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FAH270 - Lecture Notes Oct. 10 to End of Class

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Mark Cheetham

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Modern Art Oct. 17 to End Lecture - Oct. 17. Surrealism Pollock, Drawing, 1938 - Elements akin to surrealism  People got confused because Pollock „changed‟ styles a few times Matisse, Still Life with Shell Matisse, Mimosa, 1949-51 Matisse, Icarus, 1947 - Paper collage - Use of cut out colored paper - Relatively new technique for Matisse at this time Matisse, Large Red Interior Picasso, Bull‟s Head, 1943 Picasso, Death‟s Head, 1944 Picasso, Painter and model, 1928 - Depicts artist and easel - Reference to other works of art - Explores the relationship an artist has between them and what they are actually depicting - Makes reference to Picasso‟s own status  Important theme for Picasso and Western art is the theme of the artist in his or her studio Picasso, Law Meninas, 1957 - Inspiration from Deigo Velaquez, Las Meninas, 1656  Crisis of the visual arts after the huge wars and terrible things, what is art supposed to do? Is it support to politically challenge or revert to its classical roots Dubuffett, Olympia, 1950 - Represents art the tries to „start over‟ because of the question of what is art supposed to do that was posed after the carnage of war - Degree of humor and lightness  Generation of artists that tried to wipe the slate clean so to say  Called „l‟art brut‟  Also called art informal, art autre  Kind of anti-cultural or anti-high society art Dubuffett, Le Metafisyx, 1950 - Mix of materials, use of oil paints but also mud, dirt, working of surface - Not a painters working of the surface, more brutal - Most critics did not have a clue to what dubuffett was trying to accomplish - Not very well understood at the time - Playfully ugly, extremely influential as a kind of new way to go, giving up the old conventions but remaining within the painting category CoBrA - Represented the names of the 3 cities they were from; Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam - 1948-1951 - Artists kind of dissipated eventually and joined other groups - Horrific, nightmarish, ghoulish themes - Very important because it offered an alternative, especially to young artists Asger Jorn, St. John‟s Eve II, 1952 The Surrealist Map of the World, 1929 - Represented areas that they were interested in - Alaska is important because the Surrealists were interested in the natives there - Looking at indigenous populations - Back to primitive theme  Surrealist moved to be centered in New York  Surrealists in New York in the 1930‟s included Ersnt, Dali, Duchamp, Matta, Andre Breton  New York artists could see not only surrealist work but they could see the surrealists  Large influx of very famous and very influential work in the United States at this time  Many surrealists exhibits in New York Surrealist Gallery, Art of This Century, 1942 Ersnt, Day & Night, 1941-42 - Different in canvases placed over a darker scene - Sort of another dimension of darkness of explanation Ersnt, Europe after Rain, 1942 - Response to ww2 - Like another planet in some ways, sort of an alien landscape  General feeling that there had to be some kind of new beginning because of the calamities of ww2 and the holocaust and such  Feeling that art needed to make a new start  Surrealism was still active in France through the 30‟s much of it migrated to the U.S. and remained highly influential but through the 40‟s the particular elements of surrealism (such as the idea of the automatic work and unconscious work) were diffused into other kinds of work  Surrealism was no longer this European movement Cornell, Bebe Marie, 1940 Cornell, Hotel Eden, 1945 - Working in a surrealist directions without really participating in it - Put together odd objects in a way that would speak to each other but in an odd and unexpected way - Cornel made these odd little construction own his own, and then they kind of became swept up in surrealism Abstract Expressionism Jackson Pollock - Painting on the floor – unprecedented, gave him a more freer and fuller access to the painting Matta, Listen to the Living, 1941 - Matta was invited to join the surrealists  Surrealism kind of moved into the new York movement, but this was unplanned by Breton Matta, Years of Fear, 1941-2 - Futuristic kind of geometric style - Some elements seem abstract, some seem identifiable - Kind of mixed styles Gorky, The Artist and his Mother no.2, 1926-36 - Picasso esk in his attention to the face - Penetrating like form Gorky, Apple Orchard, 1943-6 Gorky, Agony, 1947 Borduas, 2.45 ou Sous la mer, 1945 - Came from Quebec Borduas, 7.49 on Objet totemique, 1948 Riopelle, The Green Parrot, 1949  Sort of born of surrealism  Thought it was an independent movement but picked up many traits of surrealism Pollock, Blue Poles, 1952 Pollock, Birth, 1938-41 - Contorted somewhat horrific birth Gottlieb, Incubus, 1946 Willem de Kooning, Painting, 1948 Hofmann, Efferuscence, 1944 - German artist, moved to America Hofmann, Song of the Nightingale, 1964 - Very influential - Very high colouration - Famous for „push pull‟ (some parts push towards the front and some the back) - Makes dynamic the surface of the painting Pollock, Cathedral, 1947 - Texture and depth - Used gravity to give you effect (whereas other artists painted on easle and therefore did not as much) , new technique and method Lecture – Oct. 24 Kooning, Pink Angels, 1945 Kooning, Excavation, 1950 Kooning, Woman, 1949-50 - Reintroduced/went back to the female nude Guston, The Clock, 1955-57 Guston, Painter III, 1963 - Brings back elements of the human form somewhat  Abstract expressionists were upset often Guston, Artist in his Studio, 1969 - Example of standard theme of artist in studio - Rather odd, cartoon figure painting cartoon figure Guston, Scared Stiff, 1970 - Continued trend with rather odd basic relationships Rothko, No.1, 1948 Rothko, Number 3, 1949 - Known for looming, weighty, portentous shapes (implied that something was there) Rothko, Seagram murals, 1959 - Done a commission for Phillip Johnson to be installed in a restaurant, Rothko didn‟t like the idea of his work in the restaurant, gave back the money and gave it to a gallery Newman, Euclidian Abyss, 1947-8 Newman, The Moment, 1948 - Newman was a writer - Not a primary painter - Had a disaster of an exhibition - Subject matter was very important to him - Bond with Polluck - Both admired Indian or native American work - Looking for what they saw as primitive work but in a positive way - Destroyed much of his work Newman, The Moment Newman, The Ornament - Newmans was experimenting with a pigment in the ornament, used masking technique (with masking tape) – thought about it for like a year - This was monumental because in a piece like the Moment you have a distinct division between the two sides - The Ornament 1 is something that was completely unified and then splits Newman, Vir Heroicus sublimis, 1950 - Wanted you to feel the intensity of the color - Division of the canvas - Newman was good at creating emotion Newman, Voice of Fire, 1967 - Started large controversy, many people mocked the expensive purchase of the work for the National Gallery - Large fight about this artwork - People did not understand the artwork and were upset that the national gallery would spend a large amount of money on a painting by an American Reinhardt, No way, 1967 Reinhardt, Abstract Painting, Blue, 1952 - Cannot be accurately reproduced Reinhardt, How to Look at Modern art in America, 1961 - Kind of a cartoon about modern artists Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1960 Agnes Martin, Blue Sea, 1963 - Hand painted - Still concerned with skill Deskilling - Notion that art is not about traditional values of being able to paint or work material - This is purposefully about not doing things that rely or relate to that skill Pop Art - People talk about the differences between British and American pop art British Hamilton, Just what is it that makes today‟s homes so different, so appealing?, 1956  In Britain as opposed to the United States Britain only stopped rationing food in 1954 but during that time in the mid 1950s there was a sense of change to commercialization. There was an influx and flooding of American products and music  Commercialization of things  New technology  Pop culture gets kind of sexualized, received in Britain as something that is important  Sort of desired but mocked  American version of pop art tends to be less critical of pop art than the British pop art Hamilton, Just what is it that makes today‟s home so different?, 1992 - Learned computer technology, one of the first artists to design things on the computer - Circuitry as wall paper - Spitting images were used, caricatures Pop Art is - Popular, transient, expendable, low cost, mass-produced, young (aimed at youth), witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big business - List is used particularly well for discussing Andy Warhol Johns, Flag, 1954 - Johns was not a pop artist but tremendously influenced what pop became - Familiarity was crucial because it can be recognised, repeated etc. - Set of reflections towards what art actually is - Made of encaustic (type of wax, creates a texture) Johns, Three Flags, 1958 - Did a lot of things with Flags, sometimes superimposed them, takes away the flagness of the flag by putting 3 of them on top of each other, makes it difficult to see it for what it is Johns, Green Target, 1955 Johns, Target with Four Faces, 1955 - Play between what you see and what you read (titles) (Green target) - Picking an image that is very familiar to you - Choosing the familiar so he can turn it in some kind of a strange way - Mask like faces in target of four faces – puts the very familiar together with a sort of hatch (that can cover the figures) - Very odd connection Johns, Paint Can - Use of regular objects, use in art Lecture – Oct 31. (Missing) Judd Specific Objects, Art Yearbook Robert Morris, Installation, Green Gallery Allan Kaprow, 18 happenings in 6 parts Lecture – Nov. 7. Conceptual Art (missing beginning notes) Rauschenberg, Erased De Kooning, 1953 - Artist viewed it as poetry - Made white paintings - Pivotal but simple Rauschenberg, Factum I and Factum II, 1957 - Said they are not individual, but he wanted to show that they weren‟t unique Robert Morris, Litanies, 1963 - Kind of sculptural but not really a sculpture Robert Morris, Statement of Aesthetic Withdrawal, 1963 - Phillip Johnson purchased both artwork and document Sol LeWitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art, 1969 - Handwritten paper LeWitt, Certificate for Wall Drawing #95, 1971 - With diagram for art - Basically anyone could follow the instructions and do it LeWitt, Wall Drawings - Huge beautiful expanses of work - According to LeWitt it was not the skill that was important but the idea or concept - Broadly in the „deskilling‟ category  A lot of conceptual art is photographic  Art exhibitions seems to collect ideas  Photography and text are prime vehicles of conceptual art and was more about ideas than the actual artwork  Conceptual art was very philosophical  Very close to early work with computers  McShine‟s exhibition was monumental, demonstrated how information was important and conveyed Huebler, Location Piece #28, 1970 - Set up the conditions, the time and the place and told people to go take pictures of drivers going by Huebler, Variable Piece #34, 1970 - Jumble of pictures taken right after the photographer says “you have a beautiful face” - Sets up conditions for art - That was the point  Art was more social, public  You didn‟t have to be an art genius  Mostly in America and therefore Canada  Eraser of individuality Art and Language, Secret Painting, 1967-8 (by British Group) - Says that the content of the painting is secret and known only to the artist - Beside a black painting - Conceptual - Lets you „hear‟ the artists voice in the painting - Visuality (that Duchamp was attacking) is being underscored and undercut here by language Rosler, The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems, 1976 and 75 - Using photographs of park New York known as „rough, bad, poor‟ etc - Used photography and text - Saw them as inadequate for understanding poverty and the life of those who live there - Straight documentation and presentation with title that says it doesn‟t even being to describe the neighbourhood in which the photography depicts - Text (title) becomes part of the work and says that basically both systems are not good enough to describe the conditions _______________________________________________________________ Lucio Fontana, Spatial Concept, Attesa, 1965 (NOT CONCEPTUAL) - Would paint elaborate paintings and then cut them with exacto knife - Goes against us being used to paintings being intact - Sometimes he would put fabric inside to make you want to „look inside‟ - Slashed paintings made him famous Taras Polataiko, Cut Painting, 2001 - Made cut paintings - Canada - Sold cut paintings  very appealing to people - They were paintings that looked like cuts but not actually a cut - Made it look/reminded being of a Fontana painting a lot _______________________________________________________________ Yves Klein, Anthropometry, 1960 (called all paintings of this style this) - Dipped women in paint, they dragged each other around canvas, - Various paintings - Klein sometimes blowtorached paintings - Phallic - Was often not taken seriously by art books etc. - Was constantly outrageous - Creates intersection between performance art and abstraction - Performance art Klein, Raum der leer (Room of the void) Klein, Preliminary version of Leap into the Void, 1960 - Very interested in other realities, dimensions - Artist „exploring the immaterial‟ - Saw himself as inheritor of Malevich but better - Klein was part of the conversation b/w America and Europe about modernism Land and Earth Art in the 60s and 70s Heizer, Double Negative, 1969-70 - Cut out of two huge lines in the land on the side out of mountain - Fairly formal works in some way b/c they make a legible gesture - But not only formal  Land artists do not necessarily care about ecology  Somewhat anti-ecological  Use huge time frame (effects of time on a work) Heizer, Levitated Mass - Huge boulder over trench that you can walk under - So you can experience the danger and safety of walking under the boulder Lecture – Nov. 14. Land Art continuation of previous lecture Eva Hessie, Hang Up - Speaks of the hang up with why should art have to be on the wall - Spent a lot of time on the frame - Saying to think about the relationship between the frame and what is inside it - Weird things hanging out, think what she‟s doing is challenging you with something that is odd or misbehaving - Something like a sculpture but not a sculpture Alexander Calder, Grand Vitesse, 1969 - Even though the Calder is large and bright many artists found it to be too traditional - More and more artists in the 60s and 70s wanted the integration of the work to the site to be more impressive than that Tony Smith, Smoke. 1967 - Smith‟s piece was an oversized peice that looked like it should be outside in a public square or something but put it inside even in a large public space it looks wrong and out of place - Possibly kind of a gallery critique about it saying the gallery is not big enough for my work or the gallery is too confining Henry Moore, Three-Way Peice No. 2 “The Archer”, 1966 in Nathan Phillip Square - This was high modernist sculpture but that was not what the land and earth artists wanted to do Morris, Untitled (Tangle), 1967 - Morris did a vast variety of mediums - Did pieces that challenged the idea of painting or the wall - Giving you a sense of flow Oldenburg, Placid Civic Monument, 1967 – Central Park New York - Pretty early important earth work - Partly a performance and partly and excavation - Height of the Viatnam war people thought it was a grave - Anti monumental monument - Got people to dig the whole in the sightline of a much more classic type of monument - Seems very humble and doesn‟t last - One of the issues that comes up with land art of wether or not it was designed to last - Eventually the hole was filled in - Not profound in itself it was dead simple but the very fact of doing it - The overlapping of the conceptual and the material Oldenburg, Lipstick (Ascending), 1969 – in Toronto - Weird sculpture Richard Long, A Line Made by Walking, 1967 - Follows the idea of an activity being a work o
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