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Art since 1945

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  • 1. America and Europe after1945
  • 2. 2Map of the World in 1945
  • 3. 3Map of the World in 2000
  • 4. • Because of WWII, the global art capital shifted from Paris to New York CityFirst major avant-garde art style to be developed in the United States.• Two main processes of Abstract Expressionism: gestural abstraction and chromaticabstraction• Pollock and De Kooning are generally considered gestural abstraction painters (actionpainters)• Newman and Rothko are recognized as chromatic abstraction painters (COLOR!)Abstract Expressionism
  • 5. Abstract Expressionism was the firsttruly American style of painting• GI bill created a newly educatedmiddle class (eager to buy art)• Influence of Surrealism and para-rational thought• Rebellious individual celebrated (theartist becomes the new rebel)ACTION PAINTING   
  • 6. Existentialism: hero is aware of the absurdities oflife and realizes that all decisions are absurd andpurposeless ultimately (i.e. choosing what to wear)• We live in a meaningless world; so, wecreate meaning where it doesn’t existthrough our individual activities• Think of Sisyphus• We must derive meaning only fromourselves• Sartre: “existence comes beforeessence…we must begin from thesubjective”• we must define ourselves throughbehavior and actions (existence createsessence)• feelings of anguish and despair, alsoabandonment (no one can help me)New York School: created works that questioned the human existence and thepresence of a divine, omnipotent power
  • 7. JACKSON POLLOCKNumber 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), 1950 , Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 7’ 3” x 9‘
  • 8. • Created paintings by using a raw,unprimed canvas on the floor; Pollockwould splash, fling, drip, pour, paintand used paintbrushes sand, glass,sticks, etc. to create art (stepped on thecanvas, cigarette butts, etc.)• Gave him the feeling of being inthe painting, in “action”• Many violations against tradition• No hidden messages ormeaning/symbols• Records of bodily movements andgestures only• Physical manifestation of feelingsdeep in the subconscious (Jung)• conscious, unconscious,collective unconsciousnonrepresentational style; no specialrecessionGestural abstraction: theexpressive application ofpaint leaving visible andoften chaotic brushstrokes(also called Actionpainting)
  • 9. Willem de KooningTwo Women1954pastel charcoal and pencil on paper14 3/4 x 14 1/2 in.DE KOONINGDutch immigrant to the US• Never became completely abstract,figures appear in his workExpressed inner thoughts and emotionsthrough visible brush and painter’s knifestrokes• often reworked canvases (wiped offpaint to start over, painted overanother part, etc.)• sometimes worked a canvasthrough (made holes in it)
  • 10. Willem de KooningWoman I1950-52oil on canvas6 ft. 3 7/8 in x 58 in.Series of colossal female figures• Feminine features recognizable• Think Woman ofWillendorf, i.e. whatmakes a woman awoman?• Based on advertising(overemphasis of femininefeatures to appeal to men andwomen alike)Woman seated (reference to woman atvanity mirror? Traditional portraitpainting?)
  • 11. Willem de KooningWoman I (detail)1950-52oil on canvas6 ft. 3 7/8 in x 58 in.Grin (based on toothpaste and Camelcigarette ads)• appropriating mass media for usein art: modernismAbstraction of form and energeticapplication of paint  action painting• Slashing movement of paintcreates a sense of violence(violence against women? aviolation of woman?)What’s the point of all this?• References to traditional and contemporary images• Interest in the vulgarity of women in pop culture• Building on and advancing the conventions of the way thefemale body is portrayed
  • 12. Barnett NewmanVir Heroicus Sublimis1950-51oil on canvas7 ft. 11 3/8 in. x 17 ft. 9 1/4 in.
  • 13. Newman used color to express complex feelings about humanity and its relationship to theuniverse• Interest in the sublime“Zips”: stripes that run vertically through the canvas’ height (background is usually onecolor)• Large monochromatic canvas = infinite universe and the zips = finite• Finite existence of human beings in the infinite universeLatin title = “Man: Heroic and Sublime” (creates sense of history, authority in the work)• Very large, dwarfs the viewer (17’ wide) (feeling of sublime)• zips give a sense of cadence and rhythm; trying to capture the sublime without “props”(traditional, religious symbols)
  • 14. Mark RothkoNumber 191961oil on canvas91 x 71 in.Chromatic abstraction:lacks the energeticapplication of paint butuses blocks and lines ofcolor to expresscomplex feelings aboutthe universe (also calledColor field painting)
  • 15. Rothko, Number 14, 1961Expression of feeling through the colors• If you only observe the colors of thepainting, you miss the deep“religious” experience he had whilecreating them• Life is a cycle of tragic times andhappy times (express the cyclethrough colors)• “basic human emotions – tragedy,ecstasy, doom”Works evoke the feeling of landscape painting(different layers)• Tension between geometric shapesand formlessness (material vs.immaterial worlds)• Put “weight” at the bottom
  • 16. 16Post-Painterly Abstraction• Described by Clement Greenberg (an influential art critic) as the cool and rational• Used same techniques as Ab-Ex artists (like Pollock), but did not put intentionalsubconscious expression into the paintings (also called Hard Edge)– Ab-Ex without the spiritual element– Some call it the 2nd generation of Ab-Ex– Avoid build up of paint; use pure colors; avoid tactile surface effects;psychological detachment
  • 17. Frank StellaMas o Menos (More or Less)1964oil on canvas9’10” x 13’8”“Pinstripe paintings”: canvases of solid color separated by areasof bare canvas (emphasize the flatness and no sense of recessionalspace)• “What you see is what you see”• Often works were on a deep stretcher to emphasize the role ofthe canvas as an art object
  • 18. Helen FrankenthalerThe Bay1963acrylic on canvas6’ 8 7/8” x 6’ 9 7/8”COLOR FIELD PAINTING: Technique• Diluted oil paints withturpentine and watercolorswith water so the paint wasvery thin and could bepoured very easily onto araw, unprimed canvas• Colors soaked into thematerial, creating a “colorstain” or “soak stain” (thinkof juice soaked up by apaper towel)Evocative of landscape paintingvery flat (no third dimension)
  • 19. David SmithCubi XIX1964Stainless Steel9’ 4 ¾” X 4’ 10 ¼” X 3’ 4”.Welded pieces of metal together inabstract compositions (influence ofCubist sculptors)Cubi series in the 1960s: basicgeometric shapes (rectangles,squares, circles, etc.) welded togetherto make them appear to beprecariously balancing• Stainless steel; burnished(marked) to give texture (a laPollock)• Praised for their evocation ofhuman qualities(precariousness of humanlife, for example)• Resemble totem poles
  • 20. SCULPTUREMinimalism: a predominantly sculptural movement and its emphasis onobjecthood.Minimalism: emphasize the shapes and straight edges of their creations; no surfacedecoration, elements, figures, or other imagery• “Getting rid of the things that people used to think were essential to art”• Sought to remove any visible signs of themselves in their artPersonality of the artist is completely suppressed• Opposed to sculpture like Cubist (relationship of parts to a whole)• Sought to create multipiece sculptures that represent a whole (not just the parts)• Influenced by Newman’s zips that extend into infinity
  • 21. Donald JuddUntitled1969Brass and colored fluorescent Plexiglass on steel brackets, 10 units6 1/8” x 2’ x 2’ 3” eachSeries of boxes• Arranged in a vertical composition, attached• Boxes with space in between them: interplay betweensolids and voids, shadows and light, etc.• Interest in mechanical and precise forms
  • 22. Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C., 1981-1983
  • 23. One arm points to the Lincoln Memorial, the other to the Washington Monument• Black granite: reflective (viewers see themselves in the names)• Simplicity criticized: Does this reflect an attitude about American involvement in theWar?• Memorial cuts into the ground, but the grass continues to grow• Its like a scar in the earth -- War is a scar in society• Simplicity allows viewer to ponder the war and soldiersV-shaped monument cut into theearth with 60,000 casualties of theVietnam War listed in the orderthey were killed and reportedmissing• Starts at the ground andincreases to 10 feet tall,then recedes back into theground• Very geometric inappearance
  • 24. POP Art (1960s)Pop Art: reaction against Ab-Ex; make art something recognizable (useimagery from “pop”ular culture: ads, comics, products, celebrities, etc.)• 1950s: consumer based societies and “throw-away” culture• Art becomes a commodity to be sold just like everything else;production methods reflect that sensibilityRejects many Ab-Ex ideas:• psychological undertones• Emotional• heroic artist, not an expression of personality (uses found images)• use of industrial methods and media
  • 25. Richard HamiltonJust what is it that makestoday’shomes so different, soappealing?1956collage on paper10 1/4 x 9 3/4 in.Used in the exhibition “What isTomorrow?”• In England, aboutAmerican culture• Newest technologiesshowcased• Show the “traditional”American family; ironic,humorous spin onAmerican culture• images meansomething differentfrom their originalintent (veryDuchampian)
  • 26. Mass marketing of products = Pop Art precursor• Put together in collage: Armor ham, Ford,Tootsie “Pop”, etc.• Almost Surrealist arrangement: womanwith headlights for breasts wearing alampshade, romance comic book as framedpainting, etc.• Media references: TV, newspaper, theatermarquee• Celebrities: bodybuilder Charles Atlas andimage from an erotic magazineAb-Ex painting/notebook cover as the rug;photograph of the moon/earth is ceiling art• contemporary details abound
  • 27. Jasper JohnsFlag1954-55encaustic, oil and collage onfabric mounted on plywood3 ft. 6 1/4 in. x 5 ft. 5/8 in.Works contain objectspeople recognize butlook at twice toconsider the meaningand relationship of theobjectsRecognizable imagery (flag) placed in an unusual context• newspaper clippings under the painted flag (encaustic paint:translucent so the viewer can see the newspaper)• encaustic used for an “iconic” image (like Byzantine icons)• medium that conceals and reveals simultaneously (almostlike language – newspaper)• the flag is a revealing icon which we “conceal” (ignore, pass by)
  • 28. Jasper JohnsThree Flags1958encaustic on canvas78.4 x 115.6 x 12.7 cmFlags in all government buildings, but we often fail to notice them (toofamiliar)• Iconplaced in a museum so we are forced to consider it• abided by rules for displaying the flag (at the time)• shows reverence• some complained about the flag being used in art• representation of the flag, not THE flag (e.g. “This isnot a pipe.”)• doesn’t defile the flag for this reason
  • 29. Robert RauschenbergCanyon1959combine painting219.7 x 179.1 x 57.8 cmGathered scraps of newspaper,photos, discarded materials to makeassemblages• collected them in NYC fromthe street usually• “Paintings relate to both artand life. Neither can bemade. (I try to act in the gapbetween the two).”
  • 30. Combines: assemblage paintingsMultiple levels of meaning in his works ofart and strange juxtapositions• stuffed eagle placed on a pedestalconnected with the pillow (onecovered with feathers, the otherstuffed with them)• photograph of a young man withhis hand held aloft, just like theStatue of Liberty (photo of it onthere too)
  • 31. Roy LichtensteinHopeless1963oil on canvas3 ft. 8 in. x 3 ft. 8 in.stylistic elements• Benday dots: named for BenjaminDay; printing process uses thepointillist technique of coloreddots from a limited palette placedclosely together to achieve morecolors and subtle shading• heavy black lines frame areas ofunmodulated flat color• primary colors• frames inspired by comics• hard, precise drawingMoment of transition or crisis is thesubject• use of “found” images (comicbooks, etc.)
  • 32. • Benday dots: named for Benjamin Day; printing process usesthe pointillist technique of colored dots from a limited paletteplaced closely together to achieve more colors and subtleshading
  • 33. Roy LichtensteinLittle Big Painting1965oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas68 x 80 in.Series of paintings on the history of art(Classical, modernist styles like Cubism,etc.)• icons of art rendered in thecomic-book styleAb-Ex painting• House-painting brushes used:broad strokes rendered w/opassion (outlined, frozen,background of benday dots,etc.)• Emptied of value(interiority, connectionwith humanity)• Ironic because it’s stillpaintingHand-painted bendaydots still contain the“mark of the artist”(appears mechanical,unlike Ab-Ex)
  • 34. Andy WarholBrillo Box1968silkscreen ink and synthetic polymer paint on wood17 1/8 x 17 x 14 in.Andy WarholPop Art object himself; personathat was marketed (celebrity and“15 minutes of fame”)• design school: newspaperads for consumer goods(shoes, for example);• developed an art ofcommodities (objectsthat are bought and sold)
  • 35. Andy WarholMarilyn Diptych1962silkscreen ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas6 ft. 10 in. x 6 ft. 9 ft..Graphic arts techniques: photographictransfer, silkscreen (method of usingpremade shapes)• allowed for multiple copies ofconsumer items• studio named “The Factory”:efficient place of production
  • 36. Interest in the issues of celebrity• public face: highlighted by bold, artificial colors• private persona submerged beneath the public face• celebrity marketed the same way a product is (commodity, like soup)• repetition numbs the viewer and distances the viewer from the subjectSocial characteristics magnified: brilliant blonde hair, heavy lipstick, seductive look, etc.
  • 37. Claes OldenburgThe Store1960sculptor who collaborated with his wife, CoosjieVan Bruggen“The Store” was a gallery where art is bought andsold• used consumer materials: polyester, vinyl,canvas, etc.
  • 38. Claes OldenburgPastry Case1961-62enamel paint on nine plaster sculptures in glassshowcase20 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 14 3/4 in.
  • 39. Claes OldenburgInstallation at Greene Gallery1962created large soft sculpturesof everyday food items• reflected the food ofdiners, developing fastfood market: popularculture• not tromp l’oeilother everyday objects in softsculpture: light switch, toilet,etc.
  • 40. Claes Oldenburg andCoosje van BruggenSpoonbridge and CherryMinneapolis, Minnesota1985-88Aluminum, stainless steel and paint29 ft. 6 in. x 51 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft. 6 in.Also made hard sculptures offood or everyday itemsLater he made large, outdoorsculptures: lipstick, ice creamcone dropped on ground
  • 41. SITE-SPECIFIC Art- Artwork only exists in specific location, can onlyfunction in particular environment
  • 42. Christo and Jean-ClaudeSurrounded IslandsFlorida1982Pink fabricTemporary works of artstarted with “wrappings” (motorcycles, etc.)• extended into wrapping the environment• essential to the work is that the art doesnot damage nature or the ecology must bereturned to the way it was foundafterwards• works not patronizedLater, the wrapping became curtains (NYCCentral Park project)This “wrapping” was of 11 man-made islandsoff the coast of Miami in Biscayne Bay• flamingo pink fabric an appropriatechoice• concerned that the fabric might affectmanatees (didn’t)
  • 43. ROBERT SMITHSONSpiral Jetty,1970Great Salt Lake, Utah,earthworks: efforts to preserve nature; incorporating natural materiain outdoor locations; site specific workswanted to capture the beauty of earth in the outdoor spacesome works done indoors, but involved taking materials from outsideinside (dirt, rocks, sand, etc.): “non-site” works• used mirrors in indoor works to create infinite feeling
  • 44. Coil of rock growing into the Great Salt Lake; remote and inaccessible area• walking on the jetty changes the participants view (constantly curving and changing)• jetty: pier into the water (transformed into a curl of rocks sitting silently in the vastwilderness)• similar to the North American earthworks (Serpent Mound, etc.)• became like a legend because from 1972 to the present, it is only visible in times ofdrought (submerged underwater)low-levelscanning:search forinspiration ina specific site
  • 45. RICHARD SERRATilted Arc1981.Jacob K. JavitsFederal Plaza,New York Cityinfamous work of art• made of steel• wanted a work of art to disrupt use of the site• the power of the piece should disrupt the site (block views, peopleunable to cross the plaza, etc.)• art would dictate the way the site was used
  • 46. Anti-form art: the process is the actual artbecame objectionable when it began to disrupt use of the plaza, held trial over its place• many wanted Serra to move the work, but it is site-specific; it won’t work anywhere else• removed by the patron (General Services Administration)• artist filed counter-suits but lost• brings up issues of patronage and ownership of art: Who owns art: the artist or thepatron? After art is sold, does the artist have a right to it? Legally? Aesthetically?• no laws to safeguard an artist’s work once it is sold
  • 47. SUPERREALISM (Photorealism)Superrealism: still life paintings or portraits with photographic accuracyOften based on photographsEmployed airbrush and grid lines to create realistic images
  • 48. AUDREY FLACKMarilyn1977.Oil over acrylic on canvas,8’ x 8Influenced by Dutch vanitaspaintings (tromp l’oeil)Marilyn was not always thesuperficial woman in theWarhol image• Norma Jean: elements inthe painting tell of her earlylife• Symbols: fruit (life, peeledto show transience of life);hourglass (same); Augustcalendar page (month whenshe died)• airbrush used to removeany traces of brush marks;wanted it to seem like aphotograph
  • 49. CHUCK CLOSEBig Self-Portrait1967–1968Acrylic on canvas8’ 11” x 6’ 11”Large, realistic portraits of everydaypeople, often friends or himself• not formal portraits; informalsnapshots• intimate imageTried to revive portraits (Ab-Ex hadkilled it)TECHNIQUE: Used a grid over aphotograph to capture the details;airbrush used to remove traces ofbrush1988-89: became paralyzed(quadriplegic); can move his arm, butin limited range
  • 50. Close in his studio
  • 51. Duane HansonSculptor known for images of averageAmerican citizens (tourists, shoppers)• not ridiculing humanity; celebratingtheir worst moments• continues the tradition of trompl’oeil
  • 52. DUANE HANSONSupermarket Shopper1970Polyester resin andfiberglass polychromed inoil, with clothing, steelcart, and grocerieslife-size• life-sized casts of bodies made forhis sculptures (based on realpeople’s bodies); also used real hairand clothing• often mistaken for real people inthe museumWhat was he trying to say about Americans?• Large middle to upper class society that can afford travel,eat as much as they please, etc.• Can’t blend in gracefully with other
  • 53. JUDY CHICAGOThe Dinner Party1979Multimedia, includingceramics and stitchery48’ x 48’ x 48’installation: temporary work of art made upof assemblages created for a particular space,like an art gallery or museumFEMINIST ARTArt that addresses issues of sexualdiscrimination and subjugation ofwomen• changed her last name toChicago (where she was born)because she believed thatwomen shouldn’t live with thename given to them bypatriarchy (subjugation)
  • 54. Alludes to 39 women thatChicago believed should berecognized• originally supposed to be13 women (number in awitches’ coven, presentat the Last Supper);inadequate number so itwas tripled• large equilateral triangletable (48 foot sides)• triangle: MotherGoddess symbol(Sacred Feminine)• traditional women’s arts incorporated (ceramics, embroidery,etc.)• table settings specific to the woman and meant to resemblefemale reproductive organs
  • 55. Barbara KrugerUntitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face1981Photography with red frame4’7” x 3’5”First hints at Post-Modernism• Modernism is old and outdated by the80s• Artists could try to revolutionize,but that is traditional at this pointin history• The idea of doing somethingnew has become old-fashionedKey is the appropriation of ideas from thepast, but emptied of their past meaning• reverse Modernism (implode it)• deconstructing: implosion,destruction from within; usingconventions of art against itself
  • 56. Graphic designer: mass media influence;attempts to deconstruct advertisements• words placed in as design elements• large single image with a short, catchyphrase (like a magazine ad)Appropriates the images from elsewhere andadds the text• using the text to interpolate the viewer(insert audience into work)• uses ambiguous pronoun address (ex: you,who is you?)• done so many can identify with thework• can also be used to indicate the targetaudience (seems to address a maleaudience usually)Comment upon the “male gaze” again; womendo not see themselves, they only seethemselves through the heterosexual male gaze
  • 57. CINDY SHERMANUntitled Film Still #351979Gelatinsilverprint10” x 8”Imitate the way that images of women havebeen stereotypically depicted in the movies;deconstruct the images1950s = posters outside theater with b&wphotographs from the film• entices the viewer to see the movie• not always from the film itself; workedwith the idea of stereotypes (can identifythe protagonist, antagonist of the film,etc.)
  • 58. Puts herself in the photographs• dressed in costumes = character portrait (not really who she is)• the photos imply that there is a narrative, but none exists• she always looks away from the camera (implies that someone else is in the scene)• explores clichés of the 50s: woman: business woman (unmarried or widowed)Criticizes the concept of women as objects to be gazed atalso did a rape series (shows herself victimized), historical portrait series (dressed up likeMarie Antoinette and others), and pornography series (used prosthetic limbs; begs thequestion: if there is no real body, is it porn?)
  • 59. GUERRILLA GIRLS, The Advantages of Being A Woman Artist, 1988. Offset print, 17”x22”.Collection of the artists.

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