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1.1 Intro Art Since 1945
1.1 Intro Art Since 1945
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Art since 1945

  1. 1. America and Europe after 1945
  2. 2. 2 Map of the World in 1945
  3. 3. 3 Map of the World in 2000
  4. 4. • Because of WWII, the global art capital shifted from Paris to New York City First major avant-garde art style to be developed in the United States. • Two main processes of Abstract Expressionism: gestural abstraction and chromatic abstraction • Pollock and De Kooning are generally considered gestural abstraction painters (action painters) • Newman and Rothko are recognized as chromatic abstraction painters (COLOR!) Abstract Expressionism
  5. 5. Abstract Expressionism was the first truly American style of painting • GI bill created a newly educated middle class (eager to buy art) • Influence of Surrealism and para- rational thought • Rebellious individual celebrated (the artist becomes the new rebel) ACTION PAINTING   
  6. 6. Existentialism: hero is aware of the absurdities of life and realizes that all decisions are absurd and purposeless ultimately (i.e. choosing what to wear) • We live in a meaningless world; so, we create meaning where it doesn’t exist through our individual activities • Think of Sisyphus • We must derive meaning only from ourselves • Sartre: “existence comes before essence…we must begin from the subjective” • we must define ourselves through behavior and actions (existence creates essence) • feelings of anguish and despair, also abandonment (no one can help me) New York School: created works that questioned the human existence and the presence of a divine, omnipotent power
  7. 7. JACKSON POLLOCK Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), 1950 , Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 7’ 3” x 9‘
  8. 8. • Created paintings by using a raw, unprimed canvas on the floor; Pollock would splash, fling, drip, pour, paint and used paintbrushes sand, glass, sticks, etc. to create art (stepped on the canvas, cigarette butts, etc.) • Gave him the feeling of being in the painting, in “action” • Many violations against tradition • No hidden messages or meaning/symbols • Records of bodily movements and gestures only • Physical manifestation of feelings deep in the subconscious (Jung) • conscious, unconscious, collective unconscious nonrepresentational style; no special recession Gestural abstraction: the expressive application of paint leaving visible and often chaotic brushstrokes (also called Action painting)
  9. 9. Willem de Kooning Two Women 1954 pastel charcoal and pencil on paper 14 3/4 x 14 1/2 in. DE KOONING Dutch immigrant to the US • Never became completely abstract, figures appear in his work Expressed inner thoughts and emotions through visible brush and painter’s knife strokes • often reworked canvases (wiped off paint to start over, painted over another part, etc.) • sometimes worked a canvas through (made holes in it)
  10. 10. Willem de Kooning Woman I 1950-52 oil on canvas 6 ft. 3 7/8 in x 58 in. Series of colossal female figures • Feminine features recognizable • Think Woman of Willendorf, i.e. what makes a woman a woman? • Based on advertising (overemphasis of feminine features to appeal to men and women alike) Woman seated (reference to woman at vanity mirror? Traditional portrait painting?)
  11. 11. Willem de Kooning Woman I (detail) 1950-52 oil on canvas 6 ft. 3 7/8 in x 58 in. Grin (based on toothpaste and Camel cigarette ads) • appropriating mass media for use in art: modernism Abstraction of form and energetic application of paint  action painting • Slashing movement of paint creates a sense of violence (violence against women? a violation 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 the female body is portrayed
  12. 12. Barnett Newman Vir Heroicus Sublimis 1950-51 oil on canvas 7 ft. 11 3/8 in. x 17 ft. 9 1/4 in.
  13. 13. Newman used color to express complex feelings about humanity and its relationship to the universe • Interest in the sublime “Zips”: stripes that run vertically through the canvas’ height (background is usually one color) • Large monochromatic canvas = infinite universe and the zips = finite • Finite existence of human beings in the infinite universe Latin 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. 14. Mark Rothko Number 19 1961 oil on canvas 91 x 71 in. Chromatic abstraction: lacks the energetic application of paint but uses blocks and lines of color to express complex feelings about the universe (also called Color field painting)
  15. 15. Rothko, Number 14, 1961 Expression of feeling through the colors • If you only observe the colors of the painting, you miss the deep “religious” experience he had while creating them • Life is a cycle of tragic times and happy times (express the cycle through colors) • “basic human emotions – tragedy, ecstasy, doom” Works evoke the feeling of landscape painting (different layers) • Tension between geometric shapes and formlessness (material vs. immaterial worlds) • Put “weight” at the bottom
  16. 16. 16 Post-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 intentional subconscious 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. 17. Frank Stella Mas o Menos (More or Less) 1964 oil on canvas 9’10” x 13’8” “Pinstripe paintings”: canvases of solid color separated by areas of bare canvas (emphasize the flatness and no sense of recessional space) • “What you see is what you see” • Often works were on a deep stretcher to emphasize the role of the canvas as an art object
  18. 18. Helen Frankenthaler The Bay 1963 acrylic on canvas 6’ 8 7/8” x 6’ 9 7/8” COLOR FIELD PAINTING: Technique • Diluted oil paints with turpentine and watercolors with water so the paint was very thin and could be poured very easily onto a raw, unprimed canvas • Colors soaked into the material, creating a “color stain” or “soak stain” (think of juice soaked up by a paper towel) Evocative of landscape painting very flat (no third dimension)
  19. 19. David Smith Cubi XIX 1964 Stainless Steel 9’ 4 ¾” X 4’ 10 ¼” X 3’ 4”. Welded pieces of metal together in abstract compositions (influence of Cubist sculptors) Cubi series in the 1960s: basic geometric shapes (rectangles, squares, circles, etc.) welded together to make them appear to be precariously balancing • Stainless steel; burnished (marked) to give texture (a la Pollock) • Praised for their evocation of human qualities (precariousness of human life, for example) • Resemble totem poles
  20. 20. SCULPTURE Minimalism: a predominantly sculptural movement and its emphasis on objecthood. Minimalism: emphasize the shapes and straight edges of their creations; no surface decoration, 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 art Personality 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. 21. Donald Judd Untitled 1969 Brass and colored fluorescent Plexiglass on steel brackets, 10 units 6 1/8” x 2’ x 2’ 3” each Series of boxes • Arranged in a vertical composition, attached • Boxes with space in between them: interplay between solids and voids, shadows and light, etc. • Interest in mechanical and precise forms
  22. 22. Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C., 1981-1983
  23. 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 the War? • 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 soldiers V-shaped monument cut into the earth with 60,000 casualties of the Vietnam War listed in the order they were killed and reported missing • Starts at the ground and increases to 10 feet tall, then recedes back into the ground • Very geometric in appearance
  24. 24. POP Art (1960s) Pop Art: reaction against Ab-Ex; make art something recognizable (use imagery 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 sensibility Rejects many Ab-Ex ideas: • psychological undertones • Emotional • heroic artist, not an expression of personality (uses found images) • use of industrial methods and media
  25. 25. Richard Hamilton Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? 1956 collage on paper 10 1/4 x 9 3/4 in. Used in the exhibition “What is Tomorrow?” • In England, about American culture • Newest technologies showcased • Show the “traditional” American family; ironic, humorous spin on American culture • images mean something different from their original intent (very Duchampian)
  26. 26. Mass marketing of products = Pop Art precursor • Put together in collage: Armor ham, Ford, Tootsie “Pop”, etc. • Almost Surrealist arrangement: woman with headlights for breasts wearing a lampshade, romance comic book as framed painting, etc. • Media references: TV, newspaper, theater marquee • Celebrities: bodybuilder Charles Atlas and image from an erotic magazine Ab-Ex painting/notebook cover as the rug; photograph of the moon/earth is ceiling art • contemporary details abound
  27. 27. Jasper Johns Flag 1954-55 encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood 3 ft. 6 1/4 in. x 5 ft. 5/8 in. Works contain objects people recognize but look at twice to consider the meaning and relationship of the objects Recognizable 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 (almost like language – newspaper) • the flag is a revealing icon which we “conceal” (ignore, pass by)
  28. 28. Jasper Johns Three Flags 1958 encaustic on canvas 78.4 x 115.6 x 12.7 cm Flags in all government buildings, but we often fail to notice them (too familiar) • 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 is not a pipe.”) • doesn’t defile the flag for this reason
  29. 29. Robert Rauschenberg Canyon 1959 combine painting 219.7 x 179.1 x 57.8 cm Gathered scraps of newspaper, photos, discarded materials to make assemblages • collected them in NYC from the street usually • “Paintings relate to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in the gap between the two).”
  30. 30. Combines: assemblage paintings Multiple levels of meaning in his works of art and strange juxtapositions • stuffed eagle placed on a pedestal connected with the pillow (one covered with feathers, the other stuffed with them) • photograph of a young man with his hand held aloft, just like the Statue of Liberty (photo of it on there too)
  31. 31. Roy Lichtenstein Hopeless 1963 oil on canvas 3 ft. 8 in. x 3 ft. 8 in. stylistic elements • Benday dots: named for Benjamin Day; printing process uses the pointillist technique of colored dots from a limited palette placed closely together to achieve more colors and subtle shading • heavy black lines frame areas of unmodulated flat color • primary colors • frames inspired by comics • hard, precise drawing Moment of transition or crisis is the subject • use of “found” images (comic books, etc.)
  32. 32. • Benday dots: named for Benjamin Day; printing process uses the pointillist technique of colored dots from a limited palette placed closely together to achieve more colors and subtle shading
  33. 33. Roy Lichtenstein Little Big Painting 1965 oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas 68 x 80 in. Series of paintings on the history of art (Classical, modernist styles like Cubism, etc.) • icons of art rendered in the comic-book style Ab-Ex painting • House-painting brushes used: broad strokes rendered w/o passion (outlined, frozen, background of benday dots, etc.) • Emptied of value (interiority, connection with humanity) • Ironic because it’s still painting Hand-painted benday dots still contain the “mark of the artist” (appears mechanical, unlike Ab-Ex)
  34. 34. Andy Warhol Brillo Box 1968 silkscreen ink and synthetic polymer paint on wood 17 1/8 x 17 x 14 in. Andy Warhol Pop Art object himself; persona that was marketed (celebrity and “15 minutes of fame”) • design school: newspaper ads for consumer goods (shoes, for example); • developed an art of commodities (objects that are bought and sold)
  35. 35. Andy Warhol Marilyn Diptych 1962 silkscreen ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas 6 ft. 10 in. x 6 ft. 9 ft.. Graphic arts techniques: photographic transfer, silkscreen (method of using premade shapes) • allowed for multiple copies of consumer items • studio named “The Factory”: efficient place of production
  36. 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 subject Social characteristics magnified: brilliant blonde hair, heavy lipstick, seductive look, etc.
  37. 37. Claes Oldenburg The Store 1960 sculptor who collaborated with his wife, Coosjie Van Bruggen “The Store” was a gallery where art is bought and sold • used consumer materials: polyester, vinyl, canvas, etc.
  38. 38. Claes Oldenburg Pastry Case 1961-62 enamel paint on nine plaster sculptures in glass showcase 20 3/4 x 30 1/8 x 14 3/4 in.
  39. 39. Claes Oldenburg Installation at Greene Gallery 1962 created large soft sculptures of everyday food items • reflected the food of diners, developing fast food market: popular culture • not tromp l’oeil other everyday objects in soft sculpture: light switch, toilet, etc.
  40. 40. Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen Spoonbridge and Cherry Minneapolis, Minnesota 1985-88 Aluminum, stainless steel and paint 29 ft. 6 in. x 51 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft. 6 in. Also made hard sculptures of food or everyday items Later he made large, outdoor sculptures: lipstick, ice cream cone dropped on ground
  41. 41. SITE-SPECIFIC Art - Artwork only exists in specific location, can only function in particular environment
  42. 42. Christo and Jean-Claude Surrounded Islands Florida 1982 Pink fabric Temporary works of art started with “wrappings” (motorcycles, etc.) • extended into wrapping the environment • essential to the work is that the art does not damage nature or the ecology must be returned to the way it was found afterwards • works not patronized Later, the wrapping became curtains (NYC Central Park project) This “wrapping” was of 11 man-made islands off the coast of Miami in Biscayne Bay • flamingo pink fabric an appropriate choice • concerned that the fabric might affect manatees (didn’t)
  43. 43. ROBERT SMITHSON Spiral Jetty, 1970 Great Salt Lake, Utah, earthworks: efforts to preserve nature; incorporating natural materia in outdoor locations; site specific works wanted to capture the beauty of earth in the outdoor space some works done indoors, but involved taking materials from outside inside (dirt, rocks, sand, etc.): “non-site” works • used mirrors in indoor works to create infinite feeling
  44. 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 vast wilderness) • 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 of drought (submerged underwater) low-level scanning: search for inspiration in a specific site
  45. 45. RICHARD SERRA Tilted Arc 1981. Jacob K. Javits Federal Plaza, New York City infamous 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, people unable to cross the plaza, etc.) • art would dictate the way the site was used
  46. 46. Anti-form art: the process is the actual art became 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 the patron? 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. 47. SUPERREALISM (Photorealism) Superrealism: still life paintings or portraits with photographic accuracy Often based on photographs Employed airbrush and grid lines to create realistic images
  48. 48. AUDREY FLACK Marilyn 1977. Oil over acrylic on canvas, 8’ x 8 Influenced by Dutch vanitas paintings (tromp l’oeil) Marilyn was not always the superficial woman in the Warhol image • Norma Jean: elements in the painting tell of her early life • Symbols: fruit (life, peeled to show transience of life); hourglass (same); August calendar page (month when she died) • airbrush used to remove any traces of brush marks; wanted it to seem like a photograph
  49. 49. CHUCK CLOSE Big Self-Portrait 1967–1968 Acrylic on canvas 8’ 11” x 6’ 11” Large, realistic portraits of everyday people, often friends or himself • not formal portraits; informal snapshots • intimate image Tried to revive portraits (Ab-Ex had killed it) TECHNIQUE: Used a grid over a photograph to capture the details; airbrush used to remove traces of brush 1988-89: became paralyzed (quadriplegic); can move his arm, but in limited range
  50. 50. Close in his studio
  51. 51. Duane Hanson Sculptor known for images of average American citizens (tourists, shoppers) • not ridiculing humanity; celebrating their worst moments • continues the tradition of tromp l’oeil
  52. 52. DUANE HANSON Supermarket Shopper 1970 Polyester resin and fiberglass polychromed in oil, with clothing, steel cart, and groceries life-size • life-sized casts of bodies made for his sculptures (based on real people’s bodies); also used real hair and clothing • often mistaken for real people in the museum What 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. 53. JUDY CHICAGO The Dinner Party 1979 Multimedia, including ceramics and stitchery 48’ x 48’ x 48’ installation: temporary work of art made up of assemblages created for a particular space, like an art gallery or museum FEMINIST ART Art that addresses issues of sexual discrimination and subjugation of women • changed her last name to Chicago (where she was born) because she believed that women shouldn’t live with the name given to them by patriarchy (subjugation)
  54. 54. Alludes to 39 women that Chicago believed should be recognized • originally supposed to be 13 women (number in a witches’ coven, present at the Last Supper); inadequate number so it was tripled • large equilateral triangle table (48 foot sides) • triangle: Mother Goddess symbol (Sacred Feminine) • traditional women’s arts incorporated (ceramics, embroidery, etc.) • table settings specific to the woman and meant to resemble female reproductive organs
  55. 55. Barbara Kruger Untitled (Your Gaze Hits the Side of My Face 1981 Photography with red frame 4’7” x 3’5” First hints at Post-Modernism • Modernism is old and outdated by the 80s • Artists could try to revolutionize, but that is traditional at this point in history • The idea of doing something new has become old- fashioned Key is the appropriation of ideas from the past, but emptied of their past meaning • reverse Modernism (implode it) • deconstructing: implosion, destruction from within; using conventions of art against itself
  56. 56. Graphic designer: mass media influence; attempts to deconstruct advertisements • words placed in as design elements • large single image with a short, catchy phrase (like a magazine ad) Appropriates the images from elsewhere and adds 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 the work • can also be used to indicate the target audience (seems to address a male audience usually) Comment upon the “male gaze” again; women do not see themselves, they only see themselves through the heterosexual male gaze
  57. 57. CINDY SHERMAN Untitled Film Still #35 1979 Gelatinsilverprint 10” x 8” Imitate the way that images of women have been stereotypically depicted in the movies; deconstruct the images 1950s = posters outside theater with b&w photographs from the film • entices the viewer to see the movie • not always from the film itself; worked with the idea of stereotypes (can identify the protagonist, antagonist of the film, etc.)
  58. 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 at also did a rape series (shows herself victimized), historical portrait series (dressed up like Marie Antoinette and others), and pornography series (used prosthetic limbs; begs the question: if there is no real body, is it porn?)
  59. 59. GUERRILLA GIRLS, The Advantages of Being A Woman Artist, 1988. Offset print, 17”x22”. Collection of the artists.