Mod + Contemp Art Quiz 3

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    Autumn Rhythm, Jackson Pollock 1950

    • Too large to take in all at once, almost literally
    • unfolds as you gaze across it


    • Shows relinquishing of SOME control, in that gravity and
    • physics takes power of where EXACTLY paint lands on canvas instead of brush

    • Innovation of Abstract Expressionist, non-compositional;
    • no moment in the canvas is more or less important than any other; “any-other-ness”


    • It is COMPLETELY abstract, as in other are no figures
    • buried beneath paint

    • Autonomy of art- Canvas/art is outside social life,
    • outside everyday life---autonomy can perhaps be achieved through
    • anti-illusionism/opticality

    -Mural sized (important quality for Pollock)

    -all-over-ness, element of repetition as well

    -non compositional

    • -non hierarchical (all three of these mean no part of
    • canvas is any more important than another)

    • -paintbrush is divorced from canvas (brush does not
    • touch canvas)

    • -OPTICALITY- only eyes can traverse, not a space for our
    • bodies, no clear content or subject matter, lines do not provide contour of
    • anything

    • -an anti-drawing, painting about painting (purely
    • Greenberg)

    -skene (?)

    • -GOOD EXAMPLE OF MODERNIST AUTONOMY- paintings about
    • painting, do not reference anything else, no real-world reference,

    • -this withdrawal was important in the US for many
    • reasons, one of them being the restrictive art forms being forced on artists in
    • Europe during this time period
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    Free Wheeler, Cy Twombly 1955

    • Canvas seems destroyed, defaced; Presents different
    • relationship from Pollock (“I am here” becomes “I was here”). Seems graffitied


    Abstract Expressionist
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    4'33", John Cage 1951

    • Actual performance was the moments before music is
    • usually played (walking to piano, putting up sheet music, pulling out bench)
    • and sitting silently, hoping to hear the silence, which he realized does not
    • exist. We hear ambient noises, but
    • dismiss them so quickly that we do not remember them.

    Was an idea emulated in other abstract expressionists pieces, including White Painting (3 Panels) by Rauschenberg
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    White Painting (Three Panels), Robert Rauschenberg 1951

    • Cage describes this as NOT an absence of art, or a
    • negation. This is a presencing, the making visible
    • of things now perceived that are normally dismissed. Rather than paintings being empty, they are filled with
    • passing shadows, dust that collectss

    -response to abstract expressionism

    -formally have the same all-over-ness


    • -during this time, there is a concerted effort from
    • trained artists such as Rauschenberg, to de-skill themselves, to render
    • the artists language as something that is not lofty or specialized, a
    • democratization of the art-making practice perhaps

    -What makes something art? Answer becomes the concept, not skill (BIG shift in art)

    • -NOT empty, has shadows, dust, opened up work to its
    • environment, to the effects of time

    • -rejects modernism, dependant on its environment on the
    • people who pass in front of it, “landing strip” for lights and shadows and all
    • other ephemeral things


    Post modern REJECTION of abstract expressionism
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    Factum I and II, Robert Rauschenberg 1957

    • Worked on these simultanously, are never separated from each other (shared by MOCA
    • and MOMA). One is NOT a copy of
    • the other; are a critique of expressionist gesture; captures language of
    • Rauschenberg, however does not attempt to capture spontaneous or unconscious
    • nature as Pollock did. Betrays expressionist claims to authenticity and
    • originality




    • Flatbed picture plane- internal psychic shift; works of
    • art are not oriented to us on the vertical, on the optical that de koonings and pollocks are, they are not
    • oriented to our vision, but instead to our space of working; works like these
    • do not mke sense to Greenbergian sense; Steinberg
    • believed works like these let the world in again; canvas is not about the
    • artists internal turmoil, nor this pure opticality- they are about YOUR lives, all these things ou would find on your
    • own desk

    • Art object ceases to
    • make claims to transcendence, to revelation, instead is about the lives that
    • you lead as the viewers, and is about the everyday world; remarkable shift that
    • happens in 1950’s as response to abstract expressionism and paintings like “Autumn
    • Rhythm” (REJECTION OF MODERNIST AUTONOMY)
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    Flag, Jasper Johns 1954-55

    Encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood

    • (collage
    • element)

    mummifies gestures in surface

    Ready-made design

    Recalls all-overness of abstract expressionism
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    Challenging Mud, Kazuo Shiraga 1955

    Gutai (Gutai Group)= tangible, or concrete




    • Interesting translation of certain qualities of abstract
    • expressionism into completely different environment, can be construed as
    • creative misreading; exact opposite of opticality (completely figurative, yet shows that clash of artist and art, that confrontation)
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    Bed, Rauschenberg 1955

    Horizontality of bed relates to "making" as Renaissance verticality of painting related to "seeing", so says Steinberg
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    Drowning Girl, Roy Lichtenstein 1963

    -made sketch, then project it onto the canvas

    • -ben day dots stenciled
    • on

    • -very clear mix of the high and low (brow), and shades
    • of grey with regards to authorship (we know the author of the original comic
    • strip);
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    Little Big Painting, Roy Lichtenstein 1965

    Pop artists are also engaging in the __ of the absract expressionists

    • -rendering calls up an abstract expressionist brush
    • stroke, but involves skill (sketch, projection onto canvas)

    • -suggests artist’s hand, attest to spontaneity, but are
    • completely contrived (not painted with spontaneity at all)

    • -still have reference to popular culture with Ben Day
    • dots
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Mod + Contemp Art Quiz 3
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