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Lecture 7

FAH246H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Ad Reinhardt, Peripheral Vision, Seagram Building

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Mark Cheetham

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The Gesture in the 1950’s from autographic expression to the
evacuation of the personal.
Excavation 1950
- abstract expressionism
- the eye can never rest, there is no subject, everything is moving, can
imagine stopping and trying to think what he was doing
- Pollack: quality of working all over the surface and not singling one
area out as being less/more important
- non figurative
Willem de Kooning, Pink Angels, 1945
- artist of the earlier generation
- always painting figurism/ lingering interest in the figure
Woman, 1949-1950
- distressing series, paintings of women
- torn apart, extreme in colour, gestures,
- returned to earlier interests
- returns to the standard of western art, as the female nude
- do you have to be fully abstract all the time? Does it always have the
goal of being more abstract?
Guston, The Clock, 1955-1957
Guston, Painter III, 1963
- a portrait human head
-sense of abstraction, colourful and full of gesture,
- abstract expressionists were upset often
- mysteriously reintroducing the figure
Guston, Artist in his studio, 1969
- themes: artist in his studio
- cartoon painting another
- traditions, conventions, representation
Guston, Scared Stiff, 1970
- continued with basic relationships
- he had many continuing themes cigar, pointing, fear, sole of shoes
- no more gesture or emotion like abstract expressionism
- many people drop out his work of the abstract expressionism genre
Rothko, Number 3-13 (Magenta, Black, Green on Orange
Something is there,
- working more in the abstract expressionist way
- signature colour palette
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Rothko, No 1(Untitled, 1948)
“Tried to express what he deemed “basic human emotions tragedy,
ecstasy, doom, the people who weep before my pictures are having
the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”
Rothko Seagram Mural, 1959
- commission for architect Philip Johnson, wanted to install them in the
seagram building restaurant
- couldn’t see his work in a busy restaurant
- are placed in an appropriate setting
- seem to mean something more than themselves, but you do not
know what that is
- very mysterious
Newman, Euclidian Abyss, 1947-1948
- works with texture, although the medium is thin
- geometrical
Newman, The moment, 1946
-encouraged by Jackson Pollack
- emotive,
- huge titles
- subject matter was very important to him
- Pollack and Newman both loved native American work
Positive primitive
- destroyed most of his work previously
- dividing elements (zips)
- division between different realms (colour and texture)
turned into two different things
Onement 1, 1948
- a breakthrough work
- maked off the middle mark with tape
- he put a layer over top
- he thought about it for a year
- becoming one
- so fundamental, because it is about division when something is
completely unified is split
- shows that it was just one and it is teetering on the moment of
becoming two
- he wanted you to get up close to the work
was trying to get away from trying to see the whole thing
he didn’t want you to back up to get the whole vision
wanted you to feel the emotion of the colour
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