Post-Modernism (1970s-Present)

Post-modernism is a reaction to Modernism, that is skeptical of universal truths and undisputable reality.

Singer Grace Jones has been lumped under the catch-all label post-modernism- Paris - Grace Jones pictures by Jean-Paul Goude, around 1980.- Centre Georges Pompidou.
Grace Jones (1980) pictured by Jean-Paul Goude

Image source: by corno.fulgur75

Origins of Post-Modernism

First seen around 1970, the Post-modernism movement was a reaction to Modernism. While the latter focused on idealism and reason, the former was skeptical about reason. Moreover, it fought against the notion that there are universal certainties. Thus, Post-modern art showcased that individual experience and interpretation of our experience was more important than abstract concepts.

Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1983) by Jeff Koons at the Tate, Liverpool.
Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1983) by Jeff Koons

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Post-Modernism Architecture

The origins trace back to Robert Venturi’s book “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture,” which inspired the revival of traditional features and methods. Post-modernist artists gained inspiration from past architecture and classical designs. Additionally, they created new ways to send a message to the modernist people.

Photo of Roberto Venturi, dated back to 2008, in Rome.
Roberto Venturi (2008) Rome

Image source: by todd sheridan from New York, United States

Robert Charles Venturi, Jr. put together his ideas in his work “Complexity and Contradiction.” His philosophy is present in his earliest concepts, including his first major work, the Guild House. In addition, he created this piece with artistic tension, fusing high-art aesthetics with motifs taken from popular culture. One of his main works, the Franklin Court is located near to the site of Benjamin Franklin’s residence. Moreover, because no historical certainties of the look of the exterior remain, the space remaining is marked by a massive “Ghost Structure” designed by Robert Venturi.

The two “ghost structures” made of square tubular steel, are outlines of the old demolished structures into the courtyard. The design is the result of inadequate historical guidelines to restore the structures the correct way.

One of Venturi & Rauch's "ghost structures" in the courtyard of Franklin Court.
One of Venturi & Rauch’s “ghost structures”

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Piazza d'Italia, Charles Moore, 1978, New Orleans.
Piazza d’Italia (1978) Charles Moore

Image source: by Tim Brown Architecture

American architect Charles Moore’s most known work is the Piazza d’Italia in New Orleans. Both a memorial and a public place, the structure, is a manifestation of Moore’s ideas of an inclusive architecture. However, Moore’s art immediately attracted fans and detractors, as many thought that his architectural populism was kitsch.

Post-Modernism Furniture

Post-modern furniture, as architecture, is a reaction to modernism. No piece of furniture embodies all the features of this new style, but as a whole, the furniture puts together several components. Additionally, much of it inspired by classical forms, are figurative rather than abstract. Moreover, these pieces are usually wood, painted or left natural.

Example of post modern furniture.- Knoll Mandarin Chair Ettorre Sottsass.
Knoll Mandarin Chair by Ettore Sottsass

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