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Art and World War II: Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art

May 07, 2013

Art and World War II: Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art


May 07, 2013


  1. Art  and  the  World  Wars:   Abstract  Expressionism  and  Pop

     Art   Reading:   Ar,orms,  388-­‐411     Range:   c.  1945-­‐1975     Terms/Concepts:   CollecBve  Unconscious,  Social   Realism,  Nagasaki  and   Hiroshima,  Atomic  Style,   consumerism,  suburbs,  “The   American  Dream,”  mass   media,  kitsch,  Camp.   Key  Monuments:     Jackson  Pollock,  Autumn   Rhythm,  1950.     Willem  de  Kooning,  Woman   I,  1950-­‐1952.     Richard  Hamilton,  Just   What  is  it  that  Makes   Today’s  Homes  So  Different,   So  Appealing?  1956.     Andy  Warhol,  Marilyn   Diptych,  1962.    
  2. Reminders…   Responses  Due:  Thursday  May  9th     Final

     Exam:  Thursday  May  16th  12:30-­‐2:30  PM     Final  Study  Guide  is  now  available  on  Blackboard!  
  3. Norwich,  England  a]er  Lu]waffe  Air  raid,  1940s.   “What  is

     Europe  now?  A  rubble  heap,  a   charnel  house,  a  breeding  ground  of   pesBlence  and  hate.”    -­‐-­‐Winston  Churchill  
  4. “The  main  premises  of  Western  painBng  have  at  last  migrated

     to  the   United  States,  along  with  the  center  of  gravity  of  industrial  power.”     -­‐-­‐Clement  Greenberg   “[New  York]  stole  the  idea  of  Modern  Art.”    -­‐-­‐Serge  Guilbault   Paris   New  York  
  5. “Greenbergian”  Formalism   “It  follows  that  a  modernist  work  

    of  art  must  try,  in  principle  to   avoid  communicaBon  with  any   order  of  experience  not  inherent   in  the  most  literally  and   essenBally  construed  nature  of  its   medium.    Among  other  things,   this  means  renouncing  illusion   and  explicit  subject  mager.    The   arts  are  to  achieve  concreteness,   ‘purity,’  by  dealing  solely  with   their  respecBve  selves—that  is,   by  becoming  ‘abstract’  or  non-­‐ figuraBve”   Clement  Greenberg  
  6. “AcBon  PainBng”   “At  a  certain  moment  the  canvas  

    began  to  appear  to  one  American   painter  a]er  another  as  an  arena   in  which  to  act—rather  than  a   space  in  which  to  produce,   redesign,  analyze,  or  ‘express’  an   object,  actual  or  imagined.    What   was  to  go  on  the  canvas  was  not   a  picture  but  an  event.    The   painter  no  longer  approached  his   easel  with  an  image  in  his  mind;   he  went  up  to  it  with  material  in   his  hand  to  do  something  to  that   other  piece  of  material  in  front  of   him.    The  image  would  be  the   result  of  this  encounter.”     Harold  Rosenberg  
  7. Hans  Namuth,  Jackson  Pollock  PainBng,  c.  1950.   “When  I

     am  in  my  painBng,  I'm  not  aware  of   what  I'm  doing.  It  is  only  a]er  a  sort  of  'get   acquainted'  period  that  I  see  what  I  have  been   about.  I  have  no  fear  of  making  changes,   destroying  the  image,  etc.,  because  the   painBng  has  a  life  of  its  own.  I  try  to  let  it  come   through.  It  is  only  when  I  lose  contact  with  the   painBng  that  the  result  is  a  mess.  Otherwise   there  is  pure  harmony,  an  easy  give  and  take,   and  the  painBng  comes  out  well.”       -­‐-­‐Jackson  Pollock,  On  his  work,  1950    
  8. Hans  Namuth,  Jackson  Pollock  PainBng,  c.  1950.   “A  dripping

     wet  canvas  covered  the  enBre  floor.  .  .  .  There  was   complete  silence.  .  .  .  Pollock  looked  at  the  painBng.  Then,   unexpectedly,  he  picked  up  can  and  paint  brush  and  started  to   move  around  the  canvas.  It  was  as  if  he  suddenly  realized  the   painBng  was  not  finished.  His  movements,  slow  at  first,  gradually   became  faster  and  more  dance  like  as  he  flung  black,  white,  and   rust  colored  paint  onto  the  canvas.  He  completely  forgot  that   Lee  and  I  were  there;  he  did  not  seem  to  hear  the  click  of  the   camera  shuger.  .  .  My  photography  session  lasted  as  long  as  he   kept  painBng,  perhaps  half  an  hour.  In  all  that  Bme,  Pollock  did   not  stop.  How  could  one  keep  up  this  level  of  acBvity?  Finally,  he   said  ‘This  is  it.’”  -­‐-­‐Hans  Namuth,  On  Jackson  Pollock,  1952    
  9. Willem  De  Kooning,  Study  for   Woman  I  with  a

     cutout  of  a   mouth  from  a  Camel  “T-­‐zone”   ad,  1950.  
  10. “The  main  premises  of  Western  painBng  have  at  last  migrated

     to  the   United  States,  along  with  the  center  of  gravity  of  industrial  power.”     -­‐-­‐Clement  Greenberg   “[New  York]  stole  the  idea  of  Modern  Art.”    -­‐-­‐Serge  Guilbault   Paris   New  York  
  11. Nixon  and  Krushchev’s  “Kitchen  Debate,”  1959.   Nixon:  “There  are

     some  instances  where  you  may  be   ahead  of  us,  for  example  in  the  thrust  of  your   rockets  for  the  invesBgaBon  of  outer  space.  And   there  may  be  instances,  for  example  color   television,  where  we  are  ahead  of  you...”   Nixon:  “American  houses  last  for  more  than  20  years,  but,   even  so,  a]er  twenty  years,  many  Americans  want  a  new   house  or  a  new  kitchen.  Their  kitchen  is  obsolete  by  that   Bme....The  American  system  is  designed  to  take  advantage  of   new  invenBons  and  new  techniques.”    
  12. Levigown,  Pennsylvania—The  first  “suburb”   57%  of  the  world’s  steel

      80%  of  the  world’s  automobiles   1950’s  Gross  NaBonal  Product:  284  billion  
  13. Television  in  the  American  Home,  c.  1955   By  1960,

     87%  of  American  homes  had  at  least  one   television.   In  1962,  Time  esBmated  that  Americans  were   exposed  to  1,600  ads  each  day  
  14. Richard  Hamilton,   Just  What  is  it  that   Makes

     Today’s   Homes  So  Different,   So  Appealing?  1956.                           Charles  Atlas:   “Adam”                 Stripper:  “Eve”   Archetypes  
  15. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.   Prepackaged,  consumable  “meat”  
  16. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.  
  17. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.                     John  Ruskin   “Art  is  not  a  study  of  posiBve   reality,  it  is  the  seeking  for  ideal   truth.”  –John  Ruskin  
  18. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.   From  Weegee’s    Naked  City  series  
  19. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.   Al  Jolson’s  The  Jazz  Singer:  the  first  “Talkie”  
  20. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.   Forbidden  Planet  was  released  the  same   year  
  21. Richard  Hamilton,   Just  What  is  it  that   Makes

     Today’s   Homes  So  Different,   So  Appealing?  1956.           Reel-­‐to-­‐Reel         Television   Mass  Media         Newspaper  
  22. Richard  Hamilton,  Just  What  is  it  that  Makes  Today’s  

    Homes  So  Different,  So  Appealing?  1956.    Popular      Transient      Expendable      Low-­‐cost      Mass-­‐produced      Young      Wigy      Gimmicky      Glamorous      Big  Business  
  23. Andy  Warhol,  210  Coca  Cola  Bogles,  1962.   “What’s  great

     about  this  country  is  that  America  started   the  tradiBon  where  the  richest  consumers  buy  essenBally   the  same  thing  as  the  poorest.    You  can  be  watching  TV  and   see  Coca-­‐Cola,  and  you  can  know  that  the  President  drinks   Coke,  Liz  Taylor  drinks  Coke,  and  just  think,  you  can  drink   Coke,  too.    A  Coke  is  a  Coke  and  no  amount  of  money  can   get  you  a  beger  Coke.”    
  24. Andy  Warhol,  Marilyn  Diptych,  1962.   “When  you  see  a

     gruesome  picture  over  and   over  again,  it  doesn’t  really  have  any  effect.”     “I  think  it  would  be  so  great  if  more  people  took  up  silk   screens  so  that  no  one  would  know  whether  my  picture  was   mine  or  somebody  else’s.”    
  25. Andy  Warhol,  Marilyn  Diptych,  1962.   “I  never  understood  why

     when  you  died,  you  didn't  just   vanish,  everything  could  just  keep  going  on  the  way  it  was   only  you  just  wouldn't  be  there.  I  always  thought  I'd  like  my   own  tombstone  to  be  blank.  No  epitaph,  and  no  name.  Well,   actually,  I'd  like  it  to  say  'figment.'”    
  26. Cult  of  Fame   “I  love  Los  Angeles.  I  love

      Hollywood.  They're  beauBful.   Everybody's  plasBc,  but  I  love   plasBc.  I  want  to  be  plasBc.”        -­‐-­‐-­‐   “My  idea  of  a  good  picture  is  one   that's  in  focus  and  of  a  famous   person.”      -­‐-­‐-­‐   “In  the  Future,  everyone  will  be   famous  for  15  minutes.”      -­‐-­‐-­‐   “It  would  be  very  glamorous  to   be  reincarnated  as  a  great  big   ring  on  Liz  Taylor's  finger.”