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Contemporary Art: Compare & Contrast Topic

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Amy Giglio

on 18 March 2013

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Transcript of Contemporary Art: Compare & Contrast Topic

ART 402: Contemporary Art
Compare & Contrast Paper Topic:
Consumerism in Art Andy Warhol: 'Campbell's Soup Cans', syntehtic polymer paint on 32 canvases, each 508x406 mm, 1962 (New York, Museum of Modern Art) Detail:
Tomato Soup Can Claesz: 'Still Life with Turkey Pie', oil on wood panel, 29.5 x 52 in,Pieter 1627 (Amsterdam). Detail:
'Still Life with
Turkey Pie' At first glance, consumerism is often considered a uniquely ‘modern’ phenomenon. However, after further examination, one may recognize this social problem as a theme that recurs throughout human history. To demonstrate this trend, a comparison will be made between two works of art that reflect concerns about consumerism. The first piece, taken directly from the American Pop Art movement, will be a photograph of Andy Warhol’s 32 Campbell’s soup cans. The second work is a 17th century Dutch Baroque painting by Pieter Claesz titled, “Still Life with Turkey Pie”. While these two pieces are drastically different they are both, within their own context, making a commentary about the still relevant issue of consumerism. Abstract: Consumerism:

A phenomenon which is associated with the
rise of a middle class economy where the purchase and ownership of material goods is seen as a measure of social status and affluence. Context: Context: Pop Art was an international art movement that began in the mid 1950's in the UK, later coming to the scene in the U.S. in the early 1960's largely as a result of work by Andy Warhol, and developed around popular culture. This type of art often used images of mass production, modern technology and also, "celebrated or satirized consumer culture." In 1957, artist Richard Hamilton defined pop art as, "Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low Cost, Mass Produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, and Big Business."

Formal elements shared by artwork from this movement include, "aggressively contemporary imagery, anonymity of surface, and strong, flatly applied colors."

www.moma.org/collection/theme.php?theme_id=10170 Pop Art Movement Context: 1950's Decade The Fifties was a decade dominated by the steadily escalating cold war between the United States and The Soviet Union. The resulting capitalism versus communism struggle created a pervasive sense of tension and fear through out American society. More specifically, this can be described as The Red Scare, or fear of communism, in the United States. Other notable events include the development of NASA, the launching of Sputnik I which began the Space Race, the Korean War (1950-1953), the beginning of the Vietnam War in 1959, the Cuban Revolution, the Suez Crisis in 1956 along with various other conflicts, and the increased testing of nuclear weapons. In essence an era of constant threat and violence.

In music, Rock and Roll became popular, with figure heads like Elvis Presley taking the scene. Other popular stars during this period include names like Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Bing Crosby. This period is also often referred to as the Golden Age of television. Popular movie actors of the time include names like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, and James Dean. Andy Warhol, 'Marilyn Diptych', acrylic on canvas, 2054 x 1448 x 20 mm, 1962 (London, Tate Museum) Elvis Presley Sputnik I Seoul, Korean War Marilyn Monroe Fidel Castro Nuclear Bomb Andy Warhol 1928-1987, A Brief Biography "The youngest child of three, Andy was born Andrew Warhola on August 6, 1928 in the working-class neighborhood of Oakland, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Stricken at an early age with a rare neurological disorder, the young Andy Warhol found solace and escape in the form of popular celebrity magazines and DC comic books, imagery he would return to years later. Predating the multiple silver wigs and deadpan demeanor of later years, Andy experimented with inventing personae during his college years. He signed greeting cards “André”, and ultimately dropped the “a” from his last name, shortly after moving to New York and following his graduation with a degree in Pictorial Design from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in 1949.
Work came quickly to Warhol in New York, a city he made his home and studio for the rest of his life. Within a year of arriving, Warhol garnered top assignments as a commercial artist for a variety of clients including Columbia Records, Glamour magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, NBC, Tiffany & Co., Vogue, and others. He also designed fetching window displays for Bonwit Teller and I. Miller department stores. After establishing himself as an acclaimed graphic artist, Warhol turned to painting and drawing in the 1950s, and in 1952 he had his first solo exhibition at the Hugo Gallery, with Fifteen Drawings Based on the Writings of Truman Capote. As he matured, his paintings incorporated photo-based techniques he developed as a commercial illustrator. The Museum of Modern Art (among others) took notice, and in 1956 the institution included his work in his first group show.
The turbulent 1960s ignited an impressive and wildly prolific time in Warhol’s life. It is this period, extending into the early 1970s, which saw the production of many of Warhol’s most iconic works. Building on the emerging movement of Pop Art, wherein artists used everyday consumer objects as subjects, Warhol started painting readily found, mass-produced objects, drawing on his extensive advertising background. When asked about the impulse to paint Campbell’s soup cans, Warhol replied, “I wanted to paint nothing. I was looking for something that was the essence of nothing, and that was it”. The humble soup cans would soon take their place among the Marilyn Monroes, Dollar Signs, Disasters, and Coca Cola Bottles as essential, exemplary works of contemporary art."

http://www.warholfoundation.org/legacy/biography.html Pieter Claesz 1597-1660, A Brief Biography Dutch Baroque Period, aka The Dutch Golden Age ilawjeflawkfna;lwkn
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