Postmodernity and Global Art

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After completing the chapter reading, students should answer the questions at the end of each chapter.  What are postmodern architects doing that modernists did not? What kinds of issues do postmodern artists take up in their work? What global issues are contemporary artists addressing?

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Prebles’ Artforms Twelfth Edition

Chapter 25

Postmodernity and Global Art

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Learning Objectives (1 of 2)

25.1 Describe the principal characteristics of postmodern and recent architecture.

25.2 Discuss some of the changes in painting styles since the 1980s

25.3 Identify the postmodern influence on contemporary photography.

25.4 Discuss the materials, techniques, and functions of contemporary sculpture.

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Learning Objectives (2 of 2)

25.5 Contrast examples of contemporary art produced for public spaces.

25.6 Discuss some causes artists have supported with socially conscious artworks.

25.7 Define the movement known as Post-Internet Art.

25.8 Explain the influence of globalism on contemporary art.

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Introduction

• Urge to rebel against the norm lost impact when rebellion became normal. – Few rules left to break

• Present-generation artists prefer to comment on life rather than perfect form, create beauty, or fine-tune sight.

– Relationships between what we see and how we think

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Architecture (1 of 4) 25.1 Describe the principal characteristics of postmodern and recent architecture.

• A departure from sterile, glass-box look – Buildings no longer all the same

• Venturi and Scott-Brown, Learning from Las Vegas – Urged architects to study the local, vernacular, and tacky

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Architecture (2 of 4) 25.1 Describe the principal characteristics of postmodern and recent architecture.

• Michael Graves, Public Services Building – Formal and playful – Elements without structural function

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Michael Graves. Public Services Building. Portland, Oregon. 1980–82. Photograph: Nikreates/Alamy. [Fig. 25-1]

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Architecture (3 of 4) 25.1 Describe the principal characteristics of postmodern and recent architecture.

• Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao – New shapes made possible by three-dimensional computer modeling

• Today’s architects try to make visually stunning buildings that fulfill function.

• Thom Mayne – Gates Hall at Cornell University

▪ Four-story atrium with glass exterior walls ▪ Exterior panels of perforated stainless steel

– Filter sunlight while promoting views ▪ “Light, light, light”

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Thom Mayne and Morphosis. Gates Hall, Cornell University. 2014–15. Photograph: Roland Halbe.

[Fig. 25-2]

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Architecture (4 of 4) 25.1 Describe the principal characteristics of postmodern and recent architecture.

• Artists finding low-tech solutions to local problems

• Kunlé Adeyemi – Community radio station for impoverished waterside settlement in Nigeria

▪ Welcoming dock ▪ Deck serves second purpose as an amphitheater

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Kunlé Adeyemi. Chicoco Radio Station, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. 2014. Courtesy of NLÉ, the architects. [Fig. 25-3]

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Painting (1 of 5) 25.2 Discuss some of the changes in painting styles since the 1980s.

• Neo-Expressionism – Susan Rothenburg

▪ Symbolic, heavily brushed works ▪ Muted palette with little color ▪ Juggler with Shadows

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Susan Rothenberg. Juggler with Shadows. 1987. Oil on canvas. 72-1/4” × 124-1/4”.

The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection. © 2018 Susan Rothenberg/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. [Fig. 25-4]

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Painting (2 of 5) 25.2 Discuss some of the changes in painting styles since the 1980s.

– Anselm Kiefer, Osiris and Isis ▪ Symbolic, mythology-loaded

– Indestructible creative forces of nature ▪ Heavily textured surface

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Anselm Kiefer. Osiris and Isis. 1985–87. Oil, acrylic, emulsion, clay, porcelain, lead, copper wire, and circuit board on canvas.

150” × 220-1⁄2” × 6-1⁄2”. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Purchased through a gift of Jean Stein, by exchange;

the Mrs. Paul L. Wattis Fund, and the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund. Photograph by Ben Blackwell. © Anselm Kiefer. [Fig. 25-5]

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Painting (3 of 5) 25.2 Discuss some of the changes in painting styles since the 1980s.

• Kerry James Marshall, Better Homes Better Gardens – Optimistic but not idealistic depictions – Couple walks down flowered pathway in a low-rise setting – Projects as places of community and neighborhood feeling despite whatever else

may happen there

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Kerry James Marshall. Better Homes Better Gardens. 1994. Acrylic and collage on canvas. 8’4” × 12’.

Denver Art Museum Collection: Funds from Polly and Mark Addison, the Alliance for Contemporary Art, Caroline Morgan, and Colorado Contemporary Collectors: Suzanne Farver, Linda and Ken Heller, Jan and Frederick Mayer, Beverly and Bernard Rosen, Annalee and Wagner Schorr, and anonymous donors, 1995.77. Photograph © Denver Art Museum. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. All

Rights Reserved. [Fig. 25-6]

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Painting (4 of 5) 25.2 Discuss some of the changes in painting styles since the 1980s.

• Relational Aesthetics – Rose across various media in the 1990s – Artist renounces control over the development and final appearance of the work – Artists created situations that depended on the viewer – Angela Bullock, Betaville

▪ Motion sensor paints lines on wall in response to viewer movements ▪ Work evolves over course of exhibition

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Angela Bulloch. Betaville. 1994. Drawing machine with switch bench. Drawing approx. 10’ × 10’.

Photograph © Fredrik Nilsen. Courtesy of Esther Schipper, Berlin. [Fig. 25-7]

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Painting (5 of 5) 25.2 Discuss some of the changes in painting styles since the 1980s.

• Mary Weatherford, Oxnard Ventura – Flashe, a new type of acrylic paint – Embeds handmade neon tubes into works

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Mary Weatherford. Oxnard Ventura. 2014. Flashe and neon on linen. 112-1/2” × 100” × 4-3/8”.

Photograph: Fredrik Nilsen. Courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. [Fig. 25-8]

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Photography (1 of 3) 25.3 Identify the postmodern influence on contemporary photography.

• Medium not objective as today’s cameras can lie

• Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #48 – Represents “teen movies” where misunderstood daughter runs away – Part of a series depicting women’s roles in film

▪ No references to specific films ▪ Stereotypes ironically recycled

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Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #48. 1979. Black-and-white photograph.

Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures. [Fig. 25-9]

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Photography (2 of 3) 25.3 Identify the postmodern influence on contemporary photography.

• Vik Muniz, Atlas (Carlão) – Arranged huge amounts of trash on studio floor then photographed it – Noble image of garbage collector

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Vik Muniz. Atlas (Carlão). 2008. From the series Pictures of Garbage. Photograph.

Photograph: Vik Muniz Studio. © Vik Muniz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. [Fig. 25-10]

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Photography (3 of 3) 25.3 Identify the postmodern influence on contemporary photography.

• Hassan Hajjaj, Kesh Angels – Moroccan-born photographer undermines stereotypes – Women wearing Muslim veils on motorcycles – Ironic version of product placement

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Hassan Hajjaj. Khadija. 2010. Metallic Lambda print on 3mm white Dibond. 53-1/2” × 36-3/4”.

Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York. [Fig. 25-11]

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Sculpture (1 of 3) 25.4 Discuss the materials, techniques, and functions of contemporary sculpture.

• Exploration of the value of shape – Anish Kapoor, To Reflect an Intimate Part of the Red

▪ Shapes recalling ancient religious structures sprinkled with powder ▪ Ritualistic

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Anish Kapoor. To Reflect an Intimate Part of the Red. 1981. Pigment and mixed media. Installation 78” × 314” × 314”.

Photograph: Andrew Penketh, London. Courtesy of Barbara Gladstone. [Fig. 25-12]

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Sculpture (2 of 3) 25.4 Discuss the materials, techniques, and functions of contemporary sculpture.

• Exploration of materials – Almost any substance or object – Rachel Harrison, This Is Not an Artwork

▪ Fake vegetables, wig model, cheap table and more objects ▪ Meditation on what is real versus representation

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Rachel Harrison. This Is Not an Artwork. 2006. Wood, polystyrene, cement, acrylic, table, fake vegetables, plastic surveillance camera, mannequin,

wig, cowboy hat, stickers, and plastic KISS figure with drum. 59” × 22” × 22”.

Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photograph: Jean Vong. [Fig. 25-13]

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Sculpture (3 of 3) 25.4 Discuss the materials, techniques, and functions of contemporary sculpture.

• 3-D printers the newest technology available to artists – Josh Kline, Tastemaker’s Choice

▪ Begins with high-resolution photos ▪ Creates 3-D models

– Adjusts size, color, texture

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Josh Kline. Tastemaker’s Choice. 2012. Six 3-D printed sculptures in acrylic-based photopolymer, various liquids, commercial shelving with

LED lights. 36-1/2” × 26-1/8” × 15-1/2”. Courtesy of the artist and 47 Canal, New York. Photograph: Joerg Lohse. [Fig. 25-14]

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Public Art (1 of 4) 25.5 Contrast examples of contemporary art produced for public spaces.

• Art that responds to the needs and hopes of broad masses of people

• Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial – “Initial act of violence” in cutting the land – Peaceful, reflective black granite surface – Names of dead and missing inscribed in chronological order by date of death

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Public Art (2 of 4) 25.5 Contrast examples of contemporary art produced for public spaces.

• Mandate that one-half of one percent the cost of public buildings be spent on art to embellish them

• Buster Simpson, Instrument Implement: Walla Walla Campanile – Computer encodes data from water temperature, flow level, dissolved gases and

plays a musical tone – Hourly auditory update on river’s health

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Buster Simpson. Instrument Implement: Walla Walla Campanile. 2008. William A. Grant Water & Environmental Center, Walla Walla Community College, Walla Walla, WA.

Height 25’ 6”. Courtesy of the artist. [Fig. 25-15]

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Public Art (3 of 4) 25.5 Contrast examples of contemporary art produced for public spaces.

• Can be made in almost any medium

• Catherine Opie, Somewhere in the Middle – Series of photographs taken from same spot during all seasons – Installed in Cleveland hospital

▪ Walking down corridor gives sense of slow passage of time

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Catherine Opie. Untitled #8. From series Somewhere in the Middle. 2011. Inkjet print. 50” × 37-1/2”. © Catherine Opie. Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles. [Fig. 25-16]

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Public Art (4 of 4) 25.5 Contrast examples of contemporary art produced for public spaces.

• Street art – When artists take initiative to create works for public view without waiting for a

commission – Often created or installed illegally

▪ Some have permission of the property owner

• Banksy – Most famous street art creator of today – Stone Age Waiter

▪ Witty depiction of cave man in the restaurant district ▪ Stencil-and-spray-paint

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Banksy. Stone Age Waiter. 2006. Spray paint and stencils. Height 5′ 6″.

Outdoor location, Los Angeles. Photograph: Patrick Frank. [Fig. 25-25]

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Socially Conscious Art (1 of 3) 25.6 Discuss some causes artists have supported with socially conscious artworks.

• Many artists seek to link art to current social questions – Limiting art to aesthetic matters provides a distraction from pressing problems

• Barbara Kruger, Untitled… – Invented slogan, hand positioning – Provoked questions of whether products define us, if we “are” what we shop for – Later silkscreened onto a shopping bag

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Barbara Kruger. Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am). 1987. Photographic silkscreen/vinyl. 111” × 113”.

© Barbara Kruger. Courtesy: Mary Boone Gallery, New York. [Fig. 25-18]

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Socially Conscious Art (2 of 3) 25.6 Discuss some causes artists have supported with socially conscious artworks.

• Some art transforms social problems into work that pulls us in

• Tiffany Chung, UNHCR Red Dot Series – Depicts flow of Syrian refugees over an eight-month period

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Tiffany Chung. UNHCR Red Dot Series—Tracking the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis: April-Dec 2012 (detail). 2014–15. Oil and ink on vellum and paper. 8-1/4” × 11-3/4”.

Courtesy of the Artist and Tyler Rollins Fine Art, NY. [Fig. 25-19]

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Socially Conscious Art (3 of 3) 25.6 Discuss some causes artists have supported with socially conscious artworks.

• Theaster Gates, Sanctum – Created performance space in ruined church in Bristol, England – Seeks to create spaces to improve communities

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Theaster Gates. Sanctum. 2015. Temple Church, Bristol, UK. 29 October–21 November 2015. © Theaster Gates. Photo © Max McClure. Courtesy Situations. [Fig. 25-20]

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Post-Internet Art (1 of 3) 25.7 Define the movement known as Post-Internet Art.

• Art that responds to our current networked condition – May or may not use the Internet itself – Show awareness of or comment on the Internet and social media

• Rafael Rozendaal, 15 05 10 IMDb – Weaving commissioned from a tapestry factory – Wrote software program that converts any web page into an abstract composition

▪ Made available Abstract Browsing available for free

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Rafael Rozendaal. 15 05 10 IMDb. 2015. From series Abstract Browsing. Jacquard weaving. 56-3/4” × 104-3/4”.

Image courtesy of the artist and Steve Turner. [Fig. 25-21]

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Post-Internet Art (2 of 3) 25.7 Define the movement known as Post-Internet Art.

• Artie Vierkant – Calls works “image objects” instead of sculptures – Creates imagery out of installation shots of previous exhibitions

▪ Work collapses past and present

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Artie Vierkant. Image Object Thursday 4 June 2015 12:53PM. 2015. Aluminum and vinyl. 49” × 49” × 38”.

Courtesy of the artist. [Fig. 25-22]

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Post-Internet Art (3 of 3) 25.7 Define the movement known as Post-Internet Art.

• Hito Steyerl, Factory of the Sun – Disjointed meditation on surveillance and sharing – Video installation

▪ Collage of news reportage, documentary film, video games, and Internet dance videos

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Hito Steyerl. Factory of the Sun. 2015. Single-channel high-definition video, environment, luminescent LE grid, bear chains. 23 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York. © 2018 Artists Rights Society

(ARS), New York/SABAM, Brussels. [Fig. 25-23]

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The Global Present (1 of 5) 25.8 Explain the influence of globalism on contemporary art.

• World united through Internet, travel, mobile phones, and migration

• Globalization of culture profoundly affects art – Union of cosmopolitan and local

• Imran Queshi, You Who Are My Love and My Life’s Enemy Too – Pakistani artist – At first looks like puddles of blood – Flowers and petals in representational style – Work reflects artist’s life in city rocked by violence but hopeful

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Imran Qureshi. You Who Are My Love and My Life’s Enemy Too. 2015. Acrylic paint on canvas. 83” × 185”.

Courtesy Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, London · Paris · Salzburg. © Imran Qureshi. Photograph: Charles Duprat. [Fig. 25-24]

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The Global Present (2 of 5) 25.8 Explain the influence of globalism on contemporary art.

• Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, Routes of Migration – Kenyan artist noticed shades and colors on corroded tin roofs – Combines corroded sheet metal with other non-art material – Alludes to migrant crisis

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Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga. Routes of Migration. 2015. Sheet metal, steel wire, poultry wire and fabric. 96” × 96”.

Photograph: N. Wanjiku Gakunga. Courtesy October Gallery, London. [Fig. 25-25]

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The Global Present (3 of 5) 25.8 Explain the influence of globalism on contemporary art.

• Doris Salcedo, Plegaria Muda – Empty, paired tables with grass growing between suggests empty space – Prayer for the victims of civil strife

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Doris Salcedo. Plegaria Muda (Silent Prayer). 2008–10. Wood, mineral compound, metal and grass. 166 units as installed at CAM, Fundação Calouste

Gulbenkian, Lisbon, November 12, 2011–January 22, 2012. Photograph: Patrizia Tocci. Image courtesy Alexander and Bonin, New York. [Fig. 25-26]

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The Global Present (4 of 5) 25.8 Explain the influence of globalism on contemporary art.

• Ai Weiwei, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads – Heads of creatures in the Chinese zodiac

▪ Atop a column that resembles a spout of gushing water – References to tense moments in East–West relations – Alludes to ancient fountain in Beijing mostly destroyed by French and British troops

in 1860

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Ai Weiwei. Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads. 2010. Bronze. 12 units, average height 10’.

Grand Army Plaza, New York City. Private Collection. Images courtesy of the artist and AW Asia. Photograph: Adam Reich. [Fig. 25-27]

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The Global Present (5 of 5) 25.8 Explain the influence of globalism on contemporary art.

• Ai Weiwei: Global Visual Activist – Father was a dissident poet sent to labor camp for five years – Artist studied animation techniques, photography – Devoted to performance art in China – Activism prompted by deadly earthquake

▪ Interviewed parents who lost children because of poor government-funded construction ▪ Citizen investigations unheard of in China

– Freedom remains at risk – Currently working on a documentary about migrants from Middle East

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Ai Weiwei at the Royal Academy of Arts. Guy Corbishley/Alamy Live News. [Fig. 25-28]

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Conclusion

• Renzo Piano, Whitney Museum of American Art – Openness to the outside – Nested in its environment

• Art comes from basic feelings that all of us share. – Goes beyond mere physical existence

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Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 2015. Entrance. Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop. VIEW Pictures Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo.

[Fig. 25-29a]

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Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. 2015. Gallery and exterior wall. Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop. VIEW Pictures Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo.

[Fig. 25-29b]

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