Day 32: Post-Modernism

Modern Art, Day 33
19 April 2013
Post-Modern Architecture and Pop Art
Eero Saarinen, “TWA Flight Center at Kennedy Airport, New York,” 1956-62
 Wanted it to be reminiscent of space travel, with very futuristic, space age feel
Frank Lloyd Wright, “Guggenheim Museum, New York,” 1943-59
 curves create dynamic experience
Robert Venturi, “Vanna Venturi House, Chestnut Hill,” 1961
 built for architect’s mother
 uses Wright’s notion as the hearth as the organizing principle for the house
 plan is within a basic rectangle, but the spaces inside the rectangle are very unusual and
wouldn’t have been used by Wright or Le Corbusier
 front and back don’t correspond at all
 no absolute symmetry
 similar vocabulary to Monticello, but playful post-modern interpretation
o part of post-modernism is defining who we are, and looking at the past is one way
to do that
 Post-modern architecture: doesn’t worry about functionality, big departure from modern
Jasper Johns, “Flag,” 1954 (encaustic/newspaper on canvas)
 somewhat predicts in his work the emergence of pop art, although there are more
differences between his work and pop art than there are similarities
 not sure if Johns is being patriotic or critical of America; the ambiguity in meaning is
common in his work
o some attribute this to his homosexuality identity in a heterosexual world; Johns was
outed by an art historian
Johns, “Painting with 2 Balls,” 1960
 shared Duchamp’s idea that artists hide behind art with witty titles
Johns, “Target with Plaster Casts,” 1955
 Red Scare extended even to the art world
gives qualities to familiar objects that we wouldn’t normally expect
reading the boxes from right to left there is a black animal bone, then a yellow heel of a
foot, then a green penis, then an orange ear, then a pink breast, then a red hand, then a
whitish face, then a blue empty box, then a red foot
challenges the systems of communications that we take for granted as having meaning but
actually only have meaning because we’ve imposed meaning on them as part of our
Johns subjects even his own works to questioning (takes his own flag painting and makes a
white version of it where the stars and stripes are barely discernible); questions what is a flag
when there aren’t colors or clear articulation of the symbols in them for us to see it?