Death to the Future

– Modernism to post modernism-

Modern- Of the now

Modernism- History of modern art

Modernity- context, technological advances- things that happened- Wider implications of modernism, whole time period that took place around art.


(Abstraction is the key characteristics of modern art.)


timescale: 1869-1970s


– industrial revolution

– movement from rural to urban environments

– WW1 & WW2

– Rise of the middle class

– Changes in communication

– Scientific advances

– Rational, Simple, Geometric, Undecorated

– Optimistic – Utopian (Best of all possible worlds) and Utilitarian (greatest good for greatest no. of people) – nobody believes in it anymore

– Priutt Igoe Housing complex 1972 destroyed


Themes and concerns:

– Progress

– Production

– Death of god (secularism)

-Form follows function & exploration of new materials (Bauhaus)

– Utopian & Utilitarian – optimism

– Breakdown

-Formalism (Greenburg)

– Rejection & rebellion

– Abstraction



Timescale: 1970’s-1990’s


– information age

– world wide web

– dissolution of totaling truths

– sense of fragmentation (no truths – we dont trust) and decentered self; multiple, conflicting identities

– Importance of global economies- so many choices

– scepticism towards everything

– culture of surveillance

– globalisation


Modernism– middle class men tell us what true and what’s not.

Post-modernism- everyone’s opinions matter.


Jeff Koons- borrows from others

Cindy Sherman


Themes and concerns:

– consumption

– no particular style

– eclecticism- wide range of stuff- borrowing

– appropriation- borrowing- nicking ideas

– mixing of materials

– ornament and decoration

– witty and ironic

– contradictions and complecity

– social/political critique

– Ambiguity- vague

– mixed media, intertextuality- anything can be text- films, advertisements

– parody, irony and nastalgia ( fuzzy feeling about looking backwards)

– meaning is socially constructed not revealed ‘truth’


Mark Tansey 

A short history of modernist painting 1982

– 3 images on one piece

– pre-modern art of classic art -into another world

– three dimensional image on a two dimensional plane- flat image

– self referential- anything can be art



AT&T building- ornament

Playful humour?


Barnett Newman

Who is scared of Red, Yellow and Blue? 1966


Philip Taaffe

We are not Afraid 1985


– acrylic


Cindy Sherman


– gender roles are socially changed


Roger Brown

Talk show addicts 1993

– etching and aquatint


Christo and claude

Trees (wrapped up)

– Fresh eyes

– New


Modernism, Postmodernism and Beyond!

-YBA and 21st Century Art-

YBA- Young British Artists: 1990-2000

Open to interpretations

-Hype – marketing – sensations exhibitiom – artist as brand



– Thatcher’s britain

– emerged from art schools in late 80’s

– teachers and students came together to consider contemporary life and culture

– freeze exhibition 1988


– life – love -sex -deth – destruction -society

Main artists:

– Damien Hirst, Tracy Emmin, Sarah Lucas, Jim Lambie, Mat Collishaw, Gary Hume, Sam Tayor- Wood, Gillian Wearing


Damien Hirst

“Artists are like everybody else”

– cycle of life and death


Diamond skull- Damien Hirst

– both humans and diamonds are made of carbon


– blood diamonds (film)


21st century art- The now!

– artists as celebrity and brand- a shift from art towards the artist

– globalisation- wide range of telecommunication

– sustainability

– internet as the printing press of the 21st century web 2.0 technology

– the turner prize- a barometer of 21st century art



– the world is effectively sinking


– up-cycling in fashion – make something better than it was

– recycle, reuse, reduce

– environmentalism


Andy Goldsworthy

” I enjoy working in a quiet and subversive way”


Cornelia Parker

” There’s such a freedom about being an artist… You’re not accountable- you’re this renegade thing”

– cartoon endings made into art


Jenny Holzer 1950

– truisims


Julian Opie

“I am simply using which is available to describe that which is experienced”


– album cover




Barbara Kruger

-Used to be magazines editor and uses the layout to make her art

– identity is fragmented ‘you are not yourself’

– Passive – traditionally look away ‘your gaze hits the side of my face’

-active- looking directly at the viewer


David Shrigley

‘worried’, ‘I’m dead’, ‘going nowhere’



The End of Art? -Op, Pop and Conceptual Art-

-Op, Pop and conceptual art-


Bridget Riley

– fall 1963

-swirly lines

– monochromatic

– physical response created

– all about perception

– depth, it looks three-dimensional due to the waves formed through the optical swirled lines.


Op Art

Timescale: late 1950’s- 60’s

Concerns and themes:

-Geometric abstract art

– Creates illusion of movement

– Uses theories from psychology of perception

– Physical response

– big influence on fashion

Main artists:

– Bridget Riley, Josef Albers, Jesus-Rafael sotto, Vicor Vasarely


What is popular culture?

… it includes Tv, music, Films, Fashion form


The rise of the teenagers…

There was no distinct difference between parents and children until now.


Victor Vasarely – untitled 1963

– Not as many lines

– same width

– Not curved

– Geometric

– Shapes made with lines


Sotto untitled 1959

– a Mix of painting and sculpture

– Kinetic art- viewer moving around makes the movement

– new technologies allowing it to happen


Richard Hamilton

Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? 1956

– materials: photography, collage cut outs

– saturated collage

– included new technology like old tape players, hoover, tv, bill boards, theatre

– end of rationing

– packaging design

– advertising posters

– moon landing ceiling

– mass production

– ford first cars


Pop Art

Timescale: late 1950’s-60’s

Themes and concerns:

– celebration of modern consumerism after Austerity of the war years

– brash colourful world of advertising, comic strips and popular entertainment

– popular (designed for mass audience), transient, expendable, low cost, mass produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous, big buisness (Hamilton definition)

Main artists:

– Andy Warhol, Blake, Hockney, Lichtenstein, Hamilton


Peter Blake

 cover art 1967

– bright


– brash colours

– glamorous celebrities

– Popular culture

– collage

-Rock n’ Roll

– Fine art and pop combined


Andy warhol

Marilyn Monroe 

– screen prints- handmade

– depression

– colours are bright and represent a glamorous star

– different colours, tones, faded- fading away may infer the journey to her death

– black and white side could infer depression meds



Whaam 1963

– pop culture to draw in teenagers



– colours- primary


Conceptual Art

– from Duchamp to the present-


Sol LeWitt

Five open geometric structures 1979

-self referential in the way it refers to itself (is what it says it is)

– minimal with concept

– the idea of the piece is the most important thing


Timescale: mid 1950’s and ongoing

Various media- but the IDEA is the main focus

Influenced by:

– Dada ready-made

– Fluxus

– Minimalism

Main artists:

– Joseph Buys, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Kosuth

Themes and concerns:

– concept before object

– Art work can exist as an idea- a work of art is not dependent on the object/work itself

-direct defiance of art market- destroy the idea of value

– art need not take any physical form at all

– self conscious and self referential- they created art that is about art


Sol LeWitt

Wall Drawing #1136 2004

-sold idea with instructions and therefore not made by the artist but more the concept of the design idea

– therefore with instructions cannot be the same as what the artist had thought with the idea and is different every time it’s done


Joseph Kosuth

One and three chairs 1965

– Photograph of the chair, Chair, Definition of the chair- You need all 3 to make a chair and that was the idea of one and three chairs. A clever concept on an everyday object



Op art-

… Manipulates views visual response, physical response, stark contrast, links with kinetic art


Pop Art-

… Roots in history of modern art, industrialisation, deals with contemporary life; urban, mass production.


Conceptual Art-

… The idea is more important than the art. Defiance of ‘Art Market’ and a reaction to abstract expressionism. Art can be made by others. 


Visual Analysis- Pop Art

Title: Standard station 1966

Artist: Ed Ruscha 

Medium/ Technique: screenprint

Date accessed: 6/03/14

Reference: Thursday 6th March 2014

This piece is a pop art movement due to it’s visual representation and communication, an american dream of optimism and naive that was going on at the time. In this way the piece looks like it’s a petrol station with it’s bright and bold colours. Around the time of this piece there was an anti vietnam war protest going on around the world. With the piece he wanted to blend the imagery of Hollywood with colourful renderings of commercial culture and the landscape of the southwest. This is one of his most iconic prints as he repeatedly used gasoline stations in his book Twentysix Gasoline Stations 1963, from a road trip through the American Southwestern countryside; trying to portray commercial culture. The perspective is flatterned as a composition to depict commercial advertising and leads from the far right to the top left leading the eye across to the foreground with one long leading line. He also used text within the piece to give interplay between art and text. The colour in the background is complementary blues and oranges, but also blends from orange to red as an analogous colour scheme making it look calm, warm and harmonious. He’s used the geometric shapes of the gasoline station through the windows, signs and gasoline tanks. The piece seems a smooth texture and feathery in the background.The image leaves the top right half spacious and the bottom left is filled with the gasoline station and the shapes it creates. It’s the way it presents the popular culture within the image that makes it the style of pop art.