Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Scott M. Koterbay

Committee Members

Peter H. Pawlowicz, Vida J. Hull


In Has Modernism Failed? (1984), Suzi Gablik calls for a postmodern art that has preserved the values that modernism lost over the 20th century, stating that only through "direct knowing" may we be shocked out of art-for-art's-sake. In Art As Experience (1934), John Dewey similarly proposes that "thinking is a kind of doing," recommending an instrumental art in one's drive to better him/herself.

Contemporary artist Linda Montano challenges the status quo by exploring the nature of art beyond its material value. In her Living Art performances (1970-1986), Montano creates a postmodern pragmatic aesthetic that is conducive to the unique interchange between knowledge and experience.

Using descriptive analysis, this study investigates the functional relationship between postmodernism and pragmatics as an aesthetic in performance art. Particularly, it addresses how Gablik's theory and Dewey's methods provide a framework in which Montano's art may be discussed as instrumental to both self and society.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.