Chapter 31

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Chapter 31
Chapter 31
Contemporary Art Worldwide
The End of the Century: A Messy Ride
The final 30 years of the 20th century saw artistic
expression taking ever more diverse forms.
• difficult to identify movements clearly, as artists feel free to
move from one form of expression to another.
• sometimes difficult to identify the art per se, as postmodernism sometimes meant that the artistic creation
process led to art that existed only
p
y for a brief moment in
time…
Kruger’s work often combines text
and image in an ironic fashion.
fashion
•Many artists who have
embraced the
postmodern
•They were interested
in investigating
g
g the
dynamics of power and
privilege
•They focused on issues
of gender and sexuality
in the contemporary
world.
ld
Untitled (We Will No Longer Be Seen and Not
Heard)
•Kruger’s works frequently involve
criticism of the habits imposed on
women by society, and of the
negative impact of men running the
world… her work evolved from
being specifically feminist to being
critical of society’s
y norms in all
areas
•Artist began as a graphic designer
for Mademoiselle magazine
•Words placed in large photos as
d i elements,
deign
l
and
d to hi
highlight
hli h a
message
•Artistic
Artistic message often relies on
irony
BARBARA KRUGER, Your
gaze hits the side of my face
Social Art: Race, Ethnicity, and National
Identity
de t ty
Faith Ringgold, Who’s Afraid
of Aunt Jemima? 1983
•It is a quilt, a medium that is
associated with women
•Tribute
Tribute to her mother but also
addresses African American culture
and the struggles of women to
overcome oppression
Melvin Edwards, Tambo, 1993
•Welded sculpture of chains, spikes, knife
blades and other found objects that allude
blades,
to the lynching of African Americans and
the continuing struggle for civil rights and
an end to racism.
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 - 1987)
•Basquiat was from a
Haitian Puerto RicanHaitian-Puerto
Rican
American background,
and began his artistic
efforts early as a graffiti
artist, although he quickly
shifted over to canvas
Untitled, 1985
Horn Players,
1983
•Tribute to two African
American musicians
•Bold colors, fractured
figures, and graffiti to
capture the dynamic
rhythms of jazz and
the excitement of
New York.
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled (Skull), 1981
• gestural painting
on canvas
• most often
depicting skeletal
figures
g
and masklike faces that
expressed his
obsession with
mortality
• imagery derived
from his street
existence such
existence,
as automobiles,
buildings, police,
children's
sidewalk, games
and graffiti.
In 1983, Basquiat befriended Andy Warhol and
the two made a number of collaborative works.
Often, they discussed and disputed about AfricanAmerican art and literature. They also painted
together, influencing each others' work.
Political Art
David Hammons, Public
Enemy, Installation, 1991
Willie Bester, Homage to Steve
Biko 1992,
Biko,
1992 Mixed Media
This is a tribute to a leader
off the
th Black
Bl k Liberation
Lib ti
Movement, which protest
apartheid in South Africa
This is a multimedia installation with Theodore
Roosevelt flanked by African American and
Native Americans as servants
servants, to reveal the
racism embedded in America’s cultural
heritage
Krzysztof
K
t f Wodiczko,
W di k The
Th
homeless Projection, 1986
A projected image of homeless
people and their plastic bags
filled with their few possessions.
Kehinde Wiley, , Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.
ƒ“Painting is about the world
that we live in. Black men live
in the world. My choice is to
include them. This is my way
of saying yes to us.” –
K hi d Wil
Kehinde
Wiley
ƒHistorically, portraiture not
only creates a likeness but
communicates ideas status,
status
wealth, and power.
ƒSubstitutes anonymous
p
y
Black man in contemporary
clothing; illuminated with
baroque or rococo decorative
patterns – Modernist
reminder that this is a
painting.
ƒConfronts and critiques historical traditions that do not
acknowledge Black cultural experience.
ƒRedefines & affirms Black identity, questions history of
ƒWestern painting
David,
Napoleon
Crossing
Saint-Bernard
JEAN-AUGUSTEDOMINIQUE INGRES,
Napoleon on His
Imperial Throne,
1806.
ƒIn 2005, VH1 commissioned Wiley to paint
portraits of the honorees for that year
year’ss Hip
Hop Honors program.
ƒThe artists chose poses—taken from Wiley’s
personal art book collection—that best suited
the personal aspects of their character.
ƒValue, in all its meanings, has always played
a role in culture. Unlike its precursors—
classical jazz
classical,
jazz, rock
rock—which
which have since been
canonized and given an art-historical time
frame and construct, hip hop continues to be
seen merely as entertainment. This series of
Wiley’s portraits speaks specifically to that
juxtaposition and the retooling of importance.
Kehinde Wiley, Ice T, 2005,
Oil on Canvas, 8’ x 6’
Mark Tansy, A Short History of Modernist Painting
•Born in San Jose and lives in New York City
parents were art historians so he had an early
y introduction to art history
y and had a
•Both p
profound effect on his painting style
•He provides viewers with a summary of the various approaches to painting artists have
embraced over the years.
•Illustrates the ambiguities and paradoxes of Postmodernists' Pictorialism in that it
demonstrates the artist’s consciousness of his place in the continuum of art history and
also functions as a critique on fundamental art historical premises by creating metaphors
of how painting has been addressed during different eras.
Mark Tansy
The Innocent Eye Test 1981
"In Tansey's painted metaphor for the
perception of art, we are the cow,
and the scientists want to know how
and what we see --- hardly the
stuff of Frank Stella's famous dictum
"What you see is what you see.“
From Judi Freeman Mark Tansey
Purity Test 1982
..Indians on houseback gaze down...at
Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, 1970.
Smithson had sought to create a pure
image. The Indians, unware of the
spiral's function as a work of art,
p to decipher
p
it as a symbol...“
y
attempt
From Judi Freeman Mark Tansey
Postmodernism in Painting, Sculpture,
and New Media
• Postmodern artists challenged the Modernist
emphasis on originality and creativity
• They addressed issues of the copy or reproduction
and
d the
th appropriation
i ti off iimages or ideas
id
ffrom
others
• Mass culture is a defining
g feature of Postmodernism
in rejecting the notion that each art work contains a
fixed meaning
• Postmodern artists are influenced by the ideas of
Deconstructivist theorists. (sought to break apart
the concept of classical order and space, essentially
opposed
d th
the ordered
d d rationality
ti
lit off M
Modernism)
d i )
Anselm Kiefer, Nigredo, 1984; Oil, acrylic, emulsion, shellac, and straw, on
photograph mounted on canvas
photograph,
canvas, with woodcut
woodcut, 10’
10 8
8” x 18’
18 2
2”.
German artist used perspective to pull the viewer into an incinerated landscape
alluding to the Holocaust.
Jeff Koons, Pink Panther, 1988
The p
porcelain sculpture
p
has
an acute understanding of
the dynamics of consumer
culture. He combines a
magazine centerfold with a
well-known cartoon
character.
Jeff Koons
Versailles in 2008 exhibition,
Balloon Flower from the
Celebration Series
Series, 1995 - 1999,
1999
9’ 6”.
Jeff Koons at Versailles in 2008
exhibition Balloon Dog from
exhibition,
the Celebration Series, 1994 2000 (10’ orange Balloon Dog
sold for $58.4 million in 2013 at
Christies Auction)
Jeff Koons In the early 1980’s – like Warhol and Duchamp, he exhibited common
objects and made no attempt to manipulate the objects – represented commodity as the
basis for society at large Koons was actually a commodities broker (Wall Street) before
turning to art. He believes postmodern culture is linked to consumerism - Called NeoPop or Post Pop
Takashi Murakami,
O l Buddha
Oval
B ddh G
Gold
ld
(2007-2010), at
the Palace of
Versailles outside
Versailles,
Paris of the palace
and gardens 2010,
Versailles.
ƒSelf-portrait – facial hair in a goatee.
ƒReferences to enlightenment and knowledge – lotus flower, spiral on the frog’s potbelly equated with the Buddhist path to reincarnation and karmic rebirth, frog figurine
is often left on Japanese graves as a totem of rebirth or the spirit’s return.
ƒTwo-faced nature of the figure – reference to the Roman god Janus, whose 2 faces
looked into past and future –god of transitions and beginnings.
ƒElephant on base indicates endurance; importance of the gold/platinum leaf finish,
marking a turning point; a rebirth or declaration that Mrakami
Mrakami’ss work is entering an
age of enlightenment.
Marisol Escobar,
Escobar Self-Portrait Looking
at the Last Supper, 1982-1984
This is a tribute to the Renaissance master. It is a sculptural replica of
Leonard’s Last Supper, transforming the fresco into an object. The artist is
seated as a viewer.
Postmodernism and Art Institutions
• Postmodern artists have consciously reappraised
the processes of art historical validation,
validation
reassessed art institutions (museums and
galleries), addressed the role of these
institutions in validating art, and scrutinized the
discriminatory policies and politics of these
institutions.
Satirical ceramic sculpture
p
Robert Arneson, California
Artist, 1982,
• Arneson was born in Benicia and
graduated from Benicia High School. He
spent much
h off hi
his early
l lif
life as a cartoonist
i
for a local paper. Arneson studied at
California College of Arts and was a
professor at UC Davis.
Davis
• Robert Arneson was reacting to a negative
review by a critic that Californian art was
provincial in his self-portrait
self portrait known as
California Artist.
• He revealed his comprehension of the
mechanism (art criticism) people use
currently to evaluate and validate art.
Architecture and Site-Specific
p
Art
• One would be hard-pressed to find a modern
building with pediments,
pediments Doric columns
columns, or flying
buttresses; what exists is a display of technology
• Most advance change is computers – no longer are
blueprints drawn by hand – programs like AutoCAD
and MicroStation assist in drawing plans and
automatically check for architectural errors
• New age technology has produced an array of
products that make buildings
p
g lighter,
g
, cheaper,
p , and
more energy efficient.
Deconstructivist Architecture
•Architects attempt to disorient the observer by disrupting
the conventional categories of architecture. The
haphazard presentation of volumes, masses, planes,
lighting, etc challenges the viewer’s assumptions about
form as it relates to function.
•Six adjectives that describe Deconstructivist
architecture:
•Disorder
•Dissonance
Di
•Imbalance
•Asymmetry
•Unconformityy
•Irregularity
Gunter Behnisch,
Hysolar Institute
Building University
Building,
of Stuttgart,
Frank Gehry,
Guggenheim
Bilbao Museo,
Bilboa Spain
Bilboa,
•Appearance of
asymmetrical exterior with
outside walls giving no
hint to interior spaces
•Irregular masses of
tit i
titanium
walls
ll
•Sweeping curved lines
•Deconstructionist
architecture
•Good example of how
computers can help
architects render shapes
and meaningful designs in
an imaginative way
Interior
Leoh Ming Pei, Grand Louvre
P
Pyramide,
id Musee
M
d L
du
Louvre, P
Paris,
i
France, 1988
Egyptian stone architecture inspired Pei’s
Pei s entryway to the Louvre
Louvre. The
transparent tent serves as a skylight for the underground extension of the
museum.
MAYA YING LIN, Vietnam Veterans Memorial
•V-shaped monument cut into the earth with 60,000 casualties of the
Vietnam War listed in the order they were killed or reported missing
•One arm of the monument points to the Lincoln Memorial, the other
to the Washington Monument
•Black granite as a highly reflective surface so that viewers can see
themselves in the names of the veterans; black is an appropriate
somber color for the memorial
•Strongly influenced by the Minimalist movement
Site Art, Earth Art, or Earthworks
1970s to today
•D
Dependent
d t on it
its llocation
ti tto render
d ffull
ll meaning
i
• Often works of Site Art are temporary and other
times they remain but need original
environment intact in order for it to be fully
understood such as earthworks
Christo &
Jeanne-Claude
Keith Haring - Graffiti and Mural Painting
Tuttomondo, Sant’Antonio,
Pisa, Italy, 1989
• Haring burst onto the New York
artt scene as a subway
b
graffito
ffit artist
ti t
and quickly gained an
international reputation.
• His Pisa m
mural
ral feat
features
res his
signature cartoonlike characters
and is a hymn to life.
• He died of AIDS the year after this
was completed
He began doing chalk drawings on blank
d ti i b
d IIn th
b
advertising
boards
the NYC subway
system while at art college
Untitled, 1983
Keith Haring
In 1986, Haring opened the Pop Shop, a retail store selling T-shirts, toys,
posters buttons and magnets bearing his images.
posters,
images Haring considered the
shop to be an extension of his work.
The shop was intended to allow people greater access to his work, which
was now readily available on products at a low cost
cost.
The shop was criticized by many in the art world, but Haring remained
committed to his desire to make his artwork available to as wide an
audience as possible
possible, and received strong support for his project from
friends, fans and mentors including Andy Warhol.
Post-Modernism: Video Art and New
Media
Nam June Paik, Megatron, 1995
• video art is a subset of artistic works which relies on "moving pictures" and
is comprised of video and/or audio data.
•despite obvious parallels and relationships, video is not film.
Nam June Paik
• involved with the post neo-Dada art movement, fluxus
Fluxus: is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for
blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s, The movement, which
still continues, played an important role in the opening up of definitions of what art
can be
b
• considered the “father of video art”
• "Without
Without
electricity
electricity, there can be no art
art." (ca
(ca. 1976)
• his work frequently
combines sculpture with
video and/or computer
programs
• explores the contrast
between the traditional and
the digital in society
• effect of digital world on
society
Techno Buddha, 1993
Bill Viola
Vi l
Bill Viola,
Vi l The
Th Crossing,
C
i
1996,
6
Video/Sound Installation
• With two channels of color
video projection
• Bill Viola uses digital video to
encourage introspection and
to explore spirituality.
• Video projects use extreme
slow motion, contrasts in
scale, shifts in focus,
mirrored reflections and
editing
g to create a dramatic
sensory experiences
Tony Oursler, Mansheshe
HOLZER, Untitled, The Living Series, 1989
This installation consisted of
electronic
l t
i signs
i
created
t d using
i
LED technology. It is a
continuous display of text
around the interior ramp
p of the
Guggenheim
Let’s Switch
Blue You, 2006
Video samples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aqIk_ynVak&feature=related
http://www youtube com/watch?v=8aqIk ynVak&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTG1oxBo-3o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhbFnPaDZdU
Chapter
p
31: Contemporary
p
y Art
Social Art: Race
Race, Ethnicity
Ethnicity, and National
Identity
Faith Ringgold, Who’s Afraid
of Aunt Jemima? 1983
Question
• Analyze how the
artist’ss choices of
artist
imagery and medium
address the social
issues of race and
gender.
BARBARA KRUGER,
U titl d Your gaze hits
Untitled,
hi the
h
side of my face ,
Question
• Analyze
A l
how
h
Kruger uses image
and
d text
t t and
d
appropriation to
convey meaning
i iin
this work.
1. Compare how these works reflect and draw on the works on
which they are based.
2. Contrast the way these two artists used different media to
create their works of art in regard to the originals upon which
they are based.
Kehinde Wiley,
y, Napoleon
p
Leading
g
the Army over the Alps, 2005.
Bronze.
Marisol Escobar,
Escobar Self-Portrait
Self Portrait
Looking at the Last Supper, 19821984.
Contemporary
p
y Art
1. Thinking back to the beginning of this class, how
do you think the field of Contemporary Art is
different from other historical periods?
2. The World Wars of the 20th century were
impactful for art. Discuss the ways that the wars
have impacted and influenced art? What other
key events in the latter half of the century have
influenced Contemporary Art.

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