Warhol and the art of cultivated postmodern naivete
Abstract (Summary)This dissertation assesses the role of Warholian naivete in the transition from late modernism to postmodernism. Andy Warhol is seen as an unprecedentedly influential naif-trickster who in a series of cunning ruses catalyzes a broad cultural revolution in the West. In the process he transforms the historically and conceptually intertwined personae of the naif and the trickster, making a clear break both from the pastoral-nostalgic tradition of the naif and from the folk-rural tradition of the trickster. Introducing inflammatory elements such as queerness, hipsterism, and affectlessness to the centuriesold tradition of strategic cognitive refusal, Warhol arrives at a performative mode whose nature and effects remain nearly unchartable to the present day. After discussing salient features of Warhol’s naif-trickster hybrid in chapter one, I demonstrate how his reverse caricature of the hyper-masculine postures of the New York art world represents a crucial model of 1960s queer visibility. Close examination of his performances in the documentary Painters Painting, and in his memoirs and diaries, reveals how Warhol’s singular ability to play the fool both facilitates and safeguards his 2 raids on heterosexual convention. His mimings of ignorance and immaturity helped him to confront, cope with, manage, articulate--and also deny--the complex implications of his queerness.
School:University of Virginia
School Location:USA - Virginia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: