FAH 246 Art Since 1900 o Velvet White (1962) IRONIC tension between mass production and
Notes on Volume 2 of Text unique object, surrealist quirkiness and rationalized structure; switch
from production to consumption, construction to ready made.
OPTICAL/MINIMALIST SCULPTURE + CONSTRUCTION
Sculpture & Surrealists, two variations with construction:
INFORMEL MOVEMENT (Paulman), ART AUTRE (Tapie)
1. Formal – abandon cubism’s idea of drawing in space Founded by Debuffet, Wols, Faurtier (all 3 at same gallery dif times)
2. Technical – refine high culture and rationalism of modern technology.
Also surrealists (unlike cubists) saw construction as bricolage Uproar/commotion after Liberation of Paris in August 1944, and Picasso’s Salon
(primitive form of irrational associative thinking)
de La Liberation in October 1944. Biggest art scandal since FAUVE (1905).
Postwar Paris: shame for being part of Nazi machine, images from holocaust and
David Smith (1906-65) American sculptor war being shown. Reconstruction period, art expected to be part f redemption of
Primitive and pure, expresses formal and technical ambivalence in 40s.
Evolved out of collage from Picasso, and Julio Gonzalez. COMMUNIST party rose as moral high ground and part in French Renaissance.
Julio Gonzalez (1876-1942) Demand for SOCIAL REALISM growing
o Woman Combing Hair (1936) – visual openness, called “drawing in space”. Bent wires
Pablo Picasso: Head of a Woman (1929-30) – ordinary metal object of calendar incorporated.
Jean Debuffet (1901-85) French artist
Smith + Totems Infamous exhibit: “Mirobolus, Macadam & Cie, Haute Pates” @ Galerie Rene
o Pillar of Sunday (1945) – constructed sculpture between craft basis of Doruin in Paris. “After Dadaism, Cacaism” – Heri Jeanson, French Critic.
traditional and industrial (modern manufacturing). Totem Pole, vertical Parodied museum categlogues for this exhibit with his captions. Unreadable
mementos of childhood in midwest (church choir, dinner) + book on exhibition by critic impersonator artists Michel Tapie.
sexual/liberated bird at the top. NEO-PRIMITIVIST, colorful scenes of urban life.
o Tanktotem V (1955-6) – made series of these in 50s and 60s; totem half = o Volunte de puissance (1946) – thick impasto (haute pate), various
emotive content, tank half = industrial materials. MODERNIST materials, brownish/greyish. 2D figures; BRUTE matter, no more joy
of life. Kindergarten like without playfulness
AMBITIONS, desire for abstraction/technology.
o Totem is figurative, real object or animal that has human significance of
identity that depends on it. Compagnie de l’ART BRUT
Debuffet influenced by study of Artistry of Mentally Ill by Hans Pinzhorn.
o TABOO. Voltri-bolton XXIII (1963) primitive setting of sacrificial table and
sacrificial figure of 3 elements. Unintelligible but coherent (geometric - Deb corresponded with doctors and visited institutions in Switzerland,
shapes). Stresses POV with frame. Only one person can look through where he encountered psychotic art. He gathered art of mentally ill,
o Differs from transparency of Russians; exploitation of viewpoints tribal, naïve, and folk art all under rubric of “art brut” (brut – crude,
Clement Greenberg (critic) terms for constructed sculpture in late 50s: - Formed group group in 1948 with Breton, Roche, Paulhan, Ratton and
“Genius lies in modern concept of volue,e (greater visibility with little tactile Tapie. Presented first exhibitin at Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris.
surface) FREE AND TOTAL medium of sculpture. POINT OF VIEW*** - “Art Brut Preffered to Cultural Art” essay by Deb.
- Like Paul Klee, he idealized art of mentally ill to return to pure depths.
Anthony Caro (born 1924) English sculptor Unlike Klee he defined depths as NOT ORIGIN but an OUTSIDE TO ART.
- Disruptions in figures in art brut (ex. enlarged eyes) are what he says to
Formal successor to Smith b/c he stressed point of view
o Carriage (1966) – tactile experience b/c physical expanse invites entry. be product of TRAUMA to the psyche. Far from purity.
Two sets of braces in single gestalt or frame.
Wols (Wolfgang Schulz) (1913-1951) German émigré
John Chamberlain (born 1927) American sculptor Existentialist artist, metaphysical crisis to show contingency of being.
Marries construction with production. Surrealist bricolage + consumer Unnoticed in first show 1945 @ Drouin. Second show 1947 triumph with oil
society. Exploits ready made surfaces (like car parts) paint.
o Bird (1949) – vulvalike, abstract canvas, vortex with rays in different
directions. Art invitation to reading in and imaging. Jean Fautrier (1898-1964) Black Mountain College Asheville North Carolina (Josef Albers)
October 1945 exhibition Otages (Hostages) addressed question: how can you Small group of professors led by John Andrew Rice (1888-1968)
respond to Nazi reign without spectacularizing it? Arts central to curriculum; Josef and Anni Albers invited to join faculty (b/c
Began series in 1943 while hiding from Gestapo in psychiatric asylum. Heard of Philip Johnson, MOMA curator, who visited BAUHAUS)
random people get shot by Nazis. Democratic set up. Arts part was very experimental
o Head of a Hostage no. 22 (1944) – generic title w/ number. Josef said he wanted to “open eyes” (VISION IMPORTANT FOR MODERNIST)
Series resembles assembly-line nature of Nazi atrocity Anni more popular gifted weaver who spoke English
o The Jewess (1943) – larger works in same series but withheld
Albers arranged summer sessions 1944-49 w/ diverse artists and writers
from exhibition. who were different from his own tastes. Practice continued after he left.
All these works shared same characteristics. Formula set up in 1940. Impressive artists involved in summer sessions and impressive list of
Stuccolike material spread with spatula into vague shape. Before hard, dust
students including John Chamberlain, Elaine de Kooning and Robert De Niro
with pastel colours result highly centralized. (father of artist), and more.
Great collaborations between faculty, guests and students
Francis Ponge, POET, wrote “Notes on the Hostages” at request of Paulhan for Josef Albers like Moholy – Nagy said abstraction essential to human spirit. But
Fautier’s show. Essay by Andre Malraux was preferred b/c of attatchment to the
revisions to Bauhaus to exist in a liberal arts college:
Resistance. Also Ponge essay was difficult to read (as the paintings). 1. More Humanist, new study of vision with new attention to form
2. Reoriented analysis of materials and structures; Vorkurs called
THE NEW BAUHAUS IN THE USA WOERKLEHRE (instruction through WORK/learning by doing).
Matiere – “how a substance looks” (ex. study using eggshells) how these things
Josef Albers (@ Black Mountain College in N. Carolina) and Max Bill (Institute of change appearance with marking, lighting and setting.
Design in Ulm West Germany) tried versions of Vorkurs (preliminary course). “discrepancy between the physical fact and the psychic affect”
He was seen as SEVERE TEACHER at BMC 1933-49 and at Yale 1950-58.
Institute of Design in Chicago (Laszlo Moholy – Nagy) Reductive from of abstract painting. Influence at both schools remained after
Nazi power forced closure of Bauhaus he left.
Moholy Nagy fled to start new Bauhaus with group of businessmen called Commited to disciplining the eye. Like Cage in music opposed to aestehetic
Association of Arts and Industries. models of expressive subjectivity (of Kooning, Kline and Motherwell) and
School closed within a year; in 1939 he reopened as SCHOOL OF DESIGN objectivity (medium-specific of Clement Greenberg)
Much of same faculty; 1944 renamed INSTITUTE OF DESIGN Both also involved with pragmatic approach to research and experiment.
Still part of Illinois Institute of Technology today. Albers advanced art in postwar America by mediating between modernism
Prior Socialist, Moholy Nagy was now partnered with industrialists like and avant-garde, and between prewar and postwar forms of abstraction
Walter P. Paepcke who was on board for the institute. focused on light and colour.
Book: The New Vision: From Material to Architecture (1932) o Homage to the Square (1970) – abstract motif like his “Variant
- Photography informed modern age the way perspective informed Paintings” from (1947-55). Many paintings of pure colours nested in
renaissance; arts must be rethought according to new vision each other. “Painting is colour acting” – Albers. Focused on interaction
- Eight varieties of photographic vision: abstract, exact, rapid, slow, o Above seemed to anticipate geometric canvases of Frank Stella and
others. Spatial illusion in Albers, not what you see what you get
intensified, penetrative (xrays), simultaneous, distorted
- Adapted to social, economic and political conditions of Corporate usa because he was interested in psychic effect.
- Description of his Vorkurs I s idealized, teachable and exploitable
- New Vorkurs: training still began with analysis of materials, but new LIGHT + VISION IMPORTANT for MOHOLY NAGHY and JOSEF ALBERS***
emphasis on sciences/photo/film/display/publicity ____________________________________________________________________________________________
- Develop DESIGNERS instead of aritsts or craftsmen BEGINNING OF AB EX MOVEMENT
1947 after WWII Vision in Motion revised ^ published after his death Term Abstract Expressionism came late into use around 1952.
What these artists had in common: Individualism, autographic gesture, private
feelings onto material field of canvas (NOT the figurative content). Though there figurative content was not similar, COMMON ENEMY: Revolt against “materialist tradition” (bourgeois mode of life =
May 1950 Boycott to exhibition organized by the Met in protest against acquisition of goods).
“hostility to advanced art” Echoing Rosenberg is Maeyer Shapiro’s “The Liberating Quality of Avant-Garde
Nicknamed Irascible Eighteen by New York Herald Tribune. Art” (1957):
Photograph taken by Nina Leen The Irascibles (1951) for Life Magazine Painting and sculptures as last handmade personal objects of our
- Hans Hoffman (mentor to all) culture. Everything else mass produced industrially
- Gorky ABSENT b/c he died two years before
- Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, De Kooning’s Untitled (1948-9) - Filling of whole canvas (like Pollock). Kooning
Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock immediately praised unlike Pollock.
All signed open letter to president of the Met, published in the NY Times.
Great time for this because AB EX was entering high art with support of Signature Style of these artists, designed a logo for themselves
MoMA. “American Type Painting” cultural force against Soviet Communism Robert Motherwell’s At Five in the Afternoon 1949, large canvas based
during Cold War. on ink drawing in Possibilities from 1947. Part of his Elegy to the
Spanish Repoublic Series. Spatial marker, recognizable
Life Photograph exaggerated bond between the artists, but common Franz Kline Cardinal 1950 energetic brush strokes of slick black paint
background: Mark Rothko Number3/No. 13(1949) part of his distinct series of
Many worked for Works Progress Administration (WPA) during 30s, and horizontal color on vertical canvas
brushed with radical politics (like Pollock member of Communist Party). Made way for signature styles that will be seen in Pop Art (Warhol,
Looked towards Picasso’s Guernica and Mexican Muralists and American Liechtenstein, etc.)
Regionalist Painter Thomas hart Benton (Pollock looked towards all 3)
All (besides Kooning) FELT inferiority to Euro Avant-Garde. Resentment to JACKSON POLLOCK
MoMA for lack of support early on. Drew them closer together 1949 – Life Magazine piece on Pollock asking if he is the best artist in US. Part
Formation of Collective identity, first enthusiasm for Surrealism, then contemptuous (scornful look at him) but also citing how famed critic Clement
rejected it. Greenberg saw the work as great.
1947 and 48 key years. Pollock began drip technique, Newman painted
Onement I, Kooning triumphant first solo show, Gorky (who was welcomed 1950 four important canvases:
by Surrealists) committed suicide marking definitive end to old allegiance, One (Number 31, 1950), Lavender Mist, Autumn Rhythm, and No. 32
Rothko realized mature canvases AND opening of THE SUBJECTS OF THE
ARTIST SCHOOL (founded by Baziotes, Motherwell, Newman, Rothko, Still 1951 began black-and-white paintings with “early images coming through”
and David Hare), closed in 1949 but showed possibility of whats to come. More figurative (like in 30s and 40s)
Moon Woman Cuts the Circle 1943 - mix of Mexican murals and
1947 Possibilities published in NYC first and only issue: American Regionalist like his teacher Thomas Hart
Ambitious journal published by Motherwell and critic Harold Rosenberg Number 14, 1951, 1951 – black and white more figurative painting
(father of “action painting”)
Addressed music of Cage, literature, interview with Miro, Difficult painting in years that followed, deeply depressed. Drove into a tree in
poems/illustrations by Arp summer of 1956, killed himself (many believe suicide)
Most famous for publishing statements by Rothko and Pollock about their
own art. Pollock’s source of painting “unconscious”; automatism but Greenberg appreciated his art for spatial compression of surfaces of Pollock’s
breakdown of authorship sort of cause loss of hand brush canvas. early paintings, but saw need for abstraction. With drip pictures, Greenberg
praised the “volatizing” of the object and weightlessness. Determined as Michael
Rosenberg “Introduction to Six American Artists” Fried put it limits of “eightsight”.
Initially catalogue preface for exhibit with Motherwell Baziotes and
Biographical reading: 30s and 40s paintings are products of his “unconscious
Gotltlieb. To French audience in 1947
Art is standpoint for private revolt against materialist tradition. mind” (Freudian) or archetypal images (Jungian), while 47-50 he is refusing
Canvas as affirmation of the ego figuration with this drip paintings, then returning in early 50s. Therefore Pollock’s painting do contain some “content” or subject (and are not abstract),
despite what the misguided formalist might think. However, all evidence Constant Erotic Moment 1949 – lewd picture, two figures sexually connected,
supports Pollock’s ambition for abstraction. eroticism, wide eyed creature raising arms, revolutionary passion (as opposed
to confusion of surrealists past). 1948 manifesto of Constant reveals motivation
2nd Figurative reading: T.J. Clark comments on frequency of Pollock’s title “one” for art like this. “new freedom” from “total collapse” of official culture. Post war
like in No. 1 1948. Searching for oneness. But they are massive landscapes of man = creature. Jorn elaborates on these ideas with essay to Constant in 1950
Cobra seen as intervention in debate about humanism after the war. Like Jean
Process artist Robert Morris: “anti –form” he opened his work to conditions of Paul Sartre who said humanism is his existentialism and Heidegger who said
gravity. Therefore no desired figure possible. both concepts metaphysical. Western philosophy dictates difference between
animal and ma