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ARHS 3620 Week Three Notes

by: Catie Cullen

ARHS 3620 Week Three Notes ARHS 3620

Marketplace > Tulane University > Art History > ARHS 3620 > ARHS 3620 Week Three Notes
Catie Cullen

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This week we finished discussing abstract expressionism and began to look at color field painters like Rothko, Still, and Newman. Also included are discussions about female artists like Janet Sobe...
Contemporary Art 1950 -
Michael Plante
Class Notes
Art History, tulane university, rothko, Still, frankenthaler, notes, Art
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Catie Cullen on Sunday September 18, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ARHS 3620 at Tulane University taught by Michael Plante in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Contemporary Art 1950 - in Art History at Tulane University.

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Date Created: 09/18/16
ARHS 3620 Week Three Notes Class Notes  Pollock (contd.) o Number 30 (Autumn Rhythm), 1950  20 feet long  Why call it number 30?  Numbers are not to articulate an experience; the title "Autumn Rhythm" was likely done by his wife or dealer after his death  Pollock's painting process was highly theatrical --> like a performance  Temporal performance: occurs over time  In the paintings, you can follow a line and retrace Pollock's literal steps as he made the painting and see it temporally  Had to move very fast; like a dance  We move slowly to look, Pollock moved quickly --> layers did not dry in between splatters  Pollock's painting does not look the same now as it did when he painted it  Fugitive colors: because of Pollock's choice in cheap paints and direct application to canvas, the colors fade and change over time  In Autumn Rhythm, the background was once white and the colors were very different  Oxidation, nicotine stains, turpentine used to liquidize the paint is rotting the cloth o One: Number 31, 1950  Denser, thicker, less airy web of paint  More like a wall than a cloud, although it still floats  Pollock is interlocking his layers of paint so that the painting flattens out, no depth  Cannot look into painting, only across the painting o Number One, 1949  He doesn't crop in from the margins in this painting; different look  Large abstract painting that you lose yourself in  Comparable to Monet's Waterlilies  The love of Monet either conditioned the acceptance of Abstract Expressionism or vice versa o Number One, 1948  Not as large as many of his others  Badly oxidized, but likely there was once color  Existentialist framework where he is performing automatic writing via paint, because it was his belief that he could access his innermost feelings and ideas that way  Believed he was painting from unconscious mind, turning off logic and language  Subjective: painting for yourself, incredibly personal; viewers come to appreciate an extremely private and personal statement  Pollock's hoped viewers would share these feelings due to his belief of Jung's collective unconscious  12 handprints in upper right, maybe fell and created more or just had the idea  What is more subjective or personal than a handprint?  Almost a self portrait, but by leaving his handprint, Pollock leaves a trace of himself rather than an image o In 1951, the drip-pour paintings ended; Pollock had a bad day and his painting didn't work  Rolled up his canvas, went into the house, started drinking again  Last time he tried to make a poured painting in his life o Black Enamel Paintings: critics hated these paintings; even after he died, they still didn't sell  Number 7 and Number 18, 1951 and 1952  Originally black and white but are now so yellow  Used a turkey baster, developed remarkable control  Number 7, 1951  Left half: Life magazine pictures of sperm cells  Right half: figure of a woman o Died driving drunk and drove into a tree outside his house  Mark Rothko – Abstract Expressionism o Not a gesture painter like de Kooning and Pollock o Field painting: wide, big expanses of canvas with little variation on the surface  Expressive colors that he believed were emotional  "Color Feeling"  Expressive of the condition of mankind o Russian immigrant, went to Yale; interested in myth, storytelling, Karl Jung, and the connection to the unconscious mind  Collective unconscious o Primeval Landscape, 1944  Does an inventive painting, simply begins to draw with no idea where he's going  Automatic writing: transforms the forms in biomorphic creatures, other whimsical scenes o Slow Swirl at the Edge of the Sea, 1944  Figural, but highly inventive  Figures standing on the beach  Concentric circles like they are spinning  Existential writers like Sartre made connections between humanism, painting, writing in the West to the Holocaust  "It didn't do any good because the Holocaust still happened"  Thought is corrupt; the unconscious mind is not corrupt  As Rothko began to explore unconscious, figure and line became unimportant to him o Untitled, 1948 and Number 9, 1949  Untraditional, using stains  Dissolving pigment in turpentine  Unsure how he did these; dipping? Scrubbing with a rag? Painting with a brush?  Deeply meaningful to Rothko; wanted the viewer to spend time and experience them, to empathize  Subjective, but done with color (unlike Pollock's line) o Untitled (Multiform), 1948 and Number 21, 1949  Towards the end of the 40s, Rothko is moving towards geometric shapes o Number 3, 1949 and Untitled (Grey on Yellow), 1949  Layers are visible  Organized into squares of color, floating shapes  Not geometric shapes, they are not squares but are rather cloudlike  There are distinctions between the shapes, but they are all in the foreground, melting into each other  Attempting to get away from depth  Titles are subjective, not giving an experience through the title  So many untitled paintings that they are now known by the colors in them  Sometimes would decide he liked his paintings flipped around the other way  When he installed them, he put them in almost dark lighting so that the colors couldn't be seen  Believed this paintings were deeply emotional, tragic, dramatic  The paintings are scaled to the human body  He wanted one person at a time to look at them and to stand pretty close because he wanted most of your peripheral vision to see the color rather than the wall o Red, Orange, Tan and Purple, 1954  "If you truly understood my paintings, they would make you weep" because they were so tragic  Color feeling: can colors make you feel something?  Not simply beautiful designs o Number 61, 1953  In order to get the stain, they need to be on untampered, raw canvas  Because he used turpentine, the canvas begins to rot  Fugitive colors  Tragic, sad because Rothko didn't use fugitive materials, but was just cheap (very, very cheap paint)  Most of the paintings fade because there's so little pigment in the "paint-by-number paint" he used; others turned black o Some of his paintings grow moldy because of his tendency to use olive oil to stretch the pigment  Did the destruction of his paintings have to do with his suicide? o Untitled (Black over Grey)  Clifford Still o Field painter, brought into abstract expressionist group by Rothko (friend) o Very restrained paintings, very gestural; very different palettes o Did not allow his paintings to be displayed with any other paintings, and therefore did not sell many paintings o Number 2, 1949  Many of the "different colors" are actually differences in texture that look like color  No beginning or end, all-over canvas o January, 1951  Doesn't follow all the art rules (random red in upper left hand corner) o By late 1957, they are stretching and becoming bigger; looking more like natural phenomena, perhaps lightning  Painting flat, no up or down  Field painting: as they spread and get larger, there is no disruption except in color and texture  Influenced by late Monet waterlilies  His paintings started small but eventually grew to 20 feet  Barnett Newman o Color field painters: Rothko, Still, Newman  Gesture: Pollock, de Kooning  All part of abstract expressionism o Onement I, 1948 and Concord, 1949  Newman: latecomer to the artist world; curator of a galley; supported abstract expressionism when organizing exhibitions  In the late 1940s, he decided to try painting  Color and optical performance  Fields of color interrupted by vertical lines of a different color; these vertical lines are called zips  Interrupts color field and provide optical stimulation  Performance based like Pollock --> Pollock was pouring and dripping, Newman was ripping the tape and making a zip  Not just interruptions of color or shape, but also emotion o Onement II, 1948 and Joshua, 1950  The fields have very little brushstrokes, but the zip is more gestural paint work o Vir Heroicus Sublimis (Man Heroic and Sublime) 1950  Massive scale; the artist wants you to be absorbed by the painting, but also a signifier of the artist's ambition  Artists at this time wanted to pass Picasso, but in order to do so, many wanted to do a painting as large as Guernica  Five zips in this painting  Some zips are dramatic, others subtle  Contrast, color  Newman believed he was giving the viewer a sublime experience  Hedda Sterne o Machine No. 5, 1950  Because she was a woman, museums didn't deem her talented enough to collect her work and much of it is missing  Not abstract expressionism, although she was present in a picture with many abstract expressionists  Sobel o Untitled, 1946  The only woman to ever show at the Art of the Century Gallery curated by Peggy Guggenheim  Sobel was pouring and dripping at least three years before Pollock, and he attended her show  Helen Frankenthaler o "The woman who made it – sort of" o Grew up in New York City, attended Bennington College in Vermont o COLOR FIELD painting, NOT abstract expressionism o Beach, 1950  Influenced by Picasso, Cubist drawing  Paint loaded down with sand st o Painted on 21 Street, 1950  Large painting  Lots of sand on it  Introduced to an art critic named Greenberg and started a long term affair, he introduced her to everyone and brought her into the art world  She was young, beautiful, and brilliant  Every Sunday afternoon, her and Greenberg would spend the day with Pollock and Krasner o Frankenthaler: "At 21, I didn't know who I wanted to be, but I didn't want to be Lee Krasner" o Frankenthaler was not interested in his drip and pour works, but rather his turkey baster paintings o Mountains and Sea, 1952  The beginning of her "mature style" even though she was 21 years old  Took a trip to Nova Scotia, and came home with "the landscape in her arms"  Came home and put her canvas on the floor  Dissolves her colored paints in turpentine  Objective painting  Innovation: the color  Watering down the pigment, pouring it on the canvas  Wet and dry rags  Some areas dense, other areas thin layers of paint  "Soak/Stain Technique" - the color is inside the weave of the canvas  Although maybe not the best paintings of the 1950s, the most accomplished painting of the 1950s --> incredibly influential  Greenberg thought it was the best painting he'd ever seen, hung it in her studio and brought every young artist he knew to see it  Although he was the most famous art critic, he felt it would be unprofessional to write about Frankenthaler so she was excluded from many conversations  Opticality: the kind of painting that appealed to eyesight alone, nothing else  No expressionism


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