After reading the first three chapters of Introduction to modern art, I feel more organized in my understanding towards different art forms in different eras. And it seems to start answering some of the unconscious questions that I had before.
There are three arts from this book that made me really read over their description and critics several times. Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. Monogram by Robert Rauschenberg(1959), and dripped paintings by Jackson Pollock.
I chose the Grande Jatte by Seurat is because it is a such ironic and also imaginable thing that this is a main project that I did in my internship during the passed summer. And it just prove the critic in this book in two way. The first one is from a much broader view which is, as French critic Camille Mauclair mentioned in the early 20th century, there are a growing two-way traffic, between art and advertising. And what I did is almost the second one, advertising, though I don’t consider it exactly the same as the common advertising.
So to be short, what I did is a project called Ismizer, which is now in The High Museum in Atlanta. It is an interactive installation that turn everything it sees into a ism, say pointillism and post-impressionism. And the reason that we did not go for more isms is basically it is much harder than these two. This is a perfect proof of what is said in the book that
“With its formulaic application of touches of colour, presciently anticipating present-day televisual pixelation, clearly pointed to such a possibility as early as 1884 – then what made a work of art was no longer this craft work, but the intellectual work of conceiving it.“
Because of the formulaic of it, we were able to make it a computer generated work. And yes it is, what made a work of art is the intellectual work of conceiving it, this is why that although similarly shows in the museum, the work I did works as an indication to the collection of this art style that the museum has, which plays as the “real art”.
The second one is Monogram by Robert Rauschenberg.
Different then Grande Jatte, this piece is almost 100 years later and it is made in a time when consumerism and “high” art exist at the same time. It is trying to preserve a personal artistic art weapon pursue by mocking “both rampant consumerism and ‘high’ art by making use of unusual materials”. I think it is trying to mock the unsaleable and at the same time stay “up” from the consumerism art.
The third one is the general dripped paintings by Jackson Pollock. What different now is that it arises in the time when the economy of the USA went up. I agree with what it said in the book that
“ It has been suggested that a key quality of many Abstract Expressionist paintings was and is their ‘vulgarity’: the tackiness of the colours, the overblown rhetoric (as it might be seen) of their manner of application, the machismo of their physicality, through which this (perhaps stereotypical) ‘Americanness’ is declared.”
I feel the same way because I clearly remember the day when I saw his piece in museums, at that time I don’t really know the background or even his name. But still it caught my eyes as most of the Abstract Expressionism work will do.