A visit to America The 1970s Introduction to American Art and Visual Culture – Lecture 7
Artists: Robert Rauschenberg Jasper Johns Claes Oldenberg Roy Lichtenstein James Rosenquist Joseph Kossuth Yoko Ono Carolee Schneeman Allan Kaprow Carl Andre Donald Judd Christo & Jeanne Claude Robert Smithson Walter DeMaria Eva Hesse Robert Morris Richard Serra & Pop Culture sss
1970s The nation suffered inflation and economic problems. i.e.: house cost 1970 = $23,000 1979 = $58,000 VCR invented ‘71 Vietnam War ended. ’73 Elvis died ‘77 Television had social and political content…and the opposite. Nixon impeached changing “trust” in politics forever. ‘74
1970s Slang ' Can You Dig It ’ - Do you understand? " Can you dig it man?” ' Psyche’ - To trick someone. To b.s. someone. As if to psyche them out. ' Don't Be Such A 'spaz’ - A 'spaz' was someone that was accident prone,clutsy, or just acting stupid. 'Dream On ’ - a term used to get someone down to earth, or tell them they are being unrealistic about something, e.g. when someone would say, "I'm getting a brand new car!" you'd respond, "Yeah, right; dream on man!” 'Far Out’ – cool 'In Your Face!' (or simply, 'Face!’) - I have succeeded in embarrassing or up-staging you (usually as through an exceptional play in basketball). 'May The Force Be With You’ - The most popular line from one of the greatest movies of the 70s(and of all time) StarWars. 'That's Sick!’ A Midwestern phrase in the late 70's. To describe something odd or unusual. Not necessarily an person or object of distaste, but something suspect but also intriguing. "Sick!" 'The Man’ the man to me means any authority, corporations, police, government, they're all the man tho first used in the 60's by the hippies it live through the 70's,80's,90's and still to this day 'To The Max’! Take it to the maximum. The best it can be. 'You Know’ This was said at the end of nearly every sentence 'Your Mama’ "Your Mama" was said a lot of my school, with also "Joe Mama." With "Happy Days" that brought us the word "Nerd" which was VERY popular.
Rauschenberg’s … combines were about the assemblage of objects but also about the act of finding the objects.
Rauschenberg: At the same time that Abstract Expressionism began to wane…a disparate group of artists began to explore some of the overlooked implications of action painting—its gestural freedom, chance effects, and urban themes—giving birth to a wide array of strategies epitomized by Robert Rauschenberg's oft-quoted statement that he wanted to act in the gap between art and life. Rauschenberg himself had been making Combines—found objects covered with slashing strokes of paint that blurred the boundaries between high and low—since the mid-1950s, and in the early '60s began transferring photographic images from newspapers directly onto his canvases (via the process of silkscreening) in rebus-like arrangements. In this neo-avant-garde work, artists such as Rauschenberg adapted the shock tactics of World War I-era Dada collagists such as Kurt Schwitters to the new postwar context of American hegemonic power.
Jasper Johns: Often considered a progenitor of the Neo-Dada movement, Johns appropriated the most common non-art objects for his subject matter. Unlike the elder Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, who simply declared found objects, such as a urinal and a bicycle wheel, to be works of art, Johns remade objects of comparable banality out of fine-art materials. Targets, flags, and ale cans were rendered full scale on canvas and in bronze, prompting the viewer to question the boundaries between illusion and reality, art and life.
Claes Oldenburg: Best known for his oversized soft sculptures of food and consumer objects of the Pop art period, Claes Oldenburg began his career staging avant-garde performances, constructing environments, publishing writings, and generally embracing the commerce of everyday life. Printed work has always played a central role in his art, beginning with commercially produced announcements and ephemera for his Happenings, and continuing with traditional printmaking.
In 1961 and 1962, Claes Oldenburg was first to explore the idea of art as an everyday product when he presented a project entitled The Store in his New York studio . The project featured brightly-painted objects such as stockings, dresses, shirts, shoes, pies, chocolates, and ice cream sandwiches made of muslin, plaster, and chicken wire. Oldenburg's The Store not only put forth the idea of the 'art store," it also suggested the types of objects that, by 1965, would be created in abundance by other Pop Artists
Pop art's gaze on the universe of commercial products is often deadpan and cool. With Oldenburg, though, it becomes more comically disorienting: sculptures like Giant Soft Fan challenge our acceptance of the everyday world both by rendering hard objects in soft materials, so that they sag and droop, and by greatly inflating their size. (There are also Oldenburg works that make soft objects hard.) The smooth, impersonal vinyl surfaces of Giant Soft Fan are Oldenburg's knowing inversion of the hard-edge aesthetic of the 1960s.
James Rosenquist James Rosenquist began painting billboards in Minneapolis, where he was also enrolled in art school. In 1955 he moved to New York, attending the Art Students League and later working as a Times Square billboard painter (6 years) and as a window-display designer. Initially creating canvases in an Abstract Expressionist mode, Rosenquist dramatically shifted his style in the late 1950s to mimic his slick billboard work. His fragmented images, of an exaggerated scale and with Pop-culture references, quickly identified him as a leading proponent of Pop art .
Roy Lichtenstein “ [his] premise is that the city itself has been irrevocably transformed through a spectacular mass media.” - David Joselit (2003) American Art Since 1945. London: Thames and Hudson
Ono and Lennon used their March 1969 honeymoon in Amsterdam to promote peace (in response to the Vietnam War) by holding a one-week “Bed-In”. They met with the press from 9am to 9pm and sat “like angels.” The signs over the bed read “hair peace” and “bed peace.”
Performance Art: The term "Performance Art" got its start in the 1960s in the United States. It was originally used to describe any live artistic event that included poets, musicians, film makers, etc. - in addition to visual artists. If you weren't around during the 1960s, you missed a vast array of "Happenings," "Events" and Fluxus "concerts," to name just a few of the descriptive words that were used. A precedent is Dadaist and Bauhaus performance
Carolee Schneeman (1964 ) Meat Joy "Meat Joy has the character of an erotic rite: excessive, indulgent, a celebration of flesh as material: raw fish, chickens, sausages, wet paint, transparent plastic, rope brushes, paper scrap. It's propulsion is toward the ecstatic-- shifting and turning between tenderness, wilderness, precision, abandon: qualities which could at any moment be sensual, comic, joyous, repellent." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6AK9TI3-LU
Happenings A type of Performance Art, started by visual artists, and inspired in part by Abstract Expressionism (gesture), happenings are connected to Process Art. They involve an element of the absurd and audience participation, whether or not the audience is conscious of it.
Alan Kaprow and Fluxus is known for Happenings
John Cage John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was an American experimental music composer, philosopher, poet, music theorist, artist, printmaker, and amateur mycologist and mushroom collector. A pioneer of chance music, electronic music and non-standard use of musical instruments, Cage was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde. Critics have lauded him as one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century.
Minimalism Minimalism is described as austere and geometric. The term also refers to minimum evidence of the artist, as opposed to the personal nature of gesture painting. Minimalist sculptors caricatured the idea of “object.
Carl Andre Carl Andre was one of the founders of the art movement known as Minimal, Systemic, or ABC Art. It is an art that seeks to eliminate everything decorative, extraneous and additive, reducing all components to art's purest elements; it is precise, cerebral and austere rather than accessible.
Donald Judd Working in New York in the 1960s, Judd became known as one of the key exponents of ‘Minimalism’, but it was a label that he strongly rejected. Although he shared many of the principles identified with Minimalist art — the use of industrial materials to create abstract works that emphasize the purity of color, form, space and materials — he preferred to describe his own work as ‘the simple expression of complex thought’.
Land Art Land Art (or Earth Art) consists mostly of massive works using land not as subject matter, but raw material for the work, or as the “canvas” for it. As such, it is very site-specific. In its anti-formalism it is similar to conceptual art, but some works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude bear all the earmarks of a Happening
Sanford and Son American television sitcom based on life of father and son who run a scrap yard in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The two principle characters were the father Fred G. Sanford played by Redd Foxx and his 30 yr old son Lamont Sanford played by Demond Wilson. The series gained great popularity making one of the top ten highest-rated series on American television every year. Series ran from 1972 - 1977.
All In The Family was about Archie Bunker played by Carroll O'Connor, a working-class, World War II veteran, very outspoken bigot, prejudiced against everyone and everything who had different views from his own the series Although critics and those believing it was not politically correct criticized it intensely the public loved it making it number 1 on the yearly Nielsen ratings from 1971 to 1976. Series ran from 1971 - 1979.
Pop Culture TV and Film TV with a social conscious All in the Family: Sanford and Son: Good Times (There was also really stupid TV: Charlie’s Angels, Dallas, Happy Days) FILM The Godfather Star Wars The Graduate Love Story Five Easy Pieces French Connection Warriors Cabaret The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
360 Million people tuned in the final episode of Dallas.