Tuesday, 27 December 2011


•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 
Avant-garde: work that is progressive, typical avant-garde Marcel Duchamp

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 
'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’ 

‘Throughout the course you will be encouraged to form a personal vision and direction based upon critical self –analysis’ 

+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’ 

We encourage you to develop your individual creativity to the highest level . . .

LCA quotes prioritise certain concepts:
-Creative genius
When something is culturally avant-garde we are saying they are the leaders.

Art for arts sake Whistler in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket (1875) : No politics, no engagement with the world, when it was published, critic, John Ruskin said Whistler as been paid for chucking a can of yellow paint into the audiences face- disbelief/shocking.

End of 19th century/ early 20th century, two approaches to avant-garde art, art that is socially committed
Clive Bell:Significant form, the relations and combinations of lines and colours, which when organised give the power to move someone aesthetically.  
-The 'Arts for Art Sake' approach dominated much thinking and practise in the 20th century - Chris Burden (Shoot) 1971-  Seeking to be really shocking.

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

-A major problem for the avant grade is that it seems to be 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’. 

Socialist Realism
Vladimirski ‘Roses for Stalin’ (1949)
Constructivism Rodchenko ‘Books’ (1924)

What is Kitsch?
Opposite from avant-garde, everything thats not avant-garde- Greenburg
Constable- not kitsch, in a wooden frame, print on a plate- becomes kitsch
Warhol, using images from kitsch culture and presenting them as art 

Kitsch  is a form of art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value. The concept is associated with the deliberate use of elements that may be thought of ascultural icons while making cheap mass-produced objects that are unoriginal. Kitsch also refers to the types of art that are aesthetically deficient (whether or not being sentimental, glamorous, theatrical, or creative) and that make creative gestures which merely imitate the superficial appearances of art through repeated conventions and formulae. Excessive sentimentality often is associated with the term. wikipedia
Thomas Kinkade, richest living artist, commercial big sales of paintings (bad) turns work into mug, tee shirt etc.
Constable Haywain (1821) [Not Kitsch]   

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