Art exhibition: Modern postmodern
Private and Public Gallery’s first exhibition of 2022 is titled ‘Modern Postmodern: Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol & Gerhard Richter’.
- Preview Evening & Drinks Reception on Friday 4th March 5-8pm
- Exhibition runs until 1st April and is open weekdays from 12-6pm and on Saturdays from 10am-4pm
Gallery Director Chris Clifford says “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t proud to have assembled such an extraordinary exhibition here in Jersey. Never before has such heavyweight ‘art-historical’ show been put together so I hope people will flock to see it during March. All of the artworks on display are available to buy and many people’s dreams of owning a Picasso will finally come true with prices starting at £2,500 for a signed print.
This exhibition is also timely as it allows us to reflect upon the 20th century and the extraordinary moments in history that defined the period. Only the very best artists can capture the zeitgeist and whether it was Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, Warhol’s portrait of Lenin or Richter’s ‘Uncle Rudi’ each successfully negotiated the pressing issues of their time”
‘Modernism’ refers to a global movement in society and culture that from the early decades of the twentieth century sought a new alignment with the experience and values of modern industrial life.
Building on late nineteenth-century precedents, artists around the world used new imagery, materials and techniques to create artworks that they felt better reflected the realities and hopes of modern societies. Perhaps the greatest of them all was Pablo Picasso whose influential role in the development of cubism, fauvism and surrealism made him the stand out artist of his generation until his passing in 1973. His auction record currently stands at $106.5m USD.
Pablo Picasso is probably the most important figure of the 20th century, in terms of art, and art movements that occurred over this period. Before the age of 50 the Spanish born artist had become the most well-known name in modern art, with the most distinct style and eye for artistic creation. There had been no other artists, prior to Picasso, who had such an impact on the art world or had a mass following of collectors, fans and critics as he did.
Pablo Picasso was born in Spain in 1881 and was raised there before going on to spend most of his adult life working as an artist in France. Throughout the long course of his career, he created more than 20,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and other items such as costumes and theatre sets. He is universally renowned as the most influential and celebrated artists of the twentieth century.
The terms modernism and ‘modern art’ are technically used to describe the succession of art movements that critics and historians have identified since the realism of Gustav Courbet and culminating in abstract art and its developments in the 1960’s which ended with Abstract Expressionism and the emergence of Pop Art.
Andy Warhol was a New York based artist, film director, and producer who was the leading figure in the visual art movement known as Pop Art. His works explored the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silkscreen printing, photography, film and sculpture.
Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings Campbell’s Soup Cans and the Marilyn Diptych both of which were produced in 1962 and he is critically acclaimed as being the artist who brought an end to the idealism of the modernist era through the implementation of mass produced consumer culture imagery and is credited with inspiring the widely used expression “15 minutes of fame”. Warhol’s auction record is $105m USD.
Towards the end of the 1960’s modernism had become the dominant idea within art and a particularly narrow theory of modernist painting had been formulated by the highly influential American critic Clement Greenberg. A visceral cultural reaction by artists then took place which was quickly identified by other critics as ‘Postmodernism’.
It is a hotly contested subject amongst art historians but the term postmodernism was first used around 1970. As an art movement postmodernism to some extent defies definition as there is no one particular style or theory on which it is hinged. It embraces many different approaches to art production.
Now widely regarded as the most important living artist of the postmodern era Gerhard Richter has negotiated the frontier between photography and painting, captivated by the way in which these two seemingly opposing practices speak to and challenge one another. From exuberant canvases rendered with a squeegee and acerbic colour charts to paintings of photographic detail and close-ups of a single brushstroke, Richter moves effortlessly between the two mediums, revelling in the complexity of their relationship, while never asserting one above the other.
Richter’s life traces the defining moments of twentieth-century history and his work reverberates with the trauma of National Socialism and the Holocaust where he began to explore the material, conceptual, and historical implications of painting without ideological restraint. It is these moments of personal and social history that seem to crackle with static, distancing the viewer from their subjects and casting doubt on the ability of painting to document in the same way as photography.
Postmodernism is now viewed not only as a reaction against the ideas and values of modernism but as a term associated with scepticism, irony and philosophical critiques of the concepts of universal truths and objective reality by cultural theorists such as Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault who advocated that individual experiences were more concrete than abstract principles. While the modernists championed clarity and simplicity postmodernism embraced complex and often contradictory layers of meaning.
Many other outstanding artworks by internationally acclaimed artists such as Alan Davie, Patrick Hughes, Jason Martin, Sarah Lucas, Mustafa Hulusi, Charlie Haydn Taylor and Nicholas Romeril are also on display and available to buy.
he exhibition is available online from Monday 28th February and can be viewed here.
The main image shows work by Gerhard Richter, Bagdad, 2010