Art of the 20th Century


Postwar Developments & Contemporary Art

 

 




Art Styles in 20th century Art Map



 


The New Avant-garde & Postmodernism



 


 

     
     

Arte Povera - 1967
Michelangelo Pistoletto 
Lucio Fontana
Alighiero Boetti
Mario Merz
Pino Pascali
Jannis Kounellis
Luciano Fabro

     

Land art
Christo
Robert Smithson
Michael Heizer
Richard Long

     

Transavanguardia
Sandro Chia 
Francesco Clemente 
Markus Lupertz 
Anselm Kiefer 
Georg Baselitz 
Jorg Immendorf 
A.R. Penck
Carlo Maria Mariani

     

Graffiti
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Kenny Scharf

     

Artists Groups - 1968-1982
General Idea. Canadian partnership of conceptual artists -1968
Monoha. Term applied to tendencies in the works of the Japanese artists - 1968

Nobuo Sekine
Susumu Koshimizu


Solentiname primitivist painting. Style of painting  by a Nicaraguan group - 1968
New York Five - 1969
Sky art.
Term - 1969
Re-figuracion. Paraguayan art movemen - 1971
Grupo CAYC. Argentine group of artists - 1971
Sots art. Term - 1972
Tendenza. Term - 1973
New Topographics. Term - 1975
Workshop for the Restoration of Unfelt Sensations. Latvian association - 1982






 

_____________

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 and Argentine-born Italian Arte Povera Sculptor and Painter Lucio Fontana . 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.), 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). 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.) by Luciano Fabro, a gilded bronze relief of the map of Italy, hung upside down in a gesture that was literally revolutionary.

_____________
 

 



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 structure 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.

 



Michelangelo Pistoletto



Lucio Fontana




 



Alighiero Boetti
(1940 – 1994)
Mappa
1989

 



Mario Merz
(
1925 - 2003)
Triplo Igloo
1984

 



Pino Pascali
(1935 - 1968)
Bachi da setola
1968


Jannis Kounellis
(born in 1936)
Untitled
 


Luciano Fabro
(1936 - 2007)
Clotheshanger of the North
1981




 

_____________

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.

_____________
 

 

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 very 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 Oppenheim Dennis  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.

 



Christo


 



Robert Smithson


 



Dennis Oppenheim
 



 



Michael Heizer
(born in 1944)
North, East, South, West
, 1967



Richard Long
(1927 - 1974)
Paddy-Field Chaff Circle, Warli Tribal Land Maharashtra India

 




 

 


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; and ‘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.



 

 

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 Lupertz, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Jorg Immendorf, and A.R. Penck. 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, commitment. 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.

 



Sandro Chia
(born in 1946)
Untitled
1991



Francesco Clemente
(born in 1952)
Al mare o in montagna
1981



 



Anselm Kiefer



Markus Lupertz



Georg Baselitz

   
   



Jorg Immendorf



A.R. Penck



 



Carlo Maria Mariani




 

 


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.
 

 


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

 


Andy Warhol & Jean-Michel Basquiat


 

 



Jean-Michel Basquiat



Kenny Scharf

 



 

_____________

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.

_____________


 

_____________

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.
_____________


 



Nobuo Sekine

(born in 1942)
Phase - Mother Earth
1968



Susumu Koshimizu
(born in 1944)
Paper
1969




 

_____________

Solentiname primitivist painting.

Style of painting practised from 1968 by a Nicaraguan group of rural labourers on the island of Mancarron 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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

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 and Meier, while Hejduk was also strongly affiliated with Synthetic Cubism and Constructivism, and Eisenman (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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

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’. 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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

Re-figuracion.

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 , 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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

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 & Melamid, ERIK BULATOV (e.g. Horizon, 1971–2; Paris, priv. col.), and, since the mid-1970s, Ilya 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 Grisha 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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

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’ (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.

_____________
 



 

_____________

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.

_____________


 

_____________

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.

_____________


Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy