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The Two Camps Of Modern Art Is About The Two Main Schools Of Thought In Art History From 1945 Current

1993 words - 8 pages

After six years of horror were brought to a close by the atomic bomb, (I am speaking of course of WWII) the new situation in society and the world required a profound change in art, which discarded traditional rules and provided the expected distinction between techniques of expression almost meaningless. From this point on it is no longer possible to speak of "painting": a different horizon opens, one that the masterpieces anticipated but which new artists are now tackling, in unpredictable ways; Modern Art. There is an analogy to the history of art. Modernism in art marks a point before which painters set about representing the world the way it presented itself, painting people and landscapes and historical events just as they would present themselves to the eye. With modernism, the conditions of representation themselves become central, so that art in a way becomes its own subject. This was almost precisely the way in which Clement Greenberg defined the matter in his famous 1960 essay "Modernist Painting." "The essence of Modernism," he wrote, "lies, as I see it, in the use of the characteristic methods of a discipline to criticize the discipline itself, not in order to subvert it but in order to entrench it more firmly in its area of competence." Interestingly, Greenberg took as his model of modernist thought the philosopher Immanuel Kant: "Because he was the first to criticize the means itself of criticism, I conceive of Kant as the first real Modernist." Kant did not see philosophy as adding to our knowledge so much as answering the question of how knowledge was possible. And I suppose the corresponding view of painting would have been not to represent the appearances of things so much as answering the question of how painting was possibleModern art is a unique creation all it's own, and since it's beginnings there have been two very distinct groups present. There are the Formalists and the Avant-Garde. Clement Greenberg's, art critiques versus Marcel Duchamp's artwork.Clement Greenberg began pronouncing his aesthetic judgments in the 1930s, inaugurating a personal Golden Age that lasted into the '50s. During these decades, Greenberg wrote clearly and thoughtfully about Modernist art, serving as the editor of Partisan Review and as art critic for the Nation. The author of many influential essays, he drew a sharp distinction between the deliberate difficulty and controversial innovations of contemporary art and the degraded yet accessible products of mass culture (particularly in the piece "Avant-Garde and Kitsch"). He championed Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting for their inspired marriage of content to form. Laboring to explain the aesthetics of these new movements, he coined the phrase "post-painterly abstraction," where "painterly" is defined as the blurry and imprecise. He emphasized the pure formal elements of abstract painting, such as its flat space, monumental scale, and patches of undiluted color.Marcel Duchamp was a...

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