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Between and Mortarboard


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Decency and Decorum in Production

Accession Number
2000/2.14.25

Title
Decency and Decorum in Production

Artist(s)
Sir Eduardo Paolozzi

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date
1965 - 1970

Medium & Support
photolithograph on paper

Dimensions
14 15/16 in x 10 in (37.94 cm x 25.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Diane M. Kirkpatrick

Subject matter
Like many of his contemporaries, Paolozzi used new printing techniques as a way to engage with modern mass media's new visual culture. At the same time, the photomechanical process made the work look mechanically manufactured rather than hand made, in the traditional artistic sense. Therefore, after he modified, transformed, and assembled the source image(s), the medium allowed for a more uniform final image.

This artist proof is one design of a large series of 50 prints included in the 1970 portfolio, which was a second edition of the an earlier group of slightly larger prints titled "Moonstrips Empire News." While the first series was strictly produced as screenprints, this second series "General Dynamic F.U.N." includes works of photolithography, like this one. The themes seen in this portfolio are different in style and subject matter from other Pop works of the period, but engage with the images of a modern mass media, looking beyond just advertising and publicity images. Likewise, the title of the portfolio alludes to the General Dynamics Corporation, who was the manufacturer of the F-111 fighter used during the Vietnam War—the same one referenced in James Rosenquist monumental painting "F-111."

As with other works in this series, Paolozzi gives a satirical depiction of contemporary American culture. For example, he combined the image of the Marine Corps War Memorial monument (Felix W. de Weldon sculpt., 1954), referencing the iconic photograph by Joe Rosenthal of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima during the Second World War, with the Planter's cartoon, Mr. Peanut.

Physical Description
This colorful print has a series of scenes in four quadrants with a yellow-orange frame. All of the images are blurred, likely because the color plates did not line up with the registration for this proof. In the top left, there is a image of soldiers leaning over next to a small statue made from the photograph "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima." In the lower left, there is an image of a woman, smiling and holding flowers. In the top right, there are three images (top to bottom): circuit board, doubled image of the Mr. Peanut cartoon, and a partial American flag. In the lower right, there are two blurry images: the top image is abstracted and the bottom image shows two scientists working on what appears to be a space craft.

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
Pop (fine arts styles)
advertising
artists' proofs
circuit boards
memorials (monuments)
photolithographs
portfolios (groups of works)
spacecraft
women (female humans)

7 Related Resources

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(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
History of New Media 
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Postcolonial Art
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)
Satire
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
TV Culture and Criticism
(Part of 6 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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