Dissertation > Art > Painting > Painting theory. > History of the art of painting > Painting schools and their research

The Concept of Postmodern Art

Author ZouCao
Tutor YaoDaZhi
School Jilin University
Course Philosophy of Science and Technology
Keywords Modernist Art Post - modernism and cultural Artist Postmodern art Pop Art Art for art Art form Artistic creation Conceptual Art Works of art
CLC J209.9
Type PhD thesis
Year 2008
Downloads 1165
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The considerably authoritative definition of postmodernism came from the book the history of foreign art written by the Foreign Art History Research Section of the Art History Department of CAFA. In this book, Post Modernism is a complicated term,133 one that has only emerged as an area of academic study since the mid-1950s in America or the Europe. In Chinese art area, other teaching materials of the history of foreign art also quote the above definition. Therefore, obviously, there is a basic estimation, that is also the general viewpoint of Chinese art area——postmodernism is a time period concept.In my opinion, it gives no cause for more criticism that post Modernism is an art form produced in a certain historical period; however there is a problem when we regard postmodern art as a period concept. If we look both the modernism and postmodernism as times, then their relationship will be postmodernism replacing modernism. However, if we know further about modernism art, we will find that POP as the representative of postmodernism emerged popular in the 1950s.But since the 1960s and 1970s, some modernism classical art schools produced in the Occident, such as abstract expressionism, Optical art and Minimalism, has still been popular all over the world. Furthermore, to some sense, these schools are very fashionable. So, concerning the time division, it obviously shows that postmodernism doesn’t replace the modernism. If the postmodernism is not the time concept, what does it represent? In my opinion, postmodernism is a way of thinking. Not only postmodernism is a way of thinking, modernism and classicism are also ways of thinking and they both lie in present society as ways of thinking. In the Jean- Fran?ois Leotard’s later thinking the post modernism is not a new era, but the characteristic rewriting of the modernism134 rewriting questions the trap of modernism and exactly describes the relationship between modern and postmodern. The most appropriate understanding of rewriting lies in the double-taste research which looks forward and backward.135 This kind of rewriting reveals things covered under the nice ideal. For example, truth covers the hegemonism; Liberty covers the Auschwitz-Birkenau. Anything about the self-reflection is rewriting. From the sense of aesthetics, rewriting means doubt and criticism of art for art’s sake which is boosted by modernism and break and rescue the art from the tower of ivory.136 About Modernism art, the most important difference is whether the theme of art discussion is form or content and it is the sticking point of how to distinguish the modernism and postmodernism.Modernism art emphasizes a kind of faith about art for art’s sake. Modern artists focus art’form, theme and self-discovery under the faith guidance. Therefore, our classification standards all bases on this, for example, cubism, constructivism, futurism, representational, abstract and so on. In these schools and styles, they all possess their criteria and guide lines in the art creation. In another word, every modernism art schools have their own formulas, but these formulas are not commensuration. If there is a certain commensuration between these schools, then, this commensuration is they cut the relationship in popular aesthetics, ethnics and ethics.In the postmodernism art,as the rise and enlargement of concept art,artists do not pay all their attention to what is art and how can the art prove itself. Their focus lies on their ideological pursuit and artists start to concentrate on social life. Then, artist regards art as a way to express their own standpoint.(This is also called enlarged art by Joseph Beuys)They continually show their opinions on government system, power, historical culture, racialism, gender, edge language, and environment pollution. Therefore, it has little significance if we understand the current art only from medium angle. In order to understand artists’creation better, knowing the art creative subject and concept is a magic weapon. Therefore,in this thesis, I do not make an intermediary category on the post modernism, although there was conclusion, such as assemblage, poverty art, action art, body art, installation art, the earth art, multimedia art and so on. In my opinion, they are just a way. In another word, they are an unfinished career of modernism and they should not be regarded as a general designation of schools and factions. Because, considering an artic form,(it belongs to the art of postmodernism or the artic forms above or it is a traditional art form, such as painting and sculpture.),it can reflect various subjects or ideas which contains postmodernism, modernism, realism and classicism. But, if we regard it as a whole or general designation of art phenomena, then we will possibly get into or return to the way of thinking about modernism art. Because, the classification of art forms it self is not a very(modern)postmodern way. Because, many modern artists often create some postmodern works of art and many postmodern artists also create some modern works of art. It had often happened before 1970s.My research is apt to the subject matter or contends expressed by art works and the relationship between works and their wholly environment. That is why I intentionally avoid distinguish ability of schools and factions and give prominence to the problem expressed by the art. Therefore, in this thesis, I make a research according to the subject expressed by postmodern work of art, not according to a certain artists or any fixed art form or schools.According to the origin of idea, inducted by enlightenment,the modern art is movement of self-criticism and thought liberation. The enlightenment brought a critical spirit which emphasizes science and rational proofs. Therefore, on one hand, modern art emphases the criticism of traditional art; on the other hand, it emphases a kind of artic experiment. It leads to a art for art’s sake visual revolution. The idea of postmodernism comes directly from various post modernism represented by western postmodern philosophy. As an art form under a certain historic period, it is destined to have the characteristics of postmodern consciousness and form.Even as postmodernism questioned and criticize every modern idea, postmodern art represents the political characteristics which showed a kind of rebel emotion, rebel spirit and rebel will. Therefore, postmodern artists take of role of philosopher. Through their work, they break the boundaries of artistic life .At the same time; they profoundly expose corruption hidden behind the prosperity and the truth behind the hypocrisy of social. It digests against authority, the hegemonic position of mainstream thinking, inclusive of all different voices, so that the arts and culture go to equal and pluralistic state.Modern and Post-Modern Arts come from two different time’s background. From the form, content and thinking sources, Modern and Post-Modern Art are two completely different art forms. Since the problems and evaluation standards they face has a qualitative change, that is, the commentary on the works of art changes from the form exploration to contents and theme show. In other words, the core paradigm of art changes from art for art’s sake to art for the social reality’s sake. Therefore, in this sense, post-modern art is a kind of modern art. But if we research from ways of thinking, perhaps the answer is another way. In my opinion, according to the origin of idea, inducted by enlightenment, the modern art is movement of self-criticism and thought liberation. Postmodernist art on the surface, it emerges as an anti-modern art. Post-modernism opposes to modern which stubbornly ignores contends and emphasis on the art form of. But post-modernism and modern art does not oppose the Criticism and the spirit of exploration. At this point they are the same. Undeniable, the form and content of the arts is an integral two parts of works of art. It likes a coin with two different surfaces. If we say that the Modernism art is the upper side of the coin, then post-modernism is the other side of the coin. This coin is a doubt for authority, law and tradition. However, the critical spirit of modernism has already declined a lot. The current postmodernism inherits the sprits of past modernism.137 In this sense, postmodernism has no doubt a part of modern art.

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