2. Part One - Contemporary Art · 2.a. Project 1: Art and Ideas · Research

Research – Postmodernism

All information was gained from the Tate Modern website: www.tate.org.uk/learn/online-resources/glossary/p/postmodernism

What is postmodernism?

–        First used around 1970

–        An art movement that defies definition as there is no one style or theory

–        Embraces many different approaches to art making

–        Anti-Authoritarian by nature – refuses to recognise a definition of what art should be

–        Gets rid of boundry between art and every day life

–        Can be characterised by use of earlier styles and mixing of different media.

 

When did Postmodernism happen?

–        Said to have begun with pop art

–        Embraced conceptual art, neo-expressionism, feminist art and the ‘young British artists’ of the 1990’s

 

Modernism vs Postmodernism

–        PM was a reaction against modernism

–        Modernism generally based on a utopian vision of human life, society and belief

–        Modernist artists believe negating the subject and experimenting with form, technique and process could purely and simply understand and reflect the modern world.

–        Modernism based on idealism and reason

–        Postmodernism based on scepticism and suspicion

–        PM challenged notion that there are universal certainties or truths that will explain everything for everyone

–        Advocates individual experience and interpretation is more concreate than abstract principles and is the best way to understand and respond to reality

–        M – championed clarity and simplicity

–        PM – embraced complex and contradictory layers of meaning

 

What does postmodernism look like?

–        PM broke established rules about style

–        PM can often be funny, tongue-in-cheek or ludicrous, confrontational, controversial, challenging boundaries of taste

–        Most crucially PM reflects self-awareness of style itself

–        Often borrows a range of styles from the past

–        Postmodernism is said to have come to an end and a new culture for the 21st century is emerging – The 2009 Tate Triennial exhibition ‘Alter Modern’

PM artists to look at: Photography – Cindy Sherman Joseph Kosuth – Specifically ‘clock one + five English/latin version (exhibition version)’

 

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