MODERNISM Joseph Beuys [German Conceptual Artist, 1921-1986] The End of the 20th Century, 1982-3

From 1960 to Now
Hans Hofmann [German/American Abstract Expressionist, 1880-1966]

1. Premodernism: Original meaning is possessed by authority (for example, the Catholic Church). The individual is dominated by tradition. 2. Modernism: The enlightenment-humanist rejection of tradition and authority in favour of reason and natural science. This is founded upon the assumption of the autonomous individual as the sole source of meaning and truth--the Cartesian cogito. Progress and novelty are valorized within a linear conception of history--a history of a "real" world that becomes increasingly real or objectified. 3. Postmodernism: A rejection of the sovereign autonomous individual with an emphasis upon anarchic collective, anonymous experience. Collage, diversity, the mystically unrepresentable, Dionysian passion are the foci of attention. Most importantly we see the dissolution of distinctions, the merging of subject and object, self and other. This is a sarcastic playful parody of western modernity and the "John Wayne" individual and a radical, anarchist rejection of all attempts to define, reify or re-present the human subject.

Modernism in the Arts (ca 1860s – 1960s)

Manet: Au Café, 1878 Courbet: L'Origine du monde,1866

Klimt: The Kiss, 1907

Henri Matisse


Salvador Dali


Clement Greenberg 1909–1994

Robert Motherwell Frank Stella

Henry Moore

Franz Kline

Edouard Manet

Abstract Expressionism
Helen Frankenthaler Mark Rothko

Willem de Kooning Barnett Newman

Jackson Pollock



Sarah Lucas, Au Naturel, 1994

Hepworth, Barbara Two Figures, 1954-55



art, architecture, literature, science, social art, architecture, film, literature, philosophy philosophy Hegel, Marx, Freud, Arnold, Habermas, Dewey, Nietzsche Lyotard, Jameson, Baudrillard, Rorty, Groux, Aronowitz, Grossberg, Simon, Haraway, Nicholson - challenge to modernism - focus on difference/Other, multiplicity, and partiality; - no foundation for knowledge - focus on culture and representation within late capitalism, hyper-reality, simulacrum - collapse of hierarchies of culture; - parody, pastiche, irony as dominant forms of cultural commentary - fragmented, contradictory subject ludic; resistant; shocking; ironic

Key Writers

Key characteristics and concepts

- Meta/grand/master narratives of Truth, progress, civilization, universality, and order - rationality, reason, and objectivity; unity, order, and control a premise of freedom - essential, unified subject - knowledge as foundational


traditional/classical; progressive

Postmodernism (ca. 1970s – present)
Robert Rauschenberg

David Hockney

Graves Astrid Park Plaza, Antwerp

Venturi column Richter, Gerhard Betty, 1988

Fountain (after Marcel Duchamp: A.P.) Sherrie Levine 1991

Claes Oldenburg’s declaration of 1961: ‘I am for an art that is political-erotical-mystical … I am for an art that embroils itself with everyday crap and still comes out on top’.

Claes Oldenburg

The Guerilla Girls

Barbara Kruger

Georg Baselitz Nude Elke 2, 1976

Francesco Clemente Atlas, 1982

Joerg Immendorff, Cafe Deutschland IV, 1978

Enzo Cucchi Painting of the Precious Fires, 1983

Julian Schnabel self portrait, 1987

Tansey, Mark Triumph of the New York School, 1984

Cindy Sherman

Troy Brauntuch Sherrie Levine

Robert Longo

Trends in Postmodern Art Art and Mass Culture

Barbara Kruger

Richard Hamilton

Andy Warhol

Trends in Postmodern Art

Tracy Emin, 'My Bed', 1998

Trends in Postmodern Art Video

Trends in Postmodern Art Performance Art Gilbert and George

Josef Beuys

Trends in Postmodern Art Photography

Jo Spence

Trends in Postmodern Art MultiCulturalism

Australian Aboriginal Art Emily Kame Kngwarreye 1910 - 1996

Trends in Postmodern Art Art And Gender

Judy Chicago: The Dinner Party, 1979

Trends in Postmodern Art Public Art and Controversy

Richard Serra: Tilted Arc, 1981 (now destroyed)

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