Washing Off Patriarchy
"At last, a woman on paper!" - Alfred Stieglitz
 
Time for Student Evaluations
Georgia O'Keefe, Oriental Poppies, 1928.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O' Keefe, 1918.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keefe, 1918.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The show is strong...one long, loud blast of sex, sex in youth, sex in adolescence, sex in maturity, sex as gaudy as Ten Nights in a Whorehouse, sex as pure as the vestal virgins, sex bulging, sex tumescent, sex deflated...Perhaps only half the sex is on the walls, the rest is probably in me." - Lewis Mumford reviewing Georgia O'Keefe's work
Georgia O'Keefe "found expression in delicately veiled symbolism for what every woman knows but what women heretofore kept to themselves." - Marilyn Stokstad
"I hate flowers- I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move!" - Georgia O'Keefe
Georgia O'Keefe, Red Canna, c. 1924.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia O' Keefe, Music Pink and Blue No. 2, 1918.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clement Greenberg's words, ". . . the greatest part of her work adds up to little more than tinted photography. The lapidarian patience she has expended in trimming, breathing upon, and polishing these bits of opaque cellophane betrays a concern that has less to do with art than with private worship and the embellishment of private fetishes with secret and arbitrary meanings." - Clement Greenberg 1946
 
Georgia O'Keefe, Pelvis with Distance, 1943.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historic Context
 
1929 - 1941
Great Depression

1933
Hitler's Nazi Party seizes power - end of Weimar Republic
 
New Deal begins - program of government spending that included two departments (the FSA and the FAP) that employed artists
 

FAP artists received famous salary of $23.86 / week at a time when a Woolworth's clerk earned $11 /week

 
40% of those receiving aide from the FAP were women
1939 - 1945
World War II
 
Largest & deadliest war in history with over 62 million deaths
1941
Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
1942
Rosie the Riveter character helps increase the number of US women working to 20 million (an increase of 57% from 1940)
 
The average man working in a war-time plant paid $54.65 / week, while women were paid $31.21 / week
1945
First use of the Atomic Bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki
 
J. Howard Miller, Rosie the Riviter, 1942.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lange on Car with Camera
New Deal - program of government spending that included two departments (the FSA and the FAP) that employed artists
 

FAP artists received famous salary of $23.86 / week at a time when a Woolworth's clerk earned $11 /week

40% of those receiving aide from the FAP were women
Dorothea Lange off Hwy 101

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Migrant Mother untouched
Migrant Mother
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, 1936.
Midweed Pictorial spread using Migrant Mother image.  October 17, 1936.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florence and Daughters

Bill Ganzel, Florence Owens Thompson and her daughters Norma, Katherine and Ruby, 1979.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie the Riveter character helps increase the number of US women working to 20 million
  • An increase of 57% from 1940
  • The average man working in a war-time plant paid $54.65 / week, while women were paid $31.21 / week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Woman working on the A-31 Vengeance bomber in Tennessee (1943)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie the Riveter Memorial, Richmond, CA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiroshima aftermath, 1945.
Victim of Hiroshima nuclear bombing, 1945.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miller Bathing in Hitler's Tub

Lee Miller, Miller Bathing in Hitler's Bath, 1945.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cologne Cathedral after allied bombing
Alfred Eisenstaedt, V.J. Day, 1945.
   
 
The Kissing Sailor or the Selective
Blindness of Rape Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After WWII, the U.S. emerged as a powerful world economic, political and cultural leader....

 

Female WWII Pilots
 

and the women who had been an integral part of the war effort were told to go home to their shiny pans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornucopia

Abstract Expressionism = term used to describe a wide variety of work produced in New York between 1940 and 1960
 
  • As the name suggests, the style combines two important strains of modern art:
  • Abstraction - emphasized a non-representational, formalist approach to the picture plane
  • Expressionism - sought emotional responses from both the artist and the viewer
 
Formalism = the concept that a work's artistic value is entirely determined by its form - the way it is made, its purely visual aspects and its medium.  Formalism emphasizes compositional elements such as color, line, shape and texture rather than realism, context and content.
Lee Krasner, Cornucopia, 1958.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Abstract Expressionists worked intuitively
City Landscape
automatism = technique whereby the usual intellectual control of the artist over the brush is foregone.  The artist's aim is to allow the subconscious to create the artwork without rational reference.
  • Resulting in highly personal marks generated by the subconscious
  • As if the artist were delving deeply into their psyche and spilling their inner beings onto the canvas

Joan Mitchell, City Landscape, 1955.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images Surfacing

Bacchanale

Highest praise given to Krasner by Hofmann: "this painting is so good you'd never know it was done by a woman."
 
Image Surfacing sold at auction in 2004 for $153,000
 
In 2006, a work by Pollock from the same period was purchased privately for $140 million, making it the most expensive work of art at the time
Lee Krasner, Image Surfacing, c. 1945.
Hans Hofmann, Bachanale, 1946.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn rhythm

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Magasin 8/8/1949

“The problem with Abstract Expressionism, then and now, is that it had been perceived as a peculiarly male phenomenon.  The standard image of the Abstract Expressionist painter – exemplified by Jackson Pollock – is a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, angst-ridden man hanging out with his cronies at the Cedar Bar or savagely flinging paint at an enormous canvas.” - Nancy  Heller
August 8, 1949 issue of Life Magazine
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pollock and Krasner in the studio

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner in the studio, 1949.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noon

Lee Krasner, Noon, 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Krasner, Volcanic, 1951.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Krasner, Shattered Color, 1947.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Lilies

Lee Krasner, Easter Lilies, 1956.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen

Lee Krasner, Listen, 1957.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Micol Hebron "Sisterhood is Powerful"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krasner, Pollock, Greenberg & Frankenthaler

Pollock, Greenberg, unidentified boy, Frankenthaler & Krasner
 
Helen Frankenthaler was the "Only woman painter of the period who has
consistently dismissed gender as an issue." - Whitney Chadwick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountains and Sea

Helen Frankenthaler, Mountains and Sea, 1952. 7' 2" X 9' 8".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bay

Robins Wrap

Helen Frankenthaler, The Bay, 1963.

Helen Frankenthaler, Robinson's Wrap, 1974.

Article on The Bay's restoration
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core ideas of Greenberg's Formalism:
 
Concept of the "mainstream" = art history is strictly linear and progressive.  Each new style builds upon its predecessors, making them obsolete

Sunday Afternoon

 
Only one dominant style exists at any given time
Any work outside of the dominate style is minor and should not be given consideration
 
Elaine De Kooning, Sunday Afternoon, 1957.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Cathedral

The avant-garde enacted a continuous stripping away of subject matter, illusion and pictorial space
 
Art can only advance through the elimination of the figure
 
Louise Nevelson, Sky Cathedral Southern Mountain, 1959.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concrete distinction between high and low art

Pink Flamingo

Kitsch = mass produced, low quality, consumer culture
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Convergence

Polar Stampede

Jackson Pollock, Convergence, 1952.
Lee Krasner, Polar Stamped, 1960.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hudson River Landscape
Looking North
David Smith, Hudson River Landscape, 1951.
Dorothy Dehner, Looking North, 1964.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman I

JFK

Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950-1952.
Elaine De Kooning, John F. Kennedy, 1963.

 

"Elaine de Kooning's comparatively meager institutional recognition as an artist can be attributed to her conscious flouting of the AbEx framework. External factors like her marriage to Willem de Kooning and her role as an Art News critic exacerbated the lack of recognition as an artist, and her adherence to portraiture certainly entailed artistic isolation at that time. From today's point of view, her series of sitting, faceless men seems particularly successful in that it shows the tension between recognition and misrecognition of those portrayed: The more she attempted to represent her male sitters, the more "empty" their faces became. For Willem de Kooning, though, portraits were nothing more than 'pictures that girls made.'" - June Underwood