Artist Case Studies, 2010
Professor Martin Irvine

Artists Defining Major Positions, Arguments, Ways of Working in the Past 20 Years

Cindy Sherman: early pioneer of self-reflective postmodern photography; image making to challenge social construction of "real images," gender identities and positions. Artnet info.
Takashi Murakami: Japanese pop and artist as synthesizer of hybridity. Artnet info.
Jeff Koons: American neo-pop, post-kitsch, post-Warhol identity of artist as business entrepreneur, producer, and studio manager. Artnet info.
Kehinde Wiley: African American hybrid pop, uses the power of cross-cultural, cross-historical portraiture. Appropriation of historical codes and styles of painting combined with post-hip-hop and contemporary black cultural subjects. See artist's website | Artnet info | Studio visit interview | Image examples
Julie Mehretu: painting and drawing in the era of the networked, globalized world; multiple identities and subject positions; abstraction in a time of complexity and network interdependencies. Artnet info.
Wangechi Mutu: Kenya-born artist, now living and working in New York. Focuses on mixed identities and mediums, collage and mixed media, merging African backgrounds and American popular media iconography. Brooklyn Museum Feminist Art Base info. Artnet info. Video of Brooklyn installation.
Gerhard Richter: post-painting painting: role of painting after photography positioned as cultural and political arbiter of representational images, reference, reality. Richter maintains simultaneous styles and genres of painting with no hierarchies: photorealist style, blurred photo-realist, blurred-color abstraction. Post-irony painting? Artnet info.
Richard Prince: "Re-photographs" of advertising and pop media iconography, photographic irony, appropriation, conceptual painting and sculpture. Artnet info.
Andreas Gursky: photography and "post-photography": the photograph as image-object, moving beyond historical givens of single lens perspective and human eye point-of-view, hyperrealism, large scale images impossible to view in reduced scale. Artnet info.
Shepard Fairey: "street art" and neo-pop crossing all categories through appropriation, fusion of graphic design, illustration, pop iconography. Combined "street" and "studio" practice is the pop art movement of today. Artist's site (Obey Giant). Artnet info.
John Currin: new arguments about realism, the nude, representation, figuration, art history. Artnet info.

Martin Irvine
© 2010
All educational uses permitted with attribution and link to this page.