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Assignment Overview
As we have observed during the previous modules of our course, the Renaissance era lasted for approximately two centuries, and the Baroque for approximately 150 years, while Neoclassicism and Romanticism concurrently dominated the first half of the 19th Century. However, the situation dramatically changed by the 1860s with the resurgence of a multitude of indigenous art styles. One of the explanations of this phenomenon is the socio-economic diversity of the society of the time, the rapid advancement of science and mass communications, as well as a rejection of the “traditional” well-established styles. Although there is no absolute consensus among art scholars, in part perhaps because we are too close to the timeline, Modern Art is considered to be art produced from the 1860s through the end of WWII, and Contemporary Art from the mid-20th Century to the present day. It is important to note that Modern or Contemporary terms are used in conjunction with the era rather than with a specific style, since each of these eras produced a multitude of distinguishable art styles.
Case Assignment
In this Case Assignment, we will be comparing an Abstract Expressionist work by Jackson Pollock, One: Number 31, with a work that represents the Pop Art style by Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans. Take a look at the images by clicking on the links below before you continue. Just as the name indicates, often the focus of a Pop Art work is a casual (as opposed to elitist) subject. In our example, Warhol’s object can be found in any grocery store. Abstract Expressionism gained major recognition after WWII. Just as the name indicates, it does not depict any specific subject or human figure. Some scholars attribute that rejection of specificity to the horrors of the war. Although our two works could not be more different, they both represent the reality of post WWII America. Pollock can be viewed as championing “the role of the artist,” as his art seems a pure abstraction of his body movements and his handling of the paintbrush, whereas Warhol seems to not have any real connection to the making of his art, as he upholds everyday, mass-produced objects in 1960s America as subject matter for high art.
Write a 3- to 4-page paper in which you provide information about Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, with a brief reference to the place of art and artist in society; abbreviated biographical background on the artists; brief description and interpretation of the two works; and your personal opinion on how Warhol and Pollock differently represent post WWII America, shaped by global capitalism, diversity, consumer culture, and mass media, in their respective works.
Image of Pollock, One: Number 31 (Abstract Expressionist Work):
Image of Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans (Pop Art Work):
Assignment Expectations
Prepare a 3- to 4-page paper using the following guidelines:
Apply ideas from the background materials.
Include a cover page with your name and a reference page that lists your sources. These are not included in the total page count.
Do not include images.
The paper should be double-spaced with one-inch margins and 12-point font.

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