Fresco Technique has been present for thousands of years. Neolithic caves
of modern France could be considered its birthplace and first
then the technique has been monumentalized by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks,
Romans, Mayans, Chinese, Hindu and many other known civilizations.
Michelangelo, Rafael, FRESCO reached its peak during the Italian Renaissance. Tiepolo carried Fresco through the period of Rococo.
Diego Rivera left his mark in 20th century.
is the time for the Modern Fresco! Fresco, that is free from it's stereotype
and "canon of the past", yet holds its task - depicting our
all other known art forms, Contemporary Fresco has yet to be studied apart from its peak in Renaissance Italy. Despite of its
over 3000 years of recorded history we still look at Fresco in
reference to Italian Masters.
I think it would be ironic to look
at art of Andy Warhol or Jackson Pollock, for example, with the same
criteria or standard of quality as we look at the art of Leonardo
or Titian. It would also be ridiculous to deny the Fresco its place in
Modern Art Concept. While looking at the frescoes by Diego Rivera, Jose
Clemente Orozco or Lucia Wiley can we compare them to Frescoes by
Michelangelo or Tiepolo? Yes of course! But, can we study or classify
them within the same art period? Absolutely not! Then, why do we
attempt to do so? The Art of Fresco has established a significant place
in Art History and it is alive today in its Modern form.
Fresco definition concept consists of two parts - technical and
theoretical. And like anything new is open for discussion.
On this page we
present our views on this subject.
Modern Fresco Technique - Logically, the only possible
difference from Classic Fresco is that today's frescoes must be
more accessible to both collectors and exhibitors. Therefore,
variations in foundation (frames, removable panels, etc.) are the
essential elements of the Modern Fresco.
Modern Fresco Theory - Reflections of our beliefs
and dreams have always been the major subject in Classic Fresco.
And as the times change, our belief systems change and so do their
visual representations. Modern Fresco reflects these changes in
our dreams, in our belief systems.
However, style changes in Fresco are more general, with longer development. Minor shifts in culture and fashion trends are too "short" and periodical for Fresco. They usually pass unnoticed.
Defining Fresco within the general painting category seems redundant and narrow minded. Fresco is a unique art form. It should be studied separately as we do with Sculpture and Architecture. The latest Fresco period peaked during the Italian Renaissance and slowly declined to its halt. The 20th century and its Modern Art Revolution did not leave Fresco untouched; it caused the revival, led by Diego Rivera. He was the first celebrated artist to separate Fresco from its classic tradition and set the base for its modern development. However, it takes longer for cultural changes to be reflected in Fresco, to be absorbed and delivered to the public by the artists. Changes in art during the 20th century have significantly influenced the Art of Fresco, releasing the Modern Fresco into the contemporary World, separate from its classic sister.
America can be rightfully considered the home of Modern Fresco, originated in the 1930's. Since then, a dedicated few, like Kimberly Adams (Arts Foundation of Michigan), Karen Ellis, Sr. Catherine Grace CHS, Joe Beine (estate of Sister Lucia Wiley CHS), Mark Wade Stone (High Fresco), and others, have worked to preserve it.