American Pop Art, Andy Warhol, Diamond Dust Shoes, East Madison, Frederick Jameson, Japanese kaiseki, Japanese restaurant, omakase, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, postmodernism, Postmodernism and Consumer Society, Roy Lichtenstein, Seattle Art Museum
I could finally catch the Seattle Art Museum’s fall exhibit “Pop! Departures.” Since my husband also wanted to see the exhibit I postponed my visit to the museum. The exhibit was focused on the artists from the 1960s, such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, who, I think, revolutionized the stuffy and self-important art word with irreverent “art” pieces that reflected the emergent world of a super-consumer society. American Pop Art, which flaunted itself as a bold rejection of the austere abstract art, is probably one of the first successful genres of postmodernism. For instance, Frederick Jameson characterizes postmodernism in “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”: “most of the postmodernisms” are “specific reactions against the established forms of high modernism” and erode “the older distinction between high culture and so-called mass or popular culture.” I think the triumph of American Pop Art is that Warhol, Lichtenstein; et al. had succeeded in convincing the art establishment that their works are bona fide art, not trashy pop art. (Or perhaps one may also argue that the art establishment merely used them for their profit, by joining the bandwagon of consumerism.)
The exhibit was very interesting. I particularly enjoyed seeing two versions of Warhol’s “Diamond Dust Shoes,” which were tucked away into a small receded corner, probably because the year of their productions were in 1980s rather than 1960s, the decade the exhibit was focused on. One of the reasons why I enjoyed seeing “Diamond Dust Shoes” was that the image was used as the cover illustration for Jameson’s Postmodernism or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. I suppose this particular reason for appreciating them may not be called purely aesthetic for it is somewhat akin to the mentality of celebrity worship (another Warhol theme). Nonetheless, I really enjoyed seeing them. I think most of Warhol work was hallucinatory, like most of department-store displays. They certainly are revelatory of our time and place.
After visiting SAM we went to my favorite Japanese restaurant on East Madison. The omakase, a form of Japanese kaiseki, they served was, as usual, excellent.