Below are some artists that come to mind when I think about intensity. Van Gogh can make a deserted field feel like two comets exploding. Schiele can pour a universe of focus and intensity into a single contour line. Golub captures the awkward jittery horror of violence through his brush strokes. Blake's compositions burst from the seams with spiritual vitality and verve. Goya's line-work slides, shifts and animates his grotesque scenes of despair and injustice. In each of the following cases I would argue that it is as much the "how" as it is the "what" and "why." How the image is made is as important, or in some cases more important, than what the marks represent. The psychological presence and vitality of the artist is sensed. Risk is taken. Life teeters on it's edge and the tightrope walk of creating a vital image holds us spellbound.
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Ukiyo-e prints)