Modernism 8

Class Notes: August 19th
Rosie Sandrovich

Modernism
During the 1900 -20’s time period.
Aspects that characterize the change in art:
-World War I: Big change in how countries were constructed and governed. The world has become a more mechanized and deadly one (chemical weapons); and it suffered huge amounts of destruction, homeless people, and death.
-Political and social revolutions around the world: In America, In France (begging of Democracy), socialist and communist revolutions (in China Mao Tse Tung); in Russia, the defeat of the Zarr.
-Urbanism: The Old=the corrupt. The search of a new and organized way to live. The uplift of the poor. Ex: Lecrvuier, Apartment Blocks “Unite d’ habitation.”
- New “isms”: cubism (see more that one time or angle at the same time), futurism (influenced by the motion photographers), surrealism modernism, communism, constructivism
-Objectivity and New Objectivity: Photojournalists speak the truth, which is on the lens. It’s an unbiased truth.
-Sigmund Freud: opens everyone’s minds about sex and dreams. He was the first to apply the science of the mind. A lot of artists were influenced by his ideas; to understand the mind became of importance.
-A radical reconstruction of the world through art and thought
-Dadaism: The world can be nonsense, idea effect from the war. A lot of the modernism art is born from it.
-New Ideas: “the world is broken” and the evidence it’s the war.
“Art should be for all society not just for the upper class”
“The artist is a visionary and a genius.” Artists see the world in a different way. The modern artists and photographers distinguished themselves by being unique.
“Live better through science.” Good and bad things come with it, but it was believed it would solve all problems. They implemented it in the buildings and roads (urbanism).

Montage: One of the big techniques implemented during this time. They are pictures put together to make one finish photographic print. It’s an intellectual idea that comes from the soviets. Unusual angles and crops were used. The power of two things at once, idea coming from Carl Marx: 2 ideas: Thesis = Antithesis= Synthesis (editing).

Heavy use of lines: influence that comes from the Russian constructivism. Painting was becoming more abstract and non-objective and photography was too. The eye was drawn to look at the lines, the shapes the colors.

The Artists
Duchamp: Recontext of objects to turned them into art; for example the urinary/fountain. We can take any pieces of the world and turn them into art, even using other art to make it his own; for example the mock of the Monalisa with the mustache.

Man Ray (Emmanuel Radinski): An American living in Paris where he was influenced by Duchamp. His photographs have a Dadaist style. He helps to bring all of these ideas back to the States. Very big into photograms and he renames them “rayographs”; he pioneers new usages in photo techniques.

Miller: She was Man Ray’s assistant and lover. Going back to pictoralism, a lot of her pictures look like paintings. A lot of artists moved out of the war areas, but instead she stayed and documented it.

Lazlo and Lucia Moholy Nagy: Hungarian couple that worked together. They taught design in the German art school of Bauhaus which got shut down during World War II; nowadays it can be find in the city of Chicago. They used the collage technique.

John Hartsfield: He was a Dadaist who rejected his German Nazi roots. He mocks the Nazis in political photo montages , for example the family at the table eating metal or the wolf represented as the German military trying to tell the other animals what to do.

Hoch: Series of figurines using art objects, magazines; critiquing the German’s idealization of beauty.

Lissitzky: He was a Russian constructivist and thought art should have a purpose, so he tries to send ideas through his art by using the imagination.

Rodchenko: (1925) She was a photographer and film maker. Also used the strong lines technique mixing it with montage but with simplicity and use of text as well.

Bellmer: German artist who worked during the war era. His “Poupee” or puppets it’s what is he is known for. The puppets were surreal and creepy, out of this world (like from a dream or fantasy) to the point that he had to leave Germany because he was considered a degenerate.

Kertesz: He worked both in USA and Europe doing a lot of magazine work. Very influenced by dada, constructivism and surrealism, with interesting angles and lines characteristic of the time.

Brassai: He worked for a newspaper in Paris, but was known for his social documentary in the same city. It is a more romantic view of Paris, a lot of street scenes. He put his work together in his book “Paris at night”. Some of his pictures even go back to the pictorial time because of their softness and graininess.