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Introduction to American Art Topics for this course Abstract


Introduction to American Art Topics for this course Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Colour field artists: Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to American Art Topics for this course Abstract

Introduction to American Art
Topics for this course
  • Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock, Willem
    de Kooning,
  • Colour field artists Mark Rothko, Barnett
    Newman, Helen Frankenthaler,
  • Pop artists Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns,
    Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg,
  • Feminist Artists Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro,
    Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman,
  • Realist Super Realist artists Edward Hopper,
    George Segal, Robert Estes, Audrey Flack, Duane

NCEA Assessment
  • A.S 90492 Examine Media and Processes in Art
  • Internal
  • 3 Credits
  • Assignment will be due on first day back of Term
    4 and issued 3-4 weeks before that.
  • You will be withdrawn from A.S 90494 Investigate
    an Art issue

Prior Knowledge check
  • In pairs, write down the following
  • Major historical events
  • Economic factors
  • Significant leaders
  • New ideas / philosophies
  • Social / technological shifts
  • Cultural developments
  • of the United States of America 1930-1980.

HISTORICAL CONTEXT Events that influenced Modern
American Art
The Armory Show 1913
  • This exhibition introduced Americans to the
    European Avant Garde art even though public was
    skeptical / scandalised!
  • Featured major Post-Impressionists, Fauves,
  • 1929 opening of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

RIGHT Marcel Duchamps Nude descending a
Staircase and a parody from a newspaper, Seeing
New York with a Cubist the Reds descending a
Armory Show highlights
  • Works such as these created an artistic
    renaissance in America. US artists were exposed
    to new styles and approaches.

LEFT Matisse Luxury II (1908) ABOVE Picasso
Woman with Pepper Pot (1910)
Great Depression
  • 1929 Great Depression. Destruction of the
    carefree life during the Roaring Twenties.
  • Artists began to look internally for inspiration
  • This led to an interest in Surrealism art of
    dreams and fantasy removed from terrors of

Precisionism - 1930s America becomes more
  • Precisionism (1929-1935) aka Cubist Realism
  • Style Crisp, linear, flat planes, hard edged
  • Themes Industrialization, Modernization
  • E.g. Charles Demuths I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold
    (1928), inspired by the poem The Great Figure,
    by Williams Carlos Williams

1930s Arrival of Diego Rivera and Mexican mural
  • Famous for murals showing history of his country
    / left wing revolution in Mexico city
  • Completed large scale murals in US e.g. Man at
    at the Crossroads at Radio City in the
    Rockefeller Center, New York

This mural, which contained a portrait of Lenin,
was destroyed around midnight of Feb 9, 1934, by
being chipped from the wall and smashed to
1930s Social Realism
  • Grant Woods 1930 work American Gothic showing
    a farmer and his spinster daughter.
  • Works shows the Puritan ethics of the Mid West.
  • Much art of this time was strongly regionalist.
  • Name some NZ artists who would be considered
    Regional realists

The New Deal 1929-1941
  • To relieve unemployment, Franklin D. Roosevelts
    WPA (Works Progress Admin) gave jobs to artists,
    writers and composers
  • Murals for public buildings
  • Plays / ballets for regional theatres
  • 1930s dominant art style was social realism

Edward Hopper 1940s Realist artist
  • Gas 1940
  • Nighthawks 1942

Hoppers work captures the isolation and
existential loneliness of the 20th C
World War II period (1941-1945)
  • Artists and intellectuals emigrate to America
    e.g. Albert Einstein, Mies Van der Rohe
    (architect), Aldous Huxley
  • European artists like Marcel Duchamp, Mondrian,
    Marc Chagall settled in New York become very

Rapid Industrialisation in WWII era
  • The Wreck of the Ole '97 ( 1943) by Thomas Hart
    Benton captures the tension between the
    industrialization of the American west and the
    disappearance of the Midwestern rural tradition

Surrealism comes to America
  • European Migrant painters Gorky and De Kooning
    explore surrealism, cubism, expressionism
  • Psychic Automatism
  • Influenced by Freuds theories of Psychoanalysis
    is used by artists who want to access their
  • RIGHT The Liver is the Cocks Comb Arshile Gorky

Post-War period (1945-1968)
  • US emerges as a superpower
  • US capitalist society, wealthy, high standard
    of living, attracted more migrants from Europe
    who enriched the arts scene (esp in NY)
  • However destruction of Pearl Harbour (atomic
    bomb) and Cold War atmosphere left people feeling
    a sense of depression and despair.
  • 70 of Americans expected a war with USSR within
    10 years

Post War period cont..
  • The New York School emerges 1st time an
    International style comes from USA
  • Their art captured the anger / pain of a
    generation who had faced the Great Depression as
    young people and lived through the horrors of
  • Einsteins Theory of Relativity and
  • Jean-Paul Sartres theory of Existentialism
    becomes influential

Abstract Expressionism emerges Late 1940s
  • Jackson Pollocks drip paintings
  • (One No 31, 1950)
  • Colour field paintings of Mark Rothko (Red,
    Orange, Tan, and Purple, 1949)

Vietnam and the Crisis of Confidence (1968-70)
  • Society / Politics
  • Anti-Vietnam / student Protests
  • Race riots
  • Civil Rights demonstrations
  • Assassinations
  • American moon landing
  • Literature Beat Poets Allan Ginsberg and Jack

Richard Rauschenberg Retroactive I, 1963
Pop art
  • Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol challenge the
    boundaries of art and comment on mass production
    / consumer culture of USA.
  • It was a celebration of the banal and familiar
    and countered the seriousness of Abstract

End of Pop Art - Super realism
  • Below Duane Hansons sculptures
  • Right Chuck Closes self portrait

Feminism the Womens movement (1970s)
  • Response to Sexual Revolution- availability of
    the pill Women seeking equal rights /
    opportunities sexual freedom
  • Womens arts - Craft movement challenge to art
  • Collaborative art
  • Performances
  • Political art
  • Right Judy Chicagos Dinner Party Project

Environmentalism Post-Modernism
  • Environmental awareness of 1970s led to earth
  • Barbara Krugers photo-montages 1980s

Robert Smithsons Spiral Jetty 1970
  • A good timeline of events
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