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After Modern Art 1945-2000 (2000) - David Hopkins [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Postmodernism in artWhere modernists hoped to unearth universals or the fundamentals of art, postmodernism aims to unseat them, to embrace diversity and contradiction. A postmodern approach to art thus rejects the distinction between low and high art forms. It rejects rigid genre boundaries and favors eclecticism, the mixing of ideas and forms. Partly due to this rejection, it promotes parody, irony, and playfulness, commonly referred to as jouissance by postmodern theorists. Unlike modern art, postmodern art does not approach this fragmentation as somehow faulty or undesirable, but rather celebrates it. As the gravity of the search for underlying truth is relieved, it is replaced with 'play'. As postmodern icon David Byrne, and his band Talking Heads said: 'Stop making sense'.
Post-modernity, in attacking the perceived elitist approach of Modernism, sought greater connection with broader audiences. This is often labelled 'accessibility' and is a central point of dispute in the question of the value of postmodern art. It has also embraced the mixing of words with art, collage and other movements in modernity, in an attempt to create more multiplicity of medium and message. Much of this centers on a shift of basic subject matter: postmodern artists regard the mass media as a fundamental subject for art, and use forms, tropes, and materials - such as banks of video monitors, found art, and depictions of media objects - as focal points for their art. Andy Warhol is an early example of postmodern art in action, with his appropriation of common popular symbols and "ready-made" cultural artifacts, bringing the previously mundane or trivial onto the previously hallowed ground of high art.
Postmodernism's critical stance is interlinked with presenting new appraisals of previous works. As implied above the works of the "Dada" movement received greater attention, as did collagists such as Robert Rauschenberg, whose works were initially considered unimportant in the context of the modernism of the 1950s, but who, by the 1980s, began to be seen as seminal. Post-modernism also elevated the importance of cinema in artistic discussions, placing it on a peer level with the other fine arts. This is both because of the blurring of distinctions between "high" and "low" forms, and because of the recognition that cinema represented the creation of simulacra which was later duplicated in the other arts. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism#Postmodernism_in_art [Dec 2004]
Postmodernism may appear as the ultimate phase of modernism; it expresses what may happen in art after the modernist project appears to have ended. It is characterised by an ability to use a vocabulary of media, genres or styles as parts of an extended visual language that goes beyond the boundaries of what is usually thought of as the modernist project. Postmodernism is, by its very nature, impossible to define clearly. Some of the best expositions appear in the theoretical writings of Jean Baudrillard, who concludes that what motivates art historical change is not any 'authentic' or 'original' impulse, but simply fashion, pivoting on the desire for novelty, which he sees as an organic and integrated process. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_art [Dec 2004]
After Modern Art 1945-2000 (2000) - David Hopkins
Modern and contemporary art can be both baffling and beautiful; it can also be innovative, political, and disturbing. This book sets out to provide the first concise interpretation of the period as a whole, clarifying the artists and their works along the way. Closely informed by new critical approaches, it concentrates on the relationship between American and European art from the end of the Second World War to the eve of the new millennium.
Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Cindy Sherman, and Damien Hirst are among many artists discussed, with careful attention being given to the political and cultural worlds they inhabited. Moving along a clear timeline, the author highlights key movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptualism, Postmodernism, and performance art to explain the theoretical and issue-based debates that have provided the engine for the art of this period.
See also: modern art - art criticism - art theory
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