pomo impressions [on me]

Catherine Simpson (CAStlenews@AOL.COM)
Fri, 11 Oct 1996 00:31:44 -0400

As one new to pomo theory, still grappling with the issues and texts that
graduate students stumble into these days, I appreciate all the posts on the

Given the *natural* problematic nature of the term *postmodern*, I was amused
to find an account by David Gadd on the origins of the term
*post-impressionism*. According to Gadd, Roger Fry "invented the term
Post-Impressionism" for the first exhibit of a collection of French artists
(among them Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Vlaminck, Derain, Rouault, and
Picasso) in London (1911, I think). Says Gadd:

"He [Fry] chose the name [Post-Impressionist] as being 'the vaguest and most
noncommittal' he could think of, recording the mere fact that his artists
followed the Impressionists in time, but not necessarily in anything else. It
was a good name, sufficiently unspecific to include artists of widely
different styles and gifts and, since it had no partisan implications,
capable of being adopted by opponents as well as supporters of the new art."
(Gadd, _The Loving Friends: A Portrait of Bloomsbury_)

It seems to me that the term *postmodernism* also benefits from the same
characteristics. My question is: Does the postmodern, rather like
post-impressionism, use the materials of nature/reality to re/present a
synthesis/creation that is not dependent upon imitation? Or is
post-impressionism a subset of postmodernism?

Wondering on...Catherine Simpson