Modernist success in a postmodern failure: Jackson Pollock and Abstract Expressionism, the Avant-Garde and the ascension of late capitalism, Art after 1945
Document Type Dissertation/Thesis
It is hard to imagine the magnitude of the events at the end of World War II. The thought produced in the face of a myriad of deaths is almost unfeasible sixty years after the fact, but the energy was integral to the changing social landscape. Because of the country's prominence in and fortitude after the war, the U.S. was left responsible for reshaping and rejuvenating the international landscape that was destroyed by the years of brutal fighting and vile contestation. The American establishment was granted a major opportunity to establish itself amongst the global leaders. Such a grand responsibility must account for the multiplicity of thought that arises in such a decisive moment. In order to align the Abstract Expressionist art movement with the intersection of the intense, multifaceted thought developed during the postwar period, the following will discuss the political, philosophical, economic, and art historical overlap that occurred in the mid to late 1940s in the hopes of illustrating the fertility yet lingering problems associated with the restructuring of the world with America at the helm. In this way, the duration of the Abstract Expressionist moment will be better understood for both its triumphs and downfalls.