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Fusion of Symbolism and Cubism
André Breton, one of the founders of Surrealism in the 1920s and 30s, declares that Chagall “liberates the object from the laws of weight and gravity”
"For the Cubists," Chagall said, "a painting was a surface covered with forms in a certain order. For me a painting is a surface covered with representations of things . . . in which logic and illustration have no importance."
De Chirico was born in Greece, moved with his family to Munich, lived in Paris for a while where he fell in with Cubist circles, and then moved back to Italy from 1913-20.
Declared, “all subjects previously used must be swept aside in order to express our whirling life of steel, of pride, of fever, and of speed.”
Considered war “the ultimate hygiene,” a way of cleansing society of all that kept it back
Vorticism marks the beginning of England’s entry into the avant-garde
Like the Futurists, the Vorticists, led by Lewis and the poet Ezra Pound, were interested in representing movement and power. They thought that abstraction was the ideal language for forging a link between art and life
Coburn called these Vortographs made with his Vortoscope, a pyramidal assemblage of mirrors attached to a camera lens
Comparison to Picasso's "Portrait of David-Henry Kahnweiler," analytic cubism
Malevich defined Suprematism as “the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art. 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.”
Proun = Project for the affirmation of the new;
In a classless society, art should be rational, utilitarian, easily comprehensible, and socially useful
With outbreak of World War I in 1914, Kandinsky leaves Germany and returns to Russia
Comparison to German Expressionism: der Blaue Reiter, also by Kandinsky
Constructivism—abstract (complete or strong abstraction, unlike Braque and Picasso), geometric forms; use of industrial materials that are minimally shaped by artist’s hand.
Believed in “truth to materials”
Goal of integrating art and life.
Tatlin hoped to have this 20 foot model made into a 1300 foot tall monument. The metal frame enclosed a glass cylinder, a cube, and a cone, which were intended as rooms to hold meetings. The cylinder was to make a complete revolution once a year, the cube, once a month, and the cone, once a day. Key term: kinetic
One American critic said that this looked like an explosion in a shingle factory.
In 1902, Stiegliz established the Photo-Secession movement in the US, which tried to raise photography to the level of an art form. They wanted to fuse technology and art. Stiegliz’s Galler 291 in New York (1905-1917) was one of the only places that showed avant-garde painting and sculpture, as well as photography.
Hartley lived in Paris and Germany from 1912-1915 and was very influenced by the Blaue Reiter.
"It is what I call for want of a better name subliminal or cosmic cubism. It will surprise you. …I am convinced that it is my real and true utterance"
She never goes abroad; marries Stieglitz
Working with American traditions mainly
Intense close-up of flowers – becomes more than a close-up; abstraction
Suggestive of female genitalia
Hugo Ball founded the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, which became the center for the Zurich Dadaists.
Key term = Performance Art
"We were given the honorary title of Nihilists”
Key term = biomorphic
Collaborative project with a carpenter
Duchamp turned a urinal upside down, signed and dated it, and called it a fountain.
Readymade = something taken from a non-artistic context, but identified by an artist as a work of art by the act of placing it in an exhibition
To this work, Duchamp added the inscription L.H.O.O.Q., a phonetic game which, when read out loud in French quickly sounds like "Elle a chaud au cul". This can be translated as "She has a hot ass“.
Key term = rectified readymade – adding a little bit to an existing work
Rrose Selavy, a female alias of Duchamp, was a kind of word play that sounded like “Eros, c’est la vie” or “Eros [erotic love], that’s life.”
German Dada began around 1917 with the establishment of the Club Dada in Berlin. The German Dadaists issued manifestos attacking Expressionism, Cubism, and Futurism, as well as more traditional forms of art.
WWI uses poison gas, mustard gas, lots of industrial weapons, which causes facial injuries; playing up the horror of it, while making comedic as well
After the war, gets a job in the teaching school, dismissed for “degenerate art” in Germany and comes to the US; triptick
“The contact of the acute angle of a triangle with a circle is no less powerful in its effect than that of the finger of God with the finger of Adam in Michelangelo’s [Creation of Man] painting.”
Gropius resigned as director of the Bauhaus in 1928 and was succeeded by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1930. Mies’s motto was “less is more” and he had a greater impact on the skyline of US cities than probably any other architect.
During Civil War in Spain, which starts in 1936
Grotesque body ripping itself apart (civil war)
Painted this in Britain
Another concept of hard and soft; connects to Freudian psychology: cups are female genitalia, spoon is male genitalia, covered with hair (pubic hair)
Mirrors were significant for surrealists
Sunny outside, dark inside
Supposed to look phallic
Demonstrates playing with different media to create surreal effects
Take exposed photograph where he develops it but does not fix it, re-exposes it again afterwards
There’s no audience for African American art
Went to Paris to study
Has a folk quality to it
Politically engaged; in dialogue with cubist trends as well
First AA artist to be mentioned in MoMA
Grant Wood’s dentist and his daughter (father and daughter)
People are leaving the farming land to go to the cities, there aren’t enough people here
Eerie feel to it that’s somewhat surrealist
Few people who can’t sleep; everyone’s kind of all in the own little world (comment on American society)
Georgia O’Keefe, Music—Pink and Blue II (1919), USA, American Abstraction
Hugo Ball Reciting the Sound Poem “Karawane” (1916), Zurich, Switzerland, Dada
Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q. (1919), New York Dada
Piet Mondrian, Tableau No. II (1921-25), Dutch, De Stijl
Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, Fagus Shoe Factory (1911-1913)
Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Light Prop for an Electric Stage (1922-30), Germany, Bauhaus
Marc Chagall, Paris through the Window (1913), France
Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory (1931), 9 1/2” x 13,” Spain, (“realist”) Surrealism
René Magritte, The Human Condition (1928-1929), Belgium, (“realistic”) Surrealism
Pablo Picasso, Girl before a Mirror (1932), France, Cubo-Surrealism
Dora Maar, Pere Ubu (1936) France, Surrealism
Man Ray, Fingers (1930), France, Surrealism
Andre Kertesz, Distortions (1933), France, Surrealism
Jacob Lawrence, The Migration Series, Panel No. 1: During World War I There Was a Great Migration North by Southern African Americans (1940-1941), USA, Harlem Renaissance
Grant Wood, American Gothic (1930), USA, Regionalism
Edward Hopper, Nighthawks (1942), USA, Regionalist
El Lissitzky, Proun (1924-1925), Russia, Suprematism
Vassily Kandinsky, White Line, No. 232 (1920), Russia
Maurice Prendergast, Beach at St. Malo (c. 1907), USA, The Eight
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936), USA
Diego Rivera, Flower Day (1925), oil on canvas, Mexico, Social Realism
Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas (1939), Mexico, Surrealism
Alexander Calder, Lobster Trap and Fish Tail (1939), American Abstraction
Raoul Hausmann, The Spirit of Our Time (Mechanical Head) (1919), German Dada
Otto Dix, The Skat Players – Card Playing Invalids (1920), Germany, New Objectivity
Max Beckmann, Departure (1932), Germany, New Objectivity
De Kooning said his images had to do with “the female painted through all the ages, all those idols.”
Woman as femme fatale or woman as victim?
-Moved from Netherlands to US
-violence to paint strokes
-distortion of female body
Rothko said he was striving for “the elimination of all obstacles between the painter and the idea, and between the idea and the observer.”
Made when there were still anti-miscegenation laws in most states forbidding marriage between a white person and one of another race in order to protect white racial purity
“I was attempting to make a bird alighting on a field, but suddenly the lines that I’d drawn suggested something totally different, an out of this suggestion arose this picture. I had no intention to do this picture; I never thought of it in that way. It was like one continuous accident mounting on top of another.”
Klein was one of the central figures of Nouveau Réalism, and we can think of him a little like Marcel Duchamp and Dada—as someone who was always trying to provoke the viewer. In 1958, for example, he had a show called “The Void” in a gallery, which consisted of nothing but bare walls.
In Blue Monochrome, there was no trace of the artist’s hand, unlike NYC Abstract Expressionism. Also, he made a number of the same works and priced each of them differently.
Made by shooting bags filled with painting
“In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes.”
Warhol also did series of Elvis Presley
Optical Art or Op Art takes as its subject the physiology and psychology of seeing; associated with science and technology; flat, geometric shapes that are mathematically organized.
Stella didn’t claim to be a Minimalist
Imperial Nude: Paul Rosano
(1977), USA, Feminist
Guerilla Girls, Do women have to
be naked to get into the
MetMuseum? (1989), USA, Feminist
Faith Ringgold, Who’s Afraid
of Aunt Jemima? (1982),
Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans
Memorial (1982), USA,
Marcel Breuer, Whitney Museum of American Art (1966), NYC,
Modernist [The Whitney is dedicated to
changing exhibitions rather than
to a permanent collection]
["What should a museum look like, a museum in Manhattan? Surely it should work, it should fulfill its requirements, but what is its relationship to the New York landscape? It is easier to say first what it should not look like. It should not look like a business or office building, nor should it look like a place of light entertainment. Its form and its material should have identity and weight in the neighborhood of 50-story skyscrapers, of mile long bridges, in the midst of the dynamic jungle of our colorful city. It should be an independent and self- relying unit, exposed to history, and at the same time it should transform the vitality of the street into the sincerity and profundity of art.“]
“Cultural confinement takes place when a curator imposes his own limits on an art exhibition, rather than asking an artist to set his limits. Artists are expected to fit into fraudulent categories. Some artists imagine they’ve got a hold on this apparatus, which in fact has got hold of them. As a result, they end up supporting a cultural prison that is out of their control. Artists themselves are not confined, but their output is. Museums, like asylums and jails, have wards and cells—in other words, neutral rooms called “galleries.” A work of art when placed in a gallery loses its charge, and becomes a portable object or surface disengaged from the outside world. A vacant white room with lights is still a submission to the neutral. Works of art seen in such spaces seem to be going through a kind of esthetic convalescence. They are looked up upon as so many inanimate invalids, waiting for critics to pronounce them curable or incurable. The function of the warden-curator is to separate art from the rest of society. Next comes integration. Once the work of art is totally neutralized, ineffective, abstracted, safe, and politically lobotomized it is ready to be consumed by society. All is reduced to visual fodder and transportable merchandise. Innovations are allowed only if they support this kind of confinement.
“The large scale allows me to deal with information that is overlooked in an eight-by-ten inch photograph…. My large scale forces the viewer to focus on one area at a time. In that way, he is made aware of the blurred areas that are seen with peripheral vision. Normally we never take those peripheral areas into account. When focus on an area it is sharp. As we turn our attention to adjacent areas they sharpen up too. In my work, the blurred areas don’t come into focus, but they are too large to be ignored.”
"My most successful pieces are
naturalistic or illusionistic,
which results in an element of
shock, surprise or psychological
impact for the viewer. The
subject matter I like best deals
with the familiar lower and
middle-class types of today. To
me, the resignation, emptiness
and loneliness of their existence
captures the true reality of life
for these people…. I want to
achieve a certain tough realism
which speaks of the fascinating
idiosyncrasies of our time.”
“As the collage technique replaced oil-painting, the cathode ray tube will replace the canvas.”
Truism=an undoubted or self-evident truth; especially : one too obvious for mention
Example: “What goes around comes around”; “Actions speak louder than words”
Woman as femme fatale or woman as victim?
[key terms: assemblage, ephemera] [a critic said of Cornell that “he treated the ephemeral object as if it were the rarest heirloom of a legendary prince or princess.”]
This is a portrait of Angela Davis, philosopher and Black Panther Leader. Around her are the words “Resist, Revolution, Black Nation Time”
Aunt Jemima was a former slave named Nancy Green who was hired by a couple of white businessman in Chicago to promote their self-rising flour.She made many media appearances and was a great hit. Ringgold’s Aunt Jemima was a largely autobiographical mix of myth and symbol.
Voted best building in the US by the American Institute of Architects in 1991
Sullivan was a founding member of the Chicago School of Architecture
Steel—a strong, cheap, relatively lightweight alloy of iron—developed around 1870s and provided architects with new ways of reinforcing buildings.
Electric elevator first manufactured in 1889.
“Form ever follows function.” Louis Sullivan
Le Corbusier. Villa Savoye (1928-31), France, Modernism; reinforced concrete
..element of shock, surprise or psychological
impact..I like best deals with the familiar lower and middle-class..the resignation, emptiness and loneliness of their existence captures the true reality of life for these people…tough realism which speaks of the fascinating idiosyncrasies of our time.”
Piazza: open air plaza.
Entrance is 7 stories tall. Borrowing from gothic, modernist.
The complex in Mito, Japan includes a gallery of contemporary art, a concert hall, a theater and a tower 328’ tall made of titanium and composed of tetrahedrons.
Kind of symbol of london.
gherkin=pickle Very energy efficient
6th tallest building in London
Corkscrew shape moves wind around it
Inspired by frank lloyd wrights guggenheim
Towers are 1,483’ tall making them the tallest towers in the world when they were made. 88 floors
World’s deepest foundations—up to 374’ deep.
Kind of a bridge symbol
Major religion is Islam, the silhouette is an alternating curved pointed shapes
Born in Bagdad and trained in London, Hadid was one of the first female architects to have an independent reputation, especially for experimental works. She was influenced by Russian Suprematism, especially by Malevich
The Vitra Fire Station was part of a larger industrial complex. Now it houses a museum.
Deconstructivist =over time
You’re meant to travel through it and experience it over time
Open air park in France
Titanium used on the outside to create a brilliantly shiny surface
Seems almost alien, has a reflecting pond
Ramps go through to structure your experience
No matter how you look at it [pretty much each view is different
She takes great photos of the past
Walker evans was editing her and poses her in the way he wants us to see her
If she had her own say she might present herself differently
Original person controls our vision of her
Look at how constructed this image is
Appropriates images (almost like a collage)
She wears different wigs/outfits
She refers back to directors from the 50s
She adopts these generic female roles in movies
She plays these roles in her photographsHow do we construct our identities-especially as women
Takes famous paintings from history
She wears a fake nose and muscle to be similar to Caravaggios Bacchus
Kennecott Copper Corporation with mines in Chile. The president of Chile has said that the company has “dug their claws into my country”
African American artist
Starts off as an artist then becomes a curator
Subtle effects to make the water not just a uniform blue
Tinges the arm
Has an emotional impact,
The water can be scene as going back to nature/into the womb
He starts to study art but worked as a maintenance man in a gallery
He explores grout/tar as a medium
He uses building materials that he would use in his job, transformed into art
Most of his works are upside down
He feels that it is more expressive of his experience as a German after the war
People seem to be held there by barbed wire-reference to the war/concentration camps
People seem to be left out
Intense non-naturalistic colors, unsettlingViolence of culture at this time
Exact meaning is unclear
Definitely seems to be talking about the war
No explicit meaning except violence, kind of minimalism that is being used expressively
Artists will begin to do works with spray paint, influenced by penck
“I had enough of bloody painting, and painting from a photograph seemed to me the most moronic and inartistic thing than anyone could do.”
References to Christian past, black, cowboy with money signs on him, comment on the art world.
--somewhat abstract expressionism
--Young death at 28, well educated middle class family (created street life, life story)
--work $$ decreased
Trained artist. Affected by the AIDS crisis. Lot his lover. People getting sick and dying without really knowing why. 44 dead. A lot of imagery. Polish decent but draws from Mexi culture.
Somewhat apocalyptic end of the world.
--Hates corporate culture, mass culture. Anti commodity, Things that cannot be sold, for the public domain.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Thomas (1987); Ajito (1981), USA
Male form. Leonardo DaVinci, circle one. Fetal position. Don’t see the faces of these figures. Actually names the people. Personalization. Also African American. Radical.
alludes to a perceived commercializing or cheapening of Christian icons in contemporary culture.
Critic Adrian Searle wrote that Serrano's photos were "far more about being lurid than anything else... In the end, the show is all surface, and looking for hidden depths does no good.”
The work sold for $277,000 in 1999
Michael’s chimp? Made out of plexi glass made to look like porcelain.
Kitsch: tasteless. Mass produced art object.
Low art, commodity culture being made larger and being framed as art itself. His face. He looks white, racial switch?
Idea of death and get your mind around the idea of death, Vitrine=box used to preserve
Fascinated with the human body and animal bodies, Uses the idea of a display case
Some type of manipulation on the forms
Reminiscent of da vinci anatomy sketches
The new trinity=medicine
More spiritual concerns have been replaced by material concerna
Damien Hirst, For the Love of God
(2007), Platinum, 8,601 diamonds and human teeth, Britain, Commodity Art
[cost 14 million pounds to make; asking price of $50 million pounds], Cast in platinum, teeth are real but skull is cast, Vulgarization of death/humanity
Manipulates media, Ironic idea, both platinum and diamonds will never degrade but humans do degrade
“playing god” in some ways
Enormously popular and sellable works that transcend the fine art genre
Small figurines, sexualized poses
Everyone makes big things (Oldenburg, Koons)
He makes a caricature of the anime image
Suggesting the anxiety of men who read anime/manga Otaku= fanboy
Overlap between commerce and art
Japanese like status symbols
Looks kind of like a child’s playroom
Smiling face sculpture made of rubberized foam material, far removed from artist not wanting to be commoditized
Idea of the easel painting
No picture/indication of the artist but these are brands he uses –adds up to his identity
Modernist notion of authentic individual and about what brands you buy
Keen consciousness of brands –explore this idea
Recreates canonical pieces of western art
Inserts himself into the painting (like cindy sherman )
Reconstructs the interiors (reconstructing stage sets)
He is olympia and the maid
Highlight the issues of gender, nationality, referencing Japanese culture with the cat
Recreating Japanese art
Where does originality come into play with photography
Goes to natural history museums and takes pictures of dioramas
Interesting background, by taking a picture of it it really transforms it to a different kind of art
Takes the cap off his camera until the film is over
Produces interesting ghostly images, opera houses,
One of his goals is to capture the old movie houses before they are torn down
Outdoor movie (top left) trails are stars/planes moving through the sky
White void that absorbs all of the images
News articles deal with common native american issues (alcoholism etc)
She finds cultural norms oppressive
Bring attention to the notion that larger people seem to be excluded from visual culture
Uses it as a symbol (semi commercial)
Arranged in a way to show the rapid pace of change in China
Much more wealth created by Capitalist trade, commuter culture of bicycles being replaced by trains/cars
Still seen as the father of China and very dominant in Chinese culture
Mao is a sex symbol and political leader at the same time
Series of five films
Productivity as a creative act
Sexual maturation that takes place over time
Plays the lead role as a kind of apprentice, gains knowledge/abilities through trials
Projects videos on round surfaces
Eyes are looking at you instead of the other way round (as one would expect in a regular gallery)
Reflections on the eyes show that they are watching TVs, Makes the viewer interact with the objects, creates stronger impact
Needles are piercing her flesh
Exploring the SM culture
Feminist message, the way society controls how women are portrayedShe portrays her body in a nontraditional way
Gritty quality to these, not capturing formal beauty but the clutter of daily lifePhoto on the right is a man dressing up in drag