Post-Modern Art History Course – 5 Sessions with Dr. Jill Kiefer
When “postmodernism” actually begins or ends—chronologically—is always a subject for debate. In this course, we’ll be looking at art that developed (largely from WWII forward) that reacts against earlier modernist principles. In some cases, artists reintroduced traditional or classical elements of style into their work. Others carried modernist styles or practices to extremes. The movements we explore in this class will include Abstract Expressionism, Second Generation Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Neo-Expressionism. There are a number of sub-movements that fall within these broad descriptors—such as Action Painting, Color Field Painting, Post-Painterly Abstraction and Hard Edge Painting, to name just a few. Join us to discover where modernism would lead—or not lead—in a postwar and international artistic climate.
5 Session Course Fee: $100 per participant
Course starts Saturday, September 14th (5 consecutive Saturday mornings)
Course Dates (10am – 12 noon):
Saturday, September 14 – Abstract Expressionism
Saturday, September 21 – The Second Generation
Saturday, September 28 – Pop Art
Saturday, October 5 – Minimalism
Saturday, October 12 – Neo-Expressionism
About the Instructor
Dr. Jill Kiefer is an art historian and teaching artist. She is the Director of What About Art?—an organization devoted to bringing Art to Everyone, and the President of the Ossining Arts Council. Jill has developed and implemented comprehensive academic and lifelong learning programs at prestigious institutions in the USA and abroad. She was a member of the graduate faculty of the Humanities Dept. of Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, and also taught for Pasadena City College, Glendale College, Westwood College, the Palos Verdes Art Center and the University of New Mexico. She has received several “Best Faculty” awards. Jill was a Federal Title V Grant Recipient four times for her work in Hybrid Learning, and she is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Jill is the Dean of Warnborough College’s Master’s and Doctoral programs in Cultural Art History, Fine Arts, and Media Studies. She also teaches art history and studio art for several lifelong learning programs in Westchester. Jill is the President of the Ossining Arts Council, and the Director of the Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon) an international, annual event held each summer in the United Kingdom. A published writer and artist, Jill has an impressive and extensive resume.
To learn more about Dr. Jill Kiefer, please visit www.whataboutart.org
Saturday, September 14 | Session One: Abstract Expressionism
Abstract Expressionists were committed to art as expressions of the self. Building on the legacy of Surrealism, these artists revealed both profound emotions and universal themes prevalent in a post-war mood of anxiety and trauma. Sub-movements include Action Painting and Color Field Painting. Artists explored will include Clyfford Still, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hofmann, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and Helen Frankenthaler, among others.
Saturday, September 21 | Session Two: The Second Generation
Earlier Abstract Expressionism would influence a “Second Generation” of the movement, featuring artists with slightly different concerns. Unlike their forebears, the second-generation artists’ emphasis shifted from the interior, subjective world to the objective exterior – analyzing and questioning what gives things meaning. Artists explored will include Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, among others.
Saturday, September 28 | Session Three: Pop Art
By creating paintings or sculptures of mass culture objects and media stars, the Pop art movement sought to break down the boundaries between “high” art and “low” culture. The concept that there is no hierarchy of culture and that art may borrow from any source has been one of the most influential characteristics of Pop art. Pop artists believed everything is interconnected, and their goal was to make those connections literal in their artwork. Artists explored will include Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein , Jasper Johns, and David Hockney, among others.
Saturday, October 5 | Session Four: Minimalism
The Minimalists believed that Action Painting was too personal and insubstantial. Instead, drawing inspiration from the earlier Color Field painters, they adopted the point of view that a work of art should not refer to anything other than itself. For that reason, they attempted to rid their works of any extra-visual association. Use of the hard edge, the simple form, and the linear (rather than the painterly) approach was intended to emphasize two-dimensionality and to allow the viewer an immediate, purely visual response to art. Like the painters, Minimalist sculptors attempted to make their works totally objective, unexpressive, and non-referential. Artists explored will include Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Richard Serra, Sol LeWitt and Agnes Martin, among others.
Saturday, October 12 | Session Five: Neo-Expressionism
Neo-Expressionism comprised a varied assemblage of young artists who had returned to portraying the human figure and other recognizable objects, in reaction to the remote, introverted, highly intellectualized abstract art production of the 1970s. The result was a return to the story-telling that had been rejected by earlier movements, which some scholars see as the “true” dividing line between “modernism” and “postmodernism”. Artists explored will include George Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Anselm Kiefer, Elizabeth Murray and Francesco Clemente, among others.