VIC101H1 Lecture Notes - Willem De Kooning, Clement Greenberg, Abstract Expressionism

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Published on 14 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Victoria College Courses
Course
VIC101H1
Professor
October 15, 2012
- Max Ernst - fled to America pre-WWII
- Abstract Expressionism - mid-1940s
- Berlin - totally bombed 1945
- “Mortar women” - picked up fallen bricks etc. to make building material
- Several thousands killed in Siege of Berlin
- America became confident after Great Depression while Germany was in ruins
- Abstract Expressionism (originally New York School - American painters centred in New York)
evolved into independent movement
- Diverse movement - some hardly abstract, some hardly expressionist
- 1st movement presided over & created by critic - Clement Greenberg (called it painterly
abstraction)
- Greenberg made people’s careers => financial success to artists
- Market determines or distorts art success of movements and artists
- “The picture [painting] has now become an entity, belonging to the same amount of space as
our bodies…”; it’s a stand-in for self (male only) - Greenberg
- Influential statement: painting is real, it’s an object that occupies space like a body
- New paintings weren’t stand-in for something else (e.g. portrait = stand-in for e.g. person in
power, state, Church/word of God in Renaissance paintings) => painting is the painting
- Abstract Expressionism = it is itself, it’s not a representation
Willem de Kooning
- Embodiment of physical gestures
- No illusion of space
- Women paintings: thing slapped on the canvas
- Eliminated compositions, light -- stick to the very basics: eyes, mouth
- They’re figurative but no accurate representation
- Figure invaded by ground & ground by figure - not much difference between the two
- Abstraction & figuration - hard to tell where figure ends and ground begins
- Figure details not so important
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Document Summary

Max ernst - fled to america pre-wwii. Mortar women - picked up fallen bricks etc. to make building material. Several thousands killed in siege of berlin. America became confident after great depression while germany was in ruins. Abstract expressionism (originally new york school - american painters centred in new york) evolved into independent movement. 1st movement presided over & created by critic - clement greenberg (called it painterly abstraction) Greenberg made people"s careers => financial success to artists. Market determines or distorts art success of movements and artists. The picture [painting] has now become an entity, belonging to the same amount of space as our bodies ; it"s a stand-in for self (male only) - greenberg. Influential statement: painting is real, it"s an object that occupies space like a body. New paintings weren"t stand-in for something else (e. g. portrait = stand-in for e. g.

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