Topics for this course. Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Colour field artists: Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Helen Frankenthaler, Pop artists: Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Feminist Artists: Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Realist
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1. Introduction to American Art
3. NCEA Assessment A.S 90492: Examine Media and Processes in Art
Assignment will be due on first day back of Term 4; and issued 3-4 weeks before that.
You will be withdrawn from A.S 90494 Investigate an Art issue
4. Prior Knowledge check In pairs, write down the following:
Major historical events
New ideas / philosophies
Social / technological shifts
of the United States of America 1930-1980.
5. HISTORICAL CONTEXT Events that influenced Modern American Art
6. The Armory Show 1913 This exhibition introduced Americans to the European Avant Garde art – even though public was skeptical / scandalised!
Featured major Post-Impressionists, Fauves, Cubists
1929 – opening of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
7. Armory Show highlights Works such as these created an artistic renaissance in America. US artists were exposed to new styles and approaches.
8. Great Depression 1929 – Great Depression. Destruction of the carefree life during the ‘Roaring Twenties’.
Artists began to look internally for inspiration
This led to an interest in Surrealism – art of dreams and fantasy; removed from terrors of reality
9. Precisionism - 1930s America becomes more industrialized Precisionism (1929-1935) aka Cubist Realism
Style: Crisp, linear, flat planes, hard edged
Themes: Industrialization, Modernization
E.g. Charles Demuth’s I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928), inspired by the poem “The Great Figure,” by Williams Carlos Williams
10. 1930s: Arrival of Diego Rivera and Mexican mural painters Famous for murals showing history of his country / left wing revolution in Mexico city
Completed large scale murals in US – e.g. Man at at the Crossroads at Radio City in the Rockefeller Center, New York
11. 1930s Social Realism Grant Wood’s 1930 work American Gothic showing a farmer and his spinster daughter.
Works shows the Puritan ethics of the Mid West.
Much art of this time was strongly regionalist.
Name some NZ artists who would be considered Regional realists
12. The New Deal 1929-1941 To relieve unemployment, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s WPA (Works Progress Admin) gave jobs to artists, writers and composers
Murals for public buildings
Plays / ballets for regional theatres
1930s: dominant art style was social realism
13. Edward Hopper 1940s Realist artist Gas 1940
14. World War II period (1941-1945) Artists and intellectuals emigrate to America – e.g. Albert Einstein, Mies Van der Rohe (architect), Aldous Huxley
European artists like Marcel Duchamp, Mondrian, Marc Chagall settled in New York & become very influential.
15. Rapid Industrialisation in WWII era The Wreck of the Ole '97 ( 1943) by Thomas Hart Benton captures the tension between the industrialization of the American west and the disappearance of the Midwestern rural tradition
16. Surrealism comes to America European Migrant painters Gorky and De Kooning explore surrealism, cubism, expressionism
17. Post-War period (1945-1968) POSITIVES
US emerges as a superpower
US – capitalist society, wealthy, high standard of living, attracted more migrants from Europe who enriched the arts scene (esp in NY) NEGATIVES
However: destruction of Pearl Harbour (atomic bomb) and Cold War atmosphere left people feeling a sense of depression and despair.
70% of Americans expected a war with USSR within 10 years
18. Post War period cont.. The New York School emerges – 1st time an International style comes from USA
Their art captured the anger / pain of a generation who had faced the Great Depression as young people and lived through the horrors of war.
Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and
Jean-Paul Sartre’s theory of Existentialism becomes influential
19. Abstract Expressionism emerges Late 1940s Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings
(One: No 31, 1950)
Colour field paintings of Mark Rothko (Red, Orange, Tan, and Purple, 1949)
20. Vietnam and the Crisis of Confidence (1968-70) Society / Politics
Anti-Vietnam / student Protests
Civil Rights demonstrations
American moon landing
Literature: Beat Poets Allan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac
21. Pop art Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol challenge the boundaries of art and comment on mass production / consumer culture of USA.
It was a celebration of the banal and familiar and countered the “seriousness” of Abstract Expressionism
22. End of Pop Art - Super realism Below: Duane Hanson’s sculptures
Right: Chuck Close’s self portrait
23. Feminism & the Women’s movement (1970s) Response to Sexual Revolution- availability of the pill; Women seeking equal rights / opportunities; sexual freedom
Womens’ arts - Craft movement – challenge to art hierarchy
Right: Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party Project
24. Environmentalism Post-Modernism Environmental awareness of 1970s led to earth sculptures
Barbara Kruger’s photo-montages 1980s
25. References A good timeline of events