Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism Term Paper

Pages: 3 (911 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

Art Theory: Paradigms, Modernism, and Postmodernism paradigm can be thought of as a theoretical framework which forms the foundation of critical analysis of a particular work of art. Generally, paradigms consist of a complex web of philosophical principles that define a particular worldview. Paradigms are not always successful in defining and analyzing works of art, however; as the literary critic Frank Kermode once wrote on the subject of paradigms, "If we cannot break free of them, we must make sense of them."

Thus, a lot of the thinking on theoretical paradigms is self-reflective; in other words, a work of art may spurn an analysis that causes one to question the nature of the very paradigm being employed to analyze that work.

Furthermore, a paradigm typically consists of a conceptual binary - i.e. The notion of "good" and "evil"; "good" art and "bad" art, etc. Such paradigms tend to break down when confronted with instances (i.e. works of art) that defy such ready categorization. As some of the most successful art works are the ones that occupy such an ambiguous stance, it is interesting to think of art in terms of its accordance with certain popular theoretical paradigms, while also recognizing those works that stand outside it (and are thus "extra-discursive" in many ways.)

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In contemporary art theory and practice, one of the more popular conceptual paradigms is a historico-temporal one that attempts to account for art making practices throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. This is the legacy of "Modernism" versus what has come to be known as "Postmodernism." The two legacies, however, are intertwined and cannot be separated.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism Assignment

Frederic Jameson was one of the first philosophers, or critical theorists, as they have come to be known in academia, to chart the evolution of modernism in to postmodernism. According to Jameson, this moment occurred in art when there was a shift in focus from reality into the realm of "pure" image. But the "post" in postmodernism also serves a differentiating purpose; that is, postmodernism can in many ways be considered a reaction against the styles and attitudes to be found in many of the masterpieces of High Modernism, which is thought to have begun with the works of Cezanne in France and extended up through the works of the Abstract Expressionist painters (Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, etc.) in New York in the middle of the 20th century. According to this account, the formerly subversive works of Modernism, which were believed to be shocking or disruptive during their era in the limelight, were quickly subsumed and institutionalized into academic and intellectual discourse, thus losing a lot of their initial bite. Just as the Modernists felt the need to rebel against what had come… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism.  (2008, May 14).  Retrieved October 24, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism."  14 May 2008.  Web.  24 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Theoretical Paradigm Modernism Postmodernism."  May 14, 2008.  Accessed October 24, 2021.