Art Theory and Criticism Essay

Sample Essay


Answer # 1

Postmodernist art is the art that responded against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by taking modernist styles or practices to extremes.

Mainstream academic postmodernism maintains an overt meaning and message in all art, and, simultaneously, derides and discourages intuitively derived aesthetic pleasure. This singles belief rejects abstract art for not because it is non-representational, but because it states by its character that it must be seen for aesthetic comprehension only. Realist painting can adapt and it can carry a postmodernist message. That is why we see more realists painting than abstract painting now in postmodernism.

Postmodernist artists often decline to let their works be about something else.  Their works are about themselves as works of art, and they continuously draw attention to themselves as artifices instead of trying to be windows on some sort of “truth” or “reality.”  John Barth’s “Life Story” is a good example: it’s a short story about nothing more than how it itself came to be written. This way art is limited and there is no social meaning to such an art.

It is art that often likes to be about some other work of art or some other “text.”  A famous pop artist named Roy Lichtenstein loved painting images taken right out of comic books.   Thus intratextual is creating art about somebody else’s art.  Postmodernist artists love to challenge one’s expectations and do things they are not “supposed” to do, maybe because they want people to see those rational categorizations never work as well or as flawlessly as we like to think they do.

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