Portland Museum of Art 11-19-2016, Portland, Maine

Portland Museum of Art 11-19-2016 

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 David Holmander  at Monday, November 21, 2016 8:47:34 AM EST

Museum Visit #3 to Portland Museum of Art
November 19th 2016
By Dave Holmander

The Portland Museum of Art, or PMA, is the largest and oldest public art institution in the U.S. state of Maine. Founded as the Portland Society of Art in 1882, it is located in the downtown area known as The Arts District in Portland, Maine.

It turns out that the day of my visit there was to be a walking tour of the museum focusing on sculpture. It in-fact turns out I was the only person who showed. After a brief introduction to my tour guide Docent Hal Norvell himself a sculpture and learning that I was an artist using found objects to create narrative sculpture moved forward with the tour.

The PMA is by comparison a small museum with a limited budge though it boast five or six building one being dedicated to housing the work of Winslow Homer and so named. It’s exhibitions cover the neoclassic to contemporary art as well live and interactive show and readings of poetry etc. Not to be lost is they have a great shop to purchase select items and there snack bar offers some really good food. That alone might be a reason to visit.

By example on the same day I visited the museum there was a marathon reading of Moby Dick by rotation of volunteers. There also was a Illustrator’s Dilemma workshop,  and a film premiere . It is very much endeavoring to live up to it theme Your Museum, Reimagined.

The first of five specific work I wish to mention is The Dead Pearl Diver. 1858 by Benjamin Paul Akers in marble. I question the lighting effects and did Hal  because it is central to a windowed rotunda diminishing any effective optically. It is surrounded by 5 other work also by him. Several observant consideration besides lighting is the vantage point of the viewer assessable from 360 degrees. Considering the view point the impression perceived could be quite different. From the face side one is considerate of the workmanship of the artist and his helpers. Helper, yes, because this final scale up work was completed indirectly by production craft people. From the far side the morbidity of death is experienced.

The next piece is Hero and Leander circa 1949 by Robert Laurent. Like the previous there where several other of his works on display one note worthy because it was in mahogany. The uniqueness of this work poses questions about proportions and scale. One also ask, was the work altered or redesigned because of the size of limestone? Unlike the work of Akers it is direct sculpture.

Next in acrylic and book pages on canvas is the contemporary conceptual work of Lehmann Maupin, Where Do We Go From Here, 2008  He sight a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. titles with the same name and is his attempt to convey that speech through the visual spectrum. Questioning the plight of the poor via economic repression and the distribution of wealth.

The next work I found great soles in because it reminded me of a few artifact which are included in my installation for the next residence. It will not be to the scale of this work but includes pieces of wood from an old railway station blacked by years of decay. Number 139, 2010 again contemporized theme found painted wood by Leonardo Drew.

The last work from the visit by artist Nicole Wittenberg, Lily, 2010 and Untitled, 2010 both Oil on Linen I also found very intriguing because I felt and identify to each. She uses a heavy brush stroke and is very lucid in application. I place her work as Eccentric Sentimentality and though not shown at PMA some work is very provocative.

Her short bio read
Nicole Wittenberg is an American artist based in New York City. She was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters coveted John Koch Award for best young figurative painter in 2012. Wittenberg was born in San Francisco, CA, and received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003. Her work is featured in several prominent collections. She is a teacher at the Bruce High Quality Foundation University and the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture.

Museum Visit Two DeCordova Museum First Semester By Dave Holmander October 26, 2016

Museum Visit Two 

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 David Holmander  at Tuesday, October 25, 2016 4:36:09 PM EDT

Museum Visit Two 
DeCordova Museum 
First Semester 
Dave Holmander  
October 26, 2016 

The occasion for the visit was in concert with a group visit by the first semester MFA Visual program students at NHIA lead by our first semester mentor Craig Stockwell. His work being on exhibition in the “Biennial 2016 Show”. 

The exhibition highlights the work of New England artists and their resent contribution to contemporary art. Among the unique criteria of this show it is by invitation only and to be asked is considered quite an honor. In all fourteen artist were invited for the 2016 display from all the New England States.  

Craig gave us a walk through for his work and you could see that he was very please to have been one the distinguished artist in the exhibition as he should. His work was displayed at one end of a large viewing gallery on a raised section liked to a stage with alcoves on either side. The main work of un-stretched  canvas an installation of two mirrored work on the center wall. In the middle of the installation where pieces which protruded from the wall with some hinged pieces creating a cast shadow and/or imagery of the mirrored work. The most profouned work was in the left alcove and it conveyed a very personal connection. It was done when his daughter was in Egypt during the recent revolution. It is title Leaving Egypt 2011-2014, oil on canvasd 

Other works view where Lamia, 2015 pen and ink with string on antiquarian paper (contrasting side profiles of the same face looking at each other one seemingly mirrored) and Monday or Tuesday 2015, oil, ink and silver wire on linen (imagery form of script marking emblematic Asian origin) both by Jason Noushin. 

A final artist to mention is Cary Smith, Among her works were Shapes #1, 2016 yellow and red-blue boarder and Stripes #3, 2016 with 4 color border, oil on linen. 
The visit was beneficial and informing with wide a variety and contextualized style ranging from traditional New England landscape to abstract and still life. 

University of San Diego hosts four fine art viewing galleries. I visited the only two open on my visit, which are located in Founders Hall and noted as the Hoehm Galleries,

University of San Diego Hoehm Galleries 

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 David Holmander  at Friday, September 23, 2016 7:55:12 PM EDT
Last Edited:Friday, September 23, 2016 8:04:04 PM EDT

Museum Visit One

University of San Diego

First Semester


Dave Holmander

August 30, 2016

The University of San Diego hosts four fine art viewing galleries. I visited the only two open on my visit, which are located in Founders Hall and noted as the Hoehm Galleries, The first gallery show titled “American Art from the Pacific Northwest” and the second was the work of artist “Ruth Echstein, Topographies”

American Art from the Pacific Northwest 1860-1915. The first thing to interest me was how most of the artists had their roots in the eastern United States.

In my total visit, the first and most interesting work I saw was a full body charcoal sketch of Claude Monet 1890 by Theodore Robertson who he had earlier meet in Europe 1884 while there in study.

Also viewed the work of John la farce work Roses 1880 who is best know for his murals,

The work Rises 1876 watercolor by Hrelandenry Farrer, William Trost Richards untitled 1880. Winslow Homer Fly Fishing Saranac Lake 1889, two bronze relief’s’ by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Dublin Ireland and Mary Cassata of Philadelphia The Banjo Lesson 1893 dry point.

The second gallery with the work of Ruth Eckstein Topographical produced 24 mostly woodcut work. Since I am, also a printmaker I was particular intrigued by her work. Some of the prints included were Dark Cliff, Gateway to Memory, Cape Cod Summer, Kommos: the inner court and Kommos: the royal court II all dating the early 1970s. The single exception screen print Greek Island Greek Sun 1972 was also on display.


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  • Access the profile card for user: David Holmander David Holmander said…Friday, September 23, 2016 8:05:52 PM EDTI have 40 more images if u want me to post them
  • Access the profile card for user: Brian Bishop Brian Bishop said…Sunday, September 25, 2016 3:14:07 PM EDTNo, that is not necessary. This is perfect for what we want you to chronicle.

Art Since 1945, Journal entry 7, 2000-2010 by Dave Holmander

Journal #7 2000-2010

 David Holmander  at Tuesday, November 22, 2016 1:40:41 PM EST

Journal Entry 7

Art Since 1900 volume 2
Period 2000-2010 pp707 – 769

By Dave Holmander

How do we escape ourselves? The essence defies logic. In literary terms, it is rhetorically an oxymoron expression. Thus 2007 cite particular importance to avant-garde art in an exhibition at the Cite de la Musique , Paris showing the development of the work of American artist Christian Marclay over a period of time.  Marclay is not alone during this period but brings value to the discussion in referencing intentionality.

Clement Greenberg wrote in-depth about the implicit and explicit variant shades of grey creative intentionality encompasses contemporary artist while undergoing commodification of autonomy.

According to Jeanne Willette (Greenberg stated that art can “save” itself from being entertainment by demonstrating that the experience it provides is “unobtainable from any other source.” It is the task of art to demonstrate that which is “unique” and “irreducible”, particular or peculiar to art and that which determines the operation peculiar and exclusive to itself. All effects borrowed from any other medium must be eliminated, rendering the art form pure. “Purity” becomes a guarantee of “quality” and “independence” of avant-garde art. All extrinsic effects should be eliminated from painting.) 1.

Likewise, Greenberg draws this connection from the past to the presence when he says “I cannot insist enough that Modernism (define: Modernism as any art created by commentary artist {dh}) has never meant anything like a break with the past. It may mean a devolution, an unraveling of anterior tradition, but it also means its further evolution. Modernist art develops out of the past without gaps or break, and wherever it ends up, it will never stop being intelligible in terms of the past.” The implication means there is no autonym from foundation and originality. The artist, albeit the “workman” to use a Biblical metaphor build upon the foundation lain by another. Avant-garde will precede an uncharted direction but never alleviated of the past.  For example the avant-gardist is only such because there is prior art in which to distinguish.

Greenberg also makes distinction to “authentic self-reflexive” or “self critical”. He sees the avant-garde as one who test the work of art against its own logic and who acknowledges the history of a specific medium. Herein, he notes with distinction, a difference of self-criticism and that of the criticism of the Enlightenment.

Whereas, criticism of the Enlightenment came from the external review against outside standard, self-critiques in internalized by one own evaluation and perspective.

By the seventies three development were evident forcing a major shift in what constituted avant-garde. Rejection of single a medium, the “dematerialization” of aesthetic and advent of conceptualism. Therefore, as we see the work in being produces in the first decade of the 21st century all the element are in play for less implicit more explicit intentional avant-garde.

It is seen in the work of Christian Marclay recognized by Cite de la Musique and the incorruption of a new term “ post medium condition”.

A visual artist also musician brings mix medium and video to the installation with thematic appointments using synchronous sound and technical support.. Among the works on exhibition are Telephones, 1995 7 min 30 seconds video and Video Quartet 2002,  a four channel DVD projection with sound running 14 min depicting a variety instrumental performances one being cockroaches running over piano keys. To his credit but not discussed here is his performance work employing Power Point and investigative journalism and writing specifically. Additionally William Kentridge chooses animated film when he photographs charcoal drawings, then erases them in part photo shouting again until he has created a cinematic strip title Medicine Chest 2000.

In returning to South Africa his home Kentridge raises the aesthetic paradox of political art having ties to the African National Congress. Two issues relative to history and the moral imperative have been instrumental in his evolution as an artist. 
In some ways the influence of this period is summarized by Ana Mendieta when interview by RoseLee Goldberg 2004 saying “I want to work with reality. Not representation of reality. I don’t want my work to represent something. I want people not  to look at it but to be in it, sometimes without even knowing it is art”. This is a key to avant-garde,  we are art and that’s what matters.

 1.Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed. 

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  • Access the profile card for user: Brian Bishop Brian Bishop said…Monday, November 28, 2016 12:32:56 PM ESTThat is an excellent quote by Mendieta to summarize this section, and the ideas you are grappling with. Bravo!

Art Since 1945, Journal entry 6 1990 -1999 by Dave Holmander

Journal Entry

 David Holmander  at Thursday, November 10, 2016 2:28:10 PM EST

Journal Entry #6
Dave Holmander

Art since 1900 Volume 2 from 1990 -1999 pp 668-703

The period sees the continual exportation and reinvention of modernist art and expansion of institutionary critiques outside the boundaries traditional museums. Clement Greenberg (1909-1994) is still active at it’s onset but has made a lasting contribution. In his Memoir, Morris Freedman sights of Greenberg.

I can sum up Clement Greenberg’s work only as an amateur, but allow me to quote Robert Hughes, Time’s art critic, who, I think, fairly crystallized the consensus of serious art historians and writers on art. He concluded his NYR essay: “No American art critic has produced a more imposing body of work: arrogant, clear, and forceful, a permanent rebuke to the jargon and obscurantism that bedeviled art criticism in his time and still does now. And it doesn’t just `impose’ — it invites argument, all the way.”  American Scholar, Autumn94, Vol. 63 Issue 4, p583. 8p.

The self-critical Greenberg also modernist painter saw advanced art as a sequence of investigations. This is evidenced in the counterintuitive “opticality”. Originally pioneered by Dada artist Hans Arp but embraced by Duchamp as illustrated in Rotorelief No. 6 1935 and later incorporated into motion picture film during the 1960’s  by the conflagration of lighting. In the 1980’s with a series of stills by Cindy Sherman, Untitled, #110, 1982.

When speak on the subject of opticality Jacinto Godinho mentions Greenberg reference to modernist abstractionism and the invisible structure of opticality in classic painting.  Opticality has long been present but was not defined as such. Godinho suggest it raised painting in particular to Olympic works of art. But required metaphysical support of words.

In Greenberg understanding, he saw this specifically expanded to sculpture but it is not difficult to understand younger generation now on scene going to new depth with this euphoria and using the articulation of Bataille, the concept of “formlessness“. Opticality; however, is intent to blur the form or create a limited focus without providing the specific form thus creating a limited shadowing forcing the visual observant to rely on memory for what the actual image might appear.

In the contemporary setting opticality has then evolved into more profound visual experience and away from visual autonomy. It is noted with the repetition of a rhythmic notion creating neural retention of the physic. As such in our app, drive social culture I would suggest “interactive art” though it may be static reasoning that the visual experience sets off phenomenon and strange bodily emotions due to the way light may be projected.
The experience leads to what is termed the uncanny “gaze”. Lacan wrote, “it becomes a stain”…”it becomes a picture, it is inscribed in the picture”  Thus against the back drop of the classical perspective it is an fragmentation of point of view rendering the unlocatable gaze bearing no meaning, coherency or unity.  The formlessness triggers an intense desire for form making the optics intriguing.
Greenberg influence is not limited to optic but in a continuum of exportation of new medium and expression. Most profoundly is the Canadian anthropologist Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media 1964 who theorization of culture suggesting medium is the message.  By example, the telephone extends the voice, the printing press circulates what is written (Gutenberg galaxy) Herein, McLuhan says, “The medium is the message’ and does not refer to modernism self critical analysis of an aesthetic medium-it’s self reflective “message”…Instead a condition of a given stage.” Simple put, the visual experience release a self imposing energy which itself become the art of the art.
Greenberg contribution to the period incorporates his intense desire to pursue new avenues of creativity and one again challenges the intuitions and conventions so intent to confine art within established boundaries but artist of the period concluded that the expanse of their imagination and the scope of all space is their museum.

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  • Access the profile card for user: Brian Bishop Brian Bishop said…Monday, November 14, 2016 9:28:43 AM ESTThis is a good connection between McLuhan and Greenberg. Yes, this was the period of time when Greenberg was being reconsidered and critiqued heavily in relation to institutional critique. Which I should note was growing due to the political climate in the 90s. Identity politics slowly gained ground in the mainstream artworld in reaction to the culture wars. This reinvigorated the debate about formalism and the anti-modern critique in general.

Art Since 1945, Journal entry 5, 1980 – 1989 by Dave Holmander

Journal Entry 5
Art Since 1900
Dave Holmander
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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  • Access the profile card for user: David Holmander David Holmander said…Friday, October 28, 2016 7:14:31 AM EDTCorrection to my first line “valid” should be “invalid”
  • Access the profile card for user: Brian Bishop Brian Bishop said…Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:49:35 PM EDTThis is a good entry on what was later termed as the “pictures generation”. You did a good job relating Warhol and Koons.

Art Since 1945, Journal entry 4, 1970 – 1979 by Dave Holmander

Journal Entry 4 

Art Since 1900 
1970 – 1979 

Dave Holmander  
October 14. 2016  

In this journal entry, I am going of the rails. Why?  Because I am trying to figure out whom I am as an artist and I do not know. That is not to say I have not gained anything in the last few months, for sure I have. I believe I am getting a sense but am not sure. In addition, because in the comment section journal entry 3 notes “concepts that you find most challenging personally to focus on“.  So here I respectfully advance these thoughts. 

Early on, I learned that for the artist process is much more enjoyable over visual satisfaction and have become keenly aware the self-actualization is more important to the viewer than esthetics.. 

This current section 1970 to 1979 bring some clarity, but why? In all likelihood, it is because of several factors. Before getting into the weeds two are very clear. No longer seeing myself as a painter nor printmaker but as an artist, my horizon of possibilities of the work I do is largely expanded to more thoughtful projects involving installations and work in public spaces etc. (i.e.: my Northern Rail/Trail project). Therefore, the first consideration with out elaboration is this entire unit is seemingly devoted to large-scale installation projects. In addition, myself being a child of the seventies I was in my 20’s almost the entire decade, it was cool, I knew it was cool, I knew it was the time of my life never to be repeated (my generation had broken from our parents forbids and the past, we where free). Thus, there is a shared identity with the work expresses and freedom to explore new boundaries. 

So what I know about my visual work in painting is that stylistically it is some variant form of impressionistic with an occasional abstract expressionist work. My printmaking is all about varied process of which I feel proficient in several  while photograph is a tool. New to the mix is using found object which function as sculpture, incorporation video and an interactive component. 

From the current period under discussion, three  key word  Structuralism, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. This is what I understand this period to be about and in a more general way; it is what I wish my installation work to portray. Herein, while these are specific to avant-garde in application to my work it is difficult for me not to see elements of all and now am purpose motivated to apply these various forms, space, light, field of vision, etc. in my work. 

Structuralism gives us a model for social forms in logical relationship of color and spatial qualities etc., but also in inclusion and exclusion of contrasting spacing objects, process or activity. As an example in my series, I contrast health life style (oil paintings) against industrial past (solar plate prints) and use of shifters (copper plate prints for script) with found objects that are modified into sculpture to (actualize presences). The arrangement of the piece with the availability of a ride-able trail bike and video presentation will create an interactive experience. 

Minimalism is American art often associated with sculptural is well represented in painted medium by Barrett Newman, Ad Reinhardt and David Smith. It may vary widely evocating the sublime monochrome to simplistic repetitive geometrics. (There are not less that 4 monochrome paintings in my series).  Thomas Kerns creatively get the Massachusetts legislate to buy into a massive museum spectacle. In a hallucinatory sense he sees Minimalism in a similar light, the idea pure intensity. Fredric Jameson would call it “the hysterical sublime”.  But it is a work making itself happen. It is the apex of it’s beholder and the work itself. Thus, it is the exploitation of simulacrum. 

The last to be consider is Conceptual Art. If Minimalist object is the “taking relationships out of the work” by making them “a function of space , light, and viewers field of vision  “Robert Morris.,  Then Conceptual Art remove the object, space and light. It is void of any formalism and a reaction against commercialization. It is a conflagration of Sermonic, Feminism, and Popular Culture. It is a reaction against everything else and a place for anything else. 
It is a natural progression to move from Minimalist to Conceptual and it signifies pluralism and presupposes that everything is available to any artist in the production of art.  

These three art forms mention have eventually found there way into establish process but not without serious challenges for institutions and museum. 

End Note:

Base on the feed back from the last journal entry my responce is in an aera that am stuggling of idenity as an artist and where do I fit in. It seem to me that if I can not answer that question I will find it difficult moving forward. I dug in to each of the three sub point but did not elabarate here. I selected these bcause they seem applicable to me.

Art Since, 1945 Journal entry 3, 1960 – 1969 by Dave Holmander

Journal Entry 3

Art Since 1900

1960 – 1969

Dave Holmander

Sept 30. 2016

The decade opens with contract of shapes, forms and identity in search for a sole. The lingering effect of WW2 are past and a young crop of emergent artist spring forth with it’s own avant-grade such as “The New Realists” intent on “redefining the paradigms of collage, the readymade, and the monochrome. It closes with no less vigor as Conceptual art resulted from the blending of readymade and geometrics themselves variants of Fluxus and Pop art.

The period reveals a proliferation creative work no area is neglected and new social concerns come to the fore as in the work of Claes Oldenburg The Store, 1961 on environmental issues. Another example in diversity from contradiction in aesthetic a throw back to Italy 1909-15 but advanced by contemporaries like Michelangelo Pistoletto, Venere degli stacci, 1967 (Venus and Rags). The decade is full of numerous example thus we should limit further discussion to only two individuals.

In 1960, Clement Greenberg publishes Modernist Painting. Here he puts forth a set of terms allover, easel picture, homeless representation, color-space, and optical. This is a frontal attack on Abstract Expressionism with the work of Jackson Pollock and Barrett Newman in mind. In referencing The Crisis of the Easel Picture1948, he contrasts flatness, frontality and lack of incident. Rather than addressing the substance of the piece his opponents take issue with characterization of wordily use “criticism’ over “art writing” not verbal preciosity.

“It was Greenberg’s sense that in its jettison of art, the avant-grade had come to stand for a position he characterized, negatively, as merely “subversive and futuristic” pp477/478

Earlier in his career Greenberg had published Avant-Garde and Kitsch and Towards a Newer Laocoon. His views are well known; therefore, from these and other publication it is not surprising of him to try to project a development of art from a personnel conception. The “avant-garde had transformed itself in Greenberg’s eyes from upholder of cultural values to its enemy … which cheapened … modernist projects” p481 and aligned with commercial interest. Thus nearing the end of the 1960s there are missing scientific methodical-ness namely a separation between optical quality (color sphere) and aesthetic quality.

In name recognition among modernist/contemporary artists one name stand out more than any other in the American psychic , more than Marcel Duchap, Jason Pollock, Jasper Johns and Barrett Newman. It is Andy Warhol.

Warhol did individual and collaborative works of art, was a filmmaker, writer, underground music, fashion etc. Born in 1928 he moved to New York in 1949 and achieving early success. Becoming wealthy, enough he bought the works of Johns, Stella and Duchamp.

His first painting was comic strips but made full use of silkscreen. Notable work is Campbell soup can Disaster,also Elvis and Marilyn. Moving beyond the purely visual effect he reveals the consecutiveness of his understanding modernism with White Burning Car 111, 1963 take from a newspaper image producing a simulacrum of the real but to gruesome to show the actual during this period. Another of the period is Lavender Disaster, 1963 here he show gradation of 12 images of electric chair with diminishing light.

Most famously is his motto “I want to be a machine” which is taken to mean “the blankness of the artist and art like” p532. This play to his strength as his work reveals a repetition of subject and a lead into more of his quotes, “I like boring things” and “I like things to be exactly the same over and over again” Repetition in Warhol mind is not a representation, referent, or signifier. It is “traumatic reality … through a rupture in the image” p534.

One of his most controversial works appeared at the New York World Fair 1964, Thirteen Most Wanted Men,1964, which hung as a mural. The social/political motivation of the work was obvious and offensive to cultural norms of the period. Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Commissioner Morris and court architect Philip Johnson gave instructions to cover up the images. He responded in kind with gay mockery of his signature silver paint.

The decade closes but not before the old foundations once again are challenged. Foremost with exhibitions in Bern and London 1969 “When Attitude Become Form” and “Anti-illusion: Procedures/Material” New York focus on process art. Non specific medium and process over ride tradition into a more sublime abstraction of though and activity.

Art Since 1945 Journal entry 2 1950 – 1959 by Dave Holmander

Journal Entry 2  

Art Since 1900 

1950 – 1959 

Dave Holmander  

Sept 15. 2016  

The decade of the 1950 transitioned by the still lingering, effects of World War 2 in Europe at its onset saw the move from Paris elites with a neo-Avant-garde clearly defined by American modernism when it closed. Through out this tumultuous decade of artist rivalry it is clear Jackson Pollock is the standard of reference and greatest contemporary influence. 

Barnett Newman in retrospect steals the 1951 as artist of the year with his lack luster second show at the Betty Parsons Gallery. Jackson Pollock encouraged him to do another show though his first was viewed as a failure because of negative press and uncanny absent of other artist at its opening. The second was no more successful. It is not until 1958 and again 1959 before solo shows change his fortune and he find respect for his work of atmospheric space incorporating signification thus dubbing him a father figure of minimalist artist by Thomas B. Hess.  

As the decade developed, three works by Robert Rauschenberg 1953 once again shape modernism. His four foot square white canvasErased de KooningDrawingand Automobile Tire Print. These are seen as a redux ofDadain character and emblematic of the earlier Marcel Duchamp but even more important reveal hostility toward Abstract Expressionism. The works use of indexical marking reveal his ability to use non-compositional subject. He is not alone in this period for Ellsworth Kelly use of found object with several progressive iterations Window 1949 abstract painting discards the referent but clear use of indexical transfer is evidenced. 

Although the US modernist movement has taken hold mid-decade it is not at the exclusion of international appeal. There is no personnel contact with Jackson Pollock but evidence shows he followed theGutaiexhibition in Japan and attributed to some level of influence. Kazuo Shirage, Work II1958 is such an example with his foot painting. There are also variants of live art, interest in new materials, geometrics, concrete and audiovisual to name a few with Gutaieventually showing in New York at the Martha Jackson Galley 1958. The time also sees the short live Neoconcretismoin Brazil and still active Parisian community with Le mouvementshow at Galerie Denise Rene with the launch of Kineticism. 

Additionally, London breaks free of the effect of WW2 with it’s this is Tomorrow exhibition 1956 spearheaded by the Independent Group. It a mix of artistic writers and commercial design interest prelude to British Pop Culture. One of the examples of this period is Richard Hamilton‘s Just what is it that makes today homes so differently, so appealing? 1956. It is not without controversy that influences from Paris and New York encompassing modern design and pop culture it runs head on against the British art establishment lead by curator Kenneth Clark.  

On mainland Europe the SituatioistInternational group lead by Guy Debordemerges from a sorted background. It is an odd marriage. Evidence shows that they sought to advance subversive situations in both visual and literary works. Deborda prolific writer produces The Society of the Spectacle in which he attempts to expose the fallacy of modern living and how capitalism is subverting culture. The group fractures and is dissolved by 1972. 

As the decade comes to a close Jasper Johns is thrust to the forefront with his Target with Four Faces1955 appearing on the January 20, 1958 cover of Art News. While earlier critic affixes neo-Dadato his work his investigation was more inquiring of Marcel Duchamp whom he eventually met later that year. John’s Flag1954-5 and the former plus other work show at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York the same year. An analytical critique purports intentional use of signification, contradiction, irony and allegory. In joining his ranks others like Frank Stella use black enamel on canvas aluminum and copper while producing his would minimalist works. 

The period is noted for its shift from Europe to North America becoming epicenter of Modernist movement. There has been a wholesale assault on Abstract Expressionism but not without serious critique of idealist influence. A proliferate number of creative disciplines have embraced avant-garde from black sculpture toMerdad’ artistato wax and installations such as Ed KienholzPortable War Memorialonce dub junk art. The decade ends never very far from social/political controversy as “New Images of Man” show The Museum of Modern Art in New York explores existential aesthetic resultant cold war cultural. 

Art Since 1945, Journal entry 2, 1945-1949 by Dave Holmander

Intro and 1945 to 1949 

 David Holmander  at Thursday, August 25, 2016 12:05:02 PM EDT
Last Edited:Monday, September 5, 2016 11:08:06 PM EDT

The current journal entry is divided into two sections with the first beginning the introduction and the second that period 1945 to 1949 and is based upon the textbook “art since 1900” published by Thames & Hudson.


By way of starting this first journal entry I want to say that thought out the reading I was particularly pleased to note that thematically it followed and built upon the foundation which was laid in “ Critical Theory MFV801” seminar in the first residency by tying key words to the discussion thus building a bridge from the prior to new material.  With it came applicable impacted various aspects of modernist art and specially contemporary abstract  within the twenties and thirty with surrealism reference to the theoretical and political of the seventies and eighties feminism; and, “the working of subjectivity and sexuality” (p15) . It is my opinion that “Lynda Benglis, Untitiled, 1974” (p19) is a profound example of the latter.

Social history likewise has been depicted through art and continues today though it is a complex mosaic not always easily identified but is mingled with various strains of Marxism in a more pure form of philosophical inspiration. We might suggest “aestheticism conceiving the work of art as a purely self-sufficiency and self-reflexive experience” (23) espoused by Theophile Gautier. Autonomy served this purpose also which engendered capitalistic logic into the late sixties thus the codification of art to the present.

Ideology played a roll in aesthetics. It was Gyorgy Lukacs speaking extensively about the relationship of Marxism and social art history. Most notably his “key concept was that of reflection, establishing a rather mechanistic relationship between the forces economic and political base and the ideological and the institutional superstructure” (p27) thus Meyer Schapiro concludes “cultural representation is the mirror reflection of idelogical interest” (p28) and this is evidenced in artistic representation.

There is however, a difference in popular culture and it’s appeal to the masses of society.

While to the novice it might appear to be slight of hand to the art historian or critic it is a “question of how so-called high art or avant-garde practices relate to the emerging mass-cultural formation of modernity” (p29).  Therefore,  particularly with American social art historians there was intense desire to establish it’s own identity after WW2 so formulation of “neo-avant garde” (p31) become critical as it is distinct. Irrespective, the strength of the modernist art movement and the interconnectedness of social causes and the accompanying history for one hundred years lack cohesiveness while emulation some over riding themes from which to build upon.

Roland Barthes, French literacy’s studied semiology as a separation from signs and came to the conclusion that “content has to be replaced by referent “  … “But … axiom are already there … as signs “ (p33).  These conflagrations mimics formalism and structuralism where as Barthes intends to point to a historical links of modernism with literary works. While and example of formalism may be view in the work of George Brague,Violin , 1910; this follow the arbitrary nature of Pablo Picasso, Bull’s Head,  1942.  However; this process indeed has had it’s limits but nonetheless the foundation of the modernist movement is set in canonical precedent.

The sixties mark once again an attitude of linguistics inroads into the modernity of art and it’s expansion with the enlargement and identification of the “shifter” (p41). Most importantly, the use of “I” and “you” as a mechanism in conduction a conversation between the first person and the second or third person as you might have it, but also in support of work wherein the visual experience is insufficient for the critic or art lover to fully appreciate the work and thus the presence of experience.

Any discussion no matter how brief of poststructuralism and deconstruction would not be complete without some mention of the “perpetual allusion” (p47) which in essence is marked by the term “simulacrum” .  A little known or use term yet the very foundation which virtually all of presence day society functions under.  The reality of non-reality of living in a mode of non-reality that we think life is or should be.  Living life as a fantasy and completely devoid of the possibility of knowing reality. It is the allusion, which the economic forces have manipulated people to believe the way life should be, and failure to realize they are a cog in someone else’s wheel. Thus the impression of representation and it is here where I believe the artist may face the greatest challenge but also the greatest opportunity even to be cutting edge or a new avant-grade.


In 1945 David Smith constructs “Pillar of Sunday” (p364).  The subject is not nearly as important as it is a departure from the Cubist who created space on a flat surface but now in real space Surrealist in their free stand works. The period is mark with a great variety of new entries but also breathes new life into prior works like Julio Gonzalez, “Women Combing Her Hair“, 1936 and Pablo Picasso, “Head of a Women“, 1929-30 (365).


In Europe it is still a difficult time after WW2 ended the emotional effect of the horrific war still fresh in the mind . But the short lived “Cacaism” (p369) immerges liken to “Dadaism” (p369) which followed The Great War.  Without doubt the major works of this period stems from France and a significant exhibition “Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris in May 1946“(p369). Most profound is Jean Dubuffet’s “Volonte de puissance” 1946 (p370) which depicts a nude stunted child having survived a horrific experience but emotionally scared.


This period brought forth a desire to move forward and away from the back drop of the lingering effects of war. Though the famous Bauhaus school of modernist design was  closed by the Nazis interest in it’s concept finds it way to Black Mountain College in North Carolina with imports like Josef Albers from Chicago but previously from Bauhaus in Berlin. This largely an experimental concept within and egalitarian college, but it brings forth a new dimension to modernistic of expression  which is purely Americanized. With Mohol-Nagy, Albers new radical design advance  with a  dialectical viewing experience as refected in Josef Albers, “Homage to the Square” 1970 (p379).

Continuing that same year and into 1948 “Abstract Expressionism” gains a foothold and latter Life magazine will publishes a photo by Nina Leen title “The Irascibles”, 1951 of a sorted group of artist working autonomously but having been brought together through an exhibition held at New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art and as such their work takes root and has had a profound impact in visual art.


This is the year Life magazine ask it readers select the greatest living artist. They pick Jackson Pollick for his drip painting. His work is intriguing and complex but most notably for it’s “hallucinated literalness” (p387). It is how light reflect off the work which is unique. His process was to lay canvas horizontal to the floor and make drippings while standing over the work thus as the paint dry there was not dropping of paint on the vertical slop thereby the reflective quality of light on the finished work emulated a more uniform illustrative viewing experience.

1949 also saw another sub division in the modernist movement called “Brutalism”. One was called the Coba group because its proponents hailed from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam where a group of young artist where endeavoring a new direction bring to light African tribal art and untapped children’s art. At the same time with similar goal New Brutalists in England emerged again with the notion to move forward and shake of the past. It was more of a pealing back the veneer of the gilded image and expression the substructure as the grand revealing. This was expressed in the architecture of modern building design a more boxes look of support post and beams are left exposed and window trimmings are raw basic yet it’s expression influences all modern art from collage to metal to sculpture.