Modern "alienation" examples.
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: brutsid-ga
List Price: $10.00
09 May 2002 03:28 PDT
Expires: 08 Jun 2002 03:28 PDT
Question ID: 13937
(Sorry, I couldn't think of a better word than alienation.) What are some good examples of art depicting the failure of modern society to provide happiness? Hopper is good, but I'm looking for something that has a slight technological bent (not Escher or Giger, please!)... More like a modern version of Daumier's "Third Class Carriage".
Re: Modern "alienation" examples.
Answered By: musashidam-ga on 09 May 2002 12:11 PDT
Thanks for your inquiry! Themes of alienation and disconnection are rampant in contemporary art, especially with advent of the 'moden world' and its various dehumanizing influences. Perhaps one of the most powerful examples of alienation and dispair in the modern world is the work of painter Francis Bacon. Bacon's often horrific paintings many times seem like cries from the darkest corners of the human soul. Bacon had a fascination with carcasses and used them as references in many of his works, many of which dealt with religious themes stemming from his pessimistic attitudes and staunch athiesm. If you are looking for examples of alienation in modern art, I highly suggest that you take a look at his work. A nice sketch of Bacon's career and motivations can be found at Gadflyonline.com (http://www.gadfly.org/11-5-01/art-bacon.html). The Paris WebMuseum also has a small online gallery of his works (http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/bacon/). Painter Laurie Hogin paints canvasses of classical style painting twisted through the lens of moden culture. "The animal monstrosities that populate my canvases and the languishing allegorical environments they inhabit are narratives of a warped world, and the world I refer to here is the one of my perception, not my imagination. The strangeness represents real agents of monstrosity: environmental degradation, sexism, extreme narcissism, self-inflicted disease, the imperatives of consumerism, among other things. My monsters are intended, with their gross-out humor and tendentious horror, to point to the apparatus of meaning that comprises the topography of our culture." Quote from "DeCordova Musuem: Terrors and Wonders: Monsters in Contemporary Art" (http://www.decordova.org/decordova/exhibit/terrors/hogin.htm) A nice gallery of Hogin's work (with such titles as "Allegory of the Triumph of Nationalism" and "The Effects of Substances on the Environment: Frosted Cherry") exists at: http://www.petermillergallery.com/inventory/hogininventory.html An essay of her work entitled 'Laurie Hogin: The Hole in the Wood' can be found at: http://www.nd.edu/~ndr/issues/ndr6/hogin/hogin.html If you want to see an entire magazine devoted to the concept of the inability of modern life to provide happiness, you should take a look at Adbusters magazine. Their website is jam-packed with imagery and art specifically describing the alienation brought on by modern life. In particular, their Spoof Ads page (http://adbusters.org/spoofads/) is an entire gallery of advertising lampooning a whole slew of corporate interests. Well worth a look. (http://www.adbusters.org) The late George Segal was another artist whose work described themes of the lonliness and isolation brought on by modern civilization. His sculptures of white, blank human figures in familiar situations were powerful illustrations of how banal modern life is, and its easy to look at his work and imagine yourself in the place of any of his sad figures. George Segal, a Retrospective (http://www.mbam.qc.ca/expopassees/a-segal.html) Post-war America gave rise to a number of abstract expressionist painters who sought to describe the crushing ennui of modern existence. Jackson Pollock is perhaps the most famous, and most radical, of these painters. At his most abstract, Pollock's canvassas were gigantic chaotic explosions...he painted using a unique style in which he would often times throw paint at the canvas, foregoing the use of brushes altogether. NGA Online Exhibit on Jackson Pollock (http://www.nga.gov/feature/pollock/pollockhome.html) Another post-war abstract expressionist is Mark Rothko. Rothko's work, particularly the his later paintings, were very abstract and dark, at times displaying pure expression rather than form. Like Pollock, who died in an automobile accident at the age of 44, Mark Rothko likewise met an untimely demise. Depressed and physically ill, Rothko committed suicide in 1970. National Gallery of Art, Washington - Mark Rothko (http://www.nga.gov/feature/rothko/) Less abstract is Arthur Robins, whose nightmarish portraits of New York and religious imagery conjure some very dark portraits of the human condition. You can view Robins' work online at his official website at: http://www.revelationart.com/arthur.html I hope this answers your inquiry! Take care - musashidam - ga Search terms used: alienation modern life art art themes alienation
rated this answer:
This is exactly what I was looking for! Just enough depth to give me something of an understanding, and plenty of links. Arthur Robbins is exactly what I wanted, particularly the Subway series. Thanks.
Re: Modern "alienation" examples.
From: seedy-ga on 09 May 2002 07:10 PDT
Hi Brudsid-ga: While I don't pretend to be an educated art critic, I am of the school of "I know what I like". The following writing is more to that point than to any academic analysis. Edward Munch comes to mind, "The Scream", http://www.uiah.fi/~ppeisa/munch.html but I would point to Maurizio Catalan on the contemporary scene as one who has a reputation as a jokester but his pieces show so much of the failure of society (to me). One of his most reproduced pieces is shown as: http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/polsky/polsky5-9-8.asp I particularly like his elephant piece in which he constructed a figure of an immature elephant covered with a piece of cloth (you must assume it is an elephant because you can see the legs, the trunk, and (if you lie down and look up under the cloth) you can see some of the body of the elephant and you can see the eyes though holes in the cloth but you never glimpse the whole figure. It suggests everything while revealing little. This piece of his (he is very prolific) was exhibited in NYC in the last year or so but I can't find a picture of it on the web. Although Donald Judd can be looked upon in a technical sense, his aluminum box series at Marfa is so rich in content but sterile in execution somewhat mirroring an alienation from everything that technology should provide. The pictures of the permanent exhibit at Marfa do not begin to reproduce the feeling and power of this wonderful magic place. http://www.chinati.org/english2/collection/judd_aluminum.htm It is easy to contrast Judd's work with Dan Flavin's florescent lights which are imminently likeable and uplifting and then see John Chamberlain's iconographic construction looking like our contempoary versions of Catholic Church martyr statuary. http://www.chinati.org/english2/collection/chamberlain.htm A google search "alienation" + "modern art" brings us several essays on the subject: Quote: "Put briefly, modern art mirrors the bewilderment that has overcome the mind and psyche of modern man." http://www.mckenziestudycenter.org/arts/articles/modart.html Quote: "...But art reveals also the dark side of the technological age...." http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v4n1/pdf/HUBNER.PDF Quote: "To see the great period of Modernism in the first 30 years of this century or the late 1960s as cultural high points is not to say art is in terminal decline, just that it thrives on discontent." http://www.isj1text.ble.org.uk/pubs/isj82/nineham.htm With regard to an exhibit by George Segal: Quote: "His works, which juxtapose individuals and their surroundings, emanate an eerie feeling of alienation. In addition to representing the banality of modern life, Segal has created sculptural portraits, depictions of intimate activities like bathing and dressing, as well as overtly political subjects." http://www.mbam.qc.ca/expopassees/a-segal.html Sorry if I've gone on too long but the subject facinates me and I thank you for asking the question.
Re: Modern "alienation" examples.
From: wiserd-ga on 09 May 2002 16:10 PDT
The cyberpunk genre seems particularly targeted to this theme. i.e. Blade Runner, Snow Crash, etc. Of course, this includes all forms of art; writing, video and stillframe
If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
|Search Google Answers for|