Friday, December 2, 2011

Pop Art

Jasper Johns, Flag

Jasper Johns, Target With Four Faces

Robert Rauschenberg, Monogram

Robert Rauschenberg, Retroactive I

Andy Warhol, Marylin Monroe Diptych

Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup Can

Andy Warhol, Green Disaster

James Rosenquist, The F 111, detail

Roy Lichtenstein, Drowning Girl

Claes Oldenburg, Giant Soft Fan


Jasper Johns
Robert Rauschenberg
Andy Warhol
James Rosenquist
Roy Lichtenstein
Claes Oldenburg

Early TV and Politics

Here is a sample of the Kennedy-Nixon debates of 1960.  Note the strange vividness and grainy slippage of early TV.
Dwight Eisenhower was the first American President to use television, however TV made John F. Kennedy's presidency.  As you can see on this video, Kennedy was confident on TV, and had the poise and the looks for TV.  Richard Nixon would later make brilliant use of television advertising in his 1968 presidential campaign, but he was never comfortable or confident appearing before TV cameras, not in this 1960 debate and not ever.  It is sometimes said that this first of all televised debates tipped the 1960 election in Kennedy's favor.  It was a triumph of form over substance.  On the issues, Nixon arguably prevailed or held his own.  Kennedy before this debate was perceived as a mindless rich playboy, the creation of his powerful father Joseph P. Kennedy's money and influence.  Kennedy not only had to be knowledgeable on the issues, but had to "look" presidential, to reassure the voters that he could lead.  This first appearance live on TV to an audience of millions was a great success for Kennedy.

TV Commercials

They certainly have changed a lot since 1965.  Ah, where are the cigarette ashes of yesteryear?

The Velvet Underground:

You can't do anything on Warhol or Pop Art without at least one tune by The Velvet Underground.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Color Field Painting

Henri Matisse, Snail, decoupage

Henri Matisse, Chapel of the Holy Rosary, Vence, France

Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis

Ad Reinhart, Number 4

Helen Frankenthaler, Bayside

Morris Louis, Sarabande

Kenneth Noland, Whirl

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park 90


Henri Matisse
Barnett Newman
Ad Reinhart
Clement Greenberg
Helen Frankenthaler
--stain painting
Morris Louis
Kenneth Noland
Richard Diebenkorn

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Abstract Expressionism

Arshile Gorky, The Artist with His Mother

Arshile Gorky, The Liver is a Cock's Comb

Willem de Kooning, Woman 1

Willem DeKooning, Excavation

Jackson Pollock, The She Wolf

Jackson Pollock painting in 1950

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm

Lee Krasner, Sun Woman II

Mark Rothko, untitled

Mark Rothko and Phillip Johnson, The Rothko Chapel, Houston, TX

David Smith, Hudson River Landscape, sculpture

David Smith, Cubi XXVI


Carl Gustav Jung
Arshile Gorky
Willem DeKooning
--action painting
Jackson Pollock
Lee Krasner
Mark Rothko
David Smith

Here is Hans Namuth's film of Jackson Pollock at work:

Monday, August 22, 2011

The First World War and Dada

The First World War, British and German Soldiers, Bernafay Woods, 1916

Otto Dix, Card Playing War Cripples, New Objectivity

George Grosz, Funeral of Oskar Panizza, New Objectivity

Käthe Kollwitz, "Outbreak," from The Peasant War, etching, New Objectivity

Max Beckmann, The Night, New Objectivity

Max Beckmann, The Departure, New Objectivity

Hugo Ball in costume about to recite one of his poems at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, Dada

Sophie Täuber, puppets, Zurich Dada

Hans Arp, Random Collage, Zurich Dada

Raoul Hausmann, The Spirit of the Age, collage construction, Berlin Dada

Hannah Höch, The Flirt, photocollage, Berlin Dada

John Heartfield, "And Yet, It Moves," photomontage, Berlin Dada

Kurt Schwitters, Construction for Noble Ladies, painting and collage

Kurt Schwitters, Merzbau, (destroyed)

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain

Marcel Duchamp, The Large Glass (The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even)


New Objectivity
--Otto Dix
--George Grosz
--Käthe Kollwitz
--Max Beckmann


--Cabaret Voltaire
--Automatic Drawing
Marcel Duchamp

The First World War:  The Menin Gate, Ypres Belgium

The Menin Gate is a war memorial whose walls are covered with the names of British, Canadian, Australian, and New Zealander soldiers who perished in fighting around Ypres, and whose bodies were never recovered.
Every evening buglers from the Ypres fire department play The Last Post, and have done so since 1918, except for the years of German occupation during World War II.
The First World War is a largely forgotten conflict for most Americans, but the memory of that war still touches open wounds for a lot of Europeans, even a century later, as you can see in the large attendance at this ceremony and every ceremony at the Menin Gate.

Dada on Film

Ghosts Before Breakfast,

A  film by Hans Richter, 1928.  In this 6 minute film, Richter appears in the movie along with two composers, Darius Milhaud, and Paul Hindemith who wrote the music for the now destroyed soundtrack.  Ordinary objects seem to come to life and have a will of their own in this plotless movie that uses stop action animation in a very original way.

Anemic Cinema

Anemic Cinema, 1926. Duchamp made a series of spirals and filmed them while turning on a phonograph turntable. He also added a series of spiraling phrases that are intended to be puns.

Here are those phrases untranslated:

"Bains de gros thé pour grains de beauté sans trop de bengué." (BenGay was invented in France by Dr. Jules Bengué)
"L'enfant qui tète est un souffleur de chair chaude et n'aime pas le chou-fleur de serre-chaude."
"Si je te donne un sou, me donneras-tu une paire de ciseaux?"
"On demande des moustiques domestiques (demi-stock) pour la cure d'azote sur la côte d'azur."
"Inceste ou passion de famille, à coups trop tirés."
"Esquivons les ecchymoses des Esquimaux aux mots exquis."
"Avez-vous déjà mis la moëlle de l'épée dans le poêle de l'aimée?"
"Parmi nos articles de quincaillerie par essence, nous recommandons le robinet qui s'arrête de couler quand on ne l'écoute pas."
"L'aspirant habite Javel et moi j'avais l'habite en spirale."

Social Realism Between the Wars

Diego Rivera, Man at the Crossroads

Diego Rivera, Panorama of Mexican History

Frida Kahlo, Two Fridas

Frida Kahlo, Suicide of Dorothy Hale

David Siqueirios, Echo of a Scream

Jose Clemente Orozco, Modern Migration of the Spirit

Jose Clemente Orozco, Men on Fire

Jacob Lawrence, "Their Lives Were Often In Danger," from the Migration Series

Jacob Lawrence, "The Railroad Stations Were Crowded With Migrants," from the Migration Series


The Mexican Muralists
--The Mexican Revolution
--Diego Rivera
--Frida Kahlo
--David Siqueirios
--Jose Clemente Orozco
Social Realism in the USA
--The WPA