Art 1001 Art Today
Content Outline

Some basic art concepts

 

Subject matter

 

 

representational (realism)
abstract
non-objective (no observation of an object in nature)

Use of color

 

emotional (feeling)
cerebral (thinking)

Organization of form (composition)

 

symmetry
asymmetry

Use of materials

 

traditional (see below)/non-traditional
permanent/impermanent

Tone

 

"feeling" of work
the artist's implied attitude toward subject

Avant-garde

 

"advance guard" (of an army)
practically interchangeable with "progressive Modernism"
Form vs. Content
  formal qualities = what it looks like
content = what it means
analytic duality

 

Traditional art materials (media):

 

Drawing

 

 

pencil
charcoal
pastel/chalk

Painting

 

Painting = pigment (color) + vehicle (binder, medium)
oil
tempera
watercolor (gouache - opaque)
acrylic (polymer medium)
encaustic (wax)

Printmaking

 

relief (woodcut, linocut
intaglio (steel plate)
serigraph (screenprinting)
lithography (traditionally, on stone slab; works on principle that oil and water don't mix)

Digital programs

 

2D output (two dimensional)
3D output (three dimensional)
websites

Sculpture

 

free-standing
low relief = bas-relief
high relief

subtractive = carving; stone, wood
additive = modeling; clay, wax (for bronze casting)
fabricated/fabrication = mechanical attachments; welding
manufactured = multiples, mass production
mixed media = found objects, mosaic, etc.

Applied art ("crafts" ) & design

 

ceramics
earthenware = low temperature fire, needs glaze to hold water
stoneware = medium temperature fire, needs glaze hold water
porcelain = high temperature fire, no glaze needed

jewelry/metalwork
glass
fibers = cloth, etc.
wood

utilitarian = useful for some real-life purpose
non-utilitarian = an "art object" for looking at, like a painting

design
product design = furniture, cars, everyday objects
communication design/graphic design = posters, books, CD covers, TV etc.

Form vs. Content
  formal qualities = what it looks like
content = what it means
analytic duality

 

Prehistoric art
Pre-history = before written histories

 

no separate concept of "art"

integral to religious, social, daily events

 

 

Classical period
begins 4th century B.C.

 

Greek culture, imitated by Romans and others

development of humanism = co-existence with gods, not subservience to gods

realism

"athlete of virtue" = beauty equals worth

source of inspiration to European cultures for centuries, to present day

 

 

Early Christian
ca. 200 A.D.

 

at first based on Classical models

develops new iconography (symbolic meanings)

loss of ancient Greek and Roman technical skills

 

 

Middle Ages
12th & 13th centuries

 

great cathedrals expressed unity of religion and daily life

 

 

Renaissance
14th & 15th centuries

 

Renaissance = "re-birth" (of Classical Greek and Roman skills and values)

Classical art and literature becomes "cool"

revival of humanism

revival of realism, anatomy

linear perspective developed

secular criteria for judgment of art

first art "academy"

 

 

Baroque
late 16th & 17th centuries

 

more personal drama in subject matter

increasing emphasis on earthly detail

increasingly secular (Dutch)

Rococo = late Baroque style in France, playful, pretty, intimate

 

 

Neo-Classicism
ca. 1800 - 1850

Jean-Auguste INGRES

 

influenced by the Enlightenment = experimental science (vs. faith in traditional wisdom), tolerance (vs. religious wars), equality (vs. aristocracy & slavery)

call to return to reason & morality in art

nature as a model of order and harmony

"serious" political themes, comparisons to ancient Greek and Roman history

reaction against "frivolous" Rococo style

enemies of the Romantics within the French Academy

 

 

Romanticism
ca. 1800 - 1850

Eugene DELACROIX

 

cult of the individual; artist as smarter and more sensitive than everyday people

emphasis on powerful emotions

nature as violent, irrational, wild, chaotic, beautiful

fascination with ruins, ghost stories, true crime, tragic love

emphasis on color

enemies of the Neo-Classicists within the French Academy

 

 

Modernism Begins

Realism
c. 1850

Gustave COURBET

 

Salon = official art show in Paris

emphasis on everyday, contemporary subjects

1855 Paris Exposition; Courbet shows his work at his own expense; rejects the Academy

Courbet the model for a "bohemian artist" = ultra-liberal politics, dresses and acts in unconventional way, doesn't care what conservative people think of him

 

Courbet:
"The act of painting can consist only in the representation of objects visible and tangible to the painter. An epoch can be reproduced only by its own artists."

Impressionism
ca. 1875 - 1900

Claude MONET, Edouard MANET, Edgar DEGAS

 

new interest in light & color

invention of tube paints, synthetic pigments & portable easels

"plein air" painting = painting outdoors

anti-romantic realism = urban middle-class leisure activities

influence of the then-new technology of photography

"painterly effects" = the brushwork is visible

 

 

Post-Impressionism
ca. 1885 - 1900

Georges SEURAT, Vincent VAN GOGH, Paul GAUGUIN, Paul CEZANNE

 

new approaches to pictorial structure & color

beginnings of abstraction; influence of Japanese art

not an actual movement; named by Roger Fry (1910) as a grab-bag term

 

Gauguin:
" Some advice: do not paint too much after nature. Art is an abstraction; derive this abstraction from nature while dreaming before it, and think more of the creation which will result. . . ."

van Gogh:
"I have tried to express the idea that the cafe is a place where one can ruin oneself, go mad or commit a crime. . . all this in an atmosphere like a devil's furnace, of pale sulphur."

Cezanne:
"My aim was to make Impressionism into something solid and enduring like the art of the museums." ". . . treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere, the cone, everything in proper perspective so that each side of an object or plane is directed towards a central point."

Maurice Denis :
"It is well to remember that a picture -- before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote -- is essentially a plane surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order."

Fauvism
1900s - 1910s

Henri MATISSE

 

Fauve = French for "wild animal"

wild use of color; breaking old, traditional rules of color

influence of van Gogh & Gauguin

 

Matisse:
"Expression to my way of thinking does not consist of the passion mirrored upon a human face or betrayed by a violent gesture. . . . What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which might be for every mental worker. . . something like a good armchair in which to rest from physical fatigue."

Expressionism
1900s - 1910s

Ernst KIRCHNER, Emil NOLDE

 

Germany

emphasis on artist's subjective psychological response to subject

angst = German word for "anxiety" or "anguish"; the worrying sensation that something is wrong; philosophical term for the anxiety of having to make choices in the present about an unknown future

Die Brücke = "The Bridge" a group of Expressionist artists formed in Dresden, Germany including Kirchener

 

Nolde:
"Conscientious and exact imitation of nature does not create a work of art."

Cubism
1900s - 1920s

Pablo PICASSO

 

Paris, France

Cubism = the artist breaks down the natural forms of the subjects into geometric shapes and creates a new kind of picture space

highly abstract

very influential; the "cool" "modern" artists loved Cubism; "old-fashioned" artists hated it

first phase: Analytic Cubism = breaking apart forms, neutral colors

second phase: Synthetic Cubism = collage, 2 phases: analytic and synthetic (collage); African influence

 

Picasso:
"When I paint my object is to show what I have found and not what I am looking for. In art intentions are not sufficient. . . ." "Art is a lie that makes us realize truth."

Harlem Renaissance
1920s

Aaron DOUGLAS

 

growing emergence of African-American identity and heritage in art, literature and culture

Henry Ossawa Tanner, painter - early role model, won Paris Salon award in 19th century

1921 Harlem Library Exhibition

"Jazz Age"

post-war northern migration (2 million move to north - Phila, Chicago, Boston Balt, San Fran); Harlem pop. tripled by early '20's

W.E.B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey (militant self assertion)

Aaron Douglas collaborates w/ Langston Hughes, contributes to Vanity Fair, studies at Albert Barnes Harmon Foundation encourages blacks in many fields

Augusta Savage runs Harlem WPA project

 

 

Precisionism
1920s

Charles DEMUTH, Charles SHEELER

 

U.S.

combines U.S. subject matter with European Modernism

anticipates Photo-Realism

 

 

Futurism
1920s

Umberto BOCCIONI

 

Italy

speed and technology as essence of modern life

Cubist influence

beginnings of "performance art" = artists performing live for an audience

 

F.T. Marinetti
"We declare that the splendor of the world has been enriched with a new form of beauty, the beauty of speed."

Orphism (Orphic Cubism)
1920s

Robert DELAUNAY

 

France

first non-objective (abstract) works

emphasis on color and movement

 

Delaunay:
"What is of great importance to me is observation of the movement of colors." "Simultaneity in light is harmony, the rhythm of colors which creates the Vision of Man."

Der Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider)
1920s

Wassily KANDINSKY

 

Germany

Der Blaue Reiter = "Blue Rider" a group of Expressionist artists formed in Munich, Germany including Kandinsky, Marc, Klee

more abstract/non-objective branch of Expressionism

influenced by Theosophy = belief based on meditation and mystical insight into the nature of god and the soul; founded by Madame H.P. Blavatsky in 1875

color symbolism

analogy between art and music

 

Kandinsky:
"Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. . . It is evident that color harmony must rest ultimately on purposive playing upon the human soul. . . ."

Suprematism
1920s

Kasimir MALEVICH

 

Russia

politically-oriented non-objective movement

agit-prop = early Russian Communist term, from "agitation" (encouraging people to change social behavior) and "propaganda" (public education)

performance art

 

Malevich:
"In 1913, trying desperately to liberate art from the ballast of the representational world, I sought refuge in the form of the square." " To the Suprematist the visual phenomena of the objective world are, in themselves, meaningless; the significant thing is feeling, as such, quite apart from the environment in which it is called forth."

De Stijl
1920s

Piet MONDRIAN

 

Holland

socially-oriented non-objective movement

architecture, furniture designs

Oud: "Dutch Protestant iconoclasm"

 

Mondrian:
"Cubism failed in its follow-through" "This attitude of the cubists to the representations of volume in space was contrary to my conception of abstraction which is based on belief that this very space has to be destroyed. . . . I think the destructive element is too much neglected in art." "The truly modern artist is aware of abstraction in an emotion of beauty; he is conscious of the fact that the emotion of beauty is cosmic, universal. This conscious recognition has for its corollary an abstract plasticism, for man adheres only to what is universal."

"291"
1st & 2nd decades U.S.

Alfred STIEGLITZ, Arthur DOVE, Georgia O'KEEFFE

 

New York

most avant-garde of the U.S. "moderns" (modern artists)

championed abstract, non-objective, European work

promotion of photography as equal art form

 

 

The "8" (Ashcan School)
1900s -1910s

Robert HENRI

 

early moderns

more conservative

contemporary subject matter; realism

 

 

The Armory Show
1913

 

first large-scale modernist exhibition in U.S.; New

extremely influential

highly controversial; people loved it or hated it; Matisse burned in effigy

first shown in the 69th Regiment Armory, New York City; then shown in Chicago

idea born in 1911, Assn. of Am. Painters & Sculptors Arthur B. Davies, President

Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase

 

 

Dada
2nd decade

Marcel DUCHAMP

 

reaction to the horrors of World War I

began in neutral Switzerland, moved across Europe and America

anti-aesthetic, anti-rational movement

"readymade" = an object that already exists, the artist has found and noticed it, rather than made it

influence of Futurism

performance art; nonsense poetry, noise-music

ironic tone; angry humor

 

Jean Arp:
" . . . to destroy the rationalist swindle for man and incorporate him humbly again in nature."

Tristan Tzara:
"Dada is a state of mind." "It is more in the nature of a return to an almost Buddhist religion of indifference." "We have had enough of the intelligent movements that have stretched beyond measure our credulity in the benefits of science. What we want now is spontaneity. Not because it is better or more beautiful than anything else. But because everything that issues freely from ourselves, without the intervention of speculative ideas, represents us."

Kurt Schwitters:
"Art is a primordial concept, exalted as the Godhead, inexplicable as life, indefinable and without purpose."

Marcel Duchamp:
"Dada was very serviceable as a purgative"

Hannah Hoch:
"Our whole purpose was to integrate objects from the world of machines & industry into the world of art."

"American Scene" Painting (Regionalism)
1920s

Edward HOPPER, Thomas Hart BENTON

 

rejects European Modernism for realism & U.S. subjects

 

Hopper:
"I am interested not in subjectivity, but a new objectivity; not abstraction, but a reaffirmation of subject matter and specificity; not internationalism, but the American scene."

Social Realism
1930s

Ben SHAHN

 

U.S., affiliated with international movement in arts

Depression era

committed to political subjects

anti-establishment

WPA (Works Progress Administration) Art Project

 

Diego Rivera:
"I want to use my art as a weapon."

Bauhaus
'20's

Walter GROPIUS, Paul KLEE

 

school for integration of fine arts, crafts, industrial design & architecture

"less is more" design ethic

Johannes Itten - basic courses

"bauhütte" - German medieval master mason's lodge

Kandinsky teaches in '20s

Gropius: painters provided a "spiritual counterpoint" to designers

Hitler shuts down school in 1933

 

Klee:
"Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible."

Constructivism
1920s - 1930s

Naum GABO

 

Russia, spread to Europe

outgrowth of Suprematism stressing technological application of materials and fabricated sculpture

emphasis on "space"

 

Naum Gabo:
"Volume of mass and volume of space are sculpturally not the same thing." "Neither Futurism nor Cubism has brought us what our time has expected of them."

Surrealism
'20's & '30's

Salvador DALI, Andre MASSON

 

Europe, spread to New York during WWII; Art of This Century exhibition 1942 in New York

dream symbolism

same spirit as Dada, but with a purpose: revolution

influenced by Freud's theory of the subconscious

1_realist (verist) surrealism = recognizable subject matter

2_abstract surrealism = non-objective

"automatic drawing" process

"exquisite corpse" = surrealist game

Dali, "paranoiac critical activity" imitating mental illness; anti-rational

influential on '60s artists, MTV

 

Breton:
"Surrealism - Pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express. . . the real process of thought. Thought's dictation, in the absence of all control exercised by the reason and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations." "It is not a question of drawing, it is simply a question of tracing."

Masson:
"For us, young surrealists of 1924, the great prostitute was reason."

Abstract-Expressionism
'40's & '50's

gestural: Arshile GORKY, Jackson POLLOCK, Willem DE KOONING, Franz KLINE;
colorfield: Adolph GOTTLIEB, Mark ROTHKO, Barnett NEWMAN

 

New York

1_gestural style (brushstrokes)

2_color field style

influenced by Surrealist process

Dewey's Art As Experience ('34)

Carl Jung's theories of collective unconscious and archetypes

large-scale

painterly brushwork

romantic emphasis on metaphysical content

asymmetric compositions with dramatic tonal or color contrast

pictographs

impasto

Pollock becomes new kind of American art superstar

 

Jackson Pollock:
"On the floor I am more at ease. I feel nearer, more a part of the painting, since this way I can walk around it, work from the four sides and literally be in the painting. . . . When I am in my painting, I'm not aware of what I'm doing. It is only after a sort of "get acquainted" period that I see what I have been about. I have no fear about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let it come through. It is only when I lose contact with the painting that the result is a mess. Otherwise there is pure harmony, an easy give and take, and the painting comes out well."

Gottlieb/Rothko:
"It is our function as artists to make the spectator see the world our way -- not his way. . . . We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. . . . We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject-matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess our spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art."

Barnett Newman:
"We are reasserting man's natural desire for the exalted, for a concern with our relationship to the absolute emotions. We do not need the obsolete props of an outmoded and antiquated legend. . . . Instead of making cathedrals out of Christ, man or "life," we are making it out of ourselves, out of our own feelings."

Post-Painterly Abstraction
1950s

Morris LOUIS, Kenneth NOLAND, Frank STELLA
critic: Clement GREENBERG

 

embodied critic Clement Greenberg's theory of "self-definition"

non-illusionistic flatness - fusion of color & ground
(figure / ground relationship)

acrylic paint (new technology)

shaped canvas

1_stain painting style

2_hard-edge style

 

Clement Greenberg:
"The ultimate use of art is construed as being to provide the experience of aesthetic value, therefore, art is to be stripped down to this end. Hence modernist 'functionalism,' . . . the urge to purify the medium."

Kenneth Noland:
"We realized that you didn't have to assert yourself as a personality in order to be personally expressive. We felt that we could deal solely with esthetic issues, with the meaning of abstraction, without sacrificing individuality. . . . "

Frank Stella:
"All I want anyone to get out of my paintings, and all I ever get out of them, is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion. . . . What you see is what you see. . . ."

Proto-Pop
1950s

Jasper JOHNS, Robert RAUSCHENBERG

 

use of mass-produced images and objects anticipates Pop Art

combine painting (collage, 2-D & assemblage, 3-D)

influence of John Cage (modernist musician)

encaustic (wax)

 

Jasper Johns:
"I am concerned with a thing's not being what it was, with its becoming something other than what it is, with any moment in which one identifies a thing precisely and with the slipping away of that moment. . . ."

Robert Rauschenberg:
"Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)"

Happenings
late 1950s

Allen KAPROW

 

hybrid of art, theater & everyday
activity; highly symbolic

free-form/disjunctive

Pollock influence; Dada, Surrealist influence

life as art . . . happening

 

 

Pop Art
late 1950s, 1960s

Andy WARHOL, Roy LICHTENSTEIN

 

U.K., U.S.

"ad- mass culture" in high art mode

consumer objects & processes

"installation"

soft sculpture

often deadpan or "camp" tone

 

Richard Hamilton:
"Pop art is: popular(designed for a mass audience); transient(short- term solution); expendable (easily forgotten); low cost; mass produced; young (aimed at youth); witty; sexy; gimmicky; glamorous; big business"

Andy Warhol:
"The reason I'm painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do."

Roy Lichtenstein:
"Instead of looking like a painting of a billboard. . . Pop Art seems to be the actual thing. It is an intensification, a stylistic intensification of the excitement which the subject matter has for me; but the style is. . . cool. . . .the techniques I use are not commercial, they only appear to be. . . ."

Claes Oldenburg:
". . . we are talking about making impersonality a style, which is what I think characterizes Pop art, as I understand it. . . ." "I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical, that does something other than sit on its ass in a museum. I am for an art that embroils itself with the everyday crap and still comes out on top."

Minimalism
1960's

Donald JUDD

 

U.S.

"primary structures"

avoided hand-made & overt personality

extension of Post-Painterly self-definition

austere - without representational cues, what to do with it?

"gestalt " = any aspect of a thing that can serve as a perceptual whole and thus serve as a reference point in the processes of seeing and thinking

 

Donald Judd:
"Three dimensions are real space. That gets rid of the problem of illusionism . . . -- which is riddance of one of the most objectionable relics of European art. . . Actual space is intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface."

Post-Minimalism
late 1960's

Eva HESSE

 

renewed interest in A-E (Abstract Expressionist) process ideas

quirky "signature" materials

art world becoming more and more international

 

 

Conceptual Art
late 1960's, early 1970's

Joseph KOSUTH

 

art as idea

artist as thinker, not maker

anti-material

"documentation" of short-lived event

use of photography as documenting tool

 

 

Op Art
1960's

Bridget RILEY

 

"optical art"

interest in optical illusion

outgrowth of Post-Painterly movement

 

 

Bridget Riley:
"My paintings are, of course, concerned with generating visual sensation, but certainly not to the exclusion of emotion. One of my aims is that these two responses shall be experienced as one and the same."

Victor Vasarely:
"The screen is plane but, allowing motion, it is also space. It does not have two, but four dimensions."

Photorealism
late 1960's, early 1970's

Richard ESTES

 

camera-based realism

 

Richard Estes:
"A photo is not sufficiently an object (unified) "But the object, it comes from all the old tricks of the painter, the tricks of the trade. The way you compose and design and relate things to one another, all the devices you can use to unify the picture."

Body/Performance Art
late 1960's, 1970's

Joseph BEUYS

 

Beuys very influential teacher in Germany; translates his wartime experience into symbolic installations/performances

body activity art medium

influenced by Conceptual Art, Happenings

anti-material

photo as documentation

 

 

Video Art
begins late 1960's

Nam June PAIK

 

high art prejudice against television

video as art medium

technology as a kind of "new nature"

integrating performance, music, installations & technology possibilities

1965 - Sony video portipak available; '70 - video synthesizer

 

Nam June Paik:
"My experimental TV is not always interesting but not always uninteresting like nature, which is beautiful, not because it changes beautifully, but simply because it changes."

Laurie Anderson:
"I really try to leave a lot of room and a lot of air so that people can draw their own conclusions. It's not that I don't have my own. . ., but it's the process I'm interested in. For example, a lot of the rhythms are created visually. The music is going, and the pictures are going. . . and that creates a kind of counterpoint between what you're seeing and what you're hearing, a kind of polyrthymic situation that you put together yourself."

Earthworks
1970's

Robert SMITHSON

 

manipulation of land as art

gallery mode

site-specific mode

photography as documentation

influence of minimalism; simple gestalt

 

Robert Smithson:
"...not putting a work of art on some land, but putting some land into a work of art."

Walter De Maria:
"The land is not the setting for the work but a part of the work"

Nancy Holt:
"Words and photographs of the work are memory traces, not art. At best, they are inducements for people to go and see the actual work."

Feminist Art
1970's

Judy CHICAGO

 

women's rights & issues

rejection of male-dominated, "boys club" modernist art establishment

"alternative spaces": A.I.R. Gallery & Womanspace

 

 

Pattern & Decoration
late 1970's

Miriam SCHAPIRO

 

decorative arts in high art context

re-examination of decoration

"femmage"

some feminist issues included

 

Schapiro/Meyer:
"Women have always collected things and saved and recycled them because leftovers yielded nourishment in new forms. . . Women's culture is the framework for femmage, and makes it possible. . . to see these traditional aesthetic elements for what they are -- the natural materials needed for spiritual, and often physical, survival."

Photography

 

camera obscura -- 1500s

camera lucida -- early 1800s

Joseph Nicephore NIEPCE -- first "fixed" photo image
Jacques-Louis DAGUERRE -- Daguerreotype -- positive system
William Henry Fox TALBOT -- Calotype -- negative system

Pictorialism -- late 1800s -- Julia Margaret CAMERON -- "soft focus" effects

"F-64" -- early 20th c. -- Ansel ADAMS, Edward WESTON -- sharp focus, immaculate
technique & composition; purist "straight photography" approach

Surrealism -- 1920s -- Andre KERTESZ, Man RAY -- experimentation w/darkroom effects;
photogram

American Scene/Social Realism -- 1930s -- Walker EVANS, Dorothea LANGE -- documentation of Americana; Depression hardships FSA (Farm Services Administration)

Photojournalism -- 1940s -- Margaret BOURKE-WHITE -- tied to rise of large-format
photo magazines

"Beat Generation" -- 1950's -- Robert FRANK -- gritty, informal and iconoclastic view of
American life

1960's -- Diane ARBUS, Garry WINOGRAND -- focus on unconventional; informal style

1970's -- Judy DATER -- emergence of feminist approach; multi-media exploration; development of large-scale color formats

 

 

Postmodernism
ca. 1980 - present

 

hotly debated label; no one agrees precisely

influence of communication media

dissatisfaction with "precious" Modernism

'70's pluralism recast -- interest in diversity, multiculturalism; no central focus

renewed interest in symbolism and narrative

"death of the avant-garde"

"appropriation"

 

 

Graffiti/Post-Graffiti
early 1980's

Keith HARING, Jean-Michel BASQUIAT

 

transformation of subculture popular form into high art

legal surfaces vs. illegal surfaces

"Wild Style" film and the spread of hip-hop culture

Times Square show

 

Keith Haring:
"Often when I am drawing in the subway in New York City an observer will patiently stand by and watch until I have finished drawing and then, quickly, as I attempt to walk away, will shout out, 'But what does it mean?' I usually answer: 'That's your part, I only do the drawings." "I think the contemporary artist has a responsibility to humanity to continue celebrating humanity and opposing the dehumanization of our culture. This doesn't mean that technology shouldn't be utilized by the artist, only that it should be at the service of humanity and not vice versa."

Neo-Expressionism
1980s

Anselm KIEFER

 

style revival revolving around German national themes

dealing with Holocaust guilt

 

 

U.S. Postmodern "Big 3"
1980s

Julian SCHNABEL, David SALLE, Robert LONGO

 

1980s boom in art prices

new level of art "superstar"; influence of Warhol's career

use of appropriation

"diptych"

 

Julian Schnabel:
"I want my life to be embedded in my work, crushed into my painting, like a pressed car. If it's not, my work is just some stuff. . . . "

Energism
1980's

Judy PFAFF

 

sense of visual energy

active compositions, use of bright colors

 

 

"New Realism"
1980's

Eric FISCHL, Leon GOLUB

 

reactivation of realist formats for new examinations of social & political themes

 

Eric Fischl:
"I think what's going on in painting now is coming out of national identities. People have withdrawn into their own histories to try to find meanings. . . personal matters have broad implications. They refer to social. . . issues."

Leon Golub:
". . . they (mercenaries) arise out of the contemporary world as given to us by the media. . . . This is an American art. I think that a powerful society , generally speaking, has a powerful art. It reflects not necessarily the goals of the society but, rather, the society viewing its strengths, how successful it is and what it can get away with."

Word/Text
1980's

Jenny HOLZER, Barbara KRUGER

 

extension of Conceptual interest in language

non-traditional venues for artwork

 

Barbara Kruger:
"I'm interested in mixing the ingratiation of wishful thinking with the criticality of knowing better." "I have to say that the biggest influence on my work, on a visual and formal level, was my experience as a graphic designer. . . however, the use of words lent my work a kind of uncool explicitness."

"Staged Photos"
1980's

Cindy SHERMAN

 

return to fabricated tableaux from 19th century photography

postmodern influence of media

 

 

Simulationism (Neo-Geo)
1980s

Peter HALLEY, Jeff KOONS, Haim STEINBACH

 

ironic and biting commentary on contemporary consumer society

mix of Pop and Dada

comments on "failure" of Modernism

Koons -- self-parody as art superstar

 

Peter Halley:
"These are paintings of prisons, walls and cells. Here, the idealist square becomes the prison. Geometry is revealed as confinement. The paintings are a critique of idealist modernism.. . . The misty space of Rothko is walled up. The 'stucco' texture is reminiscent of motel ceilings. The Day-Glo paint is a signifier of 'low budget mysticism.' It is the afterglow of radiation."

Jeff Koons:
"My work will use everything that it can to communicate. It will use any trick; it'll do anything -- absolutely anything -- to communicate and to win the viewer over."

1990's African-American Art

Lorna SIMPSON, David HAMMONS

 

increasing visibility for African-Americans

wide variety of approaches

1994 "Black Male" exhibition at Whitney Museum

 

 

1990s Installations

Robert GOBER

 

significant 1990s trend away from painting (commodity art)

often social, identity issues explored