Rhetoric Of Late Modernism

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Throughout the twentieth century Art experienced unprecedented changes. Never before was the definition of art and the understanding behind it ever been so important in the theoretical discourse which defined and developed art in an age where technological and political advancements contorted the world into a new order. New ideas regarding the nature of what exactly Art is, began to challenge the ideals and concepts of centuries of art theory and practice, changing art and the idea of art at a staggering rate. The most notable development of the century is the decline of ‘traditional’ plinth based sculpture, and more importantly the decline and apparent death of painting. As two mediums that served as the core of art establishment for centuries,…show more content…
The rhetoric of late Modernism tended to be “ahistorical, scientific, self-referential ….progress and objective truth….perfection and demanded purity, clarity, order.” (p.2, Hertz, 1993), while also being “many forms of individual (usually male) ‘expression’” (p.7, Taylor, 1995). One word came to define later modernism, “formalism-which implied not only the logical structure of modernist invention but also the strictures of rigid adherence to established forms” (p.3, Hertz, 1993). This was a world where in 1962 Ad Reinhardt (a prominent abstract painter) to declare “Art-as-art is nothing but art….separating and defining it more and more, making it purer and emptier, more absolute and more exclusive” (p.806, Gaiger & Wood, 2003), by the end of modernism it seemed “reductive and austere… its purity came to seem puritanical” (p.3, Hertz,…show more content…
Rothko’s infamous 1958 commission by the four season’s restaurant, for a series of paintings to muse its affluent dinners, is a prime example of the objectification which had taken place of these beacons of Greenbergian values of medium specificity. In the wake of the growing consumer culture within high art of the Modernist aesthetic had endured a “neutralisation as a merely aesthetic object” (p.92, Perry & Wood,
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