What is Postmodernism? Postmodern art is the group of artistic movements which attempt to counteract aspects of Modernism, or aspects which emerged from it, or developed from it, after it. The ideals of the two periods were quite different, and postmodernism was, in many ways, a reaction to modernism. The Postmodernist period was marked by artistic movements which sought to counteract certain elements of Modernism.
This period was marked by freedom in artmaking, free of political or other influences. The Postmodernist period began with Americans introducing various varieties to already existing contemporary art.
Starting from the mid-to-late 1960s, with abstract expressionism having been already falling out of popular favour for a while, many artists turned increasingly towards mixed-media art forms, such as conceptualism, super-realism, and Neo-expressionism, all precursors of postmodern art. Postmodern art is an art movement which replaced Modernism and helped to pioneer the development of modern art. Postmodern art replaced Modernism as the dominant art style at the time, and was considered to be a form of art without any standard guidelines that determined the practices.
Postmodern art is usually said to describe any movement arising out of a rejection of Modernism, such as conceptual art, Pop Art, neo-expressionist art, feminist art, and the art of younger British artists. Postmodernist art is characterised as rebelling against Modernism (including Realism and the artistic elite. Postmodernism encompasses a variety of different approaches to the creation of art, and can be said to have begun in the 1960s with Pop Art, and has encompassed most of the subsequent work, including conceptual art, neo-expressionism, feminist art, and younger British artists in the 1990s.
Postmodernism is not a single tradition or movement, but its central motivation is the sharp separation of high culture from lower culture established by Modernism, and an opposition to enclosures between artistic genres. The earlier artistic movement, modernism, created works which showed deep emotional disconnection from society, while postmodern art counters this notion throughout all works created within this term.
A distinction exists between what is perceived to be high art and low art, since the two periods of art made use of each style, respectively. Artwork which departed from norms and conflicted with the ideals of the Modernist movement was, by nature, postmodern, as the Postmodern era was marked by artists challenging the high-low art distinction with their experimental works. Pop artist Andy Warhol created a number of iconic works which are defined as being a part of modernism.
In painting, in the 1920s and 30s, as well as the Great Depression, modernism was defined by Surrealism, Late Cubism, the Bauhaus, De Stijl, Dada, German Expressionism, modernists, and skilled painters of colour such as Henri Matisse, and abstractions of artists such as Piet Mondrian and Wassily Kandinsky, who characterised the European art scene. Modern art, radical movements within Modernism, and radical tendencies considered influential and potentially as forerunners to Late Modernism and Postmodernism emerged around the First World War and especially in the immediate aftermath. Cubism was a US post-World War II art movement which could be considered as the bridge between modern painting and Postmodernism (about 1960).
The transition from the Modern art era to postmodern was a bit hazy, with many artists producing work from both periods. In Hos experience, contemporary art generally began around 1860, and the post-modern period took root at the end of the 1950s.
First, we have differences between contemporary and postmodern art dates, where contemporary art is dated 1860-1960, and postmodern art is from 1960 onwards. Artists of the postmodern era include Justin Michael Jenkins, Robert Rauschenberg, Johanna Drucker, Aydin Aghdashloo, Robert Breer, Cleeve Horn, Ricky Swallow, William Powhida, Jose Bernal, Stieg Persson, etc. Yes, these are notable differences in modern and postmodern art.
The juxtaposition of the old with the new, particularly in terms of taking styles of the earlier periods and reconstituting them in contemporary art beyond their original context, is a characteristic common to postmodern art. Characteristics of Postmodernism, including bricolage, collage, appropriation, the recycling of styles and themes of the past in contemporary contexts, and the breaking down of barriers between the visual arts, crafts, and mass culture, may apply to sculpture. There are several characteristics that give art its Postmodernist qualities; these include bricolage, prominent use of text as the central art object, collage, reduction, appropriation, performance art, the recycling of past styles and themes in a modern-day context, as well as destruction of the barriers between fine art and high art, as well as lower art and popular culture.
Postmodern art has since become less defined by the forms art takes, and more defined by the artists who produce work. Post-modernist works of the 1970s were sometimes ridiculed as art-for-arts sake, but this has led to acceptance of an array of new approaches. The return to traditional artistic forms of sculpture and painting seen in the work of Neo-expressionist artists like Georg Baselitz and Julian Schnabel during the late 1970s and early 1980s has been described as postmodernist, and was among the first consistent movements that emerged during the postmodern era.
Without any clear demarcation, the onset of artistic movements in the postmodernist and modern styles was gradual, but the 1960s are widely identified as the tipping point. In Germany, the paintings of Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, and others, which were politicized, presaged the onset of the Second World War, and in America, Modernism was seen as dominated by American Scene painting, as well as movements of Social Realism and Regionalism, which contained political as well as social commentary. A compressed definition is that postmodernism rejected modernisms great narratives about the direction of art, erased boundaries between higher and lower forms of art, and broke conventions within genres through clashes, collages, and fragmentation. Clearly, the movements modernism and postmodernism are making across art is, broadly speaking, a movement of development.
Check out a series of my new post modern paintings.