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ARTH208: Modern Art

Unit 6: The New Avant-Garde After Abstract Expressionism: Neo-Dada, Pop Art and Minimalism   In this unit, you will study art movements of the 1950s and 1960s and observe the ways in which artists began to incorporate “non-art” media such as pop culture imagery, found objects, and industrial materials into their art. You will also examine the trends in popular art that led to the emergence of Neo-Dada, Pop Art, and Minimalism and you will learn why artists largely abandoned abstraction to focus their efforts on new forms of realism.

Unit 6 Time Advisory
Time Advisory:  This unit should take you 14.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 6.1: 4.5 hours ☐    Subunit 6.1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.1.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.1.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2: 4 hours ☐    Subunit 6.2.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.2.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.2.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3: 5.5 hours ☐    Subunit 6.3.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 6.3.2: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3.3: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 6.3.4: 1.5 hours

☐    Assignment: 0.25 hour

Unit6 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Define the movements known as Neo-Dada, Pop Art, and Minimalism, and describe the defining characteristics of each. - Identify key works of art by the significant artists from the 1950s and 1960s and explain why each fits into their particular movement. - Describe a “non-art” object, and explain how and why certain artists used these items in their work.

6.1 Precursors to Pop   6.1.1 Neo-Dada   6.1.2 Robert Rauschenberg   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Robert Rauschenberg” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Robert Rauschenberg” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Rauschenberg’s most significant achievementconsists of his invention of a type of assemblage called the “Combine.” Read carefully, noting any references to Rauschenberg’s collage work, assemblage, and particularly his Combines, as well as the key characteristics of these works. How does the Combine differ from traditional painting and sculpture? From your reading, consider why the Combine is such a major contribution to modern art.
 
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6.1.3 Jasper Johns   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Jasper Johns” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Jasper Johns” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Much of Johns’s most celebrated work consists of the portrayal of familiar, everyday objects in a non-representational manner. What are features of Johns’s art that qualify it as part of the Neo-Dada movement?
 
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6.2 Popular Culture in Art   6.2.1 Pop Art   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Pop Art” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Pop Art” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. While reading this page, look carefully for references to how Pop Art—one of the 20th century’s most important and distinctive movements—got its name. After identifying the movement’s definition and the root of its name, consider why the work of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and others is categorized as such. Identify the different types of Pop Art, citing specific examples of each type and making note of their key differences and underlying similarities.

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of The Art Story Foundation and can be viewed in its
original form [here](http://theartstory.org/movement-pop-art.htm)
(HTML).  Please note that this material is under copyright and
cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission
from the copyright holder. 

6.2.2 Andy Warhol   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Andy Warhol” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Andy Warhol” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Andy Warhol is perhaps
the most celebrated and revered American artist in history. In
general, what is it about his work and life that might contribute to
the widespread and continuing fascination with Warhol? You will note
in your reading that while Warhol was not personally or artistically
opposed to abstraction, his particular brand of Pop Art is
considered a departure from or direct challenge to Abstract
Expressionism, Pop’s dominant preceding movement. Once you are
familiar with both Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, cite specific
elements in Warhol’s work that make it both distinctly modern and
the opposite of Abstract Expressionism. Alternatively, if you
believe this assessment to be false, cite your reasons for doing
so.  

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of The Art Story Foundation and can be viewed in its
original form [here](http://theartstory.org/artist-warhol-andy.htm)
(HTML).  Please note that this material is under copyright and
cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission
from the copyright holder. 

6.2.3 Roy Lichtenstein   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Roy Lichtenstein” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Roy Lichtenstein” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Lichtenstein’s depiction of popular culture imagery, particularly comic book iconography, is well known in the history of modern art. What is not as well known is Lichtenstein’s method; what are some of the key characteristics of Lichtenstein’s painting method(s)? What similarities can be drawn between Lichtenstein’s art and that of the 19th-century Post-Impressionist artist Georges Seurat?
 
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6.3 Modular Fabrication   6.3.1 Minimalism   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Minimalism” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Movements: “Minimalism” (PDF)

 Instructions: Read the linked page in full. While reading this
page, make careful note of the individual artists associated with
Minimalism. You will also note from your reading that this movement
originally went by several different names, such as “ABC Art” and
“Reductive Art,” yet “Minimalism” is the name that has endured.
Articulate the reasoning behind this moniker. Finally, look
carefully at the Major Works section and cite specific
characteristics of certain works that fit the definition of the
term.  

 Terms of Use: The linked material above has been reposted by the
kind permission of The Art Story Foundation and can be viewed in its
original form [here](http://theartstory.org/movement-minimalism.htm)
(HTML).  Please note that this material is under copyright and
cannot be reproduced in any capacity without explicit permission
from the copyright holder. 

6.3.2 Donald Judd   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Donald Judd” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Donald Judd” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Despite the seemingly exacting and precise appearance of Judd’s Minimalist work, the artist denied any affinity for mathematics and instead characterized his work as the result of an intuitive process that played with space, natural light, unity, and an object’s existence. From this rather general explanation, attempt to identity Judd’s intentions with his work. Additionally, Judd made a discovery later in his career that allowed his “intuitive process” to reach new heights. Describe this discovery and, if you choose, take notes on how his work changed and evolved over the course of his career.
 
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6.3.3 Frank Stella   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Frank Stella” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Frank Stella” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Frank Stella is well known for challenging accepted conventions in modern art, namely, the notion that a canvas must be rectangular or square, and that abstract art, for the most part, should consist of gestural brushstrokes. Instead, Stella applied geometric elements in his work and often created irregularly shaped canvases. Cite specific examples of artworks that fit these descriptions, using passages from Stella’s biography and examples of Major Works.
 
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6.3.4 Carl Andre   - Reading: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Carl Andre” Link: The Art Story Foundation’s Artists: “Carl Andre” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the linked page in full. Pay close attention to passages that reference Andre’s unique contributions to Minimalism. Cite examples of the materials and imagery Andre appropriated, and how he constructed and combined these elements in his art. How was his art different from that of other key Minimalists like Judd, Stella, and Dan Flavin? As an option, you may wish to read Barry Schwabsky’s article in ArtForum, “Carl Andre—Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, New York” for added context.
 
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  • Lecture: Sophia: Aleisha Olson’s “Minimalism” Link: Sophia: Aleisha Olson’s “Minimalism” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: View this lecture. Take note of key terms that outline the development of the minimalist style through significant works of art by leading artists.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license. It is attributed to Aleisha Olson and the original version can be found here

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "Unit 6 Quiz" Link: The Saylor Foundation's "Unit 6 Quiz" (PDF)

    Instructions: Please click on the link above to download this assessment.  Please complete all of the questions for the Unit 6 Quiz, and then check your answers against the Saylor Foundation's "Answer Key to Unit 6 Quiz." (PDF) You should spend approximately 15 minutes completing this quiz.