In Notes For An Apocalypse(1978), Dorothea Tanning returned to themes she had explored in the late 1930s after being introduced to surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art’s 1936 Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism exhibition. As she later explained, “I’ve always been drawn towards esoteric phenomena: the illogical, the inexpressible , the impossible.”
Here, the notion of domestic order, symbolized by the white table cloth, creased in a grid pattern, which Tanning has recalled from her Lutheran childhood in rural Illinois, is turned on its head. Bodies and limbs are so contorted that they are difficult to distinguish and, at times, nearly dissolve into the tablecloth.
Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
In 1978, Elizabeth Murray (1940 – 2007) made a series of irregular, star-shaped paintings with the aim, she said, of “trying to complicate and obfuscate the edges” of her medium. Indeed, the jostling contours and vivid colors of Onceappear to explode outward, as if pressing the very form on the canvas into new arrangements. Murray’s dynamic compositions, charged brush strokes, and radical disruption of the frame transform the picture plane into both surface and object. While these paintings appear purely abstract, hints of imagery and reference return in subsequent works. Drawing on Cubism, Surrealism and Minimalism, Murray’s fragmented geometries and biomorphic shapes reinvigorated formalist painting in the 1970s and 1980s.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
By the 1970’s, Lichtenstein turned his eye toward the history of art, appropriating figures and motifs from the first half of the twentieth century and repainting them with Benday dots – the means of shading in newsprint and magazine pictures – in his signature palette of bright primary colors. For Stepping Out, (1978), he took one of Fernand Leger’s famous compositions, Three Musicians (1944), and added a female figure whose dramatically reduced and displaced features resemble the Surrealist women painted by Picasso in the 1930s.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Stepping Out is part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This fun Debbie Harry Bobblehead by Drastic Plastic — inspired by Debbie’s iconic white dress and styling on the cover of Blondie’s 1978 album, Parallel Lines — is now available for pre-order, with shipments scheduled for late October, 2013!
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On This Date in 1978: The Clash released its fifth single, “(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais.” This song contains my very favorite Clash lyrics, ever: “Turning Rebellion Into Money.” If that isn’t a concise manifesto for Punk Rock – and Rock & Roll in general – I don’t know what is.