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High Culture  /  Low  Culture ‘De2ining  the  Avant-­‐Garde’ Objectives: • Understand  the  term  ‘avant-­‐garde’ • Question  the  way  art/design  education  relies  on  the  concept  of  the  avant-­‐garde • Understand  the  related  concept  of  ‘art  for  art’s  sake’ • Question  the  notion  of  ‘genius’ • Consider  the  political  perspectives  relating  to  avant-­‐gardism • Question  the  validity  of  the  concept  ‘avant-­‐garde’  today Dictionaries  link  Term  –  ‘avant-­‐garde’    with  terms  like   innovation  in  the  arts  or  pioneers   -­‐                  idea  of  doing  art/design  work  that  is  progressive  –  innovating   -­‐                  but  also  it  refers  to  the  idea  of  there  being  a  group  of  people  being                    innovative  –     -­‐                  1.  being  avant-­‐garde  in  the  work  you  do    -­‐  challenging,                            innovating  etc. -­‐                  2.  being  a  part  of  a  group  –  being  a  member                              of  the  avant-­‐garde    

Marcel  Duchamp

‘Fauves’ Wild Beasts

Visual Communications ‘The  second  level  aims  to  let  you  experiment  within  you  chosen  range  of   disciplines’   ‘Our  aim  is  to  encourage  students  to  take  a  radical  approach  to  communication’   To  be  a  student  on  the  course  you  need  to  enjoy:-­‐ ‘Challenging  conventions’ Printed  Textiles &  Surface  Pattern  Design Our  aim  is  to  provide  an  environment  which  allows  you  to  discover,  develop,  and   express  your  personal  creative  identity  through  your  work’   ‘Level  one  studies  concentrate  on  ‘…  experimentation’

Interior Design ‘We  encourage  students  to  challenge  conventional  thinking  ’ Furniture ‘Throughout  the  course  you  will  be  encouraged  to  form  a  personal  vision  and   direction  based  upon  critical  self  –analysis’ Fashion/Clothing We  encourage  you  to  develop  your  individual  creativity  to  the  highest  level  .  .  .     ‘Level  one  studies  concentrate  on  .  .  .  .experimentation’ Art  and  Design  (Interdisciplinary)  ‘What  will  unite  all  your  creative  output  will  be  the  ability  to  apply  your  creative   and  technical  skills  in  innovative  ways,  which  are  not  limited  to  traditional   subject  boundaries’ LCAD  quotes  prioritise  certain  concepts:-­‐

1.        Innovation  [creating  new  stuff] 2.          Experimentation  [process  involved  in  order  to  achieve  new                stuff] 3.          Originality  [to  copy  is  bad,  to  be  original  is  good] 4.          Creative  genius  [to  bring  out  a  hidden  creative  depth  held                        deep  within  the  student]

Art for  Art’s  Sake Whistler  Nocturne  in  Black  and  Gold:  The  Falling  Rocket  (1875)

End of  the  19th  /early  20th  C   two  approaches  to  avant-­‐garde  art   1.          art  that  is  socially  committed  [artists  being  the  ‘avant-­‐garde’  of   society,  pushing  forward  political  objectives] 2.          art  that  seeks  only  to  expand  /  progress  what  art  is  (in  itself                and  for  itself)  /  art  for  art’s  sake Art  for  Art’s  Sake James  Abbot  McNeill  Whistler  Nocturne  in  Black  and  Gold  (1874-­‐78)

Clive Bell Signi2icant  form The  relations  and  combinations  of  lines  and  colours,  which  when  organised  give   the  power  to  move  someone  aesthetically.  

Cezanne Mount  St.  Victoire  (1900)

The “Art  for  Art’s  sake”  approach  dominated  much  thinking  and  practice  in   20thC  art Clement  Greenberg

Pollock Lavender  Mist  (1950)

A major  problem  for  the  avant-­‐garde  is  that  it  seems  to  necessitate   ‘ELITISM’   So  for  those  members  of  the  ‘left  wing’  [interested  in  social  change]  there   was  a  tendency  to  have  to  rely  on  ACADEMIC  TECHNIQUES  in  order  to   appeal  to  the  ‘public’. What  is  Kitsch?

Constable Haywain  (1821)    [Not  Kitsch]

C o  n  s  t  a  b  l  e  


De2initely kitsch! Jumping  across  media

Durer Praying  Hands  (1508)

Simpli2ication of  style  –  repainted  masterpieces  for  the  modern  eye


(Animal Themes)  This  is  true  kitsch  as  it  aims  to  be  taken  seriously  as  2ine   art!

Jeff Koons  Michael  Jackson  &  Bubbles  the  Monkey  (1988)

Toulouse Lautrec


Thomas Kinkade

Carl Andre  ‘Equivalent  VIII’

K-­‐Foundation award,  1994

Damien Hirst  (2007)  ‘For  the  Love  Of  God’


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