ARHS 3913 Midterm Study Guide
ARHS 3913 Midterm Study Guide ARHS 3913
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ARHS 1020 (Art History Survey II: Renaissance to Present)
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Eliza Mead on Sunday February 14, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ARHS 3913 at Tulane University taught by Delia Solomons in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see Medium Matters in Contemporary Art in Art History at Tulane University.
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Date Created: 02/14/16
1 ARHS 3913: Medium Matters in Contemporary Art Midterm Studyguide ● Modernist Beginnings I: Cubist and Dada Collage ○ Cubist Painting (19081912) ■ Braque and Picasso hand in hand developed it ■ geometric, broken up, shards, monochrome ■ shatters one perspective and illusion by unfolding the figure for you ■ getting to a more core truth than traditional illusionistic painting: you get more information but you can still find figures and never is fully abstracted ○ Cubist Collage (19121914) ■ extends Cubist paintings war on traditional painting ■ Picasso: how far can he get away from a guitar while still representing a guitar? continues to push this idea ■ completely diving into new territory BUT with humor (jokes and games very popular, gets racy with women) ○ Collage in Context ■ ultimate modern medium: lots of different fields not just art ■ Atget’s photo of modern Paris: almost collalagilike, ads, no escaping commerce ■ ideas about fragmented experience (skyscrapercity overlapping is like a collage) ■ *memory actually fragments the past no single past ■ “collage aesthetic” but not collage in future, painters clearly build off of college's legacy ○ Dada (19151921) ■ rebellion against RATIONALISM and WORLD WAR I ■ War shows we are irrational, the belief that we are rational got us into the war ■ Zurich Dada: Chance as antireason; upending logic (simultaneous poem with 3 countries of the war; national identity shattered, babble got us into war, verba collage) ■ Berlin Dada: politics & photomontage (montage: assembling machine parts, incorporating them into society) ■ abstraction developing internationally at the time ○ Key Tenets of Collage ■ definition: generally flat work containing diverse materials ■ non traditional materials are introduced ■ fragmented (in terms of time, space, materials) version of reality (ultimate 20th century experience because in the modern world, our experience of reality are fragmented) ■ juxtaposition of different processes/materials fractured; idea of no consistent image ■ confront the 3D lie of painting: painting is fooling you ● boundaries: pulling from different aspects of life ○ boundary between art and life upended ○ boundary between high and low culture upended ● Modernist Beginnings II: The Readymade ○ Marcel Duchamp ■ not afraid of controversy ■ starts off as Cubist, mixes it with Italian Futurism ■ at this point in NY, Impressionism is still radical ■ with readymade he shocked people even more ○ definition: mass produced everyday object Duchamp selected, sometimes minimally altered, then called art ○ Key Tenets of the Readymade ■ found object displaced into new context ■ “department store” functioning with the consumer world ■ attitude of indifference could be any object ■ ok with replicas ● Modernist Beginnings III: The Surrealist Found Object ○ Surrealism (Paris, 1920) ■ literature and artistic movement ■ irrational, dreams, histeria, subconscious (mundane, schedule driven reality is superficial sheen; there is actually something truer, and art should facilitate this) ■ art should help us access realms of reality and ourself that society encoures us to avoid/repressed violent and erotic side is what society makes us repress ■ post WWI: can we believe we’re rational after all this destruction has occurred? ■ not a single style (abstract, realist) ■ automatic drawing pen channeling psyche ■ automatic writing write faster than logic can work ■ Surrealist Manifesto, Breton, 1925 ■ Exquisite Cadaver: like collage, pulling different sources, one point of view overcame, BIZARRE JUXTAPOSITIONS (things that don’t go together are thrown together) ■ HOW they use materials is important ■ wanted to be shocking, didn’t mind controversy 2 ○ Core Q: Does the use of the object seem surprising? Why? ■ If visual world is a sheen, then why pull from reality when objects are so embedded in reality? It lets you puncture the reality because the surreal exists within the real ○ Comparison with Readymade ■ found object is still displaced into new context, especially with the assisted readymade ■ flea market (operating according to its own laws) vs. department store with readymade ■ fulfills a specific desire (desire is HUGE, gotta be that ONE) vs. could be any object ■ both ok with replicas ● Newspaper ○ Key associations ■ highly public/political: “disruptive emissary of world outside” (forces you to look outside the art world) ■ mass manufactured → copies, circulation ■ temporality: indexes a day ultimate marker of 1 day, has it’s own temporality too because thrown away, present but also past and future ■ tactile: to be handled, meant to be touched and unfolded, also cheap and weak ■ sections: politics, obituaries, fashion (in a way it’s collage like, also because multiple points of view) ■ truth factor: how much can you trust? (bias, censorship, manipulation) what is real? ■ first found objects incorporated into art ■ emphasize place ○ Newspaper History ■ 1605, Germany, “Relation” daily news, multiple points of view, like a book ■ Turn of 20th century: everyone immersed, obsession parallel with phones today ■ Newspaper today as dying medium ■ Picasso played with it: words like “le jou” and used to stipple/shade ○ Politics into Art ■ previously seen with Hoch ■ contemporary: Martha Rosler and Vietnam war “Bringing the War Home” ■ Jantjes, “South African Coloring Book” coloring as a statement of prejudice, understanding of Apartheid is at a childlike level, immature ○ Covered Newspapers ■ visual act of whispering makes you listen more with reading, makes you look harder, not as easy to read ○ Circulating Newspapers ■ putting back in intervening ■ getting out of galleries ■ history: futurist manifesto in newspaper originally ■ Adrian Piper: inserted own journal entries; offering intimate info in mass circulated writing ○ Artist as Editor ■ taking out images: Hugonnier plays on idea of “picture is worth a thousand words” with homage to Ellsworth Kelly but what happens when you take that picture away? ■ taking out text: insensitive juxtapositions reveals (tragic events minimized when next to smiles, announcements, etc) ■ obituaries: abstractions of how one might be remembered ○ Marking time ■ can we really index a single place and a single day? ■ temporality past, present, future ● Animals ○ Key associations ■ scandal/attention grabber/spectacle ■ human/animal relationships ● trophies (hunting) ● zoo (collecting) ● domestication (controlling nature) ■ animal symbolism and metaphors ■ between kunstkammer (art) and wunderkammer (natural history) take on two different viewing ways ■ the “animal connection” humans are animals, not a hard line but an impermeable boundary ■ nature and culture (we like to separate, but art shows how weird this separation actually is) ○ Representations of animals in art ■ humans depictions in caves goes way back (purpose is unclear, not hunting or decorative) ■ hybrid animals (animal and man) highly symbolic, fantastic, also recognizable though ■ Renaissance interest in naturalism ■ Picasso the bull draws back to caves ○ Live animals in art ■ the horse huge history, emblem of power (Kounellis strips down, they’re animals but also put into world) ○ Taxidermy/Preserved animals 3 ● Money ○ What does it mean to introduce money into art as a material? ■ counterfeiting money → connection with forging art (skill, pretending, trickery) ■ capitalism: ● same as a system of art both driven by desire to possess ● commentary on business side of art ● art can’t be separated from commerce inseparability ● pressures of market (market drives artists, what will sell?) ● capitalism as THE value in our culture (like religion in the Renaissance) ■ role of branding ■ issue of value is key (fluctuating value) aesthetic value, use value, etc. ■ representation issue: iudea what money is an infinite metaphor (money can be anything because anything can be money car, time, etc.) ■ system of circulation and exchange ■ banknote as a symbol of a nation ○ Trompe L’oeil trick of the eye ■ 19th century fad, widespread → because of Gilded Age and obsession with wealth (Rockefeller), paper money introduced raised questions of real vs fake ■ works considered very threatening some even arrested ■ what is game with viewers? game artistically and consumer driven makes fun on two levels you want to take the money and you want money ■ religion/capitalism “Cross of Gold” ○ Money as material (out of circulation) ■ making money vs. finding/using found money ○ Putting money into action ■ dematerialization of money (credit cards, bitcoin, venmo) and dematerialization of art ■ “Art Rebate Project” 1993 immigration, idea of using process to give back ● Electric and Digital Light ● Dirt 4 Picasso, Still Life with Chair Caning, May 1912 This is considered the first collage in Art history, an introduction to non art materials. Picasso uses three different materials from the different “worlds”. The rope is mass manufactured, the oil cloth caning is mass and illusionistic (humorous because the part that looks the most illusionistic is actually found), and painting which is abstracted and stylistic. The lemon and the knife are as though he is cutting into new territory, the tall cylindrical glass cuts up perspective, carrying on the tenets of cubist painting, and the oval not circle are as if you are looking a different angle showing a fragmented reality, another tenet of cubism. There are two different plays: a play of reality and illusion, and a play of art and non art materials. You can see the reality/illusion play with “jou” in the newspaper: it is a newspaper showing the café culture, but it shows that this is a game to play as it means game in French. The collage itself is a play between materials because it brings different materials together, playing off of each other, especially with the oil cloth. Braque, F ruit Dish and Glass, September 1912 This is the first papier collé (exclusively paper, usually less violently fragmented and pulled together than collage). It is odd because papier collé was founded and implemented after Picasso and collage, even though PIcasso’s seems more radical. The faux bois (fake wood) is similar to the oilcloth in Picasso’s Chair Caning because it is found, everyday material and once gain the most illusionist part the artist didn’t even make. It plays off the idea of “trompe l’oeil” or fool of the eye because Braque is showing fakery is just a cheap trick. Hans/Jean Arp, Untitled (Collage of Squares Arranged According to the Laws of Chance , 19161917 This Dada work is all about how it was made: paper was torn and glued where it fell, governed by chance. The idea of word choice is important. Tear vs cut and drop vs. place both limits control and takes logic out of art. There are two accounts for how it was made: trying to draw and got frustrated and threw on the ground is the first and is a chance discovery of chance, or it was an intentional discovery chance. Either way, it follows the Zurich Dada belief of chance and upending logic. Hannah Hoch, Cut With the Kitchen Knife, 1 919 This photomontage by a woman artist is from Berlin Dada. There are two major parts. First, she critiques all German politicians that got them into WWI and chastises where they landed Germany. For example, it shows Kaiser ousted with a cog on his back. Second, she underscores women’s new freedom with a number of women with real agency and excitement. She shows women in a way women weren’t usually shown in avant garde art. She shows a map of countries where women have gained the right to vote, and shows them with this new freedom as a result of new technology. She literally shows this as most of the women are actively movement, as if they have the freedom to move. Photomontage serves her so well because it adds a truth factor with the newspaper, she critiques culture so she pulls right from culture, she uses the advents of technology, she gets to enact directly on riolity with critique of society and desire to free the new woman, the the violence of cutting things up is inherently violent. The title of this work is also important: the knife is taken out of the domestic sphere, and the beer belly is showing the over indulgence of the politicians of Germany. She upends the boundaries of art and life by adding materials from both to intervene into a political reality. Duchamp, 5 0 cc of Paris Air, 1919 This is an example of the readymade, a mass produced everyday object that Duchamp selected and sometimes initially altered and then called art. he didn’t actually make this glass, but he purchased it in Paris and brought it back to New York. He says medium is air, so the glass is actually possibly just the frame. THis plays on the idea of full or empty: it’s an empty glass however it is full of air, and full of meaning. THis shows the dematerialization of a work. It’s also ironic because the grass breaks later in Philadelphia. It raises the question of, is it still the same work or is it destroyed? Duchamp, Fountain, 1917 Part I (History): Duchamp was part of the Society of INdependent artists which was non juried. “Fountain” was submitted under the pseudonym R Mutt but not accepted because it was “indecent.” The gesture of submitting makes the jury ask, “what is art?” and questions the charter and principles of the society. It gets shows for one week and Stieglitz's gallery, and he takes a photo and it’s our only record because the fountain gets lost. In 1917, Duchamp and his friends defended it in a different way than they would decades later. The Fountain because sexualized, as if the fountain was a woman in which male fluids go. They also defended it as an argument of form and aesthetics (lien and color, almost seems like a joke because it’s a urinal). The photo also makes it look more aesthetic.. In 1961, he would argue that it’s no longer aesthetic but it’s all about concept. He even made fun of everyone that ever called it beautiful. Part I (Conceptual legacy/challenge): This work makes you ask the question, “what is art?” It could be art because it was taken out of its original context and put into an art context, stressing the importance of conceptual work and physical work. However, he didn’t actually make it. There is no real interpretation of this work, but he asks huge questions with it. The question of making comes into play too: painters buying their “readymade” paint tubes, is this making art? He is challenging skill. He also raises questions of authorship by releasing it under the pseudonym. The Fountain’s replicas make you ask, “what is the original” and are assaults of originality. This also continues the question of authorship as well. There is also a theory that Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven actually submitted the fountain. The title makes fun of decorative fountains. Baroness Elsa von FreytagLoringhoven, God , 1917 This interesting New York female avant garde artist was good friends with Duchamp and possibly was the author of Fountain. This is compelling evidence of this possible authorship because both were found object, both have lofty titles, and both were 5 photographed artistically afterwards. She died in 1927, however Duchamp takes credit in the 30s slowly. The moment anyone apsses away (Steigliets too), he begins to take credit. Many Ray, Photo of Breton’s Slipper Spoon , 1934 This is the ultimate example of a found object (not changed). The quote “Cendrier, Cendrillon” had been in his head and then he saw this and put the phrase into reality. The spoon is a symbol of women for surrealists, and the shoe is a classic fetish object. The idea of “desire” is huge because of the fetish and the woman as a spoon he finds a desire he never even knew he had. The market of Saint Ouen was a huge flea market he attended a lot. The idea of flea markets are important: the are outside of the norm geographically and metaphorically, not objects for everyday use existing outside of the commodity world. Meret Oppenheim, Object, 1936 This is a teaset bought and covered with fur. This is also a metaphor for a women (the spoon and cup are the woman but he pushes it even further by adding hair). IT makes you question if the viewer is the one with the sexual mind of if Oppenheim is. Functionality is destroyed here and there is a push and pull of beauty/repulsion. There is luxury with fur but the idea of drinking from it is repelling. The use is not only destroyed but straight up disgusting. This represents the ideas of bizarre juxtapositions as an expansion of collage. This was also in exhibition with Duchamp, going along with the ideas of sex, desire and all that the readymade in fact was not, but she still looked to him as a predecessor. (key ideas: use, beauty, repulsion, female body) Man Ray, I ndestructible Object, 1923/1933/1964 This is a metronome with a cutout photo of an eye clipped to the pendulum with a paper clip. The choice of eye is important because eyes are linked to this fake reality and were very popular with the surrealists. He remakes this several times too. In 1933, he replaced the photo with a photo of an ex lover, showing a traumatic breakup the object that gives torture because it’s ex lover’s eye just taunting you. He also said you should create your own object to destroy. The idea of loss, with lovers and the object, reveals a sense of trauma and pain, being tender and brutal and the same time. This eye relates to “Un Chien Andalou” with the cut eye you can see the inner reality. The surrealists wanted to be shocking, they didn’t mind controversy it’s up to you to buy their rhetoric. Catalina Parra, Newspaper of Life , 1977 This was made during the CHilean dictatorship. Parra studied in Germany and came back one year before the dictatorship. She came back to an unrecognizable country and started collecting newspaper.”El Mercurio” was the newspaper she railed against, the paper of the regime that was filled with biased information. Parra doesn’t just cut and paste but she sews, extending Hoch and her knife with the idea of mending. This is another example of politics and art. There is a headline page, an ad for a newspaper, and obituaries. It is also sculptural because the newspaper is between plexiglass, bolted, and sewn. She is taking newspaper out of circulation with that gesture, miming the censorship process the newspapers are doing she wants to take the lies out of circulation. She knows about the regime and considers the ideas they think are weak, so she makes them powerful. The classist believes she rails against by using cheap materials. The sexist ideas she goes against by using swing. She strikes against traditional ideas by using contemporary art and materials. The racism of the regime against the tribes/indigenous “imbunches,” she adds in the title of her show. Dieter Roth, Literaturwurst (Daily Mirror), 1 961 This reflects the idea of wrapped/bound newspapers, in a humorous way. Roth followed the basic recipe for sausage but uses a tabloid newspaper whenever meat is called for. It questions sausage’s associations, which almost mirror that of newspapers: ingesting crappy information mindlessly, is there any “nutrition” or “truth” to this? The quote that you “don’t want to see how sausage is made” calls to the process of making art, which Roth loved. Also, the idea of artistic process is made suspicious. The quality of meat and the quality of the news are both low. Also, it follows college's idea of bringing unlike things together, and in this case it’s food and art. The problem with museums plays into this as well, as there is a gross decay that happens, bringing questions of art in gallery spaces. On Kawara, Today Series , 19612014 This work is represents newspaper’s ability to mark time and place. Everyday he hand mixed red, blue, and black paint, using the day as a structure and time marker, he had to only create a box in one day, with the date on the outside, and the inside lined with that day’s newspaper. He also travelled a lot, so he used different newspapers from different places. The idea of temporality is key also, as the newspaper shows past events, current events, and forecasts future events. So he wasn’t just marking time but also marking place. He did 200 a year at first then around 2030 a year. In 2014 he died while the Guggenheim exhibit was being created. SO, as a series was ending so was the artist’s life. Joseph Beuys, I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974 Beuys cohabited with a coyote for one week inside a gallery. The interaction speaks to the weird domesticated dog humans have created the fact that he brought the wild animals shows how detached humans are to nature. Also, the coyote as an outside is emblematic of an outsider within America. The animal was considered a pest the Europeans arrived, like the Natives were. ALso, Beurys allows the coyote to speak back and reckon with that past (everyday he is given the newspaper to rip up). The power that the coyote has shoes that that is not a medium but is an active participant. Beuys takes on a role and evolves with the coyote. Damien Hirst, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, 1991 6 This is an example of taxidermy and preserved animals as mediums, poking fun at the readymade. It is a confrontation with death and the thought of it. You look at the shark head on and you’re forced to confront death in a safe and rarified way. The title deals with the physical and mental divides that you're forced to confront. Time is stopped, there is no decay, but it’s ironic because it was actually replaced a play on replicas again. This piece provokes fear however it is a fake fear, asking the questions of if you’re scared of fear of death or just confronting that fear itself. THis relates to “Watson and the Shark” by Copley, dealing with representation vs. real. Rauschenberg, Canyon, 1959 This an aggressive extension of collage, showing that anything can be valid as a material. He challenges the divide between painting and sculpture. Painting is flat and non representational, and sculpture is 3d Rauschenberg confuses these two by combining abstract expressionism and aggressive sculpture, plus photo and a pain tube. By adding the paint tube, he’s saying “look i’m a painter” but also saying he’s a sculpture. By doing this, he also extends Duchamp’s readymade by using paint as a readymade. With the pillow/rope at the bottom, he makes fun of the machismo in abstract expressionism. The eagle has a long story, raising questions of value. The government wanted to tax the painting $25 million, however family valued the piece at zero because the eagle is protected so therefore it cannot be sold. Andy Warhol, D ollar Works, 1962 This piece is a part of the Trompe L’oeil and plays off the idea of counterfeiting. The silkscreened versions mimics the treasury process: gridded and mechanical. This shows Warhol obsession with money, fame, consumerism, and high culture. The idea of capitalism and money is a central factor because it is the ultimate value we worship. Also goes with the naive belief that art and commerce are separate, but commerce is art in this case, and art is commerce. Meireles, Zero Cruzeiro 1978 nd Zero Dollar 1984 Meireles is a Brazilian conceptual artist during the dictatorship that the US supported. He released his “zero” dollar and “zero” Cruzeiro into circulation to just us and make us think. He makes his own “zero” bills as a joke, that it’s not even worth the paper it’s printed on. He uses interesting imagery that replaces the typical political figures. In the cruzeiro, highly regarded culture replaced with people who’ve been marginalized, such as the Brazilian Indians. On the dollar, he adds Fort Knox (which now houses the gold reserves and is a military base). He also has Uncle Sam, as if he is recruiting you into his army, recruiting you into capitalism. He takes the idea of US investing itself in repressive dictatorship and financial support and shows that it has zero value, both critical and aggressive of the political situation in Brazil. Meireles, Insertions into Ideological Circuits , 197075 Meireles takes real money out of circulation, stamps on accusatory words and messages of protest, and sends them back into circulation, all done during the dictatorship in Brazil (no free speech/high censorship). They are almost like messages in a bottle: he is desperate to get information out in the world when he’s “shipwrecked.” One message is “Who Killed Herzog,” Herzog being a journalist killed by government but announced as a suicide. It’s a scary message to have on your bill, people were afraid to hold onto it, which made it circulate even faster. THe other message he had was “Yankees Go Home” as an extension of the US financial support he wants the US to leave, and does this on the US dollar bill. He totally evades the gallery system: museums kill the message because it is not in circulation, but maybe they actually reach more people but a key idea is that there is an evasion of central control, and the idea of citizen to citizen was first used with the Dada artists in the 1920s.
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