Topics in American Art since 1945

By Lawrence Alloway | Go to book overview

IN PLACE

The Pop artists certainly opposed the image of the artist as it had been projected by the generation of Abstract Expressionists. Several attitudes intertwined and the emphasis varied from artist to artist, but there was a shared sense of the artist's singularity that showed itself as a detachment from daily life and commonplace imagery. Their artistic values placed them in opposition to the quotidian. The Pop artists, on the other hand, accepted daily life as subject matter and its objects were quoted in or appropriated to their work. 1. However, aspects of the Abstract Expressionist example persisted, despite the changes in motifs and motivation. The Pop artists were not simply celebrators of commercial products, as used to be suspected, but they were also a long way from the sublime aesthetic of the field painters. There can be no doubt of cross-generational connections. Kozloff has proposed a link between Guston's brushwork and Johns's, 2. and presumably Johns' all-blue Tango (1955) or his all-gray flag of 1957 benefitted from the commanding monochromes of Newman and the near-monochromes of Rothko. In Johns's works a known image is presented frontally—that is to say, flat—so that the picture plane is homologous to the object represented. From this, a work like Jim Dine's The Telephone (1961) is a natural extension: the canvas, seven feet tall, simulates a section of wall on which a wall phone is centered. Thus the canvas simulates a section of space by treating the area as an object. The compound of mute device and participatory zone is typical of Pop art's complex thresholds between art and life. Dine certainly influenced Joe Goode in his paintings of 1962 in which a painterly monochrome canvas is turned into the image of a place by means of a milk bottle placed at its foot, the bottle painted the same pink or blue as the canvas. Goode turns the canvas into a wall section, as Dine continued to do in bathroom wall paintings of 1962, in which hardware and paint interact to feign the picture as an area of use. Thus the Field paintings of Abstract Expressionism were transformed into images of real and familiar

____________________
1.
See Lawrence Alloway, American Pop Art (New York, 1974).
2.
Max Kozloff, Jasper Johns (New York, n.d.), p. 16.

-155-

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Topics in American Art since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Topics in American Art Since 1945 *
  • Contents 7
  • List of Illustrations 9
  • Introduction 11
  • Acknowledgments 13
  • Abstract Expressionism 15
  • The Biomorphic '40s 17
  • Melpomene and Graffiti - Adolph Gottlieb's Early Work 25
  • The American Sublime 31
  • Barnett Newman - The Stations of the Cross and the Subjects of the Artist 42
  • Jackson Pollock's Black Paintings 52
  • Jackson Pollock's "Psychoanalytic Drawings" 58
  • Willem De Kooning 62
  • The Sixties, I - Hard Edge and Systems 65
  • Leon Polk Smith 67
  • Systemic Painting 76
  • Serial Forms 92
  • Sol Lewitt 96
  • Agnes Martin - (with an Appendix) 100
  • Gesture into Form - The Later Paintings of Norman Bluhm 111
  • The Sixties, II - Pop Art 117
  • Pop Art - The Words 119
  • Jim Dine 123
  • Rauschenberg's Graphics 125
  • Jasper Johns' Map 136
  • Marilyn as Subject Matter 140
  • Roy Lichtenstein's Period Style 145
  • The Reuben Gallery - A Chronology 151
  • In Place 155
  • The Sixties, III - Problems of Representation 161
  • Hi-Way Culture - (with Notes on Alan D'Arcangelo) 163
  • Art as Likeness - (with a Note on Post-Pop Art) 171
  • George Segal 182
  • Photo-Realism 185
  • Art and Interface 193
  • Allan Kaprow, Two Views 195
  • Artists and Photographs 201
  • The Expanding and Disappearing Work of Art 207
  • Stolen - (with Arakawa: an Interview) 213
  • Radio City Music Hall 218
  • Robert Smithson's Development 221
  • Art Criticism and Society 237
  • Notes on Op Art 239
  • The Public Sculpture Problem 245
  • The Uses and Limits of Art Criticism 251
  • Index 271
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