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"The New Frontier: Art and Television, 1960-1965"
2001-01-20 until 2001-03-18
Tacoma Art Museum
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.