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8: Women Artists in Modern Art Movements (1940 CE - 1970 CE)

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    • 8.1: Introduction – Postwar Art (1940-1970)
      In 1940, the world was engulfed in war. Mainland China had been invaded by Japan in 1937, and Austria and Czechoslovakia were under the control of Nazi Germany. By 1941, the war was global as Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States while Germany attacked the Soviet Union. World War II was fought in Europe, the Soviet Union, North Africa, West Africa, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
    • 8.2: Pop Art (1950s-1960s)
      The Pop Art movement emerged in the 1950s in England and the United States, breaking away from traditional art concepts by incorporating ordinary objects such as comic books and advertising used in mass culture. Following a period of experimentation and increased consumerism after the war, artists were inspired by the world around them to create art based on prevalent culture.
    • 8.3: Op Art (1960s – 1970s)
      Op Art was a new form based on the exploitation of illusions and different optical effects of how an image was perceived. Op Art is a short form of Optical Art, a style of abstraction challenging the viewer's visual acuity. In 1957, neuroscientist Donald M. MacKay created an illusion based on a series of radial lines (MacKay rays), producing the perception of shimmering motion from the angled lines.
    • 8.4: Minimalism (1960 – early 1970)
      Minimalism became one of the basic art forms during the 1960s, using primary and sleek geometric contours without decorative embellishments. The movement started in New York with young artists challenging the boundaries of traditional media, perceived emotions, and overt symbolism. The artists reflected the socioeconomic issues of the 1960s and rejected the establishment and formal hierarchies.
    • 8.5: Bay Area Figurative (1950s-1970s)
      The San Francisco Bay Area artists were generally Abstract Expressionists until a small group of artists redefined the figure and its concept, an idea linking them together as the Bay Area Figurative artists. After World War II, artists in New York assembled in bars, restaurants, or different studios, the art dealers controlling most of their careers. In San Francisco, the artists gathered in college or university environments, supporting each other through academia and teaching.
    • 8.6: Abstract Expressionism (Late 1940s – 1960)
      In New York City during the late 1940s, a new art style emerged, starting radical new directions in art. The artists associated with the Abstract Expressionists were all different in look as they developed the concept of spontaneity and improvision. Their work was dynamic and gestural, highly abstracted. The artists were influenced by earlier Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism movements, which changed art concepts.

    Thumbnail: Equus JD 3 (Courtesy of the artist, Jylian Gustlin)

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