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Lesson Plans


[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sat, 21 Mar 1998 13:22:53 -0600

At 12*20 PM 3/21/98, Joseph Augusta wrote:
>kmt127 wrote:
>> Deb: Warhol was his work. His vacant stares were like his empty
>> signifiers: floating, mass produced, and empty of all but the surface of
>> things (or at least that is what we are meant to believe).

>Totally missing the depth of this man's work. Simply put, you don't
>understand how this artist transformed the state of American art.

What gives you that idea? What am I not understanding? How is stating his
creating empty signifiers-like that of his time (the birth of postmodern
art) interpreted as not understanding his impact. Your vagueness allows
your arguments to be empty.

>> His factory was
>> appropriately named since Warhol did not call himself an artist, he called
>> himself a machine: mass producing reproductions of reproductions.
>Wrong again. You're falling for the PR. This man could draw and paint
>with the best of them, and he did! Look at his late work, and try to
>figure it out--it was sublime--

When did I say he couldn't render images realistically? How did you get
that out of what I wrote? How can what Warhol said be "wrong again?" He
wanted to be a machine-his own words. What do you mean it is sublime?
How are you defining that term? Its antecedents? Its danger?

>On the practical side; he'd be a leader on the Internet if he were still
>alive. He conquered the mass media of his day, why not this one?

I agree, his impact is clear.

>> Warhol's
>> eccentric lifestyle had clear connections to his work: his early
>> homo-erotic images, his status as superstar, his face showing up at every
>> party, his cult of celebrity vs. cult of genius, his incessant need to
>> surround himself with excess(including drug use, -his inauthentic
>> authenticity.
>Your apparent conservatism (+ sexism) is showing. Ask any PR agency
>exec. how to promote an artist's work. Mr. Warhol wrote the book.

You are so off base. I have been labeled quite a few things, but never a
conservative or sexist. Where did you get this from? How do you equate an
argument for context to be conservative? His PR (as you put it) came from
him and others. What is so disturbing to you about this?

>> What I find very dangerous is the need for art to "stand on its
>> own." This was (and still is is many cases) the dominant paradigm in
>> Western art and philosophy for over 400 years.
>Of course the work has to have meaning and stand on its own. Just as in
>any other medium: literature, music, film.

You contradict yourself. Arguing for work to stand on its own then arguing
about the power of PR, and people missing the point. How can people miss
the point if the art stands on its own? Who's point? Your argument is
very conservative, to see literature, music and art decontexualized. To
see film as standing on its own. What do you mean? The great works stand
on their own-how is that possible? Who has the privilege to decide what
stands at all (as art, music, literature)? Without art critics, writers
and philosophers there would be very little standing at all.

>> When Kant .. (Hegel, Dow, Greenberg..)(Lowenfeld
>You're leaving your Ph.D. tracks here. The hope is that you'll stand on
>your own 2 feet someday, rather than parrot other's original thoughts.

Wow! , another contradiction (double standard) You can pull names out of a
canon and its not unoriginal, but when I mention philosophers, artists,
critics, thats not standing on my own two feet? I imagine we should all
stop history, erase it and not argue through any concept/context except our
"original" ideas (whatever that means). Help me out with this one? What
is so intimidating about it?

>> As you put it " I think his art is very
>> important in the context of its time," yes context is everything.

>Bull. "The politics of classical art have long since been forgotten."
>Who said that? Check your art books: the art is there in all its glory.
>Who hassled Phidias, Ezekias? What compromises did they have to make?
>What would-be pedants did they have to tolerate?

How has the politics of classical art been forgotten? By whom? The
articles and essays I and others read, which address and critique
socio-political decontextualization of art works must all be bull (and
unoriginal too). Have you been reading any neo-marxist, feminist,
post-structuralist, revisionist critiques of history? The first motto of
any postmodern critique is contextualization and deconstruction. Anyone
who subscribes to transcendent. universal work/beauty/truth is either
unaware or unwilling to subscribe to the new (last 25 years) genre of
leftist, postmodern sensibilities. I am really not sure what you are
referring to. What art books would you like me check out?

Lets try to understand one another. I am really confused how you could
misinterpret and mischaracterize so much of what was said. I believe we
probably agree more than disagree.


(and cheap attacks in reference to my student status will not gain a response)

Kevin Michael Tavin Ph.D. Candidate
Dept. of Art Education
The Pennsylvania State University
School of Visual Arts

  • Maybe reply: Joseph Augusta: "Re: Wow!"