Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990

Untitled (Joe)' by Robert Longo, 1981

Narrowing postmodernity to the twenty years between 1970 and 1990 fixes my childhood and teenage years at the apex of the movement. Visiting the V&A’s Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990 exhibition today was dropping in on my youth.

A 30-second clip of Bladerunner was irresistible and I could barely tear myself from Laurie Anderson performing a fragment of O Superman. That song made every mix tape I curated. Grace Jones: remember her? She terrified me. And architecture and design: Michael Graves, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, James Stirling, Philip Johnson and Rem Koolhaas, each one-time heroes of mine.

But where was the literature? Surely Ballard or Bret Easton Ellis, even DeLillo merited a section. Perhaps that is another exhibition.

7 thoughts on “Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990

  1. I think they said the post modern fiction was missed as it would over shadowed the over bits or something like that on review show the other week when they reviewed the show ,hope they send part of it on tour because can’t see me being in london in next couple of months .I watch the AVO session of grace jones on tv the over night she is still very scarry ,all the best stu


    • Thanks for the comment, stu, that would explain the missing literary influences. The show runs until 15 January 2012; I hope you get to see it, it is very worthwhile, if only for the nostalgia.


  2. A video homage to postmodern architecture:

    Philip Johnson (AT&T) + Michael Graves (Denver Public Library) + Giovanni Paolo Pannini + Aldo Rossi (Teatro del Mondo): PO MO ah!


  3. 6 Wonders of the Postmodern Ages + a half
    – The big igloo of Eskimo Parliament
    – Colossus of Rhodes (with anabolic steroids)
    – Great Wall of Berlin
    – Mausoleum of Elvis
    – Pizza Pyramids
    – Leaning Tower of Marge
    + a half

    7 Wonders of the Middle Ages
    – Stonehenge
    – Colosseum
    – Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
    – Great Wall of China
    – Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
    – Hagia Sophia
    – Leaning Tower of Pisa


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