May 13
Modernism in America



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







Neo Dada = style of art which reinvestigates Dada's use of irony, found objects and banal activities as instruments of social and aesthetic critique



Robert Rauschenberg. Monogram. 1955 - 1959.







monogram =a sign of identity usually formed of the combined initials of a name
examples of mongrams
combine = a work (typically associated with Robert Rauschenberg) that combines ordinary objects and collage materials with abstract expressionist brushwork in new, unexpected ways







Monogram detail

Robert Rauschenberg. Monogram detail. 1955 - 1959.
Rauschenberg, Robert .  Robert Rauschenberg: Combines.  Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005.







Monogram back

Robert Rauschenberg. Monogram (back) . 1955 - 1959.
Rauschenberg, Robert .  Robert Rauschenberg: Combines.  Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2005.








Jasper Johns. Flag. 1954 - 55.
Joselit, David. American Art Since 1945. London: Thames & Hudson, 2003.







encaustic = a painting medium in which pigment is suspended in hot wax

Jasper Johns. Flag (detail).  1954 -55.




Pop Art = art movement of the 1960s that dealt with images from mass culture
1947 10,000 televisions in U.S. homes
1957 40 million televisions in U.S. homes
1962 Average American exposed to 1600 advertising images a day







"Pop should be: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short-term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low-cost, Mass-produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big Business" - Richard Hamilton

Richard Hamilton. Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? 1956.







Drowning Girl

Roy Lichtenstein. Drowning Girl. 1963.







Andy warhol.  Marilyn Diptych.  1962.