Manifestations of Postmodernism - Postmodernism in Visual Art

Postmodernism in Visual Art

Where modernists hoped to unearth universals or the fundamentals of art, postmodernism aims to unseat them, to embrace diversity and contradiction. A postmodern approach to art thus rejects the distinction between low and high art forms. The postmodern creator, in turn, is free to combine any elements or styles in a work, even in ways that are counter to or irrelevant to the apparent function of the object. Postmodern style is often characterized by eclecticism, digression, collage, pastiche, irony, the return of ornament and historical reference, and the appropriation of popular media. Some artistic movements commonly called postmodern are pop art, architectural deconstructivism, magical realism in literature, maximalism, and neo-romanticism. It rejects rigid genre boundaries and promotes parody, irony, and playfulness, commonly referred to as jouissance by postmodern theorists. Unlike modern art, postmodern art does not approach this fragmentation as somehow faulty or undesirable, but rather celebrates it. As the gravity of the search for underlying truth is relieved, it is replaced with 'play'. As postmodern icon David Byrne, and his band Talking Heads said: "Stop making sense."

Post-modernity, in attacking the perceived elitist approach of Modernism, sought greater connection with broader audiences. This is often labelled "accessibility" and is a central point of dispute in the question of the value of postmodern art. It has also embraced the mixing of words with art, collage and other movements in modernity, in an attempt to create more multiplicity of medium and message. Much of this centers on a shift of basic subject matter: postmodern artists regard the mass media as a fundamental subject for art, and use forms, tropes, and materials - such as banks of video monitors, found art, and depictions of media objects - as focal points for their art. With his "invention" of "readymade", Marcel Duchamp is often seen as a forerunner on postmodern art. Where Andy Warhol furthered the concept with his appropriation of common popular symbols and "ready-made" cultural artifacts, bringing the previously mundane or trivial onto the previously hallowed ground of high art.

Postmodernism's critical stance is interlinked with presenting new appraisals of previous works. As implied above, the works of the Dada movement received greater attention, as did collagists such as Robert Rauschenberg, whose works were initially considered unimportant in the context of the modernism of the 1950s, but who, by the 1980s, began to be seen as seminal. Post-modernism also elevated the importance of cinema in artistic discussions, placing it on a peer level with the other fine arts. This is both because of the blurring of distinctions between "high" and "low" forms, and because of the recognition that cinema represented the creation of simulacra which was later duplicated in the other arts. Davor D┼żalto, for example, attacks the postmodern positions in art and culture generally, confronting a sustainable personal identity, together with notions of creativity, freedom and communion, to the postmodern deconstruction of any metaphysical identity. But in the critique he stresses a positive role of postmodern views for a further historical, cultural and artistic development.

See also: Contemporary art

Read more about this topic:  Manifestations Of Postmodernism

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Famous quotes containing the words art and/or visual:

    Where the heart is, there the muses, there the gods sojourn, and not in any geography of fame. Massachusetts, Connecticut River, and Boston Bay, you think paltry places, and the ear loves names of foreign and classic topography. But here we are; and, if we tarry a little, we may come to learn that here is best. See to it, only, that thyself is here;—and art and nature, hope and fate, friends, angels, and the Supreme Being, shall not absent from the chamber where thou sittest.
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