ArtandSocietyNotesII - Abstract Expressionism, the Cold...

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Abstract Expressionism, the Cold War, and the American Dream (All works are oil on canvas) QuickTime and a decompres or are ne ded to se this picture. Grant Wood, “American Gothic” 1930 - Drawing on 17 th century Dutch painting. Rural and suburb American life, the flip side of Hopper’s painting. Focuses on contemporary American life. Has celebratory elements; carefully rendered monument to no-nonsense people who work the land, hard working, who stand in for American ingenuity. - However, Midwestern people thought they were poking fun at them. These people look unattractive and boring. This and Hopper’s, in 30s and 40s, in America, an emphasis on naturalism, adherence to non-abstraction, very different from European art up to this moment. - A change came about because this was starting to look like something else . . . Nazi farm family (a return to a meticulous naturalism) . . . and the stylistic similarities are very striking. Designed to inspire confidence in Native people. - Vladimirski “Worker”, 1948. A painting of a Soviet worker, presenting himself proudly to the viewer, you get a feeling of pride. “Roses for Stalin” this goes into the realm of ridiculous. Come on, flowers for Stalin? These works were very popular in post-WWII. So there is an ideological problem. QuickTime and a decompres or are ne ded to se this picture. Edward Hopper, “Nighthawks” 1942 - Prior to this moment (with J.P.) seen as standing in for American painting or American modernism of this time. This painting relies on notions of naturalism and a kind of visual credibility. A return to a window on a credible space. - Takes on a normal subject, urban life. Industrial coffee containers, a sense of a snapshot of a modern American urban life. Major emphasis on the major cities in the US. - Not entirely celebratory, like Manet, because it draws on the isolation of modern life. There are four figures together, but they seem isolated from one another. Empty streets and lack of light contribute to this anonymity.
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QuickTime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Piet Mondrian, “Composition with Red, Blue, and Yellow” 1930 - Wanted to have a universal style, show that he could break painting down to its most basic form. Through manipulating the forms he could get at something truer than the illusionism or visual experience - He created numerous “pure plastic” paintings in which he locked primary colors into a grid of intersecting vertical and horizontal lines. By altering the grid patterns, he created a dynamic tension - Basing his ideas on a combination of techniques, he concluded that primary colors and values are the purest colors and therefore are the perfect tools to help an artist construct a harmonious composition QuickTime and a decompres or are ne ded to se this picture. “Broadway Boogie-Woogie” 1942-43
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This note was uploaded on 09/28/2009 for the course AHIS 121 taught by Professor Roberts during the Spring '08 term at USC.

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ArtandSocietyNotesII - Abstract Expressionism, the Cold...

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