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Lesson Plans

where are we now (art ism's)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tue, 24 Mar 1998 11:49:10 -0600

Where are we at?

It is true that often it is difficult to distinguish or name the place that
you are at when you are right in the center of it. In other words, most
art ISM's generally gain recognition from hindsight. However, it is
possible to look back in the near past (1985-1994) and name a few genres,
styles and conditions of art and culture. It is also generally accepted,
but argued as to its finer points, that we are in a postmodern
(Poststructuralist) era, both culturally and artistically (both intersect
each other of course). With that said here is a brief overview of some
movements and strategies which might be helpful:
The 1980's and early 90's saw:
*Appropriation- Sherrie Levine, Mike Bildlo,
Richard Prince, David Salle, Robert Colescott...
*Neo-Geo (a.k.a. new-geo,postabstraction,
neo-minimalism, neo-conceptualism, poptometry)-
Peter Haley, Philip Taaffe, Jeff Koons, Jack
*Neo-Expressionism- Baselitz, Kiefer, Lupertz,
Clemete, Paladino...
*Political/Identity /Social responsibility
works- Haacke, Kruger, Sherman, Ukeles, Gran Fury, Lacy, Pena,

Holzer, Jaar, ....(look into the 1993 Whitney
* New Genres of Public art-Adams, Wodiczko,
Flood, Martinez, Baca, Group Material,,,,

By no means are these complete lists they are presented to help those who
are interested in utilizing fairly recent movements in their pedagogy. It
is safe to saw that Postmodernism entails (at least) a plurality of styles
and movements, a myriad of competing narrative and sub-narrative texts, a
deconstruction of "high Art" and stale cannons, multicultural, cross
cultural and transcultural approaches to art making and interpreting, and a
proclivity for making a linear understanding of ISM's or concertized styles
problematic. In other words, art history (or any history for that matter)
ain't what it used to be-or maybe it never was.


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