The end of the Twentieth century marked a change in American society with the mass consumption of goods. From this mass consumption spawned a new cultural era in art. This new era was dubbed postmodernism. One of the leading artists of this new era was Andy Warhol. Throughout this essay I will discuss modernism, how modernism turned into postmodernism, and details of how Andy Warhol's work exemplifies postmodernism.
Beginning with the birth of modernism, Europe would be the birth place of this movement. It later eventually migrated to the United States due to strong cultural traditions that the States had with Europe. New York City then became the center of modernist activity when modernism arrived in America. From this movement sprang new forms of art which broke away from traditional art work ("Modernism and Its Consequences-, pp.15-16).
In viewing modernism, it was seen as realistic, but no where near realistic as its traditional counter parts. The modernist art work contained an impression of the visible world but not always in a literal impression of it. The modern artist usually focused on new references for their work which was looked upon as being nave or uncivilized. A few examples of these new references for modern art are African art, Polynesian art, psychology and physiology. Throughout this modernist movement, many artists began to collage their work. These artists would utilize both type and visual elements and combine the two into one composition. This collage technique began the succeeding era of postmodernism ("Modernism and Its Consequences-, pp.17-18).
Although many artists of this new postmodern movement utilized the collage technique, the era did not begin when collaging was born. It did however inspire some of the new postmodern artists to create a new type of art from collaging. For example, Tom Wesselmann's Still Life #12 (1959)utilized a metal sign depicting coke-a-cola bottles, various clippings from magazine pictures, and then collaged them together to produce one composition.