May 11
Modernism in America



Man Ray. Ingres' Violin. 1924.
Rosenblum, Naomi. A World History of Photography.
Abbeville Press, New York. 1989.

1924 - mid 1940s
1900 Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams
Surrealist Manifesto proclaimed:
Unconscious mind more powerful than the conscious mind
Sought to make visible the imagery of the unconscious
Purpose of their art was to resolve the two states of dream and reality into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality







Salvador Dali. The Persistence of Memory. 1931.


"The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad." - Salvador Dali








Meret Oppenheim. Object (Luncheon in Fur). 1936.
Preble, Duane, Sarah Preble and Patrick Frank. Artforms. Seventh ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002.







The Two Fridas

Frida Kahlo. The Two Fridas. 1939.








Pablo Picasso. Guernica. 1937.
Preble, Duane, Sarah Preble and Patrick Frank. Artforms. Seventh ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002.


"Painting is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war for attack and defense against the enemy." - Picasso







Spotlight on History

Attack on Pearl Harbor.  December 7, 1941.

Great Depression begins
Hitler's Nazi Party seizes power
New Deal begins - program of government spending to end the Great Depression
1936 - 1939
Spanish Civil War
1939 - 1945
Will be the largest and deadliest war in history with about 62 million deaths
Japanese attack Pearl Harbor
US bombs Hiroshima and Nagasaki - first use of the atomic bomb
Founding of the United Nations







Autumn Rhythm

Jackson Pollock. Autumn Rhythm (Number 30). 1950.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Revised Second ed. Vol. 2. New York: Prentice Hall Inc., and Harry N. Abrams, 2005.







What's so innovative about Jackson Pollock's drip paintings?

Pollock working

Jackson Pollock at work, 1950.

Painted horizontally, on the floor
Used "everyday" paint and sticks
Instead of traditional artist's materials
Works intuitively with an automatist technique
Considers space in a completely new way
Rejects Renaissance perspective
All-over composition
Painted gestures move across the picture plane
rather than into it
The painter becomes the painting's subject
"He transformed the obligation for social relevance, a pervasive current between the wars, into an unrelenting moral commitment to a search for the self." - Fineberg







Lee Krasner.  Easter Lilies.  1956.
Fichner-Rathus, Lois.  Understanding Art.  Seventh edition.  Australia: Thomson Wadsworth, 2004.

"My opinion is that new needs need new techniques…the modern painter cannot express his age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio in the old forms of the Renaissance…the modern artist is living in a mechanical age…working and expressing an inner world- in other words, expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces." - Jackson Pollock







Woman and Bicycle

Willem de Kooning. Woman and Bicycle. 1952-3.







At Five in the Afternoon

Robert Motherwell. At Five in the Afternoon. 1949.







Garcia Lorca

Federico Garcia Lorca

Garcia Lorca poem, "Lament for Ignacio Sanchez Mejias"
Lorca wrote the poem to lament the death of his bullfighter friend
Three symbolic colors in the poem:
Red = blood
White = blinding light of the sun
Black = death