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Week 9: Cage and Conceptual Art

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Mark Cheetham

FAH246H1 Week 9 -Three Flags, 1958: thinking of relationships between medium, artist, viewer -John Cage, Robert Rascuhenberg, Automobile Tire Print  ink on paper mounted on canvas: takes apart, philosophically and so forth, the idea that the artist is a “tube of paint” who creates art that just comes out from his inside  1950s-70s: some of most monumental shifts in art  Simplest and most automatic imprint of a tire, not too different from the heart-and-soul gestures of abstract expressionists  Neutrality and withdrawal , evacuation of the sense of artistic control  Mechanical Rauschenberg, Erased De Kooning Drawing, 1953  Artist’s view: “it’s poetry”  Further removal of artist as author of work  R knocked on d Kooning’s door, asking him if he could borrow one of his drawings to “erase.” So D K decideds to give him a challenge: double-sided page that almost seems impossible to erase, and R spends a month with an eraser painstakingly erases everything  Erasing the “intimacy” of an artist’s work (sketch), and the time and painstaking labour involved in erasing as in making art  Makes this serious by leaving the “D Kooning” signature on the other side. Frames, labels like museum piece.  Part of Neo-Dada artists. Critics labelled them into “pseudo-Dadas” bc they didn’t know what else to call these troublesome artists  But Neo-Dada was not really Dada, didn’t have a nihilistic quality of doing away with the past  Rauschenberg: a respect for D Kooning’s status, his quality, throughout entire process of creation  Status of the artist and artist status (sociological thing)  Blankness coming from one of the highest art forms at the time: monochromatic abstraction. He makes a distinction about how we hold one of the highest statuses of art and purity Rauschenberg, Factu, 1 and Factum 2, 1957  Difficult to duplicate drips  With these collages, their gestural abstract-expressionist expressions, he shows that the work is not unique  The newspaper clippings are similar, pokes against the autographic mark of originally posited by the previous generation  Asdg CONCEPTUAL ART Robert Morris, Litanies, 1964  Tactile and quite sculptural, a mantispiece – wood with steel key ring, keys, and brass lock, as though it’s stuck onto the work  Wall plaque: MoMa label. Each of the twenty-seven keys in Litanies is inscribed with a word from a text by artist Marcel Duchamp  Johnson purchased the work but didn’t pay Morris on time. Morris sent a typed letter back, “now I’m taking back the aesthetic value of Litanies.” Titled Documents. Johnson so purchased it, accepting the loss of the value of his first acquisition 
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