Postmodernism in Post-World War II and Post-Vietnam Europe and It’s Development Erica S. Horace Greeley High School
Influences of Postmodernism Post- World War IIArt Movements Modernism Conceptualism/ Dadaism Post-structuralism
Roots Of Post-modernism Modernism Modernism time period: 1900-1950 Emerges in Europe, then in America and other countries • Rejection of Traditional forms of art • Reaction to technology, new philosophy, especially psychology. • Focus on new expression of emotion, and traditional ideology. • Mark making, and brushstrokes taken into consideration for effect and internal meaning of the piece. • World War I had a major impact on subject matter. • Painters like Otto Dix concentrated on the human sacrifice of the war and it’s horrors. • Included Mini-movements like Abstract Expressionism, minimalism, surrealism and impressionism, all effected postmodernist subject matter. Working towards pure abstraction
Roots Of Post-modernism Conceptualism & Dadaism 1940’s, 1960- today • Expanded into new media and new forms of expression • Artists believed that ideas in work are the art in the piece itself. • Conceptualism expanded from Dadaism because it used it’s anti-traditional art sentiment to express it’s ideas in a non-physical manner. • Dadaism attempted to escape the underlying meaning of work and create ugliness that means nothing. • In Conceptualism, the artwork is in the idea itself, the physicality of the work is not important, unlike old European painters. Often artists do not even make the work themselves, but have it made for them. For example, Jeff Koons, or Damien Hirst. Postmodernism shows that in looking at situations from all points of view, no one is correct, meaning nothing is the truth. It’s subjective.
Roots Of Post-modernism Post- Structuralism France in the 1960’s • Reaction to Structuralism • Writing movement, including writers like Derrida, Foucault and Kristeva • Focus on the greater meaning in text by examining all sides of theory. • Use work as a reflection upon the reader, read the text in a “self- conscious” way • Influenced by the Enlightenment • Anti- Humanists- Post-structuralists reject interpretation of old text. They search for a new meaning. There is more than one meaning to everything. Pre-curser to Postmodernism theory
Postmodernism Main Content, Philosophy and Development
Postmodernism Usually referred to by time period, 1960 – Contemporary today • Rejection of modernism standards of how work should be made, especially “impulsive expressionistic” qualities. • Attacks ultimate truth in work, believing that the truth is from all different points of view. Eventually rejects poststructuralist meaning, that the truth is insignificant. • Expands into many different areas of art, including film and music. For example, John Cage and Stanley Kubrick. • Rejects genres and labeling, tries to eliminate High v. Low art • Expands into multi-media type projects • Installations, Performance, Photography, Sound and Video installations, found-art, painting, sculpture, and environmental installations.
Postmodernism • Individuality and Identity • All artists and viewers are different with their own perspective. • Cultural factors affect each person individually. • Human beings are full of potential. • Postmodernists tackle issues of identity like: • Feminism • Race • Gender • Sexuality • Postmodernists place a large emphasis on originality and creativity within each individual. Creating their own new boundaries. • Expands major ideas of the Post-structuralist theory. • Postmodernism started with many of the smaller art movements in America, and expanded into literature and philosophy then art in Europe. Today, some of the most famous postmodern and contemporary artists are from Europe and their roots influence their ground-breaking original work.
Joseph Beuys B. 1921 in Germany D. 1986 Media: Drawings, Performance, Lecture, Paintings • Considered the father of everything postmodern • Believed that “Man is sculpture” and rejuvenated performance art. • Also felt that the audience is part of the piece. • Experimented with new materials • Explored the fourth dimension, time. • Famous for his lectures and Chalk board diagrams.
Joseph Beuys • Used philosophy in work often and questioned the meaning of everything. • Became more political in the 1960’s. • Interested in nature and natural sciences • Believed in the power of institution • Often religious in work, said that his work was a healing process in nature for himself. • Considered art as a medium for social and political change • Lecture Quotes: • “ Everything is in a state of change.” • “ A people is not a Race.” • “Self-Aware man”
Vanessa Beecroft • B. 1969 in Genoa, Italy, lives in NYC • Media: Performance, Installation and Drawings • Beecroft uses her performances as an expression of herself and the society we live in today. • Her subjects, mostly young women, sometimes models, represent femininity at its most vulnerable state. • Her work is radical and questions many of contemporary ideas, yet most of the significance behind the work is left to the viewer.
Vanessa Beecroft • She questions, in her performances • Beauty • Eroticism • Purity • Femininity • She looks at her work as a “live sculpture” or “live painting” • She is influenced by many of the classic painters of mannerism and painters like Rembrandt and Della Francesca. But she used the tradition of performance and changes it significantly to be a piece about the modern world.
Ilya Kabakov • B. 1933 in Russia • Media: Total Installations, writings, design, sculpture • Lived during Soviet Russia • He war freed by government from soviet socialist realism art, and made autobiographical work. • Work included huge installations in apartments and writings that go along with the piece so the viewer gets a full experience at the installation. • Believed language was most important in communication and expression. • Used his chaotic environments to portray the hostile suppression he went though in Russia during the cold war. • Incorporates shot tales with work in short story form, to direct the viewer to what they are looking at.
The Man who Flew into Spacec from his apartment , Moscow Apartment, 1968
The Man who Flew into Space from his apartment , Moscow Apartment, 1968
Incident at the Museum of Water Music Ronald Feldman Gallery, NY 1992
Gerhard Richter B. 1932 in Germany • Media: Paintings • Influenced by Beuys, worked with him often. • His use of media images in his work mixed with his aesthetic design choices make his work exceptionally postmodern. • His versatility in his work is often praised by critics • Photorealism is a common method he uses • his favorite color of gray because it is the one color that most people don’t have the personal reference like other colors. • He subtly alters the viewers perception of the painting and changes variety. • Simplicity is important to him