Art of the 20th Century




Postwar Developments & Contemporary Art

 

 


Leonard Baskin


EXPLORATION:
Balthus




Art Styles in 20th century Art Map


 

The New Avant-garde & Postmodernism

+ Georges Mathieu  Performance Art  Conceptual Art  Art Informel






 

Since the 1960s, artistic exploration has proceeded apace on a global scale.

Among the many and varied developments witnessed in recent decades are the

reworking of complex traditional styles, the introduction of new media, and a

broadening of artistic horizons, characterized by a willingness to experiment

and to push artistic expression to the limit.

 

Performance artist, sculptor and curator Oleg Kulik is most renowned for his performances as a dog, including Mad Dog, Reservoir Dog and I Bite America and


Kulik Oleg. His exhibitions and performative events are characterized by "strong" expression and social provocations, where he himself assumes the role of

Brutalism.

Term applied to the architectural style of exposed rough concrete and large modernist block forms, which flourished in the 1960s and 1970s and which derived from the architecture of Le Corbusier. The term originated from béton brut (Fr.: ‘raw concrete’) and was given overtones of cultural significance not only by Le Corbusier’s dictum ‘L’architecture, c’est avec des matières brutes établir des rapports émouvants’ (‘Architecture is the establishing of moving relationships with raw materials’), but also by the art brut of Jean Dubuffet and others, which emphasized the material and heavily impastoed surfaces. The epitome of Brutalism in this original sense is seen in the forms and surface treatment of its first major monument, Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation de Grandeur Conforme (1948–54) in Marseille (for another LASDUN, DENYS). The ultimate disgrace of Brutalism in this same sense is to be seen in the innumerable blocks of flats built throughout the world that use the prestige of Le Corbusier’s béton brut as an excuse for low-cost surface treatments. In Le Corbusier’s own buildings exposed concrete is usually very carefully detailed, with particular attention to the surface patterns created by the timber shuttering, and this can be seen in the work of more conscientious followers of the mode such as Lasdun or Atelier 5.

 

Computer art.

Term formerly used to describe any work of art in which a computer was used to make either the work itself or the decisions that determined its form. Computers became so widely used, however, that in the late 20th century the term was applied mainly to work that emphasized the computer’s role. Such calculating tools as the abacus have existed for millennia, and artists have frequently invented mathematical systems to help them to make pictures. The GOLDEN SECTION and Alberti’s formulae for rendering perspective were devices that aspired to fuse realism with idealism in art, while Leonardo da Vinci devoted much time to applying mathematical principles to image-making. After centuries of speculations by writers, and following experiments in the 19th century, computers began their exponential development in the aftermath of World War II, when new weapon-guidance systems were adapted for peaceful applications, and the term ‘cybernetics’ was given currency by Norbert Wiener. Artists exploited computers’ ability to execute mathematical formulations or ‘algorithms’ from 1950, when Ben F. Laposky (b 1930) used an analogue computer to generate electronic images on an oscilloscope. Once it was possible to link computers to printers, programmers often made ‘doodles’ between their official tasks. From the early 1960s artists began to take this activity more seriously and quickly discovered that many formal decisions could be left to the computer, with results that were particularly valued for their unpredictability. From the mid-1970s the painter Harold Cohen (b 1928) developed a sophisticated programme, AARON, which generated drawings that the artist then completed as coloured paintings. Although the computer became capable of that task as well, Cohen continued to hand-colour computer-generated images

 

Fibre art.

Collective term, coined in the 1970s, for creative, experimental fibre objects. A wide range of techniques is used, often in combinations that encompass both traditional (e.g. felting, knotting) and modern (e.g. photographic transfer) practices. The eclectic range of materials includes many not previously associated with textiles, such as paper, wood, iridescent film, nylon mesh and wire.

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 
 

Psychedelic art


OPTICAL ART

Kinetic Art

 

Alexander Calder 1898-1976 American
George Rickey 1907-2002 American
Jean Tinguely 1925-1991 Swiss
Julio Le Parc Born 1928 Argentine



Pop Art -
Jasper Johns, Yves Klein,

Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine.






Conceptual Art

HAPPENINGS -
Lucas Samaras (sm.avantgarde)


Fluxus



PERFORMANCE ART

Gutai group

Body Art

Visual Poetry

LAND ART


Arte Povera -
Lucio Fontana





Minimalism-
 Frank Stella



Transavanguardia

Graffiti

 

Psychedelic art is art inspired by the psychedelic experience induced by drugs such as LSD, Mescaline, and Psilocybin. The word "psychedelic" (coined by British psychologist Humphrey Osmond) means "mind manifesting". By that definition all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche may be considered "psychedelic". However, in common parlance "Psychedelic Art" refers above all to the art movement of the 1960s counterculture. Psychedelic visual arts were a counterpart to psychedelic rock music. Concert posters, album covers, lightshows, murals, comic books, underground newspapers and more reflected not only the kaleidoscopically swirling patterns of LSD hallucinations, but also revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments inspired by insights derived from these psychedelic states of consciousness.

Psychedelic Art is informed by the notion that altered states of consciousness produced by psychedelic drugs are a source of artistic inspiration. The psychedelic art movement is similar to the surrealist movement in that it prescribes a mechanism for obtaining inspiration. Whereas the mechanism for surrealism is the observance of dreams, the psychedelic artist turns to his drug induced hallucinations. Both movements have strong ties to important developments in science. Whereas the surrealist was fascinated by Freud's theory of the unconscious, the psychedelic artist has been literally "turned on" by Albert Hofmann's discovery of LSD.

The early examples of "Psychedelic Art" are literary rather than visual. It should also be noted that these came from writers involved in the Surrealist movement. Antonin Artaud writes of his Peyote experience in "Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara" (1937). Henri Michaux wrote "Miserable Miracle" (1956), to describe his experiments with Mescaline and also hashish.

Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception" (1954), and "Heaven and Hell" (1956), remain definitive statements on the psychedelic experience.

Albert Hofmann and his colleagues at Sandoz Laboratories were convinced immediately after it's discovery in 1943 of the power and promise of LSD. For two decades following it's discovery LSD was marketed by Sandoz as an important drug for psychological and neurological research. Hofmann saw the drug's potential for poets and artists as well, and took great interest in the German poet, Ernst Junger's psychedelic experiments.

Early artistic experimentation with LSD was conducted in a clinical context by Los Angeles based psychiatrist Oscar Janiger. Janiger asked a group of 50 different artists to each do a painting from life of a subject of the artist's choosing. They were subsequently asked to do the same painting while under the influence of LSD. The two paintings were compared by Janiger and also the artist. The artists almost unanimously reported LSD to be an enhancement to their creativity.

Ultimately it seems that psychedelics would be most warmly embraced by the American counterculture. Beatnik poets Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs became fascinated by psychedelic drugs as early as the 1950s as evidenced by "The Yage Letters" (1963). The Beatniks recognized the role of psychedelics as sacred inebriants in Native American religious ritual, and also had an understanding of the philosophy of the surrealist and symbolist poets who called for a "complete disorientation of the senses" (to paraphrase Arthur Rimbaud). They knew that altered states of consciousness played a role in Eastern Mysticism. They were hip to psychedelics as psychiatric medicine. LSD was the perfect catalyst to electrify the eclectic mix of ideas assembled by the Beats into a cathartic, mass-distributed panacea for the soul of the succeeding generation.

 

 

The term Outsider Art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for Art Brut (which literally translates as "Raw Art" or "Rough Art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane asylum inmates.

While Dubuffet's term is quite specific, the English term "Outsider Art" is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or Naïve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as Outsider Artists have little or no contact with the institutions of the mainstream art world; in many cases, their work is "discovered" only after their deaths. Much Outsider Art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.

Outsider Art has emerged as a successful art marketing category (an annual Outsider Art Fair has taken place in New York since 1992); thus the term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people outside the "art world" mainstream, regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.

Interest in the art of insane asylum inmates had begun to grow in the 1920s. In 1921 Dr. Walter Morgenthaler published his book Ein Geisteskranker als Künstler (A Psychiatric Patient as Artist) on Adolf Wölfli, a psychotic mental patient in his care. Wölfli had spontaneously taken up drawing, and this activity seemed to calm him. His most outstanding work is an illustrated epic of 45 volumes in which he narrates his own imaginary life story. With 25,000 pages, 1,600 illustrations, and 1,500 collages, it is a monumental work. He also produced a large number of smaller works, some of which were sold or given as gifts. His work is on display at the Adolf Wölfli Foundation in the Museum of Fine Art, Berne. A defining moment was the publication of Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Artistry of the mentally ill) in 1922, by Dr Hans Prinzhorn.

French artist Jean Dubuffet was particularly struck by Bildnerei der Geisteskranken and began his own collection of such art, which he called Art Brut or Raw Art. In 1948 he formed the Compagnie de l'Art Brut along with other artists including André Breton. The collection he established became known as the Collection de l'Art Brut. It contains thousands of works and is now permanently housed in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dubuffet characterized Art Brut as:

"Those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses - where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere - are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professions. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade." - Jean Dubuffet. Place à l'incivisme (Make way for Incivism). Art and Text no.27 (Dec. 1987 - Feb 1988). p.36

Dubuffet argued that 'culture', that is mainstream culture, managed to assimilate every new development in art, and by doing so took away whatever power it might have had. The result was to asphyxiate genuine expression. Art Brut was his solution to this problem - only Art Brut was immune to the influences of culture, immune to being absorbed and assimilated, because the artists themselves were not willing or able to be assimilated.

The interest in "outsider" practices among twentieth century artists and critics can be seen as part of a larger emphasis on the rejection of established values within the modernist art milieu. The early part of the 20th Century gave rise to cubism and the Dada, Constructivist and Futurist movements in art, all of which involved a dramatic movement away from cultural forms of the past. Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, for example, abandoned "painterly" technique to allow chance operations a role in determining the form of his works, or simply to re-contextualize existing "readymade" objects as art. Mid-century artists, including Pablo Picasso, looked "outside" the traditions of high culture for inspiration, drawing from the artifacts of "primitive" societies, the unschooled artwork of children, and vulgar advertising graphics. Dubuffet's championing of the art of the insane and others at the margins of society is yet another example of avant-garde art challenging established cultural values.

A number of terms are used to describe art that is loosely understood as "outside" of official culture. Definitions of these terms vary, and there are areas of overlap between them. The editors of Raw Vision, a leading journal in the field, suggest that "Whatever views we have about the value of controversy itself, it is important to sustain creative discussion by way of an agreed vocabulary". Consequently they lament the use of Outsider Artist to refer to almost any untrained artist. "It is not enough to be untrained, clumsy or naïve. Outsider Art is virtually synonymous with Art Brut in both spirit and meaning, to that rarity of art produced by those who do not know its name."

  • Art Brut: Raw art, 'raw' in that it has not been through the 'cooking' process: the art world of art schools, galleries, museums. Originally art by psychotic individuals who existed almost completely outside culture and society. Strictly speaking it refers only to the Collection de l'Art Brut.
  • Neuve Invention: Used to describe artists who, although marginal, have some interaction with mainstream culture. They may be doing art part-time for instance. The expression was coined by Dubuffet too; strictly speaking it refers only to a special part of the Collection de l'Art Brut.
  • Folk art: Folk art originally suggested crafts and decorative skills associated with peasant communities in Europe - though presumably it could equally apply to any indigenous culture. It has broadened to include any product of practical craftsmanship and decorative skill - everything from chain-saw animals to hub-cap buildings. A key distinction between folk and outsider art is that folk art typically embodies traditional forms and social values, where outsider art stands in some marginal relationship to society's mainstream.
  • Marginal Art/Art Singulier: Essentially the same as Neue Invention; refers to artists on the margins of the art world.
  • Visionary art/Intuitive art: Raw Vision Magazine's preferred general terms for Outsider Art. It describes them as deliberate umbrella terms. However Visionary Art unlike other definitions here can often refer to the subject matter of the works, which includes images of a spiritual or religious nature. Intuitive art is probably the most general term available. The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland is dedicated to the collection and display of such artwork.
  • Naïve Art: Another grey area. Untrained artists who aspire to "normal" artistic status, i.e. they have a much more conscious interaction with the mainstream art world than do Outsider Artists.
  • Visionary environments: Buildings and sculpture parks built by visionary artists - range from decorated houses, to large areas incorporating a large number of individual sculptures with a tightly associated theme. Examples include Watts Towers by Simon Rodia, and The Palais Ideal by Ferdinand Cheval.
  • Irrealism: Nelson Goodman
  • Nek Chand (1924- ) is an Indian artist, famous for building the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, a forty acre (160,000m²) sculpture garden in the city of Chandigarh, India.
  • Ferdinand Cheval (1836-1924) was a country postman in Hauterives, south of Lyon, France. Motivated by a dream, he spent 33 years constructing the Palais Ideal. Half organic building, half massive sculpture, it was constructed from stones collected on his postal round, held together with chicken wire, cement, and lime.
  • Henry Darger (1892-1973) was a solitary man who was orphaned and institutionalised as a child. In the privacy of his Chicago apartment, he produced 15,000 pages of text and hundreds of large scale illustrations, including maps, collaged photos and watercolors that depict his child heroes "the Vivian Girls" in the midst of battle scenes that combine imagery of the US Civil War with fanciful monsters.
  • Madge Gill (1882-1961), was an English mediumistic artist who made thousands of drawings "guided" by a spirit she called "Myrninerest" (my inner rest).
  • Alexander Lobanov (1924-2003) was a deaf and autistically withdrawn Russian known for detailed and self-aggrandizing self-portraits: paintings, photographs and quilts, which usually include images of large guns.
  • Martin Ramirez (1895-1963), a Mexican outsider artist who spent most of his adult life institutionalized in a California mental hospital (he had been diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic). He developed an elaborate iconography featuring repeating shapes mixed with images of trains and Mexican folk figures.
  • Achilles Rizzoli (1896-1981) was employed as an architectural draftsman. He lived with his mother near San Francisco, California. After his death, a huge collection of elaborate drawings were discovered, many in the form of maps and architectural renderings that described a highly personal fantasy exposition, including portraits of his mother as a neo-baroque building.
  • Judith Scott (1943-2005) was born deaf and with Down Syndrome. After taking a fiber art class at an art institute for the disabled, she began to produce objects wrapped in many layers of string and fibers.
  • Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930), a Swiss artist, was confined to a psychiatric hospital for most of his adult life during which time he produced a vast amount of drawings, text and musical composition. Wölfli was the first well-known "outsider artist," and he remains closely associated with the label.

 

Contemporary Realism

America, Emerged in the Late 1960's/Early 1970's



Contemporary Realism is the straightforward realistic approach to representation which continues to be widely practiced in this post-abstract era. It is different from Photorealism, which is somewhat exaggerated and ironic and conceptual in its nature.

Contemporary Realists form a disparate group, but what they share is that they are literate in the concepts of Modern Art but choose to work in a more traditional form. Many Contemporary Realists actually began as abstract painters, having come through an educational system dominated by an professors and theorists dismissive of representational painting.

Among the best-known artists associated with this movement are William Bailey, Neil Welliver and Philip Pearlstein. There is an identifiable "group" of Contemporary Realists, but we have used a fairly loose definition to allow inclusion of a larger number of 20th-century realists.

 

Photorealism

1960's to 1970's



 

 Photorealism is a movement which began in the late 1960's, in which scenes are painted in a style closely resembling photographs. The subject matter is frequently banal and without particular interest; the true subject of a photorealist work is the way in which we interpret photographs and paintings in order to create an internal representation of the scene depicted.

The leading members of the Photorealist movement are Richard Estes and Chuck Close. Estes specializes in street scenes with elaborate reflections in window-glass; Close does enormous portraits of usually expressionless faces. Other photorealists also typically specialize in one particular subject: horses, trucks, diners, etc.
 

John Kacere  1920-1999  American Painter  
Duane Hanson  1925-1996  American Sculptor  
Ralph Goings  Born 1928  American Painter  
Audrey Flack  Born 1931  American Painter/Sculptor  
Malcolm Morley  Born 1931  British/American Painter/Sculptor  
Robert Bechtle  Born 1932  American Painter  
Richard Estes  Born 1932  American Painter  
Idelle Weber  Born 1932  American Painter  
Richard McLean  Born 1934  American Painter  
Charles Bell  1935-1995  American Painter  
Robert Cottingham  Born 1935  American Painter  
Carolyn Brady  Born 1937  American Painter  
Ron Kleemann  Born 1937  American Painter  
John Salt  Born 1937  British Painter  
John Baeder  Born 1938  American Painter  
Tom Blackwell  Born 1938  American Painter  
Chuck Close  Born 1940  American Painter  
Brendan Neiland  Born 1941  British Painter  
Ben Schonzeit  Born 1942  American Painter  
Don Eddy  Born 1944  American Painter  
Ian Hornak  1944-2002  American Painter  
Davis Cone  Born 1950  American Painter  
James Torlakson  Born 1951  American Painter  
Richard Phillips 1962  Born 1962  American Painter

 

Neo-Humanist or Neo-Figurative Art

Neo-figurative art
describes an expressionist revival in modern form of figurative art. The term neo- & figurative emerged in the 1960s in Mexico to represent a new form of figurative art.

Famous Neo-figurative artists include:
Fernando Botero
Antonio Berni
Oswaldo Viteri
Rebekah Boyer
Benjamin Canas

 

 

Post-modernism.

Term used to characterize developments in architecture and the arts in the 1960s and after, when there was a clear challenge to the dominance of modernism; the term was applied predominantly from the 1970s to architecture and somewhat later to the decorative and visual arts. It was first used as early as 1934 by Spanish writer Federico de Onis, although it was not then used again until Arnold Toynbee’s A Study of History in 1938 (published after World War II); Toynbee and others saw the ‘post-modern’ phenomenon in largely negative terms, as an irrational reaction to modernist rationalism. The term was used sporadically thereafter in the fields of literary criticism and music. In the 1970s, however, it came into wide use in connection with architecture to denote buildings that integrate modernism with a selective eclecticism, often of classical or Neo-classical origin. In painting the term took hold later, peaking in the mid-1980s in the USA to describe work that offered a more biting critique of current cultural values than that offered in architecture. If the attachment of the label itself is ignored, however, the developments may be perceived as continuous with the anti-modernism of the 1960s, which readily related to the growing pluralism in art and architecture that came to be associated with Post-modernism from the early 1980s.

 

Contemporary Realism

America, Emerged in the Late 1960's/Early 1970's



Contemporary Realism is the straightforward realistic approach to representation which continues to be widely practiced in this post-abstract era. It is different from Photorealism, which is somewhat exaggerated and ironic and conceptual in its nature.

Contemporary Realists form a disparate group, but what they share is that they are literate in the concepts of Modern Art but choose to work in a more traditional form. Many Contemporary Realists actually began as abstract painters, having come through an educational system dominated by an professors and theorists dismissive of representational painting.

Among the best-known artists associated with this movement are William Bailey, Neil Welliver and Philip Pearlstein. There is an identifiable "group" of Contemporary Realists, but we have used a fairly loose definition to allow inclusion of a larger number of 20th-century realists.

 

Takis, Magnetic Fields (detail), 1969. Guggenheim Museum, New York. This Kinetic sculpture is based on the activation and deactivation of a magnet which causes a reaction of the other negative

and positive magnets, variously in states of repulsion or attraction. The composition created by the magnets changes in accordance with the variation of the magnetic field.


 

Sol Lewitt, Two Open Modular Cubes/Half Off, 1975. This large sculpture, or "structure", by the American Conceptual artist Sol Lewitt impresses both with its simplicity and its geometric forms. Its very construction invites intellectual curiosity and engagement rather than an emotional response.

New Directions

Of the prominent movements, Kinetic art favoured mass-production, with materials and techniques borrowed from industrial science; meanwhile, Pop art took its inspiration from the iconographic repertoire of the consumer world. However, neither of these new artistic tendencies wanted the viewer to be passive or alienated. Indeed, never before had the public been so encouraged to participate. While Art Informel had assimilated the experiences of Expressionism and Surrealism, the artists of the new avant-garde drew on the infinite inventions of Dadaism, which had attempted to break down all the barriers between art and life and to make them interchangeable. The ■'ready-made" (the mass-produced article elevated to the status of "art"), which had already surfaced in the art of Neo-Dada and Xouveau Realisme, now appeared in a new guise under the banner of Pop art.

Other revolutionary initiatives that were taken by the Dadaists emerged in the various forms of expression of Conceptual art. For the first time, art was to be found away from its usual location in a gallery and was presented in the open air in town squares or in remote, inaccessible parts

of the world. It was seen on screen, for example, or in the street in the form of an artist pretending to be a sculpture. Towns and cities worldwide were becoming focal points for the new trends. In the early 1960s, the development of Pop art took place predominantly in the US, while

Europe, previously the centre of artistic change, lagged behind. A decade later, the art scene, as represented by its important events and leading groups, had become more international. However, by going down this road to total freedom and accessibility, many of these avant-garde movements paradoxically failed in their pursuit of the Dada connection between art and life. Art became distanced from the public, lost in introspection and experimentation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPTICAL ART

Optical art, or Op art, made its first official appearance in 1965 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of "The Responsive Eye" show organized by William Seitz.

Participants included Victor Vasarely (1908-97), Jesus Rafael Soto (b. 1923), and Bridget Riley (b. 193D. The novelty of Op art works lay in the optical effects and illusions they contained, such as the illusion of movement or volume on a flat, static surface. For the effect to be successful, however, Op art required the participation of the spectator. This was not active participation as in some Kinetic art, nor audience participation as in certain happenings, but rather a psychological form of collaboration that would allow the illusions created by the artist to be experienced by the viewer. By concentrating on the picture or by moving to the best spot in order to view it, the spectator actually established contact with the work, often remaining transfixed by its hypnotic power. The images by British artist Bridget Riley capture the eye and invite it into a web of sinuous lines that look almost alive (Current 1964).

 
 

Op art.

Term used as an abbreviation of ‘optical art’ to refer to painting and sculpture that exploits the illusions or optical effects of perceptual processes. It was used for the first time by a writer in an unsigned article in Time magazine (23 Oct 1964) and entered common usage to designate, in particular, two-dimensional structures with strong psychophysiological effects. The exhibition, The Responsive Eye, held in 1965 at MOMA, New York, under the direction of William C. Seitz, showed side by side two types of visual solicitations already practised by artists for some time: perceptual ambiguity created by coloured surfaces, then at the fore in the USA, and the coercive suggestion of movement created by lines and patterns in black and white, used abundantly by European artists engaged in KINETIC ART. The outstanding Op artists included Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Jesús Soto, Yaacov Agam, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Julio Le Parc and François Morellet.

 

 

Kinetic Art

The 1961 "Nouvelle Tendance" (New Tendency) show in Zagreb exhibited the diverse Constructivist tendencies that were coming to the fore in Western Europe. Participants included the GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel) in Paris, Gruppo N in Padua, and Gruppo T in Milan, all of whom were motivated by the desire to make art more accessible by demonstrating the ways in which it is perceived. Their methods sought to bring art closer to a wider public by involving the viewer directly. The sculptures, or assemblages, which were devised with mathematical

precision, did not bear the artist's stylistic mark or speak of any emotions but stood as basic demonstrations of themselves. Kinetic art incorporated actual moving parts (as opposed to Op art, which implied motion in its images).

The movement was derived either from the intrinsic nature of the objects, such as mobiles, or from devices causing the motion. Sometimes the public was invited to intervene in the workings of the sculpture. This is the case with Oggetto a composizione autocondotta (Object with Self-Regulating Composition, 1959) by Enzo Mari (b. 1932), in which geometric shapes enclosed in a glass container change their arrangement according to alterations made by the spectator. Kinetic works were completely devoid of the sacred "do not touch" aura usually surrounding art and demanded more involvement than the passive acceptance usually associated with viewing art. The artists themselves wanted to avoid the narcissistic self-involvement of some Art Informel artists and

to lose their identity within the discipline of a more collective activity. However, these hopes were soon to be clashed by the rapid rise to fame of certain members of the group.

 
 

Kinetic art.

Term applied to works of art concerned with real and apparent movement. It may encompass machines, mobiles and light objects in actual motion; more broadly, it also includes works in virtual or apparent movement, which could be placed under the denomination of OP ART. Kinetic art originated between 1913 and 1920, when a few isolated figures such as Marcel Duchamp, Vladimir Tatlin and NAUM GABO conceived their first works and statements to lay stress on mechanical movement. At about the same time Tatlin, Aleksandr Rodchenko and Man Ray constructed their first mobiles, and Thomas Wilfred and Adrian Bernard Klein, with Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack and Kurt Schwerdtfeger at the Bauhaus, began to develop their colour organs and projection techniques in the direction of an art medium consisting of light and movement (1921–3). Although László Moholy-Nagy and Alexander Calder pursued more or less continuous artistic research into actual motion in the 1920s and 1930s, it was only after 1950 that the breakthrough into kinetic art, and its subsequent expansion, finally took place. Such artists as Pol Bury, Jean Tinguely, Nicolas Schöffer and Harry Kramer played a leading part in this development as far as mechanical movement was concerned; Calder, Bruno Munari, Kenneth Martin (iv) and George Rickey in the domain of the MOBILE; and Wilfred, Frank Joseph Malina (1912–81), Schöffer and Gyorgy Kepes (b 1906) in that of lumino-kinetic experiment.

 

 

Mobile.

Form of kinetic sculpture, incorporating an element or elements set in motion by natural external forces. The term, which is also sometimes used more loosely to describe sculptural works with the capacity for motorized or hand-driven mechanical movement, was first used by Marcel Duchamp in 1932 to describe works by Alexander Calder . The notable feature of Calder’s sculptures, which were suspended by threads, was that their movement was caused solely by atmospheric forces, such as wind and warm air currents. Movement was not, therefore, merely suggested by the treatment, as in traditional sculpture, but took place directly and unpredictably in the object. Because the kinetic sequences of the mobile could not be fixed or programmed, predictability and repeatability were eliminated.

 

 

Pop Art

In the early 1960s, an artistic trend developed in the US that was to represent a complete departure from Action painting, the dominant movement of the previous decade. While Action painting had given pride of place to the inner impulses of the artist and to autobiographical motivation and subjectivism, the new tendency was to accentuate the sheer neutrality of everyday consumer goods. But the images were not the actual objects, or "ready-mades", as found in Dadaism, but a reworking of them, greatly elaborated in dimension or colour. Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) blew up seemingly banal items into gigantic sizes, transforming trowels, tubes of toothpaste, and clothes-pegs into huge sculptures. He also created brighth' painted plaster sculptures of desserts, cakes, and pieces of meat and made models of hard, unyielding objects, such as light switches and typewriters, in soft, pliable materials. Andy Warhol (1928-87), on the other hand, took well-known images from popular culture such as cans of Campbell's Soup, Coca-Cola bottles, or photographs of stars who had become legends (Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe) and turned them into prints or paintings that shared the repetitive, mass-produced feel of commercial "art". The mechanical insistence of repetition also succeeded in removing meaning from images that were in themselves very dramatic. This is the case with the symbols of death and social struggle that Warhol depicts in Orange Disaster (1963) and Race Riot (1964); they are reduced to the status of decorative elements. If Warhol annihilated the

significance of an image by-constant, unvarying repetition, then Roy Lichtenstein (1923-97) emphasized its importance, taking the image out of its context and reproducing it on a large scale. Thus a comic strip, usually a disposable piece of light reading, was suddenly elevated to the status of a work of art. Tom Wesselman (b. 1931) portrayed female nudes in commonplace environments as if they, too, were consumer objects, lacking facial expression and recognizable only by their

exaggerated erotic features. Striking a more existential note. American sculptor George Segal (b. 1924) made plaster-cast models, taken from life, of people frozen in varied poses or in the act of carrying out certain tasks. These figures, in their isolated stillness, seem to convey modern man's alienation from daily life.

 

 

Pop art.

International movement in painting, sculpture and printmaking. The term originated in the mid-1950s at the ICA, London, in the discussions held by the INDEPENDENT GROUP concerning the artefacts of popular culture. This small group included the artists Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi as well as architects and critics. Lawrence Alloway (1926–1990), the critic who first used the term in print in 1958, conceived of Pop art as the lower end of a popular-art to fine-art continuum, encompassing such forms as advertising, science-fiction illustration and automobile styling. Hamilton defined Pop in 1957 as: ‘Popular (designed for a mass audience); Transient (short term solution); Expendable (easily forgotten); Low Cost; Mass Produced; Young (aimed at Youth); Witty; Sexy; Gimmicky; Glamorous; and Big Business’. Hamilton set out, in paintings such as £he (1958–61; London, Tate), to explore the hidden connotations of imagery taken directly from advertising and popular culture, making reference in the same work to pin-ups and domestic appliances as a means of commenting on the covert eroticism of much advertising presentation (for illustration see HAMILTON, RICHARD).

 

 

 

 

POP ART IN BRITAIN

At the "This is Tomorrow'' exhibition of 1956 at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, a photographic collage by Richard Hamilton (b. 1922) marked the debut of British Pop art, later becoming a virtual manifesto of the movement. The collage's very title — Just what is it that makes todays homes so different, so appealing? — hinted at the satire to be found in the work. It contained in its interior setting various symbols of popular mass culture - from the body-builder in the foreground and the cover girl on the divan to the television and various electrical appliances, and the cinema signs and posters glimpsed through the window. While these are all recognizable elements of daily life, they look unnatural, resembling items in a shop display.

A critical attitude towards the values of consumer society was an underlying theme of British Pop art, as opposed to the neutral stance that characterized American Pop art. Pop artists in Britain regarded contemporary life from a distance and depicted it with a critical eye, while those in the US seemed to

restrict their work to live, "unedited" recordings of consumer society. Subtle irony permeates the work of Peter Blake (b. 1932). David Hockney Cb. 1937), and Allen Jones (b. 1937). Jones reproduced the iconographic repertory of

the female body as viewed in soft porn magazines, with the pictorial synthesis of a billboard.

POP ART IN ITALY

When American Pop art was first seen in Italy at the Venice Biennial exhibition of 1964, it provoked a strong reaction from the authorities, and the President of the Republic refused to participate in the opening ceremony. However, the works included revealed clear links with the experiments being carried out by certain Italian

artists, such as Enrico Baj, Tano Festa, Mimmo Rotella, and Mario Schifano. The subject matter varied between the two currents, simply because of the differing economic and cultural backgrounds of the artists. The American artists favoured consumer objects, whereas Italian Pop art was often based on a satirical observation of past art movements and masterpieces. In Michelangelo according to (1967) by Tano Festa (1938-88), the plasticity of Michelangelo's style is flattened into a polka-dot decoration, while

in Futurism Revisited (1966) by Mario Schifano (b. 1934), the historic photograph of the Futurist group led by Marinetti loses its original documentary value with the deletion of the subjects' faces.

 

Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs, 1965. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Kosuth's work operates on three levels: the chair is at once real, virtual (photographed), and described in words.

 

Conceptual Art

Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (1913) did more than transfer attention from the imitation of an object to the object itself: it opened up the way for the "ready-made",

which would prove so important in the second half of the century for the Neo-Dadaists and Nouveau Realistes, and

exploited the potential of raising everyday objects to new levels of aesthetic worth. The Conceptual artists looked back to Duchamp and his principle of considering the concept more important than the artistic process. They devoted themselves to viewing the art object as only the inevitable visualization of the idea that generated it. In One and Three Chairs (1965), for example, American experimental artist Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945) displays an actual chair, a photograph of a chair, and a written definition of the word from a dictionary, drawing attention to the notion of appearances and concepts. In this rather cerebral artistic dimension, the power of the artist is accentuated despite his apparent absence, for even though the active presence of the artist is minimized, his role

as producer or director is in turn heightened. The work Giovane che guarda Lorenzo Lotto (Young Man looking at Lorenzo Lotto, 1967) by Giulio Paolini (b. 1940) is a simple photographic reproduction on canvas of a portrait by the Venetian painter Lorenzo

Lotto. The title, alluding to the original 16th-century work, is slightly odd and thought-provoking itself. If the young man in the portrait is looking at Lorenzo Lotto, then anyone in front of the picture can identify themselves with Lotto, i.e. the painter of the portrait. Paolini's work, therefore, comprises an imaginary situation dictated by the title. Its impact rests on the possible momentary union of spectator and painter, based on the idea that Lorenzo Lotto could be transferred through time and space while painting his model. Conceptual art frequently posed such enigmas, often using the most simple of ideas to set off a chain of far wider questioning. More dramatic projects, however, were not ruled out. At the Venice Bienniale in

1972, Gino De Dominicis (b. 1947) exhibited a mentally ill young boy, who was seated on a chair to be viewed by the visitors. Meanwhile, Antonio Paradiso (b. 1936) organized a "Performance" that consisted of a bull mating with a mechanical cow.

 

   
 

HAPPENINGS AND PERFORMANCE ART

Happenings were a hybrid form of art, taking their inspiration freely from theatrical, musical, literary, pictorial, and sculptural methods of expression. It was already an established trend in the 1950s, but only in the following decade did it receive serious widespread attention. More or less simultaneous experiments were carried out

by the Japanese Gutai group, which was active in Osaka from 1954, and by the American artist Allan Kaprow (b. 1927). He was the first to use the term "happening" to define apparently improvised events that featured collaborators who had, in fact, been briefed beforehand. While these events were not totally spontaneous and were dictated by a plan, the final outcome was never intended to be predictable. Artists from other fields who dedicated their energies to happenings were the exponents of Pop art Jim Dine (TheSmiling Workman, I960) and Claes Oldenburg (The Store, 1961), and the Fluxus group. This included artists from various backgrounds, among them Daniel Spoerri (Nouveau Realiste), George Brecht, Yoko Ono, Ben Vautier, and Joseph Beuys (working in Conceptual fields), and Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell (founders of video art). Happenings exerted a strong influence on theatre and contemporary dance, offering an alternative to more traditional forms of stage direction and

choreography. The expressive freedom of Performance art inspired the Off Broadway theatre group and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, whose collaboration with John Cage (avant-garde musician and member of Fluxus) led to a freer interpretation of the relationship between the body, music, and the stage. The exponents of

the Wiener Aktionismus were authors of particularly extreme happenings and performances, which were akin to behavioural research. The sequences performed by Herman Nitsch (b. 1938), founder of the Orgien Mysterien Theater in the late 1950s, were so gruesome that they verged on outright acts of sacrilege: in what appeared as

purging rituals, the participants were covered in the blood of sacrificial animals. Gunter Brus (b. 1938), wrapped himself in bandages and simulated epileptic fits (Ana. 1964) or defecated in public (Scheiss-Aktion. 1967), while Rudolph Schwarzkogler (1949-69) would perform self-deprecating acts, such as smearing his body with blood and excrement. His suicide was interpreted by some as the final act of a performance of self-destruction.

 

 

Following the late 1950s, a happening was a performance, event or situation meant to be considered as art. Happenings could take place anywhere, were often multi-disciplinary, often lacked a narrative and frequently sought to involve the audience in some way. Key elements of happenings were planned, but artists would sometimes retain room for improvisation.

In the later sixties, probably due to film depiction of the Hippy sub-culture, the term was used much less specifically to mean any gathering of interest, from a pool hall meetup or a jamming of just a few young people to a beer blast or fancy formal party.

History

 

Origins

Allan Kaprow first coined the term happening in the Spring of 1957 at an art picnic at George Segal's farm to describe the art pieces that were going on. Happening first appeared in print in the Winter 1958 issue of the Rutgers University undergraduate literary magazine, Anthologist. The form was imitated and the term was adopted by artists across the U.S., Germany, and Japan. Jack Kerouac referred to Kaprow as "the Happenings man," and an ad showing a woman floating in outer space declared, "I dreamt I was in a happening in my Maidenform brassiere."

Kaprow’s piece 18 Happenings in 6 Parts (1959) is commonly cited as the first happening, although that distinction is sometimes given to a 1952 performance of Theater Piece No. 1 at Black Mountain College by John Cage, one of Kaprow's teachers in the mid-1950s. Accounts of exactly what this performance involved differ, but most agree that Cage recited poetry and read lectures, M. C. Richards read some of her poetry, Robert Rauschenberg showed some of his paintings and played phonograph records, David Tudor performed on a prepared piano and Merce Cunningham danced. All these things took place at the same time, among the audience rather than on a stage. Happenings flourished in New York City in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Key contributors to the form included Carolee Schneemann, Red Grooms, Robert Whitman, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg and Robert Rauschenberg. Some of their work is documented in Michael Kirby's book Happenings (1966).

 

Around the world

In Britain, the first happenings were organised in Liverpool by the poet and painter Adrian Henri. The most important event was the Albert Hall “Poetry Incarnation” on June 11, 1965, where an audience of 7,000 people witnessed and participated in performances by some of the leading avant-garde young British and American poets of the day (see British Poetry Revival and Poetry of the United States). One of the participants, Jeff Nuttall, went on to organise a number of further happenings, often working with his friend Bob Cobbing, sound poet and performance poet.

In Belgium, the first happenings were organized around 1965–1968 in Antwerp, Brussels and Ostend by artists Hugo Heyrman and Panamarenko.

In the Netherlands Provo organized happenings around the little statue "Het Lieverdje" on the Spui, a square in the centre of Amstersam, from 1966 till 1968. Police often raided these events.

In Australia, the Yellow House Artist Collective in Sydney housed 24-hour happenings throughout the early 1970s.

Behind the Iron Curtain, in Poland, in the second half of 1980s, a student-based happening movement Orange Alternative founded by Major Waldemar Fydrych became known for its much attended happenings (over 10 thousand participants at one time) aimed against the military regime led by General Jaruzelski and the fear blocking the Polish society ever since the Martial Law had been imposed in December 1981.

 

Another form

By 1999, another form of the happening appeared in Brussels, Belgium, created by students of the Free University of Brussels (ULB). The meaning of this form of the happening is that things happen, and sometimes one can't do anything about it. It is presented in an everyday, every time, everywhere "game" where people can constrain other people to do something or to undergo a certain situation. This is done by simply saying the word "happening" before one takes action on a person or forces him to do something. When someone has said "happening" the "victim" has no choice but to be a temporary puppet of the Happeninger (the one who's doing the happening) and not answering back. Revenge has no place in this game. The only way to avoid playing is to say "no way", showing the index finger in a horizontal position when you suspect someone is about to perform a happening on you. The safety time implied by the "no way" is not precisely defined, it is contextual.

 

 

Performance art.

Descriptive term applied to ‘live’ presentations by artists. It was first used very loosely by artists in the early 1960s in the USA to refer to the many live events taking place at that time, such as Happenings, Fluxus concerts, Events, body art or (in Germany) Aktionen and Demonstrationen. In 1969 performance was more specifically incorporated into titles of work in the USA and UK and was interchangeable with ‘performance piece’ or simply ‘piece’, as in Vito Acconci’s Performance Test or Following Piece (both 1969), and by many other artists such as Dennis Oppenheim, Yoko Ono (b 1933), Dan Graham, Rebecca Horn, Joan Jonas, Laurie Anderson and Bruce Nauman. It was closely linked to the ideological tenets and philosophy of CONCEPTUAL ART, which insisted on ‘an art of which the material is concepts’ and on ‘an art that could not be bought and sold’; those who made performance pieces did so as a statement against the gallery system and the art establishment.

 

 

Performance art is art in which the actions of an individual or a group at a particular place and in a particular time constitute the work. It can happen anywhere, at any time, or for any length of time. Performance art can be any situation that involves four basic elements: time, space, the performer's body and a relationship between performer and audience. It is opposed to painting or sculpture, for example, where an object constitutes the work. Of course the lines are often blurred. For instance, the work of Survival Research Laboratories is considered by most to be "performance art", yet the performers are actually machines.

Although performance art could be said to include relatively mainstream activities such as theater, dance, music, and circus-related things like fire breathing, juggling, and gymnastics, these are normally instead known as the performing arts. Performance art is a term usually reserved to refer to a kind of usually avant-garde or conceptual art which grew out of the visual arts.

Performance art, as the term is usually understood, began to be identified in the 1960s with the work of artists such as Yves Klein, Vito Acconci, Hermann Nitsch, Carolee Schneemann, Yoko Ono, Joseph Beuys, Wolf Vostell and Allan Kaprow, who coined the term happenings. Western cultural theorists often trace performance art activity back to the beginning of the 20th century. Dada for example, provided a significant progenitor with the unconventional performances of poetry, often at the Cabaret Voltaire, by the likes of Richard Huelsenbeck and Tristan Tzara. However, there are accounts of Renaissance artists putting on public performances that could be said to be early ancestors to modern performance art. Some performance artists point to other traditions, ranging from tribal ritual to sporting events. Performance art activity is not confined to European art traditions; many notable practitioners can be found in the United States, Asia, and Latin America.

RoseLee Goldberg states in Performance Art: From Futurism to the Present:

“Performance has been a way of appealing directly to a large public, as well as shocking audiences into reassessing their own notions of art and its relation to culture. Conversely, public interest in the medium, especially in the 1980s, stems from an apparent desire of that public to gain access to the art world, to be a spectator of its ritual and its distinct community, and to be surprised by the unexpected, always unorthodox presentations that the artists devise. The work may be presented solo or with a group, with lighting, music or visuals made by the performance artist him or herself, or in collaboration, and performed in places ranging from an art gallery or museum to an “alternative space”, a theatre, café, bar or street corner. Unlike theatre, the performer is the artist, seldom a character like an actor, and the content rarely follows a traditional plot or narrative. The performance might be a series of intimate gestures or large-scale visual theatre, lasting from a few minutes to many hours; it might be performed only once or repeated several times, with or without a prepared script, spontaneously improvised, or rehearsed over many months.”

Performance art genres include body art, fluxus, happening, action poetry, and intermedia. Some artists, e.g. the Viennese Actionists and neo-Dadaists, prefer to use the terms live art, action art, intervention or manoeuvre to describe their activities.

 

Gilbert & George, G & G at via del Paradiso, 1972. Attico Gallery, Rome. Exhibiting themselves in galleries as living sculptures is just one example of the art of British artists Gilbert and George. They regard their very days as works of art and their whole existence as a kind of artistic continuum. 

Body Art

When Duchamp dressed up as his feminine alter ego Rose Selavy, covered himself with shaving foam to hide features of his body, or had his head shaved in the shape of a star to be recorded for posterity by the lens of Man Ray, he was giving artistic meaning to his body and transforming it into a work of art. The wit and irony found in Duchamp's work re-emerged in the early 1960s in the creations of Piero Manzoni (1933-63). who in 1961 proposed turning people into living sculptures by keeping their bodies still and adorning them with certificates of authenticity. That same year, he also caused an uproar with his Merda d'artista. which consisted of 90 cans of the artist's excrement, for sale at the same price, weight for weight, as gold. However, the Body art that established itself in the later 1960s and 1970s was characterized by predominantly masochistic attitudes. It involves the misuse or abuse of the body and condemning

existential violence through a demonstration of self-inflicted suffering. Gina Pane (b. 1939), for example, wounded herself with a variety of instruments, assigning negative feelings to symbols usually viewed in the opposite context. The roses in Azione sentimentale (1974) were not embraced in an exaltation of romanticism but to show the physical suffering inflicted by the thorns. Even when not engaged in painful actions, the image of the human body was distorted and its vitality transformed into a brute force. The Austrian artist Arnulf Rainer (b. 1929) had himself photographed in unnatural poses and then accentuated the crudeness by painting violent brushstrokes on the results. Self-inflicted pain gave way to humorous narcissism in the work of Gilbert & George (b. 1943 and 1942 respectively), who united to proclaim themselves

"continuous sculptures" and to propose their very existence as an artistic continuum.

 

Body art is art made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. The most common forms of body art are tattoos and body piercings, but other types include scarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight-lacing of corsets), full body tattoo and body painting.

More extreme body art can involve things such as mutilation or pushing the body to its physical limits. For example, one of Marina Abramovic's works involved dancing until she collapsed from exhaustion, while one of Dennis Oppenheim's better-known works saw him lying in the sunlight with a book on his chest, until his skin, excluding that covered by the book, was badly sunburned. It can even consist of the arrangement and dissection of preserved bodies in an artistic fashion, as in the case of the plastinated bodies used in the travelling Body Worlds exhibit.

In Western art, body art appears to be a sub-category of performance art, in which artists use or abuse their own body to make their particular statements.

In more recent times, body became a subject of much broader discussions and treatments that cannot be reduced to the body art in its common understanding. Important strategies that question the human body are: implants, body in symbiosis with the new technologies, virtual body etc. A special case of the body art strategies is the absence of body. The most important artists that performed the "absence" of body through their artworks were: Keith Arnatt, Andy Warhol, Anthony Gormley and Davor Džalto.

 

Examples of body art

Vito Acconci once documented, through photos and text, his daily exercise routine of stepping on and off a chair for as long as possible over several months. Acconci also performed a 'Following Piece', in which he followed randomly chosen New Yorkers.

Chris Burden actually had an assistant shoot him in the arm in his piece ‘Shoot’ (1971), which was observed by a live audience. This was documented in an eight-second video and is a notorious example of video art as well as performance art. In ‘Through the Night Softly' (1973), Burden crawled naked through broken glass, which he saw as stars in the sky, and turned the video footage into a ten-second commercial that was aired on television. In ‘Locker’, he spent five days jammed into a 2' x 2' x 3' locker at UCLA; in ‘Sculpture in Three Parts’ (1974), he sat on an upright chair on a sculpture pedestal for 48 hours, until he fell off due to exhaustion; in ‘White Light/White Heat’ (1975), he spent 22 days alone and invisible to the public on a high platform in a gallery, neither eating, speaking, seeing or being seen. Most of these performances are known only through photographs or short video clips.

The Vienna Action Group was formed in 1965 by Herman Nitsch, Otto Muhl, Gunter Brus and Rudolf Schwartzkogler. They performed several body art actions, usually involving social taboos (such as genital mutilation).

Marina Abramovic performed ‘Rhythm O’ in 1974. In the piece, the audience was given instructions to use on Abramovic's body an array of 72 provided instruments of pain and pleasure, including knives, feathers, and a loaded pistol. Audience members cut her, pressed thorns into her belly, put lipstick on her, and removed her clothers. The performance ended after six hours when someone held the loaded gun up to Abramovic's head and a scuffle broke out.

The movement gradually evolved to the works more directed in the personal mythologies, as at Jana Sterbak, Rebecca Horn, Youri Messen-Jaschin or Javier Perez.

Jake Lloyd Jones a Sydney based artist conceived a body art ride which has become an annual event, participants are painted to form a living rainbow that rides to the Pacific Ocean and immerses itself in the waves.Sydney Body Art Ride

Guatemalan artist Regina José Galindo have used body art to protest against political oppression and violence against women.

 

 

Visual Poetry

Visual poetry was a descendant of the Futurist free-word style, in which words were displayed in ways that contravened any of the traditional norms of order and arrangement on the page. However, whereas the free words of Futurist compositions were valued ultimately as icons, in visual poetry the actual meaning of the words was indispensable to our understanding of the work. The verbal content was not in the form of captions or as a support to the images it accompanied, but was present to introduce meaningful diversions with a provocative content. These verbal visualizations also took images and slogans from the mass media

and employed them in an ironic context. Emilio Isgro (b. 1937) achieved notable results in this field, although he opted for more personal interpretations than assemblages of words and images. In his work Dio e un essere perfettissimo (God is a Perfect Being, 1965) he parodies the link between religion, advertising, and mass-produced consumer goods. In another Conceptual manifestation, he

deletes entire pages of books, leaving just a few words that gave evidence of unnecessary verbosity. More attention was given to the expressive potential of words by the protagonists of Concrete poetry, who came from literary, philosophical, and musical backgrounds. They conveyed their intent through patterns of words, letters, and symbols, rather than through a conventional arrangement of sentences. This

was so with the Gruppo 70, formed in Florence in 1963 and involving poets and writers such as Eugenio Miccini and Lamberto Pignotti (also members of the literary Gruppo 63) and musicians like Giuseppe Chiari (in contact with the diverse artists of Fluxus). This experimentation in Italy, with contributions also from Vincenzo Accame, Carlo Belloli, Ugo Carrega, and Martino Oberto, had precedents in work that was carried out in the late 1950s in Brazil, Germany, and Switzerland. The style of the Concrete poets can clearly be seen in Schweigen (Silence, 1968) by Eugen Gomringer (b. 1925). The sudden interruption in the repetition of the word "schweigen", and the void or visual gap that it creates, becomes a subtle visualization of the semantic value of the whole composition.

 

 

LAND ART

Land artists distanced themselves from urban constraints in their search for open areas that inspired interaction. The nature of their work could best be described as a combination of the aspirations of a romantic traveller and the Dada rejection of traditional modes of artistic expression. In order to discover Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson (1938-73), constructed in 1970 on Utah's Great Salt Lake, spectators had to follow in the footsteps of the artist, communing with nature in a dimension outside all normal experience. Alternatively, they would have had to accept its almost sacred inaccessibility and be content to examine plans and photographs. However, a work of art that exists but cannot be seen must be at the limits of abstraction. Although Spiral Jetty was supported by pictures that attested to its existence, the verv

fact that the spectator could not easily come into contact with it almost required an act of faith to believe it was there. In a stand against the commercialization of art, the American

artists Michael Heizer, Douglas Huebler, and Dennis Oppenheim worked in remote and desolate places. Sometimes, however, a piece of Land art can successfully be re-created within the confines

of a gallery. The arrangement of natural materials in Richard Long's Circle (1972) seems to acquire added resonance when displayed within an artificial environment.

 

 

Land art.

International art form that developed particularly from the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was part of a revolt against painting and sculpture and the anti-formalist current of the late 1960s that included CONCEPTUAL ART and Arte Povera. A number of mainly British and North American artists turned their attention to working directly with nature, notably Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Dennis Oppenheim, Robert Smithson and Richard Long. They created immense sculptures on the same scale as landscape itself, or exhibited written and photographic accounts of their excursions. With few exceptions, their works (also known as earthworks) are almost inaccessible, situated far from human settlements in deserts or abandoned areas. Their lifespan was brief: little by little they were destroyed by the elements and often by erosion, so that for posterity they exist only in the form of preparatory drawings, photographs or films. The works themselves were seen by only a small number of people and sometimes by only the artist.

 

Mario Merz, Object cache-toi, 1968. Merz has for some years made his igloos out of a number of thought-provoking materials, both natural and artificial

 

Arte Povera

In 1967, Germano Celant. inspired by the "poor theatre" of Jerzy Grotowski, spoke of "poor art", referring to the work of certain Italian artists, including Alighiero Boetti, Luciano Fabro, Mario Merz, Pino Pascali, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Jannis Kounellis (Greek, but resident in Italy since 1956). They wanted to make art out of rough, worthless materials found in everyday life and displayed in their

natural state. A similar approach had already been advocated in Nouveau Realisme. This included scraps of discarded newspaper preserved in a frame, and, as in sculptor Daniel Spoerri's Tableauxpieges (snare pictures) - existing artefacts used in a novel way to make crude and dramatic compositions. Arte Povera, on the other hand, gave reality a more intellectual and emotive treatment, bearing witness to its affinities with Conceptual art. In addition to materials that exhibited the banality of their nature, such as the coloured wood of Alighiero Boetti (1940-94) or the cotton wool used by Jannis Kounellis (b. 1936), there were the bright mirrorlike surfaces in the steel of Michelangelo Pistoletto (b. 1933). on which he printed photographs of objects, animals, and full-size figures. The effect of the latter's work is completed by the reflection in the "mirror" of the surroundings and the spectators themselves. The "conceptual" element of these works is to be found in their openness to all the changes that might occur in their environment, i.e. in the idea of a piece of art that alters constantly and is the product of that perpetual state of flux. Mario Merz (b. 1925) combines the symbolic struc-

ture of an igloo - shaped like a globe, but at the same time a shelter that protects people -with neon tubes (i.e. products of technology) often in the shape of Fibonacci numbers. This sequence forms the basis of the theory of dynamic symmetry as applied to art and living forms.

 
 

The term Arte Povera was introduced by the Italian art critic and curator, Germano Celant, in 1967. His pioneering texts and a series of key exhibitions provided a collective identity for a number of young Italian artists based in Turin, Milan, Genoa and Rome. They were working in radically new ways, breaking with the past and entering a challenging dialogue with trends in Europe and America.

The movement was particularly influential during the early 1970s in countries with large Italian migrant populations, such as Australia where major local practitioners included John Davis and Domenico De clario.

Giovanni Anselmo ,Alighiero e Boetti ,Pier Paolo Calzolari ,Rossella Cosentino ,Gino De Dominicis ,Luciano Fabro ,Jannis Kounellis ,Mario Merz ,Piero Manzoni ,Marisa Merz ,Giulio Paolini ,Pino Pascali ,Giuseppe Penone ,Michelangelo Pistoletto ,Gilberto Zorio

 

 

SYSTEMIC PAINTING

A branch of Minimal art that relied on the use of simple, standardized, non-representational forms, "Systemic painting" was the title of a show organized by the British art critic Lawrence Alloway in 1966 at New York's Guggenheim Museum. Contributors included the American artists Frank Stella, Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin, and Robert Ryman, as well as Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhardt, two leading exponents of Abstract Expressionism. Frank Stella (b. 1936) had already taken ideas from Reinhardt and Newman in the late 1950s as inspiration for his attempts to reduce painting to its fundamental essence; his work was to be read solely in terms of

form and colour, without any pretence that it revealed the artist's state of mind. In this respect, Systemic painting displayed similar intentions to the contemporary Minimal sculpture of artists such as Carl Andre and Donald Judd.

 

 

Minimalism

The term "Minimal art" was coined in 1965 by the critic-Richard Wollheim and

encompassed a wide diversity of associated styles and concepts, among them ABC art, Object sculpture, Cool art, Primary structures, and Literalist art. The trend, which applied particularly to sculpture, arose in the 1950s, chiefly in the US. Its distinguishing characteristics were an extreme spareness of form and a minimal expressive content; this was in violent contrast to the flamboyant

Abstract expressionist style that preceded it. The term is applied in a precise way to the works of sculptors such as Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Carl Andre, Sol Lewitt, and Tony Smith, which display the same essentially cold, geometric forms in vast sizes. The sheer scale on which some were conceived meant that they had a strong relationship with their surroundings and often assumed an architectural nature, allowing the spectator to cross or walk along the structure. The square copper plates that Carl Andre (b. 1935) laid on the floor, or the smooth and anonymous parallelepipeds of Donald Judd (1928-94) did not appear so different in concept from the repetitive objects in the work of Warhol. However, Warhol took cultural icons and reproduced them flatly and without emotion, while the Minimalists wanted to draw people's attention to extreme formal simplicity, which they believed was yet 10 be fully appreciated.

 

 

Minimalism.

Term used in the 20th century, in particular from the 1960s, to describe a style characterized by an impersonal austerity, plain geometric configurations and industrially processed materials. It was first used by David Burlyuk in the catalogue introduction for an exhibition of John Graham’s paintings at the Dudensing Gallery in New York in 1929. Burlyuk wrote: ‘Minimalism derives its name from the minimum of operating means. Minimalist painting is purely realistic—the subject being the painting itself.’ The term gained currency in the 1960s. Accounts and explanations of Minimalism varied considerably, as did the range of work to which it was related. This included the monochrome paintings of Yves Klein, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Frank Stella and Brice Marden, and even aspects of Pop art and Post-painterly Abstraction. Typically the precedents cited were Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, the Suprematist compositions of Kazimir Malevich and Barnett Newman’s Abstract Expressionist paintings. The rational grid paintings of Agnes Martin were also mentioned in connection with such Minimalist artists as Sol LeWitt.

 

 

ANALYTICAL PAINTING

In Europe during the 1960s and 1970s, a period of experimentation took place comparable with that being carried out in the US in Minimalist painting. Two groups working in this area in France in the late 1970s were BMPT and Support-Surface, whose precedents could well have been the series of blue "monochromes" by Yves Klein (1928-62). A lack of pictorial content characterizes the work of Giorgio Griffa, Rodolfo Arico, Claudio Olivieri, and Claudio Verna, while the work of Piero Manzoni and Giulio Paolini is full of Conceptual nuances. From 1958 to I960 Manzoni was already producing his white monochrome Achromes, reducing the picture to a mere rough support

soaked in kaolin. Meanwhile, Paolini demonstrated the basic elements of painting in his Geometric Design, which was simply a square, unprimed. unadorned piece of canvas. With similar intentions in the 1970s, Morales (b. 1942) created diptychs composed of two canvases, one painted all over, the other left untouched.

 

 

Postmodernism

In the 1980s, in contrast to the stark, cerebral experience of Conceptual art, there was a call for art to be more accessible and more immediately rewarding. There was nostalgia for traditional styles and techniques, and images that would express ideas in an intelligible way, at a time when very often the ideas had taken priority over the results. Artists seemed to want to turn back the clock to the artistic practices that prevailed prior to Conceptual art. In a way, that is what happened, except that the Conceptual experience had made too much of an impact not to have any influence on new developments. While painting again dominated the art scene, it bore the traits of Conceptualism and could never make a full return to former styles. In Postmodernism, there lingered a Conceptual taste for irony, as well as a freedom of choice that allowed artists to draw on any subject matter.

 

 

Transavanguardia

The leading artists of the Italian Transavanguardia movement, defined by the critic Achille Bonito Oliva in 1979, were Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente, Nicola De Maria, and Mimmo Paladino. However, the group soon became international, involving primarily the German artists Markus Liiperz, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Jorg Immendorf, and A.R. Penk. After many decades of Abstractionism in all its forms, followed by the Conceptualism of the 1970s, Transavanguardia took up figurative art again and re-examined the colours and tools of painting. Abandoning the search for intellectual reasons to modify or annul

conventional artistic practices, these artists rediscovered the traditional skills of painting in works that were instantly-recognizable in their form and content. This was not a return to certain figurative trends of the postwar period, however, and Transavanguardia differed from these both in style and ideology. The intention was to operate with the maximum of expressive freedom without relying on any particular cultural models, taking them all into consideration despite any eventual lack of consistency in content or form. The so-called "nomadism" of the Italian Transavanguardists led them to take inspiration from various artistic styles - Expressionism, Surrealism, Cubism - and excluded them from any cultural, or political, commit-

ment. The German artists had a different attitude, remaining more openly linked to their own avant-garde traditions and to Expressionism. Sensitive to their recent past, they also wanted to free German art from the process of subordination to American art that had occurred after World War II. An art form that made more precise stylistic references was Anachronistic painting, which looked to the examples of Mannerism and Neoclassicism. All the same, in the figurative purity that characterized the work of Carlo Maria Mariani (b. 1931), there are still echoes of Conceptual tautology. In La Mano ubbidisce all'intelletto (The Hand Obeying the Intellect, 1983), the painting is reflected in itself and is left to reflect on its own existence.

 

 

URBAN GRAFFITI

In many aspects the Graffiti art movement in America resembled the Transavanguardia experience in Italy, especially in that it saw a return to figurative art without highbrow artistic pretences, yet with great communicative force. Graffiti art in America was the expression of a rebellious subculture and was to be found sprawled over the walls of the derelict districts and subway trains of New York. Consisting almost entirely of self-taught artists, the movement grew spontaneously amid the rhythms of rap and break-dance. The vibrancy of the art. which was not confined by the boundaries of a frame or limited by the size of a canvas, was enhanced by its sheer scale. The style adopted had clear associations with Pop

art, but this time the artists were not looking cynically at mass popular culture and its habits but were the representatives of a culture that had emerged on the margins of urban society. The Graffiti movement first received recognition when Stefan Eins, an artist originating from Austria, opened an alternative art gallery in the notoriously rough South Bronx district of New York. He entrusted its decoration to the Graffiti artist Crash and provided an outlet for the young Graffitists of the area. Before long, Graffiti art was being allocated space in the most prestigious New York galleries and was losing the aggressive image that had been its stamp on the walls of the dilapidated suburbs. Notable Graffitists include Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-88), whose

untimely death only served to accentuate the aura of misadventure that surrounded him: Keith Haring (1958-90). known for his Radiant Child, whose vibrancy became the stylistic mark of the artist Justen Ladda, creator of a

mural of extraordinary iUusionism inside an old Bronx school next to the Fashion Moda gallery ( Tlx> Thing, 1981); and John Ahearn. whose painted reliefs on Bronx walls recall the Pop plaster casts of sculptor George Segal.

 
 

Installation [Environment].

Term that gained currency in the 1960s to describe a construction or assemblage conceived for a specific interior, often for a temporary period, and distinguished from more conventional sculpture as a discrete object by its physical domination of the entire space. By inviting the viewer literally to enter into the work of art, and by appealing not only to the sense of sight but also, on occasion, to those of hearing and smell, such works demand the spectator’s active engagement. As an art form, installations are particularly associated with movements of the 1960s and 1970s such as Pop art, Nouveau Réalisme, Minimalism, conceptual art and process art, but in theory they can be conceived within the terms of virtually any style.

 

 

 

 

Abstract illusionism is an artistic movement that came into prominence in the Unites States during the late 1960s. Works consisted of both hard-edge and expressionistic abstract painting styles that employed the use of perspective, artificial light sources and cast shadows to achieve the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Abstract Illusionism differed from traditional Trompe L’oeil (illusionistic) art, in that the pictorial space seemed to project in front of, or away from the canvas surface as opposed to receding into the picture plane as in traditional painting.

Pre 1970 practioners of the style include, Ronald Davis, James Havard, Alan D'arcangelo, and Al Held. Documented artists associated with the 1970s Abstract Illusionism movement include Jack Lembeck, Tony King, George Green, Michael Gallagher, Jack Reilly and Joe Doyle.

The first major museum exhibition to survey Abstract Illusionism was "The Reality of Illusion" which originated in 1979 at the Denver Art Museum and traveled to the Oakland Museum, Herbert Johnson Museum at Cornell University, University of Southern California, and Honolulu Academy of Art.

 

 

Aktionismus.

Austrian group of performance artists, active in the 1960s. Its principal members were Günter Brus, Otto Muehl and Hermann Nitsch, who first collaborated informally in 1961, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler, who was introduced to the group in 1963. Others associated with the group included Anni Brus, the film maker Kurt Kren, the composer Anetis Logosthetis and the actor Heinz Cibulka. The group were influenced by the work of Adolf Frohner (b 1934), Arnulf Rainer and Alfons Schilling (b 1934), who were all in turn influenced by American action painting and by the gestural painting associated with Tachism. The members of Aktionismus attached significance, however, not so much to the paintings produced by the artist as to the artist as a participant in the process of production, as a witness to creation rather than as a creator. Muehl, Brus and Nitsch all felt drawn to public performances celebrating and investigating artistic creativity by a natural progression from their earlier sculptural or painterly activities. In 1962 Muehl and Nitsch staged their first Aktion or performance, Blood Organ, in the Perinetgasse in Vienna. In 1965 Brus produced the booklet Le Marais to accompany an exhibition of his work at the Galerie Junge Generation, Vienna. Muehl, Nitsch and Schwarzkogler all contributed, referring to themselves as the Wiener Aktionsgruppe.

 
 

The term Viennese Actionism describes a short and violent movement in 20th century art that can be regarded as part of the many independent efforts of the 1960s to develop "action art" (Fluxus, Happening, Performance, Body Art, etc.). Its main participants were Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. As "actionists," they were active between 1960 and 1971. Most have continued their artistic work independently from the early 1970s onwards.

Documentation of the work of these four artists suggests that there was no consciously developed sense of a movement or any cultivation of membership status in a "actionist" group. Rather, this name was one applied to various collaborative configurations among these four artists. Malcolm Green has quoted Hermann Nitsch's comment, "Vienna Actionism never was a group. A number of artists reacted to particular situations that they all encountered, within a particular time period, and with similar means and results."

 Art and the Politics of Transgression

The work of the Actionists developed concurrently but largely independently from other Avant Garde movements of the era who shared an interest in rejecting object-based or otherwise commodifiable art practices. The practice of staging precisely scored "Actions" in controlled environments or before audiences bears similarities to the Fluxus concept of enacting an "event score" and is a forerunner to the emergence of Performance Art as an institutionalized art practice.

The work of the Viennese Actionists is probably best remembered for the wilful transgressiveness of its naked bodies, destructiveness and violence. Often, brief jail terms were served by participants for violations of decency laws, and their works were targets of moral outrage. In June 1968 Günter Brus began serving a 6 month prison sentence for the crime of "degrading symbols of the state," and later fled Austria to avoid a second arrest. Otto Mühl served a one month prison term after his participation in a public event, "Art and Revolution" in 1968. After his "Piss Action" before a Munich audience, Mühl became a fugitive from the West German police. Hermann Nitsch served a two week prison term in 1965 after his participation with Rudolph Schwarzkogler in the Festival of Psycho-Physical Naturalism. The "Destruction in Art Symposium", held in London in 1966, marked the first encounter between members of Fluxus and Actionists. It was a landmark of international recognition for the work of Brus, Mühl and Nitsch.

While the nature and content of each artist's work differed, there are distinct aesthetic and thematic threads connecting the Actions of Brus, Mühl, Nitsch and Schwarzkogler. Use of the body as both surface and site of art-making seems to have been a common point of origin for the Actionists in their earliest departures from conventional art practices in the late 50s and early 60s. Brus' "Hand Painting Head Painting" action of 1964, Mühl and Nitsch's "Degradation of a Female Body, Degradation of A Venus" of 1963 are characterized by their efforts to reconceive human bodies as surfaces for the production of art. The trajectories of the Actionists' work suggests more than just a precedent to later performance art and body art, rather, a drive toward a totalizing art-practice is inherent in their refusing to be confined within conventional ideas of painting, theatre and sculpture. Mühl's 1964 "Material Action Manifesto" offers some theoretical framework for understanding this:

...material action is painting that has spread beyond the picture surface. The human body, a laid table or a room becomes the picture surface. Time is added to the dimension of the body and space.

A 1967 revision of the same manifesto Mühl wrote:

... material action promises the direct pleasures of the table. Material action satiates. Far more important than baking bread is the urge to take dough-beating to the extreme.

Brus and Mühl participated in the "Kunst und Revolution" (Art and Revolution) event in Vienna, June 1968, issuing the following proclamation:

... our assimilatory democracy maintains art as a safety valve for enemies of the state ... the consumer state drives a wave of "art" before itself; it attempts to bribe the "artist" and thus to rehabilitate his revolutionising "art" as an art that supports the state. But "art" is not art. "Art" is politics that has created new styles of communication.

 

 

 

 

 

Junk art. 1961

Term first used by the critic Lawrence Alloway in 1961 to describe an urban art in which found or ready-made objects and mechanical debris were transformed into paintings, sculptures and environments by welding, collaging, décollaging or otherwise assembling them into new and unusual forms. The name evolved from the phrase ‘junk culture’, which had been used in the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly in Great Britain and the USA, by writers such as Hilton Kramer (b 1928) to describe the vulgar and kitsch qualities of objects with built-in obsolescence produced in industrial nations after World War II.

 

 

Continuità. 1961

Italian group of painters and sculptors formed in 1961. With the critic Carlo Argan (b 1909) as spokesman, it included Carla Accardi, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Gastone Novelli (1925–68), Achille Perilli (b 1927) and Giulio Turcato among its founder-members. They were soon joined by Lucio Fontana, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Giò Pomodoro. Some of these artists had previously been members of FORMA, founded in 1947 to promote abstract art. The notion of continuity was inherent not only in the group’s general aim—to regenerate the traditional greatness of Italian art—but equally as an ideal for specific works of art, each painting or sculpture reflecting the order and continuity of its creation. This was in opposition not only to the social realists, such as Renato Guttuso and Armando Pizzinato (b 1910), but also (to a lesser extent) to the Informalist trends among artists of the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti and the Gruppo degli Otto Pittori Italiani. However, some members, notably Turcato, went through all phases from Expressionism in the 1930s to geometrical abstraction in the 1960s. Accardi, Perilli and Novelli incorporated geometrical writing or ‘signs’ in their work. Fontana, the most influential and avowedly abstract artist to be associated with the group, added a further aspect to Continuità, the idea of continuity of a work within its surroundings, for example his Spatial Environment (1949; Milan, Gal. Naviglio), which was a precursor of environmental art. From the late 1950s onwards he also suggested continuity with the space behind the canvas in his slit canvases known as Tagli (‘slashes’, e.g. Spatial Concept—Expectations, 1959; Paris, Mus. A. Mod. Ville Paris). Among the sculptors, Giò Pomodoro created cast bronze reliefs with irregular surfaces, creating a sense of integration with the surrounding wall or floor. Continuità, like Forma before it, represented a convergence of artists with similar aims rather than a definitive movement.

 

 

Grupo Hondo. 1961

Spanish group of painters. It was formed in Madrid in 1961 by Juan Genovés, José Paredes Jardiel (b 1928), Fernando Mignoni (b 1929) and Chilean Gastón Orellana (b 1933) and was active until 1964. They first exhibited together in 1961 at the Galería Nebli, Madrid, reacting against the total abstraction of Art informel but applying its free, automatic, rapid and uninhibited techniques to a socially committed and Expressionist ‘neo-figurative’ style. They acquired two new members, José Vento (b 1925) and Carlos Sansegundo (b 1930), for their second exhibition in 1963, at the Sociedad de Amigos de Arte in Madrid, but they went their separate ways a year later.

 

 

 

Gruppe 5 [Nor.: ‘Group 5’]. 1961

Norwegian group of artists active from 1961. It has had a decisive influence on the recognition of abstract art in Norway. The group was founded in 1961 by the Spanish-born Ramon Isern (Solé) (b 1914; d 1989), together with Håkon Bleken (b 1929), Halvdan Ljøsne (b 1929), Lars Tiller (1924–94) and Roar Wold (b 1926). They were all teachers in the architectural department (Institutt for form og farge) of the Norges Tekniske Høgskole in Trondheim. They wished to define their shared opposition to the traditional and conventional Trondheim art world and to break Oslo’s dominance of Norwegian art. Without any agreed ideological platform, they examined, in non-representational paintings, the relationship between plane, form, colour, space, the process of abstraction and the legacy of Constructivism, as they had in their teaching. In their abstract paintings the Constructivist stamp was rhythmically enlivened by the materiality of colours and such evocative spatially expansive subjects as that of Wold’s At the Edge of the Beach (1963; Oslo, Mus. Samtidskst). Isern made geometrically defined and totem-like sculptures in different materials, as well as tapestries with similar forms. Most of the group’s members also executed charcoal drawings, graphics and collages, such as Ljøsne’s oil painting Accumulation (1965; Oslo, Mus. Samtidskst) with glued-on newspaper clippings and disturbing spatial effects, and wrote articles about art theory (see Bleken).

 

 

Annandale Imitation Realists. 1962

Australian group of mixed-media artists active in 1962. They formed for the purpose of staging an exhibition of the same name. Ross Crothall (b 1934), Mike Brown and Colin Lanceley worked together in Crothall’s studio in Annandale, a suburb of Sydney, in 1961. They shared an interest in assemblage, collage, junk art, objets trouvés and in non-Western art. Brown, who had worked in New Guinea in 1959, was impressed by the use in tribal house decoration and body ornament of modern urban rubbish such as broken plates and bottletops. Crothall delighted in the altered objet trouvé, for example egg cartons unfolded to become the Young Aesthetic Cow, or pieces of furniture crudely gathered into frontally posed female icons, sparkling with buttons and swirling house-paint, with such titles as Gross Débutante. Lanceley was deeply influenced by his teacher John Olsen and through him by Jean Dubuffet. He covered impastoed surfaces with junk materials, often decorating distorted female forms with strings of pearls, broken plates and other items; in Glad Family Picnic (1961; Sydney, A.G. NSW) elements combine into a garish visual cacophony.

 

 

Archizoom (Associati).

Italian architectural and design partnership formed in 1966 by Andrea Branzi (b 1939), Gilberto Corretti (b 1941), Paolo Deganello (b 1940) and Massimo Morozzi. These were joined by Dario Bartolini and Lucia Bartolini in 1968. They were based in Florence and were influenced initially by the utopian visions of the English architectural group Archigram. They achieved international prominence following appearances at the Superarchitettura exhibitions of radical architecture held at Pistoia (1966) and Modena (1967) and organized with the SUPERSTUDIO group. Numerous projects and essays reflected the group’s search for a new, highly flexible and technology-based approach to urban design, and in the late 1960s exhibition and product design began to form a significant part of their work. The Superonda and Safari sofas, designed for the Poltronova company, combine modular flexibility with kitsch-inspired shiny plastic and leopard-skin finishes. Their central aim of stimulating individual creativity and fantasy was the focus of installations such as the Centre for Electric Conspiracy, with its closed, perfumed meditation areas housing exotic objects from different cultures, and the empty grey room presented at Italy: The New Domestic Landscape, an exhibition held at MOMA, New York, in 1972. In the latter a girl’s voice describes the light and colour of a beautiful house that is left to the listener to imagine. Dress is the theme of the two films (Vestirsi è facile and Come è fatto il capotto di Gogol ) that the group made shortly before disbanding in 1974 to follow separate careers.

 

 

Arte Povera [It.: ‘impoverished art’].

Term coined by the Genoese critic Germano Celant in 1967 for a group of Italian artists who, from the late 1960s, attempted to break down the ‘dichotomy between art and life’ (Celant: Flash Art, 1967), mainly through the creation of happenings and sculptures made from everyday materials. Such an attitude was opposed to the conventional role of art merely to reflect reality. The first Arte Povera exhibition was held at the Galleria La Bertesca, Genoa, in 1967. Subsequent shows included those at the Galleria De’Foscherari in Bologna and the Arsenale in Amalfi (both 1968), the latter containing examples of performance art by such figures as MICHELANGELO PISTOLETTO. In general the work is characterized by startling juxtapositions of apparently unconnected objects: for example, in Venus of the Rags (1967; Naples, Di Bennardo col., see 1989 exh. cat., p. 365), Pistoletto created a vivid contrast between the cast of an antique sculpture (used as if it were a ready-made) and a brightly coloured pile of rags. Such combination of Classical and contemporary imagery had been characteristic of Giorgio de Chirico’s work from c. 1912 onwards. Furthermore, Arte Povera’s choice of unglamorous materials had been anticipated by more recent work, such as that of Emilio Vedova and Alberto Burri in the 1950s and 1960s, while Piero Manzoni had subverted traditional notions of the artist’s functions (e.g. Artist’s Shit, 1961, see 1989 exh. cat., p. 298). Like Manzoni’s innovations, Arte Povera was also linked to contemporary political radicalism, which culminated in the student protests of 1968. This is evident in such works as the ironic Golden Italy (1971; artist’s col., see 1993 exh. cat., p. 63) by LUCIANO FABRO, a gilded bronze relief of the map of Italy, hung upside down in a gesture that was literally revolutionary.


 

Arte povera

Italian term ('poor' or * 'impoverished art') coined by the critic Germano Celant to indicate a tendency he discerned in 1967 and presented in an exhibition in Turin in 1970. The artists he saw as representatives of 'poor art' belonged to several countries and are associated also with other movements and activities such as *earthworks and "Conceptual art, under wide discussion in those years. Using valueless raw materials, such as soil, Arte povera endeavoured to elude the commercialism of art and its segregation as an exclusive activity.
 

 

 

Arte programmata [It.: ‘programmed art’].

Term given to the work of various Italian artists active during the early 1960s who were primarily interested in KINETIC ART and OP ART. The phrase was used by Umberto Eco in 1962 for an exhibition that he presented at the Olivetti Showroom in Milan. This show included works by BRUNO MUNARI, Enzo Mari and members of GRUPPO N and GRUPPO T (both founded 1959). The artists produced objects by a procedure analogous to the methods of technological research, creating a prototype that was then developed through a series of closely related artefacts. This practice was exemplified by Munari, whose mass-produced ‘multiples’ took the form either of hand-operated objects or simple machines (e.g. X Hour, 1963; see Tanchis, pp. 72–3). The ‘multiples’ required the participation of members of the public in order to function and were intended to explore optical and physical phenomena, concerns that also dominated the work of other Arte programmata artists. Giovanni Anceschi (b 1939) created remarkable dynamic images with coloured liquids, while Gianni Colombo (b 1937) made reliefs constructed out of blocks that moved mechanically. Arte programmata gained an international reputation and in 1964 was the subject of exhibitions at the Royal College of Art, London, and at various venues in the USA. In the late 1960s, however, the artists became less closely associated, even though most continued to pursue their interests in kinetic and optical effects.

 

 

Auto-destructive art.

Term applied to works of art in a variety of media, with the capacity to destroy themselves after a finite existence, ranging from a few moments to 20 years. This self-destruction may result from natural processes such as collisions, decomposition and dematerialization, or from mechanisms requiring collaboration between artists, scientists and engineers, and may be either random and unpredictable or strictly controlled. The term, which is also sometimes used more loosely to describe any works with the capacity to transform themselves, was first used by Gustav Metzger in a manifesto (November 1959). Metzger elaborated on what he saw as an inherently political art theory and practice in five manifestos, in public lectures and demonstrations and in his own innovative techniques, including ‘painting’ in acid on nylon (1960–62).

 

Autodestructive art

Works of art whose disintegration is their content and message have heen produced in the West (and in countries under western influence, such as Japan) since at least the 1960s. They should be distinguished from works created to be temporary (ephemeral celebratory works, sand paintings for an American Indian ritual, *Performance art etc.) whose passing is incidental to their purpose. Gustav *Metzger's paintings done in acid on nylon, *Latham's towers of burning books, *Tinguely's self-demolishing machine Homage to New York all speak of quietus. There have been many other such works, done to assert art's freedom from commerce and also from its old association with grace and with reassuring permanence.

 

 

Brutalism.

Term applied to the architectural style of exposed rough concrete and large modernist block forms, which flourished in the 1960s and 1970s and which derived from the architecture of Le Corbusier. The term originated from béton brut (Fr.: ‘raw concrete’) and was given overtones of cultural significance not only by Le Corbusier’s dictum ‘L’architecture, c’est avec des matières brutes établir des rapports émouvants’ (‘Architecture is the establishing of moving relationships with raw materials’), but also by the art brut of Jean Dubuffet and others, which emphasized the material and heavily impastoed surfaces. The epitome of Brutalism in this original sense is seen in the forms and surface treatment of its first major monument, Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation de Grandeur Conforme (1948–54; see fig.) in Marseille (for another illustrated example see LASDUN, DENYS). The ultimate disgrace of Brutalism in this same sense is to be seen in the innumerable blocks of flats built throughout the world that use the prestige of Le Corbusier’s béton brut as an excuse for low-cost surface treatments. In Le Corbusier’s own buildings exposed concrete is usually very carefully detailed, with particular attention to the surface patterns created by the timber shuttering, and this can be seen in the work of more conscientious followers of the mode such as Lasdun or Atelier 5.

 

 

Computer art.

Term formerly used to describe any work of art in which a computer was used to make either the work itself or the decisions that determined its form. Computers became so widely used, however, that in the late 20th century the term was applied mainly to work that emphasized the computer’s role. Such calculating tools as the abacus have existed for millennia, and artists have frequently invented mathematical systems to help them to make pictures. The GOLDEN SECTION and Alberti’s formulae for rendering perspective were devices that aspired to fuse realism with idealism in art, while Leonardo da Vinci devoted much time to applying mathematical principles to image-making. After centuries of speculations by writers, and following experiments in the 19th century, computers began their exponential development in the aftermath of World War II, when new weapon-guidance systems were adapted for peaceful applications, and the term ‘cybernetics’ was given currency by Norbert Wiener. Artists exploited computers’ ability to execute mathematical formulations or ‘algorithms’ from 1950, when Ben F. Laposky (b 1930) used an analogue computer to generate electronic images on an oscilloscope. Once it was possible to link computers to printers, programmers often made ‘doodles’ between their official tasks. From the early 1960s artists began to take this activity more seriously and quickly discovered that many formal decisions could be left to the computer, with results that were particularly valued for their unpredictability. From the mid-1970s the painter Harold Cohen (b 1928) developed a sophisticated programme, AARON, which generated drawings that the artist then completed as coloured paintings. Although the computer became capable of that task as well, Cohen continued to hand-colour computer-generated images

 

 

Conceptual art [idea art; information art].

Term applied to work produced from the mid-1960s that either markedly de-emphasized or entirely eliminated a perceptual encounter with unique objects in favour of an engagement with ideas. Although Henry Flynt of the Fluxus group had designated his performance pieces ‘concept art’ as early as 1961, and Edward Kienholz had begun to devise ‘concept tableaux’ in 1963, the term first achieved public prominence in defining a distinct art form in an article published by Sol LeWitt in 1967. Only loosely definable as a movement, it emerged more or less simultaneously in North America, Europe and Latin America and had repercussions on more conventional spheres of artistic production spawning artists’ books as a separate category and contributing substantially to the acceptance of photographs, musical scores, architectural drawings and performance art on an equal footing with painting and sculpture.

 

 

 

 

Correspondence art [Mail art].

Term applied to art sent through the post rather than displayed or sold through conventional commercial channels, encompassing a variety of media including postcards, books, images made on photocopying machines or with rubber stamps, postage stamps designed by artists, concrete poetry and other art forms generally considered marginal. Although Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters and the Italian Futurists have been cited as its precursors, as a definable international movement it can be traced to practices introduced in the early 1960s by artists associated with Fluxus, Nouveau Réalisme and the Gutai group and most specifically to the work of RAY JOHNSON. From the mid-1950s Johnson posted poetic mimeographed letters to a select list of people from the art world and figures from popular culture, which by 1962 he had developed into a network that became known as the New York Correspondence School of Art.

 

 

Drop Art
In 1961, filmmaker Gene Bernofsky and artist Clark Richert, art students from the University of Kansas, developed an art concept they called Drop Art or "droppings". Informed by the "happenings" of Allan Kaprow and the impromptu performances a few years earlier of John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg and Buckminster Fuller at Black Mountain College, Drop Art began when Richert and Bernofsky started painted rocks and dropping them from a loft roof onto the sidewalk of Lawrence Kansas's main drag - watching the reactions of passersby. Early Drop Art included such pieces as "Egg Drop" and "Pendulum" (pictured) . Drop Art eventually led to the creation of Drop City, an experimental artist's community founded in 1965 near Trinidad, Colorado. The intention was to create a live-in work of "Drop Art".

 

Environmental art.

Art form based on the premise that a work of art should invade the totality of the architecture around it and be conceived as a complete space rather than being reducible to a mere object hanging on a wall or placed within a space. This idea, which became widespread during the 1960s and 1970s in a number of different aesthetic formulations, can be traced back to earlier types of art not usually referred to as environments: the wall paintings of ancient tombs, the frescoes of Roman or of Renaissance art and the paintings of Baroque chapels, which surround the spectator and entirely cover the architectural structure that shelters them. Indeed, the whole of art history prior to the transportable easel picture is linked to architecture and hence to the environment. A number of artists in the 1960s conceived environmental art precisely in order to question the easel painting.

 

 

Environmental art is an emerging art form that presses an ecological message, by either

  • raising awareness of the fragility of nature (includes landscape-based photography, painting, drawing)
  • investigating natural phenomena (includes scientific illustration)
  • using natural materials gathered outdoors (such as twigs, leaves, stones, soil, feathers)
  • not contributing to environmental degradation (includes ‘green’ work made from bio-degradable or recycled materials; & ‘Eco sculpture’ which is sensitively integrated into a natural habitat)

While many artists have produced art with an environmental theme, this international movement has chiefly emerged in its own right since 1970. In its early phases it was most associated with sculpture — especially Site-specific art, Land art and Arte povera — having arisen out of mounting criticism of traditional sculptural forms and practices which were increasingly seen as outmoded and potentially out of harmony with the natural environment. The category now encompasses many media.

Environmentalism into Art

In identifying Environmental art a crucial cut needs to be made between artists who damage the environment, and those who intend to cause no harm to nature, indeed, their work might involve restoring the immediate landscape to a natural state. For example, despite its aesthetic merits, the American artist Robert Smithson’s celebrated sculpture Spiral Jetty (1969) involved inflicting considerable permanent damage upon the landscape he worked with. The landscape became a form of wasteground, Smithson using a bulldozer to scrape and cut the land, impinging upon the lake. Art was effectively a form of pollution inflicted on the environment.

Indeed, such criticism was raised against the European sculptor Christo when he temporarily wrapped the coastline at Little Bay, south of Sydney, Australia, in 1969. Local conservationists staged a protest, arguing that the work was ecologically irresponsible and adversely affecting the local environment, especially the birds that nested in the wrapped cliffs. Complaints were only heightened when several penguins and a seal became trapped under the fabric and had to be cut out. Conservationists' comments attracted international attention in environmental circles, and lead contemporary artists in the region to re-think the inclinations of Land art and Site-specific art.

In comparison, a committed Environmental artist such as the British sculptor Richard Long has for several decades made temporary outdoor sculptural work by rearranging natural materials found on the site, such as rocks, mud and branches, and which will therefore have no lingering detrimental affect. While leading Environmental artists such as the Dutch sculptor Herman de Vries, the Australian sculptor John Davis and the British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy similarly leave the landscape they have worked with unharmed, and in some cases have in the process of making their work revegetated with appropriate indigenous flora land that had been damaged by human use. In this way the work of art arises out of a sensitivity towards habitat.

Alan Sonfist, with his first historical Time Landscape sculpture, proposed to New York City in 1965, visible to this day at the corner of Houston and LaGuardia in New York City’s Greenwich Village, introduced the key environmentalist idea of bringing nature back into the urban environment. Today Sonfist is joining forces with the broad enthusiasm for environmental and green issues among public authorities and private citizens to propose a network of such sites across the metropolitan area, which will raise consciousness of the key role that nature will play in the challenges of the 21st century.

Probably the most celebrated instance of Environmental art in the late 20th century was 7000 Oaks, an ecological protest staged at Documenta during 1982 by Joseph Beuys, in which the artist and his assistants highlighted the condition of the local environment by attempting to reafforest polluted and damaged land with 7000 oak trees. In the last two decades significant environmentally-concerned work has also been made by Rosalie Gascoigne, who fashioned her serene sculptures from rubbish and junk she found discarded in rural areas, and John Wolseley, who hikes through remote regions, gathering visual and scientific data, then incorporates visual and and other information into complex wall-scale works on paper.

 

 

Equipo Crónica [Sp.: ‘the chronicle team’].

Spanish group of painters formed in 1964 and disbanded in 1981. Its original members were Rafael Solbes (1940–81), Manuel Valdés (b 1942) and Juan Antonio Toledo (b 1940), but Toledo left the group in 1965. They worked collaboratively and formed part of a larger movement known as Crónica de la Realidad, using strongly narrative figurative images that were formally indebted to Pop art and that had a pronounced social and political content directed primarily against Franco’s regime.

 

 

Fibre art.

Collective term, coined in the 1970s, for creative, experimental fibre objects. A wide range of techniques is used, often in combinations that encompass both traditional (e.g. felting, knotting) and modern (e.g. photographic transfer) practices. The eclectic range of materials includes many not previously associated with textiles, such as paper, wood, iridescent film, nylon mesh and wire.

 

 

Fluxus.

Informal international group of avant-garde artists working in a wide range of media and active from the early 1960s to the late 1970s. Their activities included public concerts or festivals and the dissemination of innovatively designed anthologies and publications, including scores for electronic music, theatrical performances, ephemeral events, gestures and actions constituted from the individual’s everyday experience. Other types of work included the distribution of object editions, correspondence art and concrete poetry. According to the directions of the artist, Fluxus works often required the participation of a spectator in order to be completed (see PERFORMANCE ART).

 

 

General Idea.

Canadian partnership of conceptual artists working as performance artists, video artists, photographers and sculptors. It was formed in 1968 by A. A. Bronson [pseud. of Michael Tims] (b Vancouver, 1946), Felix Partz [pseud. of Ron Gabe] (b Winnipeg, 1945) and Jorge Zontal [pseud. of Jorge Saia] (b Parma, Italy, 1944; d Feb 1994). Influenced by semiotics and working in various media, they sought to examine and subvert social structures, taking particular interest in the products of mass culture. Their existence as a group, each with an assumed name, itself undermined the traditional notion of the solitary artist of genius. In 1972 they began publishing a quarterly journal, File, to publicize their current interests and work. In the 1970s they concentrated on beauty parades, starting in 1970 with the 1970 Miss General Idea Pageant, a performance at the Festival of Underground Theatre in Toronto that mocked the clichés surrounding the beauty parade, resulting in the nomination of Miss General Idea 1970. This was followed by the 1971 Miss General Idea Pageant, which involved the submission by 13 artists of photographic entries that were exhibited and judged at The Space in Toronto.

 

 

Graffiti.

Term applied to an arrangement of institutionally illicit marks in which there has been an attempt to establish some sort of coherent composition; such marks are made by an individual or individuals (not generally professional artists) on a wall or other surface that is usually visually accessible to the public. The term ‘graffiti’ derives from the Greek graphein (‘to write’). Graffiti (sing. graffito) or SGRAFFITO, meaning a drawing or scribbling on a flat surface, originally referred to those marks found on ancient Roman architecture. Although examples of graffiti have been found at such sites as Pompeii, the Domus Aurea of Emperor Nero (reg AD 54–68) in Rome, Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli and the Maya site of Tikal in Mesoamerica, they are usually associated with 20th-century urban environments. They may range from a few simple marks to compositions that are complex and colourful. Motives for the production of such marks may include a desire for recognition that is public in nature, and/or the need to appropriate a public space or someone else’s private space for group or individual purposes. Graffiti are recognized as a way of dealing with problems of identification in overcrowded or self-denying environments, and are an outlet through which people may choose to publish their thoughts, philosophies or poems. Illegitimate counterparts to the paid, legitimate advertisements on billboards or signs, graffiti utilize the walls of garages, public toilets and gaol cells for their clandestine messages.

 

 

 

 

Grupo CAYC.

Argentine group of artists. It was founded in Buenos Aires in 1971 as the Grupo de los Trece by the critic Jorge Glusberg (b 1938) and renamed Grupo CAYC because of its close association with the Centro de Arte y Comunicación. The group held its first public show in 1972 in the exhibition Hacia un perfil del arte latino americano at the third Bienal Coltejer, Medellín, Colombia. The group’s chief members were Jacques Bedel, Luis Benedit, Jorge Glusberg, Víctor Grippo, the sculptor Leopoldo Maler (b 1937), the sculptor Alfredo Portillos (b 1928) and Clorindo Testa. Treating the visual aspect of works of art as just one element in order to demonstrate the complexity and richness of the creative process, they took a wide view of Latin American culture that spanned the cosmogony of Pre-Columbian societies to the technological and scientific concepts of the late 20th century. In 1977 they won the Gran Premio Itamaraty at the 14th São Paulo Biennale with their collective work Signs of Artificial Eco-systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi-Red Center [Haireddo Senta].

Japanese group of installation artists founded in 1963 and active until 1964. The group’s name comprised a translation of the first part of each founder’s surname: ‘Taka’ from JIRO TAKAMATSU, ‘Aka’ from Genpei Akasegawa (b 1937) and ‘Naka’ from Natsuyuki Nakanishi (b 1935). The group attempted to draw attention to their neo-Dadaist ideas through the staging of public installations and performances. In the Dairoku ji mikisa keikaku (‘The sixth blender plan’) exhibition at the Miyata Clinic, Shinbashi, Tokyo (1963), for example, Nakanishi covered himself in metal clothes-pegs. The Shieruta puran (‘Shelter plan’) event in the Teikoku Hotel, Tokyo (1964), involved the creation of personalized nuclear fall-out shelters by the group’s members. Hi-Red Center also produced a number of pamphlets in addition to their other activities.

 

 

 

 

Lyrical Abstraction is an important American abstract art movement that emerged in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington DC and then Toronto and London during the 1960s - 1970s. Characterized by intuitive and loose paint handling, spontaneous expression, illusionist space, acrylic staining, process, occasional imagery, and other painterly and newer technological techniques.[1] Lyrical Abstraction led the way away from minimalism in painting and toward a new freer expressionism.[2] Painters who directly reacted against the predominating Formalist, Minimalist, and Pop Art and Geometric abstraction styles of the 1960s, turned to new, experimental, loose, painterly, expressive, pictorial and abstract painting styles. Many of them had been Minimalists, working with various monochromatic, geometric styles, and whose paintings publicly evolved into new abstract painterly motifs. American Lyrical Abstraction is related in spirit to Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting and European Tachisme of the 1940s and 1950s as well. Tachisme refers to the French style of abstract painting current in the 1945 -1960 period. Very close to Art Informel, it presents the European equivalent to Abstract Expressionism.

Context

Lyrical Abstraction is a term that was originally coined by Larry Aldrich (the founder of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield Connecticut) in 1969 to describe what Aldrich said he saw in the studios of many artists at that time.[3] It is also the name of an exhibition that originated in the Aldrich Museum and traveled to the Whitney Museum of American Art and other museums throughout the United States between 1969 and 1971.[4] For many years the term Lyrical Abstraction was a pejorative, which unfortunately adversely affected those artists whose works were associated with that name. In 1989 Union College art history professor, the late Daniel Robbins correctly observed that Lyrical Abstraction was the term used in the late sixties to describe the return to painterly expressivity by painters all over the country and "consequently", Robbins said, "the term should be used today because it has historical credibility"[5]

Between 1960 and 1970 Abstract Expressionism had waned, emerging directions such as Formalism, Color Field painting, Fluxus, Happenings, Minimalism, Pop Art, and Op art had decidedly swerved the focus of the avant-garde away from subjective expressionism toward a more objective geometric precision and socio-political theatricality, commentary and observation. During the mid-1960s American painting was declared dead by various critics including Minimalist sculptor/critic Donald Judd citing three-dimensional, volumetric objects as the embodiment of visual truth. Pictorial illusionism as it appears in painting - which is flat and merely depicts space, was described as deceptive and outdated, in a European old-fashioned way. Formalist arguments generally put forth in the name of Clement Greenberg seemed dated and outmoded and missed the point of new painting being made after the mid-1960s altogether.

 

History

Lyrical Abstraction along with the Fluxus movement and Postminimalism (a term first coined by Robert Pincus-Witten in the pages of Artforum in 1969) sought to expand the boundaries of abstract painting and Minimalism by focusing on process, new materials and new ways of expression. Postminimalism often incorporating industrial materials, raw materials, fabrications, found objects, installation, serial repetition, and often with references to Dada and Surrealism is best exemplified in the sculptures of Eva Hesse. Lyrical Abstraction, Conceptual Art, Postminimalism, Earth Art, Video, Performance art, Installation art, along with the continuation of Fluxus, Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, Hard-edge painting, Minimal Art, Op art, Pop Art, Photorealism and New Realism extended the boundaries of Contemporary Art in the mid-1960s through the 1970s.[6] Lyrical Abstraction is a type of freewheeling abstract painting that emerged in the mid-1960s when abstract painters returned to various forms of painterly, pictorial, expressionism with a predominate focus on process, gestalt and repetitive compositional strategies in general. Characterized by an overall gestalt, consistent surface tension, sometimes even the hiding of brushstrokes, and an overt avoidance of relational composition. It developed as did Postminimalism as an alternative to strict Formalist and Minimalist doctrine.

Lyrical Abstraction shares similarities with Color Field Painting and Abstract Expressionism especially in the freewheeling usage of paint - texture and surface. Direct drawing, calligraphic use of line, the effects of brushed, splattered, stained, squeegeed, poured, and splashed paint superficially resemble the effects seen in Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting. However the styles are markedly different. Setting it apart from Abstract Expressionism and Action Painting of the 1940s and 1950s is the approach to composition and drama. As seen in Action Painting there is an emphasis on brushstrokes, high compositional drama, dynamic compositional tension. While in Lyrical Abstraction there is a sense of compositional randomness, all over composition, low key and relaxed compositional drama and an emphasis on process, repetition, and an all over sensibility. The differences with Color Field Painting are more subtle today because many of the Color Field painters with the exceptions of Morris Louis, Ellsworth Kelly, Paul Feeley, Thomas Downing, and Gene Davis evolved into Lyrical Abstractionists. Lyrical Abstraction shares with both Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting a sense of spontaneous and immediate sensual expression, consequently distinctions between specific artists and their styles become blurred, and seemingly interchangeable as they evolve.

Abstract Expressionism preceded Color Field painting, Lyrical Abstraction, Fluxus, Pop Art, Minimalism, Postminimalism, and the other movements of the 1960s and 1970s and it influenced the later movements that evolved. The interrelationship of/and between distinct but related styles resulted in influence that worked both ways between artists young and old, and vice-versa. During the mid-1960s in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere artists often crossed the lines between definitions and art styles. During that period - the mid 1960s through the 1970s advanced American art and contemporary art in general was at a crossroad, shattering in several directions. During the 1970s political movements and revolutionary changes in communication made these American styles international; as the art world itself became more and more international. American Lyrical Abstraction's European counterpart Neo-expressionism came to dominate the 1980s, and also developed as a response to American Pop Art and Minimalism and borrows heavily from American Abstract Expressionism.

 

 

 

Mec art.

Term coined in 1965 as an abbreviation of ‘mechanical art’ by Alain Jacquet and Mimmo Rotella and promoted by the French critic Pierre Restany (b 1930) to describe paintings using photographically transferred images that could be produced in theoretically unlimited numbers. The term was first publicly used of works by Serge Béguier (b 1934), Pol Bury, Gianni Bertini (b 1922), Nikos (b 1930), Jacquet and Rotella at an exhibition at the Galerie J in Paris entitled Hommage à Nicéphore Niépce. In contrast to the use of screenprinting by Americans such as Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol to incorporate photographic images, the Mec artists projected images directly on to canvases coated with photosensitive emulsion, and they generally used the method to alter rather than merely reproduce the original photographic image. In his Cinétizations, for example, Bury cut and turned concentric rings in the original photograph before rephotographing the image and transferring it on to canvas, as in La Joconde (1964; see 1989 exh. cat., p. 61). Having earlier used the method of décollage, Rotella continued to rely on torn surfaces when he began in 1964 to produce works that he termed reportages, rephotographing his altered material before projecting it on to the sensitized canvas. Jacquet, for his part, broke down the photographic image in paintings such as his Déjeuner sur l’herbe series (1964; e.g. Paris, Fonds N. A. Contemp.) into a pattern of coloured spots to imitate the process of printing by four-colour separations used in the mass media.

 

 

Monoha

[Jap.: ‘object school’]. Term applied to tendencies in the works of the Japanese artists Nobuo Sekine (b 1942), Katsuro Yoshida (b 1943), Susumu Koshimizu (b 1944), Katsuhiko Narita (1944–92), Shingo Honda (b 1944), Kishio Suga (b 1944) and the Korean Lee U-fan (b 1936) after 1968 and particularly from 1972 to 1974. The term began to be used informally to denote the fact that they took as their material natural objects, including trees, stones and earth, and manmade objects such as beams, girders, concrete, paper and glass. However, the emphasis in the works of the Monoha artists was not on the objects themselves, as with some Minimalist works and the Arte Povera, but on the relationship between object and object or between objects and the spaces they occupy (e.g. Suga’s Situation of Eternity, 1970; Kyoto, N. Mus. Mod. A.). This demonstrated a new artistic approach, unlike that of conventional sculpture or environmental art, that took as its aim the shaping of space itself. In this it had affinities with Concrete art. The central concern in Monoha works, however, was not a purely formal interest in creating some new kind of shape but an attempt to reconsider fundamental questions concerning humanity’s involvement with the world of matter. It was thus a characteristically Japanese tendency, whatever its similarities with some European and American movements.

 

   

 

New Topographics.

Term first used by the American William Jenkins (1975 exh. cat.) to characterize the style of a number of young photographers he had chosen for the exhibition at the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, NY, in 1975. These photographers avoided the ‘subjective’ themes of beauty and emotion and shared an apparent disregard for traditional subject-matter. Instead they emphasized the ‘objective’ description of a location, showing a preference for landscape that included everyday features of industrial culture. This style, suggesting a tradition of documentary rather than formalist photography, is related to the idea of ‘social landscape’, which explores how man affects his natural environment. Jenkins traced the style back to several photographic series by Edward Ruscha in the early 1960s of urban subjects such as petrol stations and Los Angeles apartments.

 

 

New York Five.

Term applied in the late 1960s and early 1970s to five architects practising in New York—Peter D. Eisenman, Michael Graves, Charles Gwathmey, John Hejduk and Richard Meier—whose work was the subject of an exhibition at MOMA, New York, in 1969 and subsequent publication Five Architects (1972). These architects were related at that time in their allegiance to the forms and theories developed by Le Corbusier in the 1920s and 1930s. This is most clearly seen in the work of Graves, Gwathmey (for illustration see GWATHMEY, CHARLES) and Meier, while Hejduk was also strongly affiliated with Synthetic Cubism and Constructivism, and Eisenman (for illustration see EISENMAN, PETER D.) was deeply influenced by the work of the Italian Rationalist architect Giuseppe Terragni. Anticipating criticisms of this ‘Twenties Revivalism’, Colin Rowe challenged the idea of Modernism as the constant pursuit of originality by stating that the great revolutions in thought and form in the early 20th century were so ‘enormous as to impose a directive that cannot be resolved in any individual life span’ (Frampton and Rowe, 1972, p. 7). The most vehement critique of the work of the New York Five (referred to as the ‘Whites’) came in a group of essays, ‘Five on Five’ (1973), written by the architects Ronaldo Giurgola, Allan Greenberg (b 1938), Charles W. Moore, Jaquelin Robertson (b 1933) and Robert A. M. Stern (the ‘Grays’), whose theoretical affiliation was with Robert Venturi and Vincent Scully. Denying the existence of a ‘school’ and very anxious to nullify the possibility of Corbusian Modernism as a major tendency in the 1970s, they attacked the Five’s ‘lack of concern with siting’, the ‘unusability’ of their spaces and, particularly, their ‘élitism and hermeticism’—their treatment of architecture as ‘ "high art", divorcing it from day to day life’ (Robertson). The phenomenon of the New York Five is not to be seen as a school or movement but as a tendency signalling a deliberate reworking of early 20th-century Modernism in the face of a counter-tendency later defined as POST-MODERNISM. The work of the members of the New York Five subsequently developed in different directions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plop art is a pejorative slang term for public art (usually large, abstract, modernist or contemporary sculpture) made for government or corporate plazas, spaces in front of office buildings, skyscraper atriums, parks, and other public venues. The term connotes that the work is unattractive or inappropriate to its surroundings - that is, it has been thoughtlessly "plopped" where it lies. Plop art is a play on the term pop art. According to artnet.com, plop art was coined by architect James Wines in 1969. The derisive term was eagerly taken up both by progressives (like Wines) and by conservatives. Progressives were critical of the failure of much public art to take an environmentally-oriented approach to the relationship between public art and architecture. Conservatives liked the term because it suggested something ugly, formless, and meaningless, produced without any real skill or care (frequently the conservative view of abstract art in general). The very word "plop" suggested something falling wetly and heavily - extruded, as it were, from the fundament of the art world, and often at public expense.

More recently, defenders of public art funding have tried to reclaim the term. The book Plop: Recent Projects of the Public Art Fund, celebrates the success of the Public Art Fund in financing many publicly placed works of art over the last few decades, many of which are now beloved, though they may at first have been derided as "ploppings". Several currents or movements in contemporary art, such as environmental sculpture, site-specific art, and land art, counterpose themselves philosophically to "plop art," as well as to traditional public monumental sculpture.

 

 

Photorealism [Hyper Realism; Super Realism].

Style of painting, printmaking and sculpture that originated in the USA in the mid-1960s, involving the precise reproduction of a photograph in paint or the mimicking of real objects in sculpture. Its pioneers included the painters Malcolm Morley, Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Audrey Flack (b 1931), Robert Bechtle (b 1932), Robert Cottingham (b 1935), Richard McLean (b 1934), Don Eddy and the English painter John Salt (b 1937), and sculptors such as Duane Hanson and John De Andrea. Though essentially an American movement, it has also had exponents in Europe, such as Franz Gertsch.

 

 

Photorealism is the genre of painting resembling a photograph, most recently seen in the splinter hyperrealism art movement. However, the term is primarily applied to paintings from the American photorealism art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Style and History

As a full-fledged art movement, photorealism sprang up in the late 1960s and early 1970s mostly in America (where it was also commonly labeled superrealism, new realism or sharp focus realism) and was dominated by painters. The term "photorealism" was first coined in the late 1960s by the very successful New York City art dealer and self-acclaimed "father" of photorealism, Louis K. Meisel.[1] Photorealism rejected the ideas and artistic processes of Abstract Expressionists from the 1940s to the late 1960s whose artwork reflected that of spontaneous, anti-figurative scenes.[2]

Photorealists very consciously take their cues from photographic images, often working very systematically from photographic slide projections onto canvases or using grid techniques to preserve accuracy. The resulting images are often direct copies of the original photograph but are usually at least ten times the size of the original photograph or slide. This results in the photorealist style being tight and precise, often with an emphasis on imagery and color that requires a high level of technical prowess and virtuosity to simulate, such as reflections in specular surfaces and the geometric rigor of man-made environs. In his 1972 manifesto of photorealism Meisel states that all potential photorealists are required to "have the technical ability to make the finished work appear photographic."[3]

20th century photorealism can be contrasted with the similarly literal style found in trompe l'oeil paintings of the 19th century. However, trompe l'oeil paintings tended to be carefully designed, very shallow-space still-lifes with illusionistic gimmicks such as objects seeming to lift slightly from the painting. The photorealism movement moved beyond this double-take illusionism to tackle deeper spatial representations (e.g. urban landscapes) and took on much more varied and dynamic subject matter.

 

Artists

The first generation of American photorealists includes such painters as Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Chuck Close, Charles Bell, John Baeder, Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Robert Bechtle, Tom Blackwell and Richard McLean. Duane Hanson and John DeAndrea were the sculptors associated with photorealism famous for amazingly lifelike painted sculptures of average people that were complete with simulated hair and real clothes. They were called Verists. Often working independently of each other and with widely different starting points, photorealists routinely tackled mundane or familiar subjects in traditional art genres--landscapes (mostly urban rather than naturalistic), portraits, and still lifes. They essentially evolved from Pop art and carried Pop Art's return to imagery to its ultimate possibilities.

 

Photorealism at the Millennium

The height of the original photorealism movement was in the mid-1970s but the early 1990s saw a re-birth of interest in the genre thanks to Louis K. Meisel's two books on photorealism: "Photorealism" and "Photorealism Since 1980." This renewed interest included original artists from the "first generation" as well as many younger photorealists. The evolution of photorealism brought a emergence of an advanced form of photorealistic painting. With the new technology in cameras and digital equipment the younger artists were able to be far more precision oriented than their elders. Many of the new brilliant Photorealists are European. They include Raphaella Spence who is British but living in Italy, Bertrand Meniel in France, Roberto Bernardi in Italy, Bernardo Torrens in Madrid, Spain, Tony Brunelli in New York and Clive Head in Britain. Although the original American tradition of Photorealism is a frame of reference for the artists, they incorporate more detailed references in their work by use of better technology. Richard Estes, Ralph Goings, Charles Bell, Robert Bechtle and Audrey Flack Historically though are the originators. Louis K. Meisel's latest book on photorealism, "Photorealism at the Millennium" acknowledges the new generation and photorealism's advancement into the 21st Century. There was a word used in Europe in the early 70's, Hyperrrealists or Hyperealisti in Italy, it has since been wrongly used to describe photorealistic paintings. Many of the new and European Photorealists are building upon the foundation set by the original photorealists and the likenesses of their predecessors can be seen in such works by photorealists Clive Head, Glennray Tutor, Kim Mendenhall, Raphaella Spence, and Bertrand Meniel.

 

List of Photorealists

 

Original Photorealists

 

Photorealists

 

 

Post-painterly Abstraction is a term created by art critic, Clement Greenberg as the title for an exhibit he curated for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1964, which subsequently travelled to the Walker Art Center and the Art Gallery of Toronto.

Greenberg had perceived that there was a new movement in painting which derived from the Abstract Expressionism of the 1940s and 1950s but "favored openness or clarity" as opposed to the dense painterly surfaces of that painting style. The approximately 100 artists in the exhibit included Walter Darby Bannard, Jack Bush, Friedl Dzubas, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Jules Olitski, Frank Stella and a number of other American and Canadian artists who were becoming well-known in the 1960s.

As painting continued to move in different directions, powered by the spirit of innovation of the time, the term "Post-painterly Abstraction", which had obtained some currency in the 1960s, was gradually supplanted by "Minimalism", "Hard-edge painting", "Lyrical Abstraction" and "Color Field Painting".

 

 

Hyperrealism is an emerging school of painting that grew out of the American school of photorealism. Through counterfeit photographic imagery, hyperrealist painters routinely create a simulated two-dimensional image of a three-dimensional reality. Hyperreal paintings are optically convincing visual illusions of reality based upon reductive photographic images that initially attempt to represent reality. Hyperreal paintings create an almost tangible solidity and physical presence through subtle lighting and shading effects where shapes, forms and areas closest to the forefront of the image can appear beyond the frontal plane of the canvas. Hyperrealist painters include Alicia St. Rose, Pedro Campos, Jacques Bodin, Denis Peterson, Gottfried Helnwein, Gilles Esnault, Istvan Sandorfi, Luciano Ventrone, Latif Maulan, Luding Meng, Glennray Tutor, Suzana Stojanovic, Bert Monroy (hyperrealist digital painter), and Ron Mueck (hyperrealist sculptor).

Certain of these hyperrealists have further incorporated social, cultural and political thematic elements as an extension of a visual illusion; a distinct departure from the school of Photorealism. Denis Peterson, Gottfried Helnwein, and Latif Maulan are three provocative hyperrealist painters who have depicted the political and cultural deviations of societal decadence, its enigmatic imagery, and the aftermath of its tragic, ideological and insane consequences. Thematically, these controversial artists aggressively confront the corrupted human condition through narrative paintings as a phenomenological medium. The paintings are historical commentary on the grotesque mistreatment of human beings.

Peterson’s latest provocative work on human oppressions has focused on diasporas, genocides and refugees around the globe as a political statement through visually disturbing and highly charged images that have recorded an abhorrent period in history that has marked the decadence of the human condition. Helnwein developed unconventionally narrative work centered around past, present and future deviations of the Holocaust and its grotesque darkness. Maulan’s work is primarily a critique of society’s disregard for the helpless, the needy and the disenfranchised. These three hyperrealists have exposed totalitarian regimes and evocatively raised political and moral conflicts with third world military governments through narrative and hyperrealistic depictions of the legacy of hatred and intolerance. Subjects of these iconoclastic artists are often statuesque figures and stoic faces that eerily seem to share an internalized calm in the face of the surrounding horrors of deadly disease, impending torture, terrorizing fear and irrational hatred.

Early 21st century hyperrealism is contrasted with the similarly literal, photorealistic style found in traditional photorealist paintings of the late 20th century. Painters in both schools of art make allowances for some mechanical means of transferring images to the canvas, including preliminary drawings or grisaille underpaintings. Photographic slide projections onto canvases and rudimentary techniques such as gridding may also be used to ensure accuracy. Both styles require a high level of technical prowess and virtuosity to simulate reality; however, despite any apparent similarities, the two styles are distinctly apart from one another.

Photorealist painters tended to systemically imitate photographic images, often consciously omitting pictorial details, human emotion, political value and narrative elements. The photorealistic style of painting is uniquely tight, precise, and mechanical with an emphasis on mundane everyday imagery.

The more recent hyperrealist style tends to be much more literal as to pictorial detail with an emphasis on social, cultural or political themes. This is in stark contrast to the concurrent Photorealism with its avoidance of photographic anomalies including digital fractalization, image degradation, and subtractive versus additive color creation, i.e. CMYK versus RGB color wheels.

As such, hyperrealism incorporates and often capitalizes upon photographic limitations such as depth of field, perspective and range of focus to create a new hyperreality.

 

 

 

Post-painterly Abstraction.

Term devised as an exhibition title in 1964 by the critic Clement Greenberg to describe a new trend in American abstract painting that emerged in reaction to Abstract Expressionism. Extending to contemporary art the distinction made by Heinrich Wölfflin between painterly and linear art, Greenberg postulated that the most recent painting, although still owing something to its immediate forebears, was in contrast moving towards a greater linear clarity and/or a physical openness of design.

 

 

Process art.

Form of art prevalent in the mid-1960s and 1970s in which the process of a work’s creation is presented as its subject. The term is of broad reference, encompassing in particular aspects of Minimalism, Post-Minimalism and performance art, but in its narrowest sense it refers primarily to the work of American sculptors such as Richard Serra, Robert Morris (ii), Barry Le Va (b 1941), Keith Sonnier (b 1941) and Eva Hesse. The seeds of process art were in action painting: the drip paintings of Jackson Pollock, for example, clearly conveyed to the viewer the creative process that lay behind them, further emphasized by the publication of numerous photographs and films showing Pollock at work. These earlier paintings, however, were intended to be seen as expressive of the artist’s psyche, with the stripping bare of the creative process merely as a by-product of the artist’s ingrained individualism and reliance on his or her emotions.

 

 

Psychedelic art.

Term used to describe art, usually painting, made under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. It was particularly identified with the early 1960s, when the use of such drugs was at its height. Various artists, mostly in isolation, took ‘mind-expanding’ drugs such as peyote and more especially LSD (lysergide) to heighten their awareness and enlarge their mental vision with images. The mental state of the person who took the ‘trip’ (a mental state not necessarily known to that person) determined whether the experience was favourable and enjoyable or frightening and liable to lead to psychosis; thus the creators of psychedelic art did not know what type of work or what specific images would be produced under the influence of the drugs, until the ‘trip’ had ended and the effects of the drug had worn off. With no particular philosophy other than an interest in seeing what might be produced, and with no attempt by its creators to band together for the purpose of exhibiting, psychedelic art died out by the end of the 1960s, particularly as the negative properties of hallucinogenic drugs became known. An example of psychedelic art is the poster style of painting associated with hippie culture, especially in San Francisco, CA, in the late 1960s. This painting is characterized by sinuous patterns, the use of erotic imagery and by ‘day-glo’ fluorescent colours, whose anti-naturalistic shades could be seen as a reference to the changing states of consciousness induced by drugs.

 

 

Psychedelic art is art inspired by the psychedelic experience induced by drugs such as LSD, Mescaline, and Psilocybin. The word "psychedelic" (coined by British psychologist Humphrey Osmond) means "mind manifesting". By that definition all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche may be considered "psychedelic". However, in common parlance "Psychedelic Art" refers above all to the art movement of the 1960s counterculture. Psychedelic visual arts were a counterpart to psychedelic rock music. Concert posters, album covers, lightshows, murals, comic books, underground newspapers and more reflected not only the kaleidoscopically swirling patterns of LSD hallucinations, but also revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments inspired by insights derived from these psychedelic states of consciousness.

Psychedelic art and society

Leading proponents of the Psychedelic Art movement were San Francisco poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley, and Wes Wilson. Their Psychedelic Rock concert posters were inspired by Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art. Richly saturated colors in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly symmetrical composition, collage elements, and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco psychedelic poster art style. The style flourished from about 1966 - 1972. Their work was immediately influential to album cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created album covers.

Yet psychedelic album cover art was more international: Majorca based painter Mati Klarwein created psychedelic masterpieces for Miles Davis' Jazz-Rock fusion albums, and also for Carlos Santana Latin Rock. Pink Floyd worked extensively with London based designers, Hipgnosis to create graphics to support the concepts in their albums.

Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors the lightshow artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the music. This was mixed with slideshows and film loops to create an improvisational motion picture art form to give visual representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and create a completely "trippy" atmosphere for the audience. The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts.

Out of the psychedelic counterculture also arose a new genre of comic books: underground comix. "Zap Comix" was among the original underground comics, and featured the work of Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Robert Williams among others. Underground Comix were ribald, intensely satirical, and seemed to pursue weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Gilbert Shelton created perhaps the most enduring of underground cartoon characters, "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers", whose drugged out exploits held a hilarious mirror up to the hippy lifestyle of the 1960s.

Psychedelic art was also applied to the LSD itself. LSD began to be put on blotter paper in the early 1970s and this gave rise to a specialized art form of decorating the blotter paper. Often the blotter paper was decorated with tiny insignia on each perforated square tab, but by the 1990s this had progressed to complete four color designs often involving an entire page of 900 or more tabs. Mark McCloud is a recognized authority on the history of LSD blotter art.

The fact that LSD blotter art kept evolving over decades shows that the Psychedelic Art movement did not end with the '60's, and if considered more deeply it did not begin in that decade either. The use of drugs by artists is nothing new - the Roman poet Ovid said, "There is no poetry among water drinkers." However, since drugs have always been taboo, the drug use of artists has not always entered the historical record. It was part of the youth rebellion of the 1960s to openly use drugs, but the psychedelic drugs were also seen in a different light from more traditional inebriants such as opiates, cocaine and alcohol. LSD was a new invention that had shown wondrous promise as a psychiatric medicine. It is beyond the scope of this article to describe LSD research and its various results, but importantly to the counterculture movement of the 1960s it had been strongly demonstrated to be an enhancer of creativity and a gateway to mystical experience. These aspects drew artists and intellectuals to experiment with LSD and other psychedelic drugs.

Early artistic experimentation with LSD was conducted in a clinical context by Los Angeles based psychiatrist Oscar Janiger. Janiger had a group of 50 different artists each do a painting from life of a subject of the artist's choosing. Then they were asked to do the same painting while under the influence of LSD. The two paintings were compared by Janiger and also the artist. The artist's almost unanimously reported LSD to be an enhancement to their creativity.

Beatnik poets such as Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs were certainly aware of LSD and other psychedelics during the 1950s. The beatniks understood the role of psychedelics as sacred inebriants in native american cultures, and also had an understanding of the philosophy of the surrealist and symbolist poets who called for a "complete disorientation of the senses" (to paraphrase Arthur Rimbaud). They knew of the altered states of consciousness that were essential to Eastern Mysticism. LSD was the perfect catalyst to electrify the eclectic mix of ideas assembled by the beatniks into a cathartic panacea for the succeeding generation.

While LSD and the other psychedelics were criminalized in 1966, and psychedelics research was brought to a halt, psychedelia entered the popular culture and for decades to come influenced Hollywood, Madison Ave, and perhaps even more consequentially Silicon Valley.

Computer Arts have allowed for an even greater and more profuse expression of psychedelic vision. Fractal generating software gives an accurate depiction of psychedelic hallucinatory patterns, but even more importantly 2D and 3D graphics software allow for unparalleled freedom of image manipulation. Much of the graphics software seems to enable a direct translation of the psychedelic vision. The "digital revolution" was indeed heralded early on as the "New LSD" by none other than Timothy Leary.

The Rave movement of the 1990s was a psychedelic renaissance fueled by the advent of newly available digital technologies. The rave movement developed a new graphic art style partially influenced by 1960s psychedelic poster art, but also strongly influenced by graffiti art, and by 1970s advertising art, yet clearly defined by what computer graphics software and home computers had to offer at the time of creation.

Concurrent to the rave movement, and in key respects integral to it, are the development of new mind altering drugs, most notably, MDMA (Ecstasy). Ecstasy, like LSD, has had a tangible influence on culture and aesthetics, particularly the aesthetics of Rave Culture. But MDMA is (arguably) not a real psychedelic, but is described by psychologists as an "empathogen". Development of new psychedelics such as "2CB" and related compounds (developed primarily by chemist Alexander Shulgin) are truly psychedelic, and these novel psychedelics are fertile ground for artistic exploration since many of the new psychedelics possess their own unique properties that will affect the artist's vision accordingly.

Perhaps the future of psychedelic art will be defined by those artists who have practiced it most purely. That is to say by those artists who have sought to record the visions derived from the psychedelic drug experience into works of art. Even as fashions have changed, and art and culture movements have come and gone certain artists have steadfastly devoted themselves to psychedelia. Well known examples are Alex Grey and Robert Venosa. These artists have developed unique and distinct styles that while containing elements that are obviously "psychedelic", are clearly artistic expression that transcend simple categorization. While it is not necessary to use psychedelics to arrive at such a stage of artistic development, serious psychedelic artists are demonstrating that there is tangible technique to obtaining visions, and that technique is the creative use of psychedelic drugs.

 

 

 

Psychedelic art in prehistory

Using altered states of consciousness as a source for artistic expression is not a new concept and has been practised throughout human history. Where this art occurs in the past it is often called 'psychedelic art' to conceptually link it to the well-known modern movement. This linkage is contentious and the difficulty in proving the psychedelic origins of prehistoric artwork has led many people to refer to it as entoptic art or subjective visual art. 'Entoptic art' emphasises the fact that evidence for its hallucinatory origins comes mainly from identification of motifs related to entoptic phenomena.

Prehistoric entoptic art lacks the range of colours of modern psychedelic art and is often characterised by repeating concentric circles and spirals.

 

Psychedelic artists

 

 

 

Re-figuración.

Paraguayan art movement active in the 1970s. It produced a form of figurative art based on the exploration of the nature of pictorial signs, yet also with a strong expressive quality. The movement investigated the mechanism of representation and the relationship between reality and image, without abandoning the vital dramatic sense that marks the best figurative work in Paraguay. It was related to the wider development of the visual arts in Paraguay in the 1970s (see PARAGUAY, §IV, 2), which was characterized by a reflective mood connected with the prevalence of conceptual art. The most representative artists of Re-figuración were Osvaldo Salerno (b 1952), Bernardo Krasniansky (b 1951) and Luis Alberto Boh (b 1952), but the movement also had a considerable effect on the work of such other artists as Carlos Colombino, Olga Blinder, Susana Romero and a whole generation of young artists working at that time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky art.

Term coined by Otto Piene in 1969 and described by him as: ‘The arbitrator between man-made feelings and emotions and yearnings evoked by earth and sky and their overwhelming size and power .... Technology helps to distribute and connect while we keep it from dulling the senses and numbing our imagination’ (see 1986 exh. cat.). By the 1980s sky art had become a movement centred around Piene and other artists at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA.

 

 

Solentiname primitivist painting.

Style of painting practised from 1968 by a Nicaraguan group of rural labourers on the island of Mancarrón in the Solentiname archipelago of Lagos de Nicaragua. The style took its name from the parish in which it arose with the encouragement of Padre Ernesto Cardenal (b 1925), a priest, poet and man of letters who in 1979 became the Minister of Culture in Nicaragua. This community of 1000 impoverished labourers was established in 1965 around the basic precepts of liberation theology, with its emphasis on social justice and communal sharing being predicated on a type of Christian Socialism. Motivated by these egalitarian ideals and a deep involvement with the arts, Cardenal invited the painter Roger Pérez de la Rocha (b 1949) to Solentiname to introduce the populace to the fine arts.

 

 

Soft art.

Term that gained currency in the late 1960s to describe any form of sculpture made from pliable materials and consequently not absolutely fixed in its shape. As an art form its origins can be traced particularly to the ‘soft sculptures’ devised by Claes Oldenburg as early as 1962. Precedents can be found, however, in earlier 20th-century art, beginning with Dada, for example in Marcel Duchamp’s presentation of a typewriter cover as a ready-made entitled Traveller’s Folding Item (1917; untraced; replica, 1964; see Marcel Duchamp, exh. cat., New York, MOMA, 1973, p. 280) and in object collages by Man Ray (e.g. the Enigma of Isidore Ducasse, 1920; see Man Ray photographie, exh. cat., Paris, Pompidou, 1981, p. 134). Sculptures made by Surrealists, such as those shown in Paris at the Galerie Charles Ratton (1936) and at the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme (Paris, Gal. B.-A., 1938), made particular use of malleable materials, often with a strong erotic aspect; Meret Oppenheim’s Object (1936; New York, MOMA), a fur-covered cup, saucer and spoon, is perhaps the most notorious example. The Surrealists displayed such a predilection even in their paintings, as in Salvador Dalí’s the Persistence of Memory (1931; New York, MOMA), with its soft watches as an image of the fleeting nature of time.

 

 

Sots art [Sotz art].

Term used from 1972 to describe a style of unofficial art that flourished in the USSR from c. 1970 to c. 1985–8. The term itself is formed from the first syllable of Sotsialisticheskiy realizm (Rus.: ‘Socialist Realism’) and the second word of Pop art and is attributed to the art historian Vladimir Paperny. Sots art takes the style of SOCIALIST REALISM, with its mass ideological implications, as a legitimate object of investigation, intending to deconstruct the ideological system through its own visual language. It forms a criticism of Socialist Realism by unofficial Russian artists as reflecting the ideological myths underpinning Soviet society. The means of ideological propaganda are thus investigated in terms of their relation to the national mentality and their consumption as objects of mass culture. The main artists producing works of this type were KOMAR AND MELAMID, ERIK BULATOV (e.g. Horizon, 1971–2; Paris, priv. col.), and, since the mid-1970s, IL’YA KABAKOV, Dmitry Prigov (b 1940), the sculptors Aleksey Kosolapov (b 1948) and Leonid Sokov (b 1941) and the group Gnezdo (Rus.: ‘Nest’), founded in 1975. The first prominent exhibition of Sots art was held at Ronald Feldman Fine Art, New York, in 1976. There was a second wave of Sots art in Moscow, comprising work by the group Mukhomory (Rus.: ‘Toadstool’), founded in 1978, which included the sculptor Boris Orlov (b 1941) and the painters Grigory Bruskin (b 1945) and Rostislav Lebedev (b 1946). Artists who had emigrated and continued to work in this style in New York (Komar, Melamid, Sokov, Kosolapov) used it to criticize not only Soviet but also American ideological myths and institutions.

 

 

Straight Ahead [Pol. Wprost].

Polish group of artists established in 1966 by five graduates from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków: Maciej Bieniasz (b 1938); Zbylut Grzywacz (b 1939); Barbara Skapska (b 1938), who participated only in the first exhibition; Leszek Sobocki (b 1934), a member of the group until 1986, and Jacek Waltos (Jacek Buszynski) (b 1938). They were inspired by the metaphorical paintings of Adam Hoffmann (b 1918), their teacher at the Academy, and considered Andrzej Wróblewski as an influential precursor. Two published manifestos (1966, 1969) clearly defined their programme: the representation of all subjects, no matter how brutal or unpleasant, in a manner unrestricted and unveiled by any conventions. They aimed to speak openly and straightforwardly about existence and emotions, using a simple artistic language and rejecting both abstraction and the Colourism of the followers of the Kapists. Early works that showed a concern for figuration, such as Grzywacz’s The Forsaken (oil, 1973–4; Warsaw, N. Mus.), gave way to a form of realism in which the creative technical process was deliberately revealed, giving an unfinished appearance to their work, as in Waltos’s sculptures in the form of hollow moulds. A form of allegory often co-existed with this harsh realism in the group’s work, for example in Bieniasz’s dull Silesian cityscapes and Sobocki’s self-portraits (e.g. Tattoo, oil, 1978) and prints (e.g. Blood, linocut, 1971; both Warsaw, N. Mus.).

 

 

Supports-Surfaces.

French group of painters, active from 1967 to 1972. The group began to evolve through the discussions of Claude Viallat, Daniel Dezeuze (b 1942) and Patrick Saytour (b 1935). Reacting against the notion of the artist as an image maker and illusionist, they concentrated upon the very materials that underpinned painting. Dezeuze, for example, produced works whose main component was a canvas stretcher, either painted or, as in Frame (1967; Paris, Pompidou), covered with transparent plastic. In 1969 the three artists exhibited at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris, together with Marcel Alocco (b 1937), Noël Dolla (b 1945), Bernard Pagès (b 1940) and Jean-Pierre Pincemin (b 1944). The group acquired its name in 1970 with the first Supports-Surfaces exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. The name was whimsically suggested by one of its participants, Vincent Bioulès.

 

 

Syn.

German artists’ group formed in 1965 in Stuttgart by Bernd Berner (b 1930), Klaus Jürgen-Fischer (b 1930) and Eduard Micus (b 1925). They were joined in 1966 by the painter Erwin Bechtold (b 1925). The driving force behind the group was Jürgen-Fischer, who had worked on the editorial staff of Das Kunstwerk and had written an existentialist philosophical work Der Unfug des Seines (1955). In 1963 he published a manifesto ‘Was ist komplexe Malerei?’ (see 1963 exh. cat.), establishing the theoretical basis of Syn. Its members, three of whom (Berner, Jürgen-Fischer and Micus) had studied under Willi Baumeister at the Kunstakademie in Stuttgart, shared a common background in abstraction. Their work ranged from Berner’s highly individual colour field paintings (e.g. Index of Work 793, 1961; see 1991 exh. cat., p. 38) to Bechtold’s hard-edge abstraction, which combined geometric shapes and amorphous forms (e.g. Orgina Organa 66–31, 1966; Mannheim, Städt. Ksthalle). The group’s purpose was to redefine the elements and means of painting to enable the controlled use of often extreme techniques within the context of an art that was to be seen as self-referential. These principles were given voice in the journal Syn, edited by Jürgen-Fischer, and eventually set down in programmatic form in 12 points in the catalogue of their exhibition at the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Wiesbaden, in 1967. The group’s membership was not fixed and the core members were joined from time to time by other non-figurative artists, such as Kumi Sugai and Wilhelm Loth. The group stopped exhibiting together in 1970.

 

 

Tendenza.

Term applied to an architectural stylistic tendency that emerged in the late 1960s in several Italian and Swiss universities under the influence of ALDO ROSSI, Giorgio Grassi (b 1935) and Massimo Scolari (b 1943) among others. Although Tendenza never became an official movement, its theoretical principles were set out in three main texts by Rossi (1966), Grassi (1967) and Ezio Bonfanti (1937–73) and others (1973), all of which articulate a position in continuity with pre-World War II Italian and European Rationalism and in contradiction to populist or High Tech architecture. The earliest use of Tendenza as a proper stylistic term was in 1973 in Scolari’s essay, ‘Avanguardia e nuova architettura’ (see Bonfanti and others). The Tendenza was brought to international attention by Rossi’s work for the XV Triennale in Milan (1973), whereupon the term became increasingly used as a generic label and was ultimately repudiated by its original users.

 

 

Ugly Realism.

Term coined to describe the work of a number of artists working in Berlin in the 1970s. These artists combined the fine draughtsmanship of Otto Dix and George Grosz with an iconographical treatment of the ‘ugly’: this could be a pimple, a deformed limb or a terrorist with a machine-gun, all rendered with a chilling photographic clarity that pointed to the brutality, shallowness, alienation and perversion of modern urban humanity. The objects and figures presented to the observer in such detail were designed to provoke in him a mixture of disgust, revulsion and distaste as well as a reluctance to recognize what was being portrayed. Many of the artists associated with Ugly Realism were originally members of the artists’ co-operative gallery in Berlin, Grossgörschen 35, founded in 1964. In 1966 a rift developed between the expressionist faction represented by K. H. Hödicke, Markus Lüpertz and Koberling and the so-called critical realists, Ulrich Baehr (b 1938), Charles Diehl, Wolfgang Petrick and Peter Sorge (b 1937), who later made the Galerie Eva Poll home to this new brand of realism.

 

 

Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Sensations

[Latv. Nebijusu Sajutu Restauresanas Darbnica; NSRD]. Latvian association of artists, architects and designers, active from September 1982 until 1989. It introduced video and computer art, new music and hybridized art genres to a conservative public in Latvia towards the end of the Soviet period. Its very name implied preconditions of stricture and privation, and its multidisciplinary methods served to expand critical discourse when Latvian cultural identity and collective political consciousness were undergoing a symbiotic revival, with the restoration of independence as a goal. NSRD founders Juris Boiko (b 1954) and Hardijs Ledins (b 1955), both self-taught artists, organized Actions that some critics considered to be subtle acts of political dissent. Their Walk to Bolderaja, an annual pilgrimage begun in 1982 to an off-limits Soviet submarine base (representing thwarted access to the West), took place along railroad tracks that recalled the mass deportations of Balts to Siberia during the 1940s, to which Boiko’s parents fell victim. Workshop members included Aigars Sparans (b 1955), Dace Senberga (b 1967) and Imants Zodziks (b 1955). Together they produced numerous video projects, music recordings and performances, and three exhibitions. Much of this work was created under the rubric Approximate Art, an admixture of Zen Buddhism and Californian high-tech philosophy originated by Ledins that is also associated with the artist Miervaldis Polis (b 1948). In keeping with its global focus NSRD pursued international contacts and collaborations, which members continued in their subsequent individual careers.

 

 

Zebra.

German artists’ group formed in Hamburg in 1965 by the painters Dieter Asmus (b 1939), Peter Nagel (b 1942), Nikolaus Störtenbecker (b 1940) and Dietmar Ullrich (b 1940). They were all graduates of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg and shared a common interest in Photorealism. Their work was characterized by the setting of objects and figures against an indistinct background. Despite the precise delineation of objects, sometimes approaching trompe l’oeil in the work of Nagel, their paintings were not naturalistic. Colour and form were used in an anti-realistic way, and the artists sometimes adopted the convention of using monochrome for figures and bright, arbitrary colours for inanimate objects, as in Asmus’s Vitamin-Bomb (1976; Bochum, priv. col., see 1978-80 exh. cat., pl. 8). From photography they took the device of cutting off figures and objects, thus robbing their images of traditional compositional structure. Störtenbecker, in particular, employed a precise, minutely detailed realism that gave his work the impression of being a photograph, rather than a painted image. In the work of all four artists there was a tendency to suppress dramatic and expressive content by means of an apparently objective manner and by their attempts to dissociate their subjects from any ‘meaning’ that might have attached to them. This is as true of Ullrich’s paintings featuring sport (e.g. Swimmer, 1970–71; Neuss, Clemens-Sels-Mus.), which give the impression of a freeze-frame camera, as it is of Nagel’s isolated, oversized technological fragments (e.g. Red Tent, 1972–4; see 1978–80 exh. cat., pl. 33). The members of Zebra exhibited widely in Germany and elsewhere both independently and as a group.

 

 

The term Soviet Nonconformist Art refers to art produced in the former Soviet Union from 1953-1986 (after the death of Stalin until the advent of Perestroika and Glasnost) outside of the rubric of Socialist Realism. Other terms used to refer to this phenomenon are "unofficial art" or "underground art."

History

During the Soviet period (1922-1991), official artistic policy required that artists subscribe to the doctrine of Socialist Realism. Artists who chose their own form of expression, whether it was abstraction, expressionism, conceptual art or performance art were unable to show their work publicly. Soviet Nonconformist Art therefore includes a variety of artists and different styles that were produced unofficially during the Soviet period.

The death of Stalin and Khrushchev's denunciation of his crimes and cult of personality in 1956 created a liberal atmosphere wherein artists felt more freedom to create expressive or personal work without the fear of negative repercussions. Still, none of the official policies regarding the production of art had changed, which is why the majority of the art that falls under this category remained underground.

Once Glasnost and Perestroika were initiated in the mid-1980s there was no longer a need for the art to remain underground, and thus for all intents and purposes it ceased to exist.

 

Contributors to the movement

Notable Soviet Nonconformist artists from Russia include Ilya Kabakov, Oleg Vassiliev, Komar and Melamid, Leonid Sokov, Boris Sveshnikov, Vladimir Yakovlev, Anatoly Zverev, Ylo Sooster, Vladimir Nemukhin, Ernst Neizvestny and Oscar Rabine, Alexander Yulikov, Andrey Grositsky, Igor Shelkovsky, from Moscow, and Timur Novikov and Afrika (Sergei Bugaev), from St. Petersburg.

 

The Petersburg group

 

The artistic group are formed in Leningrad into 1960.
The Group begins in 1964, from the exhibition in Hermitage Museum of five artists: V. Kravchenko, V. Uflyand, V. Ovchinnikov, M. Chemiakin and O. Liagatchev.

The official name of the exhibit was "Exhibition of the artist-workers of the economic part of the Hermitage. Towards the 200 anniversary of Hermitage".

Exhibition was opened 30-31 March of 1964 and on 1 April it was arrested by authorities.
The Hermitage director, Mikhail Artamonov, was removed from his post.

In 1967 it was written "Manifest Peterburg Group", signed by M. Chemiakin, O.Liagatchev, E. Yesaulenko and V. Ivanov. Somewhat previously by V. Ivanov and M. Chemiakin are written theoretical essay " Métaphysique Synthétisme".

Group gave preference to still life, stylistic searches and illustration.
M. Chemiakin in its painting realizes the ideas of the "Métaphysique Synthétisme". In the graph they created illustrations to the works E.T.A. Hoffman, to "Crime and Punishment" Fyodor M. Dostoevsky; it so works in the technology of the engraving painted by water color.
Since 1968 O. Liagatchev is fascinated by semiotic searches and manufactures his visual-ornamental style; characteristic for this style picturesque works as "Kafka" and "Intimeniy XX" in 1973, "Composition - Canon" in 1975.

Joined this group A. Vasiliev, as the master of picturesque invoices and technical improvisations and V. Makarenko as miniature-painter and metaphysical painter.

In 1971 Chemiakin emigrated to France, and later the United States.
Liagatchev and Vasiliev participated in the exhibitions non-conformist artists at the Cultural Center Gaza in 1974 and at the Cultural Center Nevsky 1975.
In 1975 Liagatchev emigrated to France. Group did not have joint exhibitions and became defunct in 1979.

 

 

Soviet Nonconformist Art

 

The death of Stalin in 1953, and Nikita Khrushchev's Thaw, paved the way for a wave of liberalization in the arts throughout the Soviet Union. Although no official change in policy took place, artists began to feel free to experiment in their work, with considerably less fear of repercussions than during the Stalinist period.

In the 1950s Moscow artist Eli Beliutin encouraged his students to experiment with abstractionism, a practice thoroughly discouraged by the Artists' Union, which strictly enforced the official policy of Socialist Realism. Artists who chose to paint in alternative styles had to do so completely in private and were never able to exhibit or sell their work. As a result, Nonconformist Art developed along a separate path than the Official Art that was recorded in the history books.

LIFE Magazine published two portraits by two painters, who to their mind, were most representative of Russian Arts of the period: it was Serov, an official Soviet icon and Anatoly Zverev, an underground Russian avant-garde expressionist. Serov's portrait of Lenin's and Zverev's selfportrait were associated by many with an eternal Biblical struggle of Satan and Saviour. When Khrushev learned about the publication he was outraged and forbade all contacts with Western visitors, closed down all semi legal exhibitions. And of course Zverev was the main target of his outrage.

The Lianozovo Group was formed around the artist Oskar Rabin in the 1960s and included artists such as Valentina Kropivnitskaya, Vladimir Nemukhin, and Lydia Masterkova. While not adhering to any common style, these artists sought to faithfully express themselves in the mode they deemed appropriate, rather than adhere to the propagandistic style of Socialist Realism.

Tolerance of Nonconformist Art by the authorities underwent an ebb and flow until the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Artists took advantage of the first few years after the death of Stalin to experiment in their work without the fear of persecution. In 1962, artists experienced a slight setback when Khrushchev appeared at the exhibition of the 30th anniversary of the Moscow Artist's Union at the Manege exhibition hall. Among the customary works of Socialist Realism were a few abstract works by artists such as Ernst Neizvestny and Eli Beliutin, which Khrushchev criticized as being "shit," and the artists for being "homosexuals." The message was clear: artistic policy was not as liberal as everyone had hoped.

Unfortunately, the history of late Soviet art has been dominated by politics and simplistic formulae. Both within the artworld and the general public, very little consideration has been given to the aesthetic character of the work produced in the USSR in the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, the official and unofficial art of the period usually stood in for either "bad" or "good" political developments. A more nuanced picture would emphasize that there were numerous competing groups making art in Moscow and Leningrad throughout this period. The most important figures for the international art scene have been the Moscow artists Ilya Kabakov, Erik Bulatov, Andrei Monastyrsky, Vitaly Komar and Aleksandr Melamid.

The most infamous incident regarding nonconformist artists in the former Soviet Union was the 1974 Bulldozer Exhibition, which took place in a park just outside of Moscow, and included work by such artists as Oskar Rabin, Komar and Melamid, Alexandr Zhdanov, and Leonid Sokov. The artists involved had written to the authorities for permission to hold the exhibition but received no answer to their request. They decided to go ahead with the exhibition anyway, which consisted solely of unofficial works of art that did not fit into the rubric of Socialist Realism. The KGB put an end to the exhibition just hours after it opened by bringing in bulldozers to completely destroy all of the artworks present. Fortunately for the artists, the foreign press had been there to witness the event. The world-wide coverage of it forced the authorities to permit an exhibition of Nonconformist Art two weeks later in Izmailovsky Park in Moscow.

By the 1980s, Gorbachev's policies of Perestroika and Glasnost made it virtually impossible for the authorities to place restrictions on artists or their freedom of expression. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new market economy enabled the development of a gallery system, which meant that artists no longer had to be employed by the state, and could create work according to their own tastes, as well as the tastes of their private patrons. Consequently, after around 1986 the phenomenon of Nonconformist Art in the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
 

 

 

Naïve art

is created by untrained artists. It is characterized by simplicity and a lack of the elements or qualities found in the art of formally trained artists. (See also, outsider art, with which it bears many similarities.)

The term naïve art presumes the existence (by contrast) of an academy and of a generally accepted educated manner of art creation, most often painting. In practice, however, there are schools of naïve artists. Over time it has become an acceptable style.

The characteristics of naïve art are an awkward relationship to the formal qualities of painting; for example, difficulties with drawing and perspective that result in a charmingly awkward and often refreshing vision; strong use of pattern, unrefined colour, and simplicity rather than subtlety are all supposed markers of naïve art. It has become such a popular and recognisable style that many examples could be called pseudo-naïve.

Primitive art is another term often applied to the art of those without formal training. This is distinguished from the self-conscious movement primitivism. Another term related to, but not completely synonymous with, naïve art, is folk art.

19th century

 

20th century

 

 

 

Modular constructivism is a style of sculpture that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s and was associated especially with Erwin Hauer and Norman Carlberg. It is based on carefully structured modules which allow for intricate and in some cases infinite patterns of repetition, sometimes used to create limitless, basically planar, screen-like formations, and sometimes employed to make more multidimensional structures. Designing these structures involves intensive study of the combinatorial possibilities of sometimes quite curvilinear and fluidly shaped modules, creating a seemless, quasi-organic unity that can be either rounded and self-enclosed, or open and potentially infinite. The latter designs have proved useful and attractive for use in eye-catching architectural walls and screens, often featuring complex patterns of undulating, tissue-like webbing, with apertures which transmit and filter light, while generating delicate patterns of shadow.

Writing in Architecture Week (August 4, 2004), Hauer explains that "Continuity and potential infinity have been at the very center of my sculpture from early on." [1] Hauer made an extensive study of biomorphic form, especially what he calls "saddle surfaces," which combine convex and concave curvature and thus allow for smooth self-combination, sometimes in multiple dimensions. Another inspiration is the sculpture of Henry Moore, with its fluid curves and porousness.

Hauer's enthusiasm caught the imagination of his colleague at Yale, Norman Carlberg. Both were devoted students of the arch-formalist Josef Albers. Indeed, from the beginning, there was in this modular approach to sculpture an implicit formalism and even minimalism which held itself aloof from some of the other artistic trends of the time, such as the pop art and post-modernism that were just beginning to emerge. As Carlberg recalls, within his artistic circle "you analysed, you looked at something, but you looked at it formally just for what it was and the message was almost always out of it."

 

 

Kitchen sink realism was a recognisable English cultural movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was seen in the theatre, in art, in novels, in film and in television plays, focusing on social realism relevant to the audience of the day.

The term "kitchen sink" derived from an expressionist painting by John Bratby, which contained an image of a kitchen sink. The critic David Sylvester wrote an article in 1954 about trends in recent English art, calling his article "The Kitchen Sink" in reference to Bratby's picture. Sylvester argued that there was a new interest among young painters in domestic scenes, with stress on the banality of life. Bratby painted several kitchen subjects, often turning practical utensils such as sieves and spoons into semi-abstract shapes. He also painted bathrooms, and made three paintings of toilets. Other artists associated with the "kitchen sink" style include Derrick Greaves, Edward Middleditch and Jack Smith.

The term was quickly applied to a new style of drama, the hallmark of which was a more realistic representation of social life; country houses and tennis courts were out; ironing boards and minor domestic squalor were in, as in John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger with ironing as a piece of stage business. This was a reaction against the Noel Coward/Terence Rattigan style of dramatic setting.

Another factor particularly notable in the films and novels of the time is the use of North of England situations, accents and themes (such as featuring rugby league, the iconic sport of Lancashire and Yorkshire). An example here is the 1961 film Whistle Down the Wind, which segues the innocence of earlier British cinema with more modern harsh realities. Also, a combination of a frankness about sex, and a more political content (sometimes descending to rants), led to a rather clean break with the assumptions of 1950 in the arts generally.

Kitchen sink realism is sometimes conflated with the rise of the Angry Young Men. It was in fact more substantive, less driven by journalistic excess, and is more properly its successor.

 
   
 

 

   

 

Minimalism    
John Graham  1886-1961  Russian/American Painter
Barnett Newman  1905-1970  American Painter
Agnes Martin  1912-2004  Canadian/American Painter
Tony Smith  1912-1980  American Sculptor
Ad Reinhardt  1913-1967  American Painter
Anne Truitt  1921-2004  American Sculptor
Ellsworth Kelly  Born 1923  American Painter/Sculptor
Donald Judd  1928-1994  American Sculptor
Sol LeWitt  Born 1928  American Conceptual Artist
Jo Baer  Born 1929  American Painter
Robert Morris  Born 1931  American
Dan Flavin  1933-1996  American Installation Artist
Carl Andre  Born 1935  American Sculptor
Eva Hesse  1936-1970  German/American Painter/Sculptor
Frank Stella  Born 1936  American Painter/Sculptor
Robert Mangold  Born 1937  American Painter
Brice Marden  Born 1938  American Painter
Richard Serra  Born 1939  American Sculptor
Keith Sonnier  Born 1941  American
Peter Halley  Born 1953  American Painter
Faye HeavyShield  Born 1953  Native Canadian Installation Artist


 



 

Optical Art    
M.C. Escher  1898-1972  Dutch Illustrator
Victor Vasarely  1908-1997  Hungarian/French Painter
Jesus-Rafael Soto  1923-2005  Venezuelan Painter/Installation Artist
Kenneth Noland  Born 1924  American Painter
Francois Morellet  Born 1926  French Painter/Sculptor
Yaacov Agam  Born 1928  Israeli Painter/Sculptor
Julian Stanczak  Born 1928  American Painter
Richard Anuszkiewicz  Born 1930  American Painter
Bridget Riley  Born 1931  British Painter
Claude Tousignant  Born 1932  Canadian Painter
Guido Molinari  1933-2004  Canadian Painter
Lawrence Poons  Born 1937  American Painter



 

Photorealism

1960's to 1970's

 Photorealism is a movement which began in the late 1960's, in which scenes are painted in a style closely resembling photographs. The subject matter is frequently banal and without particular interest; the true subject of a photorealist work is the way in which we interpret photographs and paintings in order to create an internal representation of the scene depicted.

The leading members of the Photorealist movement are Richard Estes and Chuck Close. Estes specializes in street scenes with elaborate reflections in window-glass; Close does enormous portraits of usually expressionless faces. Other photorealists also typically specialize in one particular subject: horses, trucks, diners, etc.

 

John Kacere  1920-1999  American Painter
Duane Hanson  1925-1996  American Sculptor
Ralph Goings  Born 1928  American Painter
Audrey Flack  Born 1931  American Painter/Sculptor
Malcolm Morley  Born 1931  British/American Painter/Sculptor
Robert Bechtle  Born 1932  American Painter
Richard Estes  Born 1932  American Painter
Idelle Weber  Born 1932  American Painter
Richard McLean  Born 1934  American Painter
Charles Bell  1935-1995  American Painter
Robert Cottingham  Born 1935  American Painter
Carolyn Brady  Born 1937  American Painter
Ron Kleemann  Born 1937  American Painter
John Salt  Born 1937  British Painter
John Baeder  Born 1938  American Painter
Tom Blackwell  Born 1938  American Painter
Chuck Close  Born 1940  American Painter
Brendan Neiland  Born 1941  British Painter
Ben Schonzeit  Born 1942  American Painter
Don Eddy  Born 1944  American Painter
Ian Hornak  1944-2002  American Painter
Davis Cone  Born 1950  American Painter
James Torlakson  Born 1951  American Painter
Richard Phillips 1962  Born 1962  American Painter



 

Pop Art

1950's to 1960's

 

   
Jean Dubuffet  1901-1985  French
Wayne Thiebaud  Born 1920  American
Richard Hamilton  Born 1922  British
Richard Artschwager  Born 1923  American
Roy Lichtenstein  1923-1997  American
Larry Rivers  1923-2002  American Painter/Sculptor
George Segal  1924-2000  American Sculptor
Robert Rauschenberg  Born 1925  American
John Chamberlain  Born 1927  American
Alex Katz  Born 1927  American
Edward Kienholz  1927-1994  American Installation Artist
Robert Indiana  Born 1928  American
Joe Tilson  Born 1928  British
Andy Warhol  1928-1987  American
Claes Oldenburg  Born 1929  Swedish/American Sculptor
Allan D'Arcangelo  1930-1998  American
Jasper Johns  Born 1930  American Painter/Sculptor
Tom Wesselmann  1931-2004  American
Peter Blake  Born 1932  British
Erro  Born 1932  Icelandic
R.B. Kitaj  Born 1932  American
Gerhard Richter  Born 1932  German
James Rosenquist  Born 1933  American
Jim Dine  Born 1935  American
Mel Ramos  Born 1935  American
Patrick Caulfield  1936-2005  British
Derek Boshier  Born 1937  British
Red Grooms  Born 1937  American
David Hockney  Born 1937  British
Allen Jones  Born 1937  British
Peter Max  Born 1937  German/American
Ed Ruscha  Born 1937  American
Sigmar Polke  Born 1941  German
Coosje van Bruggen  Born 1942  Dutch/American Sculptor
Nancy Reddin Kienholz  Born 1943  American Installation Artist
Sylvie Fleury  Born 1961  Swiss

The term Outsider Art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for Art Brut (which literally translates as "Raw Art" or "Rough Art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by insane asylum inmates.

While Dubuffet's term is quite specific, the English term "Outsider Art" is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or Naïve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as Outsider Artists have little or no contact with the institutions of the mainstream art world, their work considerably being an example of intrinsic motivation, often employing unique materials or fabrication techniques. Much Outsider Art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds. Since 2000 the EUWARD, the European Award for painting and graphic arts by mentally handicapped artists, is providing this art with an international forum.

Outsider Art has emerged as a successful art marketing category (an annual Outsider Art Fair has taken place in New York since 1992); thus the term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people outside the "art world" mainstream, regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.

Art of the Insane

 

Interest in the art of insane asylum inmates had begun to grow in the 1920s. In 1921 Dr. Walter Morgenthaler published his book Ein Geisteskranker als Künstler (A Psychiatric Patient as Artist) on Adolf Wölfli, a psychotic mental patient in his care. Wölfli had spontaneously taken up drawing, and this activity seemed to calm him. His most outstanding work is an illustrated epic of 45 volumes in which he narrates his own imaginary life story. With 25,000 pages, 1,600 illustrations, and 1,500 collages it is a monumental work. He also produced a large number of smaller works, some of which were sold or given as gifts. His work is on display at the Adolf Wölfli Foundation in the Museum of Fine Art, Berne. A defining moment was the publication of Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Artistry of the mentally ill) in 1922, by Dr Hans Prinzhorn.

 

Jean Dubuffet and Art Brut

French artist Jean Dubuffet was particularly struck by Bildnerei der Geisteskranken and began his own collection of such art, which he called Art Brut or Raw Art. In 1948 he formed the Compagnie de l'Art Brut along with other artists including André Breton. The collection he established became known as the Collection de l'Art Brut. It contains thousands of works and is now permanently housed in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Dubuffet characterized Art Brut as:

"Those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses - where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere - are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professions. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade." - Jean Dubuffet. Place à l'incivisme (Make way for Incivism). Art and Text no.27 (Dec. 1987 - Feb 1988). p.36

Dubuffet argued that 'culture', that is mainstream culture, managed to assimilate every new development in art, and by doing so took away whatever power it might have had. The result was to asphyxiate genuine expression. Art Brut was his solution to this problem - only Art Brut was immune to the influences of culture, immune to being absorbed and assimilated, because the artists themselves were not willing or able to be assimilated.

 

The Cultural Context of the Outsider Art category

 

The interest in "outsider" practices among twentieth century artists and critics can be seen as part of a larger emphasis on the rejection of established values within the modernist art milieu. The early part of the 20th Century gave rise to cubism and the Dada, Constructivist and Futurist movements in art, all of which involved a dramatic movement away from cultural forms of the past. Dadaist Marcel Duchamp, for example, abandoned "painterly" technique to allow chance operations a role in determining the form of his works, or simply to re-contextualize existing "readymade" objects as art. Mid-century artists, including Pablo Picasso, looked "outside" the traditions of high culture for inspiration, drawing from the artifacts of "primitive" societies, the unschooled artwork of children, and vulgar advertising graphics. Dubuffet's championing of the art of the insane and others at the margins of society is yet another example of avant-garde art challenging established cultural values.

 

Vocabulary

A number of terms are used to describe art that is loosely understood as "outside" of official culture. Definitions of these terms vary, and there are areas of overlap between them. The editors of Raw Vision, a leading journal in the field, suggest that "Whatever views we have about the value of controversy itself, it is important to sustain creative discussion by way of an agreed vocabulary". Consequently they lament the use of Outsider Artist to refer to almost any untrained artist. "It is not enough to be untrained, clumsy or naïve. Outsider Art is virtually synonymous with Art Brut in both spirit and meaning, to that rarity of art produced by those who do not know its name."

 

Notable Outsider artists

 

Peter Hurd  1904-1984  American Painter  
Henriette Wyeth  1907-1997  American Painter
Art Prints
John Koch  1909-1978  American Painter  
Andrew Wyeth  Born 1917  American Painter
Art Prints
Roger Medearis  1920-2001  American Painter  
Jane Freilicher  Born 1924  American Painter  
Philip Pearlstein  Born 1924  American Painter  
Bernard Safran  1924-1995  American/Canadian Painter  
James Bama  Born 1926  American Painter
Billy Morrow Jackson  Born 1926  American Painter
Robert Vickrey  Born 1926  American Painter
Colleen Browning  Born 1929  Irish/American Painter
Neil Welliver  1929-2005  American Painter
William Bailey  Born 1930  American Painter
Jack Beal  Born 1931  American Painter
Joseph Raffael  Born 1933  American Painter
Christopher Pratt  Born 1935  Canadian Painter
Mary Pratt  Born 1935  Canadian Painter
Sylvia Sleigh  Born 1935  British/American Painter
Claudio Bravo  Born 1936  Chilean Painter
Warren Criswell  Born 1936  American Painter
Sidney Goodman  Born 1936  American Painter
Janet Fish  Born 1938  American Painter
Anthony Green  Born 1939  British Painter
John Register  1939-1996  American Painter
Ken Danby  Born 1940  Canadian Painter
Leigh Behnke  Born 1946  American Painter
Catherine Murphy  Born 1946  American Painter
Jamie Wyeth  Born 1946  American Painter
Richard Thomas Davis  Born 1947  American/Canadian Painter
Eric Fischl  Born 1948  American Painter/Sculptor
Scott Prior  Born 1949  American Painter
Paul Otero  Born 1950  American Painter
Bernardo Torrens  Born 1951  Spanish Painter
Lynn Donoghue  1953-2003  Canadian Painter
Bo Bartlett  Born 1955  American Painter
Vincent Desiderio  Born 1955  American Painter
Mark Innerst  Born 1957  American



 

Arte Povera

 

Italy, 1960s to 1970s

1967

Italian for "Impoverished Art" or "Poor Art", the term Arte Povera was introduced by Germano Celant as a label for a small group of artists who were experimenting with nontraditional and politically charged art.

These artists created and explored modes of expression such as ephemeral art, performance art, installation art and assemblage. These techniques have since become extremely common tools in contemporary art; in fact this is one of the reasons that such a small and short-lived movement continues to have such relevance today.

One of the clearest influences on the group is Marcel Duchamp, who could be considered the founder of Conceptual Art. His "Readymade" sculptures, especially his infamous "Fountain" Urinal, have the same kind of subversive power that Arte Povera works aim for.
 

Lucio Fontana 
Mario Merz 
Marisa Merz 
Piero Manzoni 
Michelangelo Pistoletto 
Giovanni Anselmo 
Pino Pascali 
Luciano Fabro 
Jannis Kounellis 
Alighiero e Boetti 
Giulio Paolini 
Piero Gilardi 
Pier Paolo Calzolari 
Gilberto Zorio 
Giuseppe Penone 
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