Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


AART1100 W13 High Modernism

In the mid-twentieth century, the ‘modernist project’ in art became more and more about the various art form disciplines sticking to what they are in essence -- paintings becoming more about paint on canvas, sculpture becoming more about objects.

Kit Messham-Muir

on 2 June 2016

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of AART1100 W13 High Modernism

AART1100 Critical Studies 1
Copyright Regulations 1969

This material has been copied and communicated to you by or on behalf of the University of Newcastle pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act)

The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further copying or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act.

Do not remove this notice
Week 13: High Modernism
9am Discussion
Robert Delaunay,
Red Tower, 1911
Wassily Kandinsky, Composition IV, 1911
Wassily Kandinksy
Wassily Kandinsky, Composition X, 1939
Wassily Kandinsky, Volga Song, 1906
Wassily Kandinsky, Composition VII, 1913
El Lissitzsky, Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge, 1919
Wassily Kandinsky, Improvisation 31, 1913
In general, colour is a means of exerting a direct influence upon the soul. Colour is the keyboard. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano, with its many strings. The artist is the hand that purposefully sets the soul vibrating by means of this or that key.
Wassily Kandinsky Concerning the Spiritual in Art, 1911’, Art in theory 1900 – 1990, ed. Harrison, Charles and Wood, Paul, Blackwell, Oxford, 1992, p. 89
Kasimir Malevich, The Woodcutter, 1912
Kasimir Malevich, Suprematism: Self Portrait in Two Dimentions, 1915
Piet Mondrian, Composition in
Blue, Yellow, Black and Red, 1922
Theo Van Doesburg, A Cow Aesthetically Transfigured, 1925
Theo Van Doesburg, A Cow Aesthetically Transfigured, 1925
Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1943
Mechanized work is lifeless, proper only to the lifeless machine. So long, however, as machine-economy remains an end in itself rather than a means of freeing the intellect from the burden of mechanical labor, the individual will remain enslaved and society with remain disordered.

Walter Gropius, ‘The Theory and Organization of the Bauhaus’, Art in Theory: 1900 – 1999, ed. Harrison & Wood, Blackwell, Oxford, (1992) 338
Marcel Breuer, Wassily Chair (Club Armchair), 1925
Marcel Breuer, B33 Sidechair, 1927-28
Herbert Beyer, 50,000,000 mark note, 1923
Degenerate Art
Hans Schaschinger, Germany's Mission, 1942
Ivo Saliger, The Judgement of Paris, 1930s
'German Art'
Boris Kolesnik, First Spring, 1954
Oleksi Shovkunenko, Platon Biletsky and Igor Reznik, Anthem of People's Love, 1951-1952
Stalin's USSR
Hitler's Third Reich
Jackson Pollock
Clement Greenberg
The essence of Modernism lies, as I see it, in the use of the characteristic methods of the discipline to criticise the discipline itself—not in order to subvert it, but to entrench it more firmly in its area of competence.
Clement Greenberg, 'Modernist Painting', 1965, Art Since Mid Century, 243
David Smith, Becca, 1965
Three dimensionality is the province of sculpture, and for the sake of its own autonomy, painting has had above all to divest itself of everything it might share with sculpture.

Clement Greenberg, 'Modernist Painting', 1965, Art Since Mid Century, 243
Jackson Pollock, Stenographic Figure, 1942
Jackson Pollock, Blue Poles, 1952
Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1953
Abstract Expressionism
Mark Rothko, The Rothko Chapel, 1971
Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimus, 1950-51
Barnett Newman, Adam, 1951-52
Robert Rauschenberg, Bed, 1955
Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1953
Consider this quote by Clement Greenberg and these two paintings. In groups of 4 people, consider these questions:

• Consider the iconography of these two paintings.

• What might Greenberg say about Rothko's painting?

• What might Greenberg say about Gerber's painting?

• Greenberg wrote 'Avant Garde and Kitsch' in 1939. How have ideas about what is 'kitsch' and what is 'avant garde' changed since 1939?
Matthys Gerber, The Origin of the Earth, 1992
Dr Kit Messham-Muir
I have observed among the pictures submitted here, quite a few paintings which make one actually come to the conclusion that the eye shows things differently to certain human beings than the way they really are, that is, that there really are men who see the present population of our nation as only rotten cretins…
George Grosz The Pillars of Society 1926
Ivo Saliger
Diana at Rest
Ferdinand Staeger We are the Work Soldiers, 1930s
Adolf Ziegler’s Four Elements, above the fireplace in the Munich ‘Fuhrer House’
Jacques Louis David The Death of Marat, 1793
Edouard Manet The Fifer, 1866
...what was modernism?
Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, 1935
Tutorial Discussion
So, after a semester of learning about 'modernism' in art, what was modernism?. In small groups, consider these questions:

• List 4 characteristics of 'modernity'; and list 6 characteristics of 'modernism in art'.

• Define what you understand 'modernism' in art to be in less than 20 words.

• Given your understanding of 'modernism', what might we mean by 'postmodernism'?
...what was modernism?
Helen Frankenthaler, Mountains and Sea, 1952
Life Magazine,
15 January, 1951

The solemn people above, along with three others, made up the group of “irascible” artists who raised the biggest fuss about the Metropolitan’s competition (following pages). All representatives of advanced art, they paint in styles which vary from the dribblings of Pollock (LIFE, Aug. 8, 1949) to the Cyclopean phantoms of Baziotes, and all have distrusted the museum since its director likened them to “flat-chested” pelicans “strutting upon the intellectual wastelands.” From left, rear, they are: Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Hedda Sterne; (next row) Richard Pousette-Dart, William Baziotes, Jimmy Ernst (with bow tie), Jackson Pollock (in striped jacket), James Brooks, Clyfford Still (leaning on knee), Robert Motherwell, Bradley Walker Tomlin; (in foreground) Theodoros Stamos (on bench), Barnett Newman (on stool), Mark Rothko (with glasses). Their revolt and subsequent boycott of the show was in keeping with an old tradition among avant-garde artists. French painters in 1874 rebelled against their official juries and held the first impressionist exhibition. U.S. artists in 1908 broke with the National Academy jury to launch the famous Ashcan School. The effect of the revolt of the “irascible” remains to be seen, but it did appear to have needled the Metropolitan’s juries into turning more than half the show into a free-for-all of modern art.
Lee Krasner,
High Art vs. Low Culture
Full transcript