Throughout the history of art, different movements arise as a result of the social, political, economic, and emotional state of mind that both people and nations are experiencing at a given time. Modern art and postmodern art are no two exceptions to these circumstances and have come to be for both similar and different reasons. As with most art movements postmodern art sprung from modern art as a way for artists to express their belief that perhaps there is an alternative understanding of beliefs that seeks to revise the premises of Modernism.
[...] It is in the ideals of the Enlightenment that the roots of Modernism, and the new role of art and the artist, are to be found. Simply put, the overarching goal of Modernism, of modern art, has been the creation of a better society. As the 19th century progressed, the exercise of artistic freedom became fundamental to progressive modernism. Artists began to seek freedom not just from the rules of academic art, but from the demands of the public. Soon it was claimed that art should be produced not for the public's sake, but for art's sake. [...]
[...] The Surrealists before the war still clung to the modernist belief that their art could influence human destiny, that they could change the world. After the Second World War, however, such optimism in the future was difficult to sustain. And to make things worse, with the advent of the Cold War and the constant threat of nuclear destruction, any sort of future looked doubtful. Having rejected the past many years ago, and now with the future no longer the goal of artistic effort, many artists turned with visible distress to the present and focused their attention on contemporary popular culture. [...]
[...] Mary Klages states that perhaps the easiest way to start thinking about postmodernism is by thinking about modernism, the movement from which postmodernism seems to grow or emerge. Modernism has two facets, or two modes of definition, both of which are relevant to understanding postmodernism The first definition of modernism comes from the aesthetic movement broadly labeled modernism. Mary Klages notes that this movement is similar with twentieth century Western ideas about art even though traces of it in emergent forms can be found in the nineteenth century as well. [...]
[...] Jameson believes that the art then represents these phases and can be seen in the art itself. The consumerist art is represented by the likes of Andy Warhol's “Campbell Soup Cans” or Lichtenstein's “Drowning Girl” painting. The overuse of mass-media advertising and the proliferation of television were able to drive this pop art as a comment on consumerism. Witcombe states that the term postmodern is deliberately elusive as a concept, avoiding as much as possible the modernist desire to classify and thereby delimit, bound, and confine. [...]
[...] Klages notes that postmodern art and thought favors reflexivity and self-consciousness, fragmentation and discontinuity especially in narrative structures, ambiguity, simultaneity, and an emphasis on the destructed, decentered, dehumanized subject. This can be noted in such works as Frank Lloyd Wright's “Ggguenheim” architecture or Chrito and Jeanne Claude's “Valley Curtain.” But while postmodernism seems very much like modernism in these ways, it differs from modernism in its attitude toward a lot of these trends. Modernism, for example, tends to present a fragmented view of human subjectivity and history that was commonly seen in literary works such as The Wasteland by T.S. [...]
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