They formed new religious cultures in society, offered people a means to participate in a counter-culture which was never to be fully completed. They did not to any extent replace the existing religious institutions in society, and so could not be described as revolutionary movements. The most they may have achieved is to have contributed to the trend of people turning away from the traditional church based beliefs, an ongoing tendency throughout the past 70 years. The sixties also saw innovations in art, with bold new artists who conflicted with traditional expectations and values.Order now
Cultural art might be defined as the traditional standards of that which dates back to Greek and Roman traditions, of representation, and decorative styles. Rothko contravened these traditions through work such as the Seagram Murals by audacious use of colour, to create abstract paintings with malicious intentions to disturb and unsettle the observer. Rothko was not the first painter to experiment with emotion and mood in paintings. Van Gogh’s The All Night Cafi?? , Arles aimed to ‘express the terrible passions of humanity by means of reds and greens’.
The idea that tone could be conveyed by other manners than simply the objects pictured was an ongoing idea explored by artists from around the beginning of the nineteenth century. Sylvester identifies Rothko’s work alongside this tradition of reconciliation of Apollo and Dionysus forms of art, part of a long tradition in artistic styles. Warhol was one of a number of so called ‘pop artists’ disliked by Rothko, who also created pioneering works during the sixties. He used a new medium of silkscreen which did contain images, although presented in an unusual fashion.
The images were particularly evocative of current events, using carefully treated photographic images. In some ways it is less counter-cultural than Rothko’s work, as it does retain many techniques which have been used for the past centuries. It is evocative of the sixties, and used innovative methods, but these methods have led to questions as to whether it can be classified as art at all. The period since the sixties has often been characterized as post-modern – some critics claiming that nonconformist art is no longer relevant to present art culture. It does seem that perception and treatment of artistic works did change.
The changes within art were largely to do with monetary reasons. Rothko experienced conflict between monetary value and artistic value, whereas as the ‘pop art’ culture of artists such as Warhol allowed art to be available to mass consumerism. Art in the sixties is demonstrative of counter culture activities of the time, and underwent big changes in its treatment, still very much evident today. However as in other areas, there was not a revolution, in that the old methods were not totally abandoned or disregarded, but the sixties were very important to artistic development.
The sixties were a turbulent period, of mixed values and cultures. This may have been due to a number of factors, such as the increase in standards of living, the distress of the Vietnam War and exposure to different cultures. Many aspects of the sixties have remained to date, but Roszak’s counter-culture that would see systems of logic and objectivity overthrown by emotional abilities never occurred. Much of the Cultural Revolution was a myth, society evolves constantly, and although the sixties saw a high degree of cataclysm, the basic tenets of cultural society have remained unchanged.
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