Modernism Was The Precursor To Postmodernism Cultural Studies Essay

Modernism was the precursor to postmodernism so it is the logical starting point. There are three country ‘s in which it ‘s thought ‘the modern universe and it ‘s civilization has tended to revolve. ‘ ( 1 ) Modernization is the first country which refers to a scope of technological, economic and political procedures associated with the industrial revolution and it ‘s wake. The 2nd, modernness, to societal conditions and manners of experience that are seen as effects of these procedures. However, modernism can fall into two classs. Most evidently would be a sort of dictionary definition of holding modern inclinations, ideas and being up-to-date. At the same clip it implies a type of response to the impressions of modernization and modernness.

We can turn up modernism at times between the late 18th century and early twentieth. The job is that there appears to be differing positions as to when it was initiated and whether it had or has run it ‘s class. This deficiency of lucidity in periodisation, J ” occurs due to an overlapping from one period into another. Romanticism into modernism into postmodernism.

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1 “ It is widely acknowledged that Edouard Manet ‘s picture Les Dejeuner sur I’herbe was the first modernist picture and he the first modernist painter. This was due to the ‘frankness with which they declared the level surfaces on which they were painted. ‘ ( 2 ) We can specify modernist art therefore by mention to a peculiar manner where form, coloring material and hyperbole take penchant to the topic itself. It is about a value that we associate with modern art. The daring were the first creative persons to demo marks of these symptoms but it was ‘the development of Cubism in the old ages after 1907 that most clearly marked a interruption with old manners. ‘ ( 3 ) At this point I think it necessary to advert the cubist creative person Pablo Picasso. It is of import to advert him and his work for two grounds which will go evident in replying the inquiry subsequently. The first facet I would wish to raise is that of his montages from the old ages 1912 under the umbrella of Cubism. I do n’t experience it necessary to speak about any piece separately. What is interesting is that he employ ‘s newspaper film editings, music sheets plus other stuffs all on the same surface.

Around a similar clip to Cubism other motions were emerging including Expressionists, Futurists, Vorticists and Constructivists. Many believe the work of these groups appears to be a reaction to both modernization in footings of political and technological alteration, and modernness in footings of society and historical conditions. However, it is non so simple as it would hold been hard for creative persons to grok what was modern in response to historical events. Equally good as this the values that we place on modern art, being for case abstraction and obscureness, were non needfully values that the creative person unrelentingly pursued. The accomplishment of abstraction was non without a battle where creative persons would frequently return or cite creative persons of an earlier period.

This brings about my 2nd point on Picasso. At a clip when he was bring forthing some of his most ambitious work we see a return to conservativism and classicalism. It is apparent in his unfinished piece ‘ The Artist and his Model ‘ of 1914.

The critic Charles Harrison remarks ‘whereas a signifier of art may be identified as modern on the footing fo its manner entirely, to name a work of art modernist is to do a finer differentiation.

2, It is to register it ‘s visual aspect as important of certain critical committednesss and attitudes /maintained by creative persons with respect both to the larger civilization of the present and to the art of recent yesteryear. ‘ ( 4 ) We can so presume that much of what we associate as modern art is far from a reaction to a broad civilization. The constructivist motion does hold it ‘s footing in mechanization and appears to retroflex that but most modernists show small mark of this. Alternatively, and if we are to believe a figure of art critics, modern art appears as a gradual forsaking of the committedness to pragmatism which has been a necessary status of aesthetic accomplishment. It is about the narrative of a progressive flattening of the pictural surface through the progressive loss of nonliteral signifier and content.

This now leads me onto the topic of postmodernism. It was Leo Steinberg who gave rise to the term ‘postmodern ‘ in a talk early in 1968 and subsequently included it in his book ‘other Criteria ‘ . Within his book he remarks on the work of Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol from the early 1960 ‘s, noticing on the surface constructed.

of Rauschenberg, Steinberg observes that his “ Flat bed surfaces of the 1950 ‘s in which newspapers, chairs, beds, exposure and pigment Markss were assorted as ‘postmodernist ‘ because they departed radically from the homogeneous, crafted surface of the abstract expressionism. “ ( 5 ) Steinberg goes on to speak about the level bed image plane stating it, ‘makes it ‘s symbolic allusion to hard surfaces such as table tops, studio floors, charts bulletin boards -any receptor surface on which information is entered, on which information may be received, printed, impressed -whether coherently or in confusion.

Warhol conceived the image as an image of an image -thus a deteriorated image which mirrors the flightiness and confusion of the metropolis experience. ‘ At the terminal of his treatment Steinberg says ‘What I have called the flat-bed is a alteration in the relationship between creative person and image, image and spectator. Yet this internal alteration is no more than a symptom of alterations which go far beyond inquiries of image planes, or of painting as such. It is portion of shingle up which contaminates all purified classs. ‘ ( 6 ) What this last sentence is basically implying is postmodernism is non chiefly about /art. We need to research the bigger image which includes movie, architecture, ocular humanistic disciplines amongst other factors in order for us to finally see how they relate to modernism.

3 The architectural historiographer and critic Charles Jencks attempted to separate postmodern from the late-modern manner in an article in Architectural Design in 1978. ‘Postmodern architecture is that architecture which reacts against the international ‘high ‘ modernist manner of the steel-and-glass box. ‘ ( 7 ) Postmodernist architecture added ornament, dross, coloring material, dissymmetry of touch populism but basically defines itself both negatively and positively at the same clip.

Meaning that they employ manners from the modernist motion at the same clip cross- fertilising them with old historical elements. Jencks lists 30 different parametric quantities by which postmodern can be distinguished from modern. These include traditional versus Zeitgeist ; eclectic versus purist ; semiotic versus functional ; equivocal versus /transparent etc. .. We can besides follow a similar analysis to postmodern movie in that it does n’t show a coherent and incorporate universe position compared to it ‘s high modernist classics. Postmodernist movie appeared to utilize thoughts and intending from past genres mentioning at best to the materiality of movie and hardlyat all through the medium of movie to the existent universe itself. ‘Postmodernist movies have no truth content, but consist of sheer surface or superticiality. ‘ ( 8 ) This thought can besides be closely associated to literature and particularly through the authorship of Frederic Jameson. Jameson negotiations about the plants of the classical modernist authors such as D.H Lawrence and Faulkner. He remarks on the alteration from the plants of the classical modernists ‘to a new point of position which sees them merely as ‘texts ‘ which can be studied for their world-view and so dropped in favor of an alternate image. ‘ ( 10 ) Modernist authors were much revered, they were taken as the ultimate footing of world, where there work could be absorbed and learned. Then came the crisis of modernism says Jameson. ‘When it all of a sudden became clear that D.H Lawrence was non an absolute after all, non the concluding achieved figuration of the truth of the universe but merely one art-Ianguage among others, merely one shelf of plants in whole dizzying library. ‘ ( 11 ) The postmodernist author could now merely map as redistributor of person else ‘s texts and be unable to claim the mantle of prophet.

4 In the ocular arts it ‘s thought that civilization turned a corner at around 1955 or 1960 in the United States. Some critics argue that postmodernist art is merely concerned with, and offers, depthlessness and shallowness. The work of Warhol could be seen to congratulate this position where he adopts an anti modern stance. Some would state that he shows no involvement in anxiousness, is obsessed with commerce and finds disaffection as a healthy and reassuring status. The plants of Rauschenberg, Johns and Warhol are all indispensable to the thought of a postmodern epoch. They all approximately mark the terminal of modernism and the beginning of postmodernism through there usage of assorted art manners and usage of nostalgia. Jameson is once more at the head of postmodern review. Jameson asserted a figure of thoughts on the topic. Its idea that if civilization is in a postmodern stage so art must necessarily be diagnostic of this. He argued that civilizations destiny was inextricably bound to capitalist economy ‘s. Art was get downing to be sponsored by commercial companies. Technology had become a beginning of reproduction and had replaced engineerings of production. Jameson besides uses Warhol as an illustration for his thoughts. He talked of an emotional numbing or ‘waning of affect ‘ as characterizing postmodern subjectiveness. ‘Whereas modernism had often invoked the creative persons inner deepnesss as a rampart against an alienating external universe, a new depthlessness seemed to stalk recent art. ‘ ( 12 ) The outgrowth of representation, the form and in Jameson ‘s words ‘pastiche ‘ were besides major factors to postmodernism. Cindy Sherman is a premier illustration of person who used these in her work. The American creative person produced a sequence of 69 Untitledfilm stills which slackly referred to 1950 ‘s American B-movies. She appears as a figure of differing personalities including a nurse, homemaker and college pupil. Sherman is a cardinal figure in the feminist argument but is her ‘assertion that representation itself is already pre-coded that seems to gel with Jameson ‘s talk of medley, surface effects and staccato forms. ‘ ( 13 ) Her images are highly representational and so photography therefore became the ideal postmodernist medium, ./ where it can retroflex the seemingly existent as a mark. – However, non every creative person in the period for which it is claimed is postmodern can suit so easy into this class.Come the early 1980 ‘s it appears that postmodern art had split 5 into two cantonments. There were those creative persons such as Sherman who were concerned with the form. Alongside this were creative persons who had returned to a reappraisal of modernism and a return to picture. A figure of exhibitions appeared in the 1980 ‘s with two of the most of import being ‘ A New Spirit in Painting ‘ at London ‘s Royal Academy and ‘Zeitgeist ‘ in Berlin. A conservator for the London show asserted that ‘the subjective position, the originative imaginativeness, has come back into his ain. ‘ ( 14 ) It besides represented a displacement in the art universe where Europe had now become the dominant over America. This was to be merely a impermanent displacement nevertheless. The creative person Francesco Clemente emerged around this clip. Clemente used much unrelated capable affair in a loosely expressionistic mode borrowing spots and pieces from past and present. He looked to Giorgio de Chirico whose work from the early 20th century was peculiarly influential due to his vague combinations of classicalism and modernism.

The return to picture seemed to be short lived or therefore picture taking was seen to predate it. The work of creative persons such as Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger and Sherrie Levine came to prominence. There appeared to be a call for a ‘deconstructive ‘ art from critics such Craig Owenss, instead than a characteristically postmodern. Jenny Holzer was therefore backed by these critics due to her situationist manner of art. She would put undetermined statements in public which included postings, jerseies and bus tickets. From 1982 Holzer even paid to hold messages on electronic hoardings. one message inparticular read ‘Protect me from what I want ‘ in Times Square designed to confound go throughing shoppers. Barbara Kruger was similar in her attack to her work utilizing parodic advertisement, whilst blending picture taking and text. It marked an effort from some critics to separate a postmodernism of opposition from a postmodernism of reaction so as to claim a going from modernist premises.

Sherrie Levine was besides an of import figure in the postmodern epoch. Levine began to ‘re-present ‘ plants including Duchamp, Van Gogh and photographs by Walker Evans. It questioned the value system of the modernist impression of ‘authenticity ‘ and ‘originality ‘ which was introduced by Rosalind Krauss. Richard Prince was another creative person who, like Levine, took old plants and images for their ain usage. He ‘re-presented ‘ authoritative 6 images used by Marlboro coffin nails in their advertisement. They were basically oppugning modernist art but besides associated itself with the decentering of writing. A decease of the writer as it were, where plants exist independently. They besides spoke of / the impossibleness of being ‘outside representation. ‘ I have given a really brief history of postmodernism here as there is alot more that can be written about. I believe that I have picked up on some of the most of import facets and creative persons. I would now like to leap to the present twenty-four hours where I have found something that I believe to be really interesting.

At the minute within art we seem to hold reached a point where we have no name or class for the type of art being produced. A recent article in ‘The Daily Telegraph ‘ talked of the creative person Liam Gillick ‘s Structure The Wood Way. It is ‘a eccentric loanblend that seems to hold been partially assembled from subdivisions of a modernist school or infirmary designed around 1955. ‘ The construction is made up of separate panels where some are mounted over your caput to give a coach shelter consequence. A subdivision of the construction is made of planed pine but besides made of such stuffs as aluminum, Lucite and Formica. All of these things belong to a category half-way between architecture and sculpture. The ground why I believe this to be of import is that the different elements within Gillick ‘s construction all seem to associate back to certain creative persons of the modernist epoch. These include Mondrian, architect Mies new wave de Rohe and the Bauhaus. Martin Gayford, the critic here proposes that Gillick ‘s work is about how possibly the modernist dream went incorrect, , ./ where they were seeking for a new perfected modern universe. This information may assist to explicate the relationship between modernism and postmodernism.

As I pointed out antecedently postmodern architecture reacted against the international high modernist manner of the steel-and-glass box. However, it besides defined itself both positively and negatively intending that it employed elements of the modernist motion. So here we could likely state that postmodern architecture has elements of continuance and review. on the one manus it reacts to modernist architecture which could be seen as knocking. We could besides see this as being a continuance as it is taking parts of modernist manners and accommodating them to accommodate demands and perchance tendencies. Another point that can be made is that postmodern designers looked back to old manners which relates to modernist creative persons. Picasso for illustration returned to classicalism and conservativism and so this begins to demo a possible form or rhythm of continuance and criticising.

Postmodern movie can besides be given a similar analysis to that of architecture. Although postmodern movie did n’t give a coherent and incorporate universe position like that of the high modernist classics it still used similar thoughts to that of modernism. The fact that it moved off in some quarters gives to some extent the feeling of knocking. Again I would wish to indicate out the thought of citing back to old genres.

As with postmodern literature it is much the same as earlier. Where the modernist author was one time taken as ‘absolute ‘ it was proved non to be. The postmodern author could now merely be the redistributor of person else ‘s thoughts. This does n’t state it every bit clearly as movie and architecture but authors could now merely use thoughts originated from past texts which included modernist authors. Thus a type of continuance is inevitable and possibly a review in that they would hold to accommodate these texts to do them their ain.

When we come to the ocular humanistic disciplines things start to go somewhat more baffled. The first point that I would wish to do is that of Picasso ‘s, and the cubist ‘s montages. As I mentioned before his montages are of peculiar importance to the inquiry. Picasso 8 employed stuffs such as newspaper film editings and musical sheets. This relates to the plants of Rauschenberg and Warhol who themselves used similar techniques which were thought to go radically from the modernist epoch. They are supposed to tag the terminal of modernism and the beginning of postmodernism because of this method of work. However this does non look to compare and so appears that a continuance is taking topographic point in that they have used similar manners and non departed radically. However I it can besides be seen as a review due to the capable affair. Rauschenberg and Warhol were non concerned with the thoughts of the modernists and alternatively concentrated on nostalgia and commerce. Warhol appeared to retroflex civilization and inparticular the quickly progressing engineerings of the modern universe.

The work of Cindy Sherman to me seems at foremost as one of the biggest goings from modernism. It is concerned with retroflexing the existent as a mark. The form was a important going from old manners and capable affair and this showed as picture taking became an ideal postmodern medium. This could be seen as a review as it depar1s from modernism. Again there is the issue of citing back for which Sherman did with her exposures so is possibly a continuance As I mentioned earlier there was a return to painting at the same clip of Sherman ‘s work Francesco Clemente was the premier illustration of this who borrowed spots from the past and present. This is a continuance and review which is in the same vena as Picasso who did the same thing himself The plants of Holzer and Kruger who were portion of the call for a deconstructive art can easy be seen in the class of a review. A continuance is non so easy to come by but we could set up links between Jameson ‘s talk of ‘pastiche ‘ and there work which incorporates different elements onto the same image plane. Picasso ‘s montages once more jumping to mind.

Another inquiry we could throw into the equation is whether modernism really began but this would be unwise at this point due to the nature of this inquiry So in brief feel that citing is an ineluctable trait of art and so will ever hold elements of continuance. Artists will, most of the clip, strive for originality and so will be seen as reviews. The two can and should be seen to be linked in what I believe to be a rhythm within art. In decision and because of these factors I would state that postmodernism is both a continuance and review modernism

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