Is this a postmodernist painting? Can we tell just by looking at it? No it’s not. What’s modernist about it?
Is this postmodernist? What’s postermodern about it?
So we might talk about postmodernism coming after modernism. One thing leads to the next, Is this really a logical sequence of events, where one style replaces another? Yes and no.
Postmodernism is highly debated even between postmodernists themselves. Postmodernism is a complicated term, or set of ideas, one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the late 1970s. Postmodernism is hard to define, because it is a concept that appears in a wide variety of disciplines or areas of study, including art, architecture, music, film, literature, sociology, communications, fashion, and technology. It's hard to locate it temporally or historically, because it's not exactly clear when postmodernism begins. Postmodernism is a way of seeing the world, it is a strategy – it is not historically bound.
Rather than read postmodernism simply a style or a periodising concept, (as did many), such critical postmodernists saw pomo as both continuous with earlier forms of modernism such as dada, and a revolt within modernism against a certain form of &quot;high modernism.&quot; So let’s ask the question again. Is this a postmodern painting? Let’s think about it using the criteria we looked at a minute ago:
It’s from the 50s – could be modern by virtue of when it was made? But this isn’t really enough to indicate it’s postmodernity. Where does this fit? Which of the criteria does it most closely match?
Ones in red are criteria that this does not fit. In some senses it can be seen to be modern and postmodern – so it’s not essential that something be solidly in one camp. Painting in this period was in transition between modernist and postmodernist ways of seeing.
Here’s another – where does this fit?
Use of montage – in both cases this is political. a radical questioning of the process of representation Picasso’s newspapers report trouble in the Balkans - this would lead to the WW1. Use of montage is way of putting isolated images in context and of intensifying their impact through juxtaposition. Resembles factory line – fast pace, mechanical. Battle between forces of order and forces of chaos (not sure who is on what side!)
Despite being made in 1912, I’d say that this painting demonstrates lots of postmodern qualities.
Where does this one fit?
Again, it’s perhaps more in the postmodernist sensibility than in the modern.
Hyper realism vs cynical realism?
&quot;The freedom with which these artists mix classical and popular art-historical sources, kitsch and traditional images, archetypal and personal fantasies, constitutes a rejection of the concept of progress per se. . . . It would seem that, without a specific idea of progress toward a goal, the traditional means of valuing and validating works of art are useless. Bypassing the idea of progress implies an extraordinary freedom to do and to be whatever you want. In part, this is one of the most appealing aspects of &quot;bad&quot; painting - that the ideas of good and bad are flexible and subject to both the immediate and the larger context in which the work is seen.&quot; - &quot;'Bad' Painting&quot; catalogue.
What about the particular sensuous, performative or theatrical qualities of the medium?
‘ Abstract’ Self-Critical Autonomous Unique Object ‘ Optical’ Morris Louis Alpha-Theta , 1961 Acrylic resin on canvas, 104½ x 147½ inches Modernist Painting
Representational Post-Critical Contingent ‘ Mass Produced’ Context Conceptual Takashi Murakami Flower Ball 2005- Polymers, various dimensions Postmodernist Painting
‘ Abstract’ Self-Critical Autonomous Unique Object ‘ Optical’ Representational Post-Critical Contingent ‘ Mass Produced’ Context Conceptual Morris Louis Alpha-Theta , 1961 Acrylic resin on canvas, 104½ x 147½ inches Takashi Murakami Flower Ball 2005- Polymers, various dimensions
‘ Abstract’ Self-Critical Autonomous Unique Object ‘ Optical’ Representational Post-Critical Contingent ‘ Mass Produced’ Context Conceptual René Magritte The Trechery of Images (1928-29) Oil on Canvas
René Magritte The Trechery of Images (1928-29) Oil on Canvas
<ul><li>Postmodernism and Painting </li></ul><ul><li>Modernist Painting largely provides the contexts and stimulus necessary for postmodern practice to emerge in opposition. Painting is central to many of the ways in which postmodernism emerges since the 1960s. e .g.: </li></ul><ul><li>Pop </li></ul><ul><li>Photorealism </li></ul><ul><li>Bad Art </li></ul>Wim Delvoye Tatooed Pigs 2000
Andy Warhol Marilyn Dyptich (1962) Acrylic on canvas (silkscreen) Tate Gallery, London
James Rosenquist President Elect (1960-61) Collection du Musée d'art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Photorealism Originates in 1968 Whitney show Twenty-two Realists Prominent figures of the ’60s and ’70s: Malcolm Morley Robert Bechtle > Chuck Close Richard Estes Audrey Flack Duane Hanson
Photo-Realism 1973: The Stuart M. Speiser Collection Defined Photorealism as follows: 1. The Photo-Realist uses the camera and photograph to gather information. 2. The Photo-Realist uses a mechanical or semimechanical means to transfer the information to the canvas. 3. The Photo-Realist must have the technical ability to make the finished work appear photographic. 4. The artist must have exhibited work as a Photo-Realist by 1972 to be considered one of the central Photo-Realists. 5. The artist must have devoted at least five years to the development and exhibition of Photo-Realist work.
Audrey Flack Marilyn (Vanitas) 96"x96", 1977, Oil on Canvas Gerhard Richter Man Shot Down 2, 1988 Oil on Canvas
Bad Painting ‘ Bad’ is slang for ‘good’ Bad signifies an attitude towards painting…. Paul Thek Big BangPainting (1987)
Bad Painting (New Museum, NYC 1/14/78 - 2/28/78 ) “ a rejection of the concept of progress per se. . . . freedom to do and to be whatever you want.." – "'Bad' Painting" catalogue. Asger Jorn Philip Guston
Times Square Show, 1980. In June 1980, more than a hundred artists installed their work in an empty massage parlor near Times Square. Organized by Colab, the Times Square Show included graffiti artists, feminist artists, political artists, Xerox artists, performance artists, and everyone in between.
"New York/New Wave" held at PS 1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources (1981).
Basqiuat cover for K-Rob vs Rammellzzee (pictured right)
Haring chalk drawing in NYC Transit Haring installation at at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery 1982
Kenny Scharf at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, SoHo, 1983
Takashi Murakami DOB Cartoon character, various dimensions
Some questions: How useful is postmodernist theory as a means to think about painting (and vice versa)? When is a painting not a painting? What are the ‘limit conditions’ of the frame? Richard Wright Not titled , 2005 (Recent Turner Prize Winner, eca Graduate)