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... of avant-garde ideas within the unique culture of America. Duchamp made the following account in another interview: '... And I believe that your idea of demolishing old buildings and souvenirs, is fine... The dead should not be permitted to be so much stronger than the living. ' For him European art was surely dead, and even 'Nude Descending a Staircase' was not worth of further discussion, since it was what to do that Duchamp cared and not what he had done. Here, my main concern will be Duchamp's 'ready-made's', and his understanding of art, very much in relation with a new notion of movement.
This new motion is not of a single machine or a man, but of the society itself. It is the temporarily of daily life, consumption and the visible change that the individual experiences everyday. On the other hand, Duchamp's treatment of this movement, was very much like that of a comedian. He represented it in the most explicit and marginal way, breaking all existing understandings about art.
In 1917 edition of 'The Blind Man', Duchamp wrote an article on the 'The Richard Mutt Case', the urinal that was rejected by the Independents exhibition of 1917. He said: 'Mr. Mutt took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view- created anew thought for that object. For Duchamp, the significance of a work of art did not reside in the object itself. Urinals and bottle dryers are equally devoid of artistic richness, but when presented as works of art, they can serve as stimuli to the widest possible range of speculations. Duchamp took the canons of modern society and of art; and then he 'carnival ized' them like his predecessor Lautrec.
The tie between art and mass produced consumer goods were broken. A mustache on Mona Lisa not only questioned the idea of artistic value, but also the validity of the bases upon which such an idea was constructed. How and by whom the boundaries of artistic contribution could be drawn? Was the norm for art, the material used (oil on canvas versus the bicycle wheel), or the totality of the work? And could permanency be a criteria in such a rapidly changing society? These questions that were raised by the works of Duchamp would soon become even more controversial, with the arrival of a young man from Pittsburgh into the New York scene of art.
The New York career of Andrew Warhol began in the 'Glamour', in 1949, as an illustrator of foot wear. The road that finally made him Andy Warhol, the pop-artist went through years of work in fashion magazines and unsuccessful exhibitions. However, by the year 1960 he started producing paintings of popular comic strip characters like Superman, Dick Tracy and Popeye. The idea that any subject is fit for art, and the fact that for his paintings he could choose from the existing images instead of creating new ones was an influence of his contemporary artist Rauschenberg. For years, Warhol had produced commercial art from photographs, therefore this was not a brand new practice for him. The only thing new was using his talent purely for his own artistic ambitions.
Warhol started to paint his Campbell Soup can portraits by the end of 1961. Long before they were exhibited, they had created controversy and scandal. The identical reproduction of a consumer good was not even practiced by the so called Neo-Dadaists; Johns and Rauschenberg. However, made the following account on the issue: 'If you take a Campbell Soup can and repeat it fifty times, you are not interested in the retinal image. What interests you is the concept that wants to put fifty Campbell's Soup cans on a canvas. ' The manifestation of an artistic view that defined itself as 'fad', the mass production of mass consumed goods which were seen as the representatives of life, and an artist who declared to be a machine signify the inseparable integration of art and popular culture idols, and the commercialization of life.
As Warhol himself once said; 'if you are not promoted right, you will not be one of those remembered names. 's uch an integration had different effects on Warhol's works. First of all he worked in his 'silver Factory', and produced his paintings within a stereo-typical discipline. Secondly what he painted was not the object itself, but rather the popular image that was created in the minds of the people. In other words, the depiction of Elvis, or a car accident did not intend to represent the realities that accompanied those themes; but it rather represented the iconic imagery that these 'objects' had gained through the manipulation of the popular media.
Therefore, his paintings were the representations of the everyday life which could no longer be considered without its idols, from the Campbell Soup to Superman and Marilyn Monroe. The three artists that I tried to examine represent an important evolution in the history of art. This gradual transition can well be considered in relation with the terms avant-garde and popular culture. The interest in the 'common' and the anti-bourgeois activities of the popular culture that was evident in Toulouse-Lautrec moved towards a formal interest in the common with Marcel Duchamp.
While the content of art was very much debated in the late nineteenth century, Duchamp broadened the discussion to a level that covered also the nature of the object and the meaning of art, and he deconstructed the machine of modernity into its individual pieces. Andy Warhol followed the tradition of ready-made's that Duchamp had introduced. However, his contribution was in terms of an involvement in the 'machine' as one of its parts, or becoming the machine itself. To conclude, what Warhol manufactured in his factory were the continuations of Lautrec's popular posters which were rendered in the Dadaist perception of Marcel Duchamp. Bibliography: BIBLIOGRAPHY Bourdon, David.
Warhol. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1989. D'Harnoncourt, Anne and Kingston Mc Shine, eds. Marcel Duchamp. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1989.
Harrison, Charles and Paul Wood, eds. Art in Theory 1900 - 1990 An Anthology of Changing Ideas. Cambridge: Blackwell, 1993. Mamiya, Christian J. Popular Culture and Consumer Culture American Super Market. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992.
Murray, Gale B. Toulouse-Lautrec, The Formative Years 1878 - 1891. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991. Naumann, Francis M. The New York Dada 1915 - 23.
New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994.
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