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  • Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913 >> 2013

    1961, Lichtenstein, Girl With Ball

    Teacher Resource Downloads

    Click below to download a PowerPoint presentation of the key works in this exhibition, Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, and a "Terms To Know" glossary reference.

    Aleksandr Rodchenko, Chauffeur, 1929

    1929 - New Photography

    Film und Foto was a landmark photography exhibition held in Germany in 1929. It featured more than 1,000 works by approximately 200 artists and presented a new approach to photography. László Moholy-Nagy, a photographic innovator and teacher at the Bauhaus, coined the term “new vision” to describe photographic trends that were emerging after World War I.

    Wayne Thiebaud, Cut Meringues, 1961

    1961 - Art of Mass Culture

    As postwar American consumer society continued to expand, artists began to reference consumer culture in their art. Inspired by living within this mass consumer society and rebelling against the vocabulary of abstract art, a diverse population of individual artists emerged in the early 1960s.

    Umberto Boccioni, Unique Form of Continuity in Space, 1913

    1913 Overview

    1913 saw rapid progression in methods of transportation, with groundbreaking achievements in the automobile and aviation industry that would change life as people knew it. The world of art also saw rapid development in 1913 that would introduce new movements and challenge previous conceptions about art.

    El Lissitzky, USSR Russische Ausstellung, 1929

    1929 - New Typography

    By 1929 print had become much more than just typesetting. With its roots in the Constructivist movement and the Bauhaus, the New Typography movement incorporated into graphic design many features of modern artistic composition, such as asymmetry, bright color fields, and clean lines. These works incorporate bold diagonals, large images bleeding off the page, and a co-mingling of image and text.

    Dennis Hopper, Double Standard, 1961

    1961 - Finding Photography

    Though most recognized as an actor, Dennis Hopper was also an artist, whose works included painting, sculpture, assemblage, and photography. A prolific photographer in the 1960s, Hopper described his images as “found paintings” harkening to Duchamp’s concept of the readymade.

    Roger de la Fresnaye, The Conquest of the Air, 1913

    1913 - The Conquest of the Air: In Focus

    Rapid development in aviation sparked the imagination of many artists. Air travel is the central theme in Roger de La Fresnaye's The Conquest of the Air. Achievements in flight were occurring worldwide, and The Conquest of the Air depicts the French story of flight in the Cubist style.

    Gerald Murphy, Wasp and Pear, 1929

    1929 - Seeing: Real and Unreal

    Gerald Murphy’s Wasp and Pear shows both the pear and the wasp from many angles and in a variety of ways. The pear’s outer skin is depicted alongside its cross-section. The wasp is exaggeratedly large in comparison, yet we see its leg amplified even more, as if through a microscope.

    Robert Raushenberg, First Landing Jump, 1961

    1961 - The Art of Assemblage

    In 1961 The Museum of Modern Art held the landmark exhibition The Art of Assemblage, which showcased artists who combined materials in a way that reinvented the process of collage and expanded the definition of art.

    Giacomo Balla, Swifts: Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences, 1913

    1913 - Futurism: Movement and Motion

    The early twentieth century was a time of rapid change. City life was booming, people were able to travel faster, and industrial production was driven by new machines. Futurism, with its focus on dynamic speed and movement, developed in response to these changes.

    Willem de Kooning, Woman, I, 1950-52

    1950 Overview

    As the global devastation of World War II healed and the United States entered the midpoint of the twentieth century, Abstraction began maturing as a means of artistic expression. Artists such as Franz Kline, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jackson Pollock abandoned representation and moved forward into mark-making with action.

    Claes Oldenburg, Pastry Case, 1961

    1961 - The Store - In Focus

    In 1961 Claes Oldenburg opened his art environment The Store, a conceptual store in New York’s Lower East Side that epitomized his mingling of art, commodity, and commerce.

    Pablo Picasso, Glass, Guitar, and Bottle, 1913

    1913 - New Ideas: Cubism

    One of the new ideas introduced to the public at the Armory show—the 1913 international exhibition of modern art held in New York—was Cubism.

    Otl Aicher, Physik des Alltags, 1949-51

    1950 - Abstract Geometric Design

    These works of art are posters for courses at the Volkshochschule, an adult educational school in designer Otl Aicher’s home town of Ulm, Germany. In these works, abstract geometric forms in contrasting colors represent concepts such as botany or geology.

    Annette Messager, My Vows, 1988

    1988 Overview

    The end of the 1980s presented a frenzied glimpse of our future. AIDS had become an epidemic, terrorism was a reality, technology was rapidly transforming, and business was booming. Artists responded to all of this and their works became reflective not only of the time but also of themselves, the creators.

    Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1913

    1913 - New Ideas: Readymades

    Marcel Duchamp experimented with many of the new art ideas that were rapidly emerging in the early twentieth century, but he is best known for his readymades. His first readymade, Bicycle Wheel, is actually an assisted readymade in that it combines two everyday objects, with an inverted bicycle wheel attached to a wooden kitchen stool, to create a piece of art.

    Franz Kline, Chief, 1950

    1950 - Abstract Process

    In 1949 Franz Kline visited the painter Willem de Kooning and his wife Elaine. De Kooning enlarged one of Kline’s sketches on the wall via an overhead projector and, as Elaine recounted, they “were astonished at the change of scale and dimension when they saw the drawings magnified bodiless against the wall. A 4 x 5-inch brush drawing of the rocking chair [Kline] had drawn and painted over and over, so loaded with implications and aspirations and regrets, loomed in gigantic black strokes which eradicated the image, the strokes expanding as entities in themselves, unrelated to any reality but that of their own existence.”

    Brice Marden, Couplet IV, 1988

    1988 - Couplet IV

    The final in a series of four works, Couplet IV is named for a pair of lines in verse that rhyme and are usually of the same length. This painting illustrates Marden’s move in a new stylistic direction, one that is more fluid and expressive.

    Stanton MacDonald-Wright Still Life Synchromy, 1913

    1913 - New Ideas: Synchromism

    Along with other artists rejecting the traditional conceptions of art, American artists Morgan Russell and Stanton MacDonald-Wright surprised viewers when they first exhibited their new style of art, which they called Synchromism.

    Ellsworth Kelly, Automatic Drawing: Pine Brances VI, 1950

    1950 - Action

    Ellsworth Kelly’s Automatic Drawing: Pine Branches VI shows an artist’s complete surrender of gestural control. Here, he is reviving automatic drawing, a Surrealist practice in which the artist taps into the unconscious mind, making marks sometimes without even looking at the paper. It is a free, unencumbered process.

    Ashley Bickerton, Tormented Self-Portrait, 1987-88

    1988 - Depicting Self

    Tormented Self-Portrait is one of a series of machine-like objects that are made from commercial materials such as aluminum, rubber, Formica, and plastic. It includes a leather encasement and is equipped with hanging brackets, which suggests that it is a consumer object in itself, similar to a readymade.

    Salvador Dalí, Illumined Pleasures, 1929

    1929 Overview

    In 1929, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution and the mechanized violence of World War I, machines played a dramatic new role in both life and art. In the politics, industry, and economics of this time an awakening to multiple perspectives is evident and, along these lines, artists became interested in exploring how technology both enhanced and inhibited vision and visual communication.

    Mark Rothko, No. 10, 1950

    1950 - Neutral Titles

    Leaving works of art untitled became increasingly common in the mid-century. Lee Krasner noted that her husband Jackson Pollock “used to give his pictures conventional titles . . . but now he simply numbers them. Numbers are neutral. They make people look at a picture for what it is—pure painting.” The paintings already are statements; words can clutter, complicate, or possibly contradict their meaning.

    General Idea, AIDS (Wallpaper), 1988

    1988 - LOVE

    By 1987 Robert Indiana’s LOVE was an icon. Everyone had seen it—in sculpture, on t-shirts, even as postage stamps. Originally commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, for a Christmas card, the image, with its bold text and vibrating color, spread across the country at a remarkable pace.

    Theo Van Doesburg, Simultaneous Counter-Composition, 1929

    1929 - Modern Language: Geometry

    If we follow Cubism to 1929, we see the rise of Geometric Abstraction—art that employs simple geometric forms of colors arranged in two-dimensional space.

    Alberto Giacometti, The Chariot, 1950

    1950 - The Chariot

    From a 1938 hospitalization Alberto Giacometti remembered a “glittering pharmacy wagon;” this memory inspired The Chariot. Atop the cart stands a woman, frail and thin.

    Melvin Edwards, Sekuru Knows from the Lynch Fragment series, 1988

    1988 - Lynch Fragments

    These two welded sculptures are part of a series Melvin Edwards began in the 1960s. Edwards called them Lynch Fragments and made more than 100, all incorporating objects both found and fashioned. Many of these heavy steel sculptures include recognizable objects such as tools or hardware. Both the title and the objects—chains, locks—allude to the oppression of African Americans.

    Dziga Vertov, The Man with the Movie Camera, 1929

    1929 - Moving Vision

    In the wake of the Russian Revolution and under Futurist influences, Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov developed the concept of “Kino-Glaz,” or “Cine-Eye”—an eye that can see more truly and more realistically than the biased human eye. He believed that through the camera lens we can better see what is real. He decried dramatic, romantic storytelling in favor of using film to portray true life, declaring the everyday to be beautiful.

    Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1961

    1961 Overview

    With turmoil occurring worldwide, artists began experimenting with new methods and materials. By combining ordinary objects with paintings, artists challenged the viewer to decide: is it painting or sculpture? By borrowing objects from the rising mass consumer culture and the language of advertising, artists embraced cultural consumerism and bridged the gap between art and life.

    Glenn Ligon, Untitled (there is a consciousness we all have...), 1988

    1988 - There is a Consciousness...

    In 1988 Glenn Ligon read a New York Times article about sculptor Martin Puryear in which the author made the statement Ligon has reproduced in this untitled work of art. Ligon stenciled the sentence across two sheets of paper, with the break between them interrupting the text.