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American art, 1970 to present
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American art, 1970 to present

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  • 1. Art Since 1970 postmodernism: a reaction against modernist formalism, seen as elitist . Far more encompassing and accepting than the more rigid confines of modernist practice, postmodernism offers something for everyone by accommodating a wide range of styles, subjects, and formats, from traditional easel painting to installation and from abstraction to illusionism. Postmodern art often includes irony or reveals a self-conscious awareness on the part of the artist of art-making processes or the workings of the art world. -from Gardner’s Art Through the Ages http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdO9orWQ-Nk
  • 2. Art Since 1970 Themes & Styles: • Appropriation (pastiche) • Multi-media works • Blurring of boundaries between high vs. low • Self-consciousness • Deconstruction (destabilizing meaning) • Socio-political nature • Inclusiveness & individuality Painting is about the world that we live in. Black men live in the world. My choice is to include them. This is my way of saying yes to us. -Kehinde Wiley http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jNKBOMOTPA Kehinde Wiley Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005, oil, American Jacques-Louis David Napoleon Crossing the St. Bernard Pass, 1801, oil, French
  • 3. Social Art: Gender and Sexuality CINDY SHERMAN, Untitled Film Still #35, 1979 Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face), 1981 Photo/collage
  • 4. “The Gaze” & Feminist Art Ingres, Grande Odalisque, 1814, oil Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907, oil
  • 5. #1 Feminist Art & Figurative Painting De Kooning, Woman I, 1950–1952 Jenny Saville Branded 1992 oil on canvas
  • 6. Feminist Art & Figurative Painting • Return of figural oil painting • Large-scale self-portraits • Exaggerates size and presents at awkward angles to distort form • “Brands” body with text: “delicate”, “decorative” and “petite” • Commentary on popular beauty ideals (e.g. fashion models) Jenny Saville, Branded, 1992, oil on canvas Kirchner, Nude under a Japanese Umbrella, c.1909
  • 7. Social Art: Gender and Sexuality #2 Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1980 Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1988
  • 8. Social Art: Gender and Sexuality • Controversial artist during the 1980s • Photographed variety of subjects, including children, flowers, Classicallyinspired nudes & himself • Fine Art photography (silver gelatin prints with rich textures and tonal variations) • Most controversial images were explicitly homoerotic and sadomasochistic • The Perfect Moment exhibition canceled at Corcoran Gallery in D.C., charges of indecency • Gay & lesbian plight against 1980s conservatism (President Reagan) and emergence of AIDS epidemic Robert Mapplethorpe, Self-Portrait, 1980 • Mapplethorpe died of AIDS in 1988
  • 9. Social Art: Race & Ethnicity #3 Faith Ringgold Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima? 1983 acrylic on canvas with fabric
  • 10. Social Art: Race & Ethnicity • Commentaries on racial prejudice & gender issues • Fabric dominant medium (associated with domestic realm & women) • Collaborated with mother • “Story quilt” • Aunt Jemima (stereotypical black “mammy”) • Here a successful AfricanAmerican businesswoman • Text written in Black dialect tells her story Faith Ringgold Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima? 1983 acrylic on canvas with fabric
  • 11. Social Art: Race & Ethnicity Aunt Jemima logo Faith Ringgold Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima? detail
  • 12. Social Art: Political Art & National Identity #4 Shirin Neshat Allegiance and Wakefulness 1994 Gelatin silver print with ink calligraphy
  • 13. Social Art: Political Art & National Identity • Iranian politics and gender roles • Iranian artist raised in Westernized home and schools • Now lives in U.S. • Critical of fundamentalist Islam and its treatment of women (the veil) • From Women of Allah series • Farsi (Persian) poetic script on feet frame gun (e.g. “I pray for you guardian of the liberating Revolution”) • Symbol of militant feminism • Suggestive of growth of radical Muslim female martyrs Shirin Neshat, Turbulent, 1998, video installation http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd6kz6_shirin-neshat-turbulent_creation Shirin Neshat Allegiance and Wakefulness 1994 Gelatin silver print with ink calligraphy
  • 14. Architecture (Modernist) Le Corbusier, Notre-Dame-du-Haut, France, ca. 1950 Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson Seagram Building, New York 1956-58
  • 15. Architecture (Postmodernist) RICHARD ROGERS and RENZO PIANO, Georges Pompidou National Center of Art and Culture, 1977. Fig. 15-36. ALEXANDRE-GUSTAVE EIFFEL, Eiffel Tower, 1889. Fig. 13-19.
  • 16. Architecture (Postmodernist) #5 FRANK GEHRY, Guggenheim Bilbao Museo, 1997. Fig. 15-37.
  • 17. Architecture (Postmodernist) • Deconstructivism = deconstructing the nature of building • Challenge expectation of materials and appearance • Combination of parts (on verge of collapse?) • Curvilinear vs. rectilinear forms • Asymmetrical and imbalanced • Appears weightless FRANK GEHRY, Guggenheim Bilbao Museo, 1997, limestone and titanium FRANCESCO BORROMINI, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, 1665–1676
  • 18. Architecture (Postmodernist) • Glass-walled atrium • 165 ft high • 3 levels of galleries surround it FRANK GEHRY, Guggenheim Bilbao Museo, interior 1997
  • 19. Site-specific Art - Earthworks ROBERT SMITHSON, Spiral Jetty, 1970
  • 20. Site-specific Art - Memorials #6 Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. 1981-83 http://video.pbs.org/video/1237561998/
  • 21. Minimalism & Memorials • Result of juried competition held in 1981 • Selected while Lin was an architecture student at Yale • Highly Controversial • Didn’t glorify the war; focus on individual cost of war • Selected minimalist (and modernist design) over classical forms • List of names of dead, chronologically from the center • Like a black, polished “cut” into the earth • One end points at Washington Monument, other at Lincoln Memorial Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. 1981-83
  • 22. Site-specific Art - Memorials Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. 1981-83 Donald Judd, Untitled, 1969.
  • 23. New Media – Digital Technology Andreas Gursky, Chicago Board of Trade II, 1999, c-print, 6’9” x 11’5” #7
  • 24. New Media – Digital Technology • Large-scale photographs (here 12’) • Shot with wide-angle lens at high vantage point • Digitally manipulated using photo-editing software • Focus on global economy (industrial plants, department stores, stock exhange) • Meant to rival 19th century history paintings • No central focus, abstracted • Questions veracity (truthfulness) of photograph Andreas Gursky, Chicago Board of Trade II, 1999, c-print, 6’9” x 11’5”
  • 25. Early Photography as Painting DAGUERRE, Still Life in Studio, 1837
  • 26. Realism and “Objective Truth” GUSTAVE COURBET, The Stone Breakers, 1849.
  • 27. Final Exam Review: Comparative Essay • What are the individual characteristics of each work in terms of style & subject? • How do they relate to the particular historic, artistic and cultural contexts in which they were made? • With what artistic movements are they associated? • Why compare the two art works? What are their similarities & differences?
  • 28. . #1 Jenny Saville, Branded, 1992, oil on canvas Ingres, Grande Odalisque, 1814, oil
  • 29. #2 Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. 1981-83, fig.15-34 DONALD JUDD, Untitled, 1969. Fig. 15-10.
  • 30. #3 SUZUKI HARUNOBU, Evening Bell at the Clock, Edo period, ca. 1765. MARY CASSATT, The Bath, ca. 1892.
  • 31. #4 VASSILY KANDINSKY, Improvisation 28 (second version), 1912 JACKSON POLLOCK, Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), 1950

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