Rayonism, an ephemeral style which lasted only about
a year, was not only unique to Russia, but to the entire world. It was invented by Mikhail Larionov and practiced mostly by
him and his companion Natalia Goncharova. Introduced to the public in 1913 at the Target exhibition, Rayonism was described
as "naturally encompassing all existing styles and forms of the art of the past, as they, like life, are simply points
of departure for a Rayonist perception and construction of a picture" . The central feature of Rayonism is the "crossing
of reflected rays from various objects;" to this end, its most powerful tools are color and line. Although short-lived,
Rayonism proved to be a crucial step in the development of Russian abstract art. As Larionov said, it represented the "true
freeing of art" from the former "realistic" conventions that had so "oppressed" the artistic community
E. Bowlt suggests that Larionov's Rayonist theory might have been influenced by the developments in photography and cinematography,
the Moscow photographer A. Trapani invented the photographic technique of "ray gum" -- a version of the gum-arabic
process -- which enabled the photographer to create the illusion of a radial, fragmented texture. . . . Of possible relevance
to Larionov's theory of Rayonism was the peculiarly "broken" texture that Mikhail Vrubel favored in so many
of his works in the 1890s and 1900s -- a technique admired by a number of young Russian artists. Moreover, Vrubel's theory
of visual reality came very close to Larionov's formulation, as the following statement by Vrubel would indicate: "The
contours with which artists normally delineate the confines of a form in actual fact do not exist -- they are merely an optical
illusion that occurs from the interaction of rays falling onto the object and reflected from its surface at different angles.
In fact, at this point you get a 'complementary color' -- complementary to the basic, local color.
In 1913, in the miscellany Donkey's Tail
and Target, Larionov published a pamphlet entitled "Rayonist Painting," which contained an extensive description
of the theory and practice of Rayonist art. Below are the most important excerpts:
"We do not sense the object with our eye, as it
is depicted conventionally in pictures and as a result of following this or that device; in fact, we do not sense the object
as such. We perceive a sum of rays proceeding from a source of light; these are reflected from the object and enter our field
if we wish to paint literally what we see, then we must paint the sum of rays reflected from the object. But in order to receive
the total sum of rays from the desired object, we must select them deliberately -- because together with the rays of the object
being perceived, there also fall into our range of vision reflected reflex rays belonging to other nearby objects. Now, if
we wish to depict an object exactly as we see it, then we must depict also these reflex rays belonging to other objects --
and then we will depict literally what we see now, if we concern ourselves not with the objects themselves but with the sums
of rays from them, we can build a picture in the following way: The sum of rays from object A intersects the sum of rays from
object B; in the space between them a certain form appears, and this is isolated by the artist's will . . .
Perception, not of
the object itself, but of the sum of rays from it, is, by its very nature, much closer to the symbolic surface of the picture
than is the object itself. This is almost the same as the mirage which appears in the scorching air of the desert and depicts
distant towns, lakes, and oases in the sky (in concrete instances). Rayonism erases the barriers that exist between the picture's
surface and nature.
Abstract Expressionism emphasized the depiction of
emotions rather than objects. Most painters of the movement favored large canvasses, dramatic colors, and loose brushwork.
The movement originated in New York’s Greenwich Village in the mid-1940’s and was also called action painting
and the New York School. Emphasizing its independence from European art trends, Abstract Expressionism was the first American
school to influence artists over seas rather than vice versa. The movement was put into motion by Arshile Gorky whose paintings
were derived from the art of Surrealism, Picasso, and Miro. As in Surrealism, the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud
and Carl Jung provided the basis for the intellectual and internal subject matter. Their influence came from many of the
artists who fled Europe for American during World War II, notably Piet Mondrian and Max Ernst. These artists’ departure
from traditional painting inspired the revolutionary attitude of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Abstract Expressionism
held prominence until the development of Pop Art in the 1960’s. The movement allowed New York to replace Paris as the
center of the art world.
Although Abstract Expressionism
encompassed an array of stylistic approaches, several unifying themes were present in the movement.
Abstract Expressionist paintings consisted of shapes, lines, and forms meant to create a separate reality
from the visual world. Technically, most abstract expressionists paid attention to the surface quality
and texture and used large canvases. Abstract Expressionists wished to emphasize the accident and chance
in their work, but often highly planned their execution. So, mistakes that did occur during the painting process were
used to the artist’s advantage. Arshile Gorky and Hans Hoffman were integral in calling artists’
attention to the physicality of paint and the potential for expression in abstraction. The two major
types of Abstract Expressionism are Action Painting and Color Field Painting. Action painters such as
Jackson Pollock wished to portray paint texture and the movement of the artist’s hand. Colour
Field painters such as Mark Rothko were concerned with color and shape in order to create peaceful and
spiritual paintings with no representative subject matter.
American artists were wrestling with abstraction
when the 1940s opened. Cubism and Surrealism had been at the forefront of European art for over two decades but had not
really arrived in the United States. Through the 1930s social realism and regionalism dominated the American art scene.
This naturalist painting was the style of Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, and John Stuart Curry. Edward Hopper had made some
gestures toward abstraction, and Stuart Davis was a crossover artist creating work somewhere between figure painting and
abstraction. The focus of their work was depiction of place and people, a kind of folkloric representation of American life,
the texture and the colour of its objects. Though Georgia O'Keeffe and Arthur Dove had worked abstractly in their own
style through the 1920s, the American painters as a whole were looking backward. Modernism had not really arrived.
The last decade of 19th century and the first one of 20th gave birth to a new
spirit of industrial new age. Modernism brings a vitalist touch of hope: industry is believed to help spiritual and material
fields of life. Modernism is a widely spread movement. It suggests an impression of agility with its curve lines and subjets
inspired from Nature. These features will be applied to daily objects, even to underground, in order to make people familiar
with this feeling.
Modernism is an international style: an urban and bourgeois
manifestation. Middle-class opens his mind and becomes cosmopolitan. Fashion is shown in illustrated magazines that spread
over Europe. A new necessity of change and innovation is created everywhere. Artists try to create a new style without references
to tradition in its ways or subjects.
First manifestation of Modernism can be seen in furnitures
and objects of common use. They get a strong ornamental component. It is inspired in delicate flowers and animals in a process
that almost comes to abstraction.
Decoration must never be something added to objects, but
a part of them intimately connected to its structure. Symmetric systems will be rejected, searching for ondulations called
little whip line suggesting liveliness or strength rather than symmetry and regularity. A touch of optimism according to
its social class is expressed. Scholars say that Modernism is young, new, blooming... That is why it has recieved different
names: Art Nouveau, Liberty Style
The Liberty style arose from the design of goods produced
by the London store Liberty & Co. and became distinctive enough to form an artistic category in itself. The store's
founder, AL Liberty originally worked at Farmer and Rogers' Great Shawl and Cloak Emporium in London, and later at the
firm's Oriental Warehouse. When the firm refused him partnership, he left to open his own store also specializing in Oriental
goods. With its evolution, Liberty & Co. quickly expanded to include fashionable clothing and furniture as well as decorative
items such as vases, clocks, jewelry, textiles, and wallpapers. Liberty later opened another store in Paris. The cohesion
of the Liberty Style stems from the store's policy of retaining the anonymity of its designers. It frequently changed
and adapted designs in the manufacturing of its items, which reduced the differences in style of the store's many designers
and gave Liberty's goods their own recognizable style. The Italians adopted the term "Stile Liberty" as their
name for Art Nouveau itself because of the specific style created by Liberty & Co.
While closely related to the Art Nouveau movement with its highly linear forms,
Liberty consciously shifted away from what he described as the "fantastic motifs which it pleases our continental friends
to worship as Art Nouveau" This British form of Art Nouveau shied away from the erotic human form in its designs
and instead relied more heavily on strong lines and organic details. While selling the goods of many other designers from
across Europe, Liberty & Co. developed two of its own lines in order to further keep costs down: the Cymric line of silver
goods and jewelry, and the Tudric line of pewter goods. Items of these two lines often also featured materials such as enamel
and semiprecious stones. Liberty's use of mass production minimized the cost of its Cymric and Tudric lines. In particular,
the Tudric line's use of relatively inexpensive pewter made the goods extremely affordable. Stylistically, these goods
showed "strong celtic revival and Renaissance influences" as well as the characteristics commonly associated
with the continental style of Art Nouveau. The Liberty Style often utilized the interaction of basic planes and lines to create
clean and simple effects. The recognizable curves of Art Nouveau also appear in the Liberty Style's frequent use of the
celtic knot and organic forms.
main goal for his store "was to combine utility and good taste with modest cost." leading to a highly successful
combination of art and industry . Unlike other retailers of Art Nouveau products both in England and continental Europe, Liberty's
kept its manufacturing costs down in order to in turn keep its prices low. This differed greatly from the one of a kind, and
therefore expensive, Art Nouveau objects offered by most other retailers such as La Maison de l'Art Nouveau in Paris
This resulted in the immense popularity of Liberty Style objects due to its availability to members of the public despite
their wealthy or social status. Liberty himself said that his store aimed for "the production of useful and beautiful
objects at prices within the reach of all classes (. The store sold everything from elaborate furniture to silver buttons,
offering contemporary artistic style to the public at large. At the time, Liberty & Co. was said to have "built up
an influence that has laid hold of almost every section of society, and has been responsible for a radical change in the general
opinion on aesthetic questions. The accessibility of Liberty's goods became the key in its pervasive influence on the
Art Nouveau movement.
Andrew Warhola (August 6, 1928 – February 22,
1987), known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art
movement known as pop art. After a successful career as a commercial illustrator, Warhol became famous worldwide for his work
as a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer, author, and member of highly diverse social circles that included bohemian
street people, distinguished intellectuals, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy patrons. Warhol has been the subject of numerous
retrospective exhibitions, books, and feature and documentary films. He coined the widely used expression "15 minutes
of fame." In his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, The Andy Warhol Museum exists in memory of his life and artwork.
The highest price ever paid for a Warhol painting is $100 million for a 1963 canvas titled Eight Elvises. The private transaction
was reported in a 2009 article in The Economist, which described Warhol as the "bellwether of the art market." $100
million is a benchmark price that only Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso, Gustav Klimt and Willem de Kooning have achieved
Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
on August 6, 1928. He was the fourth child of Ondrej Warhola (died 1942) and Julia (née Zavacka, 1892–1972),whose
first child was born in their homeland and died before their move to the U.S. His parents were working-class emigrants from
Mikó (now called Miková), in northeastern Slovakia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Warhol's father
immigrated to the US in 1914, and his mother joined him in 1921, after the death of Andy Warhol's grandparents. Warhol's
father worked in a coal mine. The family lived at 55 Beelen Street and later at 3252 Dawson Street in the Oakland neighborhood
of Pittsburgh. The family was Byzantine Catholic and attended St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church. Andy Warhol had
two older brothers, Ján and Pavol, who were born in today's Slovakia. Pavol's son, James Warhola, became a
successful children's book illustrator.
In third grade, Warhol had chorea, the nervous system disease that causes involuntary movements of the extremities,
which is believed to be a complication of scarlet fever and causes skin pigmentation blotchiness. He became a hypochondriac,
developing a fear of hospitals and doctors. Often bed-ridden as a child, he became an outcast at school and bonded with his
mother. At times when he was confined to bed, he drew, listened to the radio and collected pictures of movie stars around
his bed. Warhol later described this period as very important in the development of his personality, skill-set and preferences.
When Warhol was 13, his father died in an accident
The origins of pop art in North America and Great Britain
developed differently. In America it marked a return to hard-edged composition and representational art as a response
by artists using impersonal, mundane reality, irony and parody to defuse the personal symbolism and "painterly looseness"
of Abstract Expressionism. By contrast, the origin in post-War Britain, while employing irony and parody, was more academic
with a focus on the dynamic and paradoxical imagery of American popular culture as powerful, manipulative symbolic devices
that were affecting whole patterns of life, while improving prosperity of a society. Early pop art in Britain was a
matter of ideas fueled by American popular culture viewed from afar, while the American artists were inspired by the experiences,
of living within that culture. Similarly, pop art was both an extension and a repudiation of Dadaism. While pop
art and Dadaism explored some of the same subjects, pop art replaced the destructive, satirical, and anarchic impulses of
the Dada movement with detached affirmation of the artifacts of mass culture. Among those artists seen by some as producing
work leading up to Pop art are Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, and Man Ray.
The Dada movement was an artistic revolution that took
place in the early decades of the twentieth century. Dada changed the face of contemporary art, introducing a wide range of
new techniques, styles, and aesthetics. While Dada originally emerged as an anti-war movement, it was also in many ways an
anti-art movement, characterized by aspects of surrealism, whimsy, and irrationality. Many famous artists produced work during
the Dada period, and others were heavily influenced by the work of the Dadaists.
Dada emerged in Germany in 1916 as a collaboration between artists of several nations
including Germany, France, and Switzerland. Initially it was conceived as an anti-war art movement, and much of the early
Dada work takes the form of protest art. The movement chose the name “Dada” by inserting a slip of paper into
a French dictionary and choosing the word it landed on, which happens to mean a hobbyhorse or child's toy. Dada also appeared
in New York, centering around Gallery 291.
artists of the Dada period went on to be associated with Surrealism, the artistic movement which followed. Marcel Duchamp,
Paul Klee, Sophie Taeuber, Max Ernst, and Pablo Picasso are all representatives of the Dada movement, along with many others.
The movement represented an artistic union between several warring nations, and was in many ways a remarkable achievement.
The work of the Dada period is extremely distinctive,
and the techniques and styles used have become so pervasive in modern art that Dada is not often given the recognition it
deserves. Collage, borrowing from native cultures, avant-garde film and literature, performance art, confrontational art,
and surrealist elements are all legacies of the Dada movement. Many artists of the period created large format pieces which
were designed to confront the viewer, and often forced interaction of some form or another. The Dadaists also played with
typography, guerrilla theatre, minimalism, and advertising techniques.
Many of the artists in the Dada period felt that European art was corrupted, and sought to purify it by mocking it.
Thus, many Dada pieces are extremely playful and teasing, such as Marcel Duchamp's famous portrait of the Mona Lisa with
a mustache. Almost all Dada artwork inspires a reaction, which was the intended goal. The movement was very short lived, being
essentially over by 1923, but Dada left a lasting legacy to modern art, advertising, and society. Without Dadaism, it is unlikely
that Surrealism and other modern art movements would have occurred
Innovators in the sciences usually show
us where we are going, but our artistic innovators tend to illuminate where we are, so that we can then move in whichever
direction we see fit. And although most scientific innovations become mundane the moment we assimilate them, cutting-edge
artworks can remain radical for decades, even as times and tastes change.
"Make it new!" was Ezra Pound's call to artists to embrace and express change, and it became a central
tenet of Modernism. The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914–18, a new show at Duke University's
Nasher Museum of Art through Jan. 2, gives an unprecedented look at one facet of early 20th-century art, albeit a dim and
dusty one. A collaborative curatorial effort between the Nasher, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and London's
Tate Britain, this show is the first U.S. retrospective of the British alternative to French Cubism and Italian Futurism since
the original show at a New York gallery in 1917.
Keep in mind that the differences between the many Great War-era "isms" were very high stakes. Aesthetics
and politics were forged together in the foundry of a Europe about to explode. Today, if you put a Wyndham Lewis painting
next to a Picasso, few viewers would find it provocative even if they could tell the difference between the two. But in 1917,
you'd likely get a glass of Pernod—if not a fist—in the face if you lumped them together.
Still, don't dismiss The Vorticists as an academic obligation
next to the hipper, contemporary The Record, the current featured exhibition at the Nasher. Many of these works would look
perfectly at home on a contemporary gallery wall, testifying to the intellectual and aesthetic rigor of the group.
The Wall Street Crash in October, 1929 served as the
great divide between the 1920s and the 1930s, and between American modernist designs. The distinct moods of the two decades
dramatically affected the arts of each.
'20s were characterized by a blend of two stylistic influences: the exotic materials and voluptuous interiors found in
those "tall buildings that scraped the sky," an influence emanating from France's L'Art Déco elite,
and the functional geometry of Zigzag Moderne quickly absorbed from such art movements as French Cubism, Dutch de stijl, Russian
Constructivism, Italian Futurism and German Bauhaus. Both strains gave way to the austerity binge of the '30s where
sleek finishes, aerodynamic forms, synthetic materials and an infatuation with speed and futuristic elements came to the fore
-- the advent of the Streamlined Moderne.
In a period of only twenty years, from 1920 to 1940, this country produced a body of design work remarkable for its
collective daring and ingenuity. Ranking among the finest designs produced in the 20th century, they remain relatively unknown,
underappreciated, and virtually unacknowledged by art museums Comprised of works from the Norwest collection, this exhibition
provides an opportunity to examine a selection of applied and industrial designs created by many of America's most
gifted talents during this twenty-year period.
It wasn't until 1925, the year the great Paris L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et
Industriels Modernes (from which Art Deco derives its name) opened that the now familiar Art Deco style was formally
introduced to the world. The French high style was epitomized in the luxurious furnishings of the artistes-decorateurs who
were to have a tremendous influence on American interiors, finding ultimate expression in the extravagant spaces of Radio
City Music Hall designed by Donald Deskey. The rich decors of the skyscraper and highrise apartments provided the necessary
commissions for America's new breed of designers. Paul Frankl developed a complete line of Skyscraper furniture and others
such as Norman Bel Geddes produced Skyscraper cocktail sets. Justly so. There was a pervasive air of escape from pre-World
War I constraints in what is variously described as the Cocktail Age, the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties. At the least,
it was the dawn of a new morality. The stock market crash soon put a decisive end to the indulgence.
Realizing their products were more marketable when they differed
from similar consumer goods, American manufacturers turned to design as an important solution. The designer's attempt
to modernize these products as a means of boosting sales led to the pursuit of a new style, one which evolved from the preceding
fashionable Art Deco style of the 1920s and could be applied to industrial products especially. Whereas the skyscraper had
inspired an angular, setback style (generally described as Zigzag Moderne) that expressed the 1920's unbridled entrepreneurship,
it was unsuited to the sober economic mood that followed the Crash in 1929. An authentic new image was needed to unify industry
and to propel it out of economic stagnation. The image that answered this need was the streamlined form. Based on sound aerodynamic
principles, it came to symbolize industrial progress. The optimum streamline form became that of the teardrop, or parabolic
curve, providing an image of fluid, energy-efficient motion.
Little attempt was made to distinguish between functional and non-functional streamlining. Whether moving or stationary,
products were cased in sleek, aerodynamic bodies, emblematic of the 1930s obsession with speed and efficiency. At most speeds
streamlined styling did not, in fact, save much energy and, in stationary objects, it saved none at all. These were secondary
considerations as the style came to represent an embracement of the machine and the hope that it held for the future.
The roots of the Streamlined Moderne lie also in an
infautation with science-fiction. Utopian visions were provided by scores of illustrators for magazines, comic books and
Hollywood film sets. The serial Buck Rogers began in 1930 and Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon appeared four years later.
In H.G. Wells' 1936 film version of Things to Come, montage and photoraphy were combined with state-of-the-art moderne
model sets. The futuristic cities painted for Amazing Stories and other "pulps" variously anticipate or reflect
the advanced designs of Buckminister Fuller, Walter Dorwin Teague and other piorneering designers of the thirties. Four American
expositions, all in the 1930s, also had a significant impact on design awareness. Of the four, Chicago's Century of
Progress Exposition in l933-34 had the greatest mass appeal and likely did more to advance the cause of design in America.
It drew 38 million visitors to the 424-acre parcel of reclaimed land on the edge of Lake Michigan and turned a handsome
profit at the depth of the Depression. It is difficult to appreciate the excitement, even euphoria, surrounding such an event,
but it provided a welcome relief from unrelenting financial woes with a glimpse into a utopian future.
In retrospect, the designs of the l920s are best remembered
for lavish interiors, angular designs, an emerging machine aesthetic, an avoidance of both ornament and organic forms, and
a cerebral approach rationalized through mathamatics. In contrast, the new breed of industrial designers in the l930s were
more open to the suggestions of science and practical technologies, but were less restricted by asethetic traditions. They
must be credited with tempering rational engineering with the artists quest for perfected form. In the following decade
the steady evolution of design was interrupted by the second World War which created an enormous demand for products in
which performance was the crucial requirement. After the war, products reappeared that vaguely resembled designs of the
l930s, but only as a superficial application, for styling had replaced design. American dominance in design would gradually
yield to the Italians, Swedes and Japanese.
Psychedelic art is any kind of
visual artwork inspired by psychedelic experiences induced
by drugs such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. The word "psychedelic" (coined by British psychologist Humphrey
Osmond) "mind manifesting". By that definition all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche
may be considered "psychedelic". 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, a psychedelic artist turns to 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, although there are some examples in the Surrealist art movement, such as Remedios Varo and
André Masson. 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 its discovery in 1943 of the power and promise of LSD. For two decades following its 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.
Pollock, Jackson (1912-56). American painter, the commanding
figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement.
He began to study painting in 1929 at the Art Students' League, New York, under the Regionalist painter Thomas
Hart Benton. During the 1930s he worked in the manner of the Regionalists, being influenced also by the Mexican muralist painters
(Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros) and by certain aspects of Surrealism. From 1938 to 1942 he worked for the Federal Art Project.
By the mid 1940s he was painting in a completely abstract manner, and the `drip and splash' style for which he is best
known emerged with some abruptness in 1947. Instead of using the traditional easel he affixed his canvas to the floor or the
wall and poured and dripped his paint from a can; instead of using brushes he manipulated it with `sticks, trowels or knives'
(to use his own words), sometimes obtaining a heavy impasto by an admixture of `sand, broken glass or other foreign matter'.
This manner of Action painting had in common with Surrealist theories of automatism that it was supposed by artists and critics
alike to result in a direct expression or revelation of the unconscious moods of the artist.
Pollock's name is also associated with the introduction of the
All-over style of painting which avoids any points of emphasis or identifiable parts within the whole canvas and therefore
abandons the traditional idea of composition in terms of relations among parts. The design of his painting had no relation
to the shape or size of the canvas -- indeed in the finished work the canvas was sometimes docked or trimmed to suit the image.
All these characteristics were important for the new American painting which matured in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s
in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist's use
of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art. Pop removes the
material from its context and isolates the object, or combines it with other objects, for contemplation. The concept of pop
art refers not as much to the art itself as to the attitudes that led to it.
Characterized by themes and techniques drawn from popular mass culture, such as
advertising, comic books and mundane cultural objects, pop art is widely interpreted as a reaction to the then-dominant ideas
of abstract expressionism, as well as an expansion upon them. Pop art is aimed to employ images of popular as opposed to elitist
culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any given culture, most often through the use of irony. It is
also associated with the artists' use of mechanical means of reproduction or rendering techniques.
Much of pop art is considered incongruent, as the conceptual
practices that are often used make it difficult for some to readily comprehend. Pop art and minimalism are considered to be
art movements that precede postmodern art, or are some of the earliest examples of Postmodern Art themselves.
Pop art often takes as its imagery that which
is currently in use in advertising. Product labeling and logos figure prominently in the imagery chosen by pop artists, like
in the Campbell's Soup Cans labels, by Andy Warhol. Even the labeling on the shipping carton containing retail items has
been used as subject matter in pop art, for example in Warhol's Campbell's Tomato Juice Box 1964, or his Brillo Soap
Although the movement began in
the late 1950s, Pop Art in America was given its greatest impetus during the 1960s. By this time, American advertising
had adopted many elements and inflections of modern art and functioned at a very sophisticated level.
Consequently, American artists had to search deeper for dramatic styles that would distance art from
the well-designed and clever commercial materials. As the British viewed American popular culture imagery from a somewhat removed perspective, their views were often
instilled with romantic, sentimental and humorous overtones. By contrast, American artists being bombarded
daily with the diversity of mass produced imagery, produced work that was generally more bold and aggressive.