Postmodernism in Art and Paintings

Published: 02nd May 2012
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Postmodernism in art is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and
culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism.

In Painting, art and literature, postmodernism is a name for many stylistic reactions to, and developments from, modernism. Postmodern style is often characterized by
eclecticism, digression, collage, pastiche, and irony. Some artistic movements commonly called postmodern are pop art, architectural deconstructivism,
magical realism in literature, maximalism, and neo-romanticism. Postmodern theorists see postmodern art as a conflation or reversal of well-established
modernist systems, such as the roles of artist versus audience, seriousness versus play, or high culture versus kitsch.

In sociology, postmodernism is described as being the result of economic, cultural and demographic changes, related terms in this context include
post-industrial society, late capitalism, and it is attributed to factors the rise of the service economy, the importance of the mass media and the
rise of an increasingly interdependent world economy, (one may also read in this connection, Globalization, Global village, Media theory.)

As a cultural movement, postmodernism is an aspect of postmodernity, which is broadly defined as the condition of Western society after
modernity. The adjective postmodern can refer to aspects of either postmodernism or postmodernity. According to postmodern theorist
Jean-Francois Lyotard, postmodernity is characterized as an “incredulity toward metanarratives”, meaning that in the era of postmodern culture, people
have rejected the grand, supposedly universal stories and paradigms such as religion, conventional philosophy, capitalism and gender that have denned
culture and behavior in the past, and have instead begun to organize their cultural life around a variety of more local and subcultural ideologies,
myths and stories. Furthermore, it promotes the idea that all such metanarratives and paradigms are stable only while they fit the available evidence,
and can potentially be overturned when phenomena occur that the paradigm cannot account for, and a better explanatory model (itself subject to the same
fate) is found. See La Condition postmodeme: Rapport sur le savoir (The Post Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge) in 1979, and the results
of acceptance of postmodernism is the view that different realms of discourse are incomensurable and incapable of judging the results of other
discourse, a conclusion he drew in La Differend (1983).

In philosophy, where the term is extensively used, it applies to movements that include post-structuralism, deconstruction, multiculturalism, gender
studies and literary theory, sometimes called simply “theory”. It emerged beginning in the 1950s as a critique of doctrines such as positivism and
emphasizes the importance of power relationships, personalization and discourse in the “construction” of truth and world views. In this context it has
been used by many critical theorists to assert that postmodernism is a break with the artistic and philosophical tradition of the Enlightenment, which
they characterize as a quest for an ever-grander and more universal system of aesthetics, ethics, and knowledge. They present postmodernism as a
radical criticism of Western philosophy. Postmodern philosophy draws on a number of approaches to criticize Western thought, including historicism, and
psychoanalytic theory.

The term postmodernism is also used in a broader pejorative sense to describe attitudes, sometimes part of the general culture, and sometimes
specifically aimed at postmodern critical theory, perceived as relativist, nihilist, counter-Enlightenment or antimodern, particularly in relationship
to critiques of rationalism, universalism, or science. It is also sometimes used to describe social changes which are held to be antithetical to
traditional systems of morality, particularly by evangelical Christians. The role, proper usage, and meaning of postmodernism are matters of
intense debate and vary widely with context.

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