers:

Piet Mondrian

Georgia O'Keefe

Henri Matisse

Pablo Picasso

Diego Rivera

Correct answer:

Piet Mondrian

Explanation:

Piet Mondrian was a Dutch artist who belonged to the artistic movement known as De Stijl ("The Style" in Dutch.) The principles of De Stijl were to reduce artistic forms to their simplest, most functional forms. Mondrian's specific form, which he developed in Paris between the World Wars and called "Neo-plasticism," featured mostly white canvases, which were bisected at various parts by perpendicular black lines and had fields of color only in the three primary colors.

Example Question #3 : Analyzing The Content Of 2 D Visual Art

The Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky's style was marked by all of the following EXCEPT __________.

Possible Answers:

flowing brushstrokes

realistic representation

musical influences

abstract shapes

emotionally charged lines

Correct answer:

realistic representation

Explanation:

Wassily Kandinsky was the most influential expressionist of the early twentieth century. Kandinsky's style, which was dominated by abstract forms, expressive lines, and flowing brushstrokes, would prove to be immensely popular among fellow artists, while his theoretical writing, which connected art to music, also proved influential. Kandinsky had to flee both the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Nazis in the 1930s because of his controversial artwork.

Example Question #25 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Twentieth And Twenty First Century 2 D Art

The American painter most well-known for creating extreme closeups of flowers is __________.

Possible Answers:

Diane Arbus

Mary Cassatt

Georgia O'Keefe

Alfred Stieglitz

Frida Kahlo

Correct answer:

Georgia O'Keefe

Explanation:

Georgia O'Keefe developed a unique, instantly recognizable style that focused on flowers presented in vivid colors in an extreme close-up perspective. This style grew out of Modernism and its use of bright color and different perspective. O'Keefe proved influential in her ability to capture nature and natural images in paintings in a striking manner.

Example Question #21 : Visual Arts

Who was the twentieth century American painter known for his works depicting the American Midwest?

Possible Answers:

Thomas Hart Benton

Jackson Pollack

Ansel Adams

Alfred Stieglitz

Jasper Johns

Correct answer:

Thomas Hart Benton

Explanation:

Regionalism was an art movement that sprung up after World War I in America that sought to paint naturalistic scenes of regional America. Foremost among the Regionalists was Thomas Hart Benton, who was inspired by politically conscious muralists like Diego Rivera to make large-scale works about his native Midwest. Benton's work often had political overtones that supported left-wing positions, and he was influential as an art teacher.

Example Question #26 : Identifying Artists, Works, Or Schools Of Twentieth And Twenty First Century 2 D Art

Which of the following was NOT an influence on Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon?

Possible Answers:

Tribal art

Primitivism

African masks

Realism

Paul Cézanne's The Bathers

Correct answer:

Realism

Explanation:

Picasso's 1907 painting Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is largely considered one of the first cubist paintings. As such, Picasso broke with traditional forms of representation, but did so by including many different influences, particularly impressionists like Paul Cézanne and trends toward a primitivism in art. Picasso also began creating the piece after seeing an exhibition on tribal art that included African masks like those portrayed in the painting.

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