The 20th century was full of different new styles in art, music, literature, sculpture and architecture. The two World Wars, economic changes, the progress of technology were influencing the views, opinions and moods of the people and were reflected in the arts.
Postmodernism, that replaced the modernism movement, appeared at the end of the 20th century in literature, music, art and architecture. It was an effect of the post-industrial era, a period of disintegration of the holistic worldview. The main postmodernism postulate lies in understanding that our world is imperfect and its improvement is impossible. Additionally, dissatisfaction and skepticism took place in creation of architectural buildings, paintings, musical, literary or philosophical works. The term ‘postmodern’ was firstly used by John Watkins Chapman who suggested “a postmodern style of painting” in the 1880s. Interestingly, the bright postmodernism representatives in philosophy were Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, Richard Rorty and others. In literature the movement was represented by Orhan Pamuk, Vladimir Nabokov, Umberto Eco, John Barth, Ana Lydia Vega and others, in architecture – by Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Robert Venturiand, in music – by Terry Riley, Michael Nyman and Jonathan Kramer. Moreover, such artists as Vito Hannibal Acconci, Matthew Barney, Hans Haacke and many others have also worked in the postmodernism style.
Hans Haacke is a German controversial artist who lives and works in the USA. He employs different genres and installations to create works in political art style. According to Haverkamp & Falkowski (2007), “Haacke’s work focuses on the system of exchange between the museum and the corporation and the commodification of art that takes place within this circulation.” Therefore, Haacke is the most uncompromising representative of institutional critique. His main goal consists in identifying and publicizing the links between galleries as well as condemning the actions of the world ruling class.
In the 1980s the new style called Neo-Expressionism appeared in painting and partially sculpture. It has emerged in the USA and spread over Europe later on. Hence, this style is characterized by the search of expression via gestural, passionate and sometimes insolently aggressive paintings or sculptures. Therefore, one of the features of Neo-Expressionism is the formalism of conceptual art.
Each style of art is created as a means of describing the minds, thoughts and feelings of people. Many talented artists, musicians, writers and philosophers brightly create a lot of unique works and the period of Postmodernism was a significant time in terms of art’s history as well as a turning point which led to the emergence of various modern artistic movements.
Postmodernism in art is a philosophical aspect of looking at the art or literature and other issues of the contemporary society. The word was used in the art long time, in over past fifty years, and even before the creative and re-known artist lived and worked following the principles of postmodern art and post modernism. This aspect relates to art and literature, but, in this essay, it is mainly concerned with art and photography. The use of different styles in photography and art, in the contemporary art, is different from the previous art. The art and photography in postmodernism reacts against the earlier modernist principles. This essay explains the concept of postmodernism in art and photography using two examples of art by Warhol and Kruger. The two artwork gives a clear insight in the component of postmodernism of photography and art.
The definition and art vary depending on the work of Kruger and Warhol. Warhol portrays the modern art, which is associated with photography, but the work of Kruger is ancient (Heartney, 2011). It is clear in their artwork that the exceptional differences between sculpture as art and painting as photography are blurred. The development of technology in the contemporary art technology has helped expand tools and mediums of art and photography as the artwork explore conceptual, political, and other cerebral ideologies (Heartney, 2011). The artists of postmodern and contemporary art are adopting, recycling, and sample from earlier modern and classical works to create the modern arts.
For example, Warhol has explored the component of color and painting to improve his art as compared to the art of Kruger. The two types of artwork have some similarity in the component of color only that Kruger used one color. In his art, Warhol borrowed the component of color from the art of Kruger only that he developed a variety while Kruger used only one color in his art. Warhol combined or altered the images and art of Kruger to create new and contemporary piece of art. Many artists feel they have done artwork with some strong senses of self-awareness (Furman, 2010). For instance, the art of Warhol, the artist combines scientific, artistic, technological, and digital, or internet tools. See Appendix A
The color or paintings and photographs used as examples of artistic work by Warhol and Kruger are chosen properly with the sense of creating artistic feeling and expression. In their work, they tend create a reproduction of reasonable quality in postmodernism of their art (Heartney, 2011). Most arts are from the recent two decades of the twentieth century. It is clear that the modern art borrows some elements of the past art to improve on their art. Through the development and advancement in technology, many artistic expressions have been harnessed. Such expressions were not used in the pats art, and postmodernism in art and photography has exploited the artistic expressions (Furman, 2010). The current art as shown by the work of Warhol, use mixture of colors and styles to create the desirable and appealing expressions. They are then related, but it is only the improvement of one art from the other.
The postmodern art is not overtly passionate. Regardless of this, it depicts obvious importance to mental well being and psychology as it explains elements of normality, identity, and the relationship between society and individuals. They way the art is created; it challenges the variation of art from the rest of life. Postmodern art and photography has the purpose of cutting down boundaries between aesthetic approaches and ways of appreciating and knowing people’s lives. It is mostly subject to political arguments because it intends to destabilize conventional methods of knowing the world. However, postmodernism is radical compared to surrealism and expressionism as it leads to the questioning of the categories of madness and sanity.