Modernity lecture 2 2011

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Modernity lecture 2 2011

  1. 1. Concepts of Modernity Current manifestations in the visual arts Week 2 March 7 2011Poetics of the unconscious- Personal Expression Modernity lecture CAI202 Lecturer Caroline Rannersberger caroline.rannersberger@cdu.edu.au
  2. 2. • Recap of modernism• Context of modernity in 21st century • Snapshot of Expressionism • Surrealism in Europe• Contemporary painting and the poetic of the unconscious• Surrealism and Australian modernism
  3. 3. SourcesPoetics of the unconscious- Personal Expression (A focus on Surrealism)Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993:pp.440-450: (4)André Breton: Surrealism and Painting; (5)André Breton from the Second Manifesto ofSurrealismHughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBCBooks, 1991: Chapter Five: The Threshold of LibertyArtists: Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, Henri Rousseau,Joan Miró, René Magritte, as well ascontemporary Australian artists.Extension: Find contemporary Australia artists working with similar ideas/methods.Refer Art Almanac http://www.art-almanac.com.au/ for overview of artists and follow the links topublic/commercial galleries. Also refer electronic/hard copy art journals: Art Monthly, Art & Australia,Artlink, etc available in the CDU library/online database.
  4. 4. Recap: modernism and modern way of thinking•Enlightenment and enlightened thinking•(contrast counter enlightenment: Isaiah Berlin 1901-1997)•science, reason, truth= the basis of knowledge•be free from established systems of thinking/ grandnarratives•break from the past and its romantic, emotive belief in godand religion
  5. 5. 21st century = the banality of modernity•Critique of the rise of industry and economicdevelopment and its manifestations of banality•Indictment of the banality that characterizesmodern life•21stC slick, pretty, traditional surfacescritiquing aspects of modernism•See through the superficiality and into acultural analysis
  6. 6. Francisco Goya: ‘Father of modernity’ 1746-1828 •Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) •Spanish romantic painter and printmaker •last of the Old Masters •first of the moderns Francisco Goya, "The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters," published 1799
  7. 7. Thought/ the unconscious = new realityGoya (Spanish romantic 18th/19thC):El sueño de la razón produce monstruos:When reasons dream, monsters are born (Hughes,p.213)thought creates a parallel world = dreamsthe irrational =human naturemental derangement gives way to the dark side ofthe mind / locus of irrefutable truths about societyAdapted from: 1 Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991.pp 212-216
  8. 8. Poetics of the unconscious-Personal Expression•Is manifested in modernist movementsincluding:•Expressionism(means of personal /emotive expressionthrough painterly methods)•Surrealism(means of unconscious expression throughrejection of realism and the rational)
  9. 9. Expressionsim: A snapshot
  10. 10. The Scream; Edvard Munch 1863-1944 Edvard Munch; The Scream (or The Cry) 1893; 150 Kb; Casein/waxed crayon and tempera on paper (cardboard), 91 x 73.5 cm (35 7/8 x 29"); Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery), Oslo Norwegian painter and printmaker; symbolist “the study of the soul, that is to say the study of my own self” José María Faerna, Munch, Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1995, p. 16 icon of existential anguish; personal expression and the unconscious; intense, evocative paintings influence on German Expressionism early 20th century
  11. 11. The Scream; Edvard Munch 1863-1944 "I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature." (Faerna, 1995, p. 1)
  12. 12. German Expressionist Painting1905-1914“Man is crying out for his soul, the wholeperiod becomes a single urgent cry.And art cries too, into the deep darkness,crying for help, crying for the spirit.That is Expressionism”(Hermann Bahr, Expressionism, Munich,1916)
  13. 13. German Expressionists: Egon Schiele 1890-1918 Born Austria Self portrait 1912 Oil on wood, 42.3x33.8cm
  14. 14. German Expressionists: Egon Schiele 1890-1918 Mä nnlicher Akt, Selbstporträ t 1910 55,7 × 36,8 cmBleistift, Tempera aquarelliert auf Papier
  15. 15. Expressionists include:Germans:Max Beckmann,Otto Dix,George Grosz,Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke,Emil Nolde,Max Pechstein;the Austrian Oskar Kokoschka,the Czech Alfred Kubinthe Norwegian Edvard Munchthe Russian Wassily Kandinsky
  16. 16. Surrealism
  17. 17. André Breton 1896-1966: First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924 ‘SURREALISM,n. Psychic automatism in its pure state, but which one proposes to express – verbally by written means of the word, or in any other manner - the actual functioning of thought.Dictated by thought, in the absence of any controlexercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern’. Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.p. 438
  18. 18. André Breton 1896-1966: From ‘Surrealism and Painting’ 1928‘Utter bankruptcy of art criticism, a bankruptcy that is really comic:...whether Chagall happens to be considered a surrealist or not, are matters for grocers’ assistants’. Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 445
  19. 19. André Breton 1896-1966: First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924‘This summer the roses are blue; the wood is of glass. The earth, draped in its verdant cloak, makes as little impression upon me as a ghost...Existence is elsewhere’. Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.p. 439
  20. 20. André Breton 1896-1966: First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924‘The case against the realistic attitude demands to be examined, following the case against the materialistic attitude’.‘We are still living under the reign of logic...But in this day and age logical methods are applicable only to solving problems of secondary interest’. Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.p. 433
  21. 21. André Breton 1896-1966: First Manifesto of Surrealism 1924 ‘Freud very rightly brought his critical faculties to bear upon the dream’.‘I have no choice but to consider [the waking state] a phenomenon of interference’.‘The mind of the man who dreams is fully satisfied by what happens to him’. Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.p. 435
  22. 22. Surrealism: Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) The Dream 1910; Oil on canvas 80.5x117.5 inches Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p. 229
  23. 23. Surrealism: 3 kinds of expression: Primitive Child art, the art of the mad and primitive (naif) art Rousseau, ‘the customs man’ : Primitive art, but: Rousseau to Picasso: ‘We are the two greatest living painters, I in the modern manner you in the Egyptian’Hughes: ‘The clarity of Rousseau’s vision further heightened its compulsive,dreamlike quality: there the image is, all at once, with no ambiguities, done (as he would have insisted) from life.’ Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p. 227-9
  24. 24. Surrealism: 3 kinds of expression: child art Joan Miró 1893-1983 Child art =outlet of the uncensored, polymorphous selfChild art = special cultural form which can disclose the nature of the mindSeen through the mimicry of a child’s freedom by adults The best pure painter of the Surrealists (Hughes) Resisted the movement, but they joined him For the assassination of painting; a dislike for the bourgeois Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p. 231
  25. 25. Surrealism: Joan Miró 1893-1983 The tilled field 1923-4; oil on canvas; 26x36.5 inchesMetamorphosis: ‘Everything in this landscape has the power to become something else’ (Hughes) Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p. 231-2
  26. 26. Surrealism: Joan Miró 1893-1983 The harlequin’s carnival 1924-5; oil on canvas; 26x36.5 inches‘Miro claimed that hallucinations brought on by hunger and staring at the cracks in the plaster during those lean Paris years helped to loosen his imagery, as mescaline might’ (Hughes) Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p. 235
  27. 27. Surrealism: Joan Miró 1893-1983 The harlequin’s carnival 1924-5; oil on canvas; 26x36.5 inchesMiro: ‘There are tiny forms in vast empty spaces. Empty space, empty horizons, empty plains, everything that is stripped has always impressed me’ Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p. 235
  28. 28. André Breton 1896-1966: From ‘Surrealism and Painting’ 1928‘In such a domain, [what I believe with my eyes], Idispose of a power of illusion whose limits, if I am not careful, I cease to perceive’.‘Let us not forget that in this epoch it is reality itself that is in question’ Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 441,442
  29. 29. René François Ghislain Magritte (1898 – 1967)Magrittes La Trahison des Images (The Treachery of Images) (1928-9) orCeci nest pas une pipe (This is not a pipe). Oil on canvas 23.5x37 inches
  30. 30. André Breton 1896-1966: From‘Surrealism and Painting’ 1928 ‘Picasso, creator of toys for adults, has causedman to grow up, and sometimes under the guiseof exasperating him, has put an end to his puerile fidgeting’. ‘I believe that men will long continue to feel the need of following to its source the magical river flowing from their eyes, bathing with the samehallucinatory light and shade both the things that are and the things that are not.’ Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 444
  31. 31. Pablo Picasso: Concepts of surrealism Guernica 1937; Oil on Canvas; 349 cm × 776 cm (137.4 in × 305.5 in) ‘...this bull is a bull and this horse is a horse... If you give a meaning to certain things in my paintings it may be very true, but it is not my idea to give this meaning. What ideas andconclusions you have got I obtained too, but instinctively, unconsciously. I make the painting for the painting. I paint the objects for what they are.’ http://www.pbs.org/treasuresoftheworld/a_nav/guernica_nav/gnav_level_1/5meaning_guerfrm.html
  32. 32. Pablo Picasso: Concepts of surrealism‘Picasso was never a member of the surrealist circle but was rightly admired by Surrealism for his sense of metamorphosis...’ Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p.252
  33. 33. André Breton 1896-1966:From ‘Second Manifesto of Surrealism’ 1929 Surrealism: ‘a special part of its function is toexamine with a critical eye the notions of realityand unreality, reason and irrationality, reflection and impulse, knowledge and fatal ignorance, usefulness and uselessness’.Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 446-7 (Second Manifesto of Surrealism 1929)
  34. 34. Max Ernst Europe after the rain 1940-2; Oil on canvas 21.5x58.25inches Hughes: ‘A panorama of a fungoid landscape seen as though in the aftermath of anannihilating, biblical deluge. Ernst got away to America when the German armies rolled into France.’Frottage/decalcomania method of lifting off paint and putting it down creates illusionary effect of reality. Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p.255
  35. 35. Max Ernst Europe after the rain 1940-2; Oil on canvas 21.5x58.25inches ‘Here [in early collage works] I discover elements of a figuration so remote that its veryabsurdity provokes in me a sudden intensification of my faculties of sight - a hallucinatory succession of contradictory images...’ Ernst in Hughes, Robert. The Shock of the New. London: BBC Books, 1991. p.224-5
  36. 36. The poetic unconscious and contemporary thought/painting
  37. 37. André Breton 1896-1966: From‘Surrealism and Painting’ 1928 1920s‘The region where the charming vapours of the as yet unknown, with which they are to fall in love,condense, will appear to them in a lightning flash.’ Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 444 2009Jean-Luc Nancy identified a need to ‘rediscover, inan as yet unknown mode, what those who lived in myths knew in a totally different mode: there is a universal communication and participation of beings, that is to say of bodies in the world’. Nancy, Jean-Luc. "Making Sense." In Making Sense. University of Cambridge, UK, 2009. (Key note speaker, Making Sense Conference)
  38. 38. André Breton 1896-1966:From ‘Second Manifesto of Surrealism’ 1929: Short Circuits ‘Just as in the physical world,a short circuit occurs when the two ‘poles’ of a machine are joined by a conductor of little or no resistance....Surrealism has done everything it can and more to increase these short circuits’. Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 449 (Second Manifesto of Surrealism 1929)
  39. 39. Short Circuits and Slavoj Žižek 2006‘Žižek is interested in the "parallax gap" separating two points between which no synthesis or mediation is possible, linked by an "impossible short circuit" of levels that can never meet. From this consideration of parallax, Žižek begins a rehabilitation of dialectical materialism. ’ Ž ižek, Slavoj. Parallax View. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2006.
  40. 40. Parallax: Sigmar PolkeSeeing rays 2006; mixed mediums on fabric; 541⁄4 x 46 inchesDraws from an engraving by 17thC Johann Zahn that depicts twogentlemen observing the sky from different vantage points
  41. 41. Surrealism and Australianmodernism/modernity
  42. 42. Surrealism and Australian modernism Albert Tucker (1914 – 1999) Bushrangers and parrots 1960Ivan Durrant: ‘Pearce, as painted by Albert Tucker, is the summary of all and more that is bad in humans. He is the ultimate destructive intruder... Just look at those viciously protruding, cutting and slicing shark teeth; what a brutal axe-head, alien monster and the devil himself!’ Albert Tucker Exhibition: The Intruder - The perfect Allegory, curated by Ivan Durant, June 1- August 10 2009 Art Monthly Australia; Issue 229, May 2010 pp.27-29
  43. 43. André Breton 1896-1966:From ‘Second Manifesto of Surrealism’ 1929Truth:‘A day will come when we no longer allow ourselves to use [the truth] in such a cavalier fashion,...with its palpable proofs of existence other than the one we think we are living’.Harrison, Charles, and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900-1990. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.pp. 450 (Second Manifesto of Surrealism 1929)
  44. 44. Surrealism and Australian modernism Angry Penguins 1940sAngry Penguins, an Australian literary and artistic avant- garde movement of the 1940s Early Australian exponents of surrealism and expressionismJohn Perceval,, Arthur Boyd Sidney Nolan,Danila Vassileff, Albert Tucker, Joy Hester The Ern Malley hoax
  45. 45. Surrealism and Australian modernism Angry Penguins 1940s
  46. 46. Wamud Namok AO / Margie West 2008 Truth:‘According to Australian curator MargieWest, discussed in relation to Wamud Namok, the metaphysical world embodies spirits which exist“not just as metaphysical notions but as palpable manifestations in the material world”. West, Margie. "Bardayal Nadjamerrek: Wild Honey Painter." Art & Australia 46 Spring, no. 1 (2008): 120-25.
  47. 47. Truth and Myth/ The Metaphysical: Wamud Namok AO Wamud Namok AO Dulklorrkelorrkeng and Wakkewakken; 2005Bark painting; natural earth pigments on stringy bark; 83x 151cm “[...] I can see you all, I can see you here in my country you Wakkewakken [legless honey spirits]” Wamud Namok in West, Margie. "Bardayal Nadjamerrek: Wild Honey Painter." Art & Australia 46 Spring, no. 1 (2008): 120-25.

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