The “end” of Modernism marked by the fall of Europe and the rise of the United States as the heir of the School of Paris Abstract Expressionism The New York School Between the modern and the postmodern
Totalitarian art and architecture: Paris World Fair 1937 (left) German Pavilion by Albert Speer with Comrades, by Joseph Thorak(right) USSR Pavilion, Vera Mukhina,The Worker and The Collective Farm Woman, welded sheets of stainless steel. Notice gigantic scale, signaling the insignificance of the individual relative to the state.
ANXIOUS VISIONS for anxious times – Spanish Civil War and impending World WarSalvadorDali, Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonitions of Civil War, 1936, oil on canvas, 39 x 39” (Spanish Civil War), Surrealism
Hitler and Goebbels visit the Degenerate Art Exhibition, Munich, 1937 (insert below) German Expressionist, “degenerate” artist, Max Beckmann at MoMA NYC in 1947 with 1933 painting, Departure
(left) Nazi 1937 music poster for degenerate art exhibition. Jazz was despised as Jewish (Star of David) and Black.(right) Degenerate art show installation – “Dada” with confiscated works by modern masters, Kurt Schwitters and Paul Klee artworks visible
National Socialist (Nazi) Realism Arno Breker, (left) Comradeship, 1940; (right) The Party, 1938
German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler (Austrian-German,1889-1945) Photograph sent to Eva Braun after occupation of Paris,1940The Fall of Paris marks “the end” of Modernism
1940 - Occupation of Paris signifies the “end” of Modernism “Hundreds of refugee European artists, scholars, and scientists came to the United States. Surrealism is the last European art movement. Center of world of art shifts from Paris to New York City. Photo of émigré artists for 1942 exhibition, “Artists in Exile” at the Pierre Matisse gallery, New York
Nazi (Axis) Blitzkrieg of London, beginning in 1941, inaugurating the ceaseless bombing of civilian populations throughout the war by both sides
Soviet (Allied) bombing of Berlin, August 11, 1941 Dresden, September 1945 after fire bombings by British & American air forces – 30,000 deaths
(left) Francis Bacon (British), panel from Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1947(right) Alberto Giacometti (Swiss), Pointing Man, 1947 Europe after the War: Existentialist Expressionism
"We came from the people, we remain part of the people, and see ourselves as the executor of the people's will.“ (left) Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for People's Enlightenment and Propaganda: 1938 Nazi propaganda rally in Graz.(right) Hans Haacke, And You Were Victorious After All, Graz, Germany, 1988, a reconstruction of 1938 Nazi propaganda, a public art work attacked and destroyed.
The atrocities of the Holocaust threw Western humanist culture, with its premise that man is essentially good and perfectable, into crisis. Auschwitz, near Warsaw Poland, largest of the Nazi concentration camps, was liberated by Soviet troops in January, 1945 German Jewish philosopher Theodor Adorno, exiled to New York, asserted that "writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." "Selection" on the unloading ramp at Birkenau, May/June 1944. To be sent to the right meant assignment to a work detail; to the left, the gas chambers.
American atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, August 6, 1945 The total estimated human loss of life caused by World War II was roughly 72 million people. The civilian toll was around 47 million. The Allies lost about 61 million people, and the Axis lost 11 million. Aftermath of Hiroshima bomb – estimated 90,000–166,000 deaths
The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9). Japan surrendered six days later and ended WW II.The bomb killed 90,000–166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000–80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day and the rest within four months. Almost all were civilians.Right: Nagasaki before (top) and after (the atomic bomb).
Post-colonialism is one of the most important historical contexts for today’s global culture Decolonization of Europe’s empires occurred after World War II. Ghana gained independence in 1957, the first in sub-Saharan Africa.
The Algerian War of Independence from France (1954 -1962), one of many such anti-colonial wars for national identity. De-colonization characterized the post-modern period. Bomb blast, Algiers, 1957 Poster for film about the Algerian War of Independence from France.
Berlin Wall, August 13, 1961, the German Democratic Republlic (Communist East Germany) began under the leadership of Erich Honecker to block off East Berlin and the GDR from West Berlin by means of barbed wire and antitank obstacles. Construction crews replaced the provisional barriers by a solid wall.
American Abstract Expressionism:Two modes:gestural abstraction (Action Painting)and chromatic abstraction (also called “Sublime” or “Color Field” painting)
“The Irascibles” (Abstract Expressionists), Life Magazine cover story, 1951 Theodoros Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, Mark Rothko, Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Hedda Sterne
Post WW II: New York becomes the capital of the art world(left) Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) painting, 1950 (right) Willem de Kooning (1904–97) painting Woman I, 1951“Action Painting”
Willem de Kooning, Orestes, 1947compare (right) Arshile Gorky, biomorphic surrealist cubism, 1936-7
Willem de Kooning making an early study for Woman I, c.1950-1951(right) Woman I, 1950-2
Willem de Kooning (American, born The Netherlands, 1904–1997) (left) Woman, 1944, oil and charcoal on canvas, 46 x 32 in.(right) De Kooning, The Painter, 1940
(left) Willem de Kooning, Pink Angels, c. 1945, oil and charcoal on canvas(right) Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, 1618
Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950-2Venus of Willendorf, limestone, painted with ochre, 4 3/4 inches, ca. 25,000 years old
De Kooning, Gotham News, 1955 “Action Painting” – Abstract Expressionism
De Kooning, Gotham News, 1955, with detail of upper rightAction Painting
Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956) painting in Springs NY studio, 1950Action Painting – American Abstract Expressionism“I believe the easel picture to be a dying form.” (Guggenheim Application, 1947) James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause 8 August 1949 issue of Life magazine: first artist to become a media celebrity
Lee Krasner (American, 1908 -1984) in New York studio, mid-1930sBlue Painting, 1946, oil on canvas, 28 x 36” Met Pollock in 1942; married him in 1945.
Pollock, Going West, 1934-35 ; compare: Thomas Hart Benton, The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley, 1934, Oil/tempera/canvas
(left) Pollock, Flame, 1934, and (below left) Naked Man with a Knife, 1938, o/c, 50 x 36” Compare (right) David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexican, 1896–1975), Collective Suicide, 1935, enamel on wood with applied sections, 49" x 6‘ (“Il Duco”)
Pollock, Pasiphae, 1943; compare André Masson, Pasiphae, 1943Surrealism (subjective mythos and automatism) and Jungian psychoanalysis: the collective unconscious
Jackson Pollock, Mural, 19'10" x 8‘1“, 1943 commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim
Jackson Pollock, Full Fathom Five, 1947, oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc., 50 7/8 x 30 1/8,“ MoMA. Partly poured and partly conventionally-painted abstraction.
Hans Namuth, photographs and film stills of Pollock Painting, 1951
Jackson Pollock, Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist),1950, oil, enamel, and aluminum on canvas, 7 ft 3 in x 9 ft 10 in, National Gallery of Art
Navajo sand painting, a spiritual / healing practice; compare to “Action Painting”: the automatist, performance methods of Jackson Pollock “I feel nearer, more part of the painting. . . . This is akin to the method of Indian sand painters of the West" - Pollock http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrVE-WQBcYQ Pollock created "drip" paintings for only a few years 1947-51
Louise Lawler (American, born 1947), Pollock and Tureen, Arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, Connecticut, 1984, silver dye bleach print; 28 x 39 in.
American Abstract ExpressionistChromatic ExpressionismPainters of the Sublime Barnett Newman & Mark Rothko
Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774 -1840), Monk by the Seashore, 1809-10, German Romantic Sublime
Wassily Kandinsky (Russian 1866-1944) Composition IV, 1911, oil on canvas, showing objective forms “veiled” and “dissolved” as a way to move the viewer from material to spiritual consciousness.Kandinsky’s internationally influential theoretical text, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, was published in 1911
PietMondrian, Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930, o/c, 20 x 20”Neo-Plasticism – dynamic equilibrium (without symetry) of opposites symbolizes reconciliation of universal dualities (e.g: male><female, good><evil, nature><culture)Dialectics: rational resolution of opposites: thesis><anti-thesis: dynamic synthesis