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,
1925–2018, American architect and architectural theorist, b. Philadelphia, grad. Princeton (B.A., 1947; M.F.A., 1950). An important and highly influential theorist, Venturi inveighed in his writings against the banality and simplicity of postwar modern
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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 ?
In history, postmodernism instructs us to be wary of one-dimensional narratives often disseminated by state agencies.
of post-truth, we have to go back to the postmodernism as a
On the one hand, postmodernism still retains the explanatory force that it once did for scholars who draw heavily on theory and who look to literature for moments of disruption, resistance, and Utopian imagining.
While postmodernism is often understood as satirical at its heart, Brett proposes something quite different: "postmodernism was born of post-traumatic shock" (97).
Postmodernism arose as a reaction to modernism's claim to universal truths and objectivity especially as it characterized Western thinking.
These new (and simultaneously old) post-postmodern directions continue to develop rhizomatically, as Deleuze & Guattari (1980: 21) have successfully demonstrated for postmodernism, pertaining to "a map that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entranceways and exits." Taken from various sources, the landmarks of this new territory form a long list, containing such items as the intuitive, relative, variable, cyclical, harmonious, natural, integrated, curvilinear, raw, unrefined, degradable, ambiguous, seasonal, gloomy, nebulous, and warm.
The second part of discussion in the book is on postmodernism. Here the authors give a comprehensive explanation of postmodernism.
McHale lists the following repertoire of devices bearing on characteristics of postmodernism so far as the fictional worlds are concerned: 1) the pluralization of fictional world by juxtaposing this world and the world to come, 2) by creating ontologically heterogeneous worlds by interrupting into the world of beings of different ontological order, 3) the making and un-making of worlds through the proliferation of narrative levels by embedding, stacking and erasure, 4) the wedge between text and the world, and 5) the explosion of the ontological grounding of fictional worlds.
One such response has been postmodernism and its incredulity towards metanarratives.
This statement could be transferred to the domain of literary history, as the short story genre emerges as a privileged site for the staging of the (hi)story of literary creativity and criticism, and in particular of the transition from modernism to postmodernism. Enacting the move from modernist autonomy and subjectivity to the postmodernist emphasis on literary artifice, the short story becomes an apt tool for the reassessment of modernism, postmodernism and their interrelationship, as Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Short Story in English, edited by Jorge Sacido, demonstrates.
Apart from an editorial introduction and a final onomastic and conceptual index, Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Short Story in English comprises nine essays thoughtfully organised into four parts, plus an initial discussion by the editor in which he summarily deals with the vast topics--the early theories of the genre, the Modernist notions of autonomy, subjectivity, and fragmentation, the anti-representational semiotics of Postmodernism, the reinstatement of political issues in the Postmodernist agenda, etc.--that are invoked time and again throughout the collection and make it into a reasonably cohesive enterprise.