postmodernism

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postmodernism,

term used to designate a multitude of trends—in the arts, philosophy, religion, technology, and many other areas—that come after and deviate from the many 20th-cent. movements that constituted modernism. The term has become ubiquitous in contemporary discourse and has been employed as a catchall for various aspects of society, theory, and art. Widely debated with regard to its meaning and implications, postmodernism has also been said to relate to the culture of capitalism as it has developed since the 1960s. In general, the postmodern view is cool, ironic, and accepting of the fragmentation of contemporary existence. It tends to concentrate on surfaces rather than depths, to blur the distinctions between high and low culture, and as a whole to challenge a wide variety of traditional cultural values.

The term postmodernism is probably most specific and meaningful when used in relation to architecture, where it designates an international architectural movement that emerged in the 1960s, became prominent in the late 1970s and 80s, and remained a dominant force in the 1990s. The movement largely has been a reaction to the orthodoxy, austerity, and formal absolutism of the International StyleInternational style,
in architecture, the phase of the modern movement that emerged in Europe and the United States during the 1920s. The term was first used by Philip Johnson in connection with a 1932 architectural exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
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. Postmodern architecture is characterized by the incorporation of historical details in a hybrid rather than a pure style, by the use of decorative elements, by a more personal and exaggerated style, and by references to popular modes of building.

Practitioners of postmodern architecture have tended to reemphasize elements of metaphor, symbol, and content in their credos and their work. They share an interest in mass, surface colors, and textures and frequently use unorthodox building materials. However, because postmodern architects have in common only a relatively vague ideology, the style is extremely varied. Greatly affected by the writings of Robert VenturiVenturi, Robert,
1925–, American architect, b. Philadelphia. In his writings, Venturi inveighed against the banality of modern architecture in the postwar period. He argued instead for a more inclusive, contextual approach to design that heralded the postmodern era in
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, postmodernism is evident in Venturi's buildings and, among others, in the work of Denise Scott Brown, Michael GravesGraves, Michael,
1934–2015, American architect, b. Indianapolis, Ind., educated at the Univ. of Cincinnati and Harvard. He taught at Princeton from 1962 to 2002. Graves was a member of the New York "Five" or "white" modernist architects during the 1960s, the other four
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, Robert A. M. SternStern, Robert A. M.
(Robert Arthur Morton Stern), 1939–, American architect, b. New York City. He studied architecture at Yale Univ., became a practicing architect in the mid-1960s, and a professor of architecture at Columbia Univ. in 1970. He and John S.
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, Arata IsozakiIsozaki, Arata
, 1931–, Japanese architect, b. Oita. One of his nation's most important contemporary architects, he has an international reputation and has designed notable buildings in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
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, and the later work of Philip JohnsonJohnson, Philip Cortelyou,
1906–2005, American architect, museum curator, and historian, b. Cleveland, grad. Harvard Univ. (B.A., 1927). One of the first Americans to study modern European architecture, Johnson wrote (with H.-R.
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. Once extremely popular, postmodernism began to fall out of style in the late 1980s.

See also contemporary artcontemporary art,
the art of the late 20th cent. and early 21st cent., both an outgrowth and a rejection of modern art. As the force and vigor of abstract expressionism diminished, new artistic movements and styles arose during the 1960s and 70s to challenge and displace
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.

Bibliography

See P. Goldberger, On the Rise: Architecture and Design in a Postmodern Age (1983); A. Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (1986); C. Jencks, What is Post-Modernism? (1986); S. Gaggi, Modern/Postmodern (1989); D. Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (1989); J. Tagg, ed., The Cultural Politics of Postmodernism (1989); D. Kolb, Postmodern Sophistications (1990); H. Risatti, ed., Postmodern Perspectives (1990); F. Jameson, Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991); Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates on Houses and Housing (1992); T. Docherty, ed., Postmodernism: A Reader (1993); P. Jodidio, Contemporary American Architects (1993); D. Meyhofer, Contemporary European Architects (1993); N. Wheale, ed., The Postmodern Arts (1995); S. Grenz, A Primer on Postmodernism (1996).

Postmodernism

(1980–2000)
A reaction against the International style and Modernism was evidenced in this style. It reintroduced ornament and decorative motifs to building design, often in garish colors and illogical juxtaposition. It is an eclectic borrowing of historical details from several periods, but unlike previous revivals is not concerned with scholarly reproduction. Instead, it is a light-hearted compilation of esthetic symbols and details, often using arbitrary geometry, and with an intentional inconsistency of scale. The most prevalent aspect is the irony, ambiguity, and contradiction in the use of architectural forms. Those connected with the beginning of this movement include Aldo Rossi, Stanley Tigerman, Charles Moore, Michael Graves, Robert Krier, and Terry Farrell.
References in periodicals archive ?
To this question, McHale proposes two alternative models: "first, the model of the postmodernist novel; and second, that of postmodernist architecture" (The Obligation 3).
In essence, Kim argues that Cha's work both "clearly intends to disrupt various ideological narratives" and "shares in some of the ideological pitfalls of avant-garde and postmodernist aesthetics" (50).
Gadamer, the postmodern figure whose approach to tradition seems most sympathetic to Kirk's worldview, is discussed only fleetingly, and the book never rigorously compares Kirk with any postmodernist intellectuals.
Like Anthony Kenny's rather trenchant observations, Turner's criticisms of Milbank/Pickstock on the postmodernist concept of truth in Aquinas are to the point.
The main point in all this is that Nicole Eustace and several of the other writers accept the importance of working with and applying postmodernist and poststructuralist ideas in a way that undeniably has a more profound bearing on how we conceive history than many other social historians seem prepared to acknowledge.
Readers of Stephen Hicks's Explaining Postmodernism (1) will find much to reflect upon and engage with in the pages of this lucid study of the background, themes, and consequences of postmodernist thought and practice.
Another, bigger problem is that the conflict between depth and depthlessness that the works stage is their most diverting aspect, and this, despite the dirty comics, high-key colors, skillful facture, and anamorphic distortions, makes them feel oddly static; by engaging one of modernism's most durable sawhorses, Salle reveals the inherent conservatism of his postmodernist pose.
Progressive theology includes liberalism, neo-orthodoxy (including its Catholic forms), liberationism, and postmodernist theology.
Part five deals largely with the work of postmodernist and multicultural writers of the 1980s and 1990s and, reflecting the title of the book, multicultural and postmodernist excerpts dominate the final section which is concerned with the social theories of the new century.
In teaching this novel the unconventional plot-structure and characterization should be examined to study the change in the idea and function of character and plot in postmodernist novels.
Journalists also seem to have received a heavy dose of the postmodernist paranoia of judgment and opinion.