Dr. Tom Folland

About Dr. Tom Folland

Dr. Tom Folland is an Associate Professor of Art History at Los Angeles Mission College. Formerly a curator and art critic based in Toronto, he received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2010. His article “Robert Rauschenberg’s Queer Modernism: The Early Combines” was published in The Art Bulletin in 2010 and an exhibition catalogue on the work of HK Zamani for CB1 Gallery, Los Angeles in 2012. His recent essay “Robert Rauschenberg's Red Show: Theater, Painting, and Queerness in 1950s Modernism" was published in the January 2017 issue of Modernism/modernity and "Readymade Primitivism: Marcel Duchamp, Dada, and African Art" will be published in the British journal Art History.

On the cusp of the decade of the 1960s, his art embraced the machine, if only as a symbol of the demise of the modern world or at least as another example of the disillusionment with it on the part of many artists.

Jean Tinguely, Homage to New York

In the 1990s, as artists searched for new alternatives, many considered conceptual art of the 1970s an unfinished project.

Tracey Emin, My Bed

Detail, Richard Caton Woodville, War News from Mexico, 1848, oil on canvas, 68.6 × 63.5 cm (Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art)
Painted for a divided US, people from North and South could identify with this image—others remain marginalized.

War News from Mexico

Lee Krasner, Untitled, 1949, oil on composition board, 121.9 x 93.9 cm (MoMA) (photo: Matthew Mendoza, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Krasner severed the link between art and the everyday world, making important breakthroughs in abstraction.

Lee Krasner, Untitled

Marlene Dumas, Models
Dumas paints from photographs, and deliberately makes her pictures strange, unsettling, and ugly.

Marlene Dumas, Models

Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas, 130 x 190 cm (Musée d'Orsay, Paris)
Manet decided to replace the idealized female nude with the image of a known prostitute. It didn’t go so well.

Édouard Manet, Olympia

Robert Rauschenberg, Canyon, 1959, oil, pencil, paper, metal, photograph, fabric, wood, canvas, buttons, mirror, taxidermied eagle, cardboard, pillow, paint tube and other materials, 207.6 x 177.8 x 61 cm (The Museum of Modern Art)
Clothing, paper, a paint tube, photographs, and a stuffed bald eagle—but it’s more than an accumulation of debris.

Robert Rauschenberg, Canyon

Jeff Koons, Pink Panther, 1988, glazed porcelain, 104.1 x 52 x 48.2 cm (The Museum of Modern Art, New York) (photo: LP, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Koons’ cartoonish life-size emblems of childhood innocence are an assault upon both sincerity and taste.

Jeff Koons, Pink Panther