Journal Entry 5
Art Since 1900
October 28, 2016
Period 1980 – 1989
To the novice the question of photography as art may seam valid but steeps in ignorance. However, as this decade unfolds a burgeoning group of young artist set about to make there mark laden with a manifold of the latest offering that vanguard schools like California Institute of Art could instill.
With clearly defined strategies of Conceptual art and institutional critique these artist set sight in three distinct areas of investigation to exploit least of which is a new increased sophistication of feminism. Additionally, inquiry of sexuality in visual representation and the quantitative transformation of mass media.
It is here this group of endeavoring artist determined to move forward influenced at least in part on Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock’s contribution. Warhol however we should bring to our focus as this next generation of baby-boomers encounters their own collision with critique and the illusionary image of the spectacle which they determine to expose.
In this period of the 1980’s Warhol re-emerges from a state of seclusion into the popular scene with critical and financial success. He is heavily criticized because his latter work is viewed poorly in the guise of monetary gains. It is the early Warhol whom these young artists identified with as being transformative especially in the area of photography.
Warhol hallmark in photograph was Conceptual art. Dating back to the sixties a key piece of photographic work was use of found photos originally pioneered by Robert Rauschenberg but latter embraced and exploited by Warhol. His work influences a reemergence in the context of a neo-avant-garde as a photo-conceptualism but given to production.
Specifically, in reference to the former readymade and geometric abstraction, and Minimalism the roots of Conceptual art is equally important as to understand the overriding paradigm. Conceptual art focuses on analytical propositions and linguistic definitions having a visual correlation to the image.
In his work Two Ball 50/50 Tank, 1985 by Jeff Koons Warhol’s influence of Conceptual art once again is noted. Here the pairing of the two balls in an aquarium tank filed with water with spatial distinction revealing use of Pop, Minimalism and readymade objects. The installation at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) in Boston exposes Koons to a like similar personally trail of Warhol, that of self promotion and the work itself a counterfeit for a genuine auratic art work by an inspired artist.
It is no secret that Warhol was gay. In his early public work at the 1964 World’s Fair when told to cover up his Thirteen Most Wanted Men he did so in his signature silver paint. Therefore, other gay artist would have a natural affinity to his influence. Within this context a variant of feminism gay artist found new social constructions in subject to cultural and historical parameters.
Warhol influenced a generation including the East German Gerhard Richter. Richter, a painter from mostly found photos after studying the work of Warhol and produced Atlas, 1962-8 from photos and news clippings.
Andy Warhol had made a larger than life contribution to American art. As an artist he is one I admire because I fell some connection and identiy to him and his work. I see him as multitasked and one who was never afraid to stand out or try something new.
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