(re)producing images

(re)producing images

This fourth curatorial exercise, presented at the offices of the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection (CIAC) comes from the relationship and influences that art has had from the world of graphic design—advertising as well as other printed media such as graphic novels and comics—as of the second half of the twentieth century.

The artistic avant-garde of the first decades of the past century narrowed the relationship between art and graphics. Artists such as Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso incorporated fragments of newspapers into cubist collages; making printed typography part of their visual language. Meanwhile the Russian Constructivists, Dadaists and later the Bauhaus, made posters based on their aesthetic proposals, which would eventually be used by the media, both for advertising and propaganda.

If the world of visual communications utilized the proposals and artistic research of the first half of the twentieth century, from the 1950s, first with movements like the Neo-Dada and later Pop Art, art would retake the language of the advertising world, and also the visual imaginary developed in graphic novels and comics.

One of the most notable of Pop artists, Andy Warhol, took on the aesthetics of some habitually consumed products in the U.S. market and he also played with serial reproductions of images, in the same way that the mainstream media did. As well as image reproduction, authorship is another issue in contemporary art due to the use of various images and texts from advertising or other printed media. Since 1968 intellectuals such as Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault, through different texts, spoke of the author’s dissappearance, while in the art world the use of images, even the works of other artist, lead to what would be known as Appropiationism. Richard Prince, one of the artists associated with this trend, took iconic advertising images for some of his works. Borrowing images produced by others is still in practice today throughout social networks, bringing the debate on this topic to new places.

Printed materials, used by cubists, still remain a resource in contemporary practices. Nowadays, newspaper and magazine images serve as reference for discussion of various themes or issues and not just formally, as in the work of Alberto Gironella or Carol Bove.

While artists of the following generations have been influenced by both Pop Art and Appropriationism, art produced in the streets, also influenced by the visual advertising language, has had an impact on the production of artists like Shepard Fairey, Santiago Cucullu and FAILE. From the relationship with print media, art has developed new languages and new questions about the use and consumption of images in contemporary society.

  • Fourth exhibition made by CIAC’s team for its office.