Expressionistic art intentionality.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Tropical expressionism discusses two modes of art practice. The pursuit for utility within modernization. The quest of humanistic mark-making and experimentation. However, modernization from the mid 20th century gave rise to a form of repetition. Humanistic arts reaction has been of adaptation and forms of resistance.  

Philosophic issues

Intentional states and tropical material arts

 Tropical expressionism is Intentional in a sense. The expression through material arts is rational by token of the economic measure through diminishing marginal returns: experience being qualitative, diminishing over time. 

Sub optimal tropical expressionism

The quality arguably diminishes as a person re-experiences the same or similar situation/s—this forces experience to move-on. The alternative is to become obsessive over an artifact. Counter-intuitively, the solution might increase the chances of excelling in a field for prices and status.

Intentional drift

Art objects of national significants invariably caught up in the form of church/state projects. For example, the sculpting of an iconic marble statue is, in a sense, a church/state collaborative project. However, this is not necessarily the case in modernism as of Alvin Coburn (encyclopedia of contemporary photography) (1982-1966), who gave up a highly prestigious career in early portraits and landscapes for pursuits of inquiries into what was spiritualism. 

Enclaves of determinism and freedom

There is an interdependency between the material practice of an expression and the environment, be that objective or virtual. The process leads to intentional states that can be represented through forms of material arts and digital or both. The act of representing something new can be a form of freedom. So the instant of being determined by material content, there is a contingency that plays to artistic freedoms of expression.

A schema

Determinists tend to advocate the social contract. For art, this begins with the supplier of art materials needed to create a form of art. This dependency entails skill is contingent on the modern system. It is this ultra-complex relationship that holds the social contract. So by extension, the more extensive process necessitates participation with the public gallery and art show system. Identity politics is the norm. Arguably, this interaction gives diminishing marginal returns as for the role of mark-making as a humanistic artifact.

Intentional expressions as tropical expressionism.

Material stuff: print, paint, clay, wood, stone, resin, fibre glass, steel, fabric, paper.


Print as in from classical to modern offers the ability to create a semantic map within a tiny field of the construction in the context of a mixed media composition.


Paint having a primordial backdrop within a humanistic expression is more suited to express complex human emotions.


Clay lends itself well to the construction of animated forms. An illusion of resemblances forms recognizable shapes. Clay as a medium animates the adjoining content, translating into a strong composition.


The properties of wood and fibre lend itself to give shape and texture. A process of wood turning enables shapes to be easily formed for a mixed media artwork.

photographic depictions as tropical expressionism in theory.

Street scenes

There is an ideal rationale in the history of street photography. The street as a social subject comes close to ethnography associated with Malinowski and a well-known early proponent of participant observation. The American photographer Bruce Davidson (Encyclopedia of contemporary photography) used this methodology with the photographed people he conversed with for over a year or more. Approaches such as that of Davidson become a photojournalism approach when social issues become the focus. Also of note is the photography of subcultures indicative in the Larry Clarks approach. A situational perspective is an approach that places the person within a setting that, with luck, brings the third element that Henri Cartier-Bresson pioneered. It’s a sense of place and how the humanistic part sits within a phenomenology of time. 

What is noticeable in these examples is grappling with identity politics concerning the image style’s intentions. The article object photography takes the concept of identity politics and places it within a broader visual arts expressionistic paradigm. 


Abstraction takes on various turns based on the kind of thematic elements. For example, the historical model of photographer Lucien Clergue worked on different themes, including the carrion. The abstraction relating to the dualism of life/death. Another source of conceptions is a more modernistic theme with subgenera dubbed Urban Raw. Urban photography has a graphic element associated with the black and white contrast images associated with Max Dupain. 

Photographic symbolism and syncretic representations.

 The field is multi-disciplinary as it includes social theorists, philosophers, linguists. So conceptualist investigating philosophy of language.  Dlubak Zbigniew photography was a method depicting objects with polysemantic content, like hand gestures. Artists such as Natalia LL take a whole-body syncretic representation through photography.

Landscape and the super wide angle for urban scape.

Landscape photography is associated with Robert Bourdeau, who gives stylistic content through the perspective of a scape. Ansel Adams‘ approach as a cathedral effect developed a technique that draws on environmental philosophy. The wide-angle for expression allows for a context within a composition. It’s a foundational cornerstone content supporting details that emerge through the ongoing refining process on any given project.