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  • In art, a cloudscape is the depiction of a view of clouds or the sky. Usually, as in the examples seen here, the clouds are depicted as viewed from the earth, often including just enough of a landscape to suggest scale, orientation, weather conditions, and distance. The terms cloudscape and skyscape are sometimes used interchangeably, although a skyscape does not necessarily include a view of clouds. A highly complex cloudscape—as in some works of J. M. W. Turner, for example—within an otherwise conventional landscape painting, can sometimes seem like an abstract painting-within-a-painting, nearly obliterating the realistic setting with a grand display of gestural force. Some critics have explicitly cited 19th century cloudscapes and seascapes as precursors of the work of abstract expressionist artists such as Helen Frankenthaler. Thus, commenting on a 1999 Turner exhibition, New York Times art critic Roberta Smith writes that, in 1966, "the Museum of Modern Art established the artist's lush late works ... as precursors of both Impressionism and modernist abstraction. The current show is a feast of Frankenthaleresque plumes of color....".

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