Lesson 40: Contemporary and Metamodern Art

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What You Will Learn:

  • Explore All Art Movements and Periods

    You will learn about all the leading art movements and periods, such as primitive art, ancient Greek art, the Renaissance, Romanticism, Impressionism, Modernism, and contemporary art. There is also a lot of attention to non-Western art, such as Islamic Art, Hindu Art, Chinese Art, Oceanic Art and African Art, and the globalization of the art world.

  • All Famous Artists and Their Masterpieces

    The course covers important artists like Sultan Muhammad, Fan Kuan, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Utagawa Hiroshige, Vincent van Gogh, Ilya Repin, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Banksy and many more, and discusses their most influential works.

  • Cultural and Historical Context

    Our courses also focus on the study of the cultural, social, political, and economic contexts in which artworks are created.

  • Various Media and Techniques

    You will explore different art forms and techniques, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and digital art.

Introduction to this course:

 

During the period when postmodern art was at its peak, artists approached dogmas and ideologies with relativism, humor, irony, and cynicism. The grand narratives of the past, as told by world religions and Marxism, were taken less seriously. Questions were raised about the way people viewed reality and truth.
After the transition to the new millennium, and especially after the financial crisis in 2008, a new generation of artists sought to create art with a narrative. They aimed to be sincere in their artworks rather than cynical or ironic, as seen in postmodernism. The goal was to reintroduce meaning into their art.

Ruwatan Tanah Air Beta, Reciting Rites in its sites. Dit schilderij uit 2019 werd vervaardigd door de Indonesische kunstschilder Zico Albaiquini in Bogor op het eiland Java. Voor hem is de bekende botanische tuin van Bogor een spirituele plek waar verleden en heden samenkomen.  Albaiquini werd geïnspireerd door een reinigingsritueel dat hij in de botanische tuin liet uitvoeren, een zogenoemde ruwatan. De tuin en de begraafplaats rechts op het schilderij zijn aangelegd in de koloniale periode; de beeldengroep links verwijst naar het hindoeïstische en Sundanese verleden van de plek. In het paviljoen in het midden zit voormalig president Soekarno. Hij staat symbool voor de Republiek Indonesië.  De kunstschilder nodigt de beschouwer als het ware uit om de gelaagdheid in zijn schilderij te ontdekken, waardoor het tevens een reinigingsritueel van de complexe geschiedenis van deze plek is. 
Locatie: Dit metamodernistische schilderij is in het bezit van het Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. Het werd aangekocht met de financiële hulp van het Liefkes-Weegenaar Fonds.Image: “Ruwatan Tanah Air Beta (Reciting Rituals at this Place).” Indonesian artist Zico Albaiquini created this painting in 2019 in Bogor, on the island of Java. For him, the famous botanical garden of Bogor is a spiritual place where the past and present converge. Zico Albaiquini was inspired by a cleansing ritual he had performed in the botanical garden, a so-called “ruwatan.” The garden and the cemetery on the right in the painting were established during the colonial period, while the figures on the left refer to the Sundanese history of the place. The Sundanese are an ethnic group from West Java. In the pavilion in the center, former President Sukarno is depicted, symbolizing the Republic of Indonesia. The artist invites the viewer to explore the complexity of his painting, making it a cleansing ritual not only for the complex history of this place but for all of Indonesia. It is an artwork with a positive, multicultural story, fitting within the metamodernist movement.
Location: This colorful painting is in the possession of the World Museum Amsterdam (formerly Tropenmuseum), located at Linnaeusstraat 2 in Amsterdam. It was acquired with financial assistance from the Liefkes-Weegenaar Fund. Photo: Ronnie Rokebrand.

Ideals have become important again for artists, but without the doctrines that characterized modernism. Artists navigate between the ideas of modernism and postmodernism with their thoughts and creations. A new art movement has emerged: metamodernism.

Het enorme stenen bouwwerk van Bárður Snæfellsás in Arnarstapi, gemaakt door de IJslandse beeldhouwer Ragnar Kjartansson.Image: The massive stone structure of Bárður Snæfellsás in Arnarstapi, created by Icelandic sculptor Ragnar Kjartansson (1976). The troll Bárður Snæfellsás is the mythical protector of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the western part of Iceland. The gate between his legs symbolizes the entrance from the earthly to the mythical world. Ragnar Kjartansson created the sculpture from stones sourced from the immediate surroundings, establishing a connection between the sculpture, the mythical protector of the peninsula, and the natural environment.
Location: This sculpture is located near the village of Arnarstapi, on the south coast of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, at a distance of 193 kilometers west of the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik.

In some ways, metamodernism resembles modernism: craftsmanship and the object have become important again, rather than artists solely focusing on the concept. Metamodernist artists involve the audience in their artistic expressions and feel connected to the societal developments in the world around them. This is a true shift in the mindset of these empathetic artists, who turn away from their predecessors, the, in their view, indifferent postmodern artists, in the artworks they create. In art, they search for ideals, even if these are not easily put into practice.

Volkswagen Beetle 1980, uit 2018, van het kunstenaarscollectief DRIFT. De kunstenaars hebben alle grondstoffen die voor een Volkswagen Beetle uit 1980 nodig zijn getransformeerd in rechthoekige blokken. Deze blokken met grondstoffen, in totaal 42 soorten ..., confronteren de beschouwer met de vele grondstoffen die nodig zijn voor het maken van een doorsnee product als een Volkswagen. Het geeft ons een reden om na te denken hoe wij met deze grondstoffen willen omgaan. Op deze wijze wil het kunstenaarscollectief de mensen laten nadenken over duurzaamheidsvraagstukken. DRIFT wil met deze installatie de beschouwers bewuster maken van hun materiaalgebruik. 
Locatie: Deze installatie van DRIFT is in het bezit van het Stedelijk Museum, gelegen op het Museumplein in Amsterdam. De Nederlandse kunstenaars Lonneke Gordijn (1980) en Ralph Nauta (1978) richtten in 2007 studio DRIFT op. Met ongeveer 65 medewerkers en medewerksters werken ze aan ervaringsgerichte sculpturen, installaties en performances. Foto: Ronnie Rokebrand.Image: “Volkswagen Beetle 1980,” created in 2018 by the artist collective DRIFT. The artists have transformed all the raw materials needed for a 1980 Volkswagen Beetle into rectangular blocks. These blocks of raw materials, a total of 42 types…, confront the viewer with the many raw materials required to make an everyday product like a Volkswagen. It gives us a reason to think about how we want to handle these raw materials. In this way, the artist collective wants to make people reflect on sustainability issues. DRIFT aims to make viewers more conscious of their material usage.
Location: This installation by DRIFT is in the possession of the Stedelijk Museum, located on Museumplein in Amsterdam. Dutch artists Lonneke Gordijn (1980) and Ralph Nauta (1978) founded studio DRIFT in 2007. With about 65 employees, they work on experiential sculptures, installations, and performances. Photo: Ronnie Rokebrand.

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