Art & Architecture

Art & Architecture

Question 1

Originally, abstract expressionism was a term utilized in Germany, but it later started to refer to Post-WWII American Art. Not all the artists produced purely expressionist or abstract work at that time. Most of this artwork was concentrated in New York. The art was used to express the subconscious feelings that the artists had after the war. The artists used it to bring out the disillusionment experienced by the contemporary society immediately after World War II and the great depression. The Surrealists and the cubists were the initiators of the art after fleeing Europe and settling in New York (Anfam, 2010). They influenced the young artists to bring out their feelings about the war through art, thus leading to the formation of a movement that was branded as the troublemaker. It was used as a method of spreading the socialist’s realism due to the prevailing political climate after the war thus it was always opposed by the politicians. It represented America as a refuge for free markets and free thought. It was used as an enhancer of cultural imperialism.

The abstract expressionists embraced the non-representative ways of creating art at the expense of the realistic styles because the effects of the initial abstract expressionist movements had declined during the 1960s. They were also forced to change to this form of art due to the effects of the American civilization, which took place after the cold war. They also wanted to distance the type of art found in Europe to that found in America because the initiators of abstract expressionism came from Europe and tried to revolutionize American art. It was a way of spreading cultural imperialism as it was promoted by the CIA who felt that the dominance of the European art market was threatening thus they had to support their own art to dominate the market (Anfam, 2010). The American artists felt that, to maintain their artistic history they had to formulate their own art based on the influences from the art found in Europe, thus leading to their switching to non-representational ways that would express their feelings about the war freely.

Question 3

Postmodernism can be expressed as the shifting of ideas from the modernist approaches to new approaches. It is an expression used to identify across-the-board advances in architecture, literature, critical theory, art, philosophy and culture, which are burgeoning from and responding to postmodernism (Cahoone, 2003). During this period, art was done for the sake of art, not as an expression. The postmodern art in the 1970s and 1980s was characterized by the use of pop-culture imagery and industrial materials, to conflate the high and low forms of art (Kallen, 2008). The art made use of discontinuity and pastiche discarding any form of directness and spontaneity in expressions. In this era, art encompassed the use of collage, fragmentation and collision. This is the post abstract expressionism era. Different cultural images were embraced in art at this time.

In the modern world, many critics of Postmodernism have formulated theories to show that it is demise but this has not gained any popularity in the minds of people. Many people believe that capitalism can be divided into three phases with the first phase encompassing the era of the steam driven engines and the inclusion of realism (Clayton, 2008). The second phase encompasses the era between the 19th and 20th century, characterized by monopoly capitalism in which there were the internal and electric motors. This era is correlated with modernism. The last phase of Postmodernism encompasses the current period that we are living in. This is the era of consumer or multinational capitalism, which is characterized by electronic and nuclear technologies. This is the period correlated with postmodernism. The modern era cannot be defined as post-industrial because as technological advancements are being made, industrialization is being revolutionized further. Hence, we are still in the industrial period but under Postmodernism.




Works Cited

Anfam, David. Abstract Expressionism. New York, NY: Haunch of Venison, 2010. Print

Cahoone, Lawrence. From Modernism to Postmodernism: An Anthology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003. Print.

Clayton, Alec. As If, Art Matters: Modern and Post Modern Art Reviews and Commentary. Burgum: Alec Clayton, 2008. Print.

Kallen, Stuart. Postmodern Art. Hampshire: Lucent Books, 2008. Print.







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