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The “end” of Modernism marked by the fall of Europe and the rise of the United States as the heir of the School of Paris Abstract Expressionism The New.

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Presentation on theme: "The “end” of Modernism marked by the fall of Europe and the rise of the United States as the heir of the School of Paris Abstract Expressionism The New."— Presentation transcript:

1 The “end” of Modernism marked by the fall of Europe and the rise of the United States as the heir of the School of Paris Abstract Expressionism The New York School Between the modern and the postmodern

2 Totalitarian art and architecture: Paris World Fair 1937 (left) German Pavilion by Albert Speer with Comrades, by Joseph Thorak (right) USSR Pavilion, Vera Mukhina, The Worker and The Collective Farm Woman, welded sheets of stainless steel. Notice gigantic scale, signaling the insignificance of the individual relative to the state.

3 Picasso, Guernica, 1937, Paris Worlds Fair, Spanish Pavilion

4 ANXIOUS VISIONS for anxious times – Spanish Civil War and impending World War Salvador Dali, Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonitions of Civil War, 1936, oil on canvas, 39 x 39” (Spanish Civil War), Surrealism

5 Hitler and Goebbels visit the Degenerate Art Exhibition, Munich, 1937 (insert below) German Expressionist, “degenerate” artist, Max Beckmann at MoMA NYC in 1947 with 1933 painting, Departure

6 (left) Nazi 1937 music poster for degenerate art exhibition. Jazz was despised as Jewish (Star of David) and Black. (right) Degenerate art show installation – “Dada” with confiscated works by modern masters, Kurt Schwitters and Paul Klee artworks visible

7 National Socialist (Nazi) Realism Arno Breker, (left) Comradeship, 1940; (right) The Party, 1938

8 German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler (Austrian-German,1889-1945) Photograph sent to Eva Braun after occupation of Paris,1940 The Fall of Paris marks “the end” of Modernism

9 1940 - Occupation of Paris signifies the “end” of Modernism “ Hundreds of refugee European artists, scholars, and scientists came to the United States. Surrealism is the last European art movement. Center of world of art shifts from Paris to New York City. Photo of émigré artists for 1942 exhibition, “Artists in Exile” at the Pierre Matisse gallery, New York

10 Nazi (Axis) Blitzkrieg of London, beginning in 1941, inaugurating the ceaseless bombing of civilian populations throughout the war by both sides

11 Soviet (Allied) bombing of Berlin, August 11, 1941 Dresden, September 1945 after fire bombings by British & American air forces – 30,000 deaths

12 (left) Francis Bacon (British), panel from Three Studies for a Crucifixion, 1947 (right) Alberto Giacometti (Swiss), Pointing Man, 1947 Europe after the War: Existentialist Expressionism

13 Neo Rauch, Das Neue (The New), 2003

14 "We came from the people, we remain part of the people, and see ourselves as the executor of the people's will.“ (left) Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister for People's Enlightenment and Propaganda: 1938 Nazi propaganda rally in Graz. (right) Hans Haacke, And You Were Victorious After All, Graz, Germany, 1988, a reconstruction of 1938 Nazi propaganda, a public art work attacked and destroyed.

15 The atrocities of the Holocaust threw Western humanist culture, with its premise that man is essentially good and perfectable, into crisis. Auschwitz, near Warsaw Poland, largest of the Nazi concentration camps, was liberated by Soviet troops in January, 1945 German Jewish philosopher Theodor Adorno, exiled to New York, asserted that "writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric." "Selection" on the unloading ramp at Birkenau, May/June 1944. To be sent to the right meant assignment to a work detail; to the left, the gas chambers.

16 American atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, August 6, 1945 Aftermath of Hiroshima bomb – estimated 90,000–166,000 deaths The total estimated human loss of life caused by World War II was roughly 72 million people. The civilian toll was around 47 million. The Allies lost about 61 million people, and the Axis lost 11 million.

17 The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Nagasaki (August 9). Japan surrendered six days later and ended WW II. The bomb killed 90,000– 166,000 people in Hiroshima and 60,000– 80,000 in Nagasaki, with roughly half of the deaths in each city occurring on the first day and the rest within four months. Almost all were civilians. Right: Nagasaki before (top) and after (the atomic bomb).

18 Post-colonialism is one of the most important historical contexts for today’s global culture Decolonization of Europe’s empires occurred after World War II. Ghana gained independence in 1957, the first in sub- Saharan Africa.

19 The Algerian War of Independence from France (1954 -1962), one of many such anti-colonial wars for national identity. De-colonization characterized the post- modern period. Bomb blast, Algiers, 1957 Poster for film about the Algerian War of Independence from France.

20 World map in 1980: The Cold War (1947-1991)

21 Berlin Wall, August 13, 1961, the German Democratic Republlic (Communist East Germany) began under the leadership of Erich Honecker to block off East Berlin and the GDR from West Berlin by means of barbed wire and antitank obstacles. Construction crews replaced the provisional barriers by a solid wall.

22 American Abstract Expressionism: Two modes: gestural abstraction (Action Painting) and chromatic abstraction (also called “Sublime” or “Color Field” painting)

23 “The Irascibles” (Abstract Expressionists), Life Magazine cover story, 1951 Theodoros Stamos, Jimmy Ernst, Barnett Newman, James Brooks, Mark Rothko, Richard Pousette- Dart, William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Hedda Sterne



26 Post WW II: New York becomes the capital of the art world (left) Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) painting, 1950 (right) Willem de Kooning (1904–97) painting Woman I, 1951 “Action Painting”

27 Willem de Kooning, Orestes, 1947 compare (right) Arshile Gorky, biomorphic surrealist cubism, 1936-7

28 Willem de Kooning making an early study for Woman I, c.1950-1951 (right) Woman I, 1950-2

29 Willem de Kooning (American, born The Netherlands, 1904–1997) (left) Woman, 1944, oil and charcoal on canvas, 46 x 32 in. (right) De Kooning, The Painter, 1940

30 (left) Willem de Kooning, Pink Angels, c. 1945, oil and charcoal on canvas (right) Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, 1618

31 Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950-2 Venus of Willendorf, limestone, painted with ochre, 4 3/4 inches, ca. 25,000 years old

32 De Kooning, Gotham News, 1955 “Action Painting” – Abstract Expressionism

33 De Kooning, Gotham News, 1955, with detail of upper right Action Painting

34 De Kooning in studio, Springs, NY, 1960s

35 Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956) painting in Springs NY studio, 1950 Action Painting – American Abstract Expressionism “I believe the easel picture to be a dying form.” (Guggenheim Application, 1947) 8 August 1949 issue of Life magazine: first artist to become a media celebrity James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause

36 Lee Krasner (American, 1908 -1984) in New York studio, mid-1930s Blue Painting, 1946, oil on canvas, 28 x 36” Met Pollock in 1942; married him in 1945.

37 Pollock, Going West, 1934-35 ; compare: Thomas Hart Benton, The Ballad of the Jealous Lover of Lone Green Valley, 1934, Oil/tempera/canvas

38 (left) Pollock, Flame, 1934, and (below left) Naked Man with a Knife, 1938, o/c, 50 x 36” Compare (right) David Alfaro Siqueiros (Mexican, 1896–1975), Collective Suicide, 1935, enamel on wood with applied sections, 49" x 6‘ (“Il Duco”)

39 Pollock, Pasiphae, 1943; compare André Masson, Pasiphae, 1943 Surrealism (subjective mythos and automatism) and Jungian psychoanalysis: the collective unconscious

40 Pollock, Guardians of the Secret, 1943, SFMoMA

41 Jackson Pollock, Mural, 19'10" x 8‘1“, 1943 commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim

42 Jackson Pollock, Full Fathom Five, 1947, oil on canvas with nails, tacks, buttons, key, coins, cigarettes, matches, etc., 50 7/8 x 30 1/8,“ MoMA. Partly poured and partly conventionally-painted abstraction.

43 Hans Namuth, photographs and film stills of Pollock Painting, 1951

44 Jackson Pollock, Number 1, 1950 (Lavender Mist),1950, oil, enamel, and aluminum on canvas, 7 ft 3 in x 9 ft 10 in, National Gallery of Art

45 Navajo sand painting, a spiritual / healing practice; compare to “Action Painting”: the automatist, performance methods of Jackson Pollock “I feel nearer, more part of the painting.... This is akin to the method of Indian sand painters of the West" - Pollock Pollock created "drip" paintings for only a few years 1947-51

46 Louise Lawler (American, born 1947), Pollock and Tureen, Arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Burton Tremaine, Connecticut, 1984, silver dye bleach print; 28 x 39 in.

47 American Abstract Expressionist Chromatic Expressionism Painters of the Sublime Barnett Newman & Mark Rothko

48 Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774 -1840), Monk by the Seashore, 1809-10, German Romantic Sublime

49 Wassily Kandinsky (Russian 1866-1944) Composition IV, 1911, oil on canvas, showing objective forms “veiled” and “dissolved” as a way to move the viewer from material to spiritual consciousness. Kandinsky’s internationally influential theoretical text, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, was published in 1911

50 Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930, o/c, 20 x 20” Neo-Plasticism – dynamic equilibrium (without symetry) of opposites symbolizes reconciliation of universal dualities (e.g: male> { "@context": "", "@type": "ImageObject", "contentUrl": "", "name": "Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930, o/c, 20 x 20 Neo-Plasticism – dynamic equilibrium (without symetry) of opposites symbolizes reconciliation of universal dualities (e.g: male>

51 Kasimir Malevich, 0.10: The Last Futurist Exhibition, in 1915, Saint Petersburg, Russia

52 Barnett Newman (1905-1970), Pagan Void, 1946, oil on canvas, 33 x 38” At this point the artist destroys all previous works. “The Ideographic Picture”

53 Barnett Newman, Genesis -- The Break, 1946, oil on canvas, 24 x 27” (c.61 x 69 cm), Dia Center for the Arts

54 Barnett Newman, Onement I (1948), 27 1/4 inches by 16 1/4 inches, oil on canvas and oil on masking tape on canvas; (right) Kasimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition: White on White, 1918, oil on canvas, 79,5 x 79,5 cm.

55 Barnett Newman Vir Heroicus Sublimis (Man, Heroic, Sublime) 1950-51, o/c, 8 x 18 ft “We are freeing ourselves of the impediments of memory, association, nostalgia, legend, myth, or what have you, that have been the devices of Western European painting.”

56 Barnett Newman and an unidentified viewer with Cathedra in Newman's studio, 1958.

57 Barnett Newman, Broken Obelisk, 1971, Cor-Ten steel, one of four copies, Rothko Chapel, Houston;

58 Barnett Newman, Broken Obelisk, MoMA, New York, 2008.

59 Mark Rothko (American b. Marcus Rothkowitz, Lithuania 1903 -1970) (left) Self-Portrait, o/c, 32/25”, 1936; (right) Entrance to Subway [Subway Scene], o/c, 1938 "Art Must be Tragic and Timeless"

60 Surrealism and myth Mark Rothko, Omen of the Eagle, 1942 In a 1943 letter to the New York Times co-written with Barnett Newman, Rothko wrote: “It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints, as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess a spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art."

61 Biomorphic Surrealism and automatism "It was with the utmost reluctance that I found the figure could not serve my purposes....But a time came when none of us could use the figure without mutilating it.“ Mark Rothko, (left) Sea Fantasy, 1946; (right) Untitled, 1944/1945

62 Rothko, (left) Number 7, 1947-48; (right) No. 15 Multiform,1949

63 Rothko, Untitled,1949, National Gallery of Art

64 Mark Rothko, Untitled [Blue, Green, and Brown],1952; West 53 rd St. studio, NYC, 1952 "The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them."

65 Mark Rothko, No. 14, 1960, o/c, 9.48 x 9.70 ft, SFMoMA

66 Rothko Chapel suite of paintings, 1965-66, De Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, 1970, Chapel architect, Philip Johnson “I wanted to paint both the finite and the infinite…. I was always looking for something more.” - Mark Rothko

67 Robert Motherwell (American, 1915-1991), Elegy to the Spanish Republic #34, 1953-54, oil on canvas, 80 x 100" Motherwell painted over 150 works in the Elegy series between 1948-1991 inspired by the defeat of the Spanish Republic in the civil war of 1936-1939, which left fascist dictator Francisco Franco in power. The artist was 21 years old in 1936.

68 Robert Motherwell, Elegy to the Spanish Republic #70, 1961, oil on canvas, 69 x 114 in. (175.3 x 289.6 cm) "a funeral song for something one cared about"

69 David Smith (American, 1906 -1965) Smith at “Terminal Iron Works, Boiler-Tube Makers and Ship-Deck.” (Brooklyn NYC), iron-welding workshop used as Smith’s studio between 1933-1940

70 David Smith, series of 15 bronze medals inspired by Nazi war medals he had seen in Europe. (top left) Untitled Study, 1939, pencil on paper, 11 in. (top center) Medal for Dishonor: Private Law and Order Leagues, 1939 (right below) Bombing Civilians, 1939, cast bronze, 10 3/4 in. S

71 Exhibition Catalogue: "Medals for Dishonor by David Smith" Willard Gallery, New York, November 1940. cover and page, text and design by Smith

72 David Smith, (left) Jurassic Bird, painted steel, 1945 (right top) Specter of Profit, 1946 steel and stainless steel with (right below) Smith’s notebook sketches from the Museum of Natural History

73 (left) DavidSmith, Australia, 1951, painted steel, 6' 7 x 8'12" x 16" (on cinder block base) “Drawing in space” (right) Julio Gonzalez (Spanish, 1876-1942), Woman Combing Her Hair, 1932; (below center) Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Head of a Woman, 1933

74 David Smith, "drawing in space“ welding, construction, assemblage process Surrealist & Action Painting automatism, spontaneity (right) Compare Picasso studio, 1912 with constructed guitar (first constructed sculpture)

75 Compare David Smith with RUSSIAN CONSTRUCTIVIST sculptors (left) Third Obmokhu (student) exhibition, Moscow, 1920 Vladimir Tatlin, Monument to the Third International, model completed in 1920 Smith, Voltri XVII, 1962 95 in. H

76 Smith, Hudson River Landscape, detail and two views, 1951 “Drawing in Space” (2-D perception?)

77 Smith, Tanktotems, 1951-2; (center top) Picasso, Bull’s Head, 1943; (center below) photo of tank tops c.1951) – anthropomorphism, found materials assemblage welding

78 David Smith, Zig IV, painted steel, 1963

79 Voltri series, 1962, 27 welded sculptures in 30 days

80 David Smith, (left) Cubi XXVII, 1965, 111” H; (center) Cubi XVII, 1963, stainless steel Detail showing polished surface “gesture”

81 David Smith, Cubi sculpture at NYC Guggenheim, 2006 exhibition

82 Smith surveying his “personages” at Bolton landing, 1963 Smith died 2 years later in a pickup truck crash. The “Tragic Generation”

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