July 22
Culture Wars


Alexander Calder. Non Objective. 1947.

Assignment Due: Research Paper :0) and Worksheet #12
"The self-proclaimed, self-anointed art experts would scoff and say, ‘Oooh, terrible,’ but I like beautiful things, not modern art.  I can’t even figure out that sculpture in the Hart Building (referring to a work by Alexander Calder). " - Senator Jesse Helms











Cindy Sherman
1954 -


Untitle Film Still #6

Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #6. 1977.
Cruz, Amanda and Elizabeth A. T. Smith.  Cindy Sherman: Retrospective.  Chicago:  Thames & Hudson, 1998.











Untitled Film Still #13

Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #13. 1978.











Untitled 21

Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #21. 1978.
Cruz, Amanda and Elizabeth A. T. Smith.  Cindy Sherman: Retrospective.  Chicago:  Thames & Hudson, 1998.


pastiche = an artistic technique whereby a generally light-hearted tongue-in-cheek imitation of another's style is employed; although jocular it is usually respectful (as opposed to parody, which is not)












Untitle #34

Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #34. 1979.
Cruz, Amanda and Elizabeth A. T. Smith.  Cindy Sherman: Retrospective.  Chicago:  Thames & Hudson, 1998.

"She tips her hat to feminist debates, establishing femininity as a 'construct' rather than something 'innate'." - David Hopkins
Laura Mulvey's Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema 1973
Male gaze = a fundamental concept to Feminist theory which relates to the way men look at women, how women look at themselves and other women, and the sociological effects of this method of looking.
Some feminists posit that since it is almost always the female who is being gazed upon by the male, the man exhibits power over the woman.
But who is the assumed viewer in a Cindy Sherman image?











Untitled #32

Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #32. 1979.
Preble, Duane, Sarah Preble and Patrick Frank. Artforms. Seventh ed. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2002.



1996 Museum of Modern Art purchased a complete set of Film Stills for $1 million
In 2006 a print of #32 (she made 10) sold for $140,000 at auction












Virgin and Child with Saints

Jean Fouqot.  Virgin and Child with Angels.  c. 14532 - 55.

Untitled #225

Cindy Sherman.  Untitled #225.  1990.

Appropriation = the use of found or borrowed elements in the creation of a new artwork
Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
In an age when images can be reproduced endlessly, there is no original
"Aura" is the feeling of awe created by unique object from the past - Capitalism destroys the aura because of proliferation, mass production and endless reproduction













Richard Prince. Untitled Cowboys. 1980 - 1986.
Hopkins,David. After Modern Art 1945 - 2000. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.












Cowboy 2

Richard Prince. Untitled Cowboys #2.1989.


Sold at Christie's Art auction for $1,248,000 on November 8th, 2005, setting world auction record for photography
This record was broken during a 2006 auction of two works from Georgia O'Keefe's collection
An image by Stieglitz of Georgia nude sold for $1,360,000
Another image by Stieglitz taken of Georgia's hands sold for $1,472,000












Barbara Kruger
1945 -


We Don't Need Another Hero

Barbara Kruger.  Untitled (We Don't Need Another Hero).  1987.
Weintraub, Linda.  Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art's Meaning in Contemporary Society.  Litchfield, CT: Art Insights, Inc..  1996.











Jean Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation 1981
simulacra = a copy of a copy which has been so dissipated in its relation to the original that it can no longer be said to be a copy.  The simulacrum therefore stands on its own as a copy without a model


E.T. Theatrical Poster.  1982.

Creation of Adam

Michelangelo. Sistine Chapel ceiling, Creation of Adam . 1508-12.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Revised Second ed. Vol. 2. New York:
Prentice Hall Inc., and Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2005.










You Construct Intricate Rituals

Barbara Kruger. Untitled. 1981.











I shop therefore I am

Barbara Kruger.  I Shop Therefore I Am. 1980.











It's a Small World

Barbara Kruger. It's a Small World but not if you have to clean it on Hilton Times Square.  1990.

Your Body is a Battleground

Barbara Kruger.  Untitled (Your body is a battleground).  1989.
Lazzari, Margaret and Dona Schlesier.  Exploring Art: A Global, Thematic Approach. Second ed.  Australia:  Thomson  Wadsworth, 2005.


More Kruger











Sherrie Levine
1947 -


Weston poster
Torso of Neil

Witkin Gallery.  Six Nudes of Neil, 1925 by Edward Weston.  Poster announcing publicationof a limited edition portfolio printed by George A. Tice.  1977.

Edward Weston .  Neil Nude.  1925.

Weintraub, Linda.  Art on the Edge and Over: Searching for Art's Meaning in Contemporary Society.  Litchfield, CT: Art Insights, Inc..  1996.










Neile Nude

Edward Weston. Neil Nude. 1925.


Donatello David

Donatello. David. c. 1446-60(?)


Polykleitos. Doryphoros. 450 - 440 BC.
Janson, H.W. and Anthony F. Janson. History of Art. Sixth edition.
University of North Carolina, Wilmington: Prentice Hall, Inc., 2001.












After Edward Weston installation

Sherrie Levine. Untitled (After Edward Weston & Walker Evans) installation view. 1981.













Torso of Neil
After Edward Weston
Edward Weston .  Neil Nude.  1925.
Sherrie Levine.   After Edward Weston.  1981.












After Walker Evans

Sherrie Levine. After Walker Evans #4 . 1981.
Joselit, David.  American Art Since 1945.  London: Thames & Hudson, 2003.












“Confronts the contradiction between photography (an infinitely reproducible medium) and fine art (commonly considered a unique object).  Many art photographers artificially curtail the size of their editions to give their work the aura of a unique object.  This exclusivity is compromised when their work is then reproduced in books and magazines [and on the internet].  Levine rescues them from this process.  The images she photographs originate in the media; but in framing and presenting them as singular works of art, she returns them to the privileged arena of fine art where such mid-twentieth-century photographers as Edward Weston and Walker Evans intended them to be seen.” – Linda Weintraub

After Walker Evans

Sherrie Levine. After Walker Evans #19 . 1981.
Grosenick, Uta ed. Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century. Taschen, Koln. 2005.










After Duchamp

Armitage Shanks

Marcel Duchamp. Fountain. 1917.
Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. Revised Second ed. Vol. 2. New York:
Prentice Hall Inc., and Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2005.
Sherrie Levine. After Duchamp. 1991.
Grosenick, Uta ed. Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century.
Taschen, Koln. 2005.
Lady Gaga. Armitage Shanks. 2010.












Historic Context
1987 "Black Monday" stock market crash - more money lost than the crash that began the Great Depression
1989 Berlin Wall torn down
  Senate debate against the National Endowment for the Arts
  Robert Mapplethorpe dies of AIDS
1990 Germany reunited
  Nelson Mandela released from prison
  Keith Haring, Freddie Mercury, Craig Owens and Halston die of AIDS
  Perfect Moment exhibition
1990 - 91 Operation Desert Storm liberates Kuwait from Iraqi rule but fails to bring down Iraqui dictator Suddam Hussein
1991 USSR desolved and Boris Yeltsin becomes Russian President
  Magic Johnson publicly announces he is HIV positive
  Isaac Asimov dies of AIDS
  The beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers is videotaped by a bystander
1992 David Wojnarowicz dies of AIDS

Six days of rioting in Los Angeles after three white and one Hispanic LA police officers are acquitted of police brutality by an all white jury. About $1 billion in property damage is inflicted, thousands are injured and 53 people die. The following year, all four officers are convicted in a federal civil rights case.

  At the age of 17, Amy Fisher shoots and severely injures the wife of her lover Joey Buttafuouco.
1993 WACO siege by ATF agents resulting in 66 deaths
  World Trade Center bombing by Al Queda killing six people and injuring more than a thousand
1994 Advent of World Wide Web
  Official end of white rule in South Africa
  Elizabeth Glaser dies of AIDS
  Kurt Cobain commits suicide
1995 Timothy McVeigh bombs the Oklahoma City federal building killing 168
  O.J. Simpson acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend. Simpson will later be found guilty of wrong doing in a civil trial.
1996 The Taliban seize control in Afghanistan
1997 Tony Blair becomes Labour prime minister of Britain, ending 18 years of Conservative rule
  "Dollie" the sheep cloned in UK
1996 Felix Gonzalez-Torres dies of AIDS
1997 - 99 Sensation show in London, Berlin and Brooklyn
1998 President Clinton impeached, later acquited of charges after Monica Lewinsky scandal











Andres Serrano
1950 -


Andres Serrano. Piss Christ. 1987.


Transcripts of Senate debate on Serrano's photo

Sister Wendy on Serrano's Piss Christ











Andres Serrano.  Madonna and Child.  1989.

Andres Serrano explains:
"As a former Catholic, and as someone who even today is not opposed to being called a Christian, I felt I had every right to use the symbols of the Church and resented being told not to."
"I have always felt that my work is religious, not sacrilegious."
" I think if the Vatican is smart, someday they'll collect my work."











Semen and Blood

Andres Serrano.  Semen and Blood III.  1990.
Marien, Mary Warner.  Photography: A Cultural History.  Second edition.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006.












Tilted Arc

Richard Serra.  Tilted Arc.  1981.


"The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer's movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes." - Richard Serra











Javits Call
Based on a recommendation by the National Endowment for the Arts, Richard Serra is commissioned to make a work for the Jacob Javits Federal Building in NY
Serra receives $175,000 to make the work
The final piece was an unfinished plate of COR-TEN steel,
120 feet long X 12 feet high X 2.5 inches thick
A select group publicly voiced their disfavor of the sculpture after its installation leading to a public hearing in which 122 art experts testified in favor of keeping the piece,
and 58 people argued for its removal
A jury of five voted 4 – 1 to remove the sculpture but the decision was appealed by the artist leading to several years of litigation.
The work was finally dismantled and the materials scrapped in 1989










Javits Plaza

Jacob Javits Federal Building Plaza today