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"The New Frontier: Art and Television, 1960-1965"
2001-01-20 until 2001-03-18
Tacoma Art Museum
Tacoma, WA, USA United States of America

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, television emerged and quickly became a dominant mass medium. It changed how one could experience one's own world by giving the option of a pixilated reality mediated by fantasies, filters and distortions. The time of television emergence occurred during an era termed as The New Frontier by John F. Kennedy in 1960. Almost immediately after its introduction, television became an instrument for social power. Major television spectacles of that time, ranging from the Nixon-Kennedy debates that changed politics forever, to the Four Dark Days of the JFK assassination, illustrates the extent to which television was becoming a new mode of power in defining the way society understood its reality.

Artists have been engaging with the most advanced imaging technologies since the late nineteenth century, and this was not lost with artists of the early Sixties. For artists, this era was defined by the frustration with the gap between art and life. Recognizing that TV, like various modernist artistic movements, was altering and sometimes even replacing reality, they actively engaged with this medium to bridge the aforementioned gap.

The New Frontier: Art and Television 1960-65, brings together a collection of work by artists that produced works that portrayed television not just as an object to be pictured, but as a system that transformed the nature of how we perceive images. In four sections Screens, Circuits, Programs, and Television World the exhibit presents silk screen paintings by Andy Warhol, prepared television sets by Nam June Paik, collages and assemblages by Robert Rausenberg, records of happenings by Wolf Vostell, and works by numerous other artists including James Rosenquist, Ed Kienholz, Yoko Ono and Tom Wesselmen.

Organized by the Austin Museum of Art and curated by John Alan Farmer.


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