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[CHP. 28- POP ART, OP ART, MINIMALISM, & CONCEPTUALISM]
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Op Art and Pop Art
In the 1960s, new styles and movements were initiated. Some painters continued in the path of abstraction, as exemplified by the op art works of
Hungarian-born Victor Vasarely. Where op art relies on producing generally abstract optical illusions for its effect, pop art, as in the witty works of
its originator, the English artist Richard Hamilton, is representational. Pop artists drew their imagery from advertising billboards, movies, comic
strips, and ordinary, everyday objects. Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jim Dine, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, James Rosenquist, and
Andy Warhol were major American pop artists.
Pop Art
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In what ways did Pop Art respond to the mass commercialization of popular culture in the 1950's and 60's?
What is the relationship between Pop Art and popular culture?
Pop Art in England: Richard Hamilton
Pop Art in the United States
“Pop Art”
“Whereas earlier styles of art had been based upon the artist's experience of his or her own inner expressive self or had been directed outwardly
towards nature, the Pop Art movement was a manifestation of the artist's response toward a consumer economy in which mass-produced goods
dominated the popular and mass media. As might be expected, a style of art based upon the like of advertisements, comic books, and the packaging
of manufactured items was received with a “certain amount of skepticism and criticism and was not taken seriously in some circles. However, Pop
Art was successful in elevating common imagery, whose proliferation in itself made it obscure, to a consciousness-raising level, where it was looked
at "anew."“
“Pop Art originated in England; it appeared in the United States with the work of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and others including Claes
Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein. Common to these artists was the ability to take something familiar and transform or place it in a
new context that challenged people's assumptions about it.”
“Jasper Johns”
“Like his colleagues Robert Rauschenberg and the musical com-poser John Cage, Jasper Johns (b. 1930) has sought to narrow the gap between art
and life by basing his art upon life's common, everyday artifacts and symbols. In Target with Four Faces (1955), he has used the image of the target;
in White Flag (1955) and Three Flags (1958) [see illustration 29], he has used the symbol of the American flag; and in Painted Bronze (1960), he has
used an old American favorite, the beer can.”
“Robert Rauschenberg”
“Robert Rauschenberg (b. 1925) creates two-dimensional collages and three-dimensional assemblage sculptures, which are called com-bines and
consist of found objects, many of which are throwaways. For example, his combine Odalisk (1955-1958) consists of a stuffed rooster standing on a
box covered with photos and clippings attached to a post mounted upon a pillow. Monogram (1955-1959) presents the viewer with a stuffed angora
goat wearing a tire while standing upon a painted platform.”
“Claes Oldenburg”
“The work of Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) is oftentimes met with a smile because of the manner in which he uses popular foods, common appliances,
and household fixtures as the inspiration for his sculptures. What he does is create exaggerated, even shocking versions of these objects, often on a
grand scale. His work ranges from the glorification “of a symbol of American taste in Two Cheeseburgers with Everything (1962) through the
transformation of a simple, taken- for- granted object, the clothes pin, into one of monumental proportions as a forty-foot sculpture, to Soft Toilet
(1966) [see illustration 30], a kapok-filled vinyl representation, leading viewers to a different sort of confrontation with these objects than they are
used to.”
“Andy Warhol”
“Andy Warhol (1928-1987), responding to the use of mass produc-tion and repetition in advertising and the mass media, made use of these
techniques in many of his works. His silkscreens of Marilyn Monroe (1962), his 200 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), and his three-dimen-sional Brillo
Boxes (1964) seem to capitalize upon mechanically produced items. Like his print of 200 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Warhol's painting Green
Coca-Cola Bottles (1962) presents an image of sameness [see illustration 31]. However, when the viewer realizes that there are in fact differences
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between the individual Coke bottles, the question whether the differences are due to the painting process (by accident or design) or whether a
statement is being made concerning subtle differences is left unanswered. Though there is some debate among critics as to whether Warhol was
glorifying or condemning the practice of sameness, Warhol was himself a media event during and after the Pop era, an artist who marketed himself
as well as his work.”
“Roy Lichtenstein”
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“Roy Lichtenstein (b. 1923), another Pop artist, utilized printed media, specifically the comic strip, as the source of his artwork. Though his early
intent may have been to produce antipainterly works that would not be found aesthetically pleasing in the art market, it soon became apparent that
his paintings, such as As I Opened Fire (1964) and Little Big Painting (1965) [see illustration 32], were, in fact, more than simply copies of comic strip
imagery on a large scale. Through his stylized use of line, color, and printer's dots, Lichtenstein provided the public with large images whose style,
subject, and imagery seemed antithetical to the kind of attention they seemed to demand by simply being works of art.”
Painting
>Sculpture
“Op Art”
“Op Art (Optical Art), popular especially during the 1960s, reflected a shift of interest among some artists from attention to the artwork to attention
to the viewer's perception of the artwork. Though at first it may appear that this style of art does not fit within the evolution of the visual arts, upon
further consideration, it makes perfect sense for it to have developed. As seen in earlier discussions, the construction of traditional paintings was
based upon the concept of a "window" that the viewer would look into. With more contemporary painters, such as the Abstract Expressionists, the
focus became the surface of the canvas itself, with attention being directed toward the process involved in the creation of the work. Op Art was a
result of the application of the optical laws of nature to the elements of art and design in order to produce complex images and patterns that could
deceive the brain into "seeing" vibration, color, and movement where there was none.”
Op Art
Movement that developed in the United States and Europe in the mid-1960s. Deriving from the abstract expressionist movement, op art includes
paintings concerned with surface kinetics. Colors were used in creating visual effects, such as afterimages and trompe-loeil. Vibrating colors,
concentric circles, and pulsating moire patterns were characteristic of works by Victor Vasarely, Richard Anusziewicz, Bridget Riley, Ad Reinhardt,
Kenneth Noland, and Larry Poons. “
“Op Art (Optical Art), popular especially during the 1960s, reflected a shift of interest among some artists from attention to the artwork to
attention to the viewer's perception of the artwork. Though at first it may appear that this style of art does not fit within the evolution of the visual
arts, upon further consideration, it makes perfect sense for it to have developed. As seen in earlier discussions, the construction of traditional
paintings was based upon the concept of a "window" that the viewer would look into. With more contemporary painters, such as the Abstract
Expressionists, the focus became the surface of the canvas itself, with attention being directed toward the process involved in the creation of the
work. Op Art was a result of the application of the optical laws of nature to the elements of art and design in order to produce complex images and
patterns that could deceive the brain into "seeing" vibration, color, and movement where there was none.”
Victor Vasarely (b. 1908)
Richard Anusziewicz
Bridget Riley
Ad Reinhardt
Kenneth Noland
Larry Poons
“Bridget Riley; Richard Anuszkiewicz”
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“The laws of optics are very much at play in the work of Bridget Riley (b. 1931), as seen in Blaze I(1962) and Current (1964) [see illustration 33],
paintings which consist of precisely drawn undulating lines that, when looked at for a short time, seem to vibrate and oscillate. The same principles
apply to Richard Anuszkiewicz's (b. 1930) work, for example, Splendor of Red (1965), in which he uses color and line in such a way that the work
appears to flutter.”
“Victor Vasarely”
“Well known for his involvement in the inception of the Op Art movement, Victor Vasarely (b. 1908) has continued his investigation of this art style.
From early Op Art works in black and white, such as Jong ("Births") (1962), to more current pieces such as VP. Stri (1973-1975) and Sinfel (1977),
which incorporate color, his work seems to burst forth from the picture plane.”
Minimalism
“Minimal art, seen especially during the 1960s and into the 1970s, was a trend whereby form, especially in sculpture, was reduced even more in an
effort to achieve and portray the true essence of the artist's efforts. The style of Minimalism was typically abstract, oftentimes geometric. This effort
sought to distance artwork even farther from its”
“traditional associations and roots and to create works of an impersonal and anonymous nature.”
“Donald Judd”
“The use of minimal forms can be seen in the sculpture of Donald Judd (b. 1928). Untitled (1965) is made up of an aluminum beam with attached Lbrackets painted red [see illustration 28]. Untitled (1973) consists of ten cubes of stainless steel with oil enamel on plexiglass, mounted vertically
upon a wall.”
“Robert Morris”
“Much of the work of Robert Morris (b. 1931) done during the 1960s was of a Minimalist style. Untitled (L-Bearns) (1965), consisting of three
stainless-steel L-beams placed in juxtaposition, is such a work.”
“Carl Andre”
“Another example of Minimal sculpture is a work entitled Equivalent VIII (1978), by Carl Andre (b. 1932), formed of bricks placed upon the gallery
floor two deep, six across, and ten in length. In this case, in particular, it was the context in which the work was exhibited, that is, in a gallery, that
allowed it to be perceived as "a work of art." The sculpture calls into question the role of the museum, typically seen as a place to house works of
art. In this case, however, it is the museum that creates the work, because if Equivalent VIII were placed on the street it would likely be seen simply
as a pile of bricks.”
Donald Judd
Dan Flavin
Agnes Martin
Eva Hesse
Action Sculpture: Joseph Beuys
Conceptualism: Joseph Kosuth
“Conceptual Art”
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Idea as Content: Conceptualism and the Dematerialization of Form.
What is a work of art?
Many artists over that late 20thc have asked this question. Even the Conceptualists couldn't hit on a coherent definition of conceptualism.
Conceptual art marked a turning point in late twentieth-century art and ends the definable era of "modern art". Conceptual art completes the
transition to a new freedom which the Impressionists began 100 years ago.
Conceptual art is more an art of ideas than of objects. This is true of all art, at an elementary level. Conceptualism emerged in the 1950's was
inspired by the Dada movement of the 1920s, particularly the work of Marcel Duchamp.
Duchamp challenged established definitions and began the transition of art as ideas believing that all art is conceptual in nature. His work Fountain
(1917) consists of a urinal signed 'R Mutt' . The art world was shocked. How could a mass-produced object become art simply because an artist
signed it? Many such works, which Duchamp called 'readymades', separated the work of art from the 'artist's touch'.
Conceptual artists saw the increasingly commercialized art world of the 1960s. It was formal and in the case of Minimalism, it could be impersonal.
Conceptual artists challenge our precepts about art and society, politics and the media. It was an international movement with a global legacy
illustrated by small local participatory projects and large-scale installations at major museums and biennials. Allan Kaprow's "Happenings" launched
Conceptualism as an interactive form of communication particularly important in a society that competed highly visual non-art events like men on
the moon. We will look into "Happenings" in conjunction with performance art later in the course.
Conceptual artists claim that the idea is the artwork, and that once the concept has been expressed, the object is unimportant. Some objects may
exist for a moment, and only notes or photograph remain to document the work without being the work itself.
Art seemed to have too-narrow limits and in reaction, Conceptualists created works of art that barely resembled what an art object was thought to
be. To do this, they used semiotics, feminism and popular culture. The art displayed in galleries became simply a document of the artist's thinking.
Linguistic works that assumed the form of words on a wall.
Many Conceptual artists hoped that the greater involvement of the artist's idea would lead to more participation of the viewer and would force the
public out of their passive mode and make their imagination more active and reached its creative potential. What resulted was more cerebral . This
art addressed connoisseurs and intellectuals rather than the general public. In itself early conceptualism was not very popular but its legacy would
affect many contemporary artists and movements such as Broodthalers, Buren, Burgin, Holzer, Kosuth, Kruger, and LeWitt.
Conceptualism became an umbrella term used to describe other art forms that did not fall into the traditional categories of painting or sculpture.
Some forms of conceptual art involve temporary installations.
The range of Conceptual art is amazingly broad: Some examples:
Morgan O'Hara- obsessively documented of how she spent each waking moment.
Robert Morris- a box that housed the recorded sound of of the box being made inside
John Baldessari- C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A
documented the placement of each of the letters physically placed throughout the state. Each location was marked on a visual map.
Hans Haacke- polled museum visitors on their views of Governor Nelson Rockefeller's support of the Vietnam War.
Les Levine- Artwork existed as the operation of a Canadian-kosher restaurant in New York as an artwork. The patrons of the restaurant were totally
unaware of the "art" status.
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A question that remains:
How can you analyze artwork without the tools of formal object analysis? With conceptualism, the art object has been lost.
The Object
In part, Conceptual art was a rebellion against the commercial art world. Prominent artists are so revered that often lesser works by them are more
highly valued that exceptional works of lesser known artists. Some Conceptual artists tried to break this "worship" of major artists by creating
works that have little if any physical presence. For example, performance artists are often included under the umbrella of conceptual art. A
performance exists at a particular time and place, while it is being performed, then it is over. Documentation of works become very important, but
his documentation is not the work, but a record of what has taken place. In some cases, such as Sol Le Witt's large wall drawings, the
documentation is a set of instructions from which the drawings can be executed by others. Conceptual artists who did not create artwork that
remained in a physical form had nothing to sell. As it turns out, the lack of objects would not stop collectors from purchasing their "unbuyable
works."
The Idea
So , Conceptual art is the idea. ; At an elementary level, all art is based on an idea. What is different about conceptualism is that systems and
patterns are "set in motion" by an artist and then the actual "object", event is allowed to happen, be created, with little or no interference of the
artist. Abstract Expressionism was the opposite of Conceptual art. For example, Jackson Pollock is action paintings were all about his involvement
with the paint and canvas as he dripped and threw paint on the canvas. There was a focus on the moment, not a plan. It was about the emotion
and the creation.
In other cases, Conceptual art may be dictated in such a way that the end result is known even before the instructions are executed. Some
conceptual artists use the concept of serialism. Serial works are multiple works that illustrate different variations of an idea. An example would be
Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans. There is a system to be followed but arbitrary choices can be made along the way. Conceptualists referred to
these "systems" as "uncompositions."
Art after Conceptualism
Conceptualism was not a conscious movement growing out of a number of artists exploring similar ideas, and from the climate of the times. A
dislike for the contemporary state of the art world was fundamental for the birth of conceptualism just as it was for Impressionism many year
before. Other loose groupings of artists, such as Minimalism, emerged around the same time. Minimalism was equally concerned with the use of
materials and the content of the work. Sol Le Witt who we discussed here in an overview of conceptualism has also been called a Minimalist for
much of his artwork.
Performance art, based in the Dada tradition, became a more important during the same time as did Video art. It should be noted that the
development of video art probably has more to do with the development of video equipment than the influence of conceptual art. Many
contemporary artists use Conceptualist approaches without being strictly termed as a Conceptualist artist Bruce Nauman, an artist who has
produced many video works, could be considered a Conceptualist.
The heyday of Conceptualism ended in the 1970's but the Conceptualist idea continues in contemporary art today.
“Popular during the 1960s and 1970s, Conceptual Art represented a movement espoused by a number of artists who emphasized the idea or process
of artmaking rather than the object actually produced. The efforts of these artists were similar to those of the Minimalists in their striving to achieve
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a sense of purity in their work. For those involved in the Conceptual Art movement, however, the art object itself was seen as unnecessary and even
distracting relative to the idea of the work. Here, partially in reaction to the commercialization of the art market, the art object, if indeed there was
one, was merely perceived of as evidence or a record of the process and events that led to its creation. This focusing of attention away from the
artwork toward the process of creation or the idea challenged traditional notions concerning the in-herent value of "the object." Additionally,
because many Conceptual artworks occurred in locations outside the traditional gallery and museum environments, this movement also challenged
assumptions concerning the role of the art museum as the repository of objects d'art.”
Part --: Unit Exam Essay Questions
(from previous Art 261 tests)
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Compare and contrast Expressionism with Fauvism. Use examples in your text.
Discuss the relationship between Cezanne and Analytic Cubism. How did one influence the other?
Compare Rothko and Pollock. What is similar in their respective developments. What is the essential difference in their approaches to
painting?
Compare the iconography of Pop Art with that of Realism and Impressionism. Using the examples in your text, discuss the similarities and
differences, as well as the relevance to the time and place in which the style flourished.
Discuss the relationship between Cezanne and Analytic Cubism. How did one influence the other?
Compare Rothko and Pollock. What is similar in their respective developments. What is the essential difference in their approaches to
painting?
(from AAT4)
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Discuss Pop Art as a response to Abstract Expressionism. Include the cultural contexts of both styles.
Discuss the relationship of Happenings to the Dada movement and to the modernist use of found objects.
Compare the iconography of Pop Art with that of Realism and Impressionism. Using the examples in your text, discuss the similarities and
differences, as well as the relevance to the time and place in which the style flourished.
Discuss the role of advertising imagery in Pop Art. Use the examples in your text.
Discuss the new media used by artists, beginning in the early 20th century. What is the relationship of their chosen media to the content
and esthetic effect of their art?
Learning Goals (AAT4)
After reading Chapter 28, you should be able to do the following:
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Identify the works and define the terms featured in the chapter
Compare Pop Art with Abstract Expressionism
Discuss the role of the object in Pop Art
Compare English Pop Art with Pop Art in the United States
Describe the relationship of Pop Art to commercial culture
Compare Pop Art with Dada
Explain the historical precedents of Pop Art
Discuss the role of the human figure in Pop Art
Explain the aesthetic of Minimalism, with examples
Discuss the work of Martin, Hesse, and Beuys iconographically, formally, and biographically
Define and give examples of Action Sculpture
Chapter Outline (AAT4)
POP, OP, MINIMALISM, AND CONCEPTUALISM
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Happenings (1960s)
Pop Art: Hamilton; Johns; Rauschenberg; Warhol; Lichtenstein; Lindner; Kitaj; Wesselmann; Thiebaud; Oldenburg; Segal; Marisol; de Saint-Phalle;
Op Art: Riley
Minimalism: Judd; Flavin; Martin; Hesse; Conceptualism: Kosuth
Summary and Study Guide
Terms
be able to identify these by sight, explain these in relation to art, and know an example of each in relation to a work of art
New York School
Abstract Expressionism
Works Progress Administration (WPA)
Carl Jung (1875-1961)
archetypes and the collective unconscious
automatism
action painting
Color Field Painting
Excerpt from a statement by Adolph Gottlieb and Rothko with Newman:
“We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the image of the unequivocal. We wish to
reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.” (1943)
Barnett Newman’s “zip”
Post-Painterly Abstraction
Formalism
Op Art
assemblage
Neo-Dada
John Cage (1912-1992)
happening
photosensitized silkscreen
Pop Art
planned obsolescence
commodity
low art/high art
the Factory
benday dots
soft sculptures
installation
Minimalism Existentialism
art brut
Postmodernism
Post-Minimalism
Process Art
photography as documentation
Video Art
site-specific
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Earth Art
Conceptual Art
Happenings
Performance Art
Fluxus
the “death” of painting (late 1960s)
Photorealism
Arte Povera
Feminism
Outsider Art
appropriation
commodity
kitsch
Neo-Expressionism
Graffiti
the Whitney Biennial
Documenta
Architecture Related Terms
Louis Sullivan: “form follows function”
skyscraper like a column: cornice, shaft, podium
Prairie Style
reinforced concrete cantilever
Bauhaus
International Style (Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier)
Le Corbusier: “machine for living”
Mies van der Rohe: “less is more”
geodesic dome
Postmodernism
Robert Venturi (b. 1925): “Less is a bore.” (1966)
Art Works
know these works by sight, title, date, medium, scale, and location (original location also if moved) and be able to explain and analyze these in
relation to any concept, term, element, or principle
Post-War Europe (Expression-ish)
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Alberto Giacometti, Man Pointing, (no. 5 of 6), 1947. Bronze, 5’ 10” x 3’ 1” x 1’ 5 5/8”.
Francis Bacon, Painting, 1946. Oil and pastel on linen, 6’ 5 7/8” x 4’ 4”.
Jean Dubuffet, Vie Inquiète (Uneasy Life), 1953. Oil on canvas, 4’ 3” x 6’ 4”.
The New York School: Action painters and Color Field Painting
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Jackson Pollock, Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist), 1950. Oil, enamel, and aluminum paint on canvas, 7’ 3” x 9’ 10”.
Hans Namuth, Jackson Pollock painting in his studio in Springs, Long Island,New York, 1950.
Willem De Kooning, Woman I, 1950–1952. Oil on canvas, 6’ 3 7/8” x 4’ 10”.
Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis, 1950–1951. Oil on canvas, 7’ 11 3/8” x 17’ 9 1/4”.
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Mark Rothko, No. 14, 1961 Oil on canvas, 9’ 6” x 8’ 9”.
Ellsworth Kelly, Red Blue Green, 1963. Oil on canvas, 6’ 11 5/8” x 11’ 3 7/8”.
Frank Stella, Mas o Menos (More or Less), 1964. Metallic powder in acrylic emulsion on canvas, 9’10” x13’8 1/2”.
Helen Frankenthaler, The Bay, 1963. Acrylic on canvas, 6’ 8 7/8” x 6’ 9 7/8”.
Greenburgian Formalism: Post-Painterly Abstraction
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Morris Louis, Saraband, 1959. Acrylic resin on canvas, 8’ 5 1/8” x 12’ 5”.
The Sculpture of David Smith
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David Smith, Cubi XIX, 1964. Stainless steel, 9’ 4 ¾” X 4’ 10 ¼” X 3’ 4”.
Sculpture
Basic Sculptural Techniques
Additive : Start with nothing and add material as the work proceeds. Describes a process in which the form is built up, shaped and enlarged by the
addition of materials. (modeling).
Subtractive : Begin with a mass of material larger than the finished work and remove, or subtract, to reveal the finished form. Describes the process
by which the form is discovered by removal of materials.
Substitution (Casting): Replace one material with another. In terms of casting, a form is created using one material. A mold is made, then a liquid is
poured into the mold to create the final shape.
Assemblage and construction: Generally thought as being an additive process. What makes it somewhat different is that the materials combined
are often dissimilar.
Sculpture
Three Basic Ways We Experience Sculpture in 3-D Space
Relief:
Meant to be viewed mostly from the front.
Images and forms are attached to a background and project out of the background.
Often used as decoration on objects or on building facades.
High Relief (Haut Relief): Project out from the background by at least ½ the normal depth of the form. Some parts may be totally free.
Low Relief: Figures and objects remain fully attached to the background and project only slightly from it (less than ½ the normal depth of the form).
culpture in the Round : Demands movement on the part of the viewer. Meant to be seen from all sides. Also called Freestanding.
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An Environment: A sculptural space into which the viewer can physically enter and move around in. Surrounds the viewer. Viewer is inside the
artwork. Often transforms the space.
Installation: Indoor sculptural environment
Earthwork: Most common form of an Outdoor sculptural Environment
Pop Art
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Richard Hamilton, Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?, 1956. Collage, 10 1/4” x 9 3/4”.
Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954–1955, dated on reverse 1954. Encaustic, oil, and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, 3’ 6 1/4” x 5’ 5/8”.
Robert Rauschenberg, Canyon, 1959. Oil, pencil, paper, fabric, metal, cardboard box, printed paper, printed reproductions, photograph,
wood, paint tube, and mirror on canvas, with oil on bald eagle, string, and pillow, 6’ 9 3/4” x 5’ 10” x 2’.
Roy Lichtenstein, Hopeless, 1963. Oil on canvas, 3’ 8” x 3’ 8”.
Andy Warhol, Green Coca-Cola Bottles, 1962. Oil on canvas, 6’ 10 1/2” x 4’ 9”.
Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych, 1962. Oil, acrylic, and silk-screen enamel on canvas, each panel 6’8” x4’9”.
Claes Oldenburg, various works exhibited at the Green Gallery, New York, 1962.
Minimalism
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Tony Smith, Die, 1962. Steel, 6’ x 6’ x 6’.
Donald Judd, Untitled, 1969. Brass and colored fluorescent Plexiglass on steel brackets, 10 units, 6 1/8” x 2’ x 2’ 3” each, with 6” intervals.
Process Oriented Art
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Maya Ying Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C., 1981-1983
Louise Nevelson, Tropical Garden II, 1957–1959. Wood painted black, 5’ 11 1/2” x 10’ 11 3/4” x 1’.
Louise Bourgeois, Cumul I, 1969. Marble, 1’ 10 3/8” x 4’ 2” x 4’.
EVA HESSE, Hang-Up, 1965–1966. Acrylic on cloth over wood and steel, 6’ x 7’ x 6’ 6”.
CHUCK CLOSE, Big Self-Portrait, 1967–1968. Acrylic on canvas, 8’ 11” x 6’ 11”
AAT4 Key Terms
encaustic
a painting technique in which pigment is mixed with a binder of hot wax and fixed by heat after application.
Happening
an event in which artists give an unrehearsed performance, sometimes with the participation of the audience.
silkscreen
a printmaking process in which pigment is forced through the mesh of a silkscreen, parts of which have been masked to
make them impervious.
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Chronology
Summary and Study Guide
Discussion
Post Painterly Abstraction
Raschenburg/Happening
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What is a combine? How does it challenge traditional art?
How do events and happenings extend the boundaries of the visual arts?
Pop Art
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What was Pop Art influenced by and reacting against?
Where did Pop artists find influence and inspiration?
Why did Andy Warhol's work spark so much public indignation?
Minimal
Minimalist artists wanted to eliminate all references outside the work of art. Minimalism is characterized by the extremely formal use of
elementary and geometrical three-dimensional forms called "Primary Structures". The cube came to become a symbol of clarity and clear thinking
simplicity. Some trace the reduction in form back to the Suprematist explorations of the painter Malevich during 1913-15. Minimalism is one of the
key influential art movements after WWII. and has had a profound influence on artists, architects and designers up to the present.
Minimalism reacted against Abstract Expressionist painting and the failure of the movement to produce significant sculpture. Specific formal
characteristics included geometric, monochromatic shapes with a recurrent concern with removing all signs of the artist's personality and effort
from the work. This focus expression had been a major concern of the Abstract Expressionists. The modernist tradition had revolved around the
abstraction of "outward" representation of the world. The minimalist now focused simplification of the "inward" view with on the elimination of
the artist's personality and gesture.
The primary objective of Minimalism was the extreme simplicity of form. using industrial material such as steel plates, firebricks, and fluorescent
tubes. Usually the forms were left untreated or were colored with monochromatic and/or primary colors. The often modular use of forms suggests
that the objects are serial or factory produced. The creative process of Minimalism determined that the work of art should be entirely conceived in
the mind before its creation. In this way, it is related to Conceptual art but the essence of Minimalism is completely different from Conceptual art.
While the dematerialization of the art object was advocated by Conceptual artists, Minimalists continued the conventional concentration on shape
and color.
The abstract style of Minimalism sought to distance artwork even farther from its “traditional associations and roots and to create works of an
impersonal and anonymous nature.”
Robert Morris began to assert that you did not have to actually make the art object -- the thought itself was good enough .
Minimalism is best exemplified through its three dimensional objects but the work of many two dimensional artist is related to their pursuits.
Future investigation of these connections can be made by looking into the work of artists such as Frank Stella, Robert Ryman, Robert Mangold,
Agnes Martin and Brice Marden.
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Why did the Minimalists reject painting? What characterizes their work?
In what way did Hard-Edge paintings become objects rather than reflections of objects? What do paintings in this style emphasize?
Conceptual
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What is Conceptual art an art of? What were artists like Kosuth angered by?
Site specific
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What is a site-specific artwork? What is an earthwork? How do they differ?
[CHP. 28- POP ART, OP ART, MINIMALISM, & CONCEPTUALISM]
P A G E | 12
Installation
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What is installation art? How does it differ from sculpture?
Performance
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What is performance art?
Realism/Photoreal
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What is the main difference between the paintings of Photorealists and most earlier realist painting? What is the sculptural counterpart
to Photorealism?
Other
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Visit Sandy Skoglund's website and view her recent works Shimmering Madness, Landscape in Roses, and Breathing Glass. Describe each
work and discuss the possible motivations behind each piece
Michael Graves is a renowned architect and designer. Visit the Michael Graves & Associates website and discuss the various different
areas in which he and his firm produce design.
Masami Teraoka combines American pop with Japanese Ukiyo-e aesthetics. Visit the Teraoka site and discuss McDonald's Hamburgers
and 31 Flavors Invading Japan.
Frederick Hart said of art, "It must be an enriching, ennobling and vital partner in the public pursuit of civilization." Visit the Hart site and
discuss the works that you believe achieved this goal.
Philip Johnson has been a major force in American architecture. Explore the Johnson site and discuss the evolution of his designs.
What is Post-modernist photography? Browse through the works of Sarah Charlesworth and discuss her work and the Post-modernist
approach.
Cindy Sherman is known for her images of popular culture. Recently she had an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of her Untitled
Film Still Series. Visit the MOMA at http://www.moma.org/exhibitions/sherman/ and view her work. Discuss this series in the context of
Post-modernist values.
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